Daily Archives: January 9, 2007

Wake me up when the revolution gets here, would ‘ya?

Michael Elkon predicted it:

…Incidentally, this is why you-know-who will be completely wrong when he inevitably claims that Florida won the national title because of their OMG newfangled scheme that left mouth-breathing SEC coaches in the dust…

Heisman Pundit is back on his “Gang of Six” roll with Florida’s win. It’s the next big thing, you know, that Meyer spread attack:

… But, let’s get to the core of things here. When Urban Meyer was hired in 2005, I wrote Florida was set to be the next great power in college football. Why? Mainly because of the impending marriage of Meyer’s spread offense with the outstanding talent that he had on hand in Gainesville. It was the same combination that made USC so powerful from 2002-2004: Great scheme and great talent mixed together to create a perfect storm.

Of course, many scoffed at such a notion. There was no way Meyer’s scheme would ever be successful in the SEC, said the critics. He may have been successful at Utah and Bowling Green, but he won’t do as well in a real league... [Emphasis added.]

The thing is, to this point, and last night notwithstanding, those critics haven’t been proven wrong. For the 2006 regular season, the Gators finished fifth in the SEC in conference scoring, behind such state of the art offenses as Georgia’s and Tennessee’s. Meyer’s offense averaged just a hair over 22 points a game (actually less than that, if you net out defensive and special teams scores, but let’s not quibble here). How special is that?

Not very. Just to compare, the Gators in the last year of the Zook regime (2004) led the SEC in conference scoring, averaging over 31 points a game. A nine point drop – now that’s what I call progress. Yep, those SEC defensive coordinators have obviously been pulling their hair out in despair trying to cope with Meyer’s shiny new toy.

I can only hope the Gator offense continues to bedazzle the conference next season.



Filed under SEC Football, The Blogosphere

Member of the tribe?

One feature that WordPress has for its bloggers is a means of tracking the search engine terms that people use to find a blog.

So I’m intrigued by something: one of the most common inquiries I’ve seen, especially since the Fiesta Bowl, is some variation of the question “Is Jared Zabransky Jewish?”.  I’d appreciate it the next time somebody stops by here on that search if you’d share with me why you’re looking for an answer to that question. I’m just curious.

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Filed under Uncategorized

No, they can’t take that away from him.

You can make arguments for and against whether Florida winning the national championship last night is a good thing for Georgia. But as I went to bed last night, rather than pondering the game’s effect on the Dawgnation, I thought of the one person who clearly came out on the short end of the stick: Tommy Tuberville.

He had to be gritting his teeth last night, didn’t he? First of all, he’s watching a one loss SEC team pull off the win his undefeated ’04 squad never even got to play for. Second, he’s watching an inept defensive display from the #1 team in the country against a school that his team came back in the second half and beat without scoring an offensive touchdown.

And last night kind of put the smack down on the whole “the SEC can’t win a national championship without a playoff” mantra he been chanting since 2004 – which for me, as an extended playoff opponent, swings the balance in favor of the Gators’ win being a good thing.

But, Tommy, don’t despair. You’ll always have those special memories from that “championship” parade to cherish:

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Filed under Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

Tony Barnhart’s ’07 Top 25

Last season’s body hasn’t even cooled yet, and the AJC‘s Tony Barnhart has his 2007 preseason top 25 list out already.

A few notes:

  • I totally agree with Southern Cal being his pick at #1, especially given that fact that all but one starter returns on the defensive side of the ball.
  • And with the losses Florida is looking at on the defense, #5 would seem a little high – but, then again, that didn’t seem to hurt Ohio State too much this season (except in the end, maybe).
  • LSU’s schedule sets up nicely. Miles’ new hires would seem to be the key for them in ’07.
  • Arky at #9 seems high. They’ve got to solve their QB problem, as well as the obvious morale issues that surfaced at season’s end. Still, their OOC schedule is a complete embarrassment that, combined with the two Mississippi schools, gives them six wins out of the gate without breaking a sweat.
  • If Wake Forest finishes next season at #12, the ACC is officially hopeless.
  • Auburn’s road schedule, with trips to LSU, Arkansas, Florida and Georgia, is brutal.
  • The Dawgs look about right at #16. If Searles works magic with the offensive line, Georgia looks to be much better. If not…
  • I’d rank Tennessee higher than #17. They have a leg up on Georgia and Florida with an experienced starting QB coming back in Ainge. Of course, if they can’t run the ball any better next season than they did in ’06, that won’t be enough.
  • South Carolina at #19? With Rice leaving early and that road schedule, that seems a bit of a stretch. Of course, any Gamecock fan will tell you that ranking is awfully low for a BCS bound team.
  • Notre Dame at #21? Stop the madness. Please.
  • There’s no mention of post-Reggie Ball Georgia Tech. How can that be?


Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Onward and upward

Georgia finishes the season ranked #23 in the AP poll and unranked in the USA Today poll.

I’m a little surprised that the Dawgs sit as low as they do, after winning three straight against ranked opponents to finish out the year, but I can’t really blame voters for being somewhat unforgiving with a team that managed to lose to Vandy and Kentucky in the same season.

It’s still ahead of Tech.

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Filed under Georgia Football

‘Is 1 versus 2 enough for college football?’

That’s the question that SEC commissioner Mike Slive asks in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article appearing today about considering a “plus-one” format for the BCS. By “plus-one”, the story means either one of two models:

The four current BCS bowls (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange) would stay in place but host their traditional champions: SEC to the Sugar, Big Ten and Pac-10 to the Rose, ACC to the Orange, Big 12 to the Fiesta. After those four games are played, another set of BCS standings would determine the two teams in the championship game.

The top four teams in the BCS standings would engage in a four-team playoff in two of the four bowls on Jan. 1, with the winners advancing to a championship game a week later.

It’s hard to tell where Slive stands on this, especially when he says incomprehensible nonsense like “I‘m not married to the current format we have but I could be married to it”, but it sounds like he’s willing to explore the possibility of a “plus-one” setup down the road.

The big question, of course, is, will it stop there? And at least Slive seems to be saying the right things – for now:

… Slive said he doesn’t envision an eight- or 16-team playoff in the future because games would have to be played during final exams in December and the presidents have made it clear they want football to be a one-semester sport. There’s also concern that a playoff would hurt the quality of the regular season. [Emphasis added.]

“There is a serious discussion that needs to take place but I don’t think it’s so much about whether or not we can have a playoff,” Slive said. “I think the discussion should be, ‘Is 1 versus 2 enough for college football?’

And that depends on your viewpoint, doesn’t it?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

The Fiesta Bowl as Rorschach blot

As I’m driving in this morning, I’m listening to the ESPN radio early morning show, where the host is giving out his wrap up of the college football season. In response to his list of the final top five, which has Florida at #1 (duh) and Boise State at #5, some incredibly whiny listener calls in to complain that BSU is being screwed because “they did everything they were supposed to do” and that it’s like shafting the kid who aces all his tests out of being the class valedictorian.

To which, our host reflects and says, “doesn’t everyone want to see a Florida – Boise State matchup now?”

Nope. What purpose would it serve? How does any rational human being believe that a Florida team that just demolished the #1 team in the country (a team that almost every pundit believed would easily handle the Gators, by the way) stands on some kind of equal footing with the winner of the WAC that beat a decent two loss team by one point in overtime? Hell, the Gators just made a mockery out of the idea before the BCS that they stood on equal footing with Michigan.

People are going to read what they want into the Fiesta Bowl result, I know. (Mr. Whiny thought that Oklahoma was underrated by the radio host because the three-loss Sooners weren’t in his top 5, believe it or not.) The fact of the matter is that if the Boise States of the world really want to be taken seriously as heavyweight programs, they’re going to have to step out and play – and beat! – some topflight D-1 opponents in their non-conference games on a regular basis.

Because otherwise, to torture Mr. Whiny’s analogy even further, all you’re really doing is rewarding the special education kid for making a perfect score on his addition/subtraction test while his class mates are getting 95s in calculus.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

C’est la vie.

“Not everything in life is going to go the exact way you want it go,” Smith said. “If this is the worst thing in life that happens to us, I’m pretty cool with it.”

Good for you, Troy Smith – nothing like laying a complete egg in the biggest game of your career and then shrugging it off. Why, I bet you wouldn’t trade places with Chris Leak today for anything, dude, right?

Speaking of Leak, if there’s anything a SEC defensive coordinator worth his salt would tell you, it’s that the way to slow down the Gator offense is to go after Chris Leak balls out. Instead, in the first half last night we watched the Ohio State defense provide Leak with the functional equivalent of a robe, slippers and a comfy chair by the fire.

The Fox broadcast crew noted the patience of the Buckeye defensive coordinator more than once during the first half. Guys (hey, I sound just like a sideline reporter!), let me clue you in to something: sometimes patience isn’t a virtue. If my house is on fire, I’m not gonna walk around making sure all the faucets are shut off before I get the hell out of there.

A team that couldn’t score thirty points in any regular season game against an SEC opponent – including Vandy and a Georgia team that gave up 51 to Tennessee – put up 34 in the first half. The Gators scored six of the first seven times they had the ball on offense. At some point in time, you’ve got to ask yourself “should I maybe try something different?”

Unless you’re Troy Smith, of course. Stay cool, my man…

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football