Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Initial thoughts

The bowl games are set, and despite one team’s understandable gripe it seems as though they got the title game right.

Here my early thoughts about the game:

1. Rumors were floating around the internet that Percy Harvin had a hairline fracture in his ankle once it was reported that he wouldn’t be playing in the SECCG. Now Percy is saying that he will be ready in 2 weeks. From my understanding of severe high ankle sprains, 3 weeks is the typical healing time. Percy proclamation would be in line with that timetable.

2. Keep an eye on the assistant coaches. Sure this is being billed as Stoops vs. Meyer, but keep an eye on which assistants get jobs at other schools. Mississippi St. reportedly looking at both Mullen and OU’s Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson. I heard Bobby Burton state this morning that the job was Wilson’s, if he wanted it. Dan McCarney interviewed for the New Mexico job. Lane Kiffin at Tennessee reportedly contacted Billy Gonzales about joining the staff at Tennessee. Charlie Strong, Steve Addazio and Brent Venables have all interviewed for various openings. The effect that an assistant moving onward and upward has on a team cannot be understated.

3. What to do with Major Wright? OU loves to spread out the defense with 3 WRs and Jermaine Gresham at TE, so the question becomes what does Charlie Strong do with starting Free Safety Major Wright? Wright is a big time hitter, but (to be kind) is lacking in skill when it comes to coverage. The answer may just be Will Hill. The true freshman has been coming on in recent weeks and he has seen his time on the field increase significantly. The other answer may be scheme. When teams spread the Gators out, Coach Strong substitutes Hill in for a defensive lineman, so we switch from a 4-3 to a 3-3-5. In order to maintain pressure on the QB, at least one of the linebackers blitzes from this formation (Spikes and Hicks have had the most success). I first noticed the formation against South Carolina, although it may have come out sooner. The beauty of the formation is that Hill comes in to cover the slot receiver and Wright stays back in centerfield. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Hill back at Free Safety, and Wondy Pierre Louis on the outside with either Haden or Jenkins covering the slot receiver.

4. How will OU prepare to face Tim Tebow? The last time the Gators played in the title game, Coach Meyer couldn’t heap enough praise on Michael Guilford, who played Troy Smith in practice leading up to the game. In order to get ready for the Sooners, I am pretty sure that John Brantley will play Sam Bradford in practice. Brantley has an excellent arm and is fairly accurate with the ball. This should at least allow the Gator Defense to prepare for the game. But how does OU prepare for Tebow? I think this is going to be huge advantage for our offense.

5. The long layoff will be good for getting healthy, but also tends to inspire one team. When the Gators played Ohio State (also known as Florida’s Ohio State University), the Gator team heard for almost 6 weeks that they didn’t belong in the game and Coach Meyer used that to his advantage. This year who will be inspired?


jj gator said...

"The bowl games are set, and despite one team’s understandable gripe it seems as though they got the title game right."

Right now Texas is making themselves look like a bunch of whiny, bitchy crybabies - just like Michigan did a couple years ago when they were bypassed by our Gators to play in the NC game.

Scully said...

I actually agree with Texas fans on this one. They beat OU on a neutral field and it wasn't like they won the game on a blown call or something. They flat out beat OU.

Tell me that if we beat Georgia and then Georgia played in the SECCG b/c of a bad tiebreaker rule Gator fans wouldn't be pissing and moaning. You and I both know we would.

Michigan lost to Ohio State, so their argument was moot. Thankfully Gary Danielson was smart enough to point that out repeatedly during the SECCG.

Anonymous said...

This isn't even a BCS issue, this is an issue with Big 12 divisional tiebreaker rules.

Jams said...

It's a tiebreaker for the Big 12 South, so the first thing you look at is their conference records. There is an unbreakable three-way tie when you just look within the Big 12, so the next thing you should look at is the rest of their resume. Of the three teams in the tiebreaker, Oklahoma should clearly be considered the team with the best resume. I don't see what's so hard about this. People just seem to forget about Texas Tech as if it was just a two-way tie.

If Oklahoma beat Texas Tech by 11 points, then Tech would only drop to about 5th, and we would all realize it's a three-way tie, and then there would be fewer objections about Oklahoma. But because Oklahoma beat Texas Tech by 44, people seem less willing to accept OU for the championship. Do we not see the paradox here?

Tim said...

According to Percy, it wasn't just a high ankle sprain but something affecting his heel as well:


I think Major spends a good chunk of game on the bench. As you said he tends to get lost in coverage, and while he does come up with some big hits, he misses plenty of tackles while trying to make the big hits.

Henry said...

The Longhorns are bitches!

And finally we've been given the recognition we DESERVE!


Anonymous said...

This exact situation did occur in the SEC a few years back (2003?) between Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee, the three of which were were gridlocked in a 1-1-1 tie. Georgia ended up going to the SEC championship game based on a vote of the coaches.

Was I upset? Sure. But nobody on the Gator side cried like Texas fans are doing right now. Is it because the national title game is at stake? Maybe. Still, it's their rule, and not really our problem.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Yes, but it's different than having outsiders vote on your league's championship.

Some measurement like combined point differential in the games among the tied teams seems more logical.

Jams said...

When the divisional tie occurred in the SEC East, the rule in place at the time was a vote of the coaches, but the Athletic Directors voted into effect the current tiebreaker system before the end of the season, since they saw a debacle on its way.

In fact, the current tiebreaker system was used then, and since Florida (with multiple nonconference losses) was considerably lower than Tennessee and Georgia in the BCS, it went to head-to-head and Georgia went to the championship.

This Big 12 situation is different, since none of the teams have any losses besides the ones to each other, plus they are all highly ranked in the BCS