Daily Archives: August 27, 2019

“We’re not going to condone it. We’re not going to tolerate it.”

Not a good look, Vols.

When police arrested Tennessee cornerback Bryce Thompson on Saturday on a charge of misdemeanor domestic assault, it wasn’t the first time Thompson was accused of threatening a woman.

A different woman who had a relationship with Thompson filed for a restraining order against him in January 2018 in Richland County, South Carolina. The woman and Thompson agreed to a mutual one-year restraining order in April 2018.

Thompson joined Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt’s first signing class a month later and became a Freshman All-America cornerback last season.

The second half of that last sentence explains so much about the first half.  And before anyone wonders how Pruitt could have known anything about it…

Thompson played for two high schools in South Carolina, Dutch Fork and Ben Lippen.

He committed to South Carolina in December 2017 after decommitting from Virginia Tech the previous summer. He never signed with South Carolina and remained unsigned for months after national signing day, despite being one of the state’s top-ranked prospects. He became a late addition to UT’s signing class.

There’s ordinary due diligence and then there’s due diligence, Knoxville style.

And now it’s bitten Pruitt in the arse.

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20 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Crime and Punishment

TFW you really don’t want to pay that coach’s buyout

Gotta love Auburn.

Money well spent, as far as Gus is concerned.

14 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness

When it comes to the CFP, are we missing the forest for the trees?

As much as we debate the preferred size of the playoffs, it feels like we give somewhat short shrift to the process that actually determines which schools make the CFP field.  A couple of recent pieces help make that point.

Mike Griffith talks to Roy Kramer about that.  Here’s what Kramer says about the BCS, which he played a part in putting together.

Six years into the current College Football Playoff system a four-team selection criteria has proven vague and inconsistent, leaving questions and controversy brewing. Concerns are pointed at a 13-member panel that includes sitting athletic directors and a cloaked voting process. 

Indeed, former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer said there’s a reason he believed cold, hard numbers should be more heavily relied upon than human opinions in determining national championship playoff qualifiers.

It’s why he designed the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) the way he did leading into its application prior to the 1998 season.

“We were concerned with regionalism and the emotion,” Kramer said, explaining why the BCS relied on a pre-determined formula of computer rankings and polls rather than the veiled committee approach used by the current College Football Playoff.

“It’s very difficult to totally separate yourself.”

You would think that the people who brought you the CFP, who had the sensitivity to take the Coaches Poll out of the equation, would have absorbed that lesson, but that there are ten out of thirteen members of the selection committee with conflicts would surely indicate otherwise.  And there appears to be almost zero discussion about that.

How to inject more objectivity into a flawed subjective process?  Well, one way would be to take an NFL-lite approach and convert the field made up exclusively of conference winners.  The problem with that, of course, is that you’d have to do a serious remake of the P5 conferences to make the math work.  I don’t think college football is ready to take the steps needed for that.

Which leaves us, perhaps ironically, looking back to the BCS, as Allen Kenney explains.

course, the BCS was not without its faults. The primary point of criticism centered around its hodgepodge formula. It tabulated rankings based on a mesh of opinion polls and proprietary computer ratings that infamously removed margin of victory from their algorithms at the direction of the BCS architects.

At the end of the regular season, the BCS spit out opaque numbers. Between a conglomeration of conflicted pollsters and dodgy analytics, the system as a whole lacked accountability for its results.

Both sources of discontent can be easily remedied. For starters, the public’s familiarity with quantitative computer models has grown significantly since the heyday of the BCS. The use of analytics has become ubiquitous across pro sports, and the media now relies more on advanced stats in sports analysis as a whole.

College football isn’t hurting for widely cited statistical tools. For example, Bill Connelly’s S&P+, Brian Fremeau’s FEI, and ESPN’s FPI have all been refined over time. Stat geeks have even come up with metrics such as Strength of Record, ESPN’s system for evaluating the quality of a team’s overall resume.

As such, we now have superior statistical rankings with more public credibility than predecessors such as the Colley Matrix and the Billingsley Report. Those in charge of administering the new BCS could license however many computer models they deemed necessary and make their formulas available as a boost to transparency.

Honestly, I’m surprised that Mickey hasn’t made a few suggestions about taking things in that direction, given that it controls two of those measures.  (Hell, maybe it has, but is getting some resistance.  Those selection committee perks are sweet, after all.)

Am I off base here, or do you share my concern about bias and conflicts?  If you do, how would you reform the selection process?

41 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

A complete mystery

Can somebody look at the above chart and explain to me how Clay Helton is still gainfully employed at Southern Cal?

28 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

“My arms are bigger. My legs are bigger. My stomach is smaller.”

Say what you will about Kirby Smart, but he sure sweats the small stuff.

For Wilson, an anchor opposite All-American left tackle Andrew Thomas, his biggest growth has been with leadership. He thrives on studying opposing defenses, and says he can now read their tendencies prior to the snap. But Wilson’s nutrition played hand-in-hand with that in order to progress toward his ambitions.

“If he wants to be a great player, he’s got to eat, he’s got to sleep, he’s got to get off his phone at night,” Smart said. “We are trying to get the aggregate of marginal gains, which is a little bit better at everything. He’s always physically looked impressive to me, but he’s playing better.”

I wonder how “the aggregate of marginal gains” would look on a t-shirt.  Okay, what it lacks as a rallying cry, it makes up for in effect.

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Smart’s biggest challenge this season?

This is an admirable goal, but it’s also a two-edged sword.

How long might Bulldog fans have to wait before there’s a January national championship celebration on the same field?

Clemson and Alabama have soaked in College Football Playoff titles with their fans each of the last four seasons. It was the Tigers in 2016 and 2018 and the Crimson Tide in 2015 and 2017.

Georgia, under Smart, is knocking on the door but can it make it more than a two-team fight for supremacy?

“We want to win the national championship,” junior left tackle Andrew Thomas said. “Anything below that we’re not satisfied with.”

In his very next paragraph, Marc Weiszer points to the last Sugar Bowl as the downside of that mindset.

Smart is very careful about avoiding that trap.

“I don’t view success and failure just on that,” he said. “Here’s what we’re focused on—how good can we be tomorrow? Can we be the best we can? Do they have expectations at Georgia? Absolutely they’ve got expectations and we’ve got them for ourselves, but I’m not going to measure success and failure on one thing.

“That’s not fair to these kids who give everything they’ve got to the program, the blood, sweat and tears and all of the people in the organization who give everything they’ve got to measure success and failure on one thing. I’m not going to do that. You guys (the media) may do it, fans may do it. Everybody has their right when it comes to that.”

But can he get his players to buy into that?  I’d like to think that the Sugar Bowl makes for a convincing lesson in that regard, but let’s face it, this is uncharted territory for a Georgia team that is likely going to have to find a way to surpass Alabama for a full sixty minutes in order to take that next step.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The end of an era

It’s sad when an acronym dies.

Meyer, who has coached many fine quarterbacks through the years, believes Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is the best college signal-caller to date.

I wonder if Tebow will send Corch a Christmas card this year.

7 Comments

Filed under Tim Tebow: Rock Star, Urban Meyer Points and Stares