Given the crazy news over the last couple days, both Manti Te'o and Chip Kelly shook up the scene, we did not get to the mailbag in the normal Thursday spot. Never fear, we are here for you on Friday. Sure it's a day late but not a dollar short, folks. Enjoy!
@inthebleachers which school who hired a new coach gets the best grade. I go with my Auburn Tigers and Coach Malzahn.— Jeremy Pace (@pace_jeremy) January 18, 2013
Coaching hire grades are a funny thing. They are a blend of past success, expectations and overall fit at a school. Malzahn's a great pick for the best new hire. He is going to get Auburn to play his brand of football, something that gives them a bit of an edge on and off the field.
On the field, the tempo and dual-threat quarterback situation is going to pressure defenses. Off the field, he opens up the types of players he can, and is willing to take—something Alabama, Florida State, Florida and others won't do.
For me, though? I'm going with Mike MacIntyre, the guy the Colorado Buffaloes hired after their unceremonious firing of Jon Embree. MacIntyre has some California ties, something Colorado desperately needs, and his teams play good football on BOTH sides of the ball. Auburn, Arkansas, Cal and USF might see more "instant" success with their hires but I like Mike MacIntyre as a great long play in Boulder.
@inthebleachers What would be the one thing you'd do as recruiting coordinator that most don't think of?— Rich Fann II (@Fanntastic81) January 18, 2013
Let the record first reflect that I hate recruiting, with a passion. Not from a "covering it" standpoint but rather from a "when I played I did not want to host" and if I were coaching it'd be my least favorite aspect.
I honestly cannot think of anything real innovative that I'd try. Probably cheat more aggressively?
@inthebleachers What is your most favorite thing to do during football's off season?— Sports Wench(@Wufpackin) January 18, 2013
The general answer is spend my Saturdays getting my chill on, watching westerns and cooking. If we're talking sports-wise though, the answers are easy and one is going on right now. Once football is over I'm a tennis and college baseball guy. The Australian Open is my favorite tennis tournament, so I'm enjoying that right now. Go Gael Monfils!
We are less than 30 days from first pitch at The Bosh, and I think I'm going to be able to make it up for that game against Seton Hall in Chapel Hill. I love college baseball, and while I don't watch a second of college basketball, I will go out of my way to find college, especially UNC, baseball games online.
I think that there combination of what's going on in the Pac-12, possible NCAA action and losing Chip Kelly will produce a bit of a regression out of the Ducks. The Pac-12 coaching landscape has improved tremendously in just over a year. Rich Rodriguez, Todd Graham and Jim Mora are all upgrades for their respective schools and that means winning is going to get tougher for everyone.
They also added Mike MacIntyre and Sonny Dykes to the mix and that's going to be fun to watch as they all battle for W's.
On the NCAA sanctions tip, hopefully Oregon avoids any serious punishment, but if they do absorb a heavy hit that could mean losing out on some of the talent they have been getting. Lose out on that talent and obviously there will be a setback.
Lastly, losing Chip Kelly is about a lot more than losing his offensive system. It is about losing the control, the direction and the confidence he brought to the table. Most underrated part of Kelly's tenure? His patience. Unlike a lot of coaches, Kelly never got out of sorts, didn't force the issue, stayed the course with his game plan and ultimately was rewarded for that, more often than not.
Don't expect them to fall off the map, but do expect the combination of improving opponents and losing Kelly's abilities to bring them a little closer to the pack.
This is a great one from my guy Bud Elliott over at SBNation. He's a longtime friend and always has a great take on things.
If you're not familiar with this idea of fake or "ghost profiles" being used by administrations, you need to check out this Charles Robinson Yahoo! report from 2009. Robinson focuses on the NFL draft angle, but the league is not the only group that is using this method to gain access to profiles that would normally be private or off their radar.
Colleges use them to access their athletes' private Facebook or Twitter profiles in order to see pics and posts that they would be restricted from otherwise. The same happens with Greek organizations at some schools as administrators look for bad behavior at parties or events.
Hopefully, schools see this Te'o drama as a sign that they should not be in the ghosting business. While they are not manipulating kids into relationships, they are lying to their own athletes in the hopes of gaining access to photos and information that the players have been smart enough to hide behind a private wall.
@inthebleachers I want a summary of the Bill Cubit west coast offense.— AJ Fritsche (@Fritsche12) January 18, 2013
I'm so glad you mentioned West Coast offense instead of just going with the spread like everyone else. Bill Cubit runs a system that, personally, I find incredibly brilliant. It is a little more complex than just the spread, although it has elements of passing spread football. He uses tempo and timing routes to dictate pace to the defense and then he forces his wide receivers to master their route tree.
Not to get too wrapped up in system, I think his biggest addition to the Illini will be how he develops quarterbacks and wide receivers. Greg Jennings, Jordan White, Alex Carder Tim Hiller and Ryan Cubit can attest to that. While Greg Jennings is the obvious success story, it's Jordan White who really should get Illini receivers and fans excited.
Jordan White did not get off on teams because he was bigger, faster or stronger. He got off because he figured out Cubit's system and was able to get open, even when he wasn't open. White got defenders off balance, he blocked them out from making plays and his quarterback, Alex Carder, got him the football.
As for what to expect on the field, watch for the crossing routes, the all-ins, the all-outs and the slants that Cubit worked so successfully at Western Michigan. I think he's a great hire for Beckman, and it helps that they are familiar with one another from their days squaring off in the MAC.