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The state of our program

  • Overall, I certainly think that Chizik has done a good job and a national championship speaks for itself. I thought Tubs was an extremely good coach, but he sure did pack it in on the recruiting front when Saban arrived. So, clearly Chizik inherited very little underclassmen in talent or numbers. I give Chizik a ton of credit for looking anyone and everyone dead on and going after top talent and landing more than our fair share. So, all of that is the positive. On the other hand, I don't understand why our defenses have been so horrible since Chizik arrived. He's had four years to get some quality talent at LB and DB, but it hasn't seemed to happen. I think a lot of our recruiting rankings have been driven by the talent on the offensive side. We have had time to be in better shape at LB and DB than we are. Those positions sure seem to be a mess. We are way too undersized at LB to stop average running teams consistently let alone the running games at LSU and Bama. Then, you have DL. We have talent all across the board and are two or three deep in talent. Yet, there are still huge holes. Our DE's are tremendous pass rushers, but they are way undersized against the run. Then, our interior lineman just haven't produced much since Fairley. Hopefully, that's just an experience issue, but could it be a coaching issue there? I want to see drastic improvement there this season. There is no way that Whitaker, Blackson, Wright, etc. shouldn't be a whole lot better than just average. Those guys have the potential to dominate and this defense desperately needs that. I also just have to wonder if we would have been better having Bates at safety and guys like Owens and Sanders at LB. I know a school or two where Lemonier would be playing LB. I just hate that our ends are to small to stop the run and then our LB's are also too small. That's a formula for disaster in this division.

    What I want to see is a program with discipline where we have no more than our fair share of off the field problems. Auburn should not have more arrests and discipline problems than most other teams. We should be better than that and it's easier to stay out of trouble in Auburn than a lot of other SEC college towns. So, that's just the minimum. Then, I want to see us doing a better job of keeping kids in the program and developing them. What good are top 10 classes if you have massive amounts of talent that transfer, are dismissed, or who never reach their potential? If the trend of the last 18 months continue, we will be forever young. It's hard to have experience if guys are getting run off consistently. Think about how sick of a RB group we would have if Dyer hadn't had his character problems. Would we be so young and dependent on Blake at WR if Goodwin and Benton had been what we expected them to be on and off the field? How many highly recruited OL from 2-3 years ago were busts forcing us to now play 4 underclassmen?

    In my view, Chizik's career at Auburn will ultimately rest on whether he can instill that discipline and then actually develop the talent. I know he can recruit. I know people like to say that stars dont matter when you get to campus. Well, I know that's true, but I think that misses the point. When you play in the division that dominates college football, you better mostly have extremely gifted athletes on the field. This is not the era where you win a trophy in this league by having a lot of 3 starsvwho overachieve. So, it is time for guys like Dismukes, Reed, Florence, Wright, Frost, Davis, Whitehead, and Whitaker to begin to become great players and great leaders. When those guys are all stars in this league, you'll know that we are back where we should be.

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by tigers2291 22 months ago

  • I certainly think it's time for these highly ranked recruiting classes to start playing like it. At one point 2012 was the year we were looking to compete again now it's 2013. 2013 is our "on the road" year with A&M thrown in now. To me it's put up or shut up time. We always have an excuse....youth, new coordinators (which goes back to the xCTT era even). In my opinion it is time for the coaches to earn their paycheck and the players to prove they are as good as the recruiting analysts said they are. Bottom line being top 5 in recruiting every year means nothing if it doesn't translate to wins, whatever the reason may be.

    Anyway that's where I am at with it.

    This post was edited by nineandzero 22 months ago

  • ColaChiver

    I fully agree with both posts above. Kudos.

    signature image signature image signature image

    I was going to put a witty joke here, but I forgot bama fans still use picture books. So I thought I'd expedite the process for you...

  • Tigers,

    Yours was a very fair analysis and I agree on most every point. I would add that a fair assessment of our defense the previous three years absolutely must include the impact on it by the offense we ran.

    Gus Malzahn states very candidly in his book that his hurry-up no-huddle offense requires the entire team to buy into it. This means accepting that the furious pace of the offense will result in many more offensive possessions, which therefore means equally more defensive possessions. His offense wears opposing defenses out, but at the cost of putting his team's defense on the field significantly more, inflating stats and making a defense look much worse than it may in fact be. Gus talks about playing a fifth quarter's worth of football and if you add up the possessions this is pretty much the case. A fairer assessment of Roof's defenses would be a comparison to other teams that play quick-paced offenses like Oregon, Clemson (since last year) and Oklahoma.

    It's not my opinion that we had stellar defenses the previous three years, but their true performance was definitely masked to a certain extent by the increased number of possessions. Our D two years ago was good enough to slow down another high-paced offense in Oregon and went undefeated against an SEC schedule. That's pretty good IMHO.

    It's ironic to me, btw, that one of the excuses given for our defense running out of gas last weekend was Clemson's pace. We were at the forefront of this philosophy under Malzahn, doing this to other people, only to junk the system that set offensive records that may never be broken and go back to a slower, more traditional offense that better protects the defense. This concerns me because football dynasties in college and the pros always started by being pioneers of a new offensive or defensive philosophy - they dominated until someone figured out how to deal with it. No team every became dominant by regressing to an older style of football...

    Alabama delenda est.

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    "you're so vain, I'll bet you think this post is about you, don't you? Don't you?"

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    Alabama delenda est.

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  • One of the most sensible posts I've seen in a long time. Well thought out and articulated.

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  • It's ironic to me, btw, that one of the excuses given for our defense running out of gas last weekend was Clemson's pace. We were at the forefront of this philosophy under Malzahn, doing this to other people, only to junk the system that set offensive records that may never be broken and go back to a slower, more traditional offense that better protects the defense. This concerns me because football dynasties in college and the pros always started by being pioneers of a new offensive or defensive philosophy - they dominated until someone figured out how to deal with it. No team every became dominant by regressing to an older style of football...

    I find this very interesting., the idea that dynastyes are started by pioneering new philosophies.

    The closest thing to a dynasty in the sec would be the team to the west. You say "football dynasties in college and the pros always started by being pioneers of a new offensive or defensive philisophy", what "new offensive philosoply" have they pioneered? Their offense is nothing new. It's a typical pro style offense.

  • ColaChiver

    Teams that win in this league are teams that can run the ball successfully and stop the run...aka Bama... Simple enough philosophy.

    signature image signature image signature image

    I was going to put a witty joke here, but I forgot bama fans still use picture books. So I thought I'd expedite the process for you...

  • In my view CGC is 3-0 verses Ole Miss & Miss St., but is 1-2 against UGA,LSU,Arky & Bama.
    With that being said, without Cam would we have been`t any of those teams.

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  • Either there is an evaluation issue with some of the high school talent being over rated by the staff(but that can't be true cause most say that the athletes that we sign are recuited by most top tier univerisites and we're in the top five recruiting the last three years) or,....there has to be an issue with the staff (some or all) not coaching these talented athletes to their potential. Can't have it both ways.....Just an observation.

    Remember: If The Jury Box Is Stacked With Foxes...The Chicken Is Always Guilty

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    Remember: If The Jury Box Is Stacked With Foxes...The Chicken Is Always Guilty

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  • Happy to answer. By "dynasty" I mean just that - a dynasty: a team dominating for several years, not just very good for a couple years, peaking and sliding with the ebb and flow of recruiting (or the draft in the NFL).

    Here are some examples from decades ago:

    - Pop Warner's Single Wing offense at Carlisle (which Gus Malzahn incorporated into many of his running schemes)

    - the Delaware Wing-T offense

    - Oklahoma & Texas dominated after the veer/wishbone was created & implemented. They steamrolled teams for years, forcing defenses to replace d-tackles to LB's, killing the 5-2 defense.

    - the Miami Dolphins in the early 70's & Giants in the 80's dominated when they implemented the 3-4 defense. The league eventually adapted by using 3 WR sets as a standard formation.

    - Buddy Ryan's 46 defense which transformed the hapless Bears into Superbowl champs

    - Paul Brown (and his disciple Bill Walsh) revolutionized offensive football with what came to be called the West Coast Offense, spreading the field horizontally, overloading zones, giving QB's easy reads and high-percentage throws. Brown dominated the AAFC (before merging into the NFL) and Walsh's 49ers won 4 titles under him and his successors.

    - Spurrier opened up the passing game in the SEC, having WR's adjust routes depending on coverage (like the NFL) - this was way ahead of the league at that time.

    - Hal Mumme & Mike Leach posted outrageous offensive numbers on teams with superior talent with their Air Raid offense. Will be interesting to see how Leach (at Wazzu) and Dana Holgerson (at WVU) do with it the next few years at schools that can recruit even better.

    - Saban's recent dominance at Bama isn't just because he's a ferocious recruiter. The pro-style zone defense he teaches is more complicated than that run at any other school. It's a combination of man within zone that before now was thought to be too difficult for college kids.

    There are other examples but please don't take my word for it. Blood, Sweat &
    Chalk and Chris Brown's Essential Smart Football (and his website Smart Football) detail all of this.

    My point was coaches who are innovators usually experience success until the competition can adapt. The only constant in football is change and teams at the front of it are at an advantage. The competition always ultimately finds a way and adapts.

    Alabama delenda est.

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  • This times 10, especially when it comes to discipline.

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    Alabama delenda est.