Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I had to say this

So, I'm definitely not one to get my panties in a twist when someone says something less than glowing about my beloved Bulldawgs. Still, I found this prediction of the Boise State vs UGA opener amusing. What I don't like is when people make bizarre suppositions that do not follow from any factual evidence - or from evidence that does not fit the outcome. So I'm forced to comment, here (I'll try to avoid sounding like most - note, not all, of the UGA fans commenting there).

The author takes the time to point out how awesome Boise's offenses are (PPG average somewhere between 35 and eighty billion over the past 4-5 years), and how average Georgia's are: roughly 28ppg over the last 4 years. And holds this up as one reason Boise will beat Georgia. Huh? The two stats aren't comparable. The teams faced different competition. And despite what the author suggests - Georgia was playing far better talent and defenses in the SEC. I am not an SEC homer (I didn't have a problem with Auburn getting the shaft last year, outside of a general "it sucks to go undefeated in a major conference and get the shaft"; the conference was not strong enough last year to warrant an extra push to get them into the top 2 imo). But Georgia was playing better defenses, consistently, over that time. No reasonable person would suggest otherwise.

Also, the analysis completely ignores certain issues. 4 years ago, Georgia was forced to reply on a true freshman quarterback. Two years ago, it was a predominately freshman/sophomore offensive-line. These things can be problematic in NCAA Division 1 football - for Georgia they were on both occasions. Georgia did not run the Offense it ran the last three years during Greene's first year. Play calling was far more conservative, with far less play action (something Greene was known for). Not that I'd expect things like logic to creep into the discussion. It has become cliche to knock teams who play in "mid level" conferences like the WAC (or the Pac-10; oooh, rimshot!) because nobody plays defense. Methinks one of the real culprits here is that certain teams have been able to get better talent on average - and that makes a difference.

And guess what - the Dawgs have a significant talent edge.

The article makes a lame attempt to dismiss Georgia's "struggles" against Georgia Southern and Marshall. The Thundering Heard were down last year but they've been a tough team since moving to division 1. And The score there did not reflect the game - a game in which Georgia routinely marched past the 50 only to bog down, and the Thundering heard barely mustered up any offense. As for Southern - it's unlike Georgia will face an offence that is significantly "higher tech" (more on that nonsense in a moment) than Southerns. The layperson might describe a running offense as anything but high tech. That's not the case, though. In fact, Georgia Southern's offense is fairly complicated, and incredibly difficult to stop. The author makes a big deal about people not knowing about Boise - well, people don't know about Southern either. See, if they wanted to, Southern could make the D1 leap (they easily surpass the attendance requirements). And they'd be competitive in many small and some mid level conferences. Right now. If they could recruit - and the state they reside in is an underrated talent bed - they could do better. When Southern plays d1 teams it routinely piles up big rushing numbers. It's hung 300 yard+ days on the likes of Florida and Auburn in the past. They've been running this offense for years there. It's a difficult one to defend against.

Of course, Georgia beat Southern by 20 and hung 58(!) points on the board. Methinks the author is enamored by their being a 1AA school, and doesn't understand Southern's true football prowess (wait. . .was that. . .irony? Nah).

Now, as for offense tech levels. . .his contention that Georgia has not seen a "high tech" offense is absurd. He's only just gotten back (and methinks, he's back for a rougher time than some realize), but SOS' Fun-and-Gun offense single-handedly modernized the SEC, and played a part in the role of shifting greater college football philosophies. Hal Mumme ran some crazy ones at Kentucky. LSU's offense was hardly chopped liver. Georgia has faced offenses quarterbacked by the likes of Rex Grossman, Eli Manning, and Peyton Manning (not to mention some of the bowl opponents. Hi Drew Brees and Kyle Orton. Oh, and high Travis Dorsch!). Those things (that talent crap I was rambling about earlier) tend to matter more than how l33t the offensive system is. An example offered up is how Oklahoma failed to cover people out of the backfield against USC in the title game. Yes, Boise uses a similar offensive system to USC (or so I am told). My question: so? What does that have to do with Georgia v Boise State? Not much. Sure - sometimes teams fail to make adjustments. Georgia may well fail to (it's happened before. See the Ronnie Daniels Massacre). That Oklahoma failed to make adjustments against the most talented team in college football says nothing about a game being played the next season by two different teams.

It's funny, because the author mostly ignores the other side of the ball - UGA offense versus the Central Fellowship, I'm sorry I mean Boise State, defense. Louisville ran wild on Boise last year. One of Georgia's strengths should be the running game (but we shall see).

Not that I don't think Boise St won't be a tough opponent - Georgia lost a number of key players (Messrs Pollock, Davis, Brown, Greene). Georgia's LB depth has taken a small blow and it isn't even august. The secondary has serious questions (it wasn't that good last year with Davis, though Demario Minter is underrated). Van Gorder is gone, and while I suspect Marinez will be a better hire than many suspect it will be impossible not to miss him (here's a stat for you: go look up how many games Georgia allowed an opponent to score over 30 points under Van Gorder's 4 year tenure). Boise is good, no question about it. They may well beat Georgia. But it likely won't have to do with any of the non-analysis offered up by the article. Ill save my thoughts on that game for another time.

So did we learn anything? I don't know, and I don't care. Except that I'm much better at selecting song titles to tie into blog headers. Though I should point out I am biased.

2 Comments:

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Ian said...

By the by, I'm sure I'll cover this in a post later on, but I'm definitely not on the bandwagon that assumes that UGA will be handed a beatdown by Boise. I know UGA will put up 35+ on them...the question is whether BSU can keep up. Which is why the question for me is whether BSU will pull off a shootout win or UGA will raise expectations with an absolute shellacking (I'm leaning towards the latter). I think too many people are stuck off how close BSU played UL in the bowl game, but UL is a team that could give a flying fuck about defense as well. My pick...UGA 38-17.

 
At 5:25 AM, Blogger peacedog said...

I'd like to do a post at some point where I talk about all of the issues UGA faces this year. They are considerable, and I don't blame people for thinking upset. This is Boise's National Title game and Prom Night all rolled into one, after all.

But in some things I have read, people seemed to have minimalized Boise's issues while looking heavily at Georgias.

 

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