Daily Archives: May 13, 2014

Mark Richt ain’t afraid of no attrition.

You know, it’s not like this has to be a daily occurrence.

Two things about this.  One, assuming this was in the works, it makes the Langley switch more understandable.  Georgia loses at least two front line receivers after this season and maybe three if Malcolm Mitchell stays in one piece and has the kind of year we know he’s capable of.

Second, he is the first of the four kids who got in trouble over Checkgate to have his situation resolved.  LeMay had the most charges of the four and was the only one found to have taken a teammate’s paper to double dip.  Coincidence?  You tell me.



Filed under Georgia Football

Everything you wanted to know about Shaq Wiggins’ departure, but were afraid to ask.

Chip Towers does an admirable job tying the Wiggins story together… which is my cue to cut it into smaller portions.

First, if you have Louisville in the pool, consider yourself the early leader in the clubhouse:

It appears quite likely that Shaq Wiggins will end up at Louisville.

That’s according to his father. Al Wiggins told me Monday night that the Cardinals are the leader among about 20 schools that have shown interest in having the 5-foot-10, 165-pound cornerback transfer in from Georgia. The Bulldogs announced they were effectively releasing Wiggins by mutual agreement this past Friday.

Louisville is, of course, coached by former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. And Louisville, of course, has already claimed another UGA defensive back. Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons transferred there after the coach Mark Richt dismissed him in February for multiple rules violations.

“You have to consider them,” Al Wiggins, speaking by phone from their home in Tyrone, said of the Cardinals. “Coach Grantham is there and that’s where Josh Harvey-Clemons is at. You know, they played on the same side (of the secondary). So that’s definitely something Shaquille and I feel comfortable with. But we haven’t really made a firm decision yet. We’ve still got to put everything on the table.”

Can’t say that’s really much of a surprise.  Nor is this:

“I was very impressed with the way Mark Richt handled the whole thing, the way he released him, the way the conversations went with him and Pruitt,” Al Wiggins said. “It was so positive it was unbelievable in a lot of ways. There was nothing negative about it. It was really impressive to see that in modern-day football, that a separation could be as positive as this. I was very impressed with the University of Georgia. They didn’t want him to leave, but they didn’t try to get in his way. They were very professional. There’s absolutely no bitter feeling.”

That’s all of a sort from the man who goes on to say that “…I’m not afraid of attrition… Sometimes attrition is good. Life is too short for guys not being where they ought to be or where they want to be, all those types of things. In the end, you want everybody to be where they want to be and have the best opportunity to do what they want to do. There’s a lot of that going on, but it’s not all that shocking, really.”  Which is honorable.  (Not to mention a good reputation to have on the recruiting trail.) But it’s a little risky if you’re not staying on top of managing your program’s roster numbers.  So there’s that.

Here’s the interesting part:

Shaq Wiggins had been arrested for driving on a suspended license earlier this year, but wasn’t going to be suspended and the incident wasn’t a factor in this decision, Al Wiggins said. The issue was the coaching change.

Scott Lakatos, Wiggins’ position coach, was not retained after this past season, Grantham left for Louisville for more money and the rest of the defensive staff eventually left for different jobs. The Bulldogs subsequently brought in Jeremy Pruitt from national champion FSU to coordinate the defense. The difference in schemes, techniques and general coaching philosophy is radically different, according to Mr. Wiggins.

He said Pruitt teaches a “T-step” coverage technique rather than the “power-step” Shaq has always utilized and prefers. Despite starting eight games as a freshman last season, Shaq fallen back on the Bulldogs’ depth chart. He also had been reprimanded more than once for improper decorum in the weight room and on the field.

“You can’t blame a new coach coming in with a new tone,” Mr. Wiggins said. “He didn’t do a good job of adjusting maybe. I don’t know, but it’s time to move on.”

Kudos to Mr. Wiggins for the honesty there.  As for the differences in scheme and technique, I hope somebody asks Pruitt to elaborate on that.  I’m certainly curious.

By the way, if you want to know what T-step technique is, here’s a description:

There are two main ways cornerbacks come out of their breaks using the backpedaling technique. The first one I’m going to explain is how I learned, which is the T-step. It is called the T-step because you make a “T” shape with your feet when you make your forward and diagonal breaks.

For example, when breaking to the left, you wanna stop your backpedal with instep of your right foot. Then you bring your left heel to just inside your right foot, making a “T” shape, with the toes of your left foot pointed in the direction you want to go. You then drive off your left foot hard into the direction your left foot is pointing.

My father calls it the “brake, click” because your “braking” with your outside foot and “clicking” the heel of your inside foot into the instep of your brake foot. It’s a quick three-step motion with purpose of changing directions as quickly as possible.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Put down the Kool-Aid.

Otherwise known as Seth Emerson’s post-spring assessment of Georgia’s secondary.  Gallows humor – and I’m a sucker for gallows humor – for the win:

And don’t rule out a cornerback being moved to safety, or a safety to cornerback, or a receiver moving to defensive back, or Pruitt holding open tryouts on the Myers quad during the fraternity rush period.

