Daily Archives: October 14, 2016

We’ve always got the Big 12.

As much grief as I’ve tossed the SEC’s way this week over the Florida-LSU brouhaha, compared to the farce that is Big 12 expansion, it looks as well run as Apple.

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Filed under Big 12 Football

Musical palate cleanser, beautiful pain edition

This song has hit me more than anything else I’ve heard released this year.  From Colvin & Earle, it’s “You’re Still Gone”.  It’s stunning.

There’s also a pretty neat interview with them both about the song you can watch.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Some early thoughts on the Vanderbilt game

Two good points to consider:

  • Greg McElroy notes that Georgia’s offense is predicated on the play action pass.  There are two parts to that:  one, a successful running game and two, an ability to hit the deep ball.  The Dawgs appear to be rounding into shape with the first requirement, but Eason is a woeful 6 of 34 on balls thrown 20 or more yards downfield.  He’s dead on when he suggests that Derek Mason should play to stop the run at all cost and not worry about Eason’s ability to hit the big play.  I’m expecting to see a loaded box and a lot of press coverage on Georgia’s receivers to frustrate Eason’s chances in the short passing game.  He’s going to have to hit a few big plays to resurrect that threat and get Vandy to back off.
  • I get the impression listening to Chuks Amaechi talk about Vanderbilt’s pro-style offense that he and his mates are really looking forward to playing against a “normal” offensive scheme for once, a scheme that the defense faces regularly in practice when the ones face off against the ones.  A bad (Vandy is the only team in the conference averaging less than 300 yards per game) and familiar looking offense may be just what the doctor ordered for Smart’s defense.

All told, that suggests we might be looking at a low scoring game, or a game in which turnovers and special teams play have an outsized effect on the outcome.  Unfortunately, Georgia doesn’t have much of an advantage as to the former and is wretched when it comes to the latter.  The reality is that this is a game where Eason needs to step up.

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Filed under Georgia Football

At the risk of flogging the deceased equine one more time…

Scott Rabalais’ last look at the Florida-LSU scheduling debacle makes me want to flesh out a couple of points I made in the quick reaction I posted last night.

… There’s no reason that this Thursday’s solution could not have been reached last Thursday.

Last Thursday, Florida was painting everyone into a corner with a hard hit from Matthew looking like a grim possibility for Gainesville. This after, during talks among the schools and the SEC on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Florida was adamant that the game could be played there last Saturday.

No contingencies were apparently considered, like the ones offered by LSU to play Sunday or Monday in Gainesville, or to move the game to Tiger Stadium on either of those days or Saturday. Florida wanted no part of it — not because it wanted to duck LSU but out of sheer stubbornness, and the SEC didn’t twist a Gator arm.

There are two reasons this situation came to a head.  One, SEC rules allow a single athletic director to cancel a conference game, but requires the approval of both athletic directors to reschedule the meeting.  Two, Greg Sankey took a hands off approach in managing the problems created by Hurricane Matthew and left it up to the athletic directors to solve on their own.

Sankey’s passivity didn’t lead to a mess in Columbia, because Georgia and South Carolina were able to compromise and delay the game a day.  But once Foley held firm on no game being played in Gainesville or anywhere else that weekend, no matter how the weather situation developed, a conflict was inevitable because from that point on, it would take two to tango.

I have no idea what motivated Foley to take the position he did —  I agree that it wasn’t a matter of Florida not wanting to play the game at all — but it really shouldn’t have made a difference.  Foley put himself and the conference in a box and saw his hand eventually forced by the commissioner and the SEC requirement that any team playing in the conference championship game had to complete an eight-game schedule.

If I don’t understand Foley’s motivation, Sankey’s reluctance to get involved until he did was equally puzzling.  It turns out he held the hammer all along; had he played it a week ago, I suspect events would have played out quite differently and with much less rancor.

“We made this decision to play the game in Baton Rouge,” he said. “The conference office asked us to find a solution in working with LSU, yet LSU was never a true partner in our discussions. The Southeastern Conference offered some other solutions, and the LSU administration made it clear that they were unwilling to consider other reasonable options.”

Nice whine, Jeremy.  What’s left unsaid is that some of those other solutions not only required LSU’s cooperation, but other conference schools like Georgia and Texas A&M, as well.  What was in it for them to pitch in and save Foley from the consequences of his decision?

The end result sucks a little for both schools.

The pain, more of it than was required, does get spread around. Florida loses two home games: LSU and its scheduled game Nov. 19 against Presbyterian. LSU plays an 11-game schedule for the second straight season (last year’s home opener with McNeese State was wiped out by weather) by canceling its scheduled Nov. 19 game with South Alabama and has to travel to Florida in 2017 as a makeup for this year.

That, of course, is in addition to the money being paid to the cupcakes as a result of their games being cancelled.  “More of it than was required” is exactly right.

It’s certainly no way to run a railroad.  I expect the conference to try to come up with a new set of protocols to deal with potential bad weather situations in the future, but good luck with that.  How many athletic directors are willing to cede that kind of control to Greg Sankey?

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Filed under SEC Football

Words to live by

USA Today hosts a roundtable discussion on the topic of whether college football games are too damned long (predictably, the panel splits 2-2), but as far as I’m concerned, Paul Myerberg wins the day with this:

I don’t think there should be any adjustments for time to shorten games. What, the season isn’t short enough as it is? I’m in favor of games taking days on end and the college season running for seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. My dream is for a game between No. 1 and No. 2 lasting three days and 25 overtimes.

The only people who moan about the games being too long are television executives and reporters on deadline. Since we don’t print a paper on Sundays I say let’s keep things exactly as they are.

College football is like beer.  You can never have too much.

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Filed under College Football

Blocking. It’s a beautiful thing.

If you watch this highlight clip from the South Carolina game, focus on the blocking — not just the offensive line, but the tight ends, the receivers and (of course) Payne.

I know it’s against a weak run defense, but from a mechanics/fundamentals standpoint, that’s the most consistent blocking we’ve seen on offense all season.  It was easily Tyler Catalina’s best game (whether that’s due to more comfortable weather, a weaker defensive opponent or simply getting better conditioned to play SEC ball, I don’t know).  And you can see why Stanley is getting so much playing time even though he doesn’t have a catch yet this season.

Overall, the o-line appears more comfortable when the linemen are called upon to pull than simply trying to outmaul their counterparts on the d-line.  It also helped that for much of the game they weren’t being crowded by a defense loading the box.  Whatever the reason, let’s see more of that, please.

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Filed under Georgia Football