Daily Archives: March 1, 2017

This time it’s for real.

I love the way the court system keeps pretending Harvey Updyke gives a shit about repaying his almost $800,000 in restitution fees.  It’s so cute!

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, See You In Court, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Today, in As the Rebels Turn

I linked to this rather breathless allegation a couple of weeks ago:

“Ole Miss, per multiple sources, possesses a recording, and has given the SEC a copy, of Lewis’ mother asking Ole Miss for money and detailing incentives she received from other programs, including Mississippi State,” McCready reported.

Oh, hells yeah!  Pass the popcorn, bitchez!

So what’s the deelio?

A tape does exist, a well-connected source with knowledge of the case told AL.com, but the NCAA was aware of it before issuing Ole Miss an updated Notice of Allegations last week, and the tape isn’t any type of smoking gun…

The source who spoke to AL.com directly refuted the two key points in that report. The source said Lewis’ mother on that tape doesn’t ask Ole Miss for money and doesn’t mention other schools.

I see.  Other than that, though, it’s perfect, right?

Meanwhile, it looks like Ole Hugh’s got some more fish to fry.

Ole Miss signee Tae-Kion Reed was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with burglary, according to Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department Detective Capt. Ryan Rickert.

Rickert said Reed attempted to burglarize a home and remains in Lowndes County Jail as of Wednesday morning. The investigation of the crime is ongoing.

Reed, 19, attends New Hope and is a three-star defensive tackle prospect, according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings.

“We are gathering facts on the matter,” an Ole Miss spokesman said.

Lucky for them, Ole Miss has lots of experience with fact gathering.  Heckuvan offseason you’re having there, Rebels.

10 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Freeze!

Justifying expectations

Some of you may have misconstrued the point behind yesterday’s post about Phil Steele’s returning starter numbers.  (Well, maybe not so much with the previously banned troll who returned under yet another moniker.  But I digress.)  It wasn’t offered as preseason happy talk, or as a prediction of greatness.  It was meant to show that last year’s excuse about roster holes isn’t going to work so well in 2017.

Or to put it another way,

Georgia’s got a nice-looking roster.

The Dawgs have one of the best situations in the country, with almost their entire defense coming back (10 players) and a stud QB, Jacob Eason, heading into his sophomore year. Their 17 returning starters are tied for third-most nationally, they’re ninth in returning production, and they’ve added some instant contributors with the country’s No. 3 recruiting class. Steele also has UGA with seven returners on offense, including stud running back Nick Chubb.

Kirby Smart has a lot at his disposal, and this looks like the clear SEC East favorite.

At some point in time, it’s not the talent accumulation that’s the issue.  It’s how the talent is developed and deployed that matters.  Is that point in time this season?  You tell me.

48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

There oughta be a rule.

Coaches get to do easily what players can’t.

Kevin Beard has made a very quick, though not direct, ascent from Georgia’s support staff to full-time assistant at an SEC rival.

Beard, who spent the 2016 season as a quality control analyst on Georgia’s offense, left last month to become the receivers coach at Florida International. His stay was short.

Tennessee has now hired Beard as its receivers coach, according to multiple reports. He replaces Zach Azzanni, who left last week for a job with the Chicago Bears.

Beard is a former receiver at Miami, where he was the receivers coach in 2015. When he was not retained by new head coach Mark Richt, Beard followed former Miami offensive coordinator James Coley to Georgia. Coley became the Bulldogs’ receivers coach, and Beard helped assist the offense.

Now Beard will be on the other sideline when Georgia visits Tennessee on Sept. 30.

The irony here is that the official reason coaches give for blocking players from transferring to other conference schools or teams on the schedule — OMG, the intel they’d be passing on! — is far more applicable in the case of a staff analyst than a kid.

But we all know that’s not really what the transfer rule is all about, right?

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Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA

Throw the damned ball, McElwain.

This is one helluva stat.

Florida has had 10 different starting quarterbacks since Tebow left after 2009. None has passed for 2,500 yards or even thrown more than 12 touchdowns in a single season.

Holy crap.  And for those of you who think Boom’s offense represented some sort of nadir, I’ve got news for you.

The Gators need to upgrade at quarterback to lift an offense that has ranged from pedestrian to abysmal in McElwain’s first two seasons. In ’15 and ’16, Florida ranked 104th in the nation in offensive points per drive. The Gators ranked No. 102 in the nation in yards per play in 2015 and dropped to No. 105 last season.

Yet despite offenses for which anemic would almost be a compliment, the Gators are the two-time defending division champs.  Jeez, Dawgs, they’re flat out stealing from you.  Doesn’t that angry up the blood, even a little?

32 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Stats Geek!

“But yes, we need to cut some plays out of the game.”

Steve Shaw has his own version of the Process, it seems.

Inside the SEC office this winter in Birmingham, Alabama, three SEC employees are going through the mind-numbing task of retiming several college football games as if different playing rules applied.

How many plays might be lost and how much actual time could be saved if the game clock kept running after first downs? What if the clock started after incompletions on the ready-for-play signal? These questions are now getting asked as the average Football Bowl Subdivision game steadily grows longer, having reached three hours and 24 minutes in 2016 — up 12 minutes from 2010.

The work by SEC officiating coordinator Steve Shaw, director of video operations Cole Cunningham and video assistant Robert Milligan is not an inexact science. Through side-by-side cut-ups of video from coaches film and television broadcasts, they are analyzing different kinds of games — such as those with lots of incompletions and others without many passes — to come up with ballpark numbers on saved time.

“The offense right now completely controls the tempo of the game,” Shaw said. “But if you change the rules, you can change the behavior of a team. You may see ball-control teams that, on an incomplete pass, literally slow down and let that whole time run. You could have up-tempo teams speed up and be ready to snap because there’s more urgency with the clock moving. What would those rules mean as it looks today? I don’t think anybody has the answer to that.”

The SEC plans to provide its results for the Division I Football Competition Committee and NCAA Football Rules Committee meetings in late February and early March. The ACC did a similar study by examining eight games and found a “few minutes” would be saved with a running clock after first downs or if the clock started after incompletions, ACC officiating coordinator Dennis Hennigan said.

No major actions on game lengths are expected in 2017 since this is an off year for rules changes unrelated to player safety. But there’s a multi-faceted, big-picture conversation starting to occur again related to game lengths that involve fan enjoyment, player safety and competitive balance. They’re all intertwined to these central questions: Has college football shifted too much to offense, and if so, is there a desire to swing the pendulum back?

Everybody’s using analysts these days.

Yeah, the Competition Committee is a new thing.  It’s what organizations that don’t know what to do do best — form committees to scratch their collective asses and make proposals so others can have something over which to stroke their chins and ponder.

In the meantime, we’re back to the same old, same old.  College football looks for a way to rob a few minutes here and there to keep the ESPN train on schedule.  (Although it’ll be dressed up in concerns about the fans and player safety robes, to be sure.)

“There’s a growing sense on the administrator side we need to make sure we’re keeping an eye on length of game,” said NCAA associate director Ty Halpin, the liaison for the football rules committee. “Certainly, the television partners are part of that. But there’s also a factor of how attractive it is to spend your entire Saturday at a game. Plenty of people want to continue to do that, but we have to make sure the next generation of fans also want to be a part of that.”

Is there some sort of swelling fan movement complaining about the time spent on Saturdays at football games I’ve missed?  The only bitching I’ve consistently noticed is over the seemingly interminable television time outs as Buicks are hocked to a public that’s usually scrambling for the restrooms while the paying customers are stuck watching the time out official stand around waiting to signal the game back in.

Unless you’re American Football Coaches Association executive director Todd Berry, I guess.

“I went to eight or nine games this year, and by midway through the third quarter, I was getting tired,” Berry said. “I never recognized it as a coach because you have so many things you’re thinking about. But for the spectator, you can only watch the entertainment on the field during breaks so many times before it gets really old.”

Todd sounds like the kind of guy who tells the people in front of him to quit standing up so much during the game.

You can read the rest of Solomon’s article, if you so choose, but all it boils down to is a lot of nibbling at rules changes without really knowing much about what kind of effect they’d have on the game, and, of course, nary a word about there being too many commercial breaks during games.  It’s almost as if these people are bound and determined to screw up a good thing.

23 Comments

Filed under College Football

Oooo, oooo, growin’ up…

The long journey of Jacob Park:

He committed to Georgia in June 2013. The No. 93 prospect nationally and fourth-ranked dual-threat quarterback with offers from Alabama, Florida State and Notre Dame, Park appeared a suitable heir to Aaron Murray, whose UGA career wrapped as Park led Goose Creek (S.C.) Stratford to the Class AAAA Division II state championship game and took the title of Mr. Football in his home state to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

After his first spring at Georgia, Park redshirted behind Hutson Mason, Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta. The departure to Colorado State of offensive coordinator Mike Bobo preceded a second spring for the quarterback without movement on the depth chart.

Park said he questioned training methods, coaching decisions and the impact of work away from the field on his progress.

“I just don’t think my personality and their personality went together,” Park said of his time at Georgia. “I never was cocky or arrogant or thought I had all the answers, but I definitely wasn’t as open-minded as I thought I was.”

More than that, he got frustrated easily and failed to handle the scrutiny of living under a spotlight.

“People think your life’s perfect because you play quarterback at a major university, but they have no idea how many eyes are on you at all times,” he said. “That was a weird time in my life. My trust in the whole business of football was really killing my love for the game.”

… The experiences at Georgia and elsewhere, Park said, were “the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Today, he embraces the early morning workouts he used to despise.

“As a person, I’ve taken tremendous strides,” Park said. “As a football player, I’m much more dialed in and controlled. The stuff that coach Patterson preached to me when I was [at NEO] and that coach Campbell continues to preach to me here, I don’t know if it’s the first time I’ve heard it or if I’m just a better listener, but it all makes sense now.

“There’s no pointless conversations with anybody. My life makes sense for me.”

I know it’s easy to point at Park and chalk him up as another whiff at the position by Richt — why didn’t the coaches see his attitude coming during recruitment? — that hurt the program in 2015.  But I wonder, even more than I do about Brice Ramsey’s case, what might have been with Park had Bobo not taken the Colorado State job.  Some coaches do a better job of getting kids’ heads out of their asses than others, and Park’s career at Iowa State indicates he was open to that kind of coaching.

Water under the bridge, I know…

 

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Filed under Georgia Football