The players may be amateurs, but the government ain’t.

This sounds like a real kick in the nuts.

Ordinarily, nonprofits don’t pay federal taxes on their income – and that includes most colleges. But under the Senate’s tax bill, royalties generated by nonprofits based on their names and logos will be taxed. It could be a large hit to universities with popular athletic departments that generate lots of money through merchandise sales…

The government expects to collect $2 billion over 10 years with the provision.

Damn it, schools work hard to keep that money all to themselves.  Doesn’t the Senate realize Uncle Sam’s name isn’t on the front of the jersey, either?

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10 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

So, pigs really can fly.

If you’d have told me back in August I’d see a list like this in November…

… I would have laughed my ass off.

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Herbie’s advice for Jim Chaney

Seth Emerson asks Kirk Herbstreit to weigh in on Georgia’s play selection in the wake of the Auburn game and with the SECCG coming into view, and, like it or not, Herbstreit is pretty spot on with his response.

First, this is an accurate assessment of Georgia’s offensive philosophy:

“They’re not Oklahoma with Baker Mayfield or what Clemson does: ‘Hey let’s just score in three plays, no problem, let’s go.’ They’re more methodical. So I don’t know if Week 10 it’s fair to look back at their season and with a loss the way they suffered one at Auburn and say, Well they need to be more balanced, they need to have this. They are who they are at this point.

“The best thing that you could do is maybe say, Hey we’re going to still win with defense, we’re going to still win with field position, let’s win the turnover battle, let’s run the football. But when we get into these tougher games, guys, with teams that can match us at the line of scrimmage – specifically the SEC championship no matter who shows up there – they’re going to have to go play-action pass on early downs more. They’re going to have to give Jake Fromm and that offensive line a better chance than being a ‘Run-on-first-down, run-on-second-down, uh oh third-and-5, third-and-7, now let’s ask the freshman quarterback to make a play.’ That’s just not who they are right now. They will be. When Fromm gains more experience and they get better receivers. But for now that’s not their game. So to me you’ve got to hope that throwing on first-and-10 on play-action will get the linebackers out of position, give you some easy throws to the tight end, or some easy throws to the receivers on their coverage. But I don’t think you can say, ‘Hey we’ve got to go into this game and be more 50-50 balanced to give ourselves a better chance.’ Just because I don’t think you can do that Week 11, Week 12.”  [Emphasis added.]

You go to war with the offensive personnel you have, not the offensive personnel you wish you had.  (Not to mention the head coach you have.)  It seems to me that Chaney has structured his offense to maximize the production it’s capable of, based on its limitations and Kirby Smart’s expectations.  Ten wins in, you’d have to say he’s done a respectable job with that.

The rubber’s about to meet the road, though, and as Herbstreit acknowledges, from the SECCG on, it’s unlikely that Georgia will face a team that doesn’t match up (at worse) on the lines.  So where do you go from there?

“I don’t think they need to change anything. I think everything they have in their arsenal is there. I just think it’s a different mindset from Jim Chaney. I think it’s a different mindset from how they approach the attack. It’s not: ‘Hey this worked all year, we’re big bad Georgia, we can run the ball on anybody, we’ve got the best backs in the SEC, we’re doing to do this.’ Sometimes you run to set up the pass, and other times you’re going to have to pass to set up the run.

“And I think if they would have the trip to Auburn back with a young quarterback, I would bet they’d say, Look we’re going to have to throw a bit more on early downs, and once we have a little success with that, then we can get back to running the football. Then we can get back to our linemen getting up those linebackers. But when you go into a game, and the defensive coordinator on the other side, and it’s a road game, his number one goal is we have to stop the run. We’re putting nine guys up there if we have to. We’re going to stop their running game. We don’t care what they do throwing the ball, we’re going to stop their running game.

“That was (Auburn’s) approach. If you go back and watch the film, that’s what my point is, when a defense is going to approach a game like that you have to say, OK boom, put the ball in the belly of the tailback (and then) pull it out. Get those guys all up at the line of scrimmage to tackle the ball-carrier and now you have a tight end out in the flat for a 5-yard pass. Not fancy, nothing crazy, you’re just doing a little flat route and he catches it, and he turns the corner, and he picks up 12 yards. That’s what I’m talking about.

“So it’s not like they have to change the gameplan, find some new plays. It’s more of how they approach it and how they attack, and it would not shock me at all that when they go to Atlanta it’s not going to be new plays, it’s going to be how they call them, and whether it’s Bama or Auburn it’s going to be the same approach. They’re not going to let (Georgia’s) run game beat them. So Chaney’s got to say, OK, no problem, play-action on first-and-10, now I’m a linebacker, now I’m a safety, now I’m like, Wait a second, are they throwing here or are they running? Now I’m a little hesitant. Now I’m getting back to being able to run the ball a little easier. So that’s why I’m saying play-action early downs makes a defense indecisive and makes it much, much easier for linemen to be able to block them when a defense thinks like that.”

I think that’s right.  Georgia isn’t going to radically restructure its offense when it plays the West champ.  For one thing, there isn’t enough time to install a whole new offense and expect it to function smoothly against one of the top defenses in college football.  For another, your best players on offense are the running backs you’ve relied on all year to get you to Atlanta.  The SECCG isn’t the time to work around using them; it’s the time to come up with ways within the existing structure of your offense to put them in situations where they can win a given play.

I’m not saying, “boom!, that’s easy”, and I don’t think Herbstreit is, either.  It’s Jim Chaney’s job to give Chubb, Michel and Fromm a fighting chance.  (It’s also the staff’s job to make sure the rest of the game doesn’t get away from the Dawgs and force Chaney and the offense into a position they’re not comfortable with, but that’s a post for another day.)  Reinventing the wheel in late November doesn’t strike me as an efficient way of accomplishing that.

52 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Stupid is as stupid does.

There’s a Steve Spurrier quote just waiting to emerge about this:

The Auburn Athletics Ticket Office released a notice Tuesday that there were several counterfeit tickets used when Auburn hosted Georgia on Nov. 11.

During Auburn’s game against Georgia, the ticket office saw fans attempting to use a few different types of fake tickets.

Fans attempted to use hard tickets that were reproduced with inferior paper and incorrect ads on the back. Fans also attempted to use tickets where incorrect seat numbers were photoshopped.

Scalpers also sold tickets for past or future games and bought tickets from fans with counterfeit money.  [Emphasis added.]

Seriously, you didn’t even bother to check to see if Georgia appeared on the face of the ticket you bought?

… the ticket office also asked patrons to be cautious when buying tickets from secondary sources for the Iron Bowl on Saturday, also hosted by Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Now there’s a warning that’ll fall on deaf ears.

9 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Why they pay Corch the big bucks

There may not be a universal consensus, but I think most observers would share the opinion that college football’s top two head coaches are Nick Saban and Urban Meyer.   Where as Saban’s particular genius may lie in knowing how to structure a program to take advantage of the resource advantage he has over almost every other D-1 school in the sport, Meyer’s shown an aptitude for gaming the system with regard to the CFP.

Ohio State is currently 9-2, with lopsided losses to Oklahoma at home and 6-5 Iowa.  In comparison with the rest of the playoff field, it doesn’t own a lot of quality wins, either.

And yet, the Buckeyes are right in the middle of the CFP chatter and show strongly in several advanced stats rankings.  Meyer’s team is second in ESPN’s FPI and first in Bill Connelly’s S&P+ RkSagarin has them sixth, ahead of Oklahoma.

Again, that’s with two bad losses on the résumé.  What’s Urban Meyer’s secret sauce?  Basically, it’s beating the crap out of every team from which it scores a win.  In those nine games, the average score is 50.414.7.  Advanced stats eat that stuff up, for the most part, and that in turn feeds into the national narrative peddled by… well, you know.

Maybe that’s why I find myself a fan of Brian Fremeau’s FEI ratings this year.

All I know is that if Ohio State beats Wisconsin to win the Big Ten championship, it’s going to make for a final week debate that will range from somewhere between interesting and obnoxious, depending upon your point of view, especially if Miami and Alabama lose a game.

42 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Paul Johnson’s convenient memory lapse

Paul Johnson is shocked, shocked that someone would suggest Tech’s blocking style is hazardous to other teams’ health.

“As a conference rule, we have to have four ambulances at our games because we hurt so many people,” Johnson said sarcastically. “Come on. In 10 years, I can’t remember anybody that’s ever gotten hurt out there playing (because of Tech’s offensive style).

“That’s just trying to get the officials to call something that isn’t there.”

DeAngelo Tyson would be happy to refresh your memory, genius.  (Apologies for the picture disappearing into the ether.)

At least Auburn’s never tried to pretend Nick Fairley didn’t exist.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, The Body Is A Temple

The return of balance

For once, it seems I managed to glomm on to something before Kirby had to explain it to me.

That’s been the story most of the season.  10-1 Georgia is last in the conference in passing attempts by a wide margin, despite most opponents following the same strategy that Kentucky used against the Dawgs’ running game.  We may find it frustrating to watch at times, but Chaney’s insistence on sticking to the run early has largely been a success.

The exception that proved the rule is Auburn.

The Dawgs haven’t thrown the ball much because they haven’t needed to.  They’ve won ten games, most of those in dominating fashion.  The offense is built in a way to protect a true freshman quarterback and to take pressure off a defense that’s excelled most of the season.  That’s good tactics in my book.

What it’s not built to do, as we saw on the Plains, is claw back into a game once it’s facing a significant deficit.  And, while it seems likely that Georgia Tech will succumb to what’s worked all year, it’s just as likely that will be the last time this season Georgia can count on the tried and true formula coming through without a hitch.

So, what say you about that, Coach Smart?

Kirby Smart, asked about that Monday, acknowledged that his team needs to run and pass well.

“To be able to win a championship you’ve got to have balance. We continue to improve on our balance,” Smart said. “Our ability to throw down the field, our ability to open things up. But if we open things up and throw the ball downfield I would beg the question what we’re doing with 27 and 1 the rest of the time.”

That would be Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, respectively now the second- and fifth-all time rushers in Georgia football history.

“It’s Catch-22 to be balanced,” Smart said. “But at the end of the day to win you’ve got to be able to do both, and when you play really good teams you’ve got to be able to do both.”

Ditto, says his offensive coordinator.

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney told the CBS broadcast crew on Friday that he didn’t think Georgia could win a championship by continuing to run it 70 percent of the time.

I’m not sure what to make of the questioning.  Georgia, just to remind everyone, is 10-1.  It got to this point pounding the ball (on pace to throw fewer passes than any SEC team since 2012), playing good defense and special teams.  Who’s to say that the Dawgs would be in the same place right now if, say, they’d run the ball 100 fewer times over the course of the season?

As a look back, then, that seems a wasted effort.  The relevant question from here is what does Chaney do —  and, maybe more relevantly — what does Smart want Chaney to do when Georgia game plans for the SECCG and whatever comes after?  You would hope that at least there are lessons to be taken from the Auburn loss that will prove useful in that regard.  I can’t help but wonder, though, if better results from the defense and special teams than what they showed in the loss will prove even more useful.

39 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics