Monthly Archives: April 2015

Georgia’s QB situation, in Richt’s own words

Per Seth Emerson, here’s what Richt had to say last night in Albany about his three options:

Faton Bauta:: “Guy’s been here working his tail off every day. He’s probably the hardest worker of the bunch. He’s really become a good decision-maker. He’s getting the ball to the right guy most of the time. He’s thrown very few balls, in a competitive setting, that should be intercepted. He hasn’t been careless with the ball. He understands the system, even though it’s relatively new he’s picking it up quickly. So he’s got a tremendous opportunity.”

Brice Ramsey: “Brice, when he does it right it’s beautiful. Big, tall, he’s got a beautifl throwing motion, he’s very athletic. And he’s really becoming a great student of the game. It’s just amazing to see him in meetings and how well he takes notes and how well he’s picking things up. Brice has had a little bit of a habit of throwing some balls into coverage, and he’s gotta do a little better job of taking care of the ball in that regard.”

Jacob Park: “(He) has got a tremendous skill set. Tall, long, athletic, can throw it extremely well. But he’s a little bit behind in the knowledge of the game. But like I told him, and I’ve said publicly, if between now and the time August 1 rolls around, when we start practicing, if he really gets that knowledge down and gets to where it’s second nature to him, he’s gonna throw his hat in the ring pretty strong.”

That sounds to me like he’s looking for a reason not to choose Bauta as the starter, but hasn’t found one.  Yet.

“But like I mentioned today, you’ve gotta be an accurate passer, you have to be a good decision-maker, but you also have to be able to handle the pressure of that job,” Richt said. “And until you get there in front of 90,000 and the millions on television, we don’t know how they’re going to handle the pressure of being the man. So even if we name one guy, those second- and third-team guys better hang onto their hat because they may be in there if the first guy doesn’t handle it well.”

I admit to being skeptical about the quarterback battle lasting into the beginning of the regular season. (Richt even told Emerson that he would have preferred to select a starter coming out of spring camp.)  But my skepticism is starting to wane.  All I can say at this point is that I hope one of the three takes command of the position during August.  Having to use the regular season to find out who can best stand the heat is almost a surefire recipe for losing a conference game in September.

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Crime stoppers

Fair is fair, so I gotta admit this is the kind of media smarminess I’ve been waiting to see.

10 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Crime and Punishment, Media Punditry/Foibles, Nick Saban Rules

The secret of Grantham’s success

That is an enviable number, regardless of who brought in those players.  I wonder what the comparable number for Pruitt’s 2015 defense will be.

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UPDATE:  Math fixed.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Two can play the lobby Congress game.

The NCAA is spending money in Washington, preparing for the day when it asks for an antitrust exemption.  The big argument you can expect it to make about why it needs the protection will be about the academic mission.

And that’s why this letter was written.

In a letter dated April 28 and released Thursday by attorney Michael Hausfeld’s office, two lawyers wrote that continued Congressional examination is needed due to “the apparent inconsistencies and divergences in positions taken by the NCAA” before the senate committee last July and in federal court. The letter from Hausfeld and attorney Bob Orr, who are suing North Carolina and the NCAA in relation to the academic scandal at North Carolina, was addressed to Sens. John Thume, Bill Nelson, Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal.

“In the course of the (July 2014 Senate) hearing, representatives of the NCAA, including its President, Dr. Mark Emmert, testified, in essence, that the mission and commitment of the NCAA was to provide and assure a meaningful education for these athletes,” Hausfeld and Orr wrote. “Subsequent events and information, however, have raised serious doubts about the accuracy of that representation.”

The letter released by Hausfeld, who is also the lead attorney in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, cited the NCAA’s recent court filing in the Rashanda McCants lawsuit that stated the association has no responsibility to ensure “the academic integrity of the courses offered” at schools. The Hausfeld letter also cited a legal statement by the NCAA that it has no role in “the quality of the education student-athletes received at member institutions or to protect student-athletes from the independent, voluntary acts of those institutions or their employees.”

The NCAA has a sincerity problem.  That’s the price you pay when you fight so many battles with conflicting priorities.

The exemption hearings should be a real hoot.

17 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Political Wankery, The NCAA

You know us, Bert. We’re always here to help.

Sometimes, comment threads almost write themselves.

This is one of those times.  Have at it.

24 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

Four is good. I like four.

I appreciate what on-deck SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has to say about keeping the CFP at four teams:

In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN.com, Sankey said he is a proponent of keeping college football a one-semester sport, and agreed that college basketball is a cautionary tale for how the postseason can devalue the regular season.

“What we have works and fits and protects conference championship games,” he said. “We have a great event in Atlanta. If you see it, experience it, it’s really a cultural event for our region, it’s important for our conference. Many times people have talked about the regular season and want to theorize on impacts on the regular season, but when we see more focus on the end of the year, it generally detracts from what happens during the rest of the competitive year.”

I just wish I believed him.

18 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Thursday morning buffet

Ready and steaming…

  • Here’s a look at the post-spring SEC quarterback situation.
  • Georgia’s incoming freshman Trent Thompson “becomes the team’s second biggest defensive lineman the minute he steps on campus.”  Yeah, he’s got a good chance of playing this season.
  • If you can’t get a second chance at Second Chance U, where can you?
  • Florida’s Dante Fowler, Jr., on Todd Gurley: “What gets me about him is how fast he is. He’s a big guy so you would think that he’s slow, but he’s even faster in person than what he looks like on TV. We had a mean defense. We had Sharrif Floyd, Dominique Easley, Matt Elam—three first-round draft picks—and we had a top-five defense in the country. To see what he was doing to us, as a freshman, I was like, man, this guy is going to be something else.” 
  • The New York Times has a great piece on what’s happened to the members of the NFL’s first round draft class of 1990.  It’s sad to see Ben Smith’s story.
  • Nick Saban explains what up-tempo offenses have done to Alabama’s secondary, and how he’s working to fix that.  (It’s been downhill since Jeremy Pruitt left.)
  • Ben Jones talks about his favorite memory at Georgia, Jacob Eason, Mark Richt and more here.
  • It’s insidious, but I fear I’m coming to like Jim McElwain.  Bastard.

17 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Crime and Punishment, Gators Gators, Georgia Football, Life After Football, Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

For UAB, the fix is out.

I’m not a numbers guru – like you didn’t know that already – so I couldn’t pick through all the fuzzy math contained in the report UAB’s president relied on to shut down the football program the way Andy Schwarz could.  But the one assumption made there  that jumped out at me as being questionable at best was that Conference USA, which has a requirement that all members field football teams, would continue to accept UAB as a part of the conference and keep the checks flowing.

Turns out that was more than questionable.  It was wrong.

Conference USA has communicated to UAB that the league won’t amend its bylaws to keep the Blazers without football, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

UAB dropped football in December and has a study from a consultant expected to be released by May 15 on whether the school made the right decision in cutting the sport. Conference USA’s executive committee meets in June and will formally vote on UAB’s future. But there is not interest from two-thirds of C-USA’s presidents to change the league’s bylaws requiring football as a condition of membership.

Assuming UAB doesn’t reinstate football for 2016, the school will most likely be a C-USA member for one more academic year in 2015-16, given the short timeframe for the Blazers to find a new home. C-USA is reluctant to kick out UAB and leave its sports without playing schedules.

So it’s one and done for the Blazers.  And what about that money?  Er… what money?

UAB would not receive a full revenue share next year in C-USA if it stays. UAB is expected to receive about $2.2 to $2.4 million this fiscal year from C-USA. The College Football Playoff is expected to be worth about $800,000 for UAB. C-USA’s postseason football revenue increased by about 500 percent this year due to the CFP compared to past revenue from the Bowl Championship Series.

That’s a lot of money to lose.  Maybe the school can recoup some of the loss by asking for a refund on the report for getting advice based on this:

When UAB eliminated football, bowling and rifle in December, the report the university used did not include a financial model accounting for no C-USA revenue.

Then again, I’m not sure it would have mattered if it had.

Enjoy your new home in the Missouri Valley Conference, fellas.

22 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Bob Bowlsby, thinking inside the box

Nothing about this surprises me.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby entered the College Football Playoff meetings this week seeking definitive answers on how much a 13th game helped Ohio State get picked over Baylor and TCU. Bowlsby ended Wednesday with as close of a statement as he has ever made that the Big 12 will add a conference championship game.

Bowlsby wouldn’t definitively say the Big 12 will add a championship game in 2016 if a new NCAA rule allows 10-team members to do so. But given the knowledge he has now, Bowlsby said, “I surmise we would probably move in that direction.”

Bowlsby said he was told this week by CFP selection committee chairman Jeff Long that 13 data points are better than 12. Ohio State blew out Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game on the final week last season while Baylor and TCU won their final regular-season games in round-robin play.

“What we heard is if we don’t go to a championship game we’re at a disadvantage,” Bowlsby said. “All things being equal, 13 games are better than 12 games. That’s what we heard. So that gives us clear enough direction that we’re coming in at least at a modest disadvantage. We need to do whatever we can to mitigate that.”

This is a dumbass move on a number of levels.  First, and most significantly, the Big 12 plays a round robin conference schedule.  It doesn’t need a playoff to determine a true champion; the regular season takes care of that.

Second, it’s like these guys have the shortest memories on the planet.

The Big 12 played a conference championship game from 1996 to 2010 and was hurt in the BCS era more than any conference by having a national contender lose that game.

And if there’s any cosmic justice, or if the football gods have a perverse sense of humor, that’s exactly what’ll happen in the first Big 12 championship game.

Along those lines, it ought to be a concern when Jim Delany gives you advice that makes sense.

However, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany cautioned that conference championship games “cut both ways” – sometimes helping a league’s best team and sometimes costing it with an upset loss.

One of the lessons learned from the Bowl Championship Series Era was that the constant alterations to that ill-fated system eroded public confidence.

“We probably made some mistakes by tweaking, to be honest,” Delany said.

Of course, it’s only fair to note that Bowlsby is probably working from a lower bar in terms of public confidence than the BCS was at the start.

Now, this isn’t totally the fault of the Big 12.  Jeff Long’s hands have some dirt on them, too.

Bowlsby said he was convinced after the commissioners met with selection committee chairman Jeff Long, the Arkansas athletic director, that the Big 12’s champion might need to play a 13th game — a conference championship game — in order to be seen on equal footing with other playoff contenders. (Reached by phone later, Long declined an interview request.)

Again, never mind that the Big 12’s selection of its conference champion doesn’t require a championship game.  It’s all about the data points for the selection committee.

But Bowlsby still is playing the hand he’s dealt here.  His coaches like soft non-conference schedules.  His presidents like cutting the revenue pie into just ten pieces.  And a championship game will enlarge that pie a little more.  It’s a win-win.  Until the league’s best team loses.

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UPDATE:  Bill Connelly elaborates on the history repeating aspect of what’s coming.

6 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football

It’s all just a big misunderstanding.

Why can’t we just leave Kirk Herbstreit alone, dammit?

You know, it would just be a lot easier if he’d simply say he’s sorry that he didn’t express himself correctly, which is what I suspect he told Richt privately.  But if Herbstreit wants to leave it on us, that he was misunderstood, it’s hard to see how the snark ends.  Unless kids stop getting arrested…

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UPDATE:  Welp, that’s fifteen minutes of my life I’ll never get back.  Herbie has the utmost respect for Mark Richt and we misunderstood his intent when he tweeted.  Buck says that those of us continuing to poke at Herbstreit are part of the lunatic fringe, for not letting things go.  And Kincaid claims this is more about Georgia fans defending Richt from criticism than trying to hold Herbstreit accountable for his lack of consistency.

Thanks, guys.  I learned a lot.

41 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football