Daily Archives: July 4, 2018

And so it goes…

Is there an echo here?

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UPDATE:  You want details?

Georgia sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm recently suffered an injury to his non-throwing hand.

Now take a breath, DawgNation. Then relax.

A source confirmed with DawgNation that the event took place during a boating incident. The exact details of the event could not be specifically confirmed other than a tow rope got away while dragging another rider and Fromm put his hand up to shield himself from the rope.

There are two three key details to note here.

  • The injury was to his non-throwing hand.
  • He is expected to only need a few weeks to heal.
  • Fromm should be ready to go for the start of fall camp.

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UPDATE #2:  Kirby’s on the mother.

Georgia sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm suffered a small fracture in his non-throwing left hand earlier this week, but he won’t miss any summer workouts, Georgia coach Kirby Smart told ESPN on Wednesday.

UGASports.com first reported Wednesday that Fromm suffered the injury in a freak boating accident Monday on Lake Burton.

Smart termed the injury as “insignificant” and said that Fromm had already resumed throwing.

 

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13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man, to be the sad man

Trust me, you never like it when something you post causes another blogger whom you like to take umbrage.  Such was the case yesterday with my reaction here at the blog to Lincoln Riley’s comment about Georgia’s defense made during his interview with Danny Kanell.

In response to that, Allen Kenney, who publishes the terrific Sooner-centric Blatant Homerism blog and has been gracious enough to have me on his podcasts occasionally, had this more in sorrow than in anger comment about my post:

Bending over backwards far enough to read that as sour grapes from Riley over the Sooners’ loss to Georgia in the Rose Bowl requires superhuman contortion.

Yeah, I’m a little bummed that he’s bummed, especially because I thought we had a pretty good Twitter exchange about Riley’s comments yesterday.

That being said, I do have a few things to say after further thought.  After all, if you can’t make a mountain out of a molehill on the Blogosphere, where can you?  And this really does qualify as such.

To start with, though, I do have one unqualified mea culpa to offer here.  I made the mistake of taking Kanell’s troll bait and reacted without reading the entire give and take surrounding Riley’s observation about the Georgia defense.  That was a mistake, so let’s rectify that by posting the entirety of the Q&A now.

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For Allen, that qualifies as nothing more than an anodyne response about measuring defense in the Big 12 and as such makes all the criticism of Riley’s point about Georgia overwrought.  Me, I look at that and my first thought is now, wait a minute.

Kanell, whose agenda isn’t exactly something he’s been shy about sharing, may have been fishing, but he didn’t mention the SEC, let alone Georgia directly, in his question.  He struck gold when Riley decided to bring that up on his own in his answer.

Further, while some of what Riley says there is what any successful coach would say about the conference his program plays in, some of it is flat-out inaccurate.  Missouri and Auburn, for example, both had success moving the ball on Georgia’s defense last season, something I noted in a tweet in which I also made what I think is a bigger knock on Riley’s argument.

I hate to be like this, but the idea that “any team would struggle with the consistency and challenge you do week in and week out in this league” is as indefensible for the Big 12 as it is for any P5 conference (and, yes, that includes the SEC, unless you think I’m totally off base about the greatness of Arkansas and Vanderbilt, for example).  Oklahoma’s offense was peerless last season, the best in college football, but to try to cloak the rest of the conference in the Sooners’ mantle in that way requires its own kind of contorted thinking.

The Rose Bowl isn’t evidence that Big 12 teams play better defense than they’re given credit for; it’s that Oklahoma’s offense was fantastic and a complete bear to defend.  To use that game as proof of B12 defensive prowess ignores how Georgia was able to roar back from a 17-point deficit against that offense.  Maybe I’m missing something, but I seem to remember hearing a good bit of criticism about Mike Stoops’ performance from Oklahoma fans in the aftermath of the Rose Bowl loss.  That’s a funny way of going about appreciating excellent defense.

Was my sour grapes crack unfair?  Eh, maybe.  I admit I can’t say for sure what’s on Lincoln Riley’s mind.  Maybe he had just come from film study before the interview with Kanell and it was fresh in his head.  Then again, human nature being what it is, maybe losing the biggest game of his coaching career to date in overtime after blowing a large lead has left a little emotional scarring.

There’s also that Riley felt the need to offer clarification after Kanell’s tweet generated the kind of reaction Kanell was hoping for.

Riley offered a measured statement in response, but it was rare, if only because he infrequently, if ever, uses Twitter to defend himself.

“That’s not a shot at Georgia….they were absolutely one of the best defenses last year…it’s a compliment to our league,” he replied directly to FootballScooop.com.

And here’s someone with the audacity to suggest an ulterior motive, one that’s hardly new at Oklahoma.

Would Georgia and Alabama still have dominant defenses in the offense-heavy Big 12? Would Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have prolific offenses in the Southeastern Conference, which annually produces some of the nation’s the top defensive talent? It’s a common debate.

Riley is candid enough to engage in it, taking a page from the book of former OU coach Bob Stoops, who never feared making an argument against what he once called SEC “propaganda” during his tenure. OU still recruits against those schools while trying to upgrade its defense.

And Riley, as an offensive coordinator, is simultaneously selling his style of offense as part of a shifting tide in college football.

Ya’ think?  If I ever were motivated to write a book about college football, I know I’d entitle it In The End, It’s All About The Recruiting.

Riley may not have known much about Kanell’s shtick before yesterday, but I guarantee you he does now.  And that’s probably where I should leave things.

28 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

How red was my shirt.

This Andy Staples piece on the new four-game redshirt rule triggered a couple of thoughts in response.

First, he writes about the potential postseason impact:

Also, teams that reach non-Playoff and non-New Year’s Six bowls could play all of their freshmen in the bowl games. This carrot might keep a redshirting player more engaged during the season. It also could blunt the negative impact of veteran players deciding to sit out bowl games by giving fans their first look at highly touted recruits whose only action has come at practice all season. It essentially would turn bowl practices into another spring practice—except with a game against another team at the end.

So I’m curious — those of you who don’t think letting two schools scrimmage in a spring game is such a good idea because of the injury risk, how is this any different?

Second, the bulk of his article runs through the prism of Alabama’s quarterback situation, which — surprise! — isn’t exactly like Georgia’s, in that Hurts is on track to graduate this December, but it still got me to thinking about Smart, who has fretted on the record about the problems of consistently maintaining quarterback depth in an age of star accumulation and transfers.

Quite simply, doesn’t the new redshirt rule make Kirby’s life easier?  Let’s say for the sake of argument [ed. note:  emphasis added for the sake of… well, you know why.] that Fromm holds off Fields this season.  With the new rule, Georgia’s staff no longer has to bury Fields on the sideline to create class separation while hoping like hell nothing happens to Fromm’s health.  Instead, Fields can develop while serving as a backup in case of injury, play in several games to get acclimated to college ball and the program still gets the class separation between the two it desires.

Sure, having a competent third-stringer under that scenario will always be prudent, but it’s probably not as urgent a thing as it would have been a year ago.  Not to mention that the same thing goes for Jimmie Third String as it does for Fields.

In other words, it’s a good thing for both the coaches and the kids.  Which is why I share Staples’ mock surprise over the NCAA not screwing up the new rule.  Yay for everyone!

16 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

I’m shocked, shocked that data collecting is going on here.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting a scene inside the gold mine:

Every weekend during soccer season in Britain, security personnel find them in stadiums, tapping furiously at their phones or talking nonstop into a mic — mysterious customers often wearing hoodies to conceal earpieces and their identity. While focused with unwavering intensity on the action of the game, they show none of the engagement and excitement of the ordinary fans around them.

The unofficial data scouts — or data thieves, depending on who is describing them — are quickly ejected once they are discovered.

The fleeting data they are collecting — the minutia of what is happening in the game — is the lifeblood of sports betting, perhaps the most crucial and valuable element of the entire industry. If gambling operators are to monetize sports betting fully, they have to offer wagers on far more than the outcomes of games. Data on the second-by-second action — exactly when a goal is scored, where it landed in the net, who had the assist — creates manifold betting opportunities.

In Britain, this so-called in-play betting market is robust. In the United States, it may be the greatest hope for betting operators after the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting and as states scramble to accept wagers. That means accurate and reliable data must get to betting operators like casinos, websites and phone apps fast, usually in a second or two — well ahead of the roughly five-to-10-second delay baked into television broadcasts.

“For betting, it’s the difference between having value and having no value at all,” Steven Burton, a veteran lawyer in the rarefied field of collecting, using and protecting sports data, said about the necessity of rapid data distribution.

The sudden premium on sports data is likely to set up an array of conflicts in the betting industry that have been mostly unknown in the United States. Adrian Ford, general manager of Football DataCo, the official handler of data for the English Premier League and others in Britain, said that in dozens of stadiums each weekend, the hooded scouts show up for companies aiming to collect the data and sell it to betting operators without buying rights to the league-approved stream originating in the press box.

“It goes to the heart of this issue, the data debate,” Mr. Ford said. “Clearly the data from the source, a stadium, it’s valuable. Some people believe it’s appropriate to cheat.”

First of all, “a veteran lawyer in the rarefied field of collecting, using and protecting sports data”?  How come I didn’t hear about that in law school?  But I digress.

When you hear value, that means money.  Duh.  If your average university president currently has no clue about rapid sports data distribution today, that’s a condition you can bet your bottom dollar (see what I did there?) that’s a situation every conference commissioner will soon remedy.

That, in turn, is going to make for some interesting choices down the road.  If schools have a proprietary interest in data collection, what steps will they take to clamp down on cheaters?  For one thing, I suspect free stadium Wi-Fi will become perceived as a bug, not a feature.  Too bad for those who choose to use it innocently; it’s for the greater good, you know.

3 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

America, get down with James Brown.

This blog would like to join the Godfather of Soul in wishing all y’all a badass Fourth.

2 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff