Daily Archives: March 26, 2014

Defense, a week in

Some really juicy stuff from Chip Towers’ piece about the defense a week into spring practice:

3. Some of the early beneficiaries from the defensive coaching change appear to be Langley, Johnson and Floyd.

  • Langley, a 6-1, 181-pound sophomore out of Marietta, started the first four games of last season as a true freshman but barely played and never started the rest of the way. He finished with just 12 tackles and 2 pass break-ups.
  • Likewise, due to a number of factors, Johnson played only a bit role last season after coming to Georgia as one of the top junior college prospects in the country. First, he was playing behind Garrison Smith. Secondly, he was coming off knee surgery and dealt with some other nagging injuries throughout the season. But he’s healthy and a svelte 305 pounds now and the new coaches love his athleticism.
  • The new staff feels Floyd was under-utilized last season. The 6-4, 220-pound sophomore started eight games and played in all 13 as a true freshman and his 6.5 sacks led the team. But Floyd was often got subbed out of games based on down-and-distance. The belief is he may the best overall defensive player on the team. [Emphasis added.]  Expect Floyd to stay on the field more under Pruitt’s watch.

Well, now.  I loved Floyd for his pass rushing skills, obviously.  And he got better as the year went along setting the edge against the option (before you go there, better is not the same thing as great).  But he looked lost in pass coverage, which is a big reason he was subbed out.  If he’s gotten a handle on that, look out.

This, too, is Dawg Porn of the first order interesting.

Much has been made about Pruitt’s intense demeanor on the practice field and he’s definitely very vocal in his coaching methods. But less has probably been made about why he’s that way. Not saying it’s better or worse, but former defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and most of his assistants (line coach Chris Wilson was very vocal) were more cerebral in their practice approach. They’d have their call sheets and go over them repeatedly with their respective positions players. Pruitt is clearly more technique oriented. His emphasis appears to be more about executing fewer sets well than trying to perfect multiple sets. [Emphasis added.] It won’t be until well into the fall before we know how the Bulldogs respond and perform. But coach Mark Richt and defensive players already have remarked about communication is better and there is less confusion over calls, particularly when the offense is in hurry-up mode.

Hubba, hubba.



Filed under Georgia Football

Here we go.


Per Rohan Nadkarni, Northwestern players and CAPA have won their lawsuit at the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago.  As a result, Northwestern players will hold a vote on whether to unionize.

No doubt Northwestern will appeal.  No doubt the school will make every attempt to discourage the players from unionization.  But it’s going to get more and more interesting for college athletics going forward.

In the end, I suspect we’re going to say the schools had nobody to blame but themselves for letting things develop the way they did.


UPDATE:  The ruling, which is 24 pages long, can be viewed here.


UPDATE #2:  Sports Illustrated’s legal dude elaborates on some of the ramifications of today’s ruling.


UPDATE #3:  The NCAA weighs in.  It’s what you’d expect.

“We frequently hear from student-athletes…”?  Not in any formal capacity.  Which is how you get to today’s ruling.


Filed under Look For The Union Label

Women weaken legs.

Okay, it’s not a football story, and it encompasses a serious topic (“Treat women with respect.”), but as Seth Emerson relates, the Georgia men’s basketball program has some very detailed policies on how its players should conduct their love lives that I think you need to be made aware of.  Specifically,

  • Don’t spend all of your energy in the bed all night;

  • Hicky’s (sic)/passion marks should not be ever noticed by coaches;

  • One. Not two or three girlfriends.

That may help explain why Fox’ recruiting never gets over the hump.

Now, back to football.


Filed under The Body Is A Temple

Can we meet?

You know the old joke about He couldn’t find his butt with both hands, a roadmap, and a flashlight?

Meet Kenneth Wainstein, crack academic fraud investigator.

Don’t go too far out of your way, fella.


Filed under Academics? Academics.

Brand equity

Several of you have made the argument that any value built up in a college player’s likeness comes strictly as a result of the name on the front of the jersey – the school – rather than the name on the back.  I’m curious how you would respond to this argument:

None of you are going to regularly watch and support your school if they consistently suck.  Period.  You are, however, going to regularly watch your squads when they’re good.  Players drive on-field/court performance.  That’s why schools recruit top-tier athletes with such vigor.  Therefore, it IS at least as much about the kids on the field as it is about the name on the front of the jersey.

That’s a little overstated, as there is always a part of the fan base that will show up no matter how poor the product on the field may be.  But it’s hard to dispute the rest there.

The problem I see with taking an absolutist tack is that logic suggests otherwise, which makes it easy to knock down.  It also means that if you lose, you don’t have much of a fallback position.  Admitting that both sides have skin in the game, but that pay for play isn’t an acceptable course of action for some other reason or reasons may be harder to refute.  It also leaves you in a position where it’s easier to manufacture a compromise if events require some give and take.


UPDATE:  It’s all about the front of the jersey, right?


Filed under It's Just Bidness

If you can afford filet mignon, why shop at McDonalds?

Remember those heady days not so long ago, when Auburn and Tennessee were convinced they’d upended the traditional model for allocating salaries between head coaches and their staffs?  Good times, those.  Me, I kinda wondered what we’d get with all the new money pouring into SEC schools’ coffers if those hires didn’t work out.

Which they di’int.

And so – surprise, surprise – Jay Jacobs announces he’s done with that bullshit.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness

Wednesday morning buffet

Dig in, peeps.

  • From his new role as H-Back, Quayvon Hicks vows that this year will be different.  “I fell off and it won’t happen again,” the junior said. “I’m going to do what I’ve got to do to make sure I’m on the field all season this coming fall.”  I’ll leave it to you to ask the obvious follow-up question.
  • Football Study Hall looks at how sack rates affect point production.
  • Barrett Sallee argues that SEC teams have a track record of thriving with inexperienced quarterbacks.
  • Division III is struggling financially, but is is likely opposed to the easiest way to cut costs, limiting the number of teams in the NCAA championships.  Typical.
  • Man, it hurts a little reading this.  What could have been.
  • The NCAA is looking at adding parties other than college presidents and giving them voting rights to its Board of Directors, while reserving an option go into a president-only executive session when desired.  Accountability without effect – it’s the NCAA way!
  • Another Mark Richt has lost control incident.  You think he’ll make a crack about it?
  • Dr Pepper spends the money to have its name plastered on the CFP championship trophy.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The NCAA

Forget the 10-second rule.

You want to talk about something that gives the offense a ridiculous advantage over the defense?  Take it away, Corch.

Ohio State’s coach uses the board to answer a question about the latest offensive trends in college football.

The second-level zone read has his attention. In the traditional zone read, the quarterback reads the defensive end to dictate whether he’ll hand off or run. In this version, the quarterback is reading the linebacker.

“That’s going to not disappear,” Meyer says. “It’s even in the NFL now. The NFL doesn’t give you three yards.”

College does — as in, officials allow linemen to get up to three yards downfield before a throw. If the linebacker bites inside, the quarterback can throw to the open space with a slant, hitch, out or whatever the pattern dictates. Meanwhile, linemen already are downfield to block.

That’s nice.  Packaged plays are effective.  They’re even more effective when the officiating inconsistently enforces that three-yard cushion.  Which happens pretty regularly, based on what I saw on TV last season.  And it sounds like I’ll see more of it.

Meyer estimates 25 teams or so use the second-level concept. He thinks Rich Rodriguez might have started it. Auburn is good at it.

“Probably next year — 50 (teams),” said Meyer…

This has nothing to do with substitution or pace.  It is about taking advantage of a rule and lax enforcement.  Perhaps it’s another good reason to increase the size of officiating crews.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Richt’s Tuesday presser

(If you’re pressed for time and don’t want to watch, you can read David Paschall’s summary here.)

Sure, it’s not an earth shattering eight minutes or so, but a couple of things worth watching are Richt’s reaction to the question about punishment for Wiggins’ and Scott-Wesley’s problems last year – he had to be reminded what they were – and the last minute, when Richt gets into an interesting discussion of how the roles of the offensive tackles have changed from when he started in Athens.  I always enjoy listening to him get into nuts and bolts stuff and wish he did it more often.


Filed under Georgia Football