Sunday, September 26, 2010
Mike Bobo as UGA OC
Mike Bobo officially took over as UGA's playcaller for the Georgia Tech game in 2006. That first game wasn't a barn-burner, but he was able to earn a victory. Against Virginia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, his offense caught fire in the second half, and was able to come-back against the nation's top Defense. Things looked good for him.
2007 - Looking better than it is
At the end of the 2007 season, many thought UGA deserved some kind of shot at the National Title. Looking over the season, we find that Georgia only faced one great defense, defeating them. However, in two losses, Georgia's offense completely failed to show up, costing us an opportunity to play for just that. Who won the title that season? A 2-loss LSU team. In wins against Vandy and Kentucky, we failed to score more than the average opponent - and these were not great defenses. Overall, the output by an offense for a first-year OC wasn't awful, but three games weren't great, and that's enough to keep you out of a title game. The six game run the team went on to close the season had many people believing that UGA would be the #1 team in 2008, and the preseason polls said as much.
2008 - What could have been
2008, by the standards I've set in this analysis, may very well be the best performance by a UGA offense during the past 10 years. We all rememeber 2008 as a complete failure. We think of what a waste it was. When we think that way, I think we miss out on what that team actually DID accomplish. Was the offensive output versus South Carolina woeful? It was. But, the defense was able to do enough for us to win the game. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the AL, FL and GT games. Those three games were the beginning of the end for Coach Willie Martinez. With the exception of the USC game, Bobo's offense in 2008 was statistically very very good. Situationally, you could make an argument against it, but had the defense been up to snuff, you should be able to infer that the season would have been drastically different. We had all-world RB Knowshon Moreno, yet it was the passing game which was much more impressive. A stretch of the final 5 games of 2008 show a decline in our running game, though its hard to say how much of that is game plan and how much is execution. We played three elite defenses, and outperformed the average opponent against them...but we lost two of those games because our own defense couldn't keep pace. Also, costly turnovers hurt us - and that's not gameplan. That's execution.....something that was really lacking in 2009.
2009 - The end of the second term
The running woes continued throughout the the first half of this season, and when the scond half hit and UGA's running game took off, many people took that as a good sign. But look at the stats. We were hardly facing amazing defenses. Did we run better than the average opponent? Yes. But did the average opponent pile up ridiculous yards? Yes as well. Did our defense help us? Not much. But, you can't call games against OSU or LSU defensive losses. The game against Kentucky certainly wasn't lost because of the defense. Against OSU and LSU we simply didn't get it done on offense. Against Kentucky, the gameplan was there, but the execution was terrible in the second half. We outperformed the average opponent against the only elite defense we faced in Florida, but we didn't do enough to win. 2009 was a season most of us would like to forget, I'm sure not the least of which is Mike Bobo.
He's had less years, but in just over three years of playcalling, these are Mike Bobo's numbers:
In 38 games,
Mike Bobo's Offenses failed to outperform the average in SCORING in 34% of games.
Mike Bobo's Offenses failed to outperform the average in Total Offense in 34% of games.
Mike Bobo's Offenses failed to outperform the average in Passing O in 47% of games.
Mike Bobo's Offenses failed to outperform the average in Rushing O in 53% of games.
So, comparing Bobo to Richt, you learn that Bobo's offenses Rush about the same, aren't as good in the passing game, but ultimately outscore the opposition's average to a much higher degree.
Still, some say that Bobo isn't good enough to be the OC at UGA. They say if we want to win titles, we have to get a new OC. I submit that we could have won one in 2008 had the defense been worth its snuff. Then again, the offense cost us in 2007...so I suppose that's a wash. So far in 2010, we're out of the race, and we should place that firmly on the offense. How does he stack up AGAINST championship offenses? I'll put that to the test in my next installment.