Daily Archives: June 19, 2020

Now you have a friend in the politics business.

It appears the NCAA has found its go-to guy on the NIL front.

We commend Senator Rubio for introducing this critical piece of federal legislation to support student-athletes.

The provisions of Senator Rubio’s bill are consistent with the many steps our member schools are taking to modernize name, image and likeness opportunities for college athletes. To support these efforts, our members also have stressed we need assistance from Congress to set a federal framework for name, image and likeness, and Senator Rubio’s bill does just that.

His bill sets out federal parameters for allowing student-athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness without turning them into employees; preempts legislation at the state level; and importantly protects the Association from ongoing litigation as we move forward with establishing national rules on name, image and likeness.

We look forward to working with Senator Rubio and other members of Congress to establish a legislative and legal framework at the federal level to strengthen the student-athlete experience and preserve the mission of college sports.

Um… that “other members of Congress” may be a real stretch for you guys.

Eh, it’s the thought that counts, along with some of that sweet, sweet lobbying money.

11 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

What he said

Terrence Edwards, preaching to the choir:

“James Cook, I think he’s going to finally have a breakout season,” Edwards said. “I think coach is going to find a way to get that explosive running back in space.”

Cook, Edwards indicated, has been underutilized in the offense.

“He needs at least 10 touches a game,” Edwards said. “In that return game, that screen game, handing it off to him. He has to touch the ball at least 10 times to use his God-given ability.”

‘Bout damned time.  Do it, Monken.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“Georgia will be right there again. Don’t take for granted how hard that is to do.”

Pete Fiutak’s posted his Georgia preseason preview.  As the header indicates, it’s favorable.

You can read the whole thing, but I’ve plucked out a couple of stats for your attention.

Going back to a loss to Vanderbilt in the middle of 2016, Georgia has won its last 27 games when it averages 7.8 yards or more per pass.

By the way, Jamie Newman averaged 7.9 yards per throw last year for Wake Forest.

By the way, Jake Fromm di’int.

And as much as we’ve lionized Rodrigo Blankenship over his Georgia career…

Only one Bulldog game in the last two seasons was decided by three points or fewer – Blankenship missed two field goals in the 20-17 loss to South Carolina last year.

There are times when I think Georgia’s 2020 season, to paraphrase Ms. Gump, is going to be like a box of chocolates.  Then again, who doesn’t like chocolates?

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Bumps along the way

For the record, pandemic or no pandemic, I’m close to 100% sure the 2020 college football season will start on time.  What I’m far less certain about is the likelihood that the season will be played without interruption.

I find it hard to disagree with David Wunderlich, when he writes,

If the college football season does start on time, it’s hard to imagine that it will go off without a hitch. There will be programs with positive tests. Schools will have to make hard decisions on whether to allow an opponent to come to campus if that opponent is in a hotspot. Other schools will have to make hard decisions on whether to go to a campus in a hotspot. It could get exceptionally ugly if it’s a conference game in question, as past issues with hurricane-related reschedulings are any indication.

The 2020 season, if it happens despite Dr. Fauci’s recommendation, is going to be unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Honestly, even though we’ve heard plenty about how schools and conferences are making contingency plans, I don’t see how it’s possible for them to game everything out before it happens.  What are your thoughts about that?

56 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

Tier 1.5

Sports247 takes a different approach to preseason team rankings here, by ordering programs in terms of their likelihood of making and winning the CFP.

Who is going to win the national championship? It’s the discussion at the forefront of every preseason college football conversation, at least at the macro level. Part of the beauty of the sport is micro-level races are wide open every year – the ACC Coastal, for example. But when you’re talking about the biggest prize of them all, a national title, only a handful of teams realistically fit into that conversation.

Even among those contenders there is a stark departure from likely College Football Playoff teams and those fringe programs hoping to crash the conversation.

Today, we’re going to sort the 2020 national title contenders by tiers. All 15 teams included in 2020 Blue-Chip Ratio made the cutoff as did several potential spoilers. Remember, every champion in the internet era hit that blue-chip ratio threshold – a roster made up of at least 50 percent four and five-star recruits – so those 15 programs are the most likely teams to emerge as a champion.

The top tier is inhabited by the usual suspects:  Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State.  Nipping at their heels in a tier of its own is Georgia.

Georgia is a weird team to place. The Bulldogs’ talent stacks up player-to-player with Alabama and Ohio State. Its history, three straight seasons with at least 11 wins, does too. But there are a few big-picture reservations with Georgia that the programs above it lack.

The first is experience. Elite rosters will always turn over. But Georgia is introducing a new quarterback (grad transfer Jamie Newman), a new-look offensive line (the team’s top three tackles all departed) and is dealing with an inexperienced wide receiver group. The second reservation, continuity, works hand-and-hand with the former note. Bringing in Todd Monken as offensive coordinator is a boon in the long run. But given that this offseason is constricted, Georgia needs to get a lot of pieces moving in the same direction quickly to have a shot at contention. That’s easier said than done with a trip to Alabama scheduled for Week 3. The third issue is a defense that’s struggled to generate pressure. Georgia’s defense is elite in almost every way. Fact remains, however, that every national champion of the last decade ranked at least 29th nationally in tackles for loss. Georgia’s average finish in that category is 78th the last two seasons. Kirby Smart has long stressed tackles for loss as a key measure of defensive success. The defense must create additional havoc, especially when you consider the unit finished just 84th nationally in turnovers created.

Pointing out these deficiencies isn’t meant to dismiss Georgia as a contender. Far from it. There’s a reason the Bulldogs sit fourth on this list of possible playoff teams. Instead, it’s meant to illustrate there is a slight but critical gap between Georgia and the teams above it on this list.

That’s not unfair.  Quarterback is a legitimate separator from Clemson and Ohio State and the Dawgs have to travel to Tuscaloosa.  (That being said, with regard to tackles for loss, Georgia finished 60th last season, averaging 5.43 per game, while ‘Bama finished… wait for it… 55th.)

By the way, Florida is down in Tier 3.  But you knew that.

There’s an argument for Florida to fit in a lower tier, but this team feels like it’s about to break through. Back-to-back 10-win seasons have given Dan Mullen momentum early in his tenure, and a roster with plenty of returning production puts the Gators in contention to challenge Georgia in the SEC East. That matchup is the key. Mullen mocked Georgia last offseason, and Georgia came out and hit the Gators in the mouth. There is no advancement for Florida without a win in that game. The schedule sets up well for Florida. LSU and Georgia seem as vulnerable as they’ll be for half a decade, and nobody outside of those two can put a legitimate scare into the Gators from a talent perspective. What needs to improve for Florida? An offensive line that was efficient but far from elite. Quarterback Kyle Trask could also use somebody to throw to outside of tight end Kyle Pitts.

“Mullen mocked Georgia last offseason, and Georgia came out and hit the Gators in the mouth.”  Let’s hope 2020 can say, “hold my beer”.

11 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

Working from the Jeff Long playbook

I don’t understand why, given how badly the Beaty buyout kerfuffle turned out, but South Florida’s athletic brain trust seems bound and determined to give the same approach a whirl.

South Florida is interviewing former assistant coaches to see if former Bulls head coach Charlie Strong knowingly permitted any analysts or quality control personnel to conduct impermissible hands-on coaching, multiple sources told FootballScoop.

Sources said NCAA representatives joined USF compliance staffers in the interviews with former Bulls coaches.

The sources felt South Florida is engaging in an after-the-fact attempt to get out from under Strong’s contractually-obligated buyout in order to help with a coronavirus-induced budget crunch.

Strong was fired without cause in December after posting a 4-8 record in the 2019 season. He has since taken a defensive analyst position at Alabama.

The sources said South Florida has spoken with former assistants on both sides of the ball in an attempt to acquire damning testimony against the Bulls’ former head coach…

As with all coaching contracts, the terms of Strong’s deal gave USF the ability to terminate his contract “for cause” in the event of any NCAA violations…

Opening yourself up to an NCAA investigation to get rid of a buyout seems like a really stupid self-own, but, hey, an AD’s gotta do what an AD’s gotta do.

Oh, yeah.  There’s a punchline — with these guys, there’s always a punchline.

What is peculiar is that multiple sources said South Florida AD Michael Kelly and USF compliance staffers regularly attended multiple practices per week, meaning any possible violations would have been clearly visible to all at the time.

That’s gonna be an awfully narrow needle hole to thread, my dudes.  Knock yourselves out.

7 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, See You In Court, The NCAA

Mississippi, burned

I imagine this will get somebody’s attention.

Notice that Sankey is tiptoeing right up to the edge (“consideration of precluding”) without quite going over it.  Can the state take a strong hint from his “don’t make me go there, folks”?

Then again, it’s not like they haven’t heard it before.

Oh, and by the way, Greg, if you’re hunting state flags based on Confederate designs…

24 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, SEC Football