Hello all. You know I usually only spew garbage out of my piehole once a week, but this week I feel a follow up is warrented. It seems that everyone is agreeing with what a few of us have been saying since about game 3. It's time to fire some coaches.
I read Jay's blog earlier yesterday, where he said he expected 8 or 9 wins preseason. Well, counting a bowl game, we have a chance to win 8. 9, to me, was the ultimate example of homer-esque dreaming. I predicted we'd be very lucky to win 6 games, and even then we'd have to win a game that we weren't supposed to win, and not get upset at all. The combination of an absolutely brutal schedule, plus the loss of so much talent and experience, we all knew that this was going to be a bad, long season.
Well, as luck would have it, we won 7. Utah State should have beat us, as should have Mississippi State. We somehow pulled those wins out of our rear ends. At that time, most of the kids still knew they were National Champs, and still believed. That quickly went away after the Clemson game, which ironically, was another game that we could have and should have won. Then we played our best game of the year against USC on the road, and won thanks to them playing their worst game of the year. We played a vastly undermanned Florida at home and squeaked that one out thanks to Chris Rainey's temporary amnesia on how to field punts. A glimmer of hope shines through. Then LSU murders us, Georgia murders us, Bammer murders us, and Arky murders us. Against our biggest rivals, we didn't even put up a fight. That is the worst thing about this season. Not that we lost 5 games, it's that in 4 of those 5 losses, we weren't even competitive! We never had a chance to win!
So, it's time for some coaches to be fired. I see a lot of hate directed toward both Roof and Malzhan. Both, right now, are equally deserving of whatever fate befalls them. However, I see a lot of people on here questioning why I am so critical of the defense, and not so much of the offense. I'd like to clear that up. It has to do with one simple thing:
The offense stunk this year. There is no arguing that. A large part of it is due to the freshman factor, but they stunk. The defense stunk too. They were awful. Beyond awful. Once again, due to the freshman factor. The most disturbing thing to me, and the reason I am so vocal in calling for firings, is the fact that they stunk ALL YEAR WITH NO IMPROVEMENT.
I can live with losing 5 games. I can live with only winning 7 games, especially with this team. It's a hell of a lot more than I expected. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that luck didn't have more than a few things to do with it, but we still won 7 games with probably the youngest, least experienced team in the country. That is a very good accomplishment. Chizik and the staff deserve at least a small amount of credit for that. They didn't lose any of the games they were supposed to win, and picked up 2 wins they weren't supposed to have. Good for them.
But, that doesn't excuse what happened. this year. That doesn't excuse how poorly we played in the losses, and it doesn't excuse the most important thing to me: WE SHOWED NO IMPROVEMENT ALL YEAR. Especially on defense. In the Alabama game, we still made the same mistakes we were making in the Utah State game, with the exception of tackling. I still hate the scheme more than I hate slamming my man parts into an industrial freezer door. I hate that we play 12 yards off the line on 3rd and 4, and our moronic coaches wonder why we can't stop anybody on 3rd down. I hate that either Chizik, or Roof, or both are either too stupid or stubborn to see what is right in front of their face. I hate that our DB's still have no idea how to look for and make a play on the ball. I hate that our LB's still have absolutely no idea how to help in coverage or get through a pick. I hate that our DL is still undisciplined at times, and won't stay at home and guard their zones, they just blindly run after the ball,, although they have at least gotten a bit better. I hate that we still have times where we couldn't tackle cheerleaders. And most of all, did I say this already......I HATE OUR DEFENSIVE SCHEME MORE THAN THE MOST FOUL, EVIL DEMONS OF HELL HATE THE GOODNESS IN OUR HEARTS.
God I hope Chizik and Roof read this, even though I doubt it. YOUR DEFENSIVE SCHEME SUCKS MORE THAN THE SUN IS HOT. As long as that defensive scheme is run, you have no hope whatsoever of stopping anybody on 3rd down!
The offense stunk too, no doubt. QB development was nonexistent. Playcalling was terrible. The OL couldn't pass block a high school rush. I could probably QB the team better than Mosely or Trotter. The jury is still out on Frazier. He is a great athlete, no doubt. But he can't throw downfield at all. I blame a large part of this on him not getting many reps in practice. I'm praying he gets good enough next year to take the reigns for good, because it is painfully obvious that at this time, we have no hope with the other two. I agree with what a lot of people on here have said. Frazier should be the man from here on out. The bowl game should be treated like spring ball. He should get all the reps in practice, start the game, and run the offense. We no longer have anything to lose. It's time for him to get a real shot. If he stinks, pray to God there's a good JUCO QB somewhere looking to jump, or that Zeke Pike turns out to be all-world.
However, I'm not ready to fire Malzhan, assuming he doesn't take a head coaching job somewhere. Why? It's really simple. Gus has a track record of success here, while Roof does not. In 2009, Malzhan had a ragtag, junkballer offense led by Captain Spaghetti-noodle arm himself, Chris Todd, and managed to do well. Better than well, actually. Then, the next year, he won a national championship, albeit with the best college athlete ever at QB. This year, he had no offensive line, no QB, 1 proven WR and 2 good RB's that had no blocking. Gus's playcalling was terrible because no matter what he called, nothing worked. Go back the last 2 years and watch him. 1 play sets up another play. Each move creates a specific reaction in your opponent. That reaction leads you to your next move. This year, he never got the chance to get the first move off, because it never worked due to lack of personnel. I don't blame Jeff Grimes either. Jeff Grimes coached probably the best OL in the country last year. This year, he didn't just suddenly forget how to coach. The OL was simply outmanned. Gus didn't just suddenly forget how to call his offense, he just had no talent on the line or at QB to execute it, which are the two most important positions. Why was he calling so much Dyer up the middle? Because it was about the only thing that worked. Trotter or Mosely never had any time to throw downfield and open up the defense because of the lack of blocking, and even when there was blocking, they threw the ball so poorly that it didn't matter. You can't blame Gus, at least not yet. He has been successful in the past, there's no reason to think he can't be again. He gets another year if he wants it. However, two bad years in row removes all the excuses I'm giving him right now. Next year, a lot of the OL problems should go away, which is the root of everything that has gone wrong. No improvement next year = boot out the door.
Roof is different by far. Roof and Thigpen are the two primary culprits of the poor defense in my mind. Roof is the LB coach and the DC, and Thigpen is the DB coach. They have sucked all year, and have shown ZERO improvement. This is the third year in a row that our defense has been terrible, our LB and secondary play has been terrible, and this awful, slit-your-wrist scheme has been employed. There is a three year track record of sucking, and that is more than enough. Fire them, NOW. The biggest thing to me is the ZERO improvement. This has gone on at least 2 years in a row now. The DB's should have been worlds better this year. They weren't. If the team had lost, been undermanned, but had gotten better this year, I would NOT be calling for the firings of Roof and Thigpen. I can live with being undermanned and losing. But as of right now, there is no reason whatsoever to think the defense will be any better next year with these coaches at the helm. It's been two years, and it's still the same poor play, same mistakes, same terrible scheme, and same problems on 3rd down. The DL coach gets a pass, because the DL play last year was probably among the best in the country, and this year, the DL did actually show a bit of improvement as the year went on. Again, they were young, inexperienced, and undermanned. But they got BETTER. That is the PRIMARY thing. I didn't expect us to win this year. I didn't expect us to contend for a title. Hell, I thought we had a 50/50 shot at best at going to a bowl. But, I expected to see our team get BETTER as the year went on. I expected the youngsters to grow up, gain experience, and to be excited about next year. Right now, I'm dreading next year. We are no better now than we were against Utah State. There has been ZERO development this year of our young talent, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
Time for some firings.
I'm quite ready to see the bowl game. I want to see Frazier at the helm. I want to see them go all out. I don't give a flying rat's ass if we win the game or not. I could care less. What I want to see is something that gets me excited about next year. Right now, there is nothing but dread. If we don't improve, and I mean drastically, we are looking a 2011 part 2. We will get our butts handed to us by every quality team we play. That is unacceptable. If we lose, we lose. I can live with it if we are competitive, in the game, and making it interesting.
If we get blown out by all our rivals again next year, it's time to look at firing Chizik. Not this year, not yet. He gets a chance to fix the problems that we have. If he can't do it, then it's time to find someone that can.
Come on, Gene. Give me a reason to defend you. Give me something to get excited about. Right now, I got nothin'. I'm counting on you.