Monthly Archives: December 2015
Well, this is something:
Sam Pittman has a great reputation as an offensive line coach, and his reunion with former Pitt (erstwhile Arkansas) OC Jim Chaney means that Georgia will look to go heavy personnel on offense and maul people. I’m okay with that philosophy, as Pittman took a pretty young Arkansas group and molded them into a VERY cohesive unit over the past three years.
He’s been considered a success at all of his stops, and I know firsthand that he was BELOVED during his time at UNC (where he was an ace recruiter, as well).
So…to hear that Arkansas’ players and coaches were sad to see him go is not surprising. The efforts from Bielema? Pathetic, clownish, and typical of the Donald Trump of the SEC.
The job is Jacob Eason’s if he wants it. Not just the job of QB1. It looks like Eason could be the O.C. next year.
Or I could be. Or you could be. At this point, anything is possible.
Have a nice weekend.
That’s all I got/
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What a year in college football’s most fun game within the game, “who should we pay millions of dollars annually to lead our unpaid athletes and appease our donors?“, AKA the coaching carousel. This year, we had it all.
Maryland barely made it to October before leading it off and canning Randy Edsall. In the same weekend, Steve Spurrier flat QUIT at South Carolina, and the real USC fired Steve Sarkisian for alcoholism (the post below, DYP 150, addresses this quite well). Finally, things hit a little too close to home the day after the season, after Mark Richt was unceremoniously let go from Georgia.
Richt already has another job. Up-and-comers like Tom Herman at Houston and Matt Rhule at Temple surprisingly stayed put. One local conference rival of Georgia’s made a hilarious hire that (spoiler) will be ranked DFL on this list. Since there are still active searches at four Group of 5 schools (ECU, BYU, Tulane, ULM) we will limit the rankings to P5.
Let’s get it! Keep in mind that all rankings are subject to their hiring schools’ present situations.
TIER 1: COACHES THAT SHOULD EXCEED PREDECESSORS
- Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech: Its been a running trend in Blacksburg for at least a decade for VT to get by on “Beamerball”, i.e. a strong defense and explosive special teams. In a way, its sugarcoated an abysmal offense for years (to increasingly terrible results). While maintaining the main tenets of Beamerball by retaining DC Bud Foster, the Hokies went out and got the best offensive mind available. Tech has its limitations, but they should be able to return to prominence under Fuente.
- Mark Richt, Miami: Like I said…”coaches that should exceed predecessors.” Da U has had diminishing returns since Larry Coker was handed an NFL roster and rode it to 23 straight wins to start his tenure. The talent is there, the attitude is in flux (administration wants to bury it, players want to revive it) and Mark Richt with a dash of Evil Mark Richt is the perfect man to balance the two sides.
- Dino Babers, Syracuse: Essentially ran a more run-oriented version of Art Briles’ Baylor spread at Bowling Green, coaches in a terrible (outside of Clemson and FSU) division, and gets to do it all in a dome (mitigating the fact that it’s Syracuse((???))) I don’t know. I have a slight Babers mancrush and think he can be the best thing to happen to the Cuse since Donovan McNabb.
- D.J. Durkin, Maryland: Speaking of guys I like…Durkin is 37, he led the resurgence of Michigan’s defense this year, and had established a sterling rep as a DC and recruiter at Florida long before that.
TIER 2: STATUS QUO, OR WITHIN A WIN OR TWO OF IT.
- Kirby Smart, Georgia: I didn’t love the firing of Mark Richt, but I’ve warmed to this hire as I’ve heard the man speak. He’s been the nation’s hottest coordinator HC candidate for…what? Five years now? If he has the wherewithal to delegate the offense to a capable OC, Georgia could bounce back BIGTIME next year. (As an aside, I know I shouldn’t bemoan this, but I wish he was coming in full-time instead of bouncing back and forth between Athens and Tuscaloosa for the next month).
- Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia: Quite possibly the most surprising hire I’ve ever seen, as Mendenhall has never coached east of the Mississippi and seemed entrenched in Provo. This is a guy who went 11/11 in reaching bowls, but with his lack of contacts in this region and a VERY unique set of circumstances at BYU, I’m a little hesitant to call this the home run that others are.
- Matt Campbell, Iowa State: Listen…I don’t know. He was good at Toledo, he’s young (36), and it’s Iowa State. I don’t know how you can do much worse or better. So he seems like a safe fit here.
- Clay Helton, USC: Another high floor hire, I’m shocked that AD Pat Haden was allowed to make this pick. I’m further shocked that Helton got five years GUARANTEED, but Troy needs some stability. USC looked better and more disciplined than it did under Sark (SHOCKER!), but nothing about him screams big, Pete Carroll-esque winner. (Sidebar: I’ll write on this later if we are still lacking an OC, but his brother at Western Kentucky is on the top of my list. Jacob Eason takes the next flight to Athens and sleeps under a staircase to put up numbers under Tyson Helton.)
- Barry Odom, Missouri: A guy who lost FOUR All-SEC D-linemen the last two years and still oversaw the nations #9 total defense? (Note: SEC East offenses weren’t really good this year.) It is still damn strong coaching and solid continuity. Best of luck against lymphoma, Gary Pinkel. We never wanted #Pinkelwatch to end like that.
TIER 3: WTF?!?
- Bill “not an ideal situation” Cubit, Illinois: Illinois has an interim president, an interim AD, and still an interim football coach. The AD said Cubit’s two year deal was “not ideal”. Okay then.
- Tracy Claeys, Minnesota: Sticking in the B1G, this is a hire I failed to acknowledge on initial draft because it was so quiet and…Minnesota. I’m sure Claeys is a capable, smart guy, but Jerry Kill was BELOVED in Minneapolis and the Gophers’ results tanked after a near-miss against Michigan. Not really feeling this one.
- Will Muschamp, South Carolina: OH HO HO! HOW I MISSED #COACHBOOM JOKES UNTIL HE WENT NUCLEAR IN THE IRON BOWL AND COST AUBURN THREE VERY IMPORTANT POINTS AND THE MOMENTUM! HE’S REALLY BACK ALREADY? REALLY? Ray Tanner had TWO MONTHS to find a new football coach, and he got (South Carolina’s third straight, btw) retread? And this time not a first-ballot hall-of-famer? Go get Mack Brown if you need guys with antiquated success. Jim Tressel may take a call. But COACH FREAKING BOOM SOLD THEM ON THE “BABY I’VE CHANGED” ROUTINE then IMMEDIATELY GOES OUT AND GETS THE FLORIDA GANG BACK TOGETHER?
Oh man, this is too good.
A look back at the championship games, a gentle mocking of other teams’ hires, and a DYP official welcome to Coach Smart.
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We’ve obtained a copy of Coach Kirby Smart’s opening remarks for his introductory press conference.
Well, first of all I want to thank the Lord for not only the opportunity to coach at the University of Georgia but also for the opportunity to serve the community of Athens. As many of you know this is home for me; it always has been. I grew up in a little town called Bainbridge that’s nowhere near here really, but this has always been home. I grew up in a small town and have never been much for city life except for that short stint in Miami and a few years in Valdosta. My dad coached high school football and before I learned the Georgia Way I was brought up in the Bainbridge High School Way. Some may say I’m from the Nick Saban coaching tree but I’d say I’m more rooted in the Sonny Smart coaching tree because family has always been the most important thing for me. Also winning is the most important thing. And my faith. And also dust-less rings.
But this is really something of a homecoming for me. People tend to forget that I was 1-0 in SEC Championship Games as a Bulldog assistant coach. In fact, you’d have to go back to the beginning of time to find a time in which I was a full member of the Bulldog coaching staff and Georgia didn’t win the conference. And the truth is—and truth has always been the most important thing for me—even if you went back to the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis, you couldn’t find the following things concurrently:
- Me on staff as coach at Georgia and
- Georgia doing anything other than winning the SEC.
So I know a thing or two about winning. As a grad assistant – a remedial task I did for one year at Georgia in 1999 and two years at Florida State in 2002 and 2003 – I won 69% of my football games. As a position coach – which I did for one year at Valdosta State, one year at LSU, one year at Georgia and one year at Alabama – I won 71% of my games. As a defensive coordinator, something I did for a year at Valdosta State and for the last eight seasons at Alabama, I have won 90 percent of my games. Are you seeing the pattern? The higher up I go, the better I am. Well, I wise man once said that coaching football is about the people not the rings and that rings will collect dust. With me, you have found the right people and this people isn’t going to allow dust on jewelry because I don’t believe in jewelry. Modesty has always been the most important thing for me.
Beyond winning, there’s another pattern you should know about. Every time my team wins a football game, I adopt a child. I started this tradition at Alabama. After yesterday’s win, I adopted my 105th child. You haven’t heard about this until now because I’m too humble to discuss it. But it’s very important to me.
With that in mind, I’d like to thank Coach Richt for the talent he has left me. I anxiously look forward to working with Brice Ramsey. I truly believe that he can be one of the best punters in the nation under the tutelage of me and my full-time special teams coach, Andrew Hall of DudeYouCrazy.net. I’d also like to congratulate Coach Richt on his new job and his very small fleet of adoptees. And I would be remiss if I failed to congratulate Coach Richt on his modest success in Athens. Truly, it will be hard to win Georgia’s first conference title in ten years but I welcome that challenge. Having just won the SEC yesterday I understand that such privileges do not occur every year. For example, I did not win it the SEC in 2011. I only one the BCS National Championship that year.
But back to the job at hand. I’d like to express my appreciation for Athletic Director McGarity and his staff but at this moment I think it would be unfair to simply say thank you. I would also like to express my sincere displeasure with his dismissal of Mark Richt. We, Bulldog Nation, are not happy. But some of us are, and in fairness to all involved I would like to say that I look forward to reuniting Bulldog fans around the world.
We will get through this together. We will grieve. We will win. We will adopt babies. We will drive Ford trucks. We will be at church every Sunday morning unless we are visiting a high school quarterback on the other side of the country. That’s the Georgia Way.
Also we will retain Jeremy Pruitt and beat the ever-living feces out of anyone who so much as looks at us the wrong way – on or off the field.
Thanks and Go Dawgs. God Bless.
I think everyone is going to like this guy. Home run hire.