Category Archives: Georgia Football

“Fundraising efforts are already underway.”

Haves vs. have-nots, Butts-Mehre edition:

Georgia Athletic Association board members will be briefed on the progress of efforts to add a new football-dedicated building to the Butts-Mehre Athletic Complex when it holds its annual winter meeting on Wednesday.

In a conference call with members of the board’s facilities and development committee Monday morning, Athletic Director Greg McGarity confirmed that a status report will be provided on the latest multi-million dollar project to come on line since Kirby Smart became the Bulldogs’ head coach in 2016. McGarity said Georgia is in the process of selecting engineers and architects for the project, which is expected to be erect a building in the space between the Spec Town Track & Field grandstands and the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility.

… Since Smart’s arrival on campus in January of 2016, Georgia has built and dedicated a $30 million indoor practice facility and $65 million locker room and recruiting area underneath the West grandstand at Sanford Stadium. Since the fall of 2015, members of Georgia’s relatively new Magill Society have pledged donations totaling nearly $100 million to cover the cost of those projects.

Board members will also be briefed on an upcoming project to improve the lighting at Sanford Stadium, McGarity said.

The majority of the focus on facilities updates on Wednesday will be on construction of a new grandstand for the Henry Feild Stadium courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, McGarity said. Cost for that project is now expected to exceed $8 million. The board will also be briefed on plans to erect a new six-court indoor tennis facility for the complex.

“That will be the only action item on Wednesday,” McGarity said.

To date, none of the monies raised from the Magill Society have gone toward tennis. That is the sport Magill oversaw for decades before his death in 2014 at the age of 93.  [Emphasis added.]

Irony is dead.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Skin in the kickoff game

If you’ve watched any Alliance of American Football action (and before you ask, I haven’t), you may have noticed an absence of kickoffs.

The AAF debuted last weekend without toe meeting pigskin following scores. Offenses simply took over at the 25-yard line. No high-speed blocks, tackles or collisions. Definitely no injuries.

“It felt a little awkward,” said Atlanta Legends coach Kevin Coyle, a veteran of more than 40 college and pro seasons. “For me personally, it felt strange not to kickoff and cover the kick.”

Obviously no kickoffs = less injury chances, which has started another drum beat about what college football ought to do about that.

The thing is, the rule changes already enacted have had their desired effect.

  • For the first time since the NCAA began tracking such numbers, less than half of all kickoffs — only 42 percent — were returned last season.
  • For at least the fifth straight year, touchbacks are up. The 2018 total of 4,273 was up almost 28 percent since 2013.
  • The total number of kickoffs returned for touchdowns is down almost half from 72 in 2012 to 38 in 2018.
  • Kickoff return yards are down 42.2 percent since 2011. That was the last season before the kickoff was moved from the 30 to the 35-yard line.

Still, that’s probably not satisfying for the all or nothing crowd.  So what’s an NCAA rules committee to do?  Well, if you’re Steve Shaw, you raise an interesting defense of the status quo.

“Imagine Georgia-Florida and the place is up for grabs and we just jog out and put it on the ground,” he said. “I think we want to do everything we can do to protect the play.”

That’s the most empowered I’ve ever felt about an NCAA rule change.

By the way, thanks for getting the name of the game right, Steve.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Missing in action

Give things a few years, and I have the feeling a certain school with red and black colors will be working its way up these lists.

To tell you the truth, with as much talk about how it’s a conference built in the trenches, it’s a little surprising to see how few SEC teams made either list.

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Filed under Georgia Football

TFW you have no more f***s to give

Anthony Dasher voices a strange complaint about the Lanning promotion.

Yes, Bulldog fans should be thrilled that Smart is their head coach. Having said that, the public confirmation of Dan Lanning’spromotion to defensive coordinator deserves comment. It’s one of the oddest deals I’ve seen in 32 years of covering collegiate athletics.

For those unaware, the word from on high didn’t come in the form of a press release or a formal announcement by the University. No, it’s the result of an open records request, one made by UGASports and other media outlets that regularly cover Georgia’s athletic program.

I’m still scratching my head, trying to figure out why Smart allowed it to be handled this way.

When Georgia announced the promotion of James Coley, the hirings of tight end coach Todd Hartley and defensive back coach Charlton Warren, and even offensive analyst Shawn Watson, the school released the news in a professionally written email to beat writers, complete with a quote from Smart extolling the virtues of the program’s latest hire.

That wasn’t the case with Lanning.

It wasn’t until Georgia’s open records office replied to requests late Friday afternoon, listing Georgia’s assistants and their titles and salaries, that anyone outside the program could say what Lanning’s title was.

Was this a wise decision by Smart?

There’s no doubt a good portion of the Bulldog Nation who don’t give a flying flip how it affects the media and their ability to do their job. “It’s Smart’s team and he can do what he wants; you (media) don’t have a right to know.” I get it.

That’s actually not my gripe. It’s the false narrative that was unnecessarily created that Georgia had to settle for Lanning when that was not the case.

But while everyone tries to figures out Smart’s motives were—he’s been unavailable for comment since the Sugar Bowl—those reasons, whatever they are, seem curious at best.

The fact the media had to find out on its own via an FOI request has been a running joke for opposing fans.

Now, Coach Smart doesn’t care what anyone thinks, but it’s a shame that this incorrect narrative on Lanning’s hire has been allowed to percolate among Bulldog rivals: they could claim use Smart really didn’t “get his man,” and use it as recruiting propaganda.

Okay, Kirby doesn’t care, most of us don’t care and I’ll bet the coaching staff doesn’t either.  But what opposing fans say is supposed to matter?  Shit, if that’s all it took, we would have put Georgia Tech football out of business years ago.

I will be curious to hear if Dasher brings this up at Smart’s next presser, even if I’m pretty sure of the response if he does.

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

ABC, peeps.

A Seth Emerson reminder ($$) that Kirby is always on the recruiting mother:

The​ narrative on Cameron Nizialek​ is he​ just​ picked Georgia on his​ own,​ showed​ up​ in​ Athens two years​ ago, and​​ the eventual SEC and Rose Bowl champions had their starting punter drop into their lap. But that’s actually not true. And it offers some lessons on why Kirby Smart’s program operates the way it does.

The real backstory: Nizialek was graduate transferring from Columbia, an FCS school, after the 2016 season. And as obscure as he might have seemed, he was already on Georgia’s radar. James Vollono, then a special teams analyst, had known Nizialek through the kicking community and reached out to him. Nizialek also was talking to Clemson, which had invited him to attend the South Carolina game two days after Thanksgiving. That was a night game. Georgia played at noon just over an hour’s drive south. Why don’t you stop by here first, Vollono asked Nizialek, who agreed.

“And I actually talked to Kirby for like 20 minutes before the Georgia Tech game that year,” Nizialek recalled last week. “So, yeah, I think Kirby downplays his role in me coming there a little bit. But they definitely wanted me to come. Now, obviously, I wasn’t on scholarship, so it just kind of looked like I showed up. But they were definitely interested and wanted me to come from the beginning.”

That level of attention for an Ivy League punter… can you imagine what Smart puts into pursuing a five-star in-state stud?

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

You get a title! And you get a title!

They’re handing ’em out like chocolates at Halloween.

More than 10 weeks after there officially was an opening for a defensive coordinator on Georgia’s football staff, there is finally clarity on who is filling the position.

Outside linebackers coach Dan Lanning was promoted to defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann is co-defensive coordinator…

In addition, running backs coach Dell McGee now has the title ‘run game coordinator’ and will be paid $650,000 after a $100,000 raise. Wide receivers coach Cortez Hankton will be pass game coordinator and be paid $550,000 after a $175,000 raise. Offensive line coach Sam Pittman has added the title associate head coach and will be paid $900,000, a boost in pay of $75,000.

You know, a guy could feel left out if he didn’t get a title… except everybody got a raise, except for the new coach, of course, but he’s making more than one of the co-defensive coordinators, so that works out.

Speaking of working out, you know this has to warm the cockles of Greg McGarity’s benighted heart.

Georgia’s assistant coach salary pool will be less than last seasonfrom $6.42 million to $6.045 million after Mel Tucker, who made $1.5 million annually, departed.

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Filed under Georgia Football

S&P+ look at Georgia’s 2019 schedule

Inspired by this exercise at Roll ‘Bama Roll, I thought I’d break down Georgia’s schedule on the basis of Bill Connelly’s just-released S&P+ preseason rankings.  Here’s what you get:

  • @ Vanderbilt 53
  • Murray State [FCS]
  • Arkansas State 70
  • Notre Dame 12
  • @ Tennessee 21
  • South Carolina 18
  • Kentucky 37
  • v. Florida 6
  • Missouri 16
  • @ Auburn 8
  • Texas A&M 13
  • @ Georgia Tech 89

That works out to an average ranking of 31.18.  Alabama’s schedule averages out to 38, if you’re wondering.  (The difference is largely driven by the teams’ non-conference scheduling.  They do share four common opponents – Tennessee, South Carolina, Auburn and TAMU.)

On paper, that is no walk in the park, particularly with regard to the lengthy stretch between the Arkansas State and Georgia Tech **snicker** games.  Average ranking for those eight games?  16.38.  That’s a pretty stern gauntlet to run.  Kirby’s got his work cut out for him.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!