Monthly Archives: August 2020

2020 will be nothing if not flexible.

Literally making it up as you go along…

Of course, it would help if the powers that be actually came up with some sort of rule of thumb for when a team might cancel.  Unlike, say, this.

College athletic leaders are bracing themselves for game interruptions connected to team-wide viral outbreaks. The season has yet to start and already three scheduled openers have been delayed because of COVID-19 clusters. UL-Monroe, with nine new positive cases, moved its season opener against Troy to December. NC State and East Carolina, both recently having paused workouts for COVID issues, pushed back openers against Virginia Tech and Marshall, respectively.

Even the SEC isn’t exempt. Auburn has missed multiple days of practice for COVID-related issues and Tennessee took off a day for “a few” positive cases. Last week, LSU and Oklahoma endured significant losses at position groups because of quarantine protocols. OU was down to one player at an unnamed position, and LSU practiced with just four offensive linemen.

What if this happens during the season?

“That’s a hard one,” answers South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner. “That decision will have to be made in the coming week.”

You sound like a prepared man, Ray.

Two of the conferences intending to have play do appear to be formulating some plans for this, according to Dellenger.

However, in the Big 12 at least, the issue is in the last stages of finalization. Athletic directors are smoothing out plans recommended to them by the conference’s coaches, says Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. While nothing is final yet, conference leaders are moving toward approving a policy requiring a team to have a designated number of healthy, eligible players at each position and overall as a team—a model that could be adopted across all leagues. The SEC is exploring a similar policy.

“It’s an on-going conversation,” Bowlsby says in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “It’s got a lot of moving parts.”

One of the more favored options would mandate that a team have at least 53 total players available to play, with a minimum number at each position. The positional standards may include such requirements as one quarterback, six offensive linemen, six defensive linemen, two or three receivers and so on. Decision-makers have somewhat settled on the 53-man number based on data. The average college football team uses between 45-65 players per game.

I’m gonna beat that drum again — the teams with the advantage in 2020 are the ones with real roster depth.  That’s going to trump coaching continuity, quarterback continuity, spring practice or any other factor you care to name.  I don’t care how experienced your quarterback is, when his team is missing half of its starters due to COVID and faces another team that’s at full strength it’s gonna have a significant impact that will be tough to overcome.

17 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

Masters of marketing

Jeebus.  The cognitive dissonance of promoting the isolation of college athletes from the general student body while in the next breath swearing on a stack of bibles that amateurism is there to ensure that college athletes are wholly part of the general student body is stunning.

But the NCAA ain’t missing another sweet TV check in 2021.  They’ll deal with the fallout once the bank account gets refilled.

17 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

“Smart has simply proven that he cannot be trusted with a quarterback’s future.”

Courtesy of rabe76, here’s a post that has to be read to be believed.

And, in case you’re wondering, here’s the bio for the author, who is clearly an unbiased observer of the Georgia football program:

Screenshot_2020-08-31 Dakota Cox(1)

Fan blogs are the best.

86 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

Move on, people.

I don’t know how much of this is real and how much of it is merely AJ-C pot stirring, but either way, it’s kinda sad.

Team focus and program morale took a hit with some parents and boosters disappointed a former player was allowed to watch the closed scrimmage from within while some player parents and Magill Society Donors were turned away. Smart and UGA were in a tough spot; there was bound to be criticism no matter how the former player’s presence at the private, invitation-only event was handled.

“Team focus and program morale took a hit”?  Because some Magill folks got their fee-fees hurt?  Jeez, Kirby may not possess the level of support we thought he had.

I also love the way that Justin Fields has become He Who Cannot Be Named.  Thanks for sparing our delicate sensibilities, Mike.

39 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Doin’ that Fabris thing again

Okay, maybe I’m crazy, but I’ve gone ahead and set up the 2020 edition of the Fabris pick ’em.  Email invites have been sent to those who have participated before; if you haven’t but want to now, click here to get in on the fun.

Obviously, this year isn’t going to be much like year’s past.  For example, the first pool only has nine games to pick, and that includes two on Thursday night.  None are games involving P5 teams, either.

Once the SEC season rolls around, things will start to look more normal, but in the meantime, you can sign up and play with what we’ve got.

17 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

Musical palate cleanser, back to the well one more time again edition

I guess I’m on a little Crowded House kick.  When I posted a song of theirs last week, I came across a note that the band had cancelled its 2020 European tour because of the pandemic.

They’re coping by putting out some cuts that grew out of “practice sessions”.

Nice.  This one’s my favorite of the bunch:

On the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of Crowded House reaching #2 in the American charts, I’d like to post this video of us performing individually from home a version of Don’t Dream It’s Over. We recorded it over a few hours between continents day before yesterday. It was for the “Music From The Front Line” benefit concert in Australia / NZ. I really like the way it sounds and the process of flying tapes back and forth was fun… pure and simple… hope you enjoy too. ~ Neil

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

How’s your health?

Better get used to seeing game notes like this all season:

Neither team disclosed results of COVID-19 tests from Wednesday. The most notable absence from the game was Austin Peay wide receiver DeAngelo Wilson, a second-team AP All-American last season.

Think he might have made a difference last night?

Maybe I’m off base with this, but I have a strange feeling that depth is going to matter a whole lot more this season than missing spring practice.

13 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

Another sign, preseason practice, yada, yada, yada…

Kirby is grumpy.

Overall impressions, we’re behind. I don’t know that I’ve ever come out of a first scrimmage and felt good. I’m happy we got to scrimmage, to be honest with you. Between the injuries, Covid going on with different teams and different programs, social injustice issues that we’re dealing with in our country, and our players are dealing with, and the thoughts of those things, I’m really proud and happy that we got to go out and scrimmage. But just looking at the scrimmage as a whole we have a long way to go. We look like a team that didn’t go through a spring practice. We look like a team that is young at a lot of positions. We’re really sloppy, to be honest with you. I guess the thing I was most proud of is that it was pretty hot and they pushed really hard. And we have been harping on mental toughness and practice effort, and we really haven’t had good practice effort, and then today I thought: You know what, these guys got tired, they pushed through, we conditioned at the end of practice and they really pushed through that. So that part made me proud. Our team stuck together and pushed. But the actual execution was poor.

Well, shit.  I guess the Gators are winning the East, after all.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

A sign you know preseason practice is already in full form…

… is when Kirby Smart refers to Matt Landers as “pretty consistent”.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

You know you need this.

Today gets its own game day thread.

Austin Peay vs Central Arkansas Prediction, Line

Austin Peay 27, Central Arkansas 21
Bet on Austin Peay vs Central Arkansas with BetMGM
Central Arkansas -3.5, o/u: 46
Confidence out of 5: 3

What kind of year are we having?  Well, Fiutak gives the game a must see rating of 4 out of 5 and I can’t argue with that.  And you?

33 Comments

Filed under College Football