Daily Archives: March 6, 2014

“There isn’t a defensive coach in America who can sleep at night without taking pills.”

Who said this?

“We are now getting plays off every 12 or 13 seconds,”… “We are moving so fast I frequently can’t get a play in from the sidelines. We’ll hit 100 plays a game soon.” This, coming from one of football’s bastions of the conservative, makes it plain that something big has happened.

That would be Woody Hayes.  In 1968.

And Alabama has always been at war with Eastasia.  Or something.

Quite naturally, all of this is driving the game’s coaching giants goofy. Bear Bryant is sitting down there in Tuscaloosa with one of the best defensive teams he has ever had, allowing opponents only 10 points a game, but the Tide has been beaten twice and scared witless almost every week because it just can’t score enough. And coaches with teams that can score try to score plenty, because they pace the sidelines knowing a two-touchdown lead is far from a safe one anymore. (Halftime last Saturday: Ohio State, 24; Illinois, 0. In the fourth quarter: Ohio State, 24; Illinois, 24.)

“What’s happened is obvious,” says Bryant, the master of defense. “First of all, due to the pro influence, there are more good pitchers and catchers coming out of high school. They all want one of those Joe Namath contracts. Then, of course, most colleges use their best athletes on offense, as backs and receivers. That’s not necessarily true in the pros. They’ve got some of their best athletes on defense, especially corner-back. When the defense is forced to spread out, it must go to man-to-man coverage. But if the offensive boy—the pass receiver—is a better athlete than the defensive boy, he’ll beat him. So you have to go to double coverage, and that weakens you against the run.”

It’s the offense’s job to make life semi-tough for the defense.  (Had to get that Dan Jenkins reference in here somewhere.)  Eventually defenses catch up and the cycle renews.  It’s as true now as it was fifty years ago.

(h/t)

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

You can’t put a price tag on the perception of promoting alcohol use.

Actually, I suspect we’re about to find out that you can.

The SEC plans to review its alcohol policy for neutral-site games and home games off campus, and not necessarily selling alcohol to the public at campus games, SEC Associate Commissioner Herb Vincent said.

The University of Texas recently began selling beer and wine at some sporting events this year and may continue at football games in the fall. At least one SEC athletics director likes the idea for SEC stadiums, where alcohol is permitted in private suites but not public areas.

Selling beer at football games “would enhance the fan experience,” LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva said.

Not to mention the schools’ bank accounts.  Unleash the rationalization hounds!

“I don’t think that’s something that would necessarily be a negative for drunkenness and it might curtail the drunkenness if you sold beer. Right now, they drink excessively in the parking lot before they come in because they can’t get alcohol inside. Perhaps if they had access in the stadium, they wouldn’t drink as much when they come in. I think it’s something we have to talk about. This may come down the road in the future, and I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”

And here’s your real tell:  Mike Slive has “mixed feelings” about it.  That’s a long way from firm opposition.

There’s way too much money involved here, especially once the conference gets over its hypocrisy about message sending.  Aside from concession sales and sponsorships, you’ve got the real golden goose:  advertising.  My prediction is they’ll start sliding down the slippery slope once they see how Texas makes out with its new policy and they’ll keep going with explanations that don’t pass the logic test until they get it all in.

When that happens, at least we’ll be assured of one good thing, an end to this silliness:

In 2006, officials from Florida, Georgia and the SEC asked CBS and other television networks to no longer use the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party” phrase when referencing the Florida-Georgia football game. The movement to tone down the nickname was done to raise awareness about the excessive use of alcohol on campuses.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Get well, Todd.

Amid all the pleasantries we heard yesterday emanating from Athens – players buying in to the new defensive staff, Richt talking about tweaking changes to practice procedure and the renewed energy surrounding the program – there’s one troublesome matter.

After battling ankle and hip injuries last season, Gurley has been “less than full speed” during offseason conditioning drills, Richt said.

“I really don’t know what to expect from Todd in the spring,” Richt said.

Gurley said what’s bothering him more are his legs.

“It’s going to take a little time,” Gurley said.

Said Richt: “My guess is that unless he’s completely healed by March 18, there will be some modification to what he’s doing.”

Now, Gurley’s a warrior and Bobo doesn’t sound particularly daunted by Gurley’s health, so we’re a long ways away from needing to freak out over the uncertainty, but let’s not kid ourselves.  A healthy Todd Gurley is a big factor in whatever success Georgia is hoping for this season.  How big?  Potentially, this big.

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Filed under Georgia Football