Daily Archives: August 18, 2009

What is this “hot seat” you speak of?

I’ve mentioned it here before, but one of the quirks in Nick Saban’s impressive resume is that he’s never coached any of his teams to two successive years of double-digit wins.  ESPN’s Chris Low notes that, and compares Saban’s track record in this area with some other SEC head coaches:

  • Mark Richt has won 10 or more in six of his eight seasons at Georgia. He did it four years in a row from 2002-05 and has also won 10 or more in each of his last two seasons.
  • Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, who parted ways with the Tigers following last season, never did it. He only won 10 or more games twice in his 10 seasons at Auburn.
  • Les Miles, taking over for Saban after he went to the NFL, did it three straight years at LSU from 2005-07.
  • Urban Meyer did it at Utah when he won 10 in 2003 and 12 in 2004, but he’s yet to do it at Florida in four seasons.
  • Steve Spurrier won 10 or more games for six straight seasons at Florida from 1993-98 and then did it again in 2000 and 2001. He’s yet to win more than eight games at South Carolina.
  • Bobby Petrino, entering his second season at Arkansas, never did it at Louisville, although he won 11 or more in two of his four seasons there.
  • Houston Nutt, entering his second season at Ole Miss, only won 10 or more games once during his 10 seasons at Arkansas.
  • Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, ousted following last season, won 10 or more games for four straight seasons from 1995-98. He also did it in 2003 and 2004.

That Richt fellow’s record looks pretty good in that company, doesn’t it?  I can see why there are so many idiots pundits who think we’re losing patience with the man.

By the way, that stretch for Spurrier is truly impressive, especially since it comes from the era of eleven game regular seasons.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Perverse thought(s) of the day

After I read this, for some strange reason I immediately wondered what it would be like if Spurrier retired after this season and the Gamecock brain trust (no oxymoron cracks, please) pondered hiring Fulmer as his replacement.

And in a totally unrelated matter, Reid McCollum remains my favorite South Carolina player.  I’m counting on you, Reid.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, The Evil Genius, The Glass is Half Fulmer

Special teams: “The bottom line is, can a guy get the job done…”

You know, there are times when I think the Georgia staff looks at things differently than any other staff in the country.  Take, for example, the special teams battle that’s going on in Athens this preseason.  No, not between the players who may be fighting to obtain a starting spot there.  Between the coaches.

… It’s a departure from the status quo at Georgia, where a mix of walk-ons and second-team veterans have generally been the key contributors on special teams.

While the plan has had its merits in years past — namely a more dedicated crew for coach Jon Fabris to work with — the rash of injuries that befell the Bulldogs a year ago got Richt thinking about a new approach.

“When you have the amount of injuries we had a year ago, it not only depletes your first-team and second-team offense and defense, it also depletes your special teams, and it actually depletes your scout-team looks,” Richt said. “It was definitely a trickle-down situation.”

Fabris said it’s a lot like running a minor league baseball team — just when he has a player ready to contribute on special teams, another coach is ready to swipe him away for a more glamorous role on offense or defense.

That’s part of the reason Fabris has relied so heavily on walk-ons in years past, but this season, Richt sees numerous benefits to getting scholarship players — and more specifically, his youngest scholarship players — a taste of the action on special teams.

From what it sounds like, Richt has a tough job on his hands.

… Richt said he’s worked on selling the freshmen to his coaches, too.

Fabris, like many of Georgia’s assistants, can lose patience with an inexperienced freshman who makes a few too many mistakes in the early going, but Richt said he has asked all of his coaches not to write off the new recruits too quickly.

The point here isn’t to roundly condemn Fabris.  There are special teams areas that have been consistently excellent for Georgia over the past few seasons, like punt returns.  But that hasn’t been the case with kickoff coverage since the 2004 season (73rd in 2008; 38th in 2007; 89th in 2006; 24th in 2005).  So why not keep an open mind about making some changes to your approach there?

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UPDATE: David shares some more of Fabris’ thoughts at his blog.

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Filed under Georgia Football