Thursday, September 13, 2012

12 comments Gregg Easterbrook Thinks the Replacement Officials Were Really Good, Outside of All the Calls They Missed

After last week's annual haiku debacle (I say it was a debacle because I don't like haikus and it was Gregg writing these haikus) Gregg Easterbrook made some predictions for the upcoming NFL season. He also followed up with Pulaski Academy and chronicled their attempt to not punt at all during the season, instead going for it on fourth down. What Gregg failed to mention is this strategy didn't work very well during a game when Pulaski Academy went up against a school which had equal skill to Pulaski. Granted, that doesn't mean this strategy doesn't work, but it could mean if two teams are equally talented (such as in the NFL) or there is a small talent gap in the two teams, going for it on fourth down may not be a good least that's my opinion. We get another update from Gregg his week about Pulaski and Gregg also completely ignores the fictional "Crabtree Curse" that he annoyed his readers with for a while and states the 49ers (with me-first receiver Michael Crabtree on the roster) could be the next NFL powerhouse. It's interesting how the Crabtree Curse comes and goes depending on whether the 49ers are winning games or not.

The Green Bay Packers wrapped an amazing 21-1 streak around a Super Bowl win, at times seeming close to perfection. Now they have lost two straight, both at home, and looked befuddled in the process.

As I wrote in MMQB Review this week, the Packers lost to the Giants last year in the playoffs and the 49ers this year. The 49ers made the NFC Championship Game last year and the Giants won the Super Bowl last year. It's not like the Packers were losing to bad teams or anything like that.

So are the Packers sinking slowly into the sunset -- or did they just clash with the NFL's next monster team, the San Francisco Forty Niners?

Well, obviously the 49ers are the NFL's next monster team AND the Packers are slowly sinking into the sunset. After all, one entire game has been played during the 2012 NFL season. If there was ever a time to make immediate snap judgments, now is that time.

A 15-1 record in the 2011 regular season, during which Aaron Rodgers enjoyed one of the best seasons, statistically, ever achieved by any athlete in any sport. Green Bay's 560 points in the 2011 season, 35 per game, were second most in NFL annals, trailing only the 37 points per game posted by the 2007 Patriots.

Come the new year -- poof. Green Bay lost in the playoffs at home after a bye, and just lost its opener at home.

It's almost like the year 2012 is cursed for the Packers. Gregg should introduce the "Packers 2012 Curse" and then ride it all the way out until the Packers win a game and then he can make some bullshit excuse about why the curse didn't last the whole season. This would complete his trifecta of curses which he insisted were real and then made a bullshit excuse when they were eventually proven incorrect.

There was the "Patriots Spygate Curse" which was based on the Patriots not winning a playoff game since Spygate. Gregg seemed to indicate the curse would not allow the Patriots to win a playoff game. This is probably the best known curse because Gregg blatantly ignored the Patriots had won a playoff game since Spygate broke, so he had to move the date of Spygate back to when the Patriots got punished for Spygate in order to even come close to the curse being true. He did this despite the fact this would mean the "Patriots Spygate Curse" actually began after the Patriots were punished for Spygate. Even though curses don't really make sense anyway, this makes even less sense. It's like if the "Curse of the Bambino" began after Babe Ruth retired rather than when he was traded by the Red Sox.

Then there was the "Crabtree Curse" which was based on a team of wealthy NFL players caring that Michael Crabtree held out during training camp and this means Crabtree ruined team chemistry, so the 49ers were unable to win games because of this. This is a slightly less known, and yet equally as bullshitty of a curse as the "Spygate curse" because the 49ers started winning games with Crabtree at wide receiver last year. Gregg then had to make another excuse for why this curse was real. Gregg claimed it wasn't Michael Crabtree that was the issue, even though the curse was named after him and began when Crabtree held out of training camp, but it was Mike Singletary that was the issue. So Michael Crabtree didn't start the curse by holding out, even though Gregg repeatedly claimed this, it was Mike Singletary who started the curse by coaching the team which had Michael Crabtree on it...and yet the curse got named after Crabtree.

Finally, I am proposing we have the "2012 Packers Curse" which says the Packers can't win a game in 2012. This is the curse that doesn't really make sense and wasn't necessarily needed, but the author's ego caused him to believe a third curse made sense. It will be proven false within two weeks.

One weakness that has developed is that the defense dropped from fifth in 2010 to last in 2011.

Another weakness is the Packers have lost to two really good teams. Maybe they should stop playing good teams.

When elimination was a game away in 2010, the Green Bay defense exhibited a sense of urgency. In the 2011 regular season the Green Bay defense became accustomed to playing with the lead, not needing to get stops, just forcing opponents to use clock.

I am sure this is exactly what happened in the head of the Green Bay defensive players. Gregg Easterbrook: Mind Reader

On Randy Moss' Sunday touchdown, he went in motion, was ignored by all Green Bay defenders, and simply ran up the field uncovered.

It's probably because the Packers have selfish glory boys like Sam Shields, Jarrett Bush, and Tramon Williams in the secondary. These are just the typical glory boys who weren't drafted and don't work hard. Wait, that's not the narrative Gregg wants us to believe, is it? It's those highly-paid glory boys who were drafted in the first round that Gregg wants us to believe are too selfish and lazy to play well. As usual when reality doesn't match the narrative he wants to further, Gregg neglects to mention Moss went uncovered by a secondary that contained three undrafted players. If these were first round picks that Moss blew by, you can bet Gregg would have made mention of these player's draft position.

But the core problem with the Green Bay offense seems to be that everyone is standing around watching to see what the amazing Aaron Rodgers does next.

Or it could be explained by a more logical and football-related explanation like the 49ers play really good defense. I'm sure that's not it though. The Packers problems on defense are definitely related to how the team sits around and watches Aaron Rodgers play, rather than anything the opposing team is doing defensively or offensively.

Other members of the offense need to step up, while coaches need to devise opponent-specific game plans, rather than just let Rodgers wing it and be brilliant.

Dammit. Yet again, Mike McCarthy completely forgot to game plan for the 49ers. He was so busy just telling Aaron Rodgers to drop back and throw the ball to whichever receiver running a random pass pattern appeared to be open. Yes, it does appear game planning is something the Packers should look into doing. I can't believe the Packers didn't think about doing this previous to the 49ers game.

Jim Harbaugh, or Harbaugh/West to Tuesday Morning Quarterback, is leading a charmed life. In his first gig as a head coach, he went 29-6 at the University of San Diego. Then he took over a Stanford program that had gone 14-31 in its previous four seasons and in his four seasons went 29-21, with a decent team GPA and no recruiting scandals. So far at the Squared Sevens, Harbaugh/West is 15-4.

Yes, Harbaugh is leading a charmed life. His record at these three stops can't be explained by the idea he is a good head coach.

Everyone in the NFL plays tough; the Niners under Harbaugh/West play with swagger. They offer power running, deep-strike passing,

As seen by the deep-strike passing which led to Alex Smith's 3144 passing yards last year (good for 19th in the NFL), his season-long pass of 56 yards (good for 34th in the NFL among quarterbacks), and his yards per attempt of 7.07 yards (which was good for 17th in the NFL).

That deep-strike passing game is not a hallmark of the 49ers under Alex Smith. By the way, Smith's longest pass in the Green Bay game was 29 yards.

If you asked NFL coaches which of the league's teams they would least like to face in 2012, all would say, "The San Francisco Forty Niners."

Well this is just some made-up bullshit, no chaser. I don't know who this "all" person is, but I am guessing quite a few NFL coaches would also say "New England Patriots" or probably even "Green Bay Packers" or "Baltimore Ravens." Gregg is essentially just making this up.

Pitts and Martz owe viewers an apology.

Yes, I thought their analysis during the Carolina-Tampa Bay game was pretty terrible too. Mike Martz kept calling players by the wrong name and stated Vincent Jackson played for Carolina. So yes, I would appreciate an apology.

This was not getting the down-and-distance wrong or mispronouncing a player's name, this was encouraging young players to imitate an extremely dangerous example.

Don't be confused about them messing up the basics. They did mispronounce some player's names and got quite a few things wrong during the game.

After the game, Bucs coach Greg Schiano singled out Barron for praise. Rutgers player Eric LeGrand was paralyzed making an unsafe head-down tackle for Rutgers in 2010, when Schiano was coach. Schiano has observed for himself the terrible harm that can occur when football players don't "see what you hit." Yet he praises a player who made a violent helmet-to-helmet, head-down hit.

Gregg rarely does his reader the favor of citing the article or quote that he is referring to. Here again, he doesn't provide the quote that shows Schiano singled out Barron for praise. I'm not sure it even exists and what quotes I could find were of Schiano praising how Barron played, not anything to do with Barron praising how hard Barron can hit.

I found Schiano said,

“Mark Barron was really good, obviously..."

I'd love to see these other quotes which Gregg is referring to. Sadly, I know we won't ever see these quotes just like we won't ever find out exactly why Gregg called Julio Jones "a diva." It seems Gregg is allowed to continue not citing references for claims he makes.

In college football news, how did mega-underdog Louisiana-Monroe stage its upset at No. 8 Arkansas? By not punting! Reader Stephen Parker of Baton Rouge, La., notes Louisiana-Monroe went for it seven times on fourth down, converting six. The Warhawks converted a fourth-and-11 and converted fourth-and-10 twice.

Well, there we go. This the final and only piece of evidence we need to show not punting would work in college football and the NFL. I wonder if Arkansas had not punted, would they have won the game?

Sometimes when head coaches go for it early in a game and fail, they won't go for it later, reasoning, "We failed last time." That's like reasoning, "This time the coin came up heads, next time is sure to be tails." What happened last time is irrelevant to what happens this time!

Not necessarily. If a team goes for it on fourth-and-1 twice in a row and fail both times, this isn't irrelevant when it comes time to convert another fourth-and-1. It's very relevant actually.

The University of Arkansas is the prestige campus of the same state as Pulaski Academy, where coach Kevin Kelley has perfected the art of not punting.

The art of not punting has been perfected by Kelley, unless you want to count the fact Kelley's team only converted twice in seven tries last week and only converted twice in seven tries this past week. But other than going 4-14 on fourth down tries, the art of not punting has been perfected by Pulaski.

Flags often came in late and there were debatable calls -- but when aren't there debatable calls? Overall the replacement zebras, including first-ever female official Shannon Eastin, did OK.

Apparently "OK" is the best standard we can hope for from NFL officiating. That's not very comforting.

The Packers probably should have been called for an illegal block in the back during their punt return touchdown, but the fact that sports radio was debating whether it should have been flagged shows the situation was a judgment call, not a rules-knowledge matter.

So because sports radio was debating this it was a judgment call? Sports radio partially consists of uninformed idiots calling in with incredibly stupid points of view. The knowledge base of some of the callers isn't very large, so I wouldn't use "sports radio" as the key decision-maker on whether the officials made the correct call or not. If sports radio was the decision-maker on anything then every single NFL coach would be fired at some point during the season and 50% of the players in the NFL would have been traded or released by Week 8 of the season. So the fact Gregg is citing sports radio as his source this was a judgment call tells me this was a rules-knowledge matter.

Week 1 was hardly the best day in zebra history, but those highly paid, relentlessly self-praising NFLRA members have done worse. If I were them, I would call 345 Park Avenue today and accept the league's offer. Once the replacement officials have a couple more weeks under their belts, why bring the previous guys back?

Because there is no guarantee the replacement officials will continue performing at a high level, they currently lack the necessary experience to officiate an NFL game, and "OK" really isn't a standard I want NFL refs held to?

Who would have thought that in a Steelers-Peyton collision, the Steelers would be the pass-wacky ones?

Considering the Steelers don't have a great offensive line, were using their backup running backs, and their receivers are Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, and Heath Miller, and the Broncos are coached by John Fox...well I personally thought the Steelers would be the pass-wacky ones.

Reader Dan Howen of La Habra, Calif., lauds Denver guard Zane Beadles, "who was 20 yards downfield blocking on Demaryius Thomas's long touchdown catch-and-run," though he was among many blockers Sunday to get away with holding.

But the officiating was still "OK," right? Even though many blockers got away with holding on Sunday?

The Steelers snuck in one sweet play, a rare tight end stop-and-go for a touchdown. Broncos mike linebacker Joe Mays was so surprised, he fell down.

Or the play worked because Joe Mays fell down. Chicken or the egg? Which one is it?

Pittsburgh closed its 2011 season by losing at Denver and opened its 2012 season by losing at Denver.

Does this mean the Steelers are like the Packers in that they are getting ready to go into a season-long swoon? If Gregg was being consistent, then he would perhaps treat the Packers and the Steelers the same and mention the Steelers probably are on a downward trend, except he doesn't mention this. After all, both teams lost their last game of the 2011 season and the first game of the 2012 season on the same field.

When big-college programs run up the score on cupcake opponents that stand no chance, don't assume pollster "style points" the sole motive. Boosters aren't in the mood to donate if their teams don't exceed the spread.

Because boosters will donate money to a school solely based on how often that team covered the spread? I've never heard of this occurring, but of course I am also not as smart as Gregg Easterbrook. A citation of this occurring would be really helpful, but I know I won't get evidence what Gregg is stating is the truth.

Florida State originally planned to host West Virginia, but was left without an opponent when the Mountaineers switched conferences. Savannah State, so the Seminoles claimed, was the sole visitor available on short notice. The dignified thing for Florida State to do would have been not to host any game -- have the team spend the weekend building housing for Habitat for Humanity.

...or spending time with children who have cancer, helping old ladies cross the street or donating blood. But the Seminoles needed another home game in order to make money, so they decided to play Savannah State.

The NCAA does not have a mercy rule as found in most states for high school sports, but both coaches agreed on running clock. When thunder was heard in the distance again, both coaches agreed to call the game midway through the third quarter -- with Florida State ahead 55-0, equating to an 88-0 final score.

I realize Florida State played a team they could easily roll over, but at least give them some credit for calling the game midway through the third quarter. That meant they didn't cover the spread, so I wonder how many boosters were angry?

Cal and Georgia Tech both were able to find $400,000 to hire a football cupcake despite the state legislatures of California and Georgia cutting funds for public universities in recent years. Class size, education -- these are nothing compared to easy football wins!

Gregg talks about how boosters run college football programs and then wonders how California and Georgia can afford to find $400,000 to hire a cupcake team to play against them.

"Revolution" is yet another post-apocalypse premise. An unknown force has stopped all technology from functioning. Cities are overgrown with vegetation -- apparently even pruning shears have stopped working. Fighting is done with swords -- apparently the chemicals in bullets no longer work. People ride horses for transportation -- apparently bicycles ceased functioning. Yet with no electricity and the disappearance of modern products, the babe heroin's hair and makeup are perfect.

It's a television show. No one wants to see ugly people on television.

Hollywood loves post-apocalypse movies and TV serials because the costume budget is low: Just buy some old consignment clothes, and rip them.

Except the costumes for the actors in "Revolution" aren't ripped at all. Check out the link that Gregg provided (wonders never cease, do they?), do you see a lot of ripped clothing? So how is this observation relevant to this television show?

Tony Romo saw backup corner Justin "Two Garments Only" Tryon in press coverage against Miles Austin;

Not only is that not funny, but the joke doesn't make sense because "Tryon" comes after "Two Garments Only." Unless Gregg is trying to write using inverted sentences like Yoda did.

Reader Justin Pickering of Fremantle, Australia, reports that on Aug. 23, he saw television advertising for the 2013 Ikea catalog.

These are the items you can buy for the year 2013. It makes business sense to release the catalog before the year begins, you know to maximize sales and all that useless stuff.

On Friday night Pulaski, coming off an exhausting road trip to perform in California, played the Lumberjacks of Warren (Ark.) High School -- another road trip, this time a mere 90 miles by bus rather than 1,700 miles by aircraft.

For the second week of the young season, most of Kelley's fourth-down tries did not succeed. Yet Pulaski dominated the contest.

It's almost like going for it on fourth down didn't have an effect on the outcome of the game. That can't be true though, could it?

Part of the psychology of rarely punting is accepting that sometimes it won't work and the opponent will get the ball back in good field position. But if you think field position is not as important as possession of the ball -- and this is the essence of Kelley's philosophy -- then you risk sending your defense out in a rough situation in exchange for retaining possession of the ball.

And when two teams are evenly matched, like often happens in NFL games, field position becomes more valuable. So while I would like to see an NFL team try to not punt on fourth down, I can't help but notice in the NFL the disparity between two teams' talent is closer, and field possession can play a big part in whether a team wins or loses.

Possession of the ball is important in the NFL, but so is making sure your opponent has to move the ball down the field as far as possible to score. That's my biggest issue with never punting, that fourth down conversions are more difficult in the NFL than in high school and teams don't want to give quarterbacks a short field to work with.

Trailing Florida 20-17 halfway through the fourth quarter, Texas A&M faced fourth-and-inches on its 31. In came the punt unit, and I do not need to tell you who won the contest. Yes, Florida also punted on fourth-and-inches, but the Gators were ahead.

When has whether a team was winning when they didn't go for it on fourth down ever mattered to Gregg? If Florida had lost this game Gregg would be saying they lost because they punted on fourth-and-inches. They happened to win the game, so Gregg claims it doesn't matter if they went for it on fourth down or not. There are plenty of times when an NFL team leading has punted on fourth-and-short and Gregg has stated that is why that team lost the game. He's never made an exception in this arbitrary rule for whether a team is leading or not. Gregg has always stated if a team punts the ball on fourth-and-short, they will lose the game because they did this.

In fact, because both Texas A&M and Florida punted on fourth-and-inches this tells me there is another reason Texas A&M lost this game that has nothing to do with going for it on fourth down.

Stretching back to last season, megabucks A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is on an 0-2 streak since he broke his word to the University of Houston. TMQ's Law of Weasel Coaches holds: When you hire a coach who's only in it for himself, you get a coach who's only in it for himself.

Or you win National Championships because of these weasel coaches as Nick Saban has shown us twice over the last three years.

The Bills have a league-worst 11-year postseason drought, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon as they allowed 48 points versus the weak offense of the Jets. Despite the NFL being a passing league, the Bills have no quarterback they drafted on their roster, just an assortment of quarterbacks other teams didn't want.

But I thought unwanted players were supposed to be great players? Doesn't Gregg have an entire column dedicated to unwanted and lowly drafted players every single year? So what is wrong with the Bills having an assortment of unwanted quarterbacks, other than the fact they aren't very good of course?

Buffalo's awful secondary does not help. The Bills allowed a 123.4-rating day by Mark Sanchez, one of the worst passers in the league.

This isn't just the fault of the Bills secondary, but also the fault of the Bills pass rush. Of course Gregg only blames the Bills secondary instead of also blaming the Bills inability to put pressure on the quarterback. I would hope someone who writes a weekly NFL column could understand it isn't simply the secondary's fault when a team gives up a lot of passing yards/points during a game.

At cornerback, Buffalo has Leodis McKelvin, 11th choice of the 2008 draft; Stephon Gilmore, 10th selection of the 2012 draft; and Eric Williams, 33rd choice of the 2011 draft. All helped Sanchez look like a Hall of Fame quarterback in his prime.

The pass rush has to be blamed as well.

There's no sign of any change -- and no sign anyone at the top of the Bills' organization cares.

You mean other than the fact they went out and spent free agent money on Mark Anderson and Mario Williams, while also drafting a defensive tackle last year and a cornerback this year in the first round attempting to improve the defense. Other than that, no one in the Bills organization cares I guess.

Stop Me Before I Blitz Again! Arizona, Denver and San Francisco all prevailed in part by blitzing like crazy on their opponents' final possessions. So it was a good weekend for the blitz. As the season progresses and offensive line cohesion improves, this will change.

Well yes, at some point a team will blitz and lose a game. Gregg doesn't let evidence that blitzing isn't a terrible idea affect his point of view. A broken clock is right twice a day and at some point a team will lose because they blitzed, which Gregg will view as empirical evidence that blitzing is bad, even in the face of evidence blitzing also helps teams win games.

Hidden Play of the Week: Hidden plays are ones that never make highlight reels, but stop or sustain drives. Cleveland leading Philadelphia 16-10 inside the two-minute warning, Michael Vick threw a pass directly into the hands of Browns rookie linebacker L.J. Fort, who dropped the ball as if it were a live ferret. On the next snap, the Eagles won the game.

As I always write, highlight reels are usually a 30-45 second snapshot of what happened in a three hour long football game. There will be quite a few important plays that don't make the highlight reels, so these plays aren't "hidden" because they don't appear in a highlight reel. The dropped pass that led to the Eagles getting another chance to win the game was not hidden at all. This was a very important dropped interception.

Next Week: TMQ drills down into television's most entertaining series that consists entirely of nonsense.

We got a week reprieve from having to hear about how television series aren't realistic enough and now it seems we will get a double dose of this nonsense next week. The point of most television series are to entertain, so if this unnamed show is television's most entertaining series then isn't that show doing it's job well?


Anonymous said...

Does anyone else get a weird vibe from Gregg in matters of gender. The last several weeks he has seemed to make strange references to "testosterone-filled division one" and "macho" as though these are bad things. Then a few weeks ago, he seemed very intrigued by the idea that men could be rendered obsolete (forget the book he referenced). To top it all off, he seems like he desperately wants to see more male beefcake in the SI swimsuit issue. This contrasts strangely with his obsession with "cheer babes." I want to mention that he has had at least one cheerleader pic in every column so far since swearing off cheerleader of the week. Gregg seems very confused and has a lot of commentary that doesn't belong in a football column. It's not that someone can;t include other stuff in their columns, it just seems like he doesn't like football that much and seems to have no connection with the average young-to-middle-aged male NFL fan.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I think you are on to something. The amateur psychologist in me would state Gregg has repressed homosexual feelings and so he overcompensates by showing pictures of cheerleaders and being a football "fan" but railing against the violence and the macho-filled aggression of the sport.

Of course, it doesn't matter really and I would probably be wrong. He just likes cheerleaders and has been warning about environment around a football team for a few years now. He wasn't necessarily out front in terms of discussing concussions, but he does not like the aggression of the sport.

To get back on topic, I don't believe Gregg likes football. I'm not sure why he writes a football column, perhaps to give the perspective of a non-fan, but he really has no connection to the young-to-middle-aged football fan.

I have also noticed ever since he got rid of his Cheerleader of the Week he has included pictures of cheerleaders in the column. It's more of an unofficial thing now, without actually learning about the cheerleaders we get a picture of one.

I do think Gregg is confused about how football works and that's part of the reason he is so frustrating. He has shown time and time again he doesn't understand the concept of zone coverage and some of the rules he makes for what coaches should do are based completely on the outcome.

Basically, I think he is an amateur football fan trying to write from the PoV of a fan who truly loves the game.

Eric C said...

Ben, Gregg annoys the hell out of me because does not come out and say things in plain English.

Like the colleges in states that have budget issues paying $400,000 for the fluff team to come in. I live in New Jersey and it amazed me to see budget cuts like crazy to vital state services, while resigning Schiano for $2.3 million a year. I know you can say the football team brings in money, but when they are cutting teachers around the state it just sends a bad message.

Instead of being smarmy, he could have said the exact same thing and made an actual good point. When he says "these are nothing compared to easy football wins" it takes the focus off a solid point.
He could have said something like:

Cal and Georgia Tech both were able to find $400,000 to hire a football cupcake despite the state legislatures of California and Georgia cutting funds for public universities in recent years. Even though this money is from boosters and not from state funds, I think this sends a really mixed message to the constituents of those states.

The tone he chooses avoids taking a stand and giving his opinion much of the time.

Love the site and appreciate all the work you put in here. You must have had one hell of a critical thinking professor in college!

Steve Sprague said...

As annoying as Gregg is when writing about the NFL he is ten times more annoying when writing about college. Why do schools schedule cupcake opponents? To get a home date and the resulting revenue from tickets, concessions, parking and television time. It has nothing to do with boosters feeling proud about running up the score.

The comments about state budgets may be relevant, depending on how the schools athletic departments are funded. I live in Michigan and both Michigan and MSU have athletic departments that are self sufficient. Which is very important since Michigan has been forced to make cuts to education every year for over a decade, and the college support of U of M and MSU has been sliced dramatically.

Of course this didn't stop Gregg from ranting about Michigan daring to expand the stadium a few years back, even doubling down with some questionable logic when it was pointed out to him that the project was funded by AD money only.

The funding issue is second to his non-nonsensical "weasel coach watch". The premise is flawed - as you pointed out Nick Saban used to be one of the leading weasel coaches...until he won two national titles - but he is also inconsistent in how he chooses to apply it.

Mark Dantonio left Cincinnati before their bowl game in 2006 to take over as MSU head coach. He is never called out as a weasel. Brian Kelly left Central Michigan to follow Dantonio at Cincy and wasn't a weasel. Kelly then dared to leave Cincy for Notre Dame and is a weasel.

Brady Hoke was offered an extension to stay at San Diego State and said he would not sign it until the coaching situation at Michigan was resolved. When he interviewed for the job at SDSU he said his dream job was head coach at Michigan. When offered the job he took it as everyone knew he would. He is a weasel according to Gregg.

This goes back to you point Ben - he doesn't like football. He knows about Hoke, Kelly, Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban (formerly) and Rich Rodriguez (Michigan's weasel coach before Hoke) because they coach highly recognized teams or in highly recognized conferences. If a coach leaves in identical circumstances but it is to a program that doesn't generate as much attention such as MSU he doesn't care.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric C, I can't even remember who my critical thinking professor during college was. My nature is to de-construct and be critical, even of myself. I'm glad you like the site and when it is work I won't write here anymore.

I'm with you on how Gregg can't just come out and say what he is talking about in plain English. I think it is the "academic" in him. The way he worded that sentence took the focus off his point and on to easy wins are being favored over putting the money to other use. He has good points on occasion, but he loses this point by comparing "easy wins" with the lack of funding in states.

I don't like how coaches get paid when state agencies are having to cut back. That's the nature of the beast though. The boosters give the money for sports and not to help out the state. It can send a mixed message, and I know that was Gregg's point, but he lost that point in the way he phrased it. You are right about that.

Steve, one other thing also about these cupcake opponents. I went to Appalachian State and we play games against teams like Auburn, Florida, Michigan at the beginning of season and it gets the school excited. Now granted, App State is a pretty good FCS school and can be more competitive, but fans from these schools get excited to play opponents from major conferences.

As far as the funding goes, I don't like that boosters give money to schools for coaches/facilities when the state is having to cut back and it can send a mixed message. That's private money though. I get what Gregg is saying, but I think he goes about his criticism poorly.

The biggest part of that "weasel coaches" issue is many coaches at major schools who receive national attention had to leave a previous school he was successful at to take the job at the major school. What coach doesn't want to be head coach at Alabama? Sure, Saban could have handled that better, but to your point, Dantonio left Cincy before their bowl game because MSU wanted him immediately.

Is Larry Fedora a weasel coach? He went from So Miss to UNC. Some of these schools want their new head coach to start immediately and it isn't always fair, but Urban Meyer isn't a weasel coach for leaving Utah and Bowling Green is he? The nature of how a coach leaves is important, but there isn't an easy way to leave a bunch of kids you recruited and coached. There is a right way to go about it and Petrino clearly didn't leave the Falcons the way he should have.

I don't think Gregg likes football to understand or care about these type of things or even know which coaches are really weasel coaches. Will Muschamp was named Mack Brown's successor at Texas and he left to go to Florida, why isn't he a weasel?

Steve Sprague said...

Ben - that's a good point about the excitement factor. You also don't need to remind me that Appalachian State is good - I'm a Michigan alum.

I was arguing on behalf of the smaller schools with someone I work with the other day. Michigan and Michigan State play Central, Eastern and Western Michigan in some combination every year. This is great for those players because most of them are from Michigan and a peg below Big Ten level talent. By Michigan and MSU scheduling MAC schools, cupcakes according to Gregg, it gives these kids a chance to play in a packed stadium they probably dreamed of playing in.

As you drill down further and to the 1-AA or FCS schools it does the same thing. In addition Armanti Edwards was a household name after torching Michigan in 2007. It sucked for me as an alum, but good for him getting some national exposure. He certainly deserved it.

Bengoodfella said...

Steve, I am not for college teams playing cupcakes colleges, but it isn't always as depressing for the team getting its ass kicked as Gregg believes it may be. It does give these kids a chance to go against the best competition to see where they stack up.

What's funny about that ASU team is Edwards and Jackson both ended up being NFL busts after being household names, while a couple defensive players had more success in the NFL. It sucks to get your ass kicked by a great team, but it is a good chance to get on the field against great talent too.

Anonymous said...

You have hinted at it, but I'm not sure if you've said it explicitly. But the best players at these 'cupcake' schools get a chance to get some exposure to NFL scouts. Some of Gregg's favorite small school undrafted, unwanted players might never have gotten then chance to earn an NFL spot if their D1-AA or low tier D1 school hadn't gone up against a power school early in the year. Although he was a second round pick, Edwards really helped himself get on NFL scouts' radars by helping ASU beat Michigan.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, absolutely. Dexter Jackson was essentially drafted in the 2nd round because of the Michigan game. It alerted scouts to his speed because of how he competed against top competition. It gave Armanti Edwards a forum to show he could compete against NFL-level competition. Neither player's skills translated to the NFL, but Armanti Edwards always had an uphill battle b/c he had always played QB.

D.J. Smith played well against Alabama and ECU. Granted, he wasn't taken until the sixth round, but I would bet some of those games helped put him on the NFL radar.

That's a good point that many of these players are some of Gregg's favorites. Guys from small schools and they get a chance to compete against big time teams. I don't know if I could defend Savannah State playing against FSU/OSU, but it gets these guys exposure, which is something I'm not sure Gregg has thought of.

Bengoodfella said...

And recruiting. You think LA-Monroe's win over Arkansas and game against Auburn this weekend isn't helping recruiting? Of course it helps. Gregg misses this.

JJJJShabado said...

Little late with this, but catching up with some posts:

In college football news, how did mega-underdog Louisiana-Monroe stage its upset at No. 8 Arkansas? By not punting! Reader Stephen Parker of Baton Rouge, La., notes Louisiana-Monroe went for it seven times on fourth down, converting six. The Warhawks converted a fourth-and-11 and converted fourth-and-10 twice.

This should be Gregg's evidence more than Pulaski. ULM needs to do stuff like this. The difference between ULM and Arkansas is probably quite a bit greater than Seattle and Dallas, for example. Good for ULM for not surrendering as some teams would, but most of these 4th downs were given by the context of the game. They did go for it on 4th and 1 at their own 42 on their first possession (which was after an INT) and the game winning score in overtime was a 4th and 1 on the 16 when a field goal would have tied it. However, Gregg didn't point out that in the 4th quarter ULM punted three times (down a touchdown) (twice on 4th and 1 at their own 45 and at their own 31).

At cornerback, Buffalo has Leodis McKelvin, 11th choice of the 2008 draft; Stephon Gilmore, 10th selection of the 2012 draft; and Eric Williams, 33rd choice of the 2011 draft. All helped Sanchez look like a Hall of Fame quarterback in his prime.

The man's name is Aaron Williams. I may think his name is A.J. because of his Twitter handle (which his name would be), but I know its Aaron when I think about it. The Bills secondary has its history of good high picks and good low picks as most teams do.

On Randy Moss' Sunday touchdown, he went in motion, was ignored by all Green Bay defenders, and simply ran up the field uncovered.

It's probably because the Packers have selfish glory boys like Sam Shields, Jarrett Bush, and Tramon Williams in the secondary. These are just the typical glory boys who weren't drafted and don't work hard. Wait, that's not the narrative Gregg wants us to believe, is it? It's those highly-paid glory boys who were drafted in the first round that Gregg wants us to believe are too selfish and lazy to play well.

And doesn't the bolded-italic part describe Randy Moss? Shouldn't Randy Moss be complacent with all the money he made and not bother trying anymore (according to Gregg).

Bengoodfella said...

JJ, I didn't see the Arkansas-ULM game so I didn't know they punted three times in the fourth quarter. So I pretty much fell for what Gregg wanted me to fall for. Damn him! His inability to give context has one again given me a false impression. He's very good at giving only certain or limited information. It's an art and he is Picasso.

After yesterday's game, I wonder if Gregg will be talking about the Bills secondary and how they have a bunch of high draft picks who haven't panned out. I'm guessing not. I think Aaron Williams went to Texas if I am not wrong, though I could be wrong. I didn't look up Eric Williams and I probably should have.

Absolutely Randy Moss should be complacent and not bother trying. Moss even has a history of saying he plays when he wants to play, but he is still out there beating up on undrafted players (at least in the Packers game). I guarantee you Gregg would have turned the narrative around if the 49ers had lost and talked about their five 1st round pick receivers (well 4 receivers and 1 tight end) and how they got beat by undrafted players.