I love to read statistical analysis of all things football. While many statistics may not have a real bearing on win/losses, most of them do tell a story of why a team is successful or not. Turnover margins are virtually always directly related to the success of a team. The same can be said about yards allowed per game. I could go on and on.
Our dear friend David Hale is one of my favorite statistical reporters. He is one of the few reporters that gives us numbers that link to meaningful football happenings. This rambling leads me to my point for today, special teams. I am not going to spend hours compiling statistics and being a nerd (Sorry Hale). I am just going to simply state my opinion, and base that opinion on facts and things I have researched in the past.
First off, most knowledgeable college football fans know that Frank Beamer put Virginia Tech on the map playing "Beamer Ball". Beamer Ball was based around the fact that VT had some of the most domiating special teams play of any college in the nation over the past 10-15 years. VT realized that there was a lot of benefit to putting offensive and defensive startets on special teams so that the best athletes were covering and returning kicks, as well as, blocking punts and field goals. The number of kicks that VT blocked during the late 90's and 2000's is pretty unbelievable.
It's not as true today as it was 5 years ago, but too many teams were leaving special teams units to be fielded by back-ups and walk ones. Beamer helped make that a thing of the past by proving what a benefit you could get by putting the best man on the field during special teams. You might be shocked to see how high the percentage of plays in a college football game are special teams plays (kickoffs, extra points, punts, field goals, etc.). These plays can be game-breakers.
Too many times, a teams level of success is based on how they did during the special teams portion of a game. Getting a kick blocked can be devastating; missing an extra point can change the complexion of a game; how many games are lost by less than 3 points by a team that missed a field goal?
I know I just went on a bit of a rant, but this morning as I was deciding what I should talk about today, I realized that this Dawg team has the opportunity to be REALLY special on special teams. To quote a fan that had season tickets directly behind me for several years; "Let's Go Special Teams"!