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Posts Tagged ‘College Football’

Tide Rolling With Kiffin

In Football Stuff on January 12, 2014 at 12:42 am

Lane Kiffin Coach

The idea of Lane Kiffin being the next offensive coordinator at Alabama seems crazy to some people. To me it seems like a good idea. Nick Saban appears to respect Lane’s ideas for running an offense. Maybe that visit a few weeks ago was more than just Saban asking young Kiffin about some ideas. Now after listening a lot of sports talk radio here in Atlanta I see a lot people don’t see this as a good hire. I on the other hand think this is a pretty good pick.

Most people who call this a disaster hire are probably speaking out of feeling and emotion and not looking at this analytically. Sure Kiffin was not successful as the head coach of the Trojans. Being a good coordinator and being a good head coach are two completely different animals. Guys like Norv Turner and Wade Phillips have sucked as the men in charge but are sought after coordinators. They are actually so good at being coordinators people keep giving them head coaching jobs. Not to mention the USC program is dealing with NCAA sanctions that forced scholarship limits on them making it a harder program to run then it used to be.

Now maybe you want to point at his other stops before coming home to USC, cool I will take those on. The thing about Oakland was he just took a job that he was not ready for, too much too soon. To fair to Kiffin name a successful Raiders coach since Jon Gruden. Now his tenure at Tennessee was short and it he ruffled some feathers in the SEC. That maybe while people in Atlanta call in to hate him every chance they get. That being said they were a solid program for the season he was there but he wanted to be at his dream job. Not worried about the off field talking too much with Nick Saban being in charge at Alabama.

The last job that Lane Kiffin excelled at was being the offensive coordinator at USC. During his tenure of 2005-2006 the Trojans were one of the most prolific offenses in all of college football. Now of course I am waiting for the first detractor to say “well he was loaded with talent”. Yes and doesn’t that sound like Saban’s Alabama teams. Under Kiffin USC averaged 49.1 points per game and had a 3,000 yard passer and two 1,000 yard rushers in the same season. The team was 23-3 while Lane was calling the plays in southern California. That being said I am sure the experience at being at a big time program like USC he won’t be overwhelmed by the pressure at Alabama. Nick Saban is a smart man with 3 of the last 5 National Championships, I am pretty sure he has thought this through.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on twitter @Kholtjr

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Any Choice Would Have Been Good for Saban

In Football Stuff on December 14, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Nick Saban Bama

Friday it was announced that Nick Saban has signed a long term extension with the University of Alabama. This pretty much ends all possibility that he will be the coach of the Texas Longhorns. Already the highest paid coach in college football Saban just picked up a fat raise. Now credit the speculation of him going to another school with helping make even more money than he already does. No matter decision Nick Saban made he was going to win. There were no bad options.

Let’s say that Nick would have been the replacement for Mack Brown at Texas. Texas is one of the more legendary programs in college football history and it not that far removed from its past glory. Money was not definitely a problem for school that would have paid Saban probably even more money than he just got on the deal he just signed. Texas is a magical place for high school football and he would have had first pick of any recruit from the state. After being the only coach to win two national titles at two different schools has only been by Saban. Why would he not consider trying to add another program to the list?

Staying home at Alabama was also a very good option. Saban has built the Crimson Tide to a constant national championship contender each year. This season if it were not for a crazy play he would be playing for another national championship this season. Not having to deal with a conference like the Big 12 that is unstable and playing in the king SEC conference is always a plus. Saban knows his roster that is deep with All-Americans that he has stocked and ready for major runs in the future. Schools like Florida, Georiga and LSU get ready because your nightmare is still here.

Written By
Keith B Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

There Too Many Bowls

In Football Stuff on December 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm

bowlgames

The college football season is over and now we are onto the bowl season. There will be 34 post season games to reward collegiate teams for having good seasons. The problem is there were not 68 teams that had good seasons. There are rarely going to be that many good schools considering that there are only 120 FBS schools to begin with. That means more than half the teams playing will get to go to postseason. The fact of the matter is that we have too many bowl games.

college bowls

Part of the problem is that when Division scheduled for FBS schools went from 11 to 12 games it allowed more opportunity for teams to become bowl eligible. Under the 11 game format teams that won at least 6 games qualified to play in a postseason game. That 6 game requirement was never adjusted when the schedule expanded which made it easier for teams to get in. One problem with that this is that there is no requirement that those 6 wins have to come against FBS schools. So a team that gets 2 quick victories against St Joes School for the Blind and Bozo The Clown State now only has to get by 4 out of the next 10 games.

The sight of some of these sad games is very unappealing. Looking at those empty stadiums is not a good sight only to see 2 mediocre teams play. The fans are not that interested in the lower tier bowl games because they are usually in some horrible locations. For instance this year Georgia Tech will be playing in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN. Now I don’t know how many alumni are interested in spending December 30th in Nashville. It’s not like it’s a warmer city then their hometown of Atlanta and doesn’t provide any real motivation for the out of town alums to travel. Not mention I am pretty sure the people of Nashville are breaking their necks to see two schools that they have no connection to play each other.

Maybe after we bring in the playoff system maybe we can wash out some of these irrelevant games. Until then enjoy that GoDaddy.com Bowl matchup of Ball State and Arkansas State. If you want to go I am sure there will plenty of 10 dollar tickets floating around Mobile, AL.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

College Football’s Fake Playoff

In Football Stuff on November 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm

College Football Playoff

There is a lot of promise being sold for the 2014 college football season. The BCS will no longer determine our national champion and we will actually have a playoff. Before you start dancing too hard, understand that it’s not the real deal. This four team set-up is only a teaser that the networks and NCAA will attempt to pacify fans with. For those of you who like the spectacle don’t worry all the same old arguing will still be there next year.

A lot of people think that the committee that will select the teams will be problematic. I don’t think that they will be the issue. The source of concern is how this tournament is structured. The NCAA and conference commissioners were not brave enough to set up a real playoff. The four team model is just a fancy way of doing a plus one. I guess change is hard and we have to take baby steps.

There is a simple answer to the playoff problem. All we need is an 8 team playoff that features the conference champions of the five major conferences and 3 at large teams. That way if the SEC has 2 powerhouse teams they both will have a shot. Will there be debates about teams who don’t get in? Yes of course it will but even if we have 64 teams there will be people whining and complaining.

The setup would roll like this; first round will be at the home fields of the higher seed teams. It would nice to see how a Texas team would fare at Ohio State in early December. The semifinals could be at rotating BCS sites with the final being played at another rotating BCS site. Until we get something like this, we are just pretending we have a playoff.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

Against The Tide

In Sports Docs on November 18, 2013 at 2:01 am

Against the Tide

“Against The Tide” is a documentary produced by Showtime Sports that highlights one of the most influential games in college football history. The game in 1970 featured the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Trojans of USC, played in Tuscaloosa, AL. The Alabama team was coached by the legend Bear Bryant his team was not integrated yet. They were all white playing against a fully integrated team from California that was coached by another legend John McKay. We get insight to what led up to that special matchup of two very different giants of college football.

The film takes a look at the culture in the south coming out of the 1960s and the racial tension that existed in the state of Alabama. The first year after a decade that was full of racial violence and outspoken political figures who wanted keep segregation alive. University of Alabama had admitted black students by 1970 but in very small numbers. The winning football had remained all white. This was not uncommon in the south as mostly all SEC teams were not integrated.

The movie highlights a game where Alabama got crushed by USC of a score of 42-21. By all accounts in the film USC could have won by more if McKay would have not called the dogs off. The movie also addresses the speculation that Bear Bryant scheduled the game with his friend because he knew that the Tide would lose. The film does not confirm the claim and most of former players dispute that theory. The movie does confirm that Bryant wanted to integrate his football team before the school administration was ready that to happen.

The team that visited Tuscaloosa was a stark contrast to the Crimson Tide. The USC team was coached by McKay who had been bringing black player to the school throughout the 1960s. Black players had been playing at the school since the 1920s. The 1970 team actually featured a black quarterback in James Jones. This was not popular even at integrated schools back in 1970.

The movie is clear that the game is not solely responsible for football in the south integrating. What it does assert that it did open a lot of eyes to the fact that times were going to have to change of the SEC schools wanted to compete with other teams from around the country. You also get a glimpse of some of the complicated relationships that took place in that time period.
Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr