Mar 30, 2010

Corch Meyers: New Rules for Media (ESPN)

I don't have much to post about today, but if you haven't seen it yet, check out this humorous piece done on ESPN Page 2.

I'm sure everyone has already seen the video of the confrontation that started it all, but it's always good fun to watch it again.

Mar 26, 2010

This Blog is On Life Support

But I'm not going to let it die.

As it may be known, I've been doing a lot of videos for the highly esteemed David Hale, and thanks to my being busy with that (among other things), this blog has been empty and boring (like anyone has noticed). To be honest, part of that also has to do with the fact that there isn't much to blog about at the moment, especially when I like to do huge analytical pieces with numbers. So instead I've been just ranting about issues like the recent death of North Campus tailgating and a college football playoff. If anyone read every word of the last post on the playoff issue, I will personally mail you a cookie.

But never fear! If you are interested in my heavily analytical posts which I'm completely un-famous for, then they'll be back soon! I actually did the stats for about 50 college football teams based on what exactly they're losing from 2009-2010 to determine a much more accurate "unbiased preseason poll." However, I've been holding off on posting any of the results because I think it's still way too early... preseason polls don't even come out until summer, and spring practice is still underway. But if you like numbers and stats, it should be fun to take a look at.

Now this. Apparently, I was the subject of a Dawg Blawg trivia post on the King of Dawg Blawg's... Blawg. BernieDawg. So a big thanks to Bernie for asking people questions about me.

Finally, I decided that I've been holding out on Twitter way too long now, so I made one.

Mar 23, 2010

College Football on TV Again: Spring Games for your Withdrawals

I link to this website a lot, and for good reason. It's the ultimate television calendar for everything college football, perfect for planning your viewing schedule for the season.

As soon as this Saturday, college football will be on TV to help ease your CFB withdrawals.

This Saturday (March 27) at 4 p.m., the LSU spring game will be televised live on ESPN2, and Miami's game will be on CSS at 4:30 p.m.

Then, in only 2 short weeks after that, the G-Day game.

(Note: The website lists times in Central time, so one hour behind Eastern.)

Mar 22, 2010

Nightmares of a College Football Playoff

It's hard to judge the general sentiment of college football fans across the country, but by looking at internet polls and discussions, it seems like the vast majority are in agreement that the BCS system is unfair and/or ineffective, and there needs to be a playoff for FCS (Div. 1A) football.

It's only natural that watching the NCAA basketball tournament would re-ignite this discussion during the football off-season. For me, thinking of a college football playoff is a little bit unsettling.

The proposed playoff systems have been numerous and varied. There are calls for an 8-team, 16-team, and even 32 or 64-team playoff. The 8-team proposal usually calls for the "Big Six" conference champions to receive automatic berths, plus two other teams, determined by some sort of ranking as a wild card. These teams would essentially play in the BCS Bowl Games, and then have another semifinal round followed by the championship. The 16-team proposal is often based on the BCS rankings or some other ranking system. Here are my worries about a BCS playoff.

1. I love bowl season. Every December, we get to look forward to having interesting non-conference matchups almost every day as the bowls roll on. Even the low-tier bowls are fun to watch, and I usually watch as many as I can. How would a playoff affect the bowl season? I'm afraid a 16-team playoff would mean trouble for the bowls. It just seems like there would be too many games to mesh along with the other teams playing normal, non-playoff bowl games. The 8-team playoff could work with this better, but still, it's hard for me to let go of the bowl season the way we know it.

2. It would greatly lessen the importance of the regular season. Generally, an undefeated SEC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac-10, or ACC Champion would make the national championship game. (I leave the Big East out because, unfortunately, that conference doesn't have the same reputation as the others.) Auburn faced an unfortunate scenario in 2004 when three Big-Six teams were undefeated, but this is recently more of an exception than the rule.

Now imagine a playoff scenario. An SEC team dominates the regular season and becomes SEC Champion. Then comes the playoff game(s). The SEC Champ plays another conference champion, maybe the Big East or the ACC, a team that largely unimpressed during the season and lost 2 or 3 games along the way. Then comes the playoff game. We all know that upsets are fun to watch, but not when it's your team being upset. And often, upsets are upsets because the better team lost. Yes, the best team doesn't always win. So let's say the SEC team, largely considered the best in college football, faces some unfortunate circumstances and loses to the team that has generally sucked throughout the season. That's the end of the SEC team's season. One loss, and they're done, doomed to be the team that almost made it to the national championship game.

In the current system, your dominant SEC, Big 12, Big 10, ACC or Pac-10 team can go straight to the big game and win it all. In a playoff, it's possible that a 13-0 SEC Champ could lose to a 10-2 Big East or 11-2 ACC Champ. For many fans, this would be great and exciting. Who would have guessed that the team that no one liked could make it to the national championship game? But for fans who still considered the SEC team the best (especially fans of that team), it's an unfortunate consequence of a playoff system.

SEC Fans: A playoff would be an effective way to destroy the importance of the reputation of the Southeastern Conference (your guarantee for your undefeated team to make it to the big game). The same goes for four of the other Big-Six conferences. The winner in this scenario is the Big East (and of course the non-big-sixers).

3. A playoff won't eliminate common college football arguments. One frequent complaint of fans is the unfairness or bias of voters in creating the college football polls. They wouldn't go away, and in some playoff proposals, those biased rankings could determine which teams will even get a shot at the playoff. And of course, the big argument: Which is the best team in college football? Scenarios like the one above in #2 show why that will still be an issue.

It's a bit silly to think that a playoff will answer all of college football's problems, or "once and for all, determine the best team in the nation." That's, frankly, impossible, and will remain so. Even in a playoff system, there will still be complaints, arguments and unsettled issues. Instead of leaving an undefeated or deserving team out of the national championship, people will argue that deserving teams are left out of the playoffs altogether. Imagine an 8-team playoff with a 10-2 Big East Champ in, and a 10-2 SEC team left out.

I'm not completely against a college football playoff, I just don't know for sure what would be best. In fact, I'm not sure if there even is a "best" system. The arguments and complaints of college football will always be with us, no matter how we determine a champion. But if you think about it, those arguments and complaints are part of what makes college football so much fun.

Mar 18, 2010

Keeping North Campus Beautiful.... at What Cost?

So if you haven't seen it yet, THIS NEWS is spreading like wildfire and enraging Bulldog fans everywhere. It seems that in an effort to punish past tailgaters for trashing North Campus and to solve the problem, UGA has decided that in 2010 tailgating can't start on North Campus more than 4 hours before a game. Also, tailgaters can't bring tents, kegs, generators, televisions, "amplified music," grills or cookers "of any type," tables (larger than 4 ft. long) or household furniture onto North Campus. For parking lots all over campus, tailgaters can't bring pull-behind trailers or grills.

Now to me, this is pretty shocking. I don't even tailgate. That's right, I don't tailgate. My gameday ritual usually involves watching other football games wherever I can until the time comes that I need to head to campus to get to the stadium early (usually an hour before kickoff) while plenty of people are still tailgating outside.

But here's the thing: one of my favorite parts of those fall gamedays is getting to drive and walk around campus to Sanford Stadium, passing the thousands of tailgating fans.

I've complained before about tailgaters, especially those in North Campus who fill the whole area with smoke and garbage, and many often leave their trash behind.

But on Saturdays in the fall, walking through that Red and Black metropolis of giant tents, smoking grills, huge TVs playing live football games and blaring music is part of the tradition. Despite the mess afterwards, the transformation of North Campus from quiet trees and grass to thousands of barking fans bringing their homes to nature is perhaps the most memorable place other than Sanford Stadium on gamedays.

I'm not really certain how one tailgates without tents, grills or televisions. This makes me wonder if anyone will still tailgate on North Campus, other than those who want to sit in lawn chairs and enjoy the peace and quiet. This also makes me wonder if these new rules are some kind of joke/purposefully harsh measure to just scare people, and when everyone complains they'll lessen the penalties. I don't know. All I do know is that for this non-tailgater, it'll be sad to see the death of tailgating on North Campus, and along with it the death of a priceless Georgia tradition.

(NOTE: I'm all for keeping North Campus preserved. A lot of UGA football fans are just that: football fans, but they don't necessarily care about the University itself. I do. As an alum who loves his school, I care about the history, reputation and image of the University and everything related to it. From what I've seen, the worst result of the raucous tailgating in North Campus is damage to the grass and soil, and obviously the trash on top of it. If UGA is willing to pay enough money, I think that could be cleaned up/fixed easily. If the tailgating was somehow doing irreparable damage to the most historic and beautiful part of campus, then I'd agree that something needs to be done. But when it comes to eliminating temporary trash and preserving grass and soil, or a sea of Red and Black and a memorable Georgia gameday environment, I have to go with preserving Georgia gamedays as we know them.)

Mar 15, 2010

What did Georgia Basketball Accomplish in 2009-2010?

The Hoop Dawgs finished with a losing record (14-17) and didn't get accepted to the NCAA tourney or the NIT, but that doesn't mean that this season was a disaster. A few quick facts:

- Georgia hadn't beaten both Florida and Tennessee in the same season since 2003-2004... until this season.

- Georgia continued their long-running home-win streak against Georgia Tech.

- As David Hale pointed out today, Georgia went 4-8 in games against NCAA tournament teams. That doesn't sound too great, but just think about it. Winning four NCAA tourney games gets a team to the Final Four. This Dawgs squad can contend with anyone, and they showed that many times this season.

- And finally, Georgia basketball gave us some great moments, including a plethora of Travis Leslie dunks and Trey Thompkins domination.

It wasn't a great year by any stretch, but the Dawgs have a lot to look forward to in 2010-2011.

Mar 11, 2010

The Wonderlic Test: How Would You Score? Better than Tebow?

Ah, the Wonderlic Test -- my favorite part of the NFL draft evaluations. Prospects are given 12 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions. The average score has been reported as 21 for NFL players and 24 for people of various professions. Although such tests never give a perfectly accurate picture of the intelligence of a person (or player), I think a very high or low score can portray who's exceptionally quick, and who's exceptionally thick.

Last year Matthew Stafford was the cream of the crop with his 38 out of 50 score, while Percy Harvin was ridiculed for posting a meager 12.

This year, Tim Tebow (unsurprisingly) scored a 22, the lowest of the other top quarterback prospects. Colt McCoy (25) and Jimmy Clausen (23) weren't far ahead, while Sam Bradford was this year's savant with a 36. According to Wikipedia, the average NFL QB score is a 24.

Apparently, the scores for other positions haven't yet been leaked, so I anxiously await to hear who scored in the teens and the single digits.

So how hard exactly is this test? Judging from sample Wonderlic tests I've seen, the questions are relatively simple for the average person, but the fact that the test is timed can probably affect some slower thinkers. It's also likely that the players who score very low also were incorrect on some, if not many, of the questions they did answer.

How well would you do on the Wonderlic test?
Here's a sample Wonderlic test with only 20 questions. Set a timer to 5 minutes, answer as many questions as you can, and multiply your correct answers by 2.5 to see what you would score. Of course this isn't exactly the same as the real test, plus I've read that NFL prospects get to take the test twice to improve their score. Vote in the poll to show how you did.

Mar 10, 2010

SEC Basketball Tournament: Can Georgia Make a Run Again?

Remember 2008? If not, maybe this YouTube video will refresh your memory. If you still don't remember, then at least you can enjoy listening to Aerosmith's "Dream On."

That time, the Dawgs beat Arkansas in the final game to become the unlikely SEC Tournament Champions. This time, Georgia plays Arkansas in the first round tomorrow (Thursday) night. Could it happen again?

Mar 5, 2010

The SEC Picture (with losses) and Spring Practice Video

First of all, I've had the pleasure of doing some videos for the award-winning David Hale's Bulldogs Blog, and up today is a video of yesterday's first spring practice. Check it out along with the vast quantities of great info and analysis that you're used to from his blog.

Second, I realized that it might be worth it to look at the whole SEC picture using the percentage statistics I've been posting about. So first, here's a look at the SEC East, ranked from who loses the least to who loses the most (based on losing starting quarterbacks and percentage of rushing yards/scoring, receiving yards/scoring, tackles, sacks and interceptions).

SEC East
1. South Carolina
2. Vanderbilt
3. Kentucky
4. Georgia
5. Tennessee
6. Florida

SEC West
1. Arkansas
2. Mississippi State
3. Auburn
4. Alabama
5. LSU
6. Ole Miss

Overall SEC
1. South Carolina
2. Vanderbilt
3. Kentucky
4. Arkansas
5. Georgia
6. Mississippi State
7. Tennessee
8. Auburn
9. Alabama
10. LSU
11. Florida
12. Ole Miss

Then, keep in mind that four SEC teams have never won their division in the conference: Kentucky, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt. Imagining that there's a glass ceiling in the SEC for these four unfortunate teams leads us to form this list:

1. Arkansas
2. Georgia
3. Miss. State
4. Tennessee
5. Auburn
6. Alabama
7. LSU
8. Florida

Of course, this is only looking purely at what these teams are losing from 2009-2010, and differences in coaching and talent at each school will also play an enormous part in who finishes where. But judging by the numbers, Georgia looks to be in a great spot going into the 2010 season.

Mar 4, 2010

Percentage Losses: Pre-Spring Award Winners

So I finished compiling my statistics to use for the "2010 New and Vastly Improved Unbiased Preseason Poll" (name is subject to change), and while I may wait until later (post-spring perhaps) to get into the really interesting stuff, I figured I'll go ahead and give out some awards for teams that lose the least (and most) in certain categories. First, I'll start with the awards for teams that lose the least going into 2010.

Biggest Winner Awards

Rushing: This is a tie between Georgia, Nebraska, Air Force, Iowa and Boise State, all of which lose a shocking 0% of their rushing yards and rushing scoring. If returning players are vastly important to future success, these teams should have well-established rushing attacks in 2010.
Honorable Mention: Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, Ohio State and Wisconsin. All lose less than 2% of rushing yards.

Receiving: Boise State -they lose 2% of yards, 5% of scoring.
Honorable Mention: Virginia Tech (4.7% yards)
SEC Winner: Vanderbilt (7.4% yards, 0% scoring)

Defense: Once again ladies and gentlemen, Boise State. The Broncos lose only 4% of tackles, 4% of sacks, and 12% of interceptions. Things are looking good for the smurf-turf horses.
Honorable Mention: Oregon, but the gap is big between them and Boise. Oregon loses 19.7% of tackles, 12.5% sacks and 14.3% interceptions.

Biggest Loser Awards

Passing: This award is given to the team that loses a quarterback who has started for most years, and who had the highest QB rating in 2009. The calculated value comes out to being a tie between Florida (Tim Tebow), Central Michigan (Dan LeFevour) and BYU (Max Hall).

Rushing: Oklahoma State -the Cowboys lose 74.8% of rushing yards and 90.9% of scoring.
SEC Loser: Mississippi State, followed by Tennessee and LSU. The Big Orange loses 68.4% of yards.

Receiving: Florida - the Gators lose 73% of receiving yards and 64% of scoring, largely thanks to the departure of WR Riley Cooper and TE Aaron Hernandez.
Honorable Mention: Clemson (69% yards, 65.2% scoring) and Georgia Tech (65% yards, 72.7% scoring).

Defense: Alabama - the 2009 National Champs lose a whopping 62% tackles, 64% sacks, and 62% interceptions.

Mar 3, 2010

Georgia vs. Kentucky Tonight: See Leslie Dunk

Come watch the Dawgs take on the #3 Wildcats at 8 p.m. in Stegeman Coliseum in their last home game of the season. If you don't watch the game, you might miss something like this: