January 4, 2017 · 12:45 PM
From Mandel’s Mailbag today:
Stewart – does the fact that Ohio State made the playoff without winning its division, then got blown out by Clemson, change the narrative of the committee going forward? No matter how good a team “looks” during the season it’s going to be hard to select them ahead of a conference champion if a situation arises similar to the Big Ten’s this year given Ohio State’s poor showing and the fact that Penn State won the conference but was left out.
Well, you knew this was coming.
If the committee is being true to its mission then it shouldn’t let any bowl results affect its decisions. It’s not their job to be prophets and predict how the games will play out. All they can do is make their decisions based on what the teams achieved during the regular season, and the committee seemed pretty adamant that Ohio State’s resume was superior to Penn State’s.
Remember, it didn’t come down to those two for the last spot, it came down to Washington vs. Penn State.
But I realize much of the public — perhaps even the majority? — believe that conference champs should be rewarded above all else. Frankly, the most surprising aspect of the late-season debate for me was the fact that so many people were willing to just completely disregard Penn State’s extra loss. I’d always assumed there would be enormous backlash whenever the day does come that a two-loss team gets in before a one-loss team. Turns out a great number of you are perfectly OK with that.
I don’t see the committee changing its protocol prior to next season. The emphasis on “four best teams” was a directive from the commissioners when they established the playoff. But I also think you might go another nine years and never see the same scenario — a two-loss conference champ that beat a one-loss team in its own division — play out again.
His point about two losses is a fair cop. But if you don’t think going forward that the selection committee will be a little more gun shy about plopping a non-conference champ school into the semi-finals, you must not have been paying attention to what happened after the last time Alabama and LSU faced off against each other twice in the same season.
After all, it’s not like these people can be accused of a ton of consistency in their selection rationale from year to year. Just ask Baylor and TCU how they felt about Ohio State making it in.
January 4, 2017 · 12:33 PM
So, I’m trying to understand what this rather strange quote from Clemson’s Ben Boulware is about.
And, um… I guess it’s this.
There are days when I’m relieved I’ve never been in the arena.
January 4, 2017 · 11:04 AM
Sure, it’s a long way to signing day, but when’s the last time you saw a recruiting pundit offer this with a straight face?
The state of Georgia is loaded with talent, and with Georgia Tech, a team that runs a significantly different system than Georgia, as the only in-state competition. Smart and his staff are doing an excellent job of building a fence around the fertile recruiting state.
Kirby’s done built himself a fence!
Everyone talks about controlling the home state talent as a priority in recruiting. It’ll really be something if this staff pulls that off with this class.
January 4, 2017 · 7:29 AM
Seth Emerson makes a point about how Georgia’s offense utilized the tight end position this season.
But the tight ends – other than Nauta – were also used less than expected. They combined for 38 catches and 472 receiving yards, which was better than last year (28 catches for 306 yards), but it was mostly Nauta, while Jeb Blazevich saw his catches go from 15 to six, and Jackson Harris didn’t catch any.
The tight ends actually played better: They combined for 38 catches and 472 receiving yards, an improvement over last year. But that was mostly Nauta. The usage of the tight ends, despite a deep unit, was less than expected: Jeb Blazevich went from 15 catches to six, and Jackson Harris from four to zero.
In defense of Jim Chaney (admittedly, words I didn’t think I’d have much need to type this offseason), usage of the tight ends as a group, at least from a percentage of total receptions standpoint, actually increased fairly significantly in 2016 over the previous four seasons, per cfbstats.com.
- 2012: 14%
- 2013: 14%
- 2014: 14%
- 2015: 14%
- 2016: 19%
Nauta’s 29 catches were the most for a Georgia tight end since Arthur Lynch’s 30 in 2013.
January 4, 2017 · 6:50 AM
… that shit… er, Lane Kiffin.
Saban wouldn’t elaborate on further questioning about the situation. Kiffin said on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” that the “press box would be ideal” when asked whether he would be on the sideline for the game against Clemson. Saban, however, dismissed that notion.
“That’s really not even possible from a legal standpoint for him to do those things,” Saban said. “So that’s not something we’re interested in pursuing.”
Shouldn’t give people ideas, Coach. What are the odds that some Alabama fanatic is out there right now scrambling to get a motion filed asking a court to issue an injunction against Junior attending the national title game?
Personally, I think the Laner would make an excellent addition to ESPN’s pre-game show.
January 4, 2017 · 6:42 AM
When the next round of playoff expansion comes, I’m sure there will be a lot of talk from Bill Hancock about how the suits have carefully and thoughtfully considered student-athletes’ welfare in their decision.
It’s just that there’s so much money.
January 4, 2017 · 6:37 AM
Georgia Tech fans, this is why you can’t have nice things.
The TaxSlayer Bowl attendance was 43,102 for Georgia Tech’s 33-18 victory over Kentucky last Saturday, down from 58,212 for Georgia-Penn State the previous year…
In the case of the TaxSlayer Bowl, ticket sales by Georgia Tech fans and local sales dragged.
Kentucky’s fan base, spurred by their first bowl trip in six years and first Florida bowl game in 18 years, sold out its allotment of 8,000 tickets in three days and were estimated to have purchased 12,000…
But it was still the lowest attendance since 1958 and the two lowest-attended TaxSlayer Bowls, last week and the 2000 Georgia Tech vs. Miami game, have involved the Yellow Jackets.
Catlett said he’s not going to criticize the ACC for slotting Tech to Jacksonville.
At least not in public.
January 4, 2017 · 6:32 AM
— Tracy Claeys’ parting shot after being fired by Minnesota for doing something really, really stupid.
At least it’s more coherent than what the athletic director had to say.
… When the players launched their boycott two days later, Claeys tweeted: “Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights & support their effort to make a better world!”
Asked what impact that tweet had on his decision, Coyle said, “This isn’t about one specific incident. … I think the events over the past few weeks underscored the concerns and some of the things I’ve been seeing in that program.”
Coyle pledged a better image for Gophers athletics when he took office June 1. For the past year, the department’s troubles have often overshadowed sports success.
The men’s basketball team suspended three players last spring when a sex video was posted to a player’s social media account. Another player was suspended this summer while the university investigated a sexual assault allegation. A drug problem permeated the wrestling program, resulting in the firing of a longtime coach. The year before, Coyle’s predecessor, Norwood Teague, resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
“We have teams winning the Big Ten Conference championships, teams going to the Final Four, and we are not talking about those things,” Coyle said.
“What I am trying to do is to build a culture of excellence. I’m trying to build a department,” he added.
He wants to find a head coach who “embraces what Minnesota is all about”. Presumably, that involves using Twitter more responsibly.