SEC Madness

I approve of this troll.

The topper would be to open up with him and Danielson on camera.

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Filed under SEC Football

From our reserve fund to yours

Next month, the NCAA is handing out lots of cash to its members.

College athletics departments will receive amounts ranging from about $165,000 to more than $1.3 million from a one-time supplemental distribution of $200 million the NCAA is making to Division I schools in mid-April, according to a school-by-school distribution report compiled recently by the association.

Under a plan approved a year ago by the NCAA Board of Governors and the Division I Board of Directors, the amounts are based on the number of athletic scholarships the schools provided during the 2013-14 school year. Schools received credit for one scholarship for every set of partial awards that added up to the equivalent of a full scholarship.

This means schools with the largest athletics programs will be getting the greatest shares of this money, which will be restricted to uses that directly benefit athlete academic and welfare initiatives, according to a Q&A document posted on the NCAA’s web site.

In case you’re wondering, Georgia is in line to get a sweet $896,685 check, which is fourth-best in the conference.

There are limitations being placed on how the money can be spent.

Schools will face restrictions on how they can use the money, which is coming from the liquidation of a type of endowment that had grown to more $360 million. The money is to be put toward “the direct benefit of the student-athlete and their academic success, life skills, career success, health and safety and student-athlete focused diversity and inclusion initiatives,” according the Q&A document. The money cannot be used for items such as coaches’ salaries, strength equipment, and stadium or arena improvements aimed at fans.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping a school that’s already spending money on student-athlete benefits from shifting those funds to coaches’ salaries and using the NCAA’s generosity here to fill the gap.  Not that anyone would do such a thing, I’m sure.

If that’s not a cynical thought enough for you, how about Jon Solomon’s suggestion as to why the NCAA is throwing money around like this in the first place?

The idea of shedding reserve funds is enough to make a Georgia administrator turn ashen-faced, but Butts-Mehre is probably too preoccupied right now figuring out a way to categorize a rainy day fund as a student-athlete benefit to notice the irony.

Oh, and it wouldn’t be a read story about college athletics funding without a haves/havenots twist, so here you go.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference commissioner Rich Ensor, whose league includes eight private schools that each awarded less than the equivalent of 100 scholarships 2013-14, said he had no problem with the Ivy schools’ distribution and “we’re happy to have this funding. We appreciate it.”

“Our issue,” Ensor said, “is why is football getting such weight in the formula” for the $200 million distribution. Ensor pointed out that football results in the awarding of many scholarships, and is driving schools’ shares of the distribution, but “no funding goes to the NCAA from football operations” because conferences control TV contracts for football and the bowl system. Nearly all of the NCAA’s revenue comes from its media and marketing rights contract with CBS and Turner for the men’s basketball tournament.

Meanwhile, Ensor said, many of the NCAA’s recent legal problems and settlements are “being driven by football.”

You’re just jealous, Ensor.  If you only had your own reserve fund…

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Filed under The NCAA

Today, in never mind

It’ll tell you where my head’s at that at first glance I thought this Marc Weiszer header question was directed at what we think of McGarity’s track record when it comes to evaluating head coaches.

Reading further and discovering it was about the basketball program, I started to feel silly about my mental leap, until I realized that a majority of the fan base doesn’t care much about either issue.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The benefits of hurry

I thought this was an interesting list of advantages to be gained from running a hurry-up no-huddle offense.

First, as coaches we teach what is important. Since the huddle has nothing to do with winning or losing the game, we end up spending more time on fundamentals and the actual plays we use.

Next, the no-huddle allows coaches to make corrections visually. Often in a huddle, we try to explain how we want something done – a blocking scheme, back’s cut, etc. For us, all corrections are done at the LOS, and the players see exactly what we want. The defense is right in front of them.

Again, since we can run more plays in practice, a lot more conditioning occurs during the entire practice. Therefore, we are able to cut back on the amount of sprint work as the season continues. During the game, since more plays are being run and we are at the LOS for every play, our concentration has improved, especially when we are tired.

Finally, we have found that communication and execution of our over drive no huddle offense is much easier. Our players are accustomed to hearing the play called from the LOS and are better able to handle the hurry-up situation. Also, speeding up play at times in our regular offense gives them a better concept of the faster pace we want in or over drive situations.

Add the following…

How it affects linemen. If linemen move seven and one-half yards from the ball to the huddle and jog that same distance back to the LOS, by the end of each play they have traveled fifteen yards. Multiply that by a minimum 60 plays and you can see we save our linemen approximately 900 yards per game. Therefore, they should be fresher in the fourth quarter.

By not using a huddle, you can run approximately one-third more plays in practice. (For example, we used to a team goal of running 2 1/2 plays per minute now we have advanced to 3 1/2 plays minute. Now we run 35 plays in a 15-minute approximately during group and team periods.

How it affects our QB by verbally alerting calls to him at the LOS, our QB gains an extra three or four seconds to scan the defense. This gives him a better understanding of what the defense is doing.

The catch, if you want to call it that, is that as a coach you have to keep the playbook fairly simple.

… The goal is to get the snap off within 5 seconds of the ball being spotted. This makes it very difficult for a defensive coordinator to have time to look at down and distance tendencies so the defense has a hard time getting into the correct call. This allows the offense to dictate the pace of play and get the defense into the looks they want. When thinking about it, one may wonder why more teams do not implement the offense! Well, the same thing goes for the offense as the defense. It takes a sharp mind to get the play calls into the offense fast enough to properly execute. The play caller has to be quick and precise with their calls in order to get the play signaled in to the QB. The QB from the sidelines has to be a confident play caller.

This is one reason there are not many plays in this offense. The key to it is to be simple for the offense to execute but difficult for the defense to understand. A fast paced can throw many different looks at a defense but can run very simple and traditional plays. This offense is very difficult for an opposing team to replicate in practice because of the tempo, speed, and the many different formations. The fast pace basically adds a 5th quarter to the game. The defense must maintain focus for longer than the typical 4 quarter game. When you get physically tired, it is harder to be mentally tough.

The only way to counter that is with a deep set of defensive personnel you can continually rotate during the game, and that only works if the refs are allowing a reasonable time frame in which to substitute (assuming the offense is substituting, of course).

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Kirk, was it something I said?

I don’t know when it happened, but apparently Kirk Herbstreit has blocked me from seeing his Twitter feed.

I’m not sure how I can go forward in life knowing that.

32 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

Replacing explosiveness

For all the griping about Jim Chaney’s lack of prowess last season, there was one area of the offense that was an unqualified success:  Isaiah McKenzie, the team’s leading receiver.

The problem for 2017 is that McKenzie is gone and left some big shoes to fill.

McKenzie’s seven touchdown catches were two fewer than the rest of the team combined.

He accounted for eight plays of 25 or more yards in the passing game, more than double anyone else on the team, according to cfbstats.com.

That’s a problem.  Terry Godwin would seem to be an obvious candidate to replace the missing production, but there’s another intriguing name to consider.

Perhaps Michel can be that player out of the backfield or lined up at wide receiver.

He looked the part on a spectacular 33-yard touchdown catch against TCU in the Liberty Bowl.

“He affected that TCU game probably more than anybody, between him and Isaiah (McKenzie),” coach Kirby Smart said. “When you get him the ball in space he tends to make things happen, so finding ways to get Sony the ball and creative ways to use his ability is important for us. He finished off the year really well.”

Michel has five career receiving touchdowns, but that touchdown catch and run in the bowl game was his only score in the passing game last season.

Kirby can pooh-pooh deploying Michel and Chubb at the same time all he wants, but I can see breaking Michel out of that duo in the backfield and motioning him into the slot as being a devastating scenario for opposing defenses to handle.  Eh, a non-arena blogger can dream, can’t he?

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

The cutting edge of business decisions

If you’re unhappy about seeing fewer star players take the field for their college team’s final bowl game, you may have a new villain to blame, the insurance industry.

Former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith has become at least the fourth highly-rated player in the last 18 months to collect on his loss of draft value insurance policy, two sources told CBS Sports.

But that is less of a story than the implications of Smith’s payout — believed to be $700,000. Will the increasing availability of such insurance and seeming frequency of payouts make it more likely that more players will be skipping bowl games?

“What you saw is the tip of the iceberg,” said Bryan Fisher, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based attorney who works with college players vetting insurance. “You’re going to see a lot of kids skipping.”

Much was made of Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and LSU’s Leonard Fournette skipping their teams’ bowl games because of injury concerns.

Their loyalty was questioned by some even though McCaffrey touched the ball more than 800 times at Stanford. Fournette had been nicked up at LSU but was considered a workhorse himself.

Meanwhile, a cottage insurance industry has grown up around top-rated college football players in recent years. CBS Sports reported last year Fournette had separate $10 million policies for total disability and loss of value.

Even if Fournette collected on those policies, he’d get a fraction of what he would earn as long-time healthy NFL player. So does this mean the less football played, the better?

“I would probably say more young men will be cognizant that that is a reality,” said Ronnie Kaymore, CEO of Kaymore Sports Risk Management, who advises players on such matters.

It’s not like anybody can do much of anything to stop it, either, unless, I guess, the NCAA revokes its current policy of allowing players to borrow against their future earnings to buy such coverage.  That would send one helluva negative message, though.

In the meantime, though, notice this bit at the end of Solomon’s story:

In the last four years, schools have begun exploiting in a loophole in NCAA rules that allows them to pay those premiums. The Student Assistance Fund at each school is stocked by NCAA money. Typically, there is $300,000-$350,000 in that fund.

The practice of paying for premiums has become so common, that it has become a recruiting tool.

“You would have a difficult time managing recruiting without paying the premium for insurance for players,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “If I had a son that I thought could be that good, if you’re a school that can’t pay the premiums, he’s not going there.”

Before you ask, even Georgia’s gone there.  As long as those funds can’t be clawed back into the reserve fund, their existence will be useful for Smart in that regard.

22 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA