Daily Archives: October 29, 2019

Oh, look. Amateurism’s on the march again.

Well, there’s this.

Pretty bland.  The devil’s in the details, of course.

Screenshot_2019-10-29 Home Twitter

The first bullet point says it all.  And guess who decides what’s compelling.

If the NCAA thinks this will be enough to slow down the politicians, they’re dreaming.

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UPDATE:  Here’s the Fox business news hot take.  I can’t promise you won’t be dumber for listening to it.

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UPDATE #2:

Praise, but verify.

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UPDATE #3:  This sounds a little tone deaf.

A Republican wanting to raise somebody’s taxes.  Whoda thunk it?

I wonder if he’s going to stick it to all college students that way, or just college athletes.

26 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

“He’s given some tips and he knows those guys inside and out. That’s definitely helped us…”

So, Brenton Cox is busy giving his new teammates and coaches the lowdown on Georgia, eh?  I knew that damned transfer portal was a bad thing!

Oh, wait.

Perhaps no one knows this better than Georgia defensive backs coach Charlton Warren. In addition to scouting the Gators ahead of their match-up with No. 8 Georgia, Warren also saw them every day in practice last year when he was the cornerbacks backs (sic) coach for Florida.

So as the Georgia secondary gets ready for its biggest test of the season, you can bet Warren is sharing tips with his group of defensive backs.

“He’s given some tips and he knows those guys inside and out. That’s definitely helped us,” senior safety J.R. Reed said.

Do as they say and not as they do, kids, and everything will be fine.  For them, anyway.

4 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

Relax. Nobody’s talking about reinventing the wheel.

D’Andre Swift likes what he’s seen so far in bye week practices.

“I think as an offense, we strain harder, we play to the whistle,” Swift said. “One block might spring a guy 50-60 yards. You never know when your job is going to be called on, so everybody is doing their job, and doing what they’re being asked to do.”

Swift added he believes much of the team’s earlier issues have indeed been corrected.

“I think so as well. I think we’ve done a better job of being cleaner,” Swift said. “We’ve seen it in practice. We haven’t had any drops, no penalties in practice, so hopefully, that trends over to Saturday.”

… Swift again offered some suggestions.

“Work on the play-action, screens, stuff like that,” Swift said. “Different run plays, things that put us in better situations and help us.”

If that translates over on Saturday, better attitude, better execution and a little more creativity in playcalling should have a major impact in separating what Georgia does against Florida that what it did three weeks ago when it laid an egg against South Carolina.

Also, let’s not forget what the stats show for the two teams.

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Dawgs have been slowed since UT, but still outperform the Gators on most stats. Even in the passing game. UF is brutal on 1st Down rushing. Dawgs can still mix it up with the pass and run. A one-dimensional UF offense could set up nicely for hungry UGA Defense that Kirby wants to see excel.

You’re not going to tell me you wouldn’t take your chances with a game in which Georgia runs the ball successfully and Florida can’t.  I sure as hell would.  Georgia doesn’t need to blow up its approach on offense; it needs to make sure it’s taking whatever steps are needed to improve efficiency, and, in the process, create a few more explosive plays, ideally in the passing game, to open up the Gator defense.  That shouldn’t be an insurmountable task.

My biggest concern right now isn’t turnovers.  It’s special teams.  One reason the offense looked so anemic in the first half against Kentucky was subpar return work against both the one kickoff and the many punts.  The Dawgs can’t afford to let Florida back them into a hole like that.  That doesn’t mean they’ll avoid it, though.

I also don’t anticipate Georgia sleepwalking its way through the game.  Not so much because it’s Florida — that should be plenty of motivation in and of itself, but I still remember 2014 — but because the margin for error has been worn to a nub.  As Swift put it, “Everything is one game, so you can’t hold back at all.”

Play like that, fellas.

46 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The less, the better

Seth Emerson indulged his inner contrarian yesterday ($$) with this thought:  We don’t know whether the defense really is as good as it seems.

And, yeah, I get his point.  The numbers are good, but the opposition, maybe not so much.  Plus, grumpy Kirby:

Last week, coach Kirby Smart was asked if the defense was playing as well as it looked statistically, and began shaking his head before the question was done.

“No, not close,” Smart said. “Extremely sloppy in the last game, and you know, it’s sad, because you guys (the media) control the noise. But when you watch that game, there’s a lot more concern.”

Okay, fine.  But if I may indulge my inner contrarian for the moment, I’m not sure how much we appreciate the job the defense has done so far this season, at least with regard to the most basic of stats, scoring.  Via cfbstats.com, here’s the historical record against FBS opponents for the last eleven seasons:

  • 2009:  28.1 ppg (11th in SEC)
  • 2010:  23.3 ppg (5th)
  • 2011:  22.2 ppg (6th)
  • 2012:  20.1 ppg (5th)
  • 2013:  30.9 ppg (10th)
  • 2014:  21.7 ppg (7th)
  • 2015:  17.8 ppg (3rd)
  • 2016:  24.0 ppg (5th)
  • 2017:  16.6 ppg (2nd)
  • 2018:  20.7 ppg (5th)
  • 2019:  9.5 ppg (1st)

From Willie through Grantham and Pruitt to the current day, one of those seasons is unlike the others.  By a pretty significant margin, too.

True, the quality of opposing offenses steps up going forward from what Georgia’s faced through its first seven games, but it’s not exactly a murderer’s row, either.  The current national rankings of their scoring offenses against FBS teams:

  • Florida:  52nd
  • Missouri:  55th
  • Auburn:  26th
  • Texas A&M:  58th
  • Georgia Tech:  119th

We can debate the relevancy of advanced stats all you’d like, but there’s something relatively pure in pointing out that the less the other team scores, the better your chance of winning is.  In that limited context, and Kirby’s grouchiness aside, Georgia’s defense is bringing it and looks to continue bringing it.

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The NCAA, doing what it does best

Boy, it sure sounds like Mark Emmert’s rallying his troops to head off that existential threat at the pass.  Or, not.

A “set of principles” regarding the name, image and likeness rights for college athletes will be presented Tuesday by a working group to the NCAA Board of Governors. Details of those principles were not shared by Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, a member of that high-profile working group, who spoke to CBS Sports.

“We are coalescing on a set of principles that adhere as close to the collegiate model as possible,” Bowlsby said. “We’ll be posing some questions to the Board of Governors about how they want us to proceed from here.”

Bowlsby stressed that the working group’s actions are preliminary in the process. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, the working group’s co-chair, cautioned that Tuesday’s release “won’t be much.”

“It’s not going to be a short process,” Bowlsby said. “There aren’t going to be any answers on [Tuesday]. We actually, I think, came to a comfortable place for most of the people in the room.”

Yeah, they’re in a real rush.

Dodd says the earliest the NCAA could have legislation ready for passage would be January 2021.  Now, there’s a coincidence.

Rep. Mark Walker, a Republican from North Carolina, held a roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago to rally support for his legislation. Walker said he is hopeful that he can get Congress to vote on the bill by next spring and potentially implement a national law by January 2021.

“We feel like they’ve given us no choice,” Walker said. “We have to drag them to the table because they have promised year after year to address such an egregious situation, but they’ve refused to do that.”

It feels like the train is leaving the station and the NCAA is still trying to figure out which bags it wants to pack for the journey in hopes it can convince the stationmaster to change the schedule.  Sounds like a plan.

By the way, on a related front, somebody’s at work getting certain marketing ducks in a row.

A college players’ rights group has entered into a partnership with the NFL Players Association to explore how to maximize name, image and likeness rights.

The NFLPA and National College Players Association (NCPA) announced jointly on Monday that the partnership that will “explore opportunities for” college athletes in merchandise, gaming, licensed products and “how recent developments impact television broadcast revenues in pursuit of fairness.”

The collaboration will offer “group licensing representation that is available to every college athlete whose state passes a law to allow it,” according to a press release.

As the saying goes, it’s all in the game.

7 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, The NCAA

A simple question deserves a simple answer.

I’m not one of those who believes hiring an alum as your head coach is a guarantee of success.

But I gotta admit it sure does lead to some satisfying moments.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Musical palate cleanser, another reissue edition

Hey, the Kinks’ Arthur turns 50!  You know what that means.

After all, the group’s 50-year-old masterwork, “Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire),” released this week as a deluxe box set, is a surprisingly easy time-travel from Queen Victoria to the parliamentary punditry on the BBC World Service.

“When [the record company] told me they would do a box, I got the tapes out and listened to them,” says Davies. “And ‘Arthur’ is not a concept album. It’s more like a documentary album. And it’s based on a real character called Arthur, who was my ­brother-in-law [Arthur Anning], who came out of the war disillusioned — voted Churchill out. There are lots of parallels in ‘Arthur’ to what’s happening in the world.”

The expanded and remastered “Arthur” includes alternative mixes, unreleased songs and an abandoned solo album from younger brother and perpetually underappreciated guitarist Dave Davies. The record captured the Kinks at their artistic peak but also an odd time for a band that emerged with the Who and the Rolling Stones. In the late ’60s, if you lived in the United States and wanted to see the Davies brothers play a gig, your chances were better in Beirut than Boston. The group was banned from touring the States from 1965 to 1969 for reported bad behavior on a previous tour.

Lots of great background stuff in the linked piece, so read while you listen to my favorite song on the album.

“You’ve reached your top and you just can’t get any higher.”  Sigh.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized