Blog Entry

National notes

Posted on: October 28, 2009 11:15 am
Edited on: October 28, 2009 3:47 pm

This is why we love college football

 Absolutely no regrets for Sam Bradford. Great kid, great athlete. We’ll miss you, buddy.

Strange that Blake Griffin is one of Bradford’s closest friends and the two have been injured together again. They both suffered concussions while in college. Within a few days of Bradford making his announcement, Griffin was knocked out with a broken kneecap suffered in a Los Angeles Clippers preseason game.

 What exactly is the threshold for the SEC to get into coaches pockets for some of the recent criticism of officials. In the past week Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino, Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen have been reprimanded for criticizing league officials.

All three seemed to have a gripe as the league deals with what seems to be a growing crisis of credibility with its zebras. But there is only one thing that will silence coaches – fines. For commissioner Mike Slive, the crisis is getting out of hand. The Marc Curles crew that was suspended for the Florida-Arkansas debacle returns in two weeks. Given today’s viral media society, that occasion is going to be treated in the South like the bankruptcy of the Waffle House chain.

It ain’t going to be popular.

Here are some compelling comments from SEC officials’ supervisor Rogers Redding who appears on “The Tony Barnhart Show” this week on CBS College Sports.

“We understand that people are going to make mistakes. We’re human, we make mistakes.  It’s fair game to question the officials’ judgment.  It’s fair game to question their knowledge of the rules.  It’s fair game to question their mechanics that they use in terms of where they are on the field. 

“But when you question their integrity, that crosses the line.  That’s where I part company with those who are criticizing football officials, because the integrity is absolutely there.  We manage it.  We insist on it.  And I would put the integrity of every football official I know now or have ever known up against any other profession or anybody in the world...I think criticism of integrity is over the top and it’s unacceptable.” 

 Did Larry Scott, then, overreact? Judge for yourself whether the Pac-10 commissioner was fair in suspended an official for “missing” this penalty against Oregon State.

In real time, it’s hard to determine how James Rodgers’ helmet comes off. With so many helmets flying off these days, it’s almost less likely that USC’s Taylor Mays would have ripped it off. On the replay you can see what happened.

My question is, would Scott have suspended the official had not all these shenanigans been going on in the SEC?

 As long as we’re on the subject of assistant coaches of the year (see Wednesday's notes lead), let’s do the top five:

1. Monte Kiffin, Tennessee – If Lane gets anything going on offense in future years, Monte is going to work ‘em silly. Thanks mostly to Monte’s ability to hold the Vols in games, Tennessee has lost to the SEC’s two best teams by a total of 12 points on the road. Bama and Florida have been held to a combined average of 17.5 points. The last time a Volunteer defense was that successful against its two big rivals was 2006.

2. Mark Whipple, Miami – This is not the place to come if you want to read a bad word about Miami’s new offensive coordinator. The journeyman assistant has single-handedly made Jacory Harris a legitimate Heisman candidate. Everywhere he goes offenses improve. Don’t blame him for the Clemson loss. The Canes lost for only the second time 115 games when scoring at least 37 points.

3. Dick Bumpas, TCU – Spoke at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday and one of the first questions was how soon Arkansas could hire TCU’s defensive coordinator. The veteran defensive guru is at the top of his game. While he doesn’t call a defense that head coach Gary Patterson doesn’t sign off on, Bumpus gets credit for assembling four consecutive top 15 defenses (currently No. 5). Defensive end Jerry Hughes is a slam-dunk All-American.

4. Charlie Strong, Florida – You’ve read here and other places why Strong should be a head coach. The game’s institutional prejudice continues.  But Strong has stayed strong with what might be the nation’s best defense. Odd, that with Tebow, Harvin and others in the past, Florida might win its third title in four years because of defense.

5. Will Muschamp, Texas – So tired of d-coordinators skipping town, Texas paid Muschamp $900,000 a year and made him Mack Brown’s coach-in-waiting. Muschamp is so white hot that some school might buy him out from Texas and make him a head coach before Mack, who shows no sign of slowing down, retires. With Muschamp calling plays, this has a chance to be one of Texas’ best defense in – decades?

Three to think about …

Ron Powlus, quarterbacks coach, Notre Dame – Yeah, yeah Charlie calls the plays but Mr. Two Heisman deserves credit for getting Jimmy Clausen’s head around the minefield that can be being Notre Dame’s quarterback.

Jeremy Bates, quarterbacks coach, USC – Matt Barkley is a 6-0 as a freshman starter.

Norm Parker, defensive coordinator, Iowa – The Hawkeyes are challenging for a Big Ten and national championship because of a dominant defense.

 If Oklahoma State upsets Texas this week, we might be looking at an Oklahoma State-TCU Fiesta Bowl. Bet the BCS commissioners never thought of that possibility, in a major bowl, when they created the system.

 Anybody hear anything from Orrin Hatch this week? Boise and TCU both have a shot a national championship. They still need teams above them to lose but in that respect nothing has changed from the pre-BCS days. The fact is that without the BCS, those schools wouldn’t even be in the title discussion this late in the season.



Since: Aug 27, 2007
Posted on: October 30, 2009 5:02 pm

National notes

How could Frank Cignetti (Pitt O-Coordinator) not be on this list??? Makes no sense whatsoever.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2009 9:04 am

National notes

I am a long time FSU fan and nobody will be happier to see Charlie Strong go.     &n
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bsp;   Its mind boggling that he has yet to be a head coach.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2009 12:36 am

National notes

the others aren't good, but lets see them do what they do over the course of more than one year.head and shoulders above the rest is Strong.  His defenses aren't a one year wonder.  They are great year in and year out.  I'm not saying

While I agree that Charlie Strong has been a truly great D-coordinator who I would hate to lose, let us not forget the rather weak UF D of only 2 years ago:  They gave up more points per game than any D in UF history.

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: October 29, 2009 9:46 pm

National notes

There are some great candidates out there for coaching awards. The Idaho Vandals turn around is a nice surprise. But not much is being said about Utah. All the Utes have done is win 27 out of their last 29 games. It's worth repeating; Utah has won 27 out of their last 29 games. Who does that? It is an amazing stretch, and coaching plays a big part of it. Kyle Whittingham who won "Coach of the Year" last year, has probably done even a better job this year. Utah lost a bunch of pieces of the puzzle from their great run a year ago. Yet they stand at 6-1 and control their own destiny to another MWC championship, and with some help....... not completely out of a possible BCS berth again. But nobody is talking Utah, I think it is the best kept secret in college football. What's happening in Salt Lake City is just amazing. Boise and TCU are very deserving of the recognition this year, they have great teams. But......don't count out the Utes just yet. GO UTES!

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: October 29, 2009 6:52 pm

National notes

Don't be kidding yourself, Boise State and TCU will get jumped by 1-loss teams as the voters ensure that the big boys get their due.  Hell, USC has ALREADY stayed ahead of Boise and TCU despite losing to a 3-5 team - somehow losing to a bad team is BETTER than barely beating a bad team.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2009 3:39 pm

National notes

Last time the Vols were that successful against its rivals was 2006, and this is a big deal? Are you kidding me? That was 3 years ago, hardly much of a drought. Heck, if FL doesn't return 2 punts for TD's last year they may not have broken 20 for the game. They scored 23 this year with a fumble at the 5 and TN milking clock. They only punted once, and that was late trying to run clock. Monte is a great coach, and may end up winning, and deserving, the top assistant award, but let's not pretend he inherited a lackluster unit void of talent and previous success. TN will improve, but this is a team only 2 years removed from winning the East, we're not talking about Vandy here. They've had pretty recent success. Let's use some perspective before annointing team Kiffin a rousing success while sitting on a 3-4 record. And FL winning with D being odd? They won the 2006 title with defense, again, only 3 years ago.

And this ref thing needs to be taken out back and put down. Enough, humans make mistakes and always will. Every team ends up on both sides of calls.  All these calls in question did not determine the outcome of the games, the players and coaches did. Unfortunately, the kids (and by kids I mean coaches) can't seem to own up to that and due to ego feel the need to play the oldest card in their deck -  the blame the ref card. Well done.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2009 12:26 pm

National notes

I would put strong at the top of my list. If he were to pick up an ailing superpower like a certain Florida predicesor did at Oklahoma <Say ND, or Ohio State, no offence buckeyes, I mean you are on a slipper slope atm.> No offense taken, but I would like to point out that Strong is a Defensive Coordinator and OSU's defense is already a consistenty excelent unit.  What the Buckeyes really need is a top-flight Offensive Coordinator to get over the top.

As for Strong, I think he would make an excellent head coach.  But like anyone else, he would need to land in the right situation.  Taking on the wrong program would set-back or kill his head coaching career.  The job at Marshall may open up if the Herd fades down the stretch.  That may be an interesting place for him to get his feet wet.

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2009 11:19 am

National notes

Sorry about the errors I was laughing so hard about his competition I could not see the keys.

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2009 11:16 am

National notes

It also helps that the teams he are his defense are defending against are terrible. He can basically play the pass on defense in that conference and forget about defending te run. That makes it very easy. He should have a field day in that conference. Six QB's last year put up Heisman numbers. Harrell passed for two back to back 5,000 yard seasons on those poor teams. It is a lot easier playing Texas Tech without Harrell, Batch and Crabtree. Texas still gave up a lot of points and yards and only won by ten at home. What did Texas A&M score on Tech?

The Georgia Bulldog knows he has it easy and can pretty much count on ten wins every year. Not hard to play defense beating the same teams badly every year. No one can score on a defense if they don't get on the field.

Considering Texas domination of teams like La Monroe, UTEP, Wyoming, Texas Tech, Colorado and Missouri they should be number one in every category. He now has the best players and the best team every year playing in a one sided conference. The guy is in heaven! He is playing teams that have not beaten Texas since he played in a lot of cases. Hell! Missouri has not beaten Texas since before I was born. Oklahoma State has not beaten Texas since 1997.  Texas Tech has beaten Texas once or twice in how many years. Damn when Texas scheduled North Texas a few years back on a regular basis, they scored their first points ever against Texas. I think the guy would much rather coach a team that has won ten games for ten years and gets ranked in the top 5 pre season every year regadless of how bad they play or who they graduate. He loves having an offense that stays on the field all game and his guys go in rested every play. Damn the should lead the country with their third string. He is use to every game being a fight. When they went undefeated against poor teams they did not play for the BCS Championship due to a weak schedule. At Texas he does not have to worry about that.

Muschamp will have to worry about it come bowl time though. We will definetly remind him as we did Oklahoma and Texas Tech. We will make him feel right at home again in the SEC. We will remind him of where he finished in big games against equal teams.

Impressive is beating someone that has beat you on a regular basis. He left that conference so that is impossible now. This year is even easier for him with a awful Big12 and all the stars suspended, hurt and gone to the NFL. He also knew his hardest game was at the TEXAS STATE FAIR every year. He nows plays his major rival on neutral ground instead of their field in the SEC every other year. He also knows he can rest his team for the BCS against any team in his conference title game. he has no one to play for years and years to come. The guy hit the Texas lottery and can relax for once. He loves getting paid for a cakewalk and just waiting to become head coach and rack up hall of fame wins like eating marshmellows.

He could start cheerleaders and be the best defense in that confernce. Get real!

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2009 11:14 am

National notes

KState fans are excited about having VK back at the school. THere is no doubt his defense's will get better next year when he can bring in some of this own players.

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