Daily Archives: November 22, 2010

As luck wouldn’t have it.

Citing Les Miles’ 25-9 record at LSU in games decided by one score, Michael Elkon ponders whether that’s due to sheer luck or something else:

… Rather, LSU’s success in close games speaks to Gary Crowton’s incoherence as a playcaller.  There are a lot of good criticisms of Crowton; one of the best is that he doesn’t have a defined style, but instead calls a pastiche of plays that don’t fit together.  At the end of a tight game, he’s forced to go away from the grab bag and instead call the plays that work the best.  Voila, LSU can move the ball when their backs are against the wall…

… So here’s the modification of my theory.  In some instances, a team wins a lot of close games because they are lucky and the small sample size of success in tight games doesn’t tell us anything.  In other instances, a team that plays in a lot of close games and wins a high percentage of those games is underutilizing its talent.  Thus, it ends up in close games repeatedly and then wins those close games because the coaches stop dicking around in the last five minutes.

Following that reasoning, you could argue that one explanation for Georgia’s recent play in those types of games is that Mike Bobo isn’t as inspired in his late-game playcalling as Gary Crowton.  That’s gotta hurt.



Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Another week, another running quarterback

It sounds like Todd Grantham’s grateful for the extra preparation time he got for the Tech game.

The off week may have come a little late for the team as a whole, but for Georgia’s first-year defensive coach, it helped.

“It allows you to get a couple extra days to just teach your players the concepts,” Grantham said.

He knows what he wants them to prepare for.

“You’ve just got to be sound on those guys,” he said. “They’re gonna make you defend everything: They’re gonna make you defend the fullback, they’re going to make you defend the quarterback on the edge, and they’re gonna make you defend the pitch.

“And you’ve gotta be able to handle those and you’ve gotta understand that they’re gonna try to get angles on you different ways. And they’re gonna test your support system, and you’ve gotta be able to handle that stuff.”

If I’m Paul Johnson, there are three things I’m calling until Grantham proves he can stop them:  (1) the dive play; (2) misdirection to whichever side of the field Justin Houston is not lined up; and (3) play action passing to whichever receivers draw safety coverage.

It seems to me that Tech will want to apply the same approach to this year’s game that Richt took in last year’s:  keep the other guy’s offense off the field as much as possible.  The Jackets’ defense has been less than stellarDuke racked up more than 400 yards of offense last week.  If Aaron Murray were magically transported to the ACC this season, he’d be second in the conference in passer rating.

So it looks like another tale of turnovers and time of possession as the keys this week.


UPDATE: In one of the more strained uses of selective statistics I’ve seen, the AJ-C’s Tech beat writer makes the case that the extra week of preparation doesn’t particularly make a difference to Georgia Tech’s offense this season.  To bolster his argument, he uses three games that don’t involve a full week (I’ll give him partial credit for the five days Virginia Tech had to prepare), the opener against a 1-AA opponent and Duke, because the Blue Devils played two other option offenses earlier in the season.

In other words, it’s pretty meaningless.


UPDATE #2: Ben Dukes has some advice for us about the Tech offense.


UPDATE #3: Patrick Garbin rebuts Doug Roberson’s analysis.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Kiffin watch: Alshon Jeffery’s future

Don’t know how I missed this photo the first time around, but seeing it today at Shakin the Southland was good for a chuckle.

At this point, I think it’s safe to say that Jeffery has a far better chance of owning a gas station than working at one.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

My Week Twelve Mumme Poll ballot

I’d prefer it if you didn’t mention to Bo Pelini that I dropped his team out of my top ten this week.

  • Alabama
  • Auburn
  • Boise State
  • LSU
  • Ohio State
  • Oklahoma State
  • Oregon
  • Stanford
  • TCU
  • Wisconsin


  • Just missing the cut:  Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
  • While my top ten has been relatively stable over the past three weeks, this week’s slate of games ought to result in some sort of shake up.
  • The only real debate I had was picking a replacement for (shh!) Nebraska.  Overall time spent on ballot was fifteen minutes.


Filed under Mumme Poll

Go, improvement!

It’s been a disappointing year for Paul Johnson.  Georgia Tech is not only out of contention to defend its ACC championship, it struggled last week against Duke simply to become bowl eligible.  Johnson’s been complaining since the Kansas game about getting his troops motivated and focused to play well, so you’d think Tech’s rivalry game would be a godsend for him.  I mean, playing your bitter enemy – could there be any better way to fire his players up?

Apparently there is.

… It didn’t take long during Tech’s post-game press conference for the Bulldogs to come up. Johnson said last year’s 30-24 loss in Atlanta wasn’t mentioned during the season and he didn’t plan on using revenge as a motivational tactic.

“I’m going to play up the ‘Let’s-get-ready-to-go-play-and-get-better’ card; that’s what we need to do,” said Johnson, noting a victory would guarantee a winning season for Tech…

“Let’s get better”?  That’s some battle cry.  The man is cementing his reputation as one of the great motivators in college football.

You get the impression that having made the case before that the Georgia game shouldn’t be that big a deal for Tech, Johnson finds it more important to stroke his ego than inspire his team.  Whatever his faults, that’s one thing you can’t say about Mark Richt.

“When you get to this point where we are at, with no chance for an SEC championship game, when you play Georgia Tech I won’t have to scream very hard at all,” he said.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

SEC Power Poll, Week 12

Bye weeks and close calls didn’t have an effect on my power poll.  It stays the same for the third straight week.

  1. Auburn. When you’re already number one, there is no bye week bounce.  I’m a little surprised the Tigers opened as a three-point dog to the Tide, though.
  2. LSU. Not a good sign when you let an Ole Miss team which quit against Tennessee the previous week hang around until the bitter end.  I wouldn’t read too much into Jordan Jefferson’s day throwing the ball against the worst secondary in the conference, either.
  3. Alabama. I wonder who Finebaum is picking to win the Iron Bowl.
  4. Arkansas. Give ’em credit for winning another tough SEC road game.
  5. South Carolina. You know the OBC loved that point total.  It always helps when the other team doesn’t bother to show up.
  6. Mississippi State. Did everything they could to win the Arkansas game.  Except win it, of course.
  7. Florida. Before the start of the season, I didn’t believe that the Gators would be an underdog to FSU, but damned if things haven’t turned out that way.
  8. Georgia. No bye week bounce for you!
  9. Kentucky. If this bunch of ‘Cats can’t beat the weakest Tennessee squad in ages, it’s hard to see when it’s ever going to happen.
  10. Tennessee. The season’s turning out just like they planned it.
  11. Vanderbilt. I didn’t have the heart to move them back to the cellar, but losing to Wake Forest should do the trick.
  12. Mississippi. Showed signs of life against LSU.  Can they do it in the Egg Bowl?


Filed under SEC Football

Now that’s power.

Tim Tucker sums up the moving and shaking behind the Georgia-Boise State game in one amazing paragraph:

… The Georgia-Boise State matchup in next season’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome, announced Friday, required eight teams to juggle schedules: Georgia, Boise State, Louisville (dropped from Georgia’s schedule), North Carolina (added to Louisville’s schedule to replace Georgia), James Madison (switching dates on North Carolina’s schedule to accommodate the UNC-Louisville game), Ole Miss (moved a scheduled 2011 season opener against Boise State to 2014), BYU (replaced Boise on Ole Miss’ 2011 schedule) and Oregon State (changed dates on BYU’s schedule to accommodate the BYU-Ole Miss game). Who has enough clout to facilitate all those changes? Only ESPN, which played a major match-making role.

If the WWL really wanted a D-1 football playoff, how long do you think it would take for it to get its way?


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil