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Tag:bad coaching
Posted on: November 27, 2009 4:16 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the Weeks of 11/16 and 11/23

As we reach the point in the year where we give thanks for what we are appreciative of, I'm giving thanks that after 2 of the busiest weeks I've had at work, I am now on a week's vacation, and have a chance to get caught up.  So this time, for the first time ever, I'm running two editions in the same post.  Now obviously I'm going to have to check back and try to remember everything I wanted to hit on.  I know Notre Dame is at the top of my list.  The LSU debacle from last week will definitely be there.  And the coaching carousel finally began to turn in both the NFL and NBA.  So sit back and enjoy two weeks and 20 tidbits worth of sports knowledge.

11/16-

1) And so it begins ...- After last year of watching "As the Lane Turns" and seeing Scott Linehan call his shot, the NFL's coaching front was very quiet.  The hammer finally fell on Dick Jauron of the Bills.  He was done in by the simply unrealistic expectations caused by the fast start that the team got out to last year.  It does go to prove just how important the QB position is in the NFL, and just what a lack of depth there is there currently.

2) ... again- Last year the first two coach firings in the NBA occurred about this time, and this year we already have one.  Byron Scott was let go by the New Orleans Hornets, and hearing some of the reasons as to why, they sound to me more like reasons as to why this move was made far too soon.  To me, it all seems like a power play by team president and NBA no-nothing Hugh Weber.

3) Even as one of the biggest ND haters- I was completely confused at the end of the Notre Dame Pitt game and exactly what the replay official saw.  To me, it seemed clear that Claussen's hand was firmly clutched around the football during the entire forward motion.  Now, I won't say the Domers got jobbed, as had the play stood (which IMO it should have), it would have been 4th and 16 and tough to overcome.  Remember, I'm of the mind that blaming losses on the officials is loser speak and I site that I have only seen two games where officials have difinitively decided a game, the Oklahoma Oregon game a few years back, and the Colorado fifth down game.  But to me, this was a clearly blown call.  Remember, it was called incomplete on the field.  I was watching an NFL game earlier this year where this exact play happened, and it was initially ruled a fumble and was OVERTURNED on replay to an incomplete pass.  Plus, several people have pointed out to me that the whistle blew before Pitt had possession of the "fumble," calling into question whether or not the play was even reviewable (at least to the point where Pitt could even be awarded the ball).

4) Jay Cutler is horrible- Watching the 49ers Bears game, it made me realize one thing.  The Broncos gave the Bears the worst fleecing sinec the Lions fleeced the Cowboys in the Roy Williams trade.  I mean, the trade would have been bad had it just been picks given up for Cutler, but throw in Orton, too.  And some Bears fans were asking what happened to their running game.  That's simple.  Jay Cutler.  Yes, the O-line is also not playing as well, but Forte didn't all of a sudden suck.  Jay Cutler thinks it's all about him.  And as far as building for the future, the Bears can forget about that one as well.  Somebody suggested they need to draft a great receiver.  The problem with that is they don't have a pick until at least the third round.  The Bears have no future.  They mortgaged it for Cutler (and Gaines Adams).

5) Pats 4th and out- I can understand where some people are coming from trying to defend coach Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth down late and on his own side of the field.  Afterall, it was essentially a playoff game and will go a long way toward deciding home field.  That one game represented a three game swing, two for the points in the standings, and another 1/2 each way for the tie breaker.  Still, to me it was very odd, and I'd much rather try to make Peyton drive much longer, no matter how well he had been driving it against you recently.  Huge win by the Colts.

6) Trojans defense snapped- I had pointed out going into the Oregon game that the prior two weeks the Trojans defense looked flat and were not playing up to USC standards.  Ever since then, they've done nothing to improve, proving that sometimes it is hard to just reload instead of rebuild, even if you are Pete Carroll.  The loses on defense over the years have clearly caught up, and this will be USC's first year not in a BCS bowl game in a long time.

7) Horned Frogs roll- TCU continued to roll, destroying their toughest remaining opponent in Utah by a 55-28 score.  Should Texas lose, or should Bama or Florida lose before the SEC Championship game, I can only hope the BCS does the right thing and sends the lizards to Pasadena on the 7th.

8) Houston loses another it shouldn't- As much as I like Case Keenum and the huge numbers he's been putting up this year, you cannot afford to lose to UTEP and UCF.  That just cannot happen, especially after beating Oklahoma State.

9) tOSU going to the Rose Bowl- By beating Iowa in overtime, Ohio State will be making it's first trip to Pasadena since something like 1999.  Hard to believe, but a lot of the years they won the Big 10, they went to the Championship game.  And remember, Penn State won last year.

10) Another reason I hate Gary Bettman- The Lightning were screwed out of a point on 11/14 while playing the Kings.  On what should have been a game winning goal by the Lightning in OT, the up ice official ruled that the Kings goalie was interfered with on the play and waved off the goal.  Here's the problem.  The Lightning player was clearly pushed in there by a Kings player.  How is this kind of play not reviewable?  Bettman either needs to revisit his horrible rules, or send these officials back to school.

11/23-

1) Hold that Tiger timeout- Wow, what a horrible series of play calling and clock management displayed by the LSU coaching staff at the end of the Ole Miss game.  You have it first and 10 at the 29 with around :40 seconds left and two timeouts.  First play: incompletion.  Okay, not too bad, although with two timeouts and in field goal range, you can run or use the middle of the field.  Second play: sack.  Cannot happen in that situation.  Now you're out of field goal range.  First timeout.  33 seconds left.  Next play, some ill-conceived screen play that loses like seven yards.  Now it's fourth and forever.  The clock is at 27 seconds.  Somehow, as you are discussing whatever on the sidelines, you let the clock run all the way down to 9 seconds before calling the timeout.  Now, you throw a hail-mary.  And in the most improbable situation, you complete it at the five, but there is only one second left.  And you are caught completely unready.  Your field goal unit is not ready to go, although there may have not been enough time to get them on.  So, your QB attempts a SPIKE??  With one second left on the clock???  And the great thing is in the hurry up confusion, it was discovered on video that Miles was the one telling him to spike it.  You have to run a play.  You have to hike it and throw it to the endzone.  Even in Death Valley, the final second runs off the clock on a spike.  It was clear the coaching staff was lost, and even more so on a play that was probably meant to go into the endzone ends up completed on the 5 instead.  It is your responsibility as a coach to be ready for every possibility, and to have your team ready.  One fan suggested they should have celebrated the play, as it would have stopped the clock.  Now, while I have no experience actually calling a college game with college rules, I'm pretty sure the clock starts on the ready for play just like it would normally.  He did have an interesting idea, though, as the clock WOULD stop as they march it off, and maybe have given them enough time to get the FG unit on.  Still, all in all, some of the worst coaching I've seen, EVER, and inexcusible from a BCS champion winning coach.  That last TO had to be called right after the screen play.  You have to extend the game.

2) Weis' swan song- I think the second consecutive loss on senior day by the Fighting Irish pretty much spells the end for Charlie Weis.  Afterall, his winning percentage is right up there with Davie and Willingham, and I can't remember the last ranked opponent he's beaten.  On the flip side, it was good to see the Huskies win their first game since losing Jasper Howard.  Seeing coach Edsall's emotions during the post-game was touching, especially knowing how heart-felt they were.

3) Some absolutely inexcusible NFL performances- Wow, Steelers lose to Chiefs (I know, Moo, you saw it coming the whole way).  The Bengals get a gift to move another game up, only they turnover the game against the Raiders on a late TD and then fumble the ensuing kickoff.  And the Cowboys take a late TD and only hang 7 on the lowly Redskins in a win.

4) The Jets crash land and the Broncos pull up lame- After starting off 3-0 and fueling speculation again of an all NY Super Bowl (the Giants haven't been performing much better), they have only won 1 of the last 7 and Sanchez is looking very much like a rookie.  And the Broncos after their 6-0 start have dropped 4 in a row and now find themselves looking up at the Chargers.

5) Redemption for VY- Ever since being forced back into the lineup by owner Bud Adams (who probably gave coach Jeff Fisher the double barrelled single finger salute in the process), the Titans have not lost a game and have suddenly found themselves back in the playoff hunt, although they probably dug themselves too deep a hole to begin with.

6) Oregon Arizona classic- In one of the most interesting games of the year that I could only see via ESPN360.com thanks to ABC thinking that because I live in Florida the Texas beatdown of Kansas would be more interesting to me, DESPITE the fact that their number 1 crew was at THIS game, Oregon won in double OT in come back fashion, setting up this week's rivalry week matchup with Oregon State with the winner getting a trip to Pasadena on Jan 1st to play tOSU.

7) Huskers Shuck Kansas State to win Big 12 north- Nebraska's defense again looked dominant in setting up a trip to Arlington to play Texas on Dec. 5th.  I'm looking forward to see how well the blackshirts match up against Colt McCoy and the Longhorns.  In an ironic twist, had K State won, they would have been playing against Texas.  By losing, not only will they not, but they also will not be bowling.

8) ACC Championship game set, too- I'm actually looking forward to seeing C.J. Spiller coming here to Tampa to take on Georgia Tech and the triple option.  The good thing is I think this game should sell better than last year's Va Tech BC game.  Short of getting FSU and/or Miami in the game, this was the best we could do, and should at least generate some more local interest as the teams are much closer.

9) To all the SEC haters- Yes, ramble on about how we are two deep (we are).  Pile on us for how we are down for the second year in a row (we are).  Get on us for scheduling weak teams late in the year (only because we start our conference season earlier than anybody other than the ACC, which starts out the gate).  The SEC has TEN, count 'em, TEN teams that are bowl eligible.  Yes, we might not have the great teams outside of UF and BAMA, but we have a WHOLE LOTTA good ones.  And we have to play eight games against said teams.  And I would argue that just about every conference is down this year.  That's why you had a C-USA school in the Top 15 for most of the year.

10) Turkey games on turkey day- I'll break my rule because I was going to get on this point anyway, but even the one slightly intriguing NFL game on Thanksgiving turned out to induce more yawns than the trytophan in your Thanksgiving turkey (unless you were a Broncos fan).  Honestly, I was watching the Texas Texas A&M game and just flipping between commercials.  The Lions sucked and have for years.  Then you match them up against one of the top 6 teams in the conference.  Conversely, you match up the Cowboys against the Raiders???  Seriously, the Raiders???  The NFL really needs to revisit it's Thanksgiving day policy, as "tradition" is quickly turning in to the "tradition" of people turning their TV sets off early.
Posted on: January 13, 2009 6:55 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2009 10:24 pm
 

10 Things I Learned The Week of Jan. 12th

Hello there sports fans.  Don't know how many of you caught it, but due to being ill, I initially ran a shortened version of my blog last week, but went back and updated it (and still missed on one thing I definitely wanted to hit on, which I shall do so this installment) on Saturday.  So if you like what you see here (and Bamaman, if you read this, I posed a question to you after I updated), please feel free to check back on the completed edition of last week (also feel free to check out all the rest if you're really bored and/or suffering from insomnia).  Here's the link: http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/
entry/10264446/12793505

1) Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships - Okay, so technically this should fall under things I relearned this week for the hundredth time yet some people still fail to grasp.  It doesn't matter the sport, but this is ESPECIALLY true in football.  Defense wins championships.  PERIOD, PERIOD, PERIOD.  First off, a huge kudos to the Oklahoma Sooners who came out and played an inspired game, especially on defense.  When the game was on the line, though, and Tebow went Tebow (more on him in a moment), they simply didn't have enough of an answer.  I am sick and tired of the know nothing media (and I know it's not all of them) wondering how in the world somebody's going to shut down this unstoppable offense when it's happened time, and time, and time again.  Thankfully, the public (60%), and Vegas, and people who have played the sport have figured it out.  I loved how in one thread an Oklahoma fan phooied off somebody (don't even think it was a Gator fan) who pointed out the line went off at UF -6 despite being at -4 1/2 all week, and opening at -3.  The OU fan said that Vegas moves the line based on the money coming in (correct) and that it was the public pushing it that way (incorrect).  The public pushed it from the initial 3 to the 4 1/2.  Most of that late betting, however, is sharp money coming in.  The TRUE experts had the game pegged right the whole way.  Also, I finally nailed a prediction of a low scoring game, and while not as big of a factor as I thought they could be, a wasted timeout, a false start penalty (which was later wiped out by a roughing the kicker call), and a blocked FG, special teams did come into play.  By the way, one of the most telling stats was third down efficiency, especially in the Red Zone.  Oklahoma was 2-4 in the Red Zone and came away with zero points on 2 of their trips.  The Gators, on the other hand, were 4 or 4 in the promised land and 12 of 17 overall.  Oklahoma just couldn't get off the field when it mattered.  Also, what was that play call right before the half where Bradford got picked by Major Wright?  Even if he completes that, he would have been tackled at the two yard line and time would have run out on the half because they had no timeouts left.  INEXCUSIBLE.  Don't know if that was coaching, or execution, but somebody needed to be held accountable for that.

2) The Play of the game - In line with the defense wins championships theory (fact in my book), the single biggest play of the game had to be Ahmad Black ripping the ball away from Juaquin Iglesias for one of the best interceptions I've ever seen.  The look on Bradford's face after that play was priceless.  He thought he had completed the pass and set his team up at the Gators 24 only to have his heart ripped out.  By the way, what were Thom Brennamen (sp?) and Charles Davis watching (more on this later).  It took them almost a minute to realize the Gators had come up with the ball.

3) A Gritty, Gutsy Performance - Huge Kudos to Percy Harvin, who must have been running on pure adrenaline with his slightly bummed ankle.  They said in pregame warmups, you could tell he wasn't 100%, but it sure didn't show on the field, ripping off two huge runs of 40+ yards, one from his own 3 yard line.  He singlehanded flipped the field twice, and ripped momentum back away from Oklahoma after they had tied the game at 14 early in the fourth quarter.

4) A repeat performance - Tim Tebow announced this weekend that he was returning for his senior season, which set off a tidal wave of Tebow hating on the boards.  Everyone was talking about having to go through another year of the Tebow lovefest from all the broadcasters.  Look at it from my angle, though.  The rest of us have to put up with another year of all the haters drinking their haterade.  While I admit some of the stories/attention is overblown, the fact is the kid is a phenominal leader, and a proven winner.  And no matter what you think of how he'll perform at the next level, what position he'll play, etc., you know that almost all of these people spewing their venom at the kid would die to have him as the QB of their team.  I have to believe that it's 75% jealousy, and 25% of tiredness due to media overkill.  Instead of hating on the kid, hate the media and check the mirror.

5) Fox's coverage of big game very apropos for the BCS - God, Fox's coverage of the BCS Championship game was horrible, and not even because of the reason most people pointed to, which was the perceived (and to some extent true) Tebowfest, which by the way wasn't nearly as bad as most made out and didn't even start until the second half when Tebow started to go Tebow on the OU defense.  You want to talk about love fests?  How about the love fest for the OU offense (offense sells tickets, remember?)?  Was there anything more utterly useless and annoying than the garbage of the OU time between snap clock and the quad screen that they went to dozens of times?  Also, did the producer ever hear of this thing fans like called game content?  You know, like mixing in a replay or three during the course of the game.  And did Brennamen and Davis miss Barry Alvarez that much???  I thought the three did an admirable job in 2007 broadcasting the BCS Championship game between tOSU and UF, but this game the duo was LOST.  Most notable of which was the goal line stand series where Brennamen was a down ahead the entire time and Davis did NOTHING to correct him (and seemed unaware of the down himself).  Yeah, that was a HUGE decision to go for it on 3rd and goal from the 1, NOT!  Also, were the people in the truck asleep all game.  Don't they have people who tell these guys stuff and spotters and crap?  How come ABSOLUTELY nobody corrected them that whole time?  Overall, an absolutely horrendous job by FOX.

6) Something I missed last week - Wanted to give Kudos to the Buckeyes for the great game they played against Texas in the Fiesta Bowl.  In fact, it was a shame that the tOSU coaching staff (most notably DC Jim Heacock {sp?}) cost that game for the kids who absolutely played their hearts out.  I actually felt bad for Buckeye fans getting their hearts ripped out for the third time, since it happened in this fashion.  Overall, an extremely hard fought, well played game by both teams, and one that proved A) the Buckeyes belonged and B) Texas deserved that #4 ranking in the AP that I predicted they would get.

7) Cry me a river - God, I could not believe the whining going on by Titans fans after their game against the Ravens.  Several threads popped up about the Titans getting jobbed and the botched delay of game penalty COSTING them the game.  Yes, it was a missed call.  But the penalties and the TURNOVERS, especially those in the red zone, COST the Titans the game.  As I tried to explain to the whiners, A) Delay of Game does not come with a loss of down, so what makes them think Baltimore doesn't just convert the first down anyway and the arguement is moot.  B) Say they do stop them, what's to stop the Titans from turning the ball over again and the Ravens winning, or the game going to OT and the Ravens winning.  Honestly, even if the proper call had been made, the Titans still had a better chance of losing than winning IMHO C) Todd Heap was still double covered on the play, so it wasn't like the Titans gave up and weren't playing defense.  Plus, I've seen situations where teams have gotten a play off after the clock hit :00 where they threw a pick.  Think the offense would have liked the 5 yard penalty in that case?  I later started a thread after the Steelers Chargers game making fun of said crybabies (which not all Titan fans were doing, just to be fair) and one blasted me that I'd do the same if it were my team.  Let me make this perfectly clear.  I will NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE blame officiating on losing a game.  For one, that's loser speak in my book and for two, even with Ed Hochuli's blown call in the Chargers Broncos game that had a MILLION TIMES more to do with deciding the outcome of that game than some missed delay of game call EVER will, the Broncos were still faced with a 4th and goal from about the 10.  The Chargers still had a chance to make a play and win the game and did not.  That fact gets overlooked sometimes.  By the way, it came out Monday that the officials blew another call in the game, in FAVOR of the Titans.  The Ravens should have had a safety when Chris Johnson failed to get the ball COMPLETELY out of the endzone (it's the exact opposite of going in.  If the ball breaks the plane, it breaks the plane, TD wise or safety wise).  As it was put by the NFL when posed a question about that play, "The Ravens failed to challenge it."  In other words, it was a safety.  Of course, we won't hear about THAT one from Titan fans.

8) Fake Delhomme - Wow, I must have missed where the Panthers were secretly matched up against the Ravens or Steelers last week.  I could have swore both teams were in other games of their own.  But how else to you explain the sudden defensive dominance of the Cardinals (yes, some of it needs to be hung around Jake's neck like an albatross)?  Delhomme turned in the worst playoff performance since Rich Gannon decided the Bucs offense wasn't scoring enough so why not give their defense three touchdowns as well and only topped by the playoff game in which Jet Favre completed six passes to Rams players masquerading as Packers.  In other playoff debacle news, the Giants seemed absolutely content to just kick field goal after field goal (and not very successfully, I might add), and it ended up costing them big time.  A big congratulations to the Eagles.  Oh, and just as we had the NFL's first ever 11-10 game earlier this year when the Steelers had a TD taken away at the end of the game while beating the Chargers (in the regular season game), this was the NFL's first 23-11 final score.

9) Midseason Lightning report card - Well, we've hit the midseason point of the NHL, and my beloved Bolts earn themselves a big F, mostly due to their front office.  From the bold predictions which they seem destined to fall short of, to trading away Dan Boyle for basically a bag of Cheetos, and a roll of Mentos, to now doing nothing to quell rumors of Lecavalier to Montreal, I'm quickly getting sick of GM Brainless Lawton and owner Oren Klueless.  If they do trade Vinny, I might just become a Wings fan.  That's how despondent I'd be (j/k Diva, I'd never stoop that low ).  I'll give out complete NHL midseason report cards next week.

10) BuccinGators weatherman-like results and clueless conference championship game predicitions - Well, I finished bowl season a stellar 18-16, while pulling down 57.5% of the available points in my bowl pool, and am so far batting .250 in the NFL, going 1-3 each week.  So you may want to bet the opposite of what I say, but I am predicting (and praying for I might add) an all Pennsylvania Super Bowl XLIII here in Tampa.  I get the feeling, though, that the real Super Bowl is being played this week in Pittsburgh.  I could (EASILY) be wrong, though.  NFC Eagles 24, Cardinals 17.  AFC Steelers 13 Ravens 8.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com