YAR - A Disagreement with the Blogmaster

Submitted by Deep Under Cover on September 4th, 2012 at 12:22 AM



YAR - Yet Another Rant

EDIT DISCLAIMER: Post your opinion and know I do not downvote anyone here. Tear me down and let's talk, that's what this is about.

DISCLAIMER:  This is a rant. This says some things that some may not like.  This is in no way designed to discourage people from reading or trusting what Brian says.  I like Brian's analysis, in most cases, and his writing style.  I LOOOOOVE this blog and what it brings to the UM and sports world, maybe in an unhealthy way. I am not a football expert, but was raised with a fundamentally sound understanding of football concepts and ideas.  Having said that, there are some things I, and I believe many readers, grow tiresome of.

If you cannot read an opposing opinion, take it in objectively and not personally, nor take "peeves" as any thing less than personal assaults, don't bother reading and go ahead and neg away. Brian is entitled to his opinion (this is his blog), but since he allows user comments and user driven content, I am entitled to mine.


I like that Brian writes with passion. I like that he speaks his mind. I like that he introduces and encourages heavy statistical analysis to follow with his opinions and predictions.  Those things separate this blog from just about every other sports blog out there.

I will be in honest and say that there are a few things I don't care for about Brian sometimes:

  • He does not seem to like anything he cannot emprically measure (the idea of "brand", "luck", "effort", etc)
  • From my perspective, does not understand football scheming well enough to make SOME of the statements he does [see note 1].
  • Everyone writing here seems to hate DB, or at least I never seem to see anything positive posted about him or his decisions around here.
  • I think Brian has an unhealthy obsession with Denard's running ability.

THIS IS NOT MEANT AS AN INSULT, just my opinion about how things might be different around here if writing aptitude was substituted to some extent for more "traditional football minded analysis", or at least a more diverse thought pool.  Having said that, I come here all the time, like literally, even if I am not an active commentor in the offseason.

What drives me crazy is that the biased thought process leads to unfair or incorrect assumptions.  I am sure that Denard's few runs of the game, upon further analysis, will show a larger YPC than Smith's.  Well, yes, they will because they were the exception, THEY WERE THE "CONSTRAINT" PLAYS. They are the plays that catch the defense offguard or cheating, so they can find some room that the standard plays may not.  The problem is if you keep going back to them, they are not constraint plays, they are just more stopped plays.

I understand none of these assertions have been made at this point, but I assume they will.

Here is the joy of the read option:

  1. There is one read to make [also see note 1]
  2. It introduces the QB as a viable threat on a run play (thus an 11th offender to the 11th defender)

This will give you a tactical advantage when you are outsized AND can count on a less disciplined defense.  HOWEVA, it does not work when you are outsized, out speed-ed, AND the defense is ridiculously disciplined as Alabama was (look at Oregon-LSU, 2011).  I was at the game and was watching those read options... A play that sticks out looked like a read option, but was a pass (is that a veer? I don't know that terminology here) and there were TWO Alabama defenders literally standing there waiting for Dendard to take off running.  This is how Alabama players are coached, this is how they play, and I promise you priority number one was shutting down Denard.  It just so happened to be the rest of their defense was talented enough and we were depleted enough that they could shut down most other aspects of our offense as well.

A common theme around here is how "NFL ready" much of Alabama's team is.  How many NFL teams run an offense around the read option?  That, to me, is very telling.

Like I said, I was there. I felt the disappointment, ANGER, despair... But the doom and gloom wore off quickly.

My point is, as MANY have pointed out, we were in the wrong weight class here.  We did not outscheme ourselves because, even if we ran things differently, THERE WAS NO WINNING this game with the current state of our program.  Maybe we could have made it look more competitive... but would 10 more QB iso's or sweeps and 7 more points justify potentially injuring Denard more seriously than his "boo boo"?  I think we would all agree, no it would not have been worth it.

I apologize for the rant but I just see this loss as the confirmation Brian needs that RR's offense was the tactically best in college football (not saying he wants RR as our coach, in any regard), and I think I speak for a number of people who have not voiced their opinion.

We lost, were out played, but most importantly, outplay-ered.  As many have said, we will (hopefully) get there, but let's not lose site of what is realistic here.


*Note 1 - I have seen Brian analyze a play stating that Denard is looking at the end and the LB to decide to keep or not to keep. You read the end, and that is it, expecially with a 5'10" QB.



September 4th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

Personally, I think that the most interesting thing about this blog is that everyone has pretty much the same emotional response to games but expresses them very differently.  A sociology major should write a thesis on this blog.  It would be pretty darn interesting.

IMO, the most interesting of all discussions is that the AD is good/bad.  Where else other than here would anyone ever talk about an AD?  It just goes to show you the depth of our knowledge about the program - from the ground up - thanks to all of the informed and intelligent contributors on the blog, including someone like the OP who is brave enough to voice his opinion.

That said, I'm not a huge fan of these kinds of threads.  I'd rather that these kinds of things be addressed in a personal email to the subject involved but this one has invoked some interesting discussion (so far).



September 4th, 2012 at 5:39 PM ^

I am sick of people saying that Alabama was that much more talented.  I think experience, scheme and execution are bigger at that level of football than talent is.  Execution was the biggest part of the problem on Saturday.  Scheme offensively was also a problem IMO.  I'm not saying Alabama doesn't have more talent or depth, they do, but if you scheme and execute perfectly you can overcome talent.