Daily Archives: November 21, 2019

Can you say… containment? I thought you could.

That is one interesting set of stats for Mr. Mond.   It appears Georgia’s defense will have the opportunity to pressure him, but can it stay disciplined enough to keep him bottled up in the pocket?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Incorporating the rabbit’s foot into the game plan

I have long enjoyed Jerry Hinnen’s writing, and this piece on the last Georgia-Auburn game is no exception.  He makes a cool comparison with the way the key fourth down play in the 2005 game went with the way the key fourth down play this past Saturday went.

What’s most enjoyable is Jerry’s exploration of karma as it’s effected the series.

What he does is fumble. What the fumble does is stay in-bounds. What Taylor does is make the recovery. And what Auburn does immediately afterwards is run out the clock, kick a chip-shot field goal, and move to 15-7-1 against Georgia over a 23-year span.

As more than one than one gleeful Dawg has pointed out since Saturday, in the series’ 15-year-span since that play, Auburn’s gone 3-12. THREE AND BLEEPING TWELVE. A Georgia fan might argue that if not for the bounce of the ball in Athens in 2005 and Jordan-Hare in 2013, we’d be talking about a 2-14 stretch, but it’s hard for me not to feel like those two games are some form of repayment for all the do-or-die late-fourth-quarter drives Auburn hasn’t finished.

I’m not sure enough is ever going to happen for the 2013 ending to constitute repayment in full.  At a minimum, Georgia’s gonna be owed for many games coming.  But enough on that, what I find worth noting is the notion that reliance on luck is part of Auburn’s formula if it’s to turn the series around.

Contrasting Cox’s throw with Nix’s is to point out that if Auburn’s going to bring this series back to parity, it’s going to take both ends of that 2005 play. It’s going to take better luck than Georgia’s lone fumble tumbling out of bounds from several yards away while Auburn’s is recovered by the Dawgs; than the officials reversing a critical late-game catch they could have easily let stand; than the accumulation of events that left Auburn with zero points from 5 separate trips inside the Georgia 40.

No, he’s definitely not claiming that luck is the only way the Tigers are going to beat Georgia.  But he’s not kicking the old adage about being lucky rather than good out of bed, either.  I know, almost every great team is the beneficiary of a good break or two now and then.  It’s just that it’s not something I count on for my team to win.  Maybe that’s just the difference between being a Georgia fan and an Auburn one.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

“We appreciate that there is stated interest in extending the relationship from the CBS side.”

Here’s an excellent deep dive into the upcoming negotiations of the SEC television package currently held by CBS.  Just like everything else Mike Slive did with the conference’s broadcast rights, it’s tremendously undervalued, as all parties recognize.

The question is where things go from here.  This is the one of the gentlemen Greg Sankey has tasked with cutting the next deal:

One factor seemingly working in Disney’s favor is CAA super agent Nick Khan. The SEC hired Khan and Evolution Media’s Alan Gold to represent the league in its negotiations with television networks, signaling to many that it wanted a big payday this time around. Khan represents a lot of the sports media world’s biggest names including top ESPN college football talent like Herbstreit, Rece Davis and Paul Finebaum. Khan has done deals with all the major players — he facilitated the WWE deal with FOX and NBC, for instance — but insiders believe he’s been pushing SEC leaders to strongly consider ABC/ESPN. Among the reasoning, he’s pointed out advantages to aligning closer with a growing Disney company that is making big purchases (21st Century Fox) and investing big in over the top platforms (ESPN+ and Disney+) compared to Viacom/CBS which recently combined in a merger expected to be finalized in December.

If continuing to have a national broadcast platform as it currently does with CBS is of value to Sankey — and I think it should be — Mickey can offer ABC to that end and give the SEC more flexibility with scheduling on one giant platform.  Alternatively, some think that cutting a deal to rotate the top game between CBS and ESPN would be a good compromise.

The part I find most interesting is this:

One key factor is how CBS and SEC each interpret the current contract, which was agreed to in 2008. Within the contract is a provision that states, “CBS would have the right of first negotiation/first refusal for at least the same terms for a term commencing in 2024-25 and beyond for football and basketball.” Those terms include selection priority (CBS gets first pick of SEC games), game time and exclusivity, among other factors.

But in a confidential memo obtained by AL.com addressed to the SEC’s presidents and chancellors, Sankey pushed back on the legality of that specific provision.

“We believe that we have a good faith obligation to offer to enter into an exclusive negotiation period with CBS,” Sankey wrote, “but do not believe that CBS has any first refusal rights for reasons that can best be addressed by our legal counsel.”

If CBS doesn’t retain the rights, the SEC’s legal counsel won’t be the party with the last word.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, SEC Football

Anybody can throw a slant.

From Seth Emerson’s Mailbag ($$):

Smart was asked Tuesday night about Georgia’s use of slants, or lack thereof, and here’s what he said, which I’ll quote in full because I thought it was both informative and instructive, but I will bold the parts in particular that stood out to me:

“We’ve been a slant team in the past. The first couple of years here we ran a lot of slants. If you can remember, we ran slants in the spring game, one of the passes that Eric Stokes took from J.J. Holloman went for a Pick-6. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad play, it doesn’t make it one way or another but it is one that we haven’t been extremely successful with. We’ve actually run slants this year; (it’s not that) we haven’t thrown slants. There’s several times we’ve been in empty (no tailback formation) that we’ve had slants attached, but No. 1, you’ve got to have guys who can win on slants, No. 2 you’ve got to feel good about the coverage you’re getting before the slants. Some of what we were doing — and we don’t want to give a slant away as opposed to giving a fade away — has to do with leverage.”

The two bolded parts would point to the notion that they — either the coaches or Fromm or both — just don’t feel good enough about the receivers to call and throw those slants.

Fair enough.  My only question is, how easy is it to identify receivers who have the necessary skill set to be reliable in the slant pass game?  It’s either that Georgia hasn’t recruited those kind of guys all of a sudden, or Kirby has made a tactical decision that he prefers to emphasize other types of passes.

I’m not trying to be snarky here.  I am genuinely curious how they’ve gotten to this point.  What little I know about offensive strategy leads me to think a slant pass game is a valid way to attack what defenses have been throwing at Georgia’s offense this year, but Smart is obviously skeptical of that.

Any thoughts on this?

90 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Your Daily Gator is on something.

I’m just gonna put this one out there for your general amusement.

Screenshot_2019-11-21 When Auburn beats Bama next week (1)

 

Since he asked, feel free to answer in the comments after you stop chuckling.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

The glass is only half vanilla.

Jimbo on Georgia’s defense:

Jimbo Fisher attested the Bulldogs’ strong play from its coaching at the top from Kirby Smart.

“He learned from good people,” Fisher said of Smart, “and they will pressure you with backers, inside blitzes, double-edge, corners, and will backers, safeties on that side, front side, inside, twist blitzes. They’ll bring it from all angles and they’re very exotic on third down, too.”

How does a coach who embraces a kitchen sink approach on the defensive side of the ball — with great success, mind you — take such an opposite tack when it comes to his offense?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Today, in death, taxes and mid-majors whining

Oh, look — another conference commissioner complaining about how unfair the system is.

American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco said the 13-member College Football Playoff selection committee has ranked the teams in his conference using a “double standard,” not just when measured against the Power 5 conferences but also the other Group of 5 leagues.

“Each time I’ve watched the release of the rankings, I’ve seen an unfortunate predictability, and why wouldn’t I be upset?” Aresco said Wednesday. “I’m not criticizing the committee personally, I’ve never done that, but what I’m doing is I’m trying to take the committee to task on their methodology and their conclusions. I want to point out the facts. My feeling is this conference has been undervalued and disrespected since the CFP began.”

Though I have to admit bitching about other mid-major conferences is a nice touch.

Look for this kind of stuff to intensify, if that’s at all possible, when the CFP expands to an eight-team field with a slot for the top Group of 5 school.  As we all know, bigger financial stakes bring out the best in college football.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Cheatin’ all game

I have to admit, I did not know this rule before the refs flagged Auburn last Saturday.

Obviously, if I didn’t know that, I didn’t know this, either.

I spent the entire time during review looking at replays to see if an Auburn player had touched the ball before it had traveled ten yards.  No such luck.

One thing I did notice at the time, though, was that Kirby was on the mother with the refs.  He gestured that the ball was going back before the replay official’s ruling was announced.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Zoned in

The offense may be a little too meh for our taste, but the Dawgs are riding high in the polls and CFP rankings.  One big reason for that:

Scoring 39 of 40 times it has reached the opposition’s 20-yard line this season, Georgia currently ranks No. 1 in the 130-member FBS in Red Zone Conversions at 97.50 percent. Likewise, the Bulldogs currently rank No. 3 in the FBS in [fewest] Opponent Red Zone Conversions at 62.50 percent, as their opposition has scored just 10 of 16 times it has reached Georgia’s 20-yard line.

There’s only one other team that currently is ranked in the top 15 in both, so they’ve got that going for them.

A nice thing about that is it’s an area that Kirby has shored up from last season.

… Georgia’s current red-zone rankings are up—and significantly—from last season, when the Bulldogs’ red-zone rankings were No. 13 (90 percent in Red Zone Conversions) and No. 107 (89.19 percent in Opponent Red Zone Conversions).

The not-so-good news is that, while Georgia is scoring in the red zone at an impressive clip, it’s settling for a lot of field goals.  Its red zone touchdown percentage (67.50%) stands only at 34th nationally.  That’s how you get a chart that looks like this:

Screenshot_2019-11-21 UGASports - In the Zone

That being said, as Garbin elaborates, overall, Georgia’s red zone productivity is in a very good place.

At the current rate this season, Georgia’s Red Zone Efficiency–Offense of 5.63 would be the Bulldogs’ second-best mark behind 5.75 from two years ago, while their 3.38 average in Red Zone Efficiency–Defense would also be the team’s second-best mark, only trailing 2.90 from 2003.

Also this season, Georgia’s Red Zone Efficiency margin of plus-2.25 points would easily surpass the team’s current high of plus-1.65 in 2003…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!