Daily Archives: March 18, 2008

And what about that road game that UCLA cancelled in the 80’s?

Michael Elkon has a post up today about Georgia’s 2008 schedule… and about the schedules that preceded it.

Since the prevailing theme this summer in discussing the 2008 Dawgs is going to be “they’re going to be very good, but the schedule is so tough,” I need to get something off my chest that I’ve been considering for a while: this schedule is penance. Georgia hasn’t played a road game outside of the South since the Lyndon Johnson Administration, so maybe they don’t deserve endless hosannas for finally doing what most of the rest of major college football programs do…

Maybe he’s running ahead of the crowd a little here, but I’m somewhat underwhelmed by his argument for several reasons.

  1. I haven’t heard much of the “woe is me” handwringing from Georgia partisans that Elkon claims to be reacting to. Pretty much everyone I’ve talked about it with has acknowledged the schedule as a challenge that would validate a two loss or less season, rather than as an excuse for failure. When I would expect significant whining from the Dawgnation to occur would be if a two loss Georgia team were kept out of the BCS title game so that two one loss schools with lesser schedules could meet. But that’s a “cross that bridge when we get there” consideration right now.
  2. “Repeating endlessly ‘we have to go to Columbia…'”? Dude, no. If you asked a Georgia fan to list the biggest roadblocks on the schedule, this might rank fifth. At best.
  3. The “Georgia hasn’t played a regular season game outside the South in decades” is an overrated criticism, unless you think that lengthy travel, in and of itself, is a great equalizer of talent.
  4. Elkon’s main point seems to be that Georgia fans have no grounds for complaint about the ’08 schedule because they never gave proper credit to the scheduling gods for those years when their program was the beneficiary of a trip through the lesser portion of the SEC West. This is pretty weak beer. First, it’s not like Georgia was able to pick and choose who its opponents were each year. Second, it’s not like anyone knows going in how an opponent’s season will play out. For example, he points to ’03 and the negative record of Georgia’s SEC West foes that year, but neglects to remember that many people were touting Auburn as a MNC candidate in preseason that year. But, OK, fine if he wants to go down that road – as long as, for one thing, he’ll acknowledge the advantage that Florida worked into its scheduling in many years with the open date prior to the WLOCP. It’s not like any school operates in a vacuum with this stuff.
  5. His last point has some validity, although I don’t think Georgia has avoided travel out of cowardice so much as out of greed. Dooley simply didn’t want to give up the revenue generated from a home game against a cupcake. The twelfth game has given Damon some scheduling flexibility and Elkon in the follow up comments commendably credits Damon with stepping up on that front.
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Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

Freudian slip: Finebaum calls Nick Saban a penis. Heh.

This is one worthless column. LSU fans aren’t the only folks who need to get a life.

(h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Nick Saban Rules

Yar! Mike Leach doesn’t care about your Sam linebacker.

I’ve posted a couple of times recently about how defenses are adapting to the spread offense, particularly in light of what Georgia is doing with the Sam linebacker position, so at first glance I might have taken a pass on another article on this subject at the Athens Banner-Herald today.

But Marc Weiszer managed to up the ante by talking to Mike Leach. And that makes it blogworthy, if just for this quote alone:

“We’ll see three linebackers, but maybe they’ll stir the pot with them a little bit with ‘Maybe we’re coming, maybe we’re not’ type of stuff,” Leach said. “If they feel like they have you overmatched, they’ll just run their stuff sometimes. They’re either going to try to pressure or else they’re going to drop everybody, one of the two. That’ll be the initial philosophy. If that doesn’t work, then they’ll go to the other extreme. And if that doesn’t work, they’ll stir it up and try to keep you off balance. That can be frustrating if you’re trying to sort it out, but the truth of the matter is that’s good news. If you see a lot of defense, then that means we’re moving the ball pretty good and we’re having success.”

Aside from a couple of other Leachisms – “You’d get some nice, big old linemen and slingshot Herschel in there and let it happen. Quite honestly, anybody that had Herschel again could probably do it all over again, but then the thing is not everybody’s got a Herschel…” – there’s also some good stuff from Willie Martinez about how Marcus Howard was able to thrive against spread attacks. Martinez makes the point that the spread managed to negate one of Howard’s weaknesses, his lack of size, and thus made him a more dominant defender.

It’s definitely worth a read.

Even pirates like Herschel.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Mike Leach. Yar!, Strategery And Mechanics

A yawner in Ann Arbor

Day three of the Michigan athletics/academics series is pretty thin gruel, to be honest.  S-A’s get direction into programs that give them the flexibility to work towards a degree while maintaining the heavy load of athletics?  Big whoop – like that doesn’t go on at every school in the country.  And not just with athletes, for that matter.

This comes across as the journalistic equivalent of Hamburger Helper.  Maybe there’s a big finish coming tomorrow, but otherwise it looks like what major revelations there were to pass on have already seen the light.

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Filed under Academics? Academics.