Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Works, Cro-magnon-style

Me SEC! Me afraid of fire, and Ipods, and thing you call forward pass! RAAAH!

Please. Michael at Braves and Birds already took down this ridiculous piece of cro-magnon thinking from Tony Barnhart (which, yes, appeared in a Nov. 24 blog post, but it's relevant, so bear with me on its staleness) ...
4. Tennessee fans might want to rethink Mike Leach: Don’t get me wrong. I like to watch Leach’s Texas Tech teams play. And the Red Raiders have had a wonderful season. But Saturday night at Oklahoma it was time to play big boy football on the road and the Sooners destroyed Texas Tech 65-21. Understand that in the SEC you have to play three or four of these types of games every season. These are physical football games where finesse tends to get overwhelmed by brute strength. Alabama will be that kind of team as long as Nick Saban is there. Leach is a good coach but not a fit for Tennessee or the SEC.
... but after Tennessee hired Lane Kiffin this week, it's worth tearing apart again. Besides, there are so many things so horribly wrong with this little gem, there's enough to go around. I mean ...

1. Nevermind that Leach has taken a program with a recruiting base and financial backing not even in Tennessee's time zone to an 11-1 record in arguably the toughest single six-team division in college football history. What Tennessee should want is hard-nosed SEC guys like Les Miles or Tommy Tuberville, whose big boy football credentials helped take their teams to a combined 12-12 record and a pair of losses to the worst Arkansas team in years.

2. Anyone who thinks Leach's Texas Team would have finished with any more than one loss in this year's SEC (barring a schedule with both the Tide and Gators on it)-- and easily won the "three or four" difficult road games against the likes of South Carolina or Kentucky, raise your hand. OK, there's the one fanatic in the back, and that's it. As expected.

3. Unless we're really going to focus on the sample size of one game a la Barnhart here, Tech's problems in getting over the hump have never been a lack of anything--physicality included--on offense. They've always come on defense, where no amount of scheming can disguise the fact you can't recruit to freaking Lubbock the kind of defensive athletes needed to stop Texas and Oklahoma. At Tennessee, this wouldn't be a problem.

So, yeah, Barnhart is out of his gourd. And it's not just him: remember that bit from the Vol beat writer about how Leach's "gadgets" weren't "regal" enough for Tennessee? Honestly, is it that difficult to remember that Florida once hired a guy away from a small-time school who gadgeted up a bunch of weirdo passing plays and wound up owning the league for a decade? Is it?

I'm not saying Leach would be the second coming of Darth Visor, and I'm not saying Kiffin won't succeed, but to my way of thinking hiring the guy whose best line on the resume is "second-in-command offensive coordinator of a decent-if-not-spectacular USC offense built by Norm Chow" over the guy whose best line is "turned Texas freaking Tech into a legitimate national-title contender" because the latter's offense confuses and frightens us is ... well ... questionable. At best.

Blast from the mustachioed past. In the wake of the Iron Bowl smashing, Grotus wisely chose to spend his time passing over the silly details of 2008 and instead makes a small correction to his Bo Over the Top recollections, with the help of his Dad. As in, this is actually where he was sitting:

Which is pretty cool when you consider ... hey, what's that? There, on the left? Could we get a close up?

That is quite the 'stache. Kudos, 1982 Phillip Marshall! Orson would be proud.

Come back to us. Acid takes a detailed look at what Auburn will have returning/incoming next season, and on the defensive side of things, it's actually looking pretty rosy. Even more so if Coleman and Marks return--yessir I would very much like to start Coleman-Marks-Blanc-Goggans across the front with Carter, Clayton, and Ricks on the second-string, thankyouverymuchsir. The secondary shapes up as top-shelf as well: if Savage can return to full strength to shore things up at safety, the trio of Powers-McFadden-Thorpe should be more than capable at corner.

Of course, if Marks and Coleman and Powers bolt, and Rhoads takes off for Utah St., the picture changes just a wee bit.

Your nightmare fuel for the week. Check out what was lurking at a Georgia basketball game:

Ye gods! Apparently, that's Honeybaked Ham mascot Hamby. Because when you think of Honeybaked Hams, what the Honeybaked Ham people want you to think of is a six-and-a-half foot tall bee with the head of a pig. It's like something out of Greek mythology, except Greek mythology as created by stoners on a bad trip. Dude.

Speaking of hoops: Auburn gets their best shot at a quality win in their entire nonconference schedule when they take on Xavier tonight in Cincinnati. Consider my breath unheld. But even if Auburn gets drubbed (as they did last season, in an 80-57 whitewash) we can take heart that things are tough all over for power conference basketball in this state: one informed observer said the latest performance from Mark "Dead Wan Walking" Gottfried's bunch made him "want to puke." Good times all around!

Etc. Whatever you think of Jason Whitlock's columnry, it's pretty cool of him to take the time to answer questions from Ball St. blog Over the Pylon ... All quiet on the Mississippi St. coaching search front at the moment, but fortunately Gary Patterson (unsurprisingly) isn't interested.

Programming note: I'm going to wait another day on the promised offensive coordinator rundown, just to see if anything breaks on the Tubby front. Since that would have a substantial influence the next Auburn OC hire, I'm guessing.

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