Daily Archives: January 10, 2012

Giving new meaning to the term “all in”

Is BVG trying to get the band back together?

I wonder what Jon Fabris is doing these days.

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22 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Maybe he’ll understand when he watches the replay.

Jordan Jefferson, I owe you an apology.  You weren’t detached last night.  You were delusional.

“I was seeing things clearly,” Jefferson said. “Making decisions with the ball wasn’t an issue.”

Jefferson turned the ball over twice, but it was his ill-advised flip-pass to an unsuspecting Spencer Ware that was devastating. Jefferson thought Ware was ready for the pass, but Ware had turned up field to block before Jefferson released the ball, which was intercepted.

“Other than that, I made great decisions with the ball,” Jefferson said.

Feel free to insert your reference to the old Mrs. Lincoln joke here.

23 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Mumme Poll PSA

The ballot box is officially open for business and will remain so into Friday.  So get over there and do your thing.

10 Comments

Filed under Mumme Poll

The plus-one is coming! Will it be aesthetically pleasing?

I’m guessing this year’s offseason fixation will be the new, improved BCS.  Matt Hayes reports that a new format is a done deal.  It’s just that nobody has a clue what that format is.

… A national playoff is coming, everyone.

It’s only a matter of what it looks like.

“It gets done,” a high-ranking BCS official told Sporting News Monday evening.

Here’s how: over the next six months, the leaders of the sport will meet at least four times to iron out a plan that protects the importance of the regular season—the one aspect BCS leaders believe separates the game from every other—while embracing a new frontier for the poll-driven sport.

It begins Tuesday here in New Orleans with a meeting of conference commissioners, and includes meetings in Dallas in February and Miami in April. Another meeting in June is also likely, especially considering the magnitude of the potential change.

When asked what the playoff would look like, a high-ranking BCS source said there are “at least 60” different options on the table, and that includes everything from a four-team playoff to one game after all the bowls.

Boy, that sounds promising.  Although I will say this in the plus-one’s favor – if it will get Dan Wetzel to STFU about a playoff, I’m all for it.

… Miles even made the case postgame that LSU should be in consideration for the AP title based on its season-long body of work, including the previous triumph over Alabama.

“That’s for the voters to figure,” Miles said.

When the coach of a team that was shut out in the championship game is arguing that he should win the championship anyway, the system is an unqualified disaster.

The sport’s power brokers will meet here Tuesday to discuss the future, and many have predicted significant changes. If there is one positive from this tractor pull, it’s that it should help continue the groundswell toward a playoff, even if it’s just four teams to start.

Catch that “to start” there?  I also like how Miles lobbying for the top spot in the AP poll (not that it worked) proves that the BCS is an “unqualified disaster”.

Admittedly, Wetzel is so far around the bend on the subject of a football playoff that he can’t see straight, but there’s one part of his argument that should be troubling.

… Bad games happen. They’ve happened in Super Bowls. They’ve happened in the regular season. They’ve happened in all sports at all levels.

When they happen at the conclusion of a season that uses a system so universally loathed as the BCS, though, they tend to get cited as a byproduct, not a coincidence.

He’s not the only one making that point.

… The Crimson Tide’s domination of LSU was stunning from the get-go in its breadth and depth. It turns out we had seen enough in the first half to know the final outcome: Total yards, 225-43. First downs, 13-1. Total offensive plays, 41-17. Was this the national championship game, or Alabama’s season-opener against Kent State?

That’s not a question the BCS wants asked about its crown jewel, but it’s the question we are forced to ask after one of the most lopsided and unsatisfying college football finales in years. Unsatisfying: the perfect word for the BCS almost any season, and certainly for this one.

And this is with Alabama winning.  God only knows what we’d be hearing right now if the rematch had proven to be a dominating confirmation of the regular season result.

What bugs me here is the idea that the sin of last night’s game not being entertaining can be laid at the feet of the BCS.  It’s one thing to argue that D-1′s postseason needs to be restructured to avoid the unfairness of ’03 and ’04.  It’s something totally different to call for avoiding an unexciting outcome.

Since there’s no way to guarantee a satisfying title game, what we’re left with, I suppose, is either ginning up the rules like the NFL periodically does to promote more offense, or adding the Cinderella factor to the college football postseason.  Be still, my heart.

I have no idea if this is where the game is really headed, but if there are at least sixty options on the table as Hayes suggests, I’d say just about anything is a possibility for proposal.  The power brokers calling the shots here shouldn’t exactly fill us with confidence about doing the right thing, either.

