Daily Archives: December 22, 2020

Down and out in Columbia

It’s hard to believe, but this bowl season will have to proceed without a 2-8 team.

TheBigSpur has learned that South Carolina will not play in the Gasparilla Bowl on Saturday against UAB.

A source close to the program told TheBigSpur on Tuesday morning there was a players only meeting before athletics director Ray Tanner met with the team at 12:30. After the team meetings began, the source confirmed the Gamecocks are not playing this weekend.

JC Shurburtt reported Tuesday morning that a member of South Carolina’ staff has tested positive for Covid-19. Due to contact tracing, most of the coaching staff is currently in quarantine.

The team was already low on available scholarship players, as a result of injuries and opt-outs. Interim head coach Mike Bobo, the only current staff member not in quarantine, said “51 or 52” scholarship players practiced on Sunday evening. The team was scheduled to practice again on Monday, but that was canceled, because of a Covid positive test on the coaching staff.

TheBigSpur was also told on Tuesday that some players on the team did not want to play Saturday.

No kidding.  Sounds like management was more enthused than the players were, which is always a recipe for success on the field.

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UPDATE:  Fallout.

Army was out, and then it was in.  UAB was in, and now it’s out.  It’s like the world’s shittiest game of musical chairs.

30 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy

Did somebody get the number of that truck?

I don’t know if you saw this play during the SECCG, but, man.  You won’t see a better tackle all year.

A wide receiver who hits like a safety.  Hell, there are plenty of safeties who don’t hit like that.

34 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Strategery And Mechanics

The Portal Master™ rides again.

Well now, lookee here.

Dan, Dan, Dan… and you’ve gotten so much to show for it.

How will anyone be able to tell?

20 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting, The NCAA

The Peach Bowl: humping the narrative

Be prepared for an onslaught of the hot take Seth Emerson ($$) somewhat snarkily describes as “Motivated Angry Group of 5 Team vs. Unmotivated Blueblood Team“.

Read, for example, this, from ESPN:

Georgia (7-2)

Key player: QB JT Daniels. The USC transfer gave Georgia’s offense a much-needed boost after he took over the starting job in the past three games. Sidelined while recovering from knee surgery at the beginning of the season, Daniels has completed 66.7% of his passes with nine touchdowns and just one interception. With Daniels under center, the Bulldogs have been able to throw the ball down the field more than they did previously, getting George Pickens and others involved in the passing game.

Storyline to watch: Georgia has already had three seniors opt out of the bowl game, linebacker Monty Rice, tight end Tre’ McKitty and cornerback DJ Daniel, and there might be more coming. Last season, junior offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson and senior safety J.R. Reed skipped the Sugar Bowl, but the Bulldogs were able to rally for a 26-14 victory over Baylor.

Cincinnati (9-0)

Key player: QB Desmond Ridder. He was named AAC Offensive Player of the Year after running for 609 yards with 12 touchdowns and completing 66.4% of his passes for 2,090 yards with 17 scores and six interceptions. Ridder will have to make some plays with his arm against a Bulldogs team that led the FBS in run defense, allowing only 69.3 yards per game and 2.3 yards per carry.

Storyline to watch: The undefeated Bearcats felt slighted by the CFP selection committee, which didn’t elevate them higher than No. 7 after the initial rankings, even after teams ranked ahead of them lost. Cincinnati defeated then-No. 22 Army, No. 16 SMU and No. 23 Tulsa this season, but knocking off Georgia in Atlanta would give the Bearcats a stamp of legitimacy.

It may be a little subtle, but it’s a variation on the same theme.  I await the earnest, dulcet tones of Kirk Herbstreit pushing a similar story.

For what it’s worth, it’s still a football game and that means matchups matter.  I haven’t watched a ton of Cincinnati football, obviously, but two things that jump out initially are that the Bearcats run a 3-3-5 defense and Ridder does a lot of damage with his legs.  With regard to the former, it’s a defensive scheme the Dawgs have previously faced this season.  I would expect Georgia to come out trying to establish the run, because it will have a physical advantage on the lines.  (Tulsa did some real damage that way in the AAC Championship Game.)

If that works, Cincinnati is going to have to make the hard choice about bringing another safety in the box, which is going to give Daniels an opening to exploit with the pass.  Which I expect he will do, based on recent history.

On the flip side, it’s going to be up to Georgia’s outside linebackers to contain Ridder and keep him bottled up in the pocket.  And, yes, I know sometimes that’s been easier said than done.  (Also, it would be irresponsible not to speculate on how well Cinci runs the wheel route.  But I digress, at least I hope so.)

And that’s before we get to the 800-pound gorilla in the room, recruiting.  Here’s a chart sent to me by a loyal reader (thanks, Scott).

Screenshot_2020-12-22 GA vs Cincinnati Recruiting Rankings - mbroch gmail com - Gmail

I don’t care how motivated you are, that’s an enormous talent gap you somehow have to make up if you’re Cincinnati.  And before you give me, “well, South Carolina did it”, note that Carolina’s averages are closer to Georgia’s than Cinci’s.  Sure, it’s football and any given Saturday applies, but that’s a lot of Jimmies and Joes to overcome, even if the Dawgs have the expected number of opt-outs.

All of which is to say that Cincinnati is a good team and I expect Georgia to be in for a tough fight.  But it won’t be because Kirk Herbstreit says so.

64 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

The uncertainty principle

The CFP folks announce they’re willing to fly the schedule by the seat of their pants.

The College Football Playoff is willing to postpone most of its New Year’s Six bowl games, including its two semifinal games and the national championship, if one or both teams can’t participate because of COVID-19 issues, CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN on Monday evening.

The games that could be impacted are the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 30, the two semifinal games and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Jan. 1, the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, and the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T, which is currently scheduled for 8 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. It’s unclear at this time if the Jan. 2 Capital One Orange Bowl will have the same flexibility because the bowl has a different contract than others.

“We are planning to play the games when they’re scheduled,” Hancock said. “We’ve said all along that we will be ready for any circumstance, and we will. But if one or both teams are not available and have to postpone a bowl game or the championship game, we will do it.”

Presumably Mickey is going along with this, not that I see they have much of a choice.  But it does set an interesting precedent.  If ESPN can live with not knowing exactly when teams will play (or even, arguably, if), instead of whining about going to an eight-game playoff so that no deserving team is left behind, why not decide on a CFP field on an as-you-go basis, after playing the bowl games?

7 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The Body Is A Temple

Bo Noes

LSU does something expected since… what, the second half of the first game of the season?

The one-time payment is reportedly around $5.2 million, which is certainly nice work if you can get it.

As the linked article indicates, Pelini isn’t leaving by himself.

More staff changes are expected to come, including the departure of safeties coach Bill Busch and the retirement of defensive line coach Bill Johnson. Cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond, an assistant on staff since 2012, is the only defensive coach remaining on staff.

LSU is also expected to part ways with passing game coordinator Scott Linehan after one season, multiple sources told The Advocate. The 57-year-old Linehan is due the full remainder of his two-year, $800,000 per year contract, a buyout that is approximately $1 million.

All that, and an athletic department looking at taking an $80 million hit this year.  What a country, eh?

The punchline is that Coach O will be picking the replacements.  I mean, what could go wrong?

31 Comments

Filed under Coach O Needs Another Red Bull, It's Just Bidness

Musical palate cleanser, unexpected pleasure edition

Almost as if he personally wanted to make sure 2020 wasn’t a complete bummer, Al Green has, after a lengthy hiatus, released a new single.

Let me repeat that:  there’s a new Al Green single!

I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve it, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you, sir.

12 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized