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After Week Seven

  1. Alabama
  2. Penn State
  3. Texas
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Florida
  6. USC
  7. Georgia
  8. LSU
  9. BYU
  10. Missouri
  11. Ohio State
  12. Oklahoma State
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  14. Utah
  15. Kansas
  16. USF
  17. North Carolina
  18. Miami
  19. Boise State
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Wednesday
Nov152006

Thoughts As I Hit The Hay

The situation at Florida State is something that will need digestion and dissection for many years to come.  They had something unique and special and over time lost that drive to innovate and dominate.

But then, coach Bowden never realized that it had all gone away.  He's always sided with the coaches and players and put forward this strange reasoning that if they just waited things out, kept trying, things would get better.

But the foundation was bad, and not once did they do a darn thing about it.  Mark Richt's departure to Georgia was the paradigm-shifter, but the Seminoles were already on their way.

Talk now is that coach Bowden will look for someone he's familiar with/personally connected to as his offensive coordinator.  Sometimes we just never learn, I guess.

I really admire Bowden's loyalty, his genial ways and what he's done.  It's truly one of the remarkable accomplishments in the history of this great game.

But the program's completely adrift.

The talent is there to be playing better, and it's been there these last six seasons with endless disappointment.  Something's wrong and for six years people took Bowden at his word that things could be fixed.  Something finally snapped this season, and things will only get more ugly.

Jeff Bowden stepped down as offensive coordinator not out of recognition that a change was needed, but because he was offered a fat buyout by the athletic department and its boosters.  BTW, I was on the scent just two weeks ago about behind the scenes maneuverings.

Think that next rubber chicken booster circuit outing by Bowden will have quite the same friendliness as before?  Mmmmm... NO.  And now he knows his bosses helped engineer his son's departure.  Fun times in Tally.

Bowden's obstinance was cute when Chris Rix was the quarterback and the program had to wait out the various cancers from that era, but those guys are long gone.  The rot remains and fans and boosters clearly had enough after Saturday's 30-0 home loss to Wake Forest.

It's strange, because I hope Bowden stays.  He truly has earned the opportunity to choose the time and date of his departure.  However, he made the absolute wrong decision years back by installing his son as the offensive coordinator.

Coaches have to know that their coordinators are second only to the head man in facing scrutiny.  With the capable Mickey Andrews handling his defense, tremendous fan animosity would be heaped upon son and offensive coordinator Jeff even in the best of times.  Bobby played with fire by hiring his son and after six years the house just burned down.  He made a professional transaction personal by putting family on the coaching staff, and has responded poorly and taken it personally to what is essentially a professional transaction to remove his offensive coordinator.

Ugly.  Ugly.  Ugly.

***
Speaking of coach and coordinator being family...

USC coach Pete Carroll's Godson is offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

Several contacts with knowledge of USC are of the sentiment that Carroll and Kiffin "share the same brain".  That's another offense that's lost some punch in the last two years.

Deja Vu all over again?

***
This isn't good.

***
I called it (proof + proof).

Well, we're two games away, but the Tigers should get it done despite the awful collapse these last few weeks.

***
I don't know how many of you watched the Cal/Arizona game on Saturday, but Bears corner Daymeion Hughes was bananas out there.  He made at least a half-dozen plays in coverage that I noticed flipping between that game and several others.

This weekend he faces USC's Dwayne Jarrett.  Personally I'd rather have him on Steve Smith, who is USC's most effective receiver this year and isn't dropping 3-4 passes a game like Jarrett.  Most of Jarrett's yards nowadays come from bubble screens and quick outs, not from making plays downfield.  Smith is the Trojans' true difference-maker at the moment and it'll be interesting to see if Cal takes a shot at putting burn unit corner Syd'Quan Thompson on Jarrett and mixing in some nickle corners and safeties to shade his way.

***
Interesting angle to the West Virginia/Pittsburgh game: are Slaton and White "mudders"?

Rodriguez's no-huddle, spread offense is accustomed to only one speed, and it's at breakneck speed with a quarterback and running back whose accelerators have given opponents fits...

...Rodriguez recalled the tough traction at Heinz Field two years ago when the Mountaineers lost 16-13 (source).

Speaking of bad weather some serious rain and lightning ripped through town (and much of the Southeast) today.  It's like summer... in winter.

***
Tick...

Tick...

Tick...

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Reader Comments (2)

I'm not a USC fan (far from it), but not sure how you can say they are exactly floundering or anything on offense. Last year they had one of the most dynamic offenses in history, Rose Bowl loss or not. After graduating 3 guys who each would have been program changers in their own right all at once, they've understandably had a few hiccups (especially with their top 2 wideouts both missing time with various bumps and bruises.) But there's still a load of talent on offense that any school would kill to have, the only thing missing is experience and that'll come, unfortunately for those of us who are fans of other Pac 10 schools.
November 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMark
They're not floundering, but its not a highly functional offense.

The talent is what's held it together, particularly the quarterback Booty.

"But there's still a load of talent on offense that any school would kill to have"

That's exactly their problem. They have everything they need, and get stuck in the mud consistently. Put that talent in a more functional system and they're far more productive. USC is badly inefficient on offense.

Their entire approach is basically "we have more talent than you and we'll beat you, gyarrrrr"

It worked last year but it's kind of stupid this year when you no longer have overwhelming players like that.

Before they played like they weren't as talented and would outscheme the opponent, but had that talent that put them over the top.

They were like, say, a Texas Tech on roids and it won two titles.

Now they're a Florida State on roids and coughed up the title appearance. Good luck finding another threesome like that to get you that far ever again.

They let themselves go from dictating their fate to schlepping around with the rest of college football hoping for a title game appearance like everyone else.

It's still good, but nothing special either which it should be given how much talent's there.
November 17, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR

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