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UPDATE:  Even Michael Elkon indulges in a little of this thinking, albeit wistfully.

… We’ll never get to see how the Tide would have done against Andrew Luck or Oklahoma State’s version of the Air Raid or Oregon’s version of the spread ‘n’ shred.  Imagine Andrew Luck trying to decipher one of Nick Saban’s shifting coverage schemes.  Imagine Dre Kirkpatrick covering Justin Blackmon.  Imagine DeAnthony Thomas in space against Donta Hightower.  One of the benefits of expanding college football’s postseason is that we would get more matchups like that, but we are denied that opportunity.  I hate ending the college football season on a note of frustration, but that’s how I feel this morning after having seen a truly great defense test itself against a mediocre offense.

89 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Doing the DC shuffle

There’s something fitting about Ted Roof jumping ship at UCF for a lateral move to Penn State on the day when Brian VanGorder pulled his latest gypsy move.  But it’s the loyalty that impresses most.

… New Penn State coach Bill O’Brien and Roof worked together on O’Leary’s staff at Georgia Tech and at Duke. O’Brien and Roof remain very close friends. The first sign of trouble for UCF was during O’Brien’s introductory press conference when the new Penn State coach mentioned Roof as someone who he enjoyed working with and learned a lot from in the past.

Few people expected Roof to actually accept the Penn State job after O’Leary plucked Roof from Auburn, where he faced negative backlash from rabid fans and seemed to be on the verge of getting fired. Roof and O’Brien both have spoken highly of O’Leary and thanked him for giving them key job opportunities, so it didn’t seem likely they would put O’Leary in a bind so close to National Signing Day.

Actually, it doesn’t sound like O’Brien has much of a problem with that at all.

… O’Brien also was rumored to be targeting UCF offensive line coach Brent Key, who played at Georgia Tech while O’Brien was on the staff.

Makes you wonder what they do to people they don’t think so highly of.

12 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

“Do you have a question?”

Remind me again, Stewart Mandel, as you snidely comment about bloggers and showers, about the professionalism of the paid press.

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UPDATE:

39 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

Jordan Jefferson got wiped.

Man, talk about your metaphor for the evening…

I know the popular refrain last night, between Musburger’s non-stop “Honey Badger” references, was that Jefferson was having trouble handling the pressure, but I thought it was more a matter of him being disconnected from the proceedings.  The lack of effort in running the option, the pathetic shovel pass which led to an interception, the mishandled snaps – all were indications that the LSU quarterback’s head wasn’t in the game.  Facing a soulless robot who had more than a month (and a game tape of the LSU offense versus a 3-4 defense in the SECCG) to prepare was tough enough for the Tigers offense; having a quarterback who (pardon the expression) played like he didn’t give a shit made it that much harder.

LSU looked like a team that spent the last month working on just one thing, slowing Trent Richardson down.  Alabama, on the other hand, played like a bunch that went down a laundry list of dos and don’ts, checking them off one by one:  don’t turn the ball over, don’t let Mathieu create big plays, don’t throw the ball in Claiborne’s direction, use the running threat of Richardson to set up play action on early downs, make Jordan Jefferson beat you on offense, etc.  The result was the most dominating defensive performance I’ve ever seen in a BCS game.  Yeah, Jefferson made things easier, but I don’t know of a team in the country which would have scored more than fourteen points against Alabama last night.  (And none of those were as good defensively as LSU.)

If I can take the opportunity to put on my homer hat for a moment, I hope Mark Richt makes everyone in the program watch last night’s game several times this offseason.  Nick Saban put on a clinic of what it takes to win a game of import against what turned out to be the second best team in the country.  It wasn’t just that the ‘Bama defense controlled the game.  The Tide made no mistakes on offense – no turnovers, no penalties – and had no serious lapses on special teams.  Alabama never gave LSU an opportunity to seize the momentum as it had done time and time again against some very good opposition.

And that’s what Georgia couldn’t do in the SECCG.  Let’s not forget that as stifling as Saban’s defense was last night, Grantham’s first-half defense against LSU was even better.  (Georgia also scored more points in the first half than Alabama did.)  But Georgia let its chances to win the championship game unravel on special teams and turnovers, as had happened on other occasions this season.

There are lessons to be learned for 2012, if this Georgia team will take the time to learn them.

91 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules