Daily Archives: March 18, 2019

Not my favorite year

I tell you, these latest Bill Connelly S&P+ retrospectives are giving me heartburn.  If his 2013 simply reminded me of how injuries derailed what could have been Georgia’s best offense ever, certainly good enough to overcome one of Grantham’s weaker defenses en route to a divisional championship at minimum, the story of his 2014 rankings is simply one of a team that epically underachieved.

Consider this:

Eight weeks into the season, here’s where SEC teams ranked in the (new) S&P+:

1. Alabama (6-1)
2. Ole Miss (7-0)
3. Auburn (5-1)
4. Mississippi State (6-0)
5. Georgia (6-1)
8. LSU (6-2)
11. Texas A&M (5-3)
14. South Carolina (4-3)
16. Missouri (5-2)
24. Florida (3-3)
29. Kentucky (5-2)
30. Tennessee (3-4)
31. Arkansas (3-4)
66. Vanderbilt (2-5)

The entire top five, nine of the top 16, 13 of the top 31, and an otherworldly average S&P+ rating of plus-21.8. As October flipped to November, the Southeastern Conference may have been at its highest ever height.

But while Alabama mostly kept up its pace and Georgia did enough to stay up there…

Bill is kind in his phrasing there.  Georgia proceeded to lose two of its next five games, costing it another SEC East title.  But here’s the part that’s quintessential 2014:  Georgia’s S&P+ ranking climbed to third by season’s end.  You really have to work at something like that.

Weirdly enough, from a strategic perspective, 2014 wasn’t marred by the usual Richt shortcoming of fixing one problem, only to allow another to crop up.  He had a good grasp of his team’s strengths and weaknesses and did a superb job of maximizing little ball things like turnover margin (first in the conference) and field position.  Ultimately, though, his team was undone by a lack of focus in Jacksonville and a disastrous squib kick decision against Tech.

Like I said, heartburn.

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26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

So easy, even an athletic director can do it.

You may think this is obvious.

But you’re not paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to run a P5 athletic program, like Lynn Swann is.

I’d say they’re stealing money, but it’s not like their victims have a problem with it.

4 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., It's Just Bidness

“What you see on G-Day isn’t necessarily what you’ll get, come fall.”

Bill King, on our annual spring celebration of the backup quarterback’s QBR:

While Smart has put increased emphasis on G-Day as a promotional opportunity during his time as head coach, trying to pack Sanford Stadium, the actual intrasquad scrimmage itself has become increasingly irrelevant as an indicator of what to expect during the coming season.

It’s largely a show put on for recruits, with a grandstand full of fans serving as an impressive background. Fans aren’t privy to the real spring work, done in closed practices and scrimmages.

King thinks fans looking for answers to questions like scheme changes in the wake of departing coaches are bound to be disappointed.  Well, yeah.  But “increasingly irrelevant”?  How long has it been since people expected profound answers in the spring, anyway?

I go to G-Day because it’s an excuse to visit the Classic City in the spring.  The weather’s good, the beer is cold, tailgating with friends is its usual fun… and you can’t beat the price.  I get a few bonus points out of judging the team’s depth and the S&C work, not to mention seeing if the chatter about certain kids’ physical attributes has any basis in reality.  Aside from Smart’s rather ham-handed efforts to convert me into a recruiting prop (to which at this point I’m immune), there isn’t really a downside on the day.

So, yeah, I’m already looking forward to it.  How about you?

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“… and they don’t want to be told what to do.”

One recurring question in the wake of Jordan McNair’s death has been to ask why the NCAA hasn’t taken the lead in regulating player safety issues.  You only get one guess.

The NCAA could end up becoming more liable to lawsuits if proposed measures aimed at protecting student-athletes pass, just one of the barriers to the organization taking a more active role in player health and safety issues.

As the NCAA introduces regulatory policies like guidelines to prevent non-traumatic deaths and improved accreditation standards for strength and conditioning coaches, it might expand its legal duty to provide care, thus making it more vulnerable to civil negligence claims, according to attorney Bob Wallace, who represents athletes and sports teams for national law firm Thompson Coburn. Two Oregon football players hospitalized in a January 2017 workout have filed such cases against the NCAA and the University of Oregon.

“When organizations or companies or industries are regulating conduct,” Wallace said, “there’s always a balancing act of how far can you go, should you go before you shift a bunch of the responsibility onto your organization.”

NCAA spokesman Christopher Radford, however, told Sporting News in a statement that “NCAA health and safety efforts are not calculated by whether there is increased legal liability but on what is in the best interests of our student-athletes.”

Fear of liability is one of several explanations offered by legal analysts, medical experts and college sports officials as to why the NCAA has not substantially addressed the issue of student-athlete fatalities.

Hey, money trumping doing it for the kids, whodathunkit?  And we have Mark Emmert to thank for it, according to Jay Bilas.

If the NCAA was worried about how regulation might impact its legal liability before 2013, the events of that year seemingly added to its level of concern, according to ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas and several legal experts.

Penn State took the NCAA to court after the latter imposed heavy sanctions on the Nittany Lions following former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s years of sexual abuse of children (sometimes on Penn State property). At first, the NCAA imposed a $60 million fine, four-year postseason bowl ban, scholarship reduction and vacation of all Penn State wins after 1998. It was forced to rescind many of those penalties, however, as part of a settlement with the school.

“They basically overreacted and they imposed an enormous amount of sanctions that then they had to pull back from,” said a source who has worked with the NCAA as a legal consultant. “Now they’re just hesitant to do anything.”

But he meant well at the time.  Of course, there is the one exception that proves the rule.

Scandals that have involved competitive advantages or threats to amateurism, such as an FBI probe into college basketball programs paying athletes through shoe companies, have been met with more forceful responses.

“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America,” NCAA president Mark Emmert wrote of the FBI probe. “Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules.”

Yeah, I feel affronted, alright.  Thanks, Mark, for keeping your eye on the prize.

14 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Be careful out there, Jake.

I wonder what Kirby’s reaction was when he saw this.

I don’t see any foreign objects sticking out of limbs, so that’s good.

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Musical palate cleanser, the summer of love never died edition

From Wikipedia:

Ace of Cups is an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1967 during the Summer of Love era. It has been described as one of the first all-female rock bands.

… Ace of Cups made their debut in the early spring of 1967. In late June, Jimi Hendrix invited the band to open for him at a free concert in Golden Gate Park.[12] In London that December, Hendrix told Melody Maker:

“I heard some groovy sounds last time in the States, like this girl group, Ace of Cups, who write their own songs and the lead guitarist is hell, really great.”[13]

In San Francisco, Ace of Cups—whose new manager, Ron Polte, also managed Quicksilver Messenger Service—were playing regularly, headlining at smaller clubs such as The Matrix and performing as the opening act at larger venues such as the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore.[14] In mid-1968, the band appeared on a local television program, West Pole, along with San Francisco legends Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.[15] In 1969, they opened for The Band’s first concert as The Band along with The Sons of Champlin.[16]

Several record companies were interested in signing Ace of Cups, but Hollingworth and Polte felt the band was worth more than the record companies were offering. Also, some of the band members were concerned that a record contract might require the band to tour, and they were worried that family pressures would interfere. Consequently, Ace of Cups never made any professional recordings of their own…

Until now.

Groovy, baby.  Sometimes youth isn’t wasted on the wrong people.

A little more background on these ladies here:

(h/t)

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized