The voting is finished and it's time to present this year's College Football Blogger Awards. Where possible, last year's winner, ineligible to win this year, will be presenting the award to this year's winner. Please check in at Rocky Top Talk and EDSBS for a schedule of all the awards to be presented over the next two days.
The next award presentation - for "Best Community" - will be noonish at Burnt Orange Nation
AWARD PRESENTATION: "BEST POST OF THE YEAR: Analysis"
This could have been any of a half-dozen different SMQB posts tackling anything from statistics to the origin of the term "single wing"; I'm probably not spoiling much to tell you that SMQB won the blog version of this award in an epic landslide. As it is, there is another in this category...
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Hey, this is kind of the reason we made jury awards for certain categories. Smart Football is low traffic, posts every month or two, and exists only in the feed readers of wonky football obsessives who would like things explained to them very slowly by trained professionals in an effort to become one with their dork. Smart Football does this with aplomb, and though its posting rate and overall traffic made us pretty sure it wasn't going to win Best Analysis -- these things are usually go with what you know -- each post is a little jewel of clarity.
I refer here to the "Smash concept" or the "Smash route." Both refer to a two-man combination with the outside receiver on a 6 yard hitch and the inside receiver on a 12 yard corner route. Some coaches and teams go further and actually refer to either the corner route or the hitch route as a "smash" route. Again, "smash" to me is the combination - i.e. the concept - rather than any individual route.
In any event, the quarterback has a progression read: (1) corner, (2) hitch underneath. In his progression read he will "key" the cornerback: If the cornerback sinks back to stop the corner route, throw the hitch; if he comes up for the hitch, throw the corner. The best way to describe this to a QB is that you have a progression read and you "read" your receivers. You simply "progress" from one to two. In doing this though you have to understand what guys you are "keying," as their reactions should determine your progression. A Quarterback must understand defenses and defender reactions, but at the same time there is no telling where those 11 guys on defense will go, and as long as he knows where his receivers are and if the QB and the receivers are all on the same page we can run a successful play. We tell him his general rule is to throw the corner route until they take it away (though by gameplan or defense you can tell him to always throw the hitch until they come up for it).
This is the basic explanation; things get more big-play oriented and complicated as they progress, but Smart Football never wanders off into seriously incomprehensible jargon. By the end you feel like you have a handle on an important facet of beating zone coverage, down to the slight adjustments in each receiver's route, and at no point are you overwhelmed. Clearly explaining a difficult, obscure concept is a terribly hard thing to do, so we give out awards for it. Here is an award.