Daily Archives: October 30, 2019

They said it, not me.

The next time a Florida fan tries to correct you by insisting the correct reference is “the Florida-Georgia game”, send them here:

Screenshot_2019-10-30 Saturday Down South on Twitter Florida Twitter handle says #UGAvsUF 😳😳😳 Twitter(1)

It doesn’t get any more official than that.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Your 10.30.19 Playpen

Okay, let’s get incendiary here:  give us your Cocktail Party weekend recommendations!  Go on, rub it in the faces of everyone who bitches about Jacksonville, playing a game in Jacksonville, the travel, the weather, the unfairness of it all, etc.

I’ll start.  Don’t go to Amelia Island without eating once at T-Ray’s.  Just don’t.

And with that, you folks have at it.


Filed under GTP Stuff

Welcome back, Lawrence.

Your stat of the day:

If you’re gonna make your quarterback play in a box, Cager being back this week is huge for Georgia.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“Just watching them on film. I can see they’re very consistent.”

The recent track record of the Cocktail Party — the game, that is, not the weekend — suggests strongly that the team the runs the ball best, wins.  Georgia is better than Florida this season at running the ball and stopping the run, so the Gators have to hope they can buck the trend with the passing game.

The question is, can they?  At The Athletic, Will Sammon ($$) suggests they can.

But the one Florida probably must win in order to defeat the Bulldogs is its consistent passing attack versus a defense that has allowed just 5.4 yards per pass attempt. And there is a reasonable chance it will.

He bases that in part on Georgia’s pass defense’s vulnerability to the big play.  His evidence for that strikes me as a little weak.

Georgia surrendered big pass plays to Tennessee and South Carolina. On throws 15-plus yards downfield against Georgia, South Carolina was 1-for-2 for 46 yards and Tennessee was 3-for-10 for 127 yards, per Sports Info Solutions.

That doesn’t look like a lot.  And that impression is borne out by Georgia’s first-place ranking in the SEC in allowing passing plays over 10+ yards and 20+ yards against FBS opponents this season.  The Tennessee 73-yard TD pass he cites is the only pass play of 50+ yards Kirby Smart’s defense has allowed.

Sammon does post a chart that indicates a key personnel issue for Saturday, though.


Notice the YPA averages for Tyson Campbell and D.J. Daniel.  Then notice the target/completion ratios for the two.  Based on this, you should assume Kirby’s already noticed:

Based on that, I’m anticipating two things tactically come Saturday.  One, when he’s out there, Florida is going to do everything it can to target Mark Webb in pass coverage.  And, two, I expect to see more of Florida’s third leading rusher, one Emory Jones, who’s averaging over six yards per rushing attempt, at the quarterback spot.

It’s a huge game for both teams and both coaches are going to be pulling out all the stops to win.  In particular, Mullen showed a kitchen sink game plan on offense for LSU and I doubt he’s gonna pull back this week.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Chris Fowler’s Cocktail Party story

Georgia fans know how to have a good time.  Always.

And that’s how the pros do it, in case you’re wondering.


Filed under Georgia Football

Today’s NIL round up

Hey, look who nailed it on the first take!

If you’re a college football fan, I don’t know how you ignore that point.  Superstars like Manziel said they would have leaned towards coming back instead of jumping to the NFL early had they been able to rake in endorsement money.  And you’d think more than a few marginal (in terms of the draft, that is) kids would think differently about leaving college early if there were some level of compensation higher than what is available presently.  How is that not a good thing?

Of course, it’s an easy stance for Richt to take now.  He’s not in the coaching business anymore.  His successor’s take is much more measured.

Beyond that, it’s also revealing:  player compensation isn’t an issue for the likes of Kirby Smart as to how it might benefit players, but rather it’s a matter of how it might affect the likes of Kirby Smart to field competitive programs.

And that’s the real problem the NCAA faces.  Mark Emmert can’t, even for a second, put himself in the shoes of college athletes.  They aren’t a relevant factor in the NCAA’s calculations.

“In creating a system for allowing students to take advantage of name, image and likeness,” Emmert said, “one of the biggest concerns the working group has spent a lot of time on — and is going to keep spending time on — is how do you allow liberalization and not have it just become part of the recruiting wars? That’s going to be one of the biggest challenges in coming up with real bylaws.”

This is certainly amusing on one level.  Schools are already pouring money into things that are part of the recruiting wars.  You don’t see waterfalls and $10,000 lockers being built for MAC teams, do you?

It’s also a clear indication that the NCAA is going to look for a path that allows it to continue to bottle up the money flow.

1) Will college athletes be able to be paid for their NIL rights? The NCAA statement references athletes receiving a “benefit,” a word that might imply pay, but could alternatively mean a far more restrictive form of compensation—such as a debit account that athletes can use only for academic-related purposes (think of a gift card that only works in certain places, such as the book store or campus dining).

I can’t wait to see what Nick Saban comes up with as a workaround if a rule like that went into effect.

Still, even Emmert has a sense he’s being pushed.

“There’s no question the legislative efforts in Congress and various states has been a catalyst to change,” Emmert said. “It’s clear that schools and the presidents are listening and have heard loud and clear that everyone agrees this is an area that needs to be addressed.”

California notwithstanding, the biggest pushes are coming from Florida, which could have legislation ready to go into effect as soon as next year, and Congress, where a bill is being readied to go into effect in January of the following year.

In my mind, that’s not just an issue for the NCAA, but also for individual states and programs concerned about that level playing field Smart mentions.

A Georgia state legislator who announced plans last week to introduce a bill to allow college athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness was encouraged by the step the NCAA took on Tuesday.

State Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain) plans to still press forward next year with a measure modeled after a California law that would also take effect in 2023 but “will probably be less vigorous about its passage unless we don’t see movement from the NCAA.”

“That still seems like a long way off in my mind,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday. “We’ll have to prepare and whatever they decide to go with, we’ll deal with it. I don’t have enough information to form a complete opinion on it or understand it completely.”

Smart said he can’t be sure exactly how the name, image and likeness issue will affect college football but has trust in those who are examining the issue.

“Our biggest concern as coaches across the country, is it going to be an even playing field?” Smart said. “The biggest concern is state to state of not being balanced. If it comes out balanced state to state, we’re all playing on the same playing field.”

My bet is that if the Florida legislation goes into effect next year, neither Smart nor the Georgia legislature will sound nearly so sanguine.

Then again, maybe already Georgia’s getting itself ready for a brave new world of player promotion.

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Grow your brand with the stronGest brand 💪

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Come to Georgia and grow your brand, kids!

One side issue I’ll be very interested in following affects the antitrust legislation.  Ultimately, the NCAA rests its position on upholding amateurism on the slender reed that paying players would adversely affect consumer interest in the product.  Well, we just got a real world test of that theory — if you have a minute, go on Twitter and search NCAA 2020, or do the same on Google.  People are thrilled about the possibility of getting the game back, even if college athletes make a little money in the process.

I can’t end this without a little well-played snark.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

A brief offensive snapshot

Three quick stats to ponder this morning:

Even with the less than stellar results from the last two games, Georgia’s offense is still showing well, conference-wise and against Florida in particular.  And before you say the Dawgs feasted on some weak opposition outside of the SEC, remember that Florida has played not one, but two, FCS opponents this season.

The run figures are interesting, too.  Especially the RPO percentages, although I wonder how much Florida has tailed off in that regard since Franks went out.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Shockley analyzes Gators’ defense vs. Georgia’s offense

The former UGA quarterback does a nice two-minute job breaking down a few things here.  I was surprised that Grantham hasn’t blitzed as much as I thought this season, relying instead on making offenses guess where the pressure is coming from.

Bottom line:  it’s good to have an experienced quarterback like Jake Fromm this week.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

How many SEC coaches does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know:  there’s assigned seating at league coaches meetings.

I mean, there’s only fourteen of them and somebody has difficulty keeping track of who’s with whom?

I wonder if the SEC makes ’em wear name tags.


Filed under SEC Football

A feeling of confidence

I get a fair number of emails from PR flacks, most of which I promptly ditch, but I got one yesterday with some information worth sharing here.

Saturday’s No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 6 Florida showdown at “The Swamp” is the hottest college football ticket of the weekend — and the most expensive Bulldogs-Gators ticket dating back to 2015.

According to no-fee secondary ticket marketplace, TickPick, Saturday’s game has an average purchase price $232.79, which is 44% more expensive than last year’s matchup in Athens. Here are the average purchase prices for all Florida-Georgia games since 2015:

  • 2019 (@Florida): $232.79
  • 2018 (@Georgia): $161.33
  • 2017 (@Florida): $111.17
  • 2016 (@Georgia): $143.54
  • 2015 (@Florida): $120.34 

Saturday’s “get-in” price is currently at $125. The best seat according to TickPick’s algorithm? That’s Section 37, Row D for $926. Week 10’s college football games for all AP Top-25 teams have an average purchase price of $83.75. The second most expensive ticket is USC vs. Oregon in Eugene, which is averaging $155.60.

That info, plus the way the betting line shifted dramatically at the beginning of the week, tells me the Florida fan base is feeling pretty good about this year’s Cocktail Party.  How about you?


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football