Daily Archives: May 28, 2020

Risk assessment, part two

One more bit of sage advice from Kirbs:

Smart said the team will be educated on what they need to do to protect themselves and wanted to convey something to Georgia fans who hope to be able to see games this season whether in Sanford Stadium — where limited attendance appears likely — or on TV.

“We also as fans, as Dawgnation have a responsibility to make good decisions, to social distance,” Smart said. “I think people, the more this thing has gone, the more they’ve begun to relax and say, well this won’t affect me. The last thing we need right now if people want to have a football season or any athletic season is to have another flare-up. The biggest thing we can do is to take care of that by making good decisions, being aware.”

When we get closer to nut-cutting time, it’s going to be interesting to see how the but muh freedom crowd takes to Smart’s direction.


Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Outdoing the Portal Master™

Holy Mother of Crap.  JT Daniels to Georgia?  Kirby Smart, you magnificent bastard.

Alligator Alley is gonna have a shit fit… correction, is having a shit fit.


Filed under Georgia Football

Risk assessment

Maybe it takes a former player to say something like this.

In any event, well said, sir.


UPDATE:  Weiszer has more here.

Team physician Fred Reifsteck, director of sports medicine Ron Courson and Smart have provided answers to players and theif families about returning to football workouts during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“There won’t be pressure to work out, to go do this extra,” Smart said during a Zoom video session with reporters. “Kids got to voluntarily do it. If a guy doesn’t feel comfortable or if a guy has a fever or a guy feels sick, we don’t want him to come in. We don’t want him to put himself in jeopardy and we’ve got to convey that.”

… If a player tests positive, he will have the option of returning home or can be quarantined in Athens for an unspecified period of time.

“We’ve also got the ability if it happens during the workout period, then we’ll have contact tracing,” Smart said. “Guys that have worked out together, those groups will stay the same, and we’ll be aware of those guys. So Ron and his guys have a lot of things in place.”

“I know from a Georgia perspective, every decision we’re making on the return to sport is the safety and health and well-being. There won’t be pressure to work out, to go do this extra. Kids got to voluntarily do it. If a guy doesn’t feel comfortable or if a guy has a fever or a guy feels sick, we don’t want him to come in. We don’t want him to put himself in jeopardy and we’ve got to convey that.”

Smart said some of his players — many who will go on to play in the NFL and were rated among the top rated recruits out of high school— “feel like they’re not vulnerable because of what they’ve heard, because they think they have superpowers.”


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The Body Is A Temple

“We’re waiting to hear the green light and go.”

To return to something I touched on in yesterday’s post about Notre Dame’s Father Jenkins, this strikes me as the gist of college football’s pandemic dilemma:

“Universities are operating in a realm of bad choices,” said Aron Cramer, the president of Business for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit that encourages businesses to implement ethical frameworks that serve the greater good. Cramer added that the decision about whether to play “ultimately places into sharp relief questions of what a university is all about to begin with.”

At the heart of those questions are ethical considerations: How do universities assess risk for their players, what dollar value do they place on it and what voice should athletes have in the decisions?

As of now, we don’t know the answer to the first two parts of that question and if athletes have been given a voice in the decisions, if only to the level of being consulted about the risks involved and being asked to respond, I’ve yet to hear a college administrator say so.

“In the N.C.A.A. and with other amateurs, players don’t have a strong voice and have a union. Their voice is always suppressed,” said McDonald, who added that only a select few players might have the platform to influence safety measures. “I’m not Joe Burrow; I’m just a tight end at Florida State…”

Which isn’t to say he wants to stay away from his teammates.

Yet McDonald is eager to work out with his teammates even though he watched one of them, offensive lineman Andrew Boselli, recover from the virus from afar. “If it came down to health or football, everybody would choose health 100 percent of the time,” McDonald said. “I want it to be as safe as possible, but losing a football season would be a worst-case scenario.”

A similar attitude can be heard from Mississippi State’s new starting quarterback.

“If the locker room is together we’re really not going to bat an eye; that’s the bond you have with your teammates — people are going to joke around. That’s the locker room culture,” Costello said. “Now, if a guy or two gets sick, it’s going to be a different story. If somebody gets coronavirus in the locker room and some other guy has symptoms, is everybody freaking out? It will be a joke until two, three, four guys get it, and then it’s out of control.”

Still, Costello said his biggest concern was simply not passing the virus on to his 90-year-old grandmother. There will have to be a substantial outbreak — such as what occurred in places in March, he said — for college football to be shut down.

“It’s a commitment to a lifestyle, a certain work ethic. Most football players have less fear about this than anybody else,” Costello said when asked if he feels like a guinea pig. “We’ll put our trust in the institution — we know their reputation is on the line, so we’ll trust that it’s enough to keep students out of harm’s way.”

And in the end, there you have it.  The question is, are these institutions worthy of that trust?  Color me uncertain about that.


Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

Run the damned ball, Mullen.

Ian Boyd reaches the last post of his Florida analysis and asks the musical question,

What do you do if you want or need to run the ball?

There’s four big reasons that a program on the level of a Texas or Florida wants to have a power run game.

