Category Archives: Science Marches Onward

Thursday morning buffet

The chafing dishes are tanned, rested and ready.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Recruiting, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football

“We’re still using Etch A Sketch.”

The NFL has embraced the latest technology, but college football hasn’t.

While the NFL, which enters the third of a five-year sponsorship deal with Microsoft worth a reported $400 million that equips all 32 teams with Surface Pro tablets on the sideline and in the coaches’ box, will allow the use of video replay on the sideline during the preseason this year and Major League Baseball has a multi-year deal for the use of iPads in dugouts, the NCAA has been sorely behind when it comes to in-game technology.

High school football teams have embraced the latest technology, but college football hasn’t.

“I see high school teams in the state of Georgia that are replaying the previous series with their offensive line, with their backs, with their quarterback, on the sideline,” Muschamp said. “Certainly I think that’s something that would be beneficial for us. … To be able see a picture of a formation, and to be able to see a receiver split, to be able to see the split of an offensive tackle, all of those things are really critical to be able to do.

“Everything in pictures that you can draw up and be able to show a player that, it’s a much easier learning curve for a player as opposed to drawing it on a blackboard.”

Instead, welcome to the land of half-assed.

In February, the NCAA Football Rules Committee approved a proposal to allow electronic devices to be used for coaching purposes in the press box and locker room, but not on the sideline like in the NFL, during games beginning this fall. That proposal was approved a month later by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which in April, chose to delay implementation until 2017 after feedback from conference commissioners as to guidelines for consistency, cost and other issues.

“I think that’s part of the reason that the brakes were applied,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said earlier this month. “To say, ‘Let’s figure out exactly what might be implemented and how it can be implemented on an appropriately consistent basis.'”

All I can figure is that Sankey’s waiting for Microsoft to step up and offer him one of those sweet, sweet sponsorship deals.  In the meantime, enjoy the comedic stylings of SEC coaching.

Until some of the details are worked out, coaches are already searching for loopholes in how to maximize whatever technology ends up being implemented.

“I think that’s going to be one of those conversations that’s talked about the next couple of years,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said, “with the technology and where it’s going and what is going to be the plan moving forward in college football.”

As of now, a designated staffer or player could be in the locker room watching film and come to the sideline to relay information throughout a game. A quarterback could go to the locker room and watch film of the previous drive.

Bielema took that idea a step further.

“If we scored a touchdown our offensive unit could kind of just run into the locker room and grab a drink of water and maybe stay in there and watch a half a dozen plays, come back on the field before they’d be missed, which would be a huge, huge advantage,” Bielema said. “It’s the locker room. They just went in to use the facilities.

“I mean that’s the part of the SEC that I’ve begun to know. You’re going to take everything that you’ve given and kind of expand it a little bit.”

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Filed under Science Marches Onward, SEC Football

Closing the genius gap

I swear – if Paul Johnson didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.

Paul Johnson is a leader at a school that lives on the cutting edge of science and technology.

In at least one aspect of his job, though, the Georgia Tech coach finds technology to be an unwelcome intrusion…

Johnson has an understandable opposition to a rule that would enable opposing coaches to watch in-game replays of his unorthodox offense.

“I think it takes away coaching,” he said in an interview earlier this year. “That was one of the things I always liked to think I was decent at, was looking out there and seeing what was going on. Now, anybody can do it if they can sit up there and look at the monitor and run it back.”

Buy a laptop and you, too, can be a head football coach, my friends.  Yes, apparently it’s that easy.

If only he could find a recruiting app.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Science Marches Onward

The ultimate way to reduce football injuries

Normally I take a pass on April Fools Day humor, but this is too inspired to ignore.

Could be a real game changer in recruiting, too.

(h/t)

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Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Science Marches Onward

“College football is finally catching up with technology.”

Well, as long as it doesn’t cost anything.

The problem with the helpful tools for coaches? The NCAA doesn’t quite know how to level the playing field and make sure every team has equal access to the coaching tools, from the Power 5 conferences to the FCS programs already struggling financially.

The NCAA playing rules oversight panel will discuss Tuesday whether to approve significant changes allowing tablets and computers in the coaches’ booth and inside locker rooms at halftime on game days. The NCAA football rules committee forwarded the proposal it approved in February.

The complex issue involving logistics, money, equal access and much more, however, has some believing the proposal could stall and be placed on the shelf for another year, according to NCAA sources.

“It’s inevitable that somewhere down the line we will move to allow technology, even on the sideline,” said Steve Shaw, the SEC’s director of officials. “It’s inevitable. It’s part of everything we do now, but whether it is ready now, I just don’t know.”

The main issue is consistency across all conferences. Simply put, it’s yet another Pandora’s Box of compliance issues the NCAA could crack open next fall.

The NFL began using tablet technology on its sidelines — a move that could still be several years down the road in the NCAA — in 2013 thanks to a five-year, $400 million deal it signed with Microsoft. Microsoft, along with NFL officials, developed a universal system that guides all 32 teams, which have the same equipment and capabilities. On the college level, such a system could prove impossible, leading to yet another Wild West of insecurity and big moneymakers getting the upperhand.

When you start talking “Wild West” in the context of college football, you know this isn’t going to end well.

Maybe the P5 schools could start throwing in a shipment of iPads along with the million-dollar guarantee fees they offer when they schedule cupcake games.  Used ones, even.  Heck, you know Auburn will be getting the latest upgrade every time one comes out.

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Filed under College Football, Science Marches Onward, Strategery And Mechanics

Hey, Coach, what do we do with these patches?

There are times when I wonder if Mark Richt trolls us fans.  Here’s an example:

Georgia players have black patches on the back of jerseys that is being used to track electronically movement. “What it’s doing is just giving us an idea of the volume of running, how much distance are they traveling, what speed are they traveling, how often do they hit maximum speeds,” Richt said. “You learn about just the volume of work that they’re doing.”

Sounds good, eh?  Compiling a little 21st century cutting edge body data can’t hurt anything, right?  Well, except if…

Richt said Georgia is still trying to determine how to use the data.

Maybe they’ll use the patches to decide who wins the quarterback derby.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Science Marches Onward

Tuesday morning buffet

I’m not in Hoover.  You’re not in Hoover.  So, eat.

  • Speaking of Hoover, CFN’s Pete Fiutak has some pretty amusing observations about his first day there.  My favorite:  Because it’s 174 degrees outside with 139% humidity, and considering most media types get paid in buttons and some of those fans who actually did show up look like they’ve been wearing the same jersey for three straight weeks, every ten feet or so in this cramped, confided space there’s a waft of pure evil. This is one place where the term “smell you later” really does apply.  Ew.
  • Melvin Robinson, Georgia’s Assistant Athletic Director for Facility Operations, about the ongoing improvements at Sanford Stadium “The fan experience is so big and when they see the improvements we’re doing at the stadium, they’re going to be blown away…”  No offense, Mel, but we’ll believe when we see it… or don’t have to spend fifteen minutes in a concession line.
  • Bruce Feldman points out that, for all the preseason hype about Auburn, the Tigers return fewer starters on offense than any team in the SEC.
  • This looks pretty cool, if you ask me.
  • “Everybody is the media. Everybody with a camera phone is the media…”
  • Fiutak’s SEC team likely to disappoint?  Tennessee.
  • And here’s a detailed look at D-1 athletic spending, with an emphasis on bang (i.e., wins) for the buck.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, College Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground