Daily Archives: July 17, 2017

It’s a good recruiting start. That’s all.

Before you get too irrationally exuberant about Georgia’s 2017 recruiting class — one of the best overall in the program’s history — make sure you first measure it in the context of the program Kirby Smart is chasing.

Beginning with the 2008 class, which was Saban’s first full recruiting cycle, Alabama has concluded National Signing Day with an average ranking of 1.7 in the 247Sports.com composite.

Since 2011, the Crimson Tide have finished with the nation’s top recruiting class every single season. In 2017 alone, Alabama signed six five-star recruits. To compare, Georgia has signed seven five-star prospects combined over the past three seasons…

… Of late, Smart has done the greatest job competing with Alabama on the recruiting trail. Smart helped Georgia finish with the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class this past February, although it was still roughly 20 points behind Alabama’s, according to the 247Sports.com formula.

You got it.  Over the last decade, Alabama’s average recruiting ranking is better than Georgia’s 2017 ranking.

That talent gap isn’t going to be erased overnight, peeps.

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48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“You’d hate to see a game decided by something like that. But it’s the rule.”

I’m not accusing Kirby Smart specifically, but does anyone else besides me find the coaching class a trifle hypocritical in defending the need for the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on players while getting a little passive-aggressive about it being turned on them?  (Penn Wagers doesn’t count.)

18 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Huntley Johnson, workin’

Soon to be appearing in a major season opener against Michigan…

For some reason, I can’t figure out the Afroman lyric that fits this fact pattern.

8 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators...

“And to top it off, Vanderbilt beat us in football, baseball and golf.”

I received several emails yesterday about Seth Emerson’s post of a letter from a former Georgia baseball player questioning Greg McGarity’s leadership.  All were along the lines of “have you read it?” and “are you going to post something about it?”.

My initial reaction was, “eh, why bother?”.  There’s nothing particularly new in there in terms of the complaints registered.  The only reason it’s even slightly newsworthy is that it comes from a source who’s a little more juiced than the average Georgia fan.

My involvement with UGA baseball goes back for the past 23 years. I lettered in the 1960s and have known every coach since. My duties have ranged from president of the lettermen’s club, to chairman of a large fundraiser at the governor’s mansion, and many other activities. In 2001 Athletic Director Vince Dooley asked me to be on the baseball selection committee, which I did when David Perno was selected as coach. Over many years, I’ve met and known numerous lettermen, both old and young from all sports and am in contact with many of them.

Even so, he doesn’t have any more insight into fixing the problem with Butts-Mehre than we unwashed do.  This is his action plan:

I blame all of us for accepting this mediocrity and just sitting there as things seem to get worse. What if football is 9-3, baseball finishes seventh, and basketball finally makes another top 64. What is accomplished? To me, average… because we need championships and our main rival, Florida, (5-21 in the last 26 games, in the “Gator Bowl”) is winning at the highest level in all sports, and in reality is our biggest rival.

UGASports.com has given Greg McGarity a 94 percent negative rating. This obviously is a very high negative percentage.

We must reach out to President Jere Morehead and let him know the high level of dissatisfaction. The issue is: Do we want to continue to be average or do we want to be at the top and be excellent?

Bless his heart.  At this point, if you think the problem is that Jere Morehead needs educating about the level of fan dissatisfaction with his athletic director, you are missing the point, and badly.  For Morehead to be unaware of this, he would have had to have been on a sabbatical in the Amazon rain forest for the past six months.  The last time I checked, Morehead’s been in town during that time.

Our problem, then, isn’t the result of a failure to reach out to the president.  Our problem is that Georgia’s chain of command defines fan dissatisfaction in a different way than we do.  Until we stop writing checks, they’re going to operate on the assumption that everything’s hunky dory.  And why not?  It’s worked so far.

48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The dream never dies.

Air Force’s football coach Troy Calhoun really wants to bring Cinderella to the college football playoff prom.

