Daily Archives: April 5, 2016


It turns out that Georgia has a name for the sixth defensive back position in its dime package.

Davis is practicing at cornerback, the “Star” position and at the “Money” spot in the dime package.

If you’re wondering where the nomenclature came from, the answer probably won’t surprise you too much.

The extra defensive back in the nickel is called the “Star.” The sixth DB in the dime plays the “Money” position.

The terms for these important positions originated during Saban’s days as the defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and coach Bill Belichick, from 1991-94.

“In the old days, I called the fifth defensive back nickel back, and we never really played six defensive backs,” he said…

“The Star really is the Sam, so he wanted an s-word for that position. When you put six guys in the game, whether it’s a sub linebacker or a sixth defensive back, we had nickel, dime, dollar. Different money terms.”

The sixth defensive back takes the place of the weak inside linebacker.

“But when you talk to players, you can say, ‘Look, these linebackers on the team are all going to play Money. These DBs on the team are going to learn how to play Money,’” Saban said.

“Because when it comes to the assignments of the defense, the position is the same. It’s just they’ve got four wideouts in there now, so the linebacker can’t cover, so we put another DB in there. That make sense?

“So we just started calling that the Money position. It could be nickel, dime or dollar. That was Bill’s sort of system, but it made lots of sense to me. Just like everything else we did, we categorized things for the players. I think it made it better for the players.”

It’s something Smart and Tucker are obviously comfortable using, the inevitable Jerry Maguire jokes aside.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“This is not a splash move by Georgia for headlines.”

Take that, Jim Harbaugh.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Mistakes were made. But not by Corch.

If you’re Urban Meyer, you’re stung by the accusation of a recruit who claims to have been “treated like crap” by you on a recruiting visit and you feel the need to respond, how do you proceed?

This is how you do it.

But when asked about Young’s comments Tuesday, Meyer seemed displeased with how his staff handled the 6-foot-7, 270-pound’s recruitment rather than the player himself.

“Sure I can (comment), they’re signed,” Meyer said. “I did read it. We had a lot of respect for him as a player. A lot. I was very disappointed in our staff that we didn’t offer him earlier.

“About treating him bad, we don’t do that on purpose. If that’s his feelings. I went back and talked to our staff about it, because I don’t want that to be out there.

“But when you have one out of 650 that say someone is treated bad, you know? We didn’t offer him earlier, but we did want to offer him. Afterward, he really grew on me. He’s a great player and I think we missed on him early on, and I was very upset with our coaching staff, the recruiter and that area and the position coach.

Notice the word “me” missing there?  Just to refresh

I went up and said, ‘Coach (Meyer), what was the reason that you all of a sudden offered me?’ He said, ‘We looked at your tape, and it was pretty good and I saw interest in that.’ I said, ‘Well coach, back when I was just committing to Kentucky and keeping my options open, I came up to a camp and sent you my film and everything, and you didn’t even reply. It seemed like y’all just deleted it.’

He said, ‘Well, if you look back at that time, you were how big?’ I said, ‘6-7, 270, just like I am now.’ He said, ‘Well, you were an insubstantial tackle, an insubstantial player,’ so he was saying I (didn’t) even amount to being able to be recruited by Ohio State as a four-star tackle. He said, ‘Now what offers did you have?’ I said, ‘I had my one from Kentucky,’ and he said, ‘Well, you were an insubstantial player with insubstantial offers from an insubstantial school.’  [Emphasis added.]

The best thing about this is the local media giving Meyer a pass here because he didn’t criticize the kid.  Gotta love that.



Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

“He’s really creative the way he uses the tight ends.”

I tell you what – one obvious way I’m going to judge Jim Chaney’s success as an offensive coordinator this season is if I don’t wind up throwing Brian Schottenheimer back in his face at the end of it.

It’s not like that’s a particularly high bar to cross, either.  Georgia’s leading receiver in 2015 at that position was Jeb Blazevich:  15 catches, 144 yards, 1 TD.  That’s more catches and touchdowns than the rest of the tight end group had combined.


Filed under Georgia Football

“The reaction was largely silence.”

This article is bound to bother the hell out of some of you.  I’ll be honest – it disturbed me, too.  Not because it’s poorly researched, or clumsily argued, but because when I rail about the unfairness of the NCAA’s amateurism protocol, I tend to do so from the perspective of someone who believes in the purity of the classical liberal approach to free markets and leave it at that.

That’s all fine, but it ignores the reality of race.  And while I don’t think amateurism at its heart has ever been about racial animus (nor do I think that about the people running college athletics)…

Understand this: there’s nothing inherently racist about amateurism itself. And there’s no reason to believe that its defenders and proponents—including current NCAA president Mark Emmert—are motivated by racial animus. When amateurism was fashioned out of whole cloth by Victorian-era English aristocrats, its ethos was strictly classist: snobby upper-class rowers didn’t want to compete against unwashed bricklayers and factory workers, and concocting an ersatz Greek athletic ideal of no-pay-for-play provided convenient justification. Likewise, the American colleges that copied their English counterparts at the dawn of the 20th century weren’t looking to plunder African-American athletic labor—not when their sports and campuses, like society at large, were still segregated.

Today, the economic exploitation within college sports remains race-neutral on its face. The association’s strict prohibition on campus athletes receiving any compensation beyond the price-fixed value of their athletic scholarships applies equally to players of every color. White former Texas A&M University quarterback Johnny Manziel couldn’t cash in on his market value any more than black former Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton could. When black former Vanderbilt University center Festus Ezeli was suspended in 2011 for accepting a meal and a hotel room from a school alumnus, it wasn’t any different than when white former University of Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch was suspended eleven years earlier for accepting a plane ride and a ham sandwich from a candidate for the school’s board of regents.

… it’s simply impossible to deny the math that suggests strongly that the college athletics business model is powered by racial exploitation.  Black men made up only 2.5 percent of the overall student population at the schools in the five biggest Division I conferences.  Yet, look at this chart.


Then, look at these charts.


After seeing that, how do you argue against a conclusion like this?

“You could argue that the system is not failing us, that it is doing exactly what it is intended to do, ” says Eddie Comeaux, an associate professor of higher education at the University of California, Riverside who has studied race, diversity, and structural inequality in college sports, and once played Division I baseball at the University of California, Berkeley. “Think of the stakeholders. The coaches, presidents, the people in positions of privilege and power—namely, white men—all benefit handsomely from this enterprise.”

Along those same lines, consider this rebuttal to the argument you hear from many that the revenue generated by these black student-athletes in football and men’s basketball is needed to allow schools to pursue their agenda of promoting the athletic experience for students in non-revenue generating sports.


This matters, too. As Fortune points out, U.S. Census data indicates that African-American households make around $35,000 a year, about 35 percent less than the average white household. Meanwhile, the Aspen Institute’s Project Play reports that the poorer the family, the less access their children typically have to the increasingly expensive youth sport feeder system that stocks the rosters of these non-revenue sports. The result? Black athletes paying the freight for white ones, even though the former group is more likely to need the money than the latter. “The idea that you rob the poor to pay the rich is what’s happening,” says Renae Steiner, a Minneapolis-based antitrust lawyer who worked on the O’Bannon case. “The [college] lacrosse team gets no revenue. Well, who plays lacrosse?”

The numbers are brutal.  And there’s much more in that piece than I’ve quoted here.  For those of you offended by what that suggests, and those of you who, like me, want to resist acceptance of the statistics because it leads to a conclusion you don’t want to draw as a fair one, run through this mental exercise and answer it honestly.

A few weeks ago, Yee spoke to students and faculty at the University of Virginia’s School of Law, his graduate alma mater. When college sports came up, he noted that most NCAA-level women’s cross-country teams are made up of white runners. He then asked listeners to participate in a thought exercise. Imagine, he said, if those teams brought in millions of dollars. Then imagine if the money mostly went to well-paid black administrators, and to black athletes competing in non-revenue sports. Would that situation be tolerated, let alone tolerated for decades?

This is the kind of stuff left unresolved that eventually fuels revolutions.  I’m not talking about the kind with guns, of course.  Just the kind with player strikes and lawsuits.

“They’ve imposed a tax on football and basketball players,” says Sonny Vaccaro, the longtime shoe company dealmaker who helped spearhead the O’Bannon lawsuit and has become one of the NCAA’s most vocal critics. “That’s what it is. A tax. Like what the British put on the Americans. They take the money that could be pouring back into those player’s lives. The money comes from mostly one segment of society: African Americans.

“It is Downton Abbey. We just won’t accept it.”

It’s easy to suggest things like making student-athletes’ admission strictly reflect the admission standards of the general student body, but that ain’t happening, because it doesn’t fit with the schools’ business model.  Nobody’s paying billions to watch cross-country or equestrian riding on ESPN.  There aren’t recruiting services following women’s crew religiously.  We’re just not that interested.

Let’s face it.  If it did fit, we’d already be there.  (Remember Jim Delany’s threat to go Division III with the Big Ten?  Good times.)  Instead, you’ve got this structure that’s becoming ever more creaky, ever more hypocritical, largely because the money flowing through has become so enormous that it’s impossible for any of us to ignore and because the schools are too addicted to the cash to face going cold turkey… at least willingly.

Don’t stop with the schools, though.  We’re part of the sausage making, too.  At heart, it’s our interest in the revenue generating sports that’s driving this train and makes the math we find so disturbing a real thing.

It’s only going to get uglier.  Even if the NCAA refuses to see that, don’t say you weren’t warned.  Math is hard.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Three and out or up?

No pressure, Kirby.

If something big is going to happen, the odds are good that it will have happened by the end of a head coach’s third year on the job.

Since 2006, 46 teams have improved by at least 14 adjusted points per game (per S&P+) from one year to the next. That’s about four to five big leaps per season for the entire country. From this group of 46, 36 were led by coaches that were either in their first (10), second (13), or third (13) years…

By your third year on the job, the program is mostly yours. Sure, there are some fourth- or fifth-year guys who were recruited by your predecessor, but the depth chart is mostly filled with guys you signed. Plus, you’ve got the lay of the land by now — you’ve got a decent read on your conference foes, you know which boosters you have to most obsessively placate, etc.

You could argue that Smart already has a leg up on Bill’s “lay of the land” point there.  And those seniors he was bequeathed by Richt aren’t exactly chopped liver.

Does a three-year time frame for success in Athens sound like a reasonable expectation to you?


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

He’s got a satellite camp in his pocket and he’s not afraid to use it.

I guess we’re going to hear threats all week from various SEC head coaches about how they’re prepared to get medieval on Jim Harbaugh’s ass if the NCAA doesn’t do something right nowHere’s TAMU’s Kevin Sumlin:

With the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 allowing satellite camps, Sumlin said SEC coaches anticipate the league’s proposal not to pass, so the Aggies have already made plans for their own camps outside of Texas.

“Our commissioner (Greg Sankey) has spoken and said if it’s not revised or revoked, then we’re going to be able to do it,” Sumlin said Monday.

“I know there are a number of SEC programs that are set and ready to go if it happens. We will have satellite camps outside of the state. We’re ready to go. They’re already on the calendar. We’ve got some tentative dates and locations set, so that if things go a certain way, we can be prepared to go. We’re not the only SEC team that’s doing that, too.”

“It’s has to be all or nothing for us,” Sumlin said. “It’s either we join what everybody else is doing with the satellite camp situation and we move on from there, or we don’t and nobody does them. Either we do it like everybody else or nobody does.”

Geez, man, just do it already.  The world won’t end either way.


Filed under SEC Football