Tuesday, November 8, 2011
"Big Game Bobo"
A challenge was placed in front of me by someone who calls me a homer, insisting that I simply have a case of "Former Coach Love" for Mike Bobo. I guess I should first say that yeah, Mike was a grad assist while I was a player at UGA...but I don't know how that would create "Former Coach Love" from me. If anything, I should be dedicating this blog to Rodney Garner (my coach) and talking about what a wonderful job he's done putting guys into the NFL over the past decade.
Nah, I just look at the games.
Anyway, he challenged me to look at what Bobo's offenses have done in "Big Games"
UGA v VT, Bowl game...VT's Scoring defense ranked 1st in the nation. We scored 31 points...nearly 3 full touchdowns more than their average of 11.
Hard to really pick the "big games" in this one...I mean, we opened with OKSt, and put 35 on them...beat AL in overtime with 26 points, smacked AU to the tune of 45 (I think only 31 were by the offense) I'd say the Sugar Bowl was kind of a big game. 34 points in that one. (Admittedly, Hawaii wasn't a great defense). In hindsight, most people would call South Carolina and Tennessee the "biggest" games on the schedule, primarily because winning either of those games would have put us in the SEC title game. We did not perform well in either game.
Alabama was a pretty big game. We didn't win. We did score nearly 10 points more than the average surrendered by their defense. TN had a top-10 defense in 2008...and we bested their average surrendered by nearly 10 as well. We fell short in the FL game...and despite hanging 42 points on Georgia Tech, we lost that "big game" due to the inability of our defense to stop the option (or the inability of Reshad Jones to knock someone out of bounds - take your pick).
The 2009 offense could be called the "Awfulfense". Honestly, it was garbage. It is worth noting that we faced only one top-10 defense (FL), and we bettered their average points surrendered by 4.5 points. However, we also failed to do that four times (OSU-L, ASU-W, LSU-L, TN-L). I think many would agree, on the other hand, that when your Quarterback consistently makes bad decisions (as evidenced by 17 interceptions), it is tough for any system to be effective.
I do not have the data on all the defenses as I write this post, but I'll take a quick look at the games...We were definitely dogged out against South Carolina. Against Arkansas, we scored 24 and lost. Against Colorado, we scored 27 and lost. Against Florida, we scored 31 and lost. Against Auburn, we scored 31 and lost. Against Georgia Tech, a game we HAD to win in order to reach a bowl game, we scored 42 points.
Ok...which ones are we calling the "big" games this year? Surely Boise is a big game. We only scored 21. Their opponents are averaging 16.8. Exactly one opponent has scored more than us against them. South Carolina is a big game. We scored 42 points and lost because our players made too many mistakes. Want to hang that one on Bobo? I'd say the Florida game was a big one. We scored 24. They average giving up around 19.
So, I'd say that in retrospect, Bobo's offenses really haven't done that poorly in the big games.
But what do I know? I'm just a homer, with a bunch of data to support what I say.