Link – Ex-Michigan coach Brady Hoke new defensive coordinator at Oregon

An interesting choice given that it was Michigan’s defense that was the stronger unit in Hoke’s years at Michigan. Just don’t let him near the offense, though.

Maybe Hoke is just one of those guys who’s better as an assistant than a head coach. The Ducks are surely counting on that. Will he be successful going back, a la Lane Kiffin, or will the failure as a head coach carry on as an assistant, a la Greg Robinson after Syracuse?

Then again, can Oregon’s defense get that much worse?

Ex-Michigan coach Brady Hoke new defensive coordinator at Oregon

What Bowl Season Taught Us

skeeze / Pixabay

First, Alabama and Clemson gave us a great National Championship game. No complaints there.

The semi final games, on the other hand? Ugh…

Speaking of those games, a few things that those results, and others, confirmed for me.

  • Ohio State clearly just blew their shot. I’m not going to argue that they deserved to be in the playoff when they didn’t even win their division in the Big Ten. But, talent-wise, they were so much better than either Michigan State or Iowa, and the bowl results showed us that, IMHO. I’m still not convinced that loss to Michigan State was on the up and up. 😉
  • I was all set to write about how overrated the Big 12 was, based on most of the top teams just getting creamed, and then Oregon blew a 31 point lead to TCU. Outside of that, however, there is some weakness there.
  • On that note, has there ever been a team as good as Oregon with their starting QB, and alternatively as bad as Oregon without him? Fun conversation for the off season, how much did Vernon Adams health not only mess up Oregon’s season, but also any chance the PAC-12 had of getting a team into the playoffs? If he’s healthy all year, does Oregon get in? If he had not been healthy when they played Stanford, does Stanford get in?
  • The SEC redeemed itself after flubbing up bowl season last year. Well, except Florida. I’m not surprised by that. The SEC obviously has a ton of really good teams, and had favorable matchups this year that they didn’t have last year. (see also, the second bullet about the Big 12. There were a few mismatches between SEC and Big 12 schools.)
  • Houston handing Florida State a beat down was the one game that made me stand up and take notice. A nice win for Tom Herman, but it kind of reminded me of some other bowl games where a “marquee” program just doesn’t show up on a lower bowl game too. It happens every few years, at least.

What was your biggest take away from the bowl season?

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More College Football Ridiculous Conclusions After Week 2

cropped-IMG_0290.jpgBecause nothing says sports fan like making judgements based on two games:

  • Ohio State’s offense was horrible against Hawaii, and they still won 38-0.
  • Do not let BYU hang around late in a game. Just don’t.
  • Auburn could just as realistically be 0-2 as they are 2-0.
  • Les Miles on the road might have a big lead, but it’s coming down to the last play and we all know it. Tune in late.
  • Notre Dame’s schedule + lost starting QB and RB is a lot to overcome, even for Touchdown Jesus.
  • Will Tennessee ever turn the corner?
  • Vernon Adams had a lot of hype when he transferred to Oregon, but he’s not Marcus Mariota.
  • Michigan State gets deserved credit for beating Oregon, but Oregon is not the same team they were last season.
  • Here in Corvallis, it’s going to be a very long year. Who would have thought there would be a PAC-12 team that can’t throw the ball?
  • Is Michigan back? They beat the worst team in the PAC-12 at home, let’s not get cocky Wolverine fans.
  • Syracuse beat Wake after I predicted without Terrell Hunt they’d go winless in the ACC. This is why I do not make predictions.
  • Bret Bielema deserves every bit of social media mocking he got this weekend. Take care of your own business before you start yapping Bret, why have you not learned this yet?

What caught your eye this week?

SEC Speed

SEC speed has been the descriptive term given to football programs that are just plain fast. Not programs that have a few fast backs and receivers, but teams that have speed all the way through the lineup, most notably along the defensive front.

I’ve always felt like calling it SEC speed was a bit of a misnomer, since it really started with Florida State and Miami, two non-SEC schools, but it was definitely a regional thing. That was one of the the things that has made the SEC along with Miami and FSU, so successful over the years. This week, I think, has proven that the concept has shifted. I first tweeted about it during the TCU demolition of Ole Miss.

I then went on to notice similar speed on defense watching Oregon dismantle Florida State and Ohio State go toe to toe, speed wise, with Alabama. It’s no longer just the teams in the SouthEast that have speed all over the field, other programs have caught up.

And really, that’s what this bowl season has taught us. The SEC is still full of talented football teams, but those teams are no longer all that different from other programs around the country. Yes, the college football media overestimated how good those teams were, shown by the woeful 2-5 record of the SEC West division teams in bowl games. The narrative of SEC dominance has been too good for them to come off that bandwagon, but the fact that our first playoff resulted in a final pitting Oregon and Ohio State, shows just how much the rest of the country has caught up to SEC speed.

By the way, speaking of that match up, how weird is it that the very first playoff results in the same match up that the very first NCAA Men’s basketball championship had as it’s final in 1939? Oregon won that one, 46-33 over Ohio State. I have a feeling the first ever football playoff championship at this level will end up with more points.

College Football Chaos

tcu photo

Photo by ..Russ..

And just like that, the 4 team playoff that was supposed to prevent college football from being a mess, is itself, a total mess. TCU and Baylor are 11-1, co-champions of the Big 12, and Ohio State is 12-1, champion of the Big Ten, and there’s one spot left.

Let me just say, no matter who the committee picks, it’s wrong. It was wrong to design a system that pitted 4 teams when you have 5 conference champions, the committee was wrong to ever rank TCU higher than Baylor after Baylor beat them and had the same record, it was wrong to “wait and see” with Ohio State’s injured QB situation, because now that the last week has happened, what do they do now? What did they not see from Ohio State that would keep them from the top 4? How did TCU remain ahead of Baylor when they lost to Baylor, and how do you flip flop them now? How do you reward the Big 12 for playing one less game? How do you choose a team that lost to Virginia Tech over teams that lost to Baylor and WVU for their one loss? Why does Oregon get ranked above all of them with what turned out to be a relatively easy Pac-12 North schedule? Is their 19 point home win over Michigan State more or less impressive than Ohio State’s 12 point win at Michigan State? Is TCU’s 30-7 home win against Minnesota more impressive than the Buckeyes win at Minnesota? Is the fact that OSU trounced Wisconsin with their 3rd string QB show that they are a better team than people give them credit for?

How do you possibly pick one? The committee did itself no favors by having TCU ranked third, and claiming that Baylor’s head to head victory wasn’t being considered yet. Is it being considered now? And if so, how much? How does that move Baylor 3 spots to get ahead of TCU based on what happened this week, or will the committee punt that decision and put OSU at #4?

If Ohio State winds up at 4 will it be because the committee truly things they are better than either of the Big 12 entrants, or will it be because of the TV ratings and tickets sales? And if it does, do we care?

Of course, the biggest question of all will be why not move to an 8 game playoff, which would leave us in the same situation. Who are the last two teams in? Michigan State and Mississippi State, mostly by virtue of not making it to a championship game to lose this week?

Besides, that is exactly what the NCAA wants us to do, demand more teams in the playoff, forcing them to make even more money on the games, and force supposed student athletes to put themselves at more risk without seeing any of it. Don’t fall for it.

For the record, my prediction is that Ohio State gets in, and the money absolutely has something to do with it. I say that while fully acknowledging that I am an Ohio State fan too. (If I had a vote, I’d have Baylor in that 4th spot, beating TCU means something and Ohio State does not have an equal victory, on top of that albatross of a loss.)

I also say that knowing that my system forces each conference to name a champion and all of those teams to play in the playoff, and no one else. How simple, how eloquent, how boring for the talking heads!