Daily Archives: September 22, 2022

Life comes at you fast, Gators.

How it started.

Napier made it very clear that Florida’s strength is Richardson and the offensive line, and that the Gators would play to those strengths. Then they went out in their first showing and rushed for 282 yards.

They controlled the line of scrimmage and dictated tempo, and put Richardson in position to succeed. And Richardson merely played like a Heisman Trophy candidate, completing 71 percent of his passes for 168 yards, and rushing 11 times for 104 yards and 3 TDs.

He ran with the power and strength of Newton, and the effortless glide and speed of Young. He got tough yards like Tebow.

But here’s the difference: Richardson is a better pure thrower at this stage of his college career than any of those three.

How it’s going.

32 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

A sinking tide lowers all boats

In one sense, Georgia Tech’s athletic director Todd Stansbury has done well by his school.

In his tenure, Stansbury has achieved a number of objectives, most notably completing a $125 million capital campaign that wrapped up during the pandemic and exceeded the target by $50 million. The two head-coaching hires made on his watch, women’s basketball coach Nell Fortner and softball coach Aileen Morales, have lifted their teams to heights not reached in a decade. Aside from the very glaring exception of football, Tech teams largely are more competitive now than they were at the time of his hire in 2016.

… A proud alumnus, Stansbury has aspired to lead the athletic department in the way that his mentor Homer Rice did at Tech during his exceedingly successful tenure and has said that he hoped to stay at Tech for the duration of his career.

Yeah, well, there’s that very glaring exception.  Sadly for Stansbury, there simply may not be enough in the good column to overcome Coach 404’s work.

“I’ve seen some good football, I’ve seen some bad football,” Tech alumnus and season ticket holder Karl Paul said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But never have I seen football like last year, where it was just totally embarrassing and frustrating and not fun anymore.”

The football program is in such sorry straights that the school may be forced to pay Collins a buyout of over $10 million is he’s canned before the end of the year, a possibility that seems to be more likely with every passing week.  That would be a brutal hit for an athletic department whose reserve fund held a $12.1 million deficit at the end of the 2021 fiscal year.

That’s not something an athletic director, no matter how well-intentioned, survives.  The real kick in the pants would be that his buyout is only $325,000.  Life ain’t fair, sometimes.

42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

The declining value in getting your brains beat out

Andy Staples ($$) brings up something I’ve touched on before, the trends threatening the future returns for mid-majors scheduling guarantee games.

… [Kent State athletic director Randale] Richmond didn’t offer any judgment about what happened before he arrived. But he did point out that those games were signed when demand for such games outstripped supply. In the middle of the last decade, Power 5 schools wanted to buy home games with no return dates without scheduling too many FCS teams. That allowed MAC and Sun Belt schools to drive up the prices of these games. Kent State made $1.2 million to open the 2011 season at Alabama. Georgia will pay 58 percent more for Saturday’s game.

As more Power 5 schools opt for home-and-home series against other Power 5 schools — because fans hated the buy games and showed their displeasure with their absence — the number of buy games is decreasing. Meanwhile, the SEC is considering adding a ninth conference game. The seller’s market has become a buyer’s market.

“Now less games are out there,” Richmond said. “People are out there saying ‘Hey, I still need that revenue. I’ll take less than School X.’ That’s where that next wave is coming.”

It’s the law of supply and demand, and demand looks like it’s starting to dry up.  Also, there’s some bottom up squeeze from FCS schools, when you think about it.  For the average Georgia fan, Kent State isn’t any more attractive than Samford is.  So, if you’re Josh Brooks, why agree to pay mid-major rates when you can schedule a lower tier school at half the price?

17 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

Charting a rout

Behold Bill Connelly’s advanced box score for the Georgia-South Carolina game:

That is “don’t let little kids view that unattended” ugly.  A seal clubbing in numbers.

The Dawgs more than doubled SC’s success rate, with field position being essentially a wash.  No sacks, but a pressure rate of better than 37%.

The tidbit I’m most fascinated by, though, are Georgia’s passing stats against zone coverage.  Monken essentially laid waste to the ‘Cocks’ zone defense.

Gotta like Bill’s quick verdict, too.

17 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The earlier bird catches the worm.

If you add another week or two of games to the college football schedule, which CFP expansion would do, you’ve either got to make it up somewhere else or rub elbows with the NFL.  You can guess which way the suits are headed.

A proposal to revamp the 365-day college football calendar calls for leaders to further examine moving up the start of the regular season as well as the bowl season.

… maybe the most significant item is the notion that officials need to “further explore potentially making Week 0 fully permissive,” the calendar notes. Under current rules, teams need a waiver to play a game during what’s termed “Week 0,” the weekend before the official start to the season. In another proposed change, bowl games would be permitted to start the second Saturday in December—a week earlier than normal.

Boy, they really want to avoid something.

While opening the door for teams to have an additional bye week, lifting the Week 0 waiver process could be the first step in a move to eventually shift up a week the entire regular season. The change would expand a tight December window in which to play additional playoff games, alleviating a cramped timeline that includes conference championship games, NFL regular-season games (some played on Saturday), midyear exams and graduation.

How would that Week 0 deal work?

The calendar’s most striking component—opening up Week 0 to all schools—is not a new topic, but its inclusion in the proposal speaks to the serious nature of the possibility. Eleven games involving FBS teams were played on Week 0 this year, including Northwestern’s win over Nebraska in Ireland. Waivers to play on Week 0 are granted for various reasons, most notably for those teams that play at Hawaii, an incentive for programs to travel to such a remote location. If the waiver process is eliminated, teams could host recruits for home games played on Week 0, the calendar says.

Host recruits for home games played on Week 0? You can bet Kirby Smart will be on that particular mother in a heartbeat.

21 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

Headed for a break up

Apparently Bryan Harsin can’t coach.

Auburn football, after two warm-up games to begin the season, is a mystery no more. The team is soft, and ill-equipped for the rigors of second-half football just as competition in the SEC begins. That’s the coach’s fault, and speaks to something greater than one loss to Penn State. In its last five games against Power 5 opponents, Auburn has been outscored 94-18 in second halves.

… How could a team play so poorly as Auburn did against Penn State? It’s got nothing to do with a game plan. A loss like that all starts with the head coach and how he built and trained his team months before the season.

Auburn’s true character under Harsin was revealed in those painful moments after halftime, and it was a brutally honest accounting of a football team unprepared.

He can’t or won’t recruit, either ($$).

… While the way Auburn’s meddlers went about their attempted coup of Harsin in January was despicable, their reason for wanting a change was logical. In his first year at Auburn, Harsin showed no interest in trying to compete with Alabama’s Saban or Georgia’s Smart for players. That is the easiest way to ensure a future in which Auburn never has a chance against Alabama or Georgia.

Other than that, he’s perfect.

Staples says the end is near.

Bryan Harsin won’t be Auburn’s coach much longer. If he loses to Missouri on Saturday, he might not be Auburn’s coach next week. The most obvious time to make a move seems to be after the Georgia game (Oct. 8).

To which, I can only offer the obvious retort.

Dave Chappelle Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live

47 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Beyond system quarterback

Matt Hinton, who, at this point, is a Stetson Bennett fan (“… there’s no question whether Bennett is fundamentally capable of getting the job done”), does think Georgia’s quarterback is the beneficiary of having the cushiest starting position in the country.

Working against him, besides his Rudy-esque stature and marginal pro prospects, is the very obvious fact that playing for Georgia makes his life easier than any other quarterback in America. Voters want to see Heisman candidates make plays, which in Bennett’s case is not really necessary. His o-line is elite, his options on any given snap abundant, and the play-calling — while surprisingly creative thus far — rarely stresses his skill set. (More than 31% of Bennett’s pass attempts through the first 3 games have been behind the line of scrimmage, per Pro Football Focus, the highest share of any Power 5 starter; they’re averaging 9.2 yards a pop after the catch.)

Georgia’s defense guarantees he’s never forced to play from behind or make desperate decisions in must-throw situations. It’s about as close as a big-time QB can get to being ensconced in velvet.

Cushiest, literally.

42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Conspiracy theory, with Matt Hayes

Tell me you don’t understand the SEC’s scheduling ineptitude without saying you don’t understand the SEC’s scheduling ineptitude.

This is what Hayes says is behind the conference’s nefarious scheme to have Georgia avoid facing off against Texas A&M until 2024:

Why, you ask? Because college football is expanding and aligning before our very eyes. It’s the SEC/ESPN vs. the Big Ten/Fox/CBS/NBC — and they’re fighting for every last viewer.

You think the SEC is just going to gift Fox a game with what could be 2-time defending national champion Georgia? Or gift CBS the hype-filled and much anticipated Georgia at Texas A&M game?

Not on your life.

“That’s a great theory,” an industry source said. “Would it surprise me? Not really. Would I blame either (the SEC or Big Ten) if they did that? Never. This is bare-knuckle fighting now.”

This is bigger than Georgia traveling to College Station, everyone. This is about protecting games and building brands and not inadvertently helping your rival do the same.

Besides, if the expanded Playoff doesn’t happen in 2024 and Texas and Oklahoma don’t leave the Big 12 early as part of the deal, that opposite division rotation will magically turn to — tada! — Georgia at Texas A&M.

Just in time for ESPN’s first season as the exclusive media rights holder of the SEC.

By Jove, Holmes, you’ve cracked the case!

Now if Matt can find the smoking gun that proves the conference knew back in 2012 that Mickey’s first season holding exclusive broadcast rights would be in 2024, he might really be on to something.  On the other hand, he might consider making Occam’s razor his friend.

9 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

I have seen the future of SEC football broadcasting.

And quite frankly, it leaves something to be desired.

Dawg fans not traveling to Athens Saturday, you didn’t really want to watch this game anyway, did ‘ya?

38 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

“It just means more”, on steroids

This chick makes Harvey Updyke look like a piker.

And you thought nobody west of the Rockies gave a shit about college football.  The Utes won, fortunately.

21 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, Pac-12 Football