Daily Archives: November 28, 2016

Today, in everybody’s broke

Never have I been more proud of Georgia for paying what it takes to provide quality home scheduling.

Georgia has agreed to the highest payout for a non-conference opponent in school history. And it may be the most at this point in all of college football.

Arkansas State will receive $1.8 million to play at Georgia in 2019, according to an agreement between the two schools that has not been finalized yet. The Jonesboro (Ark.) Sun reported the agreement, via an Open Records request. An official at Georgia confirmed it was accurate.

It’s an astounding figure to pay for a non-conference game, but it represents a larger trend.

When Alabama announced in February that it had paid $1.7 million to schedule a 2018 game against Arkansas State, it was written by Footballscoop.com that it was “believed to be the largest single-game payout in college football history.”

Now Georgia has topped that. The game is set for Sept. 14, 2019.

That should be just in time for another contribution bump, I suspect.  After all, those cupcakes ain’t gonna pay for themselves.  Let’s just hope 2019 isn’t another throwaway year.

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Filed under Georgia Football

And don’t forget those Hartman Fund contributions, folks, ctd.

Man, talk about being hoisted on my own petard.

Someone on Twitter asked me if I thought about doing a reader poll gauging interest in renewing season tickets next year.  Here’s what I got in response to my answer that I was pondering doing just that after the bowl game.

Sorry, Greg.

38 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“There are too many people counting on us.”

Admittedly, my first response to Jon Solomon’s article about Charlie Strong’s firing and its effect on black coaches was a bit knee jerk, but he makes a solid point when he writes,

Advocates who are pushing for minorities to get more interviews for head-coaching jobs are closely watching what happens next with Strong.

They remember Will Muschamp at Florida Gators , Charlie Weis at Notre Dame and Ron Zook at Florida. They all failed miserably at one high-profile job only to get another head-coaching position fairly quickly (at South Carolina Gamecocks , Kansas and Illinois Fighting Illini , respectively). There’s also Ed Orgeron, who similarly failed miserably as a first-time head coach at Ole Miss Rebels and — after a decade as an assistant and interim coach — worked his way back to one of the most prestigious jobs in the country at LSU. They’re all white. (Willingham got another job after Notre Dame and went 11-37 at Washington Huskies in four years.)

What jobs open up this offseason and where Strong wants to coach will be factors determining whether he’s a head coach in 2017. Another factor: Presidents and athletic directors considering Strong had a 23-3 record in his final two years at Louisville Cardinals after cleaning up problems he inherited.

“The question isn’t about him falling [at Texas], it’s will he get an opportunity somewhere else?” said Ohio State Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith…

Indeed.

I’ve said for years, it’s not that athletic directors are racists — athletics aren’t a place you can succeed with that kind of attitude — as much as they’re lazy and more than willing to tap into the familiar as a way of avoiding being accused of taking unnecessary risks.  I may not be as sure as I could be about Strong’s head coaching ability, as others are.  He did very well at Louisville, but the best that can be said about his Texas stint was that he and the school were a bad match.  Even with that, I’m certainly sure he’s no worse a gamble than Boom, Weis or the Zooker were on their second shots.

By the way, and on an entirely different note, this passage ought to be interesting to GTP’s self-appointed expert on HR and hiring:

Universities are bound by federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to not discriminate when hiring. However, athletic departments often find a way around having a diversified pool, unlike other job openings at universities, Norvell said.

“ADs call the HR department when they have a hot candidate and they ask for a waiver,” Norvell said. “What the waiver does is get them around Title VII because they can qualify it as an emergency hire and then they don’t need a diversified pool…”

Must have seemed like an emergency after Jimmy Sexton opened the lines of communication with South Carolina, I suppose.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

And don’t forget those Hartman Fund contributions, folks.

I wondered what Jeff Dantzler’s take on 2017 would be?  Never mind.

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“… and next”?  I must have missed the memo where I agreed to sign up for this shit.

