Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The WRE Archive

I find myself digging up old articles, diagrams, and GIFs for use in various settings across the web, but it's a little frustrating having to google myself to find it or click through page after page of things I've written just to find the one I'm looking for. So this organized list of my past articles is mostly for me, but you're welcome to use it, too.

Auburn Offense Explainers

  1. The Hurry-Up, No-Huddle
  2. The Formations
  3. Inside Zone
  4. Power and Counter
  5. Buck Sweep
  6. Running Game Wrinkles and Window Dressing
  7. Passing Game Basics
  8. Fire Alarms (Quick Huddle Plays)
  9. Defensive Coverage Recognition
  10. Route Trees
  11. Smash and Flag-Flat
  12. Post-Flat and WHEEL ROUTE
  13. Four Verticals
  14. Comebacks
  15. Mesh, Drive, and Shallow
  16. Floods (NCAA, Y-Sail, Y-Cross)
  17. Rollouts, Nakeds, and Bootlegs
  18. The Delaware Wing-T by Tubby Raymond in seven parts

Game Reviews

2013 (screenshots)
  1. Washington State
  2. Arkansas State
  3. Mississippi State
  4. at LSU - no review
  5. Ole Miss
  6. Western Carolina
  7. at Texas A&M
  8. Florida Atlantic
  9. at Arkansas
  10. at Tennessee - no review
  11. Georgia - Part 1 and Part 2
  12. Alabama
  13. SEC Championship Game vs Missouri
  14. National Championship Game vs Florida State - no review
2014 (GIFs)
  1. Arkansas
  2. San Jose State
  3. at Kansas State
  4. Louisiana Tech - no review
  5. LSU
  6. at Mississippi State
  7. South Carolina - Part 1 and Part 2
  8. at Ole Miss - Part 1 and Part 2
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Samford - no review
  11. at Georgia - no review
  12. at Alabama
  13. Outback Bowl vs Wisconsin
2015 (gfycats)
  1. Louisville
  2. Jacksonville State
  3. at LSU
  4. Mississippi State
  5. San Jose State
  6. at Kentucky - Part 1 and Part 2
  7. at Arkansas
  8. Ole Miss
  9. at Texas A&M
  10. Georgia - no review
  11. Idaho
  12. Alabama
  13. Birmingham Bowl vs Memphis - no review

My YouTube Channel

I have videos of nearly every Auburn game since 2013 cut up into offense only, defense only, and special teams only. That link should show you every playlist I've made of every (serious) video I've made. If the whole game is on YouTube and is of decent quality, I have a version.

What I Left Out

Obviously, that's not all I've done in the last three years. There were actually opponent previews in 2013. I've dabbled in numbers and stats and stuff. I've discussed rule changes, mapped out recruiting days and filled out NFL draft profiles. And there's a surprising amount of silly off-season material, too. #content

But what's above is probably what's most useful. So use it!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Game Charting: How YOU Can Help


If you want to take a closer statistical look at what Auburn does this fall, why not contribute by charting some games? Contact me by email or twitter, or just comment here. War Eagle!

[not that long; guess i'll read it]

If you've seen anything I've written before, it was probably an X&O breakdown of an Auburn game or maybe one of my offense explainers. If you've read everything I've written, then you know that I have also dabbled in game charting.

By game charting, I mean watching a football game and tracking different things like formations, run directions, and pass distances. It's something that Bill Connelly of footballstudyhall.com started in 2012 and expanded in 2013 and 2014, the two years I contributed. With lots of information on lots of games, Bill and his friends were able to share some really neat information.

Meanwhile I was able to write several posts on College and Magnolia with a more statistical flavor. Nothing too in depth, but stuff I found interesting anyway. For example...

Now, I really enjoy contributing to the so-called "Auburn interwebz" but real-life and sanity have required me to cut back. During the 2013 football season, I wrote two posts nearly every week and I was able to chart about 10 of Auburn's 14 games. Last season, I cut back to one post a week and charted only 4 or 5 games (thereby contributing to Bill scaling back his charting project).

That's right. Bill isn't heading up a large scale charting project this year and he outlines several reasons in the last few paragraphs of that link above. The thing is, I had already planned on not contributing this year and finding someone else to fill in instead. Especially if that someone could write a post a week or so and dig up interesting things from the charting.

So that's where you come in. Even though the big charting project is mostly dead, that doesn't mean you can't chart the games anyway. I have the template we used. I have the numbers of the last two seasons. (Somewhere. I think.) And though we won't be able to see trends across the sport, I still have an interest in the things charting can tell us about Auburn football itself. I just don't have the time. Maybe you do.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer Update: You Take a Crack at It

We're 80-something days away from the start of the 2015 college football season. Let's see how my blogging goals are coming along.

  • Gene Chizik's recipe for disaster: Done.
  • Game Scripts and Knockouts: Game Scripts will have to wait another season, but Knockouts? Done, done, and finally done.
  • Jeremy Johnson clips: Not done and won't be. I made a video of every packaged play Auburn's used since 2013 instead. Breakdown here.

  • Hurry-Up Snaps: Not done. More on that in a bit.
  • Passing Game Explainer: On target for August.
  • College Football Championship Belt: Renaming it the Transitive Trophy. I have the whole list from 1869 to now, but not sure how to present it. We'll see.
Now, about those Hurry-Up Snaps. I used the cut-up videos to get the seconds left on the play clock for every snap Auburn had on offense. But the video doesn't show the play clock on some plays. Lots of them if it's a CBS game. And it's hard to know if the offense had a full 40 seconds to work with or if there were only 25. The list of reasons it starts at 25 is longer than I thought it was. Basically, I don't trust my numbers enough to go any further.

So, I'm gonna drop it. It's a shame too, because I had a "hilarious" image to go along with it.

But this is where you come in. Maybe you can extract some meaning from the data. Maybe you want to at least give it a try. Great! Here's a link to the data in Google Sheets. I prefer you download it first, but I have another copy so don't worry about messing it up. Go ahead and tinker with it as you wish. And if you get something useful out if it, by all means let me know by commenting below, emailing me, tweeting at me, whatever.

I look forward to seeing what you can do!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The 2015 Outback Bowl and then the Off Season

Auburn ended the season with a loss to Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. In overtime, Gus Malzahn called for a trick play to win it, but it backfired. This is what it was supposed to look like.

But against the Badgers, the Tigers lost yards. Oh well.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


To teach myself some video editing and inspired by this tweet...
...I made this video and saved it for Bret Bielema's day at SEC Media Days. That time is now.

If you are wondering why BERT is so mad about up tempo offenses later today, watch the HUNH teams of the SEC West (Auburn, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss) run and pass all over BERT's Razorbacks for a reminder.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why Am I Standing Here? Malzahn's Most Used Formations

What's in a formation?

Football is a game with many arbitrary rules. Why four downs to get 10 yards? Why not five to get 15? Each team can field 11 players. Why not 12 or 13, Tennessee?

Arbitrary rules also dictate the basic structure of offensive formations. Of the 11 on offense, four must be in the backfield, or behind the line of scrimmage. That leaves seven that must be on the line. Obviously, one of the players in the backfield is the passer (who may or may not actually be the quarterback), but the other 3 are eligible to receive a pass. Of the players on the line, each one on each end is also an eligible receiver.

Seven are on the line, and the X and Y are on the ends, so they are eligible receivers.
Everyone is the backfield is an eligible receiver.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Easy as 1,2,3... & 4,5,9

What did Grant mean by "time at the 4"?

Gus Malzahn wants to run his offense at as fast a pace as possible. But faster communication is needed to achieve faster pace. Since his time as a high school football coach, Malzahn has developed a system that allows the play calls to be communicated from the sideline that is easy to understand for the offense and hard to decipher for the defense.

One aspect of this communication system is the skill position numbers. Traditional skill position designations are letters. The quarterback is QB (duh), the split end is X, the tight end is Y, the flanker is Z, the fullback could be F, and the tailback could be T. A typical formation would look like this.

Malzahn uses the following numbers for the skill positions. The quarterback is the 1, the split end is the 9, the tight end is the 5, the flanker is the 2, the H-back is the 3, and the running back is the 4. Now the typical formation looks like this.