Daily Archives: March 12, 2020

Shit’s gettin’ real.

Did they run this by Saban first?

Your Daily Gator sees this development as an enormous advantage for The Portal Master™.

30 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

Business as usual

Looks like we’ve got our answer on spring practice.

For now, at least.

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UPDATE:  Straight from the horse’s mouth.

Let’s hope that change doesn’t involve a player getting the virus.

76 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

ESPN stat geeks, at war

Bill Connelly says he normally doesn’t pay attention to spring football, but this year, he’s making an exception in Georgia’s case.

The upside is obvious: Georgia enters 2020 with the deepest, most proven defense in the country, and head coach Kirby Smart has now out-recruited former mentor Nick Saban’s Alabama twice in three years. There are blue-chippers everywhere you look, and UGA is projected fourth in SP+.

With just a slightly different approach to efficiency and returning talent, however, ESPN’s FPI ranks the Dawgs just 10th, only one spot ahead of division rival Florida. And it’s not hard to see why a drop-off could be in the works: a disappointing offense has to replace nearly every known entity: quarterback Jake Fromm, running backs D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien, receiver Lawrence Cager, All-American lineman Andrew Thomas, etc., not to mention offensive line coach Sam Pittman, who’s now Arkansas’ head coach.

The unknowns replacing these guys, however, are both intriguing and pretty, well, known. And I have no idea how they’ll fit together. Granted, we won’t learn as much as we want to this spring, but consider me fascinated all the same.

It’s a fair framework (although I think FPI underplays the “blue-chippers everywhere you look” aspect).

That being said, it’s hard to find fault with Bill’s list of questions:

• Wake Forest quarterback transfer Jamie Newman is a favorite of the Pro Football Focus folks — they ranked him third in the country among returning QBs this fall. He’s more INT-prone than Fromm (he had a 4.1% INT rate against man coverage in 2018-19 and a 2.0% rate against zone, compared to 1.7% and 1.0%, respectively, for Fromm), but he still completed 61% of his passes last year, and not even including sacks, he carried the ball nearly once every five snaps. He’s like a point guard with a high usage rate — he’s going to have the ball in his hands even more than the normal QB, and he will almost completely define the personality of this offense.

• New offensive coordinator Todd Monken has been around the block. The Knox College alum spent the 2010s first as Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator, then as Southern Miss’ head coach/exorcist, then as offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns. He’s likely to add some much-needed sophistication to the passing game, but when was the last time he had such a run-hungry QB? J.W. Walsh at Oklahoma State in 2012? How does he adapt to Newman’s skill set, and how does Newman adapt to Monken?

• New offensive line coach Matt Luke is dealing with turnover up front, but he has an absolute bounty of potential with which to work. By my count, there will be something around 11-12 former blue-chippers on the line, including freshmen, this fall. But about eight of them will be sophomores or younger. Can he coax reliability out of high-upside youngsters?

• Also, who the heck is catching passes? We know sophomore-to-be George Pickens is a star in the making — at least if he can keep his temper in check — but can Monken’s system unlock the still-mostly-theoretical potential of former blue-chipper Demetris Robertson? Can sophomore Dominick Blaylock thrive in the slot as it appears he might? Blaylock is still recovering from a torn ACL, so we won’t get any answers on him until fall camp. But how Monken deploys Robertson (and junior Matt Landers, and any number of youngsters) has my attention.

Then, there’s Bill’s passing note in conclusion:

While Dabo Swinney’s Clemson has beaten Alabama for the national title twice in four years, between recruiting and pilfering no one has done more to damage Saban’s infrastructure than Smart. We’ll see if he can eventually get past the Tide on the actual football field. The Dawgs head to Tuscaloosa in Week 3.

The narrative for that week is going to be repeated ad nauseam.  Not that that’s gonna stop anyone from repeating it.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Today, in stats don’t lie

If you watched Georgia football last season, I don’t think this chart (h/t DawgStats) will come as any big surprise to you.

Screenshot_2020-03-12 Seth Walder on Twitter QBR vs zone coverage (x) by QBR vs man coverage (y) in college football last s[...](1)

The underlying reasons for that differential, of course, are what really matter.  Was Fromm simply that uncomfortable throwing into man coverage?  Were Georgia’s receivers having that much trouble with man to man?  Was Coley simply unable to dial up schemes and routes against man coverage to give his players a better chance?

Probably a combination of all three, but the bigger issue now is what Todd Monken does about that — at least the part that involves the last two questions.

9 Comments

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

The “inexact science”

Just a reminder that ticket sellouts don’t necessarily equal actual attendance.

The sunny Saturday afternoon of Nov. 9 was something out of a movie. Empty seats in Bryant-Denny Stadium rivaled clouds in the sky with top-ranked LSU in town for the sequel to 2011’s “Game of the Century.”

Tickets were selling for multiples of face value for a seat in Alabama’s 101,821-seat monument to football grandeur.

It was a sellout by any measure — except one of the several factors that detail the numbers behind Alabama football attendance over the past six seasons.

A total of 91,557 tickets were scanned for the Nov. 9 game that LSU won, according to the spreadsheet supplied by the university as part of an AL.com public records request. It spells out the number of tickets scanned at Bryant-Denny Stadium gates and how they differ from the official attendance announced for each home game since 2014.

In those six seasons, ticket scans represented 78 percent of the attendance numbers listed for the 56 home games.

Not to worry, sez Alabama’s AD.

Byrne and associate AD for ticketing, Chris Besanceney, estimated there is a 10 percent miss rate in the ticket-scanning process before Alabama home games.

“Because when you get backed up, the gate workers are doing the best they can,” Byrne said in a recent interview with AL.com, “but you have 20 people in the line and they’re trying to get them through.”

Makes you wonder why they even bother with the scan count, especially when we know in the end that it’s the ticket revenue that matters most.

By the way, it turns out that the discrepancy between the two for that LSU game came out to exactly 10 percent.  What a coincidence, eh?

16 Comments

Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, It's Just Bidness

A question of quantity or quality

From the land of it just means more…

I guess Fulmer’s just a live in the moment kind of AD.

And before you get overly impressed with Missouri’s total…

Screenshot_2020-03-12 bsuorangecrush on Twitter FBSchedules 11 of those for Missouri are FCS games That’s utter garbage Twi[...]

But consistent utter garbage, amirite?

10 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

College football in the time of pandemic, part three

I wouldn’t be doing my job if I couldn’t find a subject worthy of at least a little snark, so, forgive me, but…

Georgia has not made a decision regarding its spring football game due to concerns regarding the coronavirus, according to athletic director Greg McGarity. Georgia Tech did not immediately respond to a request on the status of its spring game[Emphasis added.]

How would anybody know?

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

College football in the time of pandemic, part two

Quick summaries of what’s going on around the world of college athletics:

To call this situation fluid is an understatement.  I’m sure there will be plenty more developments we’ll learn of today.

59 Comments

Filed under College Football

College football in the time of pandemic, part one

Somehow, I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear from this guy on the subject.

I’m old enough to remember when I posted this… yesterday.

Along those lines, I wonder if G-Day is going to be open to the public next month, or cancelled outright. That, at least, is a decision that doesn’t cost the athletic department money. But what happens come September if the best advice from experts is to stay away from big crowds, especially in a closed setting, like Georgia’s opener at MBS? Where does Butts-Mehre take things? Or the SEC, for that matter? I really don’t know right now, but that has the potential to be an expensive proposition.

In less than 24 hours, it feels like we’re already way past that.

The SEC, being what it is, is trying to straddle a line that is going to only get harder to maintain.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told DawgNation late Wednesday night that Georgia fans can only “stay tuned” where the Bulldogs’ annual G-Day spring football game is concerned.

“I would ask the fans to be patient, more information will be forthcoming at the end of March,” McGarity said. “We still have some time left. I would just say stay tuned, and we’ll see what the landscape looks like.”

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement on Wednesday that attendance at the ongoing league basketball tournament — along with spring sports — would be restricted on account of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sankey said the suspension of fan attendance at SEC events would be re-assessed on March 30.

“We had very brief conversations about spring (football) games and various activities,” Sankey said during his press conference at Bridgestone Arena. “So we’ll be reconnecting. I think most of those (spring football games) are outside of our March 30th window.

“We’re proceeding with other things. We have a video review session this weekend for football preparations. We obviously have been in the crisis consideration and crisis management situations that’s kept our attention on the immediate issues.”

I have no idea what could happen between now and month’s end that would cause Sankey to relax the restrictions he just put in place regarding fan presence at conference athletic events.  More likely, Sankey is risking a situation like the one the NBA faced last night, with a player being diagnosed with the coronavirus and the league promptly shutting down its season in response.

On the local front, I can’t imagine we’re going to be able to attend G-Day next month, but that’s the least of it.  Schools all over the country are not allowing students to return to campus after spring break.  If Georgia adopts that stance, how does it allow spring practice to proceed?

44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football