Daily Archives: June 20, 2016

What if Jacob Eason is the least mistake-prone of Georgia’s quarterbacks?

I’m not asking out of wishful thinking.  I’m responding to something written and posted at Pro Football Focus.  Rather than projecting Eason’s future based on his G-Day debut – yeah, don’t I know – take a look at the resumes of the other two candidates.

Lambert had a couple of really big performances for the Bulldogs in 2015, and there’s no taking away from that. Most notable was his performance against South Carolina in the third game of the year, when he completed 24-of-25 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns. Simply put, it was one of the best single-game performances we saw from a quarterback all year. So what’s the problem? Well, as good as that performance was, that game was the outlier and there were plenty of struggles to go along with it.

His completion percentage over the course of the season was 63.0 percent, but he had five games where he completed less than 53 percent of his throws, and his adjusted completion percentage over the course of the year, which takes into consideration drops, batted passes, throwaways, spikes and throws while being hit, was just 72.0 percent, ranking 44th in the nation.

The 79th-highest graded quarterback in the nation last year, Lambert’s passing grade of +7.0 was equal to his grade in that game against South Carolina, with the rest of his year rounding out at average, with a lot of ups and downs helping him there. Heading into his senior season, the Bulldogs can’t trust which version of Lambert will turn up on a weekly basis.

Basically what he’s saying there is that the rest of Lambert’s 2015 season completely offset the good he did against South Carolina.  Stats aside, it kind of felt that way to me, too.

As for Ramsey,

Ramsey arrived at Georgia as a four star recruit, but has yet to live up to that hype. In his defense, he’s yet to really get a chance, never attempting more than 14 passes in a single game in the past two seasons. Perhaps he would have had more opportunities however, if he had stood out a little bit more in those games. This past season he attempted four passes of 20 yards or further downfield, with three falling incomplete, and the other being intercepted. He was more consistent between 10 and 19 yards, going five-for-seven, for 84 yards and an interception, but his struggles to push the ball downfield when needed are noted.

571 players took at least one snap at quarterback in 2015, with Ramsey’s grade of -2.0 ranking tied for 390th in the nation. He also lacks the big time throws in his repertoire, with just two throws with a +1.0 grade from 78 passing attempts over the past two seasons, with seven throws grading at -1.0 or worse in that span. It’s hard to judge him fully based on such a small sample size, but he certainly hasn’t shown anything, even in flashes, to think that he can make this starting role for the Bulldogs his own.

It’s great to have a big arm, but if you can’t complete downfield passes, that negates the whole advantage to having that big arm.

So, yeah, while Eason is the greenest and needs to improve to win the job, it’s not like either Lambert or Ramsey can stand pat.  Whoever of the three wins the job needs to be better than he’s been before.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Agent Muschamp’s honeymoon

It’s not every day you see a Gamecock fan urge his fellows thusly:  “… let’s be patient and let Muschamp go to work.”


Filed under 'Cock Envy

Second chance in Tuscaloosa narrowly avoided

Nick Saban’s got his starting left tackle back, y’all.

The district attorney in Monroe, La., decided not to pursue prosecution of Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones, KNOE-TV reported. According to documents tweeted by the TV station, insufficient evidence was the reason the case was dropped.

Evidently, finding “… that a bag of marijuana and a handgun were in plain sight and a stolen handgun was found under the passenger seat” wasn’t sufficient.  Go figure.


UPDATE:  Hang on a minute.

The charges were not dropped completely, however. The clerk’s office said the case could proceed in the future if new evidence is presented. But for now, no future court dates are scheduled.

Maybe they’re waiting to spring those the week before the Alabama-LSU game.


UPDATE #2:  Who said prosecutors don’t have a heart?

District Attorney Jerry Jones confirms that the charges against Alabama athletes Cam Robinson and Laurence ‘Hootie’ Jones have been dropped.

Jerry Jones cited insufficient evidence in proving who was in possession of the gun and the drugs, thus, he is dropping the charges.

Jones says, “I want to emphasize once again that the main reason I’m doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years, working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning.”

Good thing Alabama doesn’t play in a domed stadium.  And, yes, I’m thinking “we were all in the air conditioning” is destined for the Lexicon.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Nick Saban Rules

The money river keeps on rolling.

For all the glum talk about ESPN’s future, it didn’t stop Mickey from shelling out more than a billion dollars over the next six years for the second half of the Big Ten’s media rights package.

The $2.64 billion deals with Fox, ESPN and CBS average $440 million per year and nearly triple the amount ESPN and CBS had been paying for the same programming. ESPN signed a 10-year deal worth $100 million annually in 2006 — a payout that increased to $150 million this year due to the addition of Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers to the conference. CBS paid an average of around $6 million for its current basketball-only deal.

The deal does not include Big Ten Network’s package of rights, which runs to 2031-32.

I suspect the SEC is paying attention.  Unfortunately, its contracts aren’t up for rebidding for a few years.  Unless something comes up, like conference expansion (again)…


Filed under Big Ten Football, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

Where did all the quarterbacks go?

If you want to get some idea of the bigger picture behind Georgia’s quarterback situation over the past few seasons, take a look at David Wunderlich’s breakdowns of the classes of four- and five-star recruits over the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 period who either went to high school in the SEC’s geographic footprint, or signed with an SEC program.

Here’s the list of those kids from Georgia:

  • 2012:  Greyson Lambert (4 star)
  • 2013:  Brice Ramsey (4 star)
  • 2014:  Deshaun Watson (4 star)
  • 2015:  Lorenzo Nunez (4 star)

That’s it.  Georgia has two of them currently on its roster, managed a huge whiff in the case of Watson and wasn’t interested in Nunez, because he’s not a pro-style quarterback.  You could say where things are at now result from a combination of bad luck, timing (given that Aaron Murrey was likely staying in Athens for two more seasons, nobody great was going to sign with Georgia in 2012 in any event) and poor evaluation, but some of it’s also a matter of an overall weak talent pool.

Take a look at David’s charts and you see two grand slams over that four-year period in Watson and Winston, a few starters whose careers are fairly undistinguished to this point and the rest who can’t even make that claim.  No wonder it’s been a down period for quarterbacking in the conference.

2016, at least on paper, seems to indicate a change, in that a number of SEC programs signed highly touted quarterbacks.  But development takes time, some kids don’t pan out, etc.  Smart needs a lot more at the position than he has today.  There are hints on the recruiting trail that he’s doing well at building a pipeline at the position over the next couple of classes; part of what helps there is that the state has some good high-school quarterback talent coming through.

The other part was keeping Eason, the non-local talent, in the fold after Bobo and Richt left.  Hopefully that’s the start of something big.


UPDATE:  David has a follow up piece he posted today.  Of particular note:

There perhaps is no better illustration of the cycle of bad luck the conference has had of late than Georgia of last year. Mark Richt got caught without a quarterback once from 2001-14—remember the Joe Cox year between Matthew Stafford and Murray?—but somehow ended up without one last fall as well. Well, despite the coaching change, UGA signed one of the premier quarterbacks of the ’16 class in Jacob Eason. If he lives up to billing, the Bulldogs will be set at QB no later than 2017.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

At the time, it seemed like a good idea.

Nothing like a good piece of snark – in this case asking a member of the University of Arkansas board of trustees who approved a $160 million stadium expansion because to do otherwise would be “a vote of no confidence in our chancellor, our president and our athletic director” why it’s such a good idea to give a blank check to the man who failed to supervise Bobby Petrino and hired John L. Smith as his replacement.

This is why you have nice things you probably don’t need.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

‘Enough extortion!’

Jon Solomon also linked to this piece about a certain amount of discontent in the Nebraska fan base over a mandatory seat contribution while the school is awash in TV money.  What adds to the situation is that the school sits on a 53-year sellout streak, something the athletic department deploys as a marketing tool to get fans to pony up.

John: “I hate the sellout streak. It’s been overinflated since the ‘Bill Callahan Experiment,’ when tickets ended up on StubHub or in the hands of some guy on the street corner. It wasn’t the everyday fan buying those tickets.

“What really makes me hate the streak are those signs at the stadium: ‘Through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football.’ It’s a guilt trip from the A.D.’s office. … Don’t tell me I don’t love my team just because I won’t fall for what amounts to ‘emotional extortion’ in an attempt to separate me from my cash in the name of preserving this farce of a streak. Like any relationship, it works both ways.

“I predicted the East Stadium expansion would one day bite the athletic department. That day is fast approaching as more and more people say, ‘Enough extortion!’ and all of those new seats start going empty. It’s time for the streak to end so the relationship between fan and team can begin anew.”

I don’t think the streak is in any real jeopardy yet.  As the article notes, there are only about 1,000 tickets outstanding, something that can be attributed to a little more supply hitting the home market last season due to a policy change.  It’s not like there are a helluva lot of other Saturday afternoon entertainment options in Lincoln, Nebraska, either.

But if you read some of the comments in that piece, there are a few themes touched on there that we’ve heard apply in other college stadiums.  If there’s a canary in the coal mine, you wonder how many ADs can hear it chirping.


Filed under College Football

Don’t ask, don’t comment.

Jon Solomon mentions that Jeffrey Kessler is interested in looking at the television deals with the P5 conferences.  The arguments for his interest?

The Alston and Jenkins plaintiffs said these documents are relevant because the NCAA and conferences “are grounding their defenses on arguments relating to financial, consumer interest, and student welfare issues.” The defendants have claimed that allowing athletes to be paid would mean reduced scholarships and opportunities for athletes.

A key issue for the Alston/Jenkins plaintiffs is proving consumer demand won’t be hurt if athletes are paid. Given that TV money continues to escalate even as football and basketball players got paid for the full cost of attendance last year, the plaintiffs wrote that “shows that loosening restrictions on payments to athletes has had no adverse impact on the attractiveness of these media properties to networks and consumers.”

The plaintiffs said they also want the documents to show contract terms illustrating the increasing time demands imposed on athletes with weeknight games. They cited North Carolina coach Roy Williams’ outrage at late-night start times for TV, in which he said, “We sacrifice your third child and anything else for the dollar.” One defense by the NCAA and conferences against paying players is the quality of the collegiate experience while integrating them with other students.

If the plaintiffs get their hands on this stuff, I foresee a lot of Stacey Osburn no comments coming.



Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA