Daily Archives: February 20, 2014

“So, you want to talk about the ‘Saban Rule’?”

Spurdog goes there.

“He took it upon himself to go before the rules committee and get it done,” Spurrier said. “They tried to change the rules. But I don’t think they’re gonna get away with it.”

SEC Media Days are gonna be a freakin’ blast.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Strategery And Mechanics, The Evil Genius

Better late than never

And the old staff was about…?


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Mark Richt doesn’t really care who loses control of the 10-second rule.

According to Chip Towers, today’s teleconference with Georgia’s head coach “… was initially set up because numerous beat reporters had contacted Richt about getting his reaction to the proposed 10-second substitution rule to slow down up-tempo offenses in college football.”

His reaction?  Essentially a yawn.

“Again, I just don’t know how many people are consistently snapping the ball under 10,” Richt said. “You can still go no-huddle and you can still go at a pretty good clip. …Even if you snap it at …29 or whatever it is, you’re still going pretty darn fast. I don’t think it will be a huge deal if it does change, but I doubt very seriously it changes this quickly.”

It sounds like that’s for two reasons.  First, to the extent it’s a conditioning issue, that’s on the program, not the rule.

“I feel like if you can train offensive players to play five or six plays in a row, you can train defensive players to play that many plays in a row, too,” Richt said Thursday afternoon. “I personally don’t think it’s a health-issue deal, but if there’s some evidence otherwise, it will be interesting to see it. …I think it’s somebody’s assumption. I don’t think there’s any hard evidence on it.”

And the second?  It’s sort of what I figured – Richt’s experience importing the no-huddle to the SEC has left him a bit skeptical about the whole thing.  (Not that I blame him.)

“We started going fast at Florida State in 1992 and then ’93 we were going at breakneck speed as fast as we could until I got to Georgia,” he said.

ACC officials, he said, put the ball on the ground and got out of the way.

“It wasn’t quite happening that way in the SEC,” Richt said. “Who knows what the reasons were?”

Actually, we do know that.

… The mandatory pause is to allow the officiating crew to get in position, Gaston said. Richt argued that the officials should put the ball in play as soon as they are set, regardless of how much time has elapsed, but Gaston said that would provide the offense an unfair advantage.

“Mark Richt would eat their lunch,” he said. “He would go straight to the ball and snap it. He’d get in 100 plays. We have about half the coaches who think we go too fast and about half who think we go too slow so we must be in about the right spot.”

So you’ll have to pardon Richt if he doesn’t seem too worked up about this now.  He dealt with rules manipulation before and nobody was particularly worked up about it then.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Welcome to the big leagues, son.

Pretty entertaining stuff from early enrollee Jacob Park on Georgia’s dreaded mat drills:

On mat drills …

“I never really had that many coaches yelling at me at the same time. We had something similar in high school we had to go through, conditioning and things like that just to be on the team. But it was a little different. We didn’t do it at 5 in the morning. So it’s a little bit of a shock.”

On possibly second-guessing decision to come early because of mat drills …

“Definitely. I didn’t know anything about mat drills. Nobody told me ’tils I got here. Bryce told me I was going regret coming here early.”

Just remember your Nietzsche, man.


UPDATE:  On a related strength and conditioning note, Georgia’s hired a new coach for the S&C staff.  One interesting bit about the hire…



Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Meet your new favorite Georgia coach.

I don’t know how Mike Ekeler’s gonna do on the field, but he just won the damn press conference.  A few samples:

And this is the topper, by a wide margin.

Honestly, if it had been up to me, I would have hired him on the spot.

It’s hard not to get excited about the new staff, isn’t it?


UPDATE:  Via Emerson –

He looks good in red, no?


UPDATE #2:  I post this because I have to.

Here’s what Ekeler said he told head coach Mark Richt during his interview, after breaking down film of Georgia’s punt return unit:

“Coach, you set a record an NCAA record for being in punt safe.”

Richt, asked about that later, went into a long defense/analysis, but then confirmed that he laugh in response to Ekeler’s comment.

“I did chuckle, because I knew I did call punt safe a lot,” Richt said.


Filed under Georgia Football

Spurrier never misses an opportunity.

You gotta give him credit for being fast on his feet.

Although it may just be a reflex at this point.


Filed under The Evil Genius

Driving Mudcat’s car

While I appreciate the effort here, any attempt to study the impact of five-star recruits signed by Mark Richt has to take in the full measure of what they brought to the table during their time in Athens to be truly meaningful.  Let’s face it – Marquis Elmore’s legacy is something more than what mere statistics can measure and will always be cherished by the true Dawg fan.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

“We’re still going to have to abide by NCAA rules.”

I’m guessing that most of the focus on yesterday’s NLRB hearing on letting Northwestern football players unionize will be on David Berri’s economic testimony.  However, the real meat of what was presented is something different.

But what can CAPA achieve while still playing by the NCAA’s rules? Colter brought up increased medical coverage and academic support on Tuesday, and both of those objectives are reasonable under the NCAA’s current bylaws. According to John Infante, who covers NCAA rules and compliance for The Bylaw Blog, medical care is “pretty much completely deregulated” by the NCAA.

“A lot of talk is about injuries sustained during practice and competition that the school’s not covering,” Infante said. “What the NCAA now allows is for not only any medical expenses, but also actual health insurance; they can provide that. I don’t think the NCAA would have a problem with (universities) providing healthcare to players after they graduate.”

Well, it shouldn’t, anyway.  The reality is that it ain’t happening now.  At least not in any meaningful, consistent way.

Right now, according to Infante, “schools can provide pretty much any medical expense” to athletes. CAPA wants to use collective bargaining to make sure schools are obligated to provide good coverage, not just allowed to do it.

In short: a union can make it a promise, not an option.

Although the NCAA does enforce strict rules on compensation, it has deregulated its medical coverage and academic support rules so that they are very open-ended. That lack of direct oversight over athletes at particular schools makes a case against the NCAA, and proving that the NCAA is a joint employer, difficult.

But here’s where it gets interesting.  If the Northwestern players attempt to unionize is certified, the camel’s nose may get under the tent and force the NCAA into action.

… If Northwestern’s players earn better medical benefits through collective bargaining, that could be an advantage to use in recruiting over a school that does has not provided those benefits. Such an arrangement could cause a competitive imbalance, which could result in changes to the NCAA rulebook.

“As it establishes in different places, if players are going to be collectively bargaining for things the NCAA doesn’t allow or things the NCAA does allow but doesn’t require, but does affect competitive balance,” Infante said, “then what I think you’ll see is the NCAA adopt those rules nationally to maintain a somewhat stable playing field.”

I don’t see how anybody can find that an objectionable result, particularly an organization that routinely bleats about how it’s all about the student-athlete.

Let’s just say that if you’re really concerned about the health and welfare of your student-athletes, unionization looks a helluva lot more like a realistic solution than the fumbling around we’re witnessing with the proposed player substitution rule debacle.


Filed under The NCAA

Sink or swim in Gainesville.

Now, while we’ve come to love the hire of Agent Muschamp, you do have to wonder what Jeremy Foley was thinking, because it cut against the grain of what’s been successful at Florida.

While it’s easy to criticize with the benefit of hindsight, the hiring of Muschamp really never fit the image of Florida football in the first place. Florida made its name as an innovative program among major colleges, with the Fun ‘n’ Gun and spread option giving the program a defined identity. In between Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer, Florida failed by hiring Ron Zook, a defensive coach and accomplished recruiter who has flamed out as a gameday coach, and now, for the last three years, the reins have been in the hands of Muschamp, the former Texas defensive coordinator who probably would have fit best a Woody Hayes staff. A good head coach is a good head coach, and a good defensive coach could succeed at Florida, in theory. Still, it’s an odd shift in direction, given that the fan base came of age with Florida on the cutting edge of offensive football. It just makes it easier for fans to grow disenchanted with the direction of the program, sooner rather than later.

At this point, Florida’s pinning its hopes on the hire of another Duke offensive guru in Roper.  The catch is that while Spurrier was his own man, Roper was managing the Blue Devils offense under the direction of David Cutcliffe, a top-notch offensive mind in his own right.  Who’s to say Roper’s ready for what he’s taking on at Florida?  It’s not like the Gators haven’t talked a good game before about opening up the offense.

There was a revealing moment in last season’s Florida-Tennessee game, when the one-loss Gators still had delusions of grandeur. Driskel had just been knocked out, and inexperienced Tyler Murphy (who will suit up for Boston College next season) took over. In the midst of one of the season’s sloppiest games, Florida hurried to the line, and CBS play-by-play man Verne Lundquist took note, saying, “Here’s a little bit of that hurry-up,” adding that Florida had said it would use it against the Vols. The next thing he said was that there were five seconds left on the play clock.

It’s one thing to say a philosophy is changing, quite another to put it into practice.

If Roper isn’t the man, let’s hope Foley doesn’t learn from history.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

“Only one quarterback can be on the field at one time, and they all want to play.”

Who’da thunk that Georgia Tech would make a list of quarterback transfers before Georgia would?

Seriously, that’s an issue that doesn’t resonate in the land of “he’s waited patiently for his turn”.  Under Richt, Georgia’s had, what, four quarterbacks who waited until their last year to get a chance to start?

Looking at the current roster, you wonder how long that trend will continue after this season.


Filed under Georgia Football