1. quigley

    #1 I agree with your argument against Bud’s “blue chip ratio” being essential for winning individual national champions.
    #2 That said, overall, having elite talent is key to sustained success.

    OU 2000 is a good example of more than one of these things.
    – Coaching acumen can overcome talent disparity. OU needed to be on the cutting edge on both sides of the ball, as you point out, to overcome the talent deficit. It is rare to have schematic advantages simultaneously so this was a black swan event.
    – Depth. OU’s 2000 team had VERY few injuries throughout the year so the Sooners’ limited depth was never really tested.
    – The 2010 BCS Championship is the best example of the weakness of the “blue chip ration.” Auburn barely met the ratio (or didn’t, see link below), and Oregon definitely didn’t. https://www.bannersociety.com/pages/blue-chip-ratio-2019
    2013 Auburn was just at 50% and also almost won the BCS.

    Elite talent is needed to have sustained success. Two things need clarification in this sentence
    a. How does elite talent create consistent success (four factors).
    b. What is success and how does the Alabama experience in the 2010’s illustrate this?

    a. What does elite talent provides
    – Culture and expectation of winning.
    – Competition for playing time making each individual player strive harder
    – Ability to tailor sub-packages with players with high skill level and athleticism
    – Depth

    b. Success do NOT mean winning national championships, it means competing for them.
    Let’s look at Alabama’s best teams as rated by S&P over the decade.

    Year S&P Record NC
    2010 #1 10-3 no
    2011 #1 12-1 yes — made it NC game because Ok St kicker MAY HAVE pushed a kick wide
    2012 #1 12-1 yes — in SEC-CG, Georgia was 5 yds from keeping the Tide from the NC game
    2013 #2 12-2 no — didn’t make NC game though #2 by significant margin
    2014 #1 12-2 no — NC winner was #4
    2015 #2 14-1 yes
    2016 #1 14-1 no
    2017 #1 13-1 yes — needed OT to win over Georgia in the championship game.
    2018 #1 14-1 no
    2019 #3 11-2 no

    So, the Tide finished #1 in S&P seven times. They won the title when they were #1 about half the time (three times). Those three national championships required considerable luck for them to win. This is especially true for 2011 and 2012 where they could have missed the BCS title game both years. Then they also won a title as the #2 S&P team.

    The point is that they were in the hunt every year because Saban has built a system that fosters consistent success. Part of this success that is based on having plus athletes who are super focused at every position.

    The other part is the Tide running game. Alabama has been so run-focused until they had to pass to keep up. A dominant running game is more sustainable because you can recruit 5 elite OL annually and 2 RB. A bunch of them will pan out. Recruiting QB has much less certainty (although this is changing). Even if you identify an elite QB and develop an elite passing game, QBs can get hurt and don’t stay in college four years.

    • ianaboyd

      I think I’m going to reply in another post since this is a fun convo and there’s so much meat here.

  2. quigley

    A few other thoughts:
    – In the first gif, the WR at the bottom would also have been open.

    – Simms was a poor tackler.

    – OU fans only remember one Roy Williams, at least in the Cotton Bowl.

    How could have not been a Sooner fan after that first game?

    • ianaboyd

      I lived in Austin when I got into college football, moved there in the late 90s. And I actually rooted for the Sooners some in 2000 because I was awed by that team and enjoyed watching them. Subsequent seasons with Texas as the primary team and regular whippings in the Cotton Bowl quickly turned that initial awe and enjoyment into deep dislike.

      By the time it was 2002 and I was in Oklahoma with my Okie grandpa watching Les Miles upset Stoops and spoil the 2002 season 38-28 I was already capable of high levels of schadenfreude. Sooner Grandpa had helped the cause by laughing a few years earlier when we watched A&M beat Texas together in 1999, he got his in 2002 when OSU upset them and then his Okie State grad daughter came over and rubbed it in.

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