Daily Archives: October 11, 2019

Build that fence, Mr. Head Coach!

Interesting quote here ($$):

“Georgia right now is going to get the pick of the litter in the state of Georgia,” said Lorenzo Ward, the former South Carolina defensive coordinator who now holds the same position at Chattanooga. “When (former Georgia coach) Mark Richt was there, it was totally different. They went outside the state first to get guys, and it frustrated a lot of the high school coaches in Georgia. They would go recruit outside the state first and think they could come back in later and get the in-state kids they wanted.

“(Current Georgia coach Kirby Smart) came in and totally did away with that and recruited the in-state kids first. That’s what the high school coaches wanted. A lot of the high school coaches didn’t like Georgia because of the way Richt recruited when he was there, giving late offers. Now, they attack the state and right now they get all the top players they want in the state of Georgia.”

I was under the impression that Richt was slow in making offers not so much because he took in state recruits for granted as he was generally stubborn about not making too many offers, as other schools were doing.

Maybe it’s tone, more than anything, because Smart’s certainly had no problem chasing out of state kids.



Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

A little Georgia-South Carolina talk

I get that South Carolina has a couple of wins, including one over a conference opponent, but damned if it doesn’t look a lot like the Tennessee matchup from Georgia’s perspective.

Here’s Jake Rowe’s assessment of the two teams’ position groups:  seven in favor of Georgia and two pushes.  As he puts it, “(t)here’s a reason that one team is 5-0 and the other is 2-3.”

Some of the raw stats compiled against FBS teams are eye opening.  (Conference rank in parenthesis.)

The ‘Cocks red zone record is particularly putrid.  They’ve only been in the red zone 11 times in four games, have whiffed on three of those entirely and have only managed four touchdowns.

That’s pretty lopsided.  And based on stats to date, Boom can’t expect much out of Mr. Turnover Margin.  Georgia is +4 against FBS competition, good for second in the SEC, while South Carolina is minus-3 and thirteenth.

Even with all that, I’m not sure Georgia covers Saturday, simply because I don’t think Kirby takes any great pleasure in embarrassing his ol’ buddy.  Score aside, though, it’s hard to see how the Dawgs don’t control this game.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Tick, tock.

It bears repeating that one of the NCAA’s biggest shortcomings is its aversion to being proactive.  It’s an attitude that’s cost it before and now, with regard to NIL compensation for college athletes, if there was a time to get in front of a problem — problem that no other than Mark Emmert has called an existential crisis, mind you — this would appear to be it.

The NCAA has a choice. It can get on board or risk getting run over. It can craft legislation that embraces change or invite change being thrust down its intransigent throats.

There is still time to get ahead of California’s Fair Pay To Play Act and the like-minded legislation gaining traction in other states; still time to create a progressive national policy on the compensation of college athletes; still time to act before Congress asserts jurisdiction.

That time, however, is not unlimited. Though California Bill 206 does not take effect until 2023, other states and multiple U.S. Congressmen are contemplating similar legislation on faster tracks.

The optics for schools are bad.  The politics are building momentum in a direction the schools oppose.  Even people in the business who don’t like the new California law admit there’s some need for change.

“I do think there are a lot of things we can do for student-athletes to give them more opportunities and more money, but don’t think (the California bill) is the right way to do it,” New Mexico State football coach Doug Martin said. “In my opinion, this is going to destroy college athletics. States like New Mexico, you are not going to have college athletics. Only the power conference schools will be able to survive this in my opinion because they are going to have the money to do it. Nobody else is going to be able to sustain what they are doing.”

If you think it’s apocalyptic, why on earth would you let state legislatures and Congress dictate the change instead of working hard to head that off with proposals you generate and convince others of their merits?

“They can be proactive or they can end up being reactive and it will be done for them,” Ridpath said. “I agree with the NCAA that it should be able to make its own rules, but the rules have to be constitutional. They have to be fair. And I think, honestly, from the federal perspective, they have to be forced. And this is eventually going to force them to do something.”

That’s the bottom line here.  If you don’t want politicians dictating the terms of your business to you, don’t give them a reason to do so.  You’d think a guy who is facing an existential threat would have all the motivation in the world to be proactive.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Does Jake Fromm blush?

More praise from Matt Hinton:

Saturday’s win over Tennessee was a low-key clinic: Fromm dropped back 30 times, wasn’t hit, didn’t leave the pocket on a scramble, and was forced to get rid of the ball under pressure just once (for a short completion). By my stopwatch, he averaged just shy of 2.5 seconds between snap and release; on his 23 non-pressure completions, he averaged 2.27 seconds, effectively rendering the pass rush moot. Outside of short-yardage and goal-line situations, the Vols were usually content with a standard 3- or 4-man rush, and on the rare occasions that they tried to bring heat from unexpected angles Fromm diagnosed it instantly.

After 33 career starts, there might be some lingering quibbles about his downfield arm strength — it’s fine, but is it elite? — and his ability to make plays on the fly if his rhythm is disrupted. But answering the latter would require someone actually forcing him out of his comfort zone, and the next team that manages that this season will be the first.

With regard to that arm strength question, Hinton does post this clip of Fromm’s best throw of the night.

I’ll take it.


Filed under Georgia Football

A stupid and futile gesture

Good luck on enforcing this, Purdue.

On Thursday, the Board of Trustees of the West Lafayette-based public university approved the adoption of a so-called “sports wagering policy.” The policy applies to all faculty, staff and non-athlete students (Purdue’s student-athletes and coaches, like those at other colleges, are already barred from betting on sports by NCAA rules). Purdue’s new policy expressly prohibits gambling on sporting events involving Purdue teams, coaches or student-athletes. It governs wagers made in person as well as bets made online and through mobile technologies.

The university’s statement does not offer reasoning behind the policy’s adoption.

Reasoning?  There was reasoning?

I cannot even begin to list all the difficulties that surround this policy.  How in the world does the school plan to track wagering in all its different forms?  And how does it plan to punish people who engage in a legal activity?


Filed under Bet On It

“I messed up.”

Way back when, I used to post about Matt Hinton’s data that penalties had relatively little to do with a team’s wins and losses, so on one level, that Georgia is among the worst in the conference when it comes to penalties doesn’t really bother me much.

Heading into its sixth game of the year, Georgia has 37 penalties — tied for third-worst mark in the conference. The Bulldogs average 7.4 penalties per game, which is tied for second worst in the SEC.

When you decided to emphasize havoc, your defense is going to be more aggressive and that’s probably going to result in more penalties.  It’s a transactional cost, to some extent, and it’s one you can live with if the overall scheme pays off with better defense.

But I also get Kirby’s point about playing with discipline.

“Some of [the penalties] were undisciplined and you can’t do them,” Smart said. “They probably cost us a drive and it cost us a touchdown … Those are critical, critical errors. That hasn’t been a trait that we’ve had, is undisciplined penalties, and we’ve got to prevent those.’’

David Marshall’s personal foul in the Tennessee game wasn’t the result of aggressively pursuing havoc.  It was simply knuckleheaded.

The trick is getting the players to know the difference between the two and play accordingly.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“I call bulls— when I see it.”

This is brutal.

You should read the entire thread he posted.  It’s something else.

Instead of calling it the D’Eriq King rule, we ought to call it the Dana Holgorsen rule.


Filed under College Football

Not so ‘Cocky now

South Carolina 247Sports beat writer posts about how the Gamecocks’ running game will give the Georgia defense its first real test of the season and the message board reaction is decidedly tepid.

You’ve come a long way from cannon shots, baby.


Filed under 'Cock Envy

Best NCAA violation ever

A D-III football team has been forced to vacate its 2016 national title by the NCAA because its head coach gave a player an impermissible benefit, free use of a limousine access to a Mercedes a new pickup truck to drive a used Subaru a ten-year old Subaru that broke down.


Filed under The NCAA

Plan B blues

If you’ll permit a bit of snark here, it seems a little strange to pay a head coach $7 million a year to not have a fully prepared game plan.

Over the past two games, a pair of Georgia defenses have emerged from the locker room.

The defense that comes out for the first half has struggled at times, giving up 10 points to Notre Dame (albeit with the help of a muffed punt) and being gashed through the air by a Tennessee team starting a true freshman quarterback.

After halftime, however, a different unit emerges. It’s a defense that is nearly impenetrable, surrendering a grand total of 24 yards and three first downs in its last two third quarters played.

So what contributes to this defensive dichotomy? Head coach Kirby Smart partly attributed it to his players just settling down into the flow of the game.

However, there is a more schematic element to it as well.

“In the history of the really good defenses I’ve been with, you go into a game expecting one thing, and the other team has worked really hard to try to counteract that and get off tendencies to do different things,” Smart said. “You see different stuff because they’re trying to generate plays against you, and that’s been the case for us.”

Take the most recent game against the Volunteers for example. Smart and defensive coordinator Dan Lanning likely didn’t expect freshman quarterback Brian Maurer to come out slinging the ball all over the yard.

Why, exactly, especially since your run defense has played lights out football this season?

Honestly, I think Kirby’s a little guilty of the same mindset his players have sometimes — the feeling that the talent disparity Georgia usually has in its favor is enough to get through.  And usually, that’s right.  Until it isn’t.


Filed under Georgia Football