Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Triple Option-Christmas Eve Edition

Been awhile!  Well, time for the year end triple option edition of the 12th Man.  Been a rough year for blog posts, and been a rough year in general, but I won't let that keep me from splattering the Internet with my lovely opinion.  Shall we dig in?

Mmm...where to begin?

The Give
What a surprising college football season!  I mean holy hell, who would've thought we'd have seen FSU and Auburn in the championship game?  Not me!  I can only hope Auburn wins the final BCS championship game and sets the tone heading into a new era of college football.  That and the fact I can't stand FSU fans.  The only more ignorant fan base is probably Crimson Tide fans, and well, let's face it, they really can't help themselves.

Looking back, just look at the SEC.  SEC East powers Florida and Georgia embarrassed themselves, with Florida completely embarrassing itself AND the conference.  The Head Ball Coach still has his Gamecocks tuned up though, which, and I'll say it again, is why I think he's one of the best head football coaches of all time.  He does it the right way, and he wins ball games.  He may not win many championships but you have to tip your hat to the man.  That and the fact that he's just so damn funny by the way he keeps stirring shit up!  I sure do miss seeing him in orange and blue, but I digress...

College football really gave us something to look forward to on Saturdays as it seems the Big 12, and PAC 12 are moving up in the ranks attempting to contend with the SEC.  The ACC and B1G sure need to step it up (ok shut up FSU fans, don't wanna hear it).

The end of the season has been as wild as the beginning with USC not retaining Coach O' and the fiasco down in Texas could not have been any more mired in controversy.  As we enter the year 2014, who will lead the Longhorns?  Will it be Nick Saban, James Franklin, or Gus Malzahn?  I think you're an absolute idiot if you don't pick Franklin.  If you can win in Nashville, you can win anywhere.

Hmm...I hear there's only steers and queers in Texas...

Speaking of the end of the season, that means bowl season is upon us!!!!  Here are my picks for the bowl games this year:

New Mexico Washington State vs. Colorado State Colorado State
Las Vegas Fresno State vs. So. Cal Fresno State
Idaho Potato Buffalo vs. San Diego State SDSU
New Orleans Tulane vs. Louisiana Lafayette Louisiana Lafayette
Beef O'Brady's E. Carolina vs. Ohio East Carolina
Hawaii Boise State vs. Oregon State Oregon State
Little Cesars Pitt vs. Bowling Green Pitt
Poinsettia Utah State vs. N. Illinois N. Illinois
Military Marshall vs. Maryland Marshall
Texas Syracuse vs. Minnesota Syracuse
Fight Hunger BYU vs. Washington BYU
Pinstripe Rutgers vs. Notre Dame Notre Dame
Belk Cinncinatti vs. N. Carolina N. Carolina
Russell Athletic Miami vs. Louisville Miami
Buffalo Wild Wings Michigan vs. Kansas State Kansas State
Armed Forces Middle Tennessee vs. Navy Navy
Music City Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech Ole Miss
Alamo Oregon vs. Texas Oregon  
Holiday Arizona State vs. Texas Tech Arizona State
Advocare V100 Arizona vs. Boston College Arizona  
Sun Virginia Tech vs. UCLA UCLA
Liberty Rice vs. Mississippi State Mississippi State
Chik-Fil-A Duke vs. Texas A&M Texas A&M
Gator Nebraska vs. Georgia Georgia
Heart of Dallas UNLV vs. N. Texas N. Texas
Capital One Wisconsin vs. S. Carolina S. Carolina
Outback Iowa vs. LSU LSU
Rose Bowl Stanford vs. Michigan State Stanford
Fiesta UCF vs. Baylor Baylor
Sugar Oklahoma vs. Alabama Alabama
Orange Clemson vs. Ohio State Ohio State
Cotton Oklahoma State vs. Missouri Missouri
Compass Vanderbilt vs. Houston Vanderbilt
Go Daddy.com Arkansas State vs. Ball State Ball State
National Championship Florida State vs. Auburn Auburn

Yes, I'm showing my SEC bias, and I'm sure they won't run the table.  The Ole Miss and Georgia Tech contest will probably be our undoing and I have a sneaky suspicion that Alabama may falter.  Anyhow, that's my pics, hopefully I can win some money this year after having a four year drought of losing to my father!

Yep, college football was as promised, on the mark and dramatic which is exactly what we all want.  However, I'm getting concerned when looking at both the collegiate game and the professional game with the amount of points being scored.  Are we at a point where defenses can no longer adapt?  I think Brophy does a good job of pointing out, for now, we might be.  Until the players change, the defensive schemes of the day are just dragging behind when it comes to controlling the newer offenses.  Between packaged play concepts, the no huddle and offenses spreading the field the way they do, the scales of justice are tipped into the offenses favor no doubt.  What I'm afraid of is that any rule changes to level this drastic difference, is a bad business move for both venues, pro and college.  I'm unsure why anyone would want to watch a 52-49 shootout, nor do I side with the folks that like to see 9-7 contests either.  I like a happy medium and a good ol' 28-24 ball game isn't going to THAT bad for business right?  Anyhow we'll see what the future holds.

Holy dog shit Batman, you only scored 31 points!!!!

The Keep
I have to give major props out to Hudl.  I got back into the high school game this year and had the lion's share of our film breakdown to do myself.  I had only been out of the high school game 3 years, but damn what a difference!  What used to take all weekend to do if you had 3 films can now be done in a long day if you really push.  I gotta say I had a lot more free time and a lot more time to tweak game plans.  This led to better preparation, which is all you can really do as a coordinator.

I have to get better at getting film to my athletes though.  I think this was something I missed and therefor must get better at.  Kids are way more visual today than they were just 10  years ago.  I took my DB's out for pizza one day in the pre-season and we spent much of the time watching film on our phones.  Just 3 years ago we'd have had a whiteboard out diagramming plays.  Those days might be over, or at the very least numbered.  My plan in the off-season is to research the usage of technology in today's game and with today's athlete.  We'll see what I find out, keep your eye out over at Football Is Life.

The Pitch
My future in the game is still unknown.  Had a very weird year.  I won't elaborate but I had to sit down and really do some thinking.  I'm not super happy where I'm at, but because it is my Alma-mater and these are people's kids who I grew up with coaching in a VERY tight-knit community it makes it tough to leave.  I've got a very nice job offer on the table, and am highly considering it, but my loyalist bones won't just let me jump ship.  I have some serious thinking to do over the next few months as I'd like to have made my decision by clinic time.  I'd like a bit more stability than I've seen here in the past few years, but with the inability to change locations due to my living conditions, I'm kinda stuck with what I have.  I would love to see the housing market return to a somewhat profitable level so that I could move to a different location.

Enough griping, as usual it was the players that made everything worthwhile this season.  I helped a group of young men return to the playoffs for the first time in 7 years.  I'm working for someone I absolutely did not know prior to taking the job, which may be part of my apprehensiveness on staying.  I've always worked for somebody who coached me, or that I knew from coaching circles.  This was a bit of a leap for me, so that was tough.  It's also tough when you know more about the game than your boss.  That may come off a bit sharp, but it's true.  I'm really shocked, and yet flattered as the guy was honest about his knowledge, and leaned on me quite a bit.  We are building a relationship and working on some trust issues, which is also why I'm afraid to leave as well.  He a good guy, great with the kids and does know the game, just not as much as I would expect from a head coach.  He's also younger than I am.  I've never worked for anybody younger than me either.  So it's been a year of firsts for me, and to say things have gone without a hitch would be an understatement.  I probably had one of the worst defenses I've ever coached, but I honestly do not know what we could've done any different to change that.  I strayed at times to the whore known as scheme, when I should've shacked up with what should all be our football wife, and that is fundamentals.  Once I revamped in the middle of the season, trimmed the playbook and went back to the basics we got somewhat better, but not much.

Anyhow, I'm rambling on know and probably boring the reader, but I wanted to get 1 more Triple Option post in before 2013 rides off into the sunset.  I have to say it's been a tough year, and the only way to go is up.  So I can say I at least know where I'm headed in 2014.  Happy Holidays to all and here's to a better year in 2014.