A couple of snide questions

Two things that don’t really have any linkage, except for the snotty attitude they generated from me when I read them:

I get the point Spurrier is making here in terms of South Carolina’s ability to compete for the elusive division title…

During April’s SEC coaches conference call, Spurrier stressed that while his Gamecock rosters will never totally stack up with the conference’s powerhouses’ rosters, he only has to find 35-45 great players at the top because you can only play 11 at a time. Has Spurrier assembled his 35-45 great players?

… but can’t Florida and Georgia find just as many great players, if not more, based on how well each has recruited?  That’s an awfully thin reed for the OBC to cling to.

And here’s a cool quote from Chris Brown that will no doubt resonate with the Mike Bobo bashers out there:

In Edgar Allan Poe’s story The Purloined Letter, a character recounts a story of a young man who excels at game called “odds and evens,” known somewhat more popularly now as “matching pennies.” The game is a two-strategy version of rock-paper-scissors: Each player secretly turns their coin to heads or tails and then both reveal their choices simultaneously. If the pennies match (both heads or both tails) then one player gets a dollar; if they do not then the other gets the dollar. As told in the story, the young man quickly sizes up his opponents, gains a psychological advantage, and amasses a fortune by outguessing his opponents.

I suppose all playcallers think themselves like the young man, but most are probably more similar to the suckers. But here’s the rub: The suckers could nullify the young man’s psychological advantage. How?

By choosing randomly. If the suckers put no thought into whether they chose heads or tails, they would do better than if they tried their best to out-think him. They would break even — a fantastic result against the world’s greatest matching pennies player, an unnatural genius who, according to the story, would go through lengthy Sherlock Holmsian deductions to determine if his opponent would choose heads or tails, and of course almost always guessed correctly.

This is a breath-taking result: you can nullify anyone’s advantage by picking randomly. But it is also scary — would I be better off picking my plays entirely randomly?

One question:  how well would that work if your quarterback is tipping plays out of shotgun formation?

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10 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

10 responses to “A couple of snide questions

  1. NCT

    INCONCEIVABLE!

    • 81Dog

      Good one, Vizzini.

      I bet Spurrier knows better than to ever start a land war in Asia, at least.

  2. Chuck

    That might make sense if Mike Bobo only ran two plays, one called ‘heads’, the other ‘tails’, and would really work if the other team only had a ‘heads D’ or a ‘tails D’. And if the personnel were equal and match ups had no effect on the outcome. Then, by Dawg, we’d be in business!!!

    • bort

      Sort of like in the original Tecmo Bowl, where you had 4 plays to pick from and if the D picked the same play the O did . . . no gain.

  3. dboy

    A less talented team can have a nice one year run. These teams are typically senior heavy and have a few prominent NFL caliber players at key positions (i.e. QB). However, the team usually crumbles the following year. The top level recruiting programs stock their roster with top players and the result for their efforts is, consistency. Take Florida / ALA over the past 5 years. They reload, they have freshmen / sophomores on the bench developing, and they trot out mature well coached replacements by the time the junior / senior ahead of them on the depth chart graduates / leaves for the NFL.

    The OBC is probably correct, in theory. But that is a small consolation for a dealing with a subpar team for the next 3 years after a good run.

    • Puffdawg

      I understand your underlying point regarding the Cocks, so don’t take this the wrong way. But for the record Bama was 6-6 in 2006 and 7-6 n 2007. They’ve had some nice back to back seasons including one smack down of us, but they aren’t on a 5 year tear here. Remember we took them in their house just 3 years ago. Florida is on a nice run here too but they lost 4 games just 3 years ago. I am excited to see what Urban will/can do without Tebow. In no way shape or form am I saying he can’t succeed but I think it will be interesting to see the transition away from a guaranteed 3rd and short.

  4. hassan

    Spurrier has been there far too long to have not developed a QB that can effectively run his offense. Garcia doesn’t look to be able to do it this year.

    35-45 good players may win you a few games, but injuries and the rigors of playing in the SEC will wear a team down. I don’t think you can win the division (much less the conference) without depth.

    They will win some games and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but I don’t think that they will make a serious run this year. However, I agree that this is their best chance.

  5. Mike

    I think Spurrier still believes that if his starters are as good as the starters across the field, or at least nearly as good, his coaching is better so he usually wins.

    When he coached at Florida, he was usually right.

    Now, not so much

  6. After watching Gary Crowton call LSU’s offense last year, I can vouch against randomization. The biggest problem was a lack of any unifying thread.