Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday links: finally, finally game week

Of all the things I really hate about the current system of college football's postseason — and there are many things about it to hate — the ultra-long layoff for the two participating teams is probably at the top of that list. Look no further than last season's championship game — had they played in December, Auburn and Oregon probably could have combined for 100 points. Instead, they both looked disjointed and sloppy, and the final result — while it was taut — wasn't particularly well played football. Now, take that rust and combine it with the following factors for this year's game:
• These are two superior defensive teams with fairly unremarkable offenses.
• These two teams know each other very well — because, you know, they play one another every year and recruit most of the same kids — and will have 6 weeks of preparation time* before the game ever kicks off.
It's safe to say you shouldn't expect a much different game than what you saw the first time around.

* Prep time is most likely a larger advantage for the defenses than anything else. I have yet to see any evidence that extra preparation time does Jim McElwain any good whatsoever. Just sayin'.

Anyway, since game week has finally arrived and there are bowls to watch today, here are a few links to while away an hour or so.
— Having run out of storylines in advance, Birmingham today has a story about Marquis Maze's ankle, and how it most likely affected his pass to Michael Williams that was caught and unfairly taken away from himintercepted. The story doesn't mention that it was a stupid play call to begin with, but we won't split hairs.
Elsewhere in football cliches: Win the line, win the championship. Also, come out, play hard, execute the game plan, limit mental mistakes and be more physical. Jess breaks things down, as well.
— The biggest advantage for LSU remains unchanged, and that is in the kicking game. Starting with Brad Wing, the punter, who completely changed the November edition of this game with his punt off the goal line that either hit a guy wire or completely fooled a hobbled Marquis Maze, and flipped the field. Alabama still doesn't have anybody who can affect field position that way, so far as I know.
— In offensive coordinator news, Kausler reported yesterday that the staff could be grooming Mike Groh to take over play-calling duties for 2012. I have little to no opinion about this, but it seemed worth mentioning.
— Finally, in "blow the system up and start over" commentary, we have a guest at The Wiz saying the BCS got it right (correct, but misses the point) and the guys at TBL complaining ... about the NFL playoffs.
See? Nothing's perfect, guys.

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