Daily Archives: August 20, 2015

“Hynes needs to be permanently benched.”

It’s a press release from an organization with an agenda, so I take it with a grain of salt, and, to be honest, most of what’s contained in it doesn’t really bother me.  (In fact, the news that the Fellowship of Christian Athletes auctioned an “authentic” Todd Gurley jersey at a gala made me chuckle, for reasons I’m sure you can guess.)

But I will say that if this is true, it does make me a bit uncomfortable:

Kevin “Chappy” Hynes, UGA’s chaplain and brother-in-law to head coach Mark Richt, is on a mission to win souls, FFRF charges. Championships are great, but souls are better: “Our message at Georgia doesn’t change, and that’s to preach Christ and Him crucified, it’s to win championships for the state of Georgia and win souls for the Kingdom of God, so we’re going to continue down that path.” He also “tr[ies] to get these guys plugged in to church…”

Hynes admits he seeks to convert non-Christians. “I tell people … that come to Georgia that are not Christians and allow me to speak in their lives, I encourage them to walk with Jesus,” Hynes said. “I encourage them to get into Bible study. I encourage them to get in the Word. I encourage them to memorize Scripture.”

No state employee should be proselytizing on the job, and when it’s the head coach’s brother-in-law, like it or not, that’s pressure, no matter how well-meaning, that’s gonna carry some weight.

I’ve defended Richt’s tolerance before and sincerely doubt he’d let things get out of hand, but if this is really going on, for appearances’ sake alone, it might not be a bad idea to come up with an alternative.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“I think (recruits) are going to start asking (about cost of attendance).”

Man, according to the data Jon Solomon’s gathered, there’s a whole lot of manipulation of numbers going on.  And the coaches know it.

“There are some SEC schools that have a really high cost of attendance even though they’re in a relatively small town, so I’d like to see the formula that they’re coming up with,” said Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, whose school has one of the lowest COA amounts ($1,602) in the FBS.

Said Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, whose school’s COA ($2,382) is among the lowest in the FBS: “I’ve seen a few of the numbers. It’s an interesting number. The people that can control it, there are some ways you can manipulate the system. It will be another clear battle (in recruiting).”

Ohio State, college football’s defending national champion, has the fourth-lowest COA in the Big Ten among public universities ($2,970). “It’s wrong, it’s wrong,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said of the varying numbers by school. “That needs to be fixed. Whoever came up with that ruling, it’s wrong. That needs to be a standardized (number).”

Well, if you mean a number set by the NCAA, that would be illegal, Corch.  But, whatever.

But I do think something Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick offers makes sense.

… Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, whose private university has one of the lowest COA figures in FBS, believes schools should provide recruits with disclosure statements explaining every element in a proposed scholarship.

“Like when you buy a car, there ought to be a simple, federally-mandated disclosure form that says here’s what it is,” Swarbrick said. “One reason cost of attendance numbers are different is because figures embedded in other elements of the scholarship are different. You could have a different meal plan. If I only provided you 10 to 12 meals a week, your cost of attendance is higher. If you provide a 17-meal plan, it doesn’t impact your cost of attendance.”

I will bet you most kids have no clue how to make sense of that right now.  Of course, that means there are probably plenty of schools out there that would prefer not to shed any light on this.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

You need proof Jeremy Pruitt can coach a little?

Check out number 13 on this list.

Getting your typical five-star stud noticed by pro draft analysts is one thing.  A walk on defensive back is another.

(h/t)

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Filed under Georgia Football

“No matter where he gets the ball, Chubb is the most difficult running back to tackle in college football. “

Pretty cool piece comparing Nick Chubb and Ezekiel Elliott.

I wouldn’t kick either one of ’em out of my backfield.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football

Runs in the family

Paul Petrino is something of a dickhead, it seems.

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Filed under Chivalry Is Dead

This week in Dawg porn

I spent six of my hard-earned dollars on Football Outsiders 2015 College Football Almanac (this is turning out to be Bill Connelly Day at GTP, I suppose) and am slowly working my way through it.  As you can probably guess from other references I’ve made to Brian’s and Bill’s work, FO is high on Georgia’s chances this year, ranking the Dawgs fourth.

I’ll probably take note of other things as I get more deeply into it, but I wanted to share something with you as a sort of appetizer.  Two areas that they cite as needing improvement are defensive tackle (“The line lacked a difference-maker at defensive tackle, a player who could consistently command double teams while occasionally making explosive negative plays of his own.”) and wide receiver depth.  They go on to cite Trent Thompson and Terry Godwin as potential help in those areas, respectively speaking.

So with that in mind, check this out and try to keep your hot flashes under control.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Another reason for the quarterback muddle?

There’s an interview over at Football Study Hall with the Arkansas high school coach who’s going to try bringing some rugby-style tactics to his offensive gameplan that’s a good read.  But there’s something in particular in it I wanted to focus on.  It’s about his motivation for this innovation in his tactics.

The article details how Kelley analyzed a database of college football stats and discovered a strong relationship between explosive plays (specifically 20+ yards) and winning. And further, he found that the more players that touched the football on any given play (3+), the greater the chance of a 20+ yard play. So, while watching rugby on TV one night, he made the connection: why not add laterals as an additional wrinkle to his already innovative offense? Would that increase the likelihood of more explosive plays?

… The idea for Kelley’s newest offensive innovation began with a conversation with Brad Edwards at last year’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Using ESPN’s Stats and Information database for a little while at the conference, Kelley found that winning the explosive play ratio was more important than even winning the turnover margin. [Emphasis added.] This echoed earlier findings…

…and Bill’s own Five Factors, here and here.

Last season, Georgia was 32nd nationally in plays of 20+ yards.  But when you look closer, it’s more revealing:  10th in rushing plays of 20+ yards; 78th in passing plays of 20+ yards.  (Before you ask, Mason was tied for 23rd nationally in interceptions, with four.)

Now certainly some of that is a factor of the orientation of Georgia’s offense in 2014.  Georgia ran the ball 555 times, compared to 322 passing attempts.  But there’s a little chicken and egg aspect to all of that, too.  Georgia didn’t throw the ball as much because it played to its strengths and those strengths didn’t include a serious downfield passing game.

Richt’s pooh-poohed analytics before, so maybe this is something that doesn’t matter to him.  But what if behind the scenes, this kind of thinking has factored into the equation?  It would certainly reinforce Richt’s general instinct favoring a downfield passing attack as a major part of his offensive philosophy.  If so, the question becomes how much risk are he and Schottenheimer willing to tolerate in an attempt to juice Georgia’s offense beyond last year’s record-setting pace.

And just to add one more wrinkle to that equation, Bill Connelly has looked at the data and finds there’s almost no correlation between completion rate and yards per completion, and it’s close to the same story with yards per completion and INT rate.  That goes against what I would have expected to see.  The conclusion he draws from that:

Well, among other things, quality matters. That’s the ultimate “duh,” but this suggests that quality and skill matter even more than one would think. You can’t really generalize about a QB or a passing game based on merely his per-completion yardage or completion rate.

“Quality matters”.   Duh, indeed.  But when you’re looking at three guys working with a new offensive coordinator, how quickly can you make that determination?

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Barney Fife, in the Pacific Northwest

I have to admit I’ve gotten a lot more mileage out of that college arrest list posted on Twitter yesterday than I expected.  First, I posted something about it, then I posted something about Jeff Schultz posting about it, then I had a fun give-and-take on Twitter with Schultz about our posts.

And the gift just keeps on giving with this post I found yesterday at a Washington State blog.  (Wazzou, as you may recall from the tweet, finished first on the list.)  As I noted in my post about it, one thing the list is a little weak on is how it elevates quantity over quality.  That’s something Cougcenter jumps all over:

A few examples!

If you’re a Georgia fan, some of that sounds eerily familiar.  Although maybe it’s not that eerie when you think about it.

First, if your university is located in a small town where the majority of the residents are college students and the local police readily admit that they take a “proactive” stance toward making arrests for minor infractions committed by that specific population which tends to do more dumb things than the population at large, well, your arrests are naturally going to skew upward.

That is straight out of the Jimmy Williamson playbook.  And this sounds pretty familiar, too.

Beyond differences in philosophy of policing, the data relies on comprehensive and accurate reporting on arrests/citations/charges. Not every school has a reporter mining police reports everyday for infractions, and not every school has publications that find all of those infractions newsworthy enough to write about.

Throw in a dollop of “I’m my own man, and no pointy necked administrator’s gonna tell me how to run my department” (or, as Seth Emerson put it, “People forget that one of the first things Greg McGarity did five years ago was meet with UGA police chief Jimmy Williamson. No such deal came out of that, and the arrest rate didn’t go down.”) and there you go.

Speaking of playbooks, I can’t help but wonder if there’s an analogue between small-town constabulary and football coaches who visit other programs during the offseason to pick up insights on how to improve.  I can see it now:  “Jimmy, we’ve got that false name business down cold, but how did you guys work that no middle name thing so well?”  “I hear what you’re saying about emerging from an alley, Jimmy, but I’m having a hard time seeing how it works.  Can you diagram the play for me on that white board?”  “So you ignored a law by claiming that you didn’t understand how it applied to your department and didn’t seek guidance?  Cool!  How far can you push that envelope, anyway?”

Professionalism, bitches.

21 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment

“The hour back really, kind of, sucked.”

With the weather being a factor regarding practice this week, I just want to compliment all the parties involved for not playing the IPF card.

***********************************************************************

UPDATE:  Looks like I spoke too soon.

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Filed under Georgia Football

John Thompson, travelin’ man

What’s the definition of a football gypsy?  I’d say a guy who owned three homes at the same time probably qualifies.

Honestly, Thompson’s been around so long and in so many places I keep thinking it’s a surprise he wasn’t on one of the Georgia staffs in the ’90s when Goff and Donnan were shuffling defensive coaches like there was no tomorrow.  Which wound up being the truth in both cases, but that’s another story.

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Filed under College Football