Forced Options

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 11.30.2018


Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson retired this week after more than a decade at the helm of the Yellow Jackets. Johnson was successful at every stop of his head coaching career and never wavered from the triple-option offense. He showed that the offense can succeed at the highest levels of college football but now it leaves the Georgia Tech athletic director in a tough spot when it comes to finding a new head coach. Do you find a coach to continue the tradition or go in another direction?

The triple-option offense is tough to defend. Always has and probably always will be. It works for a lot of reason, one of which is the fact that it’s tough to prepare for because so few teams run it. Remember, college football teams only have a certain amount of time to practice during the week and to properly defend the triple-option offense, you need repetition in requires reading your keys on defense and staying disciplined on your assignment.

Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury has a very tough decision to make, does he find a coach that continues to run the offense or does he scrap it and go a whole new direction?

This decision effects a lot of things. What players to recruit? Do you throw away next season just to shift the offense into something else?

Moving out of a triple-option offense to say a spread attack requires a lot. From moving around of players, an entire new block philosophy for the offensive line and a new conditioning program for the defense as they will in all likelihood be on the field more often due to more three-and-outs by the offense.

Now there are successful triple-option coaches out there that would probably love and opportunity to coach at Georgia Tech. Those include Johnson disciples Jeff Monken at Army and Ken Niumatalolo at Navy.

Yes this one is a little different then say Colorado or Texas Tech hiring a new coach. There are a lot more things to consider and one of the questions during the interview process for Stansbury should be ‘coach, what is your transition play to move away from the triple-option?’ If he stays with it, he may be limiting his options but at the same time, saving his job by continuing the success that Johnson had.

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Beware Of Change

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 11.19.2018

Full disclosure; I am a Tennessee alum and live in Denver and this is strictly my opinion.

Colorado Athletic Director (AD) Rick George better have thought through the firing of football coach Mike MacIntyre. What I mean by that is if George doesn’t have a short list of candidates ready to interview or go after, then the Colorado football family may get a front row seat to what it was like to be a Tennessee football fan last season when they went looking for a head coach.

We’re comparing apples and oranges here a little bit but in this day and age the wrong hire (or just an unpopular one) can trigger all kinds of issues. You saw this at Tennessee a year ago when word got out that then AD John Currie was on the verge of hiring Greg Schiano to replace Butch Jones. Within a few hours the digital mob came out with pitchforks and people were actually protesting the hire on campus. The offer was rescinded and Currie went wandering into the college football wilderness like Frodo walking to Mordor from which he never returned. Well he did return to Knoxville but that was only to fire him.

Now Colorado is not Tennessee. The amount of money, passion and expectations are not the same. So firing a coach who literally brought CU back from the bottom of college football to a PAC-12 South title in 2016 and on the precipice of another bowl game strikes a non-CU fan like myself as a bit odd.

Granted MacIntyre didn’t help himself lately. It started when defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt left for Oregon. Then it was the Joe Tumpkin domestic abuse incident. Then there were his comments over the last few weeks about his job status.

With a hefty buyout, it seems pretty clear that the powerful boosters where the ones pushing for a change at the top of the Buffaloes football program.

Now On To The Silly Season

The immediate candidates that are being thrown around are interesting but not very likely. Apparently people expect a fairly big name to roll into Boulder. I don’t think that will be the case. CU doesn’t have the same backing or facilities that an SEC school or even what other PAC-12 schools may have. That being said, there is a history here at Colorado, Boulder is a beautiful place and there is plenty of talent on the roster.

Names being bandied about, well I don’t put a lot of stock in them. For example, I don’t think Dana Holgorsen leaves West Virginia for CU but hey, stranger things have happened.

Not sure Matt Wells at Utah State or Bryan Harsin at Boise State leave for this job either. Their case is pretty simple, they are both alumni at their schools.

Some guys I think George should look at are below:

USC Offensive Coordinator Tee Martin. Why? He’s considered by many to be one of the best recruiters in the country and you need to bring kids from California and Texas in order to win in Boulder. He also might be available sooner rather than later the way USC is going.

Oregon Defensive Coordinator Jim Leavitt. Why? Remember when Colorado won the PAC-12 South, well Leavitt was the defensive coordinator. He built South Florida and he can keep on the offensive staff and get just focus on the defense.

North Dakota State Head Coach Chris Klieman. Why? Three national titles in four years and the odds on favorite to do it again. Defensive minded coach who kept the ball rolling after Craig Bohl left for Wyoming.

Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl. Why? Well he’s a sleeper candidate but he turned around Wyoming into a tough team that one one wants to play, develops NFL caliber talent and could be on his way to a third bowl game in a row which a saying something in Larime.

California Offensive Coordinator Beau Baldwin. Why? Won a national title at the FCS level with Eastern Washington and pretty much made them into a powerhouse. Struggling in first season as OC at Cal but he knows the West Coast recruiting circuit.

Ohio State Co-Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch. Why? Amazing coaching tree (Urban Meyer, Mike Leach and Gary Pinkel), turned Washington State into a force to be reckoned with defensively and  went to Mt Union which is a place where all they do is win. Combine his defensive prowess with the existing offensive staff and you could have a lot of energy rolling up and down the Buffaloes sideline.

Others to consider:

Ohio State Offensive Coordinator Ryan Day, Michigan Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton, and Memphis Head Coach Mike Norvell.

We’ll see how this plays out but in the second year of the early signing period, AD George needs someone in to Boulder sooner rather than later. There is also precedent that if the hire isn’t ‘popular’, the digital mob could come out of the wood work. Just some advice for AD George.

Diary Of A Cord Cutter: Variables Of Failure

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 11.4.2018

It’s not very complicated. If you want people to adopt your service, it needs to be easy and it needs to work. It sounds simple but it’s really not especially when when you only control a portion of the environment you service needs to run. ESPN, YouTube TV and others are making some interesting products and services but they have a ways to go before they can truly be user friendly.

On Saturday, I was watching the Tennessee vs Charlotte game (cause I’m a very proud Tennessee alumni) via the ESPN app on Roku. All of a sudden the feed got decrepit and eventually went out. There was no change to the environment. Internet was working fine. One minute it was working and the next it wasn’t.

After a quarter and a half, the feed came back (luckily the game was terrible so I really didn’t miss much). However, it seems pretty unacceptable to have a feed just go out in the middle of a game. Below are some steps I took  during that quarter and a half:

*Deleted and reinstalled app.

*Checked feed on other devices (iPad) only to find same result.

*Tweeted @espn and @espnapp multiple times to no avail.

*Finally found streaming support on ESPN.com.

*Chatted with support person only to have them tell me, ‘well it works on my machine.’

Here is the takeaway; Google, Dish, AT&T and others don’t own the end-to-end environment. For example, Dish owns the app but doesn’t control the router and device while AT&T controls the app and possibly the bandwidth but not the router or the device. To troubleshoot an issue is tough because there are so many variables.

All cord-cutters have experienced problems like this. One of the more frustrating parts is just finding a customer service. Once you do, With so many variables, the customer service rep is usually at a loss and seems to always recommend  the following: A) Reboot of the device B)Delete and reinstall the app or C) Reboot the router. These are viable options but you generally don’t run into these issues when you have a cable or satellite setup.

In order to keep prices low where consumers will adopt these cord-cutting one of the sacrifices is the customer service. It’s outsourced, hard to contact and generally pretty useless.

It use to be that you’d call the cable or satellite company when your service went out. Now, twitter may be your best option of getting a hold of a customer service rep. Even that can be iffy because of the amount of variables involved with the issue.

Cord-cutting is cost effective and generally a pretty good option. It does have draw backs due in part to the lack of customer service and the various points of failure that are out of the providers hands. Don’t know how to fix it but it is something that needs to be addressed.