Daily Archives: February 3, 2017

Why there will be expectations.

Paul Myerberg has this chart of the SEC, based upon using the composite standings compiled by 247Sports.com, tallying the average final class ranking for each Power Five team during the past five years, that serves nicely as a rebuttal to anyone out there who wants to push a throwaway year narrative about this coming Georgia football season.

2-3-sec-graphic-fw

At least in the context of the SEC East, that “cupboard is bare” excuse really isn’t going to fly, even taking into account what happened to the 2013 class.

And as far as the future goes, note that Georgia is only one of two SEC teams that managed to sign their best-ranked classes in 2017.

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41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Doing the math, Kirby-style

With regard to roster management, Dorothy, we’re not in Mark Richt’s Kansas any more.

Kirby Smart didn’t seem worried on Wednesday when asked about the team’s potential numbers crunch. The direct quote: “We’ll be fine with the 85.”

And that was about an hour before it emerged that graduate transfer kicker David Marvin was on the way this fall, expecting to receive a scholarship. The media didn’t know about that yet, so Smart wasn’t asked, but no doubt he knew about that, and still felt “we’ll be fine with the 85.”

That would be, for the uninitiated, the NCAA’s scholarship limit of 85. A reminder: Georgia doesn’t need to be at or under the limit until the summer begins and the new recruits enroll. What that means: There’s going to be attrition between now and then.

Based on what is publicly known, Georgia is now probably committed to 89 scholarships for the 2017 season. It signed 26 players, and Marvin’s scholarship would make it 27.

As closely as Smart managed the recruiting numbers, you have to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he says he’s comfortable sliding in under the 85-man limit.  Which isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of moving parts to be managed between now and August.

This of course is a relatively hard count that doesn’t include walk-ons who have been on scholarship. The exceptions are Frix, as noted, as well as senior Aaron Davis, who came to school as a walk-on but long ago was put on scholarship, and has been such a key player that it’s hard to see him being anything but a scholarship player.

There’s obviously the Rodrigo Blankenship situation. If you were under the belief that eventually a scholarship would be found for Blankenship, then the Marvin news throws a giant wrench in that. Fullback Christian Payne is also a walk-on, and would have a good case for getting a scholarship. But only if there’s room.

If the above numbers are right, then Georgia is four over the limit. How does it make room? Smart pointed out that “you’ve got guys who are graduates who may transfer.” That includes Davis and John Atkins, but they’re in line for major playing time and there’s been no inkling they’ll leave. Other players are set to graduate this summer, and they include Ramsey and Wilkerson, for what it’s worth.

Some incoming players could always not qualify. But more likely it will come down to players leaving because of playing time. That could happen prior to spring practice, or players could wait to evaluate their situation after spring practice.

Say goodbye to the feel good era of handing out short-term scholarships to a half-dozen or so deserving walk-ons at a time.  The numbers simply aren’t there.  And there may be a few more kids than usual moving on to other opportunities as the summer draws nigh.

Enjoy the sausage making, peeps.  If you don’t want to see your team field a short-handed roster, it’s what they’ve got to do.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“I always relate it to Chick-fil-A.”

After listening to Kirby Smart speak about quality control, I’m wondering — since he’s got recruiting running in its properly greased groove, is there any chance they could turn control of Sanford Stadium concessions management over to him?  It sure sounds like he’s got a better handle on what’s important about customer service than the folks running the show now do.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“The first lesson I can take from that is that really good players play really good.”

One of the things I like about Kirby Smart is that he has a functional bullshit detector.  It was good to see him push back on this suggestion:

Kirby Smart’s first full recruiting cycle as Georgia’s head football coach is now complete.

Now, the obvious question.

Can his first full class of Bulldogs signees have an immediate impact similar to Alabama’s first full recruiting class under Nick Saban in 2008, when Smart was beginning an eight-year run as the Crimson Tide defensive coordinator that eventually included four national championships?

“Please don’t,” Smart said at even the hint of a comparison during Wednesday’s signing day news conference.

At this point, it’s exciting, but it’s nothing but untapped potential, or, as Smart put it, “… we don’t really know for sure if we’ve got good players until they get here.”

For that matter, we really don’t know for sure if he’s got good players until they get coached up.  If they get coached up, that is.

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Filed under Georgia Football

I’d like to accept this award on behalf of the reserve fund.

Booch can keep his championship of life trophy.  Greg McGarity has the best championship of all, bitchez.

The Southeastern Conference continued flexing — and growing — its financial muscle, showing revenue of $639 million during its 2016 fiscal year, according to its new federal tax return.

The return, provided to USA TODAY Sports by the conference on Thursday, showed that the distributions to its 14 members schools ranged from $41.9 million for the University of Georgia to $39.1 million for Alabama and Mississippi.

Yeah!  Your Process didn’t win that, Tuscaloosa.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

A rising tide lifts all non-amateur boats.

Hey, for those of you who were saying a couple of years ago that there simply wasn’t enough money available for SEC schools to pay student-athletes in revenue producing sports…

… will there ever be?

7 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Georgia recruiting, a zero sum game

If you’re looking for a nice summary of how Georgia’s signing day measures up against the rest of the division, SB Nation has it for you here.  This chart, in particular, speaks volumes:

UGA blue-chips vs. the SEC East

Class Year 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Georgia 4/5-stars 20 13 14 13 15 10
Ratio of UGA blue chips vs East 1.3 2.4 2.8 3.5 2.1 3.8
Rest of SEC East Combined 26 31 39 46 32 38

The total number of blue chips signed by SEC East teams runs in a range of the mid-40s to the mid-50s from year to year, and 2017 fits neatly into that pattern.  But Georgia signed nearly half of that total, which is a radical departure from the previous five seasons.  The biggest reason for that is the mythical fence Kirby Smart erected:  “In total, Georgia’s 2017 class is made up of 26 members; 18 are from the state of Georgia alone, including 16 blue-chips.”

You think about the other East programs like South Carolina and Tennessee that have to make a living off Georgia talent to succeed because they lack the in state talent base, and you realize that Smart’s killing two birds with one stone here.  If 2017 turns out to be anything but a one-year wonder, the longer term implications of what that means for the division are pretty apparent.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football