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.

 

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270 comments Add your comment

Alabama

April 11th, 2010
11:51 am

Georgia can only talk about how good they used to be!

Denver Dog

April 11th, 2010
11:52 am

Dream Land, what does it matter if your program continues to go on probation, and lose victories as long as you can cheat, steal, like and like SABAN and the schedule, cry, cry, cry. How is that WalMart working out for you grads, thanks for the buggy high roller.

Denver Dog

April 11th, 2010
11:54 am

Alabama = Cheaters U. Ford, Pell, Sherill, Perkins, Dubose, Shula. Death Penalty on the horizon.

Alabama

April 11th, 2010
11:55 am

Denver Dawg

“Kind of like the reason he (Saban) got run out of the NFL on a rail”.

Pretty sure he left the Dolphins for double the money ($4 mill a year) at Alabama. But I’ll play along. Hahahahaha

(((((((((((((((((((( 31-0 ))))))))))))))))))))))

Hahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahhahhahahahha

KimZ's Package

April 11th, 2010
11:55 am

Denver Dog talking easy Schedule! AHAHAHAHAH a dog talking crap about an easy schedule is just to F..ing funny.

Alabama

April 11th, 2010
11:57 am

Denver dawg,

How is that Dollar General and Fred’s working out for you grads?

31-0 hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Alabama

April 11th, 2010
11:59 am

KimZ

A dog talking crap about anything except gymnastics or equestrian is funny (and common here).

KimZ's Package

April 11th, 2010
11:59 am

UGA plays 3 teams every year. The Vols, Gators, and Auburn. The rest of the schedule is easy by talent alone. UGA has better talent every year than everybody on their schedule. winning 10 a yr shouldn’t be hard for UGA they just have to have 1 upset to get to 10. If UGA wins 8 then UGA got upset in some game.

Alabama

April 11th, 2010
12:00 pm

((((((((((((((((((((((((( 31-0 )))))))))))))))))))))))))))

hahahahahahahahahahahahahhhahahhahahahhahahhahahahhahahha

Stick to Shreveport dogs!

Alabama

April 11th, 2010
12:02 pm

Georgia doen’t need to talk smack to any state with an SEC school that borders them.

THEY OWN YOU!

KimZ's Package

April 11th, 2010
12:05 pm

You have to love UGA they love their african american ball players but they only have 2679 african american students in a school of 26K. UGA where DIVERSITY LIVES if diversity is measured in the color blonde the chicks die their hair.

KimZ's Package

April 11th, 2010
12:05 pm

sorry dye my blonde wig is showing.

KimZ's Package

April 11th, 2010
12:07 pm

Bama not South Carolina! Tech ownes Clemson and UGA ownes USC.

UA Alum92

April 11th, 2010
12:33 pm

Thanks for all the advice Dawg fans, however, before you start throwing stones, you might want to make sure your own house is in order. Start beating Florida regularly and maybe we’ll start listening to you.

Steve

April 11th, 2010
1:28 pm

This happens off and on in the SEC. There have been teams with 4 and 5 in the past, but I don’t ever recall six. The OOC slate factors into this, as those dates are set before the SEC games.

It’s makes me wonder why no one has ever looked into this in the past. It took Alabama getting a bad turn for someone to actually talk about getting something done.

Steve

April 11th, 2010
1:33 pm

UA Alum, since you have only won 3 of your last 12 games against Florida, you might not want to bring up the dogs woes. While you have a better record than the Dawgs against UF, it’s not good enough to be talking down to others.

KimZ, if you think Bama’s schedule is typically tougher than UGA’s you need to just stop posting. You are just making the Alabama posters with some common sense look foolish.

UA Alum92

April 11th, 2010
2:13 pm

Thanks, Steve, but we of course don’t play them every year, the last time we did we drilled them for the SEC title, and even at 3 out of 12, that’s a better winning percentage than UGA at 3 of 20.

The reality is that the Tide has literally turned and is positioned for national title consideration year end, year out. We’ve had our share of dark days with Dubose, Price, Shula, etc. and can speak from experience of how good it feels to be on this side of the conversation.

ROLL TIDE

April 11th, 2010
9:13 pm

gator88 that could be the best comment that i have ever read.

Crimson Crush

April 12th, 2010
8:09 am

“It’s makes me wonder why no one has ever looked into this in the past. It took Alabama getting a bad turn for someone to actually talk about getting something done.”

Actually Steve it took Alabama getting the same sort of stacked deck three straight seasons before it was brought up . The breakdown of how many opponents for other schools had off dates before they played over the same time frame has been posted ad nauseum . The closest team was LSWho at 7 while Bama had faced 17 . EVERYONE else was even lower than that .

The fact that the Tide ran off back to back undefeated seasons is irrelevant . It is BS . If it were happening to Georgia instead of Bama the Dawg fans would instantly run it up the flagpole as the reason for the crap seasons Georgia produced instead of the back to back undefeated ones Bama managed . You can IMAGINE it “happens to every team” all you want … but it doesn’t .

It hasn’t even been remotely close number wise and if it EVER had been you would still hear the howling till this day by fans of whichever school it was claiming that was why they didn’t win a title in year X ….

KeithB

April 21st, 2010
2:12 pm

Just play. If you are better that day, you’ll win, bye week or not.