Daily Archives: November 12, 2014

As always, timing is everything.

The most important ingredient in winning a national title isn’t running the football.

The most important ingredient in winning a national title isn’t stopping the run.

The most important ingredient in winning a national title is having no sense of institutional shame.

A Florida State investigative hearing into whether an alleged sexual assault involving quarterback Jameis Winston violated the student conduct code has been delayed to Dec. 1, a person involved in the process told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday.

The person requested anonymity because specifics of the hearing are to remain confidential.

Whether Winston is found responsible or not for any student conduct code violations, the delay means that decision might not be made until the Seminoles are in the College Football Playoff. FSU’s conduct code says a decision letter will be sent to the student within 10 class days from the conclusion of the hearing but allows for more time “if additional consideration of evidence and deliberation is required.”

The last day for fall semester final exams is Dec. 12 and spring semester classes begin on Jan. 7.

If the hearing concludes on Dec. 5 or later, any decision might not be rendered until after the national championship game. A period of 10 class days from that date would mean a decision would not be due until Jan. 13, one day after the championship game.

But when does FSU’s baseball season start?



Filed under ACC Football, Crime and Punishment

“Clearly the more we dig into this, the more troubling it gets.”

Donald Remy, I do not think “was entirely independent from the NCAA” means what you think it means.

Once again, I can’t help but wonder who on the NCAA’s crack legal team thinks it’s never a good idea to settle a lawsuit.


Filed under The NCAA

“They have to find some way of balancing the profit motive with all the other strange objectives of a university athletics program.”

This WSJ story about how Auburn had to figure out a way last season to fill up its stadium against Georgia and Auburn without having tickets fall into enemy hands (“Our goal is not to have empty seats at the stadium,” she said. “We especially don’t want any seats to be occupied by fans of other schools, including Georgia or Alabama fans.”) is one of the more surreal stories you’ll read, starting with the assertion that Auburn and Georgia were the only two public school athletic departments in the SEC that didn’t turn a profit in 2013.

Methinks I detect a whiff of creative bookkeeping there.


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

Can Nick Marshall exploit Georgia’s defense?

If I gave you some hope with some of today’s posts, let Matt Hinton spread a little gloom.

We know he can run:  he once again ranks among the top 10 rushers in the SEC this year in yards per game (77.6) and per carry (6.2).  He’s also tied for first in the conference in rushing touchdowns.

But he’s not doing too shabby in the passing department, either.

Still, within the context of a system that always strives to set up the pass with the run, Marshall is probably underappreciated as a passer: In conference games this year, he’s the most efficient passer in the SEC, ahead of Dak Prescott, Blake Sims, et al. His arm strength is above average — 50-yard bomb to Sammie Coates is a weekly staple of the offense, regardless of the coverage — and Marshall is capable of fitting passes into tight windows if necessary. Most frustrating for opposing defenses, though, is Marshall’s ability to extend plays under pressure, keep his head, and find something downfield where initially there was nothing. The play below, an ad-libbed, third-and-11 conversion at Ole Miss on November 1, was the turning point in a must-win game that Auburn trailed by 10 points in the second half.

I think we’d all agree Ole Miss sports a better defense than Georgia does.

If you really want to get depressed, here’s a tough stat:  Nick Marshall’s passer ratings over the last three games are 192.68, 186.07 and 174.74.  Auburn may have struggled in all three games, but it sure wasn’t because of Marshall’s passing.

If you’re looking for a straw to grasp, the one game this season in which he struggled throwing the ball was against Mississippi State, when the Tigers got down early, scrambled to stay in the game and had Marshall attempt 35 passes.  That’s not something Malzahn wants to do Saturday night, obviously.  Again, Mike Bobo, your defense could use your help.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Light a match.

One thing I would avoid doing Saturday night is going to the restroom when either team punts.

Auburn’s Quan Bray and Georgia’s Isaiah McKenzie are the only two players in the SEC this season to have returned two punts for touchdowns. Bray leads the league with his 20.5-yard average, while McKenzie ranks third at 15.1.

Neither team, however, is excelling in punting. Auburn ranks 11th in the SEC with a net of 36.9 yards, and Georgia is last at 35.8.

Again, at least Georgia is in an even position on this battle.  I’d hate to have to deal with covering Bray while taking a Logan Gray approach to punt returns.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Can Georgia exploit Auburn’s secondary?

There are all kinds of interesting trends in play going in to Saturday.  One of those is an increasingly porous Auburn pass defense.  A look at the game log shows a steady deterioration in defensive passer rating over the last four games.  Some of that may be due to the conference’s 10th ranked sack production, but there’s evidently some alarm over the play by the safeties.

By now, most teams have settled into their personnel in the secondary, making widespread changes only in answer to key injuries. Auburn, on the other hand, finds itself in disarray after giving up 320 yards per game in the Tigers’ past four games. Other than field cornerback Jonathan Jones, who has generally played physical football, fought to get his hands on the ball and leads the team with five interceptions and 12 passes defended, and hybrid Robensen Therezie, who hasn’t given way to Nick Ruffin much this season, the Tigers appear to have questions at every position.

Boundary cornerback Jonathon Mincy, who was targeted heavily against Old Miss, gave up two touchdown catches to Josh Reynolds and eventually gave way to T.J. Davis, a little-used fourth cornerback whose season high for snaps prior to Saturday was just 11 against Louisiana Tech. Auburn started Joshua Holsey and Johnathan “Rudy” Ford at safety; after the first two series, the Tigers subbed in Derrick Moncrief and Jermaine Whitehead, and the rotation continued throughout the game as Texas A&M picked up big yardage in the middle of the field. Even Whitehead, who made Auburn’s only interception, badly missed on a tackle at the line of scrimmage on Malcome Kennedy‘s 42-yard shovel pass. Teams are spreading the Tigers out, forcing them to play against trips formations with three receivers to one side, and Auburn’s safeties have struggled to pick up people coming over the middle in those situations.

You can hear much the same concern expressed in yesterday’s Weiszer and Page podcast from Jay G. Tate of Auburnsports.com.

With Malcolm Mitchell’s reemergence, that is something Georgia is well-equipped to exploit, with three wideouts and Blazevich.  And if he’s getting good blocking support from the receivers, Bobo will still be able to run plenty from that formation, especially if Auburn is forced to clear the middle out to account for four guys in pass coverage.

Ellis Johnson is going to have some tough calls to make.  At least he will if Bobo makes him.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

The most Mark Emmert thing you’ll read today.

I already showed you some of the emails that NCAA staff were sending among themselves as His Excellency was preparing to drop the hammer on Penn State.  But this is such a sweet touch.

How concerned with every PR detail was the NCAA during this process? Sometime after Emmert issued the penalties, he emailed his PR staff complaining about a perceived error in his Wikipedia page.

The man certainly knows how to sweat the small stuff.

1 Comment

Filed under The NCAA

Can anybody stop the run Saturday?

Both Auburn and Georgia have run defenses that look a little shakier than they did earlier in the season.

Auburn against the run:  rush defense went from allowing 100.2 yards per game through the first five games to yielding 166 in the last four.

And as for Georgia, Cory highlights a couple of plays from Kentucky that illustrated Pruitt still hasn’t gotten his kids to correct the numerous lapses that killed them against Florida.

Georgia cannot have these physical and mental lapses against Auburn. Auburn is going to run it right down our throats and they’re going to attack the edge – and, in my opinion, their going to attack the edge a lot. If Georgia does not man up on the interior, Auburn is going to gash us between the tackles. If Georgia does not keep outside contain, Malzahn’s backs are going to be riding that fly sweep all day. If Georgia does not play disciplined defense, Nick Marshall is going to make them pay.

These are the best running attacks each defense has faced this season, and it’s not even close.  If you think the second quarter in Lexington resembled a track meet, unless there’s some shoring up being done in practice this week, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Musical palate cleanser, an empty bottle, a broken heart edition

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that,” Swann said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of anything like that.”

I don’t think I need to explain what “that” is.  We all needed a drink after “that”.  So, in honor of that memory, from Sweetheart of the Rodeo, here’s the Byrds’ cover of “You’re Still On My Mind”.

By the way, the hangover should be gone by now, fellas.  Exorcise the demon Saturday night.


Filed under Georgia Football