It was the sports fan – and Air Force/Group of Five advocate – in Calhoun who pitched his latest idea for the College Football Playoff.

Calhoun would take the field to eight and break it down like this:

1. ACC champ

2. Big Ten champ

3. Big 12 champ

4. Pac-12 champ

5. SEC champ

6. Wild card

7. Wild card

8. Group of Five playoff winner

That Group of Five playoff would consist of four entrants. He didn’t specify how those four would be determined. Maybe it would be the top-rated champions among the Group of Five. Maybe the top rated regardless of conference.

Point is, as a fan, he wants this process to be open to all involved, and he routinely cites Cinderella stories from other college sports as an example.

“I think it would, really, bring a wholeness that would be splendid for the spirit of college football,” Calhoun said.

That’s an eleven-team playoff, when you get down to it.  Why wouldn’t a sixteen-team playoff be even more whole?

The problems with this proposal are pretty apparent.

The most obvious issue is the sheer number of games involved. At a minimum, the team that wins the Group of Five playoff and moves onto the College Football Playoff would have to play three extra games — two G5 playoff games and then a CFP quarterfinal — which is more than what current CFP finalists have to play. At a maximum, that team would play five extra postseason games. Tack that onto a 13-game season and, theoretically, a Group of Five team could play 18 games. That’s more than most NFL teams. We can’t keep asking college football players to play more and more games without paying them a salary.

Secondly, it’s uncertain what type of market demand, if any, there is for more Group of Five teams in a playoff of any kind. For example, the idea of a second playoff involving Group of Five teams has enough legs that it won’t completely die. But in the quest for that next media rights pot of gold on the other end of the rainbow, it’s unknown just how full that pot really is. In February, Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier told CBS Sports “the concept he first floated in an ESPN interview may be worth at least $160 million per year to a TV rights-holder.

I suspect that second point is really what’s driving this.  The mid majors see the P5 conferences making all that sweet playoff bank and want their own taste of it.  As a standalone concept, that $160 million is likely to be little more than a pipe dream, but as part and parcel of an expanded CFP, it might have more legs.  Which ought to be a huge comfort to those kids asked to play in their eighteenth game of the season.

36 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

Man that zone!

If you’d like to be a little more knowledgeable any time you see one of those zone blocking versus man blocking discussions pop up in the comments section on occasion, you ought to spend a few minutes reading this post over at Roll ‘Bama Roll.  It’s an excellent primer on the subject.

See if this part about man blocking registers with you, based on Georgia last season:

Great stuff. You may notice that in all of the above plays, there is zero hesitation by the running back. His job is to get the ball into the designated hole as quickly as possible. This is one of the pros of man blocking: your running back doesn’t need great vision, as power and burst will suffice. This type of scheme also tends to instill something of a mean streak in your offensive line since their job is simply to blow people off the ball in an assigned direction, and the play action pass works especially well since linebackers and box safeties have little time to react in the run game.

On the flip side, this scheme requires your offensive linemen to be able to win their one-on-one battles and requires some creative play-calling lest it become too predictable. Also, since the offensive linemen are firing out to the second level on run plays and thus have to know whether a play is a run or pass, it greatly limits the use of RPOs. Lastly, the defense can guess at the playcalls based on formation and, if correct, create negative plays by overwhelming the offense’s numbers in the gap.

Pretty much checks all the boxes, doesn’t it?

That point about RPOs is especially worth pondering.  If Smart and Chaney do in fact land Justin Fields in next year’s class, there’s a little more involved in retooling the offense to take advantage of Fields’ complete skill set than simply telling him to take the ball and run.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Way to go

Couldn’t somebody in the athletic department come up with a better name?  The program, admirable as it is, certainly deserves better than this:

I can’t entirely discount the possibility that they’re just screwing with us, but it seems more likely they’re only being their usual tone deaf selves.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Life After Football