Category Archives: SEC Football

“You buy a keg for $75 and sell it for $1,400.”

My favorite part of the booze industry’s rapid takeover of college sports marketing is the statement of the obvious — “It’s the inevitability of the profitability, which is extraordinary” — coupled with the traditional “don’t let alcohol near the innocent young” sanctimony, with the SEC naturally leading the way:

With the rise in beer marketing has come a level of inconsistency and, sometimes, hypocrisy as schools and conferences try to figure out how much to regulate it. Where there’s a restriction on beer sales or marketing at a college facility, there’s often a contradiction nearby.

The SEC has been adamant about not selling any alcoholic beverages at its athletic venues, but the conference does allow it in club seats and suites, at least one of which is sponsored by a spirits brand — Woodford Reserve Club at Kentucky’s Kroger Field. Other schools, such as LSU and Missouri, have experimented with selling beer within beer gardens just outside the stadium, which enables them to rake in the revenue while staying within the bounds of the conference rules.

That’s your SEC today, peeps:  no beer sales in the stands, but bourbon-infused naming in the club seats.  Still, those sweet, sweet liquor dollars really do seem inevitable, even in the Bible Belt.  I’m looking forward to hearing the spin Greg Sankey puts out on the day the conference officially renounces its current rule.  I wonder how long it will take Georgia to change its policy after that occurs.

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Filed under I'll Drink To That, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

“Maybe I’ll be Cousin Ness or something?”

Brad Nessler hasn’t called his first SEC on CBS game with Gary Danielson yet, but he’s already getting off on the right foot in my book.

Nessler also gets to check a couple boxes on his play-by-play wish list that are still open. He has never announced a Florida-Georgia game, the annual rivalry played in Jacksonville and nicknamed the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

Let’s hope the Dawgs can give him a good game to call.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Opening day of practice means there are plenty of tidbits to share:

  • Get ‘yer new players’ jersey numbers here.
  • Booch on new graduate transfer Shaq Wiggins“I love Shaq, but Shaq’s got a long way to go in terms of the intangibles, our practice habits, our style of play, working through some things,” Jones said. “But I know this about Shaq: He’s very prideful, he’s very willing and he wants to do it.”  It’s the beginning of a bee-yoo-tee-full friendship, I tells ‘ya.
  • In case you didn’t get the subtle message, Akhil Crumpton’s been assigned Isaiah McKenzie’s number 16.
  • It’s the first day of practice, so of course the quotes reflect the usual hunger, happy talk and anti-hype.
  • If you think fall practice is starting earlier than before, you’re not alone.  It’s the fallout from the new two-a-days ban.  Many coaches are unhappy about that, and, surprisingly, they have a point.
  • Roll ‘Bama Roll grades the SEC’s non-conference schedules.  Not surprisingly, ‘Bama is graded on a bit of a curve, but overall, pretty solid analysis.
  • Player weights here.  Note that Chubb and Michel have dropped a few pounds.
  • Read the comments about how Georgia would have used 2018 o-line commit Warren Ericson five years ago versus now.

7 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, SEC Football, The NCAA

Welcome back.

Bill Connelly’s preview of South Carolina“So South Carolina is improving but isn’t and is gaining ground on the division but isn’t” is essentially spot on — led me to something he posted in January that I evidently missed.

The East was crazy-young in 2016, and division teams ranked seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 31st, and 50th in my initial returning production figures. Only Tennessee returns less than 67 percent of production.

Click on that link and you’ll find that Bill wrote this about the SEC East’s upcoming season:

As things stand, four SEC East teams rank among the top 10 in overall returning production: Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, and Vanderbilt. Plus, Missouri ranks in the top 10 in returning offense and is 31st overall.

Granted, last year’s two best East teams — Florida (15th in year-end S&P+) and Tennessee (28th) — have some inexperience to deal with. The Gators should show gains on offense but also rank 103rd in returning defensive production, while Tennessee ranks 109th in overall production.

Still, the division as a whole should improve. It won’t catch the West, but expect a little more balanced playing field in the SEC.

More specifically, and based on his metric…

How returning production in four different offensive stats correlates with changes in Offensive S&P+ ratings:

(The higher the number, the more likely returning production in these areas is to coincide with strong offense.)

  • Receiving yards correlation: 0.320
  • Passing yards correlation: 0.231
  • Rushing yards correlation: 0.126
  • Offensive line starts correlation: 0.096

The conclusion remains: Continuity in the passing game matters a hell of a lot, and continuity in the run game doesn’t have as strong an impact.

On defense, where returning production appears to matter more in general, the correlations are both stronger and more diverse. Since teams use different numbers of defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs, I look at both unit-specific categories and those for defense as a whole.

Correlation between defensive stats and changes in Defensive S&P+:

  • Overall passes defensed correlation: 0.406
  • Overall tackles correlation: 0.369
  • Defensive back passes defensed correlation: 0.363
  • Defensive back tackles correlation: 0.352
  • Overall tackles for loss correlation: 0.296
  • Defensive back tackles for loss correlation: 0.291
  • Linebacker tackles for loss correlation: 0.174
  • Defensive line sacks correlation: 0.171

The main takeaways are similar to last year: disruption and continuity in the secondary are key. And the ability to get hands on passes, via interception or breakup, is harder to replicate than any other, when it comes to box-score disruption.

… Georgia turns up 35th in returning offensive production, 5th in returning defensive production and 9th overall.  Interestingly, with regard to the overall rankings, Georgia is essentially tied with three other teams at 81%, and all four teams reside in the SEC East.  And in a comparison of the four — Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt — I think most would say that Georgia has the most talented roster.

One other interesting thing about Bill’s analysis is that, contrary to Phil Steele, he finds a low correlation between returning production on the offensive line and statistical improvement on offense.  If you’re Georgia, that’s good news, right?

There’s one other thing to consider from Georgia’s perspective with regard to Bill’s metric.  Florida was already showing badly in returning defensive production when he posted this, and with the loss of two more members of the Gators’ secondary, one of whom led the team in tackles last season, you’d have to think that number goes even further south now.  That’s some potentially bad news for a team that has relied heavily on its defense to win the division the past two seasons, so, to repeat, if you’re Georgia, that’s good news, right?

Again, none of this guarantees success for Georgia in 2017.  It is another indication, though, that the coaching staff should have enough raw material available to it to fashion a successful season.

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

The Boom rule

Gus Malzahn isn’t merely concerned about the SEC calling unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against coaches this season.  He’s extremely concerned.

And why not, based on this Steve Shaw quote?

“Somebody said to me recently, ‘You take a lot more off a coach than you ever would with a player,’ and that’s very true,” Shaw said. “The head coaches, they are the face of our game. They are iconic in our game but some of the things we would have flagged a player immediately for weren’t being called for a coach.”

Treating coaches’ bad behavior no differently than players’?  That’s borderline sacrilegious.

And this quote from Malzahn is rich:

“If it’s a 15-yard penalty, I’m going to need somebody to get my attention. You’ve got some coaches that go on the field and throw a fit and all that and I think the officials just had to do something to get control of that. That wasn’t me.”

Nah.  It was your defensive coordinator.

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Filed under SEC Football

“It’s always going to be a league of the quarterback.”

After last year, I want some of whatever Bert was smoking when he said that.

The SEC has long produced some great quarterbacks.

During the past decade, Heisman Trophy winners Tim Tebow (Florida), Cam Newton (Auburn) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) have come through the conference.

Throw in recent standouts such as Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, Georgia’s Aaron Murray and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, and you’re talking about a great group of quarterbacks this league has produced. That doesn’t even begin to delve into the rich history of quarterback play in the SEC, considering Archie Manning and his two sons — Peyton and Eli — all became household names as SEC stars.

The SEC looks to be gearing up for another run of exceptional quarterback play with the 2017 season soon to be underway.

Do I think conference quarterback play will be better in 2017 than it was in 2016?  Well, yeah.  Since it doesn’t appear that any program will go into the season expecting to start a true freshman quarterback, it could hardly be worse.  Do I see a bunch of SEC quarterbacks on the verge of having a season that would put them in the ranks of those mentioned in the above quote?

Um… quit hogging that shit, Bert, and pass it over here.

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Filed under SEC Football

We’re getting closer.

While we’re on the subject of broadcasting, here’s the television schedule for the SEC’s first three weeks of action.  (Times listed there are Central, since it’s Al.com.)  A few random thoughts:

  • Sure would be nice to have an elaborate tailgate set up on Sept. 2, that’s for sure.
  • A game on every day of Labor Day weekend?  Thank you, college football — even for meteor games.  (I’m looking at you, 9/4.)
  • TAMU is playing Nicholls.  I have a feeling it won’t be a pretty comparison for Georgia fans.
  • And Mike Bobo travels to Tuscaloosa.  I’d wish him luck, but I doubt luck’s gonna have much to do with the outcome.

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Filed under SEC Football