Monthly Archives: October 2019

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.

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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.

29 Comments

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.

22 Comments

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.

5 Comments

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.

8 Comments

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?

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

2019 Mumme Poll, Week 9

Screenshot_2019-09-30 (1) Senator Blutarsky ( MummePoll) TwitterIf you’re of a certain bent, then regular order has been restored.

Screenshot_2019-10-30 2019 Mumme Poll - (Responses)

A total of 243 ballots were cast, which means, again, that no single team was a 100% selection by the voters.  The average number of teams on a ballot was 8, the lowest number so far.

Breakdown by conference:

Screenshot_2019-10-30 2019 Mumme Poll - (Responses)(1)

Screenshot_2019-10-30 2019 Mumme Poll - (Responses)(2)

Where the voters come from:

Screenshot_2019-10-30 2019 Mumme Poll - (Responses)(3)

How much time we spent:

Screenshot_2019-10-30 2019 Mumme Poll - (Responses)(4)

Some random observations:

  • Tier 1, which I define as teams appearing on at least 90% of our ballots, has shrunk again in the wake of Oklahoma’s loss.  With Alabama vs. LSU on the horizon, that tier may shrink again.
  • There’s also the Ohio State-Penn State game on 11/23 to keep in mind, if both are still undefeated by then.  Throw in the Cocktail Party’s meeting of numbers six and seven in the poll, and you have to wonder (at least I have to wonder) at what point to start considering one-loss teams in the mix.  Obviously, if you’re looking at this as a means of determining a playoff field, that time is coming soon.
  • I do find it interesting that, as opposed to the previous run, we’re still generating a top 25 list.  I have the feeling that a purer approval voting format is likely responsible for that.
  • Between that and the time factor, I remain convinced that approval voting would be a good way to resurrect the relevancy of the coaches poll.  Let ’em all vote; it’s a format that lends itself to them actually voting, instead of passing it off to a SID.

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Filed under GTP Stuff

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.

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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.

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Filed under Georgia Football