It is Conference Championship Week and as we get set to settle who holds the belts one thing I always look for is who has done the most self-scouting. Self-scouting is important because it lets you know your tendencies and allows you to predict how opponents will play off of them and prepare for that.
It also allows you to go off-tendency and catch teams off guard to give your team that slight margin it might need to win a league title. Do you run on 70% of first downs? Start throwing now out of the same personnel packages and formations and the defense will not be prepared. Do you run A-gap fires on 3rd and mediums? Show pressure and bail and you might bait them into an interception or at least an incompletion.
Michigan went off tendency and created confusion for Ohio State, so we'll see if they can do that against Iowa. Iowa is tougher, smarter and more disciplined than the Buckeyes.
The main off-tendency event is Bama taking on Georgia. The Dawgs can blow out the Tide if they involve Stetson Bennett in the run game and use that to manipulate safeties and backers to create space in the passing game. And not side to side passing, vertical game to newly healthy George Pickens.
Smart has done some off tendency things in the past; most notably 2017 Riley Ridley's 6 catches in the title game, after entering the game with 8 catches in the previous 14 games. I doubt Pickens will be the ace in the hole because he's a star who is finally healthy. But targeting Darnell Washington, 8 catches in 8 games, could be the mismatch and unexpected element that creates some big plays for the Dawgs.
Alabama has not been described as plucky during Nick Saban's reign, but against this UGA team, everyone is looking for how this underdog could succeed.
They don't stand a chance against UGA's dominating defense.
They can't run the ball.
So let's see Nick work. This is why he's the greatest college football coach of all time. Georgia is not Clemson from 2018. Dawgs are a better defense than Clemson but are also a world apart from that Tigers' team offensively. Saban is far more comfortable in the world of good defense than that of elite offense. If Smart plays comfortable football, aiming for 24-17 win, Saban will be in heaven, compared to Dabo wanting 50 points and forcing Saban to try and play keep-up.
Which is the point here. Saban might be the one to push the pace. Tempo. Personnel packages. Bryce Young misdirection. Vertical stretch game. Responsibility exchanges through stacked doubles and tight bunch formations.
Make Kirby Smart uncomfortable and he has more than a shot to win in Atlanta.
Introducing the Rosemary-Garlic-Parmesan Wings
We've got a light glaze and toss for these wings that help bring them all together. Same as all the rest of the wings in the Bulletin, two glazes on the smoker, cooked between 200 and 215 for 90-120 with a final temp crank in that last 15 minutes to crisp the plump wings.
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup balsamic
1/4 cup honey
2 big sprigs rosemary
3 cloves smashed garlic
Cooked down until thickened and if it tightens, add a little vegetable oil. Should be easily light and able to glaze on those wings at the 30-ish and 75-ish marks. Final glaze get that temp cranked to cook on glaze and crisp the wings.
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded (plus additional to top)
3 big sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp coarse sea salt
Take the hot wings and toss them in the blend and plate. The thing I like about these the most is the parm melts when you get them off the grill and, combined with the glaze, helps the garlic and rosemary stick to the wings.
Throw that additional parm on the top as they rest and then serve.
Thank y'all so much for reading. If you've cooked any of the recipes hit me up here or on twitter with what worked or didn't and we can tweak it to get it right. Have enjoyed seeing folks enjoy all the goods I've dropped. Tell a friend, or don't, and just feed them some good food and pretend like you created it, while they scour the internet and discover ItsFelder for themselves.