This should be fun.
That fourth win is in the bank now, bitches.
This should be fun.
That fourth win is in the bank now, bitches.
So, Barrett Sallee asks what he considers to be the most pressing questions for each team this spring. Some are pretty obvious, like what Auburn, TAMU and LSU are going to do at the quarterback position. There’s also how does Tennessee shore up its defensive backfield, which looks like a pretty gaping hole for now. There’s also amusing — did you know Alabama has to replace Metchie and Williams?
Then, there’s Georgia.
How deep can the defensive line be this season? The Bulldogs defense was historically dominant last season, but multiple key players from the national champs are gone — particularly along the defensive line. Jalen Carter, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound monster, should be the talk of the town after showing flashes of stardom last season alongside departed monster Jordan Davis. Carter has the skillset to be a top-tier NFL draft pick in 2023 and needs to step up in the middle of the defensive line. Devonte Wyatt, a 315-pound monster as well, is also off to the NFL after seven tackles for loss a year ago, which will put even more pressure on coach Kirby Smart to build the depth that championship-caliber teams need to win at an elite level.
Co-defensive coordinators Will Muschamp and Glenn Schumann have replaced Dan Lanning, who took the head coaching gig at Oregon in the offseason. Their first order of business will be developing talent up front.
Will the d-line be less experienced this season? Sure. Will it be less talented? If Carter’s better than last season’s starters — and that’s something many observers believe — that’s a much closer question. And Sallee seems to acknowledge that in the way he asks the question. If he’s wondering about depth, I’d say that’s a first world problem for a program that’s been recruiting the position at a lights-out level. I’d also say that he forgot to mention the lights-out job Tray Scott has done as the position coach there.
For years now, college coaches, athletes and administrators have skewered the NCAA for an infractions process they say is unfair, dawdling and lacking transparency.
Turns out, at least two U.S. senators feel the same.
This week, senators Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) and Cory Booker (D., N.J.) will introduce a bipartisan bill, the NCAA Accountability Act of 2021, that establishes strict requirements of the long-maligned NCAA infractions process, overhauling the operation by involving the Department of Justice and the U.S. attorney general.
Bipartisan! Nothing brings our politics together like the NCAA.
The NCAA Accountability Act of 2021 touches on an oft-criticized process: the NCAA’s enforcement of violations through sometimes years-long investigations. The bill creates a set of deadlines to facilitate quicker investigations, shortens the statute of limitations on violations and establishes a new appeals process:
• The bill requires NCAA inquiries to be completed within eight months of a school receiving a notice that an investigation has opened.
• The NCAA, the bill says, cannot investigate violations that were alleged to have happened more than two years before the notice of investigation was sent to a school. The current statute of limitations is four years.
• The bill would prohibit the NCAA from using “confidential sources” as evidence for a decision.
• And a school can appeal punishments by using a three-arbiter panel, different from the NCAA’s current appeals committee.
The proposal also requires the NCAA to submit an annual report of investigations to the U.S. attorney general and each state’s attorney general while also charging the Department of Justice to ensure the governing body of college sports follows the bill’s statutes. Violations will be dealt with severely. The bill authorizes the Department of Justice to fine the NCAA as much as $15 million and to order the removal of any member of the NCAA’s highest governing body, its Board of Governors.
Of course, there’s a likelihood this just encourages the NCAA to throw up its hands on the enforcement process entirely, but I’m not entirely sure that’s a bug.
I just wish somebody had enough of a sense of humor to name the bill after Jerry “The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky they’re going to give Cleveland State another year of probation” Tarkanian.
As easy as it is to mock Georgia Tech, things are so forlorn on the Flats that I almost feel a little pity. Check this out:
When former Memphis defensive lineman Morris Joseph committed to Tech last week out of the transfer portal, he raised the team’s count of scholarship recipients (including incoming freshmen and transfers like him) to 75. That’s 10 shy of the 85-player limit, the largest number of open spots of any team in the ACC.
… For better or worse, Tech’s 10 open scholarships are anomalous in the ACC. Six of the conference’s 14 teams are at the 85-player limit or even over, counting on players to leave the team by transfer or other means. Another three are near the limit at either 83 or 84. The remaining four are between 78 and 82.
I said almost.
Collins is quite the innovator, bringing Richt-style roster management to the friendly confines of the ACC. It’s one thing for Mark Richt to manage a roster like that; I mean, at least Georgia was consistently bringing in top ten recruiting classes. It’s quite another to do that coming off back to back three-win seasons at a program that hasn’t recruited well in 15 years.
What that means for Tech can be interpreted in different ways. One could see it as an opportunity to add talent when competitors don’t have nearly the scholarship space to take on more players even if they wanted to do so. Another is that the Jackets are thin depth-wise and are trying to build their roster at a point when most of the better players have entered the portal and committed.
Good luck with that, Geoff. Georgia Tech has so much to offer right now.
It’s plausible that Tech could have some benefit with so many open spots, something akin to an NFL team with much more salary-cap space than its rivals. However, at the same time Collins will try to convince portal prospects to join a team whose prospects for success aren’t great. And even if competitors don’t have several open spots, the Jackets undoubtedly will have competition for the top available prospects as teams try to complete their own rosters.
“Plausible” is doing some heavy lifting there, amirite?
In today’s Mailbag ($$), Stewart Mandel explains why he thinks Bo Nix will be the man for Oregon in its opener against Georgia.
But given Nix has already faced Georgia three times, it’d take one heck of an offseason for Thompson or even third-year backup Jay Butterfield to convince new coach Dan Lanning he gives Oregon its best shot of beating Lanning’s former team.
I had to go back and look at Nix’s passing stats in those three games. Pretty, they ain’t.
I think this gives new meaning to the expression “familiarity breeds contempt”. Then again, maybe Lanning knows something we don’t… eh, probably not.
The Pac-12 on Tuesday announced it’s leaving downtown San Francisco next year when its lease expires.
Where’s the new headquarters? Nowhere. There will be no conference office in the traditional sense, only a facility for content production.
Most employees will be allowed to work in fully remote fashion, a move that will save millions in rent annually and generate additional revenue for the campuses…
The conference paid approximately $8 million in occupancy for the San Francisco office space in the 2020 fiscal year, according to the most-recent financial documents available.
An undetermined fraction of that amount will support the production facility, with the remainder distributed to the schools — perhaps $500,000 to $750,000 per campus per year.
Just pissing money away. How Scott managed to keep his job — at a place that was steadily falling behind in the revenue race during his tenure — as long as he did is one of those little mysteries I’ll never understand.