February 5, 2019 · 12:33 PM
How’s that recruiting going, Gators?
A great signing day still wouldn’t do much to close the gap between UF and Alabama, or Clemson, or Georgia.
“If you’re going to compete with Alabama and Clemson and be a team that breaks through, you’ve got to be in the top five,” Farrell said. “They’ve still got some work to do.”
Even if UF lands a pair of top-100 south Florida recruits (receiver Mark-Antony Richards and cornerback Kaair Elam) the Gators still won’t have a five-star prospect on their roster. SEC East frontrunner Georgia has signed 11 over the last two classes. Rival LSU added three in December. The only incoming ’Bama recruit who isn’t a blue-chip talent is Will Reichard — the nation’s top kicker.
That means that while Mullen is trying to amass talent on his roster, the nation’s top programs keep stockpiling elite classes on top of elite classes. [Emphasis added.]
That’s from a piece that’s largely praiseworthy. I’m not hearing the sound of a gap closing there, but maybe that’s just me.
But wait, you might say. Isn’t Florida raking in-state recruiting, given the current fortunes of FSU and Miama?
Farrell said in-state recruiting is holding UF back. The Gators enter signing day with commitments or signatures from only two of the state’s top 30 recruits. That puts UF behind Florida State (six), Alabama (five), Georgia (four), Miami (three) and Clemson (three). UF doesn’t have a current player or incoming recruit from Bradenton football factory IMG Academy.
“A lot of the IMG kids are leaving the state,” Farrell said. “I think they need to get more of the high-level in-state kids to buy in.”
So much for that narrative. If that’s how Mullen is doing when the other two Florida powers are down, what’s going to happen if either or both recover?
Gator fans may find that “Dan Mullen turned Mississippi State around by maximizing solid rosters lacking in superstar recruits” is all they’ve got left. That would be a real shame.
February 5, 2019 · 12:25 PM
We’ve long talked about the smoking crater where Georgia’s 2013 recruiting class once stood. Now take a look at the breakdown in hindsight of Richt’s last class ($$):
Adjusted average: 2.63
Hit rate: 58 percent
Class rank in 2015: 6th
Four-year record: 42-13
Top signees: LB Roquan Smith, CB Deandre Baker, DE Jonathan Ledbetter, WR Terry Godwin, LB Natrez Patrick
The star power of this class is impressive. Smith and Baker were All-Americans, and Baker should join Smith in becoming a first-round pick this spring. D’Andre Walker was the Bulldogs’ sack leader in 2018. Godwin, Ledbetter, Patrick and Rodrigo Blankenship have been very productive multiyear starters. Transfers Jake Ganus and Greyson Lambert count in this class, too, and were good takes.
The misses are the only reason this class is ranked where it is. They had 14 signees who did not pan out and left the program. Four of those were injury-related and just bad luck. The rest transferred or quit playing. This was Mark Richt’s last class at Georgia, so attrition is expected after a coaching change. Kirby Smart and his staff have effectively recruited over any misses in the 2015 group, and the Bulldogs’ 2014 and 2016 classes were particularly loaded to make up for this one.
Pretty wild split there, eh? It’s a good thing Kirby’s recruited like a sumbitch, because otherwise we’d be freaking out about now. Actually, the freak out would have started last season…
February 5, 2019 · 8:51 AM
Really, this is almost masterful.
People are sick and tied of the New England Patriots. They win too much, their head coach is insufferable and they’re universally hated. New England fatigue is very real, as demonstrated by this week’s Super Bowl being the lowest rated since 2009.
Georgia should aspire to have that level hate and envy from opposing fan bases, mostly because it means that the Bulldogs will have won multiple titles. Alabama has that level of fatigue. Clemson is getting there as well.
But Georgia might be closer to that fatigue from a national level while also skipping the part where it wins multiple titles.
A number of college football fans — whether they want to admit it or not — rolled their eyes at Georgia football when its players chimed in during the College Football Playoff semifinals. Those same fans no doubt got a lot of enjoyment when Georgia didn’t show up in the Sugar Bowl against Texas. The final polls saw Georgia finished tied with Florida at No. 7 in the AP Poll and at No. 8 in the Coaches Poll.
And it looks like on some level, the shine has already worn off for Georgia. ESPN’s Tom Luginbill wrote an article predicting which five non College Football Playoff teams from 2018 could close the gap and possibly derail Alabama and Clemson. Recruiting played a big part in Luginbill’s selection of teams. And Georgia somehow did not make the list.
Tom Luginbill. Oy.
February 5, 2019 · 7:06 AM
Whatever drama is left for Georgia’s 2019 class, it’s probably going to come more from whatever Smart is holding back for a graduate transfer or two than tomorrow’s action. Here’s a rundown of what he might be watching in the transfer portal right now.
February 5, 2019 · 7:02 AM
From Bruce Feldman’s look back at Meat Market ($$):
“The approach (Orgeron) took would eventually have led to success,” former Ole Miss linebackers coach Dave Corrao says. “He had the willingness to go into places and out-recruit people because at Ole Miss you’re not a name-brand program. You’re trying to break through.
“No disrespect to (former Ole Miss head coach David) Cutcliffe, but there were probably only five draft-quality players in the whole program when we got there. And keeping up with the Joneses in the SEC is a hard thing, man.”
Which is why Coach O is getting a contract extension at LSU and Cutcliffe is a lifer at Duke.
February 5, 2019 · 6:57 AM
Life is good at Butts-Mehre.
Georgia athletics brought in $42.758 million more in revenue than it spent in fiscal year 2018.
The data comes from Georgia’s annual NCAA financial report, which was obtained Monday by the Athens Banner-Herald in an open records request. The report encompasses the period from July 2017 through June 2018.
Georgia reported $176,699,893 in operating revenue and $133,941,585 in operating expenses.
Georgia said that $32.297 million of that $42.758 million difference went to fund capital projects for the west end zone side of Sanford Stadium—that included a new football home locker room—and the indoor practice facility. The Athletic Association also contributed $4.5 million to the university. Another $5.961 million is planned to be used for future athletic facility enhancements, the school said.
Revenue exceeded expenses by $4.124 million more than fiscal year 2017.
Contributions rose by $12,857,487 to $67,772,093. Football accounted for $62,333,600 of those contributions after the program’s run to the national title game in 2017.
“The big swing in this is what the Magill Society contributions have done to our portfolio here,” athletic director Greg McGarity said of donors who have made major gifts for facility improvements.
Look on the bright side. McGarity’s gonna keep scheduling attractive home and home deals with non-conference opponents to keep the ticket perks up for the Magill Society folks.
February 5, 2019 · 6:51 AM
“I CAN’T THINK OF ANOTHER INDUSTRY WHERE A CLASS OF PEOPLE IS ABLE TO MAKE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OFF SOMEONE ELSE’S PRODUCT, PUT RISK ON THAT PARTY, AND PAY THEM NOTHING…”
Bryan Seeley, a senior vice president of Major League Baseball
Indignant dude is right. He can’t think.
February 5, 2019 · 6:43 AM
Reading this, it’s easy to appreciate the soundness of waiting for Tennessee to fire its coaching staff to save a few bucks on qualified hires.
February 5, 2019 · 6:31 AM
To be clear, while it’s been an unadulterated joy to mock some Georgia Tech fans’ oversized expectations regarding their new head coach, I do think Geoff Collins is a solid pick. It’s an understatement to say that the genius had worn out his welcome on the Flats and the program was in desperate need of someone fresh and realistic about the role recruiting should play in a state like Georgia.
That all being said, what in the hell does this mean?
… When Collins got the Georgia Tech job in December, one of the first calls he made was to the wunderkind he calls Morpheus. (Collins swears he knows Stancato’s proper name, but he rarely uses it.) Soon after, Morpheus joined the Yellow Jackets’ program as its first brand manager. In fact, he’s the first person to hold that particular job title at a Power 5 program.
Why focus so much on brand? Simple, Collins says. “In the NFL, players choose based on contract length and dollar amounts,” he says. “But when high school players choose a school, they’re choosing based on brand. So you create the strongest brand and strongest culture you can.”
Dude, this is Georgia Tech you’re talking about. All the branding in the world won’t change that.
Of course, Collins knows branding doesn’t win games.
February 5, 2019 · 6:23 AM
John Rhys Plumlee will be taking his talents to Ole Miss, his home state school, instead of Georgia, where he was asked to blueshirt.
Really, after Smart replaced Fields with Mathis, I didn’t expect to see Plumlee ever show up in Athens. The only thing I’m a little surprised about is that he waited this long to signal his change.
Unless Kirby throws a major curve ball with a late transfer signing, your backup quarterback this season is Stetson Bennett. That’s not to say that wouldn’t have been the case anyway with Bennett, but Mathis is something of a project and there simply aren’t the numbers at the position to pretend that either Fromm or Bennett are going to face any serious competition.