Over at Team Speed Kills, Year2 argues that some of us in the blogosphere are overreacting to the suggestion that Urban Meyer is contemplating moving his quarterbacks under center and running some of that old time I-formation stuff.
I’d like to interrupt this week’s Tennessee coverage briefly to go over something that has been thrown around by Smart Football, Spencer Hall (a.k.a. Orson from EDSBS), Senator Blutarsky, Rocky Top Talk, and I have no doubt others as well lately. It’s the notion that Urban Meyer incorporating pro-style elements into his offense will be some kind of earth-shattering change.
In the immortal words of Jules Winnfield…
My argument isn’t that the earth is going to move if Meyer occasionally inserts a fullback into the game (who’s the Gator fullback, anyway?), it’s that embracing the I-formation is unlikely to make the Gator offense better, or even allow it to hold serve at the level it’s currently performing.
Look at one of Year2’s points.
… Well, the big theory from spring practice was that hiring pro-style QB coach Scot Loeffler and adding some under center stuff was to get Tebow ready for the draft. There may be some truth to that; I’d be surprised if there wasn’t. However, Florida ran plenty of under center sets while Chris Leak was the quarterback (35% in the Ohio State game, for instance). The offensive staff has done it before and can do it again.
Sure it can, but do it well? Does anybody remember the Gator offensive juggernauts of ’05 and ’06? Of Meyer almost being reduced to tears after the 2005 LSU game (how many times have you seen a ranked team lose a game in which it was +5 in turnover margin)? The 2006 Gators were the first team in conference history to reach the SECCG without breaking 30 points on offense in a single SEC regular season game. That’s not the most compelling track record I’ve seen.
But, hey, if the move works and the Gator offense doesn’t miss a beat, I’ll be the first one to tip my cap. From where I sit right now, though, it’s a vanity project that’ll be trotted out this year with little negative impact given the strength of the defense and the weakness of the schedule. We’ll see how it plays out in 2010 when the post-GPOOE™ rubber meets the road.