Daily Archives: February 16, 2014

So far, and yet so far.

I came across this 2014 preview assessment and thought I’d share:

What to make of Georgia these days? It’s been years since the Dawgs could be called a legitimately elite program—you have to go all the way back to the early days of the Mark Richt Era for that—and last season’s 8-5 record didn’t exactly hint at great things to come, either. I mean, really, Georgia? Losing to Nebraska in your bowl game? While it’s true that there is talent here (there always is) and while it’s true that many experts have this team pegged for a big jump forward in 2014, I remain dubious. Richt isn’t what he once was and this program is miles away from competing with the true SEC elites. (And, no, Bulldogs fans, I don’t want to hear the ‘injuries’ excuse.)

I get the “isn’t what he once was” bit, but “miles away”?  Did I miss something sitting in Sanford Stadium last September?  Isn’t the reason most of us have been frustrated with the program is because we perceive it as an underachiever?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Lost opportunity

Jimmy Williamson sips his coffee, reads this story, shakes his head a little and wonders why Mark Richt can’t do a better job closing the borders with his recruiting.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment

Ride the HUNHcycle

I’m enjoying the debate here about the proposed substitution rule change, particularly the part about whether hurry up no huddle is just one of those cyclical developments that come along to which defenses eventually adjust, or if it’s something more apocalyptic than that.  Count me in the former camp; one reason for that is that pace-based attacks aren’t exactly a new development, although it may feel like that in the SEC.  We’ve got a head coach who was an innovator in that regard when he was the offensive coordinator at FSU.  He brought HUNH to Athens, the conference shut that down, but that only lasted for a few years.  And nationally, that’s not a unique experience, either.

Since 2003 there have been 80 teams to average 80 plays per game, but 38 of those teams recorded that season average in the last two years.

The Big 12 and Pac 12 have led the way with teams averaging 80 plays per game. Since 2003, each conference has seen 15 teams hit that average, which means it is much more than just Oregon and Texas Tech.

That’s only happened twice in the SEC over that time, with TAMU, to no surprise, being one.

But here’s the thing – running a HUNH offense isn’t a surefire guarantee of championships.  Not even close.

None of the BCS champions since 2003 averaged over 80 yards per game. Only one Big 12 champion passed that mark (2010 Oklahoma). No Pac 12 champion has done it. The same can be said about the ACC, SEC and Big Ten.

What it is, though, is an equalizer.  At the right time and place, it gives a lesser program a puncher’s chance to upset a powerhouse.  And that’s what’s got Nick Saban’s panties in a wad.  Some years, like 2012, Alabama can survive losing to a pace-based offense and still win a title.  Some years, like 2013, it can’t.  The problem as Saban sees it is that as more offenses adopt HUNH attacks, the greater the risk that his team will suffer an upset along the way.

This isn’t about the end of football as we know it.  It’s about Saban having enough control over how a game is played so that he can maximize his personnel advantages consistently.

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UPDATE:  On a related point, per Emerson,

What’s going to kill this proposal, if it is killed, is the perception that it was passed behind closed doors and without enough debate. Reports are that at the AFCA convention in January it was debated, but Jeremy Fowler of CBSsports.com reported it was “50-50″ on whether it was a good idea. But the idea that certain coaches, including Nick Saban and Bret Bielema, were allowed to lobby the committee when it met a month later, rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

Between that and clothing the proposal as a safety measure, as I wrote the other day, the whole thing comes off as hasty and half-assed.  If this is really a debate over tactics and strategy, then argue about tactics and strategy openly.  At this point, what do coaches like Bielema and Saban have to lose?  It’s not as if they’re fooling anyone as to their motives.

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UPDATE #2:  Shorter Cecil Hurt:  poor, poor, pitiful Nick.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Mark Richt has NOT lost control of the nepotism rule.

This really isn’t that big a story.  (Although I wonder if Michael Adams would have permitted it, were he still in charge.)  I just wanted an excuse to write the header.

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Filed under Georgia Football