Daily Archives: September 29, 2017

Today, in sphincter tightening

I have no idea who the “millennial media” are.

Former Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge joined The Paul Finebaum show Friday afternoon, and he took the opportunity to vigorously defend Butch Jones.

The Tennessee coach drew criticism this week after going on a long rant Monday about the media and how he wants his program to be covered.

Ainge said Jones’ problem is because of the “millennial media” and believes only Alabama has more media coverage than Tennessee — and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

But it sure sounds like things are melting down in Knoxville.  Just imagine what an ass whipping tomorrow would contribute to that.



Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Chicks dig the long ball.

Me, too.

I just wish Smart would hire a real quarterbacks coach.  You know, somebody who played the position… yada, yada, yada.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

There is no quarterback controversy.

Barrett Sallee thinks it’s game over, Fromm’s won.

To put it more succinctly, the offense is developing under Fromm and Chaney. It’s expanding and stretching the field deep consistently…

To translate the coachspeak, Fromm is Smart’s guy and will stay that way unless the progress that has already been displayed somehow regresses to a point where Eason is needed.

It’s unlikely that’s going to happen, though.

With all due respect to Barrett, he’s sort of on the right track with his argument, but ultimately, it ain’t about Fromm vs. Eason.  Matt Hinton explains why.

Beyond the stat line, though — or even the scoreboard, really — what was most encouraging for the immediate future was how snugly all of the pieces fit together: The running game held up its end of the game plan, racking up 203 yards while consistently keeping its fledgling QB out of down-and-distance danger, and Fromm held up his, reliably eviscerating the MSU secondary off play-action.

In fact, given that it faced only two or three predictable passing downs with the outcome still (theoretically) in doubt, arguably all of Georgia’s success through the air was to some extent an extension of its success on the ground.

In short, it was exactly what Georgia has always envisioned for its offense at its best: A complementary, run-first attack that exceeds the sum of its many talented parts. It’s a system designed to turn a merely efficient signal-caller into a star. And as long as it continues to keep him in his comfort zone, everything we’ve seen so far suggests Fromm is ready for his closeup.  [Emphasis added.]

The running game is clicking.  The offensive line is rounding into some semblance of competency.  The end result is that Georgia’s offense doesn’t have to rely on throwing the ball to win.  Take a look at this season’s passing game log:

  • Appalachian State:  20 attempts, 113.24 passer rating
  • Notre Dame:  29 attempts, 100.49 passer rating
  • Samford:  15 attempts, 224.00 passer rating
  • Mississippi State:  12 attempts, 270.70 passer rating

Noticing any sort of a pattern there?

When you only need your quarterback to take a dozen shots a game with the ball because the rest of your offense is performing at a satisfactory level, you can make it with any talented quarterback, including a true freshman (although it certainly helps to have a precocious one like Fromm).  But I have a hard time believing Georgia couldn’t succeed equally well with Eason only having to put up 12-15 passing attempts a game.  Ultimately, if this keeps up, I don’t care who’s taking snaps.

Now, I’ll admit there’s a big “if” in that last sentence.  Hinton delves into that possibility.

The looming question at this point is how Fromm will look when the down-and-distance and the defense aren’t as favorable. Against Mississippi State, the offense was so efficient on first and second down that he barely faced any must-throw situations on third; all three of his successful third-down completions (including the long TD to Nauta) came on 3rd-and-5 or less. Can he consistently deliver from the pocket if it’s 3rd-and-8 and Chubb and Michel have been held in check?

We haven’t seen enough to know, but right now the answer is not obviously yes. To date only one of his nine pass attempts on 3rd-and-7 or longer has resulted in a first down, and his only interception came on a predictable passing down at Notre Dame.

So, yeah, it’s been smooth sailing for a couple of games now, and, yeah, there were a couple of head-scratching moments — or, maybe fairer, true freshman moments — in South Bend.  But we’re two games past that, which means Fromm’s experience has doubled.  He doesn’t strike me as a kid who’s going to regress significantly.

And before you go there, no, I don’t think Eason would be a step backwards if Fromm defies my expectations in tough times.  For one thing he’s got a lot more experience, but more than that, he’s got things like this working in his favor.

Maybe it takes him a little time to shake off the habits of 2016, but a well-protected blind side makes any quarterback better.  Add to that a better stable of running backs, what appears to be developing depth at wide receiver and Eason’s in a happier situation than what he was burdened with last season.  Yeah, I think he can succeed with that.

That’s why I say there’s no controversy.  For the first time in a long while, Georgia is blessed with quality depth at the position and appears to be providing real support either way things go there.  I honestly don’t care who starts, because I think either quarterback can deliver.  If you’re a Georgia fan, that may be a strange place to be, but I sure could get used to it.


Filed under Georgia Football

Friday morning buffet

If you’ve got an appetite, dig in.


Filed under ACC Football, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

They ain’t missing you.

You want to know how a defense gets a reputation for being sure-handed with its tackling?  That’s what you get when its top two tacklers almost never whiff when they get their hands on the man with the ball.

If you want the raw numbers, it translates into one miss in 53 chances.  Woo, baby.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The Art of the Deal, Dawgy-style

Gary Barnett discusses the time he was offered the Georgia job:

After the Wildcats went 10-1 and advanced to the Rose Bowl in 1995, UCLA and Georgia pursued Barnett. He was underpaid, and Northwestern had the Big Ten’s smallest recruiting and equipment budgets. He and attorney Rocky Walther sent a proposal for a contract extension but had to wait weeks for a counteroffer.

“We were not asking for the world,” Barnett said.

Barnett visited Georgia’s campus on the way back from a trip to Orlando, Fla., to receive a national coach of the year award.

“Rocky calls and tells me that (Georgia athletic director) Vince Dooley has offered me the job,” Barnett said. “It includes a membership at Augusta National. He says: ‘Rocky, we can make the contract 25 pages or one page. Bottom line, we’re gonna pay him lot of money. We’re gonna pay him more if he wins. And we’re gonna fire him if he loses.’

It didn’t work because Barnett didn’t like the timing (“They wanted me to make a decision before the bowl game because of recruiting. I couldn’t.”), but that Augusta National membership offer got me to thinking.  What if in 1989 Dooley had offered Spurrier the same package instead of hiring Ray Goff?


Filed under Georgia Football

You can throw all the other answers away.

USA Today asks its college football writers to suggest one thing to improve college football.  There are some nice responses in the group, but as far as I’m concerned, George Schroeder had the only one that was right.

College football is tremendous entertainment. It doesn’t need much in the way of fixing. But games take too long. The answer isn’t to trim away action, but to reduce the length and number of commercial breaks. You want a faster-paced game that fits neatly into a three-hour window? If that’s so important, don’t alter the game — cut back on the ads.

Brothers and sisters, can I get an amen?

Oh, I know it’ll never happen, but, damn, it’s refreshing just to hear somebody in the national media come out and say it.


Filed under College Football

Poking the bear

This is what passes for clever in Knoxville these days.

I’d follow with the usual snarky “Stay classy, Vols”, but it’s probably a wasted effort.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

“Have you ever met a football coach who did so little talking about football?”

This Mike Leach interview is something else.  How something else?  Well, in it, you’ll go from learning about hunting ducks with gourds to the time Leach compared himself to Luther Campbell.  If you get a little dizzy following it, don’t feel bad.  I did, too.

That being said, this is my favorite quote from the article:

“See where we are again? Focus. Focus on what’s right here. Get a first down. Then we can score. Then we can win games. Then we can worry about winning championships.”

Forget one game at a time.  It’s one play at a time.

This bit’s a close second, though.

It is now Monday (or is it Tuesday?) night, and practice is taking place inside Martin Stadium. Students are strolling down Stadium Way, stopping by the locked gates to take in the clear view of the drills being run on the field below. The real show is a literal cloud of moths that has enveloped the light towers above the stadium’s northwest corner, nearly blacking out one section of lights. It looks like something Moses might have conjured up to convince Rameses to let his people go.

“I’ve been trying to figure that one out,” Leach later says of the swarm. “I’ve studied a lot about this region, and I guess that’s a seasonal thing. They have a ton of these little yellow jackets here, but the moth thing is new to me. You said you got some pictures and video of that? Make sure you tweet that. I want USC to be worried about it.”

Maybe they will.


Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!