Saturday, December 31, 2011
1. Stats usually win football games...
The Yellow Jackets out gained the Utes 449 to 337. Tech also out gained Utah on a per play basis by a yard (6.3 to 5.3). Sometimes turnovers are the great equalized to a decided statistical advantage. However, both teams ended the game with just one turnover and the Jackets even scored a TD off that Utah miscue. Everything in the offensive and defensive stats favored the Jackets, except the scoreboard.
2. Better players will equal more wins
Georgia Tech had no problem moving the ball against the Pac 12's best defense and seventh best run defense nationally. But it is a convenient point when another bowl loss hits the record. I happen to think Tech's offense is just fine and would be even better with better players regardless of opponent prep time.
Defense and special teams is what is holding Georgia Tech back right now from winning ACC Championships or beating UGA or winning bowl games, not a scheme or prep time.
3. Special Teams were not special (again)...
The Yellow Jackets netted just 37.4 yards per punt including essentially zero gained on the Utes final return setting up the tying touchdown. Lack of punt distance has been a problem all season.
Utah gained 20 yards more per kickoff return than Georgia Tech. If you add in two first downs for each of Utah's returns then the Utes had 20 first downs on the game to 19 for Tech. Now you start to see where the stats did not tell the whole story of this game.
The place kicking game was awful again. Three misses including a potential game winner at the end of regulation. With the defense and special teams' Georgia Tech has you simply cannot afford to lose that many opportunities. And on that last kick, I have no idea why coaches insist on not lining the ball in the middle of the field. How are 95% of kicks missed? Because they go left or right, not because they are short.
4. Play calling doomed offense late...
Paul Johnson's bread and butter is grinding out drives with third down conversions. Tech was cruising along at their season average until the fourth quarter when four straight misses gave Utah a chance.
For the game, the Jackets finished 8 for 18 on third downs, below their season and nationally leading average 55%. Now, maybe some of those late third down conversions could have been easier if Johnson didn't put the offense into a turtle shell simply trying to run out the clock.
5. Line of Scrimmage not strong enough...
I have talked about this before and will say it again: Georgia Tech is simply not strong or athletic enough to win consistently at the line of scrimmage. This is especially noticeable on defense, but the offensive line also got run over in the fourth quarter.
You can recruit bigger, stronger players or you can develop them. The limits placed on Tech's recruiting by the school hamper signing a bunch of big, strong athletes so the Jackets need to develop them. That is not being done right now and changes need to be made or the fourth quarter will be the status quo.
6. Vad Lee would not have won this game...
Neither would Synjyn Days. I have no idea what Tevin Washington did to piss off the Georgia Tech fan base, but many love to bang on him. All Washington did in the Sun Bowl was go 11 for 15 for 137 yards and a touchdown. His 9.1 yards per attempt is better than 117 teams had for the season average. His 4.8 yards per rush would have placed better than 93 teams.
When Lee or Days can generate a pass rush without blitzing, kick the ball, or cover kicks I will believe they are the difference needed to win games.
7. Utah took advantage of opportunities...
The Utes scored both of their fourth quarter touchdowns on fourth down, including a 28 yard pass on 4th and 14 to tie the game. Utah scored on every drive where they gained more than two first downs. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech missed scoring chances on two, 11 play drives including the end of regulation.
Utah was that someone who took the opportunities Georgia Tech missed.
Paul Johnson Explains Sun Bowl Collapse As Georgia Tech Loses Seventh Straight Bowl Game (Updated with Video)
Johnson was spoke about what he called a 'kick in the gut' type of loss. The Yellow Jackets have lost their last seven bowl games, including the last four under Johnson.
(via GT Athletics)
Virginia head coach Mike London announced over the holiday weekend that he will be donating some $225,000 towards the construction of the Cavaliers' new indoor practice facility. The donation brings the total raised towards the facility to $9.5 million overall, with $13 million needed to break ground.
Its nice to see a coach who just doesn't take his millions and then complain his program needs more.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Sept. 15: at Arkansas
Sept. 29: OLE MISS
Oct. 13: at Missouri
Oct. 20: at Tennessee
Oct. 27: MISSISSIPPI STATE
Nov. 3: at LSU
Nov. 10: TEXAS A&M
Nov. 24: AUBURN
Sept. 15: ALABAMA
Sept. 29: vs. Texas A&M
Oct. 6: at Auburn
Oct. 13: KENTUCKY
Oct. 27: OLE MISS
Nov. 10: at South Carolina
Nov. 17: at Mississippi State
Nov. 24: LSU
Sept. 8: at Mississippi State
Sept. 22: LSU
Oct. 6: ARKANSAS
Oct. 13: at Ole Miss
Oct. 20: at Vanderbilt
Oct. 27: TEXAS A&M
Nov. 10: GEORGIA
Nov. 24: at Alabama
Sept. 8: at Texas A&M
Sept. 15: at Tennessee
Sept. 22: KENTUCKY
Oct. 6: LSU
Oct. 13: at Vanderbilt
Oct. 20: SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct. 27: vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)
Nov. 3: MISSOURI
Sept. 8: at Missouri
Sept. 22: VANDERBILT
Sept. 29: TENNESSEE
Oct. 6: at South Carolina
Oct. 20: at Kentucky
Oct. 27: vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
Nov. 3: OLE MISS
Nov. 10: at Auburn
Sept. 22: at Florida
Sept. 29: SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct. 6: MISSISSIPPI STATE
Oct. 13: at Arkansas
Oct. 20: GEORGIA
Oct. 27: at Missouri
Nov. 3: VANDERBILT
Nov. 24: at Tennessee
Sept. 22: at Auburn
Oct. 6: at Florida
Oct. 13: SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct. 20: at Texas A&M
Nov. 3: ALABAMA
Nov. 10: MISSISSIPPI STATE
Nov. 17: OLE MISS
Nov. 24: at Arkansas
Sept. 29: at Alabama
Oct. 6: TEXAS A&M
Oct. 13: AUBURN
Oct. 27: at Arkansas
Nov. 3: at Georgia
Nov. 10: VANDERBILT
Nov. 17: at LSU
Nov. 24: MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sept. 8: AUBURN
Oct. 6: at Kentucky
Oct. 13: TENNESSEE
Oct. 27: at Alabama
Nov. 3: TEXAS A&M
Nov. 10: at LSU
Nov. 17: ARKANSAS
Nov. 24: at Ole Miss
Sept. 8: GEORGIA
Sept. 22: at South Carolina
Oct. 6: VANDERBILT
Oct. 13: ALABAMA
Oct. 27: KENTUCKY
Nov. 3: at Florida
Nov. 10: at Tennessee
Nov. 24: at Texas A&M
Aug. 30: at Vanderbilt
Sept. 22: MISSOURI
Sept. 29: at Kentucky
Oct. 6: GEORGIA
Oct. 13: at LSU
Oct. 20: at Florida
Oct. 27: TENNESSEE
Nov. 10: ARKANSAS
Sept. 15: FLORIDA
Sept. 29: at Georgia
Oct. 13: at Mississippi State
Oct. 20: ALABAMA
Oct. 27: at South Carolina
Nov. 10: MISSOURI
Nov. 17: at Vanderbilt
Nov. 24: KENTUCKY
Sept. 8: FLORIDA
Sept. 29: vs. Arkansas
Oct. 6: at Ole Miss
Oct. 20: LSU
Oct. 27: at Auburn
Nov. 3: at Mississippi State
Nov. 10: at Alabama
Nov. 24: MISSOURI
Aug. 30: SOUTH CAROLINA
Sept. 22: at Georgia
Oct. 6: at Missouri
Oct. 13: FLORIDA
Oct. 20: AUBURN
Nov. 3: at Kentucky
Nov. 10: at Ole Miss
Nov. 17: TENNESSEE
via SEC Digital Network
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Check out the end to this video of the Georgia Tech team arriving in El Paso for the Sun Bowl and you will see what I mean.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Georgia Tech blog From The Rumble Seat has a handy game by game chart of how the Utah rush defense has held each of their opponents under their FBS game average.
This is the second game in a row the Yellow Jackets will be facing a top 10 rush defense.
I think the Buckeyes lessened their penalties when they fired Jim Tressell. Yet considering the lack of scholarships lost the trangressions have been worth the success he brought with Urban Meyer now on the way.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Sheridan said scholarships and a TV ban were on the table for potential sanctions last March, April, and again in August even after the school received a letter stating they would not be charged with lack of institutional control.
This is the second time in a few months Sheridan has made statements regarding NCAA investigations. This USA Today Oddsmaker said he had sources at the NCAA saying Auburn was still being investigated in the Cam Newton recruitment but the case would be dropped if a witness did not come forward and talk.
Audio from Finebaum.com
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Coming in at #9 was the Georgia Bulldogs. Sounds about right.
One spot ahead of UGA was.....Georgia Tech (?)
1952 came in at #16) while no Georgia teams placed plays a big part in the Yellow Jackets higher ranking.
Football Study Hall Full List of 100 Year Rankings
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Johnson was asked how he sells his offense to recruits, struggling down the stretch of the season, and his initial impressions of the Utes among other things.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
He was asked about his decision to move the Georgia-Georgia Tech basketball game to on-campus after 13 years at The Omni. Dooley said he got tired of losing to the Yellow Jackets after goind 2-11. However, after last week's loss at home to Georgia Tech for the first time since 1976 he would be open to moving the game back to downtown Atlanta.
Vince Dooley Audio: Coach Dooley joined B&D to talk about UGA athletics and the UGA/GT basketball game
Of the new terms in the agreement, this is the one I am most disappointed in: But with the revenue split and system issues taking so much time, there was little opportunity to change the non-economic issues. The draft age limit will remain 19 years at least through the 2012 draft — the league would have liked to go to 20, the players would like to abolish it entirely...
The NBA Players Association is the only Union I have ever seen that wants its jobs taken by younger, unproven talent. Of course, when you hear statements like "the NBAPA is run by the agents" then you understand why the NBAPA would not care if a 8 year veteran has their job taken by a 19 year old.
Maybe if more of these guys completed more than one semester in college they would understand the economics of having your job taken from you.
NBA labor deal
Some highlights of the 2011-2012 bowl game gifts from Sports Business Daily:
Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Christmas ornament
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Gift suite, cap (No free paint job on your car!?)
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Toshiba 32-inch flat-screen television
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Helen of Troy hair dryer (WTF?)
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Soundmatters Personal Audiophile loudspeaker, Fossil watch, cap, Timbuk2 custom messenger bag (but NO mac & cheese)
Allstate BCS National Championship Game: Gift suite, Fossil watch, New Era cap, Boxer and Stone shirt
Full list of Bowl gifts to participants
Monday, December 12, 2011
"I am a big believer that many teams simply try to do too much and end up bad at a lot of things instead of very good at a couple of them."
I could not agree more with this statement.
How many times do you see offenses, especially offenses with mediocre talent, trying to run everything under the sun from seven step drops to speed option to pistol to air raid? Too many in my opinion.
Smart Football breaks down what they feel is an underutilized play in college football: the rocket toss.
In this post you will see cutups from Flexbone teams like Georgia Tech as well as play diagrams featuring Heisman winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor (btw how humble was Griffin in accepting the highest individual award in CFB? pretty good kid IMO).
Andrew Carter of ACC Now has more details: A look at Larry Fedora’s contract at UNC:
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Here is who I vote in the top 3:
1. Andrew Luck
The Stanford QB has led his team to a BCS bowl when he is surrounded by mediocre talent at the skill positions. Luck finished second last year to a once in a generation player like Cam Newton and was better this year than last. The Cardinal would not even be close to a BCS Bowl without Luck.
2. Trent Richardson
Yes, the Alabama running back plays behind a very good offensive line but he also gets a ton of yards after contact. I give Luck the nod over Richardson because of the amount of impact the QB has had on his team this year. In other words, Alabama would still be very good without Richardson, Stanford would not without Luck.
3. Tyrann Mathieu
I really wanted to put the Honey Badger higher because I think his impact on LSU's undefeated regular season (and what should be at least a split national title) has not been discussed enough. However, to win the Heisman I think you need to have more of an individual impact on the game. Mathieu is a great player, but the level of play from his teammates allows him to freelance like he does on defense and make the return game special. Still his impact on the defensive side and special teams is one we haven't seen since Charles Woodson so he would make my Heisman ballot.
Why I left off Robert Griffin
Griffin is a phenomenal talent and a true student-athlete which I admire greatly. Leaving him off has nothing to do with the fact that Baylor is only 9-3 because they would probably be 6-6 or worse without him and I think a player's contribution his team should outweigh how well the team has done overall.
I just think if Griffin was in a conference where better (or some form of) defense was played each week his stats would not look nearly as good and his impact would be lessened. All this being said, the Baylor QB is the favorite in Vegas heading into the Heisman Trophy Presentation.
Why I left off Montee Ball
Ball's stats are better than Richardson's but I think his level of play is elevated by one of the best offensive lines in the nation. Well, Alabama has a really good line too? This is true, but when you look at Richardson's yards after contact you see how much he is doing on his own down field.
Who would you put on your Heisman ballot?
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I don't really get the Super Dome is a home game for LSU talk. Unless Alabama fans forget how to buy tickets and cannot drive or fly to New Orleans the Tide will have enough fans to make it a neutral stadium.
2. LSU is awarded the AP National Championship before the game
If Alabama wins the season series will be 1-1 with their loss coming on their own field. Give the Tide the Coaches poll title, but LSU has already done enough to win a share. If you don't want to give LSU a share then lets play a third time in Tiger Stadium to completely settle it.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Critics of the Richt regime point to the record against Florida, the lack of a national championship, the disciplinary issues. However, when you look at his entire tenure it truly is the best in UGA history.
Solving the Gators
Mark Richt is just 3-8 against rival Florida and this record causes much against in the Dawg Nation. However, this was the first year Richt won the SEC East when beating UF.
Richt's struggles against Florida isn't a blemish on coaching abilities, it is more a testament to how good the Gator program has been the last 11 years (really 21 years). Go look at Tennessee's or South Carolina's record against Florida over the last 11 years. It isn't very good either.
Richt certainly falls short of Vince Dooley when it comes to beating Florida, but the Gators were nowhere near the program they are today.
Falling Short to Vince Dooley?
The 25 year head coach and later Athletic Director is revered in Athens for delivering a national championship in 1980.
Although Dooley has a slightly higher SEC winning percentage (71% vs 68%), he and Bear Bryant were notorious for ducking each other. UGA didn't even play Tennessee every year. The Bulldogs and Volunteers matched up seven times in Dooley's 25 seasons.
The lows of the Richt era don't even compare to Dooley's. In 25 seasons, Dooley's teams finished out of the top 25 a whopping 13 times. Richt will very likely finish in the top 25 for the 10th time in his 11 seasons. Additionally, Richt has four top 10 finishes in his time in Athens.
Clear understanding of why he was hired
UGA wasn't really competing for SEC Championships under Jim Donnan. That pain was amplified 10 fold when UGA lost three in a row to in state rival Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs had not lost three in a row to the Yellow Jackets since the 1960s.
Richt got off to the right foot winning the rivalry in his first season as an underdog in Atlanta. He then reeled off seven straight wins and has 10 of the 11 matchups.
Richt has more wins in Clean, Old Fashioned Hate in Atlanta than the last seven Tech coaches combined. Beating Tech has almost become a foregone conclusion.
Richt knows you can lose to Florida and hold onto your job. You cannot lose to Tech and keep drawing a paycheck.
4 SEC East Championships
2 SEC Championships
9 Top 25 Finishes
4 Top 10 Finishes
7 Seasons of 10+ wins
If you want Mark Richt fired, be careful what you wish for UGA fans.
Those were Tyrann Mathieu's (aka Honey Badger) other offers besides LSU.
Rivals had Mathieu as a 4 star while Scout listed him as 3 star This isn't a post to bash recruiting rankings because I think in general they get it right a lot more than wrong.
It is much more of a credit to the player development and strength and conditioning program at LSU. The Tigers' S&C coach, Tommy Moffitt, is so highly regarded that Nick Saban begged him to come to Alabama and when he couldn't get him he hired his assistant Scott Cochran.
Friday, December 2, 2011
"Edsall's lack of character came as no surprise to the good people of Connecticut. He ripped into Jordan Todman in the locker room after last year's 48-20 loss to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl and asked the junior tailback to man up and tell his teammates he was making himself available for the NFL draft.
When the team boarded the charter flight for the trip back home from Phoenix the next morning, Edsall was nowhere to be found. He was on his way to College Park, where he had agreed to become Maryland's coach.
"[Edsall] made Jordan address the team to say he was leaving, and he isn't man enough to do it face to face to us?" one player told the Hartford Courant."
[via Wiz of Odds]
Line: Va Tech -7
Note: This analysis is based on the stats for the entire season. I use yards per point (YPP) more so than yards per play when looking at season stats because I feel teams that turn the ball over or create turnovers can do so consistently. Yards per play takes turnovers and field position much more into account than yards per play.
These two offenses are very similar in their efficiency with the Tigers actually the better of the two on the season with a 13.3 YPP to the Hokies 14.0.
Where the real difference lies is on defense. Virginia Tech again has one of the nation's best defenses at keeping opponents off the scoreboard. Bud Fosters' unit has a 19.5 YPP giving them a big advantage over Kevin Steele's who gives up 13.9 YPP.
This line opened around 5.5 and quickly moved to 7 with bettors most likely seeing how much improvement the Hokies have made since the first meeting and how much better their defense is overall.
The total of 53.5 looks pretty good to me. While I project a total of 50 I feel more confident in a VT cover than an Under.
And of course, LSUFreek has weighed in.
Line: LSU -13.5
Note: This analysis is based on the stats for the entire season. I use yards per point more so than yards per play when looking at season stats because I feel teams that turn the ball over or create turnovers can do so consistently. Yards per play takes turnovers and field position much more into account than yards per play.
LSU has a very good yards per point (YPP) on offense of 10.2. This low of a number says that the Tigers score a lot of touchdowns as opposed to field goals and they get short fields to operate on because of pinning offenses deep in their own territory and creating turnovers.
UGA also has a good yards per point of 12.5, but it is not as good as LSU's.
Defensively, again the Tigers' are one of the best with a 23.4 yards per point. Opposing offenses have to drive long fields and get a lot of field goals in relation to touchdowns. Also, drives sometimes end in turnovers or no points.
Georgia, again, has a good defensive YPP of 15.2 but, again, not as good as LSU. The Bulldogs have improved as the season has gone on with a 21.1 yards per point in their last three games which includes New Mexico State, Auburn, and Georgia Tech.
I think the public has this one pegged correctly at a 13.5 point spread and I think they are pretty close at a 46 total.
The Clemson head coach answers a few other questions before the South Carolina rivalry question which starts at 1:50.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
(A quick aside, I think the Rich Rod hire is a great one for Arizona. The guy didn't forget how to coach football at Michigan. But he did have a lot of forces working against him in Ann Arbor that never allowed him to create a sense of team and unity.)
But back to Staples' piece...evidently Arizona AD Greg Byrne spoke to Urban Meyer about the Wildcats job. Although Meyer was not interested in the job, he did give a recommendation for Rodriguez whom Meyer called "one of the top five offensive minds in college football".
This got me thinking...who would be the other four in Meyer's top five?
In no particular order this is who I think would be in Meyer's top five.
Kelly has the Ducks in line for their third straight BCS bowl in three seasons as a head coach. Oregon ranks 5th nationally in yards per play this season at just over seven yards a snap and 6th in total yards per game. Kelly's scheme is very similar to Meyer's with the hurry up offense thrown into the mix.
The current West Virginia coach has had a non-ideal first year as a head coach but he built his offense at Houston and Oklahoma State who both rank in the top 5 nationally in total offense running his system and was also an assistant under Mike Leach. It is just a matter of time before he has WVU there.
Some people may not like his offense, but that fact is he moves the ball down the field consistently with less talented players than many teams have. Georgia Tech ranked 6th in yards per play this season and their ball control offense is the only thing that kept them down in total yards and points. Also, Meyer consulted with Johnson early on in his head coaching career to discuss blocking schemes and implemented many of them.
The Hogs are just (just?) 14th in yards per play this season, but were 4th last season at 7.1 yards per play. As much as he disliked for his personality he is respected for his offense and QB development. Petrino is about the closest thing today to Steve Spurrier in the 90s at Florida.
I would have had Mike Leach on this list (instead of Petrino), but when the discussion with Meyer took place Leach was out of coaching.
Who is on your list for the top offensive minds in college football?