Daily Archives: February 5, 2015

Cutting edge

Leave it to Steve Spurrier to innovate:  with the hiring of his second (!) defensive coordinator, he’s now the only coach in the country with two defensive assistant coaches making $700,000 or more.

16 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy

Maybe they’s skeered of Mike Bobo.

I don’t know if this is simply leverage to get the game moved from a neutral site in Denver to a home-and-home basis, but Colorado’s athletic director says he’s had enough of the rivalry series with Colorado State (h/t Doc Saturday).

Colorado athletic director Rick George said Wednesday that it is in the “best interests” of CU to not renew its annual football series with intrastate rival Colorado State after the current contract concludes with the 2020 game...

“After the current contract, playing the game in Denver is dead,” George said. “And I’m not sure where our series with CSU goes after that either. Today, we would not extend our agreement (for CU to play CSU in football) past 2020.”

Officially, it’s a matter of priorities.  Having a sixth home game trumps playing your in state rival.

Every other year, Colorado will play only four home conference games, so it can be difficult to schedule six home games and still play a representative schedule if one of the nonconference games is played in Denver against CSU.

“My job is to do what’s best for CU, the athletic department, our teams, our student-athletes,” George said. “I think our best interest is to move games under the contract to campus sites and then, after 2020, I’m not sure (the series) is in our best interest, and that’s why at this point I wouldn’t extend it.”

 

Except that’s only a problem every other season, and… hmmm, you only play a road game against CSU every other season.

George sounds like he’s a masterful negotiator.  Asking Colorado State to move the series away from Denver while at the same time marking the end of the rivalry is kind of screwy.  Then again, complaining about the size of the crowds in Denver while offering your season-ticket holders the option of declining the CSU game and using that dollar credit to buy more single-game seats for CU games played in Boulder seems a bit counter-intuitive, as well.

Unless you really, really want out.

Rivalries ain’t what they used to be.

38 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

The futility of chasing an absurdity

While they came off as slightly negative though realistic, a poster late yesterday mentioned that, while this certainly is a good class, it doesn’t have quite the oomph as a top 1-2 SEC class. For example, 15 (or roughly half) of our recruits had a 3 star rating, with a few 2 star ones as well. Meanwhile, the top classes typically have very few 3 star recruits, but instead are loaded with almost all 4 star guys with 3-4 5 star ones.

So while the Bama’s of the world load up on 4-5, 5 star talents, with 15 or so 4 star players, again we hauled in our typical 1-2, 5 star guys, with around ten 4 star recruits. Certainly a noticeable yearly difference, especially when combined over a 3-4 year period.

3rdandGrantham

I hate to pick on 3&G here, since that’s a fairly common sentiment I see expressed in the comments section here, but how many of you who believe Alabama’s recruiting performance under Saban is something attainable in Athens think there are other SEC programs managing to do just that?

Because reality disagrees with you.  Strongly disagrees.

The Tide has had the No. 1 overall class in each of the past four years. No other SEC team has even managed to crack the top ten in every one of them. LSU is the only school to even get to second in this span, and it did it once. I’ll go over quality numbers later, and they make Bama look even better if you can believe that.

Over the last four classes, Georgia’s average signee was a four-star kid.  That puts Georgia in the company of LSU, Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M.

But not Alabama.  When it comes to highly ranked recruiting classes, no SEC school is even in the same zip code with the Tide.

Remember how I said the quality numbers make Alabama look even better? Every single class Nick Saban signed had an average rating above 93. The closest anyone else got to that number is Florida’s 91.50 in 2012. No one else can claim an average rating above 90 for the whole four-year span, and Bama is sitting on a 93.41. It’s absurd.

Might I suggest we quit with the ‘Bama recruiting comparisons?  There are no “Bama’s of the world” in the plural sense.  There’s just Alabama. Nobody else in the conference does Saban like Saban does Saban.

89 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, SEC Football

No wonder LSU has a big recruiting budget.

Les Miles, baby, for the win.

8 Comments

Filed under Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

Rob Sale talks center.

There was so much that went wrong in Jacksonville that sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle about how much the offense struggled after David Andrews suffered an injury.  No offense, but Hunter Long didn’t exactly impress me with his audition that day.

And it sounds like Georgia’s new offensive line coach may be looking in another direction, too.

Sale got questions about the center spot after David Andrews’ departure on more than one occasion Wednesday. “We’ve got a good place to start with,” Sale said. “Isaiah Wynn is very capable of doing it. We’ve got some guys behind him that can come in.” He didn’t rule out moving one of the other starters to center.

That’s good to hear.  It’s obviously a plus that Georgia only has to replace one starter on the line, but it’s a key spot.  And Georgia’s been fortunate to have a lot of stability at that position over the past few seasons.  But with new players to break in at both the center and quarterback positions, you have a feeling that chemistry is going to be a very big deal to factor into the equation.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Another one in the books: random signing day thoughts

The usual caveat to everything that follows:  just like everyone else on the planet, there’s no way I can pass final judgment on what Georgia brought in yesterday for at least a couple of years.  But since everyone else on the planet has no problem pontificating about what yesterday means right now, who am I to pass on laying a few bullet points on you?

  • If you’re someone who fervently believes that any recruiting class starts and ends with the big uglies, you’ve got to be a fairly happy camper today.  Georgia signed four offensive linemen, all with good length (none shorter than 6-foot-5).  And the defensive line class is flat-out ridiculous.
  • Speaking of which, it’s kind of hard to believe that Trent Thompson is the first Richt signee who was a No.-1 ranked prospect by any of the recruiting services.
  • Terry Godwin said he actually made his decision of Georgia over Auburn and Alabama on Monday night and nobody leaked that before his ceremony last night?  I’m impressed.
  • Godwin isn’t the biggest kid, but he is talented – way too talented to redshirt.  It will be interesting to see what Schottenheimer does with him.
  • The other area of need that the staff did a fine job reinforcing was the secondary.  Seven players marked for that side of the ball immediately signed, topped off by Rico McGraw rejoining the fold.  Again, there appears to be a massive infusion of size and skill with this class.  You have to think just in terms of sheer numbers that Pruitt’s able to pluck at least a couple of kids out of this group and plug them into 2015’s two-deep.
  • Biggest disappointment was at wide receiver, where Van Jefferson and Darius Slayton walked away.  You wonder how much of the “Nick Chubb will be Georgia’s offense” negative recruiting talk had an impact.  Jefferson, in particular, struck me as polished enough to step in and play this season.  That being said, it’s not like the Dawgs were completely shut out there.  In addition to Godwin, there’s some good size coming in.
  • Georgia may not have locked the borders, but Richt did okay where it counts, per Weiszer:  “Georgia signed five of the top seven prospects from within its own borders, according to Rivals: Thompson, Godwin, outside linebacker Natrez Patrick from Atlanta, safety Rashad Roundtree from Evans and defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter from Tucker.”  Do that every year and I doubt anyone will complain.
  • That being said, about half of Georgia’s class came from out of state.  That’s a little higher than Richt prefers, but sometimes you go where the most talent and interest lie.  (By the way, 2016 shapes up as a very deep year, talent-wise, in state.)
  • It’s a heavily weighted class towards defense, which makes sense because (1) that’s where the greater need to restock lay; (2) Georgia is loaded at running back and (3) the quarterback situation between the youth already on campus and Jacob Park Eason coming in next year wasn’t exactly inviting to blue chip talent.  So take a little of that into account if you’re pouting over the team recruiting rankings.
  • I’ll say it again – a 29-kid class (with the possibility of going to 30 if Roquan Smith decides to come to Athens) with talent is the biggest part of this year’s recruiting story.  Mark Richt is gaining control of roster management.  Now, coach ’em up and keep ’em in school, and we’ll really have something to build on.

Let’s hear what you guys think in the comments.

73 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Jim Mora, class act

I really feel for Roquan Smith, regardless of where he chooses to go in the end.  But I hope he takes the delay that occurred yesterday after he made his announcement to attend UCLA and then learned that his primary recruiter and position coach was strongly rumored to be leaving for the NFL as an opportunity to take a deep breath, reset and do what’s best for himself.

One thing he needs to factor into the equation is the strong likelihood that Jim Mora is a weasel.

Quinn and Ulbrich coached together in Seattle before Ulbrich was hired by UCLA head coach Jim Mora to be the linebackers and special teams coach in 2012. He was elevated to defensive coordinator in 2014.

Smith was unaware of the news, but Georgia’s coaching staff made certain that news got to Macon County as fast as possible. Speculation behind the scenes in the media is that at least one media outlet was aware Ulbrich was going to leave UCLA as long as three weeks ago, but sat on the story until after Signing Day.

“It was common knowledge,” said one reporter. “They just agreed not to report it until after signing day.”

All’s fair in love and war, I suppose.  At least until you get caught.

59 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football, Recruiting

Thursday morning buffet

If the end of signing day has left you empty, it’s time to fill up.

28 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, Crime and Punishment, Recruiting, WOAH! It's Johnny Football!

Degrees of scummitude

Just when I think we’ve plumbed the depths of Bobby Petrino’s character, he up and says something about signing Devonte Fields that literally makes my skin crawl:

“I think we have a really good understanding of what went wrong, what happened,” Petrino said. “Talking to the attorneys and really knowing that we felt comfortable that, No. 1, there’s absolutely no gun there, and it’s a misdemeanor charge.”

Well, that’s a relief.  Petrino has standards.

At least you can say Fields is only getting a second chance.  At Alabama, Nick Saban is giving Jonathan Taylor a third one.

“The guy was charged. There’s no question about that,” Saban said. “He was accused. I can’t discuss the circumstances of all that. I’ve said this before: When people are young and they make a mistake — and that is not a mistake that we condone in any way, shape or form, that it’s any disrespect to any person, let alone a female — that there isn’t some occasion to not condemn them for life, but to give them another chance. And it’s up to them to prove that they deserve that chance.”

“Disrespect” – in that Taylor allegedly struck his girlfriend with a closed fist and choked her, that’s one helluva euphemism.  The thing with that approach is why stop at three?  If Taylor screws up again and disrespects somebody else, why condemn him for life at that point, either?

Nick feels your pain, peeps.  To an extent, anyway.

Saban said he understands the “sensitivity” about taking Taylor, who has unspecified behavioral stipulations imposed by Alabama. Taylor’s high school and junior college coaches spoke highly of him, Saban said.

Notice who Saban conveniently doesn’t mention?  That’s because you never want to ask a witness a question to which you don’t want to hear the answer.

What I love with both of these situations is the coaches piously insist they can’t discuss the surrounding circumstances.  That makes the tap dancing so much easier.  Ugh.

25 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban Rules