Daily Archives: November 17, 2018

This is pathetic.

Maryland has a giveaway for students.

Here’s how the giveaway works: Students can attend football games for free thanks to the student fees they pay each semester. They scan personalized tickets when entering the stadium, and in the fourth quarter, a random student’s name is selected from those who arrived before kick-off. That student has five minutes to claim $5,000 in scholarship money. If no one appears at the designated spot after five minutes, a second name is announced. If that student doesn’t claim the money, a third name is called. On the third try, if no one comes forward, the scholarship is carried over to the next home game, when a student will have a chance to win $10,000.

Believe it or not, that’s not the pathetic part.  This is.

But $10,000 is the maximum. In the case of the game against Ohio State this coming Saturday, two home games have passed without anyone claiming the scholarships. The money on Saturday, however, will remain at $10,000 instead of rising to $15,000.

So far, there have been five home games, and only two students have been present to win the money, which came from a $30,000 private donation divided between the six home games.

That’s like the old joke about the guy who left two Falcons tickets under his windshield wiper blade when he went in to shop at the mall, only to come back out and find four there.



Filed under Big Ten Football


How many of y’all picked Georgia to cover that enormous spread in the Fabris Pool?

I have a hard time getting there, unless the Dawgs are something like +4 in turnover margin, mainly because I expect to see the bench emptied in the second half and Prather Hudson’s name called often in the fourth quarter.

Main thing I’m curious about today is seeing who gets the starting nod opposite Baker — Campbell or Stokes.

Main thing I’m hoping for is good health.

There really isn’t much else to add, I’m afraid.  It’s an über-cupcake game.

I’m heading up to the Classic City in a few.  Your thoughts are welcomed in the comments section, as always.


Filed under Georgia Football

“Everything happens for a reason, and a good reason at that.”

If you’re looking for someone to feel sorry for this morning, meet Maryland offensive lineman Damian Prince.  He’s got a resume that nobody should envy.

When Prince and the other seniors take the field at Maryland Stadium for Saturday’s game against No. 10 Ohio State, the rebuilding has been led by two different head coaches, two interim coaches and for Prince, four line coaches.

If that’s not a record, I’d sure hate to meet the kid who beats it.

He’s played for both Edsall and Durkin.  If nothing else, that makes him something of an expert on assholes.


Filed under Big Ten Football

Today, in Xs and Os

Ian Boyd’s got a good piece on running on one of the latest defensive wrinkles, the tite front.  What’s that, you ask?

The premise is simple, by using a normal zero nose tackle and then DEs playing on the “inside eye” of the offensive tackles the defense can cancel out the A-gap and both B-gaps AND offer up resistance to the offense’s best athletes (the tackles) from getting downfield and picking off linebackers.

The design of the front allows the defense to play with five or even four defenders in the box which negates the ability of the offense to spread them out on the perimeter and beat them in space. It also lends itself easily to sub-packages as the D can match the offense’s inside receivers. If they play a TE or FB and a slot WR then the D can play an OLB and a nickel DB. If they play with two TEs the D can play with two OLBs, two slot WRs can draw a dime package.

You may find it of particular interest because Boyd cites Georgia twice in the article, once on defense…

Georgia reveled in the sub-package versatility the front afforded a year ago while leaving Roquan Smith in the middle of the field to run wild behind their very sturdy three-man fronts.

… and once on offense.

Finally, the tite front depends on those three down DL to really hold the point of attack. They have an advantage in that look over others, which you can see clearly from this two play series of the LSU Tigers trying to defend Georgia on the inside zone play the Dawgs run better than anyone.

Play one against an Under front:

The RG helps bump the nose inside for the center and then picks up the downhill LB and that’s it, the A-gap is left bare and Elijah Holyfield is running downhill for a first down. The double teams of inside zone are straightforward and have easy angles when DL align in the gaps like this.

On the next play LSU moved into the tite front.

You can see the strenghts and weaknesses of the front here all on display at the same time. The backside 4i DE gets doubled and driven off the ball, even though he’s scrapping like wild, the playside 4i DE is combo blocked and he fits his gap fine. The problem is the nose and the cost of doubling the backside 4i. The OLB is not well contained by the zone read and the front is ultimately successful at spilling the ball to the perimeter where the overhangs are running free to the ball.

You’d hope to just power it inside where the guards are uncovered but the zero nose and backside 4i are difficult to stop from shooting backside gaps if they aren’t doubled but doubling them ends up having the same effect as singling them, the ball is spilled outside to LBs.

You can see the potential trouble though for the front, if the Dawgs had a TE blocking the OLB and better matchups inside (particularly on the nose) then then this style of front runs into major trouble.

Read the whole thing.  Basically, the eternal chess match between offensive and defensive coordinators plays on.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

In a shocking development, the NCAA feels shame.

But, damn, look what it took to get there.

Earlier this summer, Canisius College cross-country runner Emily Scheck received a text message from her mother that turned her life upside down.

Her mother had found a picture of Sheck and the girl she was dating, and she was horrified by it. Her mother told her that she was disgusting, and that she had to make a choice: come home and get therapy for her same-sex attraction, or be cut out of their lives forever. Sheck let her mother rant, not knowing what to do.

“I really didn’t know how someone should respond to that,” Scheck told Outsports. Yet she knew she didn’t want to have anything to do with some kind of conversion therapy, and she wanted to stay at Canisius preparing with her cross-country team for the season ahead.

Not long after that she came home to a shocker: her car’s license plates had been removed, and her car was full of her childhood belongings from home — awards, plaques, stuffed animals. She had bought her own car, but because her parents were paying for the insurance they had rescinded the payments, her father had driven to Buffalo from their home near Rochester, N.Y., and taken the license plates. He had also removed all of her belongings from their home and stuffed them in her car.

With that came a message that she was never to speak to them or her siblings again.

Suddenly Scheck was left alone, without a family and without support. She had $20 to her name and was getting paid by her jobs every two weeks — she works both at the local Wegmans and has a work-study job on campus, just to stay alive.

She didn’t have a meal plan to rely on for food, and her parents had stuck her with a Discover Card bill of items the family had purchased on a recent vacation.

Her roommate set up a gofundme page to help Scheck get through her situation and that led to the inevitable knee-jerk reaction from the school and the NCAA.

That’s when someone at the school or the NCAA — Scheck isn’t quite sure — took notice. She said she was contacted by an NCAA compliance officer at Canisius College and told she had two options, per his communication with the NCAA: Return every penny and maintain her NCAA eligibility, or keep the money and leave the cross-country team.

Scheck, being a rational human being who realized that eating was more important than playing sports, chose door number two.

This, of course, is both unnecessarily cruel and borderline insane.  We’re talking about a female cross-country runner at a small school.  There are no commercial interests involved here, just concerned people trying to help someone whose life was turned upside down.

Then, again, amateurism.  At least until the bad press started.  Suddenly, there was fine print to be found.

Canisius College received clarification from the NCAA that Emily Scheck can retain her eligibility and continue to receive GoFundMe donations that assist her with living and educational expenses. The NCAA staff worked cooperatively with Canisius College to provide guidance that the fundraiser can continue, with school monitoring. NCAA rules allow a school to assist a student-athlete with a fundraiser after a significant life event occurs.

Canisius and the NCAA will continue to work together in support of Emily. She is a member of the Canisius family and we will to do whatever we can to assist her.

I’m glad shame worked in Scheck’s case, but these are awful people and we should never lose sight of that.


Filed under The NCAA

The Hat is back?

Les Miles to Kansas?  Hokay, if you’re a blogger, I guess.  And good for him, if it’s really what he wants (or, more likely, all he can get now).  But a 65-year old guy taking over a program with a severe roster problem doesn’t strike me as a recipe for success.

Top that off with the reality that Jeff Long’s track record for hiring coaches at Arkansas wasn’t exactly stunningly successful.  Petrino was given too much space, crashed (literally) and burned, John L. Smith was a joke of a replacement and Bielema was one of those hires that looked much better on paper than in reality.

Still, the bar is so low at Kansas, it won’t take much for everyone to start patting Long and Miles on the back.  Just follow Mr. Conventional Wisdom’s tweets.


Filed under Wit And Wisdom From The Hat