Category Archives: It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

TFW you see the difference between the SEC and the AAC

From an eagle soaring majestically over ninety thousand fans to this…

Arise, Sir Gus.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Don’t @ him, please.

The latest in a line of bold claims from UCF:

Ummm… he may have a point there.

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UPDATE:  Oy.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Is the Gus Bus parking in a new garage?

I’m sure some saw this coming as soon as Malzahn’s old Arkansas State boss got a new job.

UCF has offered Gus Malzahn its head football coaching job, a source confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel Sunday night.

Malzahn, 55, spent the past eight seasons as coach at Auburn, where he led the Tigers to a 68-35 overall record and a 39-27 mark in the SEC. He was fired on Dec. 13 following a 6-4 campaign and a third-place finish in the SEC West.

It’s unclear whether Malzahn will accept the UCF offer.

Pat Forde says he expressed interest in the job last weekend, so I’m guessing it’s gonna happen.  Nothing like bringing home the guy who helped bring you your first national championship.  Circle of life, man.

I’m only half joking, but is it possible that Malzahn’s trading up?

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UPDATE:  Per Bruce Feldman ($$), Todd Monken was also a target for the UCF job.  For everything you’ve done for UGA, thanks, again, Gus.

16 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

It just means more, mid-majors edition.

Shot.

Chaser.

That ought to make finding a successor easy peasy, no?

16 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Political Wankery

A master of coachspeak

Put away the bulletin board.  Luke Fickell made sure you wouldn’t need it.

About all that’s left after that is an observation about Georgia’s long snappah.

6 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Making the grade

Again, I’m not gonna pretend I know a ton about Cincinnati’s players, so instead I’ll give you this:

I wouldn’t say the numbers are incredibly lopsided overall there, but note the difference between Daniels’ and Ridder’s grades.  Josh Whyle appears to be a name worth keeping an eye on.

Also, obviously, this says zilch about team depth.  Take it for what it’s worth.

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Stats Geek!

If you come at the king of the dipshits, you’d best not miss.

Shot.

Chaser.

Leave the damned bottle on the bar.

14 Comments

Filed under Freeze!, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

The land of opportunity

It’s always cool to see the light bulb go off over somebody’s head like this.

Incoming Coastal Carolina president Michael T. Benson wrote an open letter to the College Football Playoff Committee and its chair, Iowa AD Gary Barta, criticizing the “lack of fairness” and “absence of character” in the current college football postseason that “must be addressed.”

The letter calls for an “equality of opportunity” for schools from the Group of Five and criticizes the “flawed logic” that ended with Coastal’s No. 12 ranking and Cincinnati (9-0) finishing No. 8, which he said left them “absolutely flabbergasted.”

“I can’t help but think what might have been this season had all FBS programs been given the same equality of opportunity,” Benson wrote in a letter obtained by Yahoo Sports. He added: “Just think about that: Football is the only sport where the deck is stacked insurmountably against those who have the inevitable classification of “Group of Five” before toe hits the leather each fall.”

Benson acknowledged in the letter the reality that finances play in judging teams for college football’s postseason: “The [power] five” have worked to ensure that a different kind of Golden Rule remains firmly in place at the highest level of Division 1 football: those with the gold make the rules.”

Welcome to the party, pal.  It’s not as if Jim Delany was exactly hiding that attitude a decade ago when the mids were screaming about being left out of the BCS.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

The Peach Bowl: humping the narrative

Be prepared for an onslaught of the hot take Seth Emerson ($$) somewhat snarkily describes as “Motivated Angry Group of 5 Team vs. Unmotivated Blueblood Team“.

Read, for example, this, from ESPN:

Georgia (7-2)

Key player: QB JT Daniels. The USC transfer gave Georgia’s offense a much-needed boost after he took over the starting job in the past three games. Sidelined while recovering from knee surgery at the beginning of the season, Daniels has completed 66.7% of his passes with nine touchdowns and just one interception. With Daniels under center, the Bulldogs have been able to throw the ball down the field more than they did previously, getting George Pickens and others involved in the passing game.

Storyline to watch: Georgia has already had three seniors opt out of the bowl game, linebacker Monty Rice, tight end Tre’ McKitty and cornerback DJ Daniel, and there might be more coming. Last season, junior offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson and senior safety J.R. Reed skipped the Sugar Bowl, but the Bulldogs were able to rally for a 26-14 victory over Baylor.

Cincinnati (9-0)

Key player: QB Desmond Ridder. He was named AAC Offensive Player of the Year after running for 609 yards with 12 touchdowns and completing 66.4% of his passes for 2,090 yards with 17 scores and six interceptions. Ridder will have to make some plays with his arm against a Bulldogs team that led the FBS in run defense, allowing only 69.3 yards per game and 2.3 yards per carry.

Storyline to watch: The undefeated Bearcats felt slighted by the CFP selection committee, which didn’t elevate them higher than No. 7 after the initial rankings, even after teams ranked ahead of them lost. Cincinnati defeated then-No. 22 Army, No. 16 SMU and No. 23 Tulsa this season, but knocking off Georgia in Atlanta would give the Bearcats a stamp of legitimacy.

It may be a little subtle, but it’s a variation on the same theme.  I await the earnest, dulcet tones of Kirk Herbstreit pushing a similar story.

For what it’s worth, it’s still a football game and that means matchups matter.  I haven’t watched a ton of Cincinnati football, obviously, but two things that jump out initially are that the Bearcats run a 3-3-5 defense and Ridder does a lot of damage with his legs.  With regard to the former, it’s a defensive scheme the Dawgs have previously faced this season.  I would expect Georgia to come out trying to establish the run, because it will have a physical advantage on the lines.  (Tulsa did some real damage that way in the AAC Championship Game.)

If that works, Cincinnati is going to have to make the hard choice about bringing another safety in the box, which is going to give Daniels an opening to exploit with the pass.  Which I expect he will do, based on recent history.

On the flip side, it’s going to be up to Georgia’s outside linebackers to contain Ridder and keep him bottled up in the pocket.  And, yes, I know sometimes that’s been easier said than done.  (Also, it would be irresponsible not to speculate on how well Cinci runs the wheel route.  But I digress, at least I hope so.)

And that’s before we get to the 800-pound gorilla in the room, recruiting.  Here’s a chart sent to me by a loyal reader (thanks, Scott).

Screenshot_2020-12-22 GA vs Cincinnati Recruiting Rankings - mbroch gmail com - Gmail

I don’t care how motivated you are, that’s an enormous talent gap you somehow have to make up if you’re Cincinnati.  And before you give me, “well, South Carolina did it”, note that Carolina’s averages are closer to Georgia’s than Cinci’s.  Sure, it’s football and any given Saturday applies, but that’s a lot of Jimmies and Joes to overcome, even if the Dawgs have the expected number of opt-outs.

All of which is to say that Cincinnati is a good team and I expect Georgia to be in for a tough fight.  But it won’t be because Kirk Herbstreit says so.

64 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Speaking of hot takes…

Shot.

Chaser.

Snark aside, that was a fun, fun game to watch.  How many points would Coastal Carolina be favored over South Carolina if they faced off this Saturday?

19 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Media Punditry/Foibles