Thursday, December 30, 2010

Favre's Junk

We normally keep to things Sooner related here, and this is only tangentially so in the slightest possible way (Favre hands off to Sooner alum Peterson, and both have johnsons).

Anyway, yesterday the NFL fined Favre $50,000 for failing to cooperate. The release also indicates that "Goodell stated to Favre that if he had found a violation of the league's workplace conduct policies, he would have imposed a substantially higher level of discipline".

So, in a nutshell, Favre failed to cooperate and was fined $50k. If he would have cooperated and been found "guilty" of sending photos, he may have been fined more. So, in a nutshell, Favre saved money by not cooperating. Do you think Favre would have cooperated had he expected to be exonerated if all details were disclosed?

Seems ot me like the penalty should have been more severe for obstructing justice, but I guess the NFL doesn't want to call Favre a liar in the last week of what once has been a historical career.

We now return to monitoring my horrible prognostications of bowl games.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Heupel and Norvell as Co-Coordinators

Many One of you have asked me for my take on the Heupel/Norvell co-promotion. Here are my ten thoughts...

  1. Love the fact that Heupel is going to be calling plays. I always thought he made great choices while on the field, and I understand he has a great feel for the game. He's also done a great job with the quarterbacks.
  2. I don't know much about Norvell. I figure he's one of hundreds of coaches who've sworn at officials during a game. He's one of the few to get a personal foul called on him for it.I know he has Iowa connections with Stoops. I know he served with two lightly regarded head coaches, Karl Dorrell and Bill Callahan. I think those two associations, for me, outweigh his time 25 yrs ago with Stoops and Hayden Fry.
  3. I'm not fan of the co-coordinator bit. 
  4. Here's what I understand is the role of the offensive coordinator a) establishing a game plan; b) overseeing offensive assistants; c) overseeing offensive players; d) designing new plays; e) installing an offensive philosophy; f) calling plays during the game.
  5. So, aside from the two co-cos, the Sooners have O-line coach James Patton and RB coach Cale Gundy. We have two people co-managing two people. That seems... awkward.
  6. Personally, I'm curious to see if Patton doesn't end up following Wilson to Indiana. He worked on the Northwestern staff with Wilson prior to their arrival in Oklahoma.
  7. Back to Norman. You've got an African-American co-co and a white co-co on the offensive side of the ball. Let's hope we don't regress into some sort of racial divide.
  8. I don't know how the division of labor works out. Josh is calling the plays, but they are collaborating on game plan. It's all good until conflict arises. Then Josh just calls the plays in accordance with the plan he agrees with. And Norvell seethes. I hope that doesn't happen.
  9. It's not the first time Stoops has done this. If memory serves me correctly, Mangino was run game coordinator in 1999 and Leach was passing game coordinator. Thiat lasted a year before Leach went to Texas Tech.
  10. Stoops has had this setup on the defensive side of the ball, when Mike Stoops and Brent Venables tag-teamed on the role.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Join our College Bowl Mania Group

The link to the LandThieves group is here. The group name for my gig is LandThieves_Orig. Be aware there is now a Landthieves group associated with the website

I will dominate.

Muschamp to Florida - Ten Things I think you think I think

Thoughts on the Demise of the Texas coaching staff
  1. Bob Stoops remains at Oklahoma. Some websites had again claimed Stoops was headed to Gainesville. I really wish Florida would achieve some stability at the Head Coach position. Every time this scenario comes up, I get nervous.
  2. Dec 11 will now be a holiday in Oklahoma. Coach Boom, we wish you the best in the SEC.
  3. Unless Bob Davie starts doing ESPN-SEC games, he'll have fewer opportunities to mispronounce Muschamp's name.
  4. I think Mack will be hard pressed to replace Muschamp with the same caliber of assistant. Coach Boom was clearly one of the best d-coordinators out there. Will he hire the next Duane Akina? Or the next Gene Chizik?
  5. One rumor persists that Texas will promote Major Applewhite to Offensive Coordinator. Next year, they will hire Chris Simms as Co-Offensive Coordinator.
  6. ESPN and the University of Texas announced that they will now launch the Longhorn Classic Network, and will only show replays of games from 1998-2009, and the Darrell Royal era.
  7. Seriously, if Applewhite follows Muschamp to Gainesville, which recent reports refute, the staff is in a high level of disarray. They've lost their assistant head coach, the defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator in one offseason.
  8. Jim Jeffcoat resigned from Houston last week. I have to believe that he will land in Austin to be d-line coach there. On the other hand, as the Steve Campbell's article mentions, UH wasn't exactly known for it's defensive prowess while JJ was coaching the Coug's d-line.
  9. Some published reports indicated Bama OC Jim McElwain will interview for the Texas job. Unless he's going to get the coach in waiting gig, that's totally a lateral move, into a peer from a program perspective, but a conference that has less prestige and less respectability. As a result, I'm skeptical. 
  10. Luther Campbell says on Twitter that Randy Shannon will be the next DC and Coach in waiting. He does not cite a source. Uncle Luke did not indicate whether he was bringing the bounty system to Austin. According to Wikipedia, Uncle Luke did marry a Dallas lawyer a couple of years back, so there are some Texas ties...
  11. I don't think the coach in waiting is a good thing. You can argue that you have ton have succession planning in an organization, but it generally is not published. A coach in waiting just gets people focused on the head coach's departure. When adversity presents itself to an organization, the distraction gets bigger. Fiefdoms split and reassemble, and more energy is expended on who's in charge next than the organizational priorities at hand.
  12. I really don't wish to watch Texas go down the tubes. Rivalries are best when both rivals are playing at a high level. think Navratilova-Everett, Oklahoma-Nebraska from the 80s, Miami-FL-Florida State in the 90s, Cowboys-Steelers from the 70s, Yankees-Red Sox of late. The excitement, and exposure, gets turned up a notch when there's more at stake than just bragging rights. No one's clamoring to watch reruns of those Mackovic-Blake match ups from the mid-to-late 90s.
Finally, I'd like to apologize for not breaking this top ten list out between Leaders and Legends.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Breaking Down the Offensive Coordinator Candidates

While the missus has her gall gladder removed, I thought I would distract myself by breaking down the likely candidates for replacing Kevin Wilson as offensive coordinator.

Josh Heupel
Pros: a) has been a miracle worker with Paul Thompson, Sam Bradford and Landry Jones. Thompson went from WR to QB of Big 12 champion in four months. During Thompson's senior year (2006), panic across Sooner nation prevailed. The "QB for 2007 is not on campus yet" many pundits said. Bradford won a three way competition and set NCAA records for freshmen performance in 07. As for Landry Jones, watch the 2009 Bugeater contest and the 2010 Big 12 championship. Tell me if you think he's improved. b) According to Internet legend, Heupel audibled out of most of Mangino's play calling in the 2000 championship season anyway. c) Married to daughter of university president David Boren.
Cons: a) does not have intimate photos of Stoops and farm animals in Manhattan, Kansas or Iowa City, Iowa; b) never been an offensive coordinator.

Jay Norvell
Pros: a) played at Iowa when the Head Visor was a graduate assistant; b) served as grad assistant at Iowa while Stoops was volunteer coach; c) served as Offensive Coordinator at UCLA in 2007; d) found Stoops in a compromising position with corn husks while in Ames, Iowa
Cons: a) served as Offensive Coordinator at UCLA in 2007; b) first Sooner position coach to receive a penalty since Scott Hill's arrest for possession with intent to distribute; c) learned offensive philosophy at the foot of Bill Callahan; d) makes Shawn Watson look like an offensive guru

Mark Mangino
Pros: a) served as Offensive Coordinator at OU in 2000-02; b) flexible jaw structure, like a snake; c) immediately available; d) found Stoops naked in a horse barn in western Kansas on a recruiting trip.
Cons: a) Heupel audibled out of his play calling anyway; b) transformed Nate Hybl from backup to Quincy Carter into backup for Jason White; c) alleged to have eaten players in Lawrence, Kansas; d) set record low score in Dale Carnegie course.

Mike Leach
Pros a) responsible for bringing Heupel to Norman; b) innovative play caller is rarely challenged by xbox football authorities.
Cons a) litigious nature increases errors and omissions insurance for university; b) does not play well with the mouse eared network; c) demonstrates little to no concept of clock management skills when nursing a lead; d) carries his own sword

Greg Davis
Pros: a) innovator of the renowned offensive philosophy "Y'all block for Vince, then get out of the way" that catapulted Mack Brown from perennial bridesmaid to national champion; b) advised Mack Brown against teeth whitening procedure; c) innovative game planning allowed Colt McCoy to lead team in rushing for three consecutive years
Cons: a) mistook Chris Simms for effective college QB; b) development of Garrett Gilbert allowed the G spot to challenge the university record for most interceptions in a season, presently held by Todd Dodge

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ten Things I think you think I think - late Nebraska edition

  1. The Sooner D is the real story of this game. The Bugeaters had 8 possessions and 78 yards during the second half. Ten of the Husker points in the first half needed only 18 yards, courtesy of field position.
  2. The Bugeater faithful must be screaming for Shawn Watson's head this week. I'm not going to spend the time researching this, but it seemed like the N offense was much more effective when in the wildcorn formation with Rex Burkhead. The change back to Martinez in the spread in the next to last possession of the game, in my opinion, cost the Huskers a chance to tie the game.
  3. Landry Jones stats in the fourth quarter: 6 for 12 for 66 yards. No TDs, no picks.
  4. Who is this Cameron Kenney fellow? In these last two games, he's had 12 catches for 206 yards. His three catches in the fourth quarter were vital on the game winning drive.
  5. Landry's road woes? The last three games outside Owen Field at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium: 86-142 for 1135 yards, 8 TDs and 5 INTs. Most importantly, 3 Ws.
  6. So where does Landry stand in the ranking of Stoops era QBs? 1) Bradford, without question; 2) Josh Heupel; 3) Jason White; 4) Landry Jones. He's definitely better than Hybl, Thompson and Bomar. He has two more years to overtake the folks in front of him. Will it happen? Who knows?
  7. Ronnell Lewis was an absolute beast last night. I'm glad to see him on the field, and he's showing he belongs there.
  8. One thing we can't forget about the Sooner D.It got much better with the healthy of Austin Box. Never mind that Fake Dan Beebe says his name sounds like a Travis County strip joint, that young man has made a difference in the Sooner D.
  9. All y'all wanting to fire Stoops and Wilson and Venables, the Sooners are 11-2 and Big 12 Champions. As much as I'd like to be playing for a national championship, you can't do it very year. It's been a pretty solid year. We lost 3 of the top 4 in the NFL draft, and 3/4 of our secondary.
  10. Finally, I'll miss the Bugeaters. On the bright side, I've got a new favorite team in the Big 10.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Late Thoughts on TCU to the Big East

First of all, let me say this is a no-brainer decision for TCU. The move to the Big East gets them to the big kids’ table of college football.

Second, Don Beebe should be fired. When the WTF Conference remained intact after the Bugeaters left for the Big 10 + 2 and Dan Hawkins Farewell Tour bolted for the Pac 10 + 2, there was some talk of inviting TCU, Air Force and/or Houston to round out the Big 12 again. Somewhere along the line, the Big 12 decided it was not in their member interests, presumably b/c with Texas and Texas A&M, you already control the DFW and Houston TV market much more so than with TCU and Houston. While the Denver market is big, CU football has rarely dominated the TV space there, unless it was the crime watch during the McCartney/ Neuheisel eras.

So, here’s the present state of the conference: 1) you have now if the flagship member of your conference struggling with a 5-7 record this year and offseason questions abound; 2) the South Division co-champion Oklahoma State Cowboys have 9,000 empty seats for an intrastate rivalry game for the South Division title in which they’re favored by 2 points; 3) you’ve just given eight other schools in the country every other year access to visit your state, weekly in season coverage by your local media of the conference, and television exposure at some level to the DFW area.

The Tulsa World did some fine work with the 2009 FBS rosters. 1,714 FBS recruits came from Texas. That’s 200 more than the next closest state, California. By being pissy, the Big 12 just invited Rutgers, Louisville, Pitt, West Virginia, Connecticut, Cincinnati, South Florida and Syracuse into the state to share the recruits. Let’s say each team nabs two recruits. It’s only sixteen, but which sixteen? Are they the top ones? Some of them will be. You’ve reduced your margin for error considerably by giving more ready access to this talent pool, and giving the talent pool visibility into those schools. Maybe the next Todd Reesing, spurned by Texas because they already had Colt McCoy and Vince Young, now goes to Syracuse. Texas made the right decision with pursuing McCoy obviously, but Reesing was one of the best QBs in Kansas history. The fact that you don’t know how the second best QB in Kansas history also means something, but that’s another column (it’s either Frank Seurer, Bobby Douglas or Nolan Cromwell). Maybe Drew Allen, spurned by Texas for Garrett Gilbert (looks good so far), is now in a Pitt jersey, suffering under the Wannstache as opposed to being a capable backup for the Sooners.

Back in the day before 85 scholarship limits, the Oklahomas of the world would stockpile players on their roster just to keep them from playing somewhere else. It was unfair to the player who’s languishing on the bench, but great for building a dynasty. See Jimmy Rogers…you never heard of him at OU, but he played five years of NFL ball. He was stuck behind Billy Sims, Kenny King, David Overstreet and Elvis Peacock, to name a few. Stockpiling TCU in the conference keeps others from those resources, and another quality football team in the mix doesn’t hurt.

Congratulations to TCU, and bring me the head of Don Beebe. Professionally speaking, of course.