Daily Archives: August 9, 2020

“Nobody wanted to be the first to do it, and now nobody will want to be the last.”

Sounds ominous

Commissioners of the Power 5 conferences held an emergency meeting on Sunday, as there is growing concern among college athletics officials that the upcoming football season and other fall sports can’t be played because of the coronavirus pandemic, sources told ESPN.

Several sources have indicated to ESPN that Big Ten presidents, following a meeting on Saturday, are ready to pull the plug on its fall sports season, and they wanted to gauge if commissioners and university presidents and chancellors from the other Power 5 conferences — the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — will fall in line with them.

Sources told ESPN that a vast majority of Big Ten presidents have indicated that they would vote to postpone football season, hopefully to the spring. A Big Ten official confirmed to ESPN that no official vote took place during Saturday’s meeting.

“It doesn’t look good,” one Power 5 athletic director said.

Not exactly sure that there’s any guarantee the spring would be better, but who knows?

Would any P5 conference be willing to go it alone?  Asking for a “it just means more” friend.

33 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

“I don’t think he thought of us as people who were making a legitimate case.”

You will be totally surprised to learn that Larry Scott blew off the #WeAreUnited players in their meeting this week.

When a group of Pac-12 Conference players who are threatening to opt out of the football season met with Commissioner Larry Scott on Thursday night, they had two primary objectives: pushing for more-frequent coronavirus testing and protecting the eligibility and status of players who choose not to play for health reasons.

On both fronts, the players said, they made little progress.

They said Scott told them the conference was powerless to mandate uniform testing standards. They also described the commissioner as often condescending, unprepared and unwilling to meet with them again — telling them that subsequent discussions would be with the conference’s medical advisory board.

The players said Scott criticized their statement on The Players’ Tribune as a “misguided P.R. stunt.”

(Larry only respects guided PR stunts.  But I digress.)

You should be equally surprised by this.

Valentino Daltoso, a senior offensive lineman at California, added: “It was not very productive. We did not come away with many answers. He made it very clear that he does not want to meet again.”

Seriously, what would be the point?

There was one revealing moment to emerge from the meeting:

The players also said they were rebuffed when Jevon Holland, a junior defensive back at the University of Oregon, asked near the end of the nearly 90-minute meeting if they could have lawyers present. When Scott equivocated, he was pressed by Holland for a yes or no answer. According to the players, Scott said lawyers could talk to lawyers but “this isn’t a negotiation, it’s a discussion.” Anderson — who formerly worked as an N.F.L. executive — informed the players that he was a labor lawyer and that they were not employees, a position the N.C.A.A. has long fought to assert.

And therein lies the rub, as this quote illustrates.

Gee, I’m beginning to suspect that the health and safety of college athletes isn’t the top priority of these people.

20 Comments

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

10, 11, 12… and a pony

Here’s another seemingly evergreen post about how ineffective Georgia’s offense was last season, evaluated from the perspective of personnel packages.

Coley’s offense in 12 personnel sets (1 back, 2 TEs, 2 WRs):

Speaking of mundane approaches moving the ball, Georgia’s usage of 12 personnel was very similar to Tennessee’s. But while play actions and deep shots helped the Vols find a little potency, that was not the case for the Bulldogs. Sure their ground game gobbled up 10-plus yard runs at the conferences second best rate. But on all plays from 12, only Arkansas and Ole Miss were worse at generating gains of 15-plus on average. Still, playing small in this regard allowed Georgia’s 49.4% Success Rate to finish inside the top 4. Both their Run and Pass Success Rates sported 49% clips while only being separated by less than half-a-percentage point. Eliminating defensive Havoc played a huge role in this methodology. Only Arkansas owned a preferable Havoc Rate than Georgia’s 17.1% clip from this grouping. While each facet was dependable, Georgia followed the trend by letting runs dictate this package’s output. Like their overall script, the Bulldogs’ favorite looks were Zone SlamsSplit ZonesDuos, and Outside Zones. Those looks made up over half of their 12 personnel snaps with Inside Zone looks combining to total over 35%. While Duos and Outside Zones failed to be overly fruitful, Inside Zone looks posted a 57% Success Rate from this set.  [Emphasis added.]

Despite supposedly having an elite offensive line, Georgia played a ton of two-tight end sets to offset defenses loading the box.  The results were predictable, and not explosive.

Then, there’s what Coley did with two back sets from the pistol or shotgun.

Georgia’s usage of pony personnel was rather unique relative to the rest of the SEC. They were the only offense that dedicated at least a percent Play Share towards this set to pass more than it ran. Their overall Success Rate was about about three percentage points worse than their clip from 20/21 personnel in comparison. When broken out, both Georgia’s Rushing and Passing Success Rates improved in these spots. Schematically, pony packages functioned as gadget plays for this offense. Often featuring James Cook as the factor back either flaring out of the backfield, running orbit motion from out wide, or taking a handoff, the Bulldogs hoped eye candy would create additional cushion to operate. Those tactics overly worked. Georgia’s rush Yards Before Contact average puffed up by a half a yard from 20/21 versus their 2.49 cumulative figure. Only Auburn average more Yards after the Catch than UGA’s 7.13 mark in this context. The scat attack targeted 13 Screens; all but two were RPOs. These attempts accounted for the plurality of their reps and yards accounting for over a quarter of each. Of course, Georgia’s primary concept, Inside Zone Slams, saw a healthy Play Share. The look logged seven reps off RPOs along with six additional tries straight up. All three sported at least a 50% Success Rate, which correlated in the ‘Dawgs being among the most consistent offenses from pony personnel.

Despite their gadgetry from this set mostly working short, Georgia’s Explosive Play Rate and 15+ Rate improved from pony personnel compared to its cumulative numbers. UGA’s 6.21 Yards/Play also saw gains in these spots puffing up to 7.71. Over half of the ‘Dawgs’ snaps used flair or jet motion with an additional 18% incorporating orbit motion. As aforementioned, James Cook was the straw the stirred the drink from pony personnel and was predominately the man in motion. With forward inertia helping him gain a step on a box defender, Cook saw over half of his targets, catches, and yards come from this grouping. He touched the ball on over a quarter of their attempts and finished with 96 yards from scrimmage. George Pickens caught three of his four targets for an additional 96 yards, 2 first downs, and a score. These two accounted for 55% of Georgia’s yards, 35% of their chances, and 36% of their explosive gains from pony personnel.

It was the only effective way Coley could work Cook into the offense.

I sure hope Monken can use his players more creatively.  The good news is that he’s working from a fairly low bar in that regard.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

TFW you know it’s not Dan Wolken’s fault

Jeff Choate, Montana State head coach, speaking truth to power dipshits ($$):

“Football only matters if you have money. The Power 5 commissioners and presidents backed the NCAA into a corner. The real tragedy here is we could not operate together in the best interest of our kids. It’s not whether we’re playing or not. The spirit of amateurism, which has been a fallacy for a long time, is totally gone now because we’re saying if you can afford to test your players at this level or provide for them at this level, then you can participate at this great game we call football. But if you can’t, then you’re less than. We’ve created a different caste system here.”

“Instead of us acting all together and providing leadership in times of crisis, which is what leaders are supposed to do, and the NCAA is the leader of intercollegiate athletics, it’s just unfathomable that they said, we’re not going to do anything,” he said “We’re just gonna kick this down. How about them saying, ‘Look, we’re in a crisis. Now is not the time to worry about playing football.’

“What is the result of this? Did you see the other statement by the Mountain West kids? This is the price of inaction. This is the price of a lack of the leadership. I’m proud of the kids for stepping forward and at least acting like the adults, but it’s embarrassing that we couldn’t get any leadership for months from the NCAA. The money machine is driving this, man. You can’t say that we’re in a global pandemic and the money machine isn’t the thing that’s driving us. Everybody wants to take the moral high ground. The moral high ground was to have said this back in June — ‘Hey, now is not the time to do this. Let’s shut this down.’ Instead of forcing us all to act like we’re gonna play and dragging our kids through all of this BS and uncertainty. It’s a really bad look.”

When this is all over, one way or another, you can pull a Danny Kanell and blame certain parts of the media for fear mongering, or you can point the finger where it really belongs, on feckless politicians and college athletics leadership (using that term loosely) for conflating hope into an incoherent strategy.

30 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

When all you’ve got left is Hines Ward…

… that’s all you need to beat Georgia Tech.

Damn, I love that guy.

19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

They blame Bobo.

I never imagined when I posted this yesterday…

Let’s hear it for Colorado State, which, in a matter of a few short months with a brand new coach, has managed the difficult Daily Double of substandard safety protocols and racism/verbal abuse accusations that need to be investigated by the administration that hired him.

I mean, there are programs that take years to get to that point.  Salut!

… that it would turn out Colorado State would be one of those programs.

These were some of the incidents most often corroborated in separate interviews:

Bobo and Jancek calling Black football players “boy,’’ a derogatory term aimed at Black people. One assistant coach under Bobo said Jancek quit using the term after being told it was insensitive.

• • •

In a meeting with his assistant coaches, it was confirmed that Bobo was wanting a Black woman to meet a Black recruit. He looked at former assistant coach Joe Cox, who is white and is married to a Black woman, and asked if his wife could meet the recruit. Cox said his wife was not available. He looked around the room and said to former assistant coach Bryan Applewhite, who is Black and married to a white woman, that the next time he hires a Black assistant coach he will make sure he has a Black wife…

In one of the more public outbursts among CSU football staff, Jancek, who is white, and Tre Thomas, a Black starting linebacker, had to be separated on the sidelines in plain sight of many fans at a 2018 game against Wyoming. After that incident, Bobo moved Jancek away from the sidelines and up to the coaches box above the stands, claiming he did so to give Jancek a better look at the field rather than for separation from his defensive players.

“In what other department at CSU would you pay a person $325,000 (Jancek’s annual salary) who you couldn’t trust to be around students, or require your deputy athletic director (Steve Cottingham) to babysit your head basketball coach (Larry Eustachy) because you were afraid of their abusive behavior and you were afraid to fire them?’’ Stewart said.

I will leave it you y’all to beg the obvious questions here.

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

UPDATE:

29 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Look For The Union Label