A Suprise Surprise

The Arkansas Traveler may be struggling. For those of us who aren’t familiar with student news, the Traveler is the University of Arkansas student newspaper. They’ve been discussing the Arkansas @ Alabama game throughout the week, and I’m starting to think that they could use a bye week of their own:

Arkansas helped by element of suprise against ‘Bama

Now, let’s focus on the topic of the article. Does Arkansas have the element of surprise on their side? The paper seems to think so since Saban only has one game from this season to analyze. But, is it helpful for a team to take their bye week during the 2nd week of play? It’s not as easy to claim as you might think since it means different things for different coaching philosophies.

Is it good for a team with a new starting QB to just spend time on the practice field, or to learn by game experience? Will David Lee’s new offensive plan result in more than handing off the ball to McFadden and Jones 30+ times? I don’t know.

The thing that bothers me the most about bye weeks is the belief that they will make such a huge difference for a team. I seem to remember Alabama playing like total garbage against Ole Miss in 2005 following a bye week. You could look back through the record books for Houston Nutt after bye weeks and you’ll see mixed results against SEC teams. Oddly enough, Nutt has had plenty of off weeks before playing Auburn.

Bye weeks are usually most helpful when your team needs a rest after a long streak of games. Will it have a huge impact? Maybe, although it’s nearly impossible to say. We’ll see this Saturday.

(HT: The Arkansas Traveler)

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3 Responses to “A Suprise Surprise”

  1. Dave(not that one, the other one) Says:

    “Is it good for a team with a new starting QB to just spend time on the practice field, on to learn by game experience?”

    If you are going to criticize someone on typos/misspellings, you might want to give your post a good proof-reading first. 😉

    As far as the bye this early in the season goes, I guess we’ll find out Saturday.

  2. TideDruid Says:

    Hey, I could use a break myself. I should get an editor like the paper.

  3. joe blow Says:

    Well, I’m not sure how much they opened up their playbook against Troy, but McFadden passed for a touchdown. Those are the types of plays that could surprise a team. I’m not sure what the situation was when they used it, but that’s kind of a silly play to bring out against a Sun Belt team. Steele will probably be looking heavily at all of the trick plays Malzahn ran last year because of it. I think that would be the only element of surprise Arkansas could bring to the table, so I don’t think they have that advantage over Bama.

    I’m not sure if a bye this early in the season is a good thing. In a situation like this, where the team opens up against a mid to bottom-tier team, it could help. They could spend a little more time ironing out the kinks instead of jumping straight into game preparation. I guess it’s better than the wasted bye week Alabama and Auburn used to have after the Iron Bowl and before the SEC Championship.

    I agree with you that the best time to have a bye week should be needed when the team needs a rest. I wish Auburn would schedule there bye week after the LSU game every year. That game is brutal for both of those teams. You could probably say the same thing about the Bama / UT game. Actually, I think Bama’s bye is after that game this year. Auburn’s will break up amen corner. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It seems to work well for the Great Pumpkin. I think this is the first time in a long while where he doesn’t have a bye before playing Bama. I’m rambling now. Sorry about that.


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