Welcome to the U, Coach.
Daily Archives: June 24, 2016
If you’re the Big 12 or the Pac-12 and you’re worried about the spreading revenue gap between you and the Big Ten and SEC, what do you do?
Why, you fret about competitive balance. And then you start pondering restrictions.
In March, Clemson hired longtime Grayson High coach Mickey Conn to take a position on coach Dabo Swinney’s staff as a senior defensive assistant. Swinney also hired a high-school coach who had developed a powerful team in South Carolina to be the Tigers’ senior offensive assistant.
The hires did not escape the notice of Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and others, who have seen some schools’ staffs swell in size while others have remained comparatively static.
“It’s turning into basketball because what happens is you go and you hire the high school coaches, and then that helps you in recruiting,” Johnson said.
That particular recruiting tactic aside, the increase and disparity in the size of football staffs has gained the attention of coaches, administrators and chief decision makers. By NCAA rules, FBS teams may have 10 full-time coaches and four graduate assistants. While the size of a team’s strength-and-conditioning staff is limited to five, there are no limits on other positions, such as quality control, operations and recruiting…
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who is the chairman of the NCAA’s football oversight committee tasked with overseeing competitive issues in the game, said the possibility of a cap is on the table with the committee.
He noted what he termed a growing trend of personnel who aren’t technically coaches but are involved in preparing for games, such as Conn.
“And so I would say that there are some universities where it’s gotten out of control, and I think there’s probably some appetite for some limitations,” Bowlsby said.
Of course, this is Bob Bowlsby speaking, which means things are drawn in infinite shades of gray.
“But then, the other side of it, we aren’t all created equal and we never have been created all equally. You don’t want to go too far down the path of trying to legislate competitive equity, because it’s largely a mirage.”
In short, expect the whining to continue, but little else. Then again, imagine what things are going to sound like if player payment ever becomes a reality.
Bruce Feldman has done an excellent job of summarizing about how I see this year’s Georgia team at the moment.
I suspect Jacob Eason, the touted true freshman quarterback, will be the Dawgs starter sooner than later even if it’s not in the opener against UNC. He’s talented, but keep in mind that unlike some other also hyped true freshman QBs, Eason didn’t quite face the same level of competition in high school these other guys did. Adjusting to the speed of the SEC could take more than many expect.
If Nick Chubb is back to 100 percent, the offense should still be formidable, although they do have to fill some holes on the O-line and there is pressure for a new No. 1 WR (Terry Godwin?) to emerge. Maybe 6-5 JC transfer Javon Wims can be that guy.
Losing to any ACC team that isn’t Clemson or Florida State in Atlanta won’t look good to UGA fans, but UNC is underrated. I still think the Dawgs win, but the double of at Ole Miss and then Tennessee is much trickier. My hunch is Georgia opens 3-2, but after that things ease up a bunch. They get Auburn and Georgia Tech in Athens and Florida is a fringe top-25 team this year.
Eason and Chubb are the wild cards. The schedule is Georgia’s friend. The talent should suffice to get the program to at least nine wins, if the coaching is able to overcome the lapses in focus that tripped up Richt on occasion. Which I why I agree with Feldman that, barring a catastrophic injury run such as we saw in 2013, less than nine wins is going to be a disappointment. Should that happen, it’s going to be a reflection on the coaching staff more than the roster.
I noted yesterday that Georgia has at least a slight edge in scheduling over Tennessee because of the cross-division matchups. If LSU is as good as some people believe, you’d have to think Georgia has a similar advantage over Florida.
It’s not getting a lot of attention now, but there’s a part of me that thinks dumping Jancek and replacing him with Bob Shoop may turn out to be the best offseason coaching move in the conference. Here’s what Ed Aschoff notes about UT’s new defensive coordinator:
Butch Jones’ hiring of former Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop was an outstanding hire. Tennessee’s defense was lagging before, but Shoop will bring a much more aggressive style to a unit that already has a ton of athleticism and speed. Tennessee’s defense had OK overall numbers in 2015, but it also helped the Vols lose three games in which they led by double digits. Shoop’s last five defenses, including three with Vanderbilt, ranked in the top 25 in total defense and forced a total of 120 turnovers. This past season, the Nittany Lions ranked 14th nationally in total defense (324.5 ypg) and 25th in defensive efficiency (69.2).
He’s got a good track record. He’s got SEC experience. He’s a major upgrade. If the Vols break through this season, he’ll probably turn out to be the big reason why.
Nothing comes easy in Waco. The school announced yesterday that it was releasing five of its 2016 signees from their national letters of intent, which means they’ll be free to sign elsewhere.
The school didn’t announce which five were released. Which presents something of a problem in that seven kids asked for releases (although one subsequently decided to stay).