Daily Archives: March 2, 2020

Your Daily Gator feels underrepresented.

Number of quarterbacks on Athlon’s Early Top 50 Players list:

  • Georgia: 1
  • Florida:  0

It’s only a matter of time before your typical Florida fan starts playing the disrespect card.

9 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

Talk about your March Madness

Welp, here comes panic.

The National College Players Association, a nonprofit advocating for the rights and safety of collegiate athletes, is calling on the NCAA to consider holding NCAA tournament games without fans due to its concern over coronavirus.

“In the wake of the emerging coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA and its colleges should take precautions to protect college athletes,” the group wrote in a public statement Saturday. “In regard to the NCAA’s March Madness tournament and other athletic events, there should be a serious discussion about holding competitions without an audience present. …The NCAA and its colleges must act now, there is no time to waste.”

Nah, I’m not talking about coronavirus panic.  I’m talking about NCAA panic over ticket sales.

And what happens if this metastasizes into football season?

Nancy Messonnier, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned Tuesday that an outbreak of the virus could lead to school closings and the cancellation of major sporting events.

Also included in NCPA’s public statement: “(The NCAA) should also make public which actions will be taken and when. Precautions should include cancelling all auxiliary events that put players in contact with crowds such as meet and greets and press events. Athletic programs should also take every possible measure to sanitize buses and airplanes used to transport players.”

SEC Media Days should be cool with no players or coaches attending, amirite?

What I really can’t wait to see is how McGarity tells folks in September the boxes are closed while open stadium seating remains available.  If that.

I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.

 

33 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Change of plans

Not the G-Day we were expecting…

Sounds like it doesn’t mean more to Mickey.  Not my problem, though, as I plan on doing my part to help recruiting attending.

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UPDATE:  Apparently, every SEC spring game, with the exceptions of Auburn and LSU (both on ESPN2), will only be available in their entirety on SEC Network+ digitally.  Helluva broadcast partner you got there, Mr. Sankey.

20 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

I know, I know.

Sure, take this with a grain of salt…

… but don’t be afraid to irritate your Gator buddies with it.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The curse of higher expectations

I can’t say I’m the biggest Dean Legge fan, but I do think he gets a lot right in his post about the pressure on Kirby Smart to win a natty.  I certainly wouldn’t say I have a general impression that the fan base is unreasonably anxious about it, but I’ve seen more than a few comments here and there suggesting there’s a rise in impatience in certain quarters (not that I expect anyone in Butts-Mehre to take it seriously).

Anyway, saying it’s Smart’s fault isn’t fair, but I can’t quibble too much with this:

Winning it all is never an easy thing to do.

Georgia fans and Kirby Smart know that well. They know it in excruciating form, actually. But when does the pressure really start to build on Kirby Smart to win it all?

He’s recruited so well that players like Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason and Justin Fields have all been on campus in his first four years on the job. And yet the title has elided him – in a way more painful than most.

First, if folks are wondering out loud why you haven’t won it all yet that means you are doing something right. No one ever said that about Steve Spurrier in Cootlumbia, and I’ve yet to hear that about Dan Mullen in Gainesville.

What Kirby has done to elevate things at UGA shouldn’t be undersold. This was an institution (UGA) that wasn’t really sold on the power of a winning football program. And by winning I mean winning in a way that get people in Arizona, Nevada and California to notice you.

UGA may disagree with the notion that they didn’t understand the marketing power of football, but their actions over the last two decades say otherwise. For the bulk of that time the powers that be either seemed in the way, or were used as an excuse for the reason football was stumbling behind the Gators, Tide and much of the rest of the SEC. Georgia wasn’t living up to its potential.

Those days are gone.

If you want to say that in certain quarters, Kirby Smart is a victim of his own success, I don’t think that’s an unfair assessment.  And I guess it’s fair to ask what happens if that final validation continues to elude his program for a few more years.

Either way, because of what Kirby has accomplished in his short time in Athens, one has to wonder when the pressure will really be on for him to win it all. Jim Donnan, Kirby’s coach while he played at UGA, was fired for losing three times in a row to Tech… that’s not the sort of pressure Kirby is facing. Mark Richt was let go beucase it had become clear the program had regressed.

Kirby has been given the keys to pretty much anything he wants at UGA (not without him having to make that happen). He’s recruited on a level the SEC has rarely seen. In fact, he might be recruiting at a level college football has never seen if he grabs another No. 1 class this coming winter (Nick Saban’s recruiting juggernaut included Kirby… now Saban going against him, and Kirby is winning).

The biggest thing that Kirby has done is change the level of imagination at UGA. Georgia should be doing this sort of winning, and more. And that’s what Kirby will be judged by.

Mark Richt built something in Athens.  Kirby Smart, in turn, built upon that and and raised the level of the program as a result.  Where do things go from here and how patient are you willing to be?

Me, I look at what Smart’s done in the past three months and I see someone who’s as unwilling to settle for what’s happened in the last three years as the impatient part of the fan base.  The attitude we want to see is there.  The question is whether his vision is right, but Smart’s earned the time to find out.

85 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Maybe we shouldn’t get our hopes up too quickly.

For all the expected excitement we’ve got over watching four quarterbacks on scholarship duke it out at G-Day, let’s remember that, for the most part, they’ll be throwing to the same bunch that finished out last season.  Blaylock will miss the spring with his injury, and only one of the group of stud wideouts that just signed is an early enrollee, Justin Robinson.

So, expectations should be tempered.  I mean, is this the most Georgia’s 2019 receiving corps comment, or what?

Kearis Jackson has been plagued by injuries in each of his first two seasons but it’s clear what the staff thinks of him as a player and leader. He had one of the most impressive plays of the 2019 season with the catch that almost was against Auburn.

“The catch that almost was”.  It’s a shame Larry Munson wasn’t around to immortalize it.

Honestly, I’ll be happy if I just see progress with better run routes and some effort made to throw across the middle.  G-Day will likely be a case of Rome not being built in a day.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Moar charts

I recently saw a piece somewhere that suggested currently there are five teams recruiting at a level different from the rest of college football:  Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State.

With that in mind, here are a couple of charts plotting a four-year recruiting rating history against a 2019 advanced stat, expected points added.

Overall, there’s pretty good evidence the cream rises to the top — except when it’s being churned at Southern Cal.  Which is why Kirby continues to live, eat and breath recruiting.

But Georgia clearly has some work to do getting offensive production to match its talent level.  The good news is that Todd Monken has plenty to work with.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!