Kiffin hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with other coaches in Tuscaloosa. He acknowledged as much Tuesday at a Peach Bowl press conference while praising Nick Saban’s decision to make Steve Sarkisian the next offensive coordinator.
“He’ll do a great job with Coach,” Kiffin said. “Coach talked to me about it, and I think in some ways, he’ll do a much better job than I do with Coach.”
When asked to explain what he meant, Kiffin replied, “The way I would describe it without details is (Sarkisian’s) personality will work a little bit better than mine with coaches, and I’m not saying it was a bad thing at all. I would say Sark manages people better than I do at times.”
For three years, Kiffin and Saban made an odd couple that helped Saban evolve to changing offenses in football and tried to help Kiffin repair his image. The “ass chewings” Kiffin received on the sideline — as Saban likes to call them — complemented sustained success by Alabama’s offense.
“I don’t recall a happy moment,” Kiffin said when asked for his happiest moment with Saban. “I just recall the ass chewings. I won’t take that part of the process with me (to Florida Atlantic), though.”
Honestly, having watched Alabama and Georgia football for a while, this strikes me as kind of a strange perspective:
Pruitt inherited a talented bunch to work with, but it’s his personality that has earned him the most respect from the players.
“I think he’s just brought us all more together,” Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey said. “I feel like he cares more about us that previous coordinators we’ve had. I think that’s always a good thing when you feel you can go up to your defensive coordinator and talk with him about whatever, other than just football.”
Humphrey’s words are strong considering Smart was Alabama’s defensive coordinator for nearly a decade.
It’s only one kid, so take that for what it’s worth. I would bet that Maurice Smith has a different opinion on Smart’s level of care.
Then again, maybe it’s about being around Nick Saban longer.
I know this WSJ piece is about the NFL, but it’s still a fascinating statistical look at how successful conventional playcalling is.
… The NFL’s current roster of coaches is a very conservative bunch. And that might not be a formula for success.
A Wall Street Journal analysis of NFL play calling this season shows that—despite a legion of mathematicians, economists and win probability models urging them to take more chances—most of the league’s coaches still reach for the conventional choice by habit.
The Journal analysis examines how coaches played their hand this season across three broad categories of game management: fourth downs; play calling (blitzing on defense; passing on early downs or with the lead on offense) and special teams (going for a 2-point conversion and onside kicks when ahead).
I would argue there’s more than just habit at work here. There’s also the parity factor. When you don’t have a huge talent gap between teams — and say what you will, the gap in the NFL is way smaller than the gap in college — the consequences of coaches’ decision making at key times become magnified, especially those decisions that backfire. Wrapping oneself in conventional wisdom is an obvious defense to criticism.
Again, one of the great things about college football is that disparity in resources forces greater creativity in strategy to try to offset the disadvantage than we see in the pros. At least that’s the case at schools that don’t use their backup quarterbacks to field punts.
An area Georgia hasn’t fared well this season is in red zone defense. When opposing teams get inside the 20, Georgia has allowed a scoring conversion rate of 94.6 percent. Twenty-nine of the 35 scores were touchdowns, with the Bulldogs having a hard time of holding teams to field goals in the red zone.
Tucker said this has been an area of emphasis, especially since TCU has posted touchdowns on 30 of its 44 red zone scores.
Per Bill Connelly, advanced stats suggest the typical coach sees a big bump up in S&P+ ratings in his second year. (Yay!)
Unfortunately, things flatline from there.
No matter how good you’ve been, you’re likely to improve in your coach’s second year. But outside of that second-year window, your fortunes depend as much on recent fortune as tenure. To some degree, everybody regresses or progresses toward the mean.
Now, this is an overly gloomy assessment in any individual coach’s case, of course. (Not to mention Bill hedges on whether the data is statistically significant.) But it’s probably worth keeping in mind that a positive move in Georgia’s fortunes next season wouldn’t be a shock.
My, what a fine anti-playoff screed John U. Bacon delivers here. (Although I can’t figure out what Mark Emmert has to do with the CFP.) Actually, it’s more of an anti-college football management screed, when you get down to it.
First, they quadrupled the number of bowl games, from 11 to 41, which require 82 teams to fill them. Now just about any team with a winning record gets to go.
Then they tacked on a twelfth regular season game, when schools play “tomato cans” like McNeese State, Norfolk State and Bethune-Cookman, all just to grab another payday.
Then they piled on conference title games, too, increasing the total games a team can play from 11 to 14 — just two shy of an NFL season.
But we need a playoff now, they told us, to determine who’s best on the field. How? Instead of picking two teams based on polls, strength of schedule and computerized rankings, now they pick four teams — based on polls, strength of schedule and computerized rankings. Problem solved. Instead of the third-ranked team complaining that it got screwed, now the fifth-place team does all the whining. Another problem solved.
Remember, it’s all for us fans. Just ask Bill Hancock.
Boy, tell me you can’t hear the faint, mournful chime of inevitability behind this:
This isn’t the first Georgia football team to lose to Georgia Tech, and it wouldn’t be the first Georgia team to lose its bowl game.
Losing to the Yellow Jackets and in a bowl in the same season, however, is quite the rarity for the Bulldogs. Not since 1989, when Ray Goff was in his first year as Georgia’s head coach, have the Bulldogs lost to their in-state rivals and in the postseason.
If there’s one phrase that best characterizes the 2016 season, it’s “not since”.
“And Georgia fans, don’t be turds. Enjoy this. Soak it up. It’s awesome. If you don’t win this year, it’s still not a failure. It’s a heck of a run. Back-to-back in the Playoff era hasn’t been done. So, to ask for a third I feel like it’s gluttonous. I feel like it’s not OK. But we’ll be in the mix.”-- David Pollack, On3.com, 5/9/23