Monday, October 20, 2008

Top of BCS Rankings have retro look

Is this 2008? Or, say, 1968? Or 1974?

1. Texas........(led by James Street and Earl Campbell)
2. Alabama......(led by Johnny Musso and John Hannah)
3. Penn State...(led by Franco Harris and Jack Ham)
4. Oklahoma.....(led by Greg Pruitt and Little Joe Washington)
5. USC..........(led by Sam "Bam" Cunningham and Anthony Davis)

1968 Penn State, led by Coach Joe Pa ... wait a minute!

The eras are partially linked by highly regarded coaches:

Darrell Royal ~ Mack Brown
Bear Bryant ~ Nick Saban
Joe Paterno ~ Joe Paterno
Barry Switzer ~ Bob Stoops
John McKay ~ Pete Carroll

Of the group, the only coach who is not a giant of the industry is Mack Brown.

Brown reminds of Switzer: neither is going to outwit the competition; both are going to outrecruit the competition. To outwit the competition requires highly disciplined practices which allow installaton of the schemes and the tweaks which outwit. One imagines Switzer and Brown run effective practices, but not highly disciplined ones.

Stoops is an "outwit you" type of coach.

I think of Bryant and Saban as focusing on being more fundamentally sound, in all aspects, than the competition.

I think of Royal and McKay as being shrewd judges of human nature and of athletes. I think of them as concentrating on which matchups favored their teams. Royal might exploit his all-everything Offensive Tackle Jerry Sisemore. McKay might exploit his all-everything Offensive Tackle Ron Yary (McKay explains USC Sweep).


BAC said...

I had exactly the same thought yesterday when I looked at the polls. Definitively old school, retro look. You can hear the ghosts of those past legends.

Regarding Mack Brown, the view from WI is that he is closer to being a giant in the industry than you think. If he can deliver this UT team to a BCS bowl, or possibly play in the National Championship game, it will place him immediately at the level of Stoops and Saban. More accurately, it would place him shoulder to shoulder with Carrill, both viewed as brilliant recruiters who sometimes miss the nuances of fundamentals.

gcotharn said...

When Mack Brown came to Austin, he was considered a renowned offensive coach. I do respect the shrewd coaching decision to tweak his offense to best showcase Vince Young's skills, for example. It's just that Texas has frequently seemed, through the years, sloppy to me: penalties, sloppy execution, giving up fake punt first downs to OU. I'm bitter about it. I'm too bitter to yet count Mack amongst giants of the industry! If he keeps recruiting amazingly well, if he keeps hiring super outstanding defensive coordinators: I will be forced to reconsider.

BTW: against Missouri, Colt McCoy completed something like 29 of 34 attempts. Also, McCoy received an injury redshirt during his Soph year, and is therefore a Junior in eligibility! He has another year if he wants it. Amazing. I don't think McCoy reads defenses as well as players like Bradford or Graham Harrell, yet McCoy does take care of the ball. McCoy is more like Terry Bradshaw: just see who's open and throw it.