This’ll get your juices flowing (h/t Seth Emerson).
Yeah, that would include this team.
After reading this, this and this, it occurs to me that Uncle Verne haz a sad face because CBS didn’t grab the Georgia-Auburn game. Talk about your target-rich environment! Among other things, the opportunity to bring up the two Davids and Cam in the same broadcast would have been irresistible.
So easy, the drinking game rules would have written themselves.
This Pete Thamel piece on Junior is brutal, just brutal. Take this bitch slap, for example:
For all his star studded recruiting classes and creative ways he’s handled USC’s scholarship restrictions, Kiffin lacks the coaching acumen to match his recruiting prowess. No coach interviewed said that the Trojans lacked talent. But many pointed to the lack of discipline, as USC’s 9.44 penalties per game lead the nation by a landslide, even after committing just three against Oregon. (UCLA is next with 8.89). Multiple coaches pointed to two other weaknesses of Kiffin — poor game management and the appearance that Kiffin goes for style over substance. USC poorly managed the clock in its loss to Stanford last season and couldn’t hold a 15-point lead deep into the third quarter against Arizona. Kiffin was also criticized for not spiking the ball on a last-ditch drive at the end of the Arizona game, a 39-36 loss.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s a bright, young guy,” one coach said of Kiffin. “He really is, but he doesn’t have the patience, I don’t think, or the maturity to understand that if you win 7-6 that’s just as well as winning 70-6, and your guy doesn’t have to break every record in America. He’s out of the Heisman business. Go about your business winning games.”
But as bad as the Laner gets slammed, it’s what’s said about his daddy that’s the real killer.
On his headset Saturday night, as USC failed to force Oregon to punt until the game’s waning minutes, Monte Kiffin said he heard consistent pleas from his son.
“Can we get a stop here?” Monte recalled Lane asking him. “Can we slow these guys down?”
USC never did. In back-to-back weeks, the Trojans have given up a combined 1,318 yards to Arizona and Oregon. Long after Saturday’s game ended, Monte Kiffin’s voice was hoarse and he appeared overwhelmed after the worst consecutive weeks of a coaching career that spans nearly a half-century.
“It’s mind boggling,” he said. “I’ve never heard of that many yards. It’s mind boggling.”
Monte’s expertise is what allowed Lane to sell the plan to a couple of gullible athletic directors. If that’s vanished like a fart in the wind (“Monte Kiffin called around the Pac-12 last year looking for clues on how to stop the spread, according to one coach.”), what’s left ain’t too pretty.
Maybe they need more Wild Boys.
Aaron Murray’s not exactly quaking in his boots over the prospect of facing a Willie Martinez-coached pass defense.
I suspect Dan Wetzel’s piece on Mark Richt isn’t going to change the hearts and minds of those on either side of the divide in Dawgnation about whether Richt has what it takes to win a national title. Money quote:
“Do I want to win a national championship?” Richt said. “Sure I do. I want to win. Everybody who has ever won a national championship wanted to win the national championship. Everybody wants to win it.
“But it is about a process. Doing things right, fundamentally, schematically and football-wise. But hopefully [it's also about doing it] morally, within the rules of the game, educating young men, educating them academically, educating them about life, helping them understand right and wrong, how to be a good husband, how to be a good father, how to function in this society properly.
“I’m in the business of doing that. And you do that well for long enough maybe you have a chance to win a national championship.
“I want to win,” he reiterated, “but it’s all important to me.”
Does that balance help him when Georgia has fallen short?
“Fallen short of what?” Richt asked. “If we’re doing the best we can every day and we’re doing it in a first-class manner so that when I go home at night I can lay my head on the pillow and God would be pleased with the decisions I made, how I treated players and the coaches, the media, my wife and kids, I’m OK with that.”
And, honestly, he should be. But is that enough for those who feel the program has hit a limit because their head coach doesn’t obsess sufficiently about certain matters the way other more recently successful programs have? Or, perhaps to put it in a more crudely relevant context, because Mark Richt has time for certain shit that’s not key to winning a national title? Honestly again, probably not.
Those are easier questions to debate in an era of six and seven win seasons, no doubt. But Richt has his program on the cusp of back to back SECCG appearances. No sane program cuts a head coach loose under those circumstances. (Nor should it.) So the question is whether the pace of five conference title games in twelve seasons cuts it. Perhaps it’s time for a few folks to accept some of that peace of God stuff, hope for a little luck one season and live with it. Because it’s hard to see somebody with Richt’s resume sent packing.
UPDATE: Chris Low has some related thoughts.