An Xs and Os man in a Jimmies and Joes world

An astute point about Mel Tucker from Bill Connelly:

It always concerns me a hair when a coach used to working with a massive talent advantage — Tucker’s last three college jobs were at Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio State — takes a job in which he will never really have such a thing.

Since the turn of the century, Tucker’s only even-talent situations were in the NFL, and he did not thrive there. Only once in seven years as an NFL DC did a Tucker defense rank better than 20th in DVOA, while he finished in the bottom five four times.

He could upgrade the talent at CU, but he’s playing from behind. In the Pac-12 era, CU has yet to sign a class that ranks better than eighth in the conference and hasn’t signed a class better than 35th overall since 2008. As gorgeous as Boulder is, it’s hard to recruit to, and Tucker’s going to have to figure out how to win games despite recruiting rankings, not because of them.

I don’t think many of us would disagree with Bill’s concerns there.

14 Comments

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14 responses to “An Xs and Os man in a Jimmies and Joes world

  1. Bill Glennon

    This is what I always worried about with Mark Richt coming from Florida State. He never had to outcoach anyone at FSU and Bowden was a player’s coach. I think this lack of obsessive attention to detail prevented him from winning a title.

    You could say the same about Kirby, but he learned from Saban, who is obsessed with getting more talent AND outcoaching everyone else. That said, I don’t think Kirby has really distinguished himself outcoaching a team with more talent, save maybe Auburn 2016. He does bury lesser teams though, something Richt struggled with.

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    • I hear what you’re saying, but I remain tremendously impressed with the job the coaches did adjusting in the second half of the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma.

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      • That 2nd half was what we should have been doing the entire game. Attack the line of scrimmage and hit the Douche Bag Frat Boy at every opportunity.

        It was almost like Kirby thought at halftime, it can’t get worse, so let’s pressure them and see if their lines of scrimmage can hold up.

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    • Brandon

      Richt was not lucky. Richt was as good as or better than Fat Phil, Fat Phil won a title, Richt just never got his Clint Stoerner fumble. We went 13-1 in the wrong year, that title game in 2012, it’s been litigated over and over here and I have no wish to re-litigate it but that could have easily gone our way and we’d have manhandled ND.

      I always thought Richt’s principal fault was holding onto to Martinez 3-4 years too long. He allowed that guy to burn up all of his good will, and when he needed it himself, there wasn’t as much left, and he was burn out at the end, Miami was proof of that.

      I’ll always be grateful to Richt for a lot of things though, he got us out of the post-Dooley, Goff/Donnan funk, folks who aren’t old enough to remember those days, 1989-2000, don’t really appreciate how low we got. Richt flipped the rivalry with AUB, TENN, and GT all in our favor, and even beat UF more than any other East coach did for the time period he coached.

      He didn’t get us over the hump, but he returned us to the status of a nearly every year contender, arguably more consistently and for longer, than we ever had been. For example. In Richt’s 15 seasons we are tied for the 5th most wins over that period. In the Goff-Donnan era, 1989-2000 by contrast, we are tied for 26th. Even under the venerable Dooley we were 11th in wins for the period of his 25 seasons. Dooley did win a national championship though, in his 17th year.

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        • Brandon

          Well, for the benefit of the youngsters here, Dooley retired after 1988, but I agree with you, the last few years of Dooley weren’t anything special, but they weren’t Goffian.

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            • Brandon

              Our 1980 team was lucky as hell too. In addition to the Jacksonville miracle they were like +40 in turnover margin counting the bowl. That’s insane. By rights we probably should have lost to Tennessee, Clemson, South Carolina, AND Florida. ND beat us everywhere but the scoreboard. I’ve always thought the 81′ and 82′ teams were both significantly better than 80′, they just didn’t have the rabbit’s foot. The 83′ team would have been the best of all of them if Herschel had stayed (I don’t blame him for leaving, just stating facts). Give any one of maybe 5 Richt squads Dooley’s 1980 rabbit’s foot and he’d have won an MNC too.

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  2. Brandon

    I thought Mel did a good job at UGA. Willie Martinez and Todd Grantham generally enjoyed a significant talent advantage and it didn’t help them much. That 2012 defense was littered with NFL players, that defense was good in spots, but it should have been one of the 2-3 best in college football that year and it wasn’t.

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  3. Sanford222view

    Tucker does have his work cut out for him. Recruiting to Boulder is difficult and I think it has become harder since the Buffs moved to the PAC 12. When I was there in the Big 8 days and then during the beginning of the Big XII Colorado pulled most of its top talent from Texas and Los Angeles. The Texas connection has been eroded since Texas kids don’t care about playing in the PAC XII especially now that the SEC has arrived in the state. In the ’90’s you could sell the Texas kid on playing all the Texas schools during conference play. Now Colorado is left to try that line with only the talent in California.

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    • stoopnagle

      Why is Boulder hard to recruit to? Is this a facilities thing or is it Boulder mono-chomatism or is it something else because Boulder is awesome.

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      • Colorado doesn’t have a large enough population to be a high school talent hot bed. The private school where the McCaffreys attended is the best program in the state year in and year out. Those LA kids who get an offer from CU probably also have an offer from UCLA. McCartney was successful by finding diamonds in the rough in California and Texas. With the number of camps and the recruiting sites, it’s really damn hard now to find those diamonds and keep them committed. Throw in the fact that skiing isn’t going to attract the typical high school football player (race doesn’t matter), and Tucker has a tough row to hoe.

        Just my $.02.

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