Mack Brown thinks opponents flashing the upside-down Hook ‘Em Horns sign is “disrespectful” and something the Big 12 Conference should discuss.
Mack Brown is losing it. Although I admit that would be a fun meeting to give a listen to.
Step right up and dig in.
The Columbia Tribune has a fascinating article about how Missouri is changing its approach on offense and defense to reflect the change in styles it faces going from the Big 12 to the SEC. If you’re like me in thinking how TAMU and Missouri affect the SEC style of play and vice versa is the most interesting thing to come out of conference expansion, you’ll want to read the whole thing, but as a Georgia fan, you might want to zero in on one specific part:
A few obvious trends emerged from the film study. SEC offenses generally work at a slower tempo than teams in the Big 12, where no-huddle systems are more common. That means SEC games feature fewer plays.
SEC offenses averaged 65.5 snaps last year; Big 12 teams averaged 76.2. Over the course of a season, those extra snaps mean Big 12 defenses played the equivalent of two additional games. Last season, Missouri’s offense averaged 74.8 plays; the defense averaged 73.1.
Alabama, which led the country in every major defensive category, had its defense on the field for a national-low 720 plays, only 55.4 per game. Having the No. 1 third-down defense played a big part in limiting Alabama’s defensive snaps, but the SEC’s grind-it-out pace helped, too.
The average Big 12 league game last year averaged 154.5 plays from scrimmage, compared to 129.5 in the SEC.
Steckel believes the SEC’s methodical pace could allow for more liberal use of specialized sub packages on defense, a luxury Missouri couldn’t always afford in the Big 12.
“The Big 12 is so fast-paced, you don’t have time to substitute people,” he said. “You have to have your base, nickel and dimes conditioned and trained to do all those different things.”
Interestingly, though, in total plays per game, Georgia averaged just under 135, which is considerably less than last year’s Big 12 average. That would seem to suggest that Grantham’s bunch was pretty good at limiting plays. Anyway, the question is, will this be an advantage for the Dawgs on September 8th? Will Missouri’s preparation for a slower-paced SEC hurt the Tigers’ ability to defend Georgia’s no-huddle, or will it simply be something they’re used to?
There’s no denying the best thing about playing in a ten-team major conference.
As it was last year, its first as a 10-team league, the Big 12 will be the only major conference that has complete round-robin scheduling in football and basketball. Nine football games and 18 basketball games don’t sit well with all coaches, but the league overall was happy with the system.
Tough shit, coaches. As a fan, this matters a helluva lot more to me:
“In the ACC and SEC there are some institutions that have 100-year histories of playing each other that aren’t going to be playing each other every year. I think the reality of that and the reality of the larger number have kind of sunk in.”
For you, maybe. In SEC-land, not so much. I’m a little jealous.
West Virginia’s athletic director is contemplating the addition of a “party deck” to the football stadium.
Yeah, you made it. Today’s buffet, no surprise, features plenty of playoff seasoning.
Here’s a reminder that all isn’t sweetness and light in the Big 12:
Texas Tech’s Sept. 8 road game against Texas State may be broadcast on the Longhorn Network…
Tech learned of this possibility several days ago, and according to the source, is “adamantly opposed to playing on the Longhorn Network” and is “putting serious consideration into canceling the game and playing an 11 game schedule” this fall.
First of all, Texas Tech is traveling to Texas State? That’s how you get yourself into situations like this in the first place. ESPN lies in wait for moments like this, where the WAC gets to call the shots on the broadcast partner.
Second, in all its tone-deaf arrogance, don’t you figure the WWL is wondering right now if this is merely another one of those “we know what you are, we’re just haggling over the fee” situations? Given the current state of affairs in college football, it’s hard to blame it for thinking like that.
Third, Tommy Tuberville has to be shitting a brick or two over this. Tech went 5-7 last year and missed a bowl game for the first time in years. The Red Raiders beat Texas State by forty for one of those five wins. Giving up a sure win to stand on principle? Let’s not be too hasty here, fellas.
This has to be a little strange.
Bob Bowlsby has 14 days left as Stanford athletic director, and despite that, there didn’t seem to be a tinge of awkwardness at the Pac-12′s annual summer meetings as conference leaders shuffled past the next Big 12 commissioner in a low-key hotel ballroom on Saturday.
“I’ve got a lot of investment in the Pac-12, so it wasn’t awkward at all. They didn’t even make me go out in the hallway for some of the discussions,” Bowlsby said with a chuckle. “I don’t really know that we were going to talk about anything that I didn’t already know. I don’t know if I spoke up much except when I was called upon.”
Yeah, sure. In about two weeks you go from being a member of a conference on record wanting a conference champs-only playoff format and a special place in the postseason structure for the Rose Bowl to running a rival conference which is diametrically opposed to the first and unconcerned about the second. Other than that, it’s no big deal, right?
Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re in complete lockstep with the SEC, either. That conference’s decision to stick with an eight-game schedule made this inevitable:
“The [Pac-12's] preference is to have conference championships, or at least divisional championships, built into it,” Bowlsby said. “I think all of us agree that some component on strength of schedule is really important. The regular season is so special, but having said that, the early regular season is not as good as it needs to be. We need to encourage people to play games like LSU and Oregon played last year without the risk of taking themselves out of the national championship hunt.
“I think there will be a component of strength of schedule that will be a part of the playoff. I’m quite comfortable in saying that. How we land beyond that will be a topic of debate and discussion.”
That ought to be fun. Especially if long-time Pac-12 observer Jon Wilner’s depiction of the kind of people calling the shots is correct.
But I believe the SEC/Big 12 announcement created — or, perhaps more accurately, exacerbated — the differences in opinion between the longtime partners (Pac-12 and B1G) and the new couple on the block (SEC and Big 12).
The Pac-12 and B1G are more than Rose Bowl partners. The Pac-12 presidents and chancellors have always viewed the B1G as their peer group and vice-versa, not only on the field but in the halls of academia, with the multi-sport scheduling partnership is further evidence of their connection.
They have always, to put it bluntly, considered themselves to possess more high-minded interests than the Big 12 and SEC latter. (Whether that’s actually the case is not for this discussion.)
There’s no way Scott would mention reprising the Plus-One model if he thought it was off the table for his presidents/chancellors and those in the B1G.
Instead … and this is just my reading, based on Scott’s comment and conversations with league officials over time … I believe the Pac-12 CEOs favor of incremental change to the postseason — change that has minimal impact on the Rose Bowl. In their view, that’s best delivered by the Plus-One.
All of which makes you wonder if Bowlsby had any input at all into the new bowl alliance between the SEC and Big 12. And who’s gaming who here.
Also, getting back to an earlier point, what about this?
Pac-12 officials have to be think that the playoff model — especially one with the best four teams qualifying (the SEC plan) — further tilts the national championship scales to the southeast, and away from the west coast.
How reasonable a path to the playoff would USC have when it’s playing nine league games and Notre Dame and a quality B1G opponent as part of the scheduling partnership?
Meanwhile, the best SEC teams are playing eight league games and three non-conference cupcakes, if not four?
Gee, can’t we all get along here?
Now Bowlsby, wearing his Big 12 hat, says that the plus-one isn’t a compromise for the two sides to consider. But if they’re all serious about coming to a resolution before the end of this month, it may be all they have left after three meetings’ worth of sneering and posturing at each other. One thing’s for sure. They’re not going to walk away from that extra paycheck a new title game will bring. Other than that, who knows? I doubt these guys do.
The Big 12 commissioner, fresh off the news of a record revenue distribution to its members (close to $20 million per school), comes down hard against player stipends, noting that if student-athletes want to get paid, “There are places you can go and play for money…”
Nice. Surreal, but nice.