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Posts Tagged ‘SEC’

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

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

Aaron Murray Stay Or Go

In Atlanta Area Stuff on January 8, 2013 at 2:58 am

Aaron Murray QB
This week Aaron Murray the quarterback of the University of Georgia made a lot fans happy. He decided to stay in school one more year and not go into the NFL draft. Prior to young Murray making this decision it was a hot topic on local sports talk radio. Should he stay or should he go? It seemed like most of the callers to these radio stations thought he should stay in school. That is mostly due to that they are fans of Georgia football and don’t want to be without the conference’s best quarterback.

I on the other hand say leave while the iron is hot. This year promises to be one the weaker quarterback classes in recent memory. Also the major critique of the Dawgs signal caller has to do with his height. Since he won’t grow three inches in a year he will probably not change his projection from being a 2nd or 3rd round choice. He has completed his degree and been a three year starter in Athens, GA. Not to mention the injury risk of coming back to play or having a bad season and possibly lowering his stock. Hey if you get hurt in the NFL at least it won’t be for free.

Now that I am done with highlighting the negative, glad the young man came to a decision that he is comfortable with. He should have fun in his last year and hopefully compete for a Heisman trophy.

Written By
Keith B. Holt