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  1. #1
    BamaNation All-American KrAzY3's Avatar
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    Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    First I have to be clear on this. I started cheering against Notre Dame about the same time I started cheering for Alabama (in other words understood football). Notre Dame was having their good years under Holtz, and if being an Alabama fan wasn't enough, being a protestant was. I literally had comic books that warned me about Catholics. I don't give Notre Dame credit because I want to, I do it because it's true. Secondly, I was a strong advocate for Texas A&M joining the conference, I don't criticize them because I have anything against them.

    I am tired of people acting like Oregon and Chip Kelly are some magical team. I saw a breakdown trying to explain why Chip Kelly was a better coach than Nick Saban. It had something to do with talent and completely ignored the fact that Kelly recruits to his system. Chip Kelly was handed the reigns to a 10 win team, and has the backing/funding of Nike. He's not forced to rub sticks together to make fire, and what he's done pales in comparison to Nick Saban. He is a good coach, but like Boise St., he relies on gimmicks and exploits to produce his results.

    Oregon was talked up to play LSU again last year for the title. The desire was so strong, that people wanted to forget that LSU dominated Oregon, unlike the Alabama game which came down to the wire. But, Oregon tripped up again as usual and that was that. This year, Oregon was in the drivers seat, and had an easy schedule to boot. And they lose yet again.

    What irritates me about this is that somehow, because they won their bowl game, Oregon is the second best team in the country to many. They're as good as Notre Dame, in fact, they are better. How so? These teams shared two mutual opponents. Oregon gave up 51 points to USC, 51 points!, but how about Stanford? It wasn't just that Notre Dame beat Stanford, it was that Stanford not only beat Oregon but held this supposedly unstoppable offense to 14 points.

    That's the thing with these gimmick offenses. If they don't catch you off-guard, what you have is a bad offense in fast forward. That's why Oregon could be held to 14 points, because if you're prepared for it, it's very beatable. To give an example, Alabama gave up the most points of the season in 2011 to Georgia Southern, a FCS team. Does that mean that Georgia Southern had the best offense that Alabama faced? No, it did not, it merely meant that they had a gimmick offense that Alabama wasn't prepared for. It created a match-up problem, and the fact that they were mauled by North Dakota State 35-7 is proof enough that their offense could be stopped.

    We give gimmick offenses far too much credit because we are in love with scoring. Texas A&M, while a very good team has been given far too much credit as well. They got beat early by Florida, ok let's give them a mulligan. But, the LSU game was their 7th of the season, and it was at home. LSU was familiar with that sort of offense, and shut them down, holding them to 19 points. You can call one game or the other a fluke, but I don't think so. I think that if you have this sort of offense figured out, you can stop them cold. How else can you explain the fact that Texas A&M and Oregon both had lower scoring games than Alabama?

    It doesn't end with offense though. There is defense to. This is interesting when looking at Texas A&M because ironically they didn't do so well against a similar offense. They let Louisiana Tech score 57 points. Oregon didn't do much better, giving up 51 points to USC. Alabama gave up 29 points against Texas A&M, the most points they gave up all year. But, even then 20 of those points were in the first quarter. Once Alabama adjusted to A&M's offense, the last three quarters were 24-9, in favor of Alabama. Texas A&M is a very good team, but I don't think they will catch Alabama off guard next time they play. Notre Dame's defense? Before they ran into Alabama, the most points they had given up were 26 points. Clearly, their defense is in another class when compared to Oregon and Texas A&M.

    This talk about Oregon being so great, or A&M being so great is ultimately disrespectful to both Alabama and Notre Dame. Notre Dame was undefeated, they beat two conference champs, they played a great schedule (21 SoS), and fared far better than I thought they would. Texas A&M? They had a very hard schedule, and they did great. But, they lost twice. Their offense was held under 20 points twice and they came two yards away from losing a third time. They are still a very beatable team. Oregon, had a strength of schedule of 38. They didn't have many tests, and they still failed. Their offense can be stopped, they just don't play very many good defenses.

    It's almost like people forgot about what Alabama did to LSU last year in the championship game. They took an undefeated team, a team that looked fantastic, beat Oregon, Georgia, Alabama, etc... and made them look pathetic. 21-0, it was like their offense didn't show up, and this was a LSU team that had a very impressive body of work. Why is it that when Alabama shows up like that again, and dominated Notre Dame, it becomes something other than giving Alabama credit? If it was Oregon it would have been different, Notre Dame's really not that good, etc... You know what? LSU was that good. Notre Dame was that good. But, Alabama was that great.

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  3. #2
    BamaNation Hall of Fame JPT4Bama's Avatar
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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Good points Krazy3.
    Ask me about my vow of silence.

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    BamaNation All-American Florida Tom's Avatar
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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Not Krazy at all. Thanks for the post.

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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    IMO, the worst game plan a coach can make up is one that gets away from their normal style of playing. Trying to pull off something that you're not used to doing and/or haven't practiced extensively only invites disaster.
    IOW, "Dance with the one that brought you."

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    BamaNation Hall of Fame JBama_in_PCOLA's Avatar
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    Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Good points and I agree. I do hate when these talking heads say a team just didn't show up. That discredits Bama and what the team does so much. But let them keeping doing it. They'll learn one day.
    ROLL TIDE!

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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Gimmick?

    You can't understand the mindset because you are on the mountaintop looking down, not trying to find a path upwards ...

    A&M is still recruiting to stock the cupboards, but we don't have 5*s all over like y'all do. Texas HS aren't producing 230 lb bruising SEC RBs by the bushel basket. So why try to beat you on your terms? Why try to "out-Alabama" the Crimson Tide? But TX HS do produce QBs, WRs, and agile OL all over the place. So what you call a gimmick is playing to inherent strengths. Playing fast in space neutralizes those 300 lb monster DL and 250 lb LBs you have. And I promise you this: when Jake Matthews (RT) and Ced Ogbuehi (RG) are leading Johnny Manziel through the hole on a designed QB Counter Trey, there is nothing gimmicky about it. Two 300 lb pulling linemen and an elusive back. Old time football wearing modern clothes.

    It is also called strategy and good ones accentuate one's own positives and turns an opponent's positives into weaknesses.

    And as far as being a "gimmick" ... There once was another style of football, also with origins on the TX HS fields, that took CFB by storm, and gave Coach Bryant a few important victories.
    People called it a gimmick and said it was ruining football. It spread the field and stressed defenses in new, uncomfortable ways.

    It was the wishbone.
    Last edited by jagvocate; January 9th, 2013 at 06:11 AM.

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    BamaNation All-American B1GTide's Avatar
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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Quote Originally Posted by jagvocate View Post
    You can't understand the mindset because you are on the mountaintop looking down, not trying to find a path upwards ...
    I think that this is true - Alabama has an edge that most fail to understand. Because you have Saban, and you have had the success that you have had, and you have had so many great recruiting classes in a row, Alabama is in a place that most schools cannot hope to reach by conventional means.

    I watched Dooley yesterday as a guest on an ESPNU show (Experts, or something like that). He explained how difficult it will be for other schools to knock Alabama off in coming years. Consider this - your 2nd and 3rd string is more talented than most schools' 1st string. All they need is the experience and coaching, which they will get over time. That provides depth on gameday that schools can only dream of, and continuity from one team to the next.

    You didn't get here in one or two years, but you are here now. Only you can mess it up. Until then, other schools will improvise and play catch-up.

  9. #8
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Alasippi's Avatar
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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Quote Originally Posted by jagvocate View Post
    Gimmick?

    You can't understand the mindset because you are on the mountaintop looking down, not trying to find a path upwards ...

    A&M is still recruiting to stock the cupboards, but we don't have 5*s all over like y'all do. Texas HS aren't producing 230 lb bruising SEC RBs by the bushel basket. So why try to beat you on your terms? Why try to "out-Alabama" the Crimson Tide? But TX HS do produce QBs, WRs, and agile OL all over the place. So what you call a gimmick is playing to inherent strengths. Playing fast in space neutralizes those 300 lb monster DL and 250 lb LBs you have. And I promise you this: when Jake Matthews (RT) and Ced Ogbuehi (RG) are leading Johnny Manziel through the hole on a designed QB Counter Trey, there is nothing gimmicky about it. Two 300 lb pulling linemen and an elusive back. Old time football wearing modern clothes.

    It is also called strategy and good ones accentuate one's own positives and turns an opponent's positives into weaknesses.

    And as far as being a "gimmick" ... There once was another style of football, also with origins on the TX HS fields, that took CFB by storm, and gave Coach Bryant a few important victories.
    People called it a gimmick and said it was ruining football. It spread the field and stressed defenses in new, uncomfortable ways.

    It was the wishbone.
    Indeed it was. Nice post. I don't think the spread is a gimmick offense at all, it's just simply another form of offense.
    Like the Bud Light commercial say's.."It's only weird if it doesn't work". It works for A@M and Oregon and what's wrong with that? Nothing.

  10. #9
    BamaNation All-American KrAzY3's Avatar
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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Quote Originally Posted by jagvocate View Post
    Gimmick?
    The wishbone was a gimmick, and while I won't criticize its use, it did have repercussions. Alabama for instance used to produce Super Bowl quarterbacks on a regular basis. Starr, Namath, Stabler... there has not been one first round draft pick at QB, or one QB from Alabama playing in a Super Bowl (or even starting full time) since the wishbone era. Yes, it worked, but eventually Alabama had to stop using the gimmick.

    I'm not disparaging Texas A&M or Oregon for using a gimmick. But, I've watched it live. I know what it is. When your offense is built around not letting the other defense make substitutions, which is something that football has come to expect, it's relying on a quirk in the rules. Take the game against Alabama. Had Alabama been given the regular amount of time to make substitutions, I can assure you that A&M's offense has little success. The reason it worked was because Alabama doesn't practice this sort of thing every week, and doesn't recruit for this sort of thing.

    Believe you me, if Texas A&M played an Alabama team that recruited and practiced for their offense, it would have been a blood bath. A&M played a similar offense and gave up 57, which makes my point. A&M doesn't even practice or recruit to play their own offense. Once again, good for A&M. If you think I hate them, you haven't bothered to read my posts. The point is, we can't give them too much credit. They're using a gimmick, and sooner or later that gimmick won't work.

    The real problem as I see it is that once Alabama starts recruiting and practicing to handle this gimmick, they'll be less prepared for fundamentally sound football. So, they might be able to beat A&M or Oregon handily, but an LSU or the like might prove to be their undoing.

    Anyway, my original point was the simple fact that a lot of people don't understand how easy it is to stop A&M and Oregon. You just have to prepare for it and the thing is most college teams are not prepared for it.
    Last edited by KrAzY3; January 9th, 2013 at 07:57 AM.

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    BamaNation All-American B1GTide's Avatar
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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Quote Originally Posted by KrAzY3 View Post
    Anyway, my original point was the simple fact that a lot of people don't understand how easy it is to stop A&M and Oregon. You just have to prepare for it and the thing is most college teams are not prepared for it.
    The good news for Alabama fans - you get aTm in week 2 next season, with a bye the week before. You will have plenty of time to prepare. If you see another team with this type of offense next year, it will be in your bowl game.

  12. #11
    BamaNation First Team HELENKELLERMRI's Avatar
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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    I was trying to explain how Oregon's offense was gimmicky to my 10 year old son, who is just starting to get into football. He loves the uniforms and also thinks Johnny Football is the best ever. He is hardcore pro BAMA all the way don't get me wrong. He just looks up and says dad they average 50 pts a game how is that not a real offense? I tried to explain how they fair against real defenses and got no where. I guess there offenses do well against 95% of teams out there and that is just what they have to do.

  13. #12
    BamaNation All-SEC tidefan39817's Avatar
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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Quote Originally Posted by KrAzY3 View Post
    The real problem as I see it is that once Alabama starts recruiting and practicing to handle this gimmick, they'll be less prepared for fundamentally sound football. So, they might be able to beat A&M or Oregon handily, but an LSU or the like might prove to be their undoing.

    Anyway, my original point was the simple fact that a lot of people don't understand how easy it is to stop A&M and Oregon. You just have to prepare for it and the thing is most college teams are not prepared for it.
    the real problem was schedule. put A&M after the MSU or Tennessee game instead of the LSU game and i think it would be just another win. it was a perfect setting for a lose that day. an up tempo team playing us after a brutal game when we were tired and banged up. and let's not forget even Coach Saban and Coach Smart said they over thought the game and got away from what they normally do. i have never seen our D under Coach Smart or Coach Saban look so "lost".

    but you know, at the end of the day the Texas A&M Manziel's beat us and thats all that matters. next season, we'll see....

  14. #13
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    Re: Gimmick offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, etc...)

    Really old timers would laugh about your substitutions talk. Willy-nilly subbing in on every play would be a gimmick to them ... They would tell you to put your best 11 on the field and leave em there to play. If you left the game, you left it ... No coming back in next play.

    Obviously the game of football evolved passed that, players became specialized, QBs quit calling plays, etc.

    See how everything is cyclical?

    There is no need to play the "what if" game less than 48 hours from your (well deserved) National Championship. Per the NCAA FB rulebook, Alabama had plenty of time to substitute whenever A&M did. It'll be the same this year at Kyle Field.

    Here's to a great game

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