I know what you’re thinking – he’s linked to this article about player arrests at Florida, so here’s some choice talk about the Urbanator’s latest little angel – but, no, you’d be wrong thinking that. I’m more interested in this quote from the SEC’s reigning King of BS.
Meyer said that senior quarterback Tim Tebow will see more time under center next season, but the goal isn’t to solely get him ready for the NFL. “The 2006 national championship game 35 percent of our plays were under center,” Meyer said. “Chris Leak, he was very comfortable…” [Emphasis added.]
Yeah, that ’06 offense was hell on wheels. Here are a few comparisons between the offense from that season and from last year’s, when they deployed the GPOOE™ strictly from the shotgun (stats courtesy of cfbstats.com):
- Scoring offense: 2008, 43.6 ppg (4th nationally); 2006, 29.7 ppg (23rd nationally)
- Total offense: 2008, 445.1 ypg (15th nationally); 2006, 396.1 ypg (19th nationally)
- Passer rating: Tim Tebow (2008), 172.38 (4th nationally); Chris Leak (2006), 144.93 (23rd nationally)
Gee, I wonder how the Gators would have done in ’06 if Leak hadn’t been comfortable.
If you really want to stack the deck, consider that last season the Gators averaged 44.88 ppg in conference play – better than their seasonal average. Compare that to the results in 2006, when Florida averaged a whopping 22.25 ppg in its SEC games. Yeah, that’s less than half what they scored with a quarterback only in the shotgun.
Look, I have no idea whether this grand experiment with the GPOOE™ is going to succeed beyond Meyer’s wildest dreams. But don’t try to sell this as anything more than it is – a reclamation project for Tebow’s draft hopes. The idea that there’s something about the 2006 offense that justifies a move under center as a boost to the Gator offense this season is ludicrous.
Now Florida’s schedule this season is less than daunting and with all eleven starters back on defense, it’s likely to mean that this plan is a toy Meyer will be able to play with all season without much of a problem. But it’ll be interesting to see what happens if the offense sputters a bit and it leads to some close calls.