Does Georgia have a decided schematic advantage on offense?

I’ve previously taken note of what appears to be a talent deficit at quarterback in this season’s SEC…

I have no idea how accurate this list of SEC post-spring position rankings for quarterbacks will turn out to be, but if it’s anywhere close, what does it say that LSU is third?  Or that Georgia is sixth?

I’m thinking the conference better have some very stout running backs this season.

… and sort of lazily presumed the running backs would take up the slack.  But after reading this, I’m beginning to wonder what I was thinking.

Very clear stratification. LSU and Georgia are 1-2, and in that order on every ballot. Then we have the Bama/Tenn/Kentucky tier. There’s some disagreement on how much to rate production versus potential, as per usual, but it shakes out that all three are razor close. You could put them in any order.

We then have an anonymous middle tier down to about Mississippi St, before we get into the real dregs of the SEC. the surprising thing is how bad the middle of the conference looks. The top teams are great, but it gets pretty ugly, pretty fast.

1. LSU
2. Georgia
3. Tennessee
4. Kentucky
5. Alabama
6. Vandy
7. Arkansas
8. Ole Miss
9. Florida
10. Miss State
11. Auburn
12. Texas A&M
13. Mizzou
14. South Carolina

Regarding the the Bama/Tenn/Kentucky tier, I would give the Vols the nod because Dobbs gives them another legitimate runner, but overall, I think the point is well taken.  The conference ain’t loaded.  LSU and Georgia are loaded.  (Steele, by the way, lists LSU first and Georgia fourth in his national running backs position rankings, with Tennessee and Alabama making his top fifteen.)

Sure, both the Tigers and Georgia have questions at quarterback.  But how many other SEC teams do, too, and don’t have a running game with which to compensate?  If you don’t have much of either, considering how stout most SEC defenses are expected to be this season, where’s the scoring going to come from?

Admittedly, this is a good reason to like Tennessee’s prospects in the East, as the Vols manage to combine Dobbs with an above-average backfield, which at least on paper suggests they may have the most balanced offense in the conference.  Georgia’s running game, though, on that same paper, appears superior to the rest of the division, and it’s hard to see at the moment another program that has a good enough passing game to compensate.

Of course, it would be nice if Georgia’s backs stay healthy.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

15 responses to “Does Georgia have a decided schematic advantage on offense?

  1. Juan

    Wow selling UT short much?

    Hurd and Kamara are definitely on par with our backs (esp coming off their injuries).

    Honestly, Hurd is a 1,200 yd back and it won’t surprise me to see Kamara get 1,000+ total yards.

    • I like Kamara better than Hurd, to be honest with you.

      And if Hurd is such a stud, why is this stat so mediocre?

      Chubb, by the way, would rank second on that list at 8.12 ypc, but for only playing in four games.

      • Agreed about Hurd. Not knocking him, he’s a solid back and wouldn’t surprise me if he finds some success in the NFL. But if a play is blocked for 3 yards……he’s gonna get you those 3 yards. Might drag the tackler for another yard or two. Whereas guys on Chubb’s level will see that small crease that Hurd missed and get 8-10 yards out of that same carry.

      • If Chubb had played in enough games, Hurd would have been one spot lower too.

  2. While the backs are outstanding, the fate of the Georgia running game comes down to whether Pittman earns his keep this fall. We had great backs last year (Sony still rushed for 1,100+) but couldn’t get anything consistently going after the Tennessee game. That was a combination of the passing game and the poor play of the Oline.

  3. Mdcgtp

    The flaw in the column is that RBs don’t exist in isolation. Some like Gurley and Chubb are great with just an average line. Bama RBs are good, but their running game is a function of their OL as well. That is why they should be at a tier well above UT and UK

    • Except this is expected to be something of a down year for their o-line. (And, yeah, I know that’s relative, but still…)

      • relative is the key word, but I am not sure it will be so down. They have insane amounts of young talent along the OL. It is almost as much as an embarrassment of riches as their front 7 a year ago, but I would liken it to their front seven in 2014…where you can see where this is going. If you look at the OL on their roster, it is amazing at how national it has become. He takes the best OL from every region of the country at all 3 OL position groups.

        Not to hijack the discussion, but I think one has to assume their OL will be good to great until the dynasty ends. In as much as we all know dynasties don’t last forever, I have given up trying to guess the timing of this one ending. Saban seems genuinely energized for a person who has won as much as he has, and it seems like he is at peace with not going back to the NFL. Further, the key elements of his process that provide a meaningful competitive advantage in the NFL. He can’t outrecruit his peers in the NFL. He can’t control his players the way he does. He can’t control local law enforcement or how Roger Goodell disciplines players.

        In the meantime, Kiffin is quietly meshing the best of what he knows with the advantages of having elite talent, and there is no end in sight.

        If I had to guess, it ends because another program in the SEC “takes” it from them. The only ones I see capable of that are UGA, LSU, and UF. In 2018, I expect UGA will match them in terms of top 6-8 guys along BOTH lines of scrimmage. They will probably be better in the secondary and LBs, but we will probably have the more “elite” QB at that point. Hopefully, Kiffin will be long gone by 2018!

  4. Uglydawg

    The D line and backers is the other side of this coin. An average running game can do wonders against a weak one.

  5. Go Dawgs!

    When you consider that we’re not technically sure what we’re going to be getting out of our top two running backs this year (though we think we know) this might not be a very impressive offensive year in the SEC.

  6. W Cobb Dawg

    Find myself once again lamenting we didn’t retain Bmac – as RB coach, not WRs. Arguably one of our great RB recruiters and coaches. Began by landing Gurley and Marshall. When they went down, Green & Douglas did a solid job. Topped that off by landing Chubb & Michel. I questioned his hire, as he was an absolute unknown commodity. But the guy was nothing less than outstanding in his short stint as our RB coach.

    • Sanford222view

      I don’t think BMac was “retainable.” He was offered a better position/title and thus money to go elsewhere.

  7. Bigshot

    Or if UGA has someone to block for those running backs?

  8. DawgPhan

    So Bama has lost a Heisman winning RB and is starting a inexperienced OL and we have people arguing that they should be ranked higher than 3rd.

    gotcha.

  9. Cousin Eddie

    will this year be the “return of the SEC defenses?”