University of Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Saban stands next to Coaches' Trophy after team beat Notre Dame in NCAA college football 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game in Fort Lauderdale

Nicky Satan? ‘The devil himself’ says Gator assistant

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Next up? Apparently, a height-challenged Antichrist, replete with slicked-back hair and pasted-on smile, trotting out a future Alabama recruiting class, all of ’em holding up Alabama jerseys with the number “666” emblazoned with sacrificial goat’s blood.

For those who don’t recall, Vanderbilt head coach and serial pot-stirrer James Franklin grabbed a few headlines for his Commodores program in late January by referring to Nick Saban as “Nicky Satan” during an appearance at a Georgia high school’s fall sports banquet.  A few months later, another SEC coach has referenced the Prince of Darkness when talking about the four-time BCS-title-winning Tide head coach.

During an appearance in Melbourne — Florida, not Australia — Tuesday night, Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis addressed his former boss Saban.  And by “addressed,” we mean “took the kind of shots coaches take when in the company of boosters/supporters/fans of your football program,” especially when you’re attempting to pump up your current boss.

“[UF head coach] Will [Muschamp] and I go back to the Miami Dolphins,” Davis said, referring to their time with the NFL club under Saban. “I’ve always wanted to work with Will. Will’s got a plan. Will coached under the devil himself for seven years. I only did three. He did seven. And his DNA is not any different than Nick.”

One, that would mean Will Muschamp, Davis’ current boss, shares Lucifer’s DNA.  Two, working under NFL Saban was akin to serving prison time.  Three?  Personality, or lack thereof, is most certainly fair game when boosters/supporters/fans of your football program are in the audience.

“”[Muschamp’s] like the other guy, only he’s got a personality,” the Gator assistant said. “He’ll smile at you. He’ll talk to you. You understand? That’s what he’s all about. That’s Will. I’m proud to work for him.”

Certainly fair points, personality-wise.  Saban may not smile at you, and even if he does it’ll come off as awkward and forced.  He may not even talk to you.

What he will do is win three BCS championships in four years.  He will own four BCS title rings from two different SEC schools.  He will, even with a “lack of a personality,” run laps around you… and you… and you on the recruiting trail.  He will enter the 2013 season a heavy favorite to go back-to-back-to-back.

He would also likely awkwardly smirk at his former assistant’s bravado if/when he hears the comments, then get back to building upon the most dominant program major college football has seen in nearly two decades.

(Tip O’ the Cap: al.com)

Washington State coach Mike Leach fires a shot at the SEC

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars looks on from the sidelines during the second quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Washington State coach Mike Leach is known across the country as one of college football’s most interesting characters, rambling on from time-to-time about everything from pirates to the history of Geronimo. The latest subject the quirky head coach has turned his sights on? The big ol’ SEC.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger spoke to Leach recently as part of a profile on new Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo, and let’s just say the Air Raid guru of the Palouse didn’t hold back when discussing the state of offenses in the league widely considered to be the best in the sport.

“I’ve got bad news for all these levels people,” Leach said. “Your level isn’t special, your conference isn’t special. All this different level this, different level that. That’s crazy.

 

“This is a great time to be in the SEC, everybody’s got the same offense: run right, run left, play action. And they tease themselves  and say we threw it four more times a game this year than we did last year.”

Leach, who coached in the league at Kentucky, also added some other, more colorful language to describe his impression of the SEC and the offenses teams run. While he did play at Auburn with the Cougars a few years ago, he clearly hasn’t kept up with the way things are trending down south as even pro-style stalwarts like Alabama and Arkansas are using more and more tempo and spread principles on a weekly basis.

Either way, let’s hope the Washington State athletic director is already making calls to schedule an SEC opponent in the coming years. If nothing else, any future appearance by Leach on the Paul Finebaum Show should be must-see entertainment.

Willie Taggart completes Oregon coaching staff with familiar face from USF

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 26: South Florida Bulls head coach Willie Taggart during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images)
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It probably took a little longer than most to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, but Willie Taggart has completed his coaching staff at Oregon and the latest addition is a familiar face.

The school announced Thursday afternoon that Raymond Woodie would be taking over as the Ducks’ new special teams coordinator, having previously spent the past four seasons at USF with Taggart and three more before that together at Western Kentucky.

Woodie most recently served as the Bulls’ defensive coordinator this past season but has been a linebackers coach dating back to 2012. He is regarded by many to be a quality recruiter with good ties to the state of Florida in particular and has also coached the defensive line. While his title makes him responsible for the third phase of the game for Oregon, he figures to also help out new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt in some fashion as well.

The announcement is a bit of positive news for Taggart and the Ducks this week after a considerable bit of bad press for the program stemming from the revelation that multiple Oregon players wound up in the hospital following offseason workouts. New strength coach Irele Oderinde (who also came over from USF) was eventually suspended for one month without pay by the school as a result..

Despite Auburn interest, Texas A&M OC Noel Mazzone staying put in College Station

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 14:  The Texas A&M Aggies offense huddles against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on October 14, 2006 in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 25-19. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Gus Malzahn’s quest to find a new offensive coordinator has zigged and zagged in the past few days since the surprising departure of Rhett Lashlee to UConn. One place it will not be going however, is to a fellow SEC West school.

Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle reports that despite some interest in Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, the Aggies’ coach is staying put in College Station.

Mazzone arrived at A&M prior to this past season from UCLA and found early success with the Aggies and transfer quarterback Trevor Knight before a late slide in 2016. Travis Haney of 247Sports reported earlier Thursday that he could be considered the leader in the search to replace Lashlee, but it appears that will not be the case.

The longtime coaching veteran’s name being linked to Auburn isn’t too surprising considering he was the OC there from 1999-2001 but Mazzone’s hefty salary and likely high buyout figure provided some big obstacles if he wanted to reunite with the school.

Instead, it’s on to the next one for Malzahn and company.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan coaches ride go-karts with five-star recruit in Georgia

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts during the college football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 27-23.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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National Signing Day is just around the corner and that means a flurry of in-home visits by coaches across the country trying to lock up the next class of impact players for their program.

We’ve seen plenty of unique attempts by coaches to impress prospects over the years as a result, from often used cookie cakes to sleepovers and limo rides. When it comes to this subject though, few have been as creative as Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. This week, he certainly cemented that reputation.

According to the Detroit News, Harbaugh and several Wolverines coaches took an in-home visit with five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon out of Leesburg, Georgia and went bowling with the recruit’s family before finally racing go-karts together.

And even better, there’s video via ESPN:

Solomon is also strongly considering Alabama and Georgia in addition to Michigan, but something says neither Nick Saban or Kirby Smart will be heading to the race track with the big defensive tackle on their visit. You have to love recruiting either way.