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February 5, 2016

Smoke and Fire

You know the saying....
It's not like this is a throw away season either. They are a projected four seed right now.

February 3, 2016

G-Day to kick off at 4pm



ESPN to televise.

93K doesn't seem as much a stretch as it did a few weeks ago.

January 27, 2016

This means Saban is moving on, right?

I thought that was the go to when someone sells a house.

January 19, 2016

SEC Power Poll, Final Ballot of 2015


  1. Alabama - Man, Alabama just held that game plan in place until it was needed. Probably not the best Alabama team Saban has had, but certainly them most impressively coached one.
  2. Mississippi - Ole Miss took their meds, whipped the crap out of over matched Big 12 team.
  3. LSU - It is funny to me that so many fans forget LSU is where they are because of what Les Miles has done in the last ten seasons.
  4. Mississippi State - Imagine how good the Bulldogs would have been if they were more than Dak Prescott doing Dak Prescott things.
  5. Tennessee - So, Tennessee fell apart offensively a few times, but Butch fires his DC, which was top 20 in the nation. Pressure is on, bro.
  6. Georgia - 10 wins again. Better win 11, Coach Smart.
  7. Florida - I know, I know. Be honest, how bad was this team since the first of November, honestly?
  8. Arkansas - Always go to Vegas with Arkansas.
  9. Texas A&M - Old CW: Kevin Sumlin is an offensive mastermind. New CW: Kevin Sumlin is a QB killer.
  10. Auburn - I guess winning a bowl game means something. I'm just not convinced Auburn playing in Montgomery really is a bowl game.
  11. Vandy - Maybe James Franklin will come back after Penn State runs him off.
  12. Missouri - The most interesting thing about this season is them turning down a bowl bid at 5-7.
  13. Kentucky - Stoops probably should find out if his agent has a couple of desperate ADs on speed dial.
  14. South Carolina - At least South Carolina didn't lose a bowl game.

January 17, 2016

Georgia's third down offense

YEAH BOY. FIREFIREFIREFIRE

Now Bill Connelly puts some numbers to that....
Situational
OffenseDefense
Avg.RkAvg.Rk
Q1 S&P+115.431124.915
Q2 S&P+119.82195.782
Q3 S&P+130.09142.05
Q4 S&P+106.15398.277
1st Down S&P+126.66117.020
2nd Down S&P+127.49109.240
3rd Down S&P+86.3111111.337

Yes. Georgia's offense was top ten in the nation on 1st down and 2nd down. We only converted 49 third downs on the season. And it wasn't just passing offense that was the problem y'all. We converted 21 of 63 rushing attempts. Before you go all shotgun quick draw on me, that 63 includes just 18 attempts on 3rd and 7+ (which includes a few sacks/busted qb running for his life plays). We weren't great shakes with passing conversion, obviously.

For a power running team, we sure did a poor job of 
  1. Blocking effectively on 3rd and short/medium, 
  2. Scheming/calling plays that gave our running back the opportunity to have a shot at getting first down yardage, or
  3. Leveraging the run possibility to get one on on match ups that made our QB comfortable enough to not have to think about it.
Place that blame where you want, but I'm ok with saying it is a bad combination of all that.
TW

January 15, 2016

The death of CFB as a national brand

You would think the college football Illuminati would be able to talk to the NASCAR folks in Daytona Beach and figure out something: the push for more market share has a downside.

Then my concern was what the playoffs, in a push for the CFB championship process to be relevant to a national TV audience, would make what happened in the regular season more or less irrelevant. While we aren't there yet, I have to think that's coming at 8 or 16 teams.

Now, my concern is in trying to get those regular season game as widely distributed as possible, those in charge of CFB are thinking that because they are in X number of homes means X number of homes want to watch them.

Well, 56% of that X number of homes disagrees with that premise.
A survey of 1,582 consumers commissioned last week by BTIG Research found that 56 percent of respondents would remove ESPN and ESPN2 from their cable packages to save $8 per month, which is about the cost cable subscribers pay to receive the networks.
Blutarsky goes in depth about the economics, and how those in charge have failed to demonstrate any sort of long term thinking about how to sustain the financial model beyond the current TV contracts. More telling, those same people seem to think that the road goes on forever and the party never ends, so to speak.

Hey, I'm a cord cutter, but I got Sling because of sports. While ESPN is the 400 lb gorilla in the cable/satellite TV game, there is only one platform that ensures nation wide coverage: commercial over the air television. OTA TV hasn't exactly died, cable just made it easier to receive local and non-local channels.

However, what really killed OTA viewership is sports programming. The whole gambit. And ESPN lead that charge, as evidenced by their industry highest market saturation and per subscriber charge. And wouldn't it be high irony if what makes over the air television the thing that kills cable TV the same thing that led to the long term decline in over the air television?

The sad part, for me, is it might also mean death to nearly 24/7 college football from August to December.
TW

January 14, 2016

BAMA WANTS OUR STAFF!

Proof the Kirby hire is working!

(or something)

Hire all the Special Teams coaches

The most interesting thing you'll read today.

The Process at work.

Missouri interacts with the NCAA: Hilarity does not ensue.

Missouri fans took me to task over this post. Now I see I was barking up the wrong tree:
The University of Missouri admitted NCAA violations in its men's basketball program dating to 2011 and banned itself Wednesday from the postseason this year and vacated all 23 wins from the 2013-14 season.
Hey, it's all fun and games until a booster takes it upon himself to help out some players.

I'm still shocked Frank Haith didn't get a show cause over the $10,000 he gave Nevin Shapiro at Miami, but hey, paying quiet money isn't quite the same as signing some footballs for $400. Gotta have standards, or Lord knows what those unethical student-athletes the NCAA are protecting from themselves will get into.

For the current unethical student-athletes, they find themselves not playing for anything but pride, which considering how Missouri basketball has looked this season, that is about all they were playing for anyway. The immediate impact is that the Tigers aren't likely to play in the SEC tourney, meaning they'll re-order the brackets in some way to accommodate 13 teams.
TW

January 13, 2016

I was gonna coach some ball, but my players got high

'Winning ain't the only thing' part of the Georgia Way has changed, but somethings haven't...
If Georgia’s drug policy for athletes is going to change, it won’t be because of Kirby Smart, who said Wednesday that the decision “is above me” and that he’s “completely understanding of that.”
Here's hoping all those analysts are good at helping players avoid the weed.

Eckler on burning down the house that Richt built

This....
I learned a valuable lesson watching Brian Schottenheimer. He came into a situation where he tried to run an offense that was already in place and didn’t run his offense, so to speak. I didn’t want get into a situation like that after watching the difficulties that he had. When you do that – and I watched it happen – as a coordinator, and it’s not really your stamp but it’s your name, that’s not a good gig.
makes me wonder who made the hiring call on OC last year, and why it came to that.

I'm telling you, the 30 for 30 on the end of the Richt era will be epic.
TW

January 12, 2016

The missing piece

I'm telling you, this might be the most important hire Kirby makes:
Mike Cavan, a former Georgia player and assistant coach – when he was credited with signing a recruit named Herschel Walker – who has also been the head coach at three other programs, has been named to a newly-created role: Special assistant to the head coach.
I've been saying Smart needs someone who has been in control of a program to help him anticipate things that a first time coach can't possibly anticipate. Cavan well fits that bill. That he has a long history with UGA, knows where a lot of bodies are buried, who buried them, and why is a big deal.

TW

Related:
- Mel Tucker named Georgia Defensive Coordiantor

January 11, 2016

My thoughts on Jim Cheney

I've gotten the question enough for me to seriously ponder his hiring, more so than the reported Mel Tucker hire. On it's face, the Tucker hire is...interesting, since his only stint as a DC resulted in historically bad defenses for the Chicago Bears. Also, the whole hiring former NFL coordinator thing hasn't worked out well in Athens recently. Still, everything I hear is that he's a great teacher and recruiter. And he worked with Kirby at Alabama, which means his boss has seen his work up close and personal.

So about Cheney....here's why I like him: he isn't affraid to mix up his offensive philosophy based on talent at his disposal. He's like Lane Kiffin in that way:
arguably no coach over the last two seasons has been better at strategically “stealing” plays than Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Kiffin has a history of being flexible with offense, as while an assistant at Southern Cal under Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Norm Chow, Kiffin spent a lot of time at Tampa Bay’s facilities where his father was the defensive coordinator and Jon Gruden was the head coach, where he picked Gruden’s brain and studied hours of film on Gruden’s West Coast Offense.
Kiffin has reinvented himself doing just what I would hope Cheney is going to do at Georgia. I don't see a problem with that. Cheney started his career as a spread guy at Purdue. Urban Meyer modeled his offense on what Cheney was doing at Purdue. His time in the NFL gave him experience in the more traditional under center attacks.

Another thing I like is he's coached TEs, OL, and QBs. And he's pretty good at coaching QBs. I've mentioned Cheney's role in getting Jonathan Crompton drafted into the NFL. Hell, Tyler Bray is still on a roster. What he did this season with Nathan Peterman at Pitt is pretty impressive. Peterman, who was a graduate transfer from Tennessee, when 193 of 313 with 20 TDs and 8 Ints. That puts in in Josh Dobbs territory already.

Finally, he's worked with a graduate transfer QB before. There isn't any reason to think that UGA will bring one in, but if they did, Cheney has dealt with that.
TW

One possible grad transfer QB

I don't know anything about this, but Will Leitch asked us in last week's WSLS Podcast if UGA would bring in another grad transfer QB, and I got to thinking about it. It didn't take me long to find someone I thought might fit the bill.

Will Gardner, Louisville QB
Gardner, who started seven games for Louisville in 2014, has already gotten his release from Petrino. He's had a history of tearing his ACL, sitting out this whole season rehabbing his knee.

Here's the deal. He's from Douglas. He had an offer from Alabama. His primary recruiter? Alabama's own South Georgia connection, Kirby Smart.

Like I said, I have no information on this, but if we were to go that route, Gardner would be the most likely I can find right now.
TW

UPDATE: Well, not so much....

Go [FILL IN THE BLANK]!

For the first time since the 2005 championship game, I have reasons for wanting either team to win/I have reasons for wanting either team to lose.

I'll not go into my conference integrity rant...probably (Twitter rants are still likely) or my Clemson hate rant. There are reasons for wanting Alabama to win: Kirby's profile with recruits, ect. There are reasons for wanting Clemson to win: beating Alabama.

TW
See also:
 - Why I'm rooting for Clemson to beat Alabama (Bernie's Dawg Blog)
 
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