Daily Archives: February 2, 2022

Not your father’s National Signing Day

I’m not saying the February signing date is completely irrelevant, mind you, but when you see news like this

“We’ve seen reports that Jim Harbaugh is interviewing for the Minnesota Vikings job tomorrow, so that should tell you all you need to know,” 247Sports.com recruiting analyst Ryan Callahan said Tuesday afternoon. “When could you have imagined a sitting college head coach taking an interview like that or even entertaining the thought on signing day? It’s just another day for some programs.

… it’s not unfair to describe it as a shell of its former self.

That being said, there are a few potential Georgia signees to keep track of today.  I’ll try to post the news as it crops up.  Feel free to help out in the comments.



Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

A tale of two trends

How it started and how it’s going:

From Georgia’s standpoint, Kirby said he wanted a more explosive offense and Todd Monken has delivered in that regard.

Alabama, though, dropped and quite precipitously in the wake of Sark’s departure.

With regard to the latter, there are strong whispers out there that O’Brien is soon to depart back to the NFL, but even if that doesn’t happen, our friend Erik Evans thinks Saban’s already fixed the problem on offense.  (And, no, it’s not Jermaine Burton’s transfer.)

… No matter where Wolford went, the offensive lines got nastier, they got more physical, and they kept teams ahead of the chains.

That is the improvement fans want and that Nick Saban demands. It also is just the recipe for a Crimson Tide offense that lacked identity most of the season; one that played as soft as they looked; one that had an offensive line lacking cohesion, continuity, personnel evaluation, discipline, coaching…and even fundamental toughness.

For that Alabama offense, one shaking off the filth of literally the worst hire in Saban’s history (and I will defend this point), then a mercenary is just what the doctor ordered.

Have gun, will travel. Welcome to Tuscaloosa, boy are we ever glad to see you.

Well, if all it takes is giving ‘Bama fans what they want…

The most amusing thing about Evans’ piece is his header.  Suddenly, after all those seasons crowing about Saban embracing the New Offense as the key to winning national championships, manball is a desired thing again in Tuscaloosa.  Gee, I wonder what caused that change in thinking?


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The great equalizer

I don’t think it’s any big secret how Jimbo Fisher’s school has leapfrogged the rest of the country when it comes to the quality of this year’s signing class.  It’s a studly group coming to College Station, and that’s putting it mildly.  For a price, evidently.

It’s also creating some serious butthurt in the SEC West.  Junior’s bemoaning it, for one.

“We are just trying to do it better than anybody else,” Kiffin said. “We now have a sport that has completely different salary caps. Some of these schools (have) five, 10 times more than everybody else (with) what they can pay the players. I know no one uses these phrases, but that is what it is. I joked the other day if Texas A&M was going to incur a luxury tax in how much they paid for their signing class.”

“We now have a sport that has completely different salary caps.”  That’s rich, coming from the school that made “email compliance@olemiss.edu” a national punch line.

But it’s the king who’s most grievously offended.

“When we start using name, image and likeness for a kid to come to our school, that’s where I draw the line,” he said. “Because that’s not why we did this.”

Saban said it has become such that players are weighing prospective NIL earnings among schools and “we all gotta make a deal.”

“I hear these crazy people on TV who say now you’re doing it above board,” he said. “We never did it. We never did it. We never cheated to get a player. We never paid players to come to our school.

“And now that’s actually happening. People are making deals with high school players to go to their school.”

Saban said it’s simple: The schools with the most money — whether through alumni backing or other means — “have the best chance to have the best team.”

“It’s not about coaching and developing as much as it is, what kind of money can you make?” he said.

It’s funny how he never felt that way when ‘Bama was enticing players with a facilities arms race and spiraling coaches’ salaries.

You don’t have to like the path NIL has begun to chart to want to sneer a little at the change in attitude.  And I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts if things don’t change soon enough on the NIL front to Saban’s suiting, ‘Bama will be right there in the money chase.

By the way, speaking of Saban, kudos to Scarborough for noting this:

Saban also took issue with the way the transfer portal discourages players from dealing with adversity, as he put it.

“It’s great that players have the freedom to do what they can do, but I also don’t think we should create circumstances where they don’t have the make the commitment and see things through,” he said.

While Alabama hasn’t been as active as some schools in terms of the transfer market, Saban hasn’t shied away from bringing in top talent.

Former Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams became Alabama’s leading receiver this season.

This offseason, Alabama has added former LSU All-American defensive back Eli Ricks and former Georgia Tech All-ACC running back Jahmyr Gibbs.

Alabama also gained the commitment of former Georgia receiver Jermaine Burton, who went head to head with the Tide during the national championship.

You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty impressive that Saban’s grasp of the human condition is so deep that he’s able to ascertain which kids have that sense of commitment and seeing things through and which don’t.

I guess that explains why Jameson Williams was a one-and-done at Alabama.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football

Somebody else’s narrative

Man, the way the pundit class has been dumping on Bryan Harsin and Auburn in the past couple of weeks has been something to behold.

Auburn is approaching decimation faster than it is acclamation under Harsin. Auburn’s big wigs whisper Harsin’s name with vitriol in an effort to not awaken the other blood-hungry SEC beasts to the Tigers’ downfall. Athletics director Allen Greene’s future is questioned openly. Recruiting efforts are lacking. Alums try to find the positive but mostly remain quiet. They seek the escape of basketball — basketball! — and Bruce Pearl‘s incredible turn as the coach of the nation’s No. 1 team. (Pearl received a new eight-year contract Friday with an average salary of $6.3 million per year, making him the first Auburn basketball coach in the modern era with a bigger salary than the football coach.)

… The hard reality is Auburn is in trouble and a coaching search in December is more likely than Harsin receiving a contract extension.

Never has an Auburn head coach been under this much pressure to produce this early in his career. There is no coach in the SEC with a more uncomfortable seat than Harsin, whose second year on the Plains might as well be his 10th. No school in the SEC is situated in a more difficult spot geographically and culturally. Auburn’s two biggest rivals — Alabama and Georgia — own the last two national titles, so any misstep by the Tigers today is extrapolated into a stumble tomorrow.

You know, the old narrative about Auburn was they played good ball in years when nobody gave them a shot.  You get the feeling Harsin’s about to break that.  In the meantime, it looks like this season (offseason, for sure) Auburn’s going to be the SEC team with That Narrative.  Better them than Georgia, I say.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Media Punditry/Foibles

Hypocrisy is a beyotch.

You, a football coach lamenting the impact of the transfer portal“Yet, who knows what somebody is going to throw at him? And I may have to tell him to go take it, right?”

You, also a football coach:

Kevin, they hardly knew ye.  Good thing you’re not a player.


Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

Playing with the lead

Now this is an impressive stat:

And this may be even more impressive.

Last season, there was Georgia, Alabama… and everybody else.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

TFW the honeymoon is over

I’m used to Tech fans manipulating stats to make their team look better than it actually is.  There’s an art to it I almost admire.

But it seems we’ve entered a new era, at least based on this tweet from a contributor to a Tech blog.

I can’t even see a win probability for the Georgia game.  That is cold, brother.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Stats Geek!

Swaggin’, on fumes

Yeah, sure.

Alabama defensive tackle Phidarian “Phil” Mathis had some kind words for the national champion Georgia Bulldogs and then threw some shade Tuesday.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys,” Mathis said at the Senior Bowl. “You know, we came up short. But let me remind y’all, we still run the SEC. Let that be known.”

“Respect”.  I’m not sure that word means what he thinks it means.


Filed under Alabama