Daily Archives: November 15, 2016

Rub a little dirt on it and get back in the game, son.

Sean White’s health in the Georgia game was so dire that he’s still in the mix to start this week.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Taking a chance

I raised the question last week if Rodrigo Blankenship’s sudden prowess on the field goal front might have had the consequence of making Kirby Smart less aggressive on offense — after Auburn, Georgia’s scoring average from game seven on dropped again, by the way — but Ed Aschoff writes something that might be a legitimate rebuttal to that line of thinking.

Smart is more confident in his own process before, during and after games. He’s more comfortable with “game-time stuff and game-time decisions.” The simple aspects of deciding whether to run or pass on certain downs don’t stress him as much. He’s learning when to be conservative with his timeouts and when not to be. Smart’s finally staying a step ahead of his counterparts in certain aspects of games — not all of them, but improvement is improvement for the rookie head coach.

This might sound elementary, but the little things and the hints of evolution have gone a long way for a team that was 4-4.

You saw it perfectly in two trick plays he ran near the goal line with Terry Godwin going from runner to passer. While neither worked — the first one was intercepted and the second, which would have officially ended the game, was knocked out of quarterback Jacob Eason’s hands in the end zone — it showed some great progression on Smart’s part. Smart wanted to be the aggressor, and it showed that he isn’t scared to take a major risk for a potential major reward in a huge game.

“You wanna run the ball in third-and-fourth at the goal? No, we want to find a way to get it in,” Smart said of the trick play.

If you know you’ve got a competent place kicker at your back, maybe that contributes to more aggressive play calls in the red zone.  Though Smart never got the chance to call for a field goal after that first trick play was blown up.  Something to watch going forward, maybe.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Only somewhat historic, but enjoyable nonetheless

Any measure that puts you on a top ten list with Reggie Ball for passing futility in a game against Georgia is a good one in my book, so my congrats go out to you, Sean White.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“They don’t have rules to cover four-year, multiyear scholarships.”

This looks like it has the potential to be one big, ugly lawsuit.

Why was Vassar’s athletic scholarship revoked? The lawsuit quoted a letter purportedly from Northwestern’s deputy general counsel that said Vassar breached his July 2015 “contract” because he worked fewer than 8 hours per week and submitted fraudulent timecards to the athletic department.

Vassar appealed the decision to Northwestern’s Athletic Aid Appeals Committee. At the hearing, Northwestern submitted what it claimed to be Vassar’s fake timecards, even though somebody else’s name was crossed out on one timecard and Vassar’s first name was misspelled on another. The lawsuit showed copies of the timecards, including one that misspelled the player’s name as “Johnie.”

“One timecard said he worked on March 26, but we showed credit card payments that he made purchases in California that day while there for his father’s funeral,” Cherise said. “They knew then they had no case.”

Vassar won his appeal on May 4, 2016. The appeals committee wrote that Northwestern’s athletic department “has not provided sufficient information for a removal of your athletics scholarship,” and Vassar didn’t come to Northwestern “with the expectation that you would be doing maintenance work.”  [Emphasis added.]

Given the history, that’s spectacularly tone deaf, Northwestern.  Brilliantly played.

Cherise said the NCAA, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, told her it’s never been in a situation quite like this with an athlete in such limbo.

For once, I don’t blame Stacey Osburn for keeping quiet.


Filed under Look For The Union Label, See You In Court, The NCAA

Georgia ain’t played S&P+, PAWWWLLL.

Bill Connelly’s advanced stats profile isn’t convinced Georgia turned a corner Saturday night.  Take a look at the team’s percentile performance in its last four games:

  • Vanderbilt:  28%
  • Florida:  44%
  • Kentucky:  46%
  • Auburn:  44%

Not exactly the dramatic uptick you were expecting.

According to Bill’s numbers, the defense did play one of its best games of the season (duh), but the offense didn’t fare nearly as well.  On the other hand, it was the worst showing of 2016 by Auburn’s offense, although, oddly enough, the Tigers’ defense actually scored out higher than Georgia’s did.  I guess I need more time to process the information.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

To your continued good health…

Georgia’s new strength and conditioning program and its relatively injury-free season:  correlation or causation?

I have to admit I lean towards the former, since Georgia didn’t play in Knoxville this year.  YMMV, of course.


Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

They got your request right here.

This is frickin’ hilarious.

In response to my post about the athletic department taking the maximum time it could under the new open records law to release the contract details of the 2020 game with East Tennessee State…

The memorandum shows that East Tennessee’s athletics director signed the memo in May – UGA athletics director Greg McGarity’s signature is undated – but the memo was not released until Friday. It was in response to a request for scheduling contracts made by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 18. UGA is using the full 90 days the state legislature gave it to respond to athletics-related requests, starting in July.

… Marc Weiszer pointed out to me that he wrote about the same details back in June, before the law went into effect.

Which means that the school had already shown it could gather and release the information within a shorter and more relevant time frame, but chose not to do so again, simply because it could.  Message sent, I’d say.  I don’t know if that’ll win any championships, but Butts-Mehre showed the Georgia Way has still got game.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Corch be thinking.

Urban Meyer’s reaction upon learning that Alabama’s been bringing in former players to practice on the scout team, and that it’s a perfectly legitimate thing to do under NCAA rules…

… basically boils down to “why didn’t I think of that first?”.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Urban Meyer Points and Stares


One thing you have to say about Kevin Scarbinsky’s troll game — he’s definitely a quick twitch guy.

Auburn interviewed Smart before it hired Malzahn – a fact not lost on Auburn fans – and it won’t take many losses in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry before some fans wonder if their school made the wrong choice. Some already are wondering.

Alabama’s not going away as long as Saban stays, and Georgia’s only going to get better under Smart so Auburn has a real challenge on its hands.

What are the Tigers going to do about it?

No doubt Jay Jacobs is on the mother.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles