Will Bama get relief from scheduling problem?

 It’s Friday which means the floor is open for discussion on any topic you choose, football or non-football. Here are some random thoughts to get the party started. You input is welcomed:

**–I’m not sure the SEC is going to be able to do a whole lot to give Alabama some relief from a huge scheduling hiccup. In case you missed it, Alabama is not very happy with its SEC football schedule for 2010 and with good reason. Alabama’s last six conference opponents, beginning on Oct. 9 against South Carolina, will all play the Crimson Tide after an open date. How does that happen? Actually it’s easier than you might think.

The SEC office puts together the conference part of the schedule and that process begins with several fixed points. Examples: Tennessee and Florida play the third Saturday in September; Tennessee and Alabama play the third or fourth Saturday in October; Georgia and Florida meet in Jacksonville on either the last Saturday in October or the first in November; Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina have rivalry games that must be played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

There are a number of principles that go into setting a schedule such as a team should never have to play more than two straight conference games on the road. But the SEC did not have a principle that limited the number of games a team will play after that opponent had an open date. It will in the future and the number will be three.

The fact is at this late date the SEC may be able to move around some non-conference games but those will have a domino effect. It’s just difficult.

Also look for the SEC to discuss using a computer program to formulate their schedules in the future. The ACC does it by taking all of the games and all of the scheduling principles and putting them into a computer. The SEC does not currently use a computer to set its schedule.

 

**–Who didn’t see this coming? South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier told ESPN.com’s Chris Low this week that he was going to start calling the ball plays again next season. Spurrier, set to begin his sixth season in Columbia, started handing off play calling and other offensive duties to his son, Steve., Jr., and other assistants a couple of years ago. Spurrier told me last year that he thought that he needed to delegate more. “I was sitting in the offensive staff meeting one day and I was drawing up all the plays and the other guys were just watching,” he said. “I thought I needed to take on more of a traditional head coach role.”

But there is nothing traditional about Spurrier and, while he was at Florida (1990-2001) proved to be one of the best play callers in the history of the game. So he should go back to calling the plays. But he should also crack the whip and demand that his offensive line play better and develop a running game. South Carolina gave up 27 sacks last season and was again last in the SEC in rushing. If that part of the team doesn’t get better it won’t matter who’s calling the plays.

 

**–When I was at Florida two weeks ago offensive coordinator Steve Addazio told me that without Tim Tebow the 2010 offense “would probably look a lot like 2006.” That’s the year that Chris Leak was the senior quarterback in a traditional, drop back passing offense. The wrinkle came when Tebow, a freshman, would enter the game on short yardage situations to pick up the first down. This season John Brantley will fill the Chris Leak role.

“We’ll have to come up with something else on third and short because I sure won’t be running it,” Brantley told me.

Looks like freshman quarterback Trey Burton and tight end Jordan Reed will get those snaps.

 In 2006 the two-quarterback system worked pretty well at Florida as the Gators won the national championship.

But how well will it work? Last season Florida was seventh nationally in third down conversion percentage at 49.15 percent.

 

**–While looking up that stat I noticed that with all of the other offensive superlatives it had last season, Georgia Tech was No. 2 nationally in third down conversion percentage. Georgia Tech had 199 third downs and converted 104 for 52.26 percent. Only BYU was better at 55.62 percent.

**–I also learned that third down conversion percentage might be overrated as a stat. Florida was No. 7 but that was the only SEC team in the top 50. Alabama, the national champion, was 62. The rest of the SEC’s ratings were Ole Miss (51), Auburn (57), Tennessee (59), Georgia (61), Kentucky (67), LSU (71), South Carolina (77) and Vanderbilt (91). Arkansas and Mississippi State tied at 104.

**–I can’t say I’m surprised to read that Nick Stephens, the only quarterback at Tennessee with any real experience, is going to transfer in order to find a place to play in his final year of eligibility. Stephens started six games in 2008 but then could not beat out Jonathan Crompton when head coach Lane Kiffin arrived in 2009. The assumption was that Stephens would be the guy under new head coach Derek Dooley, who retained offensive coordinator Jim Chaney from the previous staff.

But when I visited Knoxville on my spring football tour I talked to some folks who had strong doubts about whether or not Stephens would be Tennessee’s every down quarterback 2010. JUCO transfer Matt Simms and incoming freshman Tyler Bray have looked better in practice and were starting to take more reps with the first team. You would think that a veteran player like Stephens would go through the entire spring practice and then make a decision on his future. He obviously saw the handwriting on the wall.

 So Stephens will transfer to a Division I-AA program where he can play immediately and Tennessee continues to deal with the inevitable attrition of the post Lane Kiffin experiment. And it’s probably not over yet.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago that this would probably be a tough season at Tennessee. I haven’t changed my mind about that,

 

Have a great weekend.

 

 Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

270 comments Add your comment

murfdawg

April 9th, 2010
11:33 am

UGA had the same scheduling “situation” a couple of years ago. It is what it is. If you have a good team, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t have a good team, then everything matters. I would take Tony’s comments as journalistic fluff in April. Now, if Bama Stan and Got 12 start talking about the schedule in October, then it will be considered whining.

One more thing Tony. A blind grandma in a wheelchair could call the plays in fla in the 90s and be successful. SOS has called the plays before at USC and was mediocre. Which is what he is Tony…….a mediocre coach. Lou Holtz was better than SOS.

DP

April 9th, 2010
11:33 am

G8R Grad, the fact that the SEC scheduled Florida and Alabama to each play league games on 5 consecutive Saturdays hardly plays to the conspiracy theorists who believe league policy was to ensure they remained undefeated and played in the SEC championship game.

The SEC schedule gave 3 teams the opportunity to take their bye week before Florida – Tennessee (would have to take the bye on Sept 18), Kentucky (would have to take the bye on Sept 25) and Miss. State (would have to take the bye on Oct 9). None of them scheduled their bye for that week; most schools don’t want to take a bye in September so Mississippi State was the only one that might have considered it before deciding to take it before Alabama a few weeks later, closer to the middle of the season and before a division rival game. Florida’s other 5 SEC opponents (Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Vandy, South Carolina) didn’t have the option of taking the bye before Florida because they had an SEC game.

Of Alabama’s 8 SEC opponents, only 2 didn’t have the option of taking the bye before Alabama: Arkansas and Florida. The other 6 SEC opponents did, and all 6 of them chose to schedule it the week before Alabama: South Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, Miss St and Auburn.

The SEC league office is the one that left the door open for this situation. Alabama has to play the schedule but nobody can seriously suggest that the fans of any other school wouldn’t be complaining if their last 6 conference opponents were coming off bye weeks given that history shows teams coming off bye weeks have a higher than normal winning percentage.

BAMA STAN!

April 9th, 2010
11:35 am

71 NATIONAL TITLES – 126 SEC TITLES!!!

That’s right, Jeff. We’re unstoppable!

Guys, Saban could lead this team through the NFC south and come out unscathed.

We’re Ala-Freakin-bamer! We say things like rammer-jammer!

Ala-FREAKIN-bama, Ala-FREAKIN-bama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[...] Will the SEC give Alabama some relief regarding its schedule?2.  The Crimson Tide is tweaking its offensive identity this [...]

Tidal Surge

April 9th, 2010
11:42 am

Take a look at this 2010 SEC Schedule Grid:

http://secfootball.itgo.com/2010schedule.html

It shows that it is actually rather easy to fix the problem. Bama’s number of post-bye-week SEC opponents could be reduced from six to four via four easy-to-make SEC schedule changes — with no domino effect:

1. AR vs SC from 11/6 to 10/2
2. GA vs AU from 11/13 to 11/20
3. MSU vs KY from 10/30 to 11/6
4. LSU vs MSU from 9/18 to 10/30

Not rocket science. It took all of 5 minutes.

TV is a potential issue, but otherwise, the above changes could be made easily — with no significant adverse impact on the difficulty of the schedules of the teams involved in those four suggested schedule changes.

GATOR88

April 9th, 2010
11:47 am

Wow-while the world is on constant terror alert from towel headed brainswashed religous nuts, the US government prints money faster than tthey can give it away and now has passed a healthcare bill that will tax businesses and certain individuals without impunity, the constant changing weather patterns call for impending global disasters and storms and Nostradamus has predicted Vanderbilt will win the NC in 2010 this blog and message board ponder the insignificant scheduling details of one particular SEC team………….doesn’t this PROVE without a doubt the SEC rules!!!!!!!!!

Hal

April 9th, 2010
11:47 am

SC’s rushing stats are misleading, given that they give up so many sacks. Take all the yards and rushing attempts that are sacks or called passing plays for SC and add them to the passing stats. I think you will find that the running game at SC is not as bad as everyone says it is and the passing game isn’t as good. Many cfb analysts completely miss this point over and over again. The stats should be computed the same way they are in the NFL. That being said, it is clear that SC’s OL is not very good.

Mike Hunt

April 9th, 2010
11:49 am

Kramer 2009,

I hope you get genital warts. No disrespect.

Bullet

April 9th, 2010
11:51 am

Schedule change: Not that hard: 1. Move Ark-SC from Nov 6 to Oct 2 (both are open on Oct 2); 2. Move KY-MissSt from Oct 30 to Nov 6 (both are open Oct 30); 3. Move UGa-AU from Nov 13 to Nov 20 (both open on Nov 20)… DONE
This won’t burden the other teams, and get Bama from 6 to 3 (still the most) on SEC teams having an ‘open’ the week prior to playing the Defending National Champs.

whitx2

April 9th, 2010
11:56 am

JB

You read the posts above you and you tell us to have a little class?

5IML

April 9th, 2010
12:01 pm

You Dawg fans have got to be kidding. You’re giving advice on winning? (Who cares what Richt’s winning percentage is? It’s all about BCS championships.)

I’m sure Richt gets a lot of calls every day. I’m also sure none are coming from area code 205, prefix 348 (that’s The University of Alabama) asking for advice on winning.

bamaguy

April 9th, 2010
12:02 pm

I think too many travel plans have been made, leave requests from work, etc. to start messing with the schedule now. It is difficult to win the NC two years in a row regardless of the schedule because you become THE game of the year for every team you play (hats off to the Gators, here). At some point in life, you have to play the cards you are dealt.

I do wonder how UGA fans would feel if UF consistently had the week off before their game but UGA didn’t. But I guess that is a moot point because UF obviously doesn’t need the week off.

murfdawg

April 9th, 2010
12:05 pm

Tony,
It sounds as if you have had a big glass of SabanKool-Aid!!!Bama is also open before the LSU game. And Bama is playing GEORGIA STATE before Auburn. Do you think Curry can bring a bunch of high schoolers into Tuscaloosa and scare Bama? ARK has UGA the week before Bama. MSU, USC legit opponents and the off week will not make any difference. UT having an off week only means Derek will have an extra week to worry about the Tide.

Personally, I think UGA playing 11 straight weeks is a tougher schedule.(Even with Buffaloes and Vandals)

Lord of the Lizards

April 9th, 2010
12:07 pm

It will be interesting to see the kind of state that Lane Kiffin will leave Southern Cal in about three years or so. He may not be the sole or even primary reason that the Vols find themselves where they are now, but he did set that program back an additional 3-5 years. And yet, they almost all drank the kool-aid there in Vol land and they just loved it when Kiffey Boy would pull one of his antics. They all got on board that Lane Train and it took them right off that ‘ole Smokey Mountain. Now I actually feel sorry for them a little, even though they were the ones who sold their once proud program right down the Tennessee River.

Rocket Scientist

April 9th, 2010
12:09 pm

Tidal Surge. Oh I forgot the 300,000 people that would have to change their vacations and hotel reservations. I often forget that the world does not revolve around Alabama.

CMR

April 9th, 2010
12:10 pm

But I’m a really nice guy!

Tidal Surge

April 9th, 2010
12:10 pm

Take a look at this 2010 SEC Schedule Grid:

http://secfootball.itgo.com/2010schedule.html

It shows that it is actually quite easy to fix the problem of Bama facing six post-bye-week SEC opponents — can be reduced from six to two via four easy-to-make SEC schedule changes — with no domino effect:

1. AR vs SC from 11/6 to 10/2
2. GA vs AU from 11/13 to 11/20
3. MSU vs KY from 10/30 to 11/6
4. LSU vs MSU from 9/18 to 10/30

Not rocket science. It took all of 5 minutes.

TV is a potential issue, but otherwise, the above changes could be made easily — without increasing the difficulty of the schedules of the teams involved in those four changes.

(Corrected post — original said “…reduced from six to four…”)

5IML

April 9th, 2010
12:10 pm

murfdawg,

“Got 12?” no longer exists. I have been reborn as “5IML.”

Following our latest title, the screen name “Got 12?” confused a lot of posters who, incorrectly, assumed the “12″ referred to BAMA’s national championships.

For future reference, “5IML” does refer to BAMA’s national championships. It stands for “5 in My Lifetime.”

Sugar Hill Dawg

April 9th, 2010
12:11 pm

Tough toenails for ‘Bama. If they run this table, they should have an intersquad game at the BCS national championship game in January – nobody should be able to touch ‘em. Time for the Tide to man up – stop the whining.

Gen Neyland

April 9th, 2010
12:11 pm

Question : How much say-so would the affected SEC bye-week opponents of Alabama have if schedules were attempted to be altered..? Six Against Saban…Sounds like a HBO mini-series.

wiley

April 9th, 2010
12:14 pm

Honestly they deserve a tough schedule after that joke of a schedule from last season. Florida deserves the same treatment.

POAD

April 9th, 2010
12:17 pm

Bama will just have to deal.

DP

April 9th, 2010
12:18 pm

Rocket Scientist, a real rocket scientist would realize that a relatively small percentage of people attending SEC games on a fall Saturday have to either take vacation or stay in a hotel to attend the game, so your 300,000 count for changing the dates of 3 or 4 games is probably a tad high. Roughly 90% of tickets are for the home team and the bulk of them would be for students who are on campus and fans who live within a 2-3 hour drive of the stadium and make the round trip on the day of the game. In many cases the schools are close enough to each other that even the visiting fans can easily make a day trip, as in Georgia-Tennessee, Auburn-Georgia, Tennessee-Vandy, Alabama-Auburn, Alabama-Miss St, etc.

Something tells me that there are probably plenty of hotel rooms available in the towns with SEC stadiums for weekends that are currently open dates this fall.

KimZ's Package

April 9th, 2010
12:21 pm

I guess Satan Saban didn’t make a deal with The SEC after all.

5IML

April 9th, 2010
12:22 pm

DP,

Give him a break. He’s a Rocket Scientist, not an athletics administrator or a hospitality industry worker or a football fan. I’m sure he’s great at rocket science.

DP

April 9th, 2010
12:23 pm

wiley, what joke of a schedule? Alabama beat 10 bowl teams last year, 6 of whom won their bowls. 6 opponents were in the top 25 at the time Alabama played them, 4 of those were in the top 10 including Florida at #1 and Texas at #2.

Please let me know when your team, whoever that might be, beat 10 bowl teams, including 4 top 10 teams, in one season. Let me know if it’s ever been done by anybody else in the history of college football.

#2 BAMA FAN

April 9th, 2010
12:26 pm

Wiley you need to relook at who Bama beat last year Virginia Tech,LSU,Florida,Texas,UT and other ranked teams South Carolina, Ole Miss and Miss St. So go stick your head in the sand because you
don’t jack about Alabama’s schedules. RTR

All Jealous

April 9th, 2010
12:30 pm

you people are some of the whiniest brats to ever grace the earth. You all need to suck it and and realize that Ga is never going to win a National Championship, Auburn will always be 2nd tier to the Tide, and Tennesses will Flop like they always do, especially since they have a second tier son of a Historic GA coach. Give me a break. All of your teams suck! the SEC consists of two contenders ALA and Fla. The rest are just wishful thinking, or should i say still crying like any other oppurtunity you have!

Bear Bryant ain't comin back

April 9th, 2010
12:31 pm

“Alabama is not very happy with its SEC football schedule for 2010′

Oh well. Tough sh!t.

ephadent

April 9th, 2010
12:32 pm

my lucky tooph well my only tooph says bama rolls out like a roll of charmin.

Bear Bryant ain't comin back

April 9th, 2010
12:33 pm

“Auburn will always be 2nd tier to the Tide”

Actually, Auburn ranks slightly higher than Alabama in the top 100 schools in America. Bama can only boast about college football, which really doesn’t do anything for their trailer trash students who end up going to work for some small law firm in Birmingham or Mobile.

Brag about your fake national titles from the early 1900’s because no one else outside of the trailer park really cares.

SaintsLSU

April 9th, 2010
12:35 pm

Yes, its tough luck for Bama, but that is the way it goes. It’s gonna happen to another team next year. Bama is a good enought team to fight their way through it. The SEC West is gonna be awesome this year. LSU, Bama, Auburn, and Arkansas all have a legit shot at winning the division. And State and Ole Miss have enough to upset anybody if you dont bring you A-Game, Geaux Tigers!

Bear Bryant ain't comin back

April 9th, 2010
12:36 pm

“All of your teams suck! the SEC consists of two contenders ALA and Fla.”

So, LSU has won more national titles than Bama has in the past 10 years……..and they suck?

Florida has a history of being a third rate football school. Before Spurrier got there Florida averaged a total of 7 wins a season…IF THAT!

Bama will end up going back into the abyss of crappy teams once Saban leaves for more money.

Bear Bryant ain't comin back

April 9th, 2010
12:37 pm

SaintsLSU

If Arkansas gets a defense I’d say they’d win it pretty easily.

UT96

April 9th, 2010
12:39 pm

Lord of the Lizards, you’re right on two points 1)Kiffin is a first class scumbag who has a room waitng on him at the hades hilton with lucifer as his cabana boy. 2) we did buy into Kiffin and we were duped, period. However, Kiffin did not set the program back 3 to 5 years, we have that fat tub o’lard Fulmer to thank for that.However, we have Dooley will have us back by 2012.

All Jealous

April 9th, 2010
12:42 pm

You sure can’t brag about yours can you “Bear Bryant aint comin Back”. Those stats change weekly on which school ranks higher given the source you are reading. Once again, 2nd tier and you know it. Only thing nice in Auburn is I85, and tiger town is ok if you like 2nd tier shopping.

“Auburn Will ALWAYS be Second tier to the Tide”

how many folks on here agree?

Fried chicken skin is greasy and delicious

April 9th, 2010
12:45 pm

UT is a place where a 9-win season every five years should be high cotton. It’s where God intended them to be.

Tide Rising

April 9th, 2010
12:48 pm

atlvol55

“Cry me a river UT had the same situation last year and played something like 5 opponents coming off an bye week. Suck it up and deal with it”.

Sorry dude but I’m calling BS. I just checked and didn’t see one single sec team from last year that took their bye before playing UT.

Do you care to revise your boolsheet statement that you played 5 opponents last year coming off bye weeks?

Bear Bryant ain't comin back

April 9th, 2010
12:48 pm

“You sure can’t brag about yours can you ”

Huh?

“Those stats change weekly on which school ranks higher given the source you are reading.”

No they don’t.

“Once again, 2nd tier and you know it.”

No not really. Bama claims fake national titles and everyone outside of Tuscaloser knows it. Even ESPN and CNNSI said that Bama won their 7th national title this year. Corso even echoed it. Auburn got screwed a few times. By the BCS and by themselves. If Auburn played the Bama game they could claim 4-5 National Titles. But guess what, they don’t need pretend to have a big c0ck.

“Only thing nice in Auburn is I85, and tiger town is ok if you like 2nd tier shopping.”

Oh yeah, Tuscaloser, with it’s trailer parks and mullets is just so much better.

Bear Bryant ain't comin back

April 9th, 2010
12:50 pm

All Jealous

Do you even realize that the state of Alabama is a laughing stock to the rest of the country? The only thing you hillbillies have more of is trailer parks and mullets. Throw in a few thousand inbred idiots and you beat Mississippi.

5IML

April 9th, 2010
12:51 pm

Why even mention Auburn? Can we limit our discussions to teams that have won a national championship in the last 25 years?

Tide Rising

April 9th, 2010
12:53 pm

Kramer2009,

“I hope Bama get sno relief”- I’m glad to see you have such a sense of fair play.

Cherokee,

“the schedule is a non issue.Just play the cards you are dealt and live with it.”- Easy for you to say when you don’t play 6 straight sec opponents coming off a bye week. I see you have the same sense of fair play that Kramer 2009 has.

SaintsLSU

April 9th, 2010
12:53 pm

All Jealous, I hate to agree with a Bama fan, but it’s true AU will always be 2nd to Bama as long as Saban is there. And you guys have 8 or 13 or however many Championships you guys are claiming these days, and AU has zero. Man, you guys are tough on Auburn, although I find the “Barner” references kinda funny. But watch out Bama fan, the LSU Tigers are comming after you this year. I can’t wait till ya’ll come to Tiger Stadium in November. We got something for ya.

Notre Dame has more titles than Bama

April 9th, 2010
12:54 pm

“Can we limit our discussions to teams that have won a national championship in the last 25 years?”

Bama would be outweighed by many other teams.

Notre Dame has more titles than Bama

April 9th, 2010
12:55 pm

“but it’s true AU will always be 2nd to Bama as long as Saban is there. ”

Even though AU has gone undefeated twice in 20 years. Same as Bama.

5IML

April 9th, 2010
12:57 pm

There sure is a lot of hate and jealously on the blog today. You guys are in mid-season form already.

Notice that the fans of the other upper echelon SEC schools (i.e. Florida and LSU) are the most level headed. It’s only the midtier fans who are complaining and begging for BAMA’s downfall.

Tide Rising

April 9th, 2010
12:57 pm

ATL fan,

Georgia had 1 sec opponent in 2009 that took an open date before playing the dogs.

Notre Dame has more titles than Bama

April 9th, 2010
12:58 pm

“It’s only the midtier fans who are complaining and begging for BAMA’s downfall.”

Payback’s a b!tch.

Notre Dame has more titles than Bama

April 9th, 2010
12:59 pm

“Notice that the fans of the other upper echelon SEC schools (i.e. Florida and LSU) are the most level headed. ”

LSU isn’t even ranked in the top 100 schools in the country.

Tuscaloosa offers great views of trailer parks

April 9th, 2010
1:02 pm

Anyone interested in buying one of the many trailer’s in Tuscaloosa? They come with cheap fans, inbred women and all the mullets you can comb!