Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Triple Option Volume 9

Hello Bowl Season!!!!!  One of my favorite times of the year, and I will even go through with a special "Bowl Prediction Series" at the end.  However, it's time for the Triple Option, now on Volume no. 9.

The Give
You HAVE GOT to feel for Marcus Lattimore.  I mean, what terrible luck for such a good-hearted guy.  Two, yes, count them, two major, season-ending knee injuries in less than a year, and we only wonder why this guy has decided to head for the NFL.  The thing that bothers me is that there are people out there even questioning this decision.  Look, if you are one of those boneheads, let me explain it to you.  Most NFL backs, IF they are lucky, get 10 seasons.  I doubt Lattimore will last that long with what he's been through.  I know Willis McGahee has had some success in the league after his knee injury, but let's be honest, he does seem to have slowed a step from the back he was at the "U".  All backs go through this, even the great ones such as Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith.  The pounding these guys take is just too much, and they simply do not last.  Another year in college, would do nothing to help the stock of Lattimore.  I mean, if he comes back, it will take him into next season to become 100 percent (assuming he comes back).  With that being said, the doubters will already be coming out of the woodwork.  So why not go to the NFL?  I see no reason, however I think the hard realization is that nobody's going to draft him.  Now I'm not saying he won't get in, oh contrary.  Lattimore will not only get in, but I'm pretty sure he'll play again, yet, I think he will be undrafted.  That is an awful large sum of money to throw around on a set of legs that has seen that much damage in just 2 short seasons.  I can't see myself as an NFL owner wanting to throw around that kind of cash for "damaged goods".  I do think Lattimore will be fine, and who knows, he could have one hell of a run in the NFL, but for right now, I sure do feel for that young man.  Good luck with your future Marcus, college football will certainly miss you.

The Keep
Johnny Manziel wins the Heisman, as Collin Klein and Manti Te'o stood by watching.  No doubt this was a historic moment as Manziel became the first, first year player to win the prestigious award.  My question is, where is the love for the defense?  Defensive players get such a bad wrap nowadays, it's almost shameful to even put them in the voting.  I know, I know, hush!  Sure, the Heisman is for the best college football player, but I really look at the way things are voted on with this, and it gives me flashes of analysts stating that Dan Marino was not an elite QB because he'd never won a Super Bowl.  To this I call bullshit on!  Manti Te'o is an outstanding defensive player, and he should have been in NY that night, but it seems as though the voting has always been a little lopsided.  I mean, Charles Woodson would have NEVER been on that podium in 1997 had it not been for the fact he was an electrifying punt returner.  However, both Klein and Te'o's stats waned late in the season, and Manziel did nothing but become electrifying when he defeated the mighty juggernaut Alabama in Tuscaloosa.  Funny, nobody remember the Florida Gators shutting down ol' Johnny Football on a warm September afternoon in College Station!

The Pitch
Ok, I'm going to go through my bowl selections, I got a 20 spot riding on this, so if you see any major flaws in my game, hit me up at footballislifeblog@yahoo.com.  Here goes:

  • New Mexico Bowl: Arizona by 7
  • Saint Petersburg Bowl:  UCF by 6
  • New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana Lafayette by 14
  • Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State by 4
  • Poinsettia Bowl: BYU by 3
  • Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State by 16
  • Little Cesar's Bowl: Western KY by 7
  • Meineke Car Care Bowl: Texas Tech. by 20
  • Military Bowl: San Jose State by 11
  • Music City Bowl: Vandy by 7
  • Independence Bowl: Louisiana Monroe by 6
  • Pinstripe Bowl: WVU by 19
  • Russell Athletic Bowl: Va Tech by 4
  • Potato Bowl: Utah State by 20
  • Holiday Bowl: UCLA by 2
  • Armed Forces Bowl: AFA by 2
  • Sun Bowl: USC by 4
  • Belk Bowl: Cincy by 10
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: TCU by 1
  • Chick-Fil'-A Bowl: LSU by 2
  • Outback Bowl: SC by 3
  • Capital One Bowl: UGA by 11
  • Gator Bowl: Miss. State by 1
  • Rose Bowl: Stanford by 5
  • Sugar Bowl: Florida by 17
  • Heart of Dallas Bowl: OSU by 14
  • GoDaddy.com Bowl: Arkansas St by 5
  • Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M by 3
  • Liberty Bowl: ISU by 4
  • Alamo Bowl: Texas by 4
  • Fiesta Bowl: Oregon by 5
  • Orange Bowl: FSU by 16
  • Compass Bowl: Ole Miss by 6
  • Fight Hunger Bowl: Navy by 3
  • BCS National Championship Game: Alabama by 9

So how'd I do? 


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Triple Option Volume 8

Well, here we are at the end of the collegiate regular season, last 2/3's of the NFL season and the final run for most high schools.  Kind of a sad time of year, but I figured you guys could use another dose of the Triple Option segment, so here goes!

The Give
Well, I know everybody knows I'm very tough on my Alma mater, the University of Florida.  Yes, I'm also very tough on their head coach too, Will Muschamp, but rightfully so.  Do I think Coach Mushchamp's body of work deserves him to win the coach of the year, I don't think so.  Here's why.  My vote would have to go to Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin.  Coach Sumlin came into a program, that wasn't down, but was definitely lost.  They started off the season very similar, but with the help of "Johnny Football", the Aggies have moved into elite status within the college football landscape.  I must admit, I'm not 100% sold on their defense, but they have played well enough to beat several good football teams, including the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide.  So, what makes Coach Sumlin's group so much different than what they were the year before...you ready for this...THE NO HUDDLE, UP-TEMPO OFFENSE!  Holy shit, Duece are you serious????  Yes I am.  When you look at teams that utilize the "Oregon" tempo offense (also Louisiana Tech-Ala Brophy's favorite team and Tony Franklin), you see teams that just operate "differently".  These teams operate at high speed, but not just one speed, which is what really intrigues me.  From looking at film, it appears that most of these teams have the ability to "switch gears" so to say and almost wear defenses completely out.  It is quite a site to watch in my opinion, although to be quite honest, I do not like the direction that offenses are currently heading in college football.  You add in the dynamic QB play of Johnny Football and you really have a very dangerous offense. 

I know there are quite a bit of other behind the scenes things going on in College Station, by no means am I solely hanging my hat on an offensive scheme, but it does raise the question that does this offense give lesser competition an advantage.  I think the offenses that can operate at several speeds not only on the field, but at practice as well, seem to gain an inherent advantage.  The main reason, is reps.  Think of it this way, there are two teams, team A and team B.  Both teams run the spread and both run the zone read.  Team A is traditional, one speed, huddle or muddle huddle offense.  Team B is Texas A&M.  They practice at warp speed, with relentless efficiency and minimal stoppage to coach or correct mistakes.  So basically Team A is "traditional" and Team B, is the new fad of operating "fast".  Time is a football coach's worst enemy, whether it be during the game, during practice or even in the off-season.  We all have been there, it sometimes seems like we NEVER HAVE ENOUGH TIME.  You can't shorten or lengthen time, but you can manage it better.  As a college football coach, there are constraints on contact time with the players, so what is the coach to do?  Maximize what gets done in the time allotted for practice.  Most teams film practices, that's been done for years now, but even these teams stop the practices from time to time to correct mistakes, or adjust certain things, all of which eats up TIME.  So at he end of the week, Team B has gotten 2 to 3 times as many repetitions as Team A.  This can only equate into a HUGE advantage for Team B, even if Team B is of lesser quality.  When they do what they do, and are SUPER efficient at doing it, that makes Team A's job so much more difficult to defend or attack (if we were speaking defensively). 

Anyhow, these are just some of my rambling thoughts about the body of work that Coach Sumlin has done at Texas A&M.  I know there are loads of other things that go into this, but having so many reps at something also breeds confidence.  Think about if you had a very important task to do, and you had 5 reps to practice it, vs. 15 reps to practice it.  Not only would you be better prepared, you would be CONFIDENT.  Confidence has got to be one of the top factors in winning that there is.  If players are prepared and confident it really makes a HUGE difference.  I know a little bit about this, because for the first time in my coaching career, we completely sold out to going no huddle.  It dramatically changed our practices and games, and did give us a very competitive advantage, especially late in halves and games.  Now, all I would love to see is a Paul Johnson coached triple option squad operate at "Oregon speed".  Wouldn't that be something?!

No huddle Flexbone!!!!!!!  HOLY SHIT!!!!

The Keep
I recently wrote an article on a kickoff return scheme that I used this past season.   I have gotten a lot of flack on message boards and via email about how "It won't work".  Now, I know it will work, so you can just button your lip as far as I'm concerned.  What I'm talking about now, is something I wrote about being a major advantage of the scheme.  If you read the article, you will see the advantage I'm talking about is the safety factor.  My good buddy Coach Hoover, shared a tidbit of information with me after I presented the scheme to him last week.  He told me that the number of concussions should be greatly reduced by utilizing such a radical blocking scheme.  We all know, and we've all watched the landscape of college and pro football change over the past few years with the concussion issue.  As concussion research has gotten better, it has drastically changed the game many of us have come to know.  No more wedges or double wedges at these levels, kickoffs have been moved away, now closer to the end zone, so what is a coach to do?  I've heard concussion proponents say eliminate kickoffs, to which I shudder to think what one of the most exciting plays in all of football.  As coaches, it's our job to keep the sanctity of the game, and while you think this scheme may not work, it may be in our all-to-near future if the number of concussions in the game does not decrease.  How do we do it you ask?  We come up with schemes that have less of an impact on the players, despite the speed at which they run down the field.  This is our job, and it's what we need to be doing.  You can sit on the sidelines and bitch about "the pussification" of the game, or you can get your ass on board and do what you can do to help keep this game where it's at...in OUR hands.  I remind you, if the number of concussions does not decrease, especially at the lower levels, you will see a decrease in the game due to rules and regulations issued by a governing body that has little to no clue about actually putting schemes out on the football field.  So before you look at a scheme that "softens" the game, think about it, either play it that way, or not play it all.  I choose to suit up and play ball...

The Pitch
Ok, I bashed my defense some this season in an earlier post, and even went so far as to switch back to my 4-2-5 late in the season, only to be led back to the ol' 46 Nickel.  I've put too much time in this defense to just toss it despite not being an "odd" front guy (my head coach has asked whatever I do be via an odd front, so my hands are tied).  Anyhow, looks like my boss is coming back for next season, so I'm going to be an odd front again.  What amazes me, is that the 46 is almost "cultish" when it comes to looking for information.  You'd have a better shot at getting into the White House with turban on your head than finding stunt information for the 46 defense.  Anyhow, my plea is this.  If you have any information on this defense, or you run this defense, and you would like to trade some information, please hit me up at footballislifeblog@yahoo.com.  I'm willing to share and talk about what we do, so hit me up, maybe we can bounce some ideas off of each other as well.  You never know what might happen.

The high school football playoffs are coming to an end, if you are still in it, or you hauled home the gold, congrats to you and your staff, you've earned it!