Daily Archives: November 28, 2012

Today’s “I don’t get it” post

Can somebody explain to me why Collin Klein and Braxton Miller are supposed Heisman Trophy contenders and Aaron Murray isn’t?

Mind you, this is purely intellectual curiosity on my part, because (A) I haven’t cared about the Heisman since Charles Woodson won it and (B) Johnny Manziel is going to win it this year anyway.  But I am curious.  Especially when you look at this.  And this.

65 Comments

Filed under College Football

Some people are turned on by old man football.

Like Alabama defensive end Damion Square.

“Big, physical guys up front, the powerful ball they’re trying to run, it’s football the way it’s supposed to be played,” Square said Tuesday. “Tight end, pro-style formation, running iso, that’s the way the game’s supposed to be played.

“They run it, and they run it well.”

Funny, but that gets me more pumped up for the game than swag talk does.  GATA, fellas!

23 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

After all, ESPN has its journalistic integrity to maintain.

Regardless of your opinion of SportsByBrooks, this is some funny shit.

5 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

Steele sez… on the SECCG and Florida’s turnovers

Keep in mind this isn’t Phil’s computer talking, it’s his gut, but here’s what he says about Saturday’s game:

In what is, in essence, a national title semifinal, the winner here will advance to play #1 Notre Dame in the national champ game in Miami on January 7th. These two have not played since ‘08 when #8 Bama beat #3 Georgia on the road 41-30, a game that many Bama fans point to as one of the key wins which got the Crimson Tide’s recent run of dominance started. The Tide/Bulldogs have played just 6 times in the last 20 years (3-3 split) and have not met here in the SEC Championship game. In fact, this is the Tide’s 8th appearance in the SEC Title game (3-4) but first against a team other than UF. UGA makes its second straight trip here and its fifth appearance in the Richt era (2-2). While not many can argue that these two don’t deserve to be here as Bama beat LSU on the road 21-17 and UGA handed UF its only loss 17-9 (thanks to 6 UF TO’s), it should be noted that both benefitted from rather fortunate SEC scheduling as UGA skipped out on the top 3 teams in the West (Bama, LSU and A&M) while Bama didn’t play the top 3 teams in the East (UGA, UF and SC). Both come in off blowout wins of their rivals as Bama crushed Auburn 49-0 (most lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years) rolling up 25-7 FD and 483-163 yard edges and led 42-0 at the half. Meanwhile, UGA rolled to a 42-10 win over GT as they led 42-3 midway through the 3Q but were outgained 426-379 and outFD’d 26-18. They did average an astonishing 10.5 yards per play in the 1H. Both teams are led by veteran QB’s as Murray and McCarron are #1-2 in the NCAA in pass eff and have combined for a 55-9 ratio! They also have stout D’s as while Bama’s ranks #1 in most categories, one could argue that UGA’s is more talented and since S Williams called out the D prior to the UF game, they’ve allowed just 9 ppg in the last 5 games. The Bama D did give up 400+ yards in back-to-back games vs LSU/A&M earlier this year while UGA OC Bobo has called this UGA offense the best he’s ever seen as they are avg a school record 38 ppg. While each has Top 20 units on both offense and defense, Bama does have the significant ST’s edge (#22-71) and Saban is 7-2 in his last 9 games vs Top 20 teams while Richt is 1-6 in his last 7.
PHIL’S FORECAST: ALABAMA 27 GEORGIA 23

As a summary goes, that’s pretty fair.  And he’s picking Georgia to cover, so there’s that.  But I’ve got to get to something he says that echoes what a number of others have said or written:  “UGA handed UF its only loss 17-9 (thanks to 6 UF TO’s)”.  This drives me crazy.  I was at that game and I wonder if I missed something.  Did the Gators politely hand the ball to their opponent and bow?  You’d think from the sound of it, that the Dawgs were mere bystanders to a series of Florida gaffes that basically occurred in a vacuum.  (Come to think of it, that’s actually a pretty apt description of Murray’s third interception.  But I digress.)

Here’s the reality.  One reason Florida finished the regular season 11-1 – one of the main reasons it did so – is that it turned in a stellar turnover ratio of +17.  The Gators lost a total of twelve turnovers all season.  Look at the game log.  Only one of Florida’s other opponents, LSU, forced more than one turnover.  In other words, Florida was in the habit of holding on to the ball.

This year’s Georgia-Florida game, particularly the first quarter, was the most physical football game I’ve watched those two schools ever play.  No quarter was asked and none was given.  Was there a sloppy exchange or two?  Sure, but there was also a lot of hard contact and smart play (Rambo’s pick, for example).  By and large, those turnovers were earned.

This has all the sound of the excuse of Tebow’s shoulder in the 2007 game.  Florida didn’t lose because it was outplayed; it lost because of forces beyond its control.

To be fair, I’ve not heard Muschamp making excuses.  But there are plenty of others out there who keep trotting out this six turnover stuff to diminish the Georgia win.  Funny how none of those folks have much to say about the turnover margins in Florida’s games against South Carolina and FSU.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

First SECCG thoughts

Hate to start off like a Negative Nelly, but I’ve got two big concerns about Saturday’s game.  The first is “duh” obvious:  how Georgia’s offensive line holds up against Alabama’s defensive front seven.  The good news, if you want to call it that, is that the ‘Bama defensive line isn’t as overwhelmingly daunting as either LSU’s was last year, or as this year’s South Carolina line played.  The bad news is that it’s still pretty damned imposing.

And that makes for a tall task for Will Friend’s troops.  And for Mike Bobo’s playcalling.  I thought Bobo did a masterful job in the first half of last year’s SECCG keeping Chavis off-balance with a kitchen sink approach to his playbook.  Had the player execution kept up, there’s no telling how that game might have played out.  He’s going to have to scheme like crazy against a well-coached and talented Alabama defense to keep Murray upright and functional.  One thing he’s got in his favor this year is a realistic running threat with the two fabulous freshmen.  That should help keep Saban/Smart honest about how they defend the Georgia attack.

All that ties into my second worry.  This one may not be so obvious:  Georgia’s ability to hit big plays.  Yeah, the Dawgs are seventh in the country in offensive plays of 20 or more yards.  But when you break it down a little, there’s a good reason for concern.  Through the first five games of the year, Georgia ranked first in those plays.  Then came October.  Georgia’s ranking that month?  107th.  Now some of that can be attributed to the Dawgs having only played three games that month.  But most of it has to be chalked up to the opposition – that’s the month Georgia took on South Carolina and Florida.  November saw a decent bounce back, as Georgia finished 23rd nationally, but it’s not as if the Dawgs took on a defense as good as the ones they saw the month before.

I’m sure you know what’s coming next.  Alabama ranks sixth nationally in opponents’ offensive plays of 20+ yards, which is better than Florida (11th) and South Carolina (30th).  (If you’re looking for a silver lining in that cloud, the Tide dropped to 41st in the month that Texas A&M showed up to play.)  The challenge is clear.

Big plays are a big deal for this Georgia team.  Aside from the obvious – you’re picking up significant yardage, of course – it’s a good sign when Georgia’s busting out that play action is working, which means that the running game is clicking.  Besides that, it’s part of Georgia’s identity on offense.  It doesn’t mean that they can’t scrap and plug away to win (remember Florida), but it makes it tougher and puts a lot more pressure on the other parts of the team to hold things together.  If you’ll recall, that’s the exact way the wheels came off the wagon in last year’s SECCG.

Anyway, that’s what’s making me fret mid-week.  What are you guys worrying about?

154 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Wednesday morning buffet

A few morsels to nosh on as we wait for Saturday to get here:

  • The third quarter has been berry, berry good to Georgia this year.
  • Here’s a handy yards per play chart.
  • Mark Schlabach tells you why he thinks Georgia is going to upset Alabama.  So much for that ESPN monolith that hates the Dawgs.
  • Bobby Hebert“I know this and I actually believe this, and people say ‘oh come on;’ but I know I’ve forgotten more football than Les Miles knows…”  Amazing his name isn’t being brought up with all the head coaching openings out there right now.
  • If this report is true, it’s a sign that some Vol fans have too much money.
  • Patrick Garbin suggests that Georgia’s offensive line is doing better than we might think.
  • A heartfelt plea for Georgia to beat Alabama:  “The primary reason I’m hoping for a Georgia win on Saturday is because it would mean we could avoid the snotty, unending pontificating in advance of a BCS title game featuring two of the bluest bloods in college football.”  Amen to that.
  • Georgia players believe they learned a valuable lesson from last year’s SECCG.
  • I don’t think there’s much to this story, but if the NFL were to ban cut blocking, can you imagine Paul Johnson’s recruiting sales pitch to high school offensive linemen?  “Come to Georgia Tech, where we’ll teach you to become proficient in a technique that’s banned at the next level.”

30 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Wait, what?

Of all the WTF things that have gone on in the world of college football in the last few months, this has to be the WTFiest.

If there is anything to that story beyond Miles’ agent trying to scam a few more bucks out of LSU, were I Joe Alleva, I’d sure be tempted to call Les’ bluff.

19 Comments

Filed under Wit And Wisdom From The Hat