Our old friend David Hale now handles the ACC beat for ESPN, so I thought you might be interested to see his early take on the preseason all-conference first and second teams.
Yep, that is nine of Clemson’s eleven defensive starters you see there. Pretty stout showing.
Interestingly, though, for a team that’s been an offensive juggernaut for several years now, there’s not nearly as much going on that side of David’s chart. Two first-teamers and one second-teamer (and I’m still not convinced Ross is fully healthy yet) is quite a step down from last season.
To me, when it comes to Georgia’s opener, it feels like the team that gets the best offensive line performance is going to get the win. What say y’all?
You, an extremely well-connected and insightful anonymous blog commenter, fretting about NIL legislation: bag men, bag men everywhere!
Greg McGarity, a long-time, money-chasing P5 athletic director (h/t):
That’s what happens when all that “it’s what’s on the front of the jersey that counts” bullshit collides with the free market.
Here’s one chart from an eye-opening piece ($$) comparing how each current P5 coach has done in the 247Sports Composite team rankings with the classes that were signed at their programs before they arrived.
Saban’s numbers are mind-boggling, both in terms of how recruiting had slid at ‘Bama before he got there, but also in terms of how he’s maintained a ridiculously high class ranking over fourteen years.
You can also see one reason why Kentucky and TAMU have recently improved. (And it may lay the seeds for the Aggies becoming a bigger threat to Alabama in the West than LSU.)
Meanwhile, about that gap…
• Kirby Smart’s average class improvement of 6.4 spots at Georgia doesn’t seem dramatic, but it certainly is. It’s very difficult to make a big improvement when you’re taking over a program that is averaging a top-10 finish already. The Bulldogs are assembling elite classes with ease, in part because Smart has put a fence around Georgia, one of the deepest states for high school talent in the country. It seems as though it’s only a matter of time before Georgia breaks through and wins a national title.
• Dan Mullen has improved Florida’s recruiting results slightly, and the Gators fielded a really good team in 2020. But if he wants to be a consistent threat in the SEC title race, Mullen will have to do more on the recruiting trail.
Yeah, but only one man is the Portal Master™.
Nebraska probably wouldn’t mind if Fox put the game on at eight in the morning. What a sad commentary on what was once one of college football’s can’t miss rivalries.
Well, couch potatoes, here’s some news:
The first three weeks of the SEC football television schedule were announced on Thursday by the SEC Office, including the weekly staple of the SEC Network triple-header beginning opening weekend.
Georgia’s home opener against UAB kicks off at 3:30. Toasty! South Carolina’s visit the following week has a 7PM starting time.
Congress fires another shot across the NCAA’s bow:
College athletes would be able to form players’ unions and would be considered employees of their schools if a new Congressional bill introduced Thursday morning is passed into law.
The College Athletes Right to Organize bill, co-authored by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT), presents a direct challenge to the NCAA’s foundational premise of amateurism. It asserts that any college athletes who are compensated by their school for their athletic ability — whether through a scholarship or other means — should have the right to organize and collectively bargain. A companion bill is also being introduced in the House by Reps. Jamal Bowman (D-NY), Andy Levin (D-MI) and Lori Trahan (D-MA).
… The new bill would establish each athletic conference as a bargaining unit, giving players in those conferences the ability to organize and bargain for changes in compensation, working conditions, hours and more. The bill also includes language that would make sure the current tax status applied to sports scholarships is not changed and that being considered an employee would not create additional tax burdens or impact an athletes federal financial aid status.
Trahan, by the way, is a former collegiate volleyball player.
Here are a few more details about what’s contained in the bill.
Some of you probably won’t accept this, but if the NCAA were smart — I know! I know! — they’d offer to cut a deal and accept this in return for an antitrust exemption. It would give them a way to control expenses and get out of all the litigation crap they’ve struggled with for the last decade.
To repeat… I know, I know.
UPDATE: I know! I know!
Give Josh Brooks credit where it’s due.
Plus, a new revenue source!
Cool. Now do tailgating.
UPDATE: You may consider the above to be nibbling at the edges, but this ($$) has the potential to be a big effing deal, at least as far as I’m concerned.
Georgia is coming closer to having a master plan for facilities, even if that exact term isn’t being used. Brooks mentioned a “strategic vision” for the next five-to-seven years, and that he and his staff will be putting together such a plan.
The plan would include all sports and how it would be funded. Nothing is on paper yet.
“It’s in my mind right now,” Brooks said. “Obviously I have a lot of experience with facilities. But that’s the charge of my team that we’re going to work through the next month to start putting that longer-term plan together. And again, some schools will pay an architect $1 million to put together a facilities master plan. With my experience, and my team’s experience, I don’t think that’s a good use of money. I think what’s better for us, is we know where our facilities are, let’s start putting that plan together for what it’s going to look like in the next five-to-seven years. And beyond.”
Seth quotes Morehead as saying he’ll defer to Brooks on facilities decisions. We shall see, but this would be a step in the right direction.
Josh and Graham invited me on to shoot the breeze about a few spring topics at Georgia.
Speaking of filling the gap Pickens’ injury left…
Whoa. Let’s hope speed kills this season.
Or maybe we should hope JT’s deep ball kills this season.