Daily Archives: May 7, 2019

“I feel like we are going to be more prepared in the fall than we were in the past.”

Today, in duh ($$):

The most overlooked effect of the changes to the offense is the way the transition is affecting the defense.

It’s a pretty simple concept really: For the past decade, Georgia Tech has been running an offense its defense rarely saw during a game on a Saturday in the fall. Georgia Tech’s identity was grounded in the option. So, what did this mean for the defense?

It means two things: 1) The defense probably got really good at defending the option; and 2) It made it somewhat difficult to test the defense against the specific offensive styles it faced most Saturdays…

“You spend all of spring and then half of the fall camp going against the triple-option, which we don’t see normally in the season,” linebacker David Curry said, “but now we are going against offenses that we will see every single week, and the reps add up.”

So, how lacking was the defensive prep work?  This lacking:

According to Tariq Carpenter, by the spring game last season under first-year defensive coordinator Nate Woody, the defense had only four calls in place. The reasoning behind that was that the defense knew it would never see that specific offense outside of the spring, so why try to find multiple ways to stop it if this was only a month-long endeavor?

No wonder the genius kept blaming his defensive coordinators.

39 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Today’s call for celebration

We’re on a roll, I tells ‘ya!

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Throwing us Dawgs a bone

I just want to follow up my last post with a quote from Kirby Smart ($$) that should, in its own way, be blindingly obvious.

– And in this age of dwindling attendance, even fan bases at the most passionate and winning programs will not show up en masse for the “little sisters of the poor games.” So, economically, these series make sense as well.

“We want our fan base to get (these games),” Smart said. “We want our fan base to get potentially what might be seven consecutive home games, nonconference, Power 5 opponents and we’re trying to get that lined up for them and play some good rivalries. I think it’s going to help us in recruiting, I always do, and I like to play in Atlanta, too.”

I’ll take my dose of fan-friendly management wherever I can get it.

Yeah, it’s a shame that the head coach is having to do the athletic director’s work here, but at least McGarity’s not blocking it.  I can certainly live with that.

42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Chip Towers’ blinding revelation

Really, it comes about a year late, but it’s still inspiring to watch a light bulb go off over his head.

Happy to hear Georgia finally secured a home-and-home deal with Oklahoma. Kind of bummed that the Sooners won’t be coming to Athens until 2031 though.

If you pay for UGA season tickets, you’re probably a little miffed about that, too. It will require some patience between Notre Dame in 2019 and UCLA in 2026…

I asked Georgia AD Greg McGarity if the Bulldogs might fill in some of those scheduling gaps between Notre Dame this fall and UCLA and in ’26. “You never know,” is all he offered.

The fact is, if you just sign up to become a Georgia season-ticket holder over the next five years, (as a Magill Society member, that’d cost you $25,000, plus however much individual tickets cost apiece over that span), the best non-conference home game you’re assured of seeing at Sanford Stadium during that stretch is Georgia Tech.

You’ll get Louisiana-Monroe, East Tennessee State, San Jose State and UAB as well. Other than Tech in even years, that’s all that is assured at the moment.

This is all something any season ticket holder who plunked down his or her hard earned cash for that joke of a 2018 home slate could have told Chip.  It’s hardly news.

What’s news is Kirby continuing to push for scheduling upgrades.

Smart has made it a point to schedule some of the best opponents in the country.

If you’re going to recruit the finest players in the country out of your own state, and across the country, because our academic institution is so highly thought of, if I want to have the best players, I want to play the best teams,” Smart said earlier this spring. “They come to college to play big games. They don’t come to college, I would never name anybody, but they don’t want to play the little sisters of the poor. They want to play the best teams, so we want to go schedule the best teams.”

That’s one difference between your average five-star recruit and McGarity.  Speaking of whom, “’You never know,’ is all he offered” may be the perfect epitaph for his Georgia career.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Welcome to the new Gator reality

Really, do you need to read anything more from this post than this?

But not all is lost. Clemson – after all – didn’t start out recruiting all that well under Dabo Swinney. But slowly that program has built into one that can take on Alabama, not just on the field but on the recruiting trail as well.

So the question is, can Dan Mullen build the same way at Florida?

He’s in Florida, for Chrissakes!  Top notch recruiting is supposed to come with the territory.  That you’re even having to ask a question like that in the first place tells you how far off the beaten path things have gone in Gainesville.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

29 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

Kansas wants a mulligan.

Jeff Long, a titan of the profession, has a vision.  Well, more like a sincere beg of his peers:

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long, a relative newcomer to the Big 12, stood before his fellow athletic directors last week in Scottsdale, Ariz., and asked them to consider a proposal that would help Long’s football team and none of theirs. The question now is whether any of those other ADs will realize that one or several of their teams might need what Long suggests someday.

Long knew he’d get a chilly reception, but he made the ask anyway. His football program has been gutted. The first mistake was hiring Charlie Weis, who put Kansas in a deep scholarship hole by signing a bunch of junior college players who didn’t pan out. It was so bad that after the first spring practice under Weis’s successor David Beaty, the Jayhawks had only 28 scholarship players. Beaty initially tried to build the time-tested way—with high school recruits who would spend between three and five years in the program—but as the losses mounted, he felt the pressure to improve immediately and also began looking for quick fixes from the juco ranks. In Beaty’s final two recruiting classes, 24 of 46 signees came from junior colleges. Sheahon Zenger, the AD who hired Weis and Beaty, was fired last year. In came Long, who fired Beaty and hired Les Miles. The 67-year-old Miles seems excited about the job, but Long estimates it will be four years before the Jayhawks play with a roster anywhere the NCAA maximum of 85 scholarships.

So Long asked his fellow ADs to consider the idea of tweaking recruiting rules to allow a team in a scholarship hole to climb out and get competitive more quickly. How would this work?

… Long would like programs to have the ability to sign a rolling total of 50 initial counters over two years. He can live with a one-year cap of 35 or so, but he’d like the ability to replenish a roster that has been depleted not because of NCAA sanctions but because of mismanagement by people who don’t work at a place anymore.

… and a pony.

Really, this is too rich.  Zenger committed AD malpractice of his own free will.  Signing Charlie Weis was one of those monumental acts of stupidity that everyone outside of Kansas recognized would not end well.  And it didn’t, to say the least.

Jeff Long’s suggestion is, rather than make his school go through the usual rebuild under the current rules — admittedly, a daunting task for Les Miles — simply to rewrite those rules to the benefit of his program.  While it’s a suggestion that’s certainly in keeping with the man’s spectacularly overrated career, it’s also a good example of a short-term fix that’s bad policy.

First of all, by letting ADs off the hook for poor decision making (speaking of short-term fixes), a redo of the rules simply excuses and enables further bad decision making.

But that’s far from the worst of it.  Here are a couple of concerns voiced by Long’s peers, per Staples:

The best programs (at schools without super-strict admissions policies) would horde recruits and then “process” the players who aren’t good enough. This is why the SEC changed its rules a decade ago and the NCAA adopted those changes nationwide. Houston Nutt signed 38 players one year at Ole Miss and said he would have signed more. Nick Saban brought in 56 players in the recruiting classes of 2008 and 2009. Some of those players—the ones who didn’t get processed—took part in three national title runs.

Newly hired coaches who want to run off the existing players will have an easier time cleansing the roster. The deterrent of having no scholarships available to replace the players who were run off would be gone.

Can you imagine what Saban could do with such a rule?

Of course, this is college football, so Andy’s advice to Long is obvious.

Long’s best bet is to push this as a player safety issue. A team playing with 50 recruited scholarship players will have to play players more snaps in practices and games. Those players will get hurt, forcing the remaining players to carry even more of the load. Players who should get redshirted will be thrust into games when they aren’t ready. This creates a vicious cycle that will keep a team down for years.

You can never go wrong doing it for the kids.

Long’s actual pitch to his fellow ADs was pretty cringeworthy in and of itself.

Long also made a practical argument to his Big 12 brethren. If Kansas continues to be a laughingstock, it doesn’t help the Big 12’s best teams when they’re being considered by the College Football Playoff selection committee. Long, a former chair of the selection committee, knows how the committee considers a win against Kansas. It’s not that different from a win against a Conference USA or MAC school. That’s not ideal for anyone. Long knows that some relief isn’t going to turn Kansas into a juggernaut that beats Oklahoma every year. But he’d like to have a competitive team, and he believes a competitive Kansas would be good for the Big 12.

Sounds like Jerry McGuire’s “help me to help you” line.  By the way, it doesn’t seem like Kansas’ ineptitude has done much to hurt Oklahoma’s chances to reach the college football playoffs the past couple of seasons.  One handy thing about playing an in-conference cupcake every season is that it gives a school the freedom to schedule a more formidable non-conference opponent.

I hope they told Long to stuff it.

16 Comments

Filed under College Football

It’s still May. You know what that means.

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Yep.  Three more for you today.

15 Comments

Filed under College Football