Mike Leach has a theory about why we’re seeing a rash of coach firings lately. If you think it’s related to early signing day, you don’t know the Pirate.
“First of all, I think things go in trends. General societal mental illness, I think, and I think the other thing that contributes to it, and the same thing has happened with (athletics directors), it’s almost like there’s been a bounty on A.D.s. Then as a result there’s been one on coaches, too.
“I think that, to me, it seems like when people were all stuck at home with COVID (in 2020), they had all this nervous energy, and you saw a bunch of A.D.s and coaches fired that hadn’t coached a game for that season. [Like people said] ‘Well, we’re not doing anything so let’s fire somebody.’”
Ripped from the page of Andy Staples’ weekly mailbag ($$):
Did Dan Mullen make his most crucial mistake when he chose to cast himself as the direct opposite of Kirby Smart? It seems like they are polar opposites and Kirby has a team where the players are (mad) they allowed 17 points in a “flu game.” Meanwhile, well, it’s either the flu, or a player getting hurt dancing before a big game, or having your chief rival flip your three best recruits after you serve up prime recruiting material on a silver platter. Does Dan coach the first game next year? — Dave in Tampa, Fla.
Even better than the question’s whine is Staples’ epic takedown, which starts with the rebuttal that it wasn’t Mullen himself that made that comparison with Smart — it was delusional Florida fans after last year’s win:
The people who wanted to believe Mullen’s X’s-and-O’s prowess could compete with Smart’s Jimmies and Joes prowess over the long run are coming to the crushing realization that Mullen’s win against Georgia in 2020 probably was an outlier and not a sign of dominance to come.
It just gets better from there.
But the truth is Smart and Mullen are much closer in terms of in-game coaching ability than the commonly held portrayal suggests. And the truth also is that Smart is a much more successful recruiter than Mullen. In four recruiting cycles, Mullen signed 14 players ranked in the top 100 in the nation by the 247Sports.com composite. In the same four recruiting cycles, Smart signed 40.
Ask any coach who actually competes for national titles and they’ll explain that they’d much rather keep stockpiling top-100 recruits than be blessed with see-the-Matrix play-calling ability.
There’s a lot more where that came from. If you want to inject it into your veins, go read (if you have a subscription, that is).
Really, this is great.
Get your day in the sun and make the most of the opportunity, financially speaking. It’s no Mel Tucker deal, but it ain’t bad.
And it’s not hurting anybody, NCAA.
In case you were wondering — and you probably weren’t — the good folks at Roll ‘Bama Roll aren’t sweating the SECCG.
PREDICTED PLAYOFF PARTICIPANTS
- Alabama (yup. Beating UGA in the SECCG…again)
- Ohio State (yup. Beating Michigan and slaughtering the West champ…again)
- Georgia (nope. No intraconference first-round rematch…again)
- Oklahoma State (I mean, why not? Beats inviting Notre Dame and Oklahoma for their annual beating)
I guess I’ll skip going, then.
None of this is to say the Dawgs will be a mortal lock. But, barring something strange happening in the next couple of weeks, they will be favored, unlike their last two meetings with the Tide. Let’s just say things shouldn’t be as easy for either team as Mr. Evans sounds.
Charleston Southern comes to town and about all I can come up with is wondering who their long snappah is.
UPDATE: Per friend of the blog Jason Hasty, there is something noteworthy to report this week.
Saturday will be the 850th win in program history. We’re still at no. 11 all-time, but quickly moving into position to surpass Tennessee at no. 10 with their all-time 854 wins.
Unlikely they’ll catch the Vols this season, but that will be something to celebrate in 2022.
Bob is touchy.
The Big 12 on Wednesday issued a public reprimand of the Texas Tech football radio announcers for their call of Saturday’s 41-38 home win over Iowa State.
Play-by-play host Brian Jensen and analyst John Harris were critical of the officials during the game, going so far as to list off individual names.
As a result, the league also said Jensen and Harris will be removed from calling this weekend’s home game against Oklahoma State.
“I understand the roles of the play-by-play and color analyst,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “However as University representatives they also have an obligation to adhere to Conference policy regarding comments about game officials. The comments by the Red Raider Radio Network booth announcers were contrary to expected levels of respect and professionalism. Questioning the integrity of Conference officials and specifically calling out members of the officiating crew is well beyond appropriate and permissible behavior.”
Bob understands the roles of the announcers, even when he doesn’t.
The broadcasters are not employed by Texas Tech (Learfield Sports, the broadcast rights holder, employs them) so it’s curious that the Big 12 even has jurisdiction for such a move.
If the conference put half as much effort into policing shoddy officiating as it does covering officials’ asses, it might cut down on embarrassing situations like this. Just sayin’.
Florida’s season is in the toilet and nobody can figure out why. Not Dan Mullen, anyway.
“Every year… it might sound like coach talk, but every year is such a unique year with a unique team and unique circumstances that occur,” Mullen said. “We played a very different schedule this year with a very different team under very different circumstances. It’s not like, you know, this (one thing) happened. This year hasn’t gone the way that we wanted it to go unfortunately and there’s multiple… you can point at a lot of different things of why that happened and different reasons with where we’re at.”
Nor Zachary Carter.
“I would say this is a team that has been battling all year,” senior defensive end Zachary Carter said. “Obviously, we’ve taken some losses. That’s going to happen, but we lost more than we wanted to this year and I just felt like things haven’t been going our way and there’s nothing we can do about that.
“So we just continue to keep fighting. I know some people think we’ve like given up and all, but we’re not just coming out here to practice every day and giving up. Guys really want to win. We really want to win. We’ve had some unfortunate things happen this year. There’s nothing we can do about that. We can only control what we can control. When you look back on our season, a few of our losses — a loss is a loss — we weren’t getting embarrassed all year. We just had close games that didn’t go our way. We know what we can do so we have to stay motivated.”
Nor Jadarrius Perkins.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say it took a turn,” cornerback Jadarrius Perkins said of the way this season has gone. “Things are not going the way we expected. But we just got to continue to fight. Adversity happens. Like coach Mullen said, we’re going to fight and continue to play and try to play to the Gator Standard. That’s what we’re all about.”
Perhaps you can enlighten them in the comments.