Daily Archives: February 25, 2020

Everything old is new again.

We’re all excited at the possibilities Todd Monken brings to Georgia’s offense, with cutting edge concepts he’s refined in the NFL.

Meanwhile, in Columbia…

25 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Strategery And Mechanics

Today, in cultural appropriation

Not gonna lie, this made me chuckle.

Feel free to insert your “funny, he doesn’t look…” joke here.

28 Comments

Filed under Alabama

Junior weighs in.

It’s not every day you see Georgia quote the Laner in an official press release.

What a time to be alive, eh?

10 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football

Enhancing the game day experience

Screenshot_2020-02-25 Aggie Park

Now, this is what I’m talking about.

This beautification project will transform 20 acres in the heart of campus into enhanced outdoor spaces for study and relaxation, tailgating, entertainment and recreation for students and visitors. The project, which is envisioned as “an outdoor MSC,” will include additional and enhanced tailgating space, water features, an outdoor amphitheater, public Wi-Fi, dedicated media utilities for national broadcasts, permanent Distinguished Alumni recognition, and improved infrastructure.

Texas A&M is spending $25 million on improvements for tailgating.  It’s not about the money, before you go there.  It’s about the attitude.  When there’s a will, there’s a way.  That’s what’s missing in Athens.

Maybe we need to convince Kirby something like this would be good for recruiting.

(h/t)

42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Kirby Smart, the offseason boss

Say what you will, it’s certainly been an eventful past three months.

  • Sam Pittman leaves and is quickly replaced by Matt Luke.
  • Scott Fountain is hired away by Pittman and the hole on the coaching staff is filled by Todd Monken.
  • Buster Faulkner, Southern Mississippi’s offensive coordinator with fifteen years coaching experience under his belt, is hired as an off-field analyst.
  • James Coley departs for Texas A&M.
  • Scott Cochran is hired away from Alabama to become Georgia’s special teams coordinator.

Oh, and while that’s all going on, Georgia lands another top-rated recruiting class.

At a minimum, we know that Smart can multi-task.  But what do we know about the changes on the coaching staff?  Well, technically, nothing much yet, other than that Luke did a more than competent job filling in for the bowl game.  It’s hard not to think the staff hasn’t been improved, overall, though, as a result of these moves.

Monken is an experienced offensive coordinator who’s run successful offenses on both the collegiate and professional levels.  It’s hard to think he won’t upgrade the offense, especially if Smart is willing to give him the autonomy his experience merits.

Faulkner provides something that Coley, to be fair, could have used last season, an experienced eye who can provide added insight.

I don’t know that Luke is going to be an improvement over Pittman — that’s a pretty high bar, especially when it comes to recruiting — but if he only manages to maintain what Georgia’s had as the o-line position coach, I think Smart would be happy with that.  I know I would.

Which brings us to Scott Cochran, the famous S&C coach transitioning to an on-field role, something he’s never done before in his entire career.  For those of you wondering what Kirby is doing, hiring someone with no previous coaching experience to go on-field, might I remind you Cochran’s not the first such hire?  This guy’s done okay so far.

Will it work?  Who knows?  This RBR dude is skeptical.

Ask us when it happens, Josh.

While that’s an admittedly obnoxious take, I can’t say some skepticism is unwarranted.  Cochran’s motivational skills are elite and that is certainly a big part of getting special teams to play well, but it’s far from everything in that regard.  Who will be making the talent evaluations?  How will the coverage schemes be designed?  There’s quite a bit there he’ll have to take on from scratch.

One thing working in Cochran’s favor is that, for the most part, Georgia’s special teams weren’t that special last season.

The return game didn’t produce any memorable moments. The coverage teams were more adequate than imposing.

As much as Smart talked about winning special teams, and setting a tone, it didn’t happen.

Georgia ranked 93rd in kick return average last season (19.14) and 82nd in punt return defense (8.83 per return).

There’s room for improvement.  Sure, there were bright spots.  Blankenship had a great year, but his graduation leaves a hole no matter who is coaching special teams in 2020.  Camarda is talented but inconsistent at times, but how much coaching do punters get from the special teams coordinator?

Right now, Cochran’s hire is a seismic move because of what he meant at Alabama.  We’ll see what it means for Georgia in a few months.

That brings us back to the head honcho.  You can make a good argument that no head coach has had as good an offseason so far as Kirby Smart, but that doesn’t mean much until it translates into success during the season.  And, yeah, I know that success is relative.  Three straight divisional titles are nothing to sneer at, but everyone, including Smart, is looking for bigger game.  In the end, that’s how all these moves are going to be judged.  Here’s hoping he’s done what’s needed to be done.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

‘I’m so sorry, I can’t do it, NCAA guidelines.’

The NCAA has a thing for the lay-deez.

A Senate listening to earlier this month drew a number of anxious statements from main lights within the Nationwide Collegiate Athletic Affiliation in regards to the significance of defending the pursuits of feminine athletes, and opponents in all sports activities that aren’t soccer or males’s basketball.

“The modifications advocated…will profit a small share of the 450,000 scholar athletes in our nation and can de facto render a a lot bigger share to a lesser standing,” warned Bob Bowlsby, the Massive 12 commissioner. He added: “The contributors in high-profile sports activities merely take pleasure in the advantages that accrue to these in sports activities which can be adored by the general public and coveted by the tv networks.”

“There’s little doubt that it could actually create better disparities between faculties and in some instances between the athletes themselves,” stated Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, in response to one among a number of questions from lawmakers about defending feminine athletes.

Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief authorized officer, stated in an interview that member faculties had expressed fears that sponsors would reduce on how a lot they have been prepared to pay faculties, in favor of particular person athletes, and that the funding dip might pressure faculties to chop again on a few of the sports activities they provide.

Oh.  My.  Gawd.  And here I thought all we had to worry about was boosters trying to steer recruits to schools — which is the NCAA, after all.  Nah, if Johnny Football gets a promo deal to sell autographs at the local car dealership one afternoon, that’s gonna be the end of the women’s soccer program.  Sorry, Johnny, we can’t let you ruin their program out of your own selfishness.

What about the women’s selfishness?

Virtually the entire gymnasts vying for this yr’s Olympic group stated they have been conscious change was coming. Most grew up anticipating to determine whether or not to show skilled and forgo faculty in the event that they acquired to the Video games. New guidelines are unlikely to permit athletes to show skilled earlier than faculty, however the alternative to undertake some skilled engagements whereas there might tip the stability in favor of sustaining eligibility for some.

“It was a change that everybody hoped was going to occur, so once they did this, I used to be like, they’re utilizing their brains now, nice, lastly,” stated Jordan Chiles, who’s 18 and verbally dedicated to the College of California, Los Angeles in eighth grade.

Hayley Hodson, a Stanford volleyball participant who retired after a concussion, stated she didn’t simply see alternatives for stars. She stated that letting particular person athletes take accountability for selling themselves might in the end play again into ticket gross sales, serving to their groups and sports activities and even perhaps rising athletic alternatives after college.

“I believe that there could also be a optimistic suggestions loop that will increase the visibility and funding for skilled ladies’s sports activities in America…It’s a giant what if, however I actually see all of those NIL legal guidelines as step one in any motion in the direction of gender fairness in sports activities.”

Shut up, sweetie.  Don’t you know Mark Emmert’s out there protecting you from the evils of the marketplace?

You know what the NCAA is really worried about with NIL rights?  That, if the players start monetizing them and it doesn’t move the needle in the slightest in the court of public opinion, the next thing they’ll be coming for is direct compensation from the schools.  Should that day come, at least Emmert will have arguments he can recycle.

20 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Don’t cry for me, Tuscaloosa.

So, how big a deal — how much of a loss is it, in other words — for Scott Cochran to leave Alabama?

Bruce Feldman and Andy Staples ($$) suggest it’s pretty monstrous.

Saban has had to replace every position on his on-field staff multiple times, but no single staffer influenced as many people in Alabama’s entire operation as Cochran. He had the most contact with the players. He was the consigliere to the head coach and to the assistants. He was the most important piece of infrastructure Alabama had. “It doesn’t rely as much on assistant coaches because it is so structured,” one former Alabama assistant told The Athletic last year in the wake of Saban losing six coaches. “He’s got two huge factors in Cochran and (director of sports medicine) Jeff Allen that are the good cops. The players aren’t as miserable as the coaches because of those guys. They only deal with Saban a little bit. When you’re a coach, you deal with him all day. When you’re a player, you deal with Cochran and Jeff way more than you deal with Saban. And the other big thing is you’ve got better players than everybody you play. It’s not even close now. He’s out-recruited everybody.”

Well, he’s not out-recruiting Smart anymore.  Maybe because of that, at worst, it’s an incremental shift that has a bigger impact than you’d expect.  And that’s a likely worst case scenario.  Replacing Cochran’s ability as an S&C coach shouldn’t be an impossible task, with the assets and reputation Saban can marshal.  He’ll have his pick of replacements.  But the rest of that may not be so easy to fill with a new hire.

Along those lines, here’s what John Talty has to say:

But Cochran’s value at Alabama went far beyond the strength and conditioning program. When a player was considering transferring to another school, Saban sent Cochran to talk to him. When Saban heard a player was considering leaving early for the NFL Draft who he felt wasn’t ready, he dispatched Cochran to talk some sense into him. When a player was struggling in school or with a personal situation, Cochran was there to lend help and talk through it. He had as much, if not more, value helping players outside of the weight room than he did in it.

Saban is a masterful coach and motivator, but as the head coach, he has a myriad of responsibilities to deal with that go beyond only interacting with the players. Saban knew Cochran had earned the players’ trust and could be counted on to deal with situations he either didn’t have the time or desire to deal with on a regular basis. Cochran was the perfect No. 2 who could be the good cop when Saban needed him to but widely respected enough that no player wanted to disappoint him.

That doesn’t sound like the description of somebody who will be easy to replace.  Unless you write for Roll ‘Bama Roll, that is.

The faux concern for Kirby is cute and maybe there’s a valid underlying point to Saban’s ability to assess talent.  But it’s just as easy to make the point that Saban didn’t want to move Cochran to an on-field role because he was simply more valuable where he was.  That’s obviously not a concern Smart shares with Saban.

It’ll sure be interesting to revisit this in a year or so, after the move has had time to settle in and change Alabama’s program however it will.  You’d have to think it’s a cause for disruption in the short term, though.

And maybe that’s the real answer here.  How many strength coaches possess the impact on a program for their departure to be a major topic of speculation like Cochran’s?

**************************************************************************

UPDATE:  When is a blow not a blow?  When you’re writing at Roll ‘Bama Roll.

33 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Your Daily Gator struggles with jealousy.

It’s a little hard to reconcile Georgia taking Cochran from the school that just outbid Florida for Charlie Strong with their native tendency to sneer at Smart’s program, but they’re trying, bless their hearts.

11 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

When life imitates snark

So, I was just kidding when I tweeted this out yesterday.

Screenshot_2020-02-25 Senator Blutarsky on Twitter DanWolken The boss move for Nick would be hiring Scott Sinclair to repla[...]

It seems Saban may be thinking along those lines, though.

We already know Feld looks good in red.

dlypjtrxcaay2-0

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

You know, this means war.

I detect something of a theme in yesterday’s reaction among the punditry to the Scott Cochran news.

Here, for example, is the lede at The Athletic’s piece ($$):

If Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class was the blockade in the first signs of hostility between Alabama and Georgia and the hard-fought matchups in the 2017 College Football Playoff national championship game and 2018 SEC title game were shots across the bow at Alabama’s decade-long run of dominance, then Monday afternoon was a 42-pound cannonball slamming into the side of the S.S. Crimson Tide.

Cannonball?  That South Carolina fan wants his meme back.  But I digress.

And here’s al.com’s take:

Shots fired, and Saban’s storied Process has taken a direct hit. Hiring away Cochran right now, during the middle of Alabama’s winter strength and conditioning program, is nothing short of calculated corporate warfare.

Inside Alabama, it is being viewed as exactly that, an act of all out war. Cochran didn’t even address the team after the news broke. Just left.

That’s a good point about disrupting winter conditioning, too.  While I don’t think it’s the end of the world, it’s certainly an inconvenience and distraction for a man who doesn’t have time for shit like that.

By the way, about that “Just left.”?

Yeah, this is going to end well.  No hard feelings, fellas!

26 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football