Category Archives: SEC Football

“I absolutely support continuing the Auburn series.”

Yeah?  So how reassuring is that?

Answer:  not very.

Morehead, who will cast one of the 14 presidential votes on the matter, was asked if Georgia fans should be concerned about the rivalry ending. He chose his words carefully.

“The presidents and the athletic directors will meet and resolve the scheduling issue shortly,” he said. “There hasn’t been a resolution on any of those issues at this point. So until a vote is taken by the presidents following that meeting, I can’t predict what that outcome may be. We certainly appreciate that it is an important and longstanding rivalry for the University of Georgia.”

“Choosing his words carefully” is not an observation you want to read about a fellow who presumably has already been in touch with his peers to take their temperature on the subject.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Eight is great.

The SEC’s head coaches had a little get together yesterday and, not surprisingly, the topic of conference scheduling came up.  Nick Saban is gloomy about the prospects for a nine-game SEC schedule.

Talk of a nine-game schedule and preservation of traditional cross-divisional rivalries like Alabama-Tennessee were discussed by SEC coaches in a meeting Tuesday.

“I don’t think there’s any support for that, it doesn’t seem like” Alabama coach Nick Saban said before a Crimson Caravan stop in Huntsville. “I think there’s a little bit more support for staying with an eight-game schedule and everybody playing a ninth opponent that’s in the five major conferences.

“My thing is I’m for playing nine conference games and still playing another team in the major conferences, so you play 10 games because of fan interest, people coming to games looking forward to seeing more good games.

“So that’s the starting point for me. I think it’s important for the players to be able to play more teams in the SEC East, on the other side, which we only get to play one now. I don’t know if we stay with the 6-1-1 or 6-0-2. I don’t know.”

Everyone seems to agree that Saban’s not a stupid guy, so why ignore his point about “fan interest, people coming to games looking forward to seeing more good games”?  Well, because short-term selfish interest always trumps long-term planning in what passes for today’s management of college football.

Besides, we’ve got the dynamic duo looking out for our interests.

But as Richt pointed out, the vote ultimately comes down to the school presidents, and not the coaches. Of course the coaches could lobby their presidents, or at least their athletics directors.

“It may be I talk to Greg (McGarity, Georgia’s A.D.), and Greg talks to him [UGA President Jere Morehead], sometimes we all talk together,” Richt said.

I feel better already.

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Filed under SEC Football

A little misdirection

A panel at Athlon looks at who might lead the SEC in rushing this season, starts by asking if it’ll be T.J. Yeldon and finishes in a different place.

I’m starting to think this Gurley kid might be pretty good.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Take It All In, Georgia style

Based on this promo clip, the SEC Network knows what works if you’re a Georgia fan.

You can see all fourteen promos here.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

“With the future of the conference schedule still up in the air, Slive said no rivalry was sacred.”

Any bets on how this puppy’s gonna turn out?

A year ago I would have sworn Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee would be preserved, come hell or high water.  Now, I’m thinking it’s eight games and ditch the rivalries.  That’s what most of the coaches and ADs want, but they’ll tell us it’s for the fans.

It’s the natural culmination of what Slive has wrought over the past five seasons.  And they can always revisit the ninth game if they need a better TV contract or the playoff selection committee screws over the conference.

At least there’s no players union, though.  I’d hate to see what I love about college football tossed aside.

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Filed under SEC Football

I’ve got your competitive fairness right here.

The SEC, bastion of competition:

Next time you think about parity in college football, think about this: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee – six of 14 SEC members – have won the last 37 league championships. Kentucky shared the 1976 championship with Georgia. Before that, you have to go back to 1963, when Ole Miss won and 200-pound linemen roamed the earth. Not to mention that none of the four SEC expansion teams (Arkansas and South Carolina, 1992; Missouri and Texas A&M, 2012) has won the league.

College football has never been about equality and fairness, Mr. Emmert.  If it were, Alabama would be sharing some of this with its less fortunate SEC brethren.

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Filed under SEC Football

Lighter and longer: fighting the HUNH

If you don’t think dealing with the HUNH attack isn’t the biggest thing on the minds of SEC defensive coordinators, think again.

At Georgia, Jeremy Pruitt and Tracy Rocker are concerned about their big men being able to stay on the field and contribute in the face of more pace.

Rocker didn’t call out any single player, but he just emphasized that everybody has to trim down.

“That’s going to happen. I mean, that’s going to be the No. 1 thing, is we’re gonna have to trim them all down and get them under weight,” Rocker said. “Because this league, it’s a lot of no-huddle, and we can’t be 330 pounds out there. We’ll get that done. But it’ll be up to them to do it, too. We’ve got time. But it’s going fast.”

“The way these offenses go now, and they go so fast, you don’t get to sub a lot,” Pruitt said. “If a guy is stuck in there, he’s gotta be able to play. To me, if you’re in shape, then you don’t make mental errors, because fatigue makes a coward out of everybody. So we need to get in shape as a football team. We’re nowhere where we need to be.”

And Ellis Johnson is a man in search of a different body type.

In the SEC, Auburn faces a mix of power teams, spread teams and everything in between. Defensive coaches need versatile players, especially in Auburn’s defense, which can wait to make a call until seeing the offensive formation.

“The game has become more spread out on all levels,” Johnson said. “Quarterbacks throw the ball better than they used to because they’re learning how to throw it at a younger age. High schools are teaching complicated and well-polished passing games and kids are coming to college —receivers and quarterbacks and pass protection — a lot better than they were 15-25 years ago. It’s a different style of football with most teams.

On the other hand, if you’re going to win a championship at Auburn, you’re probably going to have to go through Georgia, LSU and Alabama. They’re all power football teams. It’s difficult, game to game, it changes quite a bit. But even those teams can spread the field. They all throw the ball extremely well and they have great receivers.

“It’s hard to play with the old prototype linebacker that could stop the run and was a liability in coverage. They’ve got to be able to run, these days. We put a huge premium in trying to recruit length. Not just height, but armspan and those type of things, because so much is done in pass coverage and blitzing where arm length and overall length is such a big factor.”

Johnson mentions a concern I’ve discussed before – the risk that a DC goes so far in structuring a defense to stop the spread that he leaves himself vulnerable to offenses that deploy power attacks.  It’s a tough call.  Even in the SEC, there are only so many physical defensive freaks you can find who can play against all kinds of offenses.  What’s interesting to me is that Georgia seems to believe slimming down on the defensive line will payoff even against the power offenses.

… Tracy Rocker, the team’s new defensive line coach, studied tape of that second championship game, the loss to Alabama, and saw a problem.

“They go to the championship, and you turn on that tape, and the first thing everybody saw (was), they couldn’t get off the blocks,” Rocker said. “That answers a lot of questions.”

And that’s why the days of big nose tackles are gone at Georgia, at least as long as Rocker and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt are around.

In order to adapt to a game that has become more up-tempo, the Bulldogs are emphasizing getting lighter at all defensive positions. Pruitt thinks his defense as a whole is “too big” and needs to cut down.

It sure is going to be fun watching the chess matches this season, isn’t it?

16 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Tuesday morning buffet

Go get a plate and dig in.

  • Keith Marshall makes a funny about Bubba Watson.
  • It’s springtime, and you know what that means:  this year, the Florida offense is going to be good.
  • The SEC’s appeal of the NCAA’s interpretation of the rule permitting recruits to sign early multiple financial aid offers is being heard today.
  • A student task force at the University of Michigan found that Brady Hoke likely lied about a player who was alleged to have been involved in a sexual assault?  Whoa.  We’ll see if the rule about the coverup being a bigger problem than the original incident plays out in Ann Arbor.
  • Brice Ramsey, on his G-Day performance:  “I was picking up blitzes, making the right reads. I just need to put the ball on. I had a bad day throwing.”
  • ”In theory, it could give the private universities a recruiting advantage.”
  • John Pennington argues for a rule that would prevent SEC teams from signing kids who had been kicked out of other SEC programs for violations.  One rationale for that: “The fact that a booted player could come back to haunt a coach down the road might lead some to hang onto players a bit longer even if they’ve proven to be bad news.”  That’s never been a concern at Georgia, obviously.
  • And Seth Emerson says the NCAA can’t find a middle ground.  Wouldn’t it have to be looking for one first?

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

“… as much as football evolves, we need to go outside the box with our thinking.”

Of the many things over the past few seasons that I’ve been impressed with by Stanford football, perhaps the number one item is how well it’s defended Oregon’s fast paced offense.  That’s probably why I’m so taken with this piece on how Derek Mason plans to transfer what worked for him as Stanford’s defensive coordinator to Vanderbilt to deal with the rise of the HUNH in the SEC.

There are so many aspects to the program he’s altering that it’s going to be a fascinating learning experience to see how Vandy’s defense evolves over the coming years.  And if he’s successful, you can damned well be sure there will be other SEC defenses adopting what works.

Definitely worth a read.

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Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

$37,910,104.00

I’m sure Johnny Football had absolutely nothing to do with the astounding profit Texas A&M turned in 2012.  (To put that number in perspective, it’s over half of what the rest of the conference put together made.)

32 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football