Does the NFL care about bowl game attendance?

Let’s just say that if, in fact, Fournette and McCaffrey are first-rounders tomorrow in the NFL draft, the odds that more star collegiate players skip minor bowls out of a sense of self-preservation are likely to be significantly enabled.  With the money at stake, who could blame them?

The interesting thing will be learning what kind of advice their college coaches give them about the decision.

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Filed under The NFL Is Your Friend.

Watching the G-Day replay

“Jake had really good composure and did a good job of going through the right reads and hitting his guys,” Eason said Saturday. “If you’re going to be good, it’s got to come from yourself, but I think Jake did a good job of coming in and pushing me. He pushes me and I push him, and our off-the-field relationship has grown because of that.

“We’re tight. We came in the same way, being highly regarded.”

Eason, who beat out Lambert after last season’s opening win over North Carolina, completed 204 of 370 passes (55.1 percent) as a freshman for 2,430 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had a four-game stretch against conference foes when he wasn’t picked off, but his efficiency rating for the season ranked just 13th in the league.

His efficiency rating for the first half of G-Day was even worse, but Eason regrouped somewhat to finish 16-of-36 for 311 yards with two second-half touchdowns.

“When the defense knows you’re throwing the ball, you’re going to throw it at a lesser percentage,” Smart said Saturday, referencing an offense with one combined carry from Chubb and Sony Michel. “Jacob understands our offense better now. He knows the checks. He knows where to go with the ball. He understands when to put us in the right play, and that part I’m pleased with.

“You can’t judge him based on today.”

When asked about Fromm’s performance, Smart said he still gets that “deer in the headlights look” when a defender gets free in the pocket, but he didn’t hide his excitement.

“Jake is a great competitor,” Smart said. “He’s in the huddle and has great spirit. I had to jump him in the second scrimmage because he threw a touchdown pass and started yelling at the defensive end. I told him that we don’t do that here, but I don’t want to take the fire out of the kid.

“He gets juiced in competition, but he’s got to control the emotions.”

Taken in all, that’s actually a pretty good summary of both quarterbacks’ day Saturday.

I may have come off sounding a bit more harsh about Fromm in my Observations post than he deserved.  As someone noted in the comments last night, many of the plays where he read only one side of the field were designed that way, and Fromm reminded me a bit of Hutson Mason in getting the pre-snap read down and throwing quickly based on that.  There were at least a couple of occasions where he went through his progressions across the field.

In short, he’s pretty polished for a true freshman quarterback who’s only been through a dozen or so spring practices.  That being said, it’s a lot easier making those throws against the second team secondary (minus Hardman, to boot) than against a starting SEC defense, so let’s not throw any ticker tape parades quite yet.

As for Eason, I still maintain he’s making good progress as far as reading defenses and adjusting.  He also did a nice job on extending one play rolling to his right and hitting a wide open Terry Godwin for a big gain.  His line didn’t do him any favors, although as I mentioned yesterday, his performance picked up noticeably when the pass blocking stabilized.  The thing with Eason is that there were three or four passes he tossed that made my jaw drop; the number of college quarterbacks who are capable of doing similar work can be counted on one hand, if that.

He’s got a helluva ceiling.  The challenge for Jim Chaney is raising Eason’s floor.

As for the rest of what I garnered from the replay, it was mainly reinforcing how stout Georgia’s front seven on defense look — and, unfortunately, how that couldn’t be said about the offensive line.  Also, if you watch, read this Jason Butt piece about the options Chaney has in the slot.  That may have been the one bit of strategery for which he tipped his hand.

Lemme know if you see anything else of note.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Today, in I don’t think that word means what you think it means

This is al.com’s idea of Greg Sankey “addressing” speculation on conference expansion:

Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey declined to deny whether the conference has privately explored expanding in an attempt to be the first league with 16 teams.

“I’ll let others discuss expansion publicly,” Sankey said, adding that he thought he answered the question “directly.”

I doubt even Sankey believes that.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Shit, AD, that’s all you had to say.

You know, if Greg McGarity had just said from the beginning that he needed a reserve fund to protect the department against his own lack of competency in hiring and firing coaches instead of making up some nonsensical excuse about having to pay student-athletes down the road, I might have been more understanding.

At least I would have applauded him for being realistic.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

The Georgia Way: a definitional bleg

You know, I’ve mentioned before that the Lexicon badly needs an entry for The Georgia Way, but I’ve really struggled to come up with a succinct description.

A couple of recent things have come up that may have helped me sharpen my thoughts on the subject.  First, this tweet sent my way a few days ago:

Then, comes the news this morning that McGarity has seen fit to can the gymnastics coach he hired five years ago, right after she dismissed three players from the team, naturally.  I’m sure the program is just around the corner from greatness.

Anyway, a phrase popped into my head in response to both of those items, and the more I chew on it, the more it grows on me:  arrogance in the service of mediocrity.  I mean, arrogance is tolerable, if you’ve got something rightfully to be arrogant about, and, well, as a Georgia fan, I’ve certainly been familiar with my fair share of mediocrity.

It’s the combination of the two, along with the money fixation, that makes the Georgia Way special for me.  Am I off base with that, does it resonate with you, too, or is it just a decent start?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Second chance, with an asterisk

Greg Sankey puts a “not so fast, my friend” on the possibility of D’antne Demery to another SEC program.

“At the time of a National Letter of Intent is signed an SEC financial aid agreement is signed as well and in there is a recruiting prohibition. So the other schools in the league are prohibited in the league are prohibited from recruiting individuals who signed that agreement and that’s in place right now, for each signee.”

Whether that would apply if the individual in question spent a couple of years playing JUCO ball and then sought admission to an SEC school is a question for another day, but the way Sankey phrased that makes me think if Demery kept his nose clean, so to speak, he’d be able to work his way back.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football

“When I heard about it, it had a chilling effect on me.”

A school suing its own boosters for something to which it turned a blind eye in the past?  Yeah, I can see how that could be awkward.

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Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment