Daily Archives: May 21, 2019

Fun times in Florida

Bud Elliott has the news.

When Georgia Tech — Georgia Tech! — pulls a four-star out of Florida, yeah, I’d say that sense of duty is lacking.

I wonder if somebody’s gonna clue in Mike Bianchi.



Filed under Recruiting

” … he’s got more of an opinion now.”

I’m not sure how significant a development we’re supposed to take this as, but it does sound like Kirby grows ever more confident in his third-year starter at quarterback.

Smart believes Fromm can handle whatever Coley can dish out, and will also have a say-so on what the Bulldogs do as well.

“Any time you’ve got a three-year starter,he can give you input on things he likes about the offense, things he dislikes and things he thinks he can be successful,” Smart said. “That input is helpful, it’s always helpful.”

I’m still not buying the “Bulldogs will throw the ball more under Coley” narrative — the depth picture at both receiver and running back suggest something different, at least early on — but Jake’s certainly earned more trust based on his on-field decision making.


Filed under Georgia Football

Today, in nice work if you can get it

Pac-12 revenues fell for the 2018 fiscal year, which means per-school distributions dropped about $5 million apiece, while Larry Scott got a bump in his compensation.

Those must be some compromising pictures he’s got safely tucked away, is all I can say.


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

Boom goes the turnover margin.

In addition to appearing on Finebaum to talk about the ‘Cocks, Seth Emerson ($$) also penned something about the state of the program in Columbia.  It’s good stuff, although I don’t think there are any real surprising takes on Will Muschamp’s team right now.  The talent level has slowly been rebuilt from the bare cupboard Spurrier left, although South Carolina isn’t recruiting at the same elite level Clemson and Georgia are, the offense and defense are far from the conference’s worst, and that schedule is absolutely brutal.  All told, it’s easy to see why Seth is looking at a 7-5 season for them.

The thing is, seven wins is what Will Muschamp is basically good for as a head coach.  He’s got seven seasons under his belt in the SEC.  Five of those season have seen win totals ranging from four on the low side to seven; four of those, he’s tallied six or seven.  It’s what he does.

Boom has had two breakout seasons, one at Florida and one at South Carolina.  Not coincidentally, they’ve both come when his teams have notched their best turnover margins during his time in each place.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • 2011 (UF):  7-6; -12
  • 2012 (UF):  11-2; +15
  • 2013 (UF):  4-8; -2
  • 2014 (UF):  6-5; +6
  • 2016 (SC):  6-7; +7
  • 2017 (SC):  9-4; +11
  • 2018 (SC):  7-6; -5

In 2012 and 2017, turnover margin masked some real shortcomings with his teams’ offenses.  In 2018, SC’s offense was actually pretty decent (as Seth notes, the ‘Cocks were sixth in the SEC in yards-per-play last season), but the negative turnover margin hurt.  Jake Bentley threw 14 picks, tops in the conference.

Given the schedule, it’s hard to see how Muschamp’s team can expect much if it doesn’t get turnover margin into positive territory. If things stay in the hole, bowl eligibility may become a real question.


Filed under Agent Muschamp Goes Boom

2019 SEC strength of schedule

Tom Fornelli’s list is illuminating.

One the one end, you’ve got not one, but two schools, South Carolina and Texas A&M, that play three programs that have appeared in the CFPCG in the last two seasons.  (Interestingly enough, Fornelli ranks Georgia’s SOS between the two.)

At the other, you’ve got Alabama.

Since 2010, Alabama’s nonconference schedules have been headlined by Louisville, Florida State, USC, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Michigan and Penn State. This year — it’s Duke. I’m not knocking the Blue Devils, but compared to those other opponents, they don’t carry that same kind of weight. The rest of Bama’s nonconference slate is New Mexico State, Southern Miss and Western Carolina. The Tide also avoid Georgia and Florida, but they do get South Carolina and Tennessee from the East. The toughest games will be on the road against Texas A&M and Auburn as well as at home against LSU. Oh, and Alabama doesn’t get the SOS booster shot of playing Alabama. Still, while the schedule isn’t easy by any stretch, compared to the rest of the SEC, it projects to be the lightest of the bunch.

Hey, let’s face it — if anybody needs the help, it’s Nick Saban.  I can’t wait to hear him give ‘Bama students shit for not sitting through every minute of that compelling home schedule.


Filed under SEC Football

Athlon’s preseason Top 25

The list has a few surprises.  (My Hoos at 25?  Hmmm….)

Georgia sees nos. 23 (Missouri), 20 (Auburn), 10 (TAMU), 9 (Notre Dame) and 8 (Florida) in the regular season.

