Daily Archives: August 11, 2021

From Larry Culpepper…

… to D.J. Uiagalelei.

As the first household brand to partner with a major college football player for a national ad campaign, Dr Pepper has struck a deal with Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei to feature the sophomore in television commercials that will air across the country.

Uiagalelei, the heir apparent to Trevor Lawrence, has started just two games in his college career. Yet he’s become the face of a national ad campaign for a giant American brand.

Welcome to the world of NIL.

“Every time I turn on the TV every Saturday, I always see a commercial with Dr Pepper,” Uiagalelei said in an interview with Sports Illustrated earlier this week. “When they reached out to me, it was a no-brainer.”

Uiagalelei, a 6′ 4″, 250-pound California native with a rocket arm, will play himself in Dr Pepper’s latest version of a long-running ad campaign built around a fictitious college football town called Fansville.

… This is Dr Pepper’s first such agreement with a college athlete since the NCAA granted athletes the right to profit from their name, image and likeness.

I don’t know about you, but I’m relieved to see this.  There’s no way his offensive linemen will block for him in the opener now.  Jealousy, for the win!

39 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, It's Just Bidness

Time flies when you’re having a good time.

Holy effing shit.

Congrats, NCAA.  At least you’ve gotten around to this while Briles is still alive and on this earth.

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UPDATE:  This is like the punchline to a bad joke.

What it really is, is a decision not to get dragged into another Penn State situation.

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UPDATE #2:  You knew this was coming.

Only if they’re playing college football in hell, you bastard.

41 Comments

Filed under Baylor Is Sensitive To Women's Issues, The NCAA

“It’s about matchups.”

I just reiterated something in the comments I’ve posted before here about Kirby’s offseason portal moves, bringing in Smith and Kendrick to bolster the defensive backfield.  Specifically, after watching his pass defense get shredded by Alabama and Florida, I feel that Smart made a conscious decision to shore up the depth in the defensive backfield in order to make sure that he could play dime coverage with six legitimate defensive backs.  No more getting exposed covering a Jaylen Waddle with a Monty Rice.

If I told you that Florida is going in a different direction, would you be surprised?

For a defense that leans on speed and quickness, getting an extra defensive back on the field is usually imperative and that’s what the Gators do by using a nickel or STAR position as their main personnel. But in this 2021 edition of the Florida defense, we could see three, four, or maybe more players that play the linebacker position in the defense on the field at the same time.

Florida has a diverse group at the linebacker positions. Diverse in that some can play multiple positions, but they can play multiple positions because they have a varied array of athletic tools. To a man they all have pretty good to great speed, but some are stronger and can play closer to the trenches and some are faster and can play in the secondary if needed.

All of this is by design according to linebacker coach Christian Robinson. As offenses move to play faster and move their personnel around on the field rather than take the time to switch them out, defenses have to have a way to keep up.

… So a question was asked of Florida linebacker coach Christian Robinson on Tuesday about possibly playing three linebackers on the field at the same time on a defense than normally plays two.

His response was a little unexpected.

“I think you’ll see more than just (three) on the field at certain times,” Robinson said matter of fact like.

Bold strategy, Cotton.

Assuming they’re really planning on going down this particular road, I hope Monken wheel routes Grantham to death.

31 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Strategery And Mechanics

Noise in the narrative

I know y’all saw that the preseason Coaches Poll was released yesterday.  It’s a worthless exercise, of course, but it does serve as an early picture of what the general group-thought shapes up as before a single ball is kicked in anger.  Along those lines, it’s hardly a surprise to see Georgia ranked fifth, behind number one Alabama and number two Clemson.

What is a little surprising to me is to find some pushback bubbling up from the pundit ranks.  Here, for example, is The Athletic’s Ari Wasserman, arguing that Georgia, at five, is underrated ($$).

Underrated

• No. 5 Georgia: Perception is a major part of this poll. You could make the case that Georgia is one of the most underperforming programs in the sport given its recent results when compared to the amount of talent on its roster. Maybe thinking this is Georgia’s year is a trap — we’ve all heard the 1980 jokes — but it’s a natural one to step into. The Bulldogs have perhaps the most talented roster in the country. They have a quarterback with starting experience in former five-star prospect JT Daniels. And they added key transfers to their secondary in Tykee Smith from West Virginia and Derion Kendrick from Clemson. Also, Georgia has a very favorable schedule and won’t have to play Alabama until the SEC Championship Game if it works out that way. Georgia has all the pieces to be a team that should, at the very least, be ranked in the top three before the season starts.

Barrett Sallee expresses a similar sentiment here.

Underrated: No. 5 Georgia

Georgia hasn’t been able to break through that glass ceiling under Kirby Smart, but that should change this year as the Bulldogs are loaded from top to bottom. It starts with quarterback JT Daniels, who now has a full year operating in Todd Monken’s offense after working through issues and not seeing the field until the final month of the season. The running back room is loaded, the wide receiving corps in versatile and dangerous, the offensive line is stacked with talent and we don’t have to worry about Georgia’s defense at all. If you want to look at the most complete teams right now, Georgia and Oklahoma are the two that should come to mind. It seems like it’s just a knee-jerk reaction to rank Alabama and Clemson in the top two based on their history of replacing stars with stars. Georgia doesn’t even have to worry about that this year.

That’s all going to be overtaken the second Georgia’s opener finishes, of course, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt.

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Big Ten blogger discovers water is wet.

Someone is a wee bit miffed with Greg Sankey.

SUBTWEET OF THE YEAR. I did not know this because I do not generally keep track of cursed dates, but it turns out that yesterday was the anniversary of the Big Ten’s decision to cancel the fall athletic season.

And SEC commissioner Greg Sankey celebrated by subtweeting the hell out of Kevin Warren.

Dude, he’s a conference commissioner.  Asshole comes with the territory.

Also, it doesn’t change the fact that Warren didn’t exactly cover himself in glory with his decision making skills.

8 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple

Throw the damned ball, defensive coordinators

These are quite the stats from Seth Emerson ($$):

Last year passing yards accounted for 77.5 percent of the yards Georgia’s defense allowed. That was up from 72.9 percent in 2019. And in both years that was the highest such percentage in the FBS. Opponents figured it out: Running on Georgia is a lost cause, but passing offers an opportunity.

By “opponents”, Seth didn’t mean just Alabama and Florida.

Even last year, when Georgia seemingly faced two great offenses and eight middling ones, the passing percentage of Georgia’s yards given up is almost equal: 78.5 percent by Florida and Alabama, 76.9 percent by everyone else. The same deal with 2019, when Burrow and LSU gained 72 percent of their yards against Georgia via the air, the same percentage as the rest of Georgia’s opponents. (These numbers are way up from only a few short years ago: 59 percent of Georgia’s defensive yards were via the air in 2018, and 57 percent in 2017.)

And that was with several experienced defensive backs who were talented enough to be drafted this year.

No, against those middling attacks, it wasn’t enough to cost any games, but we all saw how the ‘Bama and Florida offenses gouged Georgia’s passing defense.  Modern college football is a game that favors the pass, so it’s not that I expect shutdown coverage week after week.  But last year’s pass defense was, to use a term, middling, with a defensive passer rating of 132.72, only 56th nationally.  When you’ve got teams like Oklahoma (112.87), Alabama (119.37) and West Virginia (121.52), all playing in pass happy conferences and all putting up better ratings, there is clearly room for improvement.

Remember, YPP says that Georgia’s offense is going to have to produce at program record setting levels in order for this team to have a legitimate shot at a national title.  Logic suggests that better defensive production gives the offense a little more margin for error in that regard.  Since the run defense is coming off a season in which it was far better than middling, that improvement is going to have to come against the pass.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

showtime

If, in the last post, Zamir White is the picture of grim determination, well, then, what to say about this?

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

You want a piece of this?

There’s a great line from last season’s Ted Lasso, describing a player in his prime as running like he was “angry at the grass”.

Now I know what that looks like.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football