Daily Archives: December 10, 2017

Changing of the guard

So, the dust has settled, and the SEC has five new head coaches:  Chad Morris at Arkansas, Dan Mullen at Florida, Joe Moorhead at Mississippi State, Jeremy Pruitt at Tennessee and Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M.

This piece on Morris and his brand of offense got me to thinking (again) about the topic of why there’s been so much coaching turnover in the conference in the past three seasons and what athletic directors are hoping for with the changes they’ve made.

Saban, of course, is my response to the first question.  As for the second, that’s a bit more convoluted to winnow out.  Start with this:  what’s the background for the current group of SEC coaches?

SEC WEST

  • Alabama:  Saban, former defensive coordinator
  • Arkansas:  Morris, former offensive coodinator
  • Auburn:  Malzahn, former offensive coordinator
  • LSU:  Orgeron, former defensive line coach
  • Mississippi State:  Moorhead, former offensive coordinator
  • Ole Miss:  Luke, former offensive line coach
  • Texas A&M:  Fisher, former (Saban)  offensive coordinator

SEC EAST

  • Florida:  Mullen, former offensive coordinator
  • Georgia:  Smart, former (Saban) defensive coordinator
  • Kentucky:  Stoops, former defensive coordinator
  • Missouri:  Odom, former defensive coordinator
  • South Carolina:  Muschamp, former (Saban) defensive coordinator
  • Tennessee:  Pruitt, former (Saban) defensive coordinator
  • Vanderbilt: Mason, former defensive coordinator

The first thing that jumps out at you there is that schools in the East are more oriented towards defensive guys, particularly former Saban assistants, running their programs than are their Western peers.  In the vast scheme of things, I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes.  Since 2010, Saban’s last mediocre season (at least by Saban’s standards), Alabama’s lost eight times to SEC West teams and once to an East program.  Of those nine, two were to LSU; the rest were to teams that were coached by offensive-minded head coaches.

Even within that overall framework, though, there are some interesting individual cases.  Arkansas and Florida in general favor offensive coaches.  Missouri may have a former defensive coordinator calling the shots, but the Tigers have been much better on the other side of the ball.

If this is a case of more than one way to skin the Saban, it should be interesting to see which way, if any, has more staying power, and, in turn, if that leads to more imitation in hopes of similar results, although I can’t help but wonder if we’ve already seen the first example of that in Kirby Smart’s success and Tennessee’s hire of Pruitt.

21 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

“That’s the question I get most: ‘How do you conduct business?'”

Imagine every high-handed, tone deaf thing you can credit to a P5 athletic director.  Then, multiply that by ten.  You may still be short on measuring Tom Jurich’s stint at Louisville.

The only amazing part of his story is that he was allowed to do it for so long.  Although, given the absurdly high pedestal we put organized sports on in this country, maybe it’s not so amazing.

7 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., ACC Football, It's Just Bidness

Making our presence known

As somebody who spent a small fortune on the trip to South Bend — worth every penny, by the way — it’s immensely gratifying for me to read this:

As he’s reminded of Georgia’s trip to South Bend the second game of the year, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson continues to shake his head.

It was an experience he’ll never forget.

Not only did the finalist for the Outland Trophy leave impressed with what he saw from the Bulldog football team, the memory of thousands upon thousands of Red and Black clad fans still sits fresh on his mind.

“It was insane. I thought we were playing a home game but half, maybe half, the stadium was colored in red and their fans did a great job in that game,” Nelson said at the College Football Hall of Fame. “It (crowd noise) didn’t really affect us, but it was the first time I remember seeing a bunch of red in Notre Dame Stadium.”

That’s not all.

The sight of fans breaking out their smartphones to light up the stadium at the start of the fourth quarter was one he won’t forget.

“It was pretty sweet,” Nelson said. “A lot of our players wanted our fans to copy and start doing it. Credit to their fans and their team.”

Irish coach Brian Kelly warned the team the day before the game not to be shocked by what they saw.

“On Friday, you started to see a lot of red and Georgia Bulldogs in South Bend, and I think on Friday, Coach Kelly said there was going to be a lot of red in there so don’t be surprised,” Nelson said. “But yeah, I was surprised.”

It really is great to be a Georgia Bulldog.

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Filed under Georgia Football

When the Herbstreit Doctrine gets personal…

We’re all aware that intellectual consistency isn’t one of Herbie’s strong suits, but in praising Baker Mayfield after Mayfield won the Heisman, he really stepped in it.

Why would I say that?  Because Herbstreit got owned by a Tennessee defensive back about whom Herbstreit once proclaimed,

“I just need to say this because I haven’t had a chance to say this all week, no chance of winning the game against Alabama and one of their players, No. 7, Rashaan Gaulden, ends up throwing up the fingers,” Herbstreit said. “You’re thinking, with everything that’s been going on with Tennessee, that guy will probably never play again. Next series, defense is on the field, No. 7 is back in the lineup playing on the field.

“And you wonder why Tennessee has issues. They don’t have any discipline. (Butch Jones) should’ve taken his uniform off, sent him upstairs to go get a popcorn and say you’re no longer on the team and sent a message to the whole team.”

Mayfield, you may remember, communicated with a similar gesture against Kansas.  One might think that would be something to arouse a similar reaction from the Kirkster, but, no, he’s got nothing but love in his heart for the Oklahoma quarterback.

Screenshot-2017-12-10 Tennessee DB Rashaan Gaulden blasts Kirk Herbstreit after Baker Mayfield tweet

As you might expect, this didn’t sit well with Gaulden, who fired back with this:

You know new depths have been plumbed when I have to take sides with a UT player on any subject, but that’s where we’re at here.  Not that I expect it, but Herbie owes somebody an apology.

*********************************************************************

UPDATE:  Give Herbstreit credit.

44 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, General Idiocy