Daily Archives: May 5, 2020

What college football means to me

Now this is a quote I can get behind.

Amen to that.

Which games on Georgia’s schedule qualify for you as great by that definition?

57 Comments

Filed under College Football, Georgia Football

And… a cold shower

Shot.

Chaser.

Screenshot_2020-05-05 Hi, I’m David on Twitter QB A is Jamie Newman, Georgia’s new star QB and future first round pick, who[...]

Does the quarterback make the program, or does the program make the quarterback?  Stay tuned.

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UPDATE:  Bonus yecch.

Screenshot_2020-05-05 Hi, I’m David on Twitter And here’s the bigger worry if I’m UGA… Jake Fromm was a very good QB Here a[...]

I don’t know if Newman’s gonna work out at Georgia, but I’m pretty sure Coley wouldn’t have helped.

40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Okay, some Dawg porn

This seems good.

Honestly, I would have thought Ojulari would have graded higher.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“Everything needs to be on the table.’’

I’ve posted a fair amount of commentary from coaches, athletic directors and school presidents about their hopes for the timing of a 2020 football season, not out of a sense of mockery so much as an illustration of what frustrates all of us.  Hell, who doesn’t want college football, at least as long it’s not being staged insanely?  There is a difference, after all, between hope and crazed indifference to people’s health, and the people running college sports are a long way from the latter.

But you know what does deserve mockery?  The idea that post-coronavirus lockdown, athletic directors are going to change, baby, change ($$).

For years, people almost have become inured to the spending, writing off football expenses as the cost of doing business. “The roads of the last 15, 20 years are paved with all kinds of ideas that maybe it’s time to have a conversation about,” Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour says. Barbour sits on the NCAA Football Oversight Committee, and amid the pandemic, the group has had conversations about ways to reduce spending, discussing everything from hotel stays on the nights before home games to staff sizes, which have grown exponentially over the years. Clemson paid its football support staff $6.2 million in 2018-19, a figure that doesn’t include the $8 million paid to 10 assistant coaches but does count the four staffers who make up the Clemson aviation department — a director, pilot, captain and captain/hangar manager. No other program in the entire department paid its support staffs or assistant coaches $1 million. According to the Knight Commission, Michigan’s coaching salaries rose 101 percent from 2013 to ’18. Not to be outdone, Florida State’s increased 137 percent in the same time period.

Few would argue that the staff sizes — and payments — have gotten out of control. No one wants to be the first to do anything about it for fear of falling behind. “If you’ve got 10 analysts and they are preparing two weeks ahead, that’s a huge advantage over someone not doing that,” Barbour says. “Are there things we can do to compensate? Absolutely, but only so long as everyone is on the same plane. As long as everyone does the same thing.”

Riiiight.  Unless something is very different, the money will still be rolling in, the schools still won’t be paying the labor and Jimmy Sexton’s kids will still need a new pair of shoes.

And ADs will still be good at talking.

14 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Change with the changing times

Following up on that last post, Ian Boyd asks the exact same question that popped into my head when I read that Manny Diaz quote from Connelly.

Within Connelly’s article is a point made by Manny Diaz, current head coach of the Miami Hurricanes.

“There’s such a thing as a ‘college football offense’: 90% of America runs 60% of the same plays.”

Manny Diaz to Bill Connelly

This point, clearly true when you study some playbooks, leads to a follow up question. What differentiates teams anymore? Does this turn the college football world that was once a tapestry of disparate tactics and styles into a monochromatic product? How in the world can the less-advantaged teams compete if everyone is doing the same thing?

Well, “compete” is doing some heavy lifting there.  No, a school isn’t going to be able to run the triple option and compete for a national championship.  But there’s still a niche for, say, Mississippi State to run the Air Raid and make itself a consistent pain in the ass that occasionally rises to the heights of nine or ten wins in a brutally tough division.

The real takeaway, though, is that if Diaz is right and Boyd is right, then running a program that makes its bones on talent accumulation — hint, hint, Kirby — means you ought to be doing what other elite programs are doing, because the difference at that point becomes the talent level — especially on the defensive side of the ball, if you’ve got the kids who are better at stopping what those other offenses are doing.

I used to argue that there was real value to being a contrarian in college football scheming, that in an era when defenses are geared to stop the spread attack, being the team that sticks to a power run game has its advantages.  The problem with that philosophy these days is spread offenses have gotten so dynamic that it’s hard for a power attack to keep up, as anybody who watched the last SECCG game could tell you.

Plus, the rules.

Rodriguez has found plenty of ways to implement the RPO game into his playbook. It’s hard to see why you wouldn’t. “Anything you run in the quick passing game, you can basically tag onto a run play,” he said. “In college, where the [blockers] can get three yards downfield, you can run just about every run play, specifically your zone, with your quick game and have the best of both worlds.”

And that’s assuming the refs even bother to enforce that much.

Needless to say, I’m very curious to see where Kirby goes with the offense from here.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“There’s such a thing as a ‘college football offense’: 90% of America runs 60% of the same plays.”

Boy, you should take the time to read this.  It’s one of the best things Bill Connelly has written.

Although, tying back into this post from yesterday, I’d like to say Bill may be a little premature with his intro.

It had to be LSU that landed the final blow.

You knew the battle was almost over when Nick Saban’s Alabama changed its stripes, opened up its offense and kept winning. When the Los Angeles Rams nearly won the Super Bowl with a quarterback from an Air Raid offense, then the Kansas City Chiefs did win one with an even better Air Raider, the ref had to think seriously about stopping the fight. But when LSU not only adopted a spread identity in 2019, but then proceeded to put together maybe the best offensive season in the history of college football, the fight was done.

The spread offense revolution is over. The spread won.

The Tigers had come to personify Big Burly Manball more than anyone. They were the school of workhorse backs and impossibly physical defenses. They beat Alabama in 2011 while scoring six points in regulation, after all. But after a couple of aborted modernization attempts, head coach Ed Orgeron put together the perfect mix of personnel to operate a devastating, innovative spread offense.

I hope there’s a blow still to be landed in Athens, Georgia.

The funny thing is that Smart seems to have absorbed the lesson on defense already.

Good defense is all about multiplicity

Today, offense comes down to reads and conflict. How much can your quarterback process both before the snap and directly after? How well can your structure isolate specific defenders and make them guess wrong? That makes it tricky for a defense to scout opponents in the traditional way.

“People always try to take away whatever a team does best,” Heacock said. “Well, the hardest part now is when they’re in these offenses, what are they running the most of? That’s hard to decipher. They’re so based on what you’re doing, and what they do best in one game might not be what they do best in another. I think it used to be, a team lines up, and, ‘Hey, they’re a power team, a tight end run team, an inside zone team.'” And now they’re just designed to do whatever you’re not set up to stop.

Heacock set up his Iowa State defense, then, to show as little as possible. He crafted a unique version of the 3-3-5 defense, with a tight front three and eight players who swarm to the ball. In a way, they do what offenses have long sought out to do — create space for their runners. Their effect is to prevent big plays and force offenses to tolerate going five yards at a time. “I’d never heard of doing this, to be honest,” Heacock said. “We just tried to do what we could do in the conference we were playing in with the guys that we had. But when you look out there on offense, everything looks the same. That’s where you’re trying to get an advantage.”

Other defenses have gone in a different direction. If the spread offense is about getting defenses to declare themselves, declare the thing offenses are least interested in doing. “Someone told me a long time ago,” Diaz said, “one way to take away the triple option is to take away the option. You tell them what you want them to do and then force them to do it.”

You can do that in part with the alignment of your players. You also can do it by convincing the quarterback he sees something he doesn’t.

“Give ’em as many false reads as you can give ’em,” Steele said.

Read the whole thing.

13 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

“The kid’s making a mistake on several levels.”

Speaking of watching a master at work, here’s John Feinstein doing a wonderful job with this “sure, in a perfect world, a one-time transfer waiver for college athletes would be fair, but coaches” take.

Just as good as Feinstein is the “doing it for the kids” rationale from the usual suspects.

“I would be 100 percent for the rule if I was selfish and greedy,” Tennessee men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes said Saturday. “It won’t change the number of kids I lose to transfer, but it will change how many kids transfer from mid-majors because power schools will poach their players nonstop. It already goes on because of graduate transfers and all the waivers that are allowed, but if you make every single transfer easy, it will happen all the time.”

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo took his objection a step further. “On the surface, it sounds like this is what’s best for the kids, but it’s really not,” he said. “If I lose a good player, sure, it might hurt me for a little while, but long term, I’ll be fine. The power school coaches in football and basketball will be fine. They’ll go out and recruit someone else.

“But what happens to the kid? What happens when he finds out the grass isn’t greener somewhere else? What happens when it turns out all those people telling him he was going to be an NBA player are wrong, and he wakes up one morning without a college degree and no idea what he’s going to do with his life next? I’m not saying there aren’t kids who should transfer; I’m saying they should think about it before they make that leap.”

Clearly, this is a decision that shouldn’t be rushed into, but only arrived at after a lot more soul searching by coaches.  Maybe all the job hopping they do is simply research into whether that grass really is greener.

They’ll get back to you, kids.  It’s for your own good.

13 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

BREAKING: Water is still wet.

You will be shocked, shocked to learn that Mickey has conducted a fan survey that shows fans want Mickey to sell them product.

3 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

The master at work

This is the trolling equivalent of a reverse 4½ somersault in the pike position.

Following up those comments, Finebaum was then asked which program has more momentum heading into the 2020 season, Florida or Tennessee?

“I think it’s Tennessee, because they’re coming from so far back,” Finebaum answered. “And I don’t mean to diminish Dan Mullen, I mean his program is already there. His program right now is right behind Georgia nipping at Georgia’s heels trying to take over, so momentum is an interesting word to use.”

Please don’t try that at home, kids.  It takes years of practice to refine your shit lobbing skills to an elite level like that.

5 Comments

Filed under PAWWWLLL!!!

Your Daily Gator is leaving.

Damn, that didn’t take long.

Florida freshman offensive tackle Issiah Walker Jr. has entered his name into the Transfer Portal as confirmed by 247Sports and is seeking a new home after showing up on campus in Gainesville in January. The four-star tackle, like everyone else has been away from things because of the pandemic, but has decided to look elsewhere.

Walker was an early enrollee for Florida and someone that was expected to compete right away for an offensive line that has been devoid of quality depth. After being on campus for about two months, the school was shut down and he likely went home where he made the decision.

The Portal Master™ has been portal mastered.

Walker Jr.’s move was greeted calmly by the Gator faithful.

Screenshot_2020-05-05 DUDE WTF

I’m really looking forward to the Zach Evans meltdown.

22 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...