Anything You Can Do …

See SawSo, last Friday news comes out that Virginia football coach Al Groh had signed a new contract. The new deal is huge, paying Groh about $1.7M a year. One point seven million a year! I was pretty stunned by the numbers. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Steve Spurrier was the first college coach to make over one million a year (unless my memory is fuzzy) – and that was at Florida.
The Groh story stood on its own.
But then, today word comes out that Virginia Tech is set to give Frank Beamer a new contract that pays him a little over $2 million a year. I guess that Groh contract doesn’t seem so outrageous now, huh?
Think it’s a coincidence that VT AD Jim Weaver put out info about Beamer’s impending deal so soon after Groh’s contract made the news? Hmmmm.
Anything you can do, I can better. I can pay my coaches more than you.

Hodge Employs Valvano Strategy

Julius Hodge won an NBA Live 06 video game tournament against other NBA rookies by repeatedly fouling, a la Jim Valvano’s Cardiac Pack. Hodge beat former Tar Heel Sean May in the finals because May couldn’t figure out how to hit free throws.
Pretty funny, in that Jules’ strategy accurately sums up his game. Hodge is competetive and crafty and is always willing to use an unusual tactic to his ends. He especially loves trying to piss off his opponents.
No word on whether Chris Paul found the “hit nuts” button on the controller.

Real Owner on RealGM

You know how you always read those quotes from coaches, GMs, players, etc about how they don’t read Internet message boards? Well, one Atlanta Hawks owner certainly does. He not only reads them, but he posts from time to time!
Bruce Levenson of the Atlanta Spirit, the infighting group that owns the Hawks, posted on the Hawks forum at RealGM.com and offered posters there $10 tickets to a game against the Clippers. The seats normally go for $55. Sure, it’s Atlanta and those seats would probably have gone empty – especially against the Clips – but that’s a damn cool gesture.
I think owners are learning from Mark Cuban how to stay in touch with their fan base.
Hat tip to the Sports Frog.

Who Has Time For Blocking?

Kevin Donahue of Fanblogs.com is an inveterate Florida State football fan. Kevin, like quite a few Seminoles fans, is fed up with offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden. Apparently, Saint Bobby agrees with the view that Jeff ain’t getting it done … to a point. He hired Marc McHale, the former Marshall OC, but didn’t make him FSU’s OC. Instead, McHale was put in as the offensive line coach. Then, just the other day, Bobby added Running Backs Coach to McHale’s duties.
How does Jeff feel about this loss of responsibility? He doesn’t sound too upset about it. He explains by means of an outstanding quote. I don’t want to steal Kevin’s thunder, so go read his entry at Fanblogs to see what Jeff had to say about it.
It’s classic.

Looking Inside The Fridge

Ivan Maisel has an interesting article where he sits down with Ralph Friedgen to review some game film. Maisel is obviously very impressed with the Fridge’s ability to break down film, and it sounds like Coach Friedgen shares the feeling.
BTW, the kind of info that this article hints at, technical football coach stuff like how to tell what the cornerbacks are playing by where the safety lines up, is what I think we’re gonna get from Bobby P.
Hat tip to Fanblogs.com for the find.

ACC Football Hot Seats

I was thinking that maybe I’d write an article about which ACC football coaches were on the proverbial hot seat, but Fanblogs beat me to it and did a mighty fine job. Check it out.
I do have a couple of extra comments though.
I’m nearly positive that both John Bunting and Chan Gailey are in positions where a losing record in 2005 will earn them pink slips. That’s more of a certainty with Bunting, and unfortunately for him, some think that Carolina has the toughest schedule in the country. Sorry Big John. I think you’d probably be better off as an assistant in the NFL anyway. Actually, that’s probably true of Gailey as well.
One other guy who’s in an interesting spot is Tommy Bowden. He’s pulled a Rasputin job several times in recent years, just yanking his head off of the stump as the executioner’s IPTAY-logoed axe sliced the air. His 2003 season earned him a big fat contract though, and as Jeff Quinton has reminded me several times, Clemson is currently raising money for facilities improvements and can’t really afford a buyout.
That said, the Tiggers went 6-5 last year, and that can’t sit well with the disciples of Frank Howard. Add to that the arrival of Steve Spurrier at arch-rival South Carolina, and things get a bit more interesting. One more bad season, coupled with a loss to Visor-boy and/or a strong season by the Gamecocks and I bet that patience runs out and finances-be-damned, Tommy is tied down on that stump for the beheading.

Go Nats!

The US had a critical, if not too difficult, World Cup qualifier last night against Trinidad and Tobago. As expected, the good guys won. Sure, it was only 1-0 when it should have been more like 4- or 5-0, but a win’s a win.
With those three points, the US has all but clinched a berth into the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Even if the US were to lose the final four qualifying games (not a chance), they’d come in fourth in the Hex and play a playoff game against either Bahrain or Uzbekistan for a berth.
Even better, with their #6 world ranking the US has a shot at a #1 seed in the World Cup. With one of those seeds, and there are eight, you are guaranteed that no other top team will be in your initial round-robin group. That means no Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, etc. Which would be nice.
It seems to me that if the US beats Mexico in a couple of weeks in Columbus, Ohio and then runs off a couple more wins in their final three qualifiers, it would be hard to justify not giving them a top seed. But then, I don’t think FIFA really likes seeing the US do well in soccer. We’ll see.

Eleven

[Note from Dave: Please welcome a new guest writer for this site – Bob Pentland. Bob has agreed to write a regular (more or less) feature here on Dave Sez where he discusses the finer points of football, points the average viewer and announcer miss. Bob is a great writer and is as comfortable discussing Shakespeare as he is the 3-4. For our purposes here though, we’ll probably stick to gridiron talk.
In Bob’s first piece below, he introduces himself and his feature. He also asks for some specific questions to get things rolling. Feel free to ask anything, no matter how arcane it seems. Want to know how to properly defend a power-I formation out of a base 4-3? Curious about the difference between a nickel and dime package and when to use either? Don’t understand the difference between a counter and a trap? Just ask in the comments section. Bob will hook you up.
By the way, I’m pretty giddy about this. Bob knows his football and I’m excited to learn and share that with ya’ll.]

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This is the first in what will hopefully be a weekly feature. I say hopefully as it’s highly likely that two of the following will happen in the up-coming football seasons: a) I will forget during the week, leaving it to be done during the weekend, only to get blasted watching games with friends both Saturday and Sunday, thus forgetting yet again, or b) Dave will be barraged with hate mail wondering why he let such irreputable trash sully his fantastic site. Either way, this is my virgin effort, so I humbly beg your patience and ask you to save your salvos for when I really stink things up.
As I’m an engineer by trade, and have little of what could be called ‘writing ability’ paired with even less creativity, I’m gonna do a little question and answer session to get this thing rolling. If it gets a little vain, I’m sorry, but I promise – It’s only X’s and O’s for the rest of the year:

Continue reading “Eleven”