Daily Archives: November 1, 2016

The SEC East, where good recruiting classes go to die.

Not pretty.

Kentucky’s in second place in this division, which says more about the division than it does about Kentucky. Onetime leader and national title contender Tennessee has collapsed on itself like a star. Top-10 recruiter Georgia is 4-4. Missouri isn’t even a dilapidated shell of what it was a few years ago, and Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt.

So far this year, the West is 7-1 against the East, with the only win by Kentucky against Mississippi State.

From SEC Country:

Should the East lose out, including for an eighth consecutive year in the SEC title game, it would continue the trend of declining success against the West every season since expansion in 2012. That year, the East went 7-8 against the West, then 6-9 in 2013, 4-11 in 2014 and 2-13 last fall.

Hard to understand, too.

Still, the East should never be this bad.

The SEC East has a handful of the country’s top recruiters. Florida and Georgia regularly recruit at a national championship level, and Tennessee hasn’t been so far behind. The division’s footprint includes some of the country’s best recruiting areas, several of its members throw tons of money at football, and all seven teams have made fresh coaching hires in the last few years.

Based on that, here’s the sobering thought about our perception of Kirby’s master plan, recruiting über alles.  What if he succeeds in bringing in better classes and it doesn’t make any difference?



Filed under SEC Football

Beyond Schottenheimer

Oh, boy.

For as much as last year’s offense was a struggle, Georgia is on pace this year to have less total yards. It has 2,984 through eight games, needing 1,920 over the final four or five games to equal last year – which was the team’s lowest yardage total since 2009.

You read that right.  Assuming Georgia goes bowling, it will have to average over ten yards better a game over the remainder of the season than it’s compiled so far to exceed last year’s per game rate.  If the team whiffs on a bowl game, well… you don’t want to see the math on that.

The good news, if you want to call it such, is that here are the rankings in total defense for the opponents left in the regular season:

  • Auburn:  31st
  • Georgia Tech:  40th
  • Louisiana – Lafayette:  50th
  • Kentucky: 80th

No world beaters there.  The bad news is that three of those four are holding opposing offenses to less yardage per game than Georgia’s offense needs to gain to better last year’s pace.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Finally, the regular season starts being meaningful.

Ranking day.  I think I’ll go back to bed, thanks.

Wake me when it’s over, ESPN.  As in December.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

“… if it will work he will run it.”

Sigh.  Me want that kind of attitude.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Offensive coordinator discovers other coaches coach

There are times when Smart’s policy, learned at Saban’s knee, of not letting the coaching staff meet with the press during the season is frustrating.  Then there are occasions when you sit back and think it’s not such a bad idea.

It’s also safe the credit the Gamecocks for looking differently than they previously had on film, Vols offensive coordinator Mike DeBord said.

“South Carolina was trying to take away the long ball,” DeBord told members of the Knoxville Quarterback Club at Calhoun’s on the River on Monday. “They didn’t want to give up big plays and they didn’t. The other thing is what we see every week, and it’s been interesting, but what we’re seeing on film throughout the week, teams are changing it up. What you practice against is not always what you see in the game. That’s having to adjust with our players and things like that.”

Damn, son.  I don’t think I would’ve said that.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics


If you’re looking for a shot of optimism this morning, MaconDawg serves one up for you in this post.

I am more confident in Kirby Smart than I was when he was hired because he has demonstrated to me that he is willing to forego results in the short term in order to build a team that should be better in 2017, and could be really, really, really good in 2018 if all goes according to plan. Because he clearly has a plan, it is a good plan, and I think that it is really the only plan capable of getting Georgia where it wants to go, even if I am less than sure that it will work.

I do think that’s Kirby Smart’s strongest point right now.  I also think that the short term is painful because Georgia has chosen to take its lumps with a guy who’s learning on the job.  It wouldn’t have been my way of doing things, but that’s water under the bridge right now.


Filed under Georgia Football

Gloria Johnson is the worst Tennessee coach ever.

This is how you go negative with political ads in Urnge Country.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Political Wankery

The problem with Georgia’s running game…

… has nothing to do with Nick Chubb and any perceived “he’s not his old self” bullshit.

For starters, the rushing performance against Florida was historically inept.

Particularly disconcerting was the Bulldogs’ inability to run against the Gators. The Bulldogs had just 21 yards rushing on 19 carries. CBS Sports said it was Georgia’s worst against the Gators since 1960. UGA’s sports communications staff is still researching but that’s at least worst than the Bulldogs ever did on the ground in the Mark Richt era.

As a general rule of thumb, when your sports communications staff is still researching how crappy something was, Athens, you’ve got a problem.  But it doesn’t take much thought to conclude that even a Nick Chubb at 50% is better than at least a few of Georgia’s running backs over the past half century.

If you’d like a little hint about what roots of that problem might be, here are a few enlightening moments.

It’s not totally fair to say guards in the plural there, because Gaillard moved his man out of the way to open a hole for Chubb.  Unfortunately, Wynn didn’t maintain leverage and as a result his man was able to blow the play up.

This time, it’s the center and right side of the line that whiff… also, notice how Blazevich gets driven back three yards by the left end, which forces Michel inside.

Jim Brown couldn’t get back to the line of scrimmage with that kind of blocking.

Said junior guard Isaiah Wynn: “We just have to all get in the right page. It’s kind of frustrating but, at the same time, you can’t let it get to you because you tend to mess up even more. So we are just working on fixing it and getting better. Some of it is just technique-wise. The effort is all there.”

He’s right about technique.  It’s poor enough to make you wonder what Pittman is doing with these guys.

It’s not just the running game being affected, of course.  Take a look at the pass blocking on what turned out to be Georgia’s longest play from scrimmage Saturday.

As noted, that’s seven blocking four and Eason still had to run for his life.  Yes, the result was a big play to Godwin, but look at the opportunity Eason missed.

That’s not on Eason, who made as much out of the situation as he could.  He simply isn’t getting the time to read the field there.  Unfortunately, as the game progressed, his lack of confidence in the line play led him to bail out of the pocket when he didn’t always need to, as was the case on this wasted play.

Florida did an excellent job adjusting to the roll outs after getting burned by Eason on the Dawgs’ lone touchdown drive.  That’s a big reason Georgia’s offense ground to a halt in the second half.

If you’re a defensive coordinator preparing for this offense, there’s no way you can have any fear of being overly aggressive attacking the line of scrimmage.  The linemen don’t play consistently, and there’s often little help from the blocking tight ends or as I mentioned yesterday, Christian Payne.

A smarter man than I would think about scheming around the problem with more quick hitting runs and passes and also giving Eason a little more time in the shotgun, but that’s obviously not a place this staff wants to go.

Speaking of which, this is the first time I’ve heard Smart get into specifics about how the offensive game plan is being draw up and called during games.

As for scheme, Smart said he is involved with the offensive game plan sort of after the fact, but “knows every play that is called” during games. Essentially he leaves the the creation of the play script and play-calling to offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and the Bulldogs’ offensive staff. Receivers coach James Coley was also a coordinator at Miami and is heavily involved in the game plan, along with line coach Sam Pittman.

“I can’t get into specifics as far as the exact amount of time, but there’s not a play that’s called from an offensive standpoint that I’m not hearing,” Smart said. By the time the offense goes out there, the first thing I want to know is, ‘what are we starting with?’

“As far as game-planning this offensive staff is very intelligent. They’ve got a lot of experience. Two coordinators are on that side of the ball that have been there before. So I trust those guys and believe in those guys.”

There’s really not much else he can say at this point, I know.  But the line play is killing this team right now and unless the coaches decide they have to scheme around the shortcomings in blocking, this offense is going to continue to sputter the rest of the season.  With or without Nick Chubb.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Vol fans, Booch has one word for you.

Can you guess what it is?

In the wake of the inexcusable loss at South Carolina the swirl of negativity around Tennessee is at an all-time high in the program’s fourth year under Butch Jones.

“This football team’s fine,” Jones said. “This football program’s fine. I love our fan base. Everything is fine. We’re going to be just fine.”

Life imitates Internet meme.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange