Daily Archives: December 22, 2017

If ever a tweet deserved a “bless your heart” in response…

… it’s this one.

That sounds like a terrific question to ask the genius.

(h/t)

42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

Bending without breaking in the Rose Bowl

So, this comment got me wondering about how Georgia and Oklahoma match up in the red zone.

Red Zone Conversions – Games vs. FBS (I-A) Teams Only

  • Georgia: 6th  (TD% – 29th)
  • Oklahoma:  17th (TD% – 15th)

Opponent Red Zone Conversions – Games vs. FBS (I-A) Teams Only

  • Georgia:  35th (TD% – 4th)
  • Oklahoma:  94th (TD% – 60th)

Well now.  If the Dawgs can swap a red zone touchdown or two on their end for Oklahoma field goals…

15 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“They’re basically building an SEC East Death Star.”

You know, I could read this stuff all day long.

They’re already in the Playoff in Year 2 of the Kirby Smart era. Imagine what happens when this recruiting class and last year’s No. 3-ranked haul start seeing the field. In college football, depth wins titles, and UGA is building a two-deep that few teams can top.

I’m trying.  I have a good imagination.

53 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Early signing period: doing it for the kids, or doing it to the coaches?

One myth the new early signing period has exposed is the old saw about players committing to a school, not a coach.  Nobody’s buying that crap now.

Depending on who you ask, opinions vary on the college football early sign period that started Wednesday and ends at midnight tonight.

After only having 13 days to recruit before the start of the early signing period, Arkansas Razorbacks Coach Chad Morris has changed his mind and is no longer in favor of the new signing period.

Pulaski Academy Coach Kevin Kelley sees the good and bad of the new period. One of his offensive linemen, Luke Jones, committed to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and former Coach Bret Bielema in July but now plans to wait until Feb. 7 to sign with a school.

“One example of bad is like in Arkansas when a coach loses his job and the next coach comes in and has to hurry and recruit before the new early signing period,” Kelley said. “The recruits built relationships with old staff and they really have to make some quick decisions with the new staff. Kids don’t usually commit to buildings on a campus. They commit to people. The early signing period happens just a couple of weeks after when staffs at FBS schools turn over.”

If that’s a problem — and note that if it is, it’s only one for the program, because a recruit can back off and wait until February to get a better lay of the land — then it will be interesting to see if any serious resistance to the new period is raised over it.  Schools looking to replace a head coach are faced with a real timing dilemma.  Given that it’s going to take a very strange set of circumstances to hire a new coach in the middle of a season, that leaves the disgruntled with a couple of hard choices, either get rid of the new period altogether, or move it earlier in the year.

Either way, it’s likely that resistance will be met with resistance of its own.  If your program has stability with its coaching staff, you’re probably okay with the December period.

… On Wednesday, the coaches who prefer the early period came out of the woodwork. It isn’t early enough for everyone’s tastes—some would prefer an August signing date or no signing date at all—but the consensus among the coaches who voiced support is that it eliminated a lot of unnecessary silliness that would have taken place in January. “Personally, it really cleans up the month of January in a big way,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said.

Many of the complaints centered on the compressed time period that required coaches to secure a class while prepping for bowl games. Swinney called BS on that, pointing out that NCAA contact rules haven’t changed.

“It’s not any different than it’s ever been,” Swinney said. “We’ve always been recruiting [while prepping] for bowl games. Nothing has changed. The only thing that changed is there’s a date in December that guys can sign a piece of paper. We’re on the road recruiting. If this signing date wasn’t here today, guess what? Nothing would have changed in my life the last three weeks. Nothing. I’d have still been on the road. I’d have still been doing home visits. I’d have been at schools. We’d have been bowl prepping. We’d have been bowl practicing. Nothing would have changed. The only thing that’s different is that all the guys who are committed to us and wanted to make a decision now had the opportunity to do that. So it’s 100% to the benefit of the player.”

Another coach who loved the new date was Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy. Gundy’s staff has been excellent through the years at evaluating prospects, and that has led to other schools trying to pick off Cowboys commitments down the stretch. Gundy believes the early signing period may have made it easier for his coaches to defend the class from poachers. “It’s interesting, with the early signing period we had some poachers—not as many as in the past—but we had a few poachers,” Gundy told reporters Wednesday. “The majority of them failed, and I thought that was interesting.”

I suspect Nick Saban quietly realizes the new period is more of a benefit to him than a burden.  The results from this week seem to bear that out.

Judging by the early returns, the SEC signing classes have predictability and stability factors to them.

Georgia, Alabama and Auburn are the league’s three top-10 teams heading into the postseason, and the Bulldogs, Crimson Tide and Tigers each compiled early signing hauls that have been ranked in the top 10 by the various recruiting sites. The eight SEC schools with the same head coach from a year ago have averaged 17 early signees, while the six that have undergone changes have averaged 11.

“That’s a really big challenge, for these new coaches to have such a short period of time,” Auburn’s Gus Malzahn said Wednesday in a news conference.  [Emphasis added.]

Gus doesn’t exactly sound all choked up about that.  Not that I blame him.

Keeping up with the Sabans of the college football world just got harder.

12 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Fireworks

We all know Georgia’s mantra on defense is preventing the big gain.  That mantra is going to be sorely tested in the Rose Bowl.

First off, here’s where the Dawgs stand nationally in D-1 opponents’ long plays from scrimmage:

  • 10+ yards:  2nd
  • 20+ yards:  9th
  • 30+ yards:  9th
  • 40+ yards:  9th

That is solid and consistent.  So, what are they up against?  Oklahoma’s rankings in D-1 long plays from scrimmage:

  • 10+ yards:  1st
  • 20+ yards:  1st
  • 30+ yards:  1st
  • 40+ yards:  1st

That’s downright ridiculous.

Oh, yeah — I didn’t bother to go out beyond 40+ yards, because of sample size.  Georgia’s only given up three plays of 50+ yards all season.  Oklahoma’s offense, though, has notched 21 of those suckers.  Yikes.

The flip side looks pretty dynamic, too.

The Sooners’ national rankings in D-1 opponents’ long plays from scrimmage:

  • 10+ yards:  81st
  • 20+ yards:  77th
  • 30+ yards:  117th
  • 40+ yards:  103rd

And Georgia’s national rankings in D-1 long plays from scrimmage:

  • 10+ yards: 42nd
  • 20+ yards:  16th
  • 30+ yards:  18th
  • 40+ yards:  47th

Two conclusions to draw from the numbers:  one, that strategy of Georgia grinding it out on offense to keep Baker Mayfield and Company off the field sounds great in theory, but in practice there’s a decent likelihood the ball is going to be moving up and down the field like crazy all day.

Oh, and two?  I’d keep those bathroom breaks short while you’re watching the game.  Otherwise, you might miss something.

17 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Check out the big brain on Georgia’s 2018 class.

Sure, all those stars are nice, but you know what else gets Kirby going?  Smarts (see what I did there?).

… Nine guys of the 17 had over a 3.0 core GPA, which was a major emphasis for us in this class. Three of these guys had offers from Ivy League schools, so we are really excited about this class…

… He [Justin Fields] was being offered by Ivy League schools and he chose to go to Georgia. That says a lot about not just about our program, but our school. … We’ve got a top-15 public institution with a business school that is second-to-none in the country and not a lot of people can sell that so when you have that opportunity you have to go after the best.

I wonder how many mommas he’s impressed on the recruiting trail with that pitch.

16 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football, Recruiting