College football nourishment to start your week.
- Reading between the lines, it seems that CBS is less enthused about the SEC’s new TV deals than Mike Slive is.
- Never give up, Mark Bradley. Never.
- Good on ‘ya, Troy Calhoun. Every coach voting should be doing that.
- No, this isn’t the header for a Bleacher Report post. But it feels like one.
- Some Georgia fans are worried that Missouri fans may be too nice for the SEC.
- The Big Ten’s bad week is summarized here.
- Arkansas fans know whom to blame for the disastrous loss to UL-M.
- A study suggests that any school that sees a jump of five wins or more in a season from its football program reaps big gains in donations and the quality of incoming students.
- Noted truth teller Chuck Oliver suggests that the Auburn coaches have settled on a strategy of letting Kiehl Frazier take his lumps in hopes of getting better. Occam’s Razor suggests that Clint Moseley’s shoulder problems are very, very severe.
- More touchback percentage data.
- Erk Russell to the big screen. I wonder how they tell the part about Georgia screwing up his hire after Dooley resigned.
Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere, The Coaches Poll Is Stupid.
This story trips my bullshit detector.
The Arkansas safety was accustomed to serving as a defense in name only during the skeleton scrimmage portion of practice, a time when the offense had its way under former coach Bobby Petrino.
Then one night during an early August practice, Rasner’s instincts took over and he knocked the ball away from a receiver. Afterward, he paused and waited for criticism he said he had become used to in his three seasons under Petrino.
All he heard were cheers.
Is Petrino an offensive-minded coach. Yeah. Was he more focused on that side of the ball in practice? No doubt. Were there exercises in practice to work on timing and patterns that didn’t require disruption by defensive players? I’m sure there were. Was there constant criticism of defensive players for playing defense? Schwiingg! There goes the bullshit-o-meter.
But, hey, if that’s what he wants to believe, so be it. All I know is that Petrino must have done something right. And if the Hogs want to depart from that…
“The defensive guys aren’t afraid to make plays out there, where in the past you might lay off a receiver and not break up a pass because …” Rasner said, trailing off. “We were an offensive-minded team, there’s no doubt about that, but with coach Smith coming in … he’s a defensive coach, so there’s a definite change already.”
There’s a legitimate argument to be made that Arkansas will deploy the best running back and the best quarterback in the SEC this year. That’s a formidable combination. So why is there less buzz about the Hogs going into the 2012 season?
I’ll let Paul Myerberg explain.
It all comes down to coaching. Arkansas was never going to beat Alabama and L.S.U. with talent against talent – while the Razorbacks recruit well, the team’s overall talent level alone will never be enough to claim an SEC West title. It’s all about coaching; it’s about schematics, blueprints, game plans and adjustments, and it’s in these areas that Arkansas will take the steepest dive without Petrino running the show. He was the reason why Arkansas was viewed as a national title contender prior to April: Petrino was such a good pregame and in-game coach that it seemed logical that he’d eventually dream up a plan for beating Alabama and L.S.U., even if the Razorbacks were steamrolled by this pair a season ago. With Petrino gone, I can’t think of any reason why Arkansas should remain among those teams in the national title conversation.
I keep saying it – there’s a reason a guy with the personal baggage Bobby Petrino totes around keeps getting plum coaching jobs (and don’t think he won’t have a new one within two or three seasons, tops). The man can coach. There’s also a reason John L. Smith was going to be coaching at Weber State until Petrino took that fateful motorcycle trip. It’s not the same reason.
Edward Aschoff asks the question that I’ve struggled with more than once in the last two years as a voter in the SEC Power Poll Team Speed Kills hosts: Is Arkansas overrated?
The Hogs proved better last year than I thought they’d be, no question about it. They get both LSU and Alabama at home this season, which can’t hurt (they split those two games in 2010). Aschoff thinks they deserve their top ten ranking, but I’m not so sure. As good as a lot of the skill position talent is on offense, there are question marks on both lines. And as for the new defensive coordinator “bringing a more aggressive style to Fayetteville”, isn’t that what they say about all new DCs? Besides, a lack of aggressiveness wasn’t really Willy Robinson’s big problem last year.
The biggest question, of course, is how they adjust to Bobby Petrino’s departure. That Petrino was able to grab big time head coaching jobs in spite of the massive amount of personal baggage he toted with him should be seen as a tribute to his coaching ability. He was as good a playcaller in college football last season as there was. Maybe there’s enough talent on the staff to make up for him no longer being there, but that’s something we’ll have to wait and see.
The schedule’s favorable, with only four true road games, a non-conference slate with Rutgers as the toughest opponent and Kentucky as the other draw from the East. Eight wins seem to be the floor. Can Arkansas split the four remaining games with Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M? That’s what the Hogs will need to do to finish in the top ten. Stay tuned.
No fireworks. Just football.
- Honestly, I’m surprised Nick Saban has time for this shit.
- As Georgia Southern looks to move to D-1, it faces money concerns.
- Brady Hoke says coaches are talking about an early signing date for recruiting.
- Jeff Long on fans hoping that Arkansas might bring back Bobby Petrino: “It amazes me that that’s still out there.”
- Can somebody explain to me why this was considered to be a good idea?
- The NCAA pulls a last-minute move to put Leonard Floyd’s admission to Georgia on hold. Is there some reason that couldn’t have been researched months ago?
- Kevin Scarbinsky thinks the new playoff is going to make the regular season more attractive.
- Mark Bradley wants to know “why is it always Georgia?”. Maybe it’s because you don’t pay attention to stuff like this, Mark.
Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA, Tim Tebow: Rock Star, Whoa, oh, Alabama
Arkansas head coach John L. Smith discloses that he is preparing to declare bankruptcy, and may do so during the upcoming season.
And here’s some wishful thinking: “Smith said the primary reason he’s talking now is so his personal financial problems don’t become a distraction during the season.” Good luck with that, Coach.
The twelve-pack is optional.
No, I’m not talking about what goes on in Bobby Petrino’s head.
I’m referring to, instead, the fairly widespread belief that Arkansas should be considered a serious SEC title contender even though it’s never been what you might call an élite defensive team (last year, Arkansas finished ninth in the conference in total defense) and is breaking in a new defensive coordinator.
Take, for example, this piece, which doesn’t even bother to consider Arkansas’ defense, unlike the other three contenders it mentions (and would also be the case for South Carolina, which is omitted for some reason). Did the rules about winning the SEC with defense change, or is the Hogs’ offense expected to be that good? I doubt the former is the case and before somebody says “Auburn 2010″, keep in mind that team averaged more than a yard per play better that last year’s Arkansas’ offense did.
Alabama and LSU waxed Arkansas last year and even though they’re both home opponents for the Hogs this time, unless John L. Smith is about to unleash a much improved defense on the SEC, I don’t see his team’s chances to win the West improving. Obviously, other people’s mileage varies.