Hey, did you know that Nick Saban’s running a pretty good little program over there in Tuscaloosa? Mark Schlabach does. And he’s wondering if there’s a program in the SEC that can do anything about it.
Surprisingly, it’s kind of a lazy piece. All he really does is line up the teams perceived to be the top contenders in the conference and go through their strengths and weaknesses.
The reality is that there were only three teams that pushed Alabama last year – LSU, Texas A&M and Georgia. What all three teams had in common was the ability to stretch Alabama’s pass defense. They were the only three to exceed eight yards per pass attempt against the Tide defense.
So how would Florida and South Caroline fare along that line? The Gators are a tough sell, honestly. They’re not geared to stretch defenses. Last season, they averaged 6.6 ypa and only exceeded 8 ypa twice, against Texas A&M and Tennessee, neither of which had defenses which would be confused with Saban’s.
As for Spurrier’s crew, it’s more of a Jekyll and Hyde story. There are some eye-popping ypas from last season (including a game in Columbia that we won’t dwell on here), but there are also some abysmal averages against good defenses, like Florida, Vanderbilt, LSU… and Wofford. So you don’t know which offense would show up, perhaps. But in a one game scenario with Spurrier’s legendary playcalling ability, I wouldn’t bet against the ‘Cocks.
Anyway, I thought this might be a good spot for a reader poll.