Daily Archives: September 5, 2014

The Seat 37F threat is alive and well.

If there’s one thing you can count on Corch for, it’s bullying members of the media over really stupid stuff.


Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Hell hath no fury like Mitch Mustain’s mom.

So, I mentioned that Houston Nutt and Gus Malzahn buried the hatchet.  Beck Campbell, whose earlier claim to fame was having a direct hand in short circuiting her son’s once promising football career, would like to take a hatchet of her own and bury it… in Nutt and Malzahn.

“Mitchell was caught in the middle of Gus and Houston. Even if he had been the biggest snot of a kid, and he wasn’t, he didn’t deserve to be treated like that. It all boiled down to the animosity Nutt harbored toward Gus because he was forced to put Gus on staff,” she says. “Mitchell got the brunt of it because he was in a position to be manipulated. They set him up to fail.”

Campbell said she expects Nutt to paint a rosy picture because, “He is a bad man, a bad person.”

She says the feelings of betrayal run deeper with Malzahn because he was a trusted family friend. Malzahn has had opportunities to divulge his side of the story but has stayed tight-lipped. “He told me he was going to take care of Mitchell and not let him get hurt. I trusted [Malzahn],” she says. “It would be like if I took someone’s kids to the beach, and they got sucked in a riptide, and I just walked away, didn’t call the paramedics or anything. Just left.”

Yeah, he “just left”, but asked Mustain to transfer with him and offered him a spot as a grad assistant on his Auburn staff.

I’m just sorry she didn’t follow through on the lawsuit she thought about bringing against Nutt and Broyles.  You know Pork Rind Jimmy would have been on that mother.



Filed under Mustained

Playoff selection committee to America: trust us!

Year2 picks up a revealing quote from Stewart Mandel’s column on Michigan State-Oregon.

“When [committee members] are comparing and contrasting teams, part of it will be the elements that go into a schedule,” he said. “It’s probably not going to be very satisfying to a lot of the analytics community that wants formulas. ‘We looked at Stanford’s schedule and it was 46.45 and Alabama’s was 46.34, so then Stanford’s is better.’ We’re not looking at it that way, and the committee’s not looking at it that way.

“… We could build a fancy algorithm, but kind of how the Supreme Court said you know pornography when you see it, you just know a hard schedule when you see it.”

That quote isn’t from Bill Hancock, or one of the committee members.  It’s from Stephen Prather, the guy who’s providing the committee with its data.  The stat geek, in other words.

We’ve gone from relying on computer models for which the specifics were kept undisclosed to relying on people for whom we’ll never really know what specific data swayed them in deciding on which four football teams are most deserving of appearing in a national semi-final.  (Notice I didn’t use the word “best”.)  I’m not seeing where that’s really much of an improvement.  And at least you can’t lobby a computer.

I mockingly noted in a Twitter discussion today that it’s all good because Jeff Long has repeatedly assured us that the selection process will be transparent.  There’s a certain sense of being detached from reality for a guy with his management track record to insist that he knows everything will work.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Still in Judge Wilken’s courtroom

When the O’Bannon ruling came down, I noted that the big challenge going forward for Jeffrey Kessler would be dismantling the one argument made by the defense that Judge Wilken accepted – that there is some level of student-athlete compensation that would adversely affect college athletics’ business model.

It sounds like Kessler is going to have to deal with that issue sooner than later.

The NCAA and a group of 11 Division I conferences on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss lawsuits challenging the NCAA’s scholarship limits, arguing the claims contradict a ruling from the same judge in the Ed O’Bannon case…

“Plaintiffs seek to be compensated immediately for their participation in intercollegiate sports in an unlimited amount based on their individual athletic ability or the quality of their individual performances,” the NCAA and conferences wrote. “Such a claim is entirely inconsistent with (Wilken’s) decision in O’Bannon. Indeed, plaintiffs contend that defendants would still be liable for antitrust violation if … they adopted the very student-athlete compensation limits” that Wilken approved in O’Bannon.

While this is the crux of what Kessler has to overcome to win, I don’t think it’s necessarily the end of the world for the schools and the NCAA if Wilken denies their motion.  She may simply be wanting to see what kind of evidence Kessler can marshal in support of his position.  As to whether she comes ultimately to a different conclusion than she did in O’Bannon, that’s probably not a big concern for her, because if Kessler wins, that result will essentially supersede the earlier ruling, anyway.


Filed under The NFL Is Your Friend.

This week in South Carolina

Team Speed Kills notes that, based on Brian Fremeau’s FEI metric, South Carolina should easily dispose of East Carolina tomorrow (40-14).  I agree that the Gamecock offense should put up some points.  The question is what we should expect on the other side of the ball.

The larger area of concern for South Carolina fans is the defense. The systemic failure of last week is attributable to a number of factors: no pass rush, poor tackling, and young corners. The poor pass rush can be explained by Texas A&M’s stellar offensive line, while young corners will almost always be a match-up problem for Texas A&M’s offense. The head-scratching linebacker issues aren’t as easily dismissed. This unit was expected to a strength of this team, but their poor tackling and pass coverage was a surprised. Could their play also be attributed to match-up problems?

We’ll find out as ECU’s offense is another pass-heavy offense that will look to test South Carolina. ECU returns a quarterback and its two leading receivers, but South Carolina should be a mismatch in the trenches as ECU lost three starters, two of which were first and second team C-USA selections. ECU will put points on the board, but South Carolina has had an entire week to reflect on their previous performance, and now earns a second week of practice against a less-talented version of A&M’s offense.

ECU’s offensive line is a big step down from the Aggies’, no doubt.  That ought to help SC get some traction on defense.  And it doesn’t hurt to face the same offensive system again.  But the poor fundamentals on display last week… I’m not sure you can clean all that up in nine days.

South Carolina is favored by 16.5.  I think the ‘Cocks cover, but I’m not sure they can hold ECU to 14 points.  In any event, I hope they don’t; any doubts on defense would be welcomed for game three.


UPDATE:  Lorenzo Ward announces new faces in the starting defensive eleven.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Stats Geek!

Technology with an edge

I happen to think that, while the technology still needs work, the idea of a football with a transmitter installed in it to make tracking the position and orientation of the ball more accurate for measurement is a good one.  Is it one of those newfangled developments that will meet resistance from the old guard?  Sure.  But I bet that the technology was developed via funding from Disney will make it easier to overcome that resistance.

The engineers developed this using funding from Disney Research. Not coincidentally, Disney owns ESPN. The researchers initially envisioned this simply as a way to let TV viewers more easily see the ball at home, like the NHL’s infamous glowing puck experiment during the 90’s.

You don’t say no to ESPN easily.


Filed under Science Marches Onward

Back in Knoxville again

I know plenty of folks are looking forward to the reception Junior will get when Alabama travels to Tennessee later this season, but another old, familiar face returns to prowl the sidelines in Neyland Stadium this Saturday, with backwards cap and towel in hand.

photo via Arkansas State athletics

I have this vision of Trooper in his eighties, in a wheelchair, still sporting the same dignified look.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange