Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Did HeismanPundit Actually Watch the Game?

706 words on the BCS Title Game and not one mention of the minor fact that Florida gave up 82 yards. That couldn't possibly have had anything to do with the result, could it? Because of Florida's defense and special teams, the Gators managed seven scores in the game and only one of the drives was longer than 46 yards. And in light of that evidence, HP still wants to extol Florida's offensive scheme? The same offensive scheme that produced 17 points against South Carolina, 21 points against Georgia, 23 points against LSU, 25 points against Vandy, 17 points against Auburn, 21 points against Alabama, 21 points against Tennessee, and 26 points against Kentucky? No mention of a defensive scheme that completely confused Ohio State's offensive line by crowding the line of scrimmage and then dropped multiple defenders off at the snap, thus ensuring single-blocking for the Gators' defensive ends? This isn't the work of an analyst; this is the work of a publicist.

(I do think HP is right that Ohio State wasn't used to handling an offense of Florida's style and that's a legitimate criticism of the Big Ten, but doesn't that imply that offenses are more sophisticated in the SEC, since SEC defenses are able to handle the Florida offense with relative ease? In other words, Ohio State did have a scheme problem, but the problem was primarily with their defensive approach, which was extremely passive and was contrary to what worked against the Gators this season in the SEC.)

And let's also note what isn't mentioned in HP's self-fellatio on the Gang of Six:

1. He inducted Notre Dame into the Gang before the season and the Irish, despite returning nine starters on offense, including multiple prospective NFL first round picks, was handled relatively easily by just about every decent defense they played (with the exception of Penn State): 14 points against Georgia Tech, 21 points against Michigan, 20 points against UCLA, 24 points against USC, and 14 points against LSU. Notre Dame had 30 yards in the second half against LSU, a team that HP proclaimed as overrated earlier this year.

2. If scheme is the key to Boise State's success, then how come they don't miss a beat when they lose their coaches, the designers of those schemes? More importantly, if the scheme is so revolutionary and unstoppable, then why does it not work for Dirk Koetter or Dan Hawkins when they leave the WAC?

3. Funny how HP mentions Cal's outburst against a Texas A&M defense that no one respects and neglects to mention their offensive output in their final three games of the regular season: 20 points against Arizona, nine points against USC, and 26 points against Stanford (arguably the worst BCS conference team this year).

One final note: SEC teams other than Florida, the ones that HP derides as having neanderthal offenses and defenses that are overrated because they play against bad offenses, averaged 27 points per game in their bowl games. If these offenses are so bad, then why aren't they being exposed when they step outside of SEC play?

10 comments:

LD said...

I didn't think it possible, but his BCSNCG post isn't the most embarrassing thing he's put up today.

After telling us weekly how important Jeff Sagarin's computer rankings were (like 9 posts worth) when they showed the Pac-10 as the best conference, he now tells us "not to get too carried away" that the SEC has taken over #1 (and the Pac 10 has dropped to 3rd), and follows it up with a comment basically saying that the SEC still sucks.

After a full season of worshipping at the Altar of Sagarin, he tells us that the system doesn't work well.

This is pure and simple soviet-style revisionism, and deserving-of-mockery intellectual dishonesty.

Fox said...

His whole Gang of Six schtick is pretty funny. He takes a pretty obvious proposition--that teams with creative play-callers and imaginative schemes can score more points than they otherwise would to give themselves a competitive advantage. Well, duh. But his idea that that makes them kings of the college football world (and yes, I have "Titanic" stuck in my head once the OSU band shattered the unintentional comedy scale by playing the movie's theme song at halftime Monday night) is absurd. You still need players--schemes and so on just help things. To take an NFL example, Mike Martz was able to put together an offensive juggernaut in St. Louis because he had great talent, then got pretty good production this year in Detroit with pretty average talent. But they, of course, didn't win because of it because he didn't have the players (and the defense sucked, and it's Detroit, but I digress). Sure, they score more points than if Herm Edwards coached the offense but they didn't win more.

I guess where I get lost is how this means any more than that. His Gang of Six hasn't revolutionized the game or anything--they're just the good schemes that currently work, but the defenses will soon adjust and then someone will draw up something new. His broad generalizations don't flow from his premises at all, as far as I can tell. And arguing that a conference is better than another simply because it has a few better offensive minds is absurd. As you point out, there's this thing called defense out there.

Actually, why isn't ther a Gang of Six for defenses. Wouldn't the late 90s Va Tech teams qualify--beamer discovered that he could win with undertalented teams by playing pressure defense and great special teams. How is that any different than Meyer running the spread offense at Utah? OK, I'm done babbling.

Grandy said...

Am I the only person who paused at the "30-40 NFL players on it's roster" comment?

Michael said...

Seriously guys, if you force me to attack every unsupportable statement that HP makes, I'll be here all day. :)

I can't wait, by the way, for HP arguing in 2008 that Florida is succeeding because of scheme when their offense is Tebow, Harvin, Spiller, and an experienced offensive line. Who could ever succeed with such meager talent?

Fox, the defensive Gang of Six idea is interesting, at least as an illustration that someone will have a good idea and then it'll be figured out. VT is a good example, as is Oklahoma under Bob Stoops.

Grandy said...

Spiller is staying at Clemson, I thought?

Kanu said...

Florida did what they did this year with the classic SEC formula: a functional offense and a straight-up badass D.

How fucking revolutionary.

heismanpundit said...

I rarely comment on anyone's blog anymore as I usually can care less what people say. But Google Alerts brought me to this little love-fest so I will play a little ball.

Mentioning that Florida gave up 82 yards when talking about the BCS title game would be appropriate if one were trying to be a Master of the Obvious. The great things about blogs is that you can skip over all the stuff that average people are talking about and sort through and find something that not everyone is talking about. So, left it to types like you to talk about defense. Have at it. Maybe one day you can be an analyst with Emmit Smith and talk about how the key to the game is to 'Stop the Run'. Brilliant.

But yes, I did want to extol Florida's offensive scheme. Because if you actually watched the game, you would notice that it was pretty much unstoppable against an elite defense. As I've mentioned countless times, familiarity with scheme and personnel is important in college football, which is why Ohio State had more trouble with an offense than Kentucky did. Same thing happened in 2004, when Pac-10 teams were far more successful in stopping Norm Chow's offense than Oklahoma was. Stanford lost by 3 points to USC in 2004 and Oklahoma lost by 36. So unless you are implying that Kentucky is better than Ohio State on defense, take your comparative scoring and stick it.

I will grant that you are not totally irresponsible, which is why you cover your bases with a parenthetical sop to my point which allows you to agree with me while not agreeing. Very bold of you.

But you ask the question: Doesn't that imply that offenses are more sophisticated in the SEC? That answer to that is, some of them are, some of them aren't. As I wrote in 2005, Meyer's and Spurrier's addition to the SEC was going to change the league for the better and we have seen that. There is far more offensive creativity going on now than there was a few years ago. It's not even close. The result is that the league is better. As for Ohio State's scheme problem, I did mention that Florida's defense had no problem with its mundane scheme. But I laugh when you say that Ohio State's problem was their defensive approach. No shit. They didn't understand how to defense that offense, which is what I have been telling you.

On to more, including your classy use of the word fellatio.

1. Yeah, I put Notre Dame in the group. So I was wrong. So what? What does that have to do with the BCS title game? And naturally you miss the whole point of the Gang which is primarily based on scheme and HOW offenses work and not on HOW many yards and points are produced. If yards and points were the point, then Hawaii would be in that group.

2. You don't think scheme is important to Boise's success. If you don't think it is, then you are a goddamn moron. A moron. Why do you think they beat Oklahoma, because of all that talent on offense? For your information, Chris Pederson was Dan Hawkins' offensive coordinator, so the scheme didn't change at all when Hawkins left. Koetter did not run the same stuff that Pederson does and he was never as successful as Hawkins, so there are plenty of reasons why he didnt succeed at ASU. As for Hawkins, he took over a program in shambles, though as it turned out, one of his more successful games offensively was an outing against Georgia. What do ya know?

3. Look man. Parse the stats all you want. Cal had a very good offense this year. They are CAL for crying out loud, with no winning tradition and not a whole lot of talent. Yet they just had their second 10 win season in three years. Guess what? That wasn't happening before Tedford came in and put in his offense.

As for your last note, your stats are skewed heavily by a few things. First, Florida scored 41. I should ask you why it was that the team with the offense tagged as the most advanced in the SEC by HP managed to score 41 on the No. 1 scoring defense in the land. Second, LSU scored 41 on a horrible Notre Dame defense. After that, you had South Carolina scoring 44. Fine, Spurrier has a great scheme and I never said he didn't. Kentucky managed 28, but then they are coached by Rich Brooks, formerly of Oregon and the NFL. So, they know a thing or two about offense. So as you can see, I acknowledge that not all SEC offenses are neanderthal. Just a lot of them. And it is changing for the better, as I pointed out two years ago.

Better you should ask why the speedy rosters of Arkansas and Tennessee managed to score 14 and 10 against the slow Big Ten.

Oh, and did you notice that Illinois only gave up 17 to Ohio State. So that means that Florida's defense is only three points better than Ron Zook's.

As for 2008, I don't have to say anything. I told you guys two years ago that Florida, with its talent and its scheme, would be the next great power in college football. In 2008, you will see all that come to fruition as the personnel will be perfect for the scheme and they will run roughshod over teams. It must suck that you spent all that energy last year opposing my idea that Florida was going to be so good because of Meyer. Who was right? And who was merely mad because they didn't want to see Florida succeed for petty reasons?

Finally, any good publicist or analyst who can write should know that you don't start a paragraph with a numeral. FYI.

As for you LD, shame on you for once again misrepresenting what I wrote.

LD said...

Michael, I've got the perfect response to that last comment, and it comes verbatim from someone who clearly rises above such average people like us:

"Look, I am not going to read your entire comment. I just cant [sic]. It is too damn long. How can someone possibly respond to a comment that long?"


And for the record, the comment I left here was before HP "clarified" his thoughts on Sagarin in comments and said he agreed with him ranking the SEC high. His statements prior to that led directly to my assertion here. See the comments on his site and how he responded there if you want the full story. In my view, it doesn't make him look good, so please have a look.

LD said...

I think Brian Cook at mgoblog did a defensive gang of six thing a year or two ago - mainly as a gag.

blackertai said...

"Oh, and did you notice that Illinois only gave up 17 to Ohio State. So that means that Florida's defense is only three points better than Ron Zook's."

Florida's defense IS Ron Zook's. Think about it. Idiot.

"Because if you actually watched the game, you would notice that it was pretty much unstoppable against an elite defense."

You really, at this point, have to revise your position on Ohio State's defense. As they played absolutely no one this year (Texas proved to be overrated, as did Michigan, and they beat no one else with talent), their defensive stats came from playing the cup-cake Big-Ten schedule. That's the same reason that Virgina Tech had the number one overall defense this season...with games against the lightweight, truly awful ACC, a moderately capable defense would generate amazing stats. Take Georgia's first 5 games. Misleading stats are generated by playing less than challenging competition. If anyone is indicative of this problem, it was Ohio State this season.

"As I've mentioned countless times, familiarity with scheme and personnel is important in college football, which is why Ohio State had more trouble with an offense than Kentucky did."

Again, you're an idiot. Florida's powerful "scheme" hasn't even been implemented yet, and none of the teams in the SEC have any more real experience with Meyer's scheme than Ohio State does. Florida, last year, used a HIGHLY modified version because of the limitations of Chris Leak (in terms of running this type of offense), and truly you could say no one in the SEC has actually seen a functioning Meyer spread-option. If you want to make this claim, you obviously haven't been paying attention to games in the SEC. Realistically, Tressell had just as much time to watch tape and learn as much as he could about Meyer's game plan that every other SEC coach who plays Florida does. As Georgia has held Florida to 14 offensive points two years running, and has shut out the powerful scheme for 2 consecutive 2nd halves, watching tape should be more than enough for any coaching staff. There was no familiarity with his offense last season, and we did it, and he wasn't even running the same thing this year (he spoke of how highly modified his plan was this season, due to the lack of true RB and other problems before AND after the game). Grow a brain.

"As I wrote in 2005, Meyer's and Spurrier's addition to the SEC was going to change the league for the better and we have seen that."

We sure saw that in the offensive shoot out in the Swamp between these two titans of offensive genius this season. What a score, 17-16! I swear, I thought they might break 100 points between them. With all those touchdowns, I can't even imagine the defenses coming onto the field.

I could go on, because your response was so stunningly stupid and contained so many problematic statements, but this isn't my blog, and I feel like I've written enough to make you look foolish.