Daily Archives: December 24, 2015

You couldn’t pay him enough to coach at Auburn.

Penn State’s defensive coordinator Bob Shoop turns down a $1.5 million a year offer to get on the Gus Bus.  Repeatedly, evidently.

According to a dependable source in Alabama, Shoop has turned down multiple offers to meet with Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and discuss filling the Tigers’ vacant defensive coordinator position. And it would have been at a salary that would’ve made him at or very near the highest paid coordinator in college football.

Both last week and this week, intermediaries from both camps were in contact, each time initiated by Auburn, the source told me. Early this week, Malzahn offered to meet to discuss the position with Shoop who is preparing the Penn State defense for its game on Jan. 2 against Auburn’s SEC stablemate Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

But, on each occasion, Shoop declined a formal meeting and told Auburn he was not interested in its position.

Hard to believe, I know.



Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Selfish bastards, wanting to win a national title

Dan Mullen’s been where Kirby Smart is.

Mullen was hired at Mississippi State on Dec. 11, 2008, and he didn’t go back to Gainesville until Christmas Eve. He missed Florida’s first few bowl practices for the BCS National Championship game against Oklahoma because he was already working at Mississippi State. He no longer needed to attend Florida’s recruiting meetings because he was now recruiting against them.

“If it was just a regular bowl game, I don’t know if they would’ve wanted me back,” he said, “and I don’t know if I would’ve wanted to do that.”

Because it was for a national title, though, the Gators wanted their OC and quarterbacks coach calling the plays — and Mullen didn’t want to miss it.

“To be in a national championship game, the first thought that goes through your mind is, I want to finish what I’ve started,” he said. “You have a chance to win a championship, especially for the players more than anything. You want to be there for the guys you recruited and the coaches who helped you get there.”

Mullen not only had to balance the two, he had to do so at a time when his wife was seven months pregnant.

For him and Tom Herman, they managed to make a go of things and win rings.  For Mark Richt, not so much, as Bobby Bowden somewhat sourly recounts.

Richt had been hired as head coach at Georgia, and was trying to adjust to that role while preparing the Seminoles for the No. 1-ranked Sooners in the Orange Bowl. It didn’t turn out so well, as Florida State lost 13-2.

“No. 1, we didn’t score a touchdown,” Bowden said. “I think I’ve heard [Richt] say he felt like he was unable to do the job he wanted to do under those circumstances. He did the best he could. There’s no doubt about it. He worked as hard as he could, but there’s no doubt they are distracted on something like this. You’re playing for a national championship, man, you need 100 percent attention.”

Maybe that was more a reflection of the head coach than the assistant. Just sayin’ … it worked out at Florida and Ohio State.


Filed under College Football

“But is that what you want from your athletic director?”

As much as I bitch about Greg McGarity’s perceived shortcomings, I’ll be the first to admit things could be a helluva lot worse.  Take LSU, for example.  Please.


Filed under SEC Football, See You In Court

Kirby Smart and the death of instant gratification

I guess I should have expected it, but it’s still been something to read all of the angst on Dawg message boards and in some of the comments here as a consequence of Smart’s decision to coach Alabama’s defense in the CFP.  Saban’s made Georgia his bitch, Kirby’s a chump, recruiting is a mess, where are the new assistant coaches… you name a topic, there’s venting about it.

Why so worked up, peeps?

Yes, there have been a moderate number of defections on the recruiting front.  But Eason has reaffirmed his commitment and there are kids, like Ben Davis, who’ve stepped up to claim a new, strong interest in Georgia that more than offset the number of decommitments.  It’s the dead period, so whatever contact there is between the coaching staff and recruits during this time is largely going to occur under the radar, anyway.

As for the coaching staff, again, given how closemouthed Smart’s been to date, why should anyone expect to know who he’s spoken with about the open assistant positions, or even how he envisions the makeup of his staff until we’re presented with the hires?  And what exactly does Georgia gain by naming someone to, say, the spot vacated by Thomas Brown today rather than a week or two from now?  Certainly nothing on the Xs and Os side and, again, as far as recruiting goes, it doesn’t seem like the Dawgs under Smart are running into huge problems right now with six coaches running things during the month of December.

It’s the internet age and we all have short attention spans.  I know.  But we’d best get used to receiving news about the program at the pace Smart prefers rather than what we’d like.  ‘Cause that’s part of the Process.


Filed under Georgia Football

A turned page on offense

Everybody gone, mane.

As things stand now, only two of Georgia’s coaches in bowl practice next week and in the Jan. 2 bowl game will be sticking around the next day: Defensive assistants Kevin Sherrer and Tracy Rocker.

The offensive staff is experiencing a complete housecleaning: McClendon is leaving for South Carolina, running backs coach Thomas Brown is going to Miami, offensive line coach Rob Sale is going to Louisiana-Monroe (according to 247Sports), and tight ends coach John Lilly has already cleaned out his office, according to two people familiar with Georgia’s program.

Lilly turned down a chance to join re-join Mark Richt in Miami, said one of those with knowledge of the situation.

The other full-time assistant coach on Georgia’s offense this year, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, is already gone, not coaching in the bowl after his job was filled by Jim Chaney…

When in the course of one season you fall from 37th to 76th in total offense, from 7th to 30th in offensive yards per play and from 8th to 84th in scoring offense, it’s obvious that a lot of the blame for that has to fall on the coaching staff.  (And, yes, that includes the guy who thought bringing Schottenheimer in was a good idea.)  Sure, losing Chubb for much of the season didn’t help production, but you can’t lay all of the dramatics on that.

Given that, it’s hard to get choked up too much by the departures.  Let’s just hope Smart and Chaney have some good replacements in the pipeline coming.


Filed under Georgia Football

“Joey Jones led me to the Lord that night.”

For those of you who like to claim that Richt’s strong religious beliefs handicapped the program, how do you explain Clemson’s number one ranking and this?


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake

Stage parents are the worst.

I think appalling is the word I’m looking for here.

That’s certainly the case surrounding Shawn Nieto, the starting running back for Cleveland High School in New Mexico. As reported by the Rio Rancho Observer and Albuquerque Journal, Nieto suffered an expected concussion in his team’s state semifinal victory against Mayfield; the injury was diagnosed by the team’s medical trainer after examining the running back. By state regulation, that concussion required Nieto to sit out for at least seven days, a term that made him ineligible for Cleveland’s state final against Eldorado.

Yet Nieto was allowed to play in the final game of his junior season because his parents filed a temporary restraining order in a local court, barring his school from implementing New Mexico House Bill 101, which establishes the state’s concussion protocol.

“Once our trainer (Jeff Archuleta) identified the concussion, I backed him 100 percent,” Rio Rancho athletic director Bruce Carver told the Observer. “The parents took it to court on Friday and got a TRO; the judge ruled he could play. We were given a court order that the district was not to interfere.

“Our superintendent and I agreed that a judge’s ruling over-rules a director’s director. We told (coach Heath Ridenour) to play Nieto if he wanted to … totally his decision.”

I have no idea if this kid’s talented enough to play college ball, but if I were a college coach, there is no way I’d touch him with a ten-foot pole.  His parents seem like real pips.

As it turns out, the court’s decision was predicated largely on a medical evaluation by Dr. Karen Ortiz, who saw Nieto three days after the semifinal game and found no direct proof of any head injury. However, in the days since that ruling was provided to the courts, Ortiz has rescinded her own opinion, citing a lack of prior information in ruling that Nieto could safely return to competition.

“Had I understood that there was a loss of consciousness, I would have never provided medical clearance,” Ortiz wrote to in a letter to Rio Rancho Public Schools and the NMAA. “Allowing Mr. Shawn Nieto to return to play at this time may result in a wide range of long-term neuropsychologic disorders as well as possible catastrophic brain injury, unfortunately.”

To withhold medical evidence so your child can play… you’ve got to be pretty fixated on his sporting career to do that.  Being a little sociopathic probably wouldn’t hurt, either.  Sheesh.



Filed under The Body Is A Temple