Fair enough. I guess I just disagree. Again, I'm not saying our OL was great, but I think that we had more problems with perimeter blocking from A-Backs and WRs this year and last than we did in 2008 and 2009.
I can't remember if any of our opponents in 2008 and 2009 lined up on D like they all do now. I think Iowa in the 2009 OB was the first one or the first one to do it well. I'm pretty sure that CU in 2008 and 2009 used the same sort of D that Syracuse used this year, I think it's called a Double Eagle or Bear front, something like that. Compare what GT did against that front this year to our performance in those previous years. The Iowa, now ACC, D vs GT is not a blueprint but it does stress the OL more than other fronts and requires the QB to be able to make quick option reads and pick up stunts better.
Again, we averaged 30 pts/game against BCS AQ opponents and probably average 2+ fewer drives/game than most. When you consider that we're doing that without being able to run much option, I've got to think that we've got a better than average OL. Yeah, it's not yet top 15 but, and it's not great in pass protection on downs where we have to pass, but that's not what it was designed for. On regular downs, our pass protection was often better than before, imo.
I think some perspective is required to adequately assess the performance of our OL last season and compare to prior seasons. I have been breaking down DVR slomo recordings of every game since the CPJ era began. I usually watch pretty closely what is going on in the trenches and watch each play several times. This is what I see:
1. The 2013 OL was the most physical, at the point of attack, we have had yet.
2. Most of the problems blocking came at the second level out in space with whiffs or passing up tacklers.
3. Losing Bailey at RT was devastating.
4. It took too long to figure out that Chamberlain couldn't handle the RT job yet. He was a central figure in the major lapses during our losing streak.
5. Braun was a little slow to get started, but he came on as the season progressed.
6. We faced more creative blitzing schemes against the run (and the pass for that matter), with greater numbers too, than we have any other year by far. It was a far less passive mindset by opposing DCs. They might be talking to each other. One of the few teams not to employ this tactic got beat 56-0. In short, we faced a lot more pressure in 2013. Obviously, they knew Vad wasn't making the quickest of decisions and he was having trouble with reads etc and were trying to exploit that weakness.
7. Jay Finch was way under appreciated.
8. There were too many penalties. That is what is most disappointing to me.
9. There is reason to be excited about many of the second string players who saw the field this year. (Roberts, Brigham, O'Reilly)
10. I don't have an opinion on Burden, the subject of this thread, because I have never seen him play.