Daily Archives: September 25, 2020

Bill Connelly’s most important player in college football

You may be familiar with him.

Screenshot_2020-09-25 The 25 most important players in the College Football Playoff chase

1. QB JT Daniels or D’Wan Mathis, Georgia: Daniels was No. 8 on this list last year, when it looked like he was getting tasked with saving Clay Helton’s job at USC. He got hurt in the first game, however, and lost his job to sudden star Kedon Slovis. Now at Georgia, Daniels could be the guy to push the Dawgs out of last year’s “all-world defense, terribly limited offense” imbalance. But first he has to be cleared for competition.

His ongoing recovery from injury has opened the door for Mathis, who spent 2019 on the sideline after having a cyst removed from his brain. Mathis has apparently impressed head coach Kirby Smart and new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

It doesn’t really matter who ends up starting here; it only matters that whoever it is thrives. Georgia will start 2020 with the most proven defense in college football, and while the offense could use another top skill-corps player, it still has a couple of proven linemen in receiver George Pickens, running backs Zamir White and James Cook and a new batch of blue-chippers. With great quarterback play, the Dawgs go from SEC East co-favorites to, potentially, national title co-favorites. Sounds like the QB of choice is the most important player in the country to me.

No pressure, kid.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“The Gators have done it!”

This almost reads as parody.

Florida wins the national championship in only 1.2% of our simulations, but none of that matters if the simulation that happens is one of the 1.2%. So congrats, Gators fans, you won it all. And if 2020 plays out a different way for Florida? Well you’ll always have that time when your 1% chance became reality — on the internet.

Your Daily Gator will take that.  Thanks, Mickey!

(h/t JP McDonough)

24 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

This week in the SEC

It’s nice to ponder that, isn’t it?

Anyhoo, here are the six non-Dawg games, the spreads and my thoughts on the outcomes:

  • Florida at Ole Miss (+14.5).  I would love to see Junior pull off the upset.  Unfortunately, reality intrudes:  Dan Mullen has a history of disliking Ole Miss, Kiffin’s roster has been ravaged by NCAA sanctions and Florida wants to impress with a good start.  Gators cover.
  • Kentucky at Auburn (-7.5).  It’s the most intriguing SEC game this weekend.  With an excellent offensive line, the ‘Cats are a trendy upset pick.  I, however, can’t quite bring myself to pick them to cover.  Auburn is the deeper team and I’m going to need to see how Terry Wilson looks before I’m willing to buy into UK this season.
  • Mississippi State at LSU (-17.5).  Yes, LSU lost a ton from last season.  No, it won’t matter tomorrow.  Tigers win and win big.
  • Alabama at Missouri (+28.5).  This was going to be lopsided before Mizzou lost twelve players for the game.  Alabama is loaded and reeks of confidence.  The Tide covers.
  • Vanderbilt at Texas A&M (-30.5).  Vanderbilt… isn’t good.  The ‘Dores open on the road, which… isn’t good.  For some strange reason, though, I think they’ll cover, albeit barely.  I guess I’m not convinced this is the year Jimbo shows the world TAMU is back.
  • Tennessee at South Carolina (+3.5).  Vegas sees this as the closest SEC game of the week and I can’t say I disagree.  The loser is likely eliminated from the divisional race before it even gets started, which I think means there’s more pressure on Pruitt than Boom.  If SC had a good back, I’d like them to win outright, but without one, I’ll just pick the ‘Cocks to cover, mainly because Guarantano is inconsistent.

And you?

28 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Another day, another Congressional NIL bill

This one is bi-partisan and tries to split the baby down the middle, which likely means it’ll be attacked on both sides.  Summarized as follows:

The bill, obtained by Sports Illustrated, is more player-friendly than the legislation introduced earlier this summer by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). However, the Gonzalez legislation satisfies several NCAA requests, the most noteworthy of which are preemption and restriction. The bill preempts all state NIL laws and restricts athletes from entering endorsement deals with several companies, including those associated with alcohol, tobacco or vaping, marijuana or drug dispensaries and sellers, and casinos/gambling facilities.

It does not, however, prevent an athlete from endorsing a product that might conflict with a school’s own endorsement deals—something the NCAA includes in its own drafted legislation. It also does not grant the NCAA antitrust protections from lawsuits arising over NIL—another NCAA request.

While the bill doesn’t restrict player endorsements, it does it allow schools to prohibit athletes from wearing marks of companies during athletic activity and at any other university event.

The part I really don’t like relates to enforcement.

The bill also amends the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act to include a definition of “boosters,” and details actions taken by boosters in the recruiting process that would be penalized through Federal Trade enforcement. “It is unlawful for a booster to directly or indirectly provide or offer to provide any funds or thing of value as an inducement for a student athlete to enroll or remain at a specific institution or group of institutions,” the bill reads.

I’ve got no issue with hammering boosters for abusing players’ NIL rights, but using government power to enforce NCAA rules shouldn’t be the way to go about doing so.

In any event, the most important takeaway is that the clock continues to run on the Florida law taking effect.

Many believe that a federal NIL bill won’t move through Capitol Hill until next year, when a new Congress takes control, one that could look different after the November elections.

“It most likely bleeds into next year,” Gonzalez says. “Right now, Congress is still just learning about this issue. We have a pandemic we’re working through.”

Gonzalez’s bill is only one of what could be a half-dozen versions of federal NIL legislation. Several lawmakers are in various stages of drafting their own law, which is expected to begin the legislative process in the Senate Commerce Committee.

I doubt that meets with the NCAA’s timetable.  That’s a shame.

5 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Key matchups for Georgia’s opener

Jake Rowe has a list here.

I’ve got to say I’m jonesing for that James Cook-Bumper Pool matchup, if only for the potential word play we could be hearing.  Although seeing whether Georgia’s offense is able to exploit Arkansas’ linebacker pass coverage the way other teams have been able to exploit Georgia’s linebacker pass coverage over the years would be a nice bonus.

8 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football

“… you’ve got to be careful that you don’t chase too many ghosts.”

Mike Bobo and Jeremy Pruitt are friends?

Mark Richt recommended Pruitt to Phil Fulmer for the Vol head coaching job?

Consider my mind somewhat blown.  (Although I admit the idea of Richt playing three-dimensional chess with Fulmer did cross my mind.)

This, on the other hand, I get completely.

Pruitt’s hire was celebrated by Georgia’s team and fan base. He replaced Todd Grantham, who left for Louisville’s staff and is now at Florida.

“Bobo never directly told me this,” Mason said, “but I could sense that he was excited about that change. … I think the culture in 2012 and 2013, I think some of the coaches were frustrated with. When Pruitt came in, they knew it was gonna be much more regimented.”

11 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

From Rod to Pod…

A quick personnel note:

3 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Larry Scott makes his move.

The Pac-12 is back in, baby.

The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season beginning Nov. 6, the league announced Thursday.

The decision, voted on by the Pac-12’s CEO group on Thursday, represents an official reversal after the conference announced in early August it would postpone all sports until at least Jan. 1, citing health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Would the CFP accept a team that only played seven games?  Well, let’s put it this way:  they haven’t said they wouldn’t.  Besides, Larry’s got his eyes on the real prize.

Even if the Pac-12 doesn’t have a team worthy of inclusion in the four-team field, the eligibility component is important so it can be in position to collect the sizable payout. Last season, there was a $66 million base payout to each of the Power 5 conferences.

It’s always a relief when medical science aligns with profit.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

PFF grades UGA’s opener

It ain’t pretty.

Screenshot_2020-09-25 UGASports - PFF Matchup UGA at Arkansas(1)

That’s how you come to be an almost four-touchdown favorite in a road conference game.

The individual matchups are, if anything, even worse.  Arkansas has one clear advantage with Rakeem Boyd.  What’s the over/under on the number of touches he gets tomorrow?

The Hogs’ defensive backfield looks solid, so it will be interesting to see if they present a test for Georgia’s remade passing attack.

What do y’all see there?

10 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Low bar in Knoxville

Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t beaten Alabama.  Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t beaten Florida.  Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t beaten Georgia.

Jeremy Pruitt has yet to win an opener, something even his mediocre predecessors managed to accomplish.

Tennessee started out 1-2 last season, with embarrassing losses to Georgia State and BYU, and was bailed out by November schedule tailwinds and a weak bowl opponent to finish with a winning record.

For all those accomplishments, Jeremy Pruitt received a raise and a contract extension.

University of Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt has agreed to a contract extension through the 2025 season, according to an announcement Thursday from athletic director Phillip Fulmer.

When Pruitt was hired in December 2017, he took over a program that had just experienced its first eight-loss season in history, but he has provided stability and optimism with 5-7 and 8-5 records his first two seasons. Last season’s team won its final six games, including a 23-22 comeback victory over Indiana at the Gator Bowl, and the Volunteers have the No. 6 class of 2021 commitments, according to the 247Sports.com team rankings.

The extension terms include a compensation jump from $3.8 million this year to $4.2 million in 2021.

“I’m excited that this extension gives Jeremy the runway to continue to build on the momentum and energy we have around our football program coming out of last season,” Fulmer said in a UT release.

There is no greater mismatch in college football than Jimmy Sexton and an SEC AD.

20 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange