Category Archives: The NFL Is Your Friend.

“If you don’t got it, you definitely don’t got it.”

Regrets?  Matt Corral’s got a few.

When asked about dealing with a quarterback competition, Corral looked back to his college days at Ole Miss.

“I took the easy way out because I felt I could play right away,” he said about his decision to go to Oxford, Miss. “Knowing what I know now and trusting my instincts and trusting my work ethic, I would have went to a place that would have made me compete.”

… That process of learning the playbook is a key reason why Corral isn’t expected to be a serious competitor for the team’s starting job.

The transition between Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin’s system to Panthers’ offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s hasn’t been easy even as Corral’s made good progress during the offseason.

I can’t imagine anyone would want to use that in a negative way against Junior on the recruiting trail.  Well, actually I can.

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Steelemas, nugget no. 2

Phil Steele tracks something he calls Draft Day Party Hangover, which sounds like something you’d expect — teams that have more players drafted by the NFL after a given season have a marked tendency to do as well the following season.

His metric works as follows:  he assigns a team 7 points for every player it has that goes in the first round of the draft, 6 points for second round selections, etc.  Over the past 25 years, teams with 12 or more points have a 73.4% chance of having a weaker or the same record the next season.  For teams with 24 or more points, it’s an 80.2% chance.  And for teams with 35 or more points, it’s 75%.

That does look a little bell curvy there, but I digress.

There is only one team going into the ’22 season that qualified for Steele’s top category.  You only get one guess as to which team that is.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Not exactly WRU, but still…

I’ve seen a fair amount of chatter recently that Georgia’s coaches, Smart and Monken in particular, have had to spend time explaining to wide receiver recruits that Georgia’s offense isn’t wideout adverse.  (Burton’s departure to Alabama didn’t help the narrative, to put it mildly.)  So, in light of that, I found this stat kind of interesting.

Does it matter?  I dunno, but it should.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Tiptoeing into the new year

With the NFL expansion of its regular season schedule, this is a problem that’s only going to get more awkward for college football.

The Sugar Bowl has been moved off its usual primetime spot to noon ET on Dec. 31 to avoid a conflict with a Monday night NFL game.

… With Jan. 1, 2023, falling on Sunday, the games usually played on New Year’s Day were moved to Jan. 2, when the national holiday is observed. The move to Monday is common in college football to avoid conflicting with the NFL.

But ESPN found itself with a conflict that day: The NFL has scheduled the final Monday regular-season game for that night, which forced a relocation by the New Orleans-based Sugar Bowl on the schedule.  [Emphasis added.]

By the way, the CFP semifinals will be played on December 31, which should guarantee the Sugar Bowl minuscule ratings, relatively speaking.  But Mickey will be appeased, by Gawd.

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Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, The NFL Is Your Friend.

There’s always another shiny toy.

This reads like something an academic from… I dunno, Mars? … observing American sports for the first time would post.

That it comes instead from a national writer who covers college football is kinda sad.  What exactly would the Pac-12 releasing its schedule on the same day the SEC releases theirs do to enhance this Georgia fan’s enjoyment level?  I don’t know.  Mandel’s use of “probably” there tells you he doesn’t know, either.  It’s just that it’s the kind of thing someone like me should enjoy, if my approach to the sport were more enlightened.

As far as scheduling games out years in advance, what does he expect?  Again, college football doesn’t share a monolithic structure with the NFL.  It’s up to individual teams to fill in the framework set by individual conferences when scheduling and that can be a messy process when you’ve got more attractive opponents than you do annual slots in the schedule.  When it clicks, though it’s part of the charm of the sport — just ask any Georgia fan what a complete gas it was to head up to South Bend in 2017.

Mandel’s attitudeis cut from the same cloth as ESPN’s continued effort to modify college football’s regional appeal into something more homogeneous and national in approach.  It’s a matter of convenience.  For them.  A college football schedule release day may not do much for me now, but think of all the stories Mandel and his writers could compose for a week or two afterwards.  Why should the media covering the NFL have all the fun?

Here’s what they miss.  Nobody cares who wins the NFC South, but plenty of fans still care who wins the SEC East.  Because of parity, NFL schedules are a big deal because of their influence on playoff percentages and the draft.  Who Utah has to play this season doesn’t really strike anyone in this neck of the woods as a big deal for now, schedule drop day or no schedule drop day.

I know I’m on the losing side of this.  At some point, I expect Mandel will post something similar and won’t need to qualify it.  College football won’t be any better for morphing into NFL-lite, though.

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Filed under College Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

“But certainly, yeah, there was a lot of talent on that defense.”

You want to know how good the NFL draft publicity is for Georgia on the recruiting trail?

“Preseason, we had one guy who was named all-conference, so that shows you what everyone knows,” ex-Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, now the head coach at Oregon, told the SEC Network after the draft. “We had great players and talent, but they never made (individual awards) their focus. They made playing well together their focus.”

Dan Lanning’s making hay with it… at Oregon.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

TFW the NFL **is** your friend

Then again, if you want to use the NFL draft as a benchmark to judge whatever Kirby Smart is doing in Athens, this is one helluva sales point ($$):

… Using Chase Stuart’s draft value chart, which uses historical performance to measure the value of each individual pick, NFL teams had used more draft capital on Georgia’s defense than any other offense or defense in a single draft since the 1970 merger.

Any?  Damn, I guess this ($$) wasn’t hyperbole.

“It’s like one-stop shopping down there,” Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman, who drafted nose guard Jordan Davis in the first round and linebacker Nakobe Dean in the third, told reporters. “You go to practice. You go to a game. You go to that facility and you’re going, shoot I’ll just go draft this whole team.”

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Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Winning games vs. winning the draft

Josh follows up on Graham’s work that I posted about yesterday by throwing a dash of winning percentage into the mix (and also measuring over a longer time period).

The results aren’t quite as rosy for Georgia (“Not everyone is overachieving by these stats. Georgia is 4th best at putting guys in the league, and lagging at 10th best winning percentage.”), but some of that can be chalked up to the time frame of 2010-20 that Josh researched.

I do think his context is useful.  After all, we’re cheering on the Dawgs for winning, not how many players make it to the next level.

Your thoughts?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Taking stock of player development

Graham Coffey’s created a metric to measure the relative success of college football programs in developing talent.  I think it’s definitely of interest; see what you think.

You can quibble over using the NFL draft as the benchmark, I suppose.  My real bone to pick is over the name.  “The Development Quotient”?  Meh.  I think the Mullen Index has a much better snap to it.  (I keed, I keed… I think.)

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Filed under Recruiting, Stats Geek!, The NFL Is Your Friend.

“Justyn is in a position to make this decision for himself.”

If you think back to last season’s opener, one thing we Dawg fans were reminded of as the game approached was Justyn Ross’ return for Clemson.  He had been one of the best receivers in college football before he lost a season due to a serious spinal injury.  I don’t know about you, but at the time I didn’t realize just how serious his condition was.

What makes his evaluation even more difficult? Ross is attempting to become the first known player to make the NFL with a congenital fusion in his spine.

“Justyn has a condition that is very rare, and to my knowledge, there is no precedent of another high-level American football player with this condition playing football,” said Dr. David Okonkwo, who performed the surgery on Ross that allowed him to return to play. “So we were paving new road as we went through the process.”

FROM THE BEGINNING, there was one glimmer of hope that Ross clung to: the potential for surgery to relieve the pressure on his spine, which would give him a chance to play again. But even then, there would be no guarantees.

Shortly after the diagnosis, the coronavirus pandemic shut down campus and Ross went back home to Alabama. He continued to work out, telling himself the doctors would realize they made a mistake, that he was fine, that he did not need surgery. The hit he took that started all this was nothing compared to harder hits in his career, and nothing had ever happened to him.

Reality said something different. Over the next several weeks, multiple neurosurgeons told Ross they would not clear him to play football, saying the risks including paralysis or even death. Despite that, Ross pressed forward trying to save his career.

Ross’ condition, Klippel-Feil syndrome, isn’t curable.  He and his family became convinced that it was treatable, though.

“Dr. Okonkwo is very confident in what he says, he’s very knowledgeable about his work, so he made us feel comfortable when we met him,” Franklin said. “He never made me feel like he had any doubt in what he could do. So that’s where we got the confidence that OK, we can go ahead and do this.”

Ross had the surgery in June 2020. Okonkwo removed a disc that was pushing backward to free up space for the spinal cord, leaving behind a graft and plate to hold everything together.

“The procedure itself is a very common procedure, but this procedure for this specific reason is very rare,” Okonkwo said. “It is virtually unique to have done this surgery in someone with Klippel-Feil syndrome, who happens to be one of the most talented football players in the United States of America.

It’s that “who happens to be” part where it starts feeling a little creepy.  And speaking of creepy,

Swinney and chief of football administration Woody McCorvey flew to Pittsburgh to be with Ross and his mother, then spoke with Okonkwo afterward.

“I asked him, ‘How did the surgery go?'” Swinney said. “I said, ‘Did you go 9-3 or 6-6? He said, ‘I went 15-0.’ And I said, ‘Well, I like that answer.'”

But Okonkwo also cautioned Swinney, telling him even if Ross did everything right, there was still a chance he wouldn’t be able to play.

Well, Ross did play last season for Clemson, finishing with team highs in catches (46) and receiving yards (514).  All that led him to being projected as a mid-round pick in the NFL draft.  As it turned out, not only was Ross not drafted, he also hasn’t been offered a free agent contract by any team.  Which leads to the uneasy conclusion that NFL teams are more concerned about his health than Clemson or Ross are.

Look, I’m not saying there are any bad people here.  A pro football career was Justyn Ross’ ticket to supporting himself and his family after school and Dabo Swinney is being paid big bucks to win games, something a contributing Ross would help achieve.  It’s clear that plenty of due diligence was done before allowing Ross to play and, in the end, it was his call to make.  Or was it?  The NFL is more of a business than is Clemson, or at least that’s what we’re supposed to think, and it’s a little sad to consider that Clemson was willing to go where 32 other teams don’t appear to be.

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UPDATE:  Weirdly enough, this makes me feel slightly better.

I hope everyone involved knows what they’re doing.

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Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, The Body Is A Temple, The NFL Is Your Friend.