Daily Archives: February 8, 2022

The transfer portal… you can’t live with it, you can’t live without it.

Boy, that Lincoln Riley sure can turn on a dime.

Five — five! — days ago:

Today:

What a lucky coincidence for ol’ Linc, eh?  Especially since he didn’t want to be in that yucky portal thing in the first place…

37 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

Keeping the cupboard stocked

Welp, when you put it this way

Last year, Georgia and Alabama had a total of 76 Top 100 players from the 247 Composite Rankings.

Meanwhile, 107 other FBS teams had a total of 75 Top 100 players. This includes the entire Group of Five and nearly two-thirds of the Power Five. The teams are listed in the comments.

Other observations:

  • Georgia (36) and Alabama (40) had as many Top 100 players as the Big Ten (76), and more than the ACC (57) and Pac-12 (52).

  • Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio State (36) individually had more than the Big XII (32).

  • Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson (22), and LSU (22) individually had more than the Group of Five (18). Texas A&M also had 18.

  • The CFP national champion with the fewest Top 100 players was 2016 Clemson (16).

  • All 18 Group of Five players transferred there from the Power Five.

  • Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, LSU, Clemson, Texas A&M, and two of Oklahoma/Florida/Oregon (15) had a total of 204. The remaining 122 teams had a total of 202.

  • The following players began their careers at Georgia, Alabama, or Ohio State before transferring:

  • Georgia (6): Netori Johnson (Middle Tennessee State), Cade Mays (Tennessee), Brenton Cox (Florida), Luke Ford (Illinois), Otis Reese (Ole Miss), Tyrique Stevenson (Miami)

  • Alabama (4): Ben Davis (Texas), VanDarius Cowan (West Virginia), Tyrell Shavers (San Diego State), Ishmael Sopsher (USC)

  • Ohio State (5): Tate Martell (UNLV), Jaelen Gill (Boston College), Jameson Williams (Alabama), Mookie Cooper (Missouri), Tyreke Johnson (Nebraska)

… Georgia is loaded. (h/t)

Which brings us to Bud Elliott’s Blue Chip Ratio, which looked like this before this year’s signing class:

Georgia, as we know, finished with a ’22 class for which the general consensus is that it’s the third best in the country (and the SEC), behind Texas A&M and Alabama.  Part of that though, stems from its size — at 29, it’s a big group.  It’s also a group with nine three-stars, more than TAMU and ‘Bama combined.  What does Bud have to say about that?

Georgia: 69% (No. 3 recruiting class)

Georgia put together another great signing class. The Bulldogs signed the No. 3 class which includes 29 signees, 20 who are blue chips. That is slightly lower than their rolling four-year average, but this class has a lot of difference makers in it and won’t drop their Blue-Chip ratio all that much. Defensive lineman Mykel Williams and athlete Malakai Starks are special athletes. And corners Daylen Everette, Jaheim Singletary, and Julian Humphrey are a great trio. Kirby Smart has built the Death Star in Athens and UGA isn’t going anywhere.

That 69% number by itself would qualify for fourth place on Bud’s chart, so he’s right about that (although, damn, I wish people would realize that Death Star metaphor isn’t the compliment they think it is), and Lord knows I would never question Kirby Smart’s ability to recognize and develop talent, but when you consider the quality of classes TAMU (90%), Ohio State (90%) and Alabama (88%) signed, it’s certainly no time for Georgia to get complacent.  The neighborhood may be small, but it’s tough.  Not that I’m worried about Smart on that front, either…

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Bill Connelly’s 2022 returning production

Here’s the bad news, sort of ($$):

Most likely to regress

Georgia (third in Schlabach’s rankings, 96th in returning production). I’m not even going to pretend Georgia is in any sort of danger zone this season — recent history and recruiting rankings are going to keep the Dawgs easily in the top three in the SP+ projections. But it’s worth noting that they rank 96th in returning production while last year’s two other top-three teams rank 65th (Alabama) and 25th (Ohio State).

According to Bill, Georgia ranks 122nd in returning production on the defensive side of the ball.

Nobody said reloading was gonna be easy.  Plus, it’s only fair to note that Georgia hasn’t dipped its toe into the transfer pool yet.

You know who’s really in bad shape?  While they didn’t make Bill’s “Most likely” list, Georgia Tech ranks 109th on Bill’s list.  I guess it’s hard to regress much from 3-9, though.

24 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Stats Geek!

“I guess I don’t know why a school would not want to help out their athletes…”

This is supposed to be a good idea, but I’m not exactly sure why.

Less than six weeks after the NCAA changed its rules to allow college athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses, BYU became the first school to broker a teamwide deal on behalf of its athletes…

In quieter circles around the NCAA, though, the announcement also set off alarm bells. If BYU can facilitate a deal to help Gunther and his young family by covering his cost of attending college, what’s to stop another school from lining up sponsorship deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for its athletes? And if a school starts asking its boosters to sponsor athletes, at what point does the sponsorship cross the line into a payment that is no different from a salary with some creative accounting?

These kinds of vast gray areas and unsettled questions in the new NIL era in college sports are making the path forward more complicated for NCAA members trying to thread a thin needle. They are currently tasked with making sure athletes receive more of a fair share of the giant profits they help generate while also convincing politicians, federal judges and the general public that college sports are primarily an education-based enterprise.

First of all, I disagree with the “currently tasked” observation.  It’s more accurate to say schools are tasked with staying the fuck out of the way of a college athlete’s ability to obtain compensation for their NIL rights (subject to applicable law, of course).

But even with that, why would a college athlete want to entrust a school with brokering such a deal?  The potential conflicts of interest seem apparent.  This, then, seems like something of a stretch:

Veron says he understands the concerns about schools facilitating deals, but he believes that any school with its athletes’ best interests in mind is in an ideal position to help them maximize their opportunities while providing an added layer of protection from “sharks and charlatans” trying to take advantage of the new marketplace.

As we like to say around here, “any school with its athletes’ best interests in mind” is doing a shit ton of heavy lifting there.  At best, that would be a remarkable turnaround of events in a very short period of time.  At worst (or maybe as usual), it’s just another spin on the old “doing it for the kids” take the NCAA shuffles out there whenever it needs a fig leaf.

Beyond that, though, why do schools want to take the risk of becoming players’ agents?  That risk seems pretty obvious to me.

The bigger threat, according to Feldman, lies outside the NCAA enforcement staff and instead with the federal judiciary and legislative government branches. College sports have often received unique treatment because judges and politicians have historically viewed them as more of an education-related activity than a lucrative entertainment industry. As profits have skyrocketed in the last several decades, that attitude is starting to change.

“We’re seeing more and more judges, [and] the general counsel of the NLRB [National Labor Relations Board] say, ‘Wait a minute, why are we giving special treatment to college sports? They’re no different than professional sports,'” Feldman said. “And that’s the underlying current that, I think, the NCAA has to be afraid of. The more they push towards this expansive NIL model, the more that the institutions are involved in potentially paying the athletes or facilitating that payment, the more it looks like professional sports. And the more it looks like professional sports, the less likely the courts are going to give the NCAA deference under antitrust law.”

You can characterize it as being between a rock and a hard place (“If the NCAA implements rules that limit a school’s involvement in NIL, the association is likely to face an uphill legal battle in an antitrust lawsuit.”), but let’s not forget it was the schools that chartered the NCAA to pilot the boat to sail into those waters in the first place.

12 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Not the pwnership you were looking for

Oklahoma’s governor ignores history to deliver a rebuke that’s not as stinging as he intended it to sound:

Evidently, Lincoln Riley didn’t lack imagination.

27 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery

Hunker down one more time, you guys.

You have been warned, Dawg fans.  According to ESPN’s Alex Scarborough, here’s Georgia’s biggest question mark going into the 2022 season:

3. Georgia: Championship letdown

So you’ve won your first national championship in 41 years. Now what? You’ve lost the heart and soul of your defense, lineman Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobe Dean. How do you bounce back? To beat Alabama over the long haul, Georgia has to reload rather than rebuild and avoid down seasons. Complacency can’t creep into the locker room, no matter how talented the roster might be. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart seemed to acknowledge the tough road ahead after winning the national championship when he told fans, “I just hope they remember this feeling and understand they don’t need to get spoiled; they need to stay hungry like these players.”

If the attitude of the fans turns out to be this team’s biggest concern, I think the Dawgs are gonna be alright.

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Tooting the Admiral’s horn

I don’t want to read too much into this, but on the other hand, I don’t think it should be ignored, either.

VANDERBILT (No. 14 SEC, No. 33 overall)

Perhaps not keeping pace with the rest of the SEC, but coach Clark Lea pieced together another good class. Nearing identical numbers to his first haul in 2021, Lea closed in 2022 with two four-stars and 23 three-stars. His class was rated ahead of Miami, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Utah, Oregon and Wisconsin.

A recurring theme in the 2022 class for first-year head coaches making the transition into Year 2 … the four-star quarterback. Lea got Under Armour All-American AJ Swann early. After the ESP, five more players were added including four-star defensive back Daniel Martin.

Grade: C-

A C-minus class for Vandy is like an A-minus class for Georgia.  No, it doesn’t mean that Vanderbilt’s turned into a threat to win the division overnight, but a few more years of work like this — again, note this makes two decent hauls in a row for the staff in Nashville — and the ‘Dores might become something more formidable than a punching bag for the rest of the teams in the East.

25 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

Dysfunction junction

Does this seem normal to you?

Yeah, a respected coordinator leaving a school without having a new job in hand, only to take one with a significant pay cut seems totally normal to me.

But, sure, this was the result of Bryan Harsin’s master plan to frustrate the intentions of boosters who saddled him with a coordinator whose defense ***checks notes*** finished fourth in the SEC in defensive yards per play.  Brilliant!

20 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Not finished yet

Looks like the reformation of Georgia’s coaching staff remains a work in progress.

It’s been something whispered about for the better part of a month, long enough that I began to wonder whether the rumor had legs, or whether Addae had a change of heart.  Apparently not.

It sounds like this was merely a case of Addae weighing his options.  I thought he was a great hire last year and I wish him well at the U.  But if Kirby ain’t sweatin’ it, neither am I.

I’m also guessing with the way this has played out, that Smart already has a pretty good idea about the new hire.  We’ll find out soon enough.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football