Daily Archives: June 27, 2018

“I think coaches are paranoid in general.”

I don’t know why it would be a startling revelation to disclose that people who are notorious control freaks would have concerns — okay, maybe undue concerns — about that control being undermined by lower-handed efforts by other notorious control freaks, but if we’re gonna talk about paranoia, consider a couple of things from this article on the subject.

It’s also not uncommon to face an opposing coach familiar with Alabama’s communication methods.

Kirby Smart qualifies there.

“Yeah, there are a lot of really paranoid coaches about that,” Smart said. “You’re not looking at one that’s overly paranoid but maybe I should be because everywhere I’ve ever coached, people are freaking out a week before the game, day before the game …

“We played Alabama this year and I had so much other stuff to worry about, I wasn’t worried about that. We didn’t change anything we did and I don’t know if they did or not. I had my hands full with other things. So, I think there is a paranoia out there for that and it’s probably overdone in my opinion.”

Add to that one more thing.

Not long after the College Football Playoff national championship game, a grainy security-camera snapshot made news in Atlanta. A mystery man wearing a hat and coat walked through the Marriott Marquis hotel lobby a few days earlier with a backpack that wasn’t his.

Alabama was finishing its game plan for Georgia when part of it walked right out the door. A playbook belonging to then-Crimson Tide defensive line coach Karl Dunbar was in the bag snatched from a meeting room in Alabama’s team hotel.

Given today’s heightened emphasis on cloak-and-dagger secrecy, the theft was not an insignificant breach. That other items from the backpack were recovered while the playbook remained at large only added to the story, though it didn’t go public until two days after Alabama’s overtime win over Georgia.

Still, it doesn’t do much to temper the tin-foil hat mentality of football coaches who place a premium on keeping even minute details private.

The playbook heist is perhaps the most straight-forward crack in the fortress, though the guilty party was never found, nor were there any connections made between the assailant and Georgia’s football program[Emphasis added.]

Now, let’s say Sanders hadn’t been deked, broke up the pass that wound up being the actual winning score and Georgia held on to win.  Can you being to imagine the outpouring of tin-hatted, bizarre theories used to explain how Kirby’s perfidy cheated the Tide out of a natty?  Call it Alex Jones meets PAWWWLLL!!!.

Okay, it would have been a kick to listen to, but you get my point.  This game makes a lot of people weird.


Filed under College Football, Strategery And Mechanics

When scoring is overrated

Here’s a fun exercise from the folks at Rock M Nation, looking at key stats needed to win the SEC East over the past few seasons (I used to go through a similar practice here measuring the metrics common to Georgia’s SEC runs until the advent of the HUNH made some of that obsolete.  But I digress.)

You’ll have a good time wading through the numbers, but what I wanted to mention is something I noticed in the spreadsheet that concludes the piece.  It’s a reminder that, somehow, Florida managed to win the SEC East in back-to-back seasons in which it finished 100th and 107th nationally in scoring offense.  I don’t know how it’s possible to pull that off.

When people tell you the SEC East has been in a slump, that’s the kind of stuff they’re talking about.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Oh, what might have been.

This would have made for some must-see football.

When Orlando’s team begins in the inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football next February, we know Steve Spurrier will be on the sideline.

We now know Tim Tebow won’t be on the field.

In an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show on Friday, Spurrier said he texted Tebow to gauge his interest about a return to football, according to Sports Illustrated. Tebow, an outfielder-designated hitter with the New York Mets’ Class AA affiliate in the Eastern League, declined.

“He said, ‘Coach, I’m gonna keep swinging the bat and see what happens,’” Spurrier said. “I told him we’d have a No. 15 down in Orlando waiting for him.”

That’s a shame.  I would love to watch a montage of Spurrier throwing a visor and then yanking the GPOOE™ from a game moments afterwards.  Ah, well.


Filed under The Evil Genius, Tim Tebow: Rock Star

Steele’s 2018 SEC coach rankings

Here you go, in order of descent:

  • Saban
  • Malzahn and Smart (tied)
  • Boom
  • Fisher
  • Mullen, Orgeron and Stoops (tied)
  • Mason and Odom (tied)
  • Luke
  • Morris
  • Moorhead and Pruitt (tied)

Steele’s playoff picks may be conventional, but the order of this list sure isn’t.  Muschamp has a losing record against Jimbo (not to mention that unlike Fisher, Boom’s been fired before).  Orgeron tied with Mullen is an unusual take, to say the least.  His ranking of Moorhead is more negative than most.

There seems to be an emphasis on experience at the bottom of the rankings and not so much of one towards the top.

Your thoughts?


Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, See You In Court

The NCAA prepares to go to war…

against AAU basketball.

The NCAA is ready to make drastic changes to the way high school basketball players are recruited by Division I colleges. The summer evaluation period will reportedly be overhauled, with the goal of lessening the influence shoe company-sponsored grassroots teams and coaches have on recruiting.

According to former ESPN reporter Jeff Goodman on his latest podcast, these changes are set to be recommended by the NABC — National Association of Basketball Coaches — ad hoc committee to Condoleezza Rice’s Commission on College Basketball in August. The recommendations are “expected to be implemented swiftly and without much pushback.”

This is what we know so far:

  • The NCAA will fund and host four regional camps — potentially one in June and one in July — that will feature around 2,000 or 3,000 athletes. These camps will be held on rotating college campuses. The top 700 or so players at these camps will then compete at another camp that the committee hopes will be run by G League coaches, and possibly even college and NBA players.
  • Goodman says the objective is to “try to take some of the power away from AAU coaches and give it back to the high school coaches.” Goodman reports colleges may have more access to events and practices run by high schools in the summer.
  • From Goodman: “The big thing here, according to sources, that’s likely to happen, is that AAU basketball is no more. The coaches wouldn’t be able to go out in July to these shoe sponsored events anymore. That would be the big change if these recommendations come to fruition.”

If there’s one thing the NCAA is good at, it’s snuffing out opposition.  Just ask the NIT.  So I wouldn’t dismiss this outright.  But — and there’s kind of a big one here — there’s more to AAU basketball than shoe companies.  John Infante ($$) points out that the AAU is there to serve a market that high school basketball can’t, namely, that élite basketball recruits want to play nearly year-round to hone their skills.  If you kill the AAU, who fills the vacuum?

I mention this for a couple of reasons.  It’s in an earlier stage, but we’re already hearing words of warning that 7-on-7 football risks going AAU-ish.  If the NCAA intends to clamp down on one, you’d have to think it’s prepared to take similar steps with the other.  Second, the NCAA, schools and coaches are messing with powerful forces in the shoe companies that they also depend upon for some of their incoming revenue.  Go about this in a half-assed way — and this is the NCAA we’re talking about, remember — and you risk some serious blowback.


Filed under The NCAA

The straw that stirs the drink

A factoid you may find of interest…

I’ve mentioned this before — depth is a big deal as you wind your way through the SEC grind, but if you are looking for that exceptional season, you’d better have a couple of high-level studs leading the way.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Well, this is refreshing.

To his credit, Paul Myerberg compiles a list of college football’s top ten quarterbacks that (1) includes Jake Fromm and (2) excludes Tua Tagovailoa.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure you were allowed to do that.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles