Daily Archives: April 23, 2012

Jeff Long doubles down on the strange.

According to reports, this is Bobby Petrino’s replacement at Arkansas.  He’s a cool customer.

It’s only for ten months, unless he wins the national title or something.  Maybe this is Long’s roundabout way of making the next coach look good.

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UPDATE:  And here’s the topper.

https://twitter.com/#!/TheUpset/status/194544370182127616

Yeah, this is gonna go well.

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20 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

GATA, One More Time.

It’s fitting that the statue of Erk Russell which will be displayed at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro is being created in Athens.  And so is this story:

The Russell statue will feature a milk jug of “Beautiful Eagle Creek” water at the coach’s feet and will also honor the “One More Time” motivational saying that he began using at Georgia and famously employed at Georgia Southern — including his final game as the Eagles’ coach, the 1989 national championship win against Stephen F. Austin.

“At Georgia for the 1980 national championship, he had ‘One More Time’ T-shirts made because they needed to win one more time, one more game, to be national champions. He then comes to Georgia Southern,” Sills said. “At the pregame of his last game, which is the 1989 national championship, he’s got a pullover on. He brings the team together and he pulls off the pullover and he’s wearing the original ‘One More Time’ shirt.

“Now by this time, it’s ripped up and shredded and falling apart. But he brought that saying to us: ‘One More Time. We can do anything just one more time.’ And the team went crazy.

“When Coach Russell died, they actually found a Maxwell Coffee can in his belongings and there was a handwritten note on the coffee can that said, ‘Shirt I wore to my last big game,’ and they opened the coffee can and it’s the ‘One More Time’ T-shirt. It’s the only sideline clothing that he kept, but he kept that. It kind of ties that whole history of where he came from and where we went to.”

Sure does.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Don’t bogart that drug test, my friend.

You can read the entirety of Tony Barnhart’s piece on whether college football has a marijuana problem to get a sense of how ludicrous the current state of affairs is, or you can just skip to the punchline at the article’s end:

“All I know is that it is tough for some of these kids to believe they can’t smoke,” a coach told me. “The reality is that some of them grew up watching their mother smoke it every day.”

I’m not sure if that’s the funniest thing in there, or if it’s the discovery that Oregon has a law which prohibits random drug testing.

51 Comments

Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment

The selling of play-action

I bet you never thought about the importance of the pulling guard before, but after reading this tour de force from Chris Brown, you will.  Awesome read.

13 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

The lesson of Blair Walsh

If you’re looking for a back-handed epitaph for Blair Walsh’s stint at Georgia, this’ll do:

“His problem will be consistency on field goals,” one coach said. “Good form and technique. It’s just his accuracy.” Kicked off much better at the combine than for the Bulldogs. “He’s got a great, I mean great leg,” another coach said. “He had a 4.64 hang time on a kickoff at the combine. That’s almost unheard of. Every now and then you’ll get a guy with a great leg who might get a 4.4. And they’re using brand-new NFL balls. That was incredibly impressive.”  [Emphasis added.]

Anything in there come as a surprise to you?

Walsh of the great leg never finished higher than third in the conference in kickoff average.  And while he did manage to lead the SEC in touchbacks and touchback percentage once, his standings in his three other seasons would be best described as being merely better than average.

Assuming there was a deliberate strategy behind that – and at least for some of that time, I do believe there was – it’s not as if it paid off with superior results in kickoff coverage year after year.  Georgia did finish second in the conference in 2010 (Belin’s one year coaching the kickoff team), but had nothing better to show than two last place finishes and an eighth-place result in Walsh’s three other seasons.  All told, it’s hardly the stuff of legends.

There’s no question he had something of a mental meltdown last season kicking field goals.  But you have to wonder how much of the inconsistency (or pig-headedness, if you prefer) of the coaching staff’s approach to how he was deployed throughout his career contributed to that.  And that’s a shame, because Walsh leaves Athens as the most talented kicker ever to play for Richt.

I’ve got this feeling that four or five years down the road, there will be plenty of folks looking at Walsh’s pro career wondering what happened during his time in Athens.  I  hope it’s a question that Richt is asking himself now.  The next kicker deserves better.

62 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Cutting to the chase

I gave Washington State AD Bill Moos a lot of credit for hiring Mike Leach – for all the pluses a coach like Leach brings to a moribund program, he also carries enough baggage to scare most decision makers off – but I like Moos even more for having the nerve to say this:

“There’s the Charlie Weis deal,” he says of Kansas’ hire. “He failed miserably at Notre Dame, but, ‘By God, he was at Notre Dame.’ Down at Ole Miss, they have to have 15 people on a search committee (actually it was five). By the time they get through the introductions on the search committee, all the good coaches are hired.

“I don’t need 15 people sitting at the table. Where are the other 14 when I get evaluated on (the performance of) my football coach?”

I’ve brought this up before in the context of minority hires, but your typical big school athletic director’s major flaw isn’t prejudice.  It’s lack of courage.

26 Comments

Filed under College Football