Morning Coffee Checks In On The Gazelles

11-1=10 Greg Davis is properly receiving high praise for his game plan against Oklahoma, in which he took the unusual step of ditching what had worked to that point in the season to attack more lethally his next opponent. On Saturday, that meant replacing the 11 personnel package with a 10: 1 running back, 0 tight ends, 4 wideouts. As Big Roy noted yesterday, Kansas coach Mark Mangino was shocked by what he saw the Longhorns do:

"I thought Texas put a lot of new things on the field they had not showed. A lot," said Kansas' Mark Mangino, whose Jayhawks play Oklahoma this Saturday. "It's a little unusual, when you watch Texas over the years, and then you see their game plan (for OU)."

The hallmark of a great coach is his willingness and ability to adapt to new circumstances; Mack Brown and Greg Davis receive high A's for their performance to date in 2008.

Moving on. For obvious reasons, so much of this week has been spent talking about last week, but Texas will have its hands full once again when Missouri comes to town. Tigers fans are sorting through the ashes of their home loss to Oklahoma State, but while Atomic Teeth suggests Missouri's inability to run the ball cost them the game, Rock M Nation gets into the nitty gritty of the play-by-play data and shows it was Missouri's poor performance on passing downs that was decisive.

In all probability, the two are related: Missouri's over-extension of the passing game handicapped what is normally the offense's strength. Bad news for MU: Rushing the football against Texas is a low yield proposition.

"This isn't the NFL--yet." Pat Forde has a few choice words on the way Clemson has handled itself with regards to Tommy Bowden:

Clemson's move Monday to whack Tommy Bowden (5) 10 years to the month after his brother stepped down on The Plains is a monument to bad management. In firing Bowden less than a year after handing him a raise and a four-year contract extension to keep him from going to Arkansas, Clemson now is on the hook for a $3.5 million buyout to a coach it has never really loved. Good thing the IPTAY members have more money than sense.

The Dash won't cry many tears for Bowden, who did a spectacularly poor job preparing his team for this year and then threw senior quarterback Cullen Harper (6) under the bus after losing to Wake Forest, benching him in favor of freshman Willy Korn (7). But what does a midseason firing accomplish, beyond making a mockery of all the ideals college sports are supposed to enhance? What about the bromides about handling adversity with class and fostering team unity and building character? Do they apply only during winning seasons?

The hire-and-fire cycle in college football already has shortened to a dangerous degree. If midseason pink slips are going to become standard operating procedure, as well, the sport's tenuous moorings in higher education might as well slip free altogether. This isn't the NFL -- yet.

No, not quite the NFL, but close--certainly as big a business. One reason--among many--why you won't see much attention paid to Miles Brand's well-intentioned but ill-conceived graduation rate crusade.

Gazelles host Missouri Friday night. Despite disappointing setbacks to Stanford and Nebraska, the 12-2 Gregory Gazelles find themselves ranked #3 nationally and, after a weeknight match up with A&M in College Station this evening, will host Missouri on Friday night at 6:30. If you're looking for a great way to kick off your MU weekend bonanza, head down to Gregory to support the Gazelles.

 

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