Category Archives: SEC Football

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

Where did all the quarterbacks go?

If you want to get some idea of the bigger picture behind Georgia’s quarterback situation over the past few seasons, take a look at David Wunderlich’s breakdowns of the classes of four- and five-star recruits over the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 period who either went to high school in the SEC’s geographic footprint, or signed with an SEC program.

Here’s the list of those kids from Georgia:

  • 2012:  Greyson Lambert (4 star)
  • 2013:  Brice Ramsey (4 star)
  • 2014:  Deshaun Watson (4 star)
  • 2015:  Lorenzo Nunez (4 star)

That’s it.  Georgia has two of them currently on its roster, managed a huge whiff in the case of Watson and wasn’t interested in Nunez, because he’s not a pro-style quarterback.  You could say where things are at now result from a combination of bad luck, timing (given that Aaron Murrey was likely staying in Athens for two more seasons, nobody great was going to sign with Georgia in 2012 in any event) and poor evaluation, but some of it’s also a matter of an overall weak talent pool.

Take a look at David’s charts and you see two grand slams over that four-year period in Watson and Winston, a few starters whose careers are fairly undistinguished to this point and the rest who can’t even make that claim.  No wonder it’s been a down period for quarterbacking in the conference.

2016, at least on paper, seems to indicate a change, in that a number of SEC programs signed highly touted quarterbacks.  But development takes time, some kids don’t pan out, etc.  Smart needs a lot more at the position than he has today.  There are hints on the recruiting trail that he’s doing well at building a pipeline at the position over the next couple of classes; part of what helps there is that the state has some good high-school quarterback talent coming through.

The other part was keeping Eason, the non-local talent, in the fold after Bobo and Richt left.  Hopefully that’s the start of something big.

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UPDATE:  David has a follow up piece he posted today.  Of particular note:

There perhaps is no better illustration of the cycle of bad luck the conference has had of late than Georgia of last year. Mark Richt got caught without a quarterback once from 2001-14—remember the Joe Cox year between Matthew Stafford and Murray?—but somehow ended up without one last fall as well. Well, despite the coaching change, UGA signed one of the premier quarterbacks of the ’16 class in Jacob Eason. If he lives up to billing, the Bulldogs will be set at QB no later than 2017.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

At the time, it seemed like a good idea.

Nothing like a good piece of snark – in this case asking a member of the University of Arkansas board of trustees who approved a $160 million stadium expansion because to do otherwise would be “a vote of no confidence in our chancellor, our president and our athletic director” why it’s such a good idea to give a blank check to the man who failed to supervise Bobby Petrino and hired John L. Smith as his replacement.

This is why you have nice things you probably don’t need.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Have and have-nots, SEC edition

Here’s a slideshow from Al.com, ranking the conference football programs by revenues.

Too lazy to click through?  Okay, here’s the list:

  1. Alabama, $97.02 million
  2. Tennessee, $94.37 million
  3. Auburn, $86.74 million
  4. Georgia, $86.71 million
  5. LSU, $86.31 million
  6. Florida, $74.72 million
  7. Arkansas, $66.17 million
  8. Texas A&M, $62.19 million
  9. South Carolina, $59.76 million
  10. Ole Miss, $53.39 million
  11. Missouri, $37.89 million
  12. Kentucky, $35.49 million
  13. Mississippi State, $31.3 million
  14. Vanderbilt, $27.4 million

My first thought on seeing that is to wonder what in the hell has Tennessee been doing with all that money – keep in mind that according to the article that gross was good enough for a whopping $70 million profit.  (In case you’re wondering, Georgia managed a $60.6 million profit.)

Other than that, it’s a pretty expected spread.  It takes money to win big.  Surprised?

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, 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

2016 SEC non-con schedules

Berry Tramel breaks them down here.

This season, only one SEC school plays two P5 non-conference opponents: “Georgia, often a scheduling renegade, plays both North Carolina and Georgia Tech this season.”

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Filed under SEC Football

Shiny object syndrome

Lest we forget, here’s what all that stupid SEC schedule/division rejiggering chatter is really all about.

There’s now a new argument that maybe divisions should be abolished in the SEC just like they were in basketball a few years.

Actually, this isn’t a bad idea if you have the teams with the best two league records meet in the conference title game. It would more often than not produce a more competitive game and add a higher strength of schedule component to a matchup played the day before the College Football Playoff Commtitee meets to decide the four playoff teams for that season.

Gotta keep that selection committee interested!  I would say it’s just like the Big 12, except the weird part is that it’s the SEC that’s fighting the call.

The whole thing was a joke. Something everyone in the room could laugh about. It was just unclear why.

The scene was SEC meetings in Destin, and commissioner Greg Sankey was holding a wrap-up session one evening with the media. The subject was a potential Auburn division switch. Someone asked if it was a dead story.

“I don’t know that it was ever a live story,” Sankey said, smiling wryly. “The only time I’ve ever talked about it in Destin, Florida, was here in this room.”

So, a reporter jumped in, you talked about it in other places? People laughed.

“I was in a room in Hoover, Alabama and I was on the phone with Jon Solomon (of CBSsports.com) and he asked me,” Sankey said, still smiling.

So have you talked to your coaches about it? More laughter. More smiling from the commish.

“Since I have been commissioner,” Sankey said, going into putting-my-foot-down-with-all-you-people mode, “I have never once talked to our football coaches about any team moving to any other division.”

I can see it now – fans begin clamoring for realignment, the media keeps harping on it and the conference finally (and clumsily) embraces it just as Saban retires and the CFP expands to eight teams, rendering the whole thing moot.

Then, everyone finds a new shiny object to fixate on.

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Filed under SEC Football