Daily Archives: November 24, 2012

Can I just say, 2012 season, I lurve you?

I mean, skip the obvious for a minute.  How can you not love a season that has Gator fans hanging their hats on Junior and watching him inevitably come up short?  (Should I even bother to mention that a four-team playoff would have made the agony moot?  Consider it mentioned.)

The only thing that could have made it better would have been for Corch to have something to do with it.  Maybe next year.

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Gators, Gators...

Get medieval.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Same as it ever was.

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November 24, 2012 · 4:08 PM

Hate Week, game day edition

Over the last couple of days, perhaps in a turkey-induced stupor, I’ve had a change of heart about today’s game.  Not about which team was going to win – Tech’s got an any-given-Saturday’s chance, of course, but not much more – but about whether the Dawgs could cover.  My first thought was that in keeping with the recent history of the series, Tech would do enough to keep the spread from being covered.  But I’ve gone to the dark side, and I’ve done so for what I think are two compelling reasons.

The first is the offense vs. defense matchups.  There’s no question that Tech’s going to get some yards today (although the message board reliance on “Georgia Southern rushed for 302 yards” is a bit misplaced in that a big chunk of that came in fourth-quarter garbage time).  But if you look at the metrics the guys at Football Outsiders compile, the yawning gap is between Georgia’s offense and Georgia Tech’s defense.  The chart there shows that Tech can’t defend the rush, can’t handle offenses that aren’t in passing downs and faces the best passing offense in D-1.

If you want what that means in English, here’s Bill Connelly to explain:

Groh or not, Tech has been an outright sieve on standard downs, ranking 101st in the country. Meanwhile, that’s where Georgia thrives. The Bulldogs are both balanced — running back Todd Gurley crossed the 1,000-yard mark last week, and the Dawgs rank 26th in Rushing S&P+; meanwhile, they rank FIRST in Passing S&P+ — and deep, with eight different players (three running backs, five receivers) logging at least one play of 30 yards or more. Despite the losses of receivers Michael Bennett and Marlon Brown to injury, quarterback Aaron Murray has found ample targets, from Tavarres King (685 yards, 12.9 per target), to Malcolm Mitchell (444 yards, 10.6 per target), to Arthur Lynch (308 yards, 14.0 per target), to Chris Conley (192 yards, 9.6 per target).

Barring turnover diarrhea – and admittedly, that shouldn’t be totally brushed off, as Tech has been better holding on to the ball than Georgia has this year, surprisingly – I don’t see how Tech keeps up, even if the Jackets win the time-of-possession edge today.

Enough on the stats.  The other reason I like Georgia today is intangibles.  No, not Richt’s track record against Tech, or even that the Dawgs do have something big to play for today, although neither hurts, certainly.  But the intangible I’m hanging my hat on is the one consistent thing about Georgia this year:  it plays well when it’s got something to be angry about.  Vanderbilt, Florida and Auburn are Georgia’s three most consistent, focused efforts of the 2012 season and what they all have in common is Georgia’s kids playing with chips on their shoulders.  It’s Tech.  That should always be enough to light a fire.

I’m heading up in about fifteen minutes, so consider this your game day invitation to comment.

By the way, those of you reading this who are going to the game, make sure you get there by 11:45 to honor the seniors.  If there’s a bunch of Dawgs who deserve our appreciation today, it’s them.  They’ve done a helluva job bringing the program back to a level of respectability and they deserve to hear a little about it.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Chizik, losing his religion

I know taking advice from former Auburn offensive coordinators – amazingly enough, two of Tuberville’s former staffers are up for the Broyles Award this year – is probably the last thing Gene Chizik wants to hear right now, but something Tony Franklin said bears repeating as we enter into what very well may turn out to be Chizik’s farewell on the Plains today:

New England is the best offense in the NFL for one reason,” Franklin said. “They play like colleges do. They play no-huddle, fast-tempo, they change tempos and they do what they have to do to win. I think Belichick would probably disagree with his buddy.”

It’s the great equalizer,” Franklin said. “People say Baylor can’t play defense. You know what? Before Art Briles got there, they couldn’t play offense, either, and they couldn’t win games. Now all of a sudden, Baylor can beat people because they can outscore people.

“Obviously if you can line up and you’ve got better players than everybody else and play great defense and eat clock and win as many games as you can, that’s a great way of playing football, too. The problem is, 95 percent of us don’t have that type of talent to do that.

“So when they fall into that trap of saying, ‘Here’s how Alabama has won championships. Here’s what we should do,’ to me, that’s the trap that Coach Saban would want everybody to fall into because, the reality of it is, he’s going to have better players most of the time.”

Chizik walked right into that trap with eyes open when he ditched Malzahn and elected to go with a more traditional offensive scheme.  I read the other day that Chizik without Malzahn has a 2-22 record as a head coach against D-1 teams.  Choosing a course of action with the thought that Auburn would be able to go toe-to-toe with Saban’s Process, even with guys like Luper and Taylor luring recruits to Auburn, was a fool’s errand from the start and Chizik is about to be presented with the check.

It will be interesting to see where Auburn goes from here.  Does it proceed to act as if it’s part of the five percent that can line it up with Saban, or does it go the let’s try to outscore ‘em route – a path that served Texas A&M pretty well this year (and made Ole Miss a pain in the ass to play)?

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Strategery And Mechanics