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July 22, 2014

Tennessee struggling with ticket sales

This isn't exactly on the four cokes, four hot dogs, and all the football you can stomach, but it isn't good for an athletic department that is $1brazilian* in debt.

The last time they had what amounts to a Neyland seat open house, it was 2010, which was Dooley's first season. I haven't seen numbers, but based on thier website, it isn't good:

  • Orange & White Package - Choose Florida or Alabama and 2 other games
  • Rocky Top Package - Choose the 3 games you want to attend for $99 - choose from Arkansas State, Chattanooga, Kentucky or Missouri
  • Single Game Tickets for Utah State, Arkansas State, Chattanooga, Kentucky, and Missouri.
  • Away Game Tickets for South Carolina and Vanderbilt

  • Remember, they also sent back tickets to us for their game here in Athens on September 27th. Butch Jones might have bigger problems than getting talent to come to Knoxville.

    UGA Soph DL John Taylor arrested

    Don't know details outside of what is in the papers, but it was a felony arrest for aggravated assault. Under Georgia law, a strangulation is considered aggravated assault.

    The victim is Taylor's girlfriend.

    As he was one of the four geniuses involved in the check thing this spring, it wouldn't surprise me to see him dismissed.


    July 21, 2014

    The Auburn QB recruitment plan

    Sure seems to involve a lot of stealing from dorms at UGA.
    I full expect an expose on how out Mark Richt has so little control of his players that even the recruits are stealing. Then I expect whomever it is to immediately commit to Auburn.

    Clemson's Vic Beasley is excited about their defensive line

    As well he should be.

    But much like Georgia, Clemson is young in the back five. Their biggest asset back there is having Brent Venables still around to coach them.

    Buzz Aldrin is a badass

    From 2002, in honor of the moon landing.

    And good luck, Mr. Gorsky.

    July 20, 2014

    Can Todd Gurley win the Heisman?

    Yesterday, I noted there was some sort of campaign afoot for Todd Gurley to win the Heisman. Putting aside if UGA should do a formal campaign, here is my assessment on his chances.

    First, he has to stay healthy. Last year before he got hurt against LSU, he was looking to be in the 20 carries, 125 yards, and 2 TDs per game area. In fact, the LSU game was looking to be a breakout game, as he was ripping up the Tiger's D and was on pace for 150 + yards before he got hurt.

    Working from those numbers, if he hits 240 carries at his current ypc average, he'll have around 1500 yards rushing, plus whatever he gets receiving, keeping in mind he'll get 4+ passing targets per game (let's say 30 receptions). Will this stat line get him an invite to NYC?
    Rushing Receiving
    240 carries 30 receptions
    1500 yards (6.25ypc) 350 yards
    20 TDs 20 TDs

    The last RB to win, Alabama's Mark Ingram had a similar stat line in his Heisman winning campaign:
    Rushing Receiving
    271 carries 32 receptions
    1658 yards (6.1ypc) 334 yards
    17 TDs 3 TDs

    Ingram won a close vote over another RB, Toby Gerhart, who had much higher stats (343 carries for 1871 yards and 28 TDs), but played on an 8-5 Stanford team. 2009 also  featured all three returning Heisman finalists: Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, and Sam Bradford. McCoy and Tebow were finalist (though Tebow should never have been invited with the number of votes he got), along with Ingram, Gerhart, and Ndamukong Suh.

    I say all of that to make the point that it will probably take a super special year (think 7+ypc with 250+ carries, 2000+ total yards and 30+TDs).

    So ask youself:
    Is Todd Gurley capable of that?
    Is our offense capable of that?
    Is our coaching philosophy able to get him the touches to accomplish that?

    For my money, if he stays healthy, he'll get an invite to New York. The rest is really just a beauty contest based on how well UGA's season goes.

    The SEC refines it's posture on targeting

    Hooo boy. Steve Shaw spoke at media days. We all knew that the Ramik Wilson amendment was coming on the targeting penalty. Now, if targeting is over turned, the 15 yard penalty and the ejection is over turned. But Steve Shaw wants his guys protected, too:
    "Any time there's a targeting foul, you need to really listen to the referee's announcement," he said. "What you will hear ... makes all the difference for replay. If you hear him announce, 'Personal foul, roughing the passer with targeting,' now regardless of the review, that 15-yard penalty is going to stand for roughing the passer. Same thing with kick/catch interference with targeting, late hit with targeting. In that announcement, if there are multiple components to the targeting foul, the 15-yard penalty will stay in."

    If I'm reading that right, the officials can now name two penalties, just to cover themselves. Go back and review Ramik's hit in the Vandy game:

    What would Pwnn Wagers call?

    July 19, 2014

    Gurley for Heisman campaign?

    I'm sure this will be the first of many posts on this, but it will take a spectacular year from him, and a great year from his team, if a RB is to win it.
    I'm all in.

    NFL restricts undergrad evals to five per school

    Wonder how this will play in recruiting?

    The funny part is the NFL putting this out there:
    Vincent emphasized the league is not prohibiting underclassmen from entering the draft, but ''we want them to make an informed decision.''
    So the obvious question is how will they make an informed decision if you aren't giving them an evaluation from the league? How in the wide, wide world of sports can this help undergrads? In reality, it won't. We'll end up with more handlers, agents, and others who will be after guys with the hope that they'll actually make a roster, even if they don't get evaluated.

    July 18, 2014

    Gurley on his offensive line

    One thing going into this season that has me worried is the offensive line. We lost three guys off a line that was maddeningly inconsistent last year. If Georgia's offense is going to be any where near what it needs to be, especially early in the season until the defense gels, the line has to be good. Not great, but certainly top half of the conference.

    Which is why I found this bit of kool aid mixing from Todd Gurley nice:
    “We don’t get the Alabama, big, country 6-5, 320. But we get some good ones,” Gurley said. “I love my line. David (Andrews), John (Theus), Kolton (Houston), Hunter (Long), Watts (Dantzler), all those guys. They’re just so close together with each other. They do everything together. I think that’s a good thing.
    Reading some tea leaves there,  I think you can see your starting five.

    One other thing, I've been batting around this notion that we'll see some different sets to allow us to move those guys around a little bit. FSU's offense under OC Mark Richt used to have a bit smaller Olinemen, and they'd move those guys everywhere in blocking schemes. For a more recent (and painful) example, think how Boise State's Oline looked when we played them in the Dome.

    Of course, making blocking schemes more complicated might just lead to Will Friend with a guy holding a towel over his head, which turned out so well for the unit who's coach did that last year.

    Superbook releases preseason lines

    Las Vegas Hilton's Sports Book releases their pre-seasons lines for their 100 or so games of the year. Georgia is listed four times:

    South Carolina  PICK

    Georgia -61/2

    Georgia -21/2

    Georgia Tech
    Georgia -181/2

    Thinking about the article I wrote about underdogs winning, Georgia is 93+% likely to beat Georgia Tech.

    July 17, 2014

    Fear the bow tie

    Dude. This is spectacular. Ramik rocking the red and black bow tie.
    (from Logan Booker at Bulldog Illustrated)

    Scarbinsky on Richt

    I think he nails it:
    If any coach in the SEC should be in favor of transfer restrictions, it's Mark Richt 
    If any coach should push for a league-wide rule to keep players dismissed from one SEC school from playing at another, it's the Georgia coach. 
    See Nick Marshall and the Prayer in Jordan-Hare. 
    Now see Tray Matthews getting booted in Athens, cutting out the juco middleman and moving straight to Auburn. 
    On self-interest alone, Richt should have come to SEC Media Days beating the drum to put a stop to doing the right thing and having it come back to bite you. 
    He didn't because that's not him.
    It isn't him. Oh, and mad props to Scarbinsky on the 'Second Chance U' dig.

    SEC Preseason Poll

    The SEC Media's Preseason Poll


    SEC West SEC East
    Alabama 1,915 South Carolina 1,895
    Auburn 1,735 Georgia 1,777
    LSU 1,453 Florida 1,362
    Ole Miss 1,069 Missouri 1,263
    Miss. State 890 Tennessee 893
    Texas A&M 791 Vanderbilt 619
    Arkansas 351 Kentucky 

    This seems reasonable (the article has no votes listed for Kentucky; presumably the media didn't en mass decide to leave the Wildcats off their ballots). I'd quibble with Florida over Missouri, but I think Florida has more upside.

    No shock for the SEC Championship either, other than LSU falling from their traditional spot of, 'well, they are LSU, so we have to vote them this high.'

    SEC champion
    Alabama 154
    Auburn 75
    South Carolina 32
    LSU 9
    Ole Miss 2
    Arkansas 1
    Mississippi State 1

    Georgia's Projected 2014 TV Coverage and Kickoff Times

    The first three weeks of the schedule is set. The biggest change for 2014, besides having a dedicated conference network, is that CBS will no longer have the exclusive 3:30pm window for their SEC on CBS national game. That being said, the SEC on CBS will retain the first pick, working with the conference, for the 3:30 time slot.

    UGA and South Carolina kicks off CBS's 3:30 coverage with our game in Columbia on September 13th.

    The other complicating factor is that the new SEC Network will have up to 3 games slots per Saturday, with the likely kickoff times on those Saturday only weekends being noon (see our Troy game), 4pm, and 7:30 pm. Several of those timeslots may have co-broadcasts, most likely noon and 7:30, to avoid competition with CBS's game. ESPN also will grab games for their networks as they see fit.

    For my money, the biggest upside of the SEC Network is that the SECN has acquired the third tier rights for all football games. That means the PPV/WSB/local channel games, like Charleston Southern, will now be on the SEC Network. Essentially, there are two tiers now: CBS gets the first tier and ESPN/SECN gets the second tier. Any game not covered by either CBS or the ESPN/SECN will likely be picked up by Fox Sports South (or their other regional sports networks).

    I believe CBS still has their two 6 day window options per season, but have to assume we'll know on most games 12 days out, like in years past (if you have info on that, please share it).

    Times and networks in bold are confirmed.

    at South Carolina
    at Missouri
    at Arkansas (in Little Rock)
    at Kentucky
    Charleston So.
    FSN or SECN 
    A couple of notes:
    • CBS still has their doubleheader weekends, one with a prime time kickoff and one with a noon kickoff. Those weekends are scheduled for October 11th for the noon/3:30 weekend and November 8th for the 3:30/8pm weekend. Alabama at LSU is a near mortal lock for the 8pm game on November 8th.
    • Missouri could end up being the second SEC game on CBS for the 10/11 weekend with a noon kickoff. Unless LSU or Florida is terrible, then we could end up at 3:30. That means 11am central kickoff out there. 
    • Clearly, I'm betting ESPN nabs UGA at Mizzou as their top game and puts it on at night.
    • I know. One night game at home. Just the way I think it shakes out. Only two noon kickoffs!
    • Vandy could be at noon or it could be at 7:30, but I think it'll be the SEC Networks 4:30 game.
    • Changed my mind on Tech. Didn't notice the A&M-LSU game is on Thanksgiving night. Doh! 
    • This is the way I see that weekend's games being picked: CBS is showing Auburn at Alabama; That means ESPN will have the option of grabbing a 'rivalry' game for their inventory. FSU hosts Florida and Clemson hosts South Carolina (Kentucky is at Louisville, too), so one of those games will be on ABC's main network as a lead in to Ohio State/Michigan, the other on ESPN later in the day as a part of their ACC package. The SECN will still have Tenn at Vandy, Miss State at Ole Miss, and our home game with Tech.
    • I think we'll end up with the night game, as Georgia and Tech are likely to be the best match up, though the Egg Bowl could trump us because it is an SEC vs. SEC game. Tennessee at Vandy is your noon SECN kickoff there.
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