Daily Archives: February 24, 2021

A gift for gab

Believe it or not, there are times when I really have no desire to be snarky.  Like when I came across this Mike Griffith interview with former Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker concerning Georgia’s secondary in 2021.  I mean, Tucker’s coached with Kirby, knows how his scheme works and has some familiarity with personnel here.  So I dove in with the best of intentions.

Instead, what I get is an eye-rolling master class in coachspeak.  A few samples of what is supposed to pass for deep insight:

  • “The game has changed with the RPOs and spreads,” said Tucker, who was Georgia’s defensive coordinator from 2016-2018. “What it does, is it puts a lot of pressure on your defensive backs.”
  • “Whether they are corners or safeties, they have to be able to cover one on one,” Tucker said. “You can’t put those linebackers in run-pass conflict. Those guys have to read to the run, and if they decide to throw, you are basically one on one.
  • “So it puts a premium on having versatile defensive backs that can cover man to man in the slot inside, and also do a great job in run protection, perimeter runs and on bubbles (routes) and jailbreak screens.”“Those (Stars) are valuable, playing nickel with five defensive backs, dime with six defensive backs, that’s normal nowadays,” Tucker said. “You need to be two or three deep at the star position or at the dime position.”
  • And, my favorite:  “It puts a lot of onus on those guys back there to understand there’s no such thing as a cover corner anymore, you need a football player…”

Mel’s got a graduate degree in banal.  Either that, or there are a bunch more people commenting here and at message board who are capable of being successful defensive coordinators than I thought.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Congress’ latest bitch slap of the NCAA

Sooner or later, you’d think Mark Emmert would get the message, but nah…

The Amateur Athletes Protection and Compensation Act of 2021 is scheduled to be introduced this week in the U.S. Senate by Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). Sports Illustrated obtained a copy of the legislation. The act is the sixth congressional bill governing athlete compensation announced or introduced over the last calendar year in Washington, but is just the second to be introduced in the new Congress. Bills introduced last year must be reintroduced this year.

Compared with some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, Moran’s legislation falls more toward the middle of the raging debate over how athletes should be compensated for their name, image and likeness (NIL). Under the bill, athletes would be open to sign endorsement deals as long as the agreements do not violate a school’s code of conduct, and recruits can sign the same deals as long as they are not considered recruiting inducements.

Moran’s draft provision is the first such concept included in a Republican-backed NIL bill. It grants athletes the right to enter a sports draft and retain their eligibility as long as they do not receive compensation from a professional sports league, team or agent. The athlete would need to declare their intentions no later than seven days after the completion of the draft.

The act is maybe the most broad of all Republican-authored NIL legislation. It provides expanded medical coverage, lifetime scholarships for former athletes and grants athletes the ability to transfer at least once without penalty.

When you’ve lost a Republican Senator from Kansas, it’s safe to say your message isn’t resonating.  More and more, it’s looking like the NCAA and schools are putting all their eggs in the Supreme Court basket.  It won’t be pretty if they’re wrong.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Literally, a money quote

Seth Emerson ($$) asked Eric Stokes about his decision to skip the bowl game in order to prepare for the draft.  His answer, in part:

Just making that decision, I was pretty much listening to my teammates: ‘Hey man, you don’t really need to play this, you’ve already done everything that you did. I don’t want you to risk anything, just go ahead and do you, you’ve already made your money here.’ Hearing that stuff from my teammates assured me that we would be good regardless. It made me feel way better.

Wait, his teammates didn’t think he was a traitorous quitter?  Inconceivable!


Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

A bridge too far for Nick Saban

Who’da thunk it ($$)?

In an ideal world, Saban would have loved to bring Jeremy Pruitt back to Alabama, but given the way Pruitt’s tenure ended at Tennessee, that couldn’t realistically happen. Instead, Pruitt is in the NFL coaching with the New York Giants.

Sounds like Pruitt’s going to be toiling in the fields for a while.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Your 2.24.21 Playpen

One irritating thing about politicians, usually on the state or local level, is why they seem to go out of their way to court lawsuits.  Like this stupidity:

Tennessee Republicans are up in arms over a state college basketball team’s decision to kneel last week during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” prompting legislators to warn the public university system not to allow student athletes to do so again.

A firestorm of controversy has surrounded the action by players on the men’s East Tennessee State University basketball team, who during a Feb. 16 game at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga dropped to one knee on the court as the national anthem played.

Coach Jason Shay and ETSU president Brian Noland have said the team did not intend to disrespect that nation’s flag or military, but are seeking to prompt discussions about racial inequality.

After voicing their outrage in legislative meetings, local television news segments and social media posts over the players’ act of peaceful protest, Senate Republicans on Monday sent a letter to all presidents and chancellors of public Tennessee colleges and universities.

“To address this issue, we encourage each of you to adopt policies within your respective athletic departments to prohibit any such actions moving forward,” reads the letter, signed by all 27 members of the Senate Republican Caucus, including Lt. Gov. Randy McNally.

It’s an empty gesture.  Were it to be put into effect, it’s a guaranteed loser in court, despite astute constitutional scholarship like this:

“The First Amendment is sacrosanct,” said Sen. Janice Bowling who does not believe university athletes should be allowed to kneel during the anthem. “I would never resist anything that’s going to allow them to exercise their First Amendment on their own time, absolutely.

“They’re representing the school and the school represents Tennessee and Tennessee shows preference to our time-honored people and institutions who went before us. We respect our heritage and our history.”

Sen. Rusty Crowe questioned whether freedom of speech extends to athletes in uniform, while Sen. Mark Pody said he was concerned that student athletes would engage in an act of protest while “they’re taking state money, they’re in our state schools, in our state uniforms.”

The First Amendment is sacrosanct, except when it’s not.

This isn’t a left or right thing.  I’ve seen equally dumb stuff from liberal politicians.  But, not only is crap like this empty, it costs taxpayers money to defend the inevitable litigation it brings.  What’s the point?

Ah, hell, don’t answer that.  Thus endeth the vent.  Have at it in the comments.


Filed under GTP Stuff

QBs gonna QB.

Okay, so I splurged and signed up for ESPN+, mainly because I wanted to watch spring football and that’s where the vast majority of FCS games are.  Getting Bill Connelly is a nice bonus, of course, but I also get access to curious exercises like Adam Rittenberg’s top 25 future quarterback power rankings, which purports to rank programs on the basis of their futures over the next three seasons at the position.

While optimistic (Daniels and two five-star recruits lined up behind him seems pretty stout to me), I wasn’t expecting Georgia to rank at the top of the list.  That being said, I wasn’t expecting sixth, either, behind the likes of Alabama and Ohio State, both of which have to replace quarterbacks expected to go in the first round of the NFL draft with very inexperienced talent.  Essentially, Georgia is dinged because, well, Georgia.  (“Projecting Georgia’s quarterback outlook is one of the trickiest and most significant parts of this annual exercise.”)

To be fair, he had the Dawgs ranked 11th last season, which turned out to be unduly optimistic.  And, try as he might to pump things up (“There are few guarantees in college quarterback play, but Mullen’s success with player development is pretty close to a sure thing.”), he’s got Florida ranked behind Georgia going into 2021.

One other thing:  the only team on the list that Georgia will face over the next three season besides Alabama (okay, work with me here) and Florida is Clemson.  In the quarterback-centric world that is college football now, that seems like a pretty big deal.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

New math, Plains style

So, I came across this on a message board…


… and that got me to wondering about Dennis Dodd’s piece on Harsin, where he noted,

If that was the picture of a lifer, it wasn’t a bad one. Harsin comes to The Plains as the ninth-winningest active FBS coach, (with more than one year experience) having won 76% of his games. The issue with that stat is Harsin will now play three coaches annually with better career winning percentages (Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher at 76.8%, Georgia’s Kirby Smart at 78.8% and Saban at 80%).

Hmmm.  Something doesn’t appear to add up.  Aha!  There’s an eighth year.

Screenshot_2021-02-24 Bryan Harsin - Wikipedia

The comparison is ludicrous enough on its face, but to crimp his track record to make the numbers fit is even cringier.  Although I suspect it’ll become a moot point after the 2021 season.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Embracing the suck

Jeremy Pruitt, gone but not forgotten.

Vols, man.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange