Daily Archives: July 31, 2020

(Some) asses in the seats

If you’re making fans wear masks in Sanford Stadium, that must mean you’re allowing them in to see games.

Greg McGarity says Georgia football has “a great plan” for fan attendance at Sanford Stadium that’s in its final stages before release.

Well, some of them, anyway.

The Bulldogs are expected to announce an attendance plan that would allow for between 18,000 to 30,000 socially-distanced fans, pending local health legislation, CDC recommendations and SEC directives.

Let’s see… 18-30,000 allowed in… 92,746 full capacity… subtract the seven, carry the one… hey, that’s a lot of Georgia fans who won’t be able to watch!  I wonder who will be left out in the cold?

Parents of players, major donors and UGA students would be prioritized in the Bulldogs’ scheduling plan, according to sources with knowledge of the plan discussions.

Seat reduction will carry over into the skyboxes and press boxes, as well as general seating.  [Emphasis added.]

It’s not too late to get those Magill Society donations in, Dawg fans.

58 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“The association is brazen in its requests.”

I wouldn’t expect anything less than brazen from the NCAA as to NIL rights.

The governing body of college athletics is asking for lawmakers to grant it antitrust protection, preemption from differing state NIL laws and to allow it to craft all rules on athlete compensation.

And, a pony.

Hey, if you don’t ask…

6 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

A few thoughts on the SEC’s scheduling call

First off, it’s hard to argue with Ross Dellenger’s take on why the SEC chose to play an all-conference schedule.

… Why try to squeeze in out-of-conference affairs during a pandemic? It puts even more risk on your teams—injuries, viral outbreaks, etc. The goal is to complete a conference season and crown a conference champion. It’s easier to do that without intertwining these non-conference games.

Also, the league basically ran out of Saturdays, as Florida AD Scott Stricklin aptly put it Thursday during a news conference. The SEC is kicking off its new season on Sept. 26, three weeks later than previously scheduled. It has built in a mid-season bye week for each team (spread over a three-week stretch, according to commissioner Greg Sankey), and there is a shared off week of Dec. 12 for any games interrupted by virus outbreaks (there almost certainly will be some). They’ve also pushed the championship game back to Dec. 19.

Where it all starts, though, is putting off play until that September 26 date, which looks to be later than any other conference, at least for now.  Andy Staples ($$) explains what might be the thinking behind that choice.

By starting on Sept. 26, administrators at SEC schools can watch two full NFL game weekends to attempt to discern the best way to go about trying to play games. They also may get a look at some college games. Oklahoma and Kansas have scheduled non-conference games for Aug. 29 — pending any Big 12 scheduling decisions — and the ACC plans to start playing the same week as the NFL (that Saturday is Sept. 12). The delay will give SEC leaders more data to make an informed decision about how exactly the season should work or if it should start at all.

Also,

… During an interview on The Paul Finebaum Show, Sankey suggested that the surge of students returning to campus next month was a big reason why. “Over the last two weeks of August, we are going to have tens of thousands of people back on our campuses. We need to make sure that happens and happens well,” he said.

The league’s medical experts advised officials to delay the season to (1) monitor what happens in the professional leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) and (2) account for spikes when students arrive on campus and football camp begins.

In other words, simply announcing a schedule doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods yet.

Besides that, though, the late start has its own set of issues.

Also, the league basically ran out of Saturdays, as Florida AD Scott Stricklin aptly put it Thursday during a news conference. The SEC is kicking off its new season on Sept. 26, three weeks later than previously scheduled. It has built in a mid-season bye week for each team (spread over a three-week stretch, according to commissioner Greg Sankey), and there is a shared off week of Dec. 12 for any games interrupted by virus outbreaks (there almost certainly will be some). They’ve also pushed the championship game back to Dec. 19.

That’s what killed the ACC rivalry games for most of the SEC East.  Sankey is hoping that they’ve created enough breaks in the schedule to provide schools with enough mid-season flexibility to weather any COVID storms that may come up, but that meant something had to give, as Stricklin noted.  Whether that actually works is something we’ll just have to wait and see.

So, it’s fair to say that one primary motivation for the league was to maintain as much control over the schedule as the pandemic might allow.  Another… well, you can probably guess another:

A conference-only slate accomplishes two other things that people haven’t discussed enough, both involving money. It provides television partners with juicy marquee conference collisions on a weekly basis and it supplies colleges with a potential way out of their “buy game” contracts. At least two SEC ADs tell SI that their contracts feature a clause allowing them to void the deal if the league office changes the scheduling format. This is significant, as these “buy games” can cost schools upwards of $3 million in a single season. That’s not to say these games against Group of 5 and FCS teams won’t be rescheduled for later in the decade. It’s to say these teams (barring a court battle, which is possible) won’t immediately get their money.

Hardly surprising.

Which brings me to the final topic of this post.  And it’s got real potential to be a mess.

Screenshot_2020-07-31 (1) Brandon Marcello on Twitter Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek says longtime SEC administrator Mark Woma[...]

Mess might be too low key a description there, now that I think about it.  Unleash the SEC-‘Bama conspiracy talk!

Marcello writes that the conference already has a few scenarios gamed out.

The Southeastern Conference has already set its schedule.

Now it’s just a matter of which of several versions the league’s 14 athletic directors will approve in the coming days, an industry source told 247Sports on Thursday.

“Schedules are ready,” the source said. “Just have to decide which one the conference ants to use.”

There are more than three models up for discussion among the SEC’s athletic directors. The athletic directors are scheduled to meet Friday, but it’s not clear if they will vote at that time, a separate SEC source said.

Staples speculates about meshing money and scheduling:

If the SEC wanted to improve its television product to ensure the biggest possible payout from partners ESPN and CBS — remember, no one is worried about selling out stadiums this fall — then Georgia (which plays Alabama and Auburn but not LSU) would get LSU added to the schedule and Florida (which plays LSU but not Alabama or Auburn) would get the Iron Bowl duo added to its schedule. That would create the most optimal matchups from a national viewership standpoint, but it also would righteously tick off the people at the league’s best programs because they drew the toughest matchups. Expect a more egalitarian distribution of games, even if that isn’t necessarily the best thing for the bottom line.

Egalitarian, eh?  All I can say about that is this had better be the hill Greg McGarity is prepared to die on.  If Georgia has to give up the Tech rivalry and doesn’t at least get a tougher Florida schedule out of the deal, that will not be a happy outcome for me.

49 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

McGarity haz a sad.

Shot.

On a personal level, do you feel anything emotional about the fact a rivalry game is being sacrificed?

McGarity: “Sure. That game means so much to everyone and it’s just unfortunate that it was affected. But there is so much change going on in today’s word and we need to be ready to expect the unexpected. It just happened it was not able to be worked out. It’s unfortunate, but we look forward to resuming the rivalry in 2021 and we’ll just go from there.”

Any chance of going rogue and still play Georgia Tech just to keep the rivalry going?

McGarity: “There’s a mandate that we play 10 games. You have two open weeks. You’ve got one in the middle of the season that everybody has an open date on the 12th. I don’t think Kirby would be too excited to play 10 SEC games and then play Tech the week before hopefully, if we do well this year, to be in Atlanta. It’s unfortunate. It’s just the way everything fell. We’ll move forward and renew the rivalry next year.”

How hard is it to wrap your head around the Georgia Tech game not happening?

McGarity: “It’ll probably sink in here the next couple days. It’s unfortunate. And you’re seeing it really around college athletes this year. There’s so many abnormal situatios that are in play that will certainly create a lot of disappointment and unfortunate. It’ll just have to be an open year. I’d have to look back on other rivalries and see if there were times when certain rivalries didn’t paly. The pandemic has just created so many oddities that a lot of things are almost out of your control. It’s just one of the things that are unfortunate when you’re in a situation like that. It’s just unfortunate.”

Chaser.

Screenshot_2020-07-31 Josh Kendall on Twitter South Carolina BOT member Chuck Allen tells TheAthleticCFB SEC vote was 13-1 [...]

Yeah, he’s really choked up about it.

48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Can Monken’s past tell us anything about Monken’s future?

So, I watched this clip yesterday:

I couldn’t help but wonder what substituting Newman for Weeden and Pickens for Blackmon might look like.  (Yes, I know that Monken was the OC for only one of their seasons, but still…)

But the biggest thing I took away from it was how good Monken was at scheming OSU’s best receiver open on a bunch of those throws.  A blogger can dream, can’t he?

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Anybody up for some more Newman porn?

Hubba hubba.

Screenshot_2020-07-31 PFF College on Twitter Passing grade when throwing into a tight window 1 Joe Burrow - 81 7 2 Jamie Ne[...]

That’s some nice company to keep right there.

2 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Today, in false bravado

I have two outstanding candidates for your consideration.  First, from the Flats…

Screenshot_2020-07-31 Kelly Quinlan on Twitter madmatt20022002 GTToddStansbury GT has won 2 of 3 in Sanford stadium and sho[...]

Screenshot_2020-07-31 Kelly Quinlan on Twitter WSLSpodcast Why are you ppl so obsessive about that It’s about money of havi[...]

Then, from your Daily Gator on meth, in response to McGarity’s rationale for playing Florida in Jacksonville this season

Screenshot_2020-07-31 MULLEN 🐐 on Twitter Kirby and them shaking Much different tone than Coach O “we’ll play in a pasture[...](1)

Lord, Kirby Smart ain’t perfect, but he must be doing something right.

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Grifting, grifting, grifting

Less than three weeks, from start to finish:

Screenshot_2020-07-31 Tony Gerdeman on Twitter Snake oil https t co smljfZsvFz Twitter

Screenshot_2020-07-31 Tony Gerdeman on Twitter Snake oil https t co smljfZsvFz Twitter(1)

Screenshot_2020-07-31 Tony Gerdeman on Twitter Snake oil https t co smljfZsvFz Twitter(2)

Clay Travis is doing his damnedest to live up to the principle that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

(h/t)

8 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

There’s a fine line between confidence and delusion.

And ULM’s athletic director is striding right up to that sucker.

Screenshot_2020-07-31 Steve Berkowitz on Twitter ULM was set for $3 15 million combined from Georgia and Arkansas It had $1[...]

As we like to say here at the blog, “productive” is doing a shit ton of heavy lifting there.  Good luck with that, Scott.  Hope you’ve got a good lawyer.

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

UPDATE:  There may be more than one way to skin that productive cat.

Have you had any initial talks with Virginia about getting them on for another year?

McGarity: “Well Carla (Williams) did call me yesterday after the ACC vote. I said, Carla we are not coming to Virginia, let’s just make sure that’s very clear, we are not coming up to Charlottesville to play as your plus-one. But no, Josh Brooks has reached out to East Tennessee State and ULM today, and we talked to them earlier, just asking them to be patient. Perhaps a future schedule, we just haven’t gone down that road yet to see if we have any openings. We’re kind of full. I haven’t gone down my schedule yet but we don’t have a lot of openings. So we’ll just have to let the legal experts work through that and see what flexibility we have, or if we have flexibility with Josh Lee and our schedules moving forward to maybe work that into the schedule.”

Or not.

2 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

“They’re not dead yet, but they definitely will die.”

The least surprising thing I’ve learned in the wake of the news about the death of Harvey Updyke is that he named his son Bear.

10 Comments

Filed under Alabama