Monthly Archives: December 2008

Buying into the new era in Knoxville

Lane Kiffin gets his man after all.

Ed Orgeron is headed to Tennessee.

The former Ole Miss head coach, who spent the 2008 season as the New Orleans Saints defensive line coach, confirmed via text message this afternoon that he has accepted an offer to be the Volunteers recruiting coordinator, defensive line coach and will have the title of associate head coach.

“I’m so excited,” Orgeron said via phone. “I get to coach with Monte [Kiffin] and I’m getting to recruit again. It’s pedal to the metal and I can’t wait to get up there.”

Six hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year is all it took.  That’s close to $2 million per year for two assistant coaches in Knoxville.  Wow.  It had better be worth it.



Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Coaches’ comedy corner

One thing I like about the college game over the NFL is that there’s a little more room for college coaches to be colorful than their professional cohorts enjoy.

Take Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker, who will be mixing it up with Steve Spurrier at the Outback Bowl.  You’ve gotta like a guy who describes his position this way:  “The only thing I do as defensive coordinator is decide when the meetings start and decide when we take a leak.”

Speaking of the OBC, South Carolina receiver Moe Brown may have come up with his epitaph.

“He’s one of the funniest guys you’ll ever talk to,” receiver Moe Brown said, “as long as he’s not talking about you.”

And then there’s the king.

As’s Bruce Feldman puts it: “(Mike) Leach could make Steve Spurrier sound like Jim Tressel.”

The two Cotton Bowl stories Leach told at the coaches presser for the bowl game are hilarious.

… Leach talked about the time when he was an assistant coach at Oklahoma and the Sooners were playing Texas, as always, at Cotton Bowl stadium.

“So we’re coming down the tunnel surrounded by Oklahoma fans and I look over and see Barry Switzer standing with President Gerald Ford and Darrell Royal, and I hear an Oklahoma fan holler, ‘Hey, who are those two guys standing over there with Swtizer?’ ”

Unique background

That’s not all.

Leach said he left a dummy play script lying on the field before the game in hopes that a Texas player and coach would stumble across it and think they had Oklahoma’s offensive game plan.

Leach said he didn’t know for sure whether Texas took the bait, but he does know that on the game’s second play, Oklahoma caught the Texas defense by surprise and hit a long pass to a freshman receiver (Antone Savage) who was all alone.

“Antone gets so excited about scoring a touchdown that he spikes the ball on the 2-yard line,” Leach said. “The official is so excited, he doesn’t even notice that Antone hasn’t crossed the goal line and he signals touchdown. To this day that touchdown has never even been close to getting scored.”

Yar, baby.

Comments Off on Coaches’ comedy corner

Filed under College Football, Mike Leach. Yar!, The Evil Genius

Ladies and gentlemen, he’s back!

Get your translators ready, it looks like Ed Orgeron is coming back to an SEC press conference near you.

New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ed Orgeron is expected to join LSU’s staff as its highest paid assistant coach with the title of associate head coach along with recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach.

Reportedly set to earn something in the neighborhood of $600K – hell, how much was he paid as Ole Miss’ head coach? – Orgeron looks like he’ll be icing on the cake from a recruiting standpoint, as LSU is headed towards another top five class in ’09 anyway.

I presume part of the reason that the deal is so rich is because Lane Kiffin was offering to throw that kind of money at Orgeron to get him to come to Tennessee.  So you can probably add Les Miles to Kiffin’s growing list of people to get even with.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, SEC Football

The best laid plans of mice and head coaches

You knew going into the bowl game that you didn’t want to give Jeremy Maclin a chance to return a punt.  You knew it, your players knew it, Ron Franklin calling the game knew it.  You had your punter do all kinds of funky stuff to keep Maclin from returning a kick.  You scratched and clawed all of the first half and were clinging to a seven point lead.  Halftime was just seventy five seconds away.  You were there.

And then you punted.  And your punter tried another one of those strange punts, but got under it just a little bit.

And Maclin had his chance.

He was gone eight yards into the return.

Your team lost.  In overtime.


Filed under College Football

Reshad Jones, take notes.

If you’re gonna tackle with a shoulder bump, then tackle with a shoulder bump.  From last night’s Holiday Bowl, here’s how it looks when it’s done right (h/t Doc Saturday).

Hopefully, we can see a repeat of that in next year’s season opener.


Filed under College Football

Maybe they’re all washing their hair that day.

What is the world coming to?

It does not appear USC will sell out its Outback Bowl allotment of 11,000 tickets.

Athletics director Eric Hyman said about 9,500 tickets had been sold through the university — a total that includes as many as 1,500 tickets the athletics department purchased for band members, cheerleaders and player comps.

Barring strong walk-up sales, the game will not be a sellout. About 10,000 seats remained at the start of business Monday.

Man, when you can’t get the ‘Cock fan base pumped up about an Outback Bowl appearance, that’s a sign of the impending Apocalypse.  Next thing you know, these guys won’t be doing their annual preseason SECCG chest beating.

And that’s with a Stephen Garcia sales pitch, to boot.  Bummer, dude.


UPDATE: Technically this is unrelated, but amusing nonetheless.

When two teams get thrown together in a bowl game, they often don’t know a lot about each other or where they’re from.

Monday, I asked several South Carolina Gamecocks what they knew about Iowa Hawkeyes football and the state of Iowa in particular. The first answer I got gave me pause, but others saved the day.

“Iowa potatoes, that’s about it,” said USC defensive tackle Nathan Pepper.

But Pepper didn’t know the reference when I asked him if he was related to Sgt. Pepper of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club fame, either.

Although that last bit makes me feel old.


Filed under The Evil Genius

Does Pat Dye think Gus Malzahn is man enough?

Um… I’m not a genius when it comes to coachspeak, but I don’t think it takes too much to parse this statement

… The GMAC Bowl in Mobile, will be a showcase of sorts for Malzahn, as he’ll bring his offense in to the living room of anyone who wants to see what he’s all about.

“Coach (Todd) Graham was great to me at Tulsa. I really feel like it’s important for me to finish with the players. I’m extremely close to my players, I always have been. So I’ve got a chance to do that and do everything in my power to help Tulsa win that bowl game.

“At the same time, I believe Auburn recruits could get a visual of exactly what they’re going to see next year on the field.” [Emphasis added.]

and compare it to this one

“I know a lot of people categorize me as a spread team. We’re going to play smash-mouth football,” Malzahn said Monday night at a press conference that introduced him as Auburn’s newest coach…

to realize there’s some heavy BS coming out of ol’ Gus’ mouth.  If you’ve watched Tulsa play this year, “smash-mouth” is the last phrase you’d use to describe what Malzahn’s running.

But it’s a term near and dear to the hearts of many on the Plains, so expect it to be trotted out for everyone who wants to hear it – just not the recruits.  A little talking out of both sides of one’s mouth (and Malzahn’s sat at the feet of one of the masters at that in Graham) won’t bother anyone, as long as Auburn wins.


UPDATE: Smart Football’s Chris Brown breaks down the Malzahn offense for you here.  As you can imagine, there’s lots of good stuff to mull over, but nary a mention of “smash-mouth”.  (Although we do get a Wittgenstein reference, which isn’t something you see every day in a football blog.)


Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

What’s in your wallet? First thought on Cap One Bowl

I’ll try to get into a little more depth as the game approaches, but for a start, here’s the stat that jumps out at me:

  • Michigan State (#37 SOS per Sagarin) – 5.1 yards per play on offense; 5.3 yards per play on defense, for a net minus 0.2 ypp
  • Georgia (#14 SOS per Sagarin) – 6.8 yards per play on offense; 5.1 yards per play on defense, for a net plus 1.7 ypp.

Just to give you some context, Georgia beat four teams this season which managed not to give up more yards per play than they gained.  Those teams are Arizona State, Tennessee, LSU and South Carolina.

That’s no guarantee of success, of course.  But it’s a pretty good indication that Sparty isn’t anything special, either.


Filed under Georgia Football

Down for the count

Perhaps swayed by the less than brilliant clock management on display in the final two minutes of the Emerald Bowl, Randy Shannon cuts OC Patrick Nix loose.

Money quote:

“I enjoyed it here. I appreciated Randy giving me the opportunity,” Nix said. “I’d like to have gone with something more wide-open and more no-huddle. He and I had a philosophical difference on that.”

More no-huddle.  What’s that line about a man looks into the abyss and there’s nothing staring back at him?  Shannon contemplated a Nix-directed offense with even less structure, shuddered a bit and chose to move on.


Filed under ACC Football

O tempora o mores!

Let me see if I’ve got this straight.  8-8 San Diego is in the NFL playoffs, while 11-5 New England isn’t.  Even better, that San Diego team gets to host a game against the 12-4 Indianapolis Colts.

Where’s the outrage, I ask you?  I mean, last year Illinois gets into the Rose Bowl and you’d have thought based on all of the pants wetting we saw that the Republic’s very fate hung in the balance.

Granted, I am exaggerating somewhat here.  But amidst all of the hyperbole, there’s a valid point that I’d love to hear all you playoff proponents address:  how is this “settling it on the field”?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs