Daily Archives: August 25, 2012

Reverse-engineering the SEC

The Columbia Tribune has a fascinating article about how Missouri is changing its approach on offense and defense to reflect the change in styles it faces going from the Big 12 to the SEC.  If you’re like me in thinking how TAMU and Missouri affect the SEC style of play and vice versa is the most interesting thing to come out of conference expansion, you’ll want to read the whole thing, but as a Georgia fan, you might want to zero in on one specific part:

A few obvious trends emerged from the film study. SEC offenses generally work at a slower tempo than teams in the Big 12, where no-huddle systems are more common. That means SEC games feature fewer plays.

SEC offenses averaged 65.5 snaps last year; Big 12 teams averaged 76.2. Over the course of a season, those extra snaps mean Big 12 defenses played the equivalent of two additional games. Last season, Missouri’s offense averaged 74.8 plays; the defense averaged 73.1.

Alabama, which led the country in every major defensive category, had its defense on the field for a national-low 720 plays, only 55.4 per game. Having the No. 1 third-down defense played a big part in limiting Alabama’s defensive snaps, but the SEC’s grind-it-out pace helped, too.

The average Big 12 league game last year averaged 154.5 plays from scrimmage, compared to 129.5 in the SEC.

Steckel believes the SEC’s methodical pace could allow for more liberal use of specialized sub packages on defense, a luxury Missouri couldn’t always afford in the Big 12.

“The Big 12 is so fast-paced, you don’t have time to substitute people,” he said. “You have to have your base, nickel and dimes conditioned and trained to do all those different things.”

Blame Bobo if you like, but that’s not Georgia’s story.  On offense, the Dawgs led the SEC in plays run last season.  Their 1016 total would have placed them fourth in last year’s Big 12.

Interestingly, though, in total plays per game, Georgia averaged just under 135, which is considerably less than last year’s Big 12 average.  That would seem to suggest that Grantham’s bunch was pretty good at limiting plays.  Anyway, the question is, will this be an advantage for the Dawgs on September 8th?  Will Missouri’s preparation for a slower-paced SEC hurt the Tigers’ ability to defend Georgia’s no-huddle, or will it simply be something they’re used to?

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Filed under Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, SEC Football

Round robin

There’s no denying the best thing about playing in a ten-team major conference.

As it was last year, its first as a 10-team league, the Big 12 will be the only major conference that has complete round-robin scheduling in football and basketball. Nine football games and 18 basketball games don’t sit well with all coaches, but the league overall was happy with the system.

Tough shit, coaches.  As a fan, this matters a helluva lot more to me:

“In the ACC and SEC there are some institutions that have 100-year histories of playing each other that aren’t going to be playing each other every year. I think the reality of that and the reality of the larger number have kind of sunk in.”

For you, maybe.  In SEC-land, not so much.  I’m a little jealous.

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Filed under Big 12 Football

The Montana Project, fifth update

While I appreciate the feedback I got in the last post, I think we’ve been a little ambitious in our reach.  Travis, who actually does this stuff for a living, reminded me that what we’re trying to do isn’t conducive to a man-on-the-street (more accurately, man in the bar) setting.  He’s right.  I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, though.  Per Hoppy,

Saturday Sept. 1st is the first UM Griz game. It starts at 1pm, just about the time the UGA game will be getting over. The bar will be packed with college football/Griz fans for the next three hours. It will be a somewhat older crowd (I predict as it has been in the past). Nonetheless, I think it will be easy to get 100 people in this one location. If I can, I would like to plant myself next to a door and grab people as they come through the door. If I can’t get the prime real estate by the door, I will circulate through the bar.

Let’s face it – people circulating in a Great Falls sports bar wearing UM colors are going to be (1) Montana residents and (2) college football fans.  So I think it’s safe to dispense with the formalities.  Here’s how Hoppy will be approaching this:

We are going to try to keep this as simple and as true to Mandel’s article as possible. That said, we want to keep the video clip in the two minute range. We’ll ask “control” questions, but I don’t think all 100 people will get the Michigan, Song Girls, coaches etc. treatment.  I am only going to use the helmet…No Uga picture.  I received the helmet today. Thanks Big Shock! If I wear it for more than ten seconds, the blood supply to my brain stops…It’s not quite my size.

We’ll get a handle on how many recognize the “G” and on how questionable the rest of Mandel’s assumptions are.  Should be a fun watch.

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Filed under Georgia Football, GTP Stuff