Tag:Steve Kragthorpe
Posted on: January 21, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Kragthorpe's hire a bad sign for Jefferson?

Posted by Chip Patterson

Jordan Jefferson has been a polarizing figure for LSU fans during his three year career in Baton Rouge.  The Tigers offense has ranked near the bottom of the conference for the last two seasons, both with Jefferson at least taking a good portion of the snaps.  In 2010, Jefferson found himself sitting series' out while Jarrett Lee took more snaps near the middle of the season.  But Jefferson did finish strong, particularly his four touchdown performance against Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.

But with offensive coordinator Gary Crowton run off to Maryland, head coach Les Miles has decided to bring in Steve Kragthorpe, formerly with Louisville and Tulsa.  Additionally, the Tigers will have touted junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger.  The former Georgia recruit will enter LSU with high expectations from a fan base that has become restless with an offense that has struggled and, some would say, cost them a shot at the SEC Championship.  

Kragthorpe will likely open competition between Jefferson and Mettenberger, perhaps even choosing to use both.  Traditionally, Kragthorpe has been known to run a pro-style offense.  Glenn Guilbeau, of the Shreveport Times, suggests that this will be an advantage for Mettenberger - a drop back, pro style quarterback.  

Mettenberger is certainly a talented quarterback with a lot of potential, his 6-5 230 pound frame is comparable to Arkansas' Ryan Mallett.  But despite the advantages of his style matching Kragthorpe's system, Jefferson should have a fair shot at the starting job.  Jefferson may have thrown 10 interceptions and only 7 touchdowns in 2010, but he did lead the Tigers to an 11-2 record and a Cotton Bowl victory.  With all the talent returning, LSU will likely be a preseason favorite in the SEC.  There is no reason to jump the gun benching Jefferson, though if he starts throwing interceptions early Tiger fans will be calling for Mettenberger.  They won't do so quietly either, LSU fans don't know "quiet."
Posted on: January 20, 2011 10:38 am
 

Report: Kragthorpe hired as LSU coordinator

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The LSU offensive coordinator's position should be one of the most sought-after in college football: a steady supply of premium-grade home-grown talent, a more-or-less permanent place in the race for one of the premier division titles in the sport, a fearsome defense that means your unit could, say, finish no higher than 11th in the conference in total yardage over two seasons and you could still claim a role in 20 wins over that span. Les Miles ought to have his pick of nearly any offensive assistant in the country.

So why on earth would he pick this assistant?



Yes, the Baton Rouge Advocate means that Kragthorpe, Steve Kragthorpe, the coach most notorious for tearing down in the space of one season what had taken Bobby Petrino years to build at Louisville. As assistant coaching hires go, taking a flyer on one of the biggest head coaching failures of the past decade isn't going to be the most inspiring choice.

That's not to say it couldn't work out anyway. Kragthorpe had a highly successful tenure at Tulsa that won him the Cardinal job in the first place, and many of the failed responsibilities that led to his dismal record at Louisville won't be issues as an assistant. He also has productive experience as an OC, calling plays for R.C. Slocum at Texas A&M in the late '90s and even winning a Big 12 title in that role in 1998.

All the same, his Tulsa success was built on a foundation of solid defense rather than offense. And when you have as many options as Miles must have had for filling the vacancy, settling on a name so closely associated with the stench of misery at Louisville seems like, well, settling. Kragthorpe's hardly doomed to failure in Baton Rouge -- in fact, the grade of talent at his disposal suggests he could be a smashing success even without much in the way of innovation or creativity -- but until LSU fans see his offense in action, they should be forgiven for scratching their heads.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 2:31 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Headset Reset: reviewing hires in C-USA, Sun Belt

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

"Headset Reset" is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in Conference USA and the Sun Belt .


BILL BLANKENSHIP, Tulsa

Why him? Former Tulsa quarterback was promoted from running backs/special teams coach to maintain 10-3, top-25 status quo. For 2011, Blankenship needs to: find a replacement for departed offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who took the same position at Clemson after being passed over the Tulsa head job; the right hire could turn Tulsa's nine returning offensive starters (including quarterback G.J. Kinne and all-purpose weapon Damaris Johnson) into another double-digit win season. By 2014, Blankenship will need to have: won a C-USA title. For all of the Golden Hurricane's offensive fireworks under Todd Graham, their only league championship came back in 2005 under Steve Kragthorpe. Chances Blankenship gets what he needs? Fair-to-middling. Tulsa's points-happy brand should be strong enough to keep them near the top of the league standings (provided Blankenship doesn't blow the OC hire), but will simply promoting a position coach really be enough to get them over the hump?

DAN McCARNEY, North Texas (pictured)

Why him? Far and away the most recognizable name among the new C-USA/SBC hires, the 57-year-old McCarney spent 12 successful seasons as Iowa State's head coach before supervising the defensive lines at South Florida and Florida. For 2011, McCarney needs to: just offer some kind of hope. The snake-bitten Mean Green (4 losses in 2010 by total of 13 points) have won only 13 games in six seasons. By 2014, McCarney will need to have: found some semblance of a defense. UNT hasn't had too many problems offensively, but they won't accomplish anything until one of the nation's worst defenses is brought up to code. Chances McCarney gets what he needs? Decent. McCarney may be a little too long in the tooth (and the program may have decayed too badly) to bring back the Mean Green's early-Aughts glory days, but the old pro should have the defensive chops to at least bring UNT back to respectability.

HUGH FREEZE, Arkansas State

Why him? Former Ole Miss assistant made famous by The Blind Side was promoted from offensive coordinator after leading Red Wolves to better than 400 yards per game, vaulting them from 95th to 43rd in total offense. For 2011, Freeze needs to: get to .500. Disappointing 4-8 records the last two seasons earned Steve Roberts a pink slip, but with Ryan Aplin back at quarterback and better luck due after going 1-5 in one-possession games in 2010, there's no reason (other than a revamped offensive line) Freeze can't get the Red Wolves back to 6-6. By 2014, Freeze will need to have: established ASU as an upper-tier Sun Belt program. Getting past Troy and up-and-coming FIU won't be easy, but there's nothing stopping the Red Wolves from joining in the SBC mix. Chances Freeze gets what he needs? Good. Freeze knows his way around the Arkansas and Tennessee recruiting scenes and has a sharp offensive mind; those traits alone should be enough to get the Red Wolves back to the postseason (for the first time since 2005) sooner rather than later.

MARK HUDSPETH, Lousiana (formerly UL-Lafayette)

Why him? Before taking a job on Dan Mullen's staff at Mississippi State , Hudpseth excelled as the head coach at Division II North Alabama, going 66-20 in seven seasons. For 2011, Hudspeth needs to: right the ship. A series of near-misses at a winning season under Rickey Bustle dissolved in a 3-9 disaster in 2010; a simple step in the right direction will be enough for one of the FBS's most tradition-deficient programs. By 2014, Hudspeth will need to have: earned a bowl bid. The Ragin' Cajuns have never taken part in FBS postseason play. Chances Hudspeth gets what he needs? Not bad. There's room to be upwardly mobile in the Sun Belt, and despite a relatively bare cupboard, Hudspeth has quality head coaching experience at only 42 years of age.



 
 
 
 
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