… is right here.
Except I mean it in a broader sense than he does. Monken’s been around the block, at both the collegiate and professional levels, with success. He knows his way around an offensive scheme. Presumably that’s why he got the job in the first place.
He was hired to modernize what Georgia was running under Chaney and Coley. It’s readily apparent after four games that the passing game under him has opened up; indeed, one major complaint right now is how often Bennett appears to overlook easy throws to open targets, something that’s turned the 2019 offense on its head.
So, yeah, if Todd Monken thinks Stetson Bennett is the best choice to pilot the offense, I’m good with that. I’m understanding about what he’s had to deal with since he arrived and am willing to wait to see when the scheme bears fruit.
But I’m not the only one who needs to trust his decision making. That goes for his boss, too. Georgia’s offensive brain trust needs to get on the same page and let the guy with the most experience and success running an offense run the damned offense.
It’s quite the list, topped by this ending: “Meanwhile, the Gus Bus wobbles on in search of its next moment of divine providence.”
I don’t know why the damned thing hasn’t hired Jimmy Sexton yet. Just try to imagine what kind of contract it could garner.
The new normal of college football:
… if you look closely, what you see is that universities are right now subjecting unpaid athletic workers to precisely the same health risks that are eliciting such outrage every day on network television and social media. The difference with college football? There is nary the commensurate concern.
No one understands these developments better than the players who live them. One Power Five college football player, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, explained it this way: “I mean the whole goal is to make everyone feel like things are normal, which they definitely aren’t. Even as a player who’s living it, you have to remind yourself that this is in no way ‘normal’. What you’re seeing and hearing on TV isn’t the whole story. It’s a patchwork put together in order to resemble what we tell ourselves is what’s normal. It looks and feels good to watch football again, but it doesn’t mean everything occurring behind the scenes is being done right. Protocols are bulls–t. They just keep quiet, to those involved within the program or otherwise, and do everything within their power to get to the next Saturday.”
And why should he fear reprisal? I mean, college football coaches are the most understanding of folks, right?
At Utah State, Coach Gary Anderson made the coercive dynamics as clear as day: “At least in our program, we don’t have an opt out. And it’s not an option. If you opt out, you’re not with us.”
I love college football, but I don’t like the way it’s going about its business this season.
I’m really trying not to let Smart’s comments yesterday about the offense get to me, but I’ve got to admit it’s a challenge. Take this pearl of wisdom:
“I think the best thing we do offensively is third-down execution,” Smart said. “That has been a point of emphasis for us in practices — to convert third downs and put together a good third-down plan. That may be with play-action passes and different things off of the run game. If you are going to do those, you have to be committed to the run. When you watch the best teams on Saturday that are able to run the ball, they have play-action shots off of it.
“We’ve been able to utilize the tight end down the middle off of play-action. We have been able to use our wheel routes that we hit Jermaine Burton on the other day off of our play-action. The play-action game and third down would be the things we have done well. The more important thing for us to continue and improve on is the ability to run the ball inside and outside.”
You know where Georgia stands in the conference in third down conversion percentage? Eighth, at 45.45%. (Coley’s offense finished fourth in 2019, for what that’s worth.) If that’s the best thing Georgia is doing offensively right now, oh, boy.
Which is not to say Kirby isn’t fond of being in third down situations. Here’s how the SEC ranks in third downs per game:
- Georgia 16.5
- MSU 16.25
- Missouri 15.25
- Ole Miss 15
- Arkansas 15
- Vanderbilt 15
- Auburn 14.4
- Tennessee 13.8
- South Carolina 13.8
- Kentucky 13
- TAMU 13
- LSU 12.25
- Alabama 10.8
- Florida 9.3
Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the SEC’s two best offenses are at the end of that list.
Sure, Dan, no big deal.
Mullen said he only experienced mild symptoms and added for the players who tested positive, “We feel that we have not a whole lot of major issues or anything that we’ve seen be really serious to this point.” He added that the coaching staff is approaching practice as if it is coming off a double bye week and the biggest focus for Monday was “us just getting our guys into the regular game week routine.”
During their time away from football, the Gators were unable to work out. Mullen said those who tested positive and are cleared to resume practice will have a slow build-up to their return. Florida last played on Oct. 10, a 41-38 loss to Texas A&M, a road trip both Mullen and Stricklin have zeroed in on as causing the outbreak after one or two people unknowingly traveled with the virus and tested positive upon their return home.
He couldn’t even give the press the number of players who would be available this Saturday, only saying UF would at least field the requisite 53 to play. Sounds totally normal.
UPDATE: Things are going swimmingly in Gainesville.
The University of Florida reported six new positive COVID-19 cases among the Gators football team as Dan Mullen’s squad looks to move past a recent outbreak that stalled its season.
The data is based on test results from Tuesday of last week through Monday, during which the school said 230 tests were performed.
The SEC has issued the following statement related to the Auburn-Ole Miss football game of October 24:
On the kickoff return in the Auburn at Ole Miss football game at 5:43 in the 4th quarter, the SEC has determined the replay official should have stopped the game for further review of the play. In the football officiating replay process every play is reviewed but, when appropriate, the game is stopped for further review.
Because the play was not appropriately stopped for further review, the necessary slow-motion view of the play was not viewed by the replay official to determine if the ruling on the field should have been reversed.
The SEC Office conducted a review of the play and appropriately communicated its findings above to Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin and other athletics department personnel per conference protocol. However, Mr. Kiffin’s use of social media Saturday following the game to publicly criticize officiating is in violation of Conference Bylaws and Commissioner’s Regulations that govern Sportsmanship and communication with the Conference Office on officiating issues.
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin has been fined $25,000 for his use of social media Saturday after the game made in violation of SEC Bylaw 10.5 related to officiating in the Auburn at Ole Miss football game of October 24.
It takes a lot to make Junior a sympathetic figure, but, congrats, Greg Sankey, you did it!
Aaaaannnnd, the last word.