Sunday, November 09, 2008

My Top 25 is in Awe of the Pirate

1Texas Tech 1
2Florida 1
3Alabama --
4Texas --
5Southern Cal 2
6Oklahoma --
7Oklahoma State 1
8Penn State 3
9Utah 3
10Ohio State 1
11Boise State 2
12TCU 2
13Georgia 3
14California 1
15Missouri 3
16South Carolina 4
17Michigan State --
18Ball State 2
19LSU 4
20Oregon 5
21Pittsburgh 5
22Oregon State 3
23North Carolina 1
24Cincinnati 2
25Iowa 1

Dropped Out: West Virginia (#21), Northwestern (#23), Georgia Tech (#24).
Random Thoughts on the Weekend:
Texas Tech gets the top spot because their big win over Oklahoma State narrows the gap in strength of schedule between them and Florida. The Red Raiders' performance convinced me of their merit in two respects: (1) they were able to play at a high level the week after an emotional win in a rivalry game; and (2) their defense is for real, as they held an excellent offense to 20 points.
The season now heads for an obvious conclusion: the winners of the Big XII and SEC will play in Miami. USC is the only other team in the running, but they don't play any more quality opponents, so their chances to grab headlines are minimal. Their only shot would be for Missouri to upset the Big XII South winner in Kansas City or for Florida to lose in Tallahassee and then beat Alabama in Atlanta. Come to think of it, neither scenario is that implausible.
Is it me, or did Spread HD end up looking like every other Penn State offense in recent memory? If the Lions want to assign blame for their loss to Iowa, then might want to consider fingering a passing game that has totally gone in the tank in the past two weeks. Penn State confirmed every stereotype that non-Big Ten fans have of offenses in that league: bor-ing.
Did anyone else find it odd that Tennessee's players made a big show of loyalty for Phil Fulmer when he got canned, complained about the University's decision, and then promptly showed their support for Fulmer by losing at home to a bad Wyoming team?
All of the following were seen on the sides of milk cartons this weekend:
USC's offense
Georgia's defense
Charlie Weis's seven-point schematic advantage
My ability to care about the ACC


Anonymous said...

Actually, say OU beats TTU and then there is a three way tie in the Big-12 south, one of them gets to the conference title game based on BCS rankings. If they were to lose, then there will probably still be two Big-12 south teams between USC and the number two spot.

Anonymous said...

Georgia's defense is not the problem. The special teams is. Take another look at the box score and drives, especially in the second half. 3 UK scoring drives that start virtually in the red zone. No defense on earth can limit scores there. Georgia's D didn't give up that many yards per play. Yes, the third down conversions were a problem. But the truth is that that's how Georgia schemes. No big plays allowed. Yards allowed were actually pretty low. They could improve, but the D is really getting a bad rap for that game. It's the special teams that deserves the real scorn.

Michael said...

OK, let's leave out scoring and look at yardage. Georgia is 8th in the conference in total defense, 9th in yards allowed per play, and tenth in pass efficiency defense. Even if you normalize for Georgia having played a tough schedule, those are still troubling numbers.

As for the Kentucky game, Georgia let Kentucky keep the ball for 35 minutes. That has nothing to do with special teams. Normally, giving up 331 yards wouldn't be a major issue, but Kentucky came into the game averaging 314 yards per game (and that includes a weak non-conference schedule and doesn't account for the fact that UK has been beset by injuries). Georgia allowed 226 yards rushing at 4.0 per carry against a team that presented no passing threat.

LD said...

Focusing just on the UK game... The scheme of the defense was not to allow any big plays. They did that. 4.0 yards per carry isn't that bad either (UK gave up more than that and most people didn't think Georgia ran all that well). 4.4 yards per play is not bad at all - 7 of the 9 other SEC teams that played this week gained more per play.

I don't blame the TOP problem on the defense entirely - the offense seemed to either score in a minute or go three and out. Getting off the field is a problem - I agree. And I think there's an argument as to the level of advantage not giving up big plays offers. Consistently giving up 4 yards and having a 50/50 chance of stopping them on a given 4 play series may or may not be as good an idea as occasionally giving up 40 yard plays but having a 75/25 chance of stopping them on a given 4 play series. Or something like that. I don't know.