Daily Archives: July 7, 2020

Gus Malzahn, the quarterback whisperer

The next time some Auburn fan starts chirping about the next Heisman Trophy candidate popping up at his school, shove David Hale in his face.

The list of high-profile recruits to land in Malzahn’s lap over the years is a pretty long one: Mitch Mustain, Jeremy Johnson, Sean White, Woody Barrett, Jarrett Stidham and Joey Gatewood were all ESPN300 prospects. None developed into a star under Malzahn, whose best season came with converted cornerback Nick Marshall.

Sure sounds like that bodes well for Bo Nix.  So does this:

Screenshot_2020-07-07 😷💫🅰️♈️🆔😷 on Twitter Gus Malzahn has coached 7 ESPN300 QBs in his career He’s never had 1 throw 2[...]

Ooh, baby.

18 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Another Georgia Bulldog point of pride

UGA’s College of Public Health, doing the Lord’s work:

Light to moderate drinking may preserve brain function in older age, according to a new study from the University of Georgia.

The study examined the link between alcohol consumption and changes in cognitive function over time among middle-aged and older adults in the U.S.

“Light to moderate drinking” is defined as 10 to 14 drinks a week.  No wonder I feel as sharp as ever.

(h/t)

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, I'll Drink To That, Science Marches Onward

Playing the Jimmies and Joes

A DawgStats chart:

Screenshot_2020-07-07 DawgStats on Twitter Wrote a quick blog for tomorrow for BD_illustrated after getting 2020 rosters in[...]

That’s a lot of games with talent the Dawgs are taking on in 2020.  Yeah, if they make it through the SEC slate with only one loss, they’re playing in the CFP.  Hell, all fourteen SEC teams made his list.

Hey, where’s Clemson?

************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Josh elaborates here.

6 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

COVID “morality”

Pete Fiutak offers what I think is a good rebuttal to the “they’re young and at the peak of their health, so why shut down?” line of thought:

Yeah, but there’s something different about college football in a that’s-someone’s-son sort of way.

Are you 1000% certain that every player who gets this won’t have any lingering, life-altering effects?

Are you 1000% certain that some NFL talent won’t see his lung capacity decrease by just enough to keep him from being at the elite level he needs to play at?

Are you 1000% certain that no player will die from COVID-19 if a season is played like normal?

Even if you believe this is all overblown and the media is pedaling fear porn, the reality is that when people get this, things shut down. You might not agree, and you might think it’s an overreaction, but that’s the deal.

Also, remember, there’s one gaping difference here between college football and the pro sports. The college football players don’t have any representation.

Pro athletes have a union, agents, and people getting paid a whole lot of money to look out for their best interests. If there’s a collectively bargained agreement, then the players have to trust that the people in charge are trying to keep them safe.

College football players don’t have that, so there’s a massive moral problem when unpaid – we can get into the whole compensation side another time – athletes are taking a health risk for the love of the game.

On top of that, we’re talking about entertainment.  These aren’t people keeping open a vital section of the economy.  They’re a pleasant distraction (admittedly, something we could all use these days).  And before you tell me about all the little people whose jobs depend on football being played, when the surrounding economy is still down, what jobs are you talking about?

We’re asking a lot of these kids and not promising much in return.  Certainly not as much as the suits stand to gain…

107 Comments

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

Updated depth chart

Jake Rowe has updated his 2020 offensive depth chart for the Dawgs here.  His big surprise, if you want to call it that, is projecting true freshman Broderick Jones as the starting right tackle, but there are a couple of other interesting tidbits scattered in there.

At tight end:

1. Tre’ McKitty (Grad.)

2. John FitzPatrick (RSoph.)

3. Ryland Goede (RFr.)/Brett Seither (RFr.)/Darnell Washington (Fr.)

One of the challenges the offense faces this spring is getting McKitty comfortable in the offense. He has been on campus for about three weeks and will have to be a quick study when it comes to Monken’s scheme. UGA also has to build some reliable depth at this spot. McKitty isn’t your traditional inline tight end so FitzPatrick might fill that role early in the season. Washington is going to be tough to keep off the field while Goede just has to stay healthy. Seither is an athletic option but has a similar skillset to McKitty so it might be tough for him to find snaps.

For a position we almost take for granted — just like Coley! — there’s actually a fair amount to unpack there.  That they need McKitty ready to go from the jump, and Washington being something of a raw talent, leads me to think this might be the spot set back most by no spring practice.

On a more hopeful note, Rowe has this to say about one of the true freshman receivers:  “(Arian) Smith has been turning heads since voluntary workouts began and may be a little further along in his development than we originally thought. He’s worth keeping a close eye on early in the year.”  Smith is a blazer, but was perceived to need more time to polish his game.  If he’s ready early, the thought of him and Newman’s big arm on the same page could really be something.

Thoughts?

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“… it’s not trending the way we were hoping it would.”

Procrastination has its limits.

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb throughout the country, the level of concern among college football’s decision-makers has risen, too, but the Power 5 conference leaders have told ESPN they still aren’t ready to make any major changes to the sport’s calendar, instead targeting the end of July to determine if the season can start on time.

“We said from the onset of this pandemic that circumstances around the virus would guide our decision-making, and it is clear recent developments related to COVID-19 have not been trending in the right direction,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement provided Monday to ESPN. “There are important decisions to be made in the coming weeks, and by late July there should be more clarity about the fall season. In the meantime, our athletics programs will continue to effectively manage the health and safety of our student-athletes as they continue voluntary activities on their respective campuses.”

It’s not that I blame the people in charge of the sport for being cautious and prudent.  Considering how little we knew about the pandemic in March, cancelling in the short run and waiting until the ground was firmer was the sensible thing to do.  The problem is we’re four months down the road and the only plan they’ve got is to keep kicking the can.

One FBS commissioner, who spoke candidly to ESPN on the condition of anonymity, took it a step further.

“I’m very concerned,” the commissioner said. “For so long, we’ve been saying we had time and things were going to change and we were very hopeful. I’m still hopeful that we have college football, I’m just more pessimistic that we won’t have it on time. I don’t see us starting on time at this point. One day I thought, ‘I better look at the calendar,’ because I felt like it was March 11 again.”

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Monday that until the conference is told to stop by local health or government officials, it will continue to put “one foot in front of the other.”

“I think you’d have to not be paying attention if you haven’t noticed the trends are not positive, but the campuses are learning how to coexist with the virus, and so they’re learning more about the testing, and about how you go about managing it,” Bowlsby said. “We haven’t been told by public health officials or our local doctors or our scientific consultants that we should stop doing what we’re doing. My feeling is you just keep putting one foot in front of the other until you’re advised it’s a bad idea. When we get that advice, obviously the safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff is first. When we’re told, ‘This just isn’t going to work out,’ obviously nobody is going to be resisting that … but they haven’t said that to us yet.”

Hope ain’t a plan, fellas.  And if this meant to be reassuring…

Regardless of how the season unfolds, College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said, “The CFP will be ready for whatever comes down,” but he declined to discuss any hypothetical situations or potential contingency plans for the postseason.

… best go back to the drawing board.

13 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

The NCAA goes all in.

Given its track record in antitrust legislation, you’d think the NCAA might go a little slow on its Alston appeal, but, nah.

The NCAA on Monday said it will ask the Supreme Court to take up a case in which a district judge and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled that the NCAA cannot have association-wide limits on education-related benefits that college athletes can receive.

The NCAA, along with its 11 major-conference co-defendants, made the disclosure in a filing that asks the 9th Circuit to stay an injunction issued in March 2019 by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken. Wilken’s injunction is set to take effect soon after the 9th Circuit formally mandates that it go forward, a step that is scheduled Wednesday.

While Monday’s filing is not the NCAA’s formal petition to the high court — that will not be due until Oct. 15 — it provides the contours of the association’s arguments for why the justices should hear the case and overturn the decisions made so far. The NCAA contends that the 9th Circuit’s decision conflicts with decisions of the Supreme Court and other federal appellate courts and deals with “an important question of law.”

My favorite part of the reasoning advanced for the decision is this:

With regard to conflicts with prior Supreme Court rulings, the NCAA mainly points to the high court’s decision in NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, a case relating to control of football television rights that the high court decided in 1984.  The NCAA lost that case, but…

“The NCAA lost that case, but…” will make the perfect epitaph for the Mark Emmert era.

4 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Two morning takes

I’ve got a couple of tweets for you to peruse.

One, is Georgia too high or too low here?

Screenshot_2020-07-07 Rich Cirminiello on Twitter These will be the toughest secondaries to throw on in 2020 12 Cincinnati [...]

Second probably deserves to occupy a Daily Gator post, but what the hey…

Screenshot_2020-07-07 Rich Cirminiello on Twitter Who's got the best HC QB combo in CFB Here's my top 10 10 Mississippi Sta[...]

It’s not Florida ranking below Georgia that puzzles me.  It’s Florida ranking ahead of Oklahoma that does.  Your thoughts?

(h/t)

10 Comments

Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

On the same page

Given all the recent data showing an explosion of coronavirus contagion among younger people who apparently haven’t been using good judgment with regard to social distancing and mask usage, I was a little surprised that the initial plan from the University System was to ignore it all once school started.  Well, more than surprised, irritated.  Teenagers being teenagers, what good will trying to keep the players healthy do, if they’re exposed to their peers on a daily basis?

Fortunately, somebody seems to have come to their senses.

Screenshot_2020-07-07 UGA on Twitter “Effective July 15, 2020, University System of Georgia (USG) institutions will require[...]

Sure, it’s not a cure or even a guarantee that nobody gets sick.  But at least they’re not working at cross purposes with the football program.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Crap, another one of *those* posts

A few years ago, if you’d told me a virus that killed over 100,000 Americans in less than six months would be the most divisive topic ever on this blog, I would have thought you were kidding.  I mean, what could arouse more useless heat that Richtophobe vs. Richtophile?

Shows what I know.

Here’s my problem.  Like it or not, COVID-19 is having an enormous impact on college football and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future.  I can’t ignore it here.  But after watching the avalanche of irrelevant, yet impassioned, takes on yesterday’s post about the possibility of football being postponed until next spring, I realize that some of you have no brakes on the subject.

Sure, there were a few on topic comments, but they were drowned out by a deluge of stat battles, media bashing, political whining and “mine is the superior world view” smugness.  It’s not like there was a single new concept introduced, either.  People seem to think if they say “we have to go live our lives” often enough, the readership here will eventually come around to 100% agreement with them.  That typically isn’t how repetition works, as I observed a few years ago:

Quit grinding things into the ground.  I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but repeating the exact same thing ad nauseam doesn’t win you any converts.  People aren’t growing tired of coming here because they’re intimidated by your towering intellect.  It’s because they know what’s coming and don’t want to see it again.  And again.  If you can’t find an original way to express yourself – and Gawd knows, it’s not like I don’t give you plenty of opportunities to find new angles to analyze the issues – hold your tongue.  Trust me, we won’t forget where you stand.

I don’t care how you live your life (nor should you care how I live mine), and I’ve reached the point where I’ve had enough of watching the comments section go down the toilet like it did yesterday. It’s especially irritating because the Playpen exists for the express purpose of letting y’all have your say to your heart’s content.  For some selfish reason, that’s not enough for some of you.

I came very close last night to instituting a mandatory registration for commenting, which would require you to furnish me with a legitimate email address in order to comment, but I’ve decided on another tack for the time being.

My timeout threat seems to have had a good effect on reducing personal insults, so I’ve decided to expand its purpose.  You go off-topic in a comment thread, you get one Playpen warning.  Do it again and your posting privileges will be suspended.  Don’t take the warning as being specific to whatever subject you broached to generate it; if you go off the reservation, it doesn’t matter which direction you take.

Keep it in your pants until Wednesday seems like a more than reasonable basis for posting here.  If you can’t control yourself, either find a message board where you can coax your mortal enemy into following so you can wank endlessly with yourselves or expect to be shut down here.  I promise you’ll get exactly the respect here for your posts that they deserve.

42 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff