Daily Archives: December 6, 2017

The most ironic thing you’ll read today.

My jaw dropped seeing this:

Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has emerged as a strong candidate for the Tennessee head coaching vacancy, sources have told SI. Word is new athletic director Phillip ​Fulmer is pushing for a disciplinarian and someone who can bring more a hard-nosed physical style to the program.  [Emphasis added.]

Would Fulmer know a disciplinarian if one walked up and bit him in the ass?  More importantly, would the fan base care, as long as the coach won?



Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, The Glass is Half Fulmer

There’s great. Then there’s Roquan.

Here’s Pro Football Focus’ All-SEC defensive first team.  Note that they’ve only got one player on it who grades out higher than 90.


UPDATE:  This, too.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Stacey Osburn has no comment.

One of the great mysteries of our time is why the NCAA lets Mark Emmert speak in public.  This is breathtakingly clueless:

If college athletics weren’t about selling the best recruits on the opportunity to go pro, the SEC would go out of business tomorrow.  Besides that, isn’t college about preparing yourself to go out in the working world?

When you’re so wrapped up in making sure you don’t give in even slightly to attacks on amateurism, this is the kind of gibberish that ensues.  If you’re Emmert, silence is better than denial.


Filed under The NCAA

Hello, Kerryon.

This really was one of my favorite moments from the SECCG.

When Johnson first looked up and saw three of Georgia’s defensive linemen in the backfield, his body language radiated “oh, shit”.  Great call and perfect execution on that stunt.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

One day you’re up, the next you’re down.

It’s cool to see further confirmation of my thoughts yesterday about the two Georgia-Auburn games being mirror images of each other (except for the jerseys, of course).  Check out Brian Fremeau.

And, yeah, that Miami stuff’s a little weird, too.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

There’s always gonna be somebody jonesing for Cinderella.

Sports Illustrated’s Joan Niesen laments the selection committee’s missed opportunity.

A precedent was set in college football on Sunday: More than half of FBS teams are ineligible for the playoff.

No one announced this, but the College Football Playoff committee might as well have when it ranked 12–0 UCF, the American Athletic Conference champion, No. 10. The only remaining undefeated team in the country, the Knights were coming off two straight wins over ranked teams, and as all of college football fervently debated which flawed traditional power—Ohio State or Alabama—might get in, the team wrapping a perfect season was all but ignored.

It’s not a good look for a sport that claimed its new playoff system, now in its fourth year, would be a progressive move.

This year marked what could have been a turning point for the playoff. After Saturday’s championship games, three spots were set in stone—Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia, all bona fide contenders. But after that consensus top three, things looked murky. Even two-loss USC, left for dead after getting blown out by Notre Dame in October, seemed to be in the conversation. For the first time in the playoff’s history, the bracket was unsettled not because there were too many qualified teams, but because there might just have been too few.

It was an opportunity for the playoff to do something different. Instead, it made the most predictable move possible: It picked Alabama.

UCF is certainly a nice story.  Scott Frost brought the program back from its absolute nadir under George O’Leary.  But notice that not even Niesen is arguing that the Black Knights are a better team than Alabama.  The problem is that there’s little context to evaluate how good a team that was 0-12 in 2015 is now:  the toughest opponent UCF faced this season, according to ESPN’s FPI, is #29 Memphis.  According to Sagarin, UCF has played the nation’s 83rd toughest schedule.  Bill Connelly, who’s been very positive about Central Florida’s season, has it facing two opponents all season in his top twenty in terms of S&P+ rankings — and five running between 103 and 123.

You can’t say a team is weak simply because it’s played a weak schedule, of course.  What you can say, though, is that playing a weaker schedule makes it harder to judge a team’s worth.  That’s something especially true for a team going through a meteoric rise as UCF has.

Is UCF Boise State versus Oklahoma good, or Hawaii versus Georgia overrated?  We don’t know.  Maybe we’ll get an indication when the Black Knights face off against Auburn, although I don’t see how they can stay in the ball park if the Tigers show up motivated.

It seems to me that when Niesen writes,

But I’m bored, and I’m tired of watching the teams that should be playing in January rather than a team that could be if only everyone broadened their horizons.

… she’s asking the committee to entertain her in the abstract rather than put the four best teams in position to win a national title.  A mid-major hoping to crash the CFP party is going to have to have more on its résumé than novelty.  As long as there’s a four-team playoff, anyway.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Today, in around the SEC

The coaching chairs continue to swirl, among other developments:

  • UCF has hired Mizzou’s Josh Heupel as its next coach.  As someone who was impressed with the job Heupel did this season, that’s a pretty good hire in my mind and it will be interesting to see which way Missouri goes in trying to keep the conference’s top offense going.  UCF also tabbed Randy Shannon as the new DC.
  • South Carolina is expected to dump Kurt Roper as its offensive coordinator, per Dan Wolken.  Kind of surprising in that Boom used to be Roper’s biggest fan.  Is Brian McClendon about to get a bump, or could Muschamp do something crazier, like bring in Hugh Freeze?
  • It sounds like Phil Fulmer has accepted reality and recognized that the situation in Knoxville is too toxic for an established coach.  The search appears to have focused on Saban assistants — how creative! — Kevin Steele and Tee Martin.  Good luck with that, Vols.
  • Meanwhile, after being rebuffed by Gus Malzahn, Arkansas looks to be staying sane by going after Chad Morris, who is an excellent offensive mind, has head coaching experience and, perhaps most significantly, good ties to Texas recruiting.
  • Ole Miss doesn’t need a head coach, but may very well need bodies after the school announced that it will allow its players to speak to any other program they want in considering a transfer.  Jim Harbaugh appears eager to take Ole Miss up on its generous offer.  (I can’t wait to hear Jim Delany talk about SEC players again.)


Filed under SEC Football

Is Jake Fromm still wide-eyed?

Jeez, David Hale.

2. College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Oklahoma

(Jan. 1, 5 p.m. ET on ESPN at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California)

Georgia hasn’t faced a QB quite like Baker Mayfield all year. Mayfield hasn’t seen a defense as tough as Georgia’s. The Sooners’ defense has been questioned, while Bulldogs QB Jake Fromm needs to prove a true freshman is ready for the big stage. It’s a matchup of contrasts that should be a whole lot of fun to watch.

“Jake Fromm needs to prove a true freshman is ready for the big stage”?  After winning at Notre Dame in his first start and the SECCG in his last, we’re still left to wonder if Fromm can handle the bright lights?

At some point, Fromm deserves the benefit of the doubt with regards to his composure.  I’d say after thirteen games, he’s earned that much.  Look, he may flop for all I know when he plays in the Rose Bowl, but it won’t be because he’s overwhelmed by the setting.


Filed under Georgia Football