Déjà vu on the Plains?

With one caveat, I think Jerry Hinnen’s on to something with this:

… VanGorder is a legitimate smash hire, one probably on par with Malzahn’s. But that’s for reasons that I don’t think had that much to do with his NFL employment or even NFL success; BVG coached some truly fantastic defenses at Georgia, one of which helped get the Dawgs within one ill-timed loss of a national title. Even in the David Greene heyday, Richt’s best teams were defined more by their D than their O, and VanGorder was the guy who was building those D’s. If 2009 and 2010 Auburn were teams constructed around Malzahn and what he could with an offense, 2012 and forward are going to be the same for VanGorder.

This is another reason I’m not sweating Loeffler’s hire, despite being opposed on a theoretical level; with BVG in the fold, the Auburn offense likely won’t have to set the world on fire to win games…

Assuming that the 2012 BVG model is the same one we saw here in his Georgia heyday, we may be looking at an old, familiar situation to our west soon.

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42 Comments

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42 responses to “Déjà vu on the Plains?

  1. Go Dawgs!

    Two things: First, I’m not sure how much “and forward” you can count on out of Brian VanGorder. Beyond 2013, I don’t know where he’ll be coaching. Second, VanGorder left the SEC just as the spread and spread option offenses were coming into the league. He never had to defend them. We’ll see if he is as effective against that type of attack.

    • As to your first point, that’s part of déjà vu, too. ;)

      On the second point, Michael Elkon correctly noted the other day that the trend in the SEC is going away from the spread and back to pro-style offenses. What may be more telling is how BVG does without AA candidates like Pollack and Davis.

      • Newt

        To add on to your second point, if VanGorder has a DL that can get pressure without much blitzing, he’ll be the BVG we remember so fondly in Athens. If he doesn’t, he’ll be the BVG of the Falcons circa 2012.

        • Scott

          +1. As usual, Newt hits the nail right on the head.

        • TomReagan

          If he can’t get pressure without blitzing, he may just be a glorified Willie Martinez.

          That’s an overstatement, because Van Gorder’s defenses had a toughness that Martinez’s seemed to lack, but they were basically running the same stuff. Van Gorder also had Martinez as a full time secondary coach doing excellent work. Martinez’s work product back there plummetted after his promotion, and apparently hasn’t recovered since his move out west.

      • That’d be my thought too Senator. How good is the recruiting he’s left with, or Trooper provides him (cause we know he ain’t winning over mamas in the living room). But his D was always kind of a get front 4 pressure, let the rest sit back and destroy. Does he have a destroyer over the middle ala Blue, Davis, or Odell? Does he have that edge rush that made him look so good out of Pollack, Geathers, Thompson, Johnson, Moses, etc? His D was somewhat vanilla, which can work if you have the right horses, but I wouldn’t be so quick to declare him unbeatable.

        • I will say that AU’s defense under BVG will be more fundamentally sound (especially in coverage) than it was under Roof, but that’s not exactly a high bar to cross.

          • 81Dog

            “More fundamentally sound…than it was under Roof: geez, Senator, talk about being the dog with the freshest breath. LOL

          • Exactly. That’ll they’ll be better than they were with Roof is a given considering they can’t be worse. How much better is the question, and I think that’s very dependent on having the right talent on hand. Auburn has historically always had great defensive talent, and with Trooper, among other aspects cough*money*cough, I expect their recruiting should be strong. But I’d think Van Gorder will need help bringing them in. His NFL pedigree will go a long way, but his job-hoping ways will hurt, and how he burned Georgia Southern I’d think won’t help either when he crosses the state line to recruit below the fall line.

      • W Cobb Dawg

        What makes you believe BVG will do without All-Americans? Pollack was a FB who was switched to DT, and finally DE. Davis was a complete unknown and redshirted his first year. Shouldn’t BVG get some credit for recognizing talent and developing these players into all-Americans? How often has this scenario happened since BVG left? Won’t surprise me at all if BVG mines some gold out of awbie’s current players and recruits. Despite the bad rap he’s getting, he did a pretty good job with a Falcon roster with no defensive talent other than Abraham. I agree with Hinnen, BVG is going to present a very tough D on game day.

  2. Siskey

    If we beat them the next two years they will all be gone. Of course the next two years will be tough.

    • Go Dawgs!

      It is all about whether Alabama beats them the next 2 years, not us.

      • Then why did Tuberville get the boot after 6 in a row? I’m still shocked that run didn’t afford him a one season mulligan.

        • TomReagan

          I was in law school at Alabama at the time Tubs was fired. I firmly believe it was an overreaction to the Saban hire.

          It doesn’t matter how many times Auburn beats Alabama, Alabama will always rule their home state and Auburn will always be looking to prove themselves.

          You have to live there to believe it, but you know what I’m talking about if you have. Perception in that state is greatly different than in the rest of the SEC or nationally.

  3. Dog in Fla

    How come their OC has a t-shirt? He hasn’t even called a football play yet. Bobo needs a t-shirt.

  4. Skeptic Dawg

    I continue to believe that this is not good for the Dawgs, or any other team facing Auburn. I am a believer in BVG. He is a great college DC. I really do not like the thought of Bobo facing the 2nd half adjustments we have seen BVG make in the past. The good news: if the Dawgs only have 1 loss next year, that will be an awesome season.

    • 69Dawg

      BVG will not have to adjust to Bobo. Nothing has changed about our O since BVG was at UGA. He knows our O and he knows our coaches, CMR and Bobo. He will likely take the week off before our game.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      I will see your BVG …and raise your one CTG!

      • Skeptic Dawg

        I like CTG as well. This past season is the proof in the puddin’. The 2012 UGA vs Aub game may end up being a 6-3 game. I just worry about our offense having to face a BVG lead D year in and year out (at least until the SEC takes that annual rivilary away from us). In a matchup of adjustments, I will take BVG over CMB. Again, if that is the only loss of the season for the Dawgs, I will be one happy camper.

        • King Jericho

          Unless BVG is truly that much better than Grantham, we probably won’t have to worry about only scoring 6 points until at least year 2. BVG has to blow the Roof off just like Grantham had to get the Willy out.

          • Skeptic Dawg

            Our defensive shortcomings in year one of CTG was due to scheme change and lack of talent. Apparently it takes 2 years or more to convert from a 4-3 to a 3-4 (see GT for the more side of the conversion). Auburn is not changing schemes. I am not aware of their talent or lack there of. That being said, I expect a major improvement in their defensive play under BVG.

            • It also takes a proper Nose for the 3-4, which we didn’t have in year 1 or at least in terms of Kwame didn’t have far enough along in his development.

  5. Scott W.

    WOW, a football points t shirt. There is no limit to what those fools will do.

  6. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    As the Senator noted, this will be an upgrade for AU … Also recall that many UGA fans were pining for BVG to come back when Willie was freed and had that happened there would have been visions of violent safeties and DE’s dancing in our heads …

  7. Will Trane

    VanGorder has a mixed history. How he does at Auburn will be interesting to watch. Whether his LB and secondary coaches will be like in Athens will tell us something. Martinez did the secondary in Athens.
    As Chizik…we will see if he runs the D or VanGorder. VanGorder is an all in charge guy. Do not think he will want Chizik dabbling in his D. Just like with Gus Malzahn. Chizik was clueless because that spread was all Malzahn. So yes, Chizik is now shut out on the D rather than the O.

    Interesting to Syrupmaker Steven Bench decommit from Rice to Penn State and then have Dan Mullen want to jump in the mix. Mullen is a spread guy but PSU is a pro style. But it brings up the point about recruits. Which school, which coach, the coach’s [OC / DC] style and fit for them. How did a program at PSU with a very new staff scroll thru the QB list and hit on Bench? Which again raises the question about UGA’s recruiting efforts on an O-lineman out of Hinesville? Maybe Coach Richt needs to bring his staff with him to Clyattville on Sunday to have a better prespective.

  8. I don’t like the CMB/CBVG match up at all. Let’s all pray that CMR does something before the match up occurs.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      “If we score, we may win. If they never score, we’ll never lose.” Erk Russell
      I think we all wanna believe CTG is the next Erk!
      Get on the bus!

  9. Rebar

    I’m not so worried about BVG; when he was here at UGA, we had more studs on the defensive side of the ball. When he left, and for quite a few years after, our defense didn’t have many future first round picks for the NFL. I much prefer Coach Grantham, who the players seem to respect and want to play for.

  10. CharlotteDawg

    This is a good hire for Auburn. I hope BVG resurrects an awesome Defense at Auburn, then i hope Richt and the boys man up and kick the crap out out ‘em. to be the best you gotta beat the best.

  11. El Dawgo in El Paso

    45-7 might just become 28-7 next year. I’ll settle for that.

  12. Jonathan Dawg

    Furthermore, I’ll take CTG’s talent over anything that Roof compiled (Dirty @$%# Fairley included..), because fans seem to forget, that CTG cut our defensive stats almost in HALF with Slick Willy’s players, and has only shown improvement since, as he incorporates some of his type players. Coupled with Lakatos’ polar opposite style to Willy’s strange infatuation with small (but athletic) corners, we shall be a force to be reckoned with on the Defensive side of the ball. With that said..

  13. Jonathan Dawg

    Coach Bobo will always have a QB coach position with the DAWGS, as long as he wants it, but he will have run out of excuses come 12′ season, barring a rash of unfortunate injuries/suspensions/etc. Since he took over playcalling in 07′, we’ve either had a QB, but no running game (10/11) , or had a running game, but no QB (06/09) , sprinkled in with poor offensive line play throughout, due to talent (lack of), injuries (see “talent”) or coaching. With a couple good players (out of five), others being replaced by injuries to starters, we have yet under Bobo to start a year with our “preferred” linemen playing. We actually have tackles on the team, and no longer have to put guards at the tackle position (great size, bad footwork). CWF should be able to compile a *decent* O line out of the players we now have, and will have.. :) One out of our three most recent running backs will step up, AM is a DGD and didn’t deserve all of the criticism he recieved last year. He had to play most of last year UNDER FIRE from DE’s off the edge, thus collapsing his pocket, getting him sacked, and causing turnovers. We are so close..

  14. Macallanlover

    No question BVG is an upgrade from Roof but as others have said, it is unknown how he will do without superior talent. He was also a bend, don’t break DC at UGA, I hope he still is (assuming we get our FG kicking issues solved.) Honestly, I don’t remember a DC at UGA since Erk that didn’t concede yards anywhere on the field. UGA has always been a patsy for a short pass if the offense has the patience to move down the field that way (ala BSU and Kellen Moore.)

    I must admit the strongest fear I have about BVG is the one noted above that we are still running the same offense as when he left. UGA really needs to change/tweak the offense, especially the 6 yard deep hand-off in short yardage situations.