Before we get too excited about the news that Michael Adams is stepping down, let’s hear who’s the replacement. Lord knows there are plenty more political hacks where he came from…
Daily Archives: May 2, 2012
The Tennessean makes the case:
- Six of the conference’s top seven passers from 2011 are back, including a leading preseason Heisman candidate in Arkansas senior Tyler Wilson.
- Two years ago, the SEC had a record four 3,000-yard passers. That number could be matched or even exceeded this season by a group of quarterbacks that includes Georgia’s Aaron Murray, Tennessee’s Tyler Bray, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron and Missouri’s James Franklin.
- First-year Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze has installed an up-tempo, spread offense.
- LSU will air it out more with ex-Georgia QB Zach Mettenberger, something it couldn’t do with Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.
- Mississippi State is tailoring its offense to Tyler Russell’s ability to throw in the pocket.
- Vanderbilt’s Jordan Rodgers and South Carolina’s Connor Shaw should post better numbers after assuming starting roles during the 2011 season.
Very impressive, no? Some of it I’ll buy. Rodgers and Shaw will start all season, so their numbers should improve. Ditto for Bray, if he and his receivers stay healthy. Ole Miss will probably be better at throwing the ball, never a Houston Nutt area of strength. And then there are the two newcomers from the Big 12, right?
But it’s not as strong as it sounds. TAMU was a good passing team last year (#18 nationally) and Sumlin certainly likes to throw the ball. But Missouri was 62
thnd. For context, that’s fourteen spots behind Georgia.
As for all these 3,000-yard passers suddenly expected to sprout up – where were they in 2011? The SEC only had two of those last year – and both have lost significant chunks of their receiving corps to the NFL and/or redeployment (Malcolm Mitchell). Mettenberger’s got a big arm, but everyone seems to forget that Jarrett Lee didn’t throw badly at all last season and still lost his job. And, sure, Nutt is gone, but so is Bobby Petrino.
Besides all of that, there’s this: the SEC boasts four of the top ten teams in passing defense from 2011 and ten in the top thirty. (By comparison, the Big 12 had none
#19 Nebraska.) Add to that serious quarterback questions at Florida, Auburn and Kentucky and I can’t say the optimism is justified.
Year2 makes an earnest effort reading the tea leaves to figure out what Auburn intends to do on offense this season, now that Gus Malzahn is gone. Honestly, it all seems clear as mud to me – except for one thing.
… Chizik said the biggest differences in the offense will be much more frequent huddles and two-tight end formations and fewer shotgun snaps.
“Other than that, football is football,” he said. “Is that more of the standard in people’s eyes? Yeah, because you’re not no-huddling every snap and you’re not fast-pacing every snap. But you’ve got to remember, we didn’t fast-pace every snap last year. That’s the image and that’s kind of the impression but we didn’t do that every snap. We didn’t do it in 2010; we didn’t go fast every snap.”
Chizik never was comfortable with Malzahn’s emphasis on pace. He’s a defensive guy, after all. For him, a successful offense is as much about keeping the other team’s defense on the field as long as possible as it is scoring points. (And don’t forget his new defensive coordinator worked under a head coach in Richt who operates in much the same way.)
So I don’t think Loeffler’s talk about being multiple on offense matters much. As long as he can keep the chains moving, Chizik will deem the new offense a success. Scheme is nice, but the real question is whether Auburn’s got the talent mix on offense to make that a reality.
I thought I’d separate these three items out from the buffet and give them separate treatment:
- I’ve written about Andy Schwarz’ position on antitrust and the BCS before. He’s returned to the subject with this post in which he suggests that the NCAA won’t put up a barrier any more to parties wanting to compete against the bowls in the postseason. I’ve got a few quibbles with what he writes. First off, I’m not sure the NCAA abandons the field, so to speak, as it could always come up with some regulations to limit the entry of others. Second, it’s not something that a third-party entrepreneur would sell to individual schools, but to the conferences, and I’m don’t know that the power conferences would be interested. Third, this become moot if D-1 splits as I expect it will in the coming years. That being said, I can see the mid-major conferences being interested in something like this. It would garner more attention and probably more money than seeing the top mids in less than top bowls. (Not to mention that it would probably lay the seeds for what they’d do in the wake of a D-1 breakup.)
- I think Barrett Sallee gets this exactly backwards. If/when D-1 splits and we get a set of superconferences composed of 64 schools, I don’t see how that necessarily results in a four-team playoff. If anything, four two-division conferences almost beg for an eight-team set-up with the conference championship games comprising the quarterfinals. Maybe I’m missing something here.
- Good to see that Dennis Dodd is getting on the 4 vs. 5 controversy bandwagon early on. Five years from now, that’ll be the excuse to expand.
Try it, you’ll like it.
- Sporting News ranks the ACC coaches and Paul Johnson comes in at number two. I don’t know if that more a reflection on Johnson or the conference. (Personally speaking, I’d give Jim Grobe a lifetime achievement award for Wake Forest winning the ACC. Is there another coach on the list who could have pulled that off?)
- Will Muschamp doesn’t think much of Tennessee’s lack of academic prowess.
- This is not new, but since they brought mat drills back this offseason, maybe it’s worth another look.
- Surprise, surprise: “College football players suffer knee injuries about 40 percent more often when playing on an artificial turf versus grass, according to a U.S. study.”
- Jerry Hinnen’s look at the SEC East, post-spring practice is worth a read. (I’ve thought the same thing he mentions about South Carolina’s pass defense.)
- This is pretty cool.
- I’m sure Tommy Tuberville is ecstatic that Kevin Scarbinsky’s let him off the hook for Auburn football.
- Nick Saban is right about this, even if it is a little self-serving. (Hell, it’s not as if what Delany and Scott want isn’t, aiight?)
What does surprise me, though, is that Saban even felt the need to respond to a question about the controversy and did so after seemingly giving himself an out (“I don’t think I should even be commenting on that because these guys … we’re not supposed to comment about these recruits unless they’re coming to our place…”) before answering. You’d think that’s precisely the kind of shit the man famously doesn’t have time for.
After all this time, is it possible that Saban’s feeling some heat on the recruiting trail about his roster management practices? I’m having difficulty coming up with another reason he’d talk about Taylor now.