Category Archives: Transfers Are For Coaches.

The year of the backup quarterback

Pat Forde compares Penn State’s situation with its starting quarterback going out against Iowa…

After what befell Penn State (21) Saturday, it’s clear how important quarterback depth can be. When Sean Clifford was injured, the Nittany Lions were sunk at Iowa. Ta’Quan Roberson may end up being a fine college QB, but he wasn’t ready for that admittedly very difficult spot. The guy who had been Penn State’s No. 2 QB, Will Levis, is now the toast of Kentucky, where he is starting for the undefeated Wildcats and doing strange things with food.

… and you-know-who’s.

Stetson Bennett IV (24), Georgia. He’s played a lot of football for the Bulldogs, throwing 244 passes in three seasons. While Bennett struggled at times last year when thrust into a starting role, he’s been really good when pressed into service by injury to JT Daniels. Bennett’s efficiency rating is a robust 206.56, way up from 2020. He might have played his best game Saturday at Auburn, throwing for 231 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Most importantly, the team and coaching staff have faith in Bennett to get the job done and avoid catastrophes.

With the transfer portal, having an experienced back up who’s good enough to hold things together for an extended period is going to be an ever rarer thing.  Stetson Bennetts are valuable as hell.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Owning the transfer portal

The Laner’s been in the belly of the beast, so it should come as no surprise that he has this sort of take on Nick Saban’s roster management skills.

“Now they go to cherry-pick players for any holes they may have like an Ohio State receiver [Jameson Williams] or a Tennessee linebacker [Henry To’o To’o],” Kiffin said. “So now, it’s like not only do they get the best draft picks but they get to go into free agency and take players, so it really is going to set up one of the most talented teams ever, which is what we’re getting ready to play.”

Hell, the man himself warned everybody.

Saban, who has been a skeptic of transfer deregulation, warned that the adoption of the one-time transfer rule would further separate the haves from the have nots.

“I think what’s gonna happen, as you’ve seen happen in a lot of leagues, the good players go to a good team and the bad players leave good teams because they’re not playing,” Saban said earlier this year. “Is that gonna make the rich get richer? I don’t know. You can decide that.”

As I’ve said previously, if the latest NCAA proposal allowing teams to fill roster openings created by players opting to use the transfer portal becomes a reality, lather, rinse, repeat.  It’s not so much a case of the rich getting richer as it is the ruthless roster managers being given an even freer hand with which to operate.  And I say that as someone who favors players being able to transfer without restriction.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Transfers Are For Coaches.

“We’ve got a real problem that’s brewing…”

So, they’re really gonna do it.

It’s a move to help out coaches who aren’t aces at roster management first, and high school recruits second.  But you know and I know who’s really going to benefit from this.  So does Todd Berry.

“We’ve been working on this since June, and it has gone round and round, the subject matter is really important to our coaches right now because, quite honestly, with the one-time transfer and with NIL, all of your players are basically potentially in the portal and not just the ones that are looking for more playing time,” Berry said. “The problem that our coaches were facing was the fact that if I sign 25 players in the December and February signing dates, then that leaves me with no initials to be able to handle the five offensive linemen that I might lose in the summer of next year. So, everybody was feeling like they had to hold a significant number of scholarships back with the idea that I’ve got to hold them back, because I don’t know exactly what I’m going to lose next summer.”

The committee has wanted to find ways to discourage coaches from purging their rosters by just suggesting they will have as many initial counters as they want, no matter how many players transfer. But also wanted to give programs the opportunity to stay at or near the 85-scholarship limit if they do lose a significant number of players to the transfer portal.

Coaches like Saban and Smart have been rubbing their hands thinking about the possibilities once a rule like this goes into effect.  Alabama and Georgia signing 32 players in a class is about as “let the rich get richer” move as college football could allow.  If a player doesn’t show out, I assume he will be encouraged to seek greener pastures.  And if he can’t take the hint…

“Even if they’re dismissed”.  It’s an aggressive roster manager’s wet dream.

Oh, yeah — it’s only a one-year, patchwork proposal.

Meaning, they’ll be right back at the same drawing board in a year’s time.  I mean, what could go wrong?

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Filed under The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Talk about your foreseen consequences…

Shot.

NCAA officials are moving closer to an immediate expansion of the annual 25-person signing limit as a way for coaches to replace players they’ve lost to the burgeoning transfer portal. The NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee is finalizing a proposal that would change the signing limit this cycle in what’s being described as a one-year waiver of relief until a permanent policy is created.

Multiple officials spoke to Sports Illustrated under the condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of ongoing deliberations on the proposals.

A compromise is finally emerging among a group of proposals. Under the plan, schools can sign 25 new players while gaining additional signee spots for every player who transfers out of their program—up to a certain limit. The extra spots would be based on the number of players who enter the transfer portal under their own volition and would be capped at a figure, such as seven.

Chaser.

But not everyone agrees with the proposals. The annual signing limit in football has for years been an argumentative issue. It was originally implemented to disincentivize the trend of coaches cutting or pushing out scholarship players in an effort to over-sign high school players or transfers.

Earlier this year, West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons and other administrators expressed concern that replacing departures with additional signee spots will “repeat history.” They believe that coaches will exploit the change by pushing out players to create an additional spot for more talented athletes—a reason for the cap on replacements.

Shit, you think so?  Here’s the tell:

However, in the compromise proposal, schools can replace only players who leave for the transfer portal on their own. Schools would not be able to gain additional spots for players dismissed from a team, pushed out by coaches or those who leave early for the NFL draft.

“Pushed out by coaches” is doing some seriously heavy lifting there.  Like Nick Saban doesn’t know how to make a player feel like the transfer portal isn’t his best option.

What’s being proposed as a band aid for coaches who aren’t the best at roster management is going to turn out to be a bonanza for those who are masters at it.  And five years from now, people are still going to be marveling at how much better the rosters are at places like ‘Bama and Georgia than elsewhere.  This is a real genius move, fellas.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.

“Oh, and he’s from the Vols as well.”

Assuming that Mike Farrell is correct (I know, I know), Tennessee has lost the nos. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9 transfer players of the offseason.  I don’t care how transformative the attitude adjustment may be, that’s a shitload of talent to make up.

By the way, not a single one of the 100 top players on his list is incoming to Knoxville.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Wednesday morning buffet

SEC Media Days are always good for a few tasty menu items.

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UPDATE:  This goes out to those of you who have missed the point behind Saban’s comment about Bryce Young.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple, Transfers Are For Coaches.

A-portaling we shall go, a-portaling we shall go…

I’m not sure what I enjoy the most about Sports247’s transfer portal rankings

… that Georgia has three of the top ten incoming, or that Tennessee has three of the top ten departures.

Okay, I kid a little bit there, but I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet how much damage Fulmer’s stint as athletic director did to the football program there.  But by the end of this season, it just may.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

From the Boise Bandit to the King of the Transfer Portal

And no, that’s not a reference to Dan Mullen, hard as that may be to believe.  It’s to the SEC’s most underachieving coach.

But within the SEC, Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs won the 2021 Transfer Challenge, the inaugural great plunder amid the NCAA’s new transfer landscape that allows immediate eligibility for first-time transfers.

Georgia: The Bulldogs added three all-conference-caliber players in tight end/wide receiver Arik Gilbert (from LSU) and defensive backs Tykee Smith (West Virginia) and Derion Kendrick (Clemson). The transfer exits of defensive backs Tyrique Stevenson and Major Burns and defensive end Jermaine Johnson put a chink in Georgia’s transfer trophy, but it still came out way ahead.

Yeah, I know it’s hard to believe that tops Harsin straight up stealing the next Justin Fields, or the Portal Master™’s stellar track record, but it is what it is.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

“Bryan Harsin is a thief from Idaho.”

Honestly, I don’t know if this is snark or straight…

Everyone loves a good black-hat villain in the SEC, and Harsin is wearing it today. On Thursday, Auburn’s football coach did something many longtime fans of the league would have once considered unthinkable. Harsin straight up stole a former five-star recruit off the roster of the rival Georgia Bulldogs.

Harsin walked into the Bulldogs’ receiver room this week, and left with a former freshman All-American. Demetris Robertson wore black and red in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry last season, but this fall he’ll be dressed out in burnt orange and navy blue. He’s the third transfer this offseason to go from an SEC school to Auburn, but the others were from Vanderbilt and LSU.

… because if it’s the latter, the entire piece is likely to be the dumbest thing I read all year, and, yes, I know we’re only in early July.

If you don’t think that qualifies, try this on for size:

… Georgia recently added a former five-star receiver from LSU, Arik Gilbert of Marietta, Georgia. Was Robertson addition by subtraction for Georgia, or will losing him to Auburn come back to haunt Smart and his staff like quarterback Justin Fields?

Tell me that has to be sarcasm.  It has to be, right?

Auburn needed a veteran receiver for Nix going into fall camp, so Harsin looked around and took one from Georgia like he was pulling a gold chain right off Kirby Smart’s neck.

Robertson, while extremely gifted, apparently didn’t impress Smart enough in practice over the last three years to earn more chances on the field.

Okay, maybe not.

At one point, he refers to Harsin as “this Bandit from Boise”.  He better hope he’s not saying that in a few years about Harsin’s paycheck.

(h/t 81Dog)

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Transfers Are For Coaches.

As if it never happened

And there we go.

Now, sonny, back in the days of Greg McGarity…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.