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UGADAWG78: By calling those who disagree with you Nazis you confirm everything they say and think about you.
Trask did great against a tired defense that had schemed to stop a dual threat QB who can make plays all over the field. With that OL and nonexistent running game, scheming and defending a dropback passer with an average arm is going to be a lot easier. If Franks couldn't run away from Miami and Kentucky blitzes, what is Trask going to do against LSU, UGA and Auburn ones?
My favorite team ever was Nebraska in 1994-95. Regardless of what goes on at the pro level - which is becoming increasingly unwatchable - running the ball is what leads to titles on the college level more often than not. In recent years the QBs with their flag football schemes have been winning all the Heismans while the schools that play real football have been winning the titles. Yes I include Clemson in the "real football" thing because they are generally able to run the football when they need to, and what's more do so with guys who weren't exactly parade all-american 5 star recruits at tailback.
@Bamalicious: Yeah but you are only going to have Tua for what, 12 more games? What then? Taulia isn't as good as his brother and neither is the other backup. Florida built their entire program around Tim Tebow. You saw what happened to them when Tebow left, right? It is better to have a system where the likes of Greg McElroy and Jake Coker can win titles, and Blake Sims would have were Lane Kiffin more concerned about winning the game than promoting himself for a Pac-12 or Big 12 head coaching job.
Huh? You are missing what I wrote, probably purposefully. Why? First off, Clemson IS NOT playing true air raid. They run the ball plenty and everyone knows that they could run it even more if they had to. Clemson has the threat of the run game in their back pocket, and that makes the passing game more effective. Against Bama Etienne was getting over 6 yards per carry and had 2 TDs, but they only gave it to him 14 times because throwing it deep was more fun. But forget Clemson ... what about Alabama? They beat Clemson in 2015 and 2017 with power running games including Derrick Henry and his 2000 rushing yards. So they lose one game and all of a sudden what they were doing was outdated? Oklahoma has been failing with Mike Leach ball since 2003! All they have done in response is change coordinators a million times and ultimately change the head coach but no one in that conference has ever stepped back and asked themselves whether the air raid is the problem. Even if you MUST run the spread, there is also the power spread. That is what Texas won the title with in 2005. It is what Auburn won the title with in 2010. Ohio State won it - against Bama - in 2014 with Ezekiel Elliot running over everybody. But ultimately, the inability to run the ball and throw at the same time is a peculiarity that afflicted only LSU. (And lately Stanford I guess). Everybody else - Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Clemson, Ohio State, FSU during the Winston era - has been able to manage it just fine. If Joe Burrow needs the air raid to be effective then there is a reason why he couldn't beat out Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State because Dobbins and Weber came within a hair of both having 1000 rushing yards (Dobbins 1050, Weber 950).
And we know how many national titles the Big 12 has won the past 20 years. Oh wait ...
Allow me to be the naysayer. So ... it looks like Alabama, LSU and even Auburn have taken to recruiting all those 4 and 5 star RBs just to have them standing around or to be used as blockers and outlet receivers in the passing game? So the SEC is going full on Big 12 now? As if the Big 12 has won anything since embracing Mike Leach ball? Well this is good news for UGA. They can let 5 star RB recruits know that they are the only program left that will let them put up big stats and develop the all around game needed to be first round draft picks and rookie starters in the NFL. I wonder if John Emery at LSU - who has 9 whole carries through 3 games - regrets his decision to back out of his UGA commitment and go to the Tigers. I wasn't rooting for UGA to win the SECCG before, but if it means rescuing real football in this conference then let them win this year and the next 2 years also. I don't know why people think that you need to go air raid to score points. Those David Cutcliffe Tennessee teams with Peyton Manning and Tee Martin scored plenty using a pro-style offense. So did LSU when Jimbo Fisher was the OC. So did USC when they had Leinart/Bush. So did FSU during the Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke eras. So did Miami the Ken Dorsey years. LSU did also when they had JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn. Auburn did under Jason Campbell. Georgia did with Aaron Murray (they didn't win a title because of the OL and defense, not the offensive scheme). And yes Alabama did with AJ McCarron. Once you give up the running game everything else goes soft. The defense. The line play. Recruiting. EVERYTHING. Proof of this? The Big 12. They - and the Big 8 and SWC before them - used to be the epitome of power football, with just enough speed on the edges. They still had this going on in 2004 with Texas having a 6'5", 230 lb. dual threat QB, a huge OL and a future Pro Bowl NFL tailback (would have been 2 but sadly one of them decided to go the narcotics route) and a secondary that featured 3 future NFL starters and 2 future NFL backups (plus some pretty good players at DL and LB) which was the last Big 12 team to win a meaningful postseason game. And look at that conference now. So go Bulldogs! Here's hoping that Swift and company put up 350 rushing yards against Bama, and that "the master of the pre-snap read" Jake Fromm does his thing also. If that's what it takes to save SEC football so be it.
So what do you want? For Clemson to be forced to forfeit games? To be disqualified from the playoff? And this is what I want explained. The ACC is weak, but it isn't as if the Big 12, Pac-12 or Big 10 are that tough either. The Big 10 has been Ohio State and everybody else for how long now? The Big 12 has been Oklahoma's personal playground ever since Eryk Anders did that number on Colt McCoy's shoulder (a clean, legal hit so don't accuse me of saying otherwise). The Pac-12 went from nobody to USC and everybody else to Oregon and everybody else to Stanford and everybody else to ... nobody again. So how come Clemson and Clemson alone is able to take advantage of the lack of a "grind" conference schedule to not only get in the playoff year after year but - with the exception of 2017 - advance? (And they probably would have advanced that year had they not had the misfortune of playing the national champs in the first round.) Why aren't they like Oklahoma, who loses in the first round every ... single ... year (and will lose again this year despite Jalen Hurts' best efforts assuming they even make it). Why aren't they like Ohio State, who has only made the playoff twice, and the second time got hammered 31-0 (by ... who was that again ... I wonder oh yeah CLEMSON). Funny, no one cared about Clemson's schedule until they beat Bama two years in a row, when no other active coach in the SEC but Malzahn has beaten Saban more than once. (In fact, Malzahn is the only active coach in the SEC who has beaten Saban at all, and that was good enough to get him that grotesque buyout in this mighty conference.) But now their schedule is all anyone wants to talk about. Weak.
For goodness sakes. There is a HUGE GULF between "improve on 5-7" and "beat Georgia and contend for the east." Practically everyone believed that the former would happen. NO ONE believed that the latter would.
Or any competent offensive staff really.
The folks squawking on Lawrence are leaving out a few relevant details: Clemson opened the season against Georgia Tech and Texas A&M. Not Duke, New Mexico State, Houston, Georgia Southern, North Dakota or even a Texas team that lost 8 starters off their already middling (gave up 30+ points 6 times) defense from last year. Please know Georgia Tech is Clemson's #2 rival (and their #1 ACC rival). Also, their new head coach was a DC at SEC schools (MSU and UF) from 2011-2016. Sure Tech's seen better days, but they had a winning season last year and have generally been a winning program since the late 80s. Opening the year against Tech - and in a nationally televised night game no less - would be akin to Oklahoma opening against Oklahoma State (note that Oklahoma only beat 7-6 Okie State by 1 point last season) or Alabama opening against Auburn. And as for Texas A&M, since joining the SEC they've consistently had SEC caliber and top 15 nationally recruiting classes and talent. (That they generally haven't played up to that talent is a coaching matter.) A&M has several legit future NFL prospects on their DL and in the secondary. The same can't be said for Duke and Texas - the two best teams that Alabama/Oklahoma/LSU have played - and certainly can't be said for NMSU, Georgia Southern and North Dakota. It is a lot of fun to envy-bash Clemson because they've done the past 4 years what no SEC team has been able to do for the past 11, which is go toe to toe with Alabama on a consistent basis, but this is one of the rare instances where Finebaum is right. Where Clemson opened the season with 2 of their 4 toughest opponents back-to-back, things are only going to get tougher for Alabama and LSU as the season goes on. As for Oklahoma, not so much, which is why Hurts went there to market him to NFL scouts in the first place, and yes is why Finebaum and a lot of other people have Hurts #1 on their list.
Funny story. FSU and FAMU are in the same (small) city. They are LITERALLY separated by a few blocks. On the same road. 4 minute drive across the railroad tracks, a healthy person could walk from one to another in 30 minutes. They share academic programs (engineering, architecture, allied health etc.). They have been playing football (continuously for FAMU, off-and-on for FSU but continuously since the late 40s) FOR OVER 110 YEARS. And they have NEVER played each other in football. Never have, never will. FAMU regularly plays Miami (and infamously beat them once under Schnellenberger) and is a common homecoming opponent for the Canes. FAMU has played UF (last time in 2003). But they have NEVER played FSU despite the campuses being so close that it would take longer for the FAMU players, assistants, band, cheerleaders etc. to board the bus than it would for the bus to get to FSU's stadium! Unreal. Granted, Georgia State has never played Georgia Tech either. But at least there, GSU literally only started playing football in 2010. However, there's no talk of those two schools playing either. It makes no sense. Especially since even though small schools get a huge payday for being an (almost) guaranteed win for big schools, A LOT of that gets eaten up taking 60+ football players (plus coaches, staff, maybe cheerleaders and band) halfway across the country. It really can get into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Playing an in-state school and being able to take a few hours (or less) daytrip on the bus is very much in the interests of these smaller schools. Why they don't do it - and why the legislatures in these states don't mandate it - makes no sense.
You forget that Derek Dooley was a successful head coach at a Louisiana Sun Belt school before taking the Tennessee job. One of the reasons why Dooley failed is because the fanbase didn't want him to begin with. They wanted a big name, ideally John Gruden, second choice Peyton Manning but would have "settled" for Bob Stoops, not the son of the coach of a hated rival coming in from a small school. The only way for him to succeed would have been for him to win big right away. Unfortunately the turmoil left Dooley with a bare cupboard so he couldn't do that. And after other coaches saw what the fanbase did to Dooley, they wouldn't take the job either which explains the last 2 hires.
No team with Ken Dorsey at QB could be the greatest ever. With a merely average QB on that team the Hurricanes win 3 titles. As it was Dorsey cost them 2 titles and nearly cost them a third. 2009 Alabama ... I personally like the 2012 Alabama team better. AJ McCarron > Greg McElroy. These "greatest team ever" things are kind of silly because they don't deal with a huge issue: SCHOLARSHIP LIMITATIONS. Until 1972, scholarships were unlimited and some schools had as many as 150 guys. First it was limited to 105 (1972) then 95 (1978), then 85 (1992). So any talk of "greatest team ever" can't really be a team in the 85 scholarship era. So that would make the Jimmy Johnson 1988 Miami Hurricanes be the best football team I have personally seen play. Exception: 1995 Nebraska. The reason: Tom Osborne found a way around the 85 scholarship limit. You know the "recruited preferred walk on" thing? Nebraska would give those out right and left under Osborne. Small limitation: the extras couldn't dress the first game. Nebraska addressed this by always scheduling a cupcake as a season opener. The big limitation: he could only give those walk-ons to in-state (meaning Nebraska) kids. So lots of kids who could have gotten Division II, FCS or even mid-major scholarships instead "walked on" at Nebraska ... but got very generous "in state financial aid" that was basically the same that was being on scholarship anyway. That was how Nebraska had their legendary depth and endless supply of linemen. One of the guys who succeeded Osborne didn't want to recruit and manage all those walk-ons so he dismantled it. And Nebraska has been mediocre or worse ever since ...
As dgsb11 states, UGA should go back to carrying true fullbacks. I also think that UGA should recruit bigger tailbacks i.e 230 lbs., at least 1 per cycle. Both would help UGA in short yardage situations.
Say Joe Burrow plays against the Clemson defense and does it with the A&M line, WRs and RBs. And say Mond plays against the Tejas Big 12 defense with LSU's supporting cast. What do the rankings say then?
Sigh. In years past LSU had everything but a QB. But be honest ... that was back when Les Miles was bringing in recruiting classes on par with Alabama, Florida and Ohio State. Since then, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State have dominated recruiting, and Clemson is on the verge of joining them. So no, this is not the same LSU program from 2007-2013 who was a QB away. This is an LSU program that save a position or 3 has merely above average SEC talent. The LSU that ran the (regular season) table against the toughest schedule in the nation by far and went to the title game solely on special teams, defense and its rushing game in 2011 doesn't give up 38 points to a Texas team that is borderline top 10 at best, was missing 2 of their top 3 (not very good in the first place) RBs due to injury, and because of a combination of unforced errors and bizarre playcalling left AT LEAST 14 points on the field. It is great that Joe Burrow threw for 470 yards against Texas ... but ignoring that he had to do so to eke out a victory against a Texas team that isn't that great and didn't play that well makes no sense. Since when do SEC teams insist that winning 45-38 is so much better than winning 17-14 anyway?
Auburn and Texas A&M are better than Florida, Kentucky and Missouri? Based on what evidence, pray tell?
"Any team that thinks they can beat Bama need only wait until the postseason." Loser comment from a proud member of the Alabama and the 13 dwarves conference. "We can't beat Bama means that NO ONE can beat Bama." Said the ACC about FSU during the 1990s and the Pac-10 about USC and Oregon in the 00s. Funny thing ... during that era FSU, USC and Oregon most certainly did lose to good teams out of conference who didn't treat losing to them as a badge of honor, and certainly didn't treat a close loss against those teams as superior to beating anybody else. Look, one of Saban's most talented teams on paper lost 3 times in conference play in 2010. Of course, that was when the SEC was actually a deep conference with legit contenders instead of teams loving to live vicarouslly through Saban's accomplishments. Ohio State took down mighty Alabama in 2014 WITH THEIR THIRD STRING QB. Alabama needed a fake put to beat a Clemson team in 2015 THAT WAS MISSING THREE OF THEIR TOP FOUR WRS. And Clemson beat Bama again last year with a true freshman QB who got the job 1/4 through the season and missing their best defensive player! Good grief people ...
Hmmm. Give Kellen Mond the supporting cast that Fromm has in Athens, put Fromm in that rebuilding situation at Texas A&M and then we can see who is the better QB. The few times that Fromm has faced anything close to the pressure and lack of support from the running game that Mond faced against Clemson he hasn't looked good at all.
LSU QB and WRs? Great! (Against a Big 12 defense). LSU's defense? Not so good against a Texas offense who had only 1 healthy tailback (who isn't that good). Better playcalling by Tom Herman in the 1st half - seriously the guy's strange strategy left about 14 points on the board - and everyone's saying "Texas is back!" right now. LSU's offensive line and running game? Not much going on there, and again against a Big 12 defense. I have seen enough from both LSU and Florida (Miami is 0-2 so I have to eat my crow on that) to figure that LSU will beat the Gators. Ditto Auburn who can't score. But Alabama and Texas A&M? Not so sure. Tua is better than Ehlingher - of whom I am still very much a fan as not only was very little of what went wrong Saturday his fault, but he was the main reason they were in the game to begin with - and of course Alabama's defense is better than anything the Big 12 has been able to put forth this century. (Remember when the old Big 8/Big 12 was a conference built on power running, good recruiting/player development and strong defense that actually won titles? They traded all that in for Mike Leach ball that hasn't won them squat and likely never will. AND. NO. ONE. TALKS. ABOUT. THIS. Amazing.)
USC hammered Stanford with their backup QB. They are fine.
The disrespect for Ehlinger has never made any sense. He outplayed Heisman winner Kyler Murray in the first of the two matchups - which Murray petulantly refused to concede - and he outplayed Jake Fromm in their matchup also. I get that Ehlinger was terrible his freshman season - though granted he didn't have much in the way of help from his OL, RBs or defense back then - but quarterbacks can and often do get better, especially dual threat ones. Am I the only one who remembers this? Sometimes it really seems like it. I guess Murray in particular forgot how terrible he was his true freshman season at Texas A&M also.
Dude,first of all love the handle. Second, LSU beat UGA by 3 TDs last year. They never should have been ranked behind UGA in the first place. At some point UGA is going to have to play as well against everyone else as they do against Bama. Till that happens people need to stop treating them as if they are something they aren't.
Sigh. THIS is why I have been chiding UGA fans wishing for LSU to beat Texas ... two teams who not only beat UGA last year but both made UGA look bad in the process as both QBs clearly outplayed Fromm and Smart was decidedly outcoached in both games and worst of all UGA didn't appear to be very physical in either game. Look, after that game last night most folks would presume that Texas and LSU would also beat ND but no one would pick UGA over Texas and LSU right now because there is no basis to do so. It really would have been in UGA's best interests for Texas to beat LSU and then Oklahoma. Now, if both UGA and LSU finish the season losing only to Alabama, who do you think the committee will choose? Especially since LSU is also going to throttle Florida?
Beat Bama and then lets talk. And if you are a Bama fan Clemson's taken 2 out of 3 from you guys.
Clemson has won 2 out of 3 titles and have had 3 of their last 4 QBs be All Americans. They are "the man" whether you acknowledge them or not.
I have. They aren't nearly as good as they were 2001-2012. During that stretch ranked SEC teams rarely lost postseason games. Now they lose them all the time. And the grind was tougher last decade when it was more than just Bama winning titles.
But going back to 2015 actually makes his argument stronger because they beat South Carolina that year.