Daily Archives: February 16, 2021

Rising and falling, preseason 2021 edition

To give you an idea how thin a reed some of these rankings rest upon, note that 247Sports has adjusted its preseason rankings in part by moving Ohio State past Georgia into fourth.  How come?

Ohio State did get a surprise, however, with the announced return of Chris Olave as well as the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class.  That sees Ohio State pass Georgia for the No. 4 spot.

This, despite losing what is likely a top five pick in the NFL draft in Justin Fields.  And here I thought quarterback was the big deal in college football these days.

One other thing that gets me — check out the Georgia analysis.

The Bulldogs drop one spot in the updated 247Sports poll. Georgia finished 2020 in a strong way, not losing a game since the transition to JT Daniels at quarterback. Daniels returns for 2021 with some other interesting quarterback names in the conversation. Five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff is one of the headliners of the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class and Gunner Stockton is already committed for 2022.

“Here’s what’s fascinating,” Josh Pate said in his review of Georgia’s recruiting class. “If you were to be an Oregon State fan, let’s say, and you were watching recruiting as a whole. You look at the way Georgia recruits, and they are top five every, top three every year, you would think, I can’t even imagine – that’s on a different planet than anything I’ve been used to. And yet, if you’re a Georgia Bulldog fan, you’re looking at your class and you’re thinking, this is really good, this is really good, then you cut your eyes over to Tuscaloosa, and you cut your eyes up to Clemson and you cut your eyes up to Columbus.

“Again, when we were talking about Ohio State, Georgia lives in that same world and so you can look at it as being totally elite which they are every year, but Trey, you know, because we write about it all the time, we talk about it all the time on the college football daily you’re mentioning it all the time. It’s about where we are in relation to where they are. And right now as good as this class is, I mean it’s not even the top class of the SEC, just to give you an idea of what the waters in the SEC are like.”

I confess that I cut my eyes over to Tuscaloosa, because what Saban brought in was insane.  But I’m not sitting here with tears in my eyes because Smart’s had to settle for the fourth-best signing class in the country.  (Besides, how much are any of these classes going to make a difference this season, anyway?)  Especially when he’s done such a good job digging out of the hole that was his quarterbacks room a year ago.  And you?


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Will lightning strike twice in Baton Rouge?

I wondered about this yesterday, after I saw Bill Connelly’s SP+ preseason rankings.  The unadulterated good news for LSU is that Bo Pelini is gone.  The defense will be better by default.  What about the offense, though?  Yes, it underperformed last season.  Orgeron’s fix is to do the time warp again.

Ed Orgeron picked up the phone, called Joe Brady and asked for help.

The LSU coach wants to turn back time and replicate the 15-0 season that was powered by a record-breaking offense led by a Heisman Trophy quarterback and wunderkind coach who revamped the passing offense in 2019. That coach was Brady, 30, who worked alongside veteran coordinator Steve Ensminger to rethink the way LSU plays on offense, particularly with elite receivers such as Ja’Marr Chase on the roster.

Brady, now the offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers, made a quick recommendation: hire the men who coached under me for one season in the NFL.

Panthers quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz was hired Wednesday as LSU’s offensive coordinator and former LSU analyst DJ Mangas will be the passing game coordinator.

The hires send a clear message: Orgeron wants to party like it’s 2019, and he wants that offense to rumble through the SEC for the foreseeable future.

Just like Brady, neither of these two has much of a track record to rest on.

Peetz, 37, has been a journeyman mostly as an analyst and position coach since starting his career in 2006 at Santa Barbara City College. He has held nine different titles for four different programs, mostly in the NFL, in nine seasons. He served two stints as an analyst at Alabama before serving as the running backs coach and quarterbacks coach in the last two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, respectively. He has never called plays.

Mangas, 30, played alongside Brady at William & Mary and later sat beside him as an analyst in the LSU press box during the 2019 season. He joined Brady at Carolina, where he was Peetz’s assistant.

Mangas has play-calling experience, but his offenses were among the worst on the FCS level in 2017 and 2018, when he was the second-youngest offensive coordinator in college football. The Tribe averaged 15 and 13.6 points per game, ranking 112th and 121st out of 124 teams on the FCS level.

That’s a lot of trust.  And it’s not like Orgeron’s going at half measures, either, as LSU plans to go “all spread” this season, whatever that winds up meaning.

The good thing is that there’s plenty of talent to work with.  Will Coach O’s gamble pay off  — again?


Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Georgia football comin’.

What’s the one thing you most hope to see in the opener?  What’s your biggest worry for that game?


Filed under Georgia Football

Florida punts on a spring game.

Due to lingering COVID concerns, I would assume.

I guess if they replay last season’s Cocktail Party enough, none of their fans will notice.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

Tennessee welcomes a five-star defensive coordinator.

With their ninth selection in the 2021 coaching draft, the Vols pluck a branch from the Booch coaching tree.

Tennessee reached up into Big Ten territory to find its long-awaited defensive coordinator.

Tim Banks, the co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Penn State the past five seasons, was tabbed Monday to guide Josh Heupel’s defense for the Volunteers. Banks received his first opportunity at coordinating a defense more than a decade ago from Butch Jones.

… Banks was Maryland’s defensive backs coach in 2006 when he accepted the offer to be a defensive coordinator for the first time with Jones at Central Michigan, a three-year stint that yielded a 27-13 record and a pair of Mid-American Conference championships. He followed Jones to Cincinnati as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach and helped the Bearcats from a 4-8 season in 2010 to a 10-3 mark in 2011.

Heupel spent time at the presser announcing Banks’ hire (3 years, $4.2 million!) talking about “bringing an up-tempo offense to Rocky Top”, so good luck with that, Mr. Banks.  Maybe Booch’s trash can is still around.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

TFW you see the difference between the SEC and the AAC

From an eagle soaring majestically over ninety thousand fans to this…

Arise, Sir Gus.


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

Musical palate cleanser, readers’ choice, part two

Reader Alex introduces today’s pick.

So my wife called me out for not using boombox in those list of albums…but I may have dropped that in a past comment about my favorites. Boombox is fronted by Zion godchaux. Donna godchaux and Keith’s (of the Grateful Dead) son. He ended up growing up in muscle shoals…and his influences are clear in his music, boombox is considered electronic, but it’s slow and real funky. Their first two albums are some of my favorites. Visions of a backbeat and downriver electric. I’d listen to them in that order. And whole album spins.

Gotta listen to the wife, man.  From Downriver Electric, enjoy “Kool Aid Smile”.


Filed under Uncategorized