Daily Archives: November 19, 2021

Why, Miz Scarlett, I nevah!

Tell us you’ve never been in a college football locker room without telling us you’ve never been in a college football locker room.

I feel faint, Miz Scarlett.

95 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

End of an era?

David Wunderlich’s latest post is interesting to me, not because of its now anodyne “Dan Mullen must recruit better” theme (although I am enamored of his “23rd nationally in the 247 Sports Composite, right below South Carolina and Georgia Tech and just ahead of Iowa State and Rutgers” note on Florida’s current recruiting status), but because he makes an argument that, generally, college football has entered a new phase, offensively speaking.

It’s because college football is in a phase where talent is largely winning out over scheme.

… The decade from about 2004-2013 was the era when spread schemes of all kinds from the Meyer-style option attacks to the very simple pass attack at Baylor that spread the field literally as wide as is possible. That was a time when Chip Kelly could take Oregon to the national title game in 2010 while sporting a four-year recruiting average of 18.75 according to Rivals, and everyone thought the other team in the game was the flukey performer.

Era definitions are always fuzzy, but that time was when Dan Mullen rose to prominence as quarterbacks coach at Utah, offensive coordinator at Florida, and head coach at Mississippi State.

I marked 2014 as the beginning of a new era because that’s when Nick Saban hired Lane Kiffin to run his offense. One of the most successful run-and-defense coaches gave in and decided to ride the new wave of offense.

… The big powers have subsumed all of the spread’s tricks. What comes after the spread is unclear…

But while offenses are still ahead of defenses, there are no attacks that are so schematically unique anymore that they can lift up a team that averages a recruiting ranking in the teens to true national contention.

Or, to put it more succinctly, in the words of Kirby Smart, “… Guys, if you don’t recruit, there’s no coach out there that can out-coach recruiting. I don’t care who you are. The best coach to ever play the game better be a good recruiter because no coaching is going to out-coach players.”

I’m not sure I buy the argument in its totality.  For one thing, nobody else is duplicating Georgia’s defensive success this season.  But I will say that I think David’s right about defenses starting to catch up to offenses again and if we are in fact entering a time where the strategic playing field is leveled to some extent between the two, then, yes, talent returns to playing its longstanding role before the spread upset the general state of affairs.

35 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

“For lack of a better term, we have a football problem.”

Or, to put it another way, the wolves are tired of the squirrels telling them what to do and the NCAA wants to wash its hands of the entire affair.

College football has always been a class war: public vs. private, Power Five vs. Group of Five, SEC vs. the world. Membership has always had its privileges. Those 65 Power Fives schools annually split 78% of the half-billion annual take from the College Football Playoff.

There is a growing thought among those power schools, which are wondering whether they should share at all. What has emerged quietly in recent months is perhaps the biggest class war in decades.

“Membership” is the buzzword as the NCAA rewrites its constitution. It would involve a further divide among the 130 schools playing major-college football. Division I-A, now called the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), was created in 1978. That was the last big carving of haves and have nots.

Essentially, a parting from the lowest-resourced programs in the FBS could occur. The reasons would be same as they were 43 years ago: The smallest programs have too much of an influence — voting and otherwise — on how a group of 80 or so schools would like big-time football to look.

“I think that discussion is going to happen,” a current Power Five athletic director told CBS Sports. “In FBS, yes. The discrepancies in terms of revenue, just among FBS, is already huge. But from the Big Ten to the SEC to the smallest conferences in Division I, it’s not even apples and oranges.

Gosh, whoever thought money would be at the root of the matter?

The Transformation Committee is co-chaired by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and Ohio AD Julie Cromer. By its mere composition, the committee foreshadows a separation. Sankey is head of the nation’s most powerful football conference. Cromer is AD of a MAC school, which plays some of its games on weeknights to maximize exposure.

SEC schools will soon be making $60 million each in average media rights fees annually.  The MAC’s current ESPN deal, which expires at the conclusion of the 2026-27 season, is worth $100 million … total.

“Anything that has Sankey in it would give me an indication that the divide will get greater,” said a college sports consultant who spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the situation.  “Julie being at Ohio, I really like Julie. She’s smart as hell. I would see her and Sankey clashing big time. I suspect that’s the case, but Greg’s going to win every time because he can. He’s got the power.”

Sankey has a massive TV contract and he knows how to use it.  Like this:

Consider top schools voting to increase their allotments to 95 football scholarships. (The current maximum is 85.) Those that couldn’t afford to fund those 10 extra scholarships would be priced out of the market and possibly end up in “Division IV”. Same for the idea of fully-funding equivalency sports. Those sports include baseball and soccer, which can have large rosters but split a finite number of scholarships. (For example, Division I baseball teams divide 11.7 scholarships.)

What if those minor sports were fully funded with scholarships the same as “head-count” sports such as football? It would conceivably force smaller schools to drop down a level because of the increased financial obligation.

“Can you imagine if Georgia, in that hotbed of recruiting, basically had 100 scholarships?” asked that Power Five AD.

I’m trying to imagine how your typical Gator fan would react to that.  But I digress… happily.

12 Comments

Filed under College Football, The NCAA

One out of two ain’t bad

For what it’s worth, according to ESPN’s CFP predictor, if ‘Bama beats Georgia in the SECCG after both teams run the regular season table, that won’t have much of an effect on the Dawgs’ chances to move on.

In other words, Alabama probably has to beat Georgia twice to win a national championship, while Georgia only has to beat ‘Bama once.  Which is more likely?

31 Comments

Filed under Alabama, BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

Today, in be careful what you wish for, Gators

Oh, man… the recruiting narrative continues ($$).

Some people think he’s a great recruiter, and I really don’t. I don’t think he gives a shit about it, to be 100 percent honest. That’s why it wouldn’t surprise me if he left this year.

It’s amazing the way people keep dumping on Dan Mullen.

Except that comment wasn’t about Mullen.  It was about the coach seemingly half the Florida fan base has already anointed as their savior, Lane Kiffin.  And it was said by somebody who should have a clue, a Mississippi high school coach.

Wait… there’s more!

… I don’t think Lane Kiffin cares to recruit Mississippi. That’s just me. To be honest … I don’t think Lane cares enough about recruiting to want to have to fight the battle for the kid. He’d rather show up, be Ole Miss and win it.

The general consensus in the piece from the coaches they spoke with was that Mullen did a better job recruiting in state than Junior’s doing.  Ironic, ain’t it?

41 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

“Dawgs… for life”

As Georgia hype videos go, this one won’t get your adrenaline pumping (is that really necessary this week, anyway?), but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best one they’ve done this season.

Enjoy:

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Musical palate cleanser, call my old time, used to be edition

As far as I’m concerned, this song needs no introduction.

It’s a great song for seven-plus minutes and then launches into a completely different realm for another five.  Simply fabulous.

20 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized