Daily Archives: October 6, 2016

You can’t spell shitstorm without… well…

If you think it’s a trifle sad South Carolina can’t make a decision about what to do with the Georgia game, make sure you check out what’s going on to our south, where nobody in the state of Florida seems to know how to handle Saturday’s game with LSU.

The CliffsNotes version can be told in three tweets.

Playing the Katrina card?  Strong.

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UPDATE:

Thanks, Obama!

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132 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Political Wankery

Money isn’t everything.

Give ACC coaches credit for making their schools put their money where their mouths are:

After some serious debate about moving to a nine-game conference football schedule, ACC athletic directors voted Wednesday to maintain the status quo.

The ACC will continue to play eight league games with a requirement for a ninth game against a Power 5 nonconference opponent, the league announced Wednesday. The decision will cost each school about $500,000 in television revenue, industry sources told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.

With a new TV deal in place with ESPN and the launch of a new ACC Network in the works for 2019, the league expanded its conference schedule for basketball (from 18 to 20 games, starting in 2019), but a move toward more intraconference football games was hotly contested by several schools with annual rivalry games outside the league.

The new ESPN deal gave the schools three options: increase the league schedule to nine games with one nonconference Power 5 opponent; play eight league games with two nonconference Power 5 opponents; or stay at eight league games with one nonconference Power 5 opponent. ACC schools would have received the full amount of the deal between ESPN and the ACC by choosing either of the first two options. But the schools instead chose to remain status quo despite the reduced revenue.

Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich staunchly supported the status quo on conference scheduling. While the league will miss out on network incentives, he said it wasn’t a major issue.

“Those were big numbers, but when you break it down after shares and dividing the dollars within the league, it was not anything that moved the needle,” he said.

Florida State, Georgia Tech and Louisville also strongly opposed an expanded league schedule because it would limit flexibility to schedule other out-of-conference games beyond their annual rivalry contests against the SEC.

That’s half-a-mil plus the guarantee fee they have to pay a cupcake instead of that ninth conference game.

For FSU and Louisville, that’s a call probably made easier because of playoff considerations, since the SEC is getting away with an eight-game conference schedule just fine.  Can’t say I have an explanation for Tech’s opposition.

6 Comments

Filed under ACC Football

‘If you want me, then sign me.’

Nick Saban ain’t happy about the proposed early signing periods.  Nope, not one bit.

On Wednesday the NCAA Division I Council proposed two early signing periods for football, with the first in late June and the second in mid-December.

Alabama coach Nick Saban was quick to voice his opinion Wednesday evening after practice.

“I am absolutely, positively against any kind of early signing date, especially a June signing date before a guy plays his senior year,” Saban said in a news conference. “If we want to have an early signing date after the season, I would be more for that. We’ve moved the recruiting calendar forward, which creates a lot of issues and problems when it comes to evaluations, not only of a player but of his character and his academic status.”

I’m not sure that having sufficient time for character evaluation is a place you should be going, brother.  You had plenty of that to assess Jonathan Taylor’s character, but couldn’t even find the time to speak with folks like the district attorney who handled Taylor’s case… or Mark Richt, for that matter.  But I digress.

Because that’s not really what’s got Saban’s ass chapped here.

“From a high school coach’s standpoint, what is really the guy’s motivation to play and really work hard to get better to play for his team in his senior year?”

Uh, no, that’s not it either, Nick.  Try again.

Saban said the Crimson Tide may not have signed freshman tailback Joshua Jacobs had an early signing period been in place last year. Jacobs, a 5-foot-10, 200-pounder from Tulsa, Okla., played in only six games as a junior at McClain High School due to injury but blossomed as a senior, rushing for 2,704 yards and an eye-popping 15.1 yards per carry.

Jacobs rushed 16 times for 100 yards in last Saturday’s 34-6 win over Kentucky.

“We probably would have been full, and that is what I am talking about,” Saban said. “We would probably make some academic, character and maybe evaluation mistakes, because you aren’t even seeing a guy play during his senior season.

Ah, now we’re getting warmer.  Can’t let those late bloomers fall through the cracks; those missed opportunities can be real killers, amirite?  But let’s face it, people — what school has better resources than Alabama to evaluate players, even early on?

So, it still feels like we’re missing something else here.  What could it be?

The SEC has been one of the most vocal opponents of an early signing period in the past, but a conference coach admitted he has come around to the idea and says he thinks it will even benefit the recruits.

“I love the idea now,” he said. “I think it’ll finally make schools think twice about offering kids early with no plan of taking their commitment. If they really want them, they’re going to have to sign them now. That’ll help a recruit truly tell if they’re wanted by that school… “

Congratulations, Holmes, you’ve cracked the case!  Saban wouldn’t be able to bookmark recruits with things like contingent offers or offers made in a kid’s sophomore season.  Instead, he’d have to spend time convincing rising seniors not to commit elsewhere early, so that he would have the full opportunity to decide whether it’s worth extending a binding offer.  Even for Alabama, that’s a tougher sell.

Figure on plenty more angst to come on how early signing periods are bad for the kids.  After all, that’s how these guys roll.

29 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, The NCAA

Spread the damned offense, Chaney.

Jason Butt has a good piece about the formation adjustments made against Tennessee that opened up Georgia’s running game.

Georgia was having a hard time running the ball out of traditional pro-style sets. The linemen and tight ends weren’t able to move men off the line of scrimmage and teams stacked the box to prevent the runners from finding any space.

So Chaney adjusted accordingly.

While Georgia didn’t run out of the shotgun against Mississippi as much, it did against Tennessee last week. Georgia ran for 181 yards and was able to churn out runs to put itself in third-and-short situations throughout the game.

The reason the running game worked in this capacity is that the offensive sets moved defenders crashing the box to the perimeter. By splitting two receivers wide and putting one in the slot, it forced Tennessee to use five defensive backs to defend the passing game — three corners and two safeties.

Sometimes, the nickel defender or a safety would crash down. But even then, it meant six or seven defenders were in the box as opposed to the eight or nine Georgia was facing in previous weeks.

Added benefit of playing more out of the shotgun was it made the wunderkind more comfortable running the offense.

Running out of the shotgun has also helped freshman quarterback Jacob Eason when it comes to reading the defense and adjusting any calls.

“It gives Eason — he’s a young, 18-year old quarterback back there — a chance to read the defense,” Pyke said. “And we can help him out with the calls.”

My only concern is that Kirby “Every week, there may be a different game plan. It’s going to depend on what gives us the best chance to be successful against that defense” Smart decides that, between the bad weather and South Carolina’s admittedly porous run defense, it’s the perfect time to muscle up, go back to man ball and allow Boom to load the box on defense all game long.

And, yeah, there’s a cautionary tale for Smart here.  South Carolina’s defense, as Butt reports, is giving up over 200 yards rushing a game.  That’s next to last in the conference.  The last place team?  Well, that would be Ole Miss.

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“In some ways, the public sees NCAA enforcement as a paper tiger…”

So, Jim Delany and others, fretting about NCAA enforcement, have come up with a whole raft of ideas to put more bite with the bark, so to speak, but the schools don’t seem particularly enthusiastic about his proposals.  As Jon Solomon puts it,

Here’s the reality about NCAA investigations and penalties: Every school wants this thankless job to happen — until the finger gets pointed at them.

So Big Jim is frustrated nobody’s embracing his genius.

If I may be so bold as to offer a solution to his problem:  name Greg McGarity as college football’s director of NCAA compliance.  He’ll make sure every school falls all over itself the minute an investigator comes knocking.  Problem solved!  Not to mention it would have the added benefit of letting Georgia operate on a level playing field.  A true win-win…

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Ugh.

Baylor has promoted Kristan Tucker to Title IX coordinator, two days after former director Patty Crawford abruptly resigned from the position. Tucker was hired by Baylor in January as a Title IX investigator and was later promoted to senior deputy Title IX coordinator. She previously worked in the Title IX office at East Carolina and the compliance department at Tennessee. [Emphasis added.]

Really, Baylor?  What, nobody from FSU was available?

5 Comments

Filed under Baylor Is Sensitive To Women's Issues