Speaking of the Dawgs, who check in at #3, here’s what Athlon has to say:

Georgia fell short of a repeat trip to the CFB Playoff last season, but coach Kirby Smart’s team has all of the necessary pieces for a run at the national title in 2019. Quarterback Jake Fromm returns after throwing for 2,749 yards and 30 touchdowns to just six picks in a brilliant sophomore season. Fromm is supported by the nation’s best offensive line, and as usual in Athens, there’s no shortage of talent at running back. D’Andre Swift leads the way on the ground, with James Cook, Zamir White and Brian Herrien slated to round out a deep rotation. The biggest question marks on offense are centered on new play-caller James Coley and a revamped receiving corps. Coley was promoted after Jim Chaney left for Tennessee but hasn’t called plays since the 2015 season at Miami. Junior Jeremiah Holloman is likely to be Fromm’s No. 1 target, and freshmen Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens could contribute right away in the receiving corps. Georgia’s two-deep is overflowing with talent at every level on defense. The line has to get a little better versus the run, but sophomore Jordan Davis and senior Tyler Clark should push for All-SEC honors. Freshmen Nolan Smith and Nakobe Dean and junior college recruit Jermaine Johnson join a linebacker unit that features Monty Rice, Brenton Cox, Adam Anderson and Tae Crowder. Replacing No. 1 cornerback Deandre Baker won’t be easy. However, Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell are both talented and poised to start at cornerback, with steady senior J.R. Reed providing support at safety. Rodrigo Blankenship one of the most reliable kickers in the nation. Matchups versus Notre Dame, Florida (in Jacksonville), Texas A&M and at Auburn are tough, but Georgia is likely to be favored in all 12 regular season contests.

No team is perfect, but, relatively speaking, there aren’t a whole lot of flaws there.


Filed under Georgia Football

The exact opposite

College football has seen plenty of stories over the last month about how major programs are suddenly beefing up their scheduling over the long term, so naturally, Larry Scott’s conference is looking at a different approach.

Since Division I split into two subdivisions in 1978, only three FBS schools have refrained from scheduling FCS opponents — Notre Dame, UCLA and USC. That number soon could drop to two.

USC senior associate AD Steve Lopes sat down for an interview with The Athletic on USC’s scheduling philosophy and said the Trojans could soon schedule games with FCS opponents.

“If you start looking at the teams that are available, it’s very limited,” Lopes said. “We’re looking at schools that might not even be FBS, which I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. We may get criticized if and when we do it, but everybody does it. …  Are you going to die on that sword? You can play very good FCS schools that are better than some of the FBS schools you’ll play, the directional schools you’ll play.”

Whatever gets you through the night, Steve.  As long as it doesn’t affect his equity stake plans, Larry’s cool with it.


Filed under Pac-12 Football

It was a good day.

If you’re a Dawg fan, yesterday was hella good.  First, there was news from Mount Olympus:  Zeus is cleared for takeoff.

Georgia running back Zamir White’s recovery from a second torn ACL in a 10-month span is coming along well according to Kirby Smart. So well that the fourth-year head coach says that White will be cleared well before the start of preseason camp.

In a meeting with reporters at the Hargray Capitol Theatre in Macon prior to a Bulldog Caravan stop on Monday, Smart made it known that being released for contact is the only hurdle left to clear for the former five-star running back, and that should come in the near future.

“He will be past the time to come back (when camp begins),” Smart said. “He will be cleared for that. Obviously, he’s got to be cleared through the protocol, testing, go see the doctors and get cleared. But based on ACL repair, he will be past the time for that.”

That in itself is major cause for celebration, but it just gets better from there.

Ten of Georgia’s 2019 signees will have the opportunity to arrive this summer plus a couple of graduate transfers. Kirby Smart can’t yet comment on those graduate transfers because they don’t sign letters of intent, but when it comes to the 10 incoming freshmen, the fourth-year head coach expects all to make their way to campus in the coming months.

“We’ve got full expectations that everybody will be there in the summer to practice, to compete,” Smart said. “All of those guys are finishing up, right now they’re in their finals depending on what state they’re in or where they are. I know they’re looking forward to getting into our place and start working.”

Considering there have been whispers about a certain five-star wide receiver recruit, that’s awesomely reassuring.

This is what steady grinding looks like.  No flash, no drama, no chest pounding in front of the media, just small, positive steps building towards being great in the fall.  As Seth Emerson ($$) put it, that’s just how Kirby wants it.

Okay, in and of themselves, yesterday’s events are no guarantee of success, but I’ll sure take Kirby’s day over Dan Mullen’s.  Wouldn’t you?


Filed under Georgia Football