Thursday, November 29, 2012

Catching up is pursuing opportunities in the NFL

One Kiffin down: Oh I'm so surprised, USC:
USC assistant football coach Monte Kiffin will resign after the Trojans' upcoming bowl game in order to pursue opportunities in the NFL, he announced Thursday.

"I respect my father's decision and his desire to return to the NFL," Lane Kiffin said. "We are very appreciative of the hard work and effort that he put in at USC these past three years. He has a tremendous passion for coaching young men and he is a phenomenal recruiter. The timing of this allows us to move forward now in the hiring of a new coach."
Opportunities in the NFL. Yeah, that's the ticket. 

It seems reasonable to assume that The Older Kiffin leaving was a prerequisite for The Younger Kiffin to keep his job. And if so, that wasn't an unreasonable qualifier; in three years under Kiffin, the USC defense finished 84th, 54th and 62nd in yards allowed (despite USC not playing at a super-high tempo) and gave up 30 or more points in all but two of the team's 17 losses. For reference, the offense finished in the top 30 in yards all three years. Whether that was a game-passing-an-old-man-by thing or an NFL-to-college thing is hard to say; I'd categorize it as more of the latter considering that the defense was largely fine against pro-style-ish teams but a sieve against spread-ish teams (especially Oregon), but that's, like, my opinion, man. And it doesn't matter much now that he's gone. What matters is that USC find a legitimate D-coordinator, because that's basically been the difference between the Pete Carroll juggernauts and the Lane Kiffin Sun Bowl-caliber teams.

Considering that Kiffin is basically his own O-coordinator and hasn't actually had to hire a D-coordinator since leaving the Raiders, his ability to find one of those legitimate guys is unknowable. I assume there are guys who'd be interested since USC is still USC, but for those guys, the question might be whether being the defensive coordinator at USC is worth (a) working with Lane Kiffin and (b) potentially being unemployed in a year.

One and done for Ellis Johnson: Jon Embree's got nothin' on Ellis Johnson, whose tenure at Southern Miss lasted one year and included zero wins, which is to say none. Not any. Zilch. I don't know how else to summarize 0-12 in one word.
Southern Mississippi fired coach Ellis Johnson on Tuesday after one disastrous season that saw the program plummet from Conference USA champion to the worst record in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Athletic director Jeff Hammond announced the decision three days after a miserable 0-12 season ended with a loss to Memphis on Saturday.
"Plummet" seems like a reasonable word choice; as you may or may not recall, Southern Miss went 12-2 and obliterated previously unbeaten Houston in the Conference USA title game last year before Larry Fedora left for North Carolina. Going from 12-2 to 0-12 ... like ... I don't even know. It was by far the worst single-season drop-off in the history of the sport (I believe the previous record was a nine-game swing), which wow.

Even worse for Southern Miss:
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles have made a deal to move next season's opener — a long-anticipated matchup against Nebraska in Hattiesburg — to Nebraska instead. In a letter between the schools' athletic directors dated last week, which was viewed by Deadspin, Southern Miss agreed to sell home-field advantage to the Cornhuskers for $2,125,000, which is almost exactly the amount Southern Miss owes to its newly fired football coach. 
Ouch. Very ouch.

Anyway, basically everything I wrote about Embree could be duplicated here. Giving a guy one year would seem laughably unreasonable if not for the laughably awful results. Granted, the revolving-door quarterback situation and nonconference schedule weren't conducive to going to the Liberty Bowl again, but with 13 starters returning from a 12-2 team, winning a game (or six) shouldn't have been untenable, especially with a decently funded/stocked program that hadn't finished below .500 since 1993 (1993!). Getting to a bowl game with Southern Miss isn't that difficult.

It's worth noting that Johnson was a very good defensive coordinator at South Carolina (and Mississippi State before that and Clemson before that and Alabama before that) under Steve Spurrier; he won't have a hard time finding another D-coordinator job for one of the numerous new coaches in the SEC. He probably won't get another head coaching job, though, seeing as how he's 60 and in two stops (the other being at The Citadel in the early 2000s) has accumulated a collective record of 12-22.

Settle down, Arkansas: So ... Les Miles. Arkansas. A billion dollars.

Let's be realistic here: There was no chance Les Miles was gonna leave LSU for Arkansas given the two programs' situations right now. His explanation:
"I have great respect for the AD (Jeff Long), a college friend of mine," Miles said. "My talks were very preliminary. They fell far short of being serious."
By "preliminary" he obviously meant "raise-inducing"; it's not a coincidence that Miles hadn't gotten a raise since the Michigan situation but had one with about 12 hours of the Arkansas rumors hitting the interwebz. I mean, the guy might be crazy but isn't crazy stupid; he wanted more money/respect and got it by taking a couple phone calls and winking suggestively in the direction of Jeff Long and a state full of delusional fans.

A great line from Clay Travis:
Arkansas's fandom is a peculiar form of provincialism, it's as if nowhere else in the country exists. They really believe that Arkansas is the best job in the nation. It's like North Koreans believing their country is the best in the world.
So Arkansas = North Korea. Interesting.

Anyway, Long probably got used but definitely made it known that he's got a ginormous sack of cash. With that in mind, I can only assume that the next coach will be Nick Saban.

Commence Chris Petersen rabble: Chris Petersen is totally going to Cal. Or Arkansas. Or somewhere else. Anywhere but Boise State, basically.
Luring Chris Petersen away from Boise State might not be as far-fetched as some Bears fans think.

Jim Sochor, who coached Petersen at UC Davis and gave him his first coaching job, said Tuesday the changing landscape at Boise might tempt Petersen to make a move after years of resisting big offers.

"A lot of changes have taken place there," said Sochor, referring to the Broncos' scheduled move to the Big East Conference in 2014 and the arrival of a new athletic director last year. "I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he's had maybe some change of heart. At some point I do believe he will go elsewhere."

An Arkansas website, HogCountryonline, posted a story suggesting the Razorbacks were close to a deal with Petersen, although no other media outlets were reporting it Tuesday evening.
Mmmkay. Insert wanking-motion gif here.

Also Jon Gruden rabble: Spencer/Orson at EDSBS got seriously drunk (I assume) and decided to do some reporting:

BRAKED: JOAN GRUBEN IS NEXT COLCH AT TENNASEE. Contart wil be billion of dolalr. ...

Halsom also give Gruben Clebelan. Worth thousamb dolors or mor. Need new roof an lectrical work, people cant live thurr.
 Remarkably, there's more. There's so much more, including MS Paint illustrations. You're welcome.

Trust this man: Charles Barkley lol:
NBC 38′s Christina Chambers spoke with Sir Charles Barkley Tuesday. He’s pushing hard for Petrino.

“I understand he has some baggage but he’s a hell of a coach, and we shouldn’t try to play judge and jury and moral judge. He made a mistake, he admitted to his mistake, we have to hire a guy who we know can win, and that’s him,” said Charles Barkley over the phone. “It’s unfortunate about what happened to Chizik, but it’s time for Auburn to move on,” he said.
Barkley was rabbling about racism for a year and half after Auburn hired Gene Chizik instead of Turner Gill, which ... uhhh ... yeah. Gill's now working at Liberty in the FCS.

To be fair, his argument has some logic to it, which is more than can usually be said for Charles Barkley's arguments. But there are a lot of people probably worth consulting about coaching hires, and the crazy guy Ernie Johnson has to monitor every night definitely isn't one of them.

Woo crappy bowl game: Georgia Tech will play in a bowl game even after the inevitable ACC championship game loss to Florida State and 6-7 finish:
The NCAA approved Georgia Tech's bowl waiver Thursday, allowing the Yellow Jackets to play in a bowl game even if they lose to FSU and finish 6-7.

Georgia Tech had filed a waiver after the NCAA board of directors passed a rule last summer, prohibiting bowls from picking a 6-7 team over an eligible 6-6 team.

The NCAA's decision to allow a team with a losing record in a bowl means a non-AQ team with a .500 record or better will not get a bowl bid.
Whatev. It should be noted that UCLA had its waiver request granted last year, with the argument being that they were only playing a 13th game (the Pac-12 title game) because USC was ineligible. Georgia Tech was in the exact same situation this year (Miami ruled itself ineligible for the ACC title game), so precedent mandated the same ruling.

I'm not a fan of 6-7 teams going to bowl games, but I'm not gonna lose any sleep over a .500 MAC team getting left out because what should have been a .500 ACC team ends up getting a spot in the Never Heart Of That Company Bowl.

Read this: Realignment is pointless and short-sighted. This is not debatable. According to a very-well-thought-out piece over at the Georgetown (?) SB Nation affiliate, it might also be a bubble:
We have increasing valuations despite slowing ad revenue and decreasing customer demand. New competition is quickly entering despite the fact that technological innovation is primed to transform the industry. And people in positions of very high power are making rash decisions based on information derived from past trends and not future outlooks. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
I highly recommend the rest of that piece; it's thought-provoking even if a little dramatic.

Impressive: I don't even know how this is possible:



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