116 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Today, in maybe, possibly giving too much credit

I thought going into the season that Jim Chaney’s good work at Pittsburgh last season with Nathan Peterman, who, when I saw him play for Tennessee, may have been the worst quarterback in the SEC, would bode well for Jacob Eason’s future.

Welp, take a look at Peterman’s passer ratings over his four-year career:

  • 2013:  42.53
  • 2014:  70.58
  • 2015:  138.57
  • 2016:  161.23

Chaney made Peterman into an average passer, which is to his credit.  But this year’s quarterbacks coach at Pitt made him into an excellent one.

Eason, by the way, finished 2016 with a 118.21 passer rating.  That’s the lowest such mark notched by a Georgia starting quarterback since Matthew Stafford’s freshman season.  There’s an obvious similarity to note there, and this isn’t to say that there won’t be improvement in 2017.  But I do now wonder if there’s a ceiling with Chaney that there might not be with another position coach.  Time will tell.

60 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The death of game planning

If this quote don’t beat all:

SEC Network sideline reporter Olivia Harlan summed up her talk with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney by reporting: “They’re trying to do less offensively now than they were earlier in the season, because nothing else works. Now they’re just trying to give it to their tailbacks, a lot of screen passes.”

Holy crap.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Observations from the 30, Georgia-Georgia Tech edition

I got to tell you my heart just isn’t in this one.

Let’s start with Kirby Smart’s accurate summary of the game.

“I think that game was kind of indicative of our season,” first-year Georgia coach Kirby Smart said afterwards. “A little good here, a little bad there but we don’t play with enough consistency yet. It’s a 60-minute game. You’ve got to play all 60 minutes. You’ve got to play each play like it’s got a history and life of its own and we didn’t do that today. We as coaches have to do a better job and that starts with me.”

Yes, there was good:  as the game went on, the coaches had the team focused and made good halftime adjustments on defense; Eason had some nice throws; the offensive line had its best showing run blocking all season; Jim Chaney didn’t get fancy when he saw what the line was doing to Tech’s defensive front seven; Michel and Chubb went to town.

And then the clock struck twelve in the fourth quarter and everything fell apart.

The offense wouldn’t adjust to Roof predictably loading the box and blitzing at every passing opportunity and thus couldn’t move the ball; the defense, after getting a brilliant stop on fourth down to force the change of possession and then backing Tech’s offense up to its own four-yard line, looked totally discombobulated and couldn’t stop anything; the staff mismanaged timeouts and appeared disorganized; Eason was inaccurate; Nauta dropped a key pass that might have given Georgia a shot at working towards a game-winning field goal at the very end.

In essence, Kirby Smart played not to lose too soon and got his fingers burned.  It really isn’t any more complicated than that, and all the bullet points in the world won’t make any difference, which is why I’m not going to spend any more bandwidth on Saturday’s game.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Grizzard was even more succinct.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Why Georgia’s 2016 season is a disappointment.

Listening to Kevin Butler and Jeff Dantzler after the game describe this year as a “throwaway season” was infuriating to me as a season ticket holder.  But in the cold light of day afterwards, the worst part about that description may be that I’m not sure it’s even accurate.

To me, throwaway season implies that Smart had a plan to use this year as a learning experience to build on towards better times.  That gets back to something I said before the season started, namely, that I would judge his first year as a head coach not so much on wins and losses as I would perceived progress.  As far as that goes, unfortunately, it’s hard to see much of that as we sit here after a mediocre 2016 regular season.

Take, for example, Bill Connelly’s advanced stats percentile performances for the year.

  • North Carolina:  91%
  • Nicholls:  11%
  • Missouri:  83%
  • Ole Miss:  32%
  • Tennessee:  87%
  • South Carolina:  30%
  • Vanderbilt:  33%
  • Florida: 23%
  • Kentucky: 40%
  • Auburn:  35%
  • ULL:  25%
  • Georgia Tech:  19%

That is not the pattern you’d expect to see from a team getting better as the season progressed.  It is, rather, the pattern you’d expect to see from a team that made a habit out of playing down to the level of its opponent… or worse.  That it couldn’t offer an above average performance in a single game out of its last seven is disturbing if you’re looking for a sign of things coming together.

Ordinarily, crappy bowl games mean little to me, other than as a final three-and-a-half hour entertainment to cap off another football season.  This time, though, there’s something more to keep an eye on, simply because this coaching staff has some serious work to do and it can’t start soon enough (or at least soon after a quick burst of recruiting during the week leading up to the SECCG).  If the bowl game proves to be another mediocre slog topping off a throwaway year, I dread hearing what kind of label Butler and Dantzler come up with to slap on 2017.

218 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

SEC Power Poll, Week 13

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I was going to try for something clever here, but I went back to see what I posted after the same week last season and was floored.  I repeat what I wrote then, because literally nothing has changed.

And so, another regular season comes to an end.  This last week made one thing painfully apparent:  this is the most mediocre the SEC has been in years.

One year’s a blip.  Two years in a row are something that should be more troublesome to folks like Greg Sankey and SEC athletic directors.  I’m sure they’ll get right on it after Alabama wins the national championship.

As I always do, with each team I’ll add their net yards per game figures, in a crude attempt to ascertain the overachievers and underachievers.

  1. Alabama (+232.80).  While I’m repeating myself, here’s what I said about ‘Bama at this time last year:  “The opening betting line for the SECCG is the largest in twenty years.”
  2. LSU (+102.70).  The SEC’s second best team fired its head coach mid-season.
  3. Auburn (+100.90).  The SEC’s third best team scored one touchdown in its last two conference meetings.
  4. Florida (+61.10).  McElwain did a good job managing what he had, but it doesn’t change the likelihood that his team is about to get its ass handed to it in the championship game.
  5. Texas A&M (+23.90).  You gave up 54 points to LSU?  Seriously?
  6. Tennessee (-22.90).  I got a lot of things wrong about college football this year, but I think my biggest miss was predicting Shoop would be a major upgrade over Jancek.  And, yes, that net yardage figure is correct.
  7. Ole Miss (+3.00).  This team really fell off the deep end after Chad Kelly’s season-ending injury.
  8. Arkansas (+9.20).  You have to wonder if Bert’s name starts showing up on coaches hot seat lists next year.
  9. Vanderbilt (-51.90).  The conference’s biggest overachiever, Vanderbilt was the only SEC team other than Alabama not to suffer a double-digit loss to a conference opponent.  Derek Mason did a helluva job, especially in the second half of the season.
  10. Mississippi State (-12.30).  Not a great year, but they’ll take that Egg Bowl win with a smile.  Nah, make that a shit-eating grin.
  11. Georgia (+54.40).  The net YPG figure suggests that, once again, Georgia was the SEC’s biggest underachiever.  Good to see at least some traditions live on.
  12. Kentucky (-11.20).  Stoops finally breaks through and gets his team to a bowl game.  Another raise would seem in order, no?
  13. Missouri (+20.80).  If the Tigers learn to play defense, this team could rise rapidly.
  14. South Carolina (-70.80).  Give Boom credit — this team has no business playing in a bowl game, but it’s one step up on the Mississippi schools in that regard.

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Filed under SEC Football

Fabris Pool results, Week 13

And, so, my friends, we come to the end of another year of regular season pick ’ems.  It’s only fitting that the last week end in a tiebreaker.  But we have a new weekly winner.

STANDINGS for WEEK 13
Rank
Selection Name
Standings
Adjustment
W-L
Pts
Tie Breaker Game
27-30
1 suzieuga Adj 8-2 8   28-31**
1 dawg with no fleas Adj 8-2 8   14-17

Congrats to suzie.

And then there’s the season race.

SEASON STANDINGS through Week 13
Rank
You
Selection Name
W-L
Pts
1 Gravidy Picks 79-50 79
2 wilcodawg 77-52 77

The lead tightened, but not enough in the end. Congrats to Gravidy, this year’s certified college football genius.

Before you ask, yes, there will be a bowl game pick ’em, so stay tuned.

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Filed under GTP Stuff