Monday, October 4, 2010

Maybe Addazio's seeing the the 2 in 12 backwards as a 5?

Florida losing to Alabama didn't surprise any of us, but the way they did was ridiculous. If you ever watched "The West Wing", you may remember an episode called "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet". Urban Meyer and Steve Addazio have got to let Brantley be Brantley. The continued practice of calling a Tim Tebow offense with a natural drop back passer is foolish, and it will cost them again if it continues. It took the Alabama humiliation in 2005 followed by a loss at LSU while plus-5 in turnovers for Urban Meyer to reassess what his team was doing on offense that season and make the necessary adjustments. If you're a Gator fan, you have to hope Saturday was enough of a lesson to skip the second part. John Brantley needs to be able to focus on reading the D, going through his progressions and delivering a catchable ball. Every second he wastes of practice time on option stuff is only making him less effective at the things he clearly is capable of doing well. That doesn't mean he needs to work on the jump pass so it'll surprise Bama when he does it in the SEC title game instead of Burton. (That ridiculous call was the end of any hope UF had, even though the score was still 3-0. With a chance to take the lead and have killed off almost a quarter, you can not let that happen. Addazio said postgame he "felt great about it" - of course he did.)

The Gators get LSU next, a team coming off a win despite the most incompetent coaching performance I have ever seen. Anyone can focus on the circus at the end (to run a play from the Vol 2 with 32 seconds remaining in the game and only get another play off because the center saw the clock was at :02 and just snapped the ball without the QB being ready is pretty amazing) but that would ignore the ineptitude shown throughout the afternoon. On 4th down with the game on the line, LSU actually took a delay of game despite having a timeout left. Then, after they'd been penalized to 4th and 14, they went ahead and used the timeout. Two horribly coached QBs led an offense that lost four turnovers, including (my personal favorite) a fumble when a guy stretched out the ball next to two Vol defenders to reach for yardage three yards away from a first down. After the game, I listened as Les Miles explained on the LSU Radio Network that they were substituting personnel at the end because they "wanted to throw a throw". The man is an imbecile - see for yourself. The fact he and his staff didn't bother to plan for third down because they were sure the second down call would work should be enough reason for the entire bunch to be dismissed immediately if there was any way to do so. It is coaching malpractice of the highest order.

Colorado beating Georgia was terrific to see, but shocking at the same time. Mark Richt's been about as unlucky as a guy can get this season. UGA was up 24-14 and then A.J. Green left the game with cramping issues. As has been the case all year, without him they're not very effective on offense. With Green gone and the Dawgs no longer able to just ride his athleticism to easy catches (7-119, 2 TDs) CU was able to mount a comeback and get the lead. Despite it all though, they were going to blow the game thanks to Dan Hawkins trying a 54 yard FG his kicker had zero chance of making with 3:48 left rather than punt. Down just two, all UGA needed was to drive thirty yards and they'd be in easy field goal range. That's exactly what they did, and then tailback Caleb King coughed up the football. If he doesn't do that, the Dawgs probably win. If Green doesn't cramp, the Dawgs do win. Instead, Georgia's 1-4 and can not go to a bowl unless they beat someone out of the combo of Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech while being perfect in every other game. I didn't think Mark Richt could be in true danger this year, but if they miss a bowl it could legitimately happen. It shouldn't, but it might.

A few other quick CFB thoughts...

1. I don't care how much the Dan Le Batards of the world try to wish him into being one, Jacory Harris is not a very good quarterback. Miami beat Clemson because the Tigers have no pass game to speak of and the deeper group of Cane athletes were able to prevail, but that's not a football team that's growing as the season progresses.

2. Butch Davis must hate Yahoo Sports more than Al Qaeda. Even though his team improved to 2-2 and is still in the race for the ACC Championship game (and oh, what fun that would be if they actually are contending for it in November) tomorrow the only thing anyone's going to be talking about is Yahoo's latest scoop on the agent fiasco. According to Marcell Dareus of Alabama, John Blake called him to pitch the idea he should sign with agent Gary Wichard while he was coaching for the Tar Heels. Blake reportedly also called South Carolina's Weslye Saunders, who the word is may have been considerably less candid with the NCAA than Dareus was.

3. The best highlight of the weekend came from the Colorado game. It had nothing to do with the action itself - watch Ralphie run, and check out the sideline reporter becoming collateral damage.

One of the curious things about my business is that everyone's convinced they can do it. After all anybody can talk, right? I'm not going to try and convince you it's the toughest gig in the world, but there's a little more to it than most realize. Celebrities who try any type of radio generally fail like Whoopi Goldberg, David Lee Roth and so many others have before them. The latest who thinks sports radio would be fun is Robert Wuhl. Westwood One hopes a three hour daily show with the guy who wasn't able to be funny on sports in scripted half hours as "Arliss" on HBO is going to be an in demand national commodity. Putting it in afternoon drive, the one time slot where every sports radio station of any size in the country has a local program because of the ability to sell remotes and reach the drive time audience, is a particularly inspired choice. Good luck with that, guys.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Yeah I think most reasonable fans who had seen this team play expected a double digit loss. Really I feel bad for the guys on the team who aren't being given a chance to succeed by the guys calling the plays. The caliber of athletes that we're letting rot away is mind boggling. I don't know how a high school stud could watch this team and feel good about coming to Gainesville and jumping in this system. Having made the changes he made in 2005, I really find it hard to understand how Urban could let this team go down the same path. Does it really take a couple of good beatdowns for these guys to see that what they're doing doesn't work? I think the first halves against Miami and USF should have been more than enough to spark a change in strategy. To this point absolutely nothing has changed and I'm not holding my breath for this week.

By no means am I an alarmist or a panicker, but I don't see how anyone can justify keeping our offensive coordinator where he is on the staff. Whenever it's suggested that he be removed, the people who defend him point to our record over the last year and a half as "proof" of his abilities.
The truth is that over that time period our defense has been the anchor of this team. There have been a rare few instances where they played poorly and in two of those (last year vs Bama and the 1st half on Saturday) our offense was not only unable to do anything to bail out the D, but actually put them in even worse situations. For once, it would be nice to hear Addazio admit fault, but his response to legitimate criticism is usually ineptitude of the Zook order or petty allusions to the fact that fans just don't understand the complexities of the game. That may be true, but irrelevant when all we're asking for is common sense.

I don't know what Les Miles did in his former life, but it must have been something truly incredible for the guy to catch as many breaks as he has. That's easily the 5th or 6th game that I'm aware of that he won by a fluke at LSU, and I'm sure there are plenty more that I haven't seen. How this guy could ever win a title just boggles my mind.