Category Archives: SEC Football

Like Gaul…

… returning SEC quarterbacks fall into three parts.

Mr. Eason lies smack dab in the middle of the promising sophomores group.

6. Jacob Eason, Georgia

2016: 204/370 (55.1%), 2,430 yards (6.6 per attempt), 16 TDs, 8 INTs, 120.2 passing efficiency

The true freshman’s season was vaguely disappointing, not unlike the result for the Georgia team as a whole. His highs were high, but his lows were both quite low and too frequent. He did improve through the season, but he spoiled it with mediocre showings against Georgia Tech and in the bowl against TCU. He has all of the physical tools, but it may take him longer to put it all together than anticipated before last year.

Throwaway quarterback year, for the win.

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15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

2013, the year of signing dangerously

The most amazing thing about this ESPN piece looking back to re-grade the SEC’s 2013 recruiting classes isn’t the low mark Georgia gets, natch…

Georgia

2013 grade: A

2017 grade: D-

Top signees: C Brandon Kublanow, DE/LB Leonard Floyd, DE Davin Bellamy, WR Reggie Carter, S Quincy Mauger.

This class was ranked 10th at the time of signing, and it turned out to be a disaster. Of the 33 signees, only two were bona fide, multi-year starters (Kublanow and Floyd), and 16 players transferred, left the team or didn’t suit up for the Bulldogs. Several others who are on the team haven’t panned out. About 11 players have contributed a respectable amount, but Georgia’s depth issues are evident because of this class.

… it’s that there’s actually a conference school that finished worse than Georgia.  Well played, TAMU.

And to think Kevin Sumlin was paid a million more dollars a year than Mark Richt.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

“You are looking live at…”

Jesse Palmer’s gonna have a new broadcast partner.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

The 3% solution

I don’t think it’s much of stretch to say the ACC got the better of the SEC this past season.  There are plenty of reasons for that tossed around, although the two that appear to have gotten the most traction are the relative experience levels of the two conference’s head coaches and quarterback play.

The latter, especially, is hard to argue with, but it’s not as if the SEC wasn’t trying.

From 2012-16, SEC teams signed 39 four- or five-star quarterbacks, according to 247Sports. So far, only one of those recruits turned into a very important player who finished his career at the same school: Tennessee Volunteers ‘s Joshua Dobbs . Major SEC recruits like David Cornwell , Kyler Murray , Kyle Allen , Kenny Hill , Will Grier , Maty Mauk, Hayden Rettig and Zeke Pike have come and gone…

The hit-rate scoreboard on these quarterback recruits: 14 percent for the ACC, 3 percent for the SEC.

That, friends, is a boatload of whiffing.

The question going forward is whether the worm is about to turn again.

The SEC had one passer in 2016 ranked among the top 25 quarterback rating (Dobbs), according to CFBStats.com. The ACC had six (Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman, North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Virginia Tech’s Jerod Evans, Watson, Kaaya and Jackson).

However, only Jackson will return from that group in 2017. The SEC will bank on the possible bright futures of Hurts, Ole Miss Rebels Shea Patterson, Georgia’s Jacob Eason, Florida’s Feleipe Franks, Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano and South Carolina’s Jake Bentley . Half of the top-14 rated quarterback recruits in 2017 are going to the ACC or SEC, including No. 2 Hunter Johnson to Clemson and No. 3 Tua Tagovailoa to Alabama.

Clemson and FSU will be okay, but you get Solomon’s point there.  Should be interesting to see how that plays out over the next couple of seasons.

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Filed under ACC Football, SEC Football

“… then when it comes time to consider early signing, I’ll be very clear in our conference’s position.”

Greg Sankey opposes the December early signing period apparently because he believes that the enormous support staffs that are a staple these days of SEC football programs can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

“College football programs wouldn’t want the NFL draft November 15,” Sankey said. “They just wouldn’t. It would be a huge distraction. So now we’re about to put a signing date in the middle of December when in some states high school football playoffs are taking place. That’s not providing the right level of attention to high school football programs, which provide a basis for college football. We’ve talked about colleges’ needs, but not about the impact on high school football, and I think that has to be a part of the early signing consideration.

“Also, if we sign the third Wednesday in November, there will be 20 FBS conference teams involved in conference championship games. They can’t recruit in the first week of the contact period because of those games. So the 20 achieving programs are removed from really recruiting that week. In addition, we’ve got a set of bowl games that happen in early and mid-December. So now that we’ve placed a group of programs that have to decide ‘Do I recruit,’ or ‘Do I prepare for bowl practices?’ That doesn’t seem wise.”

Yeah, that’s tough.  I’d hate to be in the position of the head coach who has to balance a fourteenth practice for an early December bowl game with that in house visit to a top in state recruit.  You only visit Shreveport once, you know.

And the sudden concern for high school football programs — you know, the folks who watch their kids get screwed over by college coaches on a regular basis when they don’t manage their commitments correctly — is touching.

Know who’s not mentioned there?  Of course you do.

“It’s very good for student-athletes and their families,” Bowlsby said. “On balance, it’s an overall package that appropriately advances recruiting in the footprint of college football.”

When Bob Bowlsby manages to sound more thoughtful than you do on a subject, perhaps it’s time to hone your message.  Assuming the coaches will let you, that is.

5 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

There’s a fine line between parity and mediocrity…

… so you tell me on which side of the line this season’s version of the SEC fell.

1 SEC team won at least 10 games this season – Alabama, which posted a 14-1 record. This is the first time since the 2000 season that the SEC had only one team reach 10 victories. Florida went 10-3 in 2000. In the 15 seasons in between, the SEC had two double-digit winners in two of them and reached a high of six in 2012. At least four SEC teams had won 10 or more games in each of the previous six seasons.

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Filed under SEC Football

Should they stay or should they go…

Here’s a quick hitter from ESPN on early departures from the SEC East.

Teams hit hardest: Florida, Tennessee

These two are the only teams in the SEC East that are losing multiple underclassmen to the 2017 NFL draft. Florida was hit with five departures, including four on defense: linebacker Alex Anzalone, defensive tackle Caleb Brantley and cornerbacks Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson (offensive tackle David Sharpe was the fifth departure and lone offensive player to declare for early entry). That’s a lot of talent on defense to lose — Brantley, Tabor and Wilson are all projected first-round picks based on Todd McShay’s rankings. Tennessee lost three: its best defensive player (defensive end Derek Barnett), its leading receiver (Josh Malone) and its all-purpose yardage leader (running back Alvin Kamara). Barnett will be the hardest to replace, with 32.5 sacks over the last three seasons (best in the nation) but all three were productive for the Volunteers.

Most fortunate team: Georgia

The Bulldogs got some huge news when running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel opted to return for their senior seasons. These days, running back draft prospects often leave early — because too many carries can adversely affect one’s draft stock — but Chubb and Michel bucked that trend and Georgia’s offense will reap the benefits in 2017. Linebackers Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy and safety Dominick Sanders also said they’re returning, so the Bulldogs made out pretty well, with receiver Isaiah McKenzie being the only key underclassman to declare.

Biggest surprise: Three running backs staying in school

It’s a strong draft class for running backs but to see three of them — Chubb, Michel and Vanderbilt’s Ralph Webb — decide to come back was a bit of a surprise. Chubb and Michel were especially surprising given their past injuries and Chubb even admitted he considered leaving because of the uncertainty that lingers mentally after his 2015 knee injury. Webb has more carries than any other SEC running back over the last three seasons (739). Their teams certainly welcome them back with open arms, and they’ll be key parts of any success the Bulldogs or Commodores have in 2017. Kamara (Tennessee) and Stanley “Boom” Williams (Kentucky) were the two key SEC East running backs who decided to declare for early entry.

Bottom line:  it’s a big gap closer for Georgia.  No, it’s not everything, but that plus recruiting should make for an interesting reordering of talent in the division over the next couple of seasons.

 

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football