Things I think I've learned about College Football this year

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by tzanghi, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. tzanghi

    tzanghi Founding Member

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    1. A high-powered, most likely passing-emphasized offense is necessary to win a championship

    If we didn't prove this this year, I don't know anything. We've been saying for years that if we ever got an offense, we would win another championship--and for once we were right. I believe that this is only a recent development, though. A number of teams in the 2010 decade won with a run-based offense (2010 Auburn, 2011 Alabama, 2012 Alabama, 2014 OSU). But I think we've officially crossed the threshold into a new era. When you watch good teams play each other, the better offense always seems to win, and great defenses seem to do poorly against great offenses (Clemson, Auburn, Florida, all struggled against us). The good thing is that we have a coach that gets this.

    2. A good pass rush is now more important than a talented secondary in stopping the pass

    We had the most talented secondary in the country this year, and our passing defense was pretty middle of the road. I think this is because of our lack of a pass rush early on in the season (although later it picked up). In 2018 Clemson dominated Alabama's top-tier offense behind one of the best defensive lines in college football. Hell even 2019 Clemson showed us this in the national championship: when they got to Burrow, we didn't move the ball; when he had time, we did very well. I think you will see that the only way to stop the new passing schemes that are extremely likely to flood the top-tier teams will be to get pressure on the QB. Bo Pelini has entered the chat.

    3. Line Backer is becoming a significantly less important position as a result of (1) and (2)

    Because the spread is the way of the future, we see more 3-4 WR sets, and LBs do not match up well with these personnel. You can't have a LB covering a WR or a TE very often without risking getting burned. There were very few playmaking linebackers this year, and I think this is why. While the debate has usually been 3-4 v. 4-3, I think the debate now becomes 3-3-5 vs. 4-2-5.

    4. Speed is still king

    Very similar to point (3), but when you are spreading the field, it becomes significantly more important to be able to cover a larger area of the field. We also had one of the fastest teams in the country (especially on defense) last year, and I think it really helped our defense succeed when it needed to against some of the high-powered and lateral offenses. I think you also saw Ohio State dominate the slow Big-10 defenses and struggle against a speedier Clemson defense that could match up with them. Speed is not going anywhere.

    5. College Football is now a top-heavy arms race

    The distance between the haves and the have-nots is getting bigger than ever before. The latest recruiting rankings demonstrate that a handful of teams are getting the top tier talent in droves and are running away with games against lesser competition. I think this point is really proven by Oklahoma's performance in the CFP the past three years. Every year, they are the best team in the Big-12, but they don't have the horses to compete with the top teams in the playoff because they haven't recruited quite as well. We've also seen the coaching carousel begin to affect analysts, and teams are following Saban in grabbing as many coaches as they can to act as analysts hoping to fine the next Joe Brady. Teams are also locking in coordinators at higher salaries than ever, and again, it's only the teams at the top.

    I suppose the other point that comes along with this is that it’s no longer ok to lose to good teams in the SEC. Again, I’ll point to Alabama, who would have been on their way to the playoff themselves if they beat us, but they lose to us, and things looked a lot different after. I know Tua’s injury had some to do with that, but one loss in the SEC will now be a difference maker every year.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  2. Rolan

    Rolan Live from Houston

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    Everyone will get skinny, then a power run offence will creep back and win a championship randomly. Or at least knock off a great team

    I think another thing that's key to running these offenses is an elite qb. But also a qb that has the time to study the game like Joe did. Him being a grad student was key.
     
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  3. Brian

    Brian Founding Member

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    One could argue we beat Clemson because Patrick Queen shut down Travis Etienne. Ohio State couldn't. Clemson linebackers along with everyone else's couldn't hang with Clyde. I think linebackers traditional roles aren't as essential but you need studs linebackers. Bama is probably in the playoffs but they had such youth there.
     
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  4. tzanghi

    tzanghi Founding Member

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    I don’t think speed and size or strength are mutually exclusive though. I think size and strength are still very important for the lines, but now high school freaks like Bryan Bresee and Jacobian Guillory are coming out every year. I think the teams with both on the lines will do best.
     
  5. tzanghi

    tzanghi Founding Member

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    You raise a pretty good point. But I think Queen is an exception to the rule. In retrospect, he was probably a top 5 LB in the nation this year. He also has the speed of a DB. Look at Clemson’s D. Their traditional LBs were almost worthless other than to serve as glorified linemen. Simmons was All American because they didn’t use him like a LB and because he’s basically a DB with good size and great tackling. There are still going to be good LBs who have an impact on games. I just think that DL and DBs are significantly more important at this point. It’s not entirely out of the realm that I’m just wrong about this though lol.
     
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  6. tzanghi

    tzanghi Founding Member

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    I’m kind of thinking out loud here cause I think you made a good distinction. Perhaps my point is better articulated as that the traditional LB role is less important now. There’s still room for the Patrick Queens and Devin Whites who can run sideline to sideline, but the Brian Urlachers and Ray Lewises are no longer important.
     
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  7. Brian

    Brian Founding Member

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    You make a great point. Though Urlacher was actually a safety in college. I think he's the ideal linebacker for today. Same with Derrick Brooks. I agree that traditional linebackers aren't conducive to winning. The Debos, Kwons, and Queens of the world are the evolution. It's why so many NFL defenses go with 3 safeties a lot and have for years. The days of the big linebackers Saban loved at Bama imo are over. That is why a team like Tennessee Titans did so well running it with Henry. Smaller defenders more quick than powerful with his top end speed was dynamic.

    I hope we keep bringing in the Debo Jones's and the Kwon Alexander's under Bo Pelini. They're so effective in today's game.
     
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  8. shane0911

    shane0911 Helping lost idiots find their village Staff Member

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    My .02

    The most high powered offense in the land is useless if they are standing on the sidelines holding their helmets.

    The LB position is and will always be one of the most important positions on the field. I'm gonna say top 5 if not higher.

    With that said, I think the hybrid LB/S type is the way to go. They have to be strong and heavy enough to handle run duty as well as covering RBs or slot receivers on crossing or slant routes.

    Being able to run the football is more important now than it ever has been. We have never had an issue there. We were just never able to throw it at will. 3rd and 7 used to be a guaranteed punt, now 3rd and 15 is like phhht we got this shit.

    If we continue to run the ball like we always have AND build a strong D line there is no stopping us.
     
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  9. tzanghi

    tzanghi Founding Member

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    A lot of this is true, but I think stopping the pass has now become more important than stopping the run. And to that end, I think the secondary and the DLine are more important. The Florida game was like a microcosm is this to me. They kept our offense off the field for about 2/3 of the game, but they couldn’t stop the pass so we went up on them, and that was it.
     
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  10. Rolan

    Rolan Live from Houston

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    Yeah, there is soo much we just don't know, ask me about software development and I'm your huckleberry...

    And to be honest I truly believe you run the defense and offense you can. I think things will get real ugly looking if you ask <insert every future QB> to be Joe Burrow every year. Simply put we may have years where we just don't have the guy, or he isn't mature enough yet.

    I'll be happy if Brennan runs the offense half as good, that's still 30 touchdowns. Anything over and we know E has the scheme down.... And people will be coming for E next year
     

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