Daily Archives: January 19, 2010

And like that, Reggie Ball has a future.

The best part of the announcement that Chan Gailey has been hired as the new head coach of the Buffalo Bills is to find this tidbit permanently attached to his resume:

… At Georgia Tech, Gailey led the Yellow Jackets to six bowl appearances, but his time there ended after a 7-5 finish and going 0-6 against rival Georgia.

Nice looking goose egg.

Also, is Buddy Nix related in any way to Patrick Nix?  Because that would, like, be teh awesome.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football

Somebody hired a defensive coordinator quickly.

Kevin Steele is the new DC at Tennessee.  And the Nick Saban influence at UT keeps growing.

But don’t despair, Dawg fans.  There was a strong rumor out there of someone who would have been a lot scarier had his hire come to pass.


UPDATE: If this rumor is true, I understand how the hire came so fast.  Jeez, that’s ridiculous money.  Although Hamilton will probably argue he’s saving 50% at the position from last year’s cost.


UPDATE #2: Evidently the money was crazy, but in the end, not crazy enough.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Tuesday morning buffet

Grab a plate, campers.

  • Stewart Mandel lists his winners and losers of schools in the wake of juniors leaving early for the NFL.  Georgia is on his biggest loser list.  I wonder if Mandel thought as highly of Reshad Jones during the season as he seems to now.
  • I was gonna be big and not mention it, but since these guys did… here you go.  (And they’re right.)
  • Gus Malzahn isn’t interested in the Louisiana Tech job.
  • If you’re looking for some good stuff on what a team faces in switching from a 4-3 defensive scheme to a 3-4, this interview with former Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator Joe Collier is for you.
  • Chris Low concludes his looking-back-at-the-decade piece with a classy touch.
  • The Fulmer Cup race has gotten off to a roaring start, albeit with a surprising early leader.
  • More thoughts on defensive scheming(h/t Smart Football)


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Strategery And Mechanics

Recruiting in a 3-4 world

It’s been interesting reading the Georgia Tech message boards in the wake of Al Groh’s hire as that school’s new defensive coordinator.  Skipping past the “we’ve got the greatest pair of coordinators in the country now!” and the “Look! The ESPN fan poll says Tech made a better DC hire than Georgia!” threads, what’s interesting is how convinced most of the posters are that they’re in for a seamless transition.  I’m not sure I’m buying that (before you get started with me, Tech fans, I’m not sure about Georgia’s transition either).

Here’s what I think about the move, at least early on.

  1. From an Xs and Os standpoint, it’s an excellent hire. Groh knows the 3-4 as well as anyone.  He’s a very good teacher, to boot.  I don’t doubt for a minute that once he gets his system completely in place it should work.  With one condition.
  2. Personnel matters as much with a 3-4 as it does with a 4-3. The 3-4 isn’t the primary base defense in college, but it’s not nearly as exotic in its personnel needs as Johnson’s offense is.  You still need elite athletes to run a 3-4 at an elite level.  How will Georgia Tech sign them?
  3. Al Groh’s recruiting skills are somewhat overrated, at least of late. No doubt he came out roaring when he took the Virginia job and recruited well for the first few years of his tenure in Charlottesville.  But Virginia’s recruiting was in a state of steady decline for the last three years.  Put it this way:  according to Scout, Georgia Tech’s recruiting rankings were higher than Virginia’s in ’06, ’07 and ’08.  That doesn’t mean that Tech’s are likely to decline, just that Groh may not bring as much to the table as Tech fans believe he will.
  4. The 3-4 doesn’t clear a path to recruits like the triple option does. As I’ve posted before, one of the things I like about Johnson’s offense is that there are certain kids who Tech will be able to get who will thrive in the triple option unlike in more traditional offenses.  Less competition for certain talented recruits is a benefit for Johnson (who could care less about the down side of not being able to pitch his offense as a track for the NFL).  Not so with the 3-4.  Johnson’s in-state rival, which has dominated in-state recruiting for many years, is also switching to the 3-4.  Nick Saban, wearing that shiny new MNC ring, frequently fishes in Georgia waters for recruits to his 3-4 defense (and Saban’s considered a bigger 3-4 guru than Groh).  In other words, it’s still gonna be the same tough sledding for Tech that it’s been.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football

How does Mike Hamilton have a job today?

I’m sure many will be amused by Clay Travis’ latest anti-Kiffin screed.  I was amused too, but what I suspect is for a different reason.  After going through Travis’ lengthy (and I do mean lengthy) shopping list of Junior’s petty crimes and misdemeanors, with a few sprinkles of Coach O and Dad tossed in for good measure, all I could think was how could Mike Hamilton not see the train wreck coming almost from the get-go?  That Kool-Aid must have been mighty tasty.  Yet, Travis gives Hamilton a pass, of sorts.

15. Is this Mike Hamilton’s fault?

Probably not, but he shoulders the blame.

Well, that made me chuckle, anyway.

The thing is, those superb instincts that have served the University of Tennessee’s football program so well over the last two years are still in play.  Hamilton has suddenly found religion about Kiffin’s and Orgeron’s recruiting tactics.

Specifically, athletic director Mike Hamilton is concerned with contact that former UT coaches might have had with the Vols’ committed and enrolled prospects, as well as contact those coaches, who are now at Southern California, may have had with personnel still employed by the athletic department.

“We are looking into it and if there is action to be taken, certainly we will,” Hamilton said via text message Monday. “At this point, anything else would be speculative.”

Current employees of the athletic department will be scrutinized. Hamilton said phone records and e-mail will be checked to see if any employees transferred recruiting material to USC, specifically to former UT recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron after he left Knoxville for Southern California.

Now he sees it.  The thing is, what does he think the rest of the conference was bitching about (which Junior was vigorously defending) for the past fourteen months?  That matters more than a little here.  Hamilton’s not some starry-eyed fan who got sucked in; he’s the guy in charge, responsible for making sure the program doesn’t run afoul of the SEC and the NCAA, who got sucked in.

And he couldn’t handle the new coaching hire cleanly.  Kippy Brown, by Hamilton’s own admission, was treated shabbily.

… Hamilton said he could understand if Brown felt shaken by the process.

“I’m sure he probably felt that way, but the guys that are on the inside know how hard we worked making sure we gave him an adequate chance to tell us what he would do if he were the coach,” Hamilton said. “It wasn’t the best of scenarios. I admit that freely.”

It wasn’t a racial thing, although it’s already being interpreted that way.  It’s just plain old incompetence.  You don’t conduct an interview with a man you’ve asked to come back to his school for the third time as an assistant coach, whom you then ask to act as the interim head coach when your star hire bails out on you by informing him that you’ve already decided on your first choice “… to get the job offer, but you need to have a fair chance to tell us what your program would look like.” At least you don’t if you know what you’re doing for a living.  (Coach Garner, take note.)


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange