Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 01.12.10

Nominations Please:  I wanted to post the Most Improved Offensive Player this morning but felt that I was missing someone.  Right now, I've got LG Lonnie Edwards, WR Lyle Leong and C Shawn Byrnes.  I've scheduled a posting at 10:00 a.m. so leave me a comment or two if you think I need to add someone else.

Ha!  EDBS.com's Orson Swindle/Spencer Hall has Tuberville answers a few questions after his press conference on Sunday:

Tuberville: Now, this is a perfect example of the kind of stuff the offense runs right now. Not sure what all that is, but it certainly looks impressive with all the arrows and graphics. Now, this isn’t too dissimilar from what we ran at Auburn, so what we’ll be doing here won’t be that much of a change.

Reporter Two: Do you have an example of that, coach?

Tuberville: I do. See, at Auburn we used Air Raid principles all the time. We’d spread ‘em out by crushing them in, and try to find space in the defense that way.

Reporter One: Coach, doesn’t that actually compact the space?

Coordinators to be Named Today:  I have no idea when the offensive and defensive coordinators will be named today, but sportstacular KCBD's Pete Christy  is reporting that it will be sometime today.  We also know that it's been confirmed that Troy offensive coordinator Neal Brown has been interviewed, per OANOW.com, and Troy head coach Larry Blakeney had this to say:

"Neal called and told me he had been contacted by a representative of Texas Tech and they wanted to talk to him," Blakeney said. "That’s all I know at this point. There’s certainly issues Neal will have to sort through. Other than that, I’m sorta helpless."

I suppose the reporter also asked coach Blakeney how Tommy Tuberville fired Neal's mentor, Tony Franklin, in Tuberville's last year in Auburn:

"It’s two different men, two different situations and a different set of circumstances," Blakeney said. "Neal is a mature young man way beyond his years. I think he’ll consider everything they have to say. There’s nothing I can do about it."

Interesting.

I've been giving this quite a bit of thought, first in regards to Lincoln Riley being the offensive coordinator and to another coordinator in Brown who is just a few years older than Riley but appears to be receiving serious consideration.  The problem that Riley had was that he was only a position coach for two years and although he's been close to Leach since Riley walked onto campus, Riley was never going to be an offensive coordinator because that would have been Leach and as a result, he's never coordinated an offense for an entire season, which is from the bottom stages to implementing a game-plan each and every week. 

Tuberville knows that he's got to get the spread offense right this time.  He cannot fail. 

We've talked before that the biggest problem that Tuberville had in implementing the spread offense at Auburn is that he didn't have the personnel.  At Texas Tech there is the personnel and now he's looked at hiring a highly thought of coordinator in Brown.  If Tuberville were to give the OC job to Riley then if the offense fails for whatever reason then Riley is the person everyone points fingers at.  Perhaps Tuberville knows the importance of Riley to this team, especially from a recruiting standpoint, and to put him in a position that has the potential to fail (nothing is absolute at this point, although fans expect things to stay the same) would be awful for the program. 

Hiring an outside OC like Brown and then give a promotion to Riley and now you've got a situation where hopefully everyone is happy and Riley doesn't have the pressure of implementing a new system.  Not only that, Brown appears to be on a very fast track as far as offensive coordinators are concerned and if he's already had success like this at Troy, where he completely turned around the offense, then he'll be a head coaching candidate before long. 

That's where I expect Riley to eventually take over.  I know, this is a lot of speculation, but that's what we do, speculate based on the circumstances.

As far as the defensive coordinator position is concerned, although McNeill was incredibly important to this program, there's no doubt that Tuberville wants to put his stamp on this side of the ball immediately.  Tuberville has produced results on the defensive side of the ball and is not at all concerned about failing, which is why he probably has no problem implementing his own coaches and scheme.  Again, Alabama associate head coach and outside linebackers coach James Willis is the front runner and is the leading candidates, per the Christy article.

I haven't had the time to completely break down either coordinator positions (I will do so upon an actual hiring), but I thought that I'd at the very least link to a couple of my stats websites if you want to check out how their units performed:  Troy on NCAA; Troy on cfbstats; Alabama on NCAA; and Alabama on cfbstats.

Players Discuss the Change:  FWST's Dwain Price talked with RB Baron Batch, CB Jamar Wall and LB Marlon Williams regarding the change at head coach.  Batch sounds excited:

"It’s going to take some getting used to," Batch said. "Coach Leach was more kind of on the business side and wasn’t as much of a player’s coach really as Coach Tuberville seems like. I’m very excited to get to know [Tuberville] and I’m glad that he’s the type of coach that has relationships with his players."

Outgoing senior Wall had this to say:

"I think it’ll be a learning process with a new coach coming in," Wall said. "The players have to get a feel for him and he has to get a feel for the players. I hope things run smoothly."

And fellow outgoing senior Williams:

"If you’re bringing in two new coordinators, then you’re pretty much trying to build a whole new program from the ground up," senior linebacker Marlon Williams said. "There would be no need to bring in new coordinators if you’re just trying to keep [the current assistant coaches] there.

"I hope the best for them because those are the coaches that made Texas Tech what it is as of today as a team, and I wish it could have been a better situation for them."

Building on Culture:  ESPN's Tim Griffin wonders if Tuberville will build on the culture that Leach built at Texas Tech: 

Tuberville represents the biggest football coaching fish attracted to Tech. He’s only four seasons removed from a 13-0 record and national coach of the year honors at Auburn.

But he’ll be facing challenges in the Big 12 South, which is universally considered one of the toughest divisions in college football. He’ll be tested to keep pace with big dogs Texas and Oklahoma, both at the apex of team strength since Mack Brown and Bob Stoops took over.

Oklahoma State has pumped millions into facilities and appears to be ready to become a serious challenger in the south. Baylor is still looking for its first bowl trip in 15 seasons, but has better facilities and the right coach to lead them into Big 12 South relevancy. Tuberville’s old school, Texas A&M, has the tradition and facilities and appears to need only the right coach to bring them back into contention.

It won’t be easy for Tuberville, but he appears to be uniquely qualified for the challenge of maintaining Tech’s recent success and maybe even building on it.

First Take:  In case you missed Tubs on the WWL's First Take, here's the video (and don't forget . . . Git Your Guns Up!):

Game Tomorrow
Missouri Tigers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Time:  8:00 p.m.
Location:  Lubbock, TX
Television:  ESPNU
DTN Preview:  Tomorrow morning.

So Much Good Stuff:  CT's Steve Walentik gets real deep with Missouri head coach Mike Anderson on Wednesday's game against Mizzou and Anderson (who I really like as a head coach) had this to say about Texas Tech head coach Pat Knight:

"I think he's letting those guys play with freedom. I think that's one thing I've picked up on and even having the opportunity to talk with Pat. I think he's gotten more athletic kids. I think they still run the motion, cutting game. I think they're playing a lot faster, if you ask me. I think there's still the fundamentals of basketball that I'm sure Pat preaches day in and day out, but I think more than anything else, he's letting them play. They're averaging probably more points than they ever have, and they look like they're having fun. He's playing a lot of players, too."

And Walentik also talked with PK, who had this to say about Anderson:

"One thing I really like they're doing this year -- well, I wish they weren't doing it -- but their offense, they're running really good motion offense, and so it kind of free flows now from their defense. Now their offense doesn't miss a beat. Because a lot of guys that try to do the press and try to speed things up, they like to run sets at the other end. Now you get a good steal or a good possession on defense and now you kind of slow things up by not being able to just free flow into your offense. Now they've got their offense going from that standpoint, so now everything kind of fits together. So actually, I think things are even going better for them, even though they've lost some players. Everyone loses players every year, and I think he's done a good job just getting kids that fit his system so they don't miss a beat."

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