Daily Archives: April 15, 2020

Priorities

 

I wonder if he’s going to urge them to go to an eight-team playoff field this season.

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UPDATE:  Or maybe he wants to discuss this.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert and one of the faces of the United States’ fight against the coronavirus, says the only way professional sports will happen this summer is to do so without fans in attendance and by keeping players in hotels.

“There’s a way of doing that,” Fauci told Snapchat’s Peter Hamby as part of a weeklong interview series. “Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled. … Have them tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”

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UPDATE #2:  In response to VP Pence asking what it would take “to get things back to normal”, Bob Bowlsby had this to say.

“Our players are students. If we’re not in college, we’re not having contests,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who was on the call.

“Our message was, we need to get universities and colleges back open, that we were education-based programs, and we weren’t going to have sports until we had something closer to normal college going on,” he added.

I’ll be curious to hear what “something closer to normal college going on” looks like a few months from now if the college football season has been shut down.

158 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery

Your 4.15.20 Playpen

Someone suggested in an email that I ought to devote a Playpen to constructing the ultimate social distancing playlist (his two suggestions:  the acoustic version of “Splendid Isolation” by Warren Zevon and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by the Police) and I thought, well, why the hell not?

So, what tuneage do you find topical?  Are there songs you find yourself leaning on when you’re all by yourself?  Share it all in the comments.

107 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

No Dawg porn for you today

Looking for a somewhat grim assessment of Jamie Newman?  Welp, here you go.  The conclusion alone should give you pause for thought:

Jamie Newman throws with noticeable zip on his passes. Used to his guys not creating much separation, he often had to put a little extra mustard on his attempts. That element along with a high average depth of target and battling fatigue from frequently carrying the ball all played roles in his overall passing inefficiency. He should be asked to do far less at Georgia, which should allow him to focus on his improving his shortcomings. Though Georgia takes some shots, their scheme is far less vertical than what Wake Forest set out to do. Bringing his targets in closer and granting him designs where his weapons can do damage after the catch will help Newman’s production. He is leaving a place where he was the primary engine for his offense for a place where he will be a cog in a greater machine. Not to mention, he should be less stressed having a top-level defense. It is absolutely fair to worry about his high rate of uncatchable passes and dreadful results targeting intermediate areas of the field, but Newman has enough talent and athleticism to plug himself into UGA’s offense and produce. With a better supporting cast, more manageable scheme, and a year of improvement, Newman has the potential to keep Georgia in that title discussion. But I would be lying if I didn’t have a little trepidation about his play entering next season. To me, Newman has shades of a more aggressive Kellen Mond but the underwhelming downfield accuracy of Matt Corral.

This is where I think no spring practice hurts Georgia’s offensive hopes for 2020.  We can talk about reps and honing timing and there’s certainly some validity to that, but every day that Todd Monken can’t watch Newman in practice to see first hand where his strengths and weaknesses lie is a day when Monken can’t work hands on to shore up the deficiencies and, perhaps more importantly, structure his scheme around emphasizing Newman’s strengths.

Learning on the fly isn’t the greatest route to success when you have national title aspirations.  At least the defense should be stout enough to increase the offense’s margin for error early on.  Let’s hope that’s enough.

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“I’ve been in this league for 20 years. Tampering will be a nice word for what’ll happen.”

Funny how when you boil down coaches’ objections to the one-time transfer waiver the NCAA is currently pondering, it winds up being little more than the widespread appreciation that they don’t trust their peers.

That would suggest a fairly obvious remedy, but I suspect those guys would also agree to a man that the cure would be worse than the disease.

6 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

Loose change

This is the college football equivalent of diving under the couch cushions to dig out all the nickels and quarters that fell out of your pocket.

Vince Dooley’s old college football idea could be part of the solution for a rapidly emerging new problem.

There has been a great deal of speculation that even if college football returns this fall — on schedule or delayed — it could do so without fans in attendance on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

Schools figures to lose tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and the respective communities where they are located would also suffer significant losses.

So, why not transform the annual intra-squad spring scrimmage into a spring showcase event against another team?

“I thought about that as an athletic director,” said Dooley…

“I always felt like it could be a new source for revenue, to have a spring football game against a team you don’t play during the season,” Dooley said. “For example, if we were not playing Alabama in a particular year, that might be the spring game over a two-year period.

“You play the spring game one year in Sanford Stadium, and the next year in Tuscaloosa. Or LSU would be another one.”

I don’t think college football is going to be turning up its collective nose at any opportunities to have somebody write a check.  Lord only knows what other propositions are coming our way.  And the rationalizing for the same…

6 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

“We have to be creative in these times.”

That letter I referenced yesterday sent by the Group of Five commissioners to Mark Emmert also asked for waiving football attendance requirements, the minimum number of contests to be played in varying sports to both scheduling and financial aid requirements.

Some of that stuff is no-brainer, certainly the attendance requirement waiver.  The minimum number of games is something that could very easily be overtaken by events.

It’s likely we’ll see a bunch of stuff thrown up against the wall by panicked administrators.  The question that remains to be answered is what winds up sticking.

Comments Off on “We have to be creative in these times.”

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

Your Daily Gator is… uncertain?

Nah.  Dan Mullen is just bullshitting.

2 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

When Walker walked

Chip Towers recounts the story of Herschel turning pro before the 1983 season, and if you’re a Georgia fan, you’ve probably heard all three versions of what happened.

  • Walker contends a coin flip in his Athens apartment determined his fate.
  • Vince Dooley insists his star running back was duped after a signed contract was torn up and flushed down a toilet.
  • Still others say Walker and his family were shopping around, looking for the best deal they could get and finally accepting what was at the time the most lucrative professional football contract ever negotiated.

Actually, there’s no reason to think those three narratives contradict each other.

What’s really interesting, though, is that while Walker had misgivings about taking the money and leaving his teammates, his teammates urged him to do what was best for himself.

“I just thought he had done all he could do in college football and it was time to move on,” said Buck Belue, who quarterbacked the 1980 team and also played in the USFL. “He’d won a national championship, a Heisman Trophy, broke rushing records. And let’s face it, his family was poor. They needed the money.”

Frank Ros captained the 1980 team and remains one of Walker’s closest friends. He was a graduate assistant on Dooley’s staff and counseled Walker when all this was going down.

“It all kind of happened fast and Herschel was confused about what he should do,” Ros said. “I was a kind of mentor for Herschel back then, his big brother when he came to Georgia, and we talked about it. I said, ‘Why did you come to college? To get a degree. What do you get a degree for? To get a good job. Why do you want a good job? So, I can take care of the family. So, I told him, you just hop-scotched all that with the kind of contract you’re going to get.’”

This was forty years ago and those amateurs knew where the bread was buttered even back then.  But, sure, romantics, tell yourself that things were simpler and more noble in those days.

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

TFW the math is obvious

Shot.

Within the college sports industry, the word for now about a 2020-21 football season is optimism amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Somehow, some way, at some point, games will be played.

Right beneath the surface, however, is the knowledge that it might not be normal. Or, that it might not be at all.

At stake is at least $4.1 billion in fiscal-year revenue for the athletics departments at just the 50-plus public schools in the Power Five conferences — an average of more than $78 million per school — a USA TODAY Sports analysis of schools’ financial reports to the NCAA shows.

That’s more than 60% of these schools’ combined total annual operating revenues, based on amounts reported for the 2019 fiscal year. These estimates do not take into account potential impacts on student fees or money from schools’ general funds, both of which likely would be reduced if students cannot return to campus as usual for the fall semester. Even within the Power Five, there are schools that receive significant amounts from those sources.

Chaser.

All of this is “why they’re going to try their damnedest to have a season of 12 games, regardless of what months” in which it occurs, said Dan Rascher, a University of San Francisco sport management professor who has been an expert witness on the economics of major-college athletics for plaintiffs in antitrust cases against the NCAA. “The question is whether they will get the same revenues for the games.”

The biggest challenge that lies ahead for conference commissioners, school presidents and athletic directors is coming up with a way to rationalize whatever corners have to be cut in order to put on a 2020 football season with as little blowback as possible.

4 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Eight is enough? Right.

While I disagree with those of you who think there’s an obvious logic underpinning the idea that the college football playoff will expand to eight teams and stop there — okay, vehemently disagree — I don’t question your sincerity.

The problem that I believe you fail to see is that you aren’t the decision makers.  Those people don’t think like you do.  In other words, they’re greedy assholes who will use any justification they can to rake in the money, which, after all, is the real force behind playoff expansion.

Greedy assholes like this greedy asshole:

One of the refreshing perspectives from speaking to officials around the sport is that some of the next generation of leaders are annoyed with the postseason still being tethered to the bowl system. Essentially, college sports are still outsourcing their most valuable inventory. That has always been dumb.

“I think we should do 16,” a Power Five AD said. “If not, at least 12. That’s what everyone wants. That’s where the value is. Athletes want it, fans want it and TV wants it.”

The AD, who is at a school that’s perennially in the top 20, put it this way: Observe the actions and habits of the fans and players, the sport’s two most important constituencies. Fans care exponentially less about non-playoff bowl games than they do College Football Playoff games. Elite players are tipping their hand — wisely, by the way— by sitting out non-playoff bowl games.

“There’s two really important groups to whom bowls don’t matter – players and fans,” the athletic director said. “Has a [healthy] player sat out a playoff game yet? Well, why don’t we play more of those? That’s just Marketing 101. What do they want? Give them more. What don’t they want? Give them less.”

This guy wouldn’t know Marketing 101 if it walked up and bit him in the ass.  But he is clearly a Jedi Master when it comes to circular logic.

The funny thing coming down the turnpike is how you eight-team advocates are going to sound more and more like me one day.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

18 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs