A&M beats a No. 4 Florida, LSU and Texas Lose, Bill O'Brien Fired: Good Times
The title pretty much says it all.
This has been a great football week(s) so far.
Thanks to JJ Watt whose apparent blow up finally got Bill O'Brien ousted as the Texans GM/Coach/Peter Principle Exemplar. Unfortunately too late for the team, as O'Brien managed to mortgage the future with his ill-advised personnel moves. To the blog discussions of whether waiting until the season ended was a better move I'll say this. Best personnel advice I've ever gotten from Silicon Valley startup maven Guy Kawasaki (he won't remember this, it was at a Sunday School talk he gave on faith and business 20 years ago): if you know you're going to eventually let someone go because it's not working out, do it now. It never pays on either side to wait.
A&M needed this win, but most importantly a win this way. Long passes for the first time in a while, outgunning a high powered Florida offense when every analyst said their only chance was a low scoring game, O-Line and Spiller proving again they can run it on any SEC defense after outrushing Alabama in a loss, and a defense that recovered from its lumps, held its 3rd SEC team in a row to 100 rushing yards, and ended on a takeaway and a field goal to win it.
Fisher is a very very good coach. So are his assistants. They make adjustments, these teams don't quit, and they recruit well, and hold players accountable. They are 2-0 in bowl games, have never lost to an unranked team, have beaten two top 10 teams on the final play, and all but two losses have been to top 10 teams. Oh and the only non SEC team to have beaten them is Clemson. Fisher both owns and fixes his mistakes, gets and replaces top flight assistants, and players with character issues don't stay. Recruiting classes under Fisher have been the best ever, at least since the 80s and early 90s before recruiting rankings existed. The only challenge has been the entire SEC has also been recruiting at record levels, too. In any other conference Fisher is coach of the year. But the SEC is crowded at the top.
Kellen Mond is not the QB we'd like him to be. Struggles with deep touch, holds the ball too long and his footwork, confidence, and speed of decision making is good but not great, and never been more than average in yards per attempt and efficiency. Sacks aren't all on the line.
It takes top tier quarterback play to win, and Mond gave A&M that today, quieting the comments for now.
I can only imagine how good and deep this 2020 Aggie team would have been if key starters Hines, Ausbon, Blades, etc had not opted out, several others had stayed for their senior year, and Baylor Cupp, the highest rated tight end recruit ever had not gotten hurt again.
UT vs Oklahoma. The only thing you need to know is UT lost. The rest is extraneous detail.
Ok, ok. Look, Texas has plenty of talent and a very good quarterback. But they still play consistently messy. Tom Herman simply does not develop and manage the talent he recruits. This is not Mack Brown. He's a star recruiter, not a star coach. And he's never been able to field a defense no matter the talent. This year against a weak Oklahoma that should have been enough. It wasn't.
LSU loses to Missouri. Last year we saw good coaches and generational talent combine with some luck. Now the talent and the coaches are SEC average, the key coaches and players are new, and limited off-season and opt-outs have hurt LSU more than others.
They'll settle down as the season progresses, and with two top 5 recruiting classes in a row LSU is dangerous, but young. However it's highly unlikely their season will stop with two losses.