Daily Archives: December 23, 2020

“This is a very, very dangerous game for these guys.”

What, you were expecting keen insight from Gene Chizik?

“It’s almost like a no-win situation,” Chizik said. “If you beat Cincinnati by two touchdowns, that is what you were supposed to do. If you don’t, you’re the goat. But let’s look at Georgia and you talked about that loss to Texas a couple of years ago. Remember last year, going into the Baylor game in the Sugar Bowl, where everybody thought, Georgia was down I don’t know, eight, nine starters, defense, offense, and they beat Baylor into submission. So that’s the mindset they’re gonna have to go into this game with. I don’t know if they will but let’s remember, they just finished their season on a big-time up note with a 49-14 win over Missouri. A three-game winning streak. the chance for them to win a fourth game in a row and by the way, beat a top 10 team? That should be motivation in itself.”

Hard to believe a guy like that lost his head coaching job.

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23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Plucked from the recycling bin

I know I risk sounding like one of those folks here…

… but are you really gonna tell me there isn’t a single black coach in all of college football who can do a better job than effing Tater Tot?

88 Comments

Filed under College Football

Your 12.23.20 Playpen

Simple question:  is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

148 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

Restoring the natural order in the Sunshine State

If I can resurrect a hoary chestnut once more…

Miami: From a Bulldog perspective, if you looked at the state of Florida as though it were Afghanistan (and I do), the Gators, obviously, are the Taliban, while Miami is whatever warlord is running things in the Northeast. The Hurricanes don’t occupy anything remotely resembling moral high ground, but they are useful. As with Alabama, a healthy Miami helps Georgia; in Da U’s case, it’s because the ‘Canes recruit against the Gators in the Sunshine State’s hottest hotbeads for high school talent, although they don’t play the Gators that often.

This season, it’s that effing warlord who’s eating, man.

Miami is the top Florida recruiter

Miami clearly made a big jump in in-state recruiting in 2021. The main reason for this is the relationships coach Manny Diaz and his staff have made with local prospects over the years, as well as the improved play from the Hurricanes on the field. But the Hurricanes also benefitted from the recruiting lockdown, in that local prospects were unable to take paid visits to schools throughout the nation, but could go visit the Miami campus, even if they could not meet with coaches in-person. Signing 11 four- and five-star prospects from Florida is almost as much as its last two hauls combined (13).

Miami signed in-state five-stars in defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, safety James Williams, receivers Romello Brinson, Brashard Smith, and Jacolby George, offensive linemen Laurence Seymore and Michael McLaughlin, athlete Chase Smith, running back Thad Franklin, and safety Kamren Kinchens. It’s a heck of a haul which should set up Miami to contend for the ACC Coastal and challenge for the conference in the coming years.

Florida was good, but fans want more

The Florida Gators signed five four- and five-stars from the state and have an additional player committed who has yet to sign. Five-star cornerback Jason Marshall is a special player. Four-stars like defensive linemen Tyreak Sapp, safety Corey Collier, receiver Marcus Burke, and tight end Gage Wilcox could also be difference makers. The Gators beat out Alabama for Marshall and Sapp.

But Florida fans want more.

Inshallah.

8 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Second thought on the Peach Bowl

So, how does BYU’s total domination of UCF in yesterday’s bowl game affect your perception of the Bearcats, which also beat UCF earlier?  Here’s a comparison of the team stats from both games:

Screenshot_2020-12-23 Cincinnati vs UCF - Team Statistics - November 21, 2020 - ESPN

Screenshot_2020-12-23 UCF vs BYU - Team Statistics - December 22, 2020 - ESPN

I get two things there — one, Cinci’s defense ain’t all that, and two, the Bearcats did a very good job of keeping UCF’s offense off the field to beat them.  I do expect them to try that route against Georgia, but I’d say JT Daniels will make that a tough go.

By the way, how good is that Coastal Carolina defense?

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Your Daily Gator tries to focus on the future.

Shot.

Screenshot_2020-12-23 Any chance Trask comes back next year

Chaser.

So… he’s saying there’s a chance?

20 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

TFW the numbers are trying to tell you something

This one’s for the playoff expansion crowd.

Reactions to the Sunday release of the College Football Playoff semifinal matchups were lukewarm at best.

The Vegas response summed it up when Alabama opened as the biggest favorite in the seven years of this postseason format. The spread is anywhere between 18.5 and 20 points for the New Year’s Day game in Arlington — another expected dud in the semifinal round of these playoffs.

Entering the year, 12 semifinal games have been contested since the inaugural playoff in 2014.

The average margin of victory in those games: 21.3

Three touchdowns.

Only three of the 12 have been one-score games while four were decided by more than 30 points.

The author calls that a problem, but the problem isn’t what he thinks it is.  The real problem is that in the majority of seasons, there aren’t more than three teams that are genuinely worthy of national championship consideration.  And playoff expansion won’t do a damned thing about that.

12 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Stats Geek!

Auburn’s got a new bag, man.

Well, shit.  Just as I was getting geared up to have a jolly time with the Auburn is finally talking to Hugh Freeze news, they up and go hire somebody completely different.

The announcement of Auburn University’s new head football coach Tuesday night came out of left field.

Make that a blue field.

Boise State’s Bryan Harsin, who has compiled a 69-19 record with the Broncos the past seven seasons on their famed blue turf, agreed to become the 28th football coach in Auburn’s 127-year history that contains eight Southeastern Conference titles and consensus national championships in 1957 and 2010. Harsin is replacing Gus Malzahn, who went 68-35 the last eight years with the Tigers in a stretch that was highlighted by the 2013 SEC crown and a journey to the BCS title game that same year but averaged 4.7 losses in the seven seasons that followed.

“I’m incredibly excited and humbled for the opportunity to be at a place like Auburn University,” Harsin said through a statement. “I knew it would take a special opportunity to get me out of Boise, and Auburn is exactly that — a chance to compete at the highest level for one of the greatest programs in college football. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the coaches and players in the Southeastern Conference, but I am ready to help build a foundation at Auburn where we can consistently compete for championships.”

Weirdly enough, it marks the second time that Harsin has succeeded Malzahn as head coach at a school.  But while taking over at Arkansas State is one thing, following a guy who was just paid a whopping $21 million buy out because he wasn’t winning more conference championships while sharing a division with Nick Saban is a horse of a completely different color.

As for the hire itself, as a Georgia fan, I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it, either.  I’m definitely of the “it’s always preferable to hire a head coach with previous head coaching experience” school, and in that regard, Harsin certainly checks the right boxes:  eight years running a program and an impressive 69-19 record directing one of the very best mid-major programs.  He ain’t no Shane Beamer, that’s for sure.

I’m also guessing, based on this Dan Wolken column, that he wanted the job for himself.

Harsin, who is expected to get a significant raise from the $1.85 million package he had at Boise State, had grown clearly frustrated with his situation there and was ready to move on. Recently, the Idaho Press had obtained a series of emails in which Harsin urged Boise State to leave the Mountain West Conference and seemed to push for certain roster size commitments for 2021 that the school was hesitant to meet due to scholarships costs.

Well, one thing’s for sure.  He won’t have resource problems at Auburn.  Which isn’t to say he won’t have problems at all.

I have no doubt we’ll be hearing the BS spin that he was on Auburn’s radar from the get go, but that’s not the reality of things.  The Auburn brass had clearly reached out to other coaches first and been rebuffed.  There is a faction at the school that was lobbying for Kevin Steele to replace Malzahn.  Harsin comes across as a compromise candidate, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing at a place like Auburn, where there are competing power bases fighting over control of the program.

But one thing to watch is whom Harsin hires for his staff.  There have been some fairly strong rumors out there that the Auburn brass insisted that any new coach had to commit to retaining Steele and Rodney Garner from Gus’ staff, which is why the likes of Napier turned down the opportunity.  I don’t know if those rumors are true, but we’ll know soon enough.  (Keeping Steele on board, in particular, seems quasi-suicidal, but would be an indication of how badly Harsin wanted out of Boise, I guess.)

Garner brings up another potential problem.  Harsin has been a decent recruiter at BSU, but he’s not in Idaho anymore.  Here’s what Barrett Sallee, in a piece that’s largely a cheerleading effort over the hire, has to say about that:

Sure, Harsin has limited knowledge of the SEC recruiting landscape. There’s no denying that. That’s why hiring a staff with deep recruiting ties is imperative for him to break through that glass ceiling that Malzahn couldn’t crack. That will come later.

Sure, Barrett.  It’s not as if Malzahn didn’t have that kind of staff and look where it got him:  year after year of being behind Alabama and Georgia.  Keeping Garner only lets Harsin tread water, so unless he’s got some magic way of raiding Saban’s and Smart’s staffs (Auburn fans are already predicting he’ll be going after Georgia’s McGee), it’s hard to see grounds for improvement.  It’s also worth mentioning in that regard that he’s already behind the eight ball with the 2021 class.

But, 69-19!  Even that comes with a cautionary note.  His winning percentage at Boise is an impressive .793, but his immediate predecessors, Chris Petersen (.885) and Dan Hawkins (.828) were even better, and there’s a faint sense that the program simply isn’t the same juggernaut it once was.

That being said, this is Auburn, a program that’s been known to catch lightning in a bottle now and then.  I mocked the Chizik hire, but they got a national championship banner out of it before… well, you know what.  And Chizik’s Iowa State track record wasn’t in the same zip code as Harsin’s.  So there’s that.

I dunno.  It’s Auburn, so anything’s possible.  But, bottom line, it just feels like Auburn spent over twenty million dollars to replace Gus Malzahn with someone who’s going to do about as well as Gus Malzahn did.

21 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

“Anytime you’ve got seniors involved in a bowl game, it’s always a concern for you.”

Per Mike Griffith, Georgia is up to eleven players who won’t suit up for the Peach Bowl.

DawgNation has confirmed that Ojulari, the team’s sacks leader with 5.5, will not play in the game. UGASports.com was first to report the most recent attrition.

The Bulldogs are expected to be without at least 11 former starters, including an eye-popping nine that have chosen to “opt-out” rather than suit up one final time with their teammates at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 1 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

There are only three starting seniors left, Devonte Wyatt, Malik Herring and Justin Shaffer.  I guess they can skip that belated Senior Day at the bowl game now.

We’re about to find out if Kirby’s got that whole motivation thing under control.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Dan Mullen, innovator

Shit, the Portal Master™ — sometimes, you’ve got to give him credit for being a trailblazer ($$).

NCAA penalties against Florida coach Dan Mullen announced Tuesday stem in part from an incident nearly identical to one that landed Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher in NCAA trouble earlier this year. Both coaches were punished for violating NCAA recruiting contact rules during visits to the Seattle high school of the same class of 2020 recruit in 2019.

According to NCAA public infractions reports, both coaches made impermissible contact with a recruit at the recruit’s school in January 2019.  The Florida NCAA report specified the high school is in Seattle and the date of the violation as January 14, 2019. The report in the Texas A&M case didn’t specify the location of the high school, but it listed the date of the violation as January 22, 2019.

Only thing I can’t figure out is whether he made the decision on his own, or heard Jimbo was on his way out there and decided to cut him off at the pass.  It’s almost poetic that neither of them actually signed the kid.

7 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting