Daily Archives: December 30, 2018

The final “Mark Richt has lost control” moment?

According to this report, he’s lost control over his Miami career.

InsideTheU has learned through multiple sources that Richt informed school officials on Sunday that he plans to retire. The news comes just a few days after the Hurricanes were rolled by Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl.

I wonder if he comes back to Athens in retirement.

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UPDATE:  Life comes at you fast.

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UPDATE #2:  Per Bruce Feldman ($$),

A person with direct knowledge of the matter told The Athletic on the condition of anonymity that a big reason for Richt’s exit is that he was under pressure to remove his son Jon from the Hurricanes coaching staff. Jon Richt was the Hurricanes’ quarterbacks coach.

This is why there’s a good reason for anti-nepotism rules.

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140 Comments

Filed under ACC Football

Pride goeth before a Sugar Bowl.

I mentioned earlier that several Georgia players took to social media in the wake of yesterday’s lopsided results to express being miffed about their exclusion from the CFP.  Does that count as a pre-bowl distraction?

Not according to some of their teammates.

A loss to the Longhorns now makes UGA look like a fraud, but a win, especially a convincing one, might prove their point. The pressure is on but the players insist that they don’t feel it.

“I don’t think we have to go out and prove anything,” sophomore running back D’Andre Swift said. “I think we’re going to play to our standard, which we always do and everything will take care of itself.”

Swift went on to say that he thought the tweets were harmless, that the fact of the matter is that they simply felt quite strongly that the Bulldogs were one of the nation’s top programs.

None of the players expressed any regret about the actions of the teammates. While they may not have participated, the Bulldogs feel that they already put a lot of pressure on themselves to play well. When toe meets leather in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in a couple of days, they won’t be looking at the scoreboard or thinking about the collective decision of the CFP committee. They’ll be trying to do their job to the best of their ability on every play.

This game doesn’t become more important all of a sudden. The UGA player believe they’ve been locked in during Sugar Bowl preparation from the jump.

“I don’t think it’s any extra pressure. As a team, we understand the meaning of the game and the importance of this game,” sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas said. “We already understand how we need to play to be successful.”

I do think (and Vegas concurs) that on paper, Georgia is the better team.  The question is how much of the game gets played on paper and how much comes down to what’s between the ears of Georgia’s players.  For better or worse, Kirby’s motivational skills will be on display as much as his prep and scheme work is.

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Boom, keep your powder dry.

Somehow, South Carolina managed to get shut out yesterday by a team that finished the regular season with overtime losses to Georgia Tech and a team that didn’t have a winning record.

At least the ‘Cocks now enter their favorite time of year, the offseason of content.

20 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy

The CFP rent’s too damned high.

After yesterday’s games, I know the popular take in these here parts is Notre Dame no, Georgia yes, but it’s not the right lesson to learn.

This is.

The essential reality of the 2018 season is that there weren’t four teams worthy of national title consideration before yesterday’s games were played.  Don’t take my word for that, either ($$).

On​ rare occasions,​ we​ sportswriters actually predict​ something​ correctly.​ Not​ that​ this one was​ particularly challenging.

That​​ Alabama would meet Clemson for the 2018 national championship seemed ordained before the teams even reported to camp. They were ranked 1-2 to start the season. They were 1-2 in every edition of the College Football Playoff rankings…

Frankly, we didn’t need a Playoff this year. The old BCS formula would have sufficed. Alabama and Clemson were the best teams all season, which should not be surprising, seeing as they’ve been the best programs in the sport for the past four seasons.

There’s a reason Vegas established ‘Bama and Clemson as heavy favorites, you know.  Yet most of us were willing to buy into a mass hallucination, aided and abetted by Mickey, that these were going to be competitive matches, that Notre Dame and Oklahoma weren’t mere cannon fodder.

Suckers.  ESPN and the people running the college football playoffs push the narrative because there’s money to be made.  We buy it because we want to be entertained.  It’s a fool’s errand, because we ignore the statistical evidence.

Matt is being too generous with his “small sample size” gesture.  The essential nature of college football, particularly in the last two decades, is two-fold:  one, it boasts less parity than any other major organized sport in this country and two, its excellence is also unbalanced, geographically speaking.

None of this should come as a surprise.  College football’s uniqueness comes in large part from its regional nature and from the ability of a select few programs to accumulate talent in significantly greater numbers than the bulk of their peers.  The flaw in the current drive to expand the playoffs in an attempt to nationalize the appeal of the sport is that it eradicates the former factor while ignoring the latter.  That is why playoff expansion for college football, as it continues along its current trajectory, is doomed to failure.

We’re already seeing it now.  Mandel’s column hints at it, but Dan Wolken’s “here we are now, entertain us” piece really hits at it.

Every year now, college football fans and administrators have to ask themselves: Would they rather the selection process be about evaluating seasons or personnel? Georgia has better players than Notre Dame. But by no measurement did two-loss Georgia handle its schedule as well as the undefeated Fighting Irish.

When those two things don’t line up, you get mismatches. And boy have we had a lot of them. Will the cycle even out someday? Or has the romance and intrigue about what a real playoff would look like given way to permanent drudgery? If that’s the case, change is needed ASAP. Such a beautiful sport can’t be allowed to become a bore.

Yes, college football’s two best teams facing off for a national championship is a drudge, a bore.

This is the next argument you’re going to hear for playoff expansion.  I admit there’s a superficial attractiveness to it — surely four vs. five will have a certain level of competitiveness to it, right?  And don’t forget the Cinderella factor that ESPN will flog to death.  But if Alabama and Clemson beat the selection committee’s third and fourth best teams by double digits, are we really supposed to expect that numbers seven and eight are going to put up better fights consistently?

Don’t be ridiculous.

If playoff expansion is inevitable as I believe it is, then we can either expect one of two outcomes.  The first is that the current trends I mentioned above are exacerbated by an increasingly watered down field and we’re treated to more and more lopsided affairs until we get down to the championship game or the sport takes steps to reduce the lack of parity that defines it.

With regard to the latter of those, given that those kind of steps would involve making moves like restructuring the nature of scheduling or roster size reduction, all of which would be rightly seen as serious threats to the very college powerhouses that sit atop the sport today, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

In short, I hope you enjoy three-touchdown blowouts in the postseason, because there are plenty more in our future.

63 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

In furtherance of the academic mission

This news has sort of gotten buried under the semi-finals avalanche, but it’s definitely something to marvel over:

Want to own a piece of a major college football conference?

There may be one for sale shortly.

Pac-12 Conference leadership pitched university presidents and chancellors a strategic plan aimed at bailing out the struggling conference and helping it keep pace with its Power Five Conference peers.

The “Pac-12 NewCo” plan was introduced to the conference presidents and chancellors at their mid-November meeting and was subsequently discussed in a conference call in December, per sources. Private investors would own 10 percent equity in the newly formed entity in exchange for a $500 million investment.

A six-page document obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive outlines the plan presented by conference commissioner Larry Scott to his bosses during the November meeting of the “Pac-12 CEO Group.”

The document outlines the conference’s current lagging media rights projections and introduces an ambitious plan that involves taking on a strategic private investor.

Sure, this is schools weighing a proposal to sell a piece of a collegiate athletic conference to an outside investor, but it hardly poses an existential threat to the nature of college sports the way a kid sitting out a bowl game to prep for the NFL draft does, amirite?

Larry Scott, genius.

23 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football