Thursday, January 07, 2010

Quickie: Alabama Will Throttle Texas

I find it amusing that people are trying to compare this national championship game to the one following the 2005 season, when Texas upended USC.

It will be much closer to the trend we've seen since them: SEC dominance, via defense.

The biggest difference between the opponent Texas faced in January 2006 and the one they face tonight is: Defense. That USC D was overrated; this Bama D is brutally good.

(The closest analogue to this Alabama D is the Nebraska D, and you saw what the Huskers did to Texas' offense. And don't be fooled by the "scoring defense" stat -- Bama is the best D in the country.)

As I mention in the lead item of today's SN column, maybe I'm still shell-shocked from the SEC title game, but Florida had a pretty good offense -- Alabama snuffed it out.

Meanwhile -- and this should scare Texas fans even more -- Florida's defense was as good as any I have ever seen. Even without Carlos Dunlap, they were a sick D.

And Alabama steamrolled right over them. McElroy picked them apart. The game plan was brilliant and the level of execution was astonishing.

This game won't be close. I have Alabama winning 34-13 -- the score might be closer than 21 points, but the game won't feel that way.

This ain't 2005. This ain't the USC D. And Texas is going to figure that out pretty quickly.

More you'll find in today's column:

*OK, so about Arenas: I'm sad more than anything. Longtime blog readers know that Arenas has my favorite NBA player since the year he joined the Wizards. He acted like an idiot -- as we have come to demand he act -- and Stern seems to be taking this whole thing overly personally, like Arenas is intentionally trying to screw with him, rather than just being an idiot. I hope Arenas isn't banned for the rest of the season (as of last night, Arenas was saying all the right things -- finally), and I am even more nervous that the Wiz are going to void his contract and drop him.

*Dawson: See the post below.

*I'm happy for Charlie Weis. He's at his best as an NFL offensive coordinator, and expectations are low enough in KC that he might actually thrive. And he's rich.

*I'm less impressed with Kansas than Cornell, and I'm quite sure that last night's results will bias me in a disproportionate way in March when I'm picking brackets.


*I wonder if Saturday Night Live reached out to Tim Tebow as a guest-host before they settled on Charles Barkley.

Check out the whole column here. More later.

-- D.S.


Unknown said...

Iowa's Defense would like a word with you.

Steve Sprague said...

Tebow has not shown one tenth the amount of charisma that Barkley has. Barkley is witty, confident and works well in a variety of settings. In short, he is perfect for live sketch comedy.

If Tebow does have a succesful NFL career, I think he could, he will be invited to host then. His fame is very high right now, but I'm not sure that he is more recognizable than Charles Barkley.

As far as Dawson goes I don't think you can questions his HOF credentials on OBP alone. Using other SABR stats, win shares, OPS+, he is clearly HOF worthy. Add in defense and it is a wonder why it took this long. Harping on OBP too much, which is what you are doing when you point out one weak spot on an otherwise sterling resume, devalues the argument.

Games were coached and played differently in the 80's. A walk wasn't viewed as being as valuable as a hit, and frankly it isn't. A hit has the chance to advance the runners more than one base, putting the ball in play opens up the possibility of errors, etc. OBP is a valuable stat, it's just not the holy grail of stats that some want it to be.

Unknown said...

"I wonder if Saturday Night Live reached out to Tim Tebow as a guest-host before they settled on Charles Barkley."

Come on Dan... seriously? I fully understand that in your life Tim Tebow is a big part of it, with the blog, Florida football, and that you just like him.

But come on, "Settle" on Charles Barkley? He's currently the funniest guy so directly associated with the sports world. He's an amazingly good choice for a guest host. Tebow would be good too, I'm not disagreeing with you there really. Barkley gets them more viewers, and is much much funnier.

Unknown said...

Cant wait to hear how you spin the "McCoy getting injured angle didn't matter" tomorrow.