Don’t worry, Auburn fans. In just a few, short months on the job, he’s already cracked the code ($$)!
… Everyone dresses the same in the weight room, Harsin says, not because he seeks uniformity but because he wants the players to make a conscious decision about coming together as a team. They wear the same uniforms for games; they should do the same as they prepare for games. “It really is defining everything,” Harsin said.
Who knew that’s all it takes?
As of right now, anyway.
The first thing that catches my eye there is at the very bottom — the average for 2021 is much higher than it’s been in the previous seven seasons. I would think a big reason for that is the NCAA’s decision to give players an eligibility mulligan for last year.
The second thing of note is that eight SEC teams, including Georgia, rank 105th or lower. Now, there’s returning production and then there’s returning production. Nobody’s arguing that Vanderbilt and Alabama are even close to being on the same footing. Even so, returning to the first point, note that only one of those eight teams, South Carolina, returns less than 50% of its 2020 production. A rising eligibility tide lifts all boats. (Except maybe BYU’s. 32%? Yeesh.)
Also, remember that besides the issue of overall roster quality, Bill has always maintained that returning production matters more at some positions than others ($$). For example,
As it turns out, continuity up front, as measured by your percentage of snaps returning, has a pretty hefty impact on your year-to-year progression or regression.
… Returning production in the secondary ends up accounting for about 59% of your overall statistical change, a monstrous amount compared to linebackers (minus-33%) and defensive linemen (minus-8%).
That last point might make you a little nervous about Georgia’s fate this season, but it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s unlikely Kirby Smart is done fishing in the transfer portal. I presume Bill’s numbers will be revised at some point once final rosters have been assembled for August camp; it will be interesting to see how those shake out, now that the NCAA has approved free one-time transfers.
I’ll leave it to you as to whether that concept is oxymoronic. Instead, I’ll just focus on what he poses about Georgia’s place in the SEC East at the moment.
Burning questions: Is it now or never for Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs? Not only no but hell no. The narrative that the window of opportunity to win a national championship in Athens is closing is silly. As long as you recruit great players in sufficient numbers every year you have a chance. Having said that, does Georgia have a roster that puts them in the national championship discussion? Yep. Georgia has a franchise quarterback in JT Daniels. And if wide receiver George Pickens (ACL) gets back on the field some time this season it could get interesting. Even if Pickens doesn’t return there is a lot of talent (Kearis Jackson) in that receivers room. Georgia’s good. But can the Bulldogs win the East and beat Alabama? We’ll learn a lot about Georgia when it opens the season against Clemson.
You know, he almost had me with the first three sentences. But he came through like the champ we all know he is in the last two.
There’s always something to fill the ol’ chafing dishes.
I’m sure the selection committee will take this into account when it matters.
While the AP and the Coaches polls are voted on by a group of subjective experts (they’re only human after all) the oddsmakers in Vegas put their money where their mouths are.
It may be the most realistic way to gauge which teams are poised to make a run.
Vegas’ latest odds to win the 2021-22 CFP National Championship form a predictable Top 10: 1. Alabama (+280), 2. Clemson (+300), 3. Ohio State (+500), T4. Georgia and Oklahoma (+800), 6. Florida (+2500), 7. Texas A&M (+3000), T8. LSU and Notre Dame (+3300), T10. Texas and Wisconsin (+4500).
Using this metric and still four months from the season even kicking off, there are nine Top 10 matchups on tap in 2021. Of these, a whopping six (or 66%) are SEC games. What remains are a mere two non-conference contests and one Big 12 matchup.
Alabama, Florida, and LSU are all tasked with three Top Ten opponents apiece while Georgia and Texas A&M have two such games. The only member of Vegas’ Top Ten to not have a Top Ten foe slated is Ohio State.
That seems competitive.
Kirby Smart embraces his inner Jim Boeheim.
“I think if you polled any coach it would be foolish to say you wouldn’t want playoff expansion.” No shit, Sherlock. Just think of all the new playoff bonus opportunities! (Not to mention how much longer Mark Richt’s career at Georgia would have been sustained had he coached in an era of Big Playoff.)
In other words, Jimmy Sexton approves this message.