Daily Archives: September 9, 2020

“Well, the dog is a magnet.”

Another COVID casualty.

For the first time since there has been an Uga, there won’t be an Uga mascot on the sidelines with Georgia Bulldogs this fall.

Uga X, the latest in a long line of white English bulldogs who have served as Georgia’s mascot since the 1950s, will be banned from the sidelines this year. But it’s nothing personal.

All live mascots are forbidden to be on the field this year by NCAA and SEC mandate. It’s part of the social-distancing plan to be able to play football amid the coronavirus pandemic this year. Only players, coaches and personnel deemed “essential” will be permitted in the area considered the field of play.

It’s been a helluva year already, ain’t it?



Filed under Georgia Football

Monken and turnovers

I’ve seen several suggestions in the comments that Georgia running a more open offense under Todd Monken is likely to lead to a lessened defensive performance because of, among other reasons, a greater chance of turnovers.  That got me curious:  is there a Monken track record of increased turnovers?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

First, courtesy of cfbstats.com, here’s the baseline, which is turnovers lost during Smart’s four seasons (national ranking in parenthesis).

  • 2016:  19 (56th)
  • 2017:  16 (34th)
  • 2018:  14 (15th)
  • 2019:  13 (14th)

Now, here’s Monken’s record in two seasons as Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator and then three as Southern Miss’ head coach.

  • 2011:  23 (62nd)
  • 2012:  22 (60th)
  • 2013:  38 (125th)
  • 2014:  26 (101st)
  • 2015:  25 (104th)

Holy drop the ball, Batman!  Clearly there’s some turnover fire to that more open offense smoke.

Well, maybe.  Here’s the thing — look at what the giveaway numbers were at those two places the year before Monken took the reins.

  • 2010:  22 (54th)
  • 2012:  28 (102nd)

In context, then, Monken’s regime at both places then didn’t really amount to a full scale escalation of turnovers, with the exception of that wretched 2013 season when he inherited a disaster from Ellis Johnson.  It’s also worth pointing out that, over the 2012-5 period, USM went from averaging 4.90 yards per play to 6.91 ypp, so that was a lot of improvement without much turnover cost.

If the pattern remains consistent, we might expect a slight uptick in turnovers lost.  At least that’s what those numbers suggest to me, anyway.  And you?


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Your 9.9.20 Playpen

Inspired by a comment someone posted today in the Gift Guide, I thought I would use today’s Playpen to solicit suggestions to add to the list there.

What have you come across lately that you would suggest would make a great gift for that Dawg fan in someone’s life?  Share in the comments.


Filed under GTP Stuff

“… and I don’t even know when Election Day is sometimes…”

He’s Nick Saban and he’s approved this message.

I gotta say I believe him on that.  If he can’t bring himself to endorse the candidate running against Tubs, he’ll never endorse anyone.

Of course, we haven’t heard from the Coke bottle yet.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Political Wankery

But muh spring practice, a continuing series

Reality, 2020 edition ($$):

“I think you’ll see more true freshmen play this year than you ever have, just across the country,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley predicts. “I think certain teams — and it doesn’t mean every week — but I think a lot of people at some time or another are going to run into an all-hands-on-deck type situation.”

Gee… true freshmen and overall roster depth.  I wonder which teams are best structured to respond to that.


Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

“How many points will Georgia need to win each of their games?”

Dial this clip up to the 19:10 mark, where Simmons and Elliott play a quick game of predicting now many points Georgia will need to win each of its ten games this season.

Even including Alabama, they don’t see a single game when Georgia will need to score 30+ points to win.

So, in the comments, play along and tell us how many points Georgia will have to score to win each of its games in 2020.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Mark Schlabach, gappin’

I guess he’s not buying the Barrett Sallee narrative.

3. Georgia wins the SEC East: With quarterback Jake Fromm and four starting offensive linemen departing, Florida believes it has closed the gap on Georgia. Not so fast. Kirby Smart looks pretty … well, smart after signing former Southern California quarterback JT Daniels as a security blanket in May. Expected starter Jamie Newman, a graduate transfer from Wake Forest, opted out last week. The Bulldogs have recruited offensive linemen as well as any team in the FBS, and wide receiver George Pickens is back after a stellar freshman campaign. Georgia’s defense should be as good as it was a year ago, and if the Bulldogs get anything more from their sputtering offense under new coordinator Todd Monken, they will beat the Gators in Jacksonville and win their fourth straight SEC East title.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Today, in strategic partnerships

Honestly, I don’t know how they expect Mark Emmert to keep a straight face at the next Congressional hearing.

The University of Colorado has signed a deal with PointsBet to serve as an official sports betting partner in a major step to dismantling college sports’ decades-long aversion to gambling.

The Boulder-based school has a new five-year deal with the betting operator, which is building its U.S. headquarters in nearby Denver. Legal sports betting went live in Colorado in May, and partnering with the state’s biggest athletic department is a way for PointsBet to separate itself from the sports books currently taking bets there.

It is among the first—and likely the most in-depth—partnerships between an athletic department and a sports betting operator. William Hill, for example, has been advertising with the University of Nevada Las-Vegas and University of Nevada Reno since 2017, the company said.

The PointsBet deal, which covers sports betting, fantasy sports, casino games and free-to-play contests, was negotiated by Colorado’s commercial partner Learfield IMG College. PointsBet will have signs placed at the school’s football stadium and basketball arena, plus a presence on radio broadcasts and other media. It also includes career development opportunities for Colorado students.

Yeah, I’d say that’s well on the way to dismantling a gambling aversion.  When should we expect to see an in-stadium sports book?

And this may be the most cynical quote of 2020 (there’s some pretty stiff competition, too):

“This isn’t a deal just to get PR, this is a long-term view for both parties, and both parties had to get very comfortable with one another,” Johnny Aitken, CEO of PointsBet’s U.S. business, said in an interview. “It is centered around education and those career pathways, and being in-state, the trust factor is heightened because we’re just miles away, not a plane flight away.”

“It is centered around education”?  Dude, I think you misspelled “money”.


Filed under Bet On It, It's Just Bidness

“Bad timing, but what can you do?”

Here’s another brutal local economics story about the impact of COVID on a college town, in this case, Champaign, Illinois.

Two quick points from it… first,

(As the numbers illustrate, the Big Ten’s decision not to play fall football—while still under siege from coaches and fans and administrators and players and parents of players—is not triggering financial ruin. COVID-19 already did that, by demolishing schedules and reducing stadium capacity nationwide. No season at all is only slightly more ruinous financially than a partial season in a mostly empty stadium.)

And second…

This is a recent development. Students came back to campus and enjoyed a YOLO lifestyle for the first week, but COVID-19 testing numbers told on them—after more than 400 positives between Aug. 24 and Sept. 1, the university cracked down. “We believe taking swift action to identify and remove students who refuse to follow safety guidelines is the right decision,” Illinois chancellor Robert Jones said in a statement. “We have been encouraged that the vast majority of our students have been compliant, and we believe this effort will require noncompliant students to make the choice to either comply or leave campus.”

That was Sept. 2. On Sept. 3, Green Street was almost empty. The fencing came down at 8:06 at Kam’s, and the front door was closed by 9:15.

“We’ve just got to ride it out,” Reda says. “Bars are public enemy No. 1 right now with COVID.”

That is one reason why they can’t have nice things.

(Oh, and before some of you go on in the comments thread to talk about the non-existent threat to young, healthy college football players — not that you should, mind you — maybe somebody should have explained the stats to this kid.)


UPDATE:  This is a helluvan “oops”.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The Body Is A Temple

Your Daily Gator is all in with Barrett Sallee.

This is what I call a ringing endorsement.

Dan Mullen, Florida: Mullen is an offensive genius. He has proved that for a decade-and-a-half in the SEC as a coach and coordinator. His quarterback, Kyle Trask, had the best season from a Florida signal caller since 2009 (the last time a guy named Tim Tebow was on the field) … and did it on the fly after Feleipe Franks went down against Kentucky in September 2019. That despite never having been a first-team quarterback in any offseason in college or high school football. Simply put, Trask + three star wide receivers + an All-America tight end = headaches for the SEC. Mullen has already turned Florida around. Back-to-back New Year’s Six bowl games prove that. The offensive fireworks that he will produce in 2020, combined with the stability that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham provides, will vault Florida into the CFP. If that happens, Mullen will win this honor in a runaway.

I’ll try to believe Dan Mullen is an offensive genius if/when he cracks 20 points against a Kirby Smart defense.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles