Daily Archives: August 3, 2020

Proud to be an American

Who says Mississippians don’t have a sense of humor?

You gotta admit that’s the polar opposite to the flag they just ditched.

29 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery

“The Todd Monken effect”

Here’s a good piece from Emerson ($$) about what Georgia’s new offensive coordinator faces.  It’s a long list, and number one on it is the question of autonomy.  It may be a closer question than you thought.

But ultimately, there is one over-hanging question: How much will it be Monken’s decision, and how much will it be Kirby Smart?

The assumption has always been that Monken, in order to come to Georgia, got assurances on the front end, unlike James Coley, who was interviewing with his own boss and thus had less leverage. But Monken was also unemployed when Smart hired him. There were other suitors, but Monken “only” got a 15-percent raise over what Coley was making at Georgia ($1.1 million vs. $950,000). So did Smart hire Monken and truly turn the offense over to him?

That’s not really clear yet, frankly.

Seth may have also contributed the best one-sentence summary of Kirby’s manball mindset I have read yet:  “Smart likes tempo, but only when it’s working.”

Best of luck, Todd.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

TFW you’re glad you can blame the rabbit’s foot

Shorter Roll Bama Roll:  Nick Saban cannot fail as a coach, he can only be failed as a coach.

11 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Nick Saban Rules

Whither #WeAreUnited?

Andy Staples ($$) makes a good point that the Pac-12 players threatening a strike have done a poor job timing it.

What’s interesting is that now isn’t the ideal time to make these demands. This time last year was. College administrators understand there may be no way to safely play a season this year — even if the players completely agreed on everything — so they’re already making contingency plans for the possibility of a year without football. Those plans are unpleasant and involve a lot of furloughs and layoffs, so the administrators are still motivated to play this season. So they should be willing to listen to the players. But they probably aren’t as willing as they would be if this came out of the blue during a year when the money train was otherwise rolling merrily along.

I would say in response, though, some of that depends on which of their demands they’re willing to go to the wall for in the short run.  Their NIL stance aside, asking for coaches and administrators to take steep pay cuts and for the conference to share half its revenues with players are both non-starters and I have to believe the players know that.

Some of the other stuff, though, resonates.  Here’s what one of the instigators said about what motivated him ($$):

Cal offensive lineman Jake Curhan already had concerns about playing college football during the COVID-19 pandemic. Then he read a June 30 CBS Sports article in which a University of Illinois computer science professor predicted that 30-50 percent of the nation’s FBS players would get infected with COVID-19 this season — and that three to seven players would die.

“That’s not something that made me concerned for myself,” Curhan told The Athletic on Sunday. “I just know how frustrated I would have been had I seen any conference or team statement about it offering condolences, where they may very well have had access to these same studies and more. That was the moment when I said, OK, I needed to talk to some of my teammates.”

COVID is college football’s fault line, as Staples says here:

… Power 5 college football is the only major American sport trying to get back to playing that has no real mechanism for negotiating with players. Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL couldn’t create plans to restart during the pandemic without each respective players union’s approval. The college players understandably would like a say in how their sport comes back. Second, the pandemic has laid bare exactly how much money rides on a football season in the Power 5 conferences. The players aren’t stupid. They know their schools need them more than they need their schools at the moment.

How this plays out is anybody’s guess.  The players may have leverage, but they have no experience using it.  They may push for the wrong things.  Many of their peers are going to have a difference of opinion about the goals and methods to achieve them.

The players aren’t paid, most players aren’t pro prospects, and the top ones will get drafted anyway. The only people with a long-term financial stake in the season being played by are marginal pro prospects, and even they have to trade off the extra year of scouting/development with the risk of injury compounded by exposure to a deadly virus.

As Curhan put it,

“Personally, to me, (sitting out) is a no-brainer,” said Curhan. “This is a lot bigger than me. I’m lucky to be where I’m from. If football got taken away from me, I’d be able to land on my feet. The reason I feel it’s necessary is for my teammates and future generations that might not be OK if they had scholarships taken away, or their hopes of playing professionally got taken away.”

And so, for every Trevor Lawrence, there’s a Lamonte McDougle.  For every Jake Curhan, there’s a Jake Bentley.

Where does it go from here?  Hard to say.  Do they overplay their hand or take their winnings off the table when they have the chance?  They’ve clearly started a national conversation, and as Staples notes, there’s plenty they’re asking for that doesn’t amount to a big reach.

If they’re sensible and in sufficient numbers, college athletic administrators are going to be forced to deal with them.  Some of you would no doubt find it emotionally satisfying to let them walk, but there’s no way the schools can get a season underway in a matter of a few weeks with a wide scale infusion of walk on players.

Overreach — which some would also find emotionally satisfying — and it’s likely the whole thing fizzles before it ever gets started.  Is #WeAreUnited savvy enough to pick the fights it can win?  We’ll soon see.

48 Comments

Filed under Look For The Union Label, Pac-12 Football

Dawg porn, for a price

A sentence, a tease…

Screenshot_2020-08-03 DawgPost on Twitter Sources tell Dawg Post that there is genuine excitement about Todd Monken and his[...]

That’s how the pros do it, peeps.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

58 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

#WeAreUnited at Wazzou?

What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on at Washington State?

A Washington State football player said his status on the team was threatened by the head coach because the player is part of a group of Pac-12 Conference athletes threatening to sit out this season unless demands for “fair treatment’’ are met.

… Woods said Rolovich told him his scholarship will be honored, and the Pac-12 statement Sunday reiterated that any athlete who decides not to compete this year because of health or safety reasons will have their scholarship protected.

The Pac-12 has guaranteed four-year scholarships since 2015.

The conversation between Woods and his coach took place Saturday, according to Woods, who said he called Rolovich to inform him he had decided against playing this season because of concerns related to COVID-19. Woods said he has sickle cell anemia and is afraid that will put him at greater risk of getting COVID-19, especially if he’s traveling to football games.

After he explained his decision to Rolovich, Woods said, the coach said he could accept that but then asked Woods if he were part of the Pac-12 athletes group. Woods said he acknowledged he was and Rolovich made it clear that remaining aligned with a group of athletes threatening to sit out over issues that include compensation and social justice would jeopardize his future with the team.

Woods told USA TODAY Sports he was ready to sacrifice for the group’s cause.

“Change has to be made,’’ Woods said. “This stuff has been going on for way too long. There’s no greater opportunity than doing it now.”

Lamonte McDougle, a red-shirt junior defensive end, said Rolovich had no objections to McDougle being part of the athletes group after he vowed to play regardless of whether the groups’ demands are met. Based on McDougle’s understanding, he said, no one has officially been kicked off the team.

“Officially” may be doing some heavy lifting there, at least judging from this tweet from Woods’ mom.

Screenshot_2020-08-03 Jerline Woods on Twitter TheoLawson_SR This is a BOLDFACED LIE Multiple players cut and told to clean[...]

Jon Wilner, who does a stellar job covering Pac-12 football makes an excellent point.

Screenshot_2020-08-03 Jon Wilner on Twitter my speculation Of course #WSU told Woods to clear out his locker ASAP after he [...]

Except somebody has the receipt from Rolovich’s mouth.

Screenshot_2020-08-03 RedditCFB on Twitter The audio of WSU HC Nick Rolovich’s call with WR Kassidy Woods has been released[...]

Yeesh.  It’s already hard enough to recruit to Washington State.  Rolovich isn’t making his life easier with comments like that.  And it wasn’t even necessary — the kid’s sitting out for health issues, so let him sit.

I expect some sort of awkward explanation is coming, but you know what they say about when you’re explaining.

4 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

I have not come to bury Larry Scott.

Aw, screw it.  I have come to bury Larry Scott.

Screenshot_2020-08-03 George Wrighster III on Twitter Why does the PAC-12 have the highest paid commissioner by far, lowest[...]

There’s a part of me that’s amazed Scott is still gainfully employed.  There’s another part of me that thinks every other P5 commissioner is grateful Scott exists.

4 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

“But for us, maybe an 8-2 schedule would’ve been a little better where we get a couple of non-conference games.”

Shorter Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carteryou want those cupcakes on that wall, you need those cupcakes on that wall!

5 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Why we (probably) can’t have nice things.

Shot.

However, three public health experts in the state of Georgia aren’t optimistic for a variety of reasons, including the continued spread of the coronavirus and potential fissures within the testing system designed to ensure that only players free of COVID-19 can take the field.

“The athletes can do everything right; the coaches can do everything right, but when the community spread around them is so high, that bubble just isn’t going to stand up,” said Travis Glenn, a professor of environmental health science at the University of Georgia. “It just isn’t. So that’s the problem.”

The rate of community transmission is an initial concern.

“I think I was much more hopeful earlier in the year (for college football), that we would have a little bit more manageable control,” said Christina Proctor, a clinical assistant professor and colleague of Glenn’s in the College of Public Health at UGA. “And now that things have gotten worse, I’m very worried that it’s not going to happen. And I’m an avid fan.”

… Glenn acknowledged that athletic departments and coaches can limit their athletes’ exposure to a great deal, for example by encouraging them to enroll only in online courses and mandating mask usage.

However, “these are 18- to 22-year olds that are going to see other people,” he said. “They just are. And so that’s what’s going to make it really, really hard.”

Chaser.

Once classes begin, the football program can no longer isolate players in a block of rooms at the Georgia Center Hotel. Some alternate lodging plans might be made for players, but we don’t yet know those and it won’t be around-the-clock supervision and prep as it normally is during preseason camp.

… Should the Bulldogs have to wait until after classes begin to start practice, then you’re probably looking at a schedule just as tight as it normally is to make up for some lost time. Still, there’ll have to be pauses for COVID-19 testing because, at that point, players will have presumably been in contact with other students.

This is so, so stupid.  But it’s what to expect when following the advice of public health experts takes a back seat to protecting the economic status quo by insisting that the same kids you need to earn your millions from ESPN have to be treated like every other student on campus.

I hope none of them get sick, but if they do, the rationalizations we’ll hear from McGarity and Morehead are going to make me want to throw things through a wall.  It would almost (almost because that would suck for those of us who just want to watch them play) serve them right if it wound up costing them the revenues from a football season they so badly crave.

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

The case for Kyle Trask

… oddly enough, doesn’t sound too convincing.

These are head-scratching numbers for a quarterback who had three receivers drafted last April as well as arguably the most athletic tight end in the country. All that paints a picture of a quarterback whose solid numbers were aided far more by what his receivers did than by his own contributions.

‘Ya think?

PFF rates Jamie Newman a higher pro prospect, by the way.  But you probably guessed that already.

8 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...