Daily Archives: January 4, 2018

Another beginning of a bee-you-tee-full friendship

Purely from a blogging perspective, 2018 is already showing promise.

One such landing place would be at Arizona, which just canned Rich Rod over a sexual harassment claim.

You really can’t make this shit up.



Filed under Freeze!, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

“[Georgia] schemes to get their guys the ball. [Alabama] just has guys.”

If you want to read anonymous coaches’ comments about some of Monday’s matchups, here you go.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Strategery And Mechanics

“We’re aware of his visit”

The POTUS, the Secret Service, Atlanta police and a national championship crowd from Alabama and Georgia… gee, what could possibly go wrong?

I’m starting to think I need to take Monday off.  It may take all day to work my way through the shitstorm to get inside and watch the game.


UPDATE:  The White House can neither confirm or deny.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock has spoken with White House officials, but the White House has not confirmed that President Donald Trump will be in attendance at the national championship. “We have met with an advance team consisting of folks from the White House, Secret Service and FBI who were analyzing the logistics for a possible visit by the president of the United States,” Hancock said. “As far as any details of a visit, those will have to come from the White House. They asked us not to talk about details, which of course you never talk about details of security. But there are ways. We have not received official word from the White House that he is coming, but we have met with a logistics team, so they’re clearly making plans.” Hancock said stadium gates will open at 5:30 ET and Atlanta police have encouraged fans to get downtown early.

By all means, let’s make this a down to the wire decision.


UPDATE #2:  Jeebus.

“Please please execute the highest regard and greatest level of common sense. We CANNOT have folks continuing to bring guns and leaving them in their cars,” Chief Erika Shields said at a multi-agency news conference Thursday on preparations.

Maybe somebody needs to think about printing “I Survived The 2018 CFP Championship Game” t-shirts.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Picture, or it didn’t happen.

An alert reader emailed me this very cool link of a picture of the Rose Bowl and crowd.  You can actually search around and find yourself on it — if you were really there, that is.

So ten years from now if someone brags to you about being there for the game, you know what to do.


Filed under Georgia Football

The secret of their success

There are going to be a lot of tired takes on the Saban-Smart face off over the next few days.  Gentry Estes, who covered Alabama and Georgia, doesn’t write one of them.

Saban has, of course, since built one of college football’s all-time great dynasties at Alabama. The Crimson Tide has won four national titles under Saban and will play for a fifth Monday night against Georgia in Atlanta.

Yet the secret to Saban’s success at Alabama hasn’t been much of a secret. Sure, his teams are well-coached. They tend to be physical, disciplined, machine-like in execution.

But they also have better players than everyone else.

In terms of an old debate in college football circles — is it X’s and O’s or Jimmies and Joes? — Saban’s Alabama dominance has been very much about the latter. It’s not much more complicated than that.

“The plays are great, the schemes are great, all that stuff,” former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said earlier this season. “But, look, the coaches keep coming and changing, coordinators, offense, defense, everything, Kirby (Smart). All the guys change over time. At the end of the day, it’s great players. And it’s not because it’s Alabama. It’s him. It’s because he works harder at recruiting than anybody in the country, and that’s why.

“Everybody says, ‘Oh, well, he’s got better players than everybody.’ Well, they didn’t just show up there. They came there because of how he recruited them. He outworked people and showed them why to come there and why to play for him.”

If you’re a Georgia fan, that sounds very familiar right now.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

The real playoff expansion question isn’t choosing between best and deserving teams.

If you still harbor illusions that it’s fans’ perceptions or those of pundits that will drive the four versus eight conversation going forward, you don’t understand what lies at the heart of postseason expansion.  Let former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson ‘splains it to you, Loocee:

The College Football Playoff will eventually expand to eight teams within the length of the current contract and be worth at least $10 billion, former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson predicted in a conversation with CBS Sports this week.

Pilson was reacting, in part, to the regionalized nature of Monday’s CFP National Championship between No. 2 Georgia and No. 4 Alabama.

“I think, from a television point of view, any sports executive would tell you he would prefer a team from the different part of the country,” said Pilson, now a longtime sports media consultant.

“The best would be a Big Ten team in terms of the size of market.”

ESPN’s best trumps our best seven days a week and twice on New Year’s Day.

For the first time in the CFP’s brief four-year history, a Big Ten team did not make the field. The Big Ten “footprint” — its dominant area of interest in the Midwest and Northeast — includes a quarter of the U.S population.

Also for the first time, two teams from one conference (SEC) are in the playoff. While that’s a bonanza for the schools, the SEC, the South and the site of the game (Atlanta), one TV consultant said this could be the lowest-rated game in CFP history.

“There will be some people who probably won’t watch it because it’s all-SEC,” said the consultant, who didn’t want to be identified. “It has the potential [to be the lowest rated].”

Low ratings could be one of the stressors that leads the CFP to expand, Pilson said.

Yeah, high blood pressure can be a bitch, Mickey.  You wouldn’t want to be stressed.

So don’t waste your breath arguing about the aesthetics of the ideal or fairest playoff pool.  It doesn’t matter.  In the end, we’ll get what they pay for and be told to like it.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

Georgia’s advanced stats ain’t played ‘Bama, PAWWWLLL.

S&P+ says Alabama by 2.3 points in the title game, but I’ll worry about that later.

In the meantime, check out Bill’s percentile performances from the Rose Bowl:

  • Overall:  UGA, 85%; OK 17%
  • Offense:  UGA, 93%; OK 71%
  • Defense:  UGA, 29%; OK 7%

That was the worst performance of the year for the Sooners defense… and here we’ve bragged about SEC defenses, when maybe we should be pumping our chests about SEC offenses. (I keed, I keed.  Sort of.)

Speaking of offense, there’s one note from Bill’s five factors worth a mention.  Remember how so many were talking about Georgia using its running attack to slow the pace of the game down to keep the ball out of Mayfield’s hands?  My response was that given the weaknesses in the Oklahoma defense and Georgia’s own propensity for the big play, that might not be as much a thing as people hoped.

In the end, that turned out to be the case.  Georgia averaged only 3.5 plays per possession, compared to Oklahoma’s five.  That’s what happens when your rushing IsoPPP, which measures explosive plays, winds up more than tripling the national average.  Wowzer.


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

Today, in everybody’s broke

Fresh off a season in which four-loss LSU finished eighteenth nationally in scoring defense, twelfth in total defense and 28th in defensive yards per play, the Tigers are on the cusp of making defensive coordinator Dave Aranda college football’s first assistant to crack the $2 million/year salary barrier.  What’s the over/under on the number of others who will join him in the next five years?

And before you say SEC’s gonna SEC, note that UCF, in an act of financial self-gratification, is going to pay its assistant coaches and support staff bonuses totaling $325,000 as part of claiming a mythical national championship.

It’s a good thing there isn’t any money to pay the players.  That would be irresponsible, right?


Filed under It's Just Bidness

An underappreciated aspect of the season

Why didn’t Kirby go for two near the end of regulation?  Because his team wore Oklahoma’s ass out.

It is easy to say Smart was right in hindsight. But here is why the percentages made him right in the moment, as well: At that point, nearly four hours into the grueling game, long after the sun had set behind the San Gabriel Mountains beyond Oklahoma’s end zone, it was clear which team would have the advantage going forward.

“We started switching up things, and I think we wore those guys down,” said Georgia safety J.R. Reed, a redshirt sophomore, referring to adjustments the Bulldogs made after halftime.

“Honestly I think their team got more tired during the end of the game than we did, and that’s why we were able to finish it out,” he added.

That is why Smart played for overtime: At that point in the game, it was clear he had the better team.

Oklahoma Coach Lincoln Riley acknowledged his team’s drop-off in the second half, blaming himself for throwing the ball too much before halftime and exhausting his offensive line (although in that period the Sooners actually rushed two times more than they passed).

“I probably hung our guys out there a little bit too much, especially against a talented front,” he said.

At times this season, it seems like Scott Sinclair has gotten more attention for holding Smart back on the sideline than he has for the solid job the strength and conditioning staff has done.  Georgia is a noticeably more physical team on both sides of the ball than it’s been in years past and Sinclair deserves his share of the kudos for that happening.


UPDATE:  Strength and conditioning Dawg porn.


Filed under Georgia Football

Gettin’ off the Gus Bus

Quite the reverse haul at Auburn:

Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis, tailback Kamryn Pettway and defensive end Jeff Holland are skipping their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft.

All three announced their decisions Wednesday on social media. Tailback Kerryon Johnson has also declared his plans to turn pro.

Four of his best players leaving early and an uninspired loss to UCF… Malzahn’s got to be relieved he got that monster contract extension out of the way first.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands