This is pretty funny.
Sorry, Cam, but Twitter knows best. Them’s the rules.
This is pretty funny.
Sorry, Cam, but Twitter knows best. Them’s the rules.
Two noteworthy items from today’s Seth Emerson’s piece, inspired by Burton’s departure for (presumably) greener pastures ($$):
First, I love this quote from Terrence Edwards.
“I don’t think you necessarily have to have these gaudy stats to be thought of as a high draft pick,” said Edwards, pointing out that he himself wasn’t drafted. “But kids and parents love stats.”
Chicks will always dig the long ball.
• Georgia is the first college football national champion since 2008 to not have a 1,000-yard rusher or receiver. (Florida that year was led in rushing by Tim Tebow with 673 yards, and in receiving by Louis Murphy with 655 yards.)
• Georgia this past season was also the first team in SEC history to gain at least 6,500 yards without a 1,000-yard rusher or 1,000-yard receiver.
The key points in each of those items perhaps being that a) Georgia won the national championship, and b) gained a healthy amount of yards (6,644, second most in the SEC and sixth most in the country).
That Todd Monken fella’s not too bad at his job.
Seth goes on to make another very good point about the offensive philosophies at Alabama and Georgia, respectively. It’s not just that ‘Bama emphasizes the pass more; they also concentrate touches with their top players considerably more than does Georgia. (Alabama’s top two receivers combined for 46% of the team’s total catches; Georgia’s, 31%.) If your top guys are that much studlier than the rest, that’s sensible, but as we saw in the national championship game, it can leave you exposed if those top guys can’t play.
The point here isn’t to criticize either coach’s approach. Obviously, there’s more than one way to skin a national championship cat. But maybe this makes it a little easier to understand Burton’s decision while also showing that Georgia’s offense may be built well enough to survive it. Or, to put it another way, I’ll sweat Monken’s departure, when it happens, a lot more than Burton’s.
According to Jake Reuse over at On3, Mike Bobo is being hired as an offensive analyst.
Man, who could’ve seen that coming?
For all the talk about Bennett’s monster fourth quarter and the Ringo pick-six, there’s an argument to be made that the national championship game turned as much on the respective performance of the two offenses in the red zone as anything else.
Alabama actually was the team with more red zone opportunities, four to Georgia’s three. However, when it came time to cash in, Alabama only managed one touchdown. Georgia produced two red zone touchdown conversions. Thus, even though ‘Bama led the trips, Georgia wound up with the points, 17 to the Tide’s 15.
There was a lot of bending, but not breaking on the night. Dayne Young and Brent Rollins do a nice job of walking through what that looked like with this:
One interesting point there was that ‘Bama had some self-inflicted wounds along the way. Maybe they were feeling more pressure than we thought.
He’s right, you know. We’ve entered the era of the empowered player and that gives Jermaine Burton the freedom to decide what’s best for him and Nick Saban the option to provide that.
But that’s not so much the point to this post. I really wanted to respond to a comment last night and didn’t want to bury it in a comment thread.
First of all, I’ve got to say I’ve been waiting 15 years or so to find out whether it would be possible for a GTP reader to be irritated with a head coach after winning a national championship. It seems it is, so I appreciate getting that question answered. But I digress.
As for the meat of his criticism, well, Mark Richt cured me of being emotionally invested in a Georgia coach. Kirby isn’t infallible. He had a piss poor game plan on defense for the SECCG and I said so at the time. I’m sure there will be mistakes made in the future. He’s human and that’s how it works.
Further, if Burton stays healthy this season, he may produce at the level suggested in the comment. If he does, more power to him. He will have made the proverbial business decision and it will have paid off for him.
To all of which I can only say, so what? I only care about statistics and coaching decisions to the extent they pay off in wins and losses and, in this particular case, whether it ultimately pays off with a national title. So, for me this only matters if Jermaine Burton turns out to be the difference between Alabama winning a natty and Georgia winning one. Color me skeptical 2022 turns on that.
But, more importantly, think about what an attitude like this is really saying about the season that just took place. Should Kirby Smart have changed the offense to suit the desires of Burton, such that he would have found it in his best interest to stay in Athens for another season? What if he’d instructed Monken to do so and the change had cost Georgia the natty? Would it have been worth it?
There’s also something Graham brought up that I’d thought about when Burton announced he was entering the portal:
No, not the Saban quote, the fact that Burton’s led a nomadic football life. (Don’t forget he switched late in his recruiting from LSU to Georgia.) Some people can’t settle down. How much should a head coach cater to that?
Part of Burton’s frustration stems from him being injured. Part of it stems from seeing production that would have gone his way shifted to others who stepped up when he was injured. And part, no doubt, stems from Kirby Smart’s philosophy on how to build a championship contender. Last season, Alabama attempted eleven more passes a game than did Georgia. Jermaine Burton may not have liked that. Some of you may not have liked that. Me, I didn’t care because in the end Georgia was the team that got to hoist the trophy.
Smart’s won a natty. But for a busted coverage, he’d have two right now. Jermaine Burton or no Jermaine Burton, that’s gonna earn the benefit of the doubt from me. I said after the SECCG that Smart’s first decision wasn’t whether to bench Bennett in favor of Daniels, but whether he believed his defense would bounce back such that Bennett’s play wouldn’t crack under the pressure of playing chase to an opponent’s dynamic offense.
Kirby got that right. Who’s to say right now that after the preseason he won’t have as good a handle on what it will take for Georgia to succeed in 2022, even if Burton racks up big numbers at ‘Bama? Not me.
If Burton’s departure affects your perception of what this program has accomplished and will accomplish, that’s your problem. As I suggested to someone in the comments the other day, maybe you’d be happier playing fantasy college football than following Georgia football.
Tired: Jermaine Burton left because he wants to play in an offense with a more dynamic passing attack.
At least he’ll get to pad his stats during the next regular season before he turns pro. 😉
Check out Anthony Dasher’s early look at what’s coming back on that side of the ball to get your blood pressure lowered after the Daniels and Burton news (or, if you’re that sort of fan, the Bennett news).
Tl;dr version: there is a shit ton of talent coming back in 2022. Here are a few bullet points for your consumption:
All that’s before we find out if Kirby lands a player or two out of the transfer portal. In short, there’s enough personnel there to expect the offense in 2022 to be pretty, pretty good.
Weiszer: “Georgia reported three NCAA violations involving the football program for impermissible recruiting inducements between October and the end of December in its latest quarterly summary.”
Here’s the big one:
One violation resulted in football staff members being prohibited from going with recruits or their guests to the UGA bookstore.
That stemmed from am Oct. 17 violation when a non-coaching staff member gave a $50 loan to a recruit’s parent to complete a purchase. The parent said he would repay the loan but the staff member failed to collect the repayment when the family hurried to leave campus for a flight.
Georgia stopped recruiting the player and the staff member was barred from recruiting activities for 90 days.
Fitty dollah! Wait ’til Gator fans get ahold of that one.
You gotta love Seth Emerson’s lede this morning ($$).
Goodness, what an exodus of talent is hitting the Georgia defense: Three former five-star recruits, two more who were ranked in the top 100 of their class, and three more who were four-stars. And that doesn’t even include Jordan Davis.
That strips down the poor Georgia defense to only returning:
• 10 former five-star recruits
• Six more who were top-100 recruits
• 15 more who were four-star recruits
Kirby Smart’s cupboard, not very bare at all as it turns out.
Yeah, there’s some serious experience walking out the door, but that’s life in college football these days if yours is an elite program. Better to have talent on hand to replace it than not. And maybe there’s a transfer or two in the works, to boot.
I’ll take my chances with it, thank you very much.
Mike Griffith ranks this season’s schedule in order of difficulty:
Quibble about the order some, if you like, but overall, that has the feel of a repeat of last season’s slate. Yeah, as I said in the comments this morning, it’s a long way ’til September, but show me a single game there where you’d expect Georgia to go in as an underdog. I sure don’t see one.
Nice touch, by the way, on ranking Tech below Vanderbilt, Mike.