Daily Archives: July 26, 2022

When they tell you who they are, believe them.

All you people who’ve assured me over the years that there’s no way college football would expand the playoffs to sixteen teams, well, I hate to tell you…

If you’re a super-conference, you want all the access to the CFP your programs can get.  And you’ve got a lot of those programs.

Now, I just need someone to reassure me that of course this won’t make the regular season less meaningful.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Keeping everyone happy

If you’re looking for a more realistic way to go forward with the Cocktail Party than Mike Griffith’s relentless nihilism you might be interested in this take by… ***checks notes***… Matt Hayes?

For years, the city of Jacksonville has made it too difficult for the universities to ignore the fiscal impact. The schools earn about $5.5 million each for the game, about $3 million more than they would for a typical home game.

But you don’t make your football coach the highest-paid in the game — Smart last week signed a 10-year deal worth $112 million — and not listen to what he inherently believes will make the program better.

The contract with Jacksonville ends after the 2023 season, and the game is so important to the SEC media rights deal, CBS announces well in advance of the season — every year — that the Cocktail Party is locked in at the coveted 3:30 p.m. spot.

Or as one industry source told me last week, “You’d have to be crazy to not put that game in that spot, no matter what their records are. It’s ratings gold.”

Ultimately the decision to keep the game in Jacksonville will come down to money. Or as Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry told me, “That’s probably 95 percent of it.”

In other words, Jacksonville must overpay Georgia and Florida and force them to say no. If the payout moves to $7 million-plus per team, will Georgia say no to $14 million every 2 seasons to cash $5 million and keep 4 home games over the same span?

That’s a big number ($9 million) to walk away from.

The universities could likely petition the NCAA — or make a rule after the current NCAA restructuring gives the Power 5 schools complete control — to allow both teams to host recruits at the game. The schools could then pass along the expense of doing so to Jacksonville.

There are numerous answers to keeping the tradition of the Cocktail Party alive, but it will ultimately come down to Georgia president Jere Morehead and deep-pocket boosters — who just made Smart the highest-paid coach in college football.

You’re not doing that and ignoring something he feels is vital to avoiding 41 more years between championships.

I think that’s pretty close to being right.  For sure, you can’t ignore Smart’s expressed preference (which isn’t the same thing as giving him everything he asks for).  But I’ve got to say I’m a little amused to see people who for years have praised the Georgia Way for fiscal prudence turning right around to say it’s fine to give up a few million so that Kirby can have one more opportunity every other season to host recruits.

Squeeze Jacksonville for everything it’s got — and Smart’s very public wishes should make that easier — while also pushing Greg Sankey, who, after all, is in charge of a conference that’s about to host both of college football’s traditional neutral site gems, to lobby the NCAA to pass a rule to allow recruits to be welcomed to the Cocktail Party and the Red River Showdown.  That’s a win-win in everybody’s book.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

A problem in search of a solution

Allen Kenney’s projections for the ’22 season make for a fun read, but that’s not really what I want to focus on in this post.  Rather, I’d like to hone in on a couple of specific observations he offers in his post.

First, he writes this about the SEC:

We can officially say Bama and Georgia have reached an entirely different level in college football, along with Ohio State. The Bulldogs can’t match the Tide behind center, which gives Alabama the nod for the conference crown. If UGA gets a second shot at the Tide, the outcome could be different. (Essentially, a replay of the 2021 season.)

And here’s his take on the CFP.

Peach Bowl: No. 1 Alabama over No. 4 Utah

Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State over No. 3 Georgia

Championship: No. 1 Alabama over No. 2 Ohio State

Yes, Utah is something a little different. This is still so, so boring.

Now, the grand poobahs who run the sport would no doubt assure Allen that they have the cure for his boredom in the form of an expanded CFP.  (Or at least they would if they could get their collective heads out of their collective asses.  But I digress.)  The reality is, though, that expansion won’t fix the underlying problem he cites, namely, that there are three programs head and shoulders above the rest of their P5 peers.

Now, I know that this disparity makes for a very convenient fig leaf to cover the real reason the suits want playoff expansion, but if it’s a real concern, shouldn’t the sport’s leaders be looking for ways to level that particular playing field?


Filed under College Football

I can live with this.

Bill Connelly’s take ($$) on what the national title contenders have to solve to make it to the top includes this thought about Stetson Bennett:

I feel I should doubt Bennett one more time, just for old times’ sake. I’ve done it plenty. But when you play 10 perfect minutes to finish the national title game and finish the year third in Total QBR, you earn the benefit of the doubt.

That’s it.  He’s not going to win a Heisman.  He’s not going to be a first round draft pick.  But he’s good enough to take this Georgia team where we all want it to go.  Again.  I’m good with that.


Filed under Georgia Football

Not too shabby

CFN ranks Georgia’s receiving corps fourth best in the country.

It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that Georgia might have one of the most promising tight end rooms in the history of college football. Brock Bowers led the team with 56 catches, Arik Gilbert is one of the most talented players in the country who just needs to put it all together, and Darnell Washington is a big pass catcher who can hit. All three are terrific NFL prospects – now the receiving corp has to catch up. Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell are experienced, but losing Jermaine Burton – the team’s best receiver – to Alabama hurts.

Graham suggests Georgia’s inside receivers may not have that much catching up to do.

One of the more underrated talking points around Georgia this offseason is how well Todd Monken ran his offense despite a rash of injuries to key pass catchers last year. Those guys are healthy again, and youngsters who were forced to step into starring roles in 2021 return as well.

The result is a deep and talented group of slot guys who have all shown the ability to be extremely productive in the past. Expect the Bulldogs to use Jackson, Blaylock and McConkey early and often while featuring them in the screen game to even out touches and provide plenty of chances to produce explosive plays.

One thing in particular I think he’s got right is how most are sleeping on Kearis for this season.  He was hurt for much of last year and it showed at times.  But he looked like he was back to his old self at G-Day (“He looked healthy on G-Day and that translated to a lot of crisp routes, good catches away from the body, and consistent yards after the catch.”).  I’m not saying he’s going to make us forget about Burton, but I do think he’s going to have a fine season if he remains healthy.


Filed under Georgia Football

Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

Siri, what is dominance?

That’s Beyond We Run This State.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

“If he wasn’t interested, he never would have done it in the first place.”

Maybe it’s just me, but does anyone else find it just a bit amusing to see an anecdote about Nick Saban exploring a move to ESPN after the Kick Six loss to Auburn in a book entitled The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban?


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Still don’t get it.



The Levis hype, she is something.  And I continue to be befuddled over it.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

A thing of beauty

Great Orange Bowl clip here:

Yeah, Monken’s play design is its usual thing (effective as hell, in other words), but man, that move Cook gives to elude the defender as he comes out of the backfield… well, it’s a joy forever.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics