Scott Cochran, the longtime strength and conditioning coach for @AlabamaFTBL is expected — barring a last-minute change — to leave UA for an on-field coaching position at Georgia per sources. More to come at @tidesports
UPDATE #2: He’s being brought on to coach special teams.
Scott Cochran, intrigued by the opportunity to be an on-the-field coach, is leaving @AlabamaFTBL as head strength coach and will coach special teams at @GeorgiaFootball, sources tell ESPN. Cochran and Georgia coach Kirby Smart have remained close since working together at Bama.
In the excellent HBO documentary aired last fall, Nick Saban and Bill Belichick spent time lamenting how their many, many assistants try to build their new operations by hiring away the foot soldiers that helped build the dynasties that catapulted the newly-hired head coaches into those jobs in the first place.
There are some notable underperforming teams in there – looking at you, Longhorns. For the most part, however, teams either played up to the potential of their talent or well above it. (Bear in mind that four programs had brand new coaching staffs in place last season, including two underperformers, KU and WVU.)
It’s only natural to compare that to the SEC, the land where recruiting just means more.
How did that compare with the Mecca of college football last season?
Lots of underachieving once you get past the big dogs.
True, but there were a fair number of those big dogs — five in the SP+ top ten, compared with one Big 12 team. Based on the above, Allen reaches the conclusion that, “You could argue that the trend towards doing more with less speaks to the quality of coaching in the Big 12.” He goes on to propose the data shows the Big 12 has the best assemblage of coaching in the P5.
To which I say, eh, maybe, but so what? First of all, I can’t ignore the fact that four SEC coaches were shown the door this offseason. Given what it takes for a head coach to lose his job these days, that’s certainly an indication that some programs were not being managed at the highest level.
Whatever, though, because how can you fully evaluate the job a college head coach does when you exclude recruiting from the equation? Look no further than the Sugar Bowl — even if you are of a mind that Matt Rhule can coach rings around Kirby Smart, Baylor still came up well short against a Georgia squad missing a number of regular season starters that still had more than enough depth on the roster to spare.
There’s only so much scheme can make up for over the course of a season.
One other thing I wanted to mention from that Ian Boyd post I linked to last week was something a reader noted in the comments.
Consequence 2: Flyover football is going to take hold even faster…
LSU ran a pass-first spread offense last year and wiped out the rest of the SEC and college football at large. That’s the future. Having a savvy QB playing behind a good line and distributing the ball to NFL WRs trumps pounding the ball to NFL RBs behind a good line with a less savvy or else underutilized QB that has a strong arm and tries to throw up some play-action now and again.
Running a pass-first system actually lends itself to the portal, because if your offense starts to come down to isolating a few WRs in space and protecting your QB to get them the ball then a single offseason is often enough to build the necessary chemistry between thrower and catcher if you have a savvy distributor as your trigger-man.
Teams that aren’t running these sorts of spread passing systems are going to be at a major disadvantage in the portal wars in trying to nab top pass-catchers or grad transfer OL/QBs.
Now, accuracy requires that I point out last season was Burrow’s second at LSU, but Orgeron didn’t commit to the kind of offensive scheme Boyd references there until last offseason.
The $64000 question is whether a single offseason will be enough time for Georgia’s offense (assuming for the sake of argument Newman wins the starting job, although it’s not as if there’s a quarterback on the roster who’s got a lot of on field experience with the receiving corps) to build the necessary chemistry.
There are only so many practices between now and September, and while, yes, there’s all summer to build rapport through voluntary workouts, that doesn’t change the underlying fact that there are only so many practices between now and September. Which leads me to wonder how right Jake Rowe is about this:
What we’ll be saying after spring: We’re not saying this to be funny, but we won’t be at all surprised if Bulldog fans are complaining about nothing changing. A lot is going to change but will we get to see any of it? Probably not. G-Day has been a passing display each season under Smart, but it’s highly unlikely that he’s going to allow Monken to tip his hand and give other coaches any film to study. There might be more spread concepts and motions, but most of the truly new stuff will be worked on behind the scenes.
As I’ve mentioned previously, LSU wasn’t coy about the new offensive scheme last spring. Orgeron told the media what they were doing before the spring game and showed some of the new concepts in the game. It turned out that didn’t help opposing defensive coordinators much.
Do I think Monken is going to flash his entire playbook at G-Day? Hardly. Do I think he knows he’s only got a limited number of practices and scrimmages to install his version of the offense between now and Virginia? That I do.
Note how, compared to Georgia’s peers, financial support for Richt’s recruiting was solid under Evans and then drops precipitously as McGarity runs the athletic department, only to rebound significantly with Smart’s arrival. I’ll leave you to draw conclusions from that pattern.
Sue Paterno, widow of longtime former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, said the eight years since the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal came to light “have been difficult.”
I’m glad her heart goes out to the kids who were abused by a man who was enabled by her late husband.
“The last eight years have been difficult, made more so by the opinions in the Freeh Report, which my family and I believe was deeply flawed, reached unsupported conclusions about Joe and unjustly criticized the culture of Penn State,” she said. “The university has made clear that Mr. Freeh’s opinions about Joe were never endorsed by Penn State. By confirming this position and reaching this understanding, the leadership of Penn State has acted in the best interests of the university, and for this I am grateful.”
Oh. I guess it’s easy to forget who the real victims were here.
Kipp Adams takes a look at the list of kids who de-committed from Kirby Smart and the tl;dr version of the ones who never came back (like Adam Anderson) is pretty simple: DeVonte Smith and everybody else.
Sure, some of those kids still have a shot at good college careers, but the story here is that Smart’s got a pretty decent track record for recognizing talent.
“When I was playing college football, my priorities were girls, football and then school,” said Mark Richt, who led the football programs at Georgia and Miami before he retired from coaching in 2018. “Now it’s going to be money, girls, football, school.” — New York Times, 5/8/21