We’d better hope the front seven is epically good.  (It wouldn’t hurt if Pruitt is, too.)


Filed under Georgia Football

Well, at least you gotta give ’em points for consistency.

What do Georgia and Southern Cal have in common?

I know, I know.  Thirteen years of cranking out as much elite talent as any national program with nothing more to show for it than a couple of SEC titles?  Damn.

But I’ll say this, too – blame coaching for it, if you like, but there’s got to be some part of that track record that can just be chalked up to being snakebit.  You’d think at some point Georgia’s due for a couple of good breaks.


Filed under Georgia Football

Line items

It seems like everyone’s taken note of the declining value of collegiate running backs in the NFL draft, but Ivan Maisel teases something else out of the data from last week’s:

The disparity of opinion regarding the linemen on the consensus All-America team and what NFL teams thought of them is large. Of the eight offensive and defensive linemen from the All-America team, five were drafted in the fourth round or later. Meanwhile, the two receivers and four defensive backs on the All-American team went in the first 41 picks. It could be that different offenses in colleges call for different skills in line play. But the ability to run and move in space, on offense and defense, is valuable in any scheme.

Now there’s a difference between being rewarded for production versus projection – Clowney is a perfect example of the difference – so I’m hesitant to say whether this is a statistical outlier or the beginning of a trend.  And if it’s the latter, whether that’s a function of what’s coming out of the college ranks or the way the NFL game has evolved.  But I’ll be curious if we see more of the same in next year’s draft and, if so, what sort of impact that might have on CFB down the road.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Seventy years of excellence

I’m not sure what I most like about this – the methodology, the list itself or the conclusion – ah, let’s go with the conclusion.

Simply put, I think there is no better than a 20% chance we get a better coach. Only 2 of 10 coaches have been demonstrably better as far as team performance than CPJ: Dodd and O’Leary. But I think even if we got another Dodd or O’Leary, the chance is good that they would be lured away by $10Ms to go to a factory. The game of football has changed and Dodd was disheartened at the end about GT’s chances. So the upper end estimate of getting a better coach is 20%.

In other words, at Georgia Tech, you can’t do that.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Stats Geek!

The House that Johnny Built

This isn’t going to happen, but… ah, hell, it’s just nuts (h/t SBNation).

Does kinda kick a hole in that “it’s what’s on the front of the jersey, not the back” stuff, though.


Filed under Johnny Football Mania

Eh, championship, shampionship…

So, having read this debate at ESPN about the ACC’s plans for its conference championship game (aka The World’s Smallest Outdoor Cocktail Party – h/t Jim Donnan) and keeping in mind Todd Graham’s whine about the fairness of the Pac-12 choosing to play a championship game while the 10-team Big 12 doesn’t, I’ve got a few questions.

  1. As Todd Fortuna asks, “…why does the NCAA even have authority to determine how leagues govern their title games, anyway? As we’ve seen recently, particularly with the SEC sticking with its eight-game league slate, conferences are free to determine their respective league schedules however they wish. It’s only right that they get to choose how to determine their league champion, too.”  I get that adding a game needs the NCAA’s approval, but as to the makeup of who plays, why is the NCAA involved?
  2. That being said, what is the point to maintaining divisions for the regular season if they’re going to be ignored come championship time?  I mean, aside from money.  As David Hale points out, in the ACC, all that’s going to do is make the Clemson-FSU regular season meeting less meaningful, if those two are your ACC front-runners.  And further, “… after FSU completely dominated Clemson this past season, was there really a need for those two to face off again? And if Clemson managed to sneak by the Seminoles in the title game by a point or two, would that have proven the Tigers deserved the league title instead of FSU? And would it have been worth costing the ACC its shot at a national title?”
  3. As silly as that seems, it’s not nearly as ridiculous as a conference with a round robin regular season schedule adding a championship game.  But if college football heads down that road to appease the Todd Grahams of the CFB world, why stop there?  Wouldn’t the truly fair thing be to mandate that only conferences with fourteen members and a championship game be eligible for the national title postseason?

Now I’m not suggesting that I’m on board for any of this.  It’s just surprising to me, at least a little, that we’re hearing talk, some of it serious, about tinkering with Roy Kramer’s invention, one that’s served the sport pretty damned well for more than a couple of decades.  The reason for that, of course, is the birth of the four-team national playoff and the power conferences gaming out the best scenario to maximize their prospects in that.  That most of the decision makers don’t have a clue what might work best doesn’t mean they won’t try.  You tell me how optimistic we should be about that working out well.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

Beer is coming.

Right after Joe Alleva convinces his SEC brethren to ditch the permanent cross-division rivalry games, he’ll push them to allow selling brews in SEC stadiums.

“As we talk about the fan experience, which is very important, I think there may come a day that we may sell beer at college events at LSU,” Alleva said when asked about the possibility. “I think at some point — I don’t know if it will be five years from now, 10 years from now — but I think at some point, I think it’s going to happen.”

So Joe’s idea of the fan experience – which is very important – is to let us drink Miller Lite while watching Charleston Southern get seal-clubbed.  It’s nice that he has a dream.  And that we have wallets.


Filed under SEC Football