Daily Archives: March 11, 2016

PAC Men

In Today’s Great Ideas Whose Time Has Come,

Division-I athletic directors want to create strong ties with Congress, state legislatures and other governmental bodies, and perhaps start a political action committee. Those are among the goals listed in the 2016-17 strategic plan for the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association, which is trying to make ADs more relevant in shaping the NCAA’s future.  [Emphasis added.]

Question:  would Greg McGarity tap the reserve fund for this?

20 Comments

Filed under College Football, Political Wankery

Life after Jimmy

It appears that at least in one way, Mark Richt’s move to Miami is a step up.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment

Which Jim Chaney will we get this season?

From one of those interminable ESPN pieces that fill every off season:

To me, though, the issue of personnel takes a back seat to philosophy. Jim Chaney is a familiar name in the SEC, but what style will he utilize? He has been a guy who likes to run the ball with power at Arkansas, and he has been a guy who is willing to open up the passing game at spots such as Tennessee, where he produced a 3,600-yard passer in Tyler Bray.

I think that gets things exactly backwards.  Chaney was hired because his offensive philosophy is flexible, based on the tools he has available.  Personnel is very likely to drive his approach this season.  If Nick Chubb makes it back, given the quarterback situation and Pittman’s remaking of the offensive line, it’s close to a lock that Chaney embraces the same power running game he directed at Arkansas.

But what should we expect if Chubb’s recovery is stunted and the offensive line can’t run block to save its life?  Remember that while Jacob Eason is a true freshman, he cut his teeth running a four-wide, shotgun passing attack in high school.  That, too, is an offensive approach with which Chaney has familiarity.

Just as important as the approach Chaney takes is the question of timing.  When does Chaney make that call?  How far can you go into the regular season and make an effective switch while trying to compete for a division title?  Sure, some of that may be dictated by how well the defense and special teams play, but in any event, Chaney’s going to be faced with tougher questions than any other coach on Georgia’s staff this season.

48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

How bad is the SEC East going to be in 2016?

You might want to check out Bruce Feldman’s The Audible podcast with Jim Donnan here.  The general topic under discussion was the pressure facing Kirby Smart in his first season, but starting at about the two-minute mark, they both note how sorry the overall state of the East appears to be.  Donnan in particularly points out how bad the bottom of the division is likely to be.

It’s hard to argue with him about that.

Take a look at how the two divisions finished in Sagarin’s final 2015 ratings.  Start with overall divisional rankings:

 CONFERENCE          CENTRAL MEAN    SIMPLE AVERAGE  TEAMS      WIN50%

   1  SEC-WEST            (A) =  85.47      86.36  (  1)      7      85.98  (  1)
   2  PAC-12(NORTH)       (A) =  79.54      78.56  (  2)      6      79.28  (  2)
   3  BIG 12              (A) =  77.85      76.85  (  4)     10      77.75  (  3)
   4  PAC-12(SOUTH)       (A) =  77.55      76.88  (  3)      6      77.15  (  4)
   5  BIG TEN-EAST        (A) =  76.19      76.49  (  5)      7      76.31  (  5)
   6  ACC-COASTAL         (A) =  75.02      75.28  (  7)      7      75.20  (  7)
   7  ACC-ATLANTIC        (A) =  74.88      75.78  (  6)      7      75.25  (  6)
   8  BIG TEN-WEST        (A) =  74.56      74.01  (  9)      7      74.22  (  9)
   9  SEC-EAST            (A) =  74.07      74.74  (  8)      7      74.54  (  8)
  10  I-A INDEPENDENTS    (A) =  73.06      71.64  ( 10)      3      73.45  ( 10)

That’s not a good look there.  And when you look at the breakdown by team, you get an idea of what Donnan’s talking about.  The lowest rated team in the West last season, Texas A&M, was ranked 33rd by Sagarin; that would have been good for fourth in the East.  But that only begins to tell the whole story, which is the rankings of the teams below that:  Missouri (62nd), South Carolina (65th), Kentucky (81st) and Vanderbilt (82nd).

Two of those teams have new head coaches.  Kentucky has replaced its offensive coordinator.  And the lack of stability extends to Georgia (23rd), with its new head coach, as well as Florida (28th), which fell off badly in the second half of last season and has to reset its offense – again – around a new quarterback and offensive line.

It’s easy to see why Tennessee (10th) is the consensus pick to take the East this season, but even there you’ve got serious questions about the turmoil surrounding the program and the reality that Jones still hasn’t put together a serious run of success against quality opponents.

Obviously, there are no guarantees.  We could see an unexpected breakout team.  But sitting here before spring practice gets underway, it appears that Kirby’s chances for success are definitely helped by the setting in which Georgia finds itself operating.

36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football