Daily Archives: March 3, 2016

Just when you thought the NCAA couldn’t get any more NCAA-ish…

The Ivy League, as you’re probably aware, has taken the step of cancelling live tackling in practices during the season to cut down on the risk of player injury.  One of the motivating factors for that was the experience Columbia University’s football team has had using a mechanized tackling dummy in practice – something it’s been doing for five years.

Buddy Teevens told Dan Patrick on air this morning that his program hasn’t tackle live during practice in five years and he and his staff have turned that into part of their recruiting pitch, telling recruits that they will “never tackle one of their teammates in their four of five years on campus” . Last year, Teevens made a splash with the introduction of Dartmouth’s Mobile Virtual Player (MVP), a groundbreaking mobile pop-up dummy that can simulate a ball carrier, or a second level defender for offensive lineman to practice their cut blocks on.

When I saw Teevens speak at the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association a few weeks ago as part of the Practice Like the Pros speaking circuit, he said when he first told his defensive coordinator of the no-tackling policy he looked back at him like he was crazy.

It didn’t take long for him to see the benefits though. Teevens told Dan Patrick and his crew that after their first season implementing the changes, missed tackles at Dartmouth dropped “literally 50%.” Let that sink in for a second. No live tackling, only dummies, and immediate results. Think of how much better your program would have been last season if you could have cut your missed tackles in half.

When asked if they practice tackling at Dartmouth, Teevens responded, “We do. A lot of high schools do a wonderful job, but to hone skills and keep them sharp. The hard thing is, it’s the most injurious skill on the football field, and it is practiced the least as a result.”

“By doing it with bags, we become a lot more consistent, and a lot more confident by player. And actually, the first season we went to this we dropped our missed tackles literally 50%. We cut them in half.”

Better safety and better fundamentals?  How great is that?

Pretty great, except for one thing.  It’s an NCAA rule violation.

But after our piece ran yesterday, it was brought to our attention that, by our interpretation, the NCAA has stated using Dartmouth’s MVP or anything of the sort is unethical.

Page FR-10 of the 2015 NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations book (download a free PDF here) details “Coaching Ethics.” The section header reads:

“Deliberately teaching players to violate the rules is indefensible. The coaching of intentional holding, beating the ball, illegal shifting, feigning injury, interference, illegal forward passing or intentional roughing will break down rather than aid in the building of the character of players. Such instruction is not only unfair to one’s opponent but is demoralizing to the players entrusted to a coach’s care and has no place in a game that is an integral part of an educational program.”

The section then outlines unethical practices, point by point. Point A discourages teams from changing players’ numbers during a game to deceive the opponent. Point B outlaws using the helmet as a weapon.

Point C reads, “Using a self-propelled mechanical apparatus in the teaching of blocking and tackling.”

You literally can’t make that shit up.

Football Scoop has reached out to Rogers Redding for an explanation, and I, for one, can’t wait to hear it.



Filed under The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Jim Harbaugh… [drops the mic]

At this point, what more can you say about his epic trollery?

Purely from a blogging perspective, when the day comes that Saban retires, I hope Alabama throws a shit ton of money in Harbaugh’s direction to get him down here.  The fun would never stop.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football

The best laid plans of mice and Bert

Curses, foiled again!

Nah, that makes no sense to me, either.  But I give him credit for asking.


UPDATE:  The NCAA explains why it’s on the mother.

“There won’t be any coaches here,” said Chris Howard, NCAA director of enforcement for football development.

Whether Bielema and Dantonio were serious or not, their tweets Wednesday prompted Howard to contact and remind them this is a quiet period in recruiting, when coaches are not allowed to visit a prospect’s school. So no opposing coaches are allowed at IMG Academy, home to many FBS draft prospects and the site of Michigan’s weeklong spring practice session.

The NCAA allows practice at a high school facility as long as the school pays rent to use it. Elizabeth Heinrich, Michigan senior associate athletic director for compliance, said the school worked through the NCAA to provide the expenses for practice.

So as long as you pay the high school, it’s okay to be there – but if you’re there for free, it’s not.

If you think that sounds like it comes straight out of the “when is a bagel a snack and when is it a meal?” rulebook, you’re not alone.


Filed under Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, Recruiting, The NCAA

“I understand right from wrong.”

Mr. Conventional Wisdom’s interview with Booch is every bit the hard-hitting exercise in journalism you’d expect.  If I get the gist of Barnhart’s keen insight correctly, Jones and Tennessee have a couple of things working in their favor:  Booch’s dad was a police chief (“I have grown up in a law-enforcement culture,” Jones said.) and Notre Dame is facing a Title IX investigation, too.

Despite that, Mr. CW ponders the shocking possibility that UT might have to settle.

But even a successful fight could take years and several million dollars in legal fees. Given the nuances and the cut-throat nature of recruiting, could Tennessee football survive such a protracted legal battle in the court of public opinion? And will that same court of public opinion pronounce Tennessee guilty if it settles?

Will no one step up to comfort the Urnge if there’s no admission of liability?  As long as the man has a forum in which to express himself, I suspect he’ll be around with a box of Kleenex.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Media Punditry/Foibles

A brief slog through Georgia’s offensive efficiency numbers

Coachingsearch.com put up this chart of the 2015 national leaders in points per play plays per point:


Pace doesn’t matter for purposes of efficiency, but things like turnover margin, starting field position and special teams play do, of course. (Yeah, so does scoring, smart ass.) Anyway, Georgia doesn’t appear anywhere on that list and I thought it might be interesting to get some perspective on the Dawgs’ offensive efficiency last season.

Start with the SEC.  Here’s how the conference’s fourteen teams ranked last season (all stats via cfbstats.com, natch):

  • Mississippi — 1.79
  • Arkansas — 1.90
  • LSU — 1.99
  • Alabama — 2.07
  • Mississippi State — 2.07
  • Tennessee — 2.16
  • Georgia — 2.38
  • Auburn — 2.50
  • Texas A&M — 2.73
  • Kentucky — 2.76
  • Florida — 2.82
  • South Carolina — 2.94
  • Missouri — 4.72
  • Vanderbilt — 4.79

Okay, Georgia’s seventh place finish wasn’t scintillating, but it wasn’t totally awful either.  Georgia’s problem on offense was that in addition to not being particularly efficient, it wasn’t particularly prolific, either, running only 62.54 plays a game on average.  Even Missouri ran more plays per game.  That’s how you wind up below the conference average in scoring.

Not only that, but when you put Georgia’s points per play plays per point number in historical perspective…

  • 2014:  1.63
  • 2013:  1.98
  • 2012:  1.75
  • 2011:  2.27
  • 2010:  1.95
  • 2009:  2.11
  • 2008:  2.02

… it was Georgia’s worst in eight seasons.  And that’s a stretch that covers all kinds of situations – new quarterbacks, the rash of injuries in 2013, negative turnover margins, the Logan Gray fair catch specialist era, etc.  Like it or not, the 2015 squad struggled harder to score than any Richt team we saw for many years.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Kickers are like beer.

You can never have enough of ’em.

Mitchell Wasson is coming to Georgia with an eye on winning the kicking job.

The Lassiter High senior committed to the Bulldogs as a preferred walk-on, he revealed on his Twitter account on Wednesday night.

A day after backing off a pledge to Alabama, Wasson accepted a chance to compete to be Georgia’s placekicker. He’ll join the mix with walk-ons Rodrigo Blankenship and William Ham as the Bulldogs seek a replacement for Marshall Morgan.

“I definitely feel like I could start right off the gate,” Wasson said on Tuesday.

Hey, who’s to say he’s wrong?  If Blankenship was the slam dunk some believe him to be, I doubt we’d see the program coaxing a kid like Ham back or welcoming Wasson with eager arms.

Shane Beamer’s gonna be one busy dude come August.


Filed under Georgia Football