Daily Archives: June 29, 2016

Just when you think things couldn’t get any creepier…

I mean, what could possibly go wrong here?

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Gus’ Grand Illusion

He doesn’t want much.

Gus Malzahn’s No. 1 goal this upcoming season is to field a top-10 defense. Yes, you heard that correctly.

“It’s not offense. It’s not ‘this or that.’ It’s for us to play top 10 defense,” Malzahn said this spring, according to Auburn’s official website.

To give you an idea of how off the charts this is, here’s Auburn’s national ranking in total defense over the last six seasons:

  • 2015 — 71st
  • 2014 — 66th
  • 2013 — 87th
  • 2012 — 81st
  • 2011 — 80th
  • 2010 — 60th

I’m sensing a pattern here, and it ain’t top ten.  And that’s with defensive stalwarts like Boom, Ellis Johnson, VanGorder and Chizik having their fingers in the mix.

Good luck with all that, Kevin Steele.

36 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Stats Geek!

What if nobody gets it?

Chip Towers previews Georgia’s quarterbacks this morning, and while his conclusion is nothing earthshaking (“Look for the Bulldogs to go with Lambert early but play Eason a lot until they feel comfortable with his ability to lead the offense.”), he does write one thing worth noting.

One can be sure that offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jim Chaney will have a quick trigger if things aren’t going well.

I don’t know enough about Chaney’s career to say whether he likes to channel his inner Spurrier if his quarterbacks aren’t playing to his liking, but for the sake of argument, let’s assume he does.  Who’s likely to emerge from the quarterback shuffle?

My bet would be all in on Greyson Lambert, for one reason:  he’s the one quarterback at Chaney’s disposal who’s used to playing musical chairs as the starter, both at Virginia and last season at Georgia.  If Ramsey blows another chance, it’s likely to be his last in red and black, while Eason will just need more time – and be given more time – to develop.

Would it be the end of the world were that to happen?  Well, it would likely mean the initial five-game stretch to start the season would be a little rocky, but remember that Lambert didn’t lose a game after he regained his starting status last year and that the rest of this year’s schedule isn’t that daunting.  If Chaney has a healthy Nick Chubb at his disposal for the second half of the season, the offense is manageable, if not exactly prolific.

While it may not be an optimal scenario, given that Chaney made a competent quarterback out of Nathan Peterman last season with a weaker surrounding cast than whoever is named Georgia’s starter will have to play with in 2016, if none of the three can lock down the job early, Lambert should prove serviceable.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Title IX in reverse

What if the problem isn’t that Title IX hamstrings schools from complying with funding equality between the sexes, but that the NCAA hamstrings Title IX?

The NCAA limits the number of scholarships schools can award in each sport. For example, men’s basketball teams in Division I can only award 13 scholarships per year, while women’s teams can award 15. Under Title IX, schools are supposed to spend athletic aid dollars in proportion to each gender’s participation; an unexplained disparity of more than one percentage point indicates a possible violation of the law. If a school sees that it’s underfunding women’s athletic aid, however, it can’t just freely hand out more scholarships to female athletes—that would exceed the NCAA’s per-sport scholarship caps, which would result in association sanctions, including the possible loss of more scholarships in the future.

In other words: the NCAA is potentially limiting opportunities for female athletes, and making it harder for schools to follow federal law.

Take Notre Dame, which says it is “fully funded” in women’s sports, meaning that it is giving out all of the scholarships it possibly can under the association’s caps. Nevertheless, the school has a three percent equity gap—that is, there is a three-point difference between the rate of women’s participation in sports and the rate they are awarded athletic scholarship dollars.

If Notre Dame didn’t have to follow NCAA rules, the school says, it would offer more scholarships to female athletes.

“With respect to financial aid, all 13 of our women’s intercollegiate athletic programs receive the NCAA maximum number of scholarship dollars,” Notre Dame senior associate athletic director for business Jill Bodensteiner wrote to VICE Sports in an email. In a follow-up email, she wrote, “The NCAA limits do have an impact. And yes, we would try to be ‘fully funded’ in all sports if they were increased”—as long as increases didn’t further give an advantage to Notre Dame’s sponsored men’s sports.

It’s not just Notre Dame. In 2013-14, Florida State had an 8.5-point equity gap. It would have cost the Seminoles roughly $681,000 more in women’s athletic scholarships to make things even—an amount the school’s athletic department almost certainly could have afforded.

Tough luck, ladies.  Sure helps the schools’ bank accounts, though.  Which is the point, of course.

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Filed under The NCAA