Daily Archives: January 10, 2015

The Sale is made.

And so begins the Georgia career of the coach whose name is likely to generate the most word play in the coming season from hack bloggers like me.

Rob Sale, a former LSU interior lineman, spent the past three seasons at McNeese State, an FCS school in Louisiana, where he was the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Prior to that Sale was an assistant strength and conditioning coach and offensive analyst at Alabama.

Sale, a native of Monroe, La., was a three-year starter on the LSU offensive line from 2001-03. He played guard and center.

“We’re excited about the addition of Rob as our new offensive line coach and look forward to the contributions he’ll make to our program,” head coach Mark Richt said in a statement Saturday. “I firmly believe he’s going to be the perfect fit for Georgia.”

I presume the next note will come as no surprise to anyone who’s followed Georgia football over the past year.

He was on the same Alabama staff from 2007-11 as Jeremy Pruitt, now Georgia’s defensive coordinator, and Kevin Sherrer, now a Georgia assistant coach. The Bulldogs also recently hired Mark Hoeke, who had been at Alabama, as strength and conditioning coordinator.

For all of you who bemoan that it’s a shame Georgia isn’t more like Alabama, happier now?

Sale has a lot to work with next season.  Hopefully he can hit his stride quickly in the last month of recruiting and take it from there.

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41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“Four is the right number.”

If anyone knows the sweet spot for the size of a college sport’s playoff field, Ohio State AD Gene Smith is your guy.

“You’ll always have somebody left out. I was (chair) of the (NCAA basketball tournament) selection committee and we put in 68, and people wanted to talk about 69 and 70. The reality is, this works and we’ll keep tweaking it to get better.”

I keed, I keed.  Seriously, is that not as perfect an example of a total lack of self-awareness as you could imagine?

And, again, Gene baby, you didn’t stop at 68 because it worked.  You stopped because you couldn’t get the networks to pony up enough jack for the privilege of broadcasting a 96-team show.

So we’ll see how perfect four teams are in light of news like this.

My bet is Gene will be telling us how much better the eight-team tweak is soon enough.

27 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

“I would be foolish if I weren’t concerned.”

As closing the barn door after the horse is seen in the next county-type decisions go, this one’s first-rate:

Facing intense scrutiny from his faculty, University of Alabama at Birmingham president Ray Watts announced Friday an independent reexamination of financial figures from a study used to justify the elimination of the football, bowling and rifling programs.

CBSSports.com found several discrepancies in the full report produced by consultant Bill Carr. Watts, who would not discuss specifics about the report, said at a news conference he still believes the initial study’s data is as accurate as when he eliminated football last month.

So he’s going to study a study that he still thinks is right.  And in the end, what difference will it make if the same people on UAB’s Board of Trustees still have to be mollified?

Bill Clark was selected as UAB’s coach and led the Blazers to bowl eligibility for the first time in 10 years. Mackin said on the recordings that he initially favored hiring South Alabama coach Joey Jones, a former Crimson Tide player, in part because of his relationship with Bryant.

“So Paul Jr. is probably a fan of his,” Mackin said on the recording. “But Paul Jr. does nothing for me. We’ve just got to tolerate him. No coach is going to make him change his position on UAB football.”

He’s UAB’s Mr. Potter.  And Bryant’s not the only one.

After a local business owner pledged money last spring to pay for the installation of artificial turf on one of UAB’s football practice fields, UA System trustee Finis St. John shot down the plan, according to two UAB boosters.

The money was part of a $1 million pledge.

I’d call it a mess, except guys like Bryant and St. John are getting exactly what they want.  That sounds more like a plan to me.  Tough luck for UAB supporters.  Maybe they’ll be interested in buying Alabama season tickets now.

19 Comments

Filed under Whoa, oh, Alabama

Mark Richt defends the crayon.

And all you spread proponents can kiss his ass.

“… We run a pro-style attack. A lot of teams across the country are spread and do a lot of zone read with the quarterback and protect in certain ways. It’s not been what we’re about.We’re about running the ball a certain way and having the diversity in the passing game to be as sophisticated as anyone in the country with our protections and route concepts. We’re not just throwing four verts and smash routes. We’ve got an intricate passing game and protections scheme. We put a lot on our quarterback to make decisions at the line of scrimmage…”

This is actually a more interesting comment than you might think.  Richt is committed to a pro-style attack in a spread age. That’s not an easy thing to do, for a number of reasons.  One is that the coaching pool is smaller, as Brian Schottenheimer explains.

“The good thing about me is I’m coming into a situation where there’s good coaches on the staff. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel. Philosophically, we see things the same way. The pro-style offense. We’re going to run the football. Obviously, that’s a big part of what we’re doing. It was an easy fit, an exciting fit, because not a lot of teams in college football are doing it that way.”

From Richt’s perspective, there had to be a little frustration over Bobo’s departure, even as his personal success was applauded.  Richt spent seven years grooming Bobo into one of the best offensive coordinators in the country, running a pro-style attack.  And now the wheel has to be reinvented in an era when coaching talent experienced in pro-style offenses is harder to find – in other words, more expensive.

No wonder Richt said the possibility of him taking back the coordinator reins was there (“It could have possibly come to that…”).

The potential reward goes back to something Heisman Pundit discussed here a few years ago, the value of running a contrarian system.  The more teams structure their defenses to counter the spread, the harder it becomes for them to deal with the pro-style power game.  Don’t laugh, but I’ll be very curious to see how Schottenheimer does against Alabama in a few months.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Zooker and The Hat

No, it’s not Hollywood’s latest buddy flick.  It’s my favorite offseason rumor.

Needless to say, I’m disappointed somebody had to go out there and spoil it with, you know, real news:  “A source close to the LSU staff told The Advocate that Zook is not a serious candidate.”  Damn it!

Hey, I’m not giving up.  This is Les Miles we’re talking about here.  Some of those fourth down calls weren’t serious, either.

4 Comments

Filed under The Adventures of Zook, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat