The sometimes cliquish, sometimes petty world of blogging occasionally becomes tiresome, but the gems that a certain rare type of argument can produce make sifting through the reast of the average stuff well worth it. Take, for instance, the feud between Georgia-based Braves and Birds and widely-read HeismanPundit.
I've been an anti-fan of HeismanPundit ever since I first ran across his writings for two reasons: (1) his primary focus is on one of the least meaningful awards in all of sports, and (2) his tireless insistence that, even with piles and piles of evidence to the contrary, offense wins championships. Given this, you can imagine my private glee when Braves and Birds wiped the floor with HP's "insight" last Wednesday, and then burned the mop earlier today.
My bottom line is this -- anyone who offers up "offensive scheme" as the deciding factor behind why teams win and lose games must be an unapologetic selective listener. As an example, I offer up the Michigan Wolverines. Did they win 11 games this year because they "outschemed" opponents? I mean, did you watch the Ohio State game or the Rose Bowl? Their scheme was run, run, lob or screen pass, punt. Just as it had been all year long. Michigan's offensive coordinators call a damn boring game, which features "run right" and "run left" with rare inclusions of "bomb it to Manningham" and "set up the play-action screen." But their defense takes the field and stops their opponent from scoring.
Another team that doesn't exactly rewrite the playbook is our very own Badgers, although Bielema and company are more willing to deviate from their tendencies than the Wolverines are. The Badgers did win their bowl game, after all. And who did they beat? Only the schemiest bunch of schemers this side of Urban Meyer, the WILDCAT FORMATION-loving tricksters from the University of Arkansas.
How do these teams that can't gameplan to save their lives wind up in prestigious bowl games? How can these dinosaurs win a dozen games as Wisconsin did, or keep their names in the national title conversation into December like Michigan? To HP, this must be a huge mystery (either that, or he deems these squads "outliers" and as such discards them). To most people, it's not. Good on Michael at Braves and Birds for getting HP's attention ... and getting the better of him.