2020-01-14 07:08

Shortly after I did publish the last entry, stating that I had the feeling no college coach would switch to the NFL, the news came in that Matt Rhule, the now former HC of Baylor, would become the next HC of the Carolina Panthers.

Rhule had good success at Temple and Baylor, so if he can transfer that to the NFL, Carolina should be OK, but this step from college to NFL is big one and doing this without being a bit more connected to the NFL by serving in the past as coordinator or assistant for some periods is tough.
Rhule was an assistant for the New York Giant for 1 season as 'assistant OL coach' and will now have to orchestrate the complete team.

Not saying it will fail, but I'm also not very confident right now.
In terms of football, Carolina is well set, but in terms of personal management and procedures ... not sure.
But on a professional team you have the chance to hire the people to do that better than you can, if you admit you need help.
So, if Rhule can get a good staff, this might become a winner.

However, Baylor now needs a new HC.

And also new HC needs now Washington State, who just lost their HC to Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs had fired Joe Moorhead after 2 seasons and did hire Mike Leach of the Cougars.
I did predict a longtime assistant who had some HC experience, but no new young hot coach, right?
Well it turns out they did take likely the best 'old' coach they could get with Mike Leach, who did turn around losing teams twice with Texas Tech and Washington State. I personally think his Wazzu job was the most impressive, since the team was REALLY in bad shape and he did turn in around in 4 seasons, when they did gain 9 wins the 1st time since ages.
So, an impressive hire by Mississippi State, which is a pity for Washington State, since they now need a new HC and that won't be easy.
Thanks to Leach the program is in much better shape than before and they should have plenty of money.
Likely a non-power-5 coach will get a promotion here, fast.

Name were already dropped, and the leading candidate seems to be Nick Rolovich of the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors.
He would be a good hire for Wazzu, he did lead Hawai'i to a 10 win season this year and did something many coaches were not able to do since a long time, winning in Hawai'i, regularly.

Let's wait and see.

Another news came a few days later. Long time HC of the San Diego State Aztecs Rocky Long will retire and Brady Hoke, the Aztecs DL coach, will take over as HC. Now that might look a bit odd, but the reality is, that Hoke was the Aztecs HC before Long and did hire Long as DC in those days. When Hoke went on to become the HC of Michigan, Long was promoted to HC and stayed there since then, very successfully. Long did last season hire Hoke as DL-coach and now gave Hoke the chance to become a HC again. In the 2 seasons as Aztecs HC was Hoke quite successful, he took over a losing team and made it a winner, which gave him the chance to move to Michigan after those 2 seasons.
Now he inherits an Aztecs team almost in its prime and does know the team very well.


Mon. Jan. 13
#3 Clemson vs #1 LSU

So the last game and it was an offense juggernaut.
The first 2 series of each team ended with a punt, then did Clemson score a TD.
After each team did again had Punt-series did LSU throw a bomb and the games was tied.
Clemson answered with a field goal, stopped LSU on the next drive and scored after that a TD on the next drive.
So, Clemson now 10 points ahead.
But LSU had again a big play on the next drive and did score a TD a few downs later. 17:14 Clemson.
From that point on it became clear that LSU did get better on containing Clemson.
They forced punts on the next few drives, but were able to get long lasting drives together, capped with TDs each.
LSU lead 28:17 at the half.
The 3rd quarter did then look like Clemson would be able to narrow the gap.
They came out of the locker room and stopped LSU after 3 plays and needed only 6 plays to score a TD with 2-point conversion. 28:25.
LSU was again stopped after 3 plays and Clemson got the ball back.
But this time they were stopped by LSU and did start marching over the field and capped the drive with a TD. 35:25.
Clemson got the ball back and was stopped again and LSU did march again.
When they were stopped, they were in field goal range, but missed the 45 yarder to extend the lead.
Good chance for Clemson to answer, but they were again stopped after 3 plays.
So LSU got the ball back and went over the field and scored another TD a bit into the 4th quarter. 42:25.
Clemson no in big need, but LSUs defense was 100% and was able to stop Clemson, Clemson stopped LSU and then came the final play which did seal the game finally for LSU.
Clemson was in a hurry and tried to make 1st downs, LSU did play basically a wide open defense to prevent big plays.
Lawrence did see room to run (which he did often on that day) and got over the 1st down marker, but lost the ball on the tackling play, LSU did recover on at mid field and LSU did get the ball with less than 4 minutes to play and 17 points lead.
Clemson was at that point broken.
They were unable to stop LSU from making 1st downs, likely they would have been unable to prevent another scoring, but on 2nd and 1 on Clemsons 4 yard line did they kneel down and did let the clock run down on this and the next play to end the game.
LSU is National Champion!
Congratulation to the Tigers, it was a very special season for sure.
Clemson did play a good game, but for me at least it was as expected, they were not on the same level as LSU.
But next season will give them another chance, including their star QB, while LSU will need to look for a new QB and likely for a lot of early draft declarer, so repeating will be tough.
#3 Clemson 25 vs #1 LSU 42 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 27-13

So, it's the end of this seasons blog.
Thanks for reading.

'Til next season

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