Daily Archives: May 26, 2013

The spread spreads?

Interesting admission from Corch:

On how his commitment to the spread offense is overrated

“We’re more of a pro style. We might not look like it all the time, but schematically we are. We ran more direct handoffs than we’ve ever run. I have two tight ends that can really block. The spread offense we ran last year wasn’t a spread offense. It was pro style with spread elements. Defenses have done a really good job defending the spread because they work at it so hard. There are at least eight teams in the Big Ten running the spread offense now, whereas in 2005, when we first came to the SEC, there was one — Florida.”

On whether OSU will implement more of the spread when recruiting classes take shape

“I don’t know. I think we’ll always have a little bit more of a pro element to it as well now. Also you have weather issues once in awhile. It depends on what’s working. If teams are working all their time on maybe defending the perimeter run game, that leaves some voids. A lot of our rush yardage last year was interior. Teams defended the perimeter really well last year, so that just gave us a chance to go inside. A lot of it is personnel and what you’re facing. That determines what you do. We took an offense that was kind of built as an I-formation team a year ago and we tried to adapt it to more open sets, not necessarily spread calls.”

I’ve always thought that taking what the defense gives you is a tell-tale sign of a good offensive coordinator.  That doesn’t just mean in-game play calling.  As defenses become more geared to stop spread attacks, they become more vulnerable to power football.  (Your current national champs have made a living exploiting that the past few years.)  Meyer may be a lot of things, but stupid ain’t one of ‘em.

On the other hand, I fear for his continued inclusion in the Gang of Six.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

It’s for your own good.

A D-1 undergraduate student-athlete who transfers to another D-1 program has to sit out a year.  We all know that’s the case, right?

Not so fast, my friends.  It turns out there’s an obscure exception to the rule, as John Infante explains:

Bylaw 14.5.5.2.8, the Return to Original Institution Without Participation or With Minimal Participation Exception says that a student-athlete can play immediately after a transfer if:

The student transfers to a second four-year collegiate institution, does not compete at the second institution and does not engage in other countable athletically related activities in the involved sport at the second institution beyond a 14-consecutive-day period and returns to the original institution. The 14-consecutive-day period begins with the date on which the student-athlete first engages in any countable athletically related activity (see Bylaw 17.02.1). A student may use this exception even if he or she has an unfulfilled residence requirement at the institution from which he or she is transferring.

This exception is available to athletes in any sport. Unlike the one-time transfer exception, an athlete can use it no matter how many times they have transfer in the past. And the final sentence explains how it does not matter that Kiel did not serve his year in residence at Cincinnati. And any summer conditioning Kiel has participated in at Cincinnati is considered voluntary athletically related activity, not countable. So he has not even triggered the 14-day grace period to return to Notre Dame.

Now, I don’t expect Gunner Kiel to return to Notre Dame, even in the wake of Golson’s departure.  But he could and if he did, he could play immediately.  There’s nothing Tommy Tuberville could do about that.

But there is one thing Tuberville could do if the situation arose.

Kiel also does not technically need a release from Cincinnati to play for Notre Dame next year. If Cincinnati refuses to grant Kiel permission to contact Notre Dame about returning, it only means that Notre Dame cannot give Kiel a scholarship for one academic year or encourage the transfer. But if Kiel were to show up at Notre Dame to start the season, he would be eligible to play right away.  [Emphasis added.]

So Brian Kelly wouldn’t suffer under the circumstances, but Kiel would.  No doubt the NCAA, which likes to remind us constantly how much it’s for the student-athlete, would just chalk that up as a character-building exercise.  The system works!

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Filed under The NCAA

Mike Slive prepares to take a victory lap.

You get the flow of this congratulatory piece from the opening – “Mike Slive sprawls in a comfy arm chair, propping his feet on a coffee table…”.  Yes, on the seventh day, Slive rested.  A little slow on the uptake?  Okay, how about “Slive, whose deal with the league runs through next July, sounds like a man contemplating his legacy even if he balks a bit at the term.”?

Read the story in its entirety and Slive’s legacy sounds like it boils down to returning everybody’s phone calls and making sure the money keeps rolling in, and with regard to the latter, in a world where a Paul Finebaum has been able to cash in on the passions of goobers to cut a national deal with ESPN, that hardly seems like a creating light from the darkness move.

If he is leaving next July, there will be a few loose ends for the next guy to pick up.  There’s the whole scheduling format snafu that’s resulted from the last round of expansion.  The odds on that getting settled next week in Destin?  Well, if that occurred, it would be, shall I say, miraculous.

And there’s another issue looming on the horizon that the SEC’s self-proclaimed holder of “almost a public trust” hasn’t come to grips with yet.

Advances in technology in recent years have halted the advance of attendance numbers in college football, and Southeastern Conference officials as well as the league’s athletic directors have taken notice. Nine of the 14 SEC schools suffered declines last season, with Tennessee’s average home attendance dipping under 90,000 for the first time since 1979 and Kentucky’s slipping under 50,000 for the first time since 1996.

Tennessee and Kentucky had disappointing seasons, but Florida went 11-1 during the regular season after going 6-6 in 2011 and still endured a drop of nearly 1,500 fans a game.

It’s kind of like the weather.  Everyone talks about it, but nobody has the first clue what to do about it.

“It’s at the top of our list of concerns, and we talk about it constantly,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. “We talk about improving the experience and doing things in our stadium that people are doing at home. We provided look-ins this past year on our video board of other games going on, and I don’t think that would have even been thought of 10 years ago.

“The majority of people are coming to the games to enjoy the team. There is a tradition here, but if we ever took the stance that people are just going to show up and the game will unfold, that’s when problems will really escalate.”

Ah, yes, there’s that “tradition” thing.  You know what tradition is – it’s the public sentiment that the conference taps when it needs a few more bucks.

Hey, I think we’ve just put our fingers on Mike Slive’s true legacy.

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Filed under SEC Football