Daily Archives: December 10, 2020

The horseshit, it’s shoveled.

You’re right, Jimbo.  The only way to know if Alabama is really better than Texas A&M is to expand the college football playoff.

Sadly, this is college football’s future.  That blows.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

“USC did not respond to multiple requests for additional comment.”

Is there a competition to be America’s dumbest college athletic director that no one told me about?

An agreed-upon revision to former South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp’s contract that was never signed by the parties would have saved the university $2 million in buyout money when it fired him.

The failure to complete the contract amendment, which was approved by USC’s board of trustees in December of 2019, means Muschamp’s buyout obligation from the school remains at a bit more than $15.5 million, instead of slightly more than $13.4 million.

At the time of the amendment’s passage, the change was publicized as a move to allow Muschamp to redirect money to help retain a key assistant coach. It also removed Muschamp’s annual raises and therefore lowered the university’s burden should it fire him.

However, the contract, which was obtained by The State this week following a Freedom of Information request, shows the amendment was never signed by Muschamp, athletic director Ray Tanner or board of trustees secretary J. Cantey Heath.

A school spokesman confirmed this was the version the school had on file — and not a draft.

Just flat out giving it away.  Tell us again about financial hardships during a pandemic, fellas.

Tanner has said several times, including as recently as Monday, that he will negotiate the buyout terms with Muschamp. Contract law expert Marty Greenberg, however, told The State there isn’t much to negotiate.

An unsigned contract typically isn’t enforceable. Since Muschamp has already been relieved of his duties, it’s not clear what incentive, if any, he has to give the school a break.

That’s a polite way of putting it.  Then, again, if there’s been one consistent management style this year, it’s hoping.

This is how you end up with Shane Beamer.  Jimmy Sexton must wake up every morning wondering why his life has been so easy.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, It's Just Bidness

Player making plays

I know that some of you insist on tempering my early enthusiasm for what JT Daniels has brought to the table, and honestly, I don’t blame you.  That being said, allow me to retort.

It’s the same route.  The same receivers.  Similar protection.  Similar separation in the secondary.

The difference is, whether it’s a matter of knowing when to throw it, or whether it’s more about general accuracy, only one of those two quarterbacks manages to place the ball where a receiver has a chance to make a play.  Small sample size, shmall sample size, that matters.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Home field advantage?

A very interesting chart from Brian Fremeau:

Sure, home field advantage is at one of its lowest points this season.  But it’s not an outlier as much as it appears to be the continuation of a trend.

Home-field advantage in conference games in 2020 by this calculation is only +1.9 points per game, a full 0.9 points less than the +2.8 points per game average over the 14-year span. This could be the indicator of the impact of crowds on home-field advantage that we hypothesized, but there are other recent seasons with comparably small home-field advantages drawn from the data. In 2018, the conference game home-field advantage was only +2.0 points per game, and in 2014 the conference game home-field advantage was at an “all-time” (since 2007) low, at only +1.8 points per game. Neither of those two seasons, nor any of the other games in the span, had any obvious systemic factors such as COVID to suggest home-field advantage should be dramatically impacted. And the relatively steady betting line trend over the last seven seasons suggests that the wisdom of crowds has been picking up not on a precipitous change in home-field advantage, but on something more like a year-over-year trend.

The question, of course, is why that may be the case.

This is just the start of a deeper dive I’d like to take on the subject in the offseason. For one thing, I may be using these overall trends to make subtle changes in the manner in which I apply home-field advantage to FEI ratings and FEI game projections. There are also sample-size variations to consider, but it would be well worth exploring the degree to which these changes are or are not consistent across individual conferences — perhaps especially in the wake of conference realignment shake-ups that have happened over the span.

Are there any other hypotheses to consider? We’ve been conditioned to treat the packed and electric atmosphere of an 80,000-seat stadium as an intimidating environment that can be a difference-maker in a big game. But I’ve been skeptical over the years of how much the crowd itself really matters in comparison to the other factors in play related to home versus road scenarios — the travel, disruptions to routines, familiarity with the facilities, weather, etc. BYU and Coastal Carolina played in front of only 5,000 fans. Would a full house of 20,000 or more have made a bigger difference, were the unique travel circumstances of this game a bigger factor, or was home field not actually much of a factor in Conrad, South Carolina, at all?

I also wonder — and perhaps the conference realignment issues Brian mentions are part of it — if there is less parity within conferences now than there was, say, a decade ago.  I’ll be curious to see what, if anything, he finds along these lines before next season.


Filed under Stats Geek!

Numbers game

Those of you who were wondering yesterday why Kirby Smart might be facing a numbers crunch next year, allow the master of roster management to explain.

“Everything doesn’t mesh…let’s say we have five mid-years, which isn’t the case at all, but let’s say we have five mid-years that want to come,” Smart said. “We have to have a spot for every one of them to come, so every senior who elects to stay, we don’t have a mid-year spot. So, even though [seniors] won’t count towards the 85, we don’t have a spot for [mid-years] to come. We don’t really control what seniors stay, and we’ll certainly give them the flexibility, but if we have more mid-years that want to come than seniors who want to leave, we have a problem. I don’t think that all the things mesh real well, especially if you’re a program that has a shot at a lot of mid-years. What’s different about this year? Kids aren’t in high school, so why should [they] stay for [their] second semester? We’re looking at—and I don’t know about other schools, maybe they’re the same way—[but] we’re looking at the possibility of anywhere from 14 to 20 mid-year enrollees. Let’s say we have 20 mid-year enrollees who want to come—we don’t have 20 spots. Yet, the seniors won’t count next year, but they’re eating spots right now. It just doesn’t add up. It doesn’t make perfect sense, so it’s a dilemma that we have to deal with.”

Maybe it’s something that everyone should have seen coming for a mile away. The cap on 85 scholarship players won’t be lifted until the 2021-2022 season. In January, when the Bulldogs’ mid-year enrollees arrive, the limit is still 85 because they’ll still be in the 2020-2021 athletic year.

Okay, sure, that’s a challenge, but, let’s face it, if there’s one problem that’s in Kirby Smart’s wheelhouse, it’s roster management.  Bitch all you want about manball, but the man knows how to construct a roster.

That being said, it will be interesting to see exactly how the staff prioritizes personnel in the next two months.  We’re already seeing hints of it with the Senior Bowl invite acceptances and the early moves to enter the transfer portal.  We’ll get more when early signing day hits, I suspect.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Getting stuck in Red Stick

While we’re on the subject of LSU, this flat out stunned me:

One year removed from an undefeated, national championship season, a team that’s always been able to recruit top level talent in sufficient numbers to be a regular factor in the SEC and national chases over the past 20 years is now that short?  Good grief, Coach O.


Filed under Coach O Needs Another Red Bull

No greater sacrifice

You may remember this.

In October, LSU announced that it would offer eight football scholarships over two years along with reductions in recruiting visits, communication and evaluations as penance for its football program breaking the most serious Level 1 NCAA rules from 2012-17.

The violations involved $180,000 in payments by LSU booster John Paul Funes to James Alexander for a no-show job. Alexander’s son is Vadal Alexander, an offensive lineman from Buford, Georgia, who was a starting tackle and guard at LSU from 2012 through 2015 under former coach Les Miles. Funes admitted in court to embezzling $500,000 from a Baton Rouge hospital.

Nothing says lack of institutional control like stealing money from a hospital to pay a player’s father.  Needless to say, it’s panic time in Baton Rouge.  The problem is, how much do you have to offer to get the NCAA to back off?

I doubt this is it.

In a normal year, this wouldn’t even be an option, of course.  As it is, a 3-5 team, staggering towards a finish in the midst of a pandemic that would result at best in some lower tier bowl game nobody would give a rat’s ass about, offering up a self-imposed postseason ban comes across as the equivalent of a guy scrounging for change under the couch cushions to come up with a tip for the pizza guy.  I suspect that the NCAA will roll its eyes at the offer as much as pizza dude would at the 47 cents found in the couch.


Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA