Daily Archives: September 8, 2022

The 12-team CFP, chicken soup for college football’s soul

Jesus, Wetzel, give it a rest.  Next you’ll have it curing cancer.

22 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Today, in the end of college sports as we know it

Nolan Smith Georgia Bulldogs Nike NIL Replica Football Jersey - Red

Fanatics is now selling customized college football player jerseys.  They’re labeled “NIL Replica Football Jerseys”, so it’s safe to assume the kids are getting a piece of the action.  Which is how it should be, and how it should have been all along.

Wonder if they’ll sell an AJ Green jersey…

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UPDATE:  Mr. Weiszer has more deets.

The jerseys — 100 percent polyester with Dri-Fit technology — are priced at $139.99 each at Georgiadogs.com.

More than 50 Georgia players have their own jerseys for sale, ranging from tight end Darnell Washington and wide receiver Adonai Mitchell to local products Brock Vandagriff and Malaki Starks to walk-ons including Luke Bennett (younger brother of Stetson).

… Quarterback Stetson Bennett, tight end Brock Bowers, defensive tackle Jalen Carter and and running back Kenny McIntosh weren’t listed Thursday afternoon.

Bennett’s No. 13 jersey and Bowers’ No. 19 jersey are expected to be available Friday through the UGA Bookstore and Follett after they agreed to a Brandr licensing deal that will pay each player a $10 royalty per jersey for the same product sold.

37 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Stylin'

Group of dudes

This tongue bath may be a new low for Dennis Dodd.

Chris Del Conte has long been the ringleader of a tight-knit circle of athletic director friends, if in volume of voice only. At one point, they were all upwardly mobile career climbers with ideas of how to reshape college athletics.

They’re aging into their 50s now having only enhanced their influence. Back in the day, the think tank of emerging thinkers consisted of seven current ADs and power brokers: Del Conte (Texas), Greg Byrne (Alabama), Scott Stricklin (Florida), Ross Bjork (Texas A&M), Whit Babcock (Virginia Tech), John Currie (Wake Forest) and Greg McGarity (Gator Bowl CEO). Others circulated in and out, but that only added to their vision of the future.

“Does the group have a name? I think Currie called it, ‘The Next Gen,'” Del Conte said this week as Texas prepares to face No. 1 Alabama. “Now, we’re the ‘middle-aged gen.’ Now, we’re getting close to the ‘older gen.’ Now, we’re damn near on the tail end of old bastards. But we started out as young bastards.”

Cool, cool, cool… wait a minute.  Greg McGarity?  Our Greg McGarity?  What on earth could he contribute as an influential, visionary think tanker?

“I think we were all worried that people were not going to [donate as boosters] because of the tax situation,” said McGarity, previously the Georgia AD from 2010-20.

Of course.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Parking PSA

Those of you making your way to Athens this Saturday ought to be aware of something I heard some chatter about a couple of weeks ago that’s now been made official via an email from the Georgia Bulldog Club.

Good afternoon from The Georgia Bulldog Club!

We are excited to welcome you back to Sanford Stadium this Saturday as the Georgia Bulldogs open their home slate against Samford at 4:00pm. As we look ahead to this weekend’s matchup, we want to remind you of gameday traffic patterns that could affect you on Saturday.

Due to repairs on the railroad trestle near East Campus Road, Williams Street remains closed to through vehicle traffic in that area. The Williams Street Lot (N12) is still accessible to local traffic from Oconee Street, as is Mitchell Street. Pedestrians and cyclists are still able to travel down Williams Street and safely cross under the trestle via designated covered paths.

For ticket-holders parking in the Railroad Lot (N08), we recommend traveling up Oconee Street and turning left (southbound) onto South Thomas Street. As this is not the regular traffic pattern for this intersection, Athens-Clarke County Police will be stationed there no later than 8:00am to direct traffic.

Parking for N08 will begin at the south end of the lot. Please note that, due to construction, there is no longer internal access for vehicles between the south and north ends of N08 (see map). Vehicle access to either end of the lot is only available via South Thomas Street (for the north end) or East Campus Road (for the south end). Pedestrians, however, can still walk internally between the two ends of the lot.

Once the south end of N08 is filled, you will only be able to access the north end from South Thomas Street. We recommend arriving early and preparing for an extended commute if you plan to park at the south end of N08. Police and parking attendants will be available at all open lots to direct traffic and answer questions.

