Auburn’s larded up its starting offensive roster.
Monthly Archives: August 2016
This appears to be a real inside baseball kind of note, or just some teasing between old teammates, but it’s interesting.
I don’t know if Stinchcomb is joking, or if Kevin Butler is a student again, but if he’s really working with the place kickers, it’s a move that can’t hurt.
UPDATE: So, it’s a thing. Weiszer has the deets.
Michael Elkon makes the case for Georgia winning the SEC East this season:
The Dawgs have the best player in the division (Nick Chubb), the biggest coaching upgrade at offensive coordinator and no road games against top contenders Tennessee and Florida.
Smart may not prove to be an upgrade over Richt, but his first season in Athens sets up nicely.
I have to give him major credit for one thing — he was off the Schottenheimer bandwagon last year before it even got started, so I give a lot of weight to his criticism of Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord (folks who’ve had crappy stints at Michigan usually give Michael a little extra schwinngg!, but his points about DeBord certainly have merit) — but I think he ignores something that’s a huge factor in Tennessee’s favor, the offseason hiring of Bob Shoop as its new defensive coordinator.
Chaney may very well turn out to be a significant upgrade over Schottenheimer, but I believe Shoop represents an even bigger step up from John Jancek. If that turns out to be as key a move as I believe it is, then DeBord’s margin of error grows exponentially. As Elkon notes, “When Michigan had great defenses (1997 and 2006), DeBord was passable.” Passable may be all Booch needs out of his offense.
That may be especially true when you consider that Tennessee appears to have a significant advantage over Florida and Georgia in the area of special teams. Bill Connelly’s revised S&P+ rankings for special teams have the Vols coming off a 28th finish last season, compared to Florida’s 95th and Georgia’s 103rd. That may not seem like much, but when your analysis takes in Tennessee having to travel to Athens as a factor in picking who wins the division, every little bit counts.
It may have been a moot point at the time, given that, in retrospect,
Greg McGarity relied heavily on the guidance of the the search firm he retained to find a replacement for Mark Richt the fix was in, but I, like others, wondered why 2015’s hot coaching name, Houston’s Tom Herman, seemed to receive little more than a cursory glance from Georgia’s direction. Sure, there were some bullshit rumors floating around about Herman, but given that his name is floating around as a possible replacement after the 2016 season if things go south at places like LSU, Texas or Texas A&M, it’s hard to take any of that seriously.
On the other hand, I can see how this might have stopped things dead in their tracks in Athens.
According to an interoffice memo sent from Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek to Herman on Nov. 30, Herman would receive a $5 million bonus—payable over two years—if Houston joins “a conference with television of $20 million or more per member.” The Big 12 fits that description. Should none of those super premium jobs open and Houston win a golden ticket into the Power 5, that extra $2.5 million a year combined with his $3 million salary would pay Herman what many of the best Power 5 coaches make. The memo also promises that upon entry to such a conference, the school would immediately renegotiate a contract that would put Herman’s compensation among the top half of the league’s head coaches.
That’s just what Herman had on the table from a mid-major program. Can you imagine what his agent was looking for from a potential SEC employer, particularly one who had just canned a ten-game winner? I can only imagine McGarity’s response to having the terms of that memo read to him and then being asked, “and you?”.
At least he’s paying Kirby less than he was paying Richt.
It turns out that Smart and Chaney decided to scuttle a few butts yesterday.
Over the weekend, it looked like Jacob Eason was the favorite to win Georgia’s starting quarterback job. But head coach Kirby Smart declined to name a starter on Monday, and the picture was muddled even further a few hours later.
Greyson Lambert appeared to be first in the pecking order at Monday’s practice, at least during the media viewing period.
During a passing drill, where quarterbacks threw to receivers, Lambert was clearly first, followed by Eason. Brice Ramsey was interspersed for a few throws, but it was mostly Lambert and Eason, in that order.
The feeling from those around the team lately has been that Eason was the clear leader. He received the majority of the first-team snaps in Saturday’s scrimmage in the Georgia Dome, according to someone who was there. But neither Eason or Lambert have been told anything, multiple people close to the program said. The team hasn’t been told anything officially either.
So much for last week’s whispers about Eason winning the job.
Honestly, isn’t it logical at this point to expect Lambert to hit the field Saturday in the Dome? After all, what coach in his right mind would let a quarterback start his first collegiate game against a D-1 opponent without getting all the first team reps in the practices leading up to the game… oh, wait.
Then again, considering the state of Georgia’s offensive depth chart, who’s to say Eason wasn’t getting reps with the eventual starters? (I keed, I keed… I think.)
With the shuffling going on, I think I’m more intrigued as to how the quarterbacks will look against North Carolina than who winds up taking that initial snap. I just hope the coaches aren’t being too clever for their own good with this.
In case you were wondering about one other thing in the defensive depth chart…
Spoken like a man who hasn’t followed the Georgia football program for years.
Six months ago, if you had told me I would be posting this news this week, I would have called you a crazy optimist. Yet he we are:
If Chubb gets 20 carries Saturday night, I have a hard time seeing how Georgia loses. Call me a crazy optimist.
UPDATE: You want irony? How about this for irony?
The drama now revolves around the tailbacks behind Chubb. Fellow junior Sony Michel remains a game-time decision with his arm injury. Freshman Elijah Holyfield is day-to-day with an ankle he sprained over a week ago.
“He’s still gimpy on the ankle, but we’re gonna get all we can out of him,” Smart said.
Yep. Nick Chubb is now the rock that Georgia’s running backs are resting on.
Behold the ambiguous wonder that is Georgia’s depth chart going into its opener:
That is amusing. By my count, that’s nine “OR”s for the starters on offense — including all three of the quarterbacks — and four for the defense. Makes you wonder if Kirby wants to play the opener without numbers on the jerseys and veils on the players’ helmets.
Seriously, I suppose I get some of this. The offensive line, for example, is a series of dominoes based on whether Catalina is ready to start at left tackle. The tie at wide receiver is probably their way of showing who plays in three-wide sets. And I understand what they’re trying to do at Mike and Will linebacker. But the coaches sure don’t want to tip their hands before Saturday on a lot of spots. How much of that is motivational, how much is bet hedging and how much is smoke being blown North Carolina’s way I’ll leave to you to allocate.
Of greater interest to me is that despite all the talk we were hearing about how many members of the 2016 class were cracking the two-deep, the depth charts aren’t showing it. There are only two true freshman, Eason and Ridley, among the offensive players and four on the defensive side, with three of those being on the d-line, where they really have little choice.
Given Smart’s comments previously, I’m not sure if that says more about the upperclassmen buying into the new coaching staff’s approach better than we thought, or this year’s signing class turning out to be not as precocious as we hoped.
Then again, if there’s one thing to be said about the charts, it’s that they’re not exactly etched in stone.
UPDATE: Damn it, I hate when coaches come up with better headers than I do.
As we all know, it’s a big weekend in Atlanta for Georgia football.
Just remember, if you’re a Georgia Tech fan, it’s a big weekend in Atlanta for you, too.
If you’re interested in an outsider’s look at what Kirby Smart brings to the table, check out this Roll Bama Roll post, entitled “How dangerous is new Georgia Bulldogs football coach Kirby Smart?”. Sure, it’s a little condescending, but if anyone’s entitled to that kind of attitude, it’s Alabama’s fan base.
Overall, other than the casual dismissals of Chaney’s and Pittman’s backgrounds and the characterization of the recent outcome of the series with Auburn as a toss up, it’s a fair cop. Hard to argue with much of this:
Experiencing The Process® is one thing. Imitating it is another. Jimbo Fisher took Florida State to the top of the mountain with his version. Jim McElwain has shown great promise in his short career as a head coach. But heed the warnings that are Will Muschamp and Derek Dooley.
Implementing The Process® is a delicate process. The first step is having that presence of a totalitarian leader. Saban is not a big man but he can bring a grown man to tears. He takes control of every aspect of his program. He is a calculated man and everything he does and everything he says, has a purpose towards helping his team succeed. Can Smart inspire his team to play an FCS cupcake the way Saban does? Can he get his team to buy in every day, every rep, every study hall, every second of every day for the span of each player’s college career at Georgia?
We shall see.