Daily Archives: December 22, 2016

Cheaters never prosper.

Good grief.

This is Georgia, so you know there are consequences, even if events didn’t occur at Georgia.

That’s a relief.  I worried McGarity might volunteer a four-game suspension of Nick Chubb next season to atone for Virginia Tech’s sins.




Filed under Georgia Football

The Republic is saved!

Meet LEAD1.

LEAD1 Association (the “Association” or “LEAD1”), which represents the 129 athletic directors and programs of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools, announced the formation of a Political Action Committee (“PAC’), a means by which the Association’s members and affiliate members can support candidates for elective office. A PAC allows the Association’s members and affiliate members to pool their personal financial resources to support candidates who philosophically align with the Association’s goals and objectives so that they achieve a stronger voice on Capitol Hill. The LEAD1 PAC will be the first for a college sports organization.

The Honorable C. Thomas McMillen, the President and Chief Executive Officer of LEAD1, who served three terms in Congress, commented, “This is a positive move by the board of the Association to support the goals of its members in dealing with policy makers. At the annual meeting in September, the members agreed to hold next year’s annual meeting in our nation’s capital and to explore the formation of a PAC. With the PAC now approved, it further ensures that the concerns of the LEAD1 members will be heard by members of Congress, and other key decision makers in Washington, D.C. and across the country.”

Essential to the mission of the LEAD1 Association are influencing how the rules of college sports are enacted and implemented, advocating for the future of college athletics, and providing various services to the members, ranging from professional development to pooled purchasing arrangements. The mission statement of the LEAD1 Association is, “Supporting the athletic directors of America’s leading intercollegiate programs in preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders.”
[Emphasis added.]

I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired.



Filed under Political Wankery

“Keep riding that white horse.”

Ken Starr and Art Briles, muy simpatico.


Filed under Baylor Is Sensitive To Women's Issues

Looking back and hoping to move forward

It’s December, a time of reflection if you’re a college football blogger.  Bill Connelly looks back on the hits and misses from his preseason projections here.  The basic data was the subject of an earlier post I linked to, but Bill’s commentary is worth an added note.

Georgia, as we saw in the first piece, went through one of college football’s biggest drops in advanced stats, but wasn’t alone in that department.  Bill looks for some similarities among the underperformers and finds this:

You can find some themes here, too. Six of these teams (BGSU, Baylor, Georgia, Syracuse, Rutgers, Georgia Southern) were led by first-year coaches, as were Illinois (off by 26 spots), Virginia (26), and Maryland (25). Sometimes even good coaches just don’t get all the pieces in the right places in the first 12 or so games.

Another commonality: Most of these teams have had great seasons recently. Bowling Green won 28 games from 2013-15 before losing Dino Babers to Syracuse. Oregon was in the national title game in 2014. Georgia won 50 games from 2011-15 but decided that wasn’t good enough and made a change. Baylor won 50 from 2011-15 but headed into 2016 with an interim coach after Art Briles’ swift downfall. Marshall won 33 from 2013-15. Sometimes your slope for regression to the mean is pretty stark, especially if you also have a first-year coach.

One more correlation worth mentioning: Eight of these 18 teams were among the top 25 in 2016 recruiting, and nine were among the top 28 in two-year recruiting. There is a strong correlation between good recruiting and good play, but it’s scattershot. It doesn’t affect each team the same in the short-term, and for all the predictive value recruiting can have (the top six teams in two-year recruiting are among the top 11 in S&P+, as are seven of the top nine in five-year recruiting), there will be misses.

That goes for all projection factors. Recent history wasn’t helpful in projecting Oregon’s or Georgia’s S&P+ rating…

Advanced stats have expectations, too.

The interesting part is where he looks for correlations among the overachievers.

What do these teams have in common? First of all, 12-of-13 are from Group of 5 conferences. Colorado is the only exception.

Second, seven of the 13 are led by coaches in either their second or third seasons in charge. Three others are in their fourth. Only Memphis (under Mike Norvell) was led by a first-year guy, and only ODU was led by a guy who’s been around at least six years.

If you’re going to take a leap, your second or third season is probably when you’re going to do it.

The experience stuff seems pretty obvious.  And when you think about it, the non-P5 stuff does, too.  Those aren’t typically your heavy hitting programs when it comes to recruiting and that’s going to show up in Bill’s preseason projections.

What does that say about Mike Bobo, whose CSU program finished the regular season with the greatest improvement in S&P+ ratings this season and who cut his teeth recruiting well in the SEC wars?  It says to me that if he keeps it up, he’ll wind up treading the Jim McElwain path to bigger and better times.

There’s hope in that experience factor for Kirby Smart, of course, and, while there’s no guarantee, it certainly doesn’t hurt that at this early point he appears to be even more skilled in hauling talent to Athens than Bobo was.  But there’s also Bill’s final word to consider.

Of the current S&P+ top 10, nine were projected in the top 11 at the start of the season, and the only outsider (Louisville) was projected 18th. The current six best have spent exactly one week outside of the top 11. There was, and will always be, chaos and turmoil in the middle, but the top of college football fell into place mostly according to plan.

In other words, to be the best you… uh, gotta be the best.  Maintaining at the top seems to be easier than the climb to get there, at least in 2016.  Grab your backpacks, peeps.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The latest in fake juice

McCaffrey and Fournette not playing in their teams’ respective bowl games got you down?  No worries, mon, the pundit class is riding to the rescue.

Andy Staples is all oh, hells, yeah! about this.

This is simple and brilliant. In fact, it is so simple and brilliant that it’s difficult to imagine the schools—who traditionally like to create as much red tape as possible—passing an NCAA rule that would allow redshirting players to play in their team’s bowl game without losing a year of eligibility. But it would be excellent.

Imagine Ohio State putting in a package for freshman quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who instead will spend the run-up to the Fiesta Bowl mimicking Clemson’s Deshaun Watson on the scout team. Imagine Alabama beefing up its linebacker depth following the injury to Shaun Dion Hamilton with Ben Davis, who probably would have played this year if not for a preseason ankle injury.

This would be even more helpful to teams farther down the bowl pecking order. Because of the stakes, coaches in the playoff aren’t as likely to toss in redshirting players who have yet to appear in a game. But for coaches outside the playoff, where bowl practice is basically a head start on spring practice, the concept could be a godsend.

Um… Alabama doesn’t have enough of an advantage in the playoffs with the roster Saban’s already got?  He needs more help?

This rule tweak has little downside, and it’s difficult to imagine who would oppose it. Coaches would love it because their rosters are depleted by injury at this point in the season. Fresh bodies would help their teams. Redshirting players would love it because redshirt years can feel like interminable slogs. They’d be more attentive in meetings and at practice down the stretch in October and November if they knew their good habits could result in playing time in late December or early January. Fans would love it because they’d get a sneak peek at the future. Even if their team had a disappointing season and wound up in a lackluster bowl, they’d be much more interested in the bowl game if they thought there was a possibility of seeing a new star rise.

Amazing that in one breath we can complain about some players ditching their teammates after putting in a long season of work together and then in the next get all excited about the possibility of allowing coaches to bench some of those very same players we’re (supposedly) concerned about to give others who haven’t taken a snap in anger all year the opportunity to strut their stuff.  Instant gratification is the flavor of the day.

This is why we don’t deserve nice things any more.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

People, it’s not Bob Stoops. It’s us.

At least that’s what Bob would have us make of his decision to redshirt Joe Mixon after Mixon punched a girl’s lights out.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Wednesday that Joe Mixon would be off the team if he had punched a woman now instead of 2½ years ago, when he suspended the star running back for a year in a move that has drawn sharp criticism.

Mixon was suspended after punching Oklahoma student Amelia Molitor in 2014. Mixon returned last year and helped the Sooners reach the College Football Playoff, and he has been a standout again this year for No. 7 Oklahoma.

In reversing course, Stoops said he believed that the then-18-year-old Mixon could redeem himself. He said times have changed, and society now has a no-tolerance policy on domestic violence incidents. He said that’s a good thing.

“Two-and-a-half-years later, dismissal is really the only thing that is possible,” Stoops said. “A young guy having an opportunity to rehabilitate and to have some kind of discipline and come back from it is really not there anymore. Hopefully that message goes down even to the high school level, that these things are just unacceptable to any degree.”

Ah, the good ol’ days, when it used to be okay to assault somebody and then have an opportunity to rehabilitate play football.  This country’s gotten too soft, I tells ‘ya.  Between this and Baylor, what’s a Big 12 program supposed to do?


Filed under Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment

The most Georgia play of bowl season

Really, this gave me a real sense of déjà vu to watch, from last night’s Poinsettia Bowl between BYU and Wyoming:

Just like you draw it up.


Filed under College Football

The most un-Dragon*Con thing ever

Georgia Tech offensive tackle Eason Fromayan is leaving the program with one year of eligibility remaining to start training to earn a spot on a NASCAR pit crew.

I can say without a trace of snark that’s Chantastic.  Okay, maybe a little snark…


Filed under Georgia Tech Football