Daily Archives: September 20, 2019

Quid pro quo, bitchez.

Mike Leach, saying the quiet part out loud:

His deposition in the next antitrust suit ought to be epic.


UPDATE:  In case you missed it, Danny Kanell is a moron.

I mean, unless you really think it’s the official position of the NCAA that players have jobs, that is… nah, he’s a moron.


Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!

“Do More” = “Spend More”

Mark Schlabach’s piece about how Georgia has spent its way into becoming a national powerhouse doesn’t really contain anything new, but there is this oh-so-modest quote from Kirby Smart:

“I talk about commitment to excellence and commitment to building a strong program, and [the administration] has committed to that,” Smart said. “When you’re talking about taking a job at the caliber of Georgia, there’s not a lot of negotiating power. It’s a great job, and I wanted the job. They talked about a commitment to excellence, and that’s what I want and that’s what they’ve done.”  [Emphasis added.]

All it took to counter that was a well-timed Jimmy Sexton threat about South Carolina and the rest is history.


Filed under Georgia Football

The sharpest tool in college football’s shed

From the latest installment of “How Does Larry Scott Still Have a Job?“, an ever-continuing series:

Though the Pac-12 has an enviable TV footprint, with five of the top 17 markets in the country — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix and Denver — it doesn’t translate to the balance sheet under the terms of its television deals. The Big Ten distributed as much as $54 million in TV revenue to its schools in the 2018 fiscal year, dwarfing the $29.5 million the Pac-12 paid out. The SEC paid out as much as $43.7 million to its schools, while the Big 12 was at $38.8 million and the A.C.C., whose revenues will get a bump this year with the start of its conference network, was at $29.5 million along with the Pac-12, whose payout decreased by $1.5 million from 2017[Emphasis added.]

In this day and age of the value of live broadcast, how in the world does a P5 conference with plenty of major TV markets in its wheelhouse pull something like that off?  It just takes the right kind of vision from the right kind of visionary.

That’s how long the Pac-12 will have to wait to see if Scott’s big bet pays off: the decision not to partner with ESPN or Fox in forming the Pac-12 Network (as other conference networks have) while waiting to cash in on a bidding war for all its TV rights when they expire — a battle among not just traditional networks but also newer contenders like Amazon and Google.

Or so the hope goes.

At the moment, it has been a costly decision. Not only is the conference left with far less money, it also has far lower viewership because cable and satellite companies aren’t compelled by a partner like ESPN or Fox to take the Pac-12 Network as part of a bundle of sports networks. As a result, the Pac-12 Network, which was introduced seven years ago, is in only 18 million homes, less than a third of the audience for the SEC Network and the Big Ten Network, and about half of that for A.C.C. Network, which started in August.

“We determined that we didn’t want to sell the Pac-12 Network — there was anticipation that it would grow — and when the landscape changed, we’d be able to negotiate a better deal and cash in,” Ray Anderson, Arizona State’s athletic director, said. “That’s been a painful wait.”

The truly amazing thing is that their best scenario has the pain continuing until 2024.  And my bet is that Larry “But I feel like it’s my job to regularly think outside the box” Scott will be collecting steady paychecks all along the way.

Man, I’m in the wrong line of work.


Filed under Pac-12 Football

“Obviously, we took a risk as we said earlier, and vetted the young man.”

Honestly, WTF is it with some coaches?  Is there some contest to see who can be the next Art Briles?

This is something:

A former Michigan State football staffer said under oath that head coach Mark Dantonio ignored his assistants’ warnings while recruiting a player who subsequently was convicted of sexually assaulting a fellow student on campus and that important information was omitted from an investigation into how the athletic department handled a pair of sexual misconduct allegations involving football players…

During the course of the Jones Day investigation in 2017, another football player, defensive end Auston Robertson, sexually assaulted the girlfriend of one of his teammates. He was dismissed from the team when he was charged with a crime, and later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Blackwell said in his deposition that multiple assistant coaches asked Dantonio not to offer Robertson a spot on the roster because he had a history of troubling behavior. Blackwell said he witnessed defensive line coach Ron Burton tell Dantonio that he didn’t want Robertson to be on the same campus as his daughter.

“So for Ron Burton to say it was that bad that he didn’t want his daughter around him, I knew he had some real serious sexual issues,” Blackwell said in his deposition…

That’s putting it mildly.

Robertson, a highly touted recruit from Indiana, was charged with misdemeanor battery during his senior year of high school. Police said he “rubbed and grabbed” a female classmate’s groin against her will in the school’s lobby. The female student told police Robertson had also harassed or touched her inappropriately on two other occasions. Robertson, who had also been arrested on vandalism charges months earlier, was kicked off the high school’s football team and banned from the high school’s campus while Michigan State was recruiting him.

Blackwell said in his deposition that Michigan State assistant coaches learned about other troubling incidents in Robertson’s past when they attempted to vet him further during the early months of 2017.

Police reports and court documents show that Robertson was involved in a string of incidents in which he was accused of sexual violence and two forceful rape attempts during his high school years. He was not charged with crimes in any of those cases. A university spokeswoman said in 2018 that the school was not aware of any of those incidents when Robertson was accepted as a student.

Uh huh.  Right.

Blackwell said that he, Burton and fellow assistant Dave Warner all suggested the team steer clear of Robertson in a meeting with Dantonio.

“I want to say [Warner] spoke with the principal and the coach … and they had nothing good to say about him,” Blackwell said. “[Warner] couldn’t really find anybody that could say anything good about Auston.”

Blackwell said Dantonio “overrode” other staff members who didn’t want him on campus, telling them he would make Robertson his “pet project.” Blackwell said Dantonio met with Robertson on a weekly basis during the freshman’s time on campus and created a special program to mentor and monitor him.

Dantonio’s deposition, assuming it ever gets to that stage, ought to be a real hoot.


Filed under Big Ten Football, Crime and Punishment

Potential chink in the armor?

If you’re indulging your inner Munson and looking for an area where there’s a decided schematic advantage in Notre Dame’s favor, Nathan Lawrence is here for you.

One of the very few situations wherein Notre Dame has a decided statistical advantage is on first downs. Not only has there been a large margin in the performance of these two units, the Fighting Celtic People have been a top-ten offense in first-down situations. Most of the the advantages ND has over UGA are in situations where both teams are, at best, average, 1st down SR is the only area where ND is excellent, and there is a significant gap between the two teams. One of the most worrying signs possible in the early stages of this game would be to see consistent success on first down. This would open up the playbook for Ian Book, ND’s senior QB. As more of a scrambler than a pure pocket passer, Book has shined when he can move in the pocket, keep his eyes upfield, and run against zone defenses. The unequivocally best way to put him that situation is for the ND offense to be successful on early downs. If we see that unfold on Saturday, particularly in the first frame of the game, that’s when we need to start worrying.

This is the answer to my question earlier in the week, about how can ND beat Georgia if the Dawgs’ ground game is clicking.  The Irish have to commit to winning a shootout, countering Georgia’s rushing success with their own ability to move the ball on early downs so that Ian Book can unleash his entire skill set on Georgia’s defense.  (A timely turnover or two wouldn’t hurt, either.)

That’s the only path I see for Brian Kelly’s team, because, just to beat that poor dead horse even more, they ain’t stopping Georgia’s running attack.  Just ask Nathan.

Screenshot_2019-09-20 What Advanced Stats Tell Us About UGA’s Matchup Against Notre Dame

First of all, let’s just look at UGA’s plot here. Holy s***. The dawgs are formidable on offense to this point in the year. When your radar plot on one side of the ball is basically a regular polygon, you’re doing everything right. There’s been a low-boil narrative developing across Kirby Smart’s career that he, to a fault, wants to “impose his will” or play “man ball.” This has manifested and is driven by many, many predictable offensive calls in short-yardage and goal-to-go situations.

This is the rare big game where Kirby’s natural, impose your will instinct is absolutely the correct strategy all night long.  Notre Dame has to go in doing what it can to keep up.  Georgia’s ability to handle Notre Dame’s offense on early downs will likely dictate the final margin tomorrow.


Filed under Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Run, Georgia, run!

I’m sorry, I can’t help it.  I’m totally besotted by Georgia’s advantage in the run game.

More data from DawgStats:

They good, in other words.

And here’s the list of the twenty worst college football defenses on rushing plays of 10+ yards.

Screenshot_2019-09-20 cfbstats com - 2019 National Team Leaders

They bad, in other words.  (And not in the Isaac Hayes sense of bad, either.)  On a per game basis, only Kent State gives up more of these gashes per game than does Notre Dame.

I doubt Kirby needs any guidance here, but Herschel ain’t wrong.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Goin’ down the road, feelin’ bad

Some kind of omen here?




Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes