Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mega Conferences - Re Visited

I posted this a month or so ago.....With all the conference expansion talks, I figured I would re post this and see what you think....

So, I've been meaning to give my 2 cents worth on conference expansion. Like playoffs, I'm always concerned that the powers that be simply aren't as smart as the rest of us. Also, there's so much that would have to happen to make it happen, and a lot of complicating factors (see Notre Dame). But, there seems to be some consensus among many of the commissioners that this is very much going to be a reality one day. So, we're looking at four 16-team leagues. Already, that's a problem. There are 65 BCS teams right now, not counting Notre Dame. Plus, cutting that number down to 64 won't include teams like BYU, Utah, TCU, & Boise St. I, for one, wouldn't worry too much about those non-AQ schools. I've got a solution for them. Notre Dame is a hitch in the giddy-up, and trying to find the team that's going to willfully get off the money train will be hard to find, and it's hard to find a team that SHOULD leave. For that reason, I'd say that this is the time to tell ND to put up or shut up. I'm going to work out a system in which they are involved in a conference (with maybe some contengiency plans if they're not.

The New SEC:
12 current schools plus Miami, FSU, Clemson & GA Tech

The New Big 16 (formerly known as the Big 10):
The current 11 schools plus Notre Dame, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas St., Iowa St.

Pac 18:
Current Pac-10 schools plus Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Texas Tech, A & M, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St.

How you divide those up could be done in a myriad of ways. The SEC would be a challenge to not make the East terribly difficult, but I'll have to think about that later. Basically, you would have the winner of these conferences meet 1 week or 2 weeks after the conference championship games. Use the current BCS rankings to determine seeds. #1 & #2 host #4 & #3, respectively. That’s the key, without home field advantage as paret of the system, non conference games lose all their luster. Losers of those game go to a BCS bowl, winners go to the big dance. Also, you would have to ramp up conference play to 9-10 games. I think 10 games would be a stretch, but this new system would almost eliminate most non-conference rivalries. Clemson/Fake SC, UGA/Tech, FSU/Florida, Florida/Miami, Missouri/Illinois would all be conference games now. USC/Notre Dame would be about the only real traditional non-conference rivalry left. So, you could play 10 conference games (7 division - 1 non division constant - 2 rotating).

So what about the non-AQ teams? This is where it gets complicated. It's easy to say that if one of those teams is ranked in the top 4, they go ahead of the lowest ranked conference champion. However, you're going to have a hard time convincing the conference commissioners of that. They know they're going to face a brutal schedule each year plus a conference championship game. Winning those leagues with only 2 losses is an accomplishment, and to think you could fight all season and lose a tough game in Gainesville and one in Baton Rouge but win your conference and some 12-0 TCU team that beat Baylor in non-conference play is going to go ahead of you. So, I'd do something like if the non-AQ team is in the top-4 and a conference champion is ranked below #12 in the final BCS poll, the non-AQ team goes to the final 4. This would stop us from having those 4 loss conference champions in the tournament.

That would be a pretty doggone true national champion.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Post G-Day Dawg Talk

I hope you've read some about Belin's comments about kickoffs. He's going to try a novel concept: let our all-american kicker kick it as far has he can, put fast, good tackling starters on the kickoff team and teach them to shed blocks and make tackles. That line of thinking was just too much for Fabris, and, really, where's the challenge in that?

The more I think about this team and season, the more excited I get about what has to be some fun and good times ahead in 2010. And though we can spin it every spring, it's hard not to imagine a better season. We won 8 games and won a bowl. I think we'll be able to pull that out again, plus many more.

2009 facts

-Our defense was horrible
-Our kickoff strategy was darn near suicidal
-We threw 17 interceptions
-We were some ridiculous number in turnover margin, last in the nation, basically
-We recovered 2…count 'em…2 fumbles
-We played Kentucky w/o AJ Green
-We had Bryan Evans at safety
-We didn't realized Washaun Ealey was on scholarship until 3rd Qtr. of the LSU game (5th game!!)

It's hard to imagine our D is worse, and Grantham makes me think it will be much, much better. It's also hard to imagine our kickoffs are worse. It's hard to imagine we get worse play out of the QB position, even if it is a RS frosh. It's hard to imagine that we are the turnover machine we were last year and lack-there-of on defense. It's hard to imagine we don't get #3 and #4 the rock early and often, especially w/ a veteran line and rookie QB. It's hard to imagine that I couldn't cover better than Bryan Evans. And lucky for us, Bacarri Rambo is considerably better than me.

So here's what I think:

-The QB situation is addition by subtraction. Joe was a DGD, but man those INT's killed us.
-Murray also just might be special
-The O-line looks a lot more like our 2002 O-line than ever before
-Orson Charles is uncoverable
-AJ Green is uncoverable
-Washaun is the most underrated player in the league. Dude's going to be All-conference this year - bank on it.
-Our D is going to attack like never before.

Now, one of th interesting things is that it's hard to imagine Blair and Drew having better years. So, all we can hope for is that they equal last year, but we might see a drop off. Drew got us out of a lot of tight spots. What if we just averages 43 yards a kick, which is, like what normal human college punters average.

The thing that I'm starting to really like is the match-ups. Spurrier will have virtually no idea (for once!) what we're doing. They still somehow worked out that Thursday game before they play us, but they've got a real opponent. They open up w/ Southern Miss in Columbia at 7:30 on ESPN on Sept. 2. They'll have to be ready for a national TV game and that RB for Southern Miss is no joke. If the Cock's coast through that one, they'll flat out get beat, and Spurrier knows that. Moreover, we get to unleash our new D on them. We will be nothing but vanilla against the Ragin' Cajuns on Sept. 4. And here's the really good thing about our D. I think it's going to work great against pro-style teams, and that's what we get early w/ Spurrier and Petrino's offenses. Grantham wants to confuse and blitz passing QBs. How do you think Ryan Mallet's going to handle that. We're going to have some hiccups and probably get burned a few times, but I think our matchup against those deals is going to be good. And Grantham is going to be out to prove himself a worthy hire vs. the Cocks. And I like the fact that he's used to spending 70 hours at the office to get ready for games. I wonder how this D will work against the spread, but I guess Bama did alright vs. the Gators last year. We've got a window here. 2010 and 2011 the schedule sets up and in 2012 we'll add Bama but McElroy, Richardson, and Ingram will all be gone and Brantley will be out in Gainesville -- and #11 will be our QB the whole time. Let's hope we jump on it and dominate for a few years.