In case you were wondering…
Daily Archives: May 24, 2021
Just thought I’d share a few bets with y’all.
First, a little Cocktail Party action.
Kinda wonder where that line will be by October.
Here’s what Allen Kenney has to say about Clemson being an early favorite over Georgia (+3) in the season opener for both schools:
Labor Day weekend sets up some fantastic matchups this year, and this clash between the Bulldogs and Tigers tops them all.
I realize Clemson’s recruiting remains lights out, but I’m starting to wonder if the program is entering the downside of a stellar run. The reality is that Dabo Swinney’s team doesn’t have any true peers inside the ACC to keep the Tigers sharp. Meanwhile, although there’s no shame in losing in the College Football Playoff, Clemson’s last two postseason appearances ended in resounding defeats. Keep in mind, too, that opponents have compiled years upon years of intelligence on the schemes of coordinators Brent Venables and Tony Elliott now.
For its part, Georgia probably has the second-best collection of talent in the nation behind Alabama. Inserting JT Daniels at quarterback elevated its offense to another level in the second half of the 2020 season, and that should carry over this fall.
This seems to like Georgia’s time. I’ll take UGA outright.
I like his take, but I sort of want to see how the Clemson receiving corps and Georgia’s secondary shape up come August before making a final call of my own.
Finally, we’ve got South Point’s current spreads on its College Football Games of the Year.
The Dawgs, as already noted, are an underdog to Clemson, but favored in games against Auburn (+4), Florida (+6) and Georgia Tech (+21). To give you some context to those numbers, Florida is an eleven-point dog to Alabama and Auburn is getting twelve points against the Tide. Texas A&M is favored by a touchdown over Auburn.
The overall impression I get is that Vegas isn’t particularly swayed by Georgia’s chances, which really means the betting public isn’t. That being said, the team really getting disrespected is LSU.
Look at these lines: Auburn (-2) at LSU, Florida at LSU (even), LSU at Mississippi (even) and LSU (+17) at Alabama. Apparently, there are many who think that Bo Pelini’s canning won’t matter much this season.
What numbers jump out at y’all?
If you don’t know the relevance of those terms in Georgia’s defense, you should spend 45 or so minutes listening to the latest Dawg Sports Live episode.
I don’t remember which commenter suggested Kirby Smart isn’t a particularly sharp scheme guy, but… well, nah, that ain’t it.
Also, again, it’s fascinating to see how defenses continue to evolve to deal with how the spread has mutated, even over just the past four years — a point Nathan makes comparing two Smiths, Roquan and Tykee (it’s not as strained a comparison as you might first think).
For what it’s worth, I still think Georgia is shopping for more secondary help in the transfer portal, mainly because I think we’re now in an era when you can never have enough defensive back talent.
This piece about the new ACC commissioner is from the end of March, but there are a few telling points made in it that I believe reinforce what we know about the sport we love.
Start with this quote:
And with men’s college basketball powerhouses Duke and North Carolina being close to the ACC’s base in North Carolina, some coaches and administrators have long suggested it skewed the league’s priorities away from football, which provides the overwhelming bulk of revenue.
“Everyone’s thought for a long time that our league trended toward the bouncy ball rather than the pointy one,” one coach said, “but college basketball is not what it was as a franchise 10 years ago. Does that hurt us? Has our league ever really looked at pushing football as the future?”
Phillips doesn’t see it as a zero-sum decision but suggested the ACC must prioritize its biggest revenue stream across all schools — football.
“We can have it all,” Phillips told ESPN. “We’ve had our moments in the ACC, but we all want to see more sustained excellence because those two sports are important to the commitment we have as a league.”
Okay, we can have it all is a laughable concept, but it’s also dangerously ironic. Let’s face it, the ACC was a basketball conference for years. Not that there was anything wrong with that. But as the NCAA tournament expanded, the value of the basketball regular season eroded. That’s certainly reflected in regular season revenue, which is largely driven by television these days. I’m not sure if it’s the case now, but just a few years ago, the only program in the conference that received more money from basketball than football was Louisville. That’s why ACC football coaches are getting traction now with the same suggestion that would have been laughed out of the room 25 years ago.
The irony I refer to is that college football is poised to repeat the same mistake — and why wouldn’t it, since it’s run by the same folks who brought you a devalued men’s basketball regular season?
Speaking of having it all, this is precious.
Another ACC athletic director offered similar thoughts on spending. Sure, the SEC has more money coming in, he said, but several SEC schools are spending that revenue before the checks have cleared. A smarter approach to spending — investing in assets with a financial return over gaudy new facilities, avoiding massive buyouts after bad coaching hires — can help offset some of the gap between the ACC and the SEC, he said.
Good luck sticking to that, fellas.
Nearly all of the athletic directors and coaches we spoke to suggested the massive gaps in revenue present extensive challenges for their schools, affecting the ability to retain assistant coaches, hire support staff and placate fans and boosters when the SEC and Big Ten have far deeper pockets.
“I’m under no illusion that we’re going to close the gap and catch up with the SEC or Big Ten,” another ACC AD told ESPN. “I’m optimistic that we can maintain the gap at the same level of increase that the SEC just got and what the Big Ten will get in their next go-round. If we cannot let the gap get bigger and can cut into the gap in some other ways, that will be success to me.”
But there is not yet a consensus among the league’s athletic directors on the right strategy.
If it were me, and I was forced to think outside the box, I’d embrace player compensation as a means to level the playing field. I’ve got the feeling there are plenty of players who’d prefer a check over a shiny new waterfall. But maybe that’s just me.
In any event, this appears to be the bottom line:
“If we don’t get our TV contract in the ballpark of [the SEC and Big Ten], there will be no level playing field in the Power 5,” said one ACC coach, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “There will not be a Power 5 anymore, in my opinion.”
If that’s how they feel, there’s an argument to be made that playoff expansion helps that concern. The more money that shifts to a bigger postseason, the more it gets evenly spread among the P5. Plus, a shift away from regular season relevance eventually means less regular season money for conferences like the Big Ten and SEC. Think of it as a form of college football inflation.
Ten years from now, I suspect this is going to be a very different world than the one we’re watching now. Different doesn’t mean better, in case you’re wondering.
In the past couple of weeks, you probably heard about this:
Colloquially, Kelley is known as the coach who never punts. While “never” is a slight exaggeration, he punts far less often than virtually any football coach in the U.S. After winning nine state championships in 18 years as the coach at Pulaski Academy, a private high school in Little Rock, he was named the new coach of Presbyterian College, an FCS school in Clinton, S.C., on May 7.
… He won more than 200 games at Pulaski while rarely punting and frequently onside-kicking, and he’s never one to tailor his style to the perceived norm.
This, for me, is one of the glories of college football. The lack of parity leads to schools, or at least some schools, innovating to make up for talent shortcomings. Now, that’s not to say Kelley’s scheming is going to put Presbyterian on the map as a P5 killer, but on the level he’ll be coaching at, there’s certainly a chance for it to make a difference.
Kelley also always attempts onside kicks instead of traditional kickoffs until his team leads by more than 21. Based on his calculations, if he can recover about one out of every five attempts, it’s worth it—his team steals extra possessions, and, at least at the high school level, the kickers aren’t as good and the players aren’t as disciplined.
In other words, kicking off traditionally can often lead to a penalty or a shorter kick, anyway. Kelley is willing to automatically give up approximately 25 yards to the opposition because of how valuable those extra possessions stemming from onside recoveries are in determining wins and losses.
There are other branches to the Kelley tree, including two-point conversions (if you can convert them more than half the time, you go for two) and never having someone back to return punts (penalties and fumbles aren’t worth risking for a typical short return)…
What’s really exciting to me won’t be how successful Kelley is at Presbyterian itself as much as how you can figure other coaches will start stealing his approach if the results are there. Trickle up, baby!
I don’t know if you’ve seen the news on Ford’s upcoming F-150 Lightning truck, but, holy cow, this thing is built to tailgate. It’s a beast of a machine that, with the right battery, can go up to 300 miles on a charge, but more importantly (at least for my selfish interest), the damned thing doubles as a generator that can power a home for roughly three days if equipped with the larger battery pack.
If it can power a whole house for three days, I think it can handle a tailgate without breaking a sweat.
Then, to top things off, there’s what you get when you realize there’s no motor up front.
The front trunk has a volume of 14 cubic feet and can hold 400 pounds of stuff, and there are four electrical outlets and two USB ports in there. It also has a basin in the floor that features a drain, and Ford says that it can be used to store food and drinks.
Woo! I am in awe.
No, I’m not gonna go out and buy one. But I’d sure like to be good friends with someone who does. Take this bad boy to Jax and rule the Cocktail Party.
Consider this an upcoming addition to the gift guide.