Too bad for Applewhite. Just as speculation about Muschamp succeeding Mack Brown began with his hiring, so did speculation about Major Applewhite having a significant coaching role at Texas in the future, possibly even as the head coach. Handicapping the likelihood of one or the other taking over for Mack Brown, many probably would have chosen Applewhite, as most only expected Muschamp for a year, or two at most. Now, with Tuesday's announcement, Applewhite seems on the outside looking in, leading writers to wonder if Applewhite is the loser in this situation.
While it certainly means that Applewhite will likely never be the head coach at Texas, I don't think it precludes a long career for Applewhite as a coach for the Burnt Orange. There's a strong possibility that Applewhite will take over as offensive coordinator if Greg Davis gets a head coaching job (unlikely) or retires when Mack Brown does (much more likely). Applewhite and Muschamp seem to have a strong working relationship, which makes it unlikely that Muschamp will bring in his own assistants (except, perhaps, a defensive coordinator) at the expense of Applewhite. At only 30, Applewhite looks to need a half-decade or so of experience (and some significant experience as offensive coordinator) before being a strong candidate for a job good enough to compel him to leave Austin.
Fake UT blogger delusional. Texas fans were appropriately upset with Mark Schlabach and Gary Danielson for their ill-considered comments deriding Texas and Big 12 teams. Now, Tennesse blogger Mike Griffith is joining the fray, explaining Mike Leach's success as the result of a "gadget offense" and questioning the noted pirate lover's "regality." Since that's the primary criterion for coaching a major-college program with expectations as bloated as Phil Fulmer. Griffith also refers to Leach as "erratic," without supporting his argument. Perhaps even more erratic than coaches who send their whole team on the field to celebrate a touchdown. Dr. Saturday justifiably skewers Griffith and SEC "offenses," sarcastically notifying SEC teams of that recent innovation in college football: The forward pass. Ivan Maisel, discussing Butch Davis for the Tennessee job, notes the small recruiting base in the state, a schedule that includes Auburn, Georgia, and Florida every year, and the fired Phil Fulmer's .743 winning percentage as negatives surrounding the Volunteer job. It might be that Leach enjoys his Lubbock experience enough to turn down a job like Tennesse, as regal as it might be.
All this mythologizing about the incredible athletes of the SEC and the lack of defense and "junk offenses" in the Big 12 is really getting old. The spread is the present and near future of college offenses and even vaunted SEC defenses (check out this shootout) struggle sometimes. Until the majority of SEC offenses enter the 21st century, I'm not buying this arguments that smack of laziness and conference-centrism. As Will Muschamp famously said, "I want to play some SEC offenses." There's a reason for that Griffith. And it's not because Muschamp is tired of defending "junk" or "gadget" offenses.
Delusional Tech fan roams interwebs. There isn't a whole lot of interest in Dennis Dodd's piece on Will Muschamp, whih isn't surprising considering its source in the MSM. Except maybe the information that Muschamp hasn't been able to really install his defense yet because he doesn't have the players for it. I don't think that's news particularly, although it is heartwarming to know that he will actually have the chance to do so. No, what was more amazing was the comment of a Tech fan who goes by the handle of "randy0964." This mental giant celebrated at the news of the Muschamp announcement, since "Tech carved up his defense all game long." Even better, he suggests that it will "be the same o' same o' for the Air Raid Attack against the Longhorn D." Perhaps he forgot that Tech's last drive was the only drive they scored a touchdown in the second half. Or that the "same o' same o'" against the Longhorns most years is a lot of yards and no victory. So yes, with Muschamp remaining, the "same o' same o'" will continue and that will translate to two wins every decade if the Red Raiders are lucky. And you can rest assured of one thing, randy0964, Will Muschamp will be coming for you in your dreams and Tech will be shut down to the extent that anyone can stop that offense.
Orakpo ready to be held again. IT's Ross Lucksinger reports that Brian Orakpo says that his knee is fine and ready to go against Texas A&M, which likely means Orakpo won't be limited in his number of snaps, as he was against Kansas. It also means the return of the type of blatant holds and take-downs that caused the injury in the first place. A&M will be Orakpo's last home game, so I certainly advocate playing him to soak up the moment, but I do think Orakpo's snaps should be limited to avoid the chance that Orakpo tweaks the knee again, particularly since the Longhorns could still sneak into the Big 12 championship game, however unlikely that scenario currently seems. In addition, Eddie Jones played well enough against Kansas to earn more snaps, as did Sam Acho. As crass as it may seem, those two are the future of the defensive end position at Texas, not Brian Orakpo.
Nasty world of college basketball recruiting. The world of college basketball recruiting seems broken. Sneaker reps are in bed with the AAU infrastructure and coaches, and the AAU coaches get cushy speaking engagement money and high-paying jobs in the programs to which they deliver big-time recruits. Our old friend Billy Clyde Gillespie, he of the rugby-style defensive tactics, paid the father and stepbrother of stud recruit Daniel Orton nearly seven thousand dollars for speaking appearances at Kentucky basketball camps. Michael Beasley followed his former AAU coach Dalonte Hill, first commiting to Charlotte to play for him, then to Kansas State, where Hill now makes $400,000 a year. The father of Mario Chalmer, the former Kansas star, was director of basketball operations for Bill Self at Kansas, but resigned after his son left for the NBA.
The NCAA would like to exert more control over what happens in the AAU, but their hands aren't entirely clean considering players are forced to go to college for a year instead of jumping straight to the NBA. And it's the NCAA as well reaping the massive monetary benefits from these young stars in return for a brief education and some measure of player development. The system seems relatively broken on both sides and a solution seems tricky at best which entrenched interests on the NCAA and AAU sides.
Negatives to the Muschamp announcement? Blitzburgh has an excellent take on the Muschamp announcement, trying to perceive any negatives that might result. He wonders if Muschamp will become impatient if Mack Brown remains the head coach for the majority of his contract, which still has eight more years left on it. Considering that Muschamp almost got the Arkansas job last year and was expected to leave this season or next, that's certainly a legitimate concern. However, I think that's tempered by Muschamp's youth and his desire to learn from Mack Brown. Muschamp understands that he needs to work on the presidential aspects of the job that help define Brown's sucess at Texas and understand the decision-making process Brown goes through. In Muschamp's own words:
I feel like the Xs and Os, coaching and managing the team I could handle right now. But with Texas - Coach Brown always seems to say the right thing at the right time in the right way, and I certainly need to learn how to do that.
Considering Muschamp's Youtube reputation, he will need to learn to tone down the act somewhat as a head coach, although you certainly don't want him to ever lose the fiery intensity that defines him. And I don't think he will, but there is a learning process he will go through and there isn't anyone better for him to learn from than Mack Brown.