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Sunday
Apr152007

This and That

Playoff Madness

Last week's 'Save the Rose Bowl entry generated mostly serious discussion - golf clap to my readers/commenters.  Be sure and wade through the replies to get a feel for the debate.

***
Muck City

There's an article in last week's ESPN The Magazine about a poor, rural section of Florida called "Muck City".  A great many D-I and NFL players are from there.  Apparently for fun locals try to catch rabits chased from burning sugarcane fields.  The article's apparent thesis is that such an activity has transformed many Muck City youth into great football players.

Ohhhhkayyy.  Whatever, it's what counts for college football discussion within the major media this time of year.

***
NFL Draft

It's being held on April 28 and April 29.  Be sure and check out CFR's NFL draft links.  Bookmark them or find them in CFR's College Football Links section on the menu at left under the heading "Before & After".

Sports Illustrated also has cobbled together a nice NFL Draft '07 section with video and other fun things to keep you busy.

Update: One more link, try RookiePedia for your draft needs. 

***
Yahoo and Rivals Sitting in a Tree

Apparently Yahoo is in talks to buy Rivals.com.  Rivals has had talks with various suitors and walked away, but this story suggests part of the reason may have been previous securities fraud concerns about CEO Shannon Terry.

Terry and his lawyers didn't like the post. Not one bit. Being lawyers, they sent a three-page demand letter for a correction, retraction and apology for false and defamatory statements in the post. If the terms are not met, they threaten legal action on (or about) April 18, 2007 in Tennessee civil court.

This is getting interesting, no?  Such rumors may be delaying any sale agreement.

***
The Headline Says It All

Academia.

stuckonstupid.jpg 

***
Notes

I'm a list maker.  I write things down.  Ideas, to-do-lists, everything.  My desk is filled with notepads.  Occasionally things disappear to be found later.  Here's one such thought among my notes - verbatim - from early 2005:

Short-term Auburn will dominate the [Iron Bowl] rivalry.  Run on antiquated Pac-10 offenses that confound SEC defenses.  But they [teams with mundane offenses] also will be marginalized by Florida, So. Car, and conference will soon rush to adjust Bama included.  SEC shakeup coming.

Iiiiiinteresting, no?  Some of that's off or just odd (South Carolina?  Borges offense confounding?), I don't exactly remember the full context of those thoughts but there's some evidence to support what I saw happening down the road.

Auburn's hiring of Al Borges beget LSU's hiring of Gary Crowton, both former Pac-10 offensive coordinators.  Florida won a title with a coach it hired because of his reputation as an offensive mastermind.  Auburn continues to win the Iron Bowl.  Alabama's gotten antsy and hired a competent coach who in turn hired a hotshot young offensive coordinator (Major Applewhite).  Tennessee ditched its ineffective offensive coordinator for the more aggressive David Cutcliffe.  Arkansas flirted with Gus Malzahn as its offensive coordinator. There's a dramatic shift going on within the conference at the moment, actioned mostly on the offensive side of the ball.

We can argue about how effective Borges has been post-2004, whether Cutcliffe really fits into all of this, how much Florida's offense had to do with the championship and all these other issues again, but that's not really what interests me so much as the trend behind it all.  There's an offensive shift going on that has the power to reshuffle the deck completely.

Amazingly enough, it started with Al Borges.  That rush to adjust may not yet be over depending on if Arkansas changes its coaching regime or if small fries like Vanderbilt, Ole Miss or Mississippi State decide to pursue something other than mediocrity.

***
Update: Almost forgot, I'll be finishing the "2007 Out of Conference Schedules" for the remaining BCS conferences.  If you remember from earlier in the year I'd taken a look at the OOC skeds for both the Pac-10 and the SEC. 

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Reader Comments (3)

Muck City? That sounds like the kind of place that Sid Finch might have grown up in.
April 16, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterphil
CFR, if I can gently disagree with you about the SEC and its offensive coordinators for just a minute, I think you read more into Crowton's hiring than is justified.

I had this same argument with HP at my blog. The only difference between your position and his is that he thinks Crowton's hiring is in response to Meyer's spread option. In either case, it would be a lot more persuasive as part of a trend if Miles had fired Jimbo Fisher (who directed the #1 offense in the conference last year) to hire Crowton. But that's not what happened.

And don't forget that Saban's first choice for OC was Fisher.

By the way, Borges looked a lot smarter with three first round draft picks in the backfield than he did last year.

I will admit that it's interesting that the conference scoring average increased slightly from 2005 to 2006, despite the new clock rules. Most of that was due to big swings at Arkansas and Kentucky - neither of which had former Pac-10 coordinators calling plays.

Spurrier forced a big change in SEC defensive philosophy in his stint at Florida. The pendulum took a few years to swing towards the defense, but it's clear that the SEC is a defense-minded conference at present. I do think you are correct when you note there seems to be an effort underway to swing things back the other way. I just think it's too early to tell what the nature of that trend is.
April 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSenator Blutarsky
Kyle,

You badly misinterpret what I write here. Even IF the Pac-10 thing is inaccurate, even if Malzahn had his offense canned etc etc. etc.., the TREND still exists which is my argument.

An offensive change is happening in the conference. At bare minimum part of the genesis for this was the hiring of Al Borges, a former Pac-10 OC.

Remember my note was written in early 2005, forseeing not strictly Pac-10 movement (although it was mentioned and we see Borges leading to Crowton), but offensive movement in general. The conference is importing offensive coaching talent.

Finally, I take offense to your 'offensive chic' label. Chic would imply I somehow flitter in the wind wherever it takes me which if people have been reading here long enough know that to be far from the case. I have a mind of my own and have demonstrated that consistently on here.

I'm not angry or anything like that but I do find the characterization uncharacteristically juvenile for someone of your esteem. Glad to share both agreements and disagreements on here like you noted with Blutarsky and others. Blutarsky and I probably disagree on everything except the playoff thing but I'm happy to welcome his commentary any time, same with you.
April 17, 2007 | Registered CommenterCFR

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