Daily Archives: March 9, 2015

If you can’t beat ’em, make ’em join you.

Perhaps you remember this quote from a little over a month ago:

Here’s a caption: “How can that happen?”

That was repeated several times by Creekside coach Olten Downs during an in-person interview with cleveland.com on Thursday….

“You see a guy like Vonn Bell making interceptions and you say, ‘How’d you let him leave the state?’” Downs said. “You see a guy like Raekwon McMillan starting as a freshman. You’re hurting for linebackers, but you let this guy leave? How can that happen? I don’t know. I think (Georgia) wants guys who love Georgia, and want to play for Georgia. That’s all fine and dandy but you still gotta make guys feel special and wanted.”

At the time, I thought it was a strange complaint, but evidently Georgia’s coaches thought differently, because Olten Downs is now a member of Georgia’s staff.

Creekside High School football coach Olten Downs is joining Georgia’s football support staff as a quality control assistant, he said Monday.

Downs guided the Fairburn school to the Class AAAAA state championship in 2013 in his first season and the team reached the second round of the playoffs in 2014.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to learn at a whole other level, an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day,” said Downs, who expects to be with the Georgia program in time for spring practice next week.

Downs will hold the title quality control coordinator for offense. He said offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer reached out to him and coach Mark Richt “invited” him to be part of his staff.

I’m not sure why “invited” is in quote marks there, but in any event, welcome to Athens, Coach.  Starting now, we’ll hold you personally accountable for every highly rated recruit who goes out of state.  (I keed, I keed…  I think.)

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Because you can never settle it on the field enough.

Yes, I know college basketball is totally different from college football, except for that whole bit about the same greedy swine running both, but still, be prepared for this in the future of the CFP…

There’s no such thing as too much validation of a head coach’s success, you know.

23 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Everybody’s got questions.

I don’t think that those of you who believe Georgia should emulate Alabama more had this in mind:

… here are three teams from the SEC that have the most work to do between now and the end of spring practice:

Alabama: Alabama is near the top of many preseason top 25 polls for two primary reasons: talent and coaching. The fact that Nick Saban is among the best coaches in college football is undebatable. The fact that he and his staff sign the best high school prospects is unquestioned. But while those things are extremely valuable, they’re far from the entire equation. No, the bell cow of the SEC faces more than its fair share of questions this spring. No one knows who the starting quarterback will be. Derrick Henry is enormous and quite talented, but he’s never had to be a feature back before. Absent Amari Cooper, it’s hard to say what the receiving corps will look like. And that’s just the offense, never mind a defense that’s struggling to find its identity after ending last season on a poor note. The secondary is one giant mystery without Landon Collins and the linebackers are without their leader in veteran Trey DePriest. In all, 13 starters must be replaced. To get back to the national championship, it’s going to take a new cast of characters and likely a new identity, one that must be forged early in the offseason so it has time to take root.

There is a certain ring of familiarity there, eh?

Don’t cry for Nick Saban, SEC fans.  Somehow, I expect he’ll muddle through.

7 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

The need for an intelligent mouthguard

Another good story about schools looking to use technology to find ways to address concussion issues, this time at South Carolina.

One question, though.  Does anyone besides me find it a little strange that the NCAA apparently doesn’t monitor painkiller distribution at member schools?  You’d think that would be an easy enough thing for it to do.

17 Comments

Filed under Science Marches Onward, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

The offensive coordinator transition and the effect on the intermediate passing game

As you guys know, I don’t follow the NFL closely, so my impression of Brian Schottenheimer’s work on that level is largely restricted to what others have had to say after observation.  Here’s one such comment, based on his career with the New York Jets.

No Jets QB has done well in the 20+ play category. While the 40+ plays are often the result a wide receiver simply having superior speed and getting open down the sideline, the 20+ yarder is often more about hitting an open receiver in stride and letting him scamper those extra few yards to pick up the 20. This never seemed to happen with the Jets. One would think that if you are avoiding that type of play, then the Qb’s completion percentage should significantly rise as would his YPA.

If you look at Favre in Minnesota that is exactly what is happening with their offensive scheme. The Vikings have limited how far Favre can throw the ball in the intermediate passing game which is why his 20+ plays are so low. His completion %, however, is 11% above the average, a big jump from both 2008 and 2007. In addition his YPA are a big increase from his time with the Jets. As a Jet his completion percentage was identical with his stats in Green Bay, despite Favre being used much more as a down the field passer in 2007. His YPA were a disaster as a Jet. There really has been no correlation with the lack of mid range passing and completion rate under Schottenheimer, other than Chad’s rise in completion % in 2007, where Pennington’s passes were so short that his YPA was just awful by his usual standards. His stints in Miami and under Herm provided much better results with the YPA being far better outside of Schottenheimer’s system.

The question to ask is do the Jets not call plays that are safe outs if the long pass is not there? In 2007, when Chad was under heavy pressure the dramatic decline in his YPC and YPA indicate that the safe routes were very short with no hope of working for any extra YAC. Favre’s numbers indicate a similar pattern. Clemens was really the only aberration, but dealt with a ton of 3rd and longs due to the big sacks he took, a problem also plaguing rookie Mark Sanchez. When examining Clemens high YPC compared to not just his contemporaries in Croyle and Jackson but to Pennington and Favre it seems as if Clemens simply locked on long and did his best to find the first read that was maybe a longer pattern. It would explain the huge amount of sacks he took relative to Pennington as well as the poor YPA and completion %. It also is probably a reason why he turned the ball over so much.

That strikes me as, if not ominous for Georgia’s offense, at least relevant.  Look at Georgia’s conference ranking in scrimmage plays of 20+ yards over the past few seasons under Bobo:

  • 2014:  7th
  • 2013:  4th
  • 2012:  2nd
  • 2011:  3rd

The drop in 2014 was matched, as the above passage speculates (the Qb’s completion percentage should significantly rise as would his YPA”), by Mason leading the conference, setting a school record in the process, in completion percentage.  Mike Bobo, it would seem, made a deliberate choice based on his starting quarterback’s strengths and weaknesses to alter his approach in the passing game.  Note how that’s reflected in conference ranking in passing plays of 20+ yards over the same period:

  • 2014:  11th
  • 2013:  2nd
  • 2012:  1st
  • 2011:  2nd

Despite a big drop in that category, Georgia didn’t miss a beat on offense last season because of an incredibly effective running game and because Mason was an accurate passer.

All of which begs the question what happens under Brian Schottenheimer.  It’s impossible to say right now, of course.  You don’t know how much of what Richt wants in the passing game (and what Georgia has been used to running under Bobo) is maintained in the new version of the playbook.  It’s also very likely that this year’s starting quarterback will have better arm strength than did Mason – but will likely be less accurate and more prone to turnovers.

But from here, what it suggests is a few things:

  • reinforcement for what most of us expect, another year of heavy reliance on the running game;
  • a good reason for the quarterbacks evaluation to stretch out over a longer period than we’ve seen over the past few seasons; and
  • the early, favorable schedule being a useful period for Richt to evaluate Schottenheimer’s feel for the passing game.

It’s gonna be interesting, anyway.

47 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Bob Stoops, Hugh Freeze feels your pain.

Ugly story here about how a racist chant from members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity captured on video has led to the shuttering of the campus fraternity by its national organization and an investigation from the school.

The reason I mention it here is because of the interesting reactions it garnered from members of the Oklahoma football team.  If the sentiment mentioned in the following tweet isn’t the essence of what college life is like for many of them, I don’t know what is:

Maybe, but it doesn’t sound like they let you stay, either.

Don’t think this won’t come up on the recruiting trail.  Just ask Ole Miss about that.

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UPDATE:  Like it or not, it’s a football story.

Good for Stoops.

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UPDATE #2:  Quotes, too.

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UPDATE #3:  As I said, it’s a football story.

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UPDATE #4:  This is the way to respond to prejudiced dumbasses.

160 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, Recruiting

Once again, the NCAA sweats the small stuff.

It may not do a damned thing about academic fraud, but when it comes to jerseys, the NCAA is on the mother.

6 Comments

Filed under The NCAA