It's Wednesday, or, in the words of the famous fourth hour of the Today Show, Wines-day Wednesday! Tonight, I'll certainly be enjoying a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon, but for now, I only have these questions to mellow me out. Enjoy the answers!
Easiest question ever. Nick Saban. Period, for always. He is the answer. The man is a machine of a head coach, he understands how to delegate responsibility and focuses on getting kids into school that fit the mold that he needs to be successful. The guy is just great.
As for the defensive coordinator, give me Pat Narduzzi. I love what he does with his defense and the way he forces the issue on every play. His players are disciplined, he gets elite play out of less than stellar guys, and when he has an elite athlete, he puts him in a position to make plays. With Narduzzi operating from a 4-3 base and Saban bringing the 3-4 genius, this defense will be in the right place, doing the right things and bringing the pain.
On the offensive side of the ball, this might be a shocker, but give me Paul Chryst. He is a guy that Saban can trust on that side of the ball to make smart decisions and play football out of pro sets. Chryst tailors his game to the pieces he has, and the man absolutely finds a way to manufacture yards. When he has pieces, be they backs and a line or great wide receivers, he can scheme plenty of success.
I'd love to see Michigan State against Texas A&M. I think Johnny Manziel is one of the nation's best weapons, and Michigan State has shown a knack for containing running quarterbacks while being great in coverage. Mark Dantonio is a great coach, and Kevin Sumlin would have his work cut out for him.
More than just the Manziel versus the defense angle, I really want to see Darqueze Dennard lined up against Mike Evans. Evans is a monster on the field, and Dennard has never met a challenge he could not handle. That is the meeting that I'd love to see out between the lines during the bowl season.
This is the toughest "would you rather" that you have sent in to date.
Man. Um. Goodness.
I am so anti-ruining of Thanksgiving as a holiday that my only choice is to go with the bad secondary play festival that will take place in Baton Rouge. As a guy born on November 25, I can tell you that it is ridiculous to see my birthday and favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, treated like nothing more than a chance to crowd stores. Perhaps I am crazy, but spending time with the family is what that week's about.
So, with that in mind, I have to go for the bad defense. LSU has great players that just cannot get on the same page when it comes to getting stops. Texas A&M has been all over the place making the wrong plays as a defense for the last couple seasons. I expect a shoot out, and as I said in the video here, and the game specific video here, I think A&M wins.
They ought to be.
I adhere to pretty rigid standards when it comes to defensive back play, as a whole. I think safeties are supposed to be talking down-and-distance in the huddle every play. I think corners are supposed to alert, crack and protect linebackers and safeties from players motioning in from outside the formation. I think that players in the back end should be talking, pointing and signaling before every play.
If those things are not going on, then something seems off, to me. Much like in the case of the Dawgs not knocking that ball down. This past weekend, we saw two very different end of game scenarios. Michigan clearly understood the situation and executed well. Georgia did not, and it cost them, albeit on a freak play.
Every team goes over situations in practice, but every team and coaching staff do not treat them with the same respect. For some, the situations become very real, and the failures are charted and have consequences. Others treat them as any other practice period and get them over with to get to something else, or the end of the day.
The point is that when players do not know what to do in a given scenario, it all goes back to practice. More repetitions of something and more drilling of the scenarios creates an understanding in the players, and that is what you have to have, along with communication, to be successful.