Category Archives: SEC Football

Wednesday morning buffet

Around the world of college football:

  • Bert has an interesting approach to motivating his players:  y’all suck, really.
  • Gotta love the SEC’s response to the Tennessee mess — a slap on the wrist with a $250,000 penalty and a promise to review UT’s alcohol availability policy, because, you know, stuff like that never happened before you could buy a beer in the stadium.
  • Georgia announced an enhancement to its NIL program, allowing its student-athletes to use the school’s official trademarks and logos.
  • Speaking of marketing, long time reader Chris Robinson has put together a line of hats and visors promoting you know what.  Check ’em out on Instagram @buckheadbrimco.
  • JT Daniels’ health appears to be improving.  Bye week, for the win!
  • And speaking of health, Smart was asked about George Pickens’ recovery time.  Florida, maybe?  “There’s a long term plan there, but I don’t disclose timelines on that kind of stuff,” Smart said. “Probably the week of the game we’d know more. We did a walk-through yesterday and he was able to do that, get signals, get calls. He’s done a tremendous job of working in recovery.”  So he’s saying there’s a chance?  Yeah!
  • Is Dan Mullen’s seat the hottest in the SEC?
  • Conference USA sent a letter to the AAC asking about reorganizing the two conferences on the basis of geography.  Instead, the AAC is expanding by adding six Conference USA schools.  Talk about your “you can have my answer now, Senator” response.
  • Scott Cochran is back at Butts-Mehre, but not back as special teams coordinator yet.
  • On a sad note, a reader who was a member of the Redcoats passed this on to me to share with y’all:  “One of my instructors on the drum line, John Moates, was married to an instructor of the Redcoats flagline, Cassie, who just passed — tragically, days after she had delivered their third daughter. John has been an instructor for 10 years now, and I believe Cassie had been helping out just as long.”  There is a GoFundMe set up for her, at https://gofund.me/dd1449c6.

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Filed under Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple

Happy gappy talk

If you’re in the SEC East and you’re not Georgia, you talk about closing the gap.  It’s what you do.

Kentucky did not defeat No. 1 Georgia in Athens. The top-ranked team in the land looked like the best team in college football. The days of moral victories are long behind Mark Stoops’ program, however, you can see that Kentucky is closing the gap with Georgia, one baby step at a time.

And how do we know this?  Well, for one thing, there’s that meaningless touchdown drive to end the game.

Kentucky refused to give up, finishing the game with a 22-play drive that ended with a touchdown.

Give ’em a couple more months, and UK fans will be claiming that drive was better than winning the game.  Epic, baby.

There’s another reason, though, for shrinkage:

Georgia football fans are about as nice as they come, unless they think their beloved Bulldogs could lose. My previous three trips to Athens were filled with kind words and Southern hospitality. This one was filled with barking Dawgs.

Georgia fans were in the ears of UK fans all weekend. From across the street you could hear “GO DAWGS!” While some were incredibly complimentary after the game, many still did not back down from their harmless trash talk.

College football is a sport defined by inequality. The usual suspects dominate the CFB Playoff so much that expansion is on the horizon. The gap between the best of the best is wide, but Kentucky is inching closer and closer. Even if Georgia fans will not admit it, Dawgs don’t bark at parked cars.

Whatever works for you, man.

I hate to break it to this guy, but he ought to attend a Georgia-Georgia Tech game sometime.  We’ll bark at anybody, parked or even moving in reverse.

51 Comments

Filed under Blowing Smoke, Georgia Football, SEC Football

Takin’ my time

I said this the other day in the comments — I didn’t have a problem with Stoops wanting to score at the end of the game last Saturday and using his last time out with seconds left on the clock to set up the final play of the drive.  I did find it more than curious, though, that he chose to do so as the result of a fourth quarter drive that lasted over eleven minutes with his team trailing by 23 points.

His original explanation for that was it provided a teaching experience for his players not to give up in a game.  Okay, although if that’s the lesson you’re pursuing, maybe you should have been more aggressive to start with.  In any event, he came up with a new tactical excuse at his presser yesterday.

He also added that final scores are crucial for voting in the polls and the bowl selection process. A 30-13 final score looks a whole lot prettier than 30-7, and if that’s what separates his team from another, he’s going to try.

And to be blunt, he really doesn’t understand why it’s a conversation.

“They look at the final score, it does matter. They keep score. It matters, it all matters,” he said.

I can’t wait to hear the director of the Sugar Bowl say “what sold us on Kentucky was scoring six meaningless points at the end of a game in which they were dominated by the best team in the country”.  I mean, that’s some inspiring shit right there.

Think I would have stuck with the teaching moment excuse, Coach.

37 Comments

Filed under Blowing Smoke, SEC Football

SEC Net YPP, Week 7

It’s taken a while, but we’re starting to see the net figures sort out in a way that indicates the quality of teams’ play over the course of the season.  There’s still more to come, of course.  (As always, stats via cfbstats.com.)

  1. Georgia 3.19 (6.74 o; 3.55 d) [NC: +.30]
  2. Alabama 2.04 (6.88 o; 4.84 d) [NC:  +.32]
  3. Florida 2.00 (7.07 o; 5.07 d) [NC: -.37]
  4. Auburn:  1.58 (6.48 o; 4.90 d) [NC:  +.02]
  5. Tennessee 1.34 (6.25 o; 4.91 d) [NC: -.10]
  6. Ole Miss 1.19 (6.87 o; 5.68 d) [NC:  -.53]
  7. Arkansas 1.10 (6.45 o; 5.35 d) [NC: -.53]
  8. Texas A&M 1.07 (6.01 o; 4.94 d) [NC: +.15]
  9. Kentucky 1.03 (6.09 o; 5.06 d) [NC: -.97]
  10. South Carolina .17 (5.38 o; 5.21 d) [NC: +.19]
  11. LSU .13 (5.76 o; 5.63 d) [NC: -.02]
  12. Mississippi State -.42 (5.41 o; 5.83 d) [NC: -.74]
  13. Missouri -.54 (6.24 o; 6.78 d) [NC: -.25]
  14. Vanderbilt -2.28 (4.39 o; 6.67 d) [NC: +.16]

Turnover margin, after week six:

  • +7:  Alabama
  • +5:  LSU, Ole Miss
  • +3:  Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee
  • +1:  Arkansas, Auburn, South Carolina
  • -2:  Mississippi State
  • -3:  Texas A&M
  • -4:  Vanderbilt
  • -7:  Florida
  • -8:  Kentucky

Observations:

  • Well, looky there:  Georgia and ‘Bama, finally first and second in net ypp.
  • Florida is also at the 2.0 net ypp mark to be considered CFP-worthy, which makes the Gators the biggest underachiever in the conference.  That turnover margin figure is brutal.
  • For all the talk about how Alabama’s got an offense and Georgia doesn’t, there’s a relatively small gap in offensive ypp between them.
  • Kentucky’s net ypp figure has really plummeted over the past three weeks.  So has Arky’s.
  • South Carolina got a Vandy bump and Vandy got a South Carolina bump.  That seems fair.

18 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

SEC Power Poll, Week Seven

We know who one, two and fourteen are.  The rest of the conference continues to be a jumbled mess.

  1. Georgia.  The Dawgs are +33.4 in net scoring per game in conference play.  Alabama is second, at +15.
  2. Alabama.  Did a nice job of taking out their post-TAMU frustrations on Mississippi State.
  3. Texas A&M.  The only other SEC West team with a positive net scoring average in conference play.
  4. Kentucky.  A well coached, disciplined team that doesn’t have a top-end roster.  The opposite of Florida, in other words.
  5. Ole Miss.  Lots of talk about how Kentucky’s got a good shot at a 10-win season, but don’t sleep on Junior’s team doing the same thing.
  6. Florida.  Somehow, the Gators managed to lose a game to a coach who was already negotiating his departure.  There’s not a verb for that, but there ought to be.
  7. Auburn.  Nice rebound on the road after the loss to Georgia.
  8. LSU.  Just when you’re ready to see the Tigers fall apart completely…
  9. Tennessee.  Vol fans continue to cover themselves in glory; the team, not so much.
  10. Arkansas.  Maybe it’s too early to declare a pattern, but Pittman’s team fell off last season after a good start, too.
  11. Mississippi State.  The only team in the conference with a worse offense is Vanderbilt.
  12. South Carolina.  It may have been an ugly, last minute win against Vandy, but it was still a win.
  13. Missouri.  Bowl eligibility hopes are fading fast.
  14. Vanderbilt.  On the bright side, at least the ‘Dores have now scored in conference play.

19 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

“How To Beat a No. 1 Team”

Per somebody who goes by the handle “Bryan the Intern” over at a Kentucky site, there are just two things you need to do.  One, win the turnover battle and two, throw the ball effectively.

That should be no problem for a Kentucky team that’s minus-8 in turnover margin and is averaging fewer than 130 passing yards per game against SEC opposition, amirite?

29 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Recipe for success?

So, you’re telling me that Kentucky has primarily lined up in a 3-3-5 defense this season and their defensive tackle who just won SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors is out for Saturday’s game?

That doesn’t sound like it bodes well.

If Rybka isn’t ready and Saunders is playing like a true freshman, what does UK do? Their options are limited, but they can fortify the box. This year the Wildcats have primarily lined up in a 3-3-5 defense, allowing Davonte Robinson to get a substantial amount of reps as the nickel. As Adam Luckett suggested on 11 Personnel, Kentucky might have to abandon this look and let Jordan Wright and JJ Weaver play at the same time in a 3-4 alignment.

Pick your poison.  Either way, I expect Monken will be ready.

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

What happens, should adversity hit?

Perusing Kentucky’s schedule, I find their largest deficit in a game at any point this season is seven points, which happened twice, against UL Monroe and Florida.  Both were short-lived, first quarter leads.  Both were home games.

So what happens if Georgia gets on top early on by a couple of scores?  And that’s certainly not an unreasonable expectation.  With the exception of the opener against Clemson, the Dawgs have opened at least a two-score lead by halftime in every game this season (and even against Clemson had a 7-0 lead at the half).

It’ll be a road game.  It’ll be a loud environment.  Can Kentucky punch back?  I don’t know.  The thing is, this UK team doesn’t really know whether it can, either, because it hasn’t been tested like that yet.

25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Danielson on UK-UGA

In case you’re interested…

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

How does Kentucky expect to win on Saturday?

No, I’m not trying to be a smart ass by asking that question.  I read stuff like this and genuinely want to know what kind of game plan Stoops will come up with to pull off the upset against Georgia.

Following each momentous, historic streak-snapping Kentucky football victory, Mark Stoops proclaims the Wildcats have “knocked down another door.” None of those victories were earned overnight. Stoops’ program methodically improves, knocking on the door repetitively before kicking it down with authority.

Saturday afternoon the eleventh-ranked Wildcats will be three-touchdown underdogs against No. 1 Georgia at Sanford Stadium. Kentucky has not defeated Georgia since 2009. Even though it is the first meeting of 6-0 teams in the history of the SEC East, few outsiders believe Kentucky can pull off the upset. Everyone inside the Kentucky locker room believes the Wildcats can defeat the Bulldogs.

I mean, that’s great and all — you certainly don’t want your team to walk out on the field thinking they have no chance — but I doubt the ‘Cats will be the only confident team suiting up this Saturday.  It’s gonna be a road game in front of a loud, hostile crowd that clearly spooked a top-ten opponent in Arkansas.  What exactly does Stoops come up with to steal a win?

I doubt it’s going to be an offensive explosion.  As Barrett Sallee points out, UK has been fairly limited in that regard this season.

The Wildcats are 10th in the SEC in total offense at 411.8 yards per game, ninth in scoring offense at 31 points per game and eighth in plays of 40 or more yards with six.

In all three of those statistical categories, Kentucky trails Arkansas and Auburn, both of which have already faced Georgia’s defense.

We’ve all heard about just how great the Bulldogs are, but they’ve only given up two plays of 40 or more yards, held opponents to 27.59% on third down and have only allowed opponents to enter the red zone eight times in six games.

(With regard to that last statistical tidbit, check out Georgia’s ranking in defensive red zone touchdown percentage.  Yikes.)

So you’ve got a less than dynamic scoring offense taking on a soul crushing defense.  Where do you go from there to even things up?  You’ve got to try to limit Georgia’s offensive possessions.  You’ve got a pretty good defense, so that’s at least a possibility, but you’re 126th nationally in turnover margin, so that’s not a likely route for leveling each team’s possessions.

All I can come up with is using your running game (and UK’s got a good one) to run clock, hoping that you can win the coin toss and combine keeping Georgia from scoring on its last possession of the first half with taking the second half kickoff and forcing the Dawgs to come up short on a drive or two by either forcing a turnover on downs (another thing the ‘Cats do well) or a whiff or two on a field goal attempt, something that played a major roll in beating Florida.

That’s a lot of ifs, though.

55 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics