Daily Archives: December 23, 2016

If you don’t bend, you can’t break.

Let’s get the easy thing out of the way first:  Georgia’s defensive red zone conversion percentage for the 2016 regular season stunk on ice, no ifs, ands or buts about it.  It was also a stunning drop from its third-place national finish from the season before.

The question I’ve got is how much does that matter to Smart and Tucker?  I’m not being facetious.  Check out Alabama’s national ranking in that stat over the past few seasons:

  • 2016:  40th
  • 2015:  63rd
  • 2014:  74th
  • 2013:  4th
  • 2012:  3rd
  • 2011:  1st
  • 2010:  3rd
  • 2009:  3rd

It sure seemed important for a while, but it’s almost like Saban’s lost interest lately (which, admittedly, is still a long way from finishing 127th out of 128 teams).

But look at where the Tide ranks in red zone attempts defended over that same period.

  • 2016:  1st
  • 2015:  2nd
  • 2014:  49th
  • 2013:  1st
  • 2012:  3rd
  • 2011:  1st
  • 2010:  7th
  • 2009:  1st

Now that’s consistent excellence there.

What’s Georgia’s story?

  • 2016:  26th
  • 2015:  7th
  • 2014:  30th
  • 2013:  73rd
  • 2012:  54th
  • 2011:  21st
  • 2010:  35th
  • 2009:  70th

Okay, that’s not as abysmal as next to last, but it’s pretty mediocre.

I joke about the Auburn game that the key to keeping Auburn from scoring regularly from the red zone was to keep Malzahn’s offense out of the red zone, but that’s actually how things played out in Georgia’s most impressive defensive effort of the year.

The trick to that, though, isn’t simple or one-sided.  You have to think turnover margin and field position play major roles in aiding a defense in keeping opponents from crossing its twenty.  So does stopping teams on third downs, though.  All of which has been a mixed bag for Georgia over the past few seasons.

All I’m saying here is, if indeed this is something that matters to Smart — and his track record at Alabama would indicate that it does — there’s a lot of work across the board left to be done.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Musical palate cleanser, theme song edition

Really, if you’re a Georgia fan, is there a better song to express your feelings of late than the ‘Mats “Unsatisfied”?

Look me in the eye, indeed.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Steve Spurrier has some advice.

“To me, the way you last 30 years, obviously, you’ve got to win a lot more than you lose,” Spurrier said. “You’ve got to play by the rules, which is not hard to do. I don’t understand why coaches brag about following the rules and this, that and the other. That’s not hard to do.

“You’ve got to get along with your bosses – your AD, your president, sometimes even some big boosters can be your bosses. Just the ability to get along with people. Have common sense and so forth. (Ohio) coach (Frank) Solich, he reminds me of a guy that’s done that. He’s done it a long time, and I feel like (Troy) coach (Neal) Brown’s going to do it a long time, too. But get along with people. If you want to have a job for a long time, don’t be one of those guys that think you have all the answers. Be respectful and so forth.

Yeah, that worked for him.

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UPDATE:  Retirement means more kibitzing.

“Let’s see what Kirby’s got …,” Spurrier said, turning up the volume on the flatscreen across from his desk. It is tuned to the SEC Network.

“It ain’t easy out there,” Spurrier said watching the press conference of Georgia’s Kirby Smart. “He doesn’t have a quarterback who can run.”

Soon after, Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze appeared on the screen.

“It’s tough to play that opening game against Florida State in Orlando,” Spurrier said. “All summer you talk about it, then you go down there and get your butt beat.”

Finally, there is a biting critique of Missouri as coach Barry Odom popped up on the TV.

“All of a sudden, instead of running the ball like they used to, they’re a passing team,” Spurrier said. “Now they’re all sorts of soft. They can’t stop the run and they can’t run. Bo Schembechler, what’d he say? Running teams are tougher teams.”

Maybe his heart isn’t into it, but I think he’d make a great broadcast color guy.

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Filed under The Evil Genius