Jamal Turner

Hot Reads: Speed and Power

SPEED AND POWER >>> Anybody can run a spread offense these days and we’re getting to a point where almost anybody can stop one. That’s been priority number one for defensive coaches across the country since the rise of the spread five or six years ago. Southern Miss defensive coordinator Tommy West told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that the trouble with Nebraska is that they offer a bit of both, speed and power:

Their wideouts, quarterback and running back, they’re not plow guys. They’re race horses. They’re really good. I don’t see it being an inside drill for 60 minutes because they make you defend the whole field. They’re sideline-to-sideline with their option.

West said that Southern Miss might look at getting out of their traditional 4-2-5 set on defense, subbing out spur/nickel back Jerrion Johnson (6-1, 195) for a bigger linebacker.

On the weather front, the University of Southern Mississippi is closed today due to Tropical Storm Isaac. The football team got an extra practice in early this week and planned to take today off due to the storm.

YOU KNOW WHAT’S COOL? A BILLION DOLLARS >>> Michael Weinreb has a fantastic profile of former Nebraska special assistant/advisor, possible billionaire, and current Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia up at Grantland. If you don’t know the Moglia story, here’s a brief rundown: He started as a football coach and was working his way up the college ranks when he decided he needed a salary that would support a family. Despite having no experience, he lands a job on Wall Street, eventually becomes the CEO of online-brokerage firm Ameritrade and retires in 2008 with a reported net worth of $1.2 billion. He wants to get back into coaching, he’s living in Omaha, and Bo Pelini takes a chance, hiring him as an unpaid assistant.

“”I was like ‘Why the hell not?'” Pelini told Monte Burke, author of an upcoming biography on Moglia. “The guy obviously had organizational skills and knew how to run a team.”

In 2011, Moglia finally got someone to go all-in with the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks giving him the head job. The UFL, of course, is a rickety platform from which to launch a second career but then Coastal Carolina came calling last December. The entire article is well-worth the read but this part stuck out:

(Moglia) will not pay his assistants out of his own pocket if it violates NCAA rules, he told me, because the risk outweighs the reward (if it were not frowned upon by the NCAA, I got the sense Moglia would do so without much hesitation). He did not delve into questionable investments on Wall Street even when pressured by outside investors who believed his company was not maximizing its value; he did not do so because the risk outweighed the reward. Beyond basic morality, the risk-reward equation, Moglia believes, is what should guide you; the risk-reward equation is what dictates one’s obligation to one’s shareholders, or one’s university, or one’s players, or to whatever model you might imagine. The reason he couldn’t find a job as a college head coach is because not one athletic director or university president — until David DeCenzo — came to realize that in hiring a man with his background, the reward actually outweighed the risk.

Give Pelini a little credit here for being one of the first.

A COUPLE OF BESTS >>> In general, I find that I disagree with most best/worst uniform lists. I suppose that’s by design, but one thing was particularly interesting about this “Top 10 worst things to happen to college unfiorms this year” list from USA Today — Nebraska’s alternate uniforms aren’t on it. Wisconsin’s are, which seems like a strange distinction to make given their similarities, but consider it an early victory for the scarlet and cream. Two other teams off Nebraska’s schedule also made the list. Iowa’s throwback design is — unjustly in my mind — panned and Arkansas State’s claw marks on the sleeves — justly in my mind — also get a thumbs down.

In other attempts to quantify the unquantifiable, Lost Letterman ranks Nebraska’s tunnel walk as the second-best college football entrance in the country. Virginia Tech takes the top spot.