Back in the summer of 2015, the whole DudeYouCrazy braintrust reached a consensus. With the loss of Mike Bobo and the laughable hire of Brian Schottenheimer, any objective observer knew the offense would lose its spacing in the run game and its aggressiveness through the air.
We wanted Brice Ramsey, QB1, Georgia Bulldogs. We never got our wish. Instead, things went from bad to worse in a hurry, as our Schottenheimer nightmares were further buoyed by the wholly unexciting transfer of Greyson Lambert. I wrote the following:
While I could’ve lived with Golson at the helm, the news that Lambert is now considering heading to Athens with two years’ eligibility remaining horrifies me. It tells me that a) maybe Ramsey isn’t as ready as I thought; and b) to the extent that we’d take a flier on a guy who was somewhere below mediocre at Virginia.
Below mediocre, you ask? Lambert’s 2014 numbers: 154/261 (59%), 10 TD, 11 INT, raw QBR of 45.1 (QBR is ESPN’s method of evaluating quarterbacks on a 1-100 scale versus replacement and adjusted for situation- if you see me talking QB’s I’ll probably reference it). Against ACC competition? That QBR dips to 39.5, with a paltry 6.5 yards per attempt. In fact, Lambert’s only non-pedestrian performances came against BYU (71.1 QBR) and Richmond (92.2, YAAAAYYYYY).
Even Jason Smith, who wrote about football quarterly in a good year, chimed in:
So while most predict that Brice Ramsey will still be the starter come opening day, the speculation will only ramp up as to how solid that prediction actually is. Moreover, if Ramsey is named the starter there will inevitably be a huge swath of fans wondering why on earth you decide to pursue Lambert in the first place.
Take all of that into consideration and this new transfer has already put the 2015 season into a chaotic register, but I don’t think its as bad as some folks will make it out to be.
The consensus we reached was this: Greyson Lambert seeing the field for the University of Georgia was bad. We hoped Brice Ramsey could save Schottenheimer from himself, but apparently the prospect of seeing him on the field was worse than the mediocrity to which we were subjected by Lambert.
To his credit, Ramsey was a good sport about it. He tantalized us with his arm talent (and frustrated us with his bad reads) in spot duty in 2014 and 2015. He took over as the punter, of all things, for parts of the ’15 and ’16 seasons. And he was last seen in Rodrigo Blankenship’s claim that “even the backup punter has a scholarship”, when the backup punter happened to be one Brice Ramsey.
Given the events of the past two years, one ponders an alternate universe where Ramsey lives up to his billing as the nation’s 6th-ranked pro-style QB. Does his ability to actually throw a 15-yard out make the 2015 Bulldogs more explosive? Does he save Mark Richt’s job? I have to imagine that he’d have tried to be a little more efficient given a longer leash, but that’s based on nothing but my vindicated fears of a Greyson Lambert-led offense.
We never got the chance to find out. It probably would’ve been more fun if we did.
Unfortunately, we’ll never know. Ramsey may go down in the ethos of Georgia football as the recruiting bust who cost Mark Richt his job, or the quarterback-turned-punter who found a way onto the field in order to try to help his team win.
But here’s to you, Brice Ramsey, I hope the grad transfer choose-your-own-adventure leads you to a Jeff Driskel/Louisiana Tech redemption tour (or hell, aim higher if you want), where you’re put in a position to throw for 4,500 yards.
College football season is not long enough, because yadda yadda amateur athletes, and something something concussions. This means that while the sport, in season, is the best sport on the planet, there is a TON of dead air surrounding it. A player arrested for failure to yield while on a bicycle qualifies as news in college football in June.
If the NFL gets one thing right, its staying in the news cycle. They somehow make minicamps and a SECOND round of free agency news, and draft hype carries them four months. Unfortunately, the NFL Draft makes May more compelling for college football. That is the level of dead space we have to conquer.
SPOILER ALERT: This is being written in March, a month in which there is nothing to write about, further explaining our conspicuous absence on the DudeYouPodcast and this website.
- October. If you think November is better, I won’t fight you about it. October, though, gives me all of the football feels. Great weather, perfect tailgating, awesome rivalry games, and every team still has some semblance of something to play for.
- November. Like October, but with slightly better rivalry games, slightly worse weather, and a lot more dead weight in games that have no significance on conference or playoff standings. College football writer/savant Bill Connelly disagrees with me, and you probably will too after reading this.
- September. Hope. Sundresses. Tailgating. Pretty sweet neutral-site matchups on Labor Day Weekend. And the novelty of college football. If I were to rank the 52 weeks of the sport, opening week would probably be #1.
- January*. Important bowl games. The caveat here is the playoff returning to January 1 as opposed to New Year’s Eve. January’s intrigue doesn’t last very long on the field, but you get weird recruiting stuff leading up to Signing Day, if you’re into that, after.
- December. Conference championships and a personal favorite, getting sneaky whiskey buzzed and watching meaningless bowl games with friends and family. Cheers to you and rest in peace, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
- April. Hey, spring football games are ABSOLUTELY meaningless. But they’re still worthwhile so people like me can pretend to know who’s going to break through in the subsequent season. The little taste of football is just enough to not drive one mad.
- February. Signing Day. If you’re into that. Gives us something to talk about for a couple of weeks, at least.
- June. Phil Steele’s magazine comes back, and if you can’t bridge July to training camp with Phil Steele, you’re doing it wrong.
- August. Training camp. This is actually the worst month because the only thing that ever really happens is your key receiver goes down and you stress over how the offense will cope.
- May. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS IN MAY. Best case, your school only ends up with 1-2 academic casualties, and if you’re living right none are on the two-deep.
- July. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS IN JULY. Someone will be arrested on Independence Day, and that will suck. July has the most helium of all of the months, because if God graced us with a return of the NCAA Football video game series, it would drop in this month. July’s ranking, up through 2013? Probably #6.
- March. Sweet God, there is nothing to talk about. Bye.
A major sign of the times in college football is its perpetual arms race: Texas A&M’s shiny new $200 million facilities. Michigan’s petty attempts to stay ahead of everyone in capacity. Even Notre Dame’s throwing down $60 million on a press box addition.
In other places, incompetent management forces athletic departments to run into problems. Tennessee just now got done paying Derek Dooley and Bruce Pearl, neither of whom have been at the school since at least 2013. Maryland famously left the ACC for the greener financial pastures of the Big Ten because of Debbie Yow’s mishandling of funds.
Georgia? They’re doing what your grandparents advised when they gave you a $50 savings bond that one Christmas. They’re saving!
The article is angled specifically around the possibility of paying players in the future, but its good to know that Georgia has a hefty rainy day fund.
Dude Emeritus Andrew Hall (@DudeYouCrazy) joins host Chad Floyd (@Chad_Floyd) for a brief apology for ANOTHER lost episode and a rehashing of the good, the bad, and the ugly (mostly good!) of Georgia’s 2017 Signing Day class.
Since podcasts aren’t a visual medium, this is the tweet Chad references when citing Ameer Speed as his favorite player in the class:
Catching some sun while waiting for NSD☀️😏 pic.twitter.com/DvoWO6lMDl
— $peed (@OG__speed) January 31, 2017
Subscribe and listen however you want to listen, assuming you listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spreaker.
Let’s get the good news out of the way first: Tray Scott is a dead ringer for Killer Mike, which adds INSTANT credibility to a program in the state of Georgia, or anywhere really:
Now the bad: after watching Tray Scott coach defensive line firsthand at North Carolina for two seasons, I feel he represents a pretty substantial downgrade for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Maybe I’m a little too close to see the good. Maybe Gene Chizik’s defense, predicated on an extreme ‘bend but don’t break’ mentality was skewed towards defensive linemen occupying blockers in order for the linebackers to make plays. Given the lack of talent in North Carolina’s linebacking corps relative to the rest of the defense, I sure as hell hope that’s not the case.
Maybe it was a talent/experience issue. Carolina’s two-deep on the line consisted of, in 2016, at least three underclassmen, and for the second straight year doesn’t graduate any seniors with NFL aspirations (though junior DT Naz Jones declared early and is likely a 2nd-3rd round pick). There are three former 4-star recruits at DT, one at DE on the depth chart, with a bunch of “high threes” sprinkled in.
Or maybe Tray Scott was not a very good defensive line coach. Some numbers (as per usual, from Bill Connolly’s Football Study Hall):
|Rushing Success Rate||49.40%||117||46.20%||95|
|Adjusted Line Yards||88||117||92.90%||95|
|Power Success Rate||68.20%||81||67.60%||69|
|Standard Down Line YPC||3.42||124||3.30||108|
|Passing Down Sack Rate||4.90%||108||9.90%||18|
|D-Line Havoc Rate||4.10%||87||5.10%||56|
Now, the optimist would say Scott improved those numbers in his two years at North Carolina.
The realist would say that, besides the passing down sack rate (which includes blitzing LB’s and DB’s, obviously), there is not much to write home about. Most frustrating is an inability to stop the run. You may recall Baylor’s 645 rushing yards (a bowl record) from the Wing-T in the 2015 Russell Athletic. Or Nick Chubb and the Georgia offensive line looking like world-beaters after week 1 of 2016. Either way, the defensive line did not hold up, ranking among the bottom 10 in the nation in stuff rate (runs of no gain or for a loss) in both of his seasons.
Can he recruit? That was a mixed bag for UNC. He’s credited with two four-stars from the 2017 class, DE Jake Lawler and DT Xach Gill, in addition to three-star DT Jordon Riley. He was also given credit for a McEachern (Powder Springs, GA, of all places) WR who is grayshirting for Carolina. His 2016 recruits? One coup in Kyree Campbell failed to qualify, the other, DE Nolan DeFranco, is a project at best.
His misses are more interesting. DT Dexter Lawrence of Clemson grew up 30 minutes from Chapel Hill, and the Heels were never really a factor. DE Nick Coe went to Auburn after publicly declaring North Carolina his leader early in the process.
Scott’s results leave a lot of unanswered questions for Georgia. One would have to hope that inexperience (both as an FBS coach and among his personnel) and circumstances (Chizik’s vanilla defense) played a role, but the track record is not good.