Daily Archives: July 30, 2020

Tradition in a time of pandemic

In case you’re wondering…

30 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Woke

NCAA gesture:

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rules to allow student-athletes in all sports to wear patches on their uniforms for commemorative and memorial purposes, as well as to support social justice issues.

Is advocating for NIL compensation for college athletes a social justice issue?  Asking for an underpaid friend…

51 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

How’s that SEC Year of the Quarterback narrative going?

I, uh, dunno about this list, guys.

Screenshot_2020-07-30 SEC Mike on Twitter SEC QBs named to 2020 Manning Award Watch List Kyle Trask, Sr , Florida Bo Nix, S[...]

Maybe the Manning family has extra time on its hands with COVID and all to follow a few more players this season.

11 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

‘Is there anyone we can pay to write positive stories?’

Larry Scott, media genius, at work.

The Pac-12 Conference had a publicity problem.

The conference was in deep distress in 2018. It was drowning in negative sentiment after an embarrassing instant-replay scandal in college football. The Pac-12′s basketball programs were coming off a winless showing in the men’s NCAA Tournament. And commissioner Larry Scott’s prized Pac-12 Network was stuck in distribution purgatory, still unavailable to large swaths of frustrated fans.

Said one longtime Pac-12 staffer: “We were incredibly desperate.”

The Pac-12 hired a high-profile crisis-management firm. The conference began working from a 34-page printed manual The Oregonian/OregonLive reported in 2019 — a playbook that directed the conference to “seek to identify positive voices that could shift the conversation.”

That plan further instructed the conference to “expand upon media partnerships” with two primary media platforms — the Los Angeles Times and The Players’ Tribune. According to emails and other documents, the conference struck a deal in 2018 with the Los Angeles Times that aimed to steer $100,000 in advertising to the newspaper in exchange for an expansion in conference coverage…

The Oregonian/OregonLive has obtained internal communications from both the Pac-12 and Los Angeles Times that reveal new details of the partnership. The Pac-12, which long denied there was a formalized agreement, for the first time now acknowledges it signed a contract to provide advertising revenue to The Times.

We interviewed more than a dozen insiders over the last 18 months, including Times president Chris Argentieri and executive editor Norman Pearlstine, who reached out early in the investigation expressing a desire to tell his side of the story.

Said Pearlstine a year ago: “Don’t let the Pac-12 speak for me.”

Pearlstine is now declining comment.

Emails, memos, and a human resources grievance show how the Pac-12 promised special access for the LA Times reporter and how the partnership set off alarm bells inside the news organization.

Unbelievable?  No.  Shameful?  Yes.  Especially you, LA Times.

9 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Pac-12 Football

Another thought about Newman

Jake Rowe argues in this piece that Kirby Smart knew he had some fixin’ to do to Georgia’s offense after last season and took three specific steps to do so:

  1. Hire Todd Monken.
  2. Sign Jamie Newman.
  3. Recruit a top-notch receivers group.

About Monken, Rowe says,

Monken has looked for balance during his career, but if he favors one offensive element over the other, it’s the passing game. His offense contains influences from the air raid scheme. He’ll throw to set up the run if necessary, and he’ll throw to win. In his previous stop as an offensive coordinator at a Power 5 program, at Oklahoma State in 2011 and 2012, his offenses ranked in the top 10 nationally in passing yards per game.

In 2011, the Cowboys ranked No. 2 in that category, piling up 387.2 yards per contest with Brandon Weeden under center. They slipped to seventh in 2012 with a still-impressive 331 yards per game despite having three quarterbacks with more than 100 attempts on the year.

Monken went from Stillwater to Southern Miss, where he inherited a team that had gone winless the year before he arrived. By his third year, the Golden Eagles were in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, finishing with a 9–5 record behind a 4,000-yard passer (Nick Mullens), a 1,300-yard receiver (Michael Thomas), and two 1,000-yard rushers (Jalen Richard and Ito Smith).

Georgia is hoping for similar results and, more specifically, more explosive plays. The Bulldogs finished 70th nationally in scrimmage plays of 20 yards or more with just 58 in 14 games, and Monken will try to remedy that with graduate transfer Jamie Newman or former USC signal-caller JT Daniels at quarterback.

Notice he did all of that without a running quarterback.  Which leads to what Rowe writes about Newman:

Newman, a 6’4″, 230-pound run-pass threat, gives the Bulldogs something they have never had — a quarterback who can thrive in the power run game. He didn’t put up video game numbers on the ground at Wake Forest, but he was incredibly effective with the designed quarterback run, amassing 575 yards and six touchdowns on 180 carries last season. In 16 career starts, he has racked up 10 touchdowns on the ground, and he’s adept through the air as well, piling up 2,868 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 61 percent passing last season.

There’s been a lot of speculation that Newman’s game at Wake will neatly translate over to Monken’s scheme, but I’m not seeing it.  Wake ran an offense that was uniquely attuned to what it had, personnel-wise:  a big quarterback with a big arm, little running back talent, a subpar offensive line and some good skill position guys at wide receiver.

That ain’t Georgia.

Screenshot_2020-07-29 Home Twitter

It’s unwise in the sense that it’s unnecessary.  And if you look at the other talent Monken has in his quarterback room, it’s hard to see why he’d want to run an offense that doesn’t suit any other player he’s got at the position.

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Short and sweet

Come for the schematic analysis used to rank the top Heisman candidates for this season.

Stay for the kill-two-birds-with-one-stone snark:  “Bo Nix faces the same problem Kyle Trask does: He just wasn’t that good last year.”

6 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Another early look at the new direction?

Seeing as this involves two things about Georgia football that invite puffery, it bears saying that it should be taken with a grain of salt, but check out the sales pitch Smart’s staff is throwing out on the recruiting trail to tight ends:

Prospects like Spurlin can modernize the TE position at UGA. That’s exactly what Hartley said to him when he offered…

But Hartley eventually started talking football.

“He told me that they are done with the hand on the ground tight end and they are looking for that flex tight end that can run routes,” Spurlin III said. “He was like it is now more of a receiver but more of a hybrid position but that’s what they are looking for and he said that I bring that to the table.”

That’s what Spurlin can do. He will be 16 in September.

“It was awesome to hear that from Coach Hartley,” he said. “The new tight ends now play a fun position to certainly watch but also to certainly play, too. It is a really important position and I’m glad to see Georgia is using it in a different way. I hope maybe I can be a part of it one day.”

I’ll believe it when I see it.  But I want to believe it.  Damn it, Monken, you shouldn’t tease me like that.

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Not sticking around

There’s one other shoe of note that dropped yesterday.

Virginia Tech will be playing the 2020 season without one of its best defensive players.

Cornerback Caleb Farley said Wednesday he won’t play in 2020 because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and will instead train for the 2021 NFL draft.

“After much consideration with my family, I have decided to opt out of the 2020 college football season and begin preparing for the 2021 NFL draft,” Farley said in a video statement. “I am opting out due to uncertain health conditions and regulations and all of the other opt outs going on in football right now. I tragically lost my mother Robin January 2, 2018 to an illness and I cannot afford to lose another parent or loved one. Though the competitor in me badly wants to play this season, I cannot ignore what’s going on in my heart and I must make the decision that brings me the most peace. Thank you, Virginia Tech — my coaches, teammates and anyone else who has supported me in the past. I wish you all the best. Stay safe, and God bless.”

Farley entered the 2020 college football season widely considered as one of the best corners in the country. He had 12 passes broken up and four interceptions in 10 games as a sophomore in 2019. He missed the final two games of the season because of a back injury and had offseason back surgery.

You probably saw Farley’s name on some preseason All-ACC teams and even some preseason All-American teams. The corner will likely be a high pick in the 2021 NFL draft even with just two years of game film. Farley had 36 tackles and two interceptions as a freshman in 2018.

My bet is that he’s just the first of several high profile players to pull the plug on 2020 college football.  What say you?

23 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Munsoning

Believe me, if there’s anyone who appreciates a labor of love in the service of Georgia football, it’s me.  So take this recommendation in the spirit it’s given.

Our man Chopdawg has been diligently putting together a website devoted to Larry Munson audio clips.  He tells me it’s still a work in progress, but there’s already plenty there to sink your teeth… er, ears into.

Take a look and send him some appreciation in the comments.  He’s earned it.

30 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

A trade off I can live with

If, in fact, the SEC does adopt a 10-game all-conference schedule, Dellenger speculates what the additions for each school might be:

Screenshot_2020-07-30 Ross Dellenger on Twitter SInow If SEC prezs vote conference-only, 2 additional SEC games could be th[...]

I know some of you would disagree, but losing an opportunity to pound Georgia Tech sucks for me.  That being said, if that game is sacrificed in service to Florida losing the one real advantage it has over Georgia this season, that’s a price I’m prepared to accept.

Needless to say, the Gators having to take on Alabama is going over well with the usual suspects.  I don’t understand the attitude.  I thought they had the best quarterback and the best offensive playcaller in the SEC.  Playing the Tide should be no sweat, amirite?

33 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, SEC Football