- Mar 31, 2000
Because of the hectic week, I didn't have a chance to go delving DEEPLY into micro-analysis of Georgia's team as opposed to ours using analytics as I often do for the post-season. The ONE REGRET I have is that I did not have a specific game prediction (more on this below), but this was my pre-game viewpoint: "if Alabama can score 28 points, we will win the game." It's true I never said it on here, but that was my personal hunch without any analysis.Once again we hear at how unstoppable Georgia’s defense is, once again we hear how Bennett is a capable quarterback, and once again we have loads of Bama fans on here totally buy into it hook line and sinker. More importantly once again Bama dominated another mentally weak Georgia team that was feasting off of cupcakes. Really who the heck did they beat. I’ve said it ALL YEAR that I hope we play Georgia just like I did last year. They haven’t seen a real quarterback the entire year. Well THEY JUST DID!!!
And BoB called mostly a great game.
So the moral of the story is stop buying Georgia’s undo greatness and stop selling the Process short. Roll Tide, Happy Holidays, and see y’all in Dallas
It's easy AFTER THE FACT, of course, to say, "Well, yeah, you say that now because Georgia got 24." Fair point although that was my view a week ago. And let me cover that first but also show you the ambivalence that went into my reluctance to make a prediction.
1) Defenses win championships - but not anymore.
I think it's time to set this one ancient truth aside. Understand I'm an old guy who is reluctant to cast aspersions at ANY SEC defense that puts up the numbers UGA did, and I do carry the baggage of the Bryant-Stallings mantra of "run the ball, stop the run, win the turnover battle." That is still largely true, but it is no longer so true that a 92 Alabama defense can necessarily beat a 2018 Oklahoma offense (IF that offense has a serviceable defense). The passing game has upended a lot of those truths to turn them largely into myths.
2) But I did have one question about Georgia's defense.
The one thing that plagued my mind that I wanted to look at - and just didn't have time this week - was whether Georgia's defense had the typical inflated numbers that can be exposed on an offense (such as Tennessee had this year). Was UGA's defense REALLY all-world or was it like the Texas 2009 rushing defense that was #2 in the nation not because they were good but because nobody in their conference ever tried to run the ball?
RANKINGS OF OFFENSES UGA FACED
128 - Vandy
109 - S Carolina
96 - Georgia Tech (23.8 ppg)
79 - Clemson
62 - Auburn
58 - UAB
So in these six games plus Charleston Southern (who barely counts), they gave up 40 points in 7 games. But to be fair, they did better against the other higher-ranked offenses, too. But then again Florida wasn't the same team that Alabama survived in September, either.
I would have had to remove the garbage points to assess this better but at least on cursory glance, I had no reason to simply dismiss it. Less than a TD per game in modern college football is incredible regardless of the schedule.
The other issue was that I likewise assumed that Georgia built these leads by getting a bunch of turnovers and short fields - but Alabama forced more TOs this year than UGA did, so that argument doesn't really work well, either.
3) Georgia's Offensive Totals - I Suspected - Were Largely Due To The Combination of a "Soft" Schedule And Getting Teams Out of their Game Plan Early.
I saw a few UGA games and other than Clemson it seemed they scored early on offense when I was watching and put games away early. Again - this was not a hunch I could substantiate with data.
The bottom line I thought was our chances of winning relied upon:
- scoring at least 28 points
- not giving them a short field with turnovers for easy scores
- being able to sustain drives long enough to tire their defense and rest ours
I was actually less worried about our O-line than normal simply because of who coaches our team. I figured that Kirby would have blitzes galore and Saban would know this and the game plan would be designed to force them to back off.
It's why I never gave up hope.
That and the fact the whole "Alabama isn't that good" nonsense is assumed because they're comparing ALABAMA to PREVIOUS ALABAMA teams and not the rest of CFB. That we were one of the four best teams based on the full year was obvious before the game yesterday. It's more so now.