Daily Archives: June 24, 2020

Gators Breakdown

An hour’s worth of debate about Florida or Georgia as the winner of the SEC East can be listened to here.

Basically, if you’re a Florida fan, you’ll talk the schedule and the offenses.  Georgia’s defense is more a subject worth ignoring.

I keep coming back to one thing — Georgia, with a terrible offense, beat Florida last year.  With my standard turnover caveat in mind, it seems to me for Florida to win this season, its offense is going to have to improve from last season more than Georgia’s defense does.

14 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Your 6.24.20 Playpen

Forget being serious with this Playpen.  Gawd knows we could all use some distractions about now.  Share with the group any books, TV shows, movies, music, cooking, etc. that have helped you cope with reality this last month or so.

180 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

College sports’ top grifter

All one can do is laugh.

Only a handful, eh?

19 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football

Reports of the demise of the Alabama dynasty may be premature.

If Georgia gets the “Florida’s closing the gap!” narrative thrown in its face on a regular basis, I have to say ‘Bama gets some of the same treatment.  And, sure, 2019 was a comparative downer, as the Tide finished with two regular season losses for the first time in a while and missed the SECCG to boot, but when you’re projected to have five of the conference’s ten best players (with two more on the “Also Considered” list), you’re not exactly washed up yet.

24 Comments

Filed under Alabama, SEC Football

Grading on the curve

With most coaches, we talk about a second-year bounce if they know what they’re doing, but considering that Jeremy Pruitt’s second season started out 1-4, with losses at home to Georgia Southern State and BYU, and finished with a six-game winning streak against a bunch that included a Sun Belt squad and two P5 schools that played in minor bowl games, it appears the media is willing to give the man a mulligan.

SEC: Tennessee

Odds to win SEC Championship: +10000

Why it’s undervalued: The SEC East has been the Florida-Georgia show as of late. The Bulldogs and Gators have won the last five divisional titles, all while Tennessee has either fallen short or been in rebuild mode. With Florida and Georgia being the favorites out of the East in 2020, don’t overlook Tennessee as a longshot. Whereas Kentucky has overachieved in the past two seasons — a credit to coach Mark Stoops — Tennessee is still looking for its breakout.

Reason for optimism: The talent Coach Jeremy Pruitt has stockpiled is impressive. The Vols have a legit offensive line with a nice mix of proven veterans and young but promising tackles (Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright were SEC All-Freshman selections). The quarterback room is led by Jarrett Guarantano who, despite his ups and downs, has been good enough but there’s more upside behind him with blue-chip freshman Harrison Bailey. If there’s a Year 3 jump, it’s in part because of the guys Pruitt has recruited.

Question mark: Who’s going to be the breakout star? Top receivers Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway are gone so there’s a lot of room for a freshman or sophomore to fill the void — and the Vols have a bevy of talent waiting in the wings. Also, can sophomore running back Eric Gray take the next step after a strong finish to last season? There are a lot of possibilities for this offense.

Schedule: It’s hard — the early-season trip to Oklahoma sets the tone — but there are opportunities for the Vols to be a CHAOS TEAM in SEC play. Florida, Missouri, Kentucky and Alabama all come to Knoxville. If Pruitt improves upon last year’s seven-win regular season with Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma on the schedule — all four could be vying for playoff spots at the end of the season — that will say a lot about the direction of the program.

I count two “if”s and one “a lot of possibilities” in four paragraphs.  In particular, the “if” in that last sentence is doing some heavy, heavy lifting.  Eh, if it doesn’t work out, that just puts the fourth-year bounce in play.

13 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Moving the goal posts

Greg Sankey hedges.  Not that that’s a bad thing under the circumstances.

On Monday, Sankey joined The Rich Eisen Show to talk about college football in 2020. Sankey said that he thinks by late July, the SEC will know whether or not it is playing college football this year.

“I think that’s probably a late-July time period. My thinking has shifted a bit,” Sankey said. “We started June 8 after a two-week oversight, diagnostic medical exam period for these voluntary activities. We’ll have three or four weeks — on the 13th of July is when a little bit more practice can begin. I think we deserve the chance to see how that progresses. I would say before we get into full-blown practice, you’re going to be in that decision-making process as it relates to what happens on Labor Day weekend, which is the scheduled start of the season.”

Given the most recent news out of Texas and the fact that two conference teams are playing neutral site games in that state as their openers, there’s nothing wrong with holding off as long as possible on making that kind of decision.

9 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple

The SEC’s not so Year of the Quarterback

As much as we mock Kyle Trask, I have to say I do get some of the praise thrown his way.  Last season was the first time in his career he was asked to be the week in, week out starter and he didn’t spit the bit, finishing in the top three in the conference in passer rating.  He’s got a coach who, again, despite the mockery, does a good job of playing to his skill set.  So, while I’m not proclaiming he’s on track for a Heisman-type season, he’s more than functional at his position.

One reason for the hype he’s getting is because the competition from his conference peers is so modest.  While I get why Trask is praised, you know whom I don’t get the praise for?  This guy.

TEXAS A&M

BCR: 50 percent

Quarterback: Fighter Pilot

Kellen Mond is as dumbfounding as any quarterback in the country. In the span of consecutive plays, his play can vacillate between No. 1 pick and undraftable. But the upside is why he’s in the fighter pilot category to me. If things click this fall, Mond has the ability to lead Texas A&M wherever it wants to go. Of course, this fighter pilot could also crash the jet into the side of the mountain but at least he’s got the tools to fly it.

Here are Mond’s passer ratings (conference rank in parenthesis) in three years as a starter in the SEC:

  • 2017:  108.76 (13th)
  • 2018:  134.98 (10th)
  • 2019:  131.11 (7th)

I’m not seeing a helluva lot of No. 1 pick in there.  And keep in mind he’s being coached by one of the supposedly great quarterback whisperers in college football.  Just to remind you, Trask, who is referred to in the same article as a “bus driver”, finished with a passer rating 25 points higher than Mond.

Oh, and here’s one more example of why this year’s crop of SEC quarterbacks is less than impressive.

Jarrett Guarantano.  Jarrett Guarantano.

Meet the other side of the Guarantano coin.

So, yeah, I get the pundit love for Trask.  My money is still on Costello for first team All-SEC by seasons’ end, though.

10 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

How does Marco Rubio’s NIL bill suck?

Let Matt Brown count the ways.

If you’re looking for the obvious tell as to whom Rubio seeks to serve with his bill, look no further than here:

If the practice of prohibiting an athlete from owning and monetizing their name, image and likeness is unjust, then it stands to reason that it would be unjust for everybody, not just NCAA athletes . Florida’s bill, for example, extends protections to every college student, including players at junior colleges and NAIA institutions.

From Rubio’s bill:

(4) INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION.—The term ‘‘intercollegiate athletic association’’— 15 (A) means— 16 (i) the National Collegiate Athletic 17 Association (or any successor organization); and 19 (ii) any intercollegiate athletic association that the Commission determines is 21 similar in purpose and scope to the association described in clause (i), subject to 23 subparagraph (B); and 24 (B) does not include the National Junior 25 College Athletic Association (or any successor 3 SIL20711 S.L.C. 62F Y9 YNM 1 organization) or the National Association of 2 Intercollegiate Athletics (or any successor organization).

This clause makes me think Senator Rubio does not see NIL control as a civil rights issue, or a rights issue at all, but as a concern specific to the NCAA governing structure.

‘Ya think?

4 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

“This year the idea of a road game might not mean anything.”

Pete Fiutak discusses the over/under on Georgia’s win total for this season.  It’s a good, quick listen.

I got a chuckle out of the question about the Auburn game at the end of that clip.  You’re not alone, buddy.  Most of us still wonder about that, too.

3 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

89 down, 4 to go

Everyone on the roster has reported, which means things are a bit too crowded in the Georgia locker room right now.

Georgia football released its updated roster on Tuesday, and there weren’t many surprises.

At least, not yet.

Georgia has to get down to 85 players on scholarship at some point, and the current roster reflects 89, so attrition is a given.

Sounds like the transfer portal is about to be activated.  Nothing like getting the boot in the midst of a pandemic.  Roster management ain’t pretty sometimes.

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football