Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recruiting Update

ESPN's Chris Low weighs on the high school rating debate by reviewing the SEC First Team Defense and the national ranking of each member. Chris Low uses Scout.

Nine of the eleven (82%) were NOT ranked nationally. Astonishingly 3 of the 9 were NOT even in the Scouts Inc database (27%). Those were Antonio Coleman, DE Auburn, and (2) DT Terrance Cody, Alabama and Dan Williams, Tenn.

Other "misses" were: Rolando McClain, Rennie Curran, Eric Norwood, Joe Haden, Javier Arenas and Mark Barron

The two that were ranked nationally were: Eric Berry (#4) and Carlos Dunlap (#15)

We are such tools for hanging on to every Recruitnik update. Gotta Go! I need to get another fix before bed---that will hold me over 'til morning.

Why Not???

I got to thinking….

Chaos reigns in Knoxville. Spurrier is successful as Ray Goof. Jasper’s new in Kentucky. Vanderbilt well is “Vandy-land”. Cryer is acting like a wet dish rag. He can’t make up his mind whether he’s coming or going, and finally verbalizes what has been apparent.

So if winning is about coaching. CMR is one of the best based on win % coaches this past decade. So if winning is about leadership, and leadership is about weathering storms, standing in the face of adversity. CMR is the dean of the ultra competitive SEC coaches.

I simply ask “Why not us next year?”

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review of Season stats

Before the ink dries on the contracts for the new coaches and NSD comes around, I thought it would be a worthwhile endeavor to look at the season ending stats, and from an “inside the numbers” and recap specific categories.

Much was made early in the season that Bobo wasn’t going to the ground often and early enough. That appeared to get corrected as the season went along. On the year, The Dawgs averaged 161 yards per game, and had an average of 4.7 per attempt. While not outstanding, those statistics are more than enough to create space for AJ Green & Co. In the end the trio/ quad group of RB’s came through.
On the other side, despite opponents rushing for 33 MORE times, than UGA, they gained 553 yards LESS, and only had a 3.4 per attempt average or approximately a buck and quarter per game. The scoring stinginess of the ground D was felt too, only yielding 12 TD all year. In addition, the ground D had TOL totaling 369 yards (~ 20 yd/ gm doing mental math). Finally fumbles, while opponents ran, we created 18 of them, but failed to recover 16 times. More scrum techniques need to be taught? Pinch and Pull method emphasized? – and I’m not talking about the leather ball either. (I wonder how the numbers look without Tenn Tech game? But on second thought, I guess the GT game evens out that indicator??) It will be interesting to see if UGA keeps those goods numbers switching schemes and taking a man off the point of attack. Although historically 3-4’s have done well against the run.

Cox & Gray had a season QB rating of 81.98. They had a 55% completion percentage; however, the 17 going to the wrong jersey is woefully. When considering the long droughts of ineffectiveness that the offense suffered from (Tenn game. Last ½ of Okie St., LSU for the 1st 3+ Qtrs, the WLOCP) much of that rest squarely on how well the QB is performing.
With pass D, first for the superlative. As much of a question mark that pass rush was coming into the season, the Dawgs managed to get 30 sacks, most of that coming later in the season, but developing nevertheless. Per pass attempt, Yards per completion, Pass yardage and most importantly TD’s, were virtually equal to UGA’s output. You ask “Well if UGA passing attack stunk, why didn’t UGA pass D play “well” considering both had the same output and held the opposing QB’s under 90 for  a QB rating (89.41)?” The key statistic is interceptions and UGA’s pass D inability to “cover” their own offense. The Dawgs had only 10 picks all year long. Breaking it down to per 100 pass attempts, UGA D had 2.5, but we turned it over with twice the frequency (4.9). Picks, not getting more and throwing them twice the rate, arguably cost the Dawgs in all “L’s”; Not getting ‘em – LSU, Too many – Vols & Gators, Preventing comebacks - Kent & Okie St.
Scott Lakatos, we need your "A" game.

Time of Possession. By the seasons end, TOP came out to a virtual wash, within 32 seconds of being equal. Note to self: should have kept up with W/L TOP variance. Thru the 1st half of the year there was a chasm that existed with TOP for W, being positive and TOP being negative for L. I doubt that it changed, but still would like to know for certain.
Kickoff returns. While the per average rerurn variance looks miniscule 22.1 to 25.7 yards per return, The Dawgs GAVE UP 113 More yards than opponents allowed, despite having 4 more return advantage. That’s gotta be worth 1 or 2 scores on a cumulative basis. IF you take out “The Brand of Bros” long returns, it highlights two issues. One we need to be consistently good at our own returns and not to belabor the point, but Kickoff coverage has got to get revamped.
Red Zone. Scoring TD, the Dawgs hit pay dirt on 62% of their opportunities. They settled for FG 11 more times to give them an overall rate of 94%. The overall rate is impressive; however, the TD rate is mediocre, but an improvement for CMR historical struggles.
On the other side the D held opponents to only 56% scoring TD; however, the D allowed 5 more trips, and thus opponents scored 1 more TD than UGA scored. Overall, opponents scored only 87%. (Thanks ASU, who had a hurt kicker.)
3rd Down conversion. It certainly doesn’t seem that UGA was slightly better (2%) converting 3rd down attempts.

29 points per game is ‘good enuf’. Allowing 26 points per game is too many. ---Bottom Line.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

GA SO MBB lands on Probation

A former assistant coach, Nolan Myrick, and a former basketball operation coordinator, John Miller, took test, wrote term papers and did on-line assignments to keep a couple of players legible. Former HC, Jeff Price, who resigned due to the incident, was not implicated. Athletic Director, Sam Baker, still, skates.

Penalty Summary:
2 year probation, but are legible for post-season play (fat chance w/ Davidson & COC)
Lost 1 scholly for 3 years
“Vacate” wins
Myrick has a 5 year “show-cause” penalty individually

Here is the full copy of the findings: http://multimedia.savannahnow.com/media/pdfs/GSUfindings.pdf

The Athletic Director, Sam Baker, may have avoided consequence, but check out the ire of one unidentified NCAA Infractions committee member (Page 8 bottom and Continuing on Page 9), and they throw him under the proverbial bus and reads to me:
1) AD, you can’t raise any funds.
2) AD you’re an idiot! – “Red Flag”
3) AD you’re a big idiot for not providing academic over site.
4) “Then, finally,” AD you are a slacker. Why weren’t you doing what was right from the beginning?
5) “So I guess my question” is ‘Why are YOU still there?’

Then the former University Prez speaks b/c the Sam Baker can’t formulate a response.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sports prespective on today

Today is Martin Luther King Holiday. As I reflect upon the civil rights movement, for me some of the most vivid images of the discord and progress are pixel in, colored in, by athletics.

I am not a keen observer of politics, but my interest was piqued by the argument that writer Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez sets forth that the last presidential election was swayed by the Huxtable Effect. In her book she theorizes that Clair and Heathcliff Huxtable were the catalyst for a dawning of a Different World. She argues that America was forever changed by the break down of social barriers that occurred by coming into your den every Thursday evening for nearly a decade a generation ago. I don’t disagree with her conclusion of the power of the television; I do disagree on the genesis. Indulge me a moment.

Play. Yes play period was and still is far more important to break down of stereotypical beliefs. It helps when by decree that play was legitimized, like the Supreme Court did in the Brown v Board of Education decision. In 1954, you had a rule that now kids in the United States of America would play together, learn together, for 8 hours a day for 180 days of the year, which was a precursor for the civil rights movement and the ignition switch for the upheaval that occurred in the ‘60’s. As schools integrated one of the first avenues of commonality that was discovered, was on the playgrounds and in athletics. Remember the Titans?

When play is deemed important, it is called sports. Because of sports you had blacks coming into ‘white houses’ far sooner than the mid-‘80’s. Notwithstanding the controversial attention from the frozen fists salute when Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the medal podium while the national anthem played in Mexico City, much of the TV coverage was widely popular and positive.

It was not in the sitcoms where equality was depicted first thru the media. It was sports. A sport’s - made for TV- themed movie, Brian’s Song (1971), captured hearts as well as a relationship struggle and ultimately the bonding between Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers. In 1975 it was sports media where Irv Cross, the first African-American national sports analyst, came into my house every Sunday on the NFL Today show for nearly 15 years, immediately following the Vince Dooley show. It was sports executives who fired Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, Howard Cosell, Al Campanis and Rush Limbaugh after each made insensitive remarks. (Ironically for Jimmy The Greek, Irv Cross, a co-host, still considered him a friend until Jimmy’s death; however, he was fired from the NFL Today show based on his comments that he made when a reporter asked his feelings on MLK Day in 1988.) It was sports media that birthed Bryant and Greg Gumble on the American landscape. Bryant, after years at NBC sports, became the first African-American to do national news, when he hosted the Today Show, for 15 years (started prior to The Cosby Show beginning). Greg Gumble was one of the first African-American anchors on SportsCenter on ESPN, before it was the world wide leader. From the thousands of celebratory, integrated, scenes broadcasted, from the clips of the 1936 Berlin Games and Jessie Owens, from Texas Western in 1966 beating Kentucky for the NCAA Men’s basketball championship, from the '70 USC v Alabama football game, it has been sports shots through TV that have warmed minds and chilled ignorance, first. Sports have taught the performance matters the most.

Play, not a prime time skit, set the stage for the promotion of progress. Play and sport teach us those valuable lessons, not learn elsewhere. I have ingrained my U-10 football coach barking out “Life is a field marked off in one yard segments!” Athletics have tenaciously, through television, struggle with and for civil rights from virtually the inception. What a Different World it would be without sports being the show piece for social justice to stand on!

You'd da man

So Tenn got its’ next HC. Derek Dooley is the complete antithesis of Lame Quitin. That is not that unusual. Many teams go out get what they didn’t have with their last guy.

Quitin: Outspoken
Dooley: Thoughtful before speaking

Quitin: Jumper
Dooley: Loyal

Quitin: Brash
Dooley: Reserved

Quitin: A great recruiter
Dooley: ?? Can he at least hold the class together?

Quitin: Played on New Year’s Eve.
Dooley: Always reserved that time for family

Of the coaches that have their Jurist Doctorate, I can think of AT LEAST one other lawyer who is unemployed, loves football and has proven that his offense system will work in SEC.

If you are Mike Hamilton, you tried for the homerun swing, only you started the trot too early and were thrown out at second. But instead of swinging for the fences again, you lay down a bunt. No Mike you’re a power hitter! You’ve got to swing hard again, so should have hired a Pirate.

I hope not for the Dooley family, but deep down I think that this set the Vols back 5 to 8 years.

Let me get this straight.

Let me get this straight.
Meets w Dr. – not good news.
Gonna resign - his family & health come 1st.
Sees players – they are his family too. Changes mind somewhat…Let’s call it an indefinite leave ….
Say that Asst. Coaches will handle coaching Sugar Bowl – nothing is on the line.
Changes mind. Swears to stop Jan 3rd
Starts calling and going out recruiting again. Swears to stop, but the sweet scent of the budding #1 recruiting class is way too strong.
“Sharrif was really confused and put a call into Coach Meyer. When they spoke Coach Meyer told him that he had a ‘dream’ the night before, and that Coach Meyer saw himself on the sideline coaching Sharrif. Told him that is was a "message from God that I should come back and coach, as I guess if it’s my time to die, I'd rather die on the sidelines coaching you than anywhere else in the world.

"Sharrif talked to us the next day and said Ohio State is great and all, but Coach Meyer said he would DIE for me. That's pretty intense. From that day on Sharrif mainly kept to himself. But that was the turning point in my eyes."
Makes a “deal” with himself to take time off after the 1st Wed in Feb.
Changes mind. This time he really means it, but right after Spring Game, breaking down Special Teams, punt coverage film to Aug.

What’s change other than you now have the knowledge of what the physician’s concern were/ are if you kept that pace up? Reminds me of a smoker and a new year’s resolution.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Records and Yards
Heading "W's" L's" "Yards"
team A
team B
team C

Records and Yards
Heading "W's" L's" "Yards" "Rush"
team A
team B
team C
team D

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's not over!!!

Col. Jessep: "It's not over, until I say it's over!"...
"Sit down, Colonel!"

For the flock of fare weather fans, yes the seasons done, but for you and for me, sit down; it's not over! In fact some would argue what is happening now is more important than what happens in Aug - Dec. Of course I'm talking about getting the "right people" in the mix and recruiting. The time when the pantry is stocked and the sou-chefs come aboard to make runs at some hardware.

"I'll go off the board for 200, Alex"
Lane, you got next?!?!
Now that Riley has turned down USC; ditto Jeff Fisher. But the Internet rumors are beginning to perk up about Jack Del Rio and John Tenuta (D/C). You'd better alert Mike Garrett quickly. Lane and his Phil Fulmer size hefty buy-outs shouldn't be a problem for the media moguls in Tinsel Town, as well as assistant buy-outs; plus you KNOW that Coach ED will be rooting for that to happen. He'll be putting that bug in his ear. Or should it be a surprise that his name is barely surfacing, just after Herman Edwards and Mike Leach? Speaking of USC AD Mike Garrett, has anyone took over command of a ship sailing so smoothly, and crashed it so hard into a pier before? Two of his programs are facing NCAA probation and he gets to make THIS hire?!?!

For 400, Alex
What's the real reason that Pete Carroll is leaving?
A) NCAA probation looming?
B) Malibu Mistress (according to Charlie Weis - that crazy chick thing?)
C) David Watson story?
D) 7 Million reasons?

Answer: Don't be so quick to strike off  "B" before you know!

I'll finish off potpourri

Gilbert Arenas was once again getting crucified by the "Sports Reporters" Sunday. They were blaming everyone and everything. From this situation humiliating David Stern, to "society", to a general gun control debate, to ridiculing changing gambling policy on team flights, to attitudes of prima dona's. Some point were  on target; most was palaver. (Thanks - Commish). It left me to think why isn't James Crittenden (ex 10th St Trade Schooler) getting thrown under the bus as well? Isn't he the one who escalated the incident 10 fold taking his own gun out, and by various accounts chambered a round? Arenas actions may have been immature, but Crittenden's actions were stupid, potentially deadly.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

KEYS to NC Game:

  1. Bama DL vs. TX OL – We know that the Longhorns haven’t rushed effectively all year long, and Mt. Cody stuffs the inside rushing attack in Saban’s/ Smart’s 3-4 scheme. So the keys where are: (1) Can the Tide’s DL get to McCoy without selling out (bringing 4), and disrupting TX’s vaunted passing attack? OBTW, the TX OL averages giving up close to 2.5 sacks, even in the gun and with mostly quick routes. (2) Can TX get to the edge in rushing attack to at least slow down those charging elephants up front? IMO TX needs 90-115 yds rushing, from RB’s, to take enough pressure off of Colt in order to have a chance to win. TX top rusher, Tre Newton, averages < 40 yds/gm. (You mean to tell me in the GR8 state of TX, which averages producing nearly 12 Top 100 players each and every year – 107 since 2002 by Rivals, you can’t find 5 OL that know how to run & pass block and a bruising RB?!?!? Guess it shows the proliferation of the Spread offenses @ the HS level in that state. Smh – unbelievable.)
  2. Colt McCoy – Is he the next VY (a great college QB)? He’s the ‘haveto’ player on the Longhorns team. He is responsible for nearly 300 of total offense (296.92 / gm). Yet his numbers completion percentage and pass efficiency have dropped this year. In his 2 games against Top 20 pass defenses this year he’s avg. only 155 yds/ gm, and has thrown only 1 TD to 4 picks in those games. Most of his prolific numbers have come in games, where the pass defenses’ ranked on average 87th (the average pass defense rank without Neb. & OU). Colt McCoy needs to hit on close to 70% of his passes, convert yards to TD’s and make plays with his legs when receivers are covered. Colt – it’s own you, if TX wins; use Jordan Shipley and his 106 receptions effectively to help you. However, no QB looks good with his shoulders parallel to the ground, just ask Ndamukong Suh.
  3. Special Teams – Both excellent PR returners, both excellent KR, (Jordan Shippley 14th best & DJ Monroe ranks 2nd in nation for TX, respectively and Javier Arenas ranks in the Top 10 in both, 3rd and T-9th respectively for the Tide) both excellent FG kicker (Hunter Lawrence and Tiffin for Tide, leads nation in # of FG/ gm). So Kickoff and Punt Teams (coverage) are crucial for each side. Which special returner can get going, break a tackle and get clear? Also Pat Fitzgerald might tilt ST advantage to Bama over TX, which has used 3 punters on the year and ranks 96th in Net punting. Is there a block on ST and for which side? Is there a key fake, ala Boise?
Why TX might win? McCoy can be a special player, TX can score without the ball on special teams and Will Muschamp Defenses play hard and aggressively causing a heap load of turnovers (2nd nationally). They are the #1 rush defense, which Bama will try to do. Make Bama 1 dimensional – throwing. They only give up slightly more than 2 TD’s per game (15. 15 pts). Could they continue the Heisman jinx and cause Ingram to cough it up 3 times and maybe a pick or 2? That’s not that likely given that Ingram has only fumbled once in 2 yrs; however, it was at a key moment of the TN Vol game, but plausible. In a close game that ball can bounce funny; it’s oblong. Get motivation from everyone saying Bama is going to win.

 Why Alabama might win? Bama has the #2 defense (2nd ranked in all 4 defensive categories: Rush, Pass efficiency, Total and Scoring, most importantly). They are “creative” in running schemes double TE sides, etc. Creative leads to committed, which leads to Colt warming the bench. Bama will be committed to the run and Trent Richardson has proven that he’s more than a role player if Ingram struggles for some reason. McElroy is a surprising 26th in Passing efficiency and has the targets (Julio Jones, Marquise Maze and Colin Peek, TE) to hurt you through the air. Most games are won because the OL and DL dominate; you have that advantage and beef – use it. Bama has played in the toughest conference – SEC; been tested (TN, AU and FLA – all different aspects of the team) and came thru. You know you’re good. TX was 1 second and 1 shoe string tackle, by Colt McCoy in the OU game on what looked like it was going to be a pick 6, away from not being there. OBTW, Bama has the better coach despite bowl records.

Bama rolls 24 to 13.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Can I get a whoooo Nelly from the congregation?

Before Jim Delany does another cartwheel on the 50 yd line of The OB…….

Before one more media outlet slurps up more Big Ten juice….

Before The Ohio State faithful shout “We’re back” one more time….

Let’s look at the conference standings with 2 games reaming; one being for all the marbles. With the other game, you’d have to have loose marbles to care about, unless your confidence pick standings depended on it.

Conference Record

Independents (1) 1-0

Sun Belt (2) 1-0

MWC (5) 4-1

Big East (6) 4-2

Big 12 (8) 4-3

Big Ten (7) 4-3

SEC (10) 5-4

WAC (4) 2-2

ACC (7) 3-4

C-USA (6) 2-4

Pac-10 (7) 2-5

MAC (5) 0-4

Notice that the SEC is right behind them, but with 1 game remaining. The Big 10 is done. If ‘Bama rolls on to another NC, the SEC record will be 6-4 --- a winning percentage of .600. Could someone check my math? But I believe that a .600 would be better than a .571 winning percentage, that of the Big 10. An advantage built into their 4-3 record is that their conference champion The Ohio State isn’t playing for the NC getting waxed in the NC game, thus all teams get “slotted down” 1 bowl tier this year.

And here’s the thing about it, either way win or lose, 5 or 6 victories is more than 4. Also the sentiment rest that the SEC had a down year in the bowls this season. No one will be sending out press statement on what a great bowl season the conference enjoyed! And the SEC could still wind up being better.

Sure we could blame Spurrier for failing to show up or LSU could blame the slop bowl turf taking away its’ biggest advantage, but it is what it is. The SEC fell below standards, overall. Give the Big Ten its’ due – 2 nice BCS bowl wins this year (against teams who aren’t accustom to the challenge). But please don’t drink the kool-aid being served from Big Ten HQ in Chicago.

Now let’s pray for Middle East peace and Midwest understanding. (Both probably not happening in my lifetime)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cryer's health status

Besides anxiety or heart issues, it seems that Cryer has another health issue on his mind

Freshman QB

A RB in the pro game with over 2,000 yards in a single season won't win the league MVP, only the 6th player, all time, to reach such a feat, and he won't even in the top 5 in voting. To win the Heisman, not withstanding this year, you need to be the best QB on a Top 5 team. Both the pro and college games have turned into a quarterback league/ game. At UGA, especially, it is a QB driven team, because of the style of offense (I Formation/ Pro Style).

So as the calendar flips over, the DAWGS record will only be as good as the development of the freshmen QB's develop, either RF Aaron Murray or Zach Mettenberger or true incoming Fr Hutson Mason. (I know that I am leaving UGA most experienced QB, Logan Gray, out of the mix, because even with all the ambivalence it appears he's moving to WR and still the designated punt fair catch guy).

Is it 8-4, workman like, heady, gutty performance or is there a 11-1 special season because of the talents under center?

But before you cry out wait 'til next year, here are a couple of factoids to remember:

Not since '85 has there been a Fr as QB to win a NC ( Jamelle Hollaway- true Fr & the OU Sooners, Aikman left the Miami game w broke leg...OBTW Jim Donnan OC for OU).

Not since '83 has a Fr, gone from game 1 thru season to win a NC (Bernie Kosar & the Hurricanes...B.K. was a Red Shirt Fr....OBTW Richt graduate in May of 83, before FB season - I think I have the time line down)

By the time the '10 season rolls in, a Fr leading a team to a NC, won't have been accomplished for the last quarter of a CENTURY, at least!!!!.....

Here we go again

Just when you thought that it was safe to watch TV, free from political actions ads, especially bowl games…Well re-think

Sunday, January 3, 2010

30 on 30

I am re watching ESPN 30 on 30 on The U. Yes, I enjoy the series greatly. However, about this story one thing stood out to me: Vinny Testaverde. Was he THAT drunk or did he have THAT many concusions?

Family First

The cornination of a great college career has ended with a lopsided Sugar bowl victory. Now Urban must decide which "family" will come first: blood or balling.