If you’ve followed us for any time at all, 1) I’m sorry, and 2) you know we RARELY talk #crootin’. Let’s buck the latter trend.
Georgia’s offensive line has been awful for two years now, making life hard on the team’s immensely talented backs and rookie QB. I like using FootballOutsiders for a quick rundown of different factors, and Georgia ranked 103rd in the country in Adjusted Line Yards this year, which give credit to the line for the first 5 yards of any carry, the back after that.
This manifested itself on the field in watching Nick Chubb get stuffed time and time again before breaking one, and given Jim Chaney’s conservative approach in year one (not a surprise) Georgia was off schedule more often than not in 2016.
Help, it seems, is on the way. Here’s a look at Georgia’s 2017 commits, with 247 composite rankings:
Four guys rank above .94 on their scale, where .90 is a low-ranking four-star, and .95 classifies as elite. In a quick search of the Alabamas, LSUs, and Ohio States of the world…this is the best class I could find.
Ready to be horrified? This group represents 5 of the 6 most talented guys in the program (with starters Isaiah Wynn and Dyshon Sims, both of whom struggled this year, as the only regulars over .9).
In the last three cycles, only 2016 early enrollee Ben Cleveland qualifies as a top-tier talent. The rest of the names on this list are a group you’d expect to see at Mississippi State, Maryland, or some other middle-tier P5. The horrors that were the previous regime’s offensive line recruiting reared their ugly heads as Wynn, Sims, and now-departed Brandon Kublanow were the only guys who graded out as SEC-caliber starters.
Oh, and none of the guys listed above show up on any two-deep I can find.
You’ll never catch me saying that recruiting rankings are the end-all/be-all, as coaching and development (Georgia has a GREAT developer of talent now in Sam Pittman) play a larger role in the projectability of linemen moreso than any other position. But one cannot help but be psyched for this group.
With the losses of tackles Tyler Catalina and Greg Pyke, in addition to Kublanow, PT up front should be wide open. Hayes, as a JuCo, will be looked to as a day-1 starter at one spot. Wilson and Thomas should challenge Cleveland for another tackle position, and Cleveland is likely a better fit on the interior. Holdovers such as Wynn, Sims, and Lamont Gaillard should be adequate in 2017, at worst.
What does it add up to? A young line that, while talented, will need to gel quickly.
There is talent in the pipeline, finally. Its now time to cross some fingers, pray to a favorite deity, and hope that it comes together in time to allow this offense to prosper.
(Now if only receiver recruiting could make the same progress.)
Mike Woods, AKA Big Dawg, AKA the guy who painted the dawg on his head for Georgia games and has appeared in a picture with literally every female I know who went to Georgia, passed away last night.
By all accounts, he was the epitome of a #DGD, and we at DudeYouCrazy wish the best to his family.
I would love to know who does Josh Dobbs homework because he doesn’t seem to understand air or space at all.
— Mike BIG DAWG Woods (@MWoods_BigDawg) September 2, 2016
I never met this guy and I miss him.
— Cody Chaffins (@Cody_Fox5) January 5, 2017
— Ryker Dillard (@rykerzane) January 5, 2017
— Laura Coggins (@lscoggins17) January 5, 2017
Georgia returns to the ghosts of UCF losses past, and today’s bowl lineup is sexy.
My colleague and good friend Daniel Palmer says the 2010 Liberty Bowl didn’t happen. I tend to agree, so…
Sixth Annual Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. TCU, noon: Objectively, this is a complete non-starter for me. Its two bad teams from two bad conferences (where the SEC East is a standalone entity). BUT. I’m excited because:
- Georgia used their full allotment of bowl practices. I’m interested to see the progress of Jacob Eason, the health of our future senior running backs (!), and the continued development of what will, in the near future, be a thrilling defense.
- That’s really about it.
Watchability Factor: 2/10 if you have no rooting interest, 8/10 if you want to compare Georgia’s bowl success to Miami’s 31-14 victory over a much-better-than-TCU West Virginia squad.
Sun Bowl: #18 Stanford vs. North Carolina, 2:30: A bowl location so deplorable that Verne Lunquist refuses to end his career here. That’s amazing. Christian McAffrey is not playing. Neither is Elijah Hood. UNC QB Mitch Trubisky (remember how bad he was against Georgia?) is playing to determine if he’ll be the first QB taken in May (or June, or whenever the draft is now in the NFL’s 365-day cycle)…or return to school.
This has some appeal to me, but its not sexy outside of possible continuation of the ACC’s bowl dominance to this point. Watchability Factor: 4/10.
Music City Bowl: Nebraska vs. #21 Tennessee, 3:30: Your gentle reminder that Tennessee, Champions of Life, is still ranked by the CFP committee. Fresh hell.
Watch at your own risk. Watchability Factor: 3.5/10.
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl: South Alabama vs. Air Force, 5:30: As a real estate broker, I suggest not using Nova Home Loans because your rate is going up 1/8 of a point because they decided to sponsor this bowl game. Watchability Factor: dude, do literally anything else.
Orange Bowl: #6 Michigan vs. #11 Florida State, 8: ALL OF THE FIRE EMOJIS. Dalvin Cook is playing his last game, and he’s the most fun player in America. Michigan is inexplicably salty– not because they messed around and lost to Iowa– but because they STILL think they should be in the playoff after losing to Ohio State.
Watchability Factor: 9/10, I cannot emphasize enough how fun this game is, theoretically (and don’t look up the games I’ve rated highly to this point).
My mother complained that her generation may not know what crunk factor is. Mom, it was a made-up term to describe the likelihood one of these otherwise-boring games goes haywire.
Also, drawing these up for 20 games at a time seemed unwieldy and irrelevant. Writing about the Idaho Potato Bowl 11 days before it took place was the wake-up call there.
What’s happening in bowl action today, December 29th? Three moderately compelling games!
Birmingham Bowl, South Florida vs. South Carolina, 2pm: A month ago, this game was SO much more fun. Willie Taggart had USF playing well and running the #1 offense in the country…but he bolted for Oregon. Quinton Flowers is still a joy to watch, and hopefully we don’t get the dreaded ‘coach left letdown.’
South Carolina inexplicably made a bowl with a coach who once failed to do that at FLORIDA. I’m kinda cheering for a Cocks win so they can be crushed under the darkhorse SEC East contender expectations that will surely follow from winning a meaningless bowl game in Birmingham.
CRUNK FACTOR/Watchability Index: 5/10… I’m feeling generous this morning, and its SEC vs. fun AAC. I can dig it.
Belk Bowl, #22 Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas, 5:30: First things first: its the bowl game named after a regional department store. Second, I was making customary Christmas exchanges in one of the Charlotte-area Belks yesterday, and ran into some Virginia Tech players on their bowl gift ‘shopping spree’. That bowl gift ranked in the mid-30’s on most lists, because it was the whole bowl gift.
Anyway, this game has weird fun written all over it. Rawleigh Williams (did not know it was RAWleigh until checking his stats) had an insane November for Arkansas. Jerod Evans is the ACC’s 5th-best QB, and that makes him the nation’s 10th-best QB. Bret Bieliema is a delight, and Justin Fuente exceeded expectations in year 1.
This game means nothing, as all do, but is worth excessive hype for the ACC Coastal if Virginia Tech piggybacks Miami’s impressive win. CRUNK FACTOR/Watchability Index: 6.5/10, something goofy will happen. Guaranteed.
Alamo Bowl: #12 Oklahoma State vs. #10 Colorado, 9: FINALLY our first ranked matchup of bowl season, after 26 other games will likely have finished. And who isn’t a sucker for Big XII exes grudge-matching each other? Texas A&M/K-State was fun.
Colorado, dubbed by many ‘America’s team’, is suffering the fate of blowing expectations out of the water. They lost all-world DC Jim Leavitt to Oregon, QB Sefo Liufau is hobbled and may not play. On the other hand, this team lost three games: at Michigan, USC, Washington. Most teams are going 0-3 in those, and most aren’t winning the other 10.
Oklahoma State has Mason Rudolph (good), Mike Gundy’s mullet (exceptional), and announced the return of Rudolph and leading wideout James Washington for 2017.
CRUNK/Watchability: 8.5/10. Evenly-matched, latenight, and high quality. We’ll drink every time someone mentions their loss to Central Michigan not being a loss, and we’ll enjoy this one.
There are previously-unaccounted-for games starting today.
Hey, it has come to my attention from experience in my actual job that nobody is working at all this week! Let’s watch more pointless bowl games instead as we round into the fun ones on Saturday.
Today, at time of posting
Pinstripe Bowl: #23 Pitt vs. Northwestern, 2: Pitt is the most bizarre team in college football, as they have two top-5 wins (Penn State and Clemson), a trash secondary (Pat Narduzzi was hired on the strength of his Michigan State secondaries, and a top-5 offense (OC Matt Canada, fired from N.C. State last year, took the same position at LSU).
I know nothing about Northwestern, because GOOD B1G football is unwatchable enough. The game is in a baseball stadium, though, which is befitting of this matchup CRUNK FACTOR: 4/10, for James Connor and Pitt weirdness.
Russell Athletic Bowl: #16 West Virginia vs Miami, 5:30: Dana Holgorson is the most interesting coach every bowl season, because most games take place in drinking and gambling destinations. No reports of him being bailed out of jail at the time of publication. Mark Richt is a familiar name to Georgia fans, and finished his first season at Miami at an unacceptable-by-Georgia-standards 8-4.
There was pre-bowl festivity saltiness, a sure-fire upping of the ante for an exhibition game.
CRUNK FACTOR: 7/10, this should actually be a fun game.
Foster Farms: #19 Utah vs. Indiana, 8:30: Only the Western Michigan/Wisconsin Cotton Bowl (lol) has a lower lowest-priced ticket in Stubhub than this one. I can’t see anything to get too fired up about, as Indiana becomes the second B1G team in 18 months to fire a coach due to player abuse…and Utah just seems abusive by nature. CRUNK FACTOR: 2/10 only because its on FOX which means possible Gus Johnson-ery.
Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. K-State, 9: As a general rule, you can always sign me up for a late K-State game, because their slow offense will still get me to bed at a reasonable hour A&M once ranked 4th in the country…remember that?
Also, more old Big XII bitterness, so I’ve got high hopes. CRUNK FACTOR 6/10.
Still escaping the doldrums of Christmas, I’ll get tomorrow and into the weekend on another post.