Jan 3, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

My friend "Rake Colson" is a rabid USC fan, and we decided to ring in the new year via an email exchange bemoaning the fact that our two teams had glorified practice sessions on national television...

Rake: How good would a Georgia-USC Rose Bowl have been?

Me: That thought kept me up all night. Both our teams looked lights out yesterday, and that game would have made my head explode.

Rake: I'm not anti-BCS because i think a playoff doesn't work and the BCS is as good a system as any, but I would also throw SC against anyone in the nation right now. I'm sure you feel the same way about UGA.

Me: Most certainly.

But, at the same time, UGA got to pick on an undersized, outclassed 'football team' last night. It wasn't fair from the jump, as our size and speed up front created such a mismatch that it doesn't translate well to us playing other teams.

We both picked on mediocre to bad teams, but I think Illinois is better than UH. Ya'll looked unreal yesterday.

Rake: Absolutely. I feel like whats happened the last two years (2 loss regular season, dominate in the rose bowl, have everyone at the end of the season talking about how we're a potential #1 team) is going to be the pattern for SC over the next few years. Does that make us a dynasty? I don't know. but I'll take a 5-1 BCS record and six straight years of top 5 finishes against anybody else out there. But the Pac-10 is so deep and our recruiting classes aren't (we're top heavy every year, with a couple of 5-star blue chippers and little else), that when we have injuries like against Stanford and Oregon, we're bound to lose a game or two. I guess I'll take it, though I worry that a few more years without a national championship and Carroll's gonna get the NFL itch,

Me: I'm not touching the 'depth of the Pac-10' comment...oh, and Carroll's already had the NFL itch; it didn't go well .

Oh, and I love how everyone is writing in UGA as a National Title Contender next year. Flattering, yes, but look there are three games I am legitimately worried about next year.

Sept 20: @ Arizona State; Oct 25: @ LSU; THE NEXT WEEK: @ UF

Not to mention Nov. 15 @ Auburn...did you catch their new fast, strong armed QB who is going to be a TRUE SOPHOMORE...I hate my life.

Did I say worried? I meant terrified.

Rake: God the SEC is disgusting. Although it should be...if you're a top recruit, why would you ever consider going anywhere other than Florida, USC, Miami, Bama, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee? I mean come on.

Me: You mean you don't find those Ohio State winters/coeds more appealing than 65 degrees on Christmas day/promises of beaches and song girls? For shame!
The conversation took a turn here, where we pretty much made fun of every other team in the nation. Mostly the Big 10. I bring you back to our new-found debate on college coaching. Or the lack thereof.
Rake: Rank the top 5 coaches in the game today, based on a combination of 1) past success, 2) recruiting, 3) knowledge of the game, 4) stability, 5) personality. Basically, if you were given a blank check to go get a coach for your program, who would you pick?

Me: Know that it hurts me to do this...

In no particular order:

Tressel or Your boy

I will now impale myself on a spear, 300-style.

Rake: Really? You can put saban and spurrier on a list that's concerned with stability?!

Me: Saban, good point. Spurrier has coached Duke to an ACC title, was at UF for 10 terrible years, and has been stable at USC. Bump Saban, and throw on Richt.

Yeah, I said it.

Rake: Wow, ok. Pretty broadminded there; you know there are other conferences, right?

Me: I have heard such things. Wouldn't throw on Mack Brown, Lloyd Carr is gone, the old men are just that old, what's your top five?

Rake: I'll agree with you on Fulmer and Stoops, but I still think Stoops is overrated. You know I have Carroll on there; I think its pretty hard to ignore 14 losses in 7 years, especially when 6 of them came in his first year.

As for Richt, I have a ton of respect for what he's done. I think on the criteria I included, he's weaker on past success but really strong on stability knowledge and potential. I can't put Tressell on there because he's dirty and its coming out sooner or later.

So I've got Carroll, Fulmer, Stoops. I guess I can give you your boy Richt, but you've got to throw Les Miles some love. I don't know, its hard. Urban Meyer deserves some credit too. I can't pick between those two.

So ill give it to the genius himself...

Charlie Weis

Me: Now I know you're just picking on me; but this points out the real reason why this has been such a topsey-turvey season: no elite coaching. I put Tressel on there so you wouldn't claim my SEC bias, and how you leave off Spurrier considering the 90s is beyond me. I can't believe I forgot Urban Meyer, but he defiantly deserves to be in the conversation. My hatred of Les Miles and belief that he has added nothing since Saban's departure keeps him off my list (he recruited these seniors AND juniors). Maybe once Herm Edwards is coaching in college next year, we can add to this list.

I see your Charlie Weiss...

And raise you Bill Callahan.
And finally, this debate spilled into this morning...
Rake: One thing about our discussion last night...all Bob Stoops does is lose BCS games.
What about Beamer? I guess he's too old but he's in the convo. i don't know why I'm so anti-Spurrier, i just think he's old and if i were starting a program today, I'd want someone younger.

Jesus Christ though, Carroll's only lost 8 games in 6 years. That's absurd.

Me: Beamer hasn't really done anything, esp in the new, exceptionally weak ACC. Trust me, if anyone is anti-Spurrier, it's me, but I have to give credit where it is due...however begrudgingly. For what it's worth, we both know for the majority of those 6 AMAZING years, the Pac-10 was comprised of mostly also-rans. Though, this year, ya'll were far and away the second best conference in the land. Maybe the rest of the Pac-10 has caught up?

Rake: To be fair, in the BCS era, 7 of the 10 Pac-10 schools have gone to a BCS game. Granted, most of those were lukewarm Pac-10 champs before SC returned to dominance, but the Pac-10 is always competetive and is now turning into an incredible conference. Agree on beamer, didn't think about that. the Pac-10 has started to catch up, by the way, but only in the way a newborn baby is "starting to catch up with" his 24 years older beast of a father...one day he might be stronger, but the old man will still win in arm wrestling any time.

Me: Great analogy...but unfair. I really think that Pac-10 schools outside of SC have noticed that while Carrol and co were becoming National Darlings, they were just window dressing. That's when teams like Oregon (legit before losing Dixon), Arizona State (pleasant surprise) and Stanford (hahahaha) decided to become committed to putting out a winning product.

Maybe your analogy is right though. Putting out a winning product and becoming completely obsessed to the point that coaches shake hands post-game flanked by 2 state troopers each is a little different. The thing is, the West Coast has so much to offer, while down here all we have is football, whiskey, and women. And on Saturdays, we do all three better than anyone else in the world. You'd love it here.

1 comment:

DNasty said...

A couple points:

First, Pete Carroll is the Rick Petino of NCAAFB. he has great head of hair, is reasonably handsome, flamed out while coaching a Boston sports program, and wins on strength of talent, not strength of strategy - i.e. give Reggie Bush the rock and let him run dive plays. I'll leave it at that before I start to get worked up about how lucky the Patriots are to be rid of him and turned themselves into the most dominant sports franchise in the history of sport.

Next, don't sell yourself so short Palmer. The South has a lot more to offer than the 3 you mentioned - for example: relaxed assault rifle laws, the concept of secession, lack of general dentistry, the blues, and mosquitoes the size of kitty hawks. I think I just made Mark Richt's recruiting pitch for next season.