Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bison power football and Craig Bohl

Over at SB Nation I talk about how Craig Bohl, firmly entrenched in flyover country, is building dominant football teams around classic tactics like the Tampa-2 and the power run.

He's grabbing old school players from heartland regions and unleashing them in these tactics that have been tweaked just enough to maintain their potency in the midst of modern football. Pretty compelling achievement. Read about it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The future of the option, now including the forward pass

My magnum opus on the future of the option in a beautiful format complete with an accompanying video by Dan Rubenstein, quotes from major college and high school coaches, and explanatory GIFs and diagrams.

Previewing the 2014 Texas schedule: KSU and Texas Tech

You can find my thoughts on how the 2014 Texas team matches up with Kansas State and Texas Tech over at Inside Texas. For Free!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Previewing 2014: Texas A&M vs South Carolina

Over at SB Nation I dive into some of the schemes and themes of A&M's game against South Carolina on opening weekend.

Quite frankly, everything coming out of the A&M camp that wasn't written or signed off by A&M or SEC homers tells a frightening picture of a school that has a lack of accountability and a weak culture.

The first thing that happens when you have a weak culture that doesn't exact the most out of a team is you see it on defense where toughness is paramount.

Given all the cultural issues as well as the loss of several major players on defense that were expected to play big roles in 2014, I'm expecting A&M to have another terrible year on defense this year.

On offense, I think the immensely enjoyable nature of the Aggies' offense as well as their preponderance of talent will still allow them to have success. If they don't, they could collapse in year one without Johnny and lose a lot of their recruiting momentum they've enjoyed against Texas.

Assuming of course, that Texas doesn't also have a terrible year.

Oklahoma's 3-4 D is primed for domination

Over at Football Study Hall I explain how Oklahoma has a uniquely devastating blend of personnel and scheme to destroy B12 offenses this year.

It's really all about Striker. It's not common for a team to have a player that can run around in space as a nickelback and also blitz the edge like Elvis Dumervil. Oklahoma's ability to field a true 3-4 with him on the field is going to be lethal for opponents and I also cover how spreading OU further and inviting their nickel package isn't a great idea either.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Breaking through the sorcery: More tidbits on 2014 KSU

Over at Football Study Hall I "demystify" Bill Snyder's Kansas State strategies.

In my preseason Big 12 poll I put Kansas State #2 behind Oklahoma but ahead of Baylor, Texas, and the rest of the league.

Amongst their assets for the 2014 season:


-A very strong run-blocking group on OL. BJ Finney is an All-B12 center, guards Stiverson and Whitehair are also legitimately good players. I'm currently betting on Kleinsorge and Luke Hayes winning the tackle jobs but JUCO transfer AJ Allen may compete for a spot as well.

At any rate, this will be a deep group.

-Too many capable targets to cover. If Waters knows where to go with the ball, there will always be someone open to catch it. I don't believe there's a single cornerback in the B12 who can handle playing Lockett without safety help over the top and everyone else on this team is too good and too precise to not take advantage of the focus.

-Packaged plays. KSU has some of the best packaged plays in the game today and I have it on good authority that their usage of these plays will expand in 2014.


-Multiple pass-rushers. Ryan Mueller is a stud with an inside move that is hilariously beyond the ability of most B12 OT's to adequately handle. However, KSU is also developing some other weapons. DT Travis Britz is a reasonably solid pass-rusher and the Wildcats will often play Mueller inside with Britz on 3rd and long while playing Marquel Bryant and speedy Sam linebacker Mike Moore outside.

Since KSU is often terrible at disguising blitzes, it's helpful that they can find 4-man groups to play on the DL to get a pass-rush.

-Tackling at every position. Even if they have to play Dylan Schellenberg at safety, the Wildcats have willing and solid tacklers at every position. That means a defensive backfield that will leverage ball-carriers into pursuit. When you can manage space and tackle as a team you remove a big part of what makes B12 offenses so effective.

-A 3rd corner at nickelback with Randall Evans. We've used this space before to explain how Randall Evans protects their safeties from having to play with tremendous range on the back end. That makes it easier to handle the vertical stresses caused by some of the Big 12's better offensive teams.

-It's hard to know how soon they'll be ready but Dvonta Derricott and Terrell Clinkscales could upgrade the Mike linebacker and nose tackle positions for KSU to near-all conference levels, if not this year then the following year. How well they acclimate in spring ball will be a big story for this team and could make them an even firmer #2 in the conference (still not catching OU).

Finney, Gronk, Evans, Barnett, Mueller, Waters, Lockett, and Whitehair are all players that could see the field at other schools in the Big 12. I'm guessing that Snyder will have a good plan in place to leverage an underrated team and win a lot of games this year.