Turning the Tide by Bob Ryan

Sure…it’s a week ago…but it’s still the talk….just how did Alabama rally to beat the #1seed-Georgia in the 2nd half. There isn’t any one play, strategy, or factor that changed the outcome by itself but there were a few combinations of factors that had some impact on the final Tide surge…..
….in the 1st half…the Bulldogs “had their way” totally…domination of the line….the Tide was back on their heels..the Bulldogs built together 2 long drives but came up with only 2 FG until the last second TD made it 13-0. .. it could have easily been..actually… maybe..should have been… 20-0 at half.
…in the 2nd half, the Tide made a key change…going to Frosh QB Tua Tagovailoa..some “experts” argue… was it panic or wisdom on Saban’s part….well…now question that TT (I’m not typing that long name every time ) has a stronger, more accurate arm that Hurts AND he did lead the team to victory but he clearly made some frosh blunders…e.g. the 2nd last play of the game …the long, long sack that TT didn’t throw away the ball…had Bama NOT won on the next play…that sack would have been pointed out as a horrible freshman blunder.
…TT gained the confidence of his teammates when he scrambled 27 yards…from that point on…it looked like a totally different Alabama team…so he deserves high praise for turning the Tide
….Georgia’s 1st half success was passing on early downs with long runs on 3rd/long situations by their two tremendous running backs.
….It seemed to me that the Bama “hurry up” offense employed in 2nd half tired out those huge Georgia defensive lineman…hence…TT had more time to throw the ball.
…While he was confident looking in the 1st half, Frosh Fromm (GA’s QB) looked tight in the 2nd half
…lets’ not forget that Mizzou lit up that Georgia secondary (253 yards, 4 TD’s) in their game…Bama was able to isolate their receivers better in the 2nd half against the Bulldog secondary….especially the last TD strike…there wasn’t another sole in sight as the winning catch was made over the cornerback.
….in the 2nd half, Bama loaded the defensive box on 1st down…yet Georgia kept trying to run on that down putting themselves in 2nd & long repeatedly….the Bulldogs were far too conservative in their play calling in the 2nd half…just as OU had done the week previously
….Georgia started playing the clock WAY TOO EARLY…keep moving the ball..keep the off rhythm
…how is it that Nick Saban….as great a evaluator as he is….can NEVER recruit a kicker….If Bama had lost I was afraid that there might be a lynching in Tuscaloosa.. you can imagine who’d be facing the wrath of the Tide fans….I can’t remember Bama EVER having a superb kicker…..usually it doesn’t matter when you outscore the opponents by 4-5 touchdowns every week though, does it
…all in all…. what a great Championship game… great plays, weird plays, momentum changing right before our eyes, superior athletes on both teams, great entertainment. Kudos to both teams and of course …special praise to Alabama for “Turning the Tide”

The tide has turned in other sports areas…
…has the tide turned in the Cardinals brass evaluations of starting pitching free agents? Now we hear Jake Arrieta is on the radar..why would the Cards look in that direction when they’ve bypassed Lance Lynn….who will be signed for far less that Arrieta..check their comparative numbers for last year
Age W-L ERA WHIP INN K probable “signing” area
Arrieta 31 14-10 3.57 1.218 168 163 4 years-$105m
Lynn 30 11-8 3.43 1.229 186 153 4 years-$70m
Now for their career averages
IP W-L ERA WHIP INN K
Arrieta 203 15-10 3.57 1.169 203 188
Lynn 193 14-9 3.38 1.288 193 182
Or….has this become a one-on-one matchup between the two General managers in a game of “gottcha”…which team signed the last player from the other team …it started with Lackey & Heyward…then Fowler…come on…if Lynn didn’t fit in..fine…but Arrieta isn’t the answer.
….the tide turned in Columbia, MO…on the basketball court…Coach Martin …realizing that his Frosh Center, Jerimiah Tillmon, was constantly getting into very early foul trouble and sitting on the bench for most of the game as a result….started Frosh JonTay Porter in the last game…and PORTER guarded the opposing center thus keeping Tillmon out of foul trouble. Bravo Coach!!
….It really didn’t turn the tide for anyone else but the team and the Coaching staff….but…Director of Athletics at Central Florida, Danny White, held a parade for his 13-0 team and rewarded the coaching with bonuses as IF they had won the national championship….it’s really amazing when you consider that the Head Coach AND the entire staff are moving to Nebraska for next season. White’s reasoning….if a team wins every game, they MUST be the national Champions. What else could they do?
…Mizzou basketball shows signs of improvement but the lack of a strong ballhandling guard really hurts them late in the games as the opposition increases the pressure and the Tigers can’t quite handle it… hopefully…they’ll turn the tide soon
…the Great Lakes Valley Conference Basketball conferences (Men & Women) have really turned the tide in their “conference rankings” for the season. It’s no longer ….just wins-losses… as commonly done. The new plan now uses a scale listed below that awards more points for road wins than home wins and more points for teams with better records than wins over those teams with lesser records…here’s the breakdown.
GLVC POINT RATING BREAKDOWN
POINTS SHALL BE AWARDED FOR EACH CONFERENCE CONTEST PLAYED:
7 POINTS – WIN OVER A .750 OR BETTER TEAM ON THE ROAD
6.5 POINTS – WIN OVER A .750 OR BETTER TEAM AT HOME
6 POINTS – WIN OVER A .500 OR BETTER TEAM ON THE ROAD
5 POINTS – WIN OVER A .500 OR BETTER TEAM AT HOME
4.5 POINTS – WIN OVER A .250 OR BETTER TEAM ON THE ROAD
4 POINTS – WIN OVER A .250 TEAM OR BETTER AT HOME
3.5 POINTS – WIN OVER AN UNDER .250 TEAM ON THE ROAD
3 POINTS – WIN OVER AN UNDER .250 TEAM AT HOME
2.5 POINTS – LOSS AT HOME OR ON THE ROAD TO A .750 OR BETTER TEAM
2 POINTS – LOSS TO A .500 OR BETTER TEAM AT HOME OR ON THE ROAD
1 POINT – LOSS TO A .250 OR BETTER TEAM AT HOME OR ON THE ROAD
.5 POINTS – LOSS TO AN UNDER .250 TEAM ON THE ROAD
0 POINTS – LOSS TO AN UNDER .250 TEAM AT HOME
….in the NCAA Mens Basketball National Rankings..the tide definitely has turned….the usual names found at the top aren’t there…none in the 5! The usual blue-bloods hanging out at the top of the poll have dropped… Duke is #9, Kansas #12, N. Carolina #20, Kentucky #21. Can you imagine?… a Missouri Valley Team…Wichita at #5 .. over these perianal powerhouses. That’s not to say that by the end of the season that we’ll see our “ol friends” in the thick of March Madness…btw…Villanova is #1 in both major polls.
…..I wish the tide would turn for the Blues…a scoring drought…especially on the power play makes each and every goal by the opponents magnified…..recently, I’ve noticed the opposition is getting clear open shots on our net…it’s 3 on 2 or 4 on 3…the Blues can’t guard them all….I can’t determine if our wingers can’t get back….or in too deep when they lose possession….or whatever…but these professional hockey players ARE going to score when there isn’t a defender in front of them. Somehow I’ve thought that the Blues were young….well…they have 9 players 30+ years old on their 21 man roster…that’s 42% of the roster….and how many are “stars”? here they are–Bouwmeester, Brodziak, Gunnarson, Hutton, Sobotka, Stastny, Steen, Thorburn and Upshaw…ur call…how many?
….I wish the Cards would turn the tide and try one of my suggestions….either go to a 6-ace rotation…i.e that is your ace goes every 5 games and everyone else 6 games….it’d look like this..
12345 16234 15623 14562 13456 ..repeat….12345 …give those starting pitchers more rest OR use one or two pitchers as “bridge” men…they come into relieve in the 6th inning with the expectations of pitching 2 or 3 innings…these bridge men could pitch with 2 or 3 days rest…again shorten the work and the depth…of the setup & closing part of the bullpen
…while we’re in the bullpen….is Yadi still here….ooops….NO-sorry, He’s catching today….. anyway….the “closer” tide has turned…it now appears that Luke Gregerson will be the closer at the start of the season for the Cardinals…he’ll be 34 years old in May…for most of his career he’s been a good…to very good…set up man…does that mean that he can’t close out games….NO…he did it in in 2015…31 saves for Houston..but then Houston pushed him back into a set-up man for their last 2 seasons?….last year, Gregerson struck out 70 while walking 20…good ratio….he also faced 263 batters in 61 innings….that’s only 4.3 batters/inning…that looks good too…..but for the 1st time in his career… his Hits/Inning exceeded 1.00…those marks looked like this–62 hits in 61 inn…this was a 1st in his career….also, Gregerson surrendered 13 HR in 61 IP…that also was the most that he’s allowed in his career….bit worrisome to me…I’m afraid that we’ve reacquired a pitcher that we traded away 8 years ago and now is approaching the twilight of his successful career. From my observations….older closers like this start the season fine but wear down my July-Aug days…let’s hope that isn’t the case here
….not having to turn the tide but just keep it rolling are the Parkway Central Colts Basketball Team… generally, under the radar somewhat in the StL HS Boys Basketball scene. Coach Ric Kirby’s teams play tenacious defense, smart but not flashy offense and make sure that their best players get the ball at key moments of the game. Kirby is a story in himself. He Coached Pk Central for 18 years the stepped away in 2005 with a 337-167 record, won 2 conference titles, 4 district championships and reached the final four 3 different years. He returned to the same head coaching position in 2012. Last year he took his Colts back to the Final Four @ Mizzou Arena. His leading scorer from last year DeAndre Campbell returns as a Senior and is scoring 26+ppg while the Colts are piling up another successful season @ 11-3. Congrats to Coach Kirby and his Pk Central Colts team for keeping the tide rolling.
….In the Nearly Forgotton League…the tied turned back and forth all weekend in games that really mean something…quick run-down…I actually enjoyed the games over the weekend
…New England dominated Tennessee….the impeccable game plan of B&B punched so many holes in the Titans defense that the game was never in doubt..
…Case Keenum is going to the Divisonal Championship…can you believe that?..He’s the 3rd string QB of the Vikings….who whatta believed that he’d connect on a long…albeit wobbly…pass down the sideline omn the last play of the game…the New Orleans defender only had to let the receiver catch the ball and tackle him…instead the defender puts his head down…I guess to deliver a “big blow”…he misses the man…and Stefon Diggs raced into the end Zone for the winning points as time expired…. needlessly…the referees cleared the field for a meaningless PAT..why? I know I can’t expect logic or reason from the Nearly forgotton League.
…Jacksonville jumped way ahead of Pittsburgh…it was 28-7 Jax in 2nd quarter…28-14 @ half…it was still 42-28 with 4+ min remaining in the game….the offenses were dominating in the 4th quarter when Pittsburgh scored @the 2:01 mark left in the game to cut the lead to 42-35.. Head Coach Mike Tomlin decided to go for an on-sides kick…it failed…Jax recovered the KO … had a short field and kicked a FG to make it 45-35….it wasn’t over…the Steelers scored again with just :01 left to close the gap to 45-42 but no one has ever onsides KO AND recovered it and ran it in for a TD….
….well the tide of this blog is turning….it’s finished!

 

Comments

  1. Tide’s Nick Saban has his detractors, but he just WINS!

    With the rough weather, Mizzou basketball has made this fall /winter more fun! Just need to learn how to close out the tight games… possible tournament team???

    Playoff football. What a wild weekend of games! Hard to believe Case Keenum vs Nick Foles. 2 Rams castoffs playing for trip to Super Bowl.
    Guess surrounding cast has helped both guys.

    Cards appear more interested in Ballpark Village 2, rather than getting legit closer. I’m about “ Dry Powdered” out!

    Good stuff Bob as always!

  2. Buzz Swanston says:

    Thanks Boss. Best week of football all year. Fun NCAA Championship game. I loved see Saban’s emotions change in seconds from throwing his headset to the ground when TT got sacked in OT to gloriously running on the field after the next play that won the game. Not sure if benching the SEC player of the year at halftime was genius or panic, but it worked. Hurts handled it well. Is that the ultimate team move? Thanks for the stats on Arrieta and Lynn. I have never been a big fan of Arrieta, but really like Lynn, but your stats showed me they are basically the same pitcher, except for this year’s price tag. Guess I am greatly blinded by Cardinal red. Was the New Orleans DB really trying to avoid a pass interference penalty on the Vikings winning pass play? Not only did he miss Diggs, but he knocked down one of his teammates who might have been able to make the tackle before the end zone. How would that have been if Diggs ran for the TD and the other DB tackled him at the 5 yard line. Game over, Saints win! Diggs from hero to goat trying to run it in. But instead we have to ex-Rams starting and back-up QBs going head to head, if no injuries, one of them will be a super bowl QB. Either one is a fun story line. But they won’t quite over shadow the stock boy to Super Bowl MVP, Kurt Warner. Wasn’t that a crazy story line!

  3. Jim Pleimann says:

    Not a fan of Mr. Saban but that was a gutsy move at halftime. Hey, it worked.
    Okay, the dust has settled and the Winter Warn-up is over and I think the Cardinals are woefully short on starting pitching and if Luke Gregerson is your closer then I still have a chance! Oh my please tell me we aren’t done. I am the first one to say you don’t have to have your top team on opening day but I see pitching as a major weak spot. (I hope I eat my words)
    Who is coaching the Blues power play unit? Help is needed and needed quickly!
    I have nothing else Bob…… Maybe if it gets to 60 on Saturday I can get out and throw a baseball..

  4. 6 starters is a nice idea IF pitchers could go more than 5 innings. I think that might be your assumption but I don’t see it in today’s game. Too many relievers that the starter is good for 5 innings and then is out. Not too many pitchers are going to face the opposing batting order a third time. I’d like to keep Lynn but not sure that will happen as somebody is going to offer him big money (or bigger money). The Cards have picked up a good power hitter but need to sign him for a longer contract. Not sure they can do it but they try. Maybe he needs a year to see if the Cards can compete in a stronger Central Division. But he could own the town if he does well.

    I think the BIG KEY for the baseball Cardinals is what I have said has been missing all along. And that of course is Jose. Having Jose back as a coach is going to make players focus, learn and listen. I think he might be the best. The upper management didn’t want to get rid of MM so they have surrounded him with some quality people. Now, he just needs to listen to them. He needs to learn how to use the pitching staff MUCH better.

    Amazing how Keenum and Foles will be in the QB’s for the championship. Of course, will Jeff Fisher somehow take credit for their success? He already said the success of the Rams this year was his the culmination of his 7 year plan. Where is he hiding now? I guess he’s counting all his money that he received after he signed a long term extension and then was let go. Poor Kronke……the only real deal for Stan K is that the Rams are now worth a ton more now than when they were the STL Rams. He just increased his net worth and equity by making the move.

    Football…..Alabama and Coach Saban. I was hoping they were going to be the 4th seed as I have said a along that they are the best coached team in college football. Nick Saban is the real deal and I admire him. Look at all the assistant coaches that he use to have that became head coaches. That speaks volumes. Plus, he is a class guy in my mind. Is he worth 11.2 million a year? Well, nobody is worth that much but if he can get it so be it. They support the entire athletic program with just their football program. What a move switching the QB. That took a real decision that he had to have believed in as nothing was working offensively in the first half. Bottom line Nick Saban is the same type of coach as Bill B. with New England. If a play works and picks up 5 – 7 yards. They go right back to it. If they get another 5 – 7 yards, they don’t hesitate to run the same paly over and over again and again. Not too many coaches ever do that in a game. And they both demand excellence from their players. It was a great game and one for the ages. That kicker from Ala. Was extremely lucky they won the game. They need a kicker and I would agree with you there for sure.

    And Tiger basketball….well, give Coach Martin his due for bringing in some players right away. How about the CBC Jordan doing some incredible things. I wish Jordan had several more years but this is it for him. At least the gym is going to be crowded for home games. I can’t see Odum coaching at Missouri. At $2.3 million per year and an extension they will buy him out after next season when they don’t bring on a winning team.

    The Blues, well they lost a couple good players to injury but in the big scheme of things all these games don’t matter until the playoffs. They will get into the playoffs but they will not have a Stanley Cup again this year. But I’m not much of a hockey fan so it doesn’t mean a great deal to me other than I think it would be great for St. louis.

    JJ

  5. Sad day Michael Shanahan passing away on MLK day. What an ambassador to Blues. Wish he could have seen a Stanley Cup.
    I totally agree with Bama game…They wore Georgia out….May see another rematch
    Was at MIZ Dawg basektball game…Man did Porter little bro have a Presence and got the Tigers to Out physical Georgia. ..I met Porter Jr after game… What a real nice guy.. You never know he may be Baaack for the SEC Basketball tourney in St Louie in March to make a run to the Big Dance.
    Stay warm and great writing.
    MB

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