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December 17, 2017

Will Offensive Pace Matter in the Rose Bowl?

Man, I can't get my head around how Oklahoma scores so many points (other than they are really, really good at creating big plays).  When you break down Bill Connelly's advanced stats on Oklahoma, they are first in the nation in offensive explosiveness and efficiency. That is borne out when you consider the faced the third fewest 3rd down attempts in the nation with 144. For comparison sake, Georgia faced 165.

That is  an offense that is very effective at staying in front of the chains. When you factor in their 66 conversions and their 12 fourth down conversions, they are only giving the ball back a shade over 25% of the time when you get them to 3rd down.

That's around 11 3rd downs per game for Oklahoma, with 2 punts per game. They punt at a rate of .4 per offensive score.

Yet they run a pedestrian 75 plays per game.

So, they just line up and run plays until they score. If it takes two plays or 12 plays, they don't care. They'll get theirs.

I know this isn't freshly plowed ground, but it is starting to freak me out. The two things keeping me together are

  1. Georgia's offense is specifically designed to eat clock while breaking the will of an opponent, and 
  2. We've faced a similar offense twice this season in Auburn.
Is it too soon to start packing for Pasadena?


December 16, 2017

Rose Bowl Tickets and Hospitality Packages

Now that the airlines have added some flights, the prices to LA are moderating (some), you can get out there for around $650.  There are a couple of options for you, if you want ticket and hospitatlity, including post game watching of the Sugar Bowl on site. PrimeSport has put together a tailgate that includes food and beverage pre-game, as well as a place to wait out the legendary post game traffic.

They also have tickets that are starting below $300 before fees.

December 15, 2017

Stopping Baker Mayfield

I'm not plowing fresh ground here, but dang can Baker Mayfield move the pocket around quickly. I keep getting asked will he hurt us more with his legs or arm, and I remain convinced it is his arm, but that answer has a lot to do with his ability to move around and create time...and confusion. Watching Mayfield in clips, it is easy to see defenses, linebackers especially, get undisciplined in their assignments. Oklahoma's offense will run at least two receivers, with an Hback or Split End exploiting the middle zone area, while sneaking a RB out for quick in/out or wheel route. The linebackers in coverage have to be very good pass defenders, especially on plays that Stidham is baiting them into peeling off coverage to pursue him.

Think Stidham on Auburn's third FG drive in the regular season or their longest pass play completion in the SEC Championship game with wheel route combos to Chandler Cox.

Like many big play offenses, Oklahoma dares you to be aggressive, then beats you with it. The difference is that offense also clicks well on the 5-7 yard play, which is all about Mayfield's ability to find an open receiver in the 3-6 yard range. They faced about 6 3rd and longs (7+ yards) a game, that from a team that had over 140 offensive drives this season. That is comparable to Georgia, but they use their short passing game to accomplish that. Then they lull you in and hit a 65 yard pass play.

That is all about Mayfield's ability to move the pocket and extend plays, not necessarily by rushing, though he can do that, too.

So, what's the trick to stopping them? Baker Mayfield isn't great with walls between him and open ground.  When he is pressured into rushing around a wall to escape, he tends to get caught and put on the ground face down pretty easily.

Go back and watch how Mel Tucker's defense played against Auburn in the SEC Championship game. Georgia made Stidham uncomfortable in the pocket, making him throw the ball away a fair amount. That is the best example of how you can hope to slow down Oklahoma. Make Mayfield uncomfortable by pressuring him to run into that wall or get rid of the ball, probably without blitzing too much.  The magic is in actually doing it again, this time against a better QB and an offense that has a month to prepare for what you did.

WSLS Bowl Pool

If you didn't get the email, you can join here.

Just like regular season, we are doing confidence picks.  Games close at kickoff, so there are a bunch of games you'll miss out on tomorrow.


WSLS Ep. 122: Georgia's Going to the Rose Bowl, Y'all

We bore Scott to tears talking about Bowl Season.

Here's a whole bunch of interesting links, as promised:
Southern Tab Cigars:

December 10, 2017

You Mad Bro? Catch in SEC Championship

Love it.

Photo courtesy of Jim Hipple

December 9, 2017

Rose Bowl Tickets and Pricing

Now that UGA has released their tickets and the Rose Bowl has given scalpers/Ticketmaster another chance to power grab all the released and sold a few remaining tickets, the secondary market is your friend.  The get in price has remained pretty constant at about $250. On a ~$175 face value ticket, that isn't terrible. 

As you can see, Georgia will sit facing the press box, which is on the East side of the Rose Bowl. Bring your sunglasses as we'll have the sun in our face. 

Funny thing about the Rose Bowl, end zone seats are lettered backwards from K-A (K basically at field level), then from 1-77 going up. It appears the seat back sections on the side lines start at row 1-7 depending on the section. From everything I've heard, the better seats are above the lettered rows, and if you are behind the benches, up around row 25-45. The ring walkway around the stadium is around row 30. I've also heard the end zone lettered seats are great, at least while the teams are playing towards your end zone.

I still think there are going to be a lot of Dawg fans in Pasadena, but given the lower allotment to the schools (13K each), as well as the sales to the locals and scalpers Web 3.0 entrepreneurs, hold backs for corporate groups, and the pre-announcement sales, getting a ticket isn't a given unless you are willing to show up with cash and hope or go ahead and bite the bullet through aftermarket.

December 8, 2017

You Can Only Hope to Contain Kirby Smart

Sometimes, I think Scott Sinclair has the hardest sideline job in football.
Photo courtesy of Jim Hipple
There is nothing about this picture that I don't love. Even Aaron Feld is perfectly framed here.  By the way, any doubt one of the lesser heralded upgrades with Smart's hire is featured in the picture?

December 6, 2017

Updates on Rose Bowl Seating

From the official Rose Bowl website:

A limited number of remaining tickets for the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the 104th Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual will go on sale Wednesday, December 6 at 9 a.m. PT/ 12 p.m. ET. Tickets will be available online or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-653-8000. Oklahoma will occupy the west sideline (press box side) and have their colors painted in the north endzone, while Georgia will occupy the east sideline and have their colors painted in the south endzone. A maximum of four tickets per person will be available during the Rose Bowl Game ticket pre-sale. Individual ticket prices start at $185 plus Ticketmaster handling fees.

December 5, 2017

Tournament of Roses Parade

While it isn't my cup of tea, I'm told that part of the full experience of the Rose Bowl is the Tournament of Roses Parade, which starts at 8am Pacific on January 1st. With the Rose Bowl kickoff slated for 2pm Pacific, it feels like it would cut into tailgating time. Like I said, not my cup of tea.

Still, if you decide to go, here is the route map from the Tournament of Roses website:

It is also important to note that LA is a driving city. Be sure to note the road closures and whatnot in your planning to get to the game on the 1st.

Check out that website. Apparently, you are allowed to volunteer to decorate the floats and can view them being made, as well as view them post game and on the 2nd at Victory Park in Pasadena.


December 4, 2017

Alabama is Favorite to Win Championship; UGA vs OU is a Pick'em

Vegas money is a funny thing. Lines and quotes courtesy of Bovada.

Odds to win the 2018 College Football Championship         
Alabama                                   9/5                            
Clemson                                   5/2
Oklahoma                                 11/4                          
Georgia                                    10/3

College Football Playoff Lines
Alabama           -1½
Clemson           +1½     

Georgia            PICK
Oklahoma         PICK

“With both the College playoff games at essentially a coin toss that is exactly how the early money is coming in 50/50. However, as my experience tells me we will most likely need Georgia by game time, and the Bama game who knows. I expect a lot of Tide money late.”
Kevin Bradley, Sportsbook Manager,       

Rose Bowl Tickets and Packages

Flights are sky high (see what I did?) right now, but prices for tickets to the game are doing ok.  We have a couple of options if you don't get them through Hartman.

PrimeSport is a premium hospitality provider
You may have noticed StubHub is also a partner again, so you can always check the banner or the links on the main page to see what they are going for there.  

In talking to my LA friends, there are no real bad seats in the Rose Bowl, but lower isn't always better because the slope is flatter in the lowest part of the bowl.  Also, the end zone seats are all bench, but it is the Rose Bowl, so if they did a flyover with the Spruce Goose, I'd be ok with it.

WSLS Ep. 121 - SEC Champions

Y'all. We are going to the Rose Bowl.

Have a question for us? Hit us up on Twitter
Or, Leave us a podcast review and ask a question. We will read it and answer it on a future podcast.

December 3, 2017

Rose or Sugar?

It's one or the other. 

For my money, let's go to Pasadena. We have a path to the Sugar Bowl in nearly ever season.  We haven't been in the running to go to the Rose Bowl but once in the last 70+ years.  Plus, we've never played Oklahoma.

Yesterday was one of those other worldly days.  I spent several hours after the game randomly exclaiming some variation of 'Holy Crap!' due to the memory of the SEC Championship Game sneaking up on me.

Admit it, you did, too.


December 2, 2017

SEC Championship Game Preview

You've heard me go on about line play and coaching. You know we have to play against demons and history.

All that is left is to go do the damn thing.

Go Dawgs.

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