Why so glum, chum?

ESPN has scientific proof that Georgia’s fan base is “elated”.

What do you want to bet they’re excitedly — ooh, sorry, elatedly! — passing that crap around Butts-Mehre?

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

“He’s a football coach, that’s all he’s ever been.”

Of course Junior’s consulting with Art Briles.  Why would you expect otherwise?

(h/t)

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Filed under Baylor Is Sensitive To Women's Issues, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Heat treatment

CFB Film Room has charted every one of Jacob Eason’s throws from last season.  See if you can detect a pattern.

jacob-eason-2016

He’s got some work to do on the long ball.  (As always, it’s only fair to point out that better protection would likely do wonders in that department.)

Eason clearly excels within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, especially on the right side. But there is plenty of room for improvement down the field.

Arm strength is never an issue for Eason, so as he becomes more comfortable and patient in the pocket, he should improve his downfield productivity. Eason is a strong candidate to be one of the most improved quarterbacks in the nation in 2017.

From your lips, my man.

48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

If you can’t say anything nice about 2013, don’t say anything at all.

Damn, Seth, why you gotta harsh my buzz like this?

Parrish’s injury resulted in one freshmen moving up to first-team, at least temporarily. That was Richard LeCounte. Another freshman, Deangelo Gibbs, remains in competition for the nickel back spot. An SEC rookie, sophomore J.R. Reed, is the favorite to start at nickel back or safety. And other freshmen are competing to be in the two-deep at cornerback.

Exciting proposition, perhaps, for some people. A worrisome situation for coaches and for people who truly know football.

When Juwuan Briscoe and Rico McGraw transferred, after their careers not working out at Georgia, that put the Bulldogs in the position of having to rely on freshmen.

People may get excited about that. Fans always love giving the rookies a shot. Well, they thought that back in 2013, and look what happened: The secondary struggled. Tray Matthews, Shaq Wiggins, Brendan Langley and Quincy Mauger were all freshmen who started at least half the season. Sophomore Josh Harvey-Clemons was in his first season as a starter.

Georgia’s pass defense ranked 59th nationally that year, and ninth in the SEC.

Yeah, I’ve already posted that the Parrish injury makes me a little nervous about how they may have to rely upon an inexperienced LeCounte more than they’d prefer early on.  And Kirby’s already talked about the experience gap in the secondary between the starters and the backups.  I don’t think the 2017 secondary overall lacks as much starting experience going into the season as the 2013 group did, but it sure would be nice if they were able to dodge the injury bug going forward.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt if Smart and Tucker can coach green defensive backs better than Grantham did.  I hope we’re not in store for a bunch of frantic hand waving from LeCounte.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Only in Australia

Rice and Stanford open their seasons in Sydney this week.  Cue the cute koala at press conference moment.

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Filed under College Football

The analyst

Here’s a minute of Aaron Murray talking about Georgia’s chances this season.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“Football was life; the rest of the year was just biding time.”

Okay, it’s reasonable to expect that a college football piece in a New York Times “forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless” might be a little overwrought at times, but there is a paragraph in it that resonated with me, although not for the reason the author intended:

The extraordinary reach of football into fans’ lives makes perfect sense when we see it for what it is: the most popular mechanism in contemporary America for cultivating a sense of self that is rooted in a community. In a world of uncertainty, fragmentation and isolation, sports fandom offers us clear winners and losers, connection to family and community — and at its best, the assurance that we are really No. 1.

It strikes me that is the primal force the people running college football are screwing with in their quest to shakedown every dollar they can get their hands on.  That community, or, if you prefer, the regionalism that has fueled college football’s unique power, is being tampered with in more ways than I can keep pace with by a business plan designed (using that word loosely) to appeal to some amorphous national interest that substitutes the quality of our passion for the quantity of eyeballs that seek entertainment on occasion.

Conference realignment, convoluted scheduling that reduces the relevancy of conference play (insert your Georgia-Texas A&M snark here), the Big 12’s ridiculous decision to tack on a championship game at the end of a round robin-scheduled regular season and, of course, the Holy Grail of playoff expansion with its own attendant absurdities like a selection committee weighing the worthiness of its potential dance partners for weeks — all in the name of appeasing the broadcast gods who weigh ever more heavily in the sport’s orientation — these are things illustrating the attitude directing college football now that has served to alienate the fans and that sense of self she references.

It’s not even a steady decline over a long period of time.  When you look at that list and realize most of it has occurred in the past five years, the reality is that the trend is accelerating.  It’s an undertow growing stronger.

It’s easy to allow ourselves to get sidetracked by some of the other issues she mentions, but at its core, this is what’s ruining college football.  I write a college football blog that enjoys a loyal readership.  We see every day here evidence of that sense of self in a shared community.  Much the same can be said of the emotion I feel every time I set foot in a Saturday college tailgate.  I cherish that feeling; I expect you do, too.  But it’s impossible to avoid the realization that the community we share grows increasingly fragile because the money flow matters more than our love of the sport and that community.

Unfortunately, I fear it’s a lost cause.  By the time the power brokers realize they’ve pushed things too far, it’ll be too late to do much about it.  You have no idea how that saddens me.

49 Comments

Filed under College Football