Archive for the ‘Auburn Tigers’ Category

Can the SEC Handle the No-Huddle?

July 30, 2009

Chris Brown, Smart Football’s preeminent voice in football strategy blogging, has written extensively about Guz Malzahn’s unique offensive system. Brown astutely points out that Malzahn’s offense is predicated less on complex schemes and more on speed–not the kind of speed that makes for a good 40-yard dash time, but hustling up to put the ball in play.

Homerism actually wrote about this earlier in the year prior to the national championship game. I calculated a statistic for offensive and defensive tempo for every team in the country based on time of possession and total number of snaps.
Looking back, we found that the SEC actually played at a plodding pace relative to the rest of the country. Three of the bottom 10 teams in the country in terms of offensive tempo in 2008 came from the SEC.
Last year, Malzahn’s offense at Tulsa averaged 22.819 seconds per play, good for fifth fastest in the country. That’s nearly four seconds faster than the quickest team in the SEC, LSU.
On the defensive side, Arkansas, whose non-conference schedule included Malzahn’s TU offense, was forced to play at the fastest defensive tempo of all the SEC schools at 25.717 seconds per play. The Hogs were the only team in the conference whose defense played above the national media of 26.779 seconds per play. In fact, three of the 10 slowest teams in terms of defensive tempo were SEC members.
So it should be interesting to see if the best conference in the country can handle the Malzahn’s fast-break O. Florida shut down the high-speed Sooner machine in the national championship game in January. However, that came after preparing for weeks during an extended break. The Tigers should provide a tough match-up problem for their fellow conference mates this year, and I expect they’ll win a game or two for that reason alone.

Economic Impact of Home Games

April 18, 2009

Homerism turned up some research regarding the economic impact of home football games on school’s surrounding communities, previously discussed here. These researchers from Holy Cross seem skeptical that additional games have a discernible impact on local business. Auburn, the school that sparked the discussion in the first place, claims that its home games generate $100 million for the town’s economy annually.

Comfort Zone Cash Cow

April 16, 2009

This quote from Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs caught Homerism’s attention: “If we were to give up a home game in 2010, that would mean in back-to-back seasons we would have only seven home games. That’s not good for anybody. That’s not good for our players, our fans or the Auburn area.”

(Jacobs was responding to questions regarding Auburn’s decision to turn down a proposal from ESPN to play UCLA in a 2010 game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.)
So, that means Auburn explicitly intends to schedule eight home games every other year. My initial reaction was surprise that an athletic director would admit his school aimed to overload its schedule in such a way. I mean, it’s one thing to stack the deck in your favor. It’s entirely something else to flaunt it like that. 
The more I thought about Jacobs’ comments, though, the more his allusion to the impact of home games on the “Auburn area” really struck me. It would be pretty interesting to see an analysis of the economic impact of a home game on local businesses, assuming that’s what Jacobs meant. What percentage of local enterprises’ annual revenues comes from game weekends, for instance?
Also, what duties do college athletic departments have to the local economy? How many masters should athletic directors be expected to serve, assuming school officials like Jacobs really do feel obligated to help support the local economy?