This new traffic pattern will be in place all season.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The awesomeness just grows and grows.

So, there’s something of a debate about whether the first round of games in the expanded CFP should be played at neutral sites or at the home stadiums of higher seeded teams.  Fine, I guess, except maybe somebody should bring this more to the forefront of the discussion:

The playoff is doubling in size in terms of the number of rounds (two to four) and is nearly quadrupling in size in terms of the number of games (three to 11). That’s a significant swelling during a very tight window of the calendar, from mid-December to mid-January. There are hurdles to work around, like (1) the academic calendar (exams and the start of the second semester); (2) NFL regular season and playoff games (avoid competing with the NFL at all cost); (3) conference championship games (they normally are played the first weekend of December).

Commissioners have established tentative dates for the four rounds, but nothing is concrete. The first round falls roughly two weeks after conference title games. The second round kicks off on the typical New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day window. The semifinals would be played a week later followed by a championship game that, depending on the year, could kick off two or three weeks into January.

The CFP tipped its hand in the release announcing the particulars of the new expansion: There must be at least 12 days between conference championship games and the first round. The 12th day after Saturday conference title games is a … Thursday.

“We all have to get ready for weekday playoff games,” says one high-placed source within the CFP.

To avoid competing against NFL regular season games—the league plays some Saturday games starting in mid-December—first-round college playoff games could find their way on a Thursday night.

A Thursday night playoff game in Athens?  Shit, what could go wrong with that?  I mean, besides a few things like traffic, hotel accommodations, etc.

Eh, don’t worry.  I’m sure the folks in charge will get this all figured out.  Or not.  As long as they get paid, though, it’s all good.

57 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Whatever works

Jeez, talk about where my head is at — I read Graham Coffey’s 12 Takeaways post on Monday, thoroughly enjoyed it and somehow thought I posted about it.  Old age is a beyotch, but I digress.

Anyway, back to what Graham posted.  I’m pleased to see he had many of the same impressions I had live (backed up with more specific information).  Take, for example, this:

Speaking of Monken, his detachment from any sort of system is what enables his week to week brilliance. On the Dawgs Central preview show I talked about how UO ILB’s Flowe, Sewell and Funa were liabilities in pass coverage. On the first drive he made them run sideline to sideline after McIntosh and McConkey. On the second he got heavy with Washington and Bowers and alternately worked the flats and attacked the middle. In total the UO ILB trio was targeted 10 times. They gave up 9 receptions for 114 yards and UGA pass catchers had 90 yards after the catch when matched up on them. Flowe and Sewell had 5 missed tackles between them when in coverage. Monken found the matchup, exploited it, and then built everything else off of that threat. What’s dangerous for defenses is he’ll change that strategy week to week as needed.

Then there’s something I didn’t notice.

Bennett’s average time to throw on Saturday was 2.54 seconds (less than Nix’s 2.67), which is indicative of how quickly they had him get the ball out early in the game. Once it became clear that UGA’s offensive line had things under control you saw more slow developing plays downfield. Last year Bennett’s dropbacks were as much as 60% play-action some weeks. Against Oregon only 11 of his 31 dropbacks were play-action. Stetson was only pressured on 5 of those dropbacks and he attempted a pass on all of them. I know he had a couple throwaways but my point is that Oregon was never able to keep him in the pocket or speed up his clock in the passing game. Georgia’s OL was dominant in pass protection (More on the run blocking in Takeaway #7).

Georgia ran 62 plays Saturday, which is right in line with last season’s average of 63.5 plays per game.  While they did run a few quick snaps (to good effect, mostly), it’s not part of Monken’s MO.  Yet look at how quickly they had Stetson getting the ball out of his hands.  As I mentioned in my Observations post, Monken called very little play action, something that was definitely a staple of last season’s offense.

The point here being, the man isn’t wedded to anything other than finding the best way to attack a defense on a given day.  From where I sit, that’s pretty friggin’ awesome.

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

“We need the money.”

Welcome to Sanford, Samford.

The advantages for Samford, on the other hand, are this: a Saturday afternoon turn on the big stage … and a whole lot of cash. For fiscal 2021 — July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 — Samford reported football expenses of $5.3 million, about one-fourth of the athletic department’s total expenditures, according to the U.S. Department of Education. (The University of Georgia had football expenses of $36.2 million and total expenses of $113.2 million over the same period.)

So when a marquee program comes along offering the going rate of $500,000 — 10 percent of the football program’s entire budget — for one day’s work, that’s an awfully enticing proposition for a small school.

“These games are hard to get,” Hatcher said. “We schedule them way out in advance. Anybody who’s willing to pay us half a million dollars, we’re willing to travel. We need the money.”

“Some of these programs cannot, cannot survive,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said Monday, “without these games.”

We fans, on the other hand, who fund our school’s largesse, we’ll get by just fine.  It’s just a few bucks out of our wallets for a lopsided match, amirite?  At least it makes it easy for some folks to beat the traffic on the way home.

Look, if P5 schools are that concerned about the finances of places like Samford, why not create a pool of funds and distribute those directly to the places that need them?  If the goal is to give kids playing at Samford the chance to step on the field in Athens and sense what it’s like to play in front of 90,000+, why not use a spring game for that?

These games exist for the primary reason of making sure mediocre P5 football programs get that needed win they can count towards bowl eligibility.  We fans should get with the program.  Paying customers shouldn’t be selfish, but should appreciate their sacrifice for the greater good.  College football isn’t entertainment, after all.  It’s a responsibility.

50 Comments

Filed under College Football

Some days you eat the other conference, and some days the other conference eats you.

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark has a dream, y’all.

Speaking Wednesday during a visit to future Big 12 member Cincinnati, Yormark told reporters that the league would be interested in adding members from the Pacific time zone. The new commissioner has taken a bold approach toward expansion, saying at football media days, “The Big 12 is open for business.”

“Obviously, going out west is where I would like to go, entering that fourth time zone,” Yormark said Wednesday.

He added of the Big 12’s wish list: “A program that has national recognition, one that competes at the highest level in basketball and football, stands for the right things, is a good cultural fit.”

These days, does a good cultural fit mean anything more than enjoying a dick measuring contest?  I mean, this whole Big 12 vs. Pac-12 fight is the conference realignment equivalent of a meteor game.

12 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Pac-12 Football

“if only I’d had one more year…”

Matt Hinton vaulted Stetson Bennett into second place in his SEC QB Power Rankings, and, in so doing, made what probably should have been an obvious point in the preseason.

When the NCAA waived the eligibility clock for the 2020 season, most of the intrigue focused on how the backlog of veterans opting to hang around for a 5th or 6th year would affect roster management. There was less thought to what the extra year would mean for player development. After all, the vast majority of players who move the needle never make it to the post-graduate phase of their careers before they go pro anyway, and the vast majority of players who do are probably not about to tap into some renewable well of talent in Year 5 or 6. Real life is not like Dynasty mode in a video game where the ratings are always going up.

Except in Bennett’s case … I dunno, maybe it is? The guy just keeps getting better. Against Oregon, he was in full command, leading 6 touchdown drives on 6 possessions while attempting nearly twice as many passes (31) as team runs (16). His 25 completions were spread among 8 receivers. He was 4/4 on 3rd-down conversions, 6/8 on attempts of 10+ yards downfield, and set career highs for passing yards (368), Total QBR (97.3), and overall PFF grade (90.3) vs. a Power 5 opponent. And not one from the Vanderbilt tier, either: The Ducks opened the season ranked 11th in the AP poll and 7th in 247Sport’’ Team Talent Composite, better than any other team on Georgia’s regular-season schedule on both counts.

So, sure, let’s go ahead and acknowledge there’s more talent there than most of us have been willing to give Bennett credit for. But maybe being a 24-year-old “super senior” in your 6th year on campus is a bigger advantage than most of us anticipated, too.

Georgia under Smart does that player development thing pretty well, so yeah, six years in, with three under an offensive coordinator who knows what he’s doing, then add in a full offseason as the uncontested number one guy… well, maybe we all should have seen this coming a little more clearly.

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

One-upsmanship

So, in this week’s Observations post, I made a crack about Brett Thorson considering the transfer portal due to lack of opportunity because the offense was so efficient.  Little did I know I would be upstaged.

I hate it when football players are better at snarkery than I am.  Well played, sir… er, mate.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football