Thursday morning buffet

A few items of note for your sampling pleasure:

  • It looks like when Georgia travels to Stillwater, Oklahoma to play Okie State to kick off the ’09 season, the Cowboys will be breaking in a new defensive coordinator, just as was the case the last time the two played.
  • So, is Texas Tech negotiating a contract extension with Mike Leach, or not?
  • Ball State vs. Boise State isn’t going to happen.  Bummer.  Also, shortsighted.
  • Let me see if I’ve got this straight:  Charlie Weis has been the head coach at Notre Dame for four seasons and negotiated the mother of all contract extensions in his second year, but he and the AD just got around to “… coming up with a plan to make the Fighting Irish great again…” yesterday.  Better late than never, I suppose.
  • Unhappy about the BCS?  Hey, we’re from the NCAA web site, and we’re here to help.

17 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat..., College Football, Georgia Football, Mike Leach. Yar!, The NCAA

17 responses to “Thursday morning buffet

  1. Rusi

    I guess we will find out if WM has fixed his coaching problems with the defense pretty early next season.

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  2. Turd Ferguson

    At the end of last season, our defense was solid … and we were looking to start the 2008 season against a couple of cupcakes.

    Now, our defense is about as solid as a wet paper towel … and we’re looking to start the 2009 season against one of the best offenses in the country. (And unlike Georgia, Okie State will actually return all of their most important guys on offense.)

    I know it’s a long time from now, but we could easily be looking at an 0-2 start next season. Awesome.

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  3. Ally

    Can’t blame Ball State for not wanting to play Boise in their home stadium – that’s not a bowl game, its a regular season game with a distinct advantage to Boise.

    Interesting. So if Charlie & Notre Dame NOW have a plan to make the leprechauns great, then does that mean the “decided schematic advantage” will finally be unveiled? Because it damn sure hasn’t been seen by anyone other than Weiss the last 4 years. Can’t wait to see wht the genius comes up with next year.

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  4. Macallanlover

    Earlier this week Colin Cowherd compared The Big 3 auto companies to Notre Dame with Charlie Weiss at the helm. Basically said both were a flawed model operating in a “new world” environment and neither would be successful by doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

    When you look at the success “non-traditional” powers like Navy, Mizzou, Oregon, Wake Forest, Texas Tech, GT, WVU are enjoying with creative offenses you have to wonder if ND’s only chance is to employ these schemes which are alien to Weiss’ background (and which his ego may not allow him to fully explore.) Many of these programs do not get the 1st wave of talent coming out of HS but find plenty of recruits who played in these offenses in High School.

    After reading SI’s excellent article on the Single Wing offense in their Dec. 1 issue and seeing how far the “spread has spread”, you begin to understand how old these “new” concepts are, and how few dinosaurs are still running a pure Pro Style attack. Indeed you see versions now creeping slowly into the NFL, albeit on a very limited basis.

    UGA will certainly stay with its base offense for the near future, but it has to give rival DCs something else to prepare for with a different look occasionally, and it may help for our defense to see it in practice to better prepare for it when we face teams that utilize some variation of the spread/option/single wing, etc.

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  5. NM

    “UGA … has to give rival DCs something else to prepare for with a different look occasionally”

    Really? Seems like our offense has done OK lately. (See the Senator’s stats post — “Georgia ranks a staggering ninth in the country, at 6.8 ypp”) That’s the one side of the ball that doesn’t need many changes.

    ESPN’s TMQ column noted this week that despite the spread of spread-type O in the NFL, the league’s leading offense is the old-school Giants. And need I remind you how successful Auburn was this year when they abandoned more traditional offense?

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  6. Macallanlover

    Not arguing there isn’t room for the traditional, old school, style attacks, just stating that the gap has narrowed between the haves, and the have nots. We had very talented skill players this year that presented a difficult challenge for any DC because we had such great balance. Not sure how often we will see the combination of MS, Green/MoMass, and a Moreno in future years. If you take either of those components out I feel we would have been pretty average offensively. Hard to answer who will hurt us more to lose next year should Stafford and Moreno choose to leave, but I I would say Moreno. He kept numerous drives alive with his extraordinary ability to squeeze an extra two-three yards that no one else would have gotten.

    I agree we are a long way from seeing the same degree of change in the NFL, but there is a shortage of Manning, Brady, Farve type QBs coming from the college level. Miami seems to have found success in diversifying their attack to compensate for their lack of traditionally skilled players. That is the same reason we saw change begin at the college level. And it is the same reason many HS coaches state for adopting the new schemes.

    I really don’t think there is any downside from having a “Plan B” for those times we need a spark, or would like to confuse an opponent at a key point in the game. CMR has sent coaches to study the principles of the spread, including meeting with Rodriquez, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some new looks mixed in over the next few seasons. There wasn’t a great need this season with the players we had on board. I would attribute the catastrophy we saw at Michigan was attempting to go 100% with that change, and not having the personnel that fit the assignments. At TN and AU it was some of that combined with not being totally committed. There is room for more than one opinion, and it may not be possible to be “half pregnant” by mixing the two but we have a lot of athletes sitting on the sidelines that may be able to play a role.

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  7. Brian

    If we become the last remaining “dinosaur” running a Pro Style attack, wouldn’t that be a different look for rival DC’s to prepare for?

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  8. Hackerdog

    I think being one of the few teams running a pro style offense can help us. The next Stafford isn’t going to Florida or Michigan where he’ll be expected to run and dink passes with the rare deep ball thrown. He’ll want to come to UGA, where we teach the pocket passing, coverage reading skills he will need at the next level.

    The same goes for a running back. The spread attacks want small, fast backs. We may be the exception that is willing to take a traditional, run between the tackles tailback.

    There may be a concentration of skill at schools like UGA in the coming years.

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  9. Macallanlover

    True on both counts guys. If we become “unique” (before we become extinct, lol) we would be difficult to prepare for, just like the Triple Option has become. A few decades ago is was the norm (Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, etc.), or at least something you faced enough to have a good grasp on how to defend it. Now it is something “gimmicky” found at Navy, Air Force, and GT.

    And we have already benefited from schools who have changed to the spread offenses. How do you think we got Aaron Murray from Florida? He grew up a life-long Florida fan, but quickly looked around for a program that would develop his skills as a passer and prepare him for the NFL. Mark Richt has an excellent reputation as a person who has developed pro-style QBs, but don’t forget Charlie Ward was a mobile QB who won the Heisman under CMR. Look at Snead at Ole Miss, or the QB-in waiting at Arky who escaped from Michigan when Rodriquez came to Ann Arbor. There are cases of RBs avoiding the option schools as well.

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  10. cousinwalter

    I am not worried about Georgia finding a QB or another talented running back. I am much more concerned with the defense.

    Georgia’s problems seem to stem from their offensive line/defensive line problems. It seems that Georgia’s offensive line is constantly in the developmental stage. We are quick to say how great of a job Stacy Searles is doing giving the situation. Searles IS doing a great job giving the situation but why are we in the situation in the first place?

    Georgia’s defensive line exhibited no push at all. No outside pressure from the ends. Other than Rennie Curran, there’s not much that can be said about Georgia’s line backing corp and I think the Georgia secondary is nothing to talk about it. What bothers me is when CMR is asked about this he acts like it’s not that big of deal, almost in denial.

    As far as Charlie Weis is concerned, he just doesn’t seem to have the ability to coach his players up. His past 3 recruiting class have been top 10. So what is the problem, Charlie? The Notre Dame Football team looks a team that doesn’t give a shit. NO HEART. If I were a Notre Dame Fan or alumnus I would be embarrassed to call them “My Team”.

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  11. Hackerdog

    The offensive line is thin because of injuries and it’s young because of negligence in recruiting by Callaway. He signed too many projects on the line. Those guys got hurt or otherwise didn’t work out and he didn’t have enough guys behind them. The problem will be much better next year and shouldn’t be a problem any longer. We have signed multiple offensive lineman in the last two years and we should have enough next year to have an experienced starting line and several experienced backups.

    As for defense, I think our personnel will improve next year. I’m satisfied with the athletic ability of our cornerbacks and DTs and I think the linebackers will be OK. I’m optimistic about the DEs. But I’m worried about our safeties. We’ve had poor play at safety all year long. Maybe Rambo can be an upgrade next year.

    But as with this year, I’m concerned that our defensive coaches will allow good talent to go to waste by failing to teach the fundamentals.

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  12. cousinwalter

    I read in the AJC that superstar DB recruit Branden Smith’s mother gave her vote for Georgia.

    I feel good about the future of the defense myself. Toby Jackson coming in from Hargraves and Cornelius Washington out of Burke County, Longo, and few others. They definitely have the young talent at defensive end. I just think too many people expected these freshmen to mature like a Chia pet.

    I can fully accept “18 season ending injuries” as a defense for this season’s result. I just wish they would acknowledge that they have a problem as opposed to dancing around it.

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  13. Hackerdog

    The problem with the injury bug as an excuse is that it struck the offense disproportionately, and the offense did well. I think our red zone difficulty was the most serious result from not having the ability to run the ball powerfully between the tackles. And that’s because we didn’t have an experienced line with the right people in the right positions.

    On defense, Owens going down hurt. And Ellerbe losing time didn’t help. But our most glaring issues were poor fundamentals and being stupidly aggressive. As I said before, we can only hope the coaching staff can do better next year.

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  14. I don’t know if familiarity is as much of an issue as it is the time it takes to learn and master a given system.

    The biggest complaint over the years with the pro style / west coast / whatever is that, well, it’s a pro style. Pro teams invest years and countless hours on the practice field around a quarterback who can learn it. Even a bright guy like Matt Ryan, who learned a pro offense in college from a former pro OC, has had to have his NFL offense simplified in his rookie year.

    College offenses are much more limited in the time they can spend working on the reads and timing. That’s true of any system, but I think the pro-style is at more of a disadvantage. It was only this year that we read comments from Richt about Stafford finally seeing the field and being completely comfortable with the offense.

    By the time a college QB masters a pro-style offense, it’s graduation time. Of course seniors in any system should be an advantage. But, taking Tech as an example, it’s possible to install a successful option offense in less than a year using two sophs and a freshman doing most of the work.

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  15. cousinwalter

    Matt Ryan succeeded at BC with below average talent and he is doing the same with the Falcons. The Falcons offense is really not that complicated. It also helps that Michael Turner is going to carry the ball 30 times or more. The Falcons offense is also the same offense that Ben Rothlesburger ran his rookie year and his still running with the Steelers. If I butchered Big Ben’s last name, I am sorry.

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  16. NRBQ

    Hacker,

    Don’t you think our inability to run between the tackles in the red zone rests equally with our unwillingness to use two superb fullbacks?

    I’d love to know how many carries they got inside the 20. Let alone from any point on the rest of the field.

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  17. Hackerdog

    The playcalling (not using the fullbacks) may be a small part of the issue, but our O line has not been able to blow any team off the ball this year. We can’t ask Chapas to take on a DT to open a hole for Moreno. If the best we can ask of our OL is a stalemate at the line of scrimmage, then we’re better off running screens and sweeps. And that’s what we’ve done this year. I actually think Bobo has done a very good job, considering our personnel issues.

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