NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > 2012 evaluation: your team, coaches, players, conferences, whatever...
January 10, 2013, 01:21 PM
OK, the seasons done. Not yet time to think about 2013, perfect time for a look back at 2012 before oldtimers sets in.

Feel free to go anywhere with this, I would love some discussion on anything thought provoking. Is the SEC so dominant that they just can't be threatened by anyone? Is the ACC maybe better than we thought? Is Saban using some evil supernatural power that can only be overcome by those protected by sheeps blood (think collegee station here folks)?

Would love some spirited debate, how 'bout you?
January 10, 2013  01:37 PM ET

my first thought:
With Kiffin I have always had a 'wait and see' attitude; until this year. He has shown me a lack of class, combined with an inability to make things work at a level expected for USC as a program. So I have had 3 years to evaluate Kiff, and on the plus side he, and his staff, are GREAT recruiters. Last year I thought there was a 'turning the corner' type year, but with the talent at hand this years team performed soooo far below the level that was there. Not saying there weren't some holes to fill (IMO left Tackle was a much greater prob than I ever thought it would be, the DL wasn't as bad as I suspected it might be, esp DE's Morgan Breslin and newcomer Leonard Williams).

Also. IMO, LK is lacking as a OC and play caller. Quise Lee is great and all, but too much was concentrated on him instead of getting Woods, Grimble, Telfer, and developing a FB as part of the passing game. He concentrated TOO much on Lee's talent, left other talent unused. Look at the Leinart-Bush era; in the big games it was often White, a tight end or WR making the big plays cuz the other team concentrated ALL their effort on stopping Bush. Don't see that with Kiff...

The disrespect/lack of class that was shown at the Sun Bowl (and at other times during the season) is inexcuseable. 1 hour late for that dinner? I don't care how much you didn't want to be there, smile like you do when Aunty Gertrude knitted you a sweater for Christmas, show some class. That class starts at the top, and if you can't get to a darn dinner on time... Also, how many recruits did that lose Troy? If I'm a parent of a major recruit that stunt, and the lacksadaisical performance, make me think twice about where my son goes to school, even more than the seasons losses.

Yeah, I'm now on the 'Fire Kiff' bandwaggon :-(

January 10, 2013  01:41 PM ET

Kiffin's first and best contribution is as a donor of genetic material for Layla. She has some fine looking kids.

January 10, 2013  01:46 PM ET

The best college football game of the latest CFB season was the SEC CG. It had everything anyone could want from a college football game, and it had it in spades - rockin' full house of rabid fans, two teams o'erbrimming with talented players, lead changes, "shut up!" plays, and an outcome decided on the very last play as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

January 10, 2013  02:05 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Kiffin's first and best contribution is as a donor of genetic material for Layla. She has some fine looking kids.

Who says the kids are his?

January 10, 2013  02:08 PM ET

Hey Tinnie, where do you think the Vols are headed, up or down?

Also, re SEC, what are your thoughts regarding parity? It's clear that at the top they are dominant, but the Florida and LSU bowl games may indicate a bit of a drop after Bama and the Sheep molesters (dang, whoulda thought we'd ever be calling TAMU 'Elite')?

I know everything is cyclical, but the SEC has held serve so long that that philosophy is under duress, at least IMO...

January 10, 2013  02:09 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

The best college football game of the latest CFB season was the SEC CG. It had everything anyone could want from a college football game, and it had it in spades - rockin' full house of rabid fans, two teams o'erbrimming with talented players, lead changes, "shut up!" plays, and an outcome decided on the very last play as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

T

January 10, 2013  02:19 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

The best college football game of the latest CFB season was the SEC CG. It had everything anyone could want from a college football game, and it had it in spades - rockin' full house of rabid fans, two teams o'erbrimming with talented players, lead changes, "shut up!" plays, and an outcome decided on the very last play as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

Sorry, don't know how that happened.

There were some pretty good games, though not necessarily the power program games. Like the Horns and Beavs or Frogs and Sparty. But the BCS NC game was over after each team had 1 posession. I was hoping ND could hang, but wasn't surprised they didn't.

That brings up a question: who SHOULD have been there? Also, will the new 4 team system work any better? It's obvious the SEC is dominant, but I'm not convinced they have been matched against teams with the best chance of making it competitive. The only game that was half way competitive was Auburn - Oregon, we got lucky that year.

January 10, 2013  02:58 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Hey Tinnie, where do you think the Vols are headed, up or down?Also, re SEC, what are your thoughts regarding parity? It's clear that at the top they are dominant, but the Florida and LSU bowl games may indicate a bit of a drop after Bama and the Sheep molesters (dang, whoulda thought we'd ever be calling TAMU 'Elite')?I know everything is cyclical, but the SEC has held serve so long that that philosophy is under duress, at least IMO...

The Vols cannot conceivably go anywhere but up. Jones' core coaches have all worked with him before. There shouldn't be the annual attrition and replacement as under Dooley with the accompanying changes in approach, scheme, and playbook. Jay Graham (RBs), Zach Azzani (WRs), Willie Martinez (DBs), and Tommy Thigpen(LBs) all have deep connections in the southeast and have recruited there for years.

In addition to Graham, Jones retained Joe Bernadi who has worked with the Vols O-line the past three years, helping to mold a group who were 2nd in the nation in sacks allowed (2012). Also, Jones retains Scott Altizer, who returns to the role of Director of Football Relations. He is known to High School coaches all over, having served in one capacity or another at UTK for the past 18 years. Jones hired J.R. Sandlin as Director of Recruiting. A 2009 UCF grad, he's been a recruiter on Saban's staff at Bama.

Tennessee has grand traditions and a national reputation. The Vols roster will have a steady supply of talent. Jones and staff should improve results on the field. What remains to be seen is will they raise the program up to challenge the best in the SEC.

Vols fans can be hopeful, and for this off-season, that's a big boost. Trust me.

January 10, 2013  03:06 PM ET

As for parity in the SEC, Bama is facing and will face more challenge in the West division. They'll have more teams to contend with than just LSU. The East should eventually get even messier. I can foresee the day when no one team will dominate and any one of ~eight teams could be champion year by year.

January 10, 2013  03:21 PM ET

On the national FBS scene, I can foresee continuing controversy around NCs no matter what system is in place to select one year by year. Not even my 'Brazil'-like 4 mega-conference, 128 team, two-tier playoffs scenario avoids that. It will be a part of CFB throughout our lifetimes. My best advice is to learn to enjoy it.

Parity among conferences may come about, but I cannot foresee it. That is beyond my horizon. For many years to come, moneyed conferences will rule. The PAC, B1G, and SEC are aligning to compete to produce NCs. Will the ACC be able to hang with them? I hope so. We'll see.

There will be LSOPs. Most FBS programs will be among these conferences (MWC, CUSA, MAC, Sunbelt, others?). Periodically, a "David" will arise and step upon the national stage to challenge the big money programs. Some will topple the giants and make great stories. More will come up short.

January 10, 2013  03:23 PM ET

Yes. I left out The Least conference. It is doomed. Realignment will continue until its teams are absorbed or it's spot is taken by a new LSOP conference.

Comment #12 has been removed
January 10, 2013  04:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

As for parity in the SEC, Bama is facing and will face more challenge in the West division. They'll have more teams to contend with than just LSU. The East should eventually get even messier. I can foresee the day when no one team will dominate and any one of ~eight teams could be champion year by year.

IDK, it's hard for me to see 8 teams at the top in ANY conference; sure, a team may have a season (or 2) in the sun, but 8 in any given year is a bit many.

But who knows...

The other thing I am beginning to think, and I realize this is just me, is that the entire concept of "conference" in the BCS era is either meaningless or counterproductive. The only purpose it serves is bowl affiliations and tv money pac's; and with season ending rewards almost totally conference dependant the conference strength perception holds way too much weight. If they don't serve any real purpose but TV $ negotiation, and each team is boxed in (or raised beyond their real value) simply by conference affiliation, maybe it's time for some 're-thinking' of the whole conference affiliation process.

I guess in re-alignment this has kinda already started, but not necessarily in a good way. They turn the FBS into have's and Have not's, with the BCS the exclusive 'members only' country club, and if you're female or the wrong color (don't take those literal) then forget it.

Almost time for an "I have a Dream" speech...

January 10, 2013  04:19 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Parity among conferences may come about, but I cannot foresee it. That is beyond my horizon. For many years to come, moneyed conferences will rule. The PAC, B1G, and SEC are aligning to compete to produce NCs. Will the ACC be able to hang with them? I hope so. We'll see.

The ACC did better than most expected, and you left B12 out of the 'Big Boy' Club. But unless something drastic happens I see the SEC continuing to be unchnallenged as king of the hill. There are a cpl of programs, like Texas and SC, that SHOULD be able to challenge, and TOSU if not for sanctions, but all have reasons that it's gonna have to wait (recruiting restrictions, wrong coach, sanctions looming in the future (Oregon)).

Seriously, do you see anybody challenging in the near future?

January 10, 2013  04:21 PM ET

Not 8 in a given year, but 8 over a span of years. Follow?

January 10, 2013  04:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

you left B12 out of the 'Big Boy' Club.

My bad (and unintentional).

January 10, 2013  04:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

All I can say is we did above in one respect, we did beat a good Kent State team, don't know how. Got rid of the coach, he was just not ready to be a head coach, saying nothing bad about him, just not ready, did not have all the tools in place nor what to do with them. We did get a new coach, another unknown head coach, I have high hopes for him and hope he will do well and think he will. Tin Man is right, they will rise back up, but then he is wrong on the part of the west side, Bama owns it, has owned it, will own it. The east side, you will see rise and fall of all of them, look out for the gators this next year, provided they can find an offense.

I agree mostly with you Col; there is a possibility that TAMU could rise up to challenge Bama. They are in a rich recruiting ground, have a young, good coach, and a QB that seems hard to catch.

Don't KNOW that they will, but after watching them take OU apart piece by piece, it made me realize their win at Bama wasn't just a fluke.

January 10, 2013  04:26 PM ET

LSU is going to take a huge step back this year. They have had 10 juniors declare early for the NFL.

2014, they'll be good again.

January 10, 2013  04:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Not 8 in a given year, but 8 over a span of years. Follow?

yeah, that I can see =>
East : Florida, SCAR, GA, UTK (too proud to stay down for too long, say this based on program history, not current team).

West: Arkie, Auburn, Bama, TAMU, LSU

I intentionally left UK off cuz even tho I 'spect them to rise up and rule the roost, they're so good in BBall I didn't want to give them a big head ;-)

So I see 9 in the SEC that have potential or capability to rise to the top, but pro'lly no more than 3 or 4 in a given yr.

 
January 10, 2013  04:39 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

LSU is going to take a huge step back this year. They have had 10 juniors declare early for the NFL.2014, they'll be good again.

I agree, but I think in general Miles needs to find an offensive genius and somehow start getting some QB's on the payroll. IMO those 2 things are what has seperated LSU and Bama: offense in general and QB in particular.

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