Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sucked. Then Sucked Me Back In.

Georgia-Tennessee was super fun. Here are a few short thoughts:

  • Tennessee was so well prepared for this game, it was mind-blowing. Having 2 weeks to prepare had to have been a huge help (but Georgia also played so bad that UT probably would've won had they played the night before). Here's hoping Georgia looks as good in Jacksonville after their bye week. There was a part of me that thought during the game that the Big Ten might have something right in having no bye weeks. Tennessee looked that precise and prepared.
  • Arian Foster was awesome. Looked like a completely different back from how I've seen him before. He was so good I seriously thought he was on something - meth, 'roids, pure adrenaline.
  • Know how a stopped clock is right twice a day? That's two times more than the Georgia defensive backfield was right yesterday.
  • Once down by 4 touchdowns, Georgia started throwing downfield (ineffectively). Cal and Florida killed Tennessee by successfully stretching the defense downfield. It wasn't horizontal passing and screens that opened things up for either of them. Two of the first three plays in the game for Georgia were relatively deep passes (overthrown by Stafford), and each was the right play. But the next few series were more side-to-side passes and runs up the middle. Playcalling was scared for the rest of the first half.
  • I can't get through this without talking at least a little shit about Tennessee. If there's one recent development I absolutely HATE about college football, it's the way Tennessee (and Oklahoma State did this too) before EVERY SINGLE OFFENSIVE PLAY, sets up, waits a few seconds, then the QB, running backs, and all receivers comes up out of their stance, looks at the coaches, resets and then runs the play. It's a more annoying equivalent of Peyton Manning's constant audibiles. God forbid they actually run a play that was called originally. God forbid that players actually make their own decisions on the field. When I see an opposing team doing this, I kind of wish football teams had no coaches at all, and just went out and played schoolyard football. It is so annoying - and sometimes Georgia does it too, though normally it leads to a timeout or delay of game penalty because the changed play gets in too late.
So I muted the TV in the 4th quarter, and stopped watching entirely after the second UGA touchdown (which was probably undeserved - the pass interference wasn't entirely indefensible, but probably unnecessary). I really thought at that point I was "done" for the day. I started watching that terrible movie where David Spade and Jon Heder play little league. That lasted 18 minutes. Then I watched Fight Club. Eventually, I flipped back onto ESPN to check the scores for my office pool. And then it sucked me back in... UPSET ALERT: Stanford on the 9 yard line, down 6 with a minute and half to go. Shockingly, I actually found the game on TV, and in HD as well. Flipped it on just in time to see the 4 goal-to-go downs. Give 'em hell, Harbaugh (and loved how he refused the post-game on-field interview)! Then I flipped to see the last quarter of the Florida-LSU game, which was great too.

So the lesson is this: when your team gets totally annihilated by a rival, to the point where your season is rendered meaningless and you wonder if the team should simply stop playing football entirely, the best way to feel better about the sport isn't by grasping to whatever small silver lining there might be about your team's performance. No. The best way to feel better about the sport is to wait for two teams you don't particularly like to lose - one by a massively unexpected upset, the other in a road game where it probably played well enough to win.

Yes, I know I'm a weak person for thinking the misfortunes of others makes me feel better about myself. But that's what college football is all about. Hate schadenfreude, hate college football. Or something like that.

9 comments:

Aureliano said...

You summed it all up.

Here's what I liked about the weekend:
1.Enough craziness (including the ND win) that the national media is not focusing on our debacle.
2.My second team, the Fightin' Illini, took down an overrated Big Ten team.
3.Seeing Tebow with his hand on his heads about to start crying at the end of the LSU game.
4.GT losing
5.Living in Greenville SC, I took particular pleasure in watching Clemson's special teams debacle at home, at night.

peacedog said...

Pain.

MeytonPanning said...

Hateposts about Peyton's audibles and the sideline checking plays? Let's get pissy about zebras having stripes... If you were an unbiased observer and saw Boston College do it against [Team Redacted] that would be one thing. But if you complain about it after a rival routs UGA that's another story.

Besides did you notice how Tennessee never huddled up? They got back on the line right away, Looked at the D and then called in or confirmed a play. If that's how they want to run their play calling....tough noogins. At any rate, did you notice the one of UGA's captain, Brandon Miller, having conniptions because the UGA D couldn't huddle up and get a play in normally? Instead the front four stayed down the entire time, in case UT quick snapped, while Miller gestured wildly to the sideline pleading for assignments. You may call it annoying but it looked like a great tactic for keeping the Bulldog defense off balanced. And let's be honest....for $2 Million + a year I doubt there is a coach worth his salt who would let his kids play "schoolyard football." If that's what you want...go catch your local pop warner game.

LD said...

Whatever dude. If you think this was a "hatepost", you've never read this site. When I write hate, you know it. This post was basically fellatio to UT (prasing their preparedness, execution, energy).

The lineup then check the sideline playcalling is annoying to watch no matter who is doing it and no matter the result in the game (which I already wrote in this post). It was annoying when Oklahoma State did it to Georgia and had little success. It's annoying when Tennessee did it to Georgia and dominated. It's annoying when Georgia does it and screws up.

And anyway, it's all just aesthetics. If UT decided that UGA would be susceptible to big plays because of the semi-no-huddle, fine. Do what it takes to win, blah blah blah. But that doesn't mean I have to like watching it. I don't like watching Georgia run horizontal passes and screens all day - whether it works great or whether it doesn't. Whether something should be done to win is a completely different discussion from whether something is enjoyable to watch.

And I believe coaches who micromanage often make the game worse. I believe audibles frequently lead to a worse result than an original play would have - and also sometimes show fear (instead of "we're doing what we do and try to stop us, bitch", it's "oh shit, they have a guy standing in a slightly different spot than we thought, we better just run a dive play and take 1 yard instead of a 40-60% chance of 10 yards"). Micromanaging coaches lead to players feeling like they can't take a piss without permission - and cause timeouts, delay penalties, or the complete inability to react on their own (like, umm Brandon Miller?). I'm sure some coaches feel the need to justify their salaries, but I also think some coaches can be more successful if they give the players some ability to ad-lib and just play football (and have fun while doing it).

Disagree? No sweat off my sack.

MeytonPanning said...

I said hatepost, not on Tennessee, but on checking to the sidelines. After UT's 2005 season coupled with all the pressure on Fulmer right now in Knoxpatch, I just don't see the staff giving that much latitude to Ainge. There's players you can give that sort of freedom and then there are just players who are not the..."thinking type" and just execute. Ainge...well not sure yet. But before Saturday I'd never noticed a defense get visibly perturbed with his sideline as much as Miller....and if he is the one wearing the C and relaying the front 7 schemes that is bad news. All I am saying is that in this game the psuedo-no-huddle-check-sideline made an impact. Now, if you have a Manning, Green, Wuerfel, etc, then I agree with you and you give your signal caller more freedom to run the show. Ainge...not so much. And I'll save from commenting on Reid's play in Athens so as not to incur the Wrath of Gundy.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Phil Fulmer who complained to the SEC office after the 2001 season about Richt's no-huddle offense?

What an asshat. How is this allowed?

LD said...

I don't know about Fulmer complaining. I do remember one season (maybe 2002) where at the beginning of the year there were a ton of substitution infraction penalties whenever we were in no-huddle (I suppose if you never "break the huddle", it's easy to "break the huddle" with more than 11 men on the field).

Honestly, my point was never that it should be stopped or that UT did something unfair or cheap. I only wrote it because I think it's annoying to watch. Hurry up Hurry Up Hurry Up STOP LOOK WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT OK now we can go. It's annoying.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Yeah I agree with that. It's sort of like driving on 316.

In fact, I think that's what I'm going to start calling that scheme.

I'm a Realist said...

The substitution infractions were called because Georgia's offense substituted while running the no-huddle and the opposing team wasn't given enough time to do the same.

This is one of those rules that make you cock your head to the side, close one eye, and let out an exasperated WTF!?!

And, yes, the hurry-up-and-wait, 316 audible technique is a pain the rump to watch. I think it should be outlawed, as it gives the offense an advantage similar to that of Richt's free-substituting, no-huddle offenses of yesteryear (those were the days... or at least that one year).