Tuesday, June 07, 2011

If Michigan's Offense Struggles this Year...

Then this chart (HT: Blutarsky) will be quite a cross to bear for Brady Hoke and Al Borges.

This season will be very interesting as a test case for how much latitude Hoke gives his coordinators. Borges is a West Coast Offense guy, but his attack has taken various different forms over the years, including an increasing reliance on the shotgun. It's plausible that he would come up with an offensive scheme that utilizes Denard Robinson's specific skill-set, although it's still going to seem a little like a scorpion pretending to be an anaconda by asphyxiating its victim. (My operative theory on offensive coordinators: if you're a spread guy, then run the spread. If you're a West Coast guy, then run that offense. If you're a scorpion, then sting. If you're an anaconda, then squeeze.) Hoke has stated that he doesn't like the spread as an offensive scheme. Thus, you have a head coach whose philosophy is at odds with the available talent and whose offensive coordinator might be able to concoct a scheme that can work for the talent. How does the situation play out?

By the way, here is the SEC:

Mississippi State - 5th - 95.68%
Florida - 14th - 90.25%
South Carolina - 19th - 87.84%
Vandy - 47th - 75.40%
Tennessee - 53rd - 73.34%
LSU - 63rd - 69.4%
Georgia - 70th - 66.40%
Arkansas - 83rd - 57.88%
Ole Miss - 92nd - 46.31%
Alabama - 103rd - 37.68%
Auburn - 110th - 31.19%
Kentucky - 118th - 24.68%

You can see a potential resurgence by the East over the horizon. You have Florida returning most of the team and getting a post-Addazio bounce. You have South Carolina returning a ton of players from a team that finally got over the hump and adding a potential difference maker at defensive end. You have Tennessee in Derek Dooley's year two, which is often the best year for a new coach. And you have Georgia returning a lot, adding a great recruiting class with key members at positions in need of a boost, not to mention the fact that the Dawgs are in year two of the experiment with the 3-4. It's quite plausible to see a shift of power between West and East, or at least a reversion closer to equilibrium.

One last point: Alabama is replacing an awful lot on offense to be preseason #1. Yeah, the defense may be so good that 20 points will be enough every week, but every national champion has a game or two where it needs a late drive to win. How confident are Tide fans that all of those new faces will come through?

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