Smart Links – Lauren Hill, McKinley Mac, Leach’s Celebrity, James Joyce – 7/2/2012

“It’s just all made up and flagellant.” – Fred Davis, Redskins tight-end, attorney. (Transcripts here.)

Gene Stallings, Alabama Football, and passing/rushing efficiency.

– Blutarsky on the four-team playoff.

Mike Leach’s celebrity status.

Lauren Hill’s (potential) novel federal sentencing arguments.

Louis Menand on James Joyce.

Poetry and the Olympics.

Behold: The McKinley Mac.

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  • stan brown

    Damn.  I hate to have to defend Stallings on this because I have so many personal experiences with old line college football coaches who stubbornly held onto hoary axioms that are no longer true or never were.  But I don’t think Chase Stuart is giving Stallings enough credit.

    Stallings says quite a bit more than Stuart implies.  He doesn’t just say that Alabama outrushed Miami.  He says, with the statistical disparity (275 to <50 and +15 mins of possession), that Bama dominated the game physically up front by running the ball down their throat and stuffing their runs.  His summary statement shouldn't be interpreted to mean that you will win college football games, if you manage a few more yards rushing.  He's saying you win by being the dominant team in the trenches (which by the way is still true in pro football — just with pass protection) on both sides of the ball.  It's still a physical game.  And nothing deflates a team more than having the ball pounded down the throat and being unable to stop it.  Nothing.

    When a football team gets physically whipped in the trenches on both sides of the ball it loses the vast majority of the time.  Even in the NFL.  [Unless Peyton Manning is the QB in which case there's still a 2 in 3 shot to win.] 

  • Chase_Stuart


    That’s true.  But we’re splitting hairs.  When a football team dominates the passing game on both sides of the ball, don’t you think it wins the vast majority of the time, too?  All I’m saying is that you may win 90% of the time if you dominate the running game, but 93% of the time if you dominate the passing game. 

  • gabe harris

    I enjoyed the article, my only problem is that he converted the “dummy pass stat” into a more useful NY/A pass stat….and then compared that superior metric to the “dummy rush stat”. I’d be more convinced if you compared “rush yds/A” versus “NY/A” and see if the win % is still better for passing stats.

    Also I went to that 1992 NC game. I am a Auburn fan so not too biased in bamas favor, but I was rooting for them at the game and I can tell you that Bama didn’t really run the ball down Miami’s throat. They did lots of wide reverses and fake reverses to “the deuce” David Palmer…and Miami HAD to respect the fake reverse to the Deuce because he was fast and shifty and a huge part of the bama offense that year…next year Bama went “wildcat” with the deuce although without quite as much success or fanfare asMalzahn, Mcfadden and Ronnie Brown had.

    Miami’s run offense was way too predictable…both teams had big tough D lines and O lines.