Daily Archives: October 21, 2015

“The ball’s uncatchable because I couldn’t get to it because I was being hit downfield.”

Malcolm Mitchell wants to know if Gary Pinkel would like some cheese to go with that whine.


Filed under Georgia Football

The more things change…

Ooh, check out the tea leaves from practice today!

No set order at quarterback

Perhaps it’s a product of the bye week, but Georgia’s quarterbacks did not follow the assumed depth chart during drills.

Greyson Lambert, who has started each game for Georgia this season, was not the first behind center on Wednesday. The order was shifted around to give Lambert, sophomore Brice Ramsey and junior Faton Bauta a chance to work with different receivers.

Let a thousand Bauta flowers bloom!  Change is in the air!  Now they’re getting somewhere!  Look out, world!

Er… what’s that?

In watching the quarterbacks throw, all three had difficulty maintaining any sort of consistency with their passes.

Ah, hell.  Is it too late to install the Wildcat?



Filed under Georgia Football

Damn it, Jim.

Florida coaches are supposed to be assholes.  My dislike of same is supposed to be effortless.  Natural.  Second nature.

What am I supposed to do about a guy who says stuff like this?

Florida’s first-year head coach Jim McElwain has never coached or played at Florida or Georgia before this year, so he’s never had the pleasure of participating in the event known as “The World’s Largest Cocktail Party.” But he has seen and heard enough about it to know what he’s in for when the teams renew their old rivalry on Halloween this year.

“This is what college football is all about,” said McElwain, who came to Florida from Colorado State last December. “I just think these traditions and the fact it’s played (in Jacksonvile) is great. I think it’s a lot of fun for a lot of people and everybody involved. Other than knowing that you could set your television by it for a lot of years, I think this is the reason you get in this business, to play in these types of games and be a part of them.”

McElwain said he has never been to EverBank Field but has driven by it while on recruiting trips.

“The thing looks pretty neat, so I’m excited about it,” he quipped.

I ask you, where’s the smug condescension?  Where’s the oversized ego?  Where’s the snark?

I am not built to handle this.


Filed under Gators Gators, Georgia Football

“This was a unique football game.”

Read Bill Connelly’s advanced stats breakdown of the Georgia-Missouri game.  You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  (I know I did.)

One thing’s for sure.

Average starting field position (first 4 possessions each): MU 53.5, UGA 23.8. Score: 3-3
Average starting field position (rest of game): UGA 42.4, MU 18.3. Score: 6-3 UGA

Missouri completely blew the chances of the first 25 minutes, and Georgia almost equally blew the chances of the next 35. Almost.

I have a hard time thinking of a game where starting field position translated into so little end result.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Before we get to Jacksonville…

If Tennessee somehow defies the odds and beats Alabama this weekend, Georgia beating Florida probably wouldn’t wind up meaning a damned thing in terms of going to the SECCG.

… And if Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee all finish at 6-2 after Georgia beats Florida, then the SEC’s divisional tiebreakers wouldn’t just come into play — they might be used down to the fifth tiebreaker, with all three teams possessing 5-1 records against the SEC East, sweeping East teams that aren’t the other two teams in that three-way tie, and going 1-1 against SEC West opponents that would stalemate things after the second through fourth tiebreakers.

That fifth tiebreaker is this:

E. Combined record against all common non divisional teams

By my reading — which could very well be wrong, as a commenter noted! — it would give the East title to Florida in the hypothetical scenario laid out above.

I believe “common non divisional teams” only applies to SEC West teams, and Florida doesn’t share a common opponent with either Georgia or Tennessee outside of the SEC East this year. The Gators played LSU and Mississippi from the West, while Tennessee has played Arkansas and will play Alabama, and Georgia has played Alabama and will play Auburn; the Vols can only get to 6-2 in SEC play by beating Alabama, so Tennessee would necessarily have a better combined record than Georgia against the schools’ only common non-divisional team in this hypothetical.

That would, I think, break the tie between Georgia and Tennessee, and put Florida and Tennessee in a two-way tie; thanks to Florida’s head-to-head win, the Gators would obviously advance to Atlanta.

Kind of your ultimate “backing into” scenario there, eh?


Filed under SEC Football

“Good up until this game.”

Okay, John Theus didn’t have the greatest game Saturday night, but I find it a little strange that he’s the one getting all the attention about it.  Houston was just as bad, if not worse (and if the way Georgia had to use its tight ends in the second half to bolster the blocking on the right side of the line is any indication, it’s likely the latter is more accurate).

I mean, check out this clip of Harris sacking Lambert.  If that’s not your textbook example of “meet you at the quarterback”, I don’t know what is.

The reality is that we probably shouldn’t expect much production from the tight ends in the passing game when Georgia faces defenses with outside speed rushers.  They’ll have their hands full with other matters.


Filed under Georgia Football

This is what comes from chasing a national playoff.

No surprise here.

Because if there’s anything a conference playing a round-robin schedule needs, it’s a championship game.

A decade or so from now, these assholes are going to wake up and wonder how they lost us.


Filed under Big 12 Football, The NCAA

“The integrity of our collegiate contests are paramount.”

We already know the NCAA doesn’t think much of the daily fantasy stuff.  It’s asked the sites to stop offering fantasy games based on college sports.  It’s barred student-athlete participation, with a year of lost eligibility penalty for anyone who’s caught violating the rule.

That’s the easy stuff.  Where the rubber meets the road, though…

Lewis added, “As we have communicated to you previously, since your games meet the definition of sports wagering within our bylaws, the N.C.A.A. will not allow advertising of your products in connection with N.C.A.A. championships, including television broadcasts.”

Numerous N.C.A.A. championships appear on television, but most prominent are the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with the men’s on CBS and Turner stations and the women’s on ESPN and its affiliates. The men’s tournament deal is worth more than $10 billion for 14 years. ESPN has broadcast deals for a few dozen other N.C.A.A. championships, including the College World Series.

CBS Sports and Turner Sports declined to comment.

Well, publicly, anyway.

In the world of college football, where the NCAA can only watch the deals from the sidelines, the approach is more mixed.

The College Football Playoff is not administered by the N.C.A.A., but rather by the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame, which is independent. Bill Hancock, executive director of the playoff — which comprises seven bowl and playoff games annually, including the national championship game and the Rose Bowl — said the playoff had not engaged in extensive discussion on the topic yet with ESPN, which signed a 12-year, $7.3 billion contract to broadcast those games.

While several professional sports franchises and media companies are investors, the college sports establishment appeared to have fewer entanglements.

The Southeastern Conference has asked the SEC Network, which ESPN owns, not to air ads for daily fantasy sports, according to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.

“It certainly doesn’t seem the right tone,” Sankey said, adding, “We are in an academic environment. Candidly, a lot of this advertising reaches out to a lot of young people, and a piece of the concern is about individuals.”

The Pacific-12 Network and Big Ten Network, which are fully or jointly owned by the conferences and their universities, still air daily fantasy ads, although not ones that promote college games.

“As long as the federal government has determined this isn’t gambling, it’s in a different category,” said Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner.

Sankey said the SEC had had discussions with ESPN and CBS, which broadcast conference football games, about barring daily fantasy commercials.

That money thing, she is tough.

I give it a few years and expect the colleges will fold on this, telling themselves that it hasn’t been a problem for the NBA to manage.  Then it’ll be off to the races.  Gotta be flexible with integrity when you’re paying the bills.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

What a difference a year makes.

After seven games, Georgia stands at 5-2.  That’s not too dramatically off from last year’s regular season pace.  But when you compare the stats compiled so far in 2015 with the 2014 numbers, you can see why there’s a disappointing feel to the year.

The NCAA tracks 25 team statistics.  Skip over the last three on the list, which really don’t have too much bearing on wins and losses, and look at the rest.  Of the remaining 22, sixteen have declined from last year to this.  Some of the more precipitous falls look like this:

  • Team passing efficiency, from 9th to 35th
  • Team passing efficiency defense, from 7th to 33rd
  • Turnover margin, from 4th to 64th
  • 3rd down conversion rate, from 8th to 109th
  • Red zone offense, from 49th to 91st
  • Net punting, from 83rd to 116th
  • Kickoff returns, from 36th to 116th

I’m not saying a good team has to be perfect in everything, but when you see multiple appearances in the bottom twentieth or, worse, bottom tenth percentile… well, those aren’t places where a good team should be showing.

There are areas of improvement, to be sure.  Defensive 3rd down conversion rate has improved from 58th to 13th.  Red zone defense is better.  The defense is giving up less first downs on average.  (Perhaps you’re noticing a pattern here.)

The overall picture, though, is that of a series of breakdowns across offense, defense and special teams.  Some of it, like the kickoff return story, I would attribute to emphasizing playing inexperienced players.  Turnover margin, of course, is subject to our old friend, regression to the mean.  But punting and passing efficiency problems… I think we know where much of the blame lies.

Sure hope those involved can find some fixes over the next week and a half.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“What the heck are we doing here?”

Dudes, when even ESPN can’t come to grips with college basketball giving in to the reality of one-and-done, you’ve got a serious amateurism problem on your hands.

Keeping players focused on the current season rather than future ones is a chief challenge for coaches. Jim Haney, executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said: “Our guys — and they’ve done a good job on this — have had to strike the right balance. You have to be concerned about getting your degree. Even if you are a one-and-done, you have a responsibility to meet your obligations to be on this team.”

Unless you’re in denial, that is.


Filed under The NCAA