Daily Archives: July 29, 2017

When playing “Sandstorm” twenty times a game isn’t enough

This’ll have ’em knocking down the stadium gates to get in.

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp believes Gamecocks fans will see a more exciting product in their seven trips into Williams-Brice Stadium this fall. USC marketing director Eric Nichols believes they’ll hear a more exciting sound, too.

That’s thanks to the live disc jockey the school will hire and place in the stadium for pregame and in-game entertainment this season.

“Our music wasn’t where it needed to be. It just wasn’t resonating with any segment of the fan base. It needed a refresh. The new DJ will provide that refresh,” Nichols, the school’s senior associate athletics director for marketing and branding, told The State newspaper. “Everyone’s pulling the same direction that recruiting is our No. 1 focus. With that being the direction, it’s a natural fit.”

That’s what you get when you have a senior associate athletics director for marketing and branding.  This is the kind of branding I can do without:

The DJ also could interject music between plays, although all the details haven’t been decided on, Nichols said.

“It’s not like we’re going to play music between every play, but we will be learning from Game 1 to Game 7 what resonates with the fans and the players,” Nichols said. “I expect it to be very positive. The music is an area that we needed to improve, and we are putting human resources and financial resources into making it better.”

Better is a relative term.  Is it reasonable to expect that as the season tanks, the musical interruptions increase?

They’ve got another position called associate athletics director for new and creative media.  That guy’s gonna crank out more in-game videos.

Evidently, the brain trust in the South Carolina athletic department is sold on distracting Gamecock fans from watching the game.  I hope nobody in Athens gets similar ideas.




Filed under 'Cock Envy

Welcome back.

Bill Connelly’s preview of South Carolina“So South Carolina is improving but isn’t and is gaining ground on the division but isn’t” is essentially spot on — led me to something he posted in January that I evidently missed.

The East was crazy-young in 2016, and division teams ranked seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 31st, and 50th in my initial returning production figures. Only Tennessee returns less than 67 percent of production.

Click on that link and you’ll find that Bill wrote this about the SEC East’s upcoming season:

As things stand, four SEC East teams rank among the top 10 in overall returning production: Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, and Vanderbilt. Plus, Missouri ranks in the top 10 in returning offense and is 31st overall.

Granted, last year’s two best East teams — Florida (15th in year-end S&P+) and Tennessee (28th) — have some inexperience to deal with. The Gators should show gains on offense but also rank 103rd in returning defensive production, while Tennessee ranks 109th in overall production.

Still, the division as a whole should improve. It won’t catch the West, but expect a little more balanced playing field in the SEC.

More specifically, and based on his metric…

How returning production in four different offensive stats correlates with changes in Offensive S&P+ ratings:

(The higher the number, the more likely returning production in these areas is to coincide with strong offense.)

  • Receiving yards correlation: 0.320
  • Passing yards correlation: 0.231
  • Rushing yards correlation: 0.126
  • Offensive line starts correlation: 0.096

The conclusion remains: Continuity in the passing game matters a hell of a lot, and continuity in the run game doesn’t have as strong an impact.

On defense, where returning production appears to matter more in general, the correlations are both stronger and more diverse. Since teams use different numbers of defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs, I look at both unit-specific categories and those for defense as a whole.

Correlation between defensive stats and changes in Defensive S&P+:

  • Overall passes defensed correlation: 0.406
  • Overall tackles correlation: 0.369
  • Defensive back passes defensed correlation: 0.363
  • Defensive back tackles correlation: 0.352
  • Overall tackles for loss correlation: 0.296
  • Defensive back tackles for loss correlation: 0.291
  • Linebacker tackles for loss correlation: 0.174
  • Defensive line sacks correlation: 0.171

The main takeaways are similar to last year: disruption and continuity in the secondary are key. And the ability to get hands on passes, via interception or breakup, is harder to replicate than any other, when it comes to box-score disruption.

… Georgia turns up 35th in returning offensive production, 5th in returning defensive production and 9th overall.  Interestingly, with regard to the overall rankings, Georgia is essentially tied with three other teams at 81%, and all four teams reside in the SEC East.  And in a comparison of the four — Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt — I think most would say that Georgia has the most talented roster.

One other interesting thing about Bill’s analysis is that, contrary to Phil Steele, he finds a low correlation between returning production on the offensive line and statistical improvement on offense.  If you’re Georgia, that’s good news, right?

There’s one other thing to consider from Georgia’s perspective with regard to Bill’s metric.  Florida was already showing badly in returning defensive production when he posted this, and with the loss of two more members of the Gators’ secondary, one of whom led the team in tackles last season, you’d have to think that number goes even further south now.  That’s some potentially bad news for a team that has relied heavily on its defense to win the division the past two seasons, so, to repeat, if you’re Georgia, that’s good news, right?

Again, none of this guarantees success for Georgia in 2017.  It is another indication, though, that the coaching staff should have enough raw material available to it to fashion a successful season.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

“Frankly, you’ve now got us wondering what you’re trying to hide.”

Houston Nutt’s lawyer wants to go through Hugh Freeze’s phone records.

Ole Miss notified Houston Nutt’s lawyer that producing those records would cost a mere twenty-five grand.  (I guess the working theory is if Hugh had to pay for escorts, make the Nuttster pay for the escorts’ numbers.)

Houston Nutt’s lawyer responded and made sure the media knew all about it.

In the correspondence, Jolly claims Mars’ record requests of Freeze’s phone logs from would cost Mars $25,100. The university contended it would need to use outside counsel to go through the calls.

“Considering the scope of your request, the need for redacting exempt information, the fact we are in active litigation with your client, and the number of recent public records requests received by UM, outside counsel will be engaged to assist in handling this request,” Jolly allegedly wrote. “Based on the preceding reasons, please consider this email notification that UM is unable to provide the requested documents within seven working days from the receipt of your 7/18/2017 request.”

Mars was irritated with Ole Miss’ position on his request.

“Since you did not identify a single exemption or legal authority to justify your position, I spent the last two days considering how the list of vague reasons you offered for requiring a full legal review of the phone logs, denying me access to them in the meantime, redacting them, and charging me for an unnecessary and meaningless legal review might possibly be justified under the Public Records Act or by some other Mississippi legal authority,” Mars wrote. “I could find absolutely no legal basis for you to rely on an exemption to delay producing the phone logs, redacting them, or making a ransom demand for the phone logs of between $25,000 and $50,000.”

In his back-and-forth with Ole Miss, Mars also included three legal authorities in order to support his position. He also requested the university present him by Monday afternoon with the statutory exemption it relies on to withhold the phone logs.

“Unless you can provide persuasive authority for your position, or reconsider your position before then, you can count on me taking you to court,” Mars wrote. “If it’s going to take a Mississippi judge to make Ole Miss comply with the Public Records Act, so be it.”

(As an aside, seven working days to produce?  Greg McGarity makes a “pffftt” sound in Ole Miss’ general direction.)

This Mars dude isn’t taking prisoners.  Some advice for Ole Miss here:  like seemingly every athletic department out there, PR isn’t your strong suit, so giving this guy public ammo at every turn probably isn’t going to be a winning strategy.  It’s highly entertaining, though; I’ll give you that.


Filed under Freeze!, See You In Court

Booch muscles up.

When you’re an SEC football coach on the hot seat, there’s only one man you can turn to.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Jimmy Sexton is the Nick Saban of agents and is Nick Saban's agent