Friday, December 10, 2010

weekend reads: long overdue

My apologies to everyone for the dearth of posting here — real life and finals and all that keep getting in the way. There are literally about a dozen different topics I should've blogged about by now, but I just haven't. Anyway, to make up for it, here's a completely half-assedbatch of links for perusal on a chilly Friday.
— Of course, no story in college football was bigger than Urban Meyer's resignation from Florida (again). I have no idea what to make of it, but EDSBS (not surprisingly) had the most poignant entry on it, comparing Urban Meyer to ... I don't know, something from Laos? The money paragraph:
If Urban Meyer was 75% there, he didn't belong at his job, a job that just happened to be coaching the University of Florida, then he ultimately did what was right in leaving. The percentage of person who showed up to the Heavener Football Complex every day was 100% present for four years straight, and the difference for the 347 days since his return was evident in the percentages: the 71% win percentage at 7-5, the 0% shot at an SEC Title after the dreadful bedcrapping at Alabama, and the 100% legality of the forward bounce pass LSU used on a fake field goal to beat Florida at home. 75% percent of being there is still 7-5, a total that at Florida will get you 100% fired eventually.

If you have a few extra minutes to kill and want to read a minister's take on things, read this post from this here blog a year ago, in which I solicit the opinion of someone who had a piece of his brain forcibly removed from his skull.
My advice for Urban? You've got to trust somebody. You became successful as a head football coach by controlling things, by making the decisions and telling people what to do. Your health and your family don't work on those parameters. If you're going to straighten things out with your health and your family, you've got to trust your family to be involved in decisions and trust your doctors when they tell you that you're killing yourself by doing what you're doing. You can succeed in football doing things the way you've done them, and you'll keep climbing the ladder and dancing on the top rung. Life ain't just football, and some day you're gonna want to make up for lost time on some of those other ladders that don't have 2 minute offenses. Those ladders require some trust and foundation, and you earn those the hard and slow way.

Of course, the conversation now turns to where Florida will go next, a saga sure to have some interesting twists and turns that ultimately lead nowhere, before Florida does what we all expect them to do by hiring Dan Mullen. Seriously, who else makes more sense for them? And why on earth would Mullen turn it down?
(Two more coaching carousel note: this story from The Tennesseean says Gus Malzahn could get up to $3 million per year to be the head coach at Vanderbilt; also, Jim McElwain's name has come up as a potential offensive coordinator at Texas.)

— In news closer to home, even a most uninspiring season garnered some awards, first for Greg McElroy, not a Rhodes Scholar, but the conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
“If (the NFL) doesn’t work out, hopefully Northwestern Law School, depending on where else I apply.”

The Tide also had four freshmen honored, as well. What Cody Mandell did to warrant being honored by anybody is beyond me. Were there no other freshman punters anywhere in the SEC?
Wrapping up the 2010 season, Chris Low has a pretty short recap, while RBR has a closer look at the season by the numbers. In one very big way, those numbers back up something I thought all year: the real culprit for the defensive drop-off was in the front seven.
As much hand wringing that was done over the green Crimson Tide secondary the real weakness of this defense was the inability to stop the run. Not only did the Alabama defense allow opposing offenses to earn more than 1,000 yards on the ground during the regular season for the first time since 2007 they permitted a whopping 60% more yards than last year. Yeesh.

And so, in a way, we're back to where we were at this time in 2007: if Alabama is to be a top defensive unit in 2011, it simply must get tougher in the front 7. The good news: this program has much more talent now than it did at this time 3 years ago. And we have the nation's highest-paid coach, as well. Surely that's worth something.
One more thing on Saban, while we're here: he and Mark Dantonio have a pretty neat relationship, too.

— In the midst of winning every award he could last night, Cam Newton did sit down with ESPN to profess his innocence in everything. Meanwhile, Cecil Newton made the top of the Sports front in the Birmingham paper today by saying he won't come to the Heisman ceremony. I continue to be astonished at the notion that Cam had NO IDEA anything was going on, especially since ... well, it was Dad's idea to go to Auburn in the first place. To paraphrase Kevin Costner from JFK, Gentlemen, I find your story simply not believable.
(Also, since AU folks had so much fun with the 'Bama guy who asked for a continuance in his trial so he could attend the BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena ... well, y'all got served. Maybe we think it through a bit more next time before we throw stones, eh?)

— Finally, since it's December, that means it's time to do 2 things: talk about how silly the bowl system is — Tower of Bammer does it for us in two parts, as does TBL with an extended rant about how it's ruined the holidays; and attack/defend the BCS: TBL again, with a takedown of Bill Hancock.

That's that for now. Some Andy coming later in the day, most likely. Roll Tide Roll.

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