Mike Leach on balance

I just finished reading Swing Your Sword (thumbnail review:  even if you don’t care one whit about the whole Texas Tech/Craig James kerfuffle, it’s a quick, entertaining read) and there’s one passage that really jumped out at me, for reasons which I doubt I’ll have to explain:

… To me, a balanced offense is one where each skill position touches the ball, and every position contributes to the offensive output.  There is nothing balanced about running it 50 percent of the time and throwing it 50 percent of the time if you are only utilizing two or three offensive skill positions and only attacking part of the field…[Emphasis added.]

… I think it’s almost imp0ssible to have a great offense if you have only one or two guys touching the ball.  That one guy had better be really, really special, a Hall of Fame type of talent, like Herschel Walker was at Georgia in the early ’80s…

…  People get overly impressed by that artificial balance, where it’s half run, half pass, but with only a couple of players touching the ball.  You can run the ball every snap, but if you’re in the wishbone, and everybody touches the ball, that’s real balance.  Or you can throw the ball every snap, and if everyone touches the ball, that’s real balance.

Swing Your Sword, pp. 99-101.

Now Mike Leach knows a helluva lot more about moving a football up and down the field than I’ll ever know, so in response to the question “what if you have a super star like A.J. Green – don’t you have to focus on getting him the ball?”, I’ll assume he’d respond by pointing out that spreading the ball around makes it more difficult for a defense to key on said star.  (Don’t forget that Leach enjoyed the services of Michael Crabtree for three seasons.  There never seemed to be a problem getting Crabtree the ball.)

So Mike Bobo, if you feel like you absolutely have to keep track of something Saturday night to adjust in the fourth quarter, why not try counting who’s getting touches?  It can’t be any worse than calling a few futile rushing plays into a stacked defensive front that every single person in the stadium knows are coming because you think the pass count’s gotten out of whack.

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87 Comments

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

87 responses to “Mike Leach on balance

  1. Jermaine'sDye

    Leach will coach again and he will win big again as the flat-earthers of CFB world tsk tsk…

  2. Leach’s philosophy is closer to: “If you have a great player, you shouldn’t have to focus on getting him the ball.”

    In other words, within the context of the offense, great players should naturally be getting looks because they’re open. The same could be said for running backs. You don’t have to commit to running the ball 30x per game. Instead, if you’re running the ball well and the offense is clicking, those opportunities present themselves.

  3. mwo

    Maybe if Bobo kept track of who touched the ball and how many times they touched it, he might even realize who is in the game and who isn’t.

  4. Xon

    Yes. I’m on the bus, but please let me slide this one thing under your nose, Coach Bobo….

    http://lesswrong.com/lw/1ws/the_importance_of_goodharts_law/

    Goodhart’s Law: Learn it, Respect it, Love it. Please?

    • Xon

      For those who don’t want to click the link, I don’t think a little education or reminder will hurt here will it? :-)

      “Goodhart’s law states that once a social or economic measure is turned into a target for policy, it will lose any information content that had qualified it to play such a role in the first place….

      ….The most famous examples of Goodhart’s law should be the soviet factories which when given targets on the basis of numbers of nails produced many tiny useless nails and when given targets on basis of weight produced a few giant nails. Numbers and weight both correlated well in a pre-central plan scenario. After they are made targets (in different times and periods), they lose that value.

      We laugh at such ridiculous stories, because our societies are generally much better run than Soviet Russia. But the key with Goodhart’s law is that it is applicable at every level…..

      ….The way I see Goodhart’s law work, or a target’s utility break down, is the following.

      Superiors want an undefined goal G.
      They formulate G* which is not G, but until now in usual practice, G and G* have correlated.
      Subordinates are given the target G*.
      The well-intentioned subordinate may recognise G and suggest G** as a substitute, but such people are relatively few and far inbetween. Most people try to achieve G*.
      As time goes on, every means of achieving G* is sought.
      Remember that G* was formulated precisely because it is simple and more explicit than G. Hence, the persons, processes and organizations which aim at maximising G* achieve competitive advantage over those trying to juggle both G* and G.
      P(G|G*) reduces with time and after a point, the correlation completely breaks down.”

    • blue gill

      +1000 for the lesswrong link! I love that website.

  5. Biggus Rickus

    Okay, but do we have any evidence that Bobo actually calls plays because he has run it too much or thrown it too much to that point and is trying to achieve some idealistic level of balance?

    • If you can explain the logic to his second half play calling against Georgia Tech last year, I’m all ears.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Look through the second half play-calling and point me to something that was obviously not working that he was calling. There were two crucial fumbles. He did have a three-and-out late, which I know never happens to other teams.

        • Bobo had a QB who was averaging over fourteen yards every time he stepped back to pass. Georgia averaged slightly over 5 yards per rushing play. Why would you go away from the passing game in the second half as Bobo did?

          • Biggus Rickus

            To run clock, give your defense a rest. In preparation for adjustments made by the other defense. There are plenty of reasons besides dogmatism to account for leaning more heavily on the running game in the second half.

            • Completed passes run as much clock as running plays do. Tech couldn’t stop Georgia’s passing game – what adjustments?

              • Biggus Rickus

                I don’t see how he abandoned it. On one particular drive he ran Ealey twice for two yards and then Murray was sacked. Otherwise, you had a two-play drive where King gained 41 yards and fumbled on the second play. You had the drive you mentioned with three passes to Green, a ten yard run by Ealey, and then they decided to pound it in. There was another drive with an incompletion to Charles on first down, a 32-yard run by .Ealey, two three-yard gains by Ealey and a three-yard pass to Green. Murray fumbled the snap to end the drive on fourth down. Should Bobo immediately have followed that 32-yard run with a playaction pass to the end zone? Maybe, but it was getting late in the game, the defense was tired, and I understand wanting to run some clock there. Plus, I don’t know what adjustments Tech had made.

                • Russ

                  Gotta agree with BR here. Running the ball when you average 5 yards/carry isn’t dumb. Tech’s offense needs time. Run the ball, run the clock and the game is over. Of course, having a defense that can stop somebody on occasion helps.

                  I’ve said many times, Bobo will look much smarter when our defense toughens up.

                • Murray missed four passes the entire game. He didn’t throw a pick. He averaged 14+ yards per pass attempt.

                  Given all that, I would suggest in a game in which you only have 48 touches on offense and your defense had a hard time stopping the triple option, that there had better be a very good reason every time you decide to run the ball. Running clock when your QB isn’t missing ain’t it.

                • Jason

                  1st downs run more clock than anything. The offense had two 3&outs in a row at the moment when UGA had the chance to step on the gnats throat. That’s where Bobo fails. He is overly concerned with the play call as opposed to moving the chains. Move the chains and you win.

            • MinnesotaDawg

              Can we please retire the misconception that running the ball “gives your defense a rest” or that continuing to run the ball up (unsuccessfully) up the middle “softens up a D-line”? These old adages justify lazy thinking and lazy playcalling.

              • James Stephenson

                Except for the fact that in all cases, teams that run the ball better have better Defenses. And teams that pass the ball all over the field do not. It can not all be a coincidence. Face it, the less time your D is on the field the better it will be.

                Passing 14 yards a play, were incompletes stop the clock = too fast scoring. When you score, you score quick 4-5 plays if you are getting 14 yards a completion and not enough time for the D to get a rest and figure out what the O is doing.

                Now contrast that with running the ball at 5 yards a clip, 3 plays to get a 1st down, that is over a minute and a half used up. Your D rests, your D-Coordinator has a chance to talk to the guys, calm them down. Show them what is happening. Even a 3 and out sucks but burns time.

                A 3 and out passing drive takes usually less than 30 secs off the clock. Which means your D is now on the field for 1 minute longer on the same situation. Does not seem like much, but it adds up. Next thing you know, you are looking at your D being on the field twice as long as the other teams D. If the game is close who wins? I bet 70% of the time, the D that is fresh.

                The above reasons is why the fast pace teams do not even go no-huddle without making a first down first. Otherwise they are killing their D.

                Bottom line, if you want a good D, you have to run some. Or do what Peyton does on those no-huddle calls, keep the D on the field, while he pretends to change the play. That is the Colt’s running plays. It does the same thing, burns time, lets the D rest, keep his D off the field.

                Oh and what NFL teams are known for power rushing?

                Steelers, great D
                Ravens, great D

                Of course, I was never in the arena, what the heck do I know.

                • That all sounds great, except Murray missed a total of four passes all game. He also didn’t turn the ball over, unlike his running backs.

                  I don’t get an offensive philosophy that puts a higher regard on running clock than scoring, which is what you seem to be suggesting.

                  • Evidently Normaltown

                    +1
                    The other thing about running out clock is that you better be damn sure the other team won’t take the lead once you’ve run off a lot of time.

                  • gastr1

                    It’s not scoring, it’s how fast you score. Scoring quickly increases the chance that the other team will also score. The chances of scoring quickly are greatly increased by passing the ball a large portion of the time, which is obvious, because that’s what teams try to do to catch up when behind…so it should be just as obvious that when you have the lead you want to run it more often. If you keep scoring lightning-quick, they keep getting the ball back and your D keeps having to get back out there rather quickly after they were just in, and if your D tires, which they will if you score too fast or give the ball back too quickly, the likelihood that the other team will score is vastly increased.

                    If you want to keep the pressure on yourself especially when your D sucks, pass the ball and score fast, because that will help ensure the other team will get the ball back and tire out your already weak defense.

                    • It’s not scoring, it’s how fast you score. Scoring quickly increases the chance that the other team will also score. The chances of scoring quickly are greatly increased by passing the ball a large portion of the time, which is obvious, because that’s what teams try to do to catch up when behind…so it should be just as obvious that when you have the lead you want to run it more often.

                      We’re talking about Georgia Tech. You’ve seen their passing game, right?

                    • MinnesotaDawg

                      “Scoring quickly increases the chance that the other team will also score.”

                      Punting quickly also increases the chance that the other team will score. Call me crazy, but I’ll take an offense that continues to do what works, fast or slow, running or passing, to score rather than one that concerns itself with time management at the expense of points–unless you are legitimately running out the clock late in the game. Although I understand your reasoning, I just don’t think it’s a very good approach. It’s the philosophy that coaches can call game-management, but usually bites them in the ass more than it helps.

                      As far as the defense resting argument/time to adjust argument below, three incomplete passes takes just as much “real time” as three runs up the gut. The best opportunity for a defense to rest is to stop somebody on third down–a real problem for the 2010 Dawgs.

                    • Xon

                      If you have a choice between scoring slow and scoring quick, with a lead already and concern about your D, then this reasoning is fine. The problem is that you rarely have that choice. You can’t just assume you’re going to score no matter what. You have to call plays that give you the best chance of scoring, and if you try to slow it down or control the clock with plays that are not working as well, then you are giving yourself a lower chance of scoring at all on the drive.

                      Scoring is always better than not scoring, no matter how quickly you do it and no matter how tired it makes your D. A tired D that just had 7 points added to its lead is still in a better position than a rested D with 7 fewer points to its lead. If the tired D that didn’t get any rest because the O scored “too fast” turns right around and gives up a TD on the very first play, then you’re right back to where you were before you started your last drive anyway. In other words, you have the same lead you had originally, and now there’s less time on the clock (since both teams have scored in the meantime).

                      Also, minimizing the number of plays in the game by slowing down the pace is actually a “David” strategy, not a “Goliath” strategy. If you’re worried that too much football is going to cause you to LOSE, then something is wrong.

                    • gastr1

                      “Scoring is always better than not scoring, no matter how quickly you do it and no matter how tired it makes your D. ”

                      I’m not sure that’s the case. The all-passing programs pretty much never seem to have a good defense, yes? It was pointed out by someone else here that teams that run the ball win more than teams who don’t run the ball as much. Well, some of that is attributable to the losing teams having fallen behind…but not all of it. Some of it is that the “defense gets worn out” maxim is actually true.

                      And is it were NOT true you’d have a lot fewer teams running the ball at all–because anyone can see that passing teams score more. That’s fact. So are the 90% or so coaches who try to run the ball effectively just stupid, or what?

                    • Xon

                      gastr, I think you’re missing the trees for the forest, though.

                      When you look back at a known outcome after the fact, teams that run a lot win more often than teams that pass a lot, all else being equal. But, as you point out, a lot of that is probably due to the in-game specifics that influenced strategy. (teams that are behind will pass more, and teams with leads will often run more, thus skewing losers towards passing and conserving winners in running) Frankly, it may ALL be due to this kind of in-game difference, though that’s pretty hard to determine statistically. This fundamental issue of in-game strategy for teams that are already winning or losing (passing more/running more) would certainly put more winning teams in the running camp and more losing teams in the passing camp. But, again looking at Goodhart’s Law, if you actually try to *aim* at “running well” because you think that this will *cause* you to win, then that’s a misguided approach. You should run if you are good at running, and if the defense is vulnerable to running plays you have in your arsenal. But the same goes with passing.

                      In-game, having more points than you currently have at any point is *always* a gain. If you look at the probability analysis they do at Football Outsiders and places like that, for instance, there’s never a time where you have a .71 chance of winning a game, and then you score a TD and your odds go down to .68. (just using random numbers there, obviously)

                      Let’s say there’s 10:00 in the 4th quarter. You are up by 7. You “accidentally” (lol) hit a pass that goes 80 yards for a TD, a 15 second drive. So, now you are up 14 with 9:45 left in the 4th quarter. Your D might be tired because of that short drive, but you are still clearly better off now with the TD than you were before you scored it. Right?

                      I understand that IF you were guaranteed to score with a long 6 minute drive, you would have rather done that. But, of course, in the real world you’re *never* guaranteed to score with a long 6 minute drive. So, as long as you score one way or the other, you’re going to be happy. And the result of scoring, no matter how tired your D is, is that you now have a more favorable score for your team and there is less time left in the game for the other team to give you a less favorable score. You win that round.

                    • gastr1

                      Xon, the situational stats are debatable. I think your point in some ways illustrates mine: Yes, it’s better to be up 14 than seven. But if your defense is kinda bad it might not matter that much; if the other team scores within three minutes you have the ball back with 6 to go and a seven-point lead again. So did that 15-second score even matter? Can’t it be possible that the 15-second score actually contributed to the opponent getting another score immediately after? If you run the ball and the clock and DO NOT score, you still have that same seven-point lead–but with less time left on the clock, if you are remotely adept at running the ball (and the clock, natch).

                      Of course. teams that pass without running don’t always score and when they do not they sometimes “do not score” quite quickly, so to speak. And they often cannot run the ball effectively in pretty much any situation.
                      So here’s a situation where you’d really rather not risk a quick possession and give the ball back–because when a passing offense fails, it can fail quite quickly, but if you’re a passing team that rarely runs the ball, all you can do is take that chance and hope your receivers catch the ball. If they drop it on 3rd and three you could be sunk–’cause your D is not ready and you took no time off the clock.

                      I think the bottom line is that passing at the exclusion of running the ball is riskier than doing both passing and running for many reasons. But is it worth the risk? I’d say no: it’s going to give the other team more chances at a tired defense and that alone is going to put pressure on the offense to keep scoring.

                      Playing keep away with the ball is just as viable a strategy as trying to score quickly all the time. But it has two inherent advantages: your defense stays fresh and you can be more situationally prepared for scoring as fast or as slowly as the moment calls for.

                      Look, I’ve never been in the arena (LOL), but I’ve seen enough football to see that the vast majority of coaches champion teams do it the way I’m laying out. There’s always room for more ways and I would never argue for something just because that’s how it’s always been, which is inherently idiotic, but I think we’re mistaken if we assume that teams have not tried to win while excluding the running game. It’s certainly a lot sexier to fans and recruits. But generally those teams have not won much. That’s the forest talking.

                    • Xon

                      gastri, of course it mattered that you got that score, since you now continue to have a lead with the game closer to the end than it was before. It’s not as though you can ever say that the quick score *caused* the opponent’s subsequent score, only that it might have contributed to it in some sense by having the D be a bit more tired. Running the clock and not scoring *might* end up with the same result as you got with the quick score. Or, it might end up much worse. (You might have fumbled during that long drive, or you might have gone 3-and-out with that strategy, too). It always improves your position to score points, except for a few weird end-of-game situations like when your opponent deliberately takes a safety, etc.

                      To be clear and by the way, I’m not an advocate of an Air Raid offense or anything like that. I’m not a young buck who wants some newfangled, flashy offense that is magically supposed to be better than what we’ve been doing. Not at all. I like our system just fine. And I agree with you that it is often the best strategy to try to grind out a long drive. It all depends on the situation in the game, what your strengths are in this particular matchup, what the D is doing to try adjust to your strengths, etc.

                      This thread is about the idea of “balance” and what that means. I’m with our gracious host in that I think that it is a mistake to think of balance as involving some optimal proportion between one kind of play and anoghter (running vs. passing), that in order to win you “have” to run it a certain amount of the time. I think the *same* thing about passing, by the way. You have to do what you are good at doing, adjusted by “constraint” plays that keep the opponent’s D honest when they try to adjust to take away what you are good at.

                      So, if passing is what’s working (or, more particularly, if particular kinds of passing plays are working), then you do that. You don’t say “Well, wait a minute, passing like this might cause us to score too quickly!” The idea that you can score “too quickly” is what I’m disagreeing with, and nothing more. I’m not advocating a pass-happy offense per se over a rushing offense. I’m advocating doing what’s working and not worrying that it is working “too well.” No such thing.

                      At the end of a game, teams that are good often find that they had a fairly even proportion of running and passing plays, or that they ran a certain amount of the time, etc. But they didn’t set out TRYING to do that. That’s what happened b/c that’s what worked during the course of the game. You do not want, ever, to try to match some pre-conceived proportion of your different kinds of plays. That’s the key thing here.

                      Also, I doubt our coaches *really* ever do that. But sometimes from the way Bobo talks after a game, it sure *sounds* like he does. He probably needs a PR consultant more than anything.

                    • Xon

                      One other thing. I’m in Bobo’s camp overall. I think he’s done a good job as our OC, and the people who annoy me most of all are the Bobo-haters. This is just one little wrinkle where I think we aren’t that clear-headed, based on what Bobo sometimes *says* about why he called plays the way he did. Droughts happen to every team, of course. But if you go through a drought, and then the coach tells you that he was deliberately refusing to water the plants because he was worried they’d grow “too much”, then you scratch your head a little bit.

                      (Again, not that Bobo has ever or would ever say anything that bad. It’s a perception problem more than anything, kind of like the one coaches sometimes create when they seem to focus *sooooo much* on a tailback’s ability to pass-block.)

      • Rocksalt

        OR AUBURN!

    • Dawgfan Will

      I was wondering the same thing.

    • Josh

      Over the years, Richt and Bobo have both paid a lot of lip service to the need for a “balanced” offense. We also run a fairly conventional pro-style offense predicated on a strong running game and the play-action pass… heck, we probably run a RB off-tackle out of the shotgun as much as any team in America.

      All of which is fine… but there are those of us semi-informed observers who see a disconnect between talent and offensive production relative to similar programs (and especially in light of recent lack of overall success) and wonder about the cause.

      As the Senator has noted on several occasions, the evidence demonstrating Bobo’s effectiveness as a QB coach is everywhere. At the same time, our offense goes through inexplicable stretches in virtually every game where, as the saying goes, even the wife knows what play is coming next.

      There’s a bit of confirmation bias to my opinion, I’ll grant. But anecdotally, it’s hard to argue that under Bobo our offense experiences all-too-regular bouts of predictability, lack of go-for-the-jugular-ness, etc. Yes, game situation factors in. Yes, you can’t run “all streaks” every down, else your defense will be on the field forever. And there are times when the offense looks good, no doubt. I guess my wish is that Bobo relied a bit less on (apparent) adherence to “pro-style playcalling 101″ and bit more on getting his playmakers the ball as much as possible.

      • Biggus Rickus

        There are droughts in games. I’m just not sure how different that is from most offenses. I mean, Arkansas after jumping out big on Georgia last year did nothing else until the final drive.

        • James Stephenson

          BR, these people hate Bobo. And they Hated Richt calling the plays too.

        • Cojones

          You will find the “Bobo pattern” in all college games irregardless of coach and time. What some of you seem to want is a flashy ras-ma-tas play caller who you can then deal off to someone else because his failure will be obvious and no longer open to opinions.

          C’mon, get a life on here and lay off the argumentative, salacious, idiotic comments toward Bobo. You can do the same with all calls from all coaches, O or D. The same patterens DON’T emerge for all or even a greater part of Bobo’s game playcalling.

          Geez, Senator. Did you just have to link together the word “pattern”
          from Leach’s book to such a subjective blog on Bobo? What gives?

          • Cojones

            And the word “balance”.

          • I did, because I thought it illustrated my main point about Bobo well. I continue to believe he has it in him to be a very good OC, if he’d just trust his instincts more. That’s the difference between him and play callers like Leach. It’s not about “flash”.

  6. Spike

    Get Orson Charles the damn ball. That’s my balance fot ya.

  7. Spike

    Sorry,”for ya.’

    • AthensHomerDawg

      “Measure twice ..cut once.” ;-)
      Only because Xon has put me in the instructional mode this AM.

  8. ThePetis

    My favorite part is that the three small paragraphs spanned three pages. No wonder it was a quick read…

  9. TomReagan

    “That one guy had better be really, really special, a Hall of Fame type of talent, like Herschel Walker was at Georgia in the early ’80s…”

    Or like a Washaun Ealey.

  10. 69Dawg

    Face it Mark Richt has been and will always be a HC that will sit on a lead and work the clock. Bobo is not going to change CMR’s mind on that. Like someone said above Bobo and the O will look a lot more like UGA 2001-2005 with a good D. If I was Bobo the last few years and knew that our only chance to win depended on my O out scoring the other team and not having any lose of service I would have looked for another job long ago.

  11. Bad M

    Miyagi: You remember lesson about balance? Daniel: Yeah.
    Miyagi: Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?
    -OR-
    Kreese: What do we study here?
    Karate Class: THE WAY OF THE FIST SIR.
    Kreese: And what is that way?
    Karate Class: STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY SIR.
    Kreese: I can’t hear you.
    Karate Class: STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY SIR.

  12. The other Doug

    Often times it seems like Bobo is running certain plays because they seemed like a good idea on Wednesday even though they aren’t working on Saturday.

    I want to see Bobo run what is working until the defense adjusts to stop it, and then runs the plays that will succeed because of their adjustment.

  13. Macallanlover

    Conventional wisdom regarding balance is indeed looking at the number of running and passing plays/yards according to every analyst I have heard in the broadcast media, and even coaches. The Pirate’s contribution is a nice perspective, and who is more qualified for respect on offensive thinking than he? (Other than CPJ of course.)

  14. Derek

    Two things:

    First, what the hell has mike leach done to deserve respect? Isn’t his eccentricity his only attribute of significance?

    Second, the issue of balance however defined is intended to achieve a particular result: effective results for the next play. Therefore you run so that the pass will work and pass so that the run will work. Likewise you pass it to a lesser receiver so that the next pass to your top receiver will work. The question the senator is raising is when you are already achieving a desired result, i.e, passing at will, the purpose of balance has been achieved without the need for actual balance. The only reason to run would be some other greater purpose such as making certain the clock is running.

    • Macallanlover

      I grant you that he is indeed eccentric, and concede the subjectiveness of how much respect he deserves may vary from person to person, but “what has he done to deserve respect”? Come on. If for no other reason than he put a smart-assed kid wearing sunglasses to practice in a dark room, and took on the WWL he deserves boo-koos of respect, imo.

      If I were a HC I would want my offensive coordinator picking his fertile brain, even if i didn’t want to adopt his entire philosophy. More importantly, I would make sure my DC read what he had to say because you just might have to stop his offense, or one like it. Whether you acknowledge it or not, Mike Leach put a damned entertaining progduct on the field in Lubbock. And he made some late Saturday night football games the best option on TV.

      • AlphaDawg

        Leach is Craig James and ESPNs on personal walking talking hemorrhoid, thats enough to garner my respect.

      • Derek

        Can’t disagree with your take on the james’ kid incident or the entertainment value of TT under leach but it still does not get my attention in the arena of “winning” football. The coaches we play the next two Saturdays are much more impressive offensive minds IMHO.

        • Cojones

          Leach defeated an undefeated Texas when no one else could. His passing game was studied by many other HCs, including Richt. Because of his passing game(plus Crabtree) he lifted TT from a UT/El Paso obscurity to a Big12 power to be reckoned with. Does this answer some of the central question?

          • AusDawg85

            Yes…man, there has been some shootin’ from the hip responses on here today that just don’t make a whole lot of sense. Reasonable analysis should conclude that:

            Leach is a highly innovative offensive coach.

            There is NOT a direct correlation with the quality of your D and whether you run or pass a lot on offense. Good D’s can support either style. Bad D’s can be assisted with either style. In the end, a good D will usually prevail, and let a great running game develop over time, something a bad D does not permit an offense the luxury of doing.

            You can score quickly and not necessarily put your D at a disadvantage. When we play La-Laf, are we worried about how fast we score?

            Real time sideline rest is different from the game clock.

            A running game that goes wide (sweeps) can kill the game clock by going out of bounds just as much as a “west-coast offense” can control the clock via short over the middle passing.

            Bobo is great when we win, Bobo sucks when we lose. Ditto for CMR.

            Ealey was the greatest back of his mind. (not a typo)

            • Bobo is great when we win, Bobo sucks when we lose.

              Maybe this is heretical on my part, but I thought Bobo’s best called game last season came against Florida.

              • AusDawg85

                Well, in regulation he tied, and you may or may not pin what happened in OT on him, so “no decision”. ;-)

                I was really mocking the shoot-from-the-hip reactions by many after each game. I’m on the side that says CMB has the opportunity to be regarded as a very good OC, but he’ll have to demonstrate he can “feel” his way to victories by reading what’s happening in real time and not just follow a script. Which, by the way, may be all myth and its just not evident that his intuition during the game is all that strong yet. For example, maybe he read something against Tech that dictated a (perceived) change in tactics, but then if players don’t perform, the OC is hung out to dry. Cause and effect are real hard to determine without some confessions from inside the arena.

          • Derek

            Spike Dykes led TT to 2nd place finishes every year but one from 1991 through 1999. Leach finished second twice in ten years and won one division. Not exactly a sea change.

            • Xon

              Dykes had TT finishing second every year but one…in the hollowed-out Southwest Conference from 1991-1996, and then within the South Division of the Big 12 that had usually-down Oklahoma and Texas programs for the late 90s. His program was never on the national radar, that’s for sure.

            • Cojones

              Leach had to train one player in the dark. Now, that’s one helluva coach!

  15. BMan

    Like the two posts above from the Other Doug and Derek, I’d just simply like to see the offense use what works. Balance doesn’t have to be a concept measured within the same game. I’d be perfectly happy with a Georgia offense that could beat a team’s ass one week throwing it 75% of the time and demoralize a team the next week by running it down their throat. That would be balance.

    Bi

  16. MinnesotaDawg

    I didn’t write a book, but here’s my view on the need for balance:

    You need to be capable of running the ball when (1) you play a team with a lousy run defense/good pass-defense and/or (2) you play a team that is over-adjusting to stop the pass and/or (3) it’s a short-distance situation.

    You need to be capable of passing the ball when (1) you play a team with a lousy pass/good run-defense and/or (2) you play a team that is selling out to stop the run and/or (3) you are significantly behind or behind late in the game.

    So, yes over the course of a season or a game, you are better served by having a balanced offense. However, I’m just not buying the balance for balance sake or the other game-management philosophies that seem to favor balance at the expense of points.

    • Derek

      Perhaps you and Jamie Howard and curly hallman could have a riveting discussion about how game management issues are insignificant factors.

      • MinnesotaDawg

        Ha! Nice reference, although I’d find the more relevant to the discussion if Aaron Murray had thrown 6 picks rather than just 4 incompletions.

        Sure, you have to consider the context of the situation in any play that you call, including the possibility of a turnover or running out the clock. But those concerns should also be based on the game actually being played–not according to a need for balance or some bizarre game played 20 years ago.

  17. South FL Dawg

    Oh snap!!!

    BTW – Leach’s name has come up in connection with the opening at FAU since Schnellenberger is retiring. And guess who UGA opens with next year?

    Senator, you might be watching Leach in Sanford next year and hoping he croaks on his sword ;)

  18. Sandra

    The problem is, Spurrier won the East riding Lattimore, and Saban won the West riding Ingram a couple of years back. As the great Wareen Buffet said, diversification is not a good strategy. Put all your eggs in the right basket, and hang on. Dooley did all right with Herschel.

    • Bobby Peru

      Where’s your Herschel now…ehhhh!? I’m getting stomach cramps thinking about how mystified I’ll be as Bobo pulls plays out of a hat Saturday night. Let’s hope like hell that Grantham can make Kellen cry.

      • Sandra

        I guess we go with Isaiah or Richard–whoever gets it done? :)

        • Normaltown Mike

          We could really use Ealey’s 5.4 ytpc ;)

        • Macallanlover

          That isn’t the formula for just this game, it is the formula for every game. The RB position is a shared responsibility on virtually every team these days so the most effective player of the RB group will likely see the most action. I don’t think it’s necessarily that important who gets the opening snap any longer.

          Against Boise I feel Samuel will be the most effective because BSU sees many more backs the size and speed of Crowell than they see a backfield with a 270 pound FB followed by a 235 pound RB. They are undersized against our OL already so laying the beef to them might be our best strategy. Also, they have an experienced DL and I like having a back who has proven he can block and doesn’t mind contact. Taking that a step further, RS may also be the best player in our 2nd game against an experienced SEC line. After that, IC may have had enough time to prove his blocking prowess. But like you, I don’t care about the number on the jersey, just as long as the guy in the red jersey has a winning effort.