I've got better things to do than quibble Jeff Schultz's minor points...

But Hell if I'm doing them.

Jeff provided us with this little gem yesterday and I call upon the Bulldawg nation to take up their pitchforks and torches and storm the gates of this fishwrapping establishment. Nah, it isn't that bad. Like most things in life, some things with which to agree, some things to shrug your shoulders and say "meh," and one thing which we're going to need to talk about. 

Schultz is perfectly reasonable to ask:

 Is there any game one can mark down as an automatic win right now?

I'd wager a substantial amount we'll beat Idaho State, but just how confident are you feeling about Vanderbilt right now? Reasonable people can disagree, but I think it's a fair question.

A resounding "meh," to:

Almost as disturbing [as giving up 380 yards passing and sacking Ryan Mallet only once]: Grantham put it all on the players, seemingly accepting no blame. Quote: “Guys have to do what the calls tell them to do. If you don’t do that, that’s why there’s inconsistency. You may play for 60 plays and 54 of them you look good, but then all of a sudden you give up six explosive plays and those can override a lot of good things.”

I get his reasoning; you are the leader of the defense, therefore if something goes wrong you are accountable, don't throw your guys under the bus. But I'm about as ok with, part of being a leader is holding your guys accountable, that's what Grantham did. Besides, it isn't as though he called anyone out by name here. Seems like a pretty reasonable reaction to clear missed assignments. Where Scultz loses me is that this is "distrurbing." Really? It's disturbing to you that Todd Grantham didn't say "my bad, that one's on me." Do you think he's not going to be held accountable for the performance of this defense? And regardless of what was said, absent a tirade of racial slurs and profanity, you think this is disturbing on the same level as giving up 380 passing yards and getting only one sack? Sir this is the SEC, not covering the wheel route is disturbing. In summary, "meh."

And that brings us to the one I can't let go:

The vaunted offensive line coach (Stacy Searels) frankly hasn’t done bupkis since his arrival, recent evidence being that his supposed top group of linemen just allowed six sacks to a projected average defense.  

First, on a scale of one to "words only my Grandmother uses," bupkis is about an eight. I mean we're approaching a term that's difficult to parody. For the love of Pete, that defense was a little catywampus. Maybe? No bupkis is better. When I was your age I used to schlep Arkansas two miles in the snow. I can't do it. You've won this round Schultz, I cannot mock this term.

Also I had better confirm I understand Schultz's meaning here. I assume that we want our offensive line coach doing bupkis right? It's not a name for black tar heroin, or fellatiating a moose is it? Because maybe this is a compliment to Coach Searles and I'm just not with it. No? OK thought not. Let me get out my dictionary.....

Bupkis Noun: absolutley nothing; nothing of value. From Yiddish bubkes, large beans or kozebupkes, "goat droppings." You mean he hasn't done Goat Shit! You could have just said that; I understand goat shit. That's actually a fantastic saying, "dude, you don't know goat shit." Schultz, you're all right. I'm done.

Oh, wait I guess we should take just a second to see if that statement has anything to do with reality. Just you know, to make sure.

Let's play a game. I will give you the rushing statistics of three teams and you tell me to whom they relate:

Team A:

  G Att Yards Avg. TD Att/G Yards/G
All Games 13 455 2108 4.63 16 35 162.15


Team B:

  G Att Yards Avg. TD Att/G Yards/G
All Games 14 601 3011 5.01 31 42.93 215.07


Team C:

  G Att Yards Avg. TD Att/G Yards/G
All Games 13 447 2093 4.68 17 34.38 161


OK pencils down:

Team A is Georgia 2005

Team B is Alabama 2009

Team C is Georgia 2009

Notice anything, other than that Alabama runs. a. lot. The 2005 UGA team won the SEC championship. The 2009 UGA team did not. Stacey Searles coached the 2009 offensive line. He did not coach the 2005 offensive line.

UGA Backfied in 2005: DJ Shockley, Thomas Brown, Danny Ware, Kregg Lumpkin, Brannan Southerland - all of these players made NFL rosters. 

UGA Backfield in 2009: Joe Cox, Washaun Ealey, Caleb King, Richard Samuel, Shaun Chapas - Joe Cox did not make an NFL roster, Washaun Ealey and Caleb King are still playing, Richard Samuel is playing defense, Shaun Chapas is still playing.

I think it's safe to say that 2009 was the worst Georgia team in the three years Stacey Searles has coached at Georgia. I think it's fair to say that the 2005 team was the best in the three years proceeding. Please observe that in 2009 the yards per carry, total yards, and rushing touchdowns were not significantly different than UGA's SEC championship team in 2005.

Now why bring Alabama 2009 into this? Please look at yards per carry at UGA in 2009 vs. yards per carry at Alabama in 2009. On an average run, Stacey Searles worst team takes it .38 yards less. Got a ruler handy? That far. We'll come back to Alabama in our second game.

So what of our friend Jeff's contention of bupkis not doingessness, let's answer this a little more directly with respect to running the football. Same sets of statistics but both for UGA this time. These are the averages in 2009, 2008, and 2007 (Searles) and the averages in 2006, 2005 and 2004 (pre Searles) as well as the differences between the two.

Searles Average G Att Yards Avg. TD Att/G Yards/G
All Games               13             461          2,108           4.58               23               35       162.18

Pre Searles Average G Att Yards Avg. TD Att/G Yards/G
All Games               13             448          1,882           4.19               18               35       148.79

Searles Change G Att Yards Avg. TD Att/G Yards/G
All Games                 0               13             226           0.39                 6               (0)               13
% Change   3% 12% 9% 32% 0% 9%

In the three years since Stacey Searles has coached the offensive line at the University of Georgia, they have improved in each of these categories. Needless to say this is not all the result of the offensive line, however, to support the statement that an offensive line coach has not done bupkis, I need to see one of these numbers be negative.

But wait, you say. There's more to offensive line play than running the ball. What about pass protection. That's been a disaster right? Well step right up and let's play game number 2. Please name the teams.

Sacks allowed
Team A Team B
2009 20 12
2008 16 16
2007 30 14

Ready? I'll give you a hint, one of them's Georgia. In fact I'll do better, team B is Georgia. Any guesses on Team A, anyone, any chance in hell anyone is still reading at this point? Bupkis!

OK, sort of a trick question. Team A is three teams, 2009 Alabama, 2008 Florida, and 2007 LSU. These teams each won the national championship in the year listed. So let's expand the table a bit shall we.

Sacks allowed
National Champion UGA Difference %
2009 (Alabama) 20 12 8 -40%
2008 (Florida)  16 16 0 0%
2007 (LSU) 30 14 16 -53%
Average 22 14 8 -36%

Mother Bupkis. Um....Jeff that's kind of meaningful right? In his three years at the University of Georgia Stacey Searles have coached lines that gave up between exactly as many and 16 fewer sacks than the team that hoisted the big crystal football. Just for Bumpkis and giggles let's try that same chart with yards per carry:

Yards Per Carry
National Champion UGA Difference %
2009 (Alabama)              5.01           4.68            (0.33) -7%
2008 (Florida)               4.35           4.53              0.18 4%
2007 (LSU)              4.87           4.53            (0.34) -7%
Average              4.74           4.58            (0.16) -3%

So let me summarize. If you took Stacey Searles line versus the national champion's line during his tenure and you selected a random running play you would expect the national champion to advance the ball 5.76 inches further. That's about the size of my bupkis. The national champion's quarterback behind his line was sacked a third more often than Matthew Stafford and Joe Cox were behind Searles's. Shultz what do you want from the guy?!

OK, for the one dude out there still reading this, I want to be slightly serious; only very slightly. Better statististical types than I can probably show you that Searles lines are a disaster. Statistics certainly don't tell the whole story either. There's something to be said to immeasurable physical domination, intimidation, toughness etc. But Schultz came out after one game and passed judgement on a man's three year body of work. I've got know issue with someone in the comments section of Schultz's blog doing that. He's just some guy on a blog (I myself am just some guy on a blog). Schultz is part of the cognescenti of UGA football. People (perhaps foolishly) listen to what he's got to say. There's some responsibility that comes with that, and Mr. Schultz needs to do a little bit better. There's a word for casting aspersions on a man's body of work in disregard of obvious evidence to the contrary. Goatshit.   

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