Monthly Archives: January 2007

Super Southern 100 list, 1997 model

I’ve said this before – the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s recruiting blog is an excellent resource for keeping up with who is going where. You should bookmark the site for reference through signing day this year.

Jeff D’Alessio has posted the Super Southern 100 list for 1997 today. That’s the legendary “Tennessee raids Georgia for Lewis, Grant and Coleman” class that led to Donnan deciding that if he couldn’t beat Garner, he’d hire him (if he only hadn’t repeated that reasoning with Kevin Ramsey!).

Anyway, there’s lots of talent on that list. And lots of names that dropped out of sight immediately after signing day…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

What better way to announce the start of the Saban era…

than to clear out some deadwood.

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, son.

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Filed under The Blogosphere, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Whatchoo talkin’ about, Willis?

The gospel according to HeismanPundit:

YOU: But – thank God! – help is on the way for the millions of souls who despair over the current state of SEC football. According to HP, the SEC is going to have no choice but to play catch up with Meyer’s exotic spread offense. Fortunately, the process has already started at LSU, where “… the issue has apparently been settled in Les Miles’ mind.” Les Miles? Well, count me as convinced.

>>>>Well, it should convince you. A major SEC program is not hiring another SEC offensive coordinator. [Emphasis added.] It is going outside the conference and choosing an OC who runs a style similar to what Florida runs. If that doesn’t convince you that there is change afoot in the SEC on offense, well, then you can’t be convinced.

I just thought I’d do a little fact checking on HP’s assertion that Les Miles’ hiring of Gary Crowton, who’s coming from Oregon, is not your run of the mill SEC hire – in other words, that SEC schools rarely go outside the conference to find coaches to run their offenses.

Here’s the info on the current SEC head coaches, their offensive coordinators and the places these men last worked at before their hires that I obtained from the member schools’ websites:

  • Alabama – HC Nick Saban (NFL); no OC listed currently
  • Arkansas – HC Houston Nutt (Boise State); OC David Lee (NFL)
  • Auburn – HC Tommy Tuberville (Mississippi); OC Al Borges (Indiana)
  • Florida – HC Urban Meyer (Utah); OC Dan Mullen (Utah)
  • Georgia – HC Mark Richt (FSU); OC Mike Bobo (Georgia)
  • Kentucky – HC Rich Brooks (NFL); OC Joker Phillips (Kentucky)
  • LSU – HC Les Miles (Oklahoma State); OC Gary Crowton (Oregon)
  • Mississippi – HC Ed Orgeron (Southern California); OC Dan Werner (Miami)
  • Mississippi State- HC Sylvester Croom (NFL); OC Woody McCorvey (Tennessee)
  • South Carolina – HC and OC Steve Spurrier (NFL)
  • Tennessee – HC Phil Fulmer (Tennessee); OC David Cutcliffe (Mississippi)
  • Vanderbilt – HC Bobby Johnson (Furman); OC Ted Cain (Furman)

There are twenty two names on that list. Five have SEC schools next to their names.  (If you want to get technical, it’s actually four, since Cutcliffe’s last position was on the staff at Notre Dame when he left on short notice due to his health.)

Yep, that Les Miles is a real groundbreaker.

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Filed under SEC Football, The Blogosphere

It’s not the Jimmies and Joes, it’s the Xs and Os…

I guess I’m on a bit of a recruiting kick this morning.

ESPN caught my eye with this little tidbit from Scouts Inc. (and after that AJC article about Internet recruiting services I posted below, I suppose I should feel guilty about that): of the top nine recruiting classes for ’07, currently six are going to SEC schools.

And, according to SI.com, Rivals lists six as well.

Whoa.

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Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

It was the best of recruiting articles; it was the worst of recruiting articles.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution goes a little split-personality on us with a couple of recruiting articles.

For a little perspective the AJC‘s recruiting blog editor Jeff D’Alessio posts the Super Southern 100 from 2002. As he notes, there are some hits and there are some misses. It’s a good reminder that recruiting is anything but an exact science.

On the other hand, there’s this rather breathless recruiting piece in the AJC, where we learn that the recruiting process is bad. Very, very bad. In fact, we are warned by noted sports sociologist Harry Edwards (who’s also described as a consultant to the University of Florida football team – no doubt on text messaging) that because

… of their inner-city backgrounds, he said, some of these recruits are also gun-toting gang members. Edwards said it is only a matter of time before one of these spoiled recruits “goes off” in the athletic department because he is not treated the same after joining the team.

And it’s us denizens of the Internet who will be largely to blame when some kid goes postal:

There’s no doubt that high school players read the recruiting Web sites religiously, said Andrew Crummey, a junior offensive lineman for the University of Maryland football team.

“People can say some very hurtful things on message boards,” he said. In e-mails from adult fans, “17-year-old kids are getting bashed,” he said. “And players take it to heart.”

Assessing the potential of high school players is “still an inexact science” even for experienced college coaches, said John Bunting, former head coach of the University of North Carolina. But young athletes are being sized up by subscribers who have only viewed an online film clip.

“And on the Internet, anyone can say anything about anybody and not be held accountable,” Bunting said.

Like ex-college head coaches, for example. Sounds like you can do that at meaningless hearings, too.

More on that bad ‘ole Internet:

… Web sites such as Rivals.com and Scout.com have become gospel for millions of fans who follow recruiting nearly as fervently as they follow the actual college football season, witnesses told the commission.

They said this has helped create a generation of players and parents who covet the sites’ five-star and four-star ratings. High school coaches are pressured by parents to turn out these highly ranked players, and college coaches are pressured by boosters to sign them…

I ask you, what hath Al Gore wrought? Of course, don’t let the irony escape you that the AJC publishes all kinds of recruiting rankings itself (to be fair, that’s conceded in the article).

It’s good to see that a keen sense of personal responsibility continues to be a significant part of the American psyche these days, ain’t it?

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Filed under College Football, General Idiocy, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

Mitch Mustain, poster child for indentured servitude

Dennis Dodd lays it on thick in this piece on poor widdle Mitch and his momma:

… All that matters is that Mustain was granted a release from his scholarship last week. Now you have to root for him. You have to root for him if you were ever stuck in a bad marriage or had a boss (bleep) all over you. Mitch is us, wanting the best for himself.

A sense of entitlement? No more than anyone who deserves a promotion — or desperately wants a divorce.

My, how short our memories are. Perhaps someone should get Dennis a copy of Year of the Dog. I’m sure he could get young Mitchell to autograph it.

When you are a singular talent like Mustain, it’s about getting what you want out of life. That means the best coach and offense possible to develop your talent.

If that’s selfish, then selfish is good…

Mustain will eventually have his free scholarship again, at a place where he is comfortable. New fans will welcome him with open arms. You can bet his mother will be heavily involved in the process. Isn’t that the way it should be, everywhere?

Sounds great… except didn’t the kid and his mom have that opportunity the first go-round? Isn’t this the pheenom that committed to Arkansas, decommitted so he could shop around some more and then committed again?

So he made a mistake in his choice of schools. That’s not the end of the world, or even his college career. As Dodd acknowledges, Mustain still has three years to play (and that’s because the Nuttster granted his release, by the way).

The problem with Dodd’s piece isn’t the list of the injustices he complains about – I completely agree with his point about the graduate transfer rule, for example – it’s using the Mustains as some noble example to make his case. There are no heroes in this story. The only folks that deserve our sympathy are the fans of the Arkansas program. They’ve been screwed over by pretty much every player in this farce…

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

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