Daily Archives: April 9, 2016

Back to the garage for the Gus Bus

I know it’s only a spring game, but even with that in mind, I have to think that Auburn’s teams’ offenses going a combined 1 for 22 on third-down conversions isn’t particularly happy news for Malzahn.

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UPDATE:  Nor is this.

Auburn’s A-Day crowd is among the best in school history, but it still managed to be the least-attended spring scrimmage of the Gus Malzahn era.

An estimated crowd of 45,723 watched the game, ranking sixth overall in school history for an A-Day scrimmage. It’s the worst number since 2012, when 43,427 showed up to watch Gene Chizik‘s final spring as the Tigers’ head coach.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

If Kirby ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

Here’s today post-scrimmage presser.

It sounds like he’s trying to figure out if the running game is coming along, or if it’s just a mirage.

Same with the offensive line.

Smart opined that the better pass protection on Saturday could have had something to do with the offense trying to run the ball more, thus mixing up the calls for the defense. But Smart added that the pass pockets were generally better, and “it was a different vibe” in pass protection.

“Was it because Isaiah was (at left tackle) and Gaillard was at guard, it may have been. It may have been because we ran it better,” Smart said. “But certainly it was more efficient. I stand behind the quarterback in the scrimmage and I could see down the field. Last (scrimmage) it was chaos.”

Honestly, I’d rather hear that than more happy talk.

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“I think it’s going to go into August. I think it has to…”

“It” being Georgia’s quarterback competition.

Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey once again split first-team snaps in Saturday scrimmage, with Jacob Eason mostly going with the third team, but going some with the second team. It’s not clear whether it will be that way on G-Day, but Smart said the reps have been split close to even among the three.

“I need to use this game (G-Day next Saturday) to judge, because this is hopefully going to be a real-game environment. I wouldn’t want to name anybody going into it,” Smart said. “We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to manage it. Because obviously there’s two teams and there’s three quarterbacks, so you do the math. Do you let two guys go with the ones, do you let Jacob go with the twos? I mean, we’ve got to talk about that as a staff. We may even roll those guys so they’re not on one team.

“We’ve got to get the evaluation we need. That’s the most important thing. It’s not who’s with what group. It’s how many reps we can get them.”

More important than G-Day QBR?  Man, get your priorities straight.

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The NCAA, helping the rich get richer since 1906

The reviews are in on yesterday’s decision to ban satellite camps.  It’s a boffo box office smash!

Bruce Feldman:  “In the end this will be seen by many as the NCAA putting Harbaugh and other cold weather coaches in their places but in reality it’s just closing the window on more recruits getting exposure to more coaches — and taking away more opportunity. And that’s nothing to celebrate.”

South Florida coach Willie Taggart:  “If you really think about it, [camps are] the right thing to do. Kids are going to camps all over the country, spending all this money to try and get the most amount of exposure, when it’s the schools that have all the money. The schools should be moving around so the players can get a larger variety of teams.”

Mike Leach: “It appears that the selfish interests of a few schools and conferences prevailed over the best interests of future potential student-athletes,” WSU coach Mike Leach said in a text message to the Seattle Times. “The mission of universities and athletic programs should be to provide future student-athletes with exposure to opportunities, not to limit them. It appears to me that some universities and conferences are willing to sacrifice the interests of potential student-athletes for no better reasons than to selfishly monopolize their recruiting bases.”

Kevin Scarbinsky:  “But seriously, and sadly, the biggest losers here are the members of what should be the most important constituency in college football. They’re the young men playing the game that enriches so many others, and as often happens when men in suits make this kind of decision, it reinforces the notion that college football isn’t all that interested in putting its players first.”

Houston Strake Jesuit coach James Clancy: “Helping kids is supposed to be why we do what we do, and this doesn’t help them in any way,” Clancy, who had three recruits sign with FBS programs in 2016, said. “It’s very disappointing. Every year, we would have kids that didn’t need to leave the Houston area to get exposure to out-of-city or out-of-state schools. Not every kid can afford the major expense to travel to a camp. People who make the decisions need to remember that it is all about the kids who are chasing dreams.”

Paul Myerberg“The new legislation hurts the Group of Five, but the real losers are clear: under-recruited prospects who used these camps to gain access to potential scholarship offers. If a move designed to even the playing field on a conference-wide level, the NCAA has instead robbed prospective student-athletes from casting their own wide recruiting net.

For every five-star recruit there are hundreds — if not thousands — of prospects angling for an opportunity. Technological advancements, such as the Hudl program used on nearly every level of football, have made it easier to sell oneself to an FBS or FCS program. Yet for school or player alike, there was no replacing the in-person audition.

There’s also a dollars-and-cents issue. Official visits are paid for by the host university, but can only be held during the regular season. At any other point, recruits must pay their own way to visit a university — demanding not only time but money, particularly if the trip includes family members.

Satellite camps brought recruiting to a local level, allowing recruits in a certain region — as with California prospects and Boise State last summer — similar access to coaches and instruction at a fraction of the cost. Based on what they saw at their camps, Boise State coaches estimated that six or seven recruits would be extended scholarship offers.

There’s the paradox of the satellite-camp ban: While it aids the SEC, keeping interlopers out of its recruiting backyard, the new legislation comes at a substantial cost to a wide swath of the FBS — and to the majority of potential student-athletes, many of whom leaned on the access provided by these camps to raise their own recruiting profile.

Seem fair? It’s not. Aimed a closing a loophole, the NCAA ban has instead slammed the door on the individuals it is designed to represent.”

I’m detecting a common theme here.  Then there’s this, too.

This was Alleva last spring to 104.5 FM ESPN in Baton Rouge: “Mainly what I’m concerned about is other schools coming into our state and stealing our kids.”

“Our” kids, eh?  I didn’t realize all Louisiana high schoolers belong to LSU.  Must be a real bitch for the other in state schools.

“We had Georgia State, West Georgia, Kennesaw State, Georgia Southern, and App State all lined up to come to our camp with Ohio State,” Central (Georgia) Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford said. “They loved and wanted that chance to evaluate that many kids that they wouldn’t have had a change to otherwise. I think people forget all about them with this decision. They don’t have the budget of major universities and we will see opportunities lost because of this decision.

“This decision impacts so many players on so many different levels. The high school recruit is the big loser today.”

And the big winner?  Well, start here…

“This happened because the SEC coaches are mad at Jim Harbaugh,” said one non-Power Five head coach. “That’s all. It’s a (expletive) joke. Think about all the kids who could’ve ended up getting MAC scholarships because they got seen by someone who probably would never have saw them before. That’s who you’re really hurting. What about those kids? It’s going to force these kids to spend more money. All you’re doing is providing more exposure.”

…  add to it the three other P5 conferences that voted with the SEC to end the practice.  And don’t forget to throw a little shit Harbaugh’s way for grandstanding about a practice that had gone on quietly and usefully for a number of years.

Nice, guys.  Give yourselves a collective pat on the back.

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UPDATE:

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Recruiting, The NCAA

Because that’s where the money is.

Two tweets that explain a lot about recruiting in Alabama and Georgia.

If you’re Malzahn or Saban, you pretty much have to do two things:  (1) lock your home state down and (2) look east for more.

I doubt changing Georgia’s Open Records law will change that much.

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“This allows coaches to go ahead and cross that last hurdle…”

Because nothing says “help the kids” like letting football coaches have unlimited contact with them.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

There are days…

… when I can see why a midwest football program might like to schedule spring practice down South.

 

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major