Daily Archives: February 19, 2020

There’s a bond there.

Look who’s coming to Kirby’s clinic.

Remember, both guys coached at Valdosta State long ago.



Filed under Georgia Football, Mike Leach. Yar!

From sea to shining sea

Over at 247Sports, Bud Elliott has taken notice of a trend.

Five-star recruits in recent years have become more willing to leave their home states.

In fact, the four lowest in-state rates over the last 20 classes have come over the last four years. In 2017, the amount of five-star players staying home dipped below 25 percent for the first time ever.

Let’s look at this in four-class blocks.

  • From 2001-04, 62 percent of five-star recruits stayed in their home states.
  • From 2005-08, 51 percent
  • From 2009-12, 53 percent
  • From 2013-16, 53 percent
  • From 2017-20, 34 percent

There was a slight trend down in the mid-aughts. But then for a little over a decade, about half of five-star recruits stayed home. However, in the last four seasons the number has dropped like a rock.

Why, you might ask, is this happening?  Check out reason number one:

Some schools are reaching out more nationally. Like Georgia.

“Georgia is a five-star magnet right now,” said Barton Simmons, the 247Sports Director of Scouting. “And Kirby Smart’s emphasis on recruiting nationally is paying off in the rankings. But dominance is relative. Georgia will dominate the rest of the country but the battle inside the top five is going to be fierce again.”

Ooh, baby, ooh.  Under Richt, we used to be worried about closing the fence around the state.  These days, Georgia don’t need no stinkin’ fences.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

ESPN, all things to all men

If you didn’t like the FPI number Mickey’s stat department tagged Georgia with, stick around for Mark Schlabach’s Way-Too-Early rankings, where he places the Dawgs fourth.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

“We’d like this to be resolved by the court, not in the press.”

Good luck with that, Michigan State.

A photograph and affidavit filed in federal court Tuesday purport to show former Michigan State recruiting coordinator Curtis Blackwell and then-head football coach Mark Dantonio in the home of a top recruit in 2015, evidence that contradicts Dantonio’s sworn testimony and is an apparent violation of NCAA rules…

The filing came hours after MSU officials acknowledged for the first time the university is investigating allegations of misconduct and is in contact with the NCAA and Big Ten conference.

How fortunate for him that Dantonio’s already pocketed that big bonus.


Filed under Big Ten Football, See You In Court

Your 2.19.20 Playpen

Quite the accomplishment here…

What are your most memorable on-screen deaths?  Share in the comments.


Filed under GTP Stuff

A pointless discussion, but what the hell

The newly revised shape of Georgia’s 2021 home football schedule begat this observation in my Twitter feed last night.

Let us skip the aesthetics of the Cocktail Party for a moment and focus on neutral site games as a general principle.  I would argue that the universe of parties directly interested in the composition of Georgia’s home schedule is comprised of the following:

  • Fans with season tickets
  • Fans without season tickets
  • Butts-Mehre

Yeah, if you’re in the first group, being asked to pony up a Hartman contribution in a year when you’ll have to travel to a NFL stadium to watch the Dawgs play in a one-shot season opener at an inflated price, whether you buy directly through the school or on the secondary market, blows, but it’s hardly like that’s the only indignity you’ve been asked to suffer through in the name of fandom over the past five years.

If you’re in the second group, why would you care?  TV is TV, after all.  Let’s face it — in that regard, going from San Jose State to Clemson is a huge step up.

As for group three, well, you know what matters there.

Screenshot_2020-02-19 Senator Blutarsky on Twitter Dawg_Stats JoshuaL44723836 Gators_Hater Hate to break it to y’all, but a[...]

Trust me, Kirby didn’t call Dabo after dinner one night last week and say, “let’s do this!”.  Nah, ESPN called ’em with an offer they couldn’t refuse.  (Did you really think McGarity was going to pay SJSU that $1.8 million out of his own pocket?)

But let it not be said that I don’t want to give everyone here a chance to vent.  Along those lines, here’s a reader poll.

Feel free to elaborate in the comments, as long as you realize nobody’s listening but us chickens.


UPDATE:  By the way, with this game, Clemson has also elected to play only six home games in 2021.


Filed under Georgia Football

Getting on the transfer train

Soooo… this dropped out of the blue yesterday.

Division I student-athletes in all sports could transfer and compete immediately if a concept under consideration by the Transfer Waiver Working Group is adopted by the Division I Council.

“The current system is unsustainable. Working group members believe it’s time to bring our transfer rules more in line with today’s college landscape,” said working group chair Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. “This concept provides a uniform approach that is understandable, predictable and objective. Most importantly, it benefits students.”

The working group concept would change waiver criteria to allow approvals for first-time four-year transfers in all sports to compete immediately if they:

  • Receive a transfer release from their previous school.
  • Leave their previous school academically eligible.
  • Maintain their academic progress at the new school.
  • Leave under no disciplinary suspension.

The waiver criteria are the same as the legislated exception already allowed for student-athletes who compete in any sport other than baseball, basketball, football or men’s ice hockey.

There is a lot to unpack there, but let’s start with some background first.

I know that many of you yesterday focused on how a one-time player transfer is little more than the dreaded “free agency”, destined to ruin good football programs across America.  Well, guess what?  Good football coaches across America agree with you.

… However, the vast majority of D-I coaches do not agree, says Todd Berry, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association.

In fact, coaches have shown “unanimous” opposition to the idea at AFCA conventions for the last three years. And there are three main reasons why, Berry outlines: (1) the freedom to transfer and play immediately could lead to quick, rash decisions players eventually regret; (2) transfers, according to NCAA data, are less likely to graduate than non-transfers; (3) and as Richt points out in his tweet, this proposal pushes college football closer to a free agency, with coaches poaching from one another’s rosters even more than they already do.

“The (rule was originally) put in to keep universities from recruiting off other campuses,” Berry says in an interview with Sports Illustrated on Tuesday. “That would be a reality if all the sudden you said a one-time transfer.”

You know what I love about coaches?  Even though it’s coaches doing the poaching, they like the rules focused on player penalties.  I mean, it’s really not that hard to come up with a worthy punishment designed to discourage that sort of behavior — ban a program from accepting any transfers for some specified period of time, if caught violating a poaching ban, for one — at least, not if this is really about preventing poaching.

But it’s not.  It’s what it’s always been about, control.

If you don’t think poaching’s already going on, I got news for you.  The portal makes it less necessary, but coaches gonna coach and poachers gonna poach.

The problem with control is that others have to pay a price for it that seems steep.  Like Luke Ford, who, coincidentally, tweeted this yesterday.

It’s just another example in a long series of unfortunate consequences from college athletics’ transfer policies that leaves schools and the NCAA with a black eye.  In Ford’s specific instance, it’s the result of coming up with a rule in the abstract that’s purportedly designed to keep kids from using the excuse of a sick relative as a get out of jail free card.  In reality, the results seem arbitrary and unnecessarily cruel.

It’s probably fair to say that the schools and the NCAA are getting a little tired of the bad publicity.  It’s also probably fair to say the NCAA is growing more weary of having to enforce a set of rules that have grown ever more cumbersome to regulate for a number of reasons ($$).

Mars’ success also had another major side effect: Covering the desks of the legislative relief staff with more waiver cases than ever. In 2019, the number of cases those case managers at the NCAA were dealing with exploded by 300 to 500 percent, “depending on which case manager you were talking to,” Mars said.

“The majority of those waiver requests had no merit,” Mars said. “People were stretching left and right and coming up with all kinds of creative reasons they were trying to fit into the mitigating circumstances rule.”

Even the NCAA can reach a point when it realizes it doesn’t have time for this shit, especially in this case where it’s carved out a special exception for just a few sports.  Or, as the working group chair put it in the announcement,

“More than a third of all college students transfer at least once, and the Division I rule prohibiting immediate competition for students who play five sports hasn’t discouraged them from transferring,” Steinbrecher said. “This dynamic has strained the waiver process, which was designed to handle extenuating and extraordinary circumstances.”

Translation:  the control freak stuff can’t be justified anymore, coaches.

By labeling this a concept included in the working group’s waiver process work, they’ve managed to bypass the regular legislative process and set this up for passage in time for the 2020-21 academic year.  If you’re a little skeptical about the conversion (the timing is suspiciously fast, admittedly), here’s one possible reason why the landscape is changing.

A former member of the NCAA Council, who did not wish to be identified, speculated to Dodd that the NCAA could be staging a legislative public relations gala at its next convention — January 2021 in Washington, D.C. In the nation’s seat of power, in front of the country’s legislators — some of whom seek to regulate the association — the NCAA could trot out liberalized transfer rules and name, image and likeness legislation.

My, how convenient.

If there is one gray area worth poking, it’s the requirement that a kid obtain a transfer release from his/her previous school.  Now, given that’s apparently an existing requirement in most sports and doesn’t seem to generate much controversy, perhaps it’s an innocent step.

But it sounds to me like something that gives the prior school some leverage in the release process, maybe as a hedge to prevent another school from poaching (although, again, there are more direct ways to police that), maybe as a way to prevent in-conference transfers, maybe more.  It’s hard to speculate much more about it at such an early point in time, but as I said before, coaches gonna coach.

In any event, it does appear that the momentum to give football and basketball players more freedom to transfer without restriction continues to gain steam.  We’ll have to wait and see where things go from here.  I’m just sorry they couldn’t move things fast enough to suit Luke Ford’s grandfather.


Filed under The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Taking his ball and going home

This is kind of inside baseball stuff, but for those of you who were fans of “Thomas Brown” when he was a regular GTP commenter (search ThomasBrownUGA in the comments here and you’ll find over 200 examples of his work) and then exposed yourself to his thinking about Georgia football and related matters at his blog, if you go over there now, this is what you’ll find:

Screenshot_2020-02-19 WordPress com — Your Blogging Home

Almost feels like we’re being punished, eh?

Vaya con Dios, pawsie.


Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

Musical palate cleanser, now she belongs to the ages edition

I’m sorry about her passing, of course, but when life hands you a lede, you gotta take it.

Ja’Net DuBois, who played the vivacious neighbor Willona Woods on “Good Times” and composed and sang the theme song for “The Jeffersons,” has died.

DuBois’ song “Movin’ on Up” provided a joyous intro to “The Jeffersons” during the show’s 10-season run.

Ja’Net DuBois has gone on to that deluxe apartment in the sky.

Rest in peace.  If you’re of my generation, that song has been burned into your brain for a long time.


Filed under Uncategorized