Daily Archives: May 22, 2009

Everything old is new again.

Smart Football’s Chris Brown has a neat post up about Urban Meyer channeling the Bear.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Ain’t nothin’ free.

All that wonderful new TV money raining down on the SEC… now it’s time for the check to be presented:

… Since every SEC football game will now be televised, Adams said he expects Georgia will be playing more night games under the new deal, probably one more per year.

Games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU and regional syndication will generally be played in prime time, according to the SEC.

“Our posture remains we prefer Saturday afternoon football,” Adams said.

Evans said Georgia is likely to request some noon slots instead of night games from the network.

The new deal requires two SEC Thursday night games a year, Adams said, but some schools like Georgia have a posture of not playing on Thursdays.

Yeah, but…

Other schools are also more receptive to playing under the lights more often.

Evans said the biggest change he expects are more night games on the road.

ESPN, all I can say is that if you’re gonna jerk us around with all of this night action, the least you can do is give us Uncle Ron.



Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Kiffin watch: Can you put an athletic department on lithium?

The UT athletic director is bi-polar.  So is his football program.

Lane Kiffin has done just what his new boss at Tennessee wanted him to do: Put the Volunteers back in the national spotlight.

And while the new coach has ruffled some feathers with his bold moves and brash comments, athletic director Mike Hamilton told The Associated Press Thursday that Kiffin’s statements have been “misunderstood.”

Make up your minds.  Junior likes to claim that every move he’s made has been purposeful and that things have gone according to plan.  Now he’s “misunderstood”.   Oh, please.

“When you think about the fact that our football program was 5-7 last year, and we’ve got a coach that’s not coached a game yet in college football, but yet, we’re on the front page of USA Today sports (Tuesday) … it’s really quite amazing,” he said.

That’s Tennessee football today in a nutshell.

Look for another front page story soon.  Maybe this one.

The buildup to Lane Kiffin’s first season at Tennessee continues to be one wild and crazy ride.

He’s gigged rival coaches, pried away top recruits from rival schools, infuriated an entire community with his unflattering post-signing day comments, landed a reprimand from the SEC and accumulated a handful of NCAA secondary violations along the way.

Now Kiffin has the first turnover on his staff — all in about six months’ time.

Sources told ESPN.com that Kiffin and his strength and conditioning coach, Mark Smith, met on Thursday and agreed to part ways…

This is the guy he pried away from Spurrier – and did a fair amount of chest-beating when he did so.  That was so six months ago, though.  Today, it’s a different story.  No one’s giving a reason for the dismissal, but it’s worth noting that it’s not like Smith doesn’t have a respectable background.

… Smith’s resume also includes two years in the NFL, first with the Washington Redskins in 2003 and then with New Orleans Saints in 2004.

Smith was a two-year starter at linebacker for North Carolina State. He began his strength and conditioning career as assistant strength coach for the Wolfpack from 1993-97. He moved to Florida as strength coordinator from 1998-2001 and spent 2002 as head of the Kansas program before moving to the NFL.

Now he’s pumping gas.


UPDATE: Chris Low adds this note.

… It sounds like Tennessee will now go after Aaron Ausmus, who was Ed Orgeron’s strength coach at Ole Miss and worked with both Kiffin and Orgeron at Southern California. Orgeron has a lot of juice in all the decisions that are being made right now within the football program, and Ausmus is clearly one of his guys.

So the guy with the 5-15 head coaching record who’s new to the SEC is leaning heavily for advice on the guy who had a conference record of 3-21 as a head coach.  Makes perfect sense.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

“… shame on us if we don’t get them done.”

Any sympathy I felt for college athletics administrators after reading this completely dissipated after reading this.

Comments Off on “… shame on us if we don’t get them done.”

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

If it was good enough for Chris Leak…

I know what you’re thinking – he’s linked to this article about player arrests at Florida, so here’s some choice talk about the Urbanator’s latest little angel – but, no, you’d be wrong thinking that.  I’m more interested in this quote from the SEC’s reigning King of BS.

Meyer said that senior quarterback Tim Tebow will see more time under center next season, but the goal isn’t to solely get him ready for the NFL. “The 2006 national championship game 35 percent of our plays were under center,” Meyer said. “Chris Leak, he was very comfortable…” [Emphasis added.]

Yeah, that ’06 offense was hell on wheels.  Here are a few comparisons between the offense from that season and from last year’s, when they deployed the GPOOE™ strictly from the shotgun (stats courtesy of cfbstats.com):

  • Scoring offense:  2008, 43.6 ppg (4th nationally); 2006, 29.7 ppg (23rd nationally)
  • Total offense:  2008, 445.1 ypg (15th nationally); 2006, 396.1 ypg (19th nationally)
  • Passer rating:  Tim Tebow (2008), 172.38 (4th nationally); Chris Leak (2006), 144.93 (23rd nationally)

Gee, I wonder how the Gators would have done in ’06 if Leak hadn’t been comfortable.

If you really want to stack the deck, consider that last season the Gators averaged 44.88 ppg in conference play – better than their seasonal average.  Compare that to the results in 2006, when Florida averaged a whopping 22.25 ppg in its SEC games.  Yeah, that’s less than half what they scored with a quarterback only in the shotgun.

Look, I have no idea whether this grand experiment with the GPOOE™ is going to succeed beyond Meyer’s wildest dreams.  But don’t try to sell this as anything more than it is – a reclamation project for Tebow’s draft hopes.  The idea that there’s something about the 2006 offense that justifies a move under center as a boost to the Gator offense this season is ludicrous.

Now Florida’s schedule this season is less than daunting and with all eleven starters back on defense, it’s likely to mean that this plan is a toy Meyer will be able to play with all season without much of a problem.  But it’ll be interesting to see what happens if the offense sputters a bit and it leads to some close calls.


Filed under Stats Geek!, Urban Meyer Points and Stares