Oregon's Offense: More 2-Star Recruits than 4&5-Star Recruits
So, what makes Oregon's offense so prolific? Talent? Scheme? Skill Development? Psychology?
If you look only at recruiting rankings, it becomes obvious that they didn't build this offense by recruiting a bunch of 5-star talents. In fact, the average on the offense is LESS than three stars.
Thomas (QB): 4 stars
James (RB): 3 stars
Tuinei (WR): 2 stars
Maehl (WR): 2 stars (as a defensive back, no less)
Davis (WR): 4 stars
Paulson (TE): 3 stars
Asper (OL): 2 stars
Thran (OL): 3 stars
Holmes (OL): 2 stars
Kaiser (OL): 2 stars
York (OL): cannot find any star rating
The same trend holds true for Oregon on defense too. I would expect Boise State and TCU to show a similar profile. Meanwhile, teams loaded with 5-star recruits like Florida, Texas and USC are out of the rankings entirely. (OK, fine, Florida is #24)
So, while many of us (myself included) obsess about landing the big recruits with the sterling pedigrees, it seems to me that the real answer - and biggest contributing factor to scoring points and winning games - lies elsewhere.
Last edited by TheSouseFamily; 11-08-2010 at 08:17 AM.
if they go to the NC game this year they will be the first one since vtech 10 years ago to make it without having multiple top-5 recruiting classes. this indicates to me that oregon is a fluke rather than a movement.
They've got a great system and recruit players (regardless of * power) that fit it well. Part of the success is the whole "hurry-up" thing. It might not be true, but that's like a team telling me that they can't line up with you and beat you one-on-one without trickery and deception.
Originally Posted by C6Bear
And when a team has time to prepare, like last years RB, they got their feathers kicked.
Said the British army to General Washington, who army used trickery like hiding behind rocks and trees and attacking at night. There is a reason armies don't just line up in rows in broad daylight and shoot at each other any more.
Originally Posted by C6Bear
For over a century, Japanese feudal lords refused to use guns. Using guns meant the other side "Can't line up with you and beat you one-on-one with swords" as any well trained samurai should be able to. Oda Nobunaga and his general Hideyoshi (a commoner promoted because of brilliance and ability instead of heredity) were able to concur and finally unify Japan because they were willing to adopt innovative methods instead of traditional ones.
They also used to say the same thing about the forward pass. In fact, as recently as the 70's Cal and Stanford were able to overcome the advantages of UCLA and USC and win/challenge for conference championships because they adopted more innovative and "modern" offenses than their southern rivals who were/are the traditional powers. The problem of course is that eventually traditional powers adopt modern methods also (or occasionally they don't and fade away).
If you cling to outmoded systems based on "honor" and "machismo" you will lose. The future will always belong to the teams that adopt innovative offenses AND also use their recruiting and other advantages. The Ducks will have an advantage until other teams adopt their innovations.
Last edited by calumnus; 11-08-2010 at 08:53 AM.
I'm not sure there's a sport anywhere where trickery and deception are not critically essential. Heck, even a basic play-action fake is trickery and deception. A change-up and curve ball in baseball is deception. So too, a basic apump-fake in basketball. Any sport whether it's boxing or soccer or college football makes deception necessary. We shouldn't think of it as a bad thing or somehow indicative of our inability to 1-on-1.
Give me an offense any time that is nearly impossible to adequately prepare for with only a week of preparation. I'll gladly take my lumps in a bowl game.
To me, the key is to show some creativity on offense that opponents don't expect or can't prepare for easily. That's how the wishbone got effective initially. How zone-reads got effective. And probably sooner than later, something like the Oregon hurry-up offense will be used everywhere and teams will learn how to defend it, just they have with other novel offenses. The key seems to be staying out in front in terms of offensive philosophy.
I would guess that two star recruits can look like five star recruits when they play most of the game with their team leading by 28 or more points early in the game and their opponent playing catch up and having to pass on almost every down.
Oh so what happened to those 4 and 5 star recruits they used to get that 28 point early lead?
Originally Posted by Blue Bear
Oregon does have one of the best offensive line coaches in the country. That is a big advantage. Offensive line is rarely about natural ability (other than being big and fast). It is about technique and being nasty and having a killer instinct. Those can be taught, I guess. So all their 2 star linemen can look like 4 star guys when they get coached up correctly.
Of course, it may be that they do not look that good when playing against a good defensive line. I think the Bears line will be the best they see this year so far. SC was a good test, but they were up for that game. We shall see. I think the Bears will penetrate, and disrupt the Ducks. I am not sure how our offense will do, but I think if the defense does well, the offense can build off that at home.
True Blue Golden Bear
I know you really despise the Chipster and it may be a fluke, but going to a Rose Bowl and then probably another BCS bowl 2 years in a row while Cal gets the scraps off the table seems more then a fluke....but if it is, I'd really like to be that flukey...
Originally Posted by drunkoski
same players both years cal_fan2. let's see if it continues. i very much doubt this oregon team would have run the table in the 2003-2008 pac-10.
Some comments -
1 - Psychology is big.
Chip Kelly has his players completely bought into everything he and his coaches are telling them - work as hard as you can every single day and we will prepare you for every game and you will succeed and you will play loose and feel no pressure because of the attention to detail in your preparation.
2 - The assistants are very, very good.
The comments about Steve Greatwood are particularly on point - he is one of the best OL coaches in the country, and he routinely gets stellar production out of unheralded classes. He's been doing that for years. John Neal is coaching 2 and 3 star (hell, even walk ons) to the NFL at the defensive back positions, too. (Just two examples...)
Regarding the rankings themselves, the offensive line I think is the hardest area to rate when it comes to projecting a HS player to the collegiate level. I think the star ratings for OT/OG are generally useless - and it's quite obvious that Greatwood feels that way as well.
Beyond that, for some added context, Lavasier Tuinei was a JC transfer, and coaches in his league raved about his abilities. (The 2 star you're thrown in next his name doesn't mean much.) James was underrated by Scout, but Rivals considered him one of the two or three best All Purpose Backs in the country and a 4 star prospect.
Lastly, as much as we all pay attention to the recruiting rankings and love to talk about them, I've had a theory for a while now that every year those rankings mean less and less. The reality is that the recruiting services are increasingly stretched thin and unable to account for the vast number of HS athletes that could produce at the D1 level. Their focus is, I believe, rather narrow and excludes a ton of talented prospects throughout the country playing in areas that aren't football hotbeds, or for lesser known programs - but that doesn't mean they can't be monsters in the college game. I think for all the talk of Mike Riley's staff at OSU being terrific and evaluating HS players and getting kids to come in and contribute, Oregon's been doing pretty damn well in that regard for some time as well.
Last edited by BellottiBold; 11-08-2010 at 09:46 AM.
You have to give credit to their conditioning which starts in the offseason. By turning the game into a game of stamina, it plays to their advantage.
I wish Cal could get a fluke Rose Bowl! I don't care how Oregon does it....if Cal ran the wishbone, I'd be happy as a clam if they got to the NC or Rose Bowl.
Originally Posted by Cal_Fan2