The Gilded Coaches

A look at a few overrated coaches, and Ryan Lochte brings the laughs again.

By John Griffin
@JohnRGriffin

Facades

In college football, it’s common to have talent make a coach seem better than he is. For example, Vince Young’s amazing 2005 season and Rose Bowl heroics elevated coach Mack Brown’s status from great to legendary. The talent Brown pulls in at the University of Texas year in and year out is the best in the county, which is why it’s so shocking that over the last 3 seasons, Texas is an astonishingly mediocre 17-14.

Georgia coach Mark Richt also shows similar signs of cracking and underachieving despite constantly possessing a bevy of talent in the recruiting hotbed of Georgia. Yes, The Bulldogs are 5-1 and ranked #11 as of now, and many would say they’re still overrated. This year, Georgia received a blessing in avoiding the heavy hitters in the SEC West: Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M. The only 2 ranked teams Georgia will play all year are South Carolina, who already embarrassed Georgia 35-7, and #2 Florida. Georgia will likely lose to Florida, and be 0-2 versus ranked teams on the year, but end up ranked in the Top 25 because of a pitiful strength of schedule. It seems avoiding an upset against Tennessee will be Georgia’s marquee win for the year. That’s top-15 worthy?

Georgia’s SEC Championship appearance last year was smoke and mirrors; UGA’s schedule had them luckily avoiding LSU, Arkansas, and Alabama, the 3 best teams in the SEC, in the regular season. When UGA finally met LSU in the SEC Championship in Atlanta, the Tigers blasted the Bulldogs, 42-10. In 2011, Georgia only played 2 teams that finished ranked. They lost to both.

However, there hasn’t been a bigger scam artist in the history of football than Gene Chizik, the head coach of Auburn. After winning the national title in 2010 on the back of Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, Auburn is 1-5. They just lost to Vanderbilt, 17-13, in a game when Vanderbilt turned it over 3 times to Auburn’s -0. The Tigers look destined for an 0-8 SEC record, and the total implosion has been mesmerizing. The 2010 Auburn offense was #3 in the country. This year’s is 119th, that’s second to last, folks. Auburn fans want Chizik’s head on a platter, and I certainly don’t blame them.

More Lochte LOLs

On ESPN’s College Gameday, Lochte, the special guest picker selected Auburn to win its game on Saturday. The thing is that Lochte was asked to choose between LSU and Texas A&M. No, seriously. After being reminded that no one said anything about Auburn, Lochte picked LSU because he “watched them play when they played against Florida.” Go on, Mr. Lochte. “Of course Florida won,” he continued, “but, uh…I think LSU is gonna win it.”

Unusual Players of the Week

Florida Punter Kyle Christy earned a lot of praise during the Gators’ 44-11 rout of South Carolina, and deservedly so. Christy booted an average of over 53 yards per punt, and pinned the Gamecocks deep in their own territory many times, which led to several costly turnovers. In football, field position is half the battle, and Christy is a difference maker.

Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe has done the impossible. The long-beleaguered Blue Devils are bowl eligible at a mark of 6-2 after defeating North Carolina 33-31.  The Blue Devils could lose every other game this season and it would be a success. Cutcliffe has made great strides with this program.

Play of the Week

This interception by Virginia Tech is the definition of “right place, right time.”

The Week Ahead

#5 Notre Dame continues an impressive season by taking on yet another tough foe, #8 Oklahoma. Surprise team of the year, #14 Texas Tech, travels to Manhattan to take on #4 Kansas State.

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