“… we were leading, but we weren’t leading.”

You know what makes Nick Saban such a good coach?  He doesn’t let ego get in the way of figuring out what went wrong.

To better understand how Ohio State attacked the typically stout Alabama defense, Nick Saban brought in Houston head coach and former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman to breakdown how he approached attacking the Tide’s defense.

“I’ll tell you the best thing we did, and I give Coach (Nick) Saban a lot credit, we went directly to (Herman). We flew him in. We said “Hey, look, we want to meet with you. You know us better than anybody. You spent four weeks getting ready for us. What’s our tendencies? What do we do wrong? What do you think?’ And he was honest with us, he just told us what he thought. It was very valuable for us.”

I can think of more than a few who would never be willing to do something like that.

(h/t)

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

You just think you’re smart.

You’ve gotta love semi-profound observations like this:

Replacing a two-year starting quarterback? Not a problem. Recall that Gus Malzahn had done that every year as a college coach until last season. Plus, most SEC coaches thought Jeremy Johnson would have (or should have) overtaken Nick Marshall last fall. Johnson’s ability as a passer has the league’s DCs buzzing this summer, that’s for sure.

So Malzahn is an offensive genius who wasn’t sharp enough to play his best option at the most important position on offense last season?  Roger that.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

From the people who brought you QBR…

… comes preseason FPI.

I have no idea how the math works, but I can tell you that Georgia’s ranking went up three spots since March “after gaining a starter”.  Take that for what it’s worth.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Stats Geek!

Class of 2015: who will play?

Here’s a Dawgs247 piece that speculates on which of the incoming freshmen will see the field this season.  A lot of it’s pretty obvious – when you recruit and sign five-star kids like Thompson and Godwin, you don’t expect to redshirt them, and Gawd knows we’ll see some fresh faces in the secondary out of necessity – but I’m a little intrigued by the Pat Allen suggestion.

I think Rowe is right that with both tackles gone after the 2015 season, Rob Sale has some grooming to do, whether it’s Allen or someone else.  It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.

The one name I’m surprised he doesn’t mention is Roquan Smith.  If Smith’s got legit coverage skills, I don’t see how he doesn’t play.  Georgia has been desperate for an ILB who can contribute as a pass defender for what seems like ages; I hope Smith can fit the bill in that department.  If he does, look out.  For me, he’s this year’s preseason version of Isaiah McKenzie.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“I know it’s not common for this to happen to eighth graders, so it’s really exciting for me.”

I was prepared to get all snarky in response to this story about a kid who hasn’t played high school ball yet, but already has eleven major college offers… until I saw one was from Georgia (he’s from Gwinnett County).

Sounds like he’s a good kid from a good family, so I hope they’re able to keep things under control.  They’ve sure got a ways to go with the process.

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Filed under Recruiting

It’s a meme, boys!

Andy Staples, in a piece about what every D1 program’s brand is and should be, writes this:

Georgia

The brand: The Bulldogs wear red and black with silver britches. They run a pro-style offense, usually led by a deep stable of backs. They have used a 3-4 defense since 2010. They have better players than almost every other program. Despite this, they routinely underachieve.

What it should be: Some of the nation’s best players wear silver britches and compete for a playoff berth at least every other year.

It used to be the media would say it indirectly, with hot seat talk.  But when you get down to it, that’s more about pointing a finger at the fan base.  It seems like now they’ve begun to eliminate the middleman.

I’m starting to think Richt is going to get some rather pointed questions at SEC Media Days this month.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Georgia football: not good enough, or just not close enough?

Michael Elkon asks the musical question “Is Georgia the most underachieving team in college football?”.  He doesn’t answer the question, leaving instead for his readers, but he does a nice job framing the debate, which I would summarize as follows:

  1. Georgia historically has been a good, but not élite, program.  I agree.  As I put it in a post earlier, Georgia has been a top twenty program that believes it’s a top ten one.
  2. With that in mind, Georgia under Richt has had three close shots at playing for a national title, 2002, 2007 and 2012 and come up short on all three occasions.
  3. Those two points lead to this question:  “Is Georgia an underachieving giant or a team whose good, but not great, results reflect the program’s natural state?”
  4. If you believe the first is correct, then the program hasn’t been managed to its full potential.  (Michael says Richt, but I’d argue you have to point to both the coach and the athletic department; after all, the underachievement predates Richt’s arrival.
  5. If you believe the second is the more accurate characterization, then Richt has done a respectable job with what he’s been able to carry out.

That is a pretty unemotional way of looking at what Georgia football has done, if you ask me.  It’s still up to you to decide which camp you’re in.  The only thing I’d add to the review is that if you’re someone like me who thinks there’s been a change in the level of support the program has gotten from the administration of late, that has to factor into the equation, too.  Or, as some have put it, there really aren’t any excuses left for either Richt or the athletic department now (barring another insane run of injuries, like 2013, of course) to fall back on.

What do y’all think?

103 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football