Daily Archives: October 4, 2016

Stormy weather

Governor Haley doesn’t sound optimistic about the prospects of Georgia playing South Carolina Saturday night in Columbia.

The governor, in a news conference Tuesday to declare a state of emergency because of Hurricane Matthew, said the ultimate decision on whether or not the USC-Georgia game happens as scheduled is up to the school and the SEC.

“It’s a complete decision based on the schools,” Haley said. “As of now I can’t imagine that happening but certainly we’re going to continue to watch this. I would love nothing more than to see this take a right-hand turn and go out to sea. As it looks right now, we’re looking at Friday afternoon into Saturday being pretty brutal.”

Potential bonus home game for the Dawgs?  South Carolina’s history suggests that could be a possibility.

Last October the South Carolina-LSU game, originally supposed to be at South Carolina was moved to Baton Rouge because of devastating floods in the Columbia area. That came in a week where at least 15 people died in the wake of the severe thunderstorms and flooding, and classes at South Carolina were canceled for the week.

Sounds pretty brutal, too.  Guess we’ll have to keep an eye on this.



Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

Sheer brilliance

College football broadcast rights sound like they’re this close to jumping the shark.

There is still no tangible momentum for Big 12 expansion at the moment, several sources said. CBS Sports reported last week there is a 50-50 chance the league won’t expand after an elaborate process that started in earnest in July.

Bowlsby acknowledged that one option with ESPN and Fox could be the networks paying the league not to expand. The current contract calls for those rightsholders to pay pro rata — current equal value revenue — to any new teams entering the league.

Mickey, when Bob Bowlsby cuts a deal that manages to make you look this stupid, perhaps it’s time to sack your negotiators.


Filed under Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain

Seeds of hope

If you are searching for any grounds for optimism after Saturday’s epic disappointment, I may have something to soothe your soul:  Georgia’s last series of the game.

Dial up the clip to the two-hour thirty-minute mark and watch.

What you will see is an offense under severe pressure due to time constraints that manages to step up and execute almost flawlessly.  Consider just a few things during those four plays:

  • On the first completion to Terry Godwin, check out Tyler Catalina’s blocking of Barnett.  He flat out stones him.  The pocket sets up allowing Eason to deliver a nice ball to a wide open Godwin.
  • On the next play, again watch the line keep things clean for Eason, but also notice that Michel completely upends the rusher coming in on the quarterback’s blind side.  It’s a helluva job.  Eason delivers the ball in a tight spot and McKenzie manages both to shield the catch from the defender, and to shake him off to pick up another five or six yards for the first down.  That was huge, because the clock had to stop briefly to reset the chains.
  • The third play saw the line do adequate work to establish the pocket, with Wynn sliding over to help Catalina on Barnett and Pyke managing his man on the other side.  The real story on this play is that Eason’s throw is amazing.  He really had to gun it to Blazevich because the defender had position to knock down a pass with less zip.  The play is well designed, as you can see Godwin run off somebody in the secondary just far enough to allow Blazevich to pick up about eight or nine yards after the catch to convert another big first down.
  • Then, there’s the touchdown pass, which I’ve already posted about.  But take the time to look at how well the offensive line holds the pocket on the left side, as well as Pyke’s good work taking his rusher out.  Eason maintains his poise and footwork, which allows him to throw as gorgeous a deep ball as you’ll see.  (The irony here is that the throw reminds me of Lambert’s beautiful toss to Reggie Davis in last year’s game, with one slight difference.)

The only blemish in all that was Catalina’s false start.

All in all, given the circumstances and the way the offense had played for much of the fourth quarter, it was a remarkable turn of events and a demonstration of what the offense is capable of when things are clicking.  It’s certainly not a guarantee of immediate greatness.  But it does hint at better things to come.


Filed under Georgia Football

Does O’Bannon leave a legacy?

The New York Times’ Joe Nocera thinks so, in two ways.

As the first case involving athletes fighting the N.C.A.A. to gain any traction in court, O’Bannon reaped an enormous amount of publicity. (It didn’t hurt that the lead plaintiff was a high-profile former N.C.A.A. champion who was eloquent and highly credible.) Reporters and others began to take a closer look at the N.C.A.A.’s rules and discovered what a small group of critics had been saying for years: Many of the rules were unfair, trivial and, in some cases, idiotic.

This increased scrutiny put the college sports establishment on the defensive. And it began to make changes, at least on the margins, to improve the lot of college athletes…

With regard to those changes, I don’t think there’s any question about the timing there, just about whether it’s a matter of correlation, which the NCAA would argue, or causation, which the plaintiffs (and, to be honest, I) would argue.  It’s too convenient to insist that the schools would have proceeded exactly as they have over the past three years without the pressure from this case and the Northwestern unionization ruling.

Finally, the fact that the N.C.A.A. has been labeled an antitrust violator, thanks to O’Bannon, is no small thing. That leads to the second question: What comes now?

The answer is that two more cases, which are both being heard by Judge Wilken, are also aimed at overturning the N.C.A.A.’s amateurism rules. One is known as the Jenkins case; it argues that the N.C.A.A.’s compensation limits have no justification under antitrust law. The other is the Alston case, which seeks damages for all the years in which athletes weren’t compensated for the full cost of attendance, even though they were entitled to it, according to the O’Bannon ruling.

The fact that the N.C.A.A. has been branded an antitrust violator is hugely advantageous to the plaintiffs. The N.C.A.A. knows it, too, which is why it wanted the Supreme Court to take the O’Bannon case: in the hope that the court would overturn that antitrust label.

“I’ve always thought the O’Bannon result was more advantageous to us than it was to them,” Jeffrey Kessler, the lead lawyer in the Jenkins case, said on Monday. “Ultimately, unless the N.C.A.A. gets an antitrust exemption, competition is going to win out.”

In other words, in the absence of Congress stepping in and giving the schools an exemption, the sharks are still in the water.  It’s also worth noting that with the Supreme Court declining to step in, only cases brought in the Ninth Circuit have a controlling appellate ruling.  So there’s still plenty of fighting left to do.  Will the NCAA continue to gird up and spend big money on lawyers and settlements, or will it decide to cut its losses and negotiate a sensible framework for all concerned?

Yeah, that was a rhetorical question.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

“To be honest, every kid on the field executed their job.”

About the grumbling about Smart’s tendency to call out his players in public, keep in mind he went from this

“Undisciplined players make undisciplined decisions. That’s what happens,” Smart said. “So we learned an extremely value lesson, for a group of young men in that room who are sick to their stomach.

“About 95 percent of them did it right.”

Smart might have meant something other than penalties, such as not playing the Hail Mary right. He said he hadn’t watched the play on film yet so wasn’t sure exactly what went wrong there.

… shortly after the game, to this after reviewing the play:

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart certainly believes that’s the case after re-watching the final play of Tennessee’s 34-31 victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday. The play, called “odd four deep check jump last play,” was run to try and prevent Tennessee from completing a desperation pass, which ended up complete from Joshua Dobbs to Jauan Jennings. into the end zone with only four seconds remaining in the game.

After looking at the play, Smart said everyone was in position — or least tried to be — to prevent the touchdown. It just didn’t work out.

“To be honest, every kid on the field executed their job,” Smart said. “We got a little boxed out by (Jennings), but it wasn’t like you can watch the play and say ‘This guy didn’t do what I told him to do.’ We got out-jumped and he timed his jump a lot better than we did, which I think everybody saw.”

So, upon reflection, Smart didn’t fry anybody in the end, even though from reading further, it doesn’t appear that everyone involved in the coverage executed it properly.

The objective of the play was for the four defensive backs, assigned to each of the receivers running to end zone, to box out their targets. Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter was the deep safety, whose objective was to knock the ball down at its highest point if came near. Georgia had three of the receivers fronted. One, Jennings, was able to find space in the end zone and make a play.

The main reason for this was that Deandre Baker was inadvertently bumped out of the play by safety Quincy Mauger. Baker was right behind Jennings before getting knocked away, which kept the Tennessee receiver from being fronted.

“That’s just one of those things that happened on accident,” defensive back Maurice Smith said. “(Jennings) made a hell of a play. But honestly, I don’t think he should have been in that position.”

And while Carter was the deep safety, he ended up behind Mauger and safety Dominick Sanders, who were standing directly behind Jennings. With Baker unable to front Jennings, the 6-foot-3 receiver was able to gain position and grab the ball at its highest point.

Shit happens, in other words.  Sometimes there’s no point in blaming kids.


Filed under Georgia Football

Her work is done here.

Baylor’s Title IX coordinator resigned.  Talk about a fun job search to fill that position…


Filed under Baylor Is Sensitive To Women's Issues, Crime and Punishment, See You In Court

The soft bigotry of low expectations

Shorter Paul Johnson:  Our fans need to have the mindset that when we play better teams, Georgia Tech is going to lose.

Moar shorter Paul Johnson:  Hey, don’t blame me; blame the administration!

I don’t know about you, but were I a Tech fan, I don’t think I’d feel much inspired to rush out and renew my season tickets.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football