Daily Archives: August 15, 2022

Moot point, ctd.

With this news

The biggest event in college football is on the way back to Atlanta.

Previously played here in January 2018, the College Football Playoff national championship game will return to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in January 2025, several people familiar with the matter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Atlanta will become the first city to host the CFP title game twice.

… comes the obvious question:  will Kirby Smart object to not being able to host recruits at the game?

50 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

No stone unturned

The most Laner story you’ll read today:

When it comes to finding walk-ons on college football rosters over the years, coaches from across the country have found players in a variety of places you would never expect. In desperate need of another punter, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin told his players to search on campus and go find him a punter. And sure enough, they delivered. In Saturday’s press conference with the media, Kiffin shared the hilarious story about how his players found the latest addition to their football team at a frat party.

“Yeah, I don’t know a whole lot about him. I think he was down at the frat house. You know, like, at a keg party or something. Where they got him from. So, we’ve got some conditioning work to do with my guy. We just said, ‘Hey, someone go find a punter on campus.’ And so, we found one that actually used to punt Division I. So, you never know,” Kiffin said.

Kismet, baby.

The Rebels added Charlie Pollock to their official roster via the transfer portal on Thursday, August 11th. Pollock came to Ole Miss from Nevada and was expected to join the team as soon as Friday, per reports. He did not play football in 2021. He averaged 39.9 yards per punt as a high school senior.

That’s what you get when you’re known for always going for it on fourth down, I guess.

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

In the portal era, are returning receiving yards as big a deal?

Once upon a time, Bill Connelly told Seth Emerson it was, in fact, the biggest of deals.

But receiving yards have been the best indicator. Why? The idea runs counter-intuitive to the idea that an offense is built along the lines and at quarterback.

“I’ve talked to coaches a little bit about it and it kind of surprised them a little too,” said Connelly, who joined ESPN in June. “But when you’re looking for why, the best explanation I’ve heard is the chemistry between quarterback and receiver and the actual routes that are being run, and just the overall cohesiveness there, ends up mattering more than anything else.”

That was in 2019.  That season, the Dawgs returning a whopping 24% of their receiving yards from the previous season.  Perhaps not so coincidentally (I can’t discount Coley’s role), Georgia’s passer rating fell from 4th nationally in 2018 to 47th in 2019.

The good news for 2022, as Seth reports ($$), is that Georgia returns 71 percent of its receiving yards, the second-most in the SEC.  That’s on top of the Dawgs finishing last season with the SEC’s top passer rating.  That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch, or so it seems.

But is it noteworthy that Alabama finished just behind Georgia in passer rating, despite only returning 33% of its receiving yards?  As any ‘Bama fan would be quick to tell you, Jameson Williams fixed that problem just fine (at least until he didn’t).  I assume we’re about to find out in 2022.  With the departures of Williams and Metchie, Alabama’s returning receiving yards production is down to 24%, third lowest in the SEC.

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Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Today, in for what it’s worth

Some thoughtful comments from Aaron Murray about the Cocktail Party:

He makes a point I hadn’t really thought about, distinguishing the uniqueness of the game from the perspective of a recruit and that of a player.

“I’m not saying I wouldn’t have enjoyed the game as much if it was (at Georgia) or (at Florida). It would have been awesome. I’m a kid who grew up going to games in The Swamp just being an hour and a half from Gainesville. It’s just that different vibe, that different feel,” said Murray. “Driving over the bridge and seeing the red and black and all the orange and blue. It’s special and I do think that’s what makes this game so unique and puts it on a different level.”

It’s something that’s always struck me after a win in Jacksonville — the obvious pleasure Georgia players take in that setting of beating a hated rival.  And, yes, I’ve seen the team celebrate in Athens after a big win plenty of times, but there’s something different about the Cocktail Party vibe, as Murray notes.

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Moot point

If Kirby ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

News broke this week that Georgia will be allowed to provide tickets for recruits to attend the neutral-site game against Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., where the SEC rivalry has been played for all but two years since 1933. Kirby Smart noted that this option has been available for a decade, even if it has never been utilized by either program.

“We’ve always been able to do that,” Smart told reporters on Saturday following Georgia’s first scrimmage of fall camp. “You make an independent decision that each university can decide how they want to do their tickets. For the first time, we are able to allot tickets, which we do on every neutral site game. We do it with Clemson. We do it with Oregon. We do it all the time.

“Per NCAA rules we are not allowed to see them or talk to them,” Smart said. “We can’t do anything with them, so it’s really a moot point. They get to go, but what good does that do in terms of recruiting that you don’t get to spend time with them and host them? It doesn’t change the official visit they are on.”

Hardly surprising, but it does raise a question for me.

… Last month Smart told Tim Tebow on SEC Network he would prefer to play the game in Atlanta than in Jacksonville.

“I will tell you what, you tell Florida, you call the AD, ask him to come to Atlanta and come play us,” Smart said. “We will play in Atlanta as many times as you want. You will get your 50/50.”

If this is all about being able to host recruits, what difference does playing the game in Atlanta make?

Gee, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think Kirby is full of shit about this.

99 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Musical palate cleanser, living legend edition

Good news, blues fans.

Buddy Guy has a new album coming out on September 30 through RCA/Silvertone, titled The Blues Don’t Lie, and the doyen of Chicago blues has been good enough to share its first single.

The track, Gunsmoke Blues, is a two-hander between Guy and Jason Isbell, with each trading electric guitar licks and vocals, and a cri de cœur with a clear message against gun violence.

The Blues Don’t Lie is the 34th studio album of Guy’s storied career and is the follow-up to 2018’s The Blues is Alive and Well. It also features guest spots from Elvis Costello, Mavis Staples, James Taylor and others, and was produced by longtime collaborator, the esteemed songwriter and drummer Tom Hambridge.

Great album title!  Here’s the single:

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Filed under Uncategorized