Thursday morning buffet

All part of college football’s rich pageant:

  • Peak Grantham“While Colorado State is less of a challenge than the Wildcats, Todd Grantham saw some positive improvements from his defensive unit.”  Does that include the Fightin’ Bobos’ 38 minutes of possession?
  • “At various points in the past three seasons, each of the top three teams in this week’s Amway Coaches Poll have leaned on a true freshman…”
  • “NCAA announces it will require schools to pay for tuition, fees and books for basketball players who leave after at least two years and want to return to their same school to get undergraduate degree.”  Why at least two years there?  Why do you think?
  • Classy gesture, kids:  “The North Carolina football team is helping with relief efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Florence by donating per diem allotments…”
  • Per Dave Matter, Mizzou’s best receiver has been nursing a groin injury and its best defensive back suffered a concussion against Purdue.  (Both are expected to play Saturday.)
  • Missouri’s running game should expect to receive Georgia’s defense’s best shot.
  • Larry Scott is all pissy about that California judge’s tentative ruling that show-cause order provisions in the NCAA bylaws violate California law.
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59 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Pac-12 Football, SEC Football, See You In Court, The NCAA

59 responses to “Thursday morning buffet

  1. Dawg Vegas

    Love a good Shot in the Dark reference!

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  2. StingTalk’s thread about their “wishlist” for Paul Johnson’s replacement makes for some good reading. Most popular option seems to be Kiffin. What is funny is that he may be the best out there.

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    • Jim

      Kiffin would be a huge pain in the ass for us at tech. May the keep PJ forever

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      • Uglydawg.

        Maybe. For a while. But Junior has bigger fish to fry. The moment he has enough success to start receiving offers of better money and prestige at a more prominent program, he’ll walk away from GT.

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        • Otto

          Is that always the case good GT coaches don’t stay leaving to fry bigger fish and the ones that stay are out frying fish rather recruiting and coaching?

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      • Go Dawgs!

        Agreed. I would not be happy seeing Kiffin at Georgia Tech. He could recruit that school. If you put a supposedly cool, young coach in downtown Atlanta and let him sell all the stuff that comes along with being in downtown Atlanta along with a modern offense that might actually be able to put quarterbacks and skill position players in the NFL? Tech might actually be a tough game again.

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        • Otto

          ehh It’ll take 3-4 years of absolutely terrible seasons for any coach to change the offensive style at GT by that time he would have used up any good will. He would get fired before coaching a team that could win.

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  3. stoopnagle

    Thought you might have included this piece in the roundup this morning:

    https://www.actionnetwork.com/ncaaf/college-football-playoff-national-championship-betting-odds-alabama

    Apparently, early lines have Bama favorited by double-digits vs anybody (tOSU at +9.5, so essentially double-digits). UGA is second at +10.5.

    Are they that other-worldly?

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    • Biggus Rickus

      They’re loaded, but I doubt they’re ten points better than everyone else in the country.

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    • Uglydawg.

      If the NC game were played today.
      But this will be a very different UGA team by December.
      There is going to be a lot of growth and improvement.

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    • Macallanlover

      Short answer from me is: no. But they are damned good this year, in a way they were not last year. Not as sure the Bama defense is as good, just haven’t played enough quality teams at this point, but they are always pretty rock solid. It is the new diversity of the offense that makes them a tougher out to me. They still have depth with decent RBs so they can challenge anyone there, but a mobile QB, capable of throwing the ball accurately to a deep group of receivers is another level of difficulty than we have seen from Bama before.

      In a way, they are similarly talented to UGA on offense, I think pretty equal. It is the defense where they have the edge, but then, UGA is much better with STs, imo. I said a day or two ago, I don’t see them going unbeaten, but they are a tough out for anyone. If UGA grows up enough on defense, I would certainly take UGA and points when we meet in Atlanta. May even take UGA on a moneyline bet if we demonstrate our defense to be ready for the test. It is our run defense that would scare me about playing Bama now. Heck, I am skeered of LSU running it against us from what I have seen at this point.

      Can’t say about ohio, just don’t follow them closely enough, but we know they have highly rated athletes (would not take ohio and 10 against Bama though.)

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      • Biggus Rickus

        Their offense is certainly more dynamic than it was with Hurts the last couple of years, but their 2014 and 2012 offenses were elite, and they still lost a game each regular season and came up short in the playoff in 2014.

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        • That’s because they’ve had mediocre QB play in prior seasons, where a hot opposing QB (like Watson) was able to make up for the talent/depth deficiencies elsewhere compared to Bama. That is now out the window with Tua, who IMO is the best QB in CFB.

          This Bama team has the potential to be the greatest of all time.

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          • Biggus Rickus

            They’ve played a crappy Louisville team, Arkansas State and quite possibly the worst defensive team in a major conference. Maybe you’re right, but it’s way too early for me to make agree with you. I also think you’re underselling AJ McCarron’s and Blake Sim’s seasons in ’12 and ’14. The were much better than mediocre.

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            • DawgPhan

              Tua is likely the most talented QB to ever play at Bama.

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              • Biggus Rickus

                Maybe. Shit, Georgia might as well not even show up in Atlanta the next couple of years. It’s hopeless.

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                • Macallanlover

                  🙂 Yeah, might as well go, there is always Hal’s to enjoy. And I am not ready to call Tua the best, or near best, QN in all of CFB. He is excellent, and a more complete QN than Bama has had for awhile, but there is not near enough tape to make that claim. He could grow into that, and prove it, but not after 3 games against weak defenses. I think many forget, he was within a wiggle of the ball against Sanders’ hip from being pulled in the game against UGA. That would have been a 2nd pick in less than a half, I believe Saban would have pulled him for the RZ interception. And I think Sanders was trying to secure his grip, probably was unnecessary in retrospect….very close.

                  Not taking anything away from him, he is a competitor that breathed life into a team that was on a ventilator. Tua is that great combo of passer and runner that works well in CFB, but he hasn’t shown how he is in adversity against a talented defense, at least he hasn’t yet.

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                  • ASEF

                    I keep seeing this idea out of multiple posters, and my immediate questions are…

                    What would we call facing Smart’s defense on the biggest possible stage, with the added handicaps of two 13 point deficits and a starting left tackle out of the game? Is that not adversity? Or a quality defense?

                    I agree, just let him play out a season and see how things shake out, but his opening act has been extraordinary. If he sustains the opening act (a huge if), then he’s going to dominate the college game, isn’t he?

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                    • Macallanlover

                      As stated, I am not knocking him, just saying we don’t know enough to say he is the greatest. They are infinitely better with him than with Hurts, but the first three games were no contest. Against Georgia, he didn’t play until half time. We went conservative and he played from good field position. He basically threw 2 picks in that half and had a ball thrown to one receiver in the end zone and caught by another, then took a sack that would have cost them the game had we re-thought the situation.

                      He may end up being great, currently he is off to a fast start working in the best situation he could possibly ask for. Doesn’t say he won’t be outstanding, but there aren’t enough data points to call that yet. Note I was responding to comments that he was “the best QB in CFB”, and “he best to ever play at Bama”. So yeah, I think that calling it premature was fair.

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      • I disagree…see below. Bama’s O is better than ours if not far better, as Tua is a far better QB than Fromm. After watching all of Bama’s games thus far and ours, objectively speaking, we’d be lucky to lose by 10 or less to them if we played Bama tomorrow. Again our only chance is if Fields is given the reigns at some point this year and he really comes into his own as well like Tua clearly has.

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        • dawgtired

          I would not say Tua is ‘FAR’ better than Fromm. Tua is certainly more athletic but Fromm is a heady manager. I don’t see a large gap in the end results.

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        • Tony Barnfart

          Tua got the last laugh (obviously), but just 4 games ago there were plenty of times I saw UGAs defense force Tua into some pretty dumb mistakes. Hell the play before almost cost them the national title.

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          • He was a true freshman at the time who previously had only seen garbage time during blowout wins. He was then handed the reings down 20-0 in the championship game and led the comeback to victory. Very impressive.

            You don’t think he’s improved since that game?

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            • Yurdle

              He’s plays a risky brand of football. He’s also very, very good at it. He’s played like he has nothing to lose. Most great QBs take a more calculated approach, so Tua stands out. Can he sustain it? I have no idea.

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              • ASEF

                Tua has 2 picks on 127 attempts? Jake has 8 on 337?

                Not seeing this idea that Tua is some risky gunslinger in the numbers..

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                • Yurdle

                  He hasn’t thrown picks—he’s thrown touchdowns. I agree. But, just watching him, he looks like a gunslinger. Take the first TD against Louisville: spun around, heaved into a small window, then got hit. It was beautiful but risky as hell. Most QBs get coached to throw an early read or throw it away. He kept going and scored. Great play, but pure gunslinger.
                  Not knocking the kid. I think he’s terrific. But the style is so different that I wonder if it can last.

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                  • ASEF

                    That was my first thought, too, but after I re-watched it, I didn’t think so.

                    The DB had his back turned; he was basically face-guarding the WR. There was no one else there. The only other DB in play was running away from that WR trailing a crosser.

                    He threw it to an empty spot on the field only his WR could get to. If the DB had turned, he could have made a play on the ball – but he would have had to fight through the WR to do it.

                    It was definitely bold, but I don’t think it was risky.

                    The 4th down pass he threw in the championship game was a desperate prayer, but my number #1 pet peeve on a 4th down play is a pass that has no chance to be caught or worse, taking a sack. Especially a 4th late in a game when you’re trailing.

                    He’s definitely going to overestimate his arm and accuracy some, and we’ve seen a bit of that. But I don’t think it’s a consistent weakness or something to be exploited. The kid really seems to understand the game.

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            • He was not trailing 20-0. It was 20-7. FWIW.

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    • So far, yes, and look at the numbers they are putting up. I mean, hell, they scored 50 points on Ole Miss at their place…in the first half. Bama has won 5 nattys with average to pretty good QB play. Now they have another loaded team with the best QB in CFB at their disposal. This year on third downs, Tua is 12 for 12 passing with 6 TD’s, and his other stats are off the charts.

      Unless Fields supplants Fromm at some point this year, I just don’t see us or anyone else beating them. I say Fields because his upside is far higher than Fromm’s, and an A game from Fromm still doesn’t touch Tua.

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      • Biggus Rickus

        Ole Miss’s defense is horrendous. Tua appears to be fantastic, but I guarantee you they will struggle against someone on offense.

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        • We shall see, but Tua is a freak talent, and good luck keeping them under 35 points while their D holds you to under 20, if not well under. If we played at Ole Miss this weekend, do you honestly think we would put up 49 points in the first half? I don’t.

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          • Biggus Rickus

            Maybe. I doubt they’re any better defensively than MTSU, and Georgia put 42 on them in a half.

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            • Russ

              Ole Miss put a pretty good beating on Texas Tech to open the season. Many people picked TTU in that game, but it wasn’t even close. Not sure Ole Miss is terrible, but Bama destroyed them.

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              • Correct, and the ol’ eyeball test alone tells you Ole Miss has far more talent on both sides of the ball than MTSU. They also best MSU at their place to end the year last year, so they are not the walkover many think.

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                • Biggus Rickus

                  They allowed 629 yards at 6.76 YPP to Southern Illinois. They were almost semi-respectable (“only” 486 at 5.12), I guess, against Texas Tech, but they also benefited from Tech’s starting QB going down and a freshman having to take over.

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              • Biggus Rickus

                Ole Miss’s offense is really good. Their defense is horrid. They were coming off a defensive performance against Southern Illinois that was nearly as bad as the Alabama game.

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                • Uglydawg.

                  Ole Miss’s defense looked like a bunch of frat boys running around in a flag football game. They are not physical at all. Worst college defense I’ve ever seen.

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                • Russ

                  I’ll trust your judgement as I didn’t get to really watch any of the games. I was just surprised by the Texas Tech outcome.

                  So which is the tallest dwarf?

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      • I failed to mention that, regarding that 3rd down stat, he’s also thrown for 298 yards on those 12 throws and has ran for 30+ yards on 3 carries as well. Just sick numbers.

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        • Uglydawg.

          He’s good. I think TOSU’s QB has the best arm in the country.
          One of the reasons we’re seeing Georgia’s defensive backs playing such tight coverage is to give QB’s like Tua the opportunity to screw up..which he will sooner or later.
          Kirby has the Dawgs on track..they will be much, much better in a couple of months..Alabama,meanwhile, is at it’s zenith, which is fantastic.

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        • ASEF

          I’ve been taping the Alabama games to see if the Tua Hype was warranted – and it largely is. Part of the sensation definitely comes from a QB doing what he’s doing in a Crimson jersey. So, there’s a novelty factor in play as far as the commentary.

          But he’s excellent at reading defenses and manipulating coverages with his body language. Example: On a touchdown throw in the Ole Miss game, he used his feet and shoulders to move a safely right and then used them again to get a linebacker to commit to a RB releasing to the boundary left. Then he reset his feet a third time and hit his TE on the sideline in the end zone with a DB on him. The TE was “open” in a basketball sense – he was larger than the guy covering him, and his body shielded the DB from a throw to the sideline. 20 yards, on a rope, perfect spot to a moving target.

          All of that comes easily for him. He has fantastic anticipation and fantastic accuracy on top of some advanced QB skills.

          Tua’s not perfect, and he’s going to make mistakes. Part of that is his inexperience (3 career starts) and part of that is Saban is allowing him to do so much, That’s been the stunner to me. Saban’s green-lighting this kid to do things he wouldn’t let McCarron do, even 4th year McCarron.

          I don’t like comparing QBs between teams, because QBs are asked to do different things on different teams. Fromm can be every bit the MVP for Georgia as Tua looks to be for Alabama without the highlight moments or insane efficiency numbers.

          But Tua definitely has some skills Fromm doesn’t as a passer, and Tua’s ability to move in the pocket, extend plays, and pick up yards with his legs is something Fromm is never going to have. Tua’s a more complete QB. I don’t think that’s debatable.

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          • Outstanding commentary, well said and agree. Believe me, I hate typing all of this, but I’m merely removing any biases and looking at this clearly through an objective lens. Yet, like most fans, many UGA fans have a hard time admitting Tua is special and/or make comments that Fromm is just as good, which is absurd.

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  4. DawgPhan

    Those are big numbers. Last year was the year to get it done because all of the big teams had down years.

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  5. Go Dawgs!

    There needs to be some oversight on concussion protocols above and beyond the individual schools. If a player suffered a concussion last week, he shouldn’t be playing seven days later. Full stop. I don’t care that he’s playing against Georgia, I care that he’s playing at all. I don’t want our guys doing it, either.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      I don’t think there’s a firm timetable that makes a difference. If they’ve established his baseline responses properly, and he’s passed the assessments while demonstrating no symptoms, then it’s likely not a problem for him to play. Should a third party be responsible for the assessments? Maybe, but how far do you want to take that? I would imagine some staffs are doing other shady things beyond simply their concussion protocols.

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    • Russ

      Yeah, I thought the same thing. I don’t know the answer, but I’m not sure the school’s athletic department is an unbiased source for whether or not he should be playing.

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  6. PTC DAWG

    Is the game going to be called fairly? IF so, we have a damn good shot.

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  7. CB

    So players donate their per diem, but no mention of coaches donating any of their millions? Makes sense.

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  8. W Cobb Dawg

    “Larry Scott filed a written declaration stating his belief that the ruling “would threaten the NCAA membership of the Pac-12’s California schools.””

    Anyone who believes the PAC-12 or ncaa is going to evict UCLA, USC, Stanford and Cal-Berkeley is dumber than Larry Scott. And this p.r. disaster gets paid $4+ mil a year?!

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  9. Will Trane

    Lot of chatter about Missouri’s Dooley, Lock, their big wideouts, their TE, and their super offense.
    My concern is on our side of the ball. Where is the running game? I mean a bruising running game. Issues with May and Woerner? Will top RB Swift be available and it top form. Is this year’s O line not playing up to what it is alleged to be? When are Chaney and Pittman going to unleash the rushing yards?
    Lot of talk about sacks, few throws by Fromm, and etc.
    Can not go into this Columbia and play first like they did in the first one, and expect to come back in third and take control.
    Do the starters have the grit to go more snaps this go around?

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    • Russ

      “Bruising”? I don’t care if we hurt the other team. But 272 yards per game is a nice average for rushing. Even taking out the WRs and their long runs, we’re still averaging over 200 yards per game. Given how we’ve taken our foot off the gas in every game, I think we’re doing fine.

      Oh, and can we hand the ball to the WRs more often? D. Robb – 47.5 ypc, Hardeman – 30 ypc, Tyler (he was onsides) Simmons – 26.7 ypc.

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  10. dawgtired

    “Given how we’ve taken our foot off the gas in every game, I think we’re doing fine.”

    This. This is the hidden stat. While other teams are running up stats, Kirby is training his 3 deep newbies. We will have experienced depth throughout. If/When a team threatens us, we will get a more clear picture of what this team can do with 1st and 2nd string players for 60 minutes and the playbook wide open.

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