Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seven Ways Georgia Tech Lost Their Seventh Straight Bowl Game

The late Andy Rooney had a quote once about opportunities; he said opportunities are never lost, someone will be there to take the ones you miss. That quote would sum up how Georgia Tech lost its seventh straight bowl and fourth straight under Paul Johnson. More on how Georgia Tech lost their seventh straight bowl game and fourth under Paul Johnson.

1. Stats usually win football games...
The Yellow Jackets out gained the Utes 449 to 337. Tech also out gained Utah on a per play basis by a yard (6.3 to 5.3). Sometimes turnovers are the great equalized to a decided statistical advantage. However, both teams ended the game with just one turnover and the Jackets even scored a TD off that Utah miscue. Everything in the offensive and defensive stats favored the Jackets, except the scoreboard.

2. Better players will equal more wins

Georgia Tech had no problem moving the ball against the Pac 12's best defense and seventh best run defense nationally. But it is a convenient point when another bowl loss hits the record. I happen to think Tech's offense is just fine and would be even better with better players regardless of opponent prep time.

Defense and special teams is what is holding Georgia Tech back right now from winning ACC Championships or beating UGA or winning bowl games, not a scheme or prep time.

3. Special Teams were not special (again)...
The Yellow Jackets netted just 37.4 yards per punt including essentially zero gained on the Utes final return setting up the tying touchdown. Lack of punt distance has been a problem all season.

Utah gained 20 yards more per kickoff return than Georgia Tech. If you add in two first downs for each of Utah's returns then the Utes had 20 first downs on the game to 19 for Tech. Now you start to see where the stats did not tell the whole story of this game.

The place kicking game was awful again. Three misses including a potential game winner at the end of regulation. With the defense and special teams' Georgia Tech has you simply cannot afford to lose that many opportunities. And on that last kick, I have no idea why coaches insist on not lining the ball in the middle of the field. How are 95% of kicks missed? Because they go left or right, not because they are short.

4. Play calling doomed offense late...
Paul Johnson's bread and butter is grinding out drives with third down conversions. Tech was cruising along at their season average until the fourth quarter when four straight misses gave Utah a chance.

For the game, the Jackets finished 8 for 18 on third downs, below their season and nationally leading average 55%. Now, maybe some of those late third down conversions could have been easier if Johnson didn't put the offense into a turtle shell simply trying to run out the clock.

5. Line of Scrimmage not strong enough...
I have talked about this before and will say it again: Georgia Tech is simply not strong or athletic enough to win consistently at the line of scrimmage. This is especially noticeable on defense, but the offensive line also got run over in the fourth quarter.

You can recruit bigger, stronger players or you can develop them. The limits placed on Tech's recruiting by the school hamper signing a bunch of big, strong athletes so the Jackets need to develop them. That is not being done right now and changes need to be made or the fourth quarter will be the status quo.

6. Vad Lee would not have won this game...
Neither would Synjyn Days. I have no idea what Tevin Washington did to piss off the Georgia Tech fan base, but many love to bang on him. All Washington did in the Sun Bowl was go 11 for 15 for 137 yards and a touchdown. His 9.1 yards per attempt is better than 117 teams had for the season average. His 4.8 yards per rush would have placed better than 93 teams.

When Lee or Days can generate a pass rush without blitzing, kick the ball, or cover kicks I will believe they are the difference needed to win games.

7. Utah took advantage of opportunities...
The Utes scored both of their fourth quarter touchdowns on fourth down, including a 28 yard pass on 4th and 14 to tie the game. Utah scored on every drive where they gained more than two first downs. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech missed scoring chances on two, 11 play drives including the end of regulation.

Utah was that someone who took the opportunities Georgia Tech missed.

Paul Johnson Explains Sun Bowl Collapse As Georgia Tech Loses Seventh Straight Bowl Game (Updated with Video)

Georgia Tech was 29-2 when leading at the start of the 4th quarter under Paul Johnson. That record is now 29-3 after Utah came from 14 points down to force overtime where the Utes ultimately won 30-27.

Johnson was spoke about what he called a 'kick in the gut' type of loss. The Yellow Jackets have lost their last seven bowl games, including the last four under Johnson.

(via GT Athletics)

UVA Head Coach Mike London Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is

In the ever escalating world of college football facility improvements, Virginia Head Coach Mike London is taking things into his own hands when it comes to an indoor practice field for his Cavalier football program.

Virginia head coach Mike London announced over the holiday weekend that he will be donating some $225,000 towards the construction of the Cavaliers' new indoor practice facility. The donation brings the total raised towards the facility to $9.5 million overall, with $13 million needed to break ground.

Its nice to see a coach who just doesn't take his millions and then complain his program needs more.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

SEC 2012 Football Schedule By Team

Released today:

Sept. 15: at Arkansas
Sept. 29: OLE MISS
Oct. 13: at Missouri
Oct. 20: at Tennessee
Nov. 3: at LSU
Nov. 10: TEXAS A&M
Nov. 24: AUBURN

Sept. 15: ALABAMA
Sept. 29: vs. Texas A&M
Oct. 6: at Auburn
Oct. 27: OLE MISS
Nov. 10: at South Carolina
Nov. 17: at Mississippi State
Nov. 24: LSU

Sept. 8: at Mississippi State
Sept. 22: LSU
Oct. 13: at Ole Miss
Oct. 20: at Vanderbilt
Oct. 27: TEXAS A&M
Nov. 10: GEORGIA
Nov. 24: at Alabama

Sept. 8: at Texas A&M
Sept. 15: at Tennessee
Sept. 22: KENTUCKY
Oct. 6: LSU
Oct. 13: at Vanderbilt
Oct. 27: vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)

Sept. 8: at Missouri
Oct. 6: at South Carolina
Oct. 20: at Kentucky
Oct. 27: vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
Nov. 3: OLE MISS
Nov. 10: at Auburn

Sept. 22: at Florida
Oct. 13: at Arkansas
Oct. 20: GEORGIA
Oct. 27: at Missouri
Nov. 24: at Tennessee

Sept. 22: at Auburn
Oct. 6: at Florida
Oct. 20: at Texas A&M
Nov. 17: OLE MISS
Nov. 24: at Arkansas

Sept. 29: at Alabama
Oct. 6: TEXAS A&M
Oct. 13: AUBURN
Oct. 27: at Arkansas
Nov. 3: at Georgia
Nov. 17: at LSU

Sept. 8: AUBURN
Oct. 6: at Kentucky
Oct. 27: at Alabama
Nov. 3: TEXAS A&M
Nov. 10: at LSU
Nov. 24: at Ole Miss

Sept. 8: GEORGIA
Sept. 22: at South Carolina
Oct. 13: ALABAMA
Nov. 3: at Florida
Nov. 10: at Tennessee
Nov. 24: at Texas A&M

Aug. 30: at Vanderbilt
Sept. 22: MISSOURI
Sept. 29: at Kentucky
Oct. 13: at LSU
Oct. 20: at Florida

Sept. 15: FLORIDA
Sept. 29: at Georgia
Oct. 13: at Mississippi State
Oct. 20: ALABAMA
Oct. 27: at South Carolina
Nov. 17: at Vanderbilt

Sept. 8: FLORIDA
Sept. 29: vs. Arkansas
Oct. 6: at Ole Miss
Oct. 20: LSU
Oct. 27: at Auburn
Nov. 3: at Mississippi State
Nov. 10: at Alabama

Sept. 22: at Georgia
Oct. 6: at Missouri
Oct. 13: FLORIDA
Oct. 20: AUBURN
Nov. 3: at Kentucky
Nov. 10: at Ole Miss

via SEC Digital Network

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Paul Johnson, Renaissance Man

Option offense designer, man of many scowls, and now ballroom dance champion (?)

Check out the end to this video of the Georgia Tech team arriving in El Paso for the Sun Bowl and you will see what I mean.

via RamblinWreckTube

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Utah Defense Provides Stiff Challenge For Georgia Tech Offense In Sun Bowl

Georgia Tech blog From The Rumble Seat has a handy game by game chart of how the Utah rush defense has held each of their opponents under their FBS game average.

This is the second game in a row the Yellow Jackets will be facing a top 10 rush defense.

The Utah Run Defense of 2011: We will stop you!

Some Christmas Spirit By Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton and Adrien Cole

I Wonder If USC Would Have Gotten Off Easier If They Fired Pete Carroll?

I think the Buckeyes lessened their penalties when they fired Jim Tressell.  Yet considering the lack of scholarships lost the trangressions have been worth the success he brought with Urban Meyer now on the way.

Ex-Trojan Holmes blasts unfairness, double-standards in sanction process

Jerome Simpson From Coastal Carolina Wins An ESPY

I wonder if this move will be in Madden '13?


Thanks to @bubbaprog

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Danny Sheridan Says Ohio State Will Get "Hit Pretty Good" By NCAA

Danny Sheridan was on Paul Finebaum's radio show last week and was asked by a Buckeye fan his thoughts on potential NCAA sanctions.

Sheridan said scholarships and a TV ban were on the table for potential sanctions last March, April, and again in August even after the school received a letter stating they would not be charged with lack of institutional control.

This is the second time in a few months Sheridan has made statements regarding NCAA investigations.   This USA Today Oddsmaker said he had sources at the NCAA saying Auburn was still being investigated in the Cam Newton recruitment but the case would be dropped if a witness did not come forward and talk.

Audio from

Saturday, December 17, 2011

This Ranking Will Likely Make UGA Fans Very, Very Mad

The respected college football statistical analysis blogger Bill Connelly posted his 100 Year S&P+ rankings today (learn about his S&P+ rankings here)

Coming in at #9 was the Georgia Bulldogs.  Sounds about right.

One spot ahead of UGA was.....Georgia Tech (?) 
My guess is that the fact he has three Georgia Tech teams (1952, 1955, 1956) ranked in his top 100 teams of all time (1952 came in at #16) while no Georgia teams placed plays a big part in the Yellow Jackets higher ranking.

Football Study Hall Full List of 100 Year Rankings

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Paul Johnson Interview on Salt Lake Radio

The Georgia Tech head coach was on KFAN 1320 radio in Utah last week discussing the Yellow Jackets Sun Bowl matchup with the Utah Utes.

Johnson was asked how he sells his offense to recruits, struggling down the stretch of the season, and his initial impressions of the Utes among other things.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vince Dooley Says He Moved UGA-GT Basketball Game Away From The Omni Due To Losing

Just getting around to some stuff in the Reader after a very busy work week and came upon this interview with former UGA AD Vince Dooley (who has a new book out btw) on 790 The Zone.

He was asked about his decision to move the Georgia-Georgia Tech basketball game to on-campus after 13 years at The Omni. Dooley said he got tired of losing to the Yellow Jackets after goind 2-11. However, after last week's loss at home to Georgia Tech for the first time since 1976 he would be open to moving the game back to downtown Atlanta.

Vince Dooley Audio: Coach Dooley joined B&D to talk about UGA athletics and the UGA/GT basketball game

For Some Reason NBA Players Want Their Jobs Taken

As you know the NBA season is starting up on Christmas Day after a six week delay due to the lack of a collective bargaining agreement. I was hoping the NBA might call it a year giving college basketball a much needed boost in popularity.

Of the new terms in the agreement, this is the one I am most disappointed in: But with the revenue split and system issues taking so much time, there was little opportunity to change the non-economic issues. The draft age limit will remain 19 years at least through the 2012 draft — the league would have liked to go to 20, the players would like to abolish it entirely...

The NBA Players Association is the only Union I have ever seen that wants its jobs taken by younger, unproven talent. Of course, when you hear statements like "the NBAPA is run by the agents" then you understand why the NBAPA would not care if a 8 year veteran has their job taken by a 19 year old.

Maybe if more of these guys completed more than one semester in college they would understand the economics of having your job taken from you.

NBA labor deal

Next Time You See A College Football Player With Nice Stuff Don't Jump To Conclusions

In addition to draining thousands of dollars out of schools by forcing them to buy a certain number of tickets, bowl games also give out gifts to the participants (i.e. student-athletes who aren't allowed to accept anything else from outside sources).

Some highlights of the 2011-2012 bowl game gifts from Sports Business Daily:
Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Christmas ornament
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Gift suite, cap (No free paint job on your car!?)
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Toshiba 32-inch flat-screen television
Hyundai Sun Bowl:  Helen of Troy hair dryer (WTF?)
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Soundmatters Personal Audiophile loudspeaker, Fossil watch, cap, Timbuk2 custom messenger bag (but NO mac & cheese)
Allstate BCS National Championship Game: Gift suite, Fossil watch, New Era cap, Boxer and Stone shirt

Full list of Bowl gifts to participants

Monday, December 12, 2011

Offensive Coaches Who Try To Do Too Much

This quote in Smart Football really caught my eye:
"I am a big believer that many teams simply try to do too much and end up bad at a lot of things instead of very good at a couple of them."

I could not agree more with this statement.

How many times do you see offenses, especially offenses with mediocre talent, trying to run everything under the sun from seven step drops to speed option to pistol to air raid?  Too many in my opinion.

Smart Football breaks down what they feel is an underutilized play in college football: the rocket toss.

In this post you will see cutups from Flexbone teams like Georgia Tech as well as play diagrams featuring Heisman winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor (btw how humble was Griffin in accepting the highest individual award in CFB? pretty good kid IMO). 

New UNC Heach Larry Fedora Has Many Potential Bonuses In New Contract But..

...he does not have any bonuses for beating NC State or Duke, the Tar Heels two main rivals. I found this a little bit interesting especially since UNC has lost five straight to NC State. Coaches at this level want to win every game the same amount. Many times that thinking differs from fans.

Andrew Carter of ACC Now has more details: A look at Larry Fedora’s contract at UNC:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Heisman Ballot...If I Had A Vote (Hint, Hint)

Everyone under the Sun seems to have a Heisman ballot and if 80 year old former SIDs (Harris Poll member George Wine) can have a say in who plays in the BCS National Championship Game why can't I have a say in the Heisman?

Here is who I vote in the top 3:
1. Andrew Luck
The Stanford QB has led his team to a BCS bowl when he is surrounded by mediocre talent at the skill positions. Luck finished second last year to a once in a generation player like Cam Newton and was better this year than last.  The Cardinal would not even be close to a BCS Bowl without Luck.

2. Trent Richardson
Yes, the Alabama running back plays behind a very good offensive line but he also gets a ton of yards after contact.  I give Luck the nod over Richardson because of the amount of impact the QB has had on his team this year.  In other words, Alabama would still be very good without Richardson, Stanford would not without Luck.

3. Tyrann Mathieu
I really wanted to put the Honey Badger higher because I think his impact on LSU's undefeated regular season (and what should be at least a split national title) has not been discussed enough. However, to win the Heisman I think you need to have more of an individual impact on the game. Mathieu is a great player, but the level of play from his teammates allows him to freelance like he does on defense and make the return game special. Still his impact on the defensive side and special teams is one we haven't seen since Charles Woodson so he would make my Heisman ballot.

Why I left off Robert Griffin
Griffin is a phenomenal talent and a true student-athlete which I admire greatly. Leaving him off has nothing to do with the fact that Baylor is only 9-3 because they would probably be 6-6 or worse without him and I think a player's contribution his team should outweigh how well the team has done overall.

I just think if Griffin was in a conference where better (or some form of) defense was played each week his stats would not look nearly as good and his impact would be lessened. All this being said, the Baylor QB is the favorite in Vegas heading into the Heisman Trophy Presentation.

Why I left off Montee Ball
Ball's stats are better than Richardson's but I think his level of play is elevated by one of the best offensive lines in the nation. Well, Alabama has a really good line too? This is true, but when you look at Richardson's yards after contact you see how much he is doing on his own down field.

Who would you put on your Heisman ballot? 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Am OK With a LSU and Alabama Rematch IF...

1. LSU fans gets 95% of the tickets in the Super Dome
I don't really get the Super Dome is a home game for LSU talk. Unless Alabama fans forget how to buy tickets and cannot drive or fly to New Orleans the Tide will have enough fans to make it a neutral stadium.

2. LSU is awarded the AP National Championship before the game
If Alabama wins the season series will be 1-1 with their loss coming on their own field. Give the Tide the Coaches poll title, but LSU has already done enough to win a share. If you don't want to give LSU a share then lets play a third time in Tiger Stadium to completely settle it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why UGA Would Be Foolish To Fire Mark Richt

Mark Richt came into this season on the hot seat with just two years remaining on his contract. Despite a beatdown in the Georgia Dome at the beginning and end of the 2011 season, Mark Richt deserves an extension at UGA.

Critics of the Richt regime point to the record against Florida, the lack of a national championship, the disciplinary issues. However, when you look at his entire tenure it truly is the best in UGA history.

Solving the Gators
Mark Richt is just 3-8 against rival Florida and this record causes much against in the Dawg Nation. However, this was the first year Richt won the SEC East when beating UF.

Richt's struggles against Florida isn't a blemish on coaching abilities, it is more a testament to how good the Gator program has been the last 11 years (really 21 years). Go look at Tennessee's or South Carolina's record against Florida over the last 11 years. It isn't very good either.

Richt certainly falls short of Vince Dooley when it comes to beating Florida, but the Gators were nowhere near the program they are today.

Falling Short to Vince Dooley?
The 25 year head coach and later Athletic Director is revered in Athens for delivering a national championship in 1980.

Although Dooley has a slightly higher SEC winning percentage (71% vs 68%), he and Bear Bryant were notorious for ducking each other. UGA didn't even play Tennessee every year. The Bulldogs and Volunteers matched up seven times in Dooley's 25 seasons.

The lows of the Richt era don't even compare to Dooley's. In 25 seasons, Dooley's teams finished out of the top 25 a whopping 13 times. Richt will very likely finish in the top 25 for the 10th time in his 11 seasons. Additionally, Richt has four top 10 finishes in his time in Athens.

Clear understanding of why he was hired
UGA wasn't really competing for SEC Championships under Jim Donnan. That pain was amplified 10 fold when UGA lost three in a row to in state rival Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs had not lost three in a row to the Yellow Jackets since the 1960s.

Richt got off to the right foot winning the rivalry in his first season as an underdog in Atlanta. He then reeled off seven straight wins and has 10 of the 11 matchups.

Richt has more wins in Clean, Old Fashioned Hate in Atlanta than the last seven Tech coaches combined. Beating Tech has almost become a foregone conclusion.

Richt knows you can lose to Florida and hold onto your job.  You cannot lose to Tech and keep drawing a paycheck.  

4 SEC East Championships
2 SEC Championships
9 Top 25 Finishes
4 Top 10 Finishes
7 Seasons of 10+ wins

If you want Mark Richt fired, be careful what you wish for UGA fans.

His Other Offers Included FIU, SMU, So. Miss, Miami(OH), Tulane, ULM, and Hampton

Sounds like a pretty mediocre prospect, right?

Those were Tyrann Mathieu's (aka Honey Badger) other offers besides LSU.

had Mathieu as a 4 star while Scout listed him as 3 star This isn't a post to bash recruiting rankings because I think in general they get it right a lot more than wrong.

It is much more of a credit to the player development and strength and conditioning program at LSU. The Tigers' S&C coach, Tommy Moffitt, is so highly regarded that Nick Saban begged him to come to Alabama and when he couldn't get him he hired his assistant Scott Cochran.

Ole Miss Needs To Call Larry Fedora

before someone else does.

Guy has been a consistent winner and has recruiting connections in state where the Rebels have to win.

If you are Ole Miss why wouldn't you hire Fedora?

LSU's Russell Shepard Provides Some Last Minute Encouragement For UGA

This Made Watching The Pac 12 Championship Game Worth It

The most amazing part of this was how the UCLA QB held onto the ball.

[via Mocksession]

Friday, December 2, 2011

Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall Actually Said This?

After a disastrous first season at Maryland, the pitchforks are coming out for Randy Edsall. At first glance I thought maybe it was premature considering it is just one season, but after reading this I am not so sure.

"Edsall's lack of character came as no surprise to the good people of Connecticut. He ripped into Jordan Todman in the locker room after last year's 48-20 loss to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl and asked the junior tailback to man up and tell his teammates he was making himself available for the NFL draft.

When the team boarded the charter flight for the trip back home from Phoenix the next morning, Edsall was nowhere to be found. He was on his way to College Park, where he had agreed to become Maryland's coach.

"[Edsall] made Jordan address the team to say he was leaving, and he isn't man enough to do it face to face to us?" one player told the Hartford Courant."

[via Wiz of Odds]

UGA - "LSUWho" Hype Video (Updated with Tiger Rebuttal)

UPDATED: Here is the Cajun rebuttal

Virginia Tech - Clemson Statistical Score Estimate

ACC Championship Game Charlotte, NC
Line: Va Tech -7
Total: 53.5

Note: This analysis is based on the stats for the entire season. I use yards per point (YPP) more so than yards per play when looking at season stats because I feel teams that turn the ball over or create turnovers can do so consistently.  Yards per play takes turnovers and field position much more into account than yards per play.

Team.....Total Yards....Points

These two offenses are very similar in their efficiency with the Tigers actually the better of the two on the season with a 13.3 YPP to the Hokies 14.0.

Where the real difference lies is on defense. Virginia Tech again has one of the nation's best defenses at keeping opponents off the scoreboard. Bud Fosters' unit has a 19.5 YPP giving them a big advantage over Kevin Steele's who gives up 13.9 YPP.

This line opened around 5.5 and quickly moved to 7 with bettors most likely seeing how much improvement the Hokies have made since the first meeting and how much better their defense is overall.

The total of 53.5 looks pretty good to me. While I project a total of 50 I feel more confident in a VT cover than an Under.

Former Alabama LB Rolando McClain Looks Very Happy To Be Arrested

"Former University of Alabama football player Rolando McClain was arrested by Decatur police today on charges connected with a shooting on a Decatur street Wednesday night."


And of course, LSUFreek has weighed in.

Georgia - LSU Statistical Score Estimate

SEC Championship Game Atlanta, GA
Line: LSU -13.5
O/U: 46

Note: This analysis is based on the stats for the entire season. I use yards per point more so than yards per play when looking at season stats because I feel teams that turn the ball over or create turnovers can do so consistently.  Yards per play takes turnovers and field position much more into account than yards per play.

Team....Total Yards.....Points

LSU has a very good yards per point (YPP) on offense of 10.2. This low of a number says that the Tigers score a lot of touchdowns as opposed to field goals and they get short fields to operate on because of pinning offenses deep in their own territory and creating turnovers.

UGA also has a good yards per point of 12.5, but it is not as good as LSU's.

Defensively, again the Tigers' are one of the best with a 23.4 yards per point. Opposing offenses have to drive long fields and get a lot of field goals in relation to touchdowns. Also, drives sometimes end in turnovers or no points.

Georgia, again, has a good defensive YPP of 15.2 but, again, not as good as LSU. The Bulldogs have improved as the season has gone on with a 21.1 yards per point in their last three games which includes New Mexico State, Auburn, and Georgia Tech.

I think the public has this one pegged correctly at a 13.5 point spread and I think they are pretty close at a 46 total.

Dabo Swinney Offers Rebuttal to Steve Spurrier's "We ain't Clemson" Comment

The Clemson head coach answers a few other questions before the South Carolina rivalry question which starts at 1:50.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who Are Urban Meyer's Top Five Offensive Minds in College Football?

If you haven't gotten a chance, I urge you to check out Andy Staples piece in Sports Illustrated this week chronicling Rich Rodriguez's first 48 hours on the job at Arizona.

(A quick aside, I think the Rich Rod hire is a great one for Arizona. The guy didn't forget how to coach football at Michigan. But he did have a lot of forces working against him in Ann Arbor that never allowed him to create a sense of team and unity.)

But back to Staples' piece...evidently Arizona AD Greg Byrne spoke to Urban Meyer about the Wildcats job. Although Meyer was not interested in the job, he did give a recommendation for Rodriguez whom Meyer called "one of the top five offensive minds in college football".

This got me thinking...who would be the other four in Meyer's top five?

In no particular order this is who I think would be in Meyer's top five.

Rich Rodriguez
Already stated

Chip Kelly
Kelly has the Ducks in line for their third straight BCS bowl in three seasons as a head coach. Oregon ranks 5th nationally in yards per play this season at just over seven yards a snap and 6th in total yards per game. Kelly's scheme is very similar to Meyer's with the hurry up offense thrown into the mix.

Dana Holgorsen
The current West Virginia coach has had a non-ideal first year as a head coach but he built his offense at Houston and Oklahoma State who both rank in the top 5 nationally in total offense running his system and was also an assistant under Mike Leach. It is just a matter of time before he has WVU there.

Paul Johnson
Some people may not like his offense, but that fact is he moves the ball down the field consistently with less talented players than many teams have. Georgia Tech ranked 6th in yards per play this season and their ball control offense is the only thing that kept them down in total yards and points. Also, Meyer consulted with Johnson early on in his head coaching career to discuss blocking schemes and implemented many of them.

Bobby Petrino
The Hogs are just (just?) 14th in yards per play this season, but were 4th last season at 7.1 yards per play. As much as he disliked for his personality he is respected for his offense and QB development. Petrino is about the closest thing today to Steve Spurrier in the 90s at Florida.

I would have had Mike Leach on this list (instead of Petrino), but when the discussion with Meyer took place Leach was out of coaching.

Who is on your list for the top offensive minds in college football?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SEC Power Poll: End of Regular Season

1. LSU
When was the last time a unanimous number one team did not have a Heisman candidate? I think it shows how good of a TEAM this group is.

2. Alabama
The Crimson Tide is the second best team in the nation, but I am still not in favor of a rematch under the current system.

3. Arkansas
Good, but not good enough.

4. Georgia
The Bulldogs have won with the schedule present to them. Can't do anymore than that.

5. South Carolina
Connor Shaw went ham on Clemson's defense with the QB run.

6. Auburn
I really hope Auburn fans run Gus Malzahn out of town. That would be epic.

7. Miss State
Dan Mullen has gotten more mileage out of beating the SEC East than Steve Spurrier.

8. Florida
If Charlie Weis wasn't so stubborn about....oh forget it. Gators offense sucks.

9. Vanderbilt
The Commodores put an SEC type beat down on Wake Forest.

10. Kentucky
Joker Philips was known as an innovator on offense when he was coordinator. He pulled the rights tricks out of the bag Saturday to save his job.

11. Tennessee
One thing Tennessee is always going to do is beat Kentucky. Whoops!

12. Ole Miss
When Ole Miss fans care more about the football on the field than the tailgating at The Grove they will win more football games.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Georgia Tech Recruit Has Largest Drop In Updated Rivals Ranking

Rivals has come out with their updated Top 250 list with a lot of players making moves. The biggest move downward was for DE Faith Ekakitie who fell from 120 to completely out of the top 250.

In addition to Georgia Tech, the Illinois Defensive Line prospect is considering Iowa, Boston College, and Northwestern among others.

Ekakitie has been posting comments on his blog about his visits thus far and should have a post up soon about his recent visit to Atlanta.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why UGA Would Be Wise To Keep Their Passing Game Short vs LSU

We have all heard how good the LSU Secondary is this year.  Here are some stats to show how good.  On passes of 20 or more yards (not including yards after catch), opponents have completed just 6 of 45 and been intercepted eight times.

On the season, UGA has completed 35 passes of 20 yards or more good (including yards after catch) for 59th nationally which is tied with....Florida.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

BC Coach Frank Spaziani To Return?

That's the way it looks from the comments by Boston College AD Gene long as he doesn't interview for any other jobs of course.

Will Muschamp Florida State Post Game Press Conference

[Via Alligator Army/Gator Vision]

Georgia Plants Flag At Midfield After 6th Straight Win At Georgia Tech

The AJC offers "two sides" of the story with their columnists.

Mark Bradley: The Bulldogs didn’t just outplay Tech – they outcoached it, too

Jeff Schultz:Georgia Tech drilled, problems start with Al Groh’s defense

Bobby Petrino Does Not Like It When Teams Run Up The Score

I find this ironic. And I hate when coaches complain about RUTS. Its your job to stop the other team.

Petrino wasn't much in the mood for post game handshakes either.

Even the Cops at Bobby Dodd Stadium Were UGA Fans


[via Gifulmination "Usually it’s a Georgia player that’s the one getting tackled by a cop"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Had To Laugh At This (Iron Bowl Sign)

Paul Johnson Georgia Post Game Press Conference (Video)

[via GT Athletics]

How A Loss To Texas Changed My Mind On Why Texas AM DOES Belong In The SEC

When it was first rumored and then confirmed that Texas A&M would be joining the SEC as the 13th member I was not a fan of the move.

I thought the SEC was perfect with the 12 members because of the tradition and geography of its current members. Adding more members would create further distances between the school and a very few schools could enhance the prestige of the football played.

Although the Aggies lost to Texas 27-25, I very much liked what I saw watching on TV Thursday night.

Ryan Tannehill's fiance convinced me that the Aggies belong in the SEC. Tradition be damned.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Clemson Tom Gives His South Carolina - Clemson Preview

Spoiler Alert: He thinks Clemson will win.

Georgia Third Down Defense vs Georgia Tech Third Down Offense

Arguably the biggest improvement form last year to this year for the Georgia Bulldogs is their third down defense.

In 2010, UGA allowed opponents to convert 42% of third downs ranking 79th nationally. This season they rank 2nd nationally giving up 28% conversions.

When asked about his run defense matching up against Georgia Tech, Mark Richt said third and short will be key.

In another #2 vs #2, Georgia's second ranked third down defense will be going up against Georgia Tech's second ranked third down offense which converts 56% of their attempts.

Delving deeper into third and short reveals this is when both units are at their best.

If we go ahead and assume Georgia Tech will be running the ball the majority of the time on third and short, the Yellow Jackets have been converting 3rd Down with 1-3 yards to go at a 73% conversion rate gaining 4.5 yards per carry. On 3rd and 4-6 yards Tech converts 61% of the time. When faced with 6 yards or less to go on 3rd Down, Georgia Tech is converting 68% of the time.

Georgia's Defense has allowed opponents to convert 13 of 21 (62%) times when running the ball on 3rd down with 1-3 yards to gain. Teams have not run much against UGA when faced with longer than 3 yards to gain attempting just 6 runs with 4-6 yards to gain. Third down and 7+ yards is when opponents are playing it safe not trying to force the ball down field by running it 29 times.

UGA's passing defense is at its best on third down with a 80.5 passer rating by opponents.

In their 8 wins, Georgia Tech is converting third downs 60.4% of the time but in their 3 losses they have made the line to gain just 45% of the time. That number is just 43.9% against ranked opponents.

Meanwhile, UGA's defense has been steady all season allowing 27.8% conversions in wins and just 30.8% in losses.

[Stats via]

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Paul Johnson Says Georgia Has Been Able To Do "Whatever They Wanted"

Coach Paul Johnson on losing two straight to Georgia: “They've been able to do pretty much what they've wanted. Run the ball, throw it, whatever they wanted.” Georgia QB Aaron Murray went 15 of 19 for 271 yards and three TDs with no INTs in last year's 42-34 Bulldogs win.

[From CBSSports]

Mark Richt Sends A Warning Signal To Isaiah Crowell That The Next Guy Is On His Way

In meeting with the media Wednesday, Mark Richt was asked about the running back situation heading into the Georgia Tech game.

"...there's too much drama there, and it's not as settled as I'd like it to be. There's a tremendous opportunity at the University of Georgia for running backs in this class to make an impact. If I was a running back, if I was a great running back, I would want to come to Georgia, I would be so excited about my opportunity at Georgia."


These comments are coming on the heels of the suspension last week of backup Carlton Thomas. Starter Isaiah Crowell missed most of the game with an ankle injury and his durability has been a concern amongst the coaching staff and fan base.

It is rumored UGA has received a "silent" commitment from top running back prospect Todd Gurley. The North Carolina native is close friends with arguably the top running back prospect in the nation Keith Marshall who is considering the Bulldogs along with Florida, Clemson, and Notre Dame among others.

Is Carlton Thomas Going To Play Against Georgia Tech?

This report from OC Mike Bobo says the backup running back will but Head Coach Mark Richt has not said definitively if Thomas has been reinstated from a suspension last week. 

If Crowell cannot go or is limited and Thomas is still out UGA will be relying on Ken Malcome and walk on Brandon Harton to control the clock with the run game.

RB Thomas to play against Georgia Tech

Is An SEC Championship Or A State Championship More Important?

This has been an often discussed topic on radio shows, twitter, blogs, newspapers, and of course, message boards.

Looking for an uofficial poll of which game UGA fans would rather win? Here is one which seems to favor hardware over bragging rights.

Georgia Fans: Which would you rather win?

Georgia TE Orson Charles Feels Disrespected When He Plays Georgia Tech

"I feel like every time we play [the Yellow Jackets], they kind of disrespect us. ... We've got to continue to execute and practice and claim our state."

via AJC

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why Playing Keep Away Is A Prudent Strategy For Georgia Against Georgia Tech

The Georgia Bulldogs have the largest offensive line by weight in America. That includes the NFL.

UGA's line weighs an average of 329.4 lbs. The next highest is the Cincinnati Bengals at 325.8. Texas Tech has the second biggest line in college at 323.

Georgia Tech's defensive line has been maligned this year for giving up too many rush yards. The Yellow Jackets give up an average of 166 yards per game ranking just 71st in the nation; Tech is allowing 4.5 yards per rush from opponents good for 80th nationally.

Georgia Tech's defensive alignment features the 3-4 scheme. The average weight of the three defensive lineman is 287 lbs. Adding in the two inside linebackers who are 223 and 220 lbs. That drops the inside five defenders average weight to 261 lbs.

The blockers for UGA have on average a 68 lb advantage.

I fully expect the Bulldogs to run Power Right, Power Left, Stretch and Counter plays to take advantage of this size advantage.

A successful running game helps Georgia Tech's offense off the field and rests the Georgia defense something Mark Richt always likes.

Paul Johnson Appears On The Official Radio Station of the Georgia Bulldogs

The Georgia Tech Head Coach was on the Rude Awakening radio show on 680 The Fan Tuesday morning discussing the upcoming game with Georgia as well other news in college football.

Before the season, 680 The Fan became the Official Radio Station of the Georgia Bulldogs so it seems a bit ironic the Georgia Tech coach would do an interview but this Johnson's third or fourth time on the show this season.


Well if you listened to Georgia Tech's flagship station, 790 The Zone, this morning on Mayhem in the AM you would understand why.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Think This Video Accurately Describes The Ole Miss Season

In addition to spending money on a new coach, maybe better chairs on the sideline would help too. That chair looks like it is straight out of a Sunday School class.

Why Georgia Tech Is Hoping For Rain Saturday Against UGA

The last two times Georgia Tech has beaten Georgia has been on rainy days (2000,2008). In between those years, one the Yellow Jackets best chances came in 2004 when they lost 19-13...on a rainy day.

Currently, the forecast for Saturday calls for clouds, but no rain.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No Look Ahead To SEC Championship Game For UGA

When asked if he might be peeking ahead to an SEC Championship Game with LSU, Alabama, or Arkansas, Georgia QB Aaron Murray had this to say:

"We have Georgia Tech next week before we play for the SEC," he said. "That's where all my focus is right now."

Two seasons ago UGA found themselves facing a Georgia Tech playing in the ACC Championship Game the following weekend. The Bulldogs upset the Yellow Jackets 30-24 in Atlanta.

From CBS Sports

Paul Johnson Duke Post Game Comments

Georgia Tech is usually pretty good at posting a video of the post game presser and I will do when I see it. But until then some comments from the head coach:

Opening Statement:
“Well it wasn’t always pretty. We had I don’t know how many penalties. The most we totaled was two the rest of the year and seven-for-59 doesn’t seem right … some really tough penalties, big penalties in the game. But we fought and found a way. Both sides were having a tough time stopping the other side and we turned it over twice and missed a scoring opportunity in the second half and let them hang around. It’s win No. 8. I’m glad to get it and now we focus on next week, which I know is a big game for everybody involved.”

On Jemea Thomas’ interception:
“It was a great play, made especially after they called him on the other one, to just walk up there and challenge the guy, get in his face and then make a nice play.”

On Tyler Melton:
“The one on third down there in that last drive before we fumbled the ball actually was huge and was a great catch.”

On the penalties:
“Yeah I was frustrated. You know when we come out and throw play-action pass, they were cross keying the slot. And so we told the guy, and the backside slot was getting right by him and they grabbed him around the waist and they don’t call it. Then they try to tell me the guy they threw it to didn’t get held. Well, they pulled the other guy. That was frustrating a little bit. The late hit penalties on the quarterback, you don’t really know until you see the tape. It’s a bit frustrating. I’m not saying they weren’t correct. I’m just saying it’s frustrating. Two weeks in a row, we’ve had guys back third-and-15, third-and-18 and we do something completely stupid to get them a first down.”

On the game turning into a shootout:

Especially after the first couple of possessions. It kind of became tough to get a stop there weren’t a lot punts in the second half. We missed our chances by turning the ball over and fortunately for us we got a pick there to be able to ice the game and then run the clock out.

On Duke quarterback Sean Renfree:

We had a hard time slowing him down, but we also had some turnovers that kept us from scoring. When you do that, you hurt yourself. Bottom line, like I say, it’s a team game. It doesn’t mater if it’s 38-31 or 7-6. You’ve got to score one more than they do to win the game.

On quarterback Tevin Washington:

I thought he played really well. After the first series, the very first series, where we dropped the snap and made a poor throw or two, but other than that, he made some big, big plays and hit some key plays for us. The long touchdown run was huge and then (he) was able get outside on a sprint out there at the end to get the first down to end the game.

On Duke playing nine in the box:

They did some things in run support that we should have been able even to take more advantage of. I’m anxious to see on the tape a couple other times that I felt like we had opportunities that we didn’t hit. We hit some things in the play-action action game. When we can throw for that much, it certainly helps the offense.

On the emphasis on character following the Virginia Tech loss:

A win’s a win and they can’t take it away. Like I said, it wasn’t always pretty but that’s No. 8. That’s more than anybody thought we were going to get and we’ve got a couple left. Our focus moves (forward). We’ll enjoy this tonight and tomorrow, we’ll start to get ready for Georgia. It’s a big, big game. Georgia’s got an awfully good football team, so it’ll be a big challenge.

On the plays in the passing game:

We threw it 13 times. I don’t think we threw it any more than we’ve been throwing it. It just seems like it when you compete some and when you hit a big play on it. We could run the ball fairly successfully. We had a hard time inside. Once we got on the perimeter, we did O.K. We didn’t do anything to mix the ball around. It just happened that way. That’s kind of who they took on the option.

On Embry Peeples:

I thought Embry did a nice job. The play right before halftime, he did a great job getting in the end zone. He had some nice runs. Certainly, we missed Orwin (Smith). Orwin’s a good player. I thought Robby Godhigh got in and played some, so did Tony Zenon. I’m not sure about Deon Hill. We played a lot of receivers, too. Stephen (Hill) was out in the second half. And I thought Tyler Melton made some nice plays. Like I said, the third down play was huge.

On if Hill and Smith will be back for the Georgia game:

I would think so. I don’t think it’s anything serious.

On treating the game as a business trip:

I don’t know. We’ve talked about it before, that’s not the first time we’ve talked about that it’s a business and it’s a business trip. I just wanted to do as much as I could to emphasize that.

On Charles Perkins‘ play:

I thought he did O.K. It’s disappointing. We had the fumble at the end. A guy got knocked back into him but it’s still no excuse. I thought he did some nice things. He made a nice catch on the wheel route on our sideline. I thought David (Sims) ran the ball hard. We still haven’t hit any real big plays out of that spot, and that’s what we needed.

On if Perkins’ playing time was related to Preston Lyons:

Preston is banged up; he’s hurt a little bit. You could tell in practice he was limping. And I wanted to give Charles a chance. He’d been practicing hard. I also wanted to play Synjyn Days. I apologized to him right after the game. I told him I was going to play him but you couldn’t let up. There was no way to put him in the game.

On lack of pressure on Renfree:

He gets rid of the ball quick, too. They’re in the gun and he gets rid of it quick and a lot of our games were coming from depth and even when they weren’t blocking them, they couldn’t get there. You’ve got to try to make them hold the ball a little bit. You’ve got to cover somebody a little bit. If they’re throwing four-yard crossing routes and we’re letting guys inside, then nobody’s going to get there. It’s been a problem, without blitzing, getting pressure.

On not covering “a little bit”:

At times it didn’t look like it.

On if he is frustrated with the defense:

Not anymore than I’m frustrated with the offense. We fumbled the ball, jumping offsides and doing that. You want to play as good as you can play, and until we can play as good as we can play, then I’m not going to be satisfied. I’m still happy we won the game, but I think you want to hold those kids to that standard. You don’t want to drop your standards. You want to point out the things that we’re not doing.

Mark Richt Kentucky Post Game Press Conference

Comments from Richt after UGA's 19-10 win over Kentucky

"I left the South Carolina game encouraged. I wasn't encouraged that we lost, but I was encouraged that as we moved forward that we could win. I knew we had good leaders, good players and good coaches. We had to protect the ball and get after it. It's hard to win nine in a row, especially when you need every single one to get back to the Dome. I'm just so proud of them right now."

"Today was definitely a team victory. Everybody had to do their part. I thought the special teams played extremely well. The offense made enough plays and the defense did their thing."

"Brandon Harton had to come through for us. Even though the ball came out a few times, he had over 100 yards. And Ken (Malcome) did a few things. Overall, the tailbacks protected pretty good. As the game went on, they made some plays."

"Our defense stoned them again. Twenty-three yards net, that's pretty fantastic. They didn't throw that well either. Our defense played lights out I thought."

"I am so proud of the guys for winning the SEC East. Guys could have quit, pointed fingers and found a way to fall apart. But they didn't do that. Last season was pretty horrible by record, but the players never gave up on the coaches and the coaches never gave up on the players. We maintained our unity. That's what carried us through the offseason and carried us through the early part of this year."

"Kentucky played hard. We missed some opportunities, but we kept fighting. I'm glad there was not a lot of drama at the end."

"You take it one game at a time, one play at a time, one practice at a time. It's hard to win nine in a row -- period. I'm just thankful that we did."

If you have really good speakers (I don't) you can listen to the entire post game press conference here.

The 9th Best Talent vs the 42nd Best Talent

This week is ACC vs SEC rivalry week, my favorite week of the season.

I am going to focus a lot on my home state rivalry between Georgia and Georgia Tech, also known as Clean Old Fashioned Hate.

We all know talent is a huge part of winning football games so I decided to look back at the recruiting rankings over the last four season for UGA and Tech.

I don't put a ton of stock in recruiting rankings when it comes to the stars or ranking for a particular player, but I do think they largely hold true on a team level.

From 2008 to 2011, UGA has 9th best recruited talent according to Rivals and Scout while Georgia Tech has just the 42nd best talent.

How many points is 33 spots in the recruiting rankings worth?

Based on these recruiting rankings, to pull off the upset Georgia Tech will have to outcoach, outsmart, and play with more intensity. Their margin of error is so much smaller because of that talent gap.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This May Have Been Why Cincinnati Was Far Down The List of ACC Expansion Possibilties

Presbyterian was a Division II school just a few seasons ago.

Cincinnati gets Hosed, falls to Presbyterian


This Stat Wins Ball Games And Todd Grantham Know This

What has been the biggest catalyst in UGA's 8 game winning streak? Is it Isaiah Crowell's emergence at running back? That has certainly helped. Is it the defensive line becoming dominant in the running game? Sure is a nice luxury. But the biggest reason is turnover margin.

Georgia is second in the SEC with a plus-9 in turnover margin. The defense has 13 INTs and recovered 10 fumbles, with the offense committing 14 turnovers. “We start every practice with ball disruption,” DC Todd Grantham said. “Everything from securing a fumble, getting it out of a runner, a receiver or a quarterback.”

The team that wins the turnover margin by one has an 80% chance to win, DC Todd Grantham said. Plus-2 means victory nearly 90% of the time. Grantham meticulously studied numbers and percentages during his 11-year stint in the NFL. “In pro ball you don't have to recruit,” he said. “You have to do something.”

From CBS Sports

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tedy Bruschi Talks About If The Option Offense Will Work In The NFL With Colin Cowherd

Go to the 28 minute mark to heard Bruschi talk about defending the option offense.

Thundering Herd Podcast: 11/16: