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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College Football Uniform Revolution

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

It seems that every program in college football is getting a uniform overall. From the originators of the trend, Oregon, to traditional powers like Nebraska. Now it seems like everyone is in on the multiple new uniform game, except for some old southern folks. Why? They might be happier with championships.

STYLE OF THE QUACK ATTACK

When Oregon let Nike begin playing around with their uniform looks people didn’t know what to think. Nike led the way. Over the years Oregon’s uniforms got flashier (with God knows how many combinations) and other schools began to follow suit. From Virginia Tech to SEC power Georgia, it looked like everyone was going jump into the flashy uniform revolution. But a funny thing happened on the way to fashion heaven, people in the South didn’t care for it very much.

On Halloween night of 2009 the University of Tennessee ran through the historic Pride of the Southland Marching band Power T onto the Shield-Watkins Field with black jerseys on. Not flashy neon orange or some matte finish color, just black jerseys. Tennessee had worn the jerseys back in 1921 and new head coach Lane Kiffin was trying to bring a little bit of swagger back to Rocky Top on Halloween.

He failed.

BACK IN BLACK

The base revolted. The old timers were outraged. The ‘how dare you’ lines came flying out of the mouths of a very proud people. Tennessee has yet to go back to the jerseys and Kiffin has moved onto USC.

Meanwhile the rest of college football has embraced the trend from West to East, North and South. Oregon State has redesigned their digs (not as dramatically as their in state rival but a redesign none the less), Virginia Tech now has a helmet that features turkey feet, Georgia Tech’s embraced the honeycomb look, while Indiana went the red, white and stripes route. Baylor, Oklahoma State, North Carolina (complete with great dance moves), Stanford, Boise State, Houston, Missouri and even Texas A&M and Johnny Football got some variety in their unis.

Some notably absent names? Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Texas, Penn State (minus the names on the back of the jerseys) Ohio State, Florida, LSU and USC have all shied away from the trend. Sure they have made some tweaks here and there but nothing wholesale like Oregon.

What’s funny about all this? The teams that haven’t changed uniforms dramatically have won the last 7 National Titles. Can you see Bama in a black jersey and a matte crimson on the helmet? Maybe. It might look cool. But would the Bama base go for it? Nick Saben might have to change his phone number.

However, the first time Georgia broke out the black jerseys in 2007 it was a big deal…and they lost the game to Auburn. When Georgia let Nike break out some odd black & red combination in an early season match up against Boise State a few years ago guess what happened? That’s right, they lost.

Georgia Black

While new, flashy uniforms are a very cool thing to do for the players, recruits, and fans some teams can get carried away. New uniforms don’t win games. Players and coaches do. While having a ‘3rd kit’ that you can break out like they do in soccer might be s fun thing to do from time to time but it’s not really necessary. For comparison sake, when Sporting KC broke out their ‘3rd kit’ against the Portland Timbers earlier this year in Kansas City guess what happened? That’s right, they lost.