Smart Links – Sabanization, Ball Security, iPads – 1/30/2012

This edition of Smart Links brought to you by Vanderbilt offensive line coach Herb Hand and his awesome vertical leap:

Blutarsky and Michael Elkon on the “Sabanization” of the SEC.

Gary Crowton to become the offensive coordinator of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

I’m still now sure how I feel about this.

The real secret to Nick Saban’s success.

Drug testing for legislators. Hard to see why this shouldn’t be law.

The world of Roger Scruton.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis’s secret to not fumbling. Try here for a little more substance on the topic of ball security.

– A good way to waste time: Look up how much your favorite college professors and administrative officials make.

Good analysis of the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding the warrantless use of GPS tracking devices by police.

LeBron’s “improved” post game.

Football’s (the other “football”) best managers.

Weaning off of “alternative” investments. Like so many things, what was once hot quickly cools.

Human costs built into the iPad.

  • 4.0 Point Stance

    Elkon makes good points, as usual, but what struck me was the Senator’s comment about the inherently cyclical nature of football. The Tom Landry 4-3 was undone by the Fun n Gun, which was incapable of handling the zone blitz, which was susceptible to being gashed by long option runs, which were stymied by V Tech style 8 man fronts, which were unable to cover 4 wide receiver spread to pass schemes run by disheveled wannabe pirates. Which is about where we are, with Alabama and LSU on the leading edge of the next revolution, which is lining up in the I and running straight at those undersized nicklebacks. There’s no teleology to it; we’re not progressing to some “perfect” offense; we’re just responding to the countervailing trends. In the parlance of the NFL announcer, it’s “taking what the defense gives you” on a macro scale.

    It’s almost like evolution. Birds didn’t survive because birds are “better” than dinosaurs, it’s just that birds proved themselves capable of surviving a certain particular set of circumstances better than dinosaurs could.

    It also highlights people’s tendency (not limited to football) to make linear extrapolations. “In 2001, there were only two teams running a spread to run. By 2004 there were ten. In 2007 there were thirty-five. By 2015 every team in the NCAA will run this system!” Well it doesn’t exactly work out that way.

  • I really respect Goldstein’s work.  Few other outlets provide the same quality of legal commentary.  

    In this case, though, it just seems to me like he’s got very shaky foundations for his conclusions.  So the 4th only covers trespass when there is a search.  Well, OK, I think I’m good with that.  His (i) isn’t a search because there’s no search, just a trespass.  If the government installs a cinder block on some car and doesn’t collect any data from it, the 4th isn’t designed to cover that.

    His (iv) is an even more important holding, I think, and it’s huge.  The fact that (i) – not a search – and (ii) – short term “monitoring” – are not considered searches are the two least important questions of the four (though I don’t know if there’s a good definition of “short term” yet).

  • Anonymous

    Could it be that Saban is so successful because his defenses are too schematically advanced for the offensive coordinators in the SEC?  It seems like a lot of the offensive coaches in the SEC are stumped when they don’t have an overwhelming speed/strength advantage (which doesn’t happen that often).  LSU was a prime example.  Their offense did nothing against Alabama.  They scored 9 points in 2 games.  When Saban has blue chip talent that grasps his system, I don’t think most of the offensive coordinators in the SEC are capable of devising a creative enough offense to move the ball consistently.  Fortunately for them, Alabama is usually the only team of that caliber on the defensive side of the ball that they’ll face in a given season.

  • Anonymous

    Saban’s playbook is great but he wins because of talent and his incredible intention to detail. There’s nothing in his defensive playbook that can’t be found in countless other playbooks across football. He just coaches it extremely well and they work on every infinitesimal aspect of being a better football player every day. That’s why they are so good.