Daily Archives: January 21, 2022

Your Daily Gator has a secret weapon.

Somebody just forwarded this to me and I am rolling on the floor:

Who needs a special teams coordinator when you can have a gamechanger?

I bet Booch is kicking himself for not thinking of that first.  It’s right up his alley.

63 Comments

Filed under Blowing Smoke, Gators, Gators...

All that glitters isn’t gold.

In light of the report that Daniels and Burton are offering themselves as a package deal from the transfer portal, I thought this was an interesting set of stats:

Looking back at that 2020 game against Miss. State in which Daniels performed so brilliantly as an outlier certainly makes a difference.

77 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“We’re going to move forward in some fashion or another of paying players.”

It almost staggers me to say it, but Dennis Dodd has written an excellent piece charting college athletics’ inexorable march towards player compensation.

From a clear-eyed (in other words, not a romantic amateurism-ist) perspective starting here…

NIL benefits have gotten so unregulated that many of the outlandish benefits provided to SMU players 45 years ago in the death penalty case would be allowed in 2021. Slush fund? Allowed if you consider current “collectives” of donors pooling their NIL money to lure players. Free cars? Quarterback Spencer Rattler had two of them last season at Oklahoma.

“The Spencer Rattlers always had two cars [in the past]. It was in a different way,” Dannen said.

That different way was described recently by College Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, an SMU superstar in the 1980s.

“You’re a youth athlete, 19-years-old, and a guy comes to you and says, ‘Here’s $20,000.’ You don’t say, ‘Oh no, I can’t take that money,'” Dickerson told CBS Sports.

“What they did to my school is bullshit. They would never have done that to Alabama. They would never have done that Texas. They would have never done that to Oklahoma.”

… and winding up here…

“We just have to figure it out,” Cunningham said. “… How do you stop it? We’re not going to stop it. All we have to do is figure out how to finance it.”

Players have always been paid.  They always will be paid.  The question is whether the folks running college football are smart enough to take the steps necessary to preserve what control they still have the opportunity to control.  I’d say it’s even money on that.

23 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Name that caption, natties to the left of me and natties to the right edition

A penny for their thoughts…

26 Comments

Filed under Name That Caption

The anti-anti-anti-Bennettites

Well, shit.  I guess it turns out I’m the asshole for posting thisBecause it’s perfectly reasonable for folks to show their ass as they did in the above social media gripes.

… I believe it’s perfectly acceptable for Georgia fans to appreciate what Stetson has accomplished in his career at Georgia and also desire a Heisman/NFL caliber quarterback to start in 2022. In fact, many respected members of the college football media consider that to be the most reasonable perspective and nothing to get heated over.

Well, then.  Allow me to retort, Mr. Reasonable.

First off, there was plenty of vitriol (again, see the above) offered by Georgia fans suggesting that Bennett didn’t accomplish anything worth appreciating.  But, even if we take those folks off the table, the first question has to be who’s the Heisman/NFL caliber quarterback on Georgia’s roster right now ready to start next season?  I mean, I’m not saying there isn’t one, just that if there is, nobody but the coaches has seen him so far.

Perhaps that’s a reason why there’s been a ton of Internet chatter in the past few days about the coaching staff making a run at Caleb Williams.

Second, while we’ve heard Stetson’s decision, I haven’t heard Kirby Smart or Todd Monken anoint him as Georgia’s 2022 starter.  Maybe I’ve missed something, but I doubt it.  In fact, my bet is one lesson Smart has taken away from this past season, right or wrong, is naming a starting quarterback in the preseason isn’t the way to go.  Given that, why wouldn’t the quarterback who finished fourth in national passer rating and out-dueled the Heisman Trophy winner to win a national championship game announcing his return be a cause for celebration if you’re a Georgia fan?

Third, why should we assume that we’ve seen Stetson Bennett’s ceiling?  It’s not like he didn’t improve from 2020 to 2021 (and, yes, if you’re willing to cite Bennett’s 2020 performance in Tuscaloosa as evidence that he’s unfit to start, it’s fair to make that general comparison).

No, there’s no guarantee he’ll continue to improve.  Just like there’s no guarantee Vandagriff, Beck or — if you really want to stretch it — Stockton will, either.  That’s what the preseason is for.  And, with regard to that, macondawg makes an excellent point about Bennett’s chances.

… bear in mind that Bennett still hasn’t had a spring practice or fall camp in Athens during which he actually took the majority of first team reps. This is I think the most mind-boggling aspect of the 2021 season vis-a-vis QB play. Last spring Stetson Bennett was taking 5% or so of the reps in team situations and was still sharp enough to be one of the nation’s most reliable passers when the season started. Of the 85 total pass attempts during the G Day Game Bennett had 4 of them (Carson Beck threw 31, Brock Vandagriff 9). With a full spring and fall to work with his receiving corps he should be even better.

Third, Todd Monken should be in a better position to play to Bennett’s strengths than he was in 2021. Especially early this offense was designed around JT Daniels’ strengths: pocket passing, sparing play action, and absolutely no rollouts or designed QB runs. Monken deserves an incredible amount of credit for realizing what he could do with Bennett and getting it installed on the fly during the course of a season. Oh, and producing the #9 ranked scoring offense in the country (38.9 ppg) in the process.

That’s what really gets me about this debate, if you want to know the truth.  Ultimately, it’s not about Bennett himself.  It’s about Smart and Monken.  As I posted yesterday, if they haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt after delivering Georgia’s first national championship in over four decades, when will they ever?

Look, I get that Bennett has his limitations.  Macondawg categorized them accurately:  “Stetson Bennett does have some concrete physical limitations that cannot be overcome. He’s not getting any taller. He’s not likely to add a great deal more velocity on his throws at this stage. He doesn’t “have all the throws” to use a scouting term.”  What exactly did that cost Georgia this season, though?  And, more relevantly, what exactly will that mean going forward in 2022?

But he did complete 64.5% of his passes for 2862 yards in 2021. The guy’s no stiff. It’s no stretch to say that every team in the SEC save Alabama (Bryce Young) will be returning a quarterback with a lower floor than Georgia in 2022. Stetson Bennett continues to be an unbelievable insurance policy for the UGA offense.

Exactly!  If he wins the job, fine.  If he’s beaten out by another quarterback on the current roster or in the transfer portal as I type this, that’s fine, too.  Either way, Georgia will in a great place with regard to the quarterback spot.  All any of us should care about is that the same coaches who achieved the ultimate in 2021 show the same careful consideration about building the team in 2022.  That, and not some bullshit about Smart already deciding 2022 is a throwaway year, is the reasonable perspective for now.

If you can’t see that, you’re doing this fan thing wrong.  Again, to quote macondawg here,

There are no guarantees in life or college football. That’s why I’m delighted that Georgia is somehow in a much better quarterback situation than I thought they would be in at this point when 2021 started. I assumed that JT Daniels would start, and either Georgia would put it all together finally or they wouldn’t. And either way he’d be off to the NFL, leaving Beck, Vandagriff, and Stockton to battle it out.

Georgia now has those guys plus the reigning MVP of the Orange Bowl and CFP National Championship Game returning. If you can’t view that as a positive then we really need to have a deeper discussion about reality versus perfection. In a perfect world puppies never die, parking meters never expire, and you have an endless, perfectly spaced line of elite five star quarterbacks ready to lay it on the line for your college football program.

That’s not reality. The reality is that Georgia now has a solid veteran quarterback, at least two promising underclassmen, and proof of concept to lure more talented players at the position.

Amen.  Georgia’s reality is better than all but a few programs out there.  Don’t get your panties in a wad over it.  And don’t try to rationalize those who do.

146 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Oh, what a relief it is.

You’ll be pleased to know that in the aftermath of Georgia’s national championship, the conventional wisdom on Kirby Smart has moved from “could he be on the hot seat with Georgia fans?” to “untouchable($$).

Although we should hesitate on that a wee bit until Mr. Conventional Wisdom chimes in on that front, probably.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

The smartest person working in collegiate sports?

Well, after reading all the chatter from movers and shakers in the wake of yesterday’s ratification of the NCAA’s new constitution, I know it’s not this guy.

In a study conducted by the NCAA, two-thirds of Power 5 executives believe a governance change is needed and suggestions include a Power 5 breakaway from D-I or an FBS breakaway from NCAA oversight. In fact, one anonymous SEC president wrote in the survey that the Power 5 “should be an organization unto itself” and leave the NCAA to manage everyone else.

“I think that would not be an ideal outcome,” says Jere Morehead, Georgia’s president, who sits on the transformation committee. “It’s possible we have a new subdivision,” he continues. “I will tell you that I don’t think it works well to have one D-I school with a budget of $10 million and another with a budget of $150 million and expect we can resolve those differences with some of the issues we have discussed.”

Gotta keep Emmert as a puppet head so nobody gets pissed at the folks pulling the strings, right, Jere?

Nah, I’m voting for Betsy Mitchell.  Who, you might ask?  She’s the athletic director at Cal Tech and with two quotes from yesterday showed she has an impressive intolerance for bullshit.

“Why are we still trying to stick together,” Betsy Mitchell, athletic director at CalTech.

Bingo!  Money is driving this particular train, so why should a place like CalTech seek common ground with a place like Georgia?  What’s the point?

If anyone knows the issues within the NCAA, it’s Betsy Mitchell.

She was an athlete at one of college athletics’ richest juggernauts, Texas, has been a coach at Division I’s lowest tier and now is the athletic director of one of the NCAA’s smallest schools, Division III Caltech. She intimately understands the disparities between the NCAA’s 1,000 member schools. And she’s got a suggestion to fix it.

“The commercial priorities of some members means they need to go do their own thing,” says Mitchell. “I kind of wish they would.”

As much as the Jere Moreheads of the college football world would like to pretend this is rocket science, it ain’t.  The real issue is that the Jere Moreheads of the college football world don’t want to admit how much commercial interests are at the heart of the NCAA’s current struggle.

College officials who spent the past few months collectively working to agree on a refined constitution say the most contentious of the issues centered, in no surprise, on money. Division I leaders decided to keep the amount of revenue it annually distributes to Division II and Division III despite the two lower tiers demanding a bigger cut. For years, they have split 8% of the revenue funds, roughly $80–100 million, mostly derived from the D-I men’s basketball tournament and used to operate D-II and D-III championships.

At times heated, the money debate was “the elephant in the room,” says ACC commissioner Jim Phillips, who is also a member of the NCAA’s constitution and transformation committees.

No matter how much they try to claim it’s all about the kids, it’s not.  And never will be.

9 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

“… and he just said ‘Finally!'”

Just listen to the first couple of minutes of the clip to hear Rece Davis say that he was weighing a tribute to Larry Munson on the receiving stand after the national championship game, only to hear Kirby do it instead.

Classic.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football