Daily Archives: February 8, 2016

Georgia recruiting and the first rule of holes

For those of you who felt, like me, that Mark Richt’s stretch of chronic undersigning was the biggest mistake of his head coaching career, I’ve got some numeric evidence for you to review.  But first, a little context:

Between 2007-11, SEC teams averaged 25.4 players per signing class. Auburn (30.2 signees a year), Ole Miss (28), Mississippi State (28), Alabama (27.2) and LSU (26.8) were the biggest oversigners.

Since the signing cap with loopholes began in 2012, SEC schools are averaging 24.2 players per class.

So where does Georgia fit in?  Not at that end of the pool.

SEC Average Signing Class Numbers
Team Average Class 2007-11 Average Class 2012-16 Difference
Auburn 30.2 24.2 -6.0
Ole Miss 28.0 24.0 -4.0
Mississippi State 28.0 23.6 -4.4
Alabama 27.2 25.8 -1.4
LSU 26.8 24.4 -2.4
Arkansas 26.6 23.8 -2.8
Kentucky 26.0 25.6 -0.4
South Carolina 25.6 24.4 -1.2
Florida 24.2 24.4 +0.2
Tennessee 24.2 25.4 +1.2
Missouri* 24.2 22.4 -1.8
Texas A&M* 23.8 24.2 +0.4
Georgia 20.8 24.6 +3.8
Vanderbilt 20.2 22.0 +1.8

 

That’s right – from 2007 through 2011, the only conference team that averaged fewer signees than Georgia did was Vanderbilt.  During that period, Auburn signed about ten more kids a year.  That’s almost beyond absurd, and it should have taken someone other than Jeremy Pruitt rolling in a couple of years ago to scream bloody murder about it.

The good news is that Georgia sports the largest increase in period over period signings.  But that’s just a start on filling up a deep hole that was voluntarily dug.  (Don’t forget that even with the uptick over the last five years, the 2013 class has largely vaporized.)  Kirby Smart still has some filling left to do.

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41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

Projected S&P+ rankings for 2016

Bill Connelly’s preseason formula for those is based on a combination of recruiting impact, returning production and recent history.  Georgia comes in 15th, which really doesn’t sound that out of line.  (It’s fifth best in the SEC, right behind Tennessee’s.)

The reason I’d hedge my bet a little on that is because Georgia shows up very well in the third category – eighth – and the staff that put that history together has largely been shown the door.  None of which is to say there can’t be an improvement, but we shouldn’t assume a case of history repeating, either.

5 Comments

Filed under Stats Geek!

From the GPOOE to “the best I’ve ever coached”

What a dazzling life Corch leads.

“I’ve been lucky to coach Alex Smith, who was the No 1 pick, [Tim] Tebow, Zeke [Ezekiel Elliott] … the Pounceys, all these great players,” Meyer said. “It’s hard for me not to say Joey is not the best I’ve ever coached or been around.”

Or he could just be suffering from a case of hyperbolic verbal diarrhea.

9 Comments

Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

That’s Entertainment (and Sports Programming Network).

Remember when ESPN’s public editor asked, “Who’s expected to live by the traditional rules and ethics of journalism, and who isn’t?” and answered by saying,

“Expecting analysts to magically transform into journalists is not a realistic expectation — and, frankly, not the role they are being asked to play.”

Yeah, well, Todd McShay.

I heard from a lot of readers on Twitter looking for information on why ESPN college football reporter and NFL draft analyst Todd McShay was part of Michigan’s signing day event hosted by the Players’ Tribune on Feb. 3 at Hill Auditorium. The optics were odd given this was essentially a pep rally for Michigan and McShay had a formal role in the show. It was unclear if you were watching whether McShay was being paid by Michigan, which would really be odd given he’d have to report on them as a sideline reporter and draft analyst. Viewers clearly notice this stuff.

ESPN management said that McShay was not paid for the appearance and it did not know about his attendance prior to the event. To his credit, McShay answered the question when asked by SI. “I completely understand that I made a mistake and clearly should have discussed this appearance with ESPN in advance,” he said. “I will obviously learn from this situation, and in no way will this compromise the quality or objectivity of my work going forward.”

These guys aren’t even fucking trying anymore.  Sure, Todd, I’ll respect your objectivity as much as you do.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

If you price it, they will come.

And here we go.

A gift from University of Georgia swimming letterman and Atlanta philanthropist Tom Cousins has permanently endowed the UGA head baseball coaching position according to a joint announcement by UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity and the Cousins family.

The position bears the name of Cousins’ father, Ike, a three-sport athlete, including baseball, at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.

It is the first endowed head coaching position at UGA and will be known as the Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach.

The Director of Athletics position was endowed in 2013 by John and Kay Parker of Athens.

In that spirit, I’d like to announce a program here at GTP to raise enough money to endow the Dawgs’ head football coaching position.  I think “Senator Blutarsky Head Football Coach” Kirby Smart has one helluva ring to it, no?

My friends, please join me in this noble effort.  Every dollar counts.

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UPDATE:  There’s gold in them ‘thar names, folks!

According to UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity, the Bulldogs have already exceeded their goal of raising half of the $30 million needed to pay for the 109,000-square-foot building, which has been under construction since mid-December.

“We’re edging up on $16 million,” McGarity said this past week. “So we’ve already exceeded our goal and we still have two big naming opportunities for the field and for the facility itself. … The challenge now is to fund the whole thing since we’ve accomplished what we’ve accomplished, which is a lot in a short time.”

At some point in time, McGarity’s gonna eliminate the middleman and sell the name for the reserve fund.

39 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

COA impact so far? “Not at all.”

Eh, except where it might be.

“Kids and parents and high school coaches and AAU coaches are very aware of what cost of attendance is about and they want to know the number,” says NIU men’s basketball coach Mark Montgomery.

“It’s already a recruiting topic,’ adds [Northern Illinois Football Coach Rod] Carey. “It’s not as big of one as it will become because schools are still figuring out how much and how they’re doing it. Once that has a year to go through, and then you’re going to have comparables. Then yea, oh yea, it’s going to be a recruiting topic.”

No shit, Sherlock.

We’re still in the feeling out stage, but I have a hard time believing that Auburn and Tennessee aren’t pimping out their stipend advantage on the recruiting trail.  And why not?  That’s what it’s there for.  If it were me, I’d be pushing it hard.  It’s not like there’s a downside to doing so.

Now do I think it’s decisive in every kid’s case?  Of course not.  For some, the difference in the amount of the stipend at schools may not be enough to overcome things like playing time, state pride or the perceived quality of a particular program.  But for a recruit facing an all-other-things-being-equal choice, yeah, I suppose a couple of extra thousand dollars a year could be enough to swing a decision.

And as far as “Schools aren’t free to just make up a number, of course” goes… blogger, please.  Come spend some time in SEC Country and let me know how that works.

18 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Now, the hard work begins.

With an exception or two, the recruiting hay is in the barn, for 2016 at least.  The staff got a little reset time this past weekend, but the time has arrived for the nitty gritty to commence.

Smart strengthened bonds with Crimson Tide players before leaving and began forming bonds with the recruits who signed their letters of intent with Georgia last Wednesday, but he did not have time to familiarize himself with the returning Bulldogs.

“We’ve got to get our hands on our players and get into the offseason conditioning program,” Smart said on signing day. “We need to get around those guys and spend more time with them. As a staff, we’re starting on quality control this next week, and I’m really looking forward to that, because that’s the part I enjoy the most.

“I like building relationships with the players. The core of our team this year is on this campus, and we’ve got to develop that.”

Beyond the occasional tweet from the S&C coaches, I doubt we’ll hear very much about that development, and what little we do hear is likely to be your basic offseason happy talk.  But there’s a lot for Smart and the staff to get started with and a fairly short time before the public gets an inkling of how things are going.

The next few weeks will include player meetings and offseason workouts before the calendar flips to March and the start of spring practice. Georgia will hold its G-Day game on April 16, with Smart having issued a challenge to Bulldogs fans to fill all 92,746 seats of Sanford Stadium.

Obviously the quarterback situation is going to suck most of the oxygen out of the room, but there are also legitimate questions about Pittman’s reworking of the offensive line (not to mention what Chaney has in mind with the offense as a whole), the place-kicker competition, who fills in the holes at wide receiver and defensive line and the minor detail of Nick Chubb’s recovery. Whew!

Add on top of that just getting around to developing relationships with the rest of the team already on campus, and Kirby Smart’s got himself a full plate.  It’s a good thing that’s what he enjoys so much, because he’ll certainly be at it for a while.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football