Rice Is Rolling Over in His Grave

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Posts Tagged ‘Terry Bowden’

A Brief Reminder That Terry Bowden Is Not To Be Trusted

Posted by biggusrickus on September 18, 2008

Headline for this column:

Bowden: Ohio State will be ready…and win


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Option Cool, Bowden Wrong

Posted by biggusrickus on July 29, 2008

I should have checked out Yahoo! Sports a long time ago. Terry Bowden is a treasure trove of wrongness, and he wrote this thing yesterday.

Triple threat

Not since Stuff magazine have I seen a more generic title/headline/whatever. If you just stumbled blindly onto this column wihtout knowing it was about college football, how many things could you guess it might be about?

  • Baseball player who hits for average, power, and steals bases
  • Football player who plays receiver, QB, and returns kicks
  • Actor who can also sing and dance
  • Cricket player who does whatever three things are important in that game
  • Movie starring Lorin Becker as assassin, Dina LoBianca

There are a lot of great story lines heading into the 2008 college football season, but the best one involving X’s and O’s is whether Georgia Tech can be successful running a one-dimensional triple option running attack at the BCS level.

He couldn’t even make it through the opening sentence without being wrong. I’m very interested in this storyline as a Georgia fan and lover of the option, but off the top of my head I can come up with two better ones: Norm Chow going to coach offense across town from the program he helped Pete Carroll rejuvinate and Tony Franklin trying to implement the spread at potential SEC champion, and by extension national champion, Auburn. Those both trump the implementation of the triple option for a middling ACC team that at best will remain a middling ACC team this year. Tennessee’s situation is probably as interesting as Georgia Tech’s, seeing as I have no idea what Clawson’s offense actually looks like.

This will be the first time in a long while that such a style of offense will be tried at the top college football level.

I guess if you consider four years a long while. Remember these guys, Terry? Two sentences, twice wrong. He then broke the trend by saying something obvious, but couldn’t keep it going by writing this reiteration:

Although quite a few teams are now running some type of quarterback option out of a shotgun spread formation, it has been a long time since anyone has tried to put a QB under center in order to run a down-the-line option at the highest level of football.

You have to almost admire that kind of insistence on being wrong. More obvious stuff, then:

I’m not saying the option to pass won’t be there at all, but, like Oklahoma and Alabama in the 70’s and 80’s…

Or Nebraska in 2003. More stuff about the option that everybody reading probably already knows, then:

Many compare Johnson’s offense to that of Mike Leach at Texas Tech and that is true to the extent they are the exact opposites.

What an odd way to phrase that. And who are these “many?” Why not just write: Johnson’s offense and Mike Leach’s at Texas Tech are a contrast in styles? I mean, it doesn’t make it any more intersting, but at least it isn’t fucking convoluted. He follows that with Navy being first in rushing and last in passing and Texas Tech being first in passing but last in rushing. Contrast.

So, will Johnson be successful running the triple option at Georgia Tech?


Correct answer: Probably.

Will it happen this season?

Probably not.

Correct answer: Absolutely not.

His reasons are actually not that bad. Johnson is a good coach and the option has worked before and can work again at the highest levels. I happen to agree with both of these sentiments. He then compiles a list of mostly fine bullet points detailing why he thinks Johnson will be successful, but there’s this:

Since you win championships with defense, no offense in the country has the ability to control the clock better than the triple option. The more you control the clock with your offense, the more your defense is resting on the bench.

Come again? That is a fucking brainteaser of a first sentence. “Since you win championships with defense…no offense in the country has the ability to control the clock better than the triple option.” Let’s try this with other things:

  • Since you win wars by effectively controlling conquered territory, no military has the quick strike capability of the United States.
  • Since turkey sandwiches are delicious, no ham is as good as honey-glazed.
  • Since New York is the best city in the world, no city is as romantic as Paris.
  • Since I’m a terrible writer, no editors look this shit over.

There’s also this:

This is a true TEAM concept where every player on the offense understands that they must all work together to make it work. No running back will get all the carries and receivers must learn how to block.

Unlike all of those other offenses where linemen gawk while wide receivers run haphazardly down the field, and the quarterback just sort of stands there looking busy, and the running back gets mashed into a bloody pulp by a couple of very large defensive tackles on every running play.

The need for the right quarterback and some of the other pieces of the puzzle might take a couple of years to put into place, so don’t expect Georgia Tech to contend for the ACC title this year.

That is why this story isn’t as interesting as others this season. The opening sentence of your closing paragraph just undercut the first sentence of your opening paragraph. Nice work.

But like the impact Rich Rodriquez made in the Big East and Urban Meyer in the SEC, it is just a matter of time before Johnson has this team contending for championships.

I’ll give you Rodriguez, but Meyer? Florida’s offense was fairly average his first two years. Their defense was the biggest key to winning the SEC and national titles in 2006. The spread has actually not had much of an impact on the SEC, though it certainly works better with Tebow and Harvin than it did with Leak under center. Great players will do that for a system.

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Terry Bowden Is Not To Be Trusted

Posted by biggusrickus on July 25, 2008

In this column about Will Muschamp turning Texas back into a title contender – a popular theory, because OMG! Muschamp is the greatest D-Coordinator evah! – Bowden says the following:

Going into 2005, the Longhorns had lost to Oklahoma five straight years and were perennial second-place finishers in the Big 12. Mack Brown then made the decision to bring in one of the top defensive coordinators in the country in Auburn’s Gene Chizik. Of course, anyone who watched Texas beat Ohio State early in the season or Southern Cal in the title game knows that Vince Young was the absolute star of the football team. But I believe hiring the new defensive coordinator is what actually got them over the top. Texas has always been able to put points on the board under Brown, but you win championships with defense and that is exactly what Texas did immediately after hiring Chizik.

So because I don’t take anything Terry Bowden says at face value I decided to crunch some numbers:

  • 2004 Defenseless Longhorns: 11-1, 17.9 PPG allowed.
  • 2005 Stiflingly Awesome Longhorns: 13-0, 16.4 PPG allowed.

To add to that, their lone loss was to eventual national title game embarrassee Oklahoma, 12-0. That’s a Mack Brown Texas team for you, always putting points on the board. You know what changed dramatically between those two seasons? Texas’ scoring average. By nearly 15 fucking points. 35.25 to 50.15 PPG. The real story is that Vince Young became a much better QB around the halfway point of the 2004 season and then became god-like in 2005. Texas scored under 40 points once that year (25 vs. The God Damned One and Only Mother Fucking Ohio State University) and scored 50 or more seven times. They won the national title game despite allowing 574 yards and allowing USC to score on every possession but the two on which they turned it over. Point being, I can’t believe someone let Terry Bowden coach their football team.

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