  1. To take advantage of recruiting advantages in the trenches.
  2. To set up opportunities with RPOs and play-action
  3. To avoid asking the quarterback to throw the ball 40-50 times and risking injury over the course of the season.
  4. To have systemic answers to the problems of 3rd/4th and short or goal-to-go.

Dan Mullen may not be the world’s greatest recruiter, but he’s got a good football mind, so I’m pretty sure the above has already occurred to him.  So, Florida finishing thirteenth in the SEC in rushing offense last season is an indication that he’s got a structural problem stemming from his personnel to overcome.

Boyd suggests four options to pursue.

  1. Texas-style pro-spread
  2. LSU’s 2019 run game
  3. Oklahoma and the quarterback read-game
  4. Dialing up the Emory Jones package

Three of those four present issues for Mullen.  Tom Herman uses the tight end as a blocker first.  As Boyd notes, Pitts’ value to the Gator offense is as a receiver; he’s a mediocre blocker, at best.  LSU 2019?  Yeah, well, aside from the fact that Trask hasn’t shown himself to be Burrow, Florida doesn’t have an Edwards-Helaire on the roster I’m aware of.  As far as borrowing from Oklahoma, that’s “predicated on a willingness to mix the quarterback into the run game now and again”.  Trask has been injured more than once over the course of his career at Florida and I’m not sure how much of a risk Mullen is willing to take with that.

All of which leaves the Emory Jones option.  It has its uses.

… Jones is competent enough as a passer to really make you pay if you don’t cover those receivers because you’re overly worried about the quarterback run game.

The Gators still need some solutions from above for generating a consistent run game that eats up snaps, picks up chain-moving gains, presents a threat for play-action and RPOs, and occasionally picks up a short-yardage play. However, with sub-packages involving Emory Jones and/or extra tight ends they can manufacture some red zone and key 3rd/4th down pick-ups.

I was surprised that Mullen didn’t give Jones more touches in last year’s game against Georgia, a game in which, if you will recall, the Gators managed a grand total of 21 rushing yards.

If he wants to stick with the same plan this season, I’m cool with that.  Matching Florida’s passing game against Georgia’s back seven in pass defense is a strength against strength proposition, and I like Georgia’s chances there.  Besides, as of now, Florida’s run game against Georgia’s run defense does not appear to be a strength against strength proposition.  Which is kind of a big deal in the Cocktail Party, as I explained to Boyd.

Screenshot_2020-05-28 Senator Blutarsky on Twitter Ian_A_Boyd ParrishWalton I had to look The last time the winning team di[...]

Dan’s got some interesting schematic choices to make.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Strategery And Mechanics

“The NCAA is becoming less and less relevant.”

I guess I lack Dennis Dodd’s galaxy brain, because his take that the P5 conferences are about ready to break away from the NCAA because schools are saying, ‘This is amateur sports? This whole charade is coming to an end.'” does not make much sense to me.

Besides, if they really want to end the charade — I know, but work with me here — they don’t have to leave the NCAA to do it.  They’ve pushed the organization when they’ve wanted to before.  Mark Emmert still has value as a front man; it’s why he gets paid the big bucks.

You guys see something I don’t here?


Filed under The NCAA

If you’re keeping count…

We’re up to three SEC programs that will not be conducting mandatory COVID-19 tests for college athletes.  Hope they know what they’re doing… or not doing, as the case may be.


Filed under SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple

Is Kirby Smart antsy?

To no one’s surprise, the NCAA announced moar dead period.

Obviously, that can’t be helped, but you know it’s got to be frustrating for the guy whose program spent more money on recruiting than anyone else in the known universe not to be able to get face to face meetings.  Meanwhile, Jeremy Pruitt is out there taking verbal commitments like a Varsity cashier in the middle of lunch hour.

It’s not the end of the world, of course.  As Seth Emerson ($$) points out, Kirby is certainly holding his own.

Georgia is still in good position, good enough that it got a commitment from outside linebacker Chaz Chambliss — a four-star ranked No. 255 overall in the 247Sports Composite. Georgia is in the running for a number of five-stars, including many from out-of-state, such as safety James Williams from south Florida.

It helps that he operates in the talent rich environment that is the state of Georgia.  Six of the eight commitments from the class of 2021 are in state kids.  They’re good enough that the Dawgs currently sit fourth in the SEC in the Sports247 Composite, with the highest average score in the conference.

It’s going to be something to see when the dead period comes to a close.  Can you spend the equivalent of a year’s worth of a recruiting budget in a month?


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

You can lead a Gamecock to water…



Screenshot_2020-05-28 Josh Kendall on Twitter Gamecocks are expecting to allow tailgating with social distancing suggestion[...]

“Suggestions”.  Yeah, that should work.

In his defense, Tanner actually sounds aware of what he’s dealing with.  He’s just not ready to say fans won’t be allowed at games yet.


Filed under 'Cock Envy

Your Daily Gator has a hammer.

Swamp247 thread starts as an observation that Florida recruiting isn’t keeping up with the elite programs and quickly pivots to asserting that’s proof Kirby Smart can’t coach.


Filed under Gators, Gators...