Daily Archives: November 2, 2021

“Tuesday is a significant day for football.”

You can either allow college athletes the opportunity to perform their civic duty, or you can do it for the kids.  Guess which is the popular option for college football on Election Day.

Last September, amid a raging pandemic, a contentious presidential election and a social justice movement that extended to college campuses, the NCAA approved a historic measure, mandating that schools hold no practice or competition on Election Day each year moving forward.

But a year later, on Election Day 2021, dozens of schools are holding required activities for athletes after having NCAA waivers approved during a process that some feel is unfair, disappointing and further proof that the policy needs further examining…

As the organization that proposed the Election Day legislation last year, SAAC oversaw the waiver process, Cassidy says, deciding to give programs a “grace period” since the legislation is only 14 months old. As many as 15 waivers were approved, he says, some of which were “full-conference” waivers. Waivers were mostly granted to avoid scheduling issues, specifically for sports that are in the postseason, such as soccer and cross country.

Yet, many schools received waivers to hold football and basketball practices on Tuesday, an issue some administrators believe creates an unequal playing field and defeats the purpose of the legislation, originally meant for athletes to vote, learn about the voting process and/or engage in voter education within their communities. One athletic director estimated that more than half of the 130-member FBS received a waiver. Another put the number at “at least 100” schools.

It’s amazing anybody takes the NCAA’s gestures seriously.  Its members sure don’t.


Filed under The NCAA

Selection committee vote comin’

Ordinarily, I think these midseason ballots are a waste of time and money, but I’ll make an exception for once, exactly for the reason Bill Connelly cites.

What the committee does with Cincinnati is going to be incredibly revealing, not about the Bearcats, but about the committee itself.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

“They’re doing this to offenses that are used to scoring.”

That’s Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendall Briles, talking about Georgia’s defense.  He had more to say:

“Because they’re so good inside, you want to try to get the ball on the perimeter, but their space guys are great in space,” Briles said. “That’s what makes it so hard. They tackle so well in space. They get off blocks in space. They run so well to the football, and they get there angry. When they hit you, your players remember how it feels when you get hit by Georgia.”

That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?  Georgia has depth, talent and plays fundamentally sound defense.  That will take you a long way.

What’s interesting in this Chris Low piece (read it all, of course) is what steps Kirby Smart took to fine tune the scheme this season.

What’s not the same about this defense, according to Smart, is the way Georgia is playing more zone and not getting caught up in trying to match up all the time. The defensive staff made a conscious effort to simplify things this offseason.

They call it “Blackboard,” and the concept doesn’t change regardless of how much offenses shift, motion or line up in different formations. Smart credits his defensive staff for tweaking the scheme to help avoid some of the confusion that hurt Georgia a year ago.

“We still have the hard calls, but we added easy calls and we’ve been in the easy calls more than the hard calls,” Smart said. “We didn’t throw things out. We’re just not doing them as often.”

As I’ve mentioned before, some of that was no doubt driven by the personnel losses in the secondary.  I also think the Addae addition to the staff contributed to the thinking Smart describes there.

I also found this comparison revealing:

Smart has seen the game evolve greatly in the past decade. He was on the field in 2011 as Alabama’s defensive coordinator when LSU beat Alabama 9-6 in overtime. There were 28 defensive players in that game — 14 on each side — who would go on to be drafted, including 10 first-rounders.

But it was much more of a possession game back then, and tempo and run-pass options weren’t ingrained in offenses the way they are now.

“Both of those offenses at the time were bully offenses, and what a good defense is made up of now is not what a good defense was made up of then,” Smart said. “You have the same situational principles — short-yardage, goal-line and all those things. But the makeup is so different. You have to be able to give people negative plays to get them behind the sticks. You have to be more disruptive whereas back then I felt like you could out-physical people.”

What Georgia is doing now — 53 points (46 by the defense) yielded in eight games — is off the charts, when you consider the present era of offensive football as context for the performance.  What’s most impressive about that to me is Smart’s confidence in scheming and talent evaluation almost makes him sound like it was expected all along.  Hell, for all I know, maybe it was.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Greg Sankey’s “big-picture thinking”

More horseshit from everyone’s favorite SEC Commissioner ($$):

And the future schedule and divisions remain firmly in the “who knows?” stage. Few around the league are openly campaigning for divisions, pods or eight/nine-game league schedules.

The goal most frequently expressed by Sankey and others around the league, publicly and privately? Schools shouldn’t go 12 years between visits to another campus.

“We’re going to have cherished games continue, but I could see it being different,” Sankey said. “When we expanded, I asked two things. One is, blue-sky, big-picture thinking. Take a step back and think when we bring Oklahoma and Texas into the league, what’s a really wise way to schedule. The second is, we oughta rotate teams through campuses more frequently or I guess neutral sites in a few cases. Those are the two anchor points. We’re working with our athletic directors. We’ve had two in-person meetings. We’ve talked about what they each think and what’s their philosophy. What need to be the priorities. We continue to filter those down. We’ve got some time. But that big-picture thinking is what we’ve asked, to think about how we can rotate people through while still honoring our history.”

Well, bully for y’all.  It’s not like anyone forced you guys into the current scheduling nightmare that’s left Georgia waiting another three years before taking its first trip to College Station.  You managed that all on your own, because Mike Slive cut a disappointing TV deal the conference wanted out of, no matter the consequences.

More significantly, there’s nothing stopping you from ending the abomination at any time.  If it’s so bad, why wait on the next round of expansion to correct it?

A nine-game conference schedule is an easy fix, even if it isn’t “blue-sky, big-picture thinking”.  Which is why, when I read the first sentence and the last sentence of Sankey’s quote, I know it’s not gonna happen and, on top of that, the conference is about to jettison the annual historic rivalries like Georgia-Auburn.  Because the train will be driven by two things, and two things only:  money and the CFP.  Those are the priorities of which Sankey speaks.


Filed under SEC Football

Did Dan Mullen cancel his subscription to The Athletic?

Because he got reamed harder there yesterday than the most brutal take down at a Georgia football fan message board you might read.

First, Ari Wasserman ($$) took notice of Mullen’s comment about not discussing recruiting at yesterday’s presser.

Some will say Mullen was in a bad mood and got caught with the Monday blues. But at a college football powerhouse — one that expects to be winning the SEC and national titles — there are no bad days. Recruiting is life.

“Mullen is an embarrassment to the recruiting profession,” a Power 5 recruiting staffer with deep knowledge of the SEC told The Athletic on Monday afternoon. “Mullen has shown a propensity to be clueless with why recruiting is so important, and this just adds to what is already known out there: He doesn’t get it. By ‘it,’ I mean he doesn’t understand what it takes to be an elite program. Kirby was 100 percent correct.”

Notice how the recruiting staffer said “the recruiting profession.” That’s what coaching is in 2021. It’s recruiting and then coaching. Without recruiting, as Smart said, it doesn’t matter how good of a coach you are. You’re never winning a national title because you’re an X’s and O’s guru.

This, of course, only comes as a shock to your average Daily Gator whose been insisting for years that he wouldn’t trade coaches with Georgia.

But the real pièce de résistance comes from this brutal takedown at the hands of Bruce Feldman and Allen Taylor ($$).  The quotes are so rough you’d think Tommy Tuberville was still coaching at Auburn.  A sample:

“Florida, they just don’t play hard,” said an SEC East coach. “… You watch UF on tape. They’ve got skill but they’re not physical.”

“They play with zero discipline,” said one SEC offensive coach whose team faced the Gators this season. “They don’t play hard.”

“We were more physical and much better than them in the box,” said another SEC offensive coach. “We were mauling them.”

“We thought going in that it was going to be one of the best defenses we faced,” said an SEC offensive coach. “But they just weren’t physical. They don’t look motivated. Not fired up. No juice.”

“Last year, we thought these guys were soft on the O-line but they had skill guys — (Kyle) Pitts and (Kadarius) Toney and weapons. We thought they were more physical up front, but then you play them and they’re just not a tough team. They just don’t finish. They don’t strain.”

Which is worse, no juice or fake juice?  Eh, I digress, probably.  There’s definitely a common theme through those quotes.  The new Florida Standard.

Anyway, here’s the quote that should serve as Mullen’s epigraph, if that day ever comes:

“Georgia is trying to take your soul the way they play the game,” said one of the SEC East coaches. “That’s not how Florida plays.”

It looks like Dan’s gonna need a bigger transfer portal.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

The Pirate, on balance

“I’ve actually thought about running it virtually 100% of the time one game, throwing it 100% the next game…. with my luck some punter would drop the damn ball so it’d count as a rush.”

If Leach ever did that, I’d hate to be the punter who screwed it up.

That sound you hear is Mike Bobo fainting.


Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!

My Week 9 Mumme Poll ballot

Screenshot_2019-09-30 (1) Senator Blutarsky ( MummePoll) Twitter

As promised, this week’s ballot is last week’s, plus the winner of the Michigan-Michigan State game.

  • Cincinnati
  • Michigan State
  • Ohio State
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Alabama
  • Georgia

Wake Forest is a great story and they’re a blast to watch play offense, but have you seen their defense?  They’re currently 86th in defensive ypp.  Not gonna go there, although I’m rooting for them to play in the ACCCG.

As you can guess, assembling my ballot didn’t take long.  In fact, I spent more time on the Halloween candy question.


Filed under Mumme Poll

Just another Manic Monday

Honestly, imagine waking up and finding this in your Twitter feed.

I have so many questions.


Filed under General Idiocy, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Stetson’s stats

Mr. Bennett is having a fine year.  How fine?  This fine.

… Bennett currently leads the SEC in passing efficiency at 193.85 — or, at least he would if he’d thrown enough passes to qualify.

Bennett has completed 66.3% of his passes for 11.5 yards per attempt with 12 touchdowns and only four interceptions, two of which came against Florida on Saturday. However, he’s throwing only 14.4 passes per game, which is short of the 15 per game he needs to qualify for rate stats. If Bennett had thrown four more passes, he’d not only lead the SEC in passing efficiency, but he’d be third overall in the country behind only Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe and Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams, who has made up for lost time quickly. Bennett’s 11.5 yards per attempt would also lead the SEC and rank second nationally behind Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall.

This is what I meant when I referred to the luxury of Stetson Bennett a couple of weeks ago.  Or, as his head coach put it,

“I think the feeling in the outside world is that you can’t win it all [the national championship] without JT,” Smart said. “I don’t know or can’t say that’s accurate or not. I know there’s nothing that he’s shown that Stetson hasn’t shown us that leads us to believe that’s the case.”

Kirby’s not worried about winning a natty right now, because that question won’t be a real issue for another month.  What he is worried about is having sufficiently capable quarterback play to stay on the road to that question becoming relevant.  Or, I should say, would be worried about if Bennett wasn’t playing at such a high level.  Given what’s left on the table for the remainder of the regular season, Bennett gives Smart all sorts of options on how to best get the most from the quarterback position.  To me, that’s the opposite of a quarterback controversy, but what do I know?


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

I got ‘yer analytics right here.

I guess Kirby won’t be cutting any promos for Pro Football Focus.

I don’t know what analytics you’re going by… I think those things are a joke really, personally. When we go talk to NFL scouts, they laugh at PFF, or whatever the source may be. What they do, they use them to pull up and evaluate guys. A lot of times, PFF is a guy that works at another job during the day and that’s just his secondary job to chart whether or not (Derion) or Nakobe Dean or Travon Walker or Warren McClendon or Jamaree Salyer do their job. Their evaluation is probably not as supportive as ours.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!