Daily Archives: May 20, 2015

Macho, macho man

So, Joe Alleva says he has trouble scheduling home and home series with non-conference opponents because most schools are skeered:

“Teams don’t want to come to Tiger Stadium and get their butts beat. That’s just a fact of life. I’m being as blunt as I can be…they don’t want to schedule losses.”

What’s the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow Jerry Hinnen to retort.

Why people like Alleva think it’s a good idea to open their mouths sometimes is one of life’s mysteries I’ll never solve.

16 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Delany: it’s not the practice, it’s the label that’s the problem.

Well, as long as you still call them students, I guess.

8 Comments

Filed under Look For The Union Label

“Well, Georgia being third is surprising.”

Even Bill Connelly has to blink at what his advanced stats are telling him.  The rest of it:

… I included each set of rankings so you could understand what the numbers see. Georgia has been one of the most consistently awesome teams in the country (fourth in weighted five-year history) and benefits from that here.

It’s not really a puzzle.  It’s just that Bill hasn’t figured out a way to quantify brain farts.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“Isn’t the point of being in the same conference to actually, you know, PLAY each other?”

Damn straight it is.

41 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Ch-ch-changes

Here’s the roundtable at Kevin Causey’s site I mentioned the other day.  Good to see there were no wrong answers there.

12 Comments

Filed under College Football

$40.8 million

It’s nice to see Nike helping the University of Georgia further its academic mission.

Just remember, kids, it’s never what’s on the back of the jersey that counts.

Until the minute after you leave college, that is.

20 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

Let’s give ’em something to gripe about.

You may have heard that the NFL has decided to move the extra point attempt to the fifteen-yard line, while leaving two-point conversions at the two.  As Chase Stuart nicely points out, given the current skill level for making 33-yard field goals, this move is a lot more form than substance.

But it should raise a real bumper crop for second guessing.

What we may see, though, is a missed extra point costing a team a game. Or, perhaps, causing a team to win a game. That could happen if say, a team is down 20-10, scores a touchdown and misses the extra point, and then gets the ball back down 4. No longer strained by conservatism, a team may wind up scoring the game-winning touchdown instead of settling for a field goal. So, what happens first: a team loses a game because it misses an extra point, or a team wins a game because of it? And yes, posing that question is a sign of how bored I am by this news.

Man, I can hear the pundits now.

Stuart points out the math that the coaches will ignore – “From an expected value standpoint, an extra point now drops from 1.00 points to 0.95 points; one could argue, therefore, that a 2-point conversion now needs to be successful only 48% of the time to make it the better proposition.” – but, again, that’s in the League, where kickers are far more consistent than they are at the college level.

Which leads me to ponder the obvious – what would happen if the same rule were adopted for the college game?  I don’t know what the overall success rate is (and I’m not going to take the time to do the math), but you can look here and see that while there are plenty of kickers sporting high percentages, unsurprisingly, the overall rate of success isn’t anywhere near the NFL’s 96%.  Which would mean the value of going for two would increase in collegiate football.

I just wonder how all of this would fit into Mark Richt’s world view.  Gee, how has that kind of stuff worked out in the past?

There’s a difference between coaching conservatively and coaching scared.  What happened on the ensuing kickoff reminded me so much of what happened in the overtime loss to Michigan State in the Outback Bowl after the 2011 season. Georgia ran out to an early lead, blew it, took the game into overtime and was on the verge of pulling out the win after a Rambo interception.  The conservative thing to do then was check Blair Walsh’s stats on the season, realize that he was money on kicks of 40 yards or less, a bad check on anything longer, and pound the ball three straight plays to improve the odds of his making a winning kick. Richt instead chose to run Aaron Murray around on second down for a loss, taking Walsh out of his comfort zone, and kick on third down. The end result:  a miss and a loss.

Let’s just say I’d rather not cross that bridge.

20 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

To win in our league, you have to (get turnovers).”

Manny Diaz, who’s back at Mississippi State as its defensive coordinator, has an interesting theory about how to generate turnovers on defense – and he ought to have an inkling, as the defense he ran last season led the nation in takeaways:

“It’s always going to start with stopping the run. If you stop the run, you make them have to throw to beat you. If they have to throw to win, the ball is in harm’s way. No one turns the ball over more than the quarterback.

“There’s a bunch of things you can do to get after the quarterback to make him make mistakes. But if you can’t stop the run, then you have no chance of doing that. Our run defense will be the first thing we’ll pride ourselves on. Anything from that point on, that’s where the turnovers start to come.”

That kind of made me wonder how Georgia’s 2014 season fit into that.  If you look at the defensive turnover and rushing game logs from last year, here’s what you’ll find:

  • First seven regular season games:  2.43 turnovers per game; 3.04 yards per carry
  • Last five regular season games:  1.80 turnovers per game; 5.33 yards per carry
  • Bowl game:  3 turnovers; 2.30 yards per carry

There does seem to be some correlation there.  Just something to keep in the back of your mind as Pruitt and Rocker figure out how to restructure a defensive line that will have plenty of new faces being counted on to do a better job of stopping the run than we saw in the second half of last season.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Today in bovine excrement, part three

Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour is skeptical that an early signing period is going to prove to be the silver bullet that saves things on the recruiting trail.  She sure sounds like she’s on to something here:

“Frankly, I think the greater concern is this accelerated timeline period,” she said. “I don’t know that an early signing date helps anything. It probably does marginally. But the real issue here is that, no matter where the rules are, we’ll continue to push them and push activity earlier. OK, you can’t sign until November or August, but we’ll keep pushing kids to commit.

“This is the old Road to Abilene. I don’t think anybody wants to do it, but they all think everybody else is doing it, so you’ve got to participate. I don’t think we’re doing the kids any justice, and I certainly don’t think we’re doing our athletic programs or institutions any justice.”

I keep saying it.  With every passing day, this makes more and more sense.

6 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Today in bovine excrement, part two

Hey, the “we’re not workin’ with no stinkin’ union” feeling is turning into a party.  Come on down, Notre Dame!

“Notre Dame’s just not prepared to participate in any model where the athlete isn’t a student first and foremost — that’s the hallmark for us,” Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick told USA TODAY Sports after a Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics meeting here during which he appeared as a panelist. “If the entire model were to move toward athletes as employees, we’d head in a different direction. Our president has been clear about that. I’m not articulating a unique position.”

Lines are drawn, NLRB.  Do you really want to be the folks who killed Notre Dame’s football program?

This is silly on a number of levels.  First, Swarbrick doesn’t even bother to explain how a unionized student-athlete can’t still be a student first and foremost.  (Maybe he’ll have to start referring to them as athlete-students.)  For example, one of the major complaints lobbed in the direction of schools is how programs routinely violate the NCAA’s 20-hour rule.  Wouldn’t forcing that rule to be honored in real time be a step in the direction of first and foremost?

Second, this isn’t the first time Notre Dame has wrapped itself in the holy cloak of academics-first.  For decades, it famously clung to a policy of not letting its football team go to bowl games because, in the words of a 1969 Sports Illustrated article,

The continuation of the policy probably results from a misguided notion that participation in a bowl game would make Notre Dame look like a football factory. Football, of course, has done a great deal for Notre Dame—far more than anything else. Nor is there much wrong with this, except that there happen to be those within the bright glare of the Golden Dome who do not like to admit it.

I guess they stopped worrying about that perception a while ago.

The real irony here is that there may come a time in the near future, if Jeffrey Kessler and his ilk have their way in court, when Notre Dame and its peers are going to need a union partner to enter into a collective bargaining agreement.  Unless they can get Washington to grant an antitrust exemption – remember, you’re not doing it for the schools, you’re doing it for the kids, Congress – it’ll either be that, or an Ivy League packed with academic refugees.

21 Comments

Filed under Look For The Union Label