Future looks bright in Oxford; Recruiters get paid in the SEC

The Sports Think Tank
By Bo Bounds

David Cutcliffe and Ed Orgeron recruited the players, and Houston Nutt “coached’em up” to maximize their speed and play-making ability.
In this state, have we witnessed a more complete offense? Or better offensive talent? In 2003, Eli Manning had one weapon that couldn’t sniff playing in the NFL: Chris Collins.

Can you imagine if the Manning led offense would have been blessed with: Wallace, McCluster, Hodge, Bolden, Breaux? We’re talking Oklahoma’s offense on steroids. D-Mac (McCluster) is the biggest game changer in the SEC, along with Percy Harvin – when healthy. That’s right you read that correctly. We talk about difference makers on Out of Bounds all the time – D-Mac is special. Did you see what Darren Sproles did to Indianapolis in the playoffs? Coaches are looking for versatile players with game-changing speed. D-Mac is the best skill player in the SEC. There you go, I said it again.

Nutt, along with Kent Austin, pressed all the right buttons in the Cotton Bowl. Spot Texas Tech 14 points? No problem. Did you see the look on the Mad Scientist’s face? Priceless? No….shocked. Nutt and Austin will only get better with their scheming, tweaking and their cerebral take on football.

In the great history of football in the state of Mississippi, has any team had that much talent on the offensive side of the football? Create space – check. Distribute the football – check. It’s that simple…or is it? Thank you Ed Orgeron. Was he worth $4 million? You could argue yes and no, but Coach O signed some big-time players. Snead, McCluster, Wallace, Oher and Ashlee Palmer to name a few.

By the way, Ole Miss ran to the right (opposite of Michael Oher) majority of the Cotton Bowl. That’s scary.

Snead gives Rebs BCS opportunity

When the game slowed down for Snead, the Reb offense went from solid to really good. The offensive firepower, running and passing, was a beautiful thing to watch. If Snead had Michael Wallace another year – look out. The tentative Reb schedule for 2009 is favorable. Actually, after taking a look at it – if Tebow goes pro, the Rebs are my favorite to win the SEC. Could Snead put up Heisman-type numbers next year as a junior? With Bolden and Enrique Davis in the backfield the Rebs look loaded at running back and wide receiver. They need to find some offensive lineman this spring. If the oline spots are filled, the Rebs could put a top-10 offense (nationally) on the field next year.
With another year under Austin’s tutelage, Snead could create his own legacy and sidestep Manning’s shadow.

Ed “Living’ the Dream” Orgeron is back

Ed Orgeron is back in the SEC as the assistant head coach, dline coach, and recruiting coordinator at Tennessee. Orgeron will be paid 650,000 per year according to reports coming out of Tennessee. Do you think recruiting is important?

In this new world of college football – It’s all about recruiting. Orgeron has a niche, and because of that niche he made $4 million at Ole Miss. Orgeron is one of the highest paid assistant coaches in the country, and he’s not an offensive or defensive coordinator. That should tell us something.
Coach O is not a good speaker. Coach O is not the best manager of players and coaches. Coach O didn’t have any idea what he wanted to do on offense as the head coach at Ole Miss. One thing we do know, Coach O knows how to sell high school kids on signing with his team. Today, that team is the University of Tennessee.

Tennessee’s talent level has been depleted over the years. A combination of more teams aggressively recruiting and UTs no-fun offense (see MSU, Auburn and South Carolina to name a few) was a recipe for disaster in Knoxville.
Fulmer and staff were able to bring in players from all over country from 1992-2002. Today, the mid-major programs are more competitive than ever before.

Tennessee, Auburn & LSU

With Trooper Taylor, (Auburn) Brick Haley (LSU) and David Reaves (UT) coming back to the SEC and Reaves joining his brother-in-law in Knoxville the teams continue to up the ante in recruiting.
If you’re willing to hit the road, kiss tail, can relate to teenagers and market and sell your program 24/7, you’re guaranteed a good paying job in college football.
Gene Chizik has made several good hires on The Plain: Ted Roof and Gus Malzahn are good football coaches.
Who said the season was over? It’s recruiting season…..this is when the fun really starts.

Bo Bounds is the editor of Yallsports.com. That title will get you a Pabst Blue Ribbon in rural Mississippi. You can contact Bo @: [email protected]