My Gawd, this is pathetic.
When did IPTAY become a cult?
My Gawd, this is pathetic.
When did IPTAY become a cult?
Considering the stakes and the expectations going in, you can make a good argument that we saw the best first half of football a Georgia team has played in the Smart era. Other than the whiff at the end of the half, that was a team that was completely in control dictating the terms of play to its opponent.
There was no post-SECCG hangover, as much as some may have expected otherwise.
I tip my cap to those who foresaw the game for what it was — another matchup against a physical team that lacked the sheer talent of the Georgia roster. Another Kentucky.
The defensive front seven got its collective mojo back, with a vengeance. The offense, Todd Monken in particular, put the intervening three weeks between games to good work. The Dawgs knew exactly how and where to attack the Michigan defense. Between the two, that’s how you get to a 24-point halftime lead and yet another second half when the main goal of the opponent was reduced to reaching the end zone against Georgia’s second string defense.
Okay, Smart doesn’t want to celebrate because there’s unfinished business, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to bullet point.
Under Smart, it seems like Georgia’s got the CFP semifinals sussed. Now we get to see if this is the time they get over the final hump against their nemesis.
This is something.
Good things happen, Georgia, when you throw to the tight end. Who’da thunk it?
“Maybe I’m not capable of holding that weight on my shoulders, but no, I’m just treating it as a football game,” Bennett said Monday. “Do I know that means a lot to a lot of people? Yes. Am I trying to play some kind of savior by winning a national championship for millions of people? No. I don’t think that’s my job.
“My job is to go out there and throw completions to very talented people we have on this team. And I think it’s as simple as that.”
You know, a funny thing happened on the way to the national championship after last Friday night. The social media discussion among the Georgia fan base morphed from the binary Stetson or JT debate that’s consumed us for the past month to a weary admission for some that Bennett’s good, but not good enough. “Sure, he can beat the Kentuckys and Arkansases of the college football world, but can he succeed against the elite teams? Nah.”
The flaw in that particular line of thought is the Orange Bowl showed us there are only two elite teams this season, and Stetson faces one of them in practice. Even after the shellacking, Michigan remains fourth in Bill Connelly’s SP+ and ESPN’s FPI. In other words, this season, every good team is Kentucky, basically.
So, what sounds like a profound argument really boils down to this: is Stetson Bennett capable of playing well enough against Alabama for Georgia to win? On the negative side, you’ve got the last two results to argue he’s not. On the flip side, Alabama lost to Zach Calzada this season, he of the 123.67 passer rating who’s not even on the Texas A&M roster now. ‘Bama may be great, but they’re not infallible.
My point here isn’t to pretend that Bennett’s suddenly going to put the team on his shoulders. He’s very clearly aware of his role and his limitations. But that’s not the same thing as saying his ceiling is so low as to make a Georgia win unlikely.
There are lessons to be learned from the SECCG, if you’re Georgia. This is one of them.
… For all the talk about how Young wasn’t sacked by Georgia, you would think it was ineffective blitzing in the SEC title game or merely dropped eight men into coverage on every Alabama pass attempt. To the contrary. Georgia brought pressure, and it was effective. Young was just 8 of 20 for 104 yards when the Bulldogs sent five or more pass rushers, according to TruMedia data. That equates to an average of 5.2 yards per attempt, which is far below the 9.6 yards that Young averaged for the game. When Georgia rushed four players or fewer, Young thrived by completing 17 of 23 passes for 308 yards. All three of his touchdown passes came on plays when Georgia did not blitz, and he averaged a staggering 13.39 yards per attempt on those plays.
Georgia approached Alabama and Young like they were any other offense Georgia faced this season, only to find they weren’t. That’s an assumption the Dawgs need to discard come Monday night.
I’m sure you’ve seen or heard the news about Oklahoma’s stud freshman quarterback, Caleb Williams, electing to enter the transfer portal. This comes after the departure of Spencer Rattler for
greener pastures Columbia, SC. That’s quite a change of fortunes for the Oklahoma quarterback room. Although, to Venables’ credit, they moved quickly in the aftermath to convince Dillon Gabriel, who left UCF, to change from UCLA to Oklahoma.
Anyway, before Gabriel’s announcement, the brass at Oklahoma did something you wouldn’t have seen a school do even a year ago. They went on social media with this:
Shorter Oklahoma: “We’d like you to stay, Caleb, but we’re looking anyway.”
We’re a long way from the days when coaches told kids who wanted to transfer where they could go if they didn’t want to sit out for a year. Needless to say, that’s not sitting well in certain quarters.
There are two kinds of football programs now: the ones that sit around, whine about a world in which they have less control, and hope the Todd Berrys of the world can put the genie back in the bottle and the ones that adapt and use change to their advantage.
This isn’t exactly on point, except as illustration of what a coach who isn’t freaking out sounds like.
Adapt or… play in a bowl game.
In the College Football Playoff era, there have been 16 semifinals: A dozen of those have been decided by 17 or more points; Nine have been decided by 20+ points; Three have been decided by 10 points or fewer. After Georgia and Alabama KER-rushed their challengers Friday, the average margin of victory in the semifinals is a smidge more than three TDs.
How it’s going…
The reality is that there usually aren’t four title-worthy contenders in a given season. What’s interesting now is that many expansion proponents recognize the truth of that, so the goal is no longer to argue that worthy contenders are being excluded. It’s that something has to be done to make some of the playoff games more entertaining. So, let’s import the NY6 games into the playoffs!
By the way, the idea that, come expansion, there won’t be any manipulation of teams by the selection committee to produce favorable matchups is hilarious. Bless his heart.