Daily Archives: April 20, 2020

Kirk Herbstreit has lost control of Kirk Herbstreit.

This is what backtracking sounds like.

ESPN college football commentator Kirk Herbstreit caught a lot of heavy criticism in March when he made a comment about the future of the 2020 college football season. Herbstreit said on ESPN radio that he would be “shocked” to see a college football and NFL season happen because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And then, the backlash came. Whether it was fans, coaches, athletic directors or more, everyone had their own opinions on Herbstreit’s take. But on a conference call on Monday morning, Herbstreit said his comments weren’t painted entirely accurate.

“It was kind of misconstrued, misrepresented based on what I said in a radio interview and how it was taken by a lot of people,” Herbstreit said. “…I was almost just thinking out loud. It was the day baseball was supposed to start, Opening Day, and we were reminiscing about how sad it is that we weren’t having any baseball. I was like, ‘Hey, man, this thing’s scary. We may not even have football.’ I was kind of thinking out loud at that point.

“…I’m not making any predications. I really wasn’t that night. I was trying to explain how real this pandemic is.”

Just like now he’s trying to explain how real ESPN’s pressure to deliver product is.

“I’ve talked to a ton of people who are actual decisionmakers in the college game — can’t speak about the NFL — but in the college game. I think what they’ve done is they built 3-4 contingency plans,” Herbstreit said. “Based on what happens with this virus and what Dr. (Anthony) Facui and others recommend, the President, these governors. I think, ‘Okay, everything’s okay, status quo, show up on campus in July, two-a-days, regular season, here we go.’ That’s the first contingency. And then they built it all the way back — the second, the third, the fourth — all the way back to a willingness to start in late February or March, turning it into a spring sport and playing in March, April, May, and playing postseason in June, which I think (would be) a last-ditch effort.

“Which proves how willing the administrators are with the NCAA, the conference commissioners, ADs and presidents, to have a college football season. They’re going to do everything they can, if it comes to that extreme, to be able to potentially have a 2020 season.”

And broadcasts, Herbie.  Don’t forget the broadcasts.



Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

Surrounding cast blues

Your first reaction seeing this stat is probably to wince…


… but I don’t see it as a bad thing.  Newman’s a better quarterback with better personnel around him, something that’s definitely going to be the case in Athens.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!


If the great mystery of Georgia’s 2015 season was what the source of all the program dysfunction was, the great mystery of its 2019 season has to be what happened to cause Jake Fromm’s season to decline precipitously.

I don’t choose that adverb carelessly.  Consider where Jake stood after the Tennessee game.

If you were to look at the statistical leaders at the quarterback position through six weeks of the 2019 college football season, you wouldn’t be shocked to see Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts (No. 1 in yards per attempt and second in QB rushing yards), LSU’s Joe Burrow (No. 1 in completion percentage and second in passing yards), Ohio State’s Justin Fields (No. 1 in total touchdowns), or Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (No. 1 in passing touchdowns). And while all these players have impressed in their own individual way, none of them currently hold the distinction of being college football’s highest-graded quarterback. That title, in fact, belongs to a signal-caller whose traditional statistics might not wow you or put him in the Heisman discussion. Through six weeks of the season, the highest-graded quarterback in college football is none other than Georgia’s Jake Fromm.

That’s some pretty heady stuff right there.

Then came South Carolina, and Fromm’s production fell off the table.

Screenshot_2020-04-20 cfbstats com - Jake Fromm 2019 Player Statistics - Georgia Bulldogs

His passer rating, by month:

  • August/September:  180.48
  • October:  126.96
  • November:  138.73
  • December/January:  119.16

You can’t lay it all on Cager’s health.  He played in the South Carolina game.  He caught six passes against Missouri.

Jake is a damned good quarterback.  The downside of 2019 doesn’t change my opinion of him.  Maybe we’ll find out one day what happened.  But that’s one helluva drop.


UPDATE:  A little more from PFF here.




Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Youth will be served.

The coaching ranks are getting younger.

The average FBS on-field coaching staff is 42.5 years old, with a clear gap between programs on the Group of Five and Power Five levels. For teams in the Group of Five, which tends to hire up-and-coming rather than established coaches, the average coaching staff is 40.6 years old. Among the Power Five, the average staff is 44.2 years old. The seven youngest coaching staffs are in the Group of Five; the nine oldest are in the Power Five. Including graduate assistants, who are typically recent college graduates, the average FBS coach is roughly 39 years old, according to the American Football Coaches Association.

Georgia is right there.

While not at the rate seen on the Group of Five, a similar hiring trend is beginning to emerge among the nation’s premier conferences. Six coaching staffs from the Power Five average 40 years old or under, led by Boston College (36.7) and its first-year coach, Jeff Hafley. The Eagles are followed by Duke (38.4), Minnesota (38.4), Oklahoma (39.9), Georgia (40) and Oregon State (40).

One major exception to the trend:

The coaching staff at LSU, the defending national champions, averages 55.2 years old, the oldest surveyed by a significant margin — next is Pittsburgh (50.1 years old) and Northwestern (49.9).

But maybe there’s a sweet spot, age-wise.

Many of the sport’s most successful programs are among the one-quarter of FBS coaching staffs over 45 years old: Alabama (45.4 years old), Michigan (46.2), Oregon (46.3), Clemson (46.8), Auburn (47.7) and Ohio State (48.1).

It would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between average staff age and recruiting results.


Filed under College Football

Monday morning buffet

Have you tried the coronavirus special?

  • Moar doing it for the kids:“Former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has an even more radical idea: Colleges athletics should be broken into spectator sports (ones that make money) and participation sports (ones that don’t). Schools would provide athletic scholarships in spectator sports, but not in participation sports.  Participation sports then would not be subject to NCAA scholarship limits, would not require highly paid, full-time coaches and would play regional opponents, keeping costs down.”
  • Per Josh, rosters that have a 247Sports‘ Composite Average of .906 have a high likelihood of being selected by the committee.
  • Today’s emotional appeal:  don’t cut non-revenue sports, cut coaches’ salaries.
  • Ian Boyd explains the difference between RPOs, PROs and PPOs.
  • Here’s a look at college football recruiting during the time of shelter at home.
  • Dennis Dodd attempts to throw cold water on an expanded playoff as a solution for a coronavirus-caused revenue shortfall.
  • Another downside to no spring practice:  it’s harder for players making a position change to adapt. (h/t)


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics

The exception to the AD rule

I don’t think it comes as any big surprise that I don’t hold a whole lot of respect for the average AD’s grasp of finances, so I’ve got to say when I come across the rare case of someone who has a clue, it’s almost startling.

Let me introduce you to Wake Forest’s John Currie, who, like every one of his peers, is struggling to come up with the right mix of budgetary restraints in the face of a drastic revenue drop.  He’s cancelled spring sports, cut salaries where he can, but there’s one place he doesn’t intend to touch.

Currie explained that eliminating a program doesn’t always equate to a cost-saving measure.

“It also is interesting, though, because many of our sports … they’re partial scholarship sports,” Currie said. “Many of our sports and many of our student-athletes are either full payers themselves or they’re partial scholarship recipients.

“In fact, student-athletes at Wake Forest outside of the aid they receive, are paying about $10 million annually to the university for some or all of their tuition cost. Just dropping a sport doesn’t necessarily create a net revenue savings for a school.”

Imagine that.  An AD who stayed awake in his Econ 101 class.  (Okay, more like Basic Accounting, but it’s a metaphor.)  Maybe he could teach it to some of his peers.



Filed under ACC Football, It's Just Bidness

Dan Mullen has lost control of Your Daily Gator.

So, it turns out ESPN’s latest FPI projections have Florida losing two 2020 regular season games, to LSU (45.6% UF win) and, of course, Georgia (37.3% UF win).  That, in turn, has led to some delightful commentary at Swamp247 about the fate of The Portal Master™ if he keeps losing to Smart.

Screenshot_2020-04-20 ESPN's FPI makes projections for every Florida football game

What’s so delicious about this isn’t that these guys have turned into what we once were.  It’s that they don’t even realize it.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

Blind side protection

Nothing much to see here, other than Andrew Thomas essentially stoning an expected first-round NFL pick for an entire game.

Those are going to be some mighty big shoes to fill this season.


Filed under Georgia Football

Musical palate cleanser, back at it again edition

Well, damn, here’s Bob Dylan, with another new song.

He needs to title the next one “Too Much Time On My Hands”.


Filed under Uncategorized