Daily Archives: July 5, 2022

Forget it, man. Season’s over.

Over at RBR, Erik Evans is here to tell you what’s in store for Georgia in 2022.

  • Georgia will go 12-0.

Fiction — You don’t lose 28 players to the draft, graduation, and the Portal and get better — including 8 off the defense, Jermaine Burton, James Cook, half of an offensive line, 6 out of 7 on the defensive front, and the defensive coordinator. Oh, sure, there are weapons at TE and WR, and UGA is always going to have running backs, but the margin of error is significantly slimmer this season. I think turning over a full third of the roster is going to matter at some point. And while Florida, Sakerlina are still a year away from putting it all together, there are enough traps on this schedule and enough question marks for it to ding the ‘Dawgs at least one somewhere, maybe twice.

The funniest thing to watch this year will be the folly Honky McFailson suddenly thinking he’s Aaron Rodgers and trying to play outside of himself and the offense. Those 50-50 eephuses he threw up against Alabama’s inexperienced reserve corners won’t fly against teams that have some starting experience back there.

Boy, losing a natty to a walk on quarterback is really eating at some people, ain’t it?

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

Notre Dame: buyer’s or seller’s market?

I don’t think this comes as particularly shocking news:

A source familiar with the school’s thinking told Sports Illustrated that “independence remains the preference and the leader in the clubhouse.” It will take a lot to move Notre Dame off its cherished identity, but the instability of the entire landscape remains a concern, and could further affect the Irish outlook.

I’m sure it would.  The problem for ND is that instability is the name of the game right now in college football.  Take these two examples, for instance.

Two areas to monitor: the fates of both the College Football Playoff and the Atlantic Coast Conference. If one or both collapse, Notre Dame could be compelled into the Big Ten. Per its current contract, the playoff ceases to exist in January 2026. There is no guarantee another iteration of it will take its place, at any size. “The vast majority of the writing assumes a playoff, and that it’s going to get bigger,” says the industry source. “I’m not sure about that assumption.”

The idea of the CFP ceasing to exist when its current contract expires would have been a laughable concept a year ago, but now, who the hell knows?  If it did collapse under the weight of the current state of realignment affairs, that seems like pretty good news for the Irish and their desire to remain independent.  Maintaining the four-team status quo seems even better, though.

Ironically, Notre Dame’s best ally in the cause of independence would appear to be Greg Sankey.  Make no mistake, Sankey would love for ND to join his conference.  Almost as good a win for the SEC, though, would be keeping them out of the Big Ten, whether through the ACC maintaining its viability or postseason circumstances allowing the Irish to maintain their cherished independence.

Along those lines, Sankey’s already got credibility with Jack Swarbrick, ND’s athletic director.  The two were the main drivers, along with now departed Big 12 head Bob Bowlsby, for the 12-team CFP proposal that was vetoed by the other three P5 commissioners.  A 12-team CFP is probably the most attractive option of all to the Notre Dame athletics brain trust.

But here’s the thing:  the Big Ten’s Kevin Warren knows that.  And he’s already on record as having shot down the 12-team playoff, so he’s got a certain credibility of his own in play.  (Admittedly, that only goes so far.)  The question you have to ask him is pretty simple — how long do you take no for an answer?  I think that depends on what he sees as an end game.  If it’s about maintaining the current CFP framework, then he can pretty much wait forever on Notre Dame (which he just might have to do).  But what if he’s already leaning into the super league concept of a Big Ten/SEC-controlled playoff?

That’s where it gets interesting, at least to me.  Facing that situation, Notre Dame can’t hold out forever, of course, but it might hold out long enough to force the Big Ten’s hand with regard to where the next round of expansion goes.  Warren’s problem with that scenario is that he’s not the only likely bidder for ND’s entry.  That’s going to be especially awkward if the ACC is busted up and a bunch of schools from that conference shop for a new landing place.

There are lots of games left to play, in other words.  But the Irish don’t strike me as being in a desperate position — not yet, anyway.

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Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

Your Daily Gator needs some coaxin’.

Shot.

Billy Napier has almost completed his first offseason as head coach of the Florida Gators football team. With the hopes that his team is ready to tackle the season and regain UF’s reputation as a SEC East power, the pieces are falling into place as we speak.

“We’re in our summer regimen, essentially we’re getting ready to move right into training camp,” Napier said. “This is phase five, training camps is phase six, in-season is seven and post season is eight. So we’re moving right along.

“You know, I think the first time for each one of these things, not only with the staff but with the players, but I can’t compliment our staff enough. I think we’ve got really good people in all those areas from a leadership standpoint – Mark Hocke, Kelsee Gomes, Paul Silvestri, Joe Danos – all people in performance have done a really good job.”

If Napier’s track record is anything to go off of, Florida fans should be excited about the future of the Gators program. Since taking over Louisiana in 2018, he has compiled a 39-12 record where he won the Sun Belt Coach of the Year award in just his second season at the helm. Napier, who is also a former assistant under Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney, led Louisiana to double-digit victories in each of the past three seasons.

Now, following Florida’s poor 2021 season, Napier has become a breath of fresh air for those Gators players. Ushering in strong support staff and bringing in the No. 20 recruiting class (including six transfers) in the country in his first offseason that features nine four-star prospects or better, according to the On3 Consensus, he’s already on the right track to revive the Gators program.

“I think the summer is a big piece of the puzzle, so good people and I’m certainly excited about what I see so far.”

Chaser (thanks, Patrick!):

Don’t delay, Gator fans!  Do it today!

Looks like Scott Stricklin’s gonna need that smaller stadium, alright.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

Whatever happened to…?

For those of you asking about Scott Cochran, he surfaced yesterday with this:

Good for him.  And with the NCAA about to remove caps on assistant coaching positions, his timing couldn’t be better.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple