Dispelling the myth of extra practice time vs. the flexbone
A couple of quick thoughts came to my mind as to this "myth," its truth, and its effect on those that run the flexbone. this isn't earth shattering but it does show the feebleness of this argument.
- What defensive coordinator wouldn't want extra practice time against ANY offense. Defensive football is pattern (scheme) recognition and the more reps you have against ANY defense the better you are at defending it. It's not the offense - it's the essence of defense itself that causes any truth to this statement!
- The two biggest loses sighted by most announcers who bring this "myth" up are Paul Johnson against Iowa and LSU. Both those teams were stacked up front with future "pro" players. If you study the film, and I have, it was not the scheme but the ability of the defensive line to control the dive aspect of the triple and free up extra defenders to outnumber the defense on the perimeter. Did the extra time cause this mismatch - no. those players were better regardless of how many days they practiced.
- Along with the above statement comes the inability to of these specific offensive team to throw the ball in some of these loses. One thing the extra time does allow a defensive staff to do is to analyze better. More study means a more specific scheme based on what the offense can do rather then the one week they normally have to defend the entire "system." But this is true with any offense.
- The announcers who started this myth are products of ignorance. Due to a lack of knowledge in option football, they grope for answers for why these teams struggle at times. So they blame it on the time factor. What they fail to mention are the blowouts in favor of the option teams. Did the extra time have no affect. You can pick and chose events thats that support your basis while excluding the exact same circumstances (extra practice time in this case) affect a situation in directly opposing results. (That is unless you are an ESPN announcer!) What about Navy running up and down the field this year? What happened to the extra time? Or a game I remember in the 80's where Air Force totally dominated on offense against a superior Ohio State team only to lose in the last minute.The proponents of this myth casually exclude these types of games.
- Another factor that is not taken into account is that, theoretically, bowl games are a reward for being good - so instead of the time being a factor you might want to blame it on the other team just be better competition then one is use to playing!
Just some random thoughts off from the usual X's and O'sFinally, some coaches are just plan bad in bowl games, regaardless of the offense. Bo Schemblecher's bowl record was awlful at one point. can one deduce that the I-formation is poor with a defense having extra practice time.