Daily Archives: January 22, 2007

If not Meyer, then who (or what)?

While I was pondering HeismanPundit’s shot across the bow last night, I asked myself if there were any coach or scheme in the SEC that’s had the kind of impact on the conference that HP tries to attribute to Urban Meyer. Without casting aspersions on Meyer, who is obviously a fine head coach, I did come up with two things, neither of which involve Florida.

On the coaching front, there is one offensive genius in the SEC and his name is Spurrier. I’m not just saying that because of what he accomplished at Florida, although as far as I’m concerned, what he did there still has a greater impact on how football is played in the conference today than anything else from the past 10-15 years.

But what he’s done at South Carolina in his first two years – with erratic QB play, an offensive line that’s had to be rebuilt from scratch, a false start at defensive coordinator and the crap leftover from the Holtz regime – is nothing short of remarkable. We all knew what he could do with talent, but what he’s done with a team that so far hasn’t measured up to the standards of the powers in the conference is equally impressive. He’s a blocked field goal away from beating Florida twice. He beat Florida and Tennessee in the same season, something Georgia hasn’t done since the Walker era.

His offense, with only one all-conference type player in Sidney Rice, hasn’t missed a beat (third in the SEC, at 395 yards a game). His skill in managing a game is unsurpassed. As Westerdawg points out, if you have to pick a coach for one game, he’s the guy you’d want.

As for scheme, I didn’t see anything out there this past season that got in players’ and coaches’ heads like Arkansas’ mutant, neo-Wing T offense with McFadden at quarterback.

Check out this YouTube video at about the 2:15 mark:

The body language from the Tennessee players after the touchdown pass is something to behold: Deliver us from McFadden. Please. I know it’s a one-off thing that’s perfectly tailored to the Hogs’ current personnel, but it’s devastating to watch that offense break down an opponent. Given Georgia’s difficulties stopping the run earlier this past year, I’m sort of glad the Dawgs didn’t have Arky on the schedule.

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Filed under SEC Football, The Blogosphere

“He gave no credit to anyone.”

The Saban era has begun – that is to say, in Tuscaloosa. Evidently it’s been continuing all along in Baton Rouge, we just didn’t realize it. From the Monroe News Star comes this:

In addition to visiting Curtis star Joe McKnight, Alabama coach Nick Saban has created a stir while visiting LSU commitments Phelon Jones, a cornerback from McGill-Toolen High in Mobile, Ala., and Luther Davis, a defensive end from West Monroe.According to both prospects, Saban took credit for LSU’s recent success as he signed most of the players involved in the Tigers’ 22-4 run since he left.

It doesn’t sound like he made that strong an impression:

“Great guy, but he is a little bit overconfident,” Jones’ father Tony is quoted as saying at Tigerbait.com.

No hard feelings, though:

“I don’t think the LSU coaches are upset with Saban,” according to Mike Scarborough of Tigerbait.com. “It probably just makes them very motivated to out-recruit him. I think they also think it’s unbelievable some of the things he is saying about LSU.”

Good thing they’re not upset. This will be fun to watch, I suspect.

(h/t Rumors and Rants)

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Filed under SEC Football, Whoa, oh, Alabama

It could be worse.

CFN has its Preseason Lookahead for the SEC out.  Currently, Georgia is listed as the fourth best squad in the conference, a projection I can’t really quibble with right now.

What’s of interest is the list of biggest (player) losses each school is looking at on offense and defense.  If you look, you’ll see huge talents like Russell, Leak, Nelson, Olajubutu, Irons, Meachum and Rice gone for next season.

Based on CFN’s list, Georgia’s losses in that light don’t look so daunting.  Here’s who CFN says are the biggest:

Biggest offensive loss: OT Daniel Inman
Biggest defensive loss: SS Tra Battle 

Personally, I think Charles Johnson is a bigger loss than either Inman or Battle.  Nonetheless, you can make a valid argument that several other conference rivals are taking much bigger hits in terms of their elite talent leaving than Georgia is for 2007.

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Filed under Georgia Football