Daily Archives: January 18, 2019

If I were a troll…

… I’d tell you that Nick Saban has hired an offensive line coach from Georgia.

Since I’m not,

We good?

17 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

That Fromm kid may have a future after all.

Here’s a very positive assessment of Georgia’s coming season with Jake Fromm at the helm from, of all places, the AJ-C.

The transfer portal opened wide in college football. A lot of talented quarterbacks rushed through it.

Jalen Hurts, formerly of Alabama, will now play at Oklahoma. Austin Kendall, backup to two Heisman Trophy QBs at Oklahoma, is headed to West Virginia.

Ex-Georgia quarterback Justin Fields left for Ohio State, prompting Tate Martell to leave for Miami. Kelly Bryant went to Missouri after Trevor Lawrence emerged as Clemson’s star. Sam Ehlinger starred for Texas, so Shane Buechele is looking for a school to be named later.

Meanwhile, Georgia must settle for Jake Fromm. Tough break for the Bulldogs to be stuck with merely a top-5 quarterback in college football.

Jake Fromm ain’t chopped liver.  It’s just that the national media doesn’t find his story particularly sexy.  We do, though.  And the remaining question is whether the NFL will after this season.

Over at cbssports.com, Chip Patterson says the pros will.  In his list of the top 32 draft-eligible prospects, Fromm checks in at number two, only behind Tua.

2. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia: If Tagovailoa has the absurd statistics, Fromm is going to get equal consideration because he checks so many boxes as a top quarterback prospect. From the Elite 11 and the recruiting process onward, Fromm has found ways to separate himself from the competition with a gamer’s attitude and an arm that can, as they say, “make all the throws.”

I’ve seen Fromm all over the place on 2020 projected draft lists, so it’s hard to say whether Patterson is right.  But there’s a whole ‘nother season to play before that matters and Fromm’s going to have a talented, experienced offensive line and backfield to work with as he goes through his third season as Georgia’s starter.  It’ll be interesting to see what he can coax out of Georgia’s offense… and his future.

60 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

When red and black turns to urnge

Deangelo Gibbs is taking his talents to Tennessee.  Not his defensive back talents, though.

DawgNation can confirm that Gibbs is enrolled at Tennessee and will move to the other side of the ball and play wide receiver for the Vols. The news was first reported by 247Sports’ Grant Ramey.

Best of luck to the kid; hope he finds his way.

Nice to see that the Vols want some of that sweet second chance action that Auburn had been hogging to itself.

18 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

The Peter Principle in Tuscaloosa

No snark here — I honestly thought Nick Saban was smarter than this.

Even before Nick Saban promoted Tosh Lupoi to defensive coordinator, there were internal questions within the Alabama program about whether he’d be up for the job.

Lupoi, who played defensive line at Cal, had zero experience working with the defensive secondary, a critical component of Saban’s defense. Lupoi was known as a tireless worker and talented position coach during his three years as Alabama’s outside linebackers coach but there were concerns about whether he’d be up to the task in areas like situational play-calling and recognizing what an opponent is doing in-game and being able to adjust on the fly, which had been a big strength of previous Tide defensive coordinators Kirby Smart and Jeremy Pruitt.

However, Lupoi was the staff’s best recruiter — he’s a big reason stars Tua Tagovailoa, Najee Harris and others picked Alabama — and he was going to have interest from other programs. If Saban didn’t promote Lupoi to defensive coordinator, he was likely to lose him. And after overhauling his staff to get more aggressive on the recruiting trail following the 2017 title, Saban didn’t think he could afford to let Lupoi go.

Well, he gone now.  And it sounds like Saban’s okay with that.

It wasn’t long after Alabama’s disastrous national championship game loss to Clemson that word began spreading Lupoi was unlikely to return to Alabama next season as part of a massive staff shakeup. But the inevitable breakup didn’t happen because of one bad defensive performance on a national scale. In fact, sources had indicated to AL.com for a while that Lupoi was likely to leave for another job after the season.

After some early struggles during the season, Saban stripped Lupoi of defensive play-calling responsibilities and handed them over to co-defensive coordinator Pete Golding, according to sources. Saban had poached Golding from UT-San Antonio in the offseason in part to alleviate concerns about Lupoi’s inexperience with the secondary and as a play-caller. Still, word is Lupoi seemed overwhelmed during practices and didn’t totally grasp situational play-calling. While he was still heavily involved in the defensive game-planning, there was no question Golding taking over play-calling represented a demotion of sorts for Lupoi barely into the start of his defensive coordinator stint.

Valuing recruiting chops over the complete absence of coaching chops?  Call that one of those classic blunders.  ‘Bama was so talented this season that Lupoi’s coaching flaws never caught up with it until the national title game.

Basically, it’s the opposite of Charlie Weis’ decided schematic advantage.

28 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

We’ll always have Mississippi.

You may have forgotten about this, but those people haven’t.

Mullen and Stricklin?  Do tell.

With any luck, this’ll go on for years.

1 Comment

Filed under SEC Football, See You In Court, The NCAA

Gator chomping stadium capacity

Here’s a very interesting Q&A with Florida AD Scott Stricklin.  It delves pretty deeply into his thinking on the future of his school’s home seating.

Stricklin: Under the current setup of the stadium on the seat map, there needs to be a way when the student walks into the stadium, this is where I can go. If they just had general admission seats, they’d be walking into reserve seating sections, because the student section is kind of meandering if you go across the seat map. We need a defined student section like we have in basketball. If you come, ‘this lower section right here, first come, first serve. You can sit right here.’ We don’t really have a way to do that under our current configuration of our seating for football.

To come up with that, you’re looking at either fencing in their current thing which doesn’t really work or you’re having to relocate season ticket holders to locate students somewhere where you can do that. That’s not an easy fix. I think we’ll get there, but it won’t be overnight.

Sun: Do you ever think about putting them in the south end zone and putting season ticket holders in better seats?

Stricklin: We definitely have looked at that. That’s one of the things that has some potential. There’s an expense that goes along with that. For one thing you want to give the people a reward for season ticket holders and give them more room. That’s one of things we want to do is expand seat width for season ticket holders and put chair backs in where we can. We’d rather do that at one time rather than piecemeal.

Sun: At one point you said it might be 10 years before those kind of things take place. Is it still that far away?

Stricklin: I don’t think 10 years. I think we can do it in less time than that.

Hopefully less than five. I think there’s some things we can do within the seating bowl itself in a short time frame.

Sun: And that would reduce seating capacity. Do you have a number on that in mind?

Stricklin: Really don’t. We want to be north of 75,000. Essentially, we have 88,000 seats. Of those, we hold 8,000 for the visitors. The way visiting teams travel now that’s probably 5,000 seats too many so right there you get rid of 5,000 seats and you’d never miss them because visitors aren’t coming.

And I think student seating, we probably have a couple of thousand there. We could get to 80,000 real quick right there and wouldn’t impact anybody coming to the game. You haven’t touched supply and demand at that point. So if you wanted to tighten up supply and demand to make supply and demand more valuable probably between 75 (thousand) and 80. Hopefully we have a great year selling season tickets this year and we reassess that number, but based on where we’ve been the last three or four years that’s probably the number you’re looking at.

Basically, what he’s saying there is that he hopes to lop off around 12-13,000 seats, largely at the expense of student and visitor attendance.

Then, after rejecting the suggestion that the SEC should go to a nine-game conference schedule, he goes on to say this:

But we need to find a way as a league to provide more variety in our SEC schedule. It goes back to what I was talking about earlier — creating more value and interest in what you’re asking your season ticket holders to support.

I’m open for suggestions, but in a two-year period with eight home conference games every two years, seven of those eight are the same. There needs to be more rotation. Some annual games would have to go away, but there are some other great games that will come on the schedule. Auburn-Florida is a good example. We used to play every year.

Our league has so many great brands, you’re going to pick up great games. I think it’s going to be more compelling. You probably get rid of the permanent (opponents). I’m in favor of having the conversation. I don’t know what my colleagues think.

I’m sensitive to the tradition piece, but we have to do what’s best for the whole league and I don’t think we can walk on eggshells around one or two games. You think about players who are here four or five years and never see some teams.

And tops it with this.

Sun: Now that you have been around it for a couple of years, what are your thoughts on Florida-Georgia in Jacksonville?

Stricklin: Jacksonville is really unique and special. It’s something not many schools have. It would be nice to have Georgia on our campus and go to their’s, but we have to weigh that against what Jacksonville means to that series. It’s pretty important now. But you never say never.

Well, you say never as long as they’re paying you for the privilege.

Don’t look now, but this may be your future, SEC fans.  Tradition is nice, but it doesn’t pay the bills.  These guys are in a never-ending search for the last marginal dollar, wherever it takes them.

56 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., It's Just Bidness

Tate Martell goes for the gold.

We’ve been watching the Martell transfer situation because the Justin Fields transfer situation obviously begat the Martell transfer situation, but what Martell intends to try now bears watching on its own.

Martell is not leaving Ohio State as a graduate transfer, and he’ll need more than one semester to graduate from Miami. That means he’ll be applying for a waiver from the NCAA in order to play in 2019, and his attorney told the Toledo Blade on Thursday that he believes Martell’s case has merit for reasons that include the Buckeyes’ change in coaches from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day.

“There were some things that happened at Ohio State that we can potentially get some relief from the NCAA, and we’re going to try it that way,” the attorney, Travis Leach, told the newspaper. “The coaching staff turnover is an issue. There are a few things. There’s no real bright-line test that tells you 100 percent how you can get a waiver. This is a tough one, but there are some good facts on his side.”  [Emphasis added.]

That’s right.  If you’re college football, it’s the big one, Elizabeth.  They’re gonna try to argue Martell deserves a get out of jail free card because of the coaching change (even if that seems a little weird in this context since Day was his OC before Corch left).  Should this argument win the day (see what I did there?), it’s a huge game changer for athletic directors who would then have to weigh the potential havoc a coaching change would have on their football program.

Not to mention it’s kind of fair.

22 Comments

Filed under The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.