Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dan Morrison to call plays.

So June's gone. When I first heard the news, right after I got off my knees thanking the good Lord, I had so many questions. 

One of those questions has been answered. Dan Morrison will call plays. 

So the former Hawaii high school coach is going to call plays. How is that going to work?

I don't mean substantively. I mean mechanically. Dan Morrison hasn't been on the sideline of a game for 10+ years. 

For years, we have witnessed the QB sashaying to the sideline after every play, getting the play call from June and then going back to the huddle, announce the play and get to the line of scrimmage with six seconds left. 

Is Morrison going to move to the sideline?  Or is he going to radio the call to the sideline from the booth?  if so, to who?  A coach? Another QB?  

What is a Dan Morrison called game like?  June never seemed like the guy who wanted a lot of input. 

Honestly, this mess right here is why I had little interest in removing June until the end of the season. 



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

11 SMU players on active NFL rosters

You may or may not be aware that there are currently 11 SMU football players on active NFL rosters. I have seen a source that says 20, but I think that includes practice squad players. 

Anyway, what does that number mean?  Is that a lot?  I recall a time less than 10 years ago when that number was zero. 

Here is that number compared to SMU's 2013 and 2014 opponents:


A&M20
Uconn17
Cincinatti15
Rutgers15
UCF13
Baylor12
TCU12
SMU11
USF10
Memphis9
Temple9
Texas Tech8
Houston7
Tulane6
ECU5
NTSU4
Tulsa4
Montana St2

That is 8th out of 18 teams. Right in the middle of the pack and within firing distance of all but A&M in my opinion. Nothing compared to USC (41), I grant you. 

Let's not say SMU can't get players into SMU that can compete again, ok?  It hasn't been true for years. It is like your momma said, "You can't do it if you don't try."  Beginning December 2011, June Jones didn't try. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Not to pile on, but for the record:

All of my predictions for last weekend came true. Northwestern State racked up 200 total yards on Baylor. Northwestern State scored six points. At least SMU's defense put up more of a fight against Baylor than Northwestern State did. Finally, SMU lost and it wasn't even close. 

SMU will beat its own record

The last search for a football coach was 72 days officially. According to every source I looked at, that was a record for longest search in college football history. 

Throwing out a date....let's say November 28th (Clemson plays SC that day), that is 71 days. 

SMU's last game is 12/5. Odds of hiring a coach before season concludes is virtually nil. Even if they announced that night, it is 78 days. 

This will be the longest coaching search in college football history. 


Get comfortable.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Wow. So that actually happened!

June Jones has resigned.

 I just thank the Lord Liberty and Justice weren't here to witness this.

 

  Press Release
"This afternoon, I talked to my staff and players and notified them that I have decided to resign as SMU head football coach effective immediately," said Jones. "It was a very difficult decision for me to make, as you can imagine. I have devoted my life for the last 50 years to playing and coaching this game and it has been a great journey. This job has a lot of demands, as you know, and along with that journey comes a price that is paid. I have some personal issues I have been dealing with and I need to take a step away so I can address them at this time.

"We have some talented and really good kids, who just happen to be young. Tom Mason will take over the head coaching duties. Tom has done a great job with the defense since coming to SMU. This being a bye week will give all the coaches and players a chance to evaluate themselves and make the changes needed for their preparation in getting ready for the next couple games and conference play the rest of the way. I would like to thank all the people here at SMU that have supported the vision we have had here. I feel we have made SMU relevant again in football by going to four bowls in my six years as a Mustang. I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given and wish only the best for the players, coaches and administration at SMU."
First, let's get this out of the way. To the extent June Jones has health or personal issues that he needs to resolve, I wish him only the best and hope he pulls through or works out his issues. While I concede there were many days since December 2011 I wanted to chip away the mortar around a brick at Ford Stadium and throw it at June, I wish the man no ill will. Now, maybe if you had asked me about that around noon today, I might have given you a different answer.

  Fox Southwest Article (written by SMU alum Keith Whitmire)

  KEvin Sherrington (Column better than the headline)

 The Money Quote:
June didn’t all of a sudden become lousy at Xs and Os. He lost a little desire, apparently. Or maybe a lot. Symptoms of this affliction surface first in recruiting. There’s the usual complaint about a disconnect with South Dallas, which goes back to the Death Penalty days. How much of that is June’s fault, I couldn’t say. But he didn’t do much to correct it, either. In fact, he went opposite field.

According to Mark Followill, whose researcher came up with this number while doing play-by-play for the Oklahoma State-Texas-San Antonio game this week, there are 68 Texans on SMU’s roster, lowest total of any of the 12 FBS schools in Texas.
If anyone asks why SMU fans are unhappy with June and why June is not winning, direct them here. Honestly, I can't believe it. If you had bet me June Jones would not coach until the end of the season, I would have lost a lot of money.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Weekend predictions

If I had to guess:

Northwestern State will gain more that 67 yards on Baylor. Northwestern State will score.  

SMU will play better Saturday. SMU will lose. This is a big game for NTSU. I don't think June is aware of this fact. I don't think June cares one way or the other.

I like Rick Hart. That being said, I don't understand why SMU starts a home and home against NTSU at their place. They want to play SMU more than SMU wants to play them. Period. NTSU should be playing at SMU.  SMU made this mistake before. It went the same way as I recall and a Bennett-led SMU team lost at NTSU. 

One final thought:

Back in 2005, SMU lost to a poor Baylor team 28-23. Baylor wasn't very good then (they went 5-7 that year). Many people thought amu might actually win that game.  Phil Bennett was the coach 2 seasons removed from 0-12. The same day, TCU beat OU. People forget that TCU once sucked and before that OU game had a nice string of competitive (mostly winning) seasons beating up on WAC C-USA and Mountain West teams (prior wins vs a BCS conference opponent were 2 win Vandy and 3 win Iowa State in 1998 and 2 win each Arizona and Vandy in 2003). 

My recollection is that the SMU community/message boards were apoplectic and wanted Bennett's mustachioed head. I randomly threw out the line "Watch, SMU will beat TCU and we will all look like a-holes." 

This NTSU game feels like that TCU game to me now. [Insert comment about how sad and pathetic that is here. That being said, this game is on the road and I don't think it happens. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Does SMU need a Football Blogger?

Sometimes you get the blogger you deserve rather than the blogger you need.  Or somesuch. 

65 plays. 67 yards. 45-0. That actually happened. 

Holy shit. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Coach's Luncheon

I live-tweeted (is that a word?) portions of the SMU Coach's luncheon. You can read that at http://twitter.com/@SMUFootballBlog

I think people heard what they wanted to hear.

If you think June Jones hung the Moon, you were thrilled and thought June Jones said all that needs to be said.

If you want to be upset with June Jones , then you didn't hear enough.

I guess I had low expectations and am not that upset he didn't get down on his knees and beg my forgiveness. I will get into it in a bit, but I do think he owes me (and those like me) an apology. I don't really think I got it today and don't expect to get it.

I think a lot of people have read a lot of things into my tweets (still hate the word) and the other summaries that just don't exist. I don't feel patronized; I don't feel like June talked to people like they were idiots (which, btw, people forget Phil Bennett was famous for).

Couple of items:

June said he was never offered and never accepted the ASU job. That may be sort of true. I have read a coach's contract offer/letter of intent before and they are the most ambiguous writings I have ever read as a lawyer. I showed it to a couple of other attorneys and the consensus was it was borderline unenforceable. It had language that said it wasn't offered until it was accepted or somesuch. Regardless, it gave both school and coach plausible deniability that an offer was never made in the event things fell through. Maybe that is disingenuous. But that's where we live today sports.

I do fault Super Agent Leigh Steinberg (TM) for a lot of this and you get the sense June does too. I can also understand June saying he won't cut ties with a guy that he has worked with for 20 years that has helped him earn millions of dollars. Still, a lot of what upsets me can be traced back to a tweet and blog post accredited to Super Agent Leigh Steinberg (TM) and for which, despite what June might suggest otherwise, Super Agent Leigh Steinberg (TM) is solely responsible for.

Where this goes, at the end of the day, I presume is an extension. I could be wrong, but I expect that announcement to be made fairly soon. Nothing was mentioned at the luncheon, but it is the logical next step in the cleanup of this mess.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

June Jones on with Dale Hanson Tonight (updated)

WFAA Channel 8. Should be interesting. Dale usually isn't afraid to ask the tough yet uninformed question.

Will June wear Red and/or Blue? Will there be an SMU logo anywhere? If I were SMU SID Brad Sutton, I would stop by the SMU bookstore just in case.

Set the DVR...

Update: turns out June won't be on despite fact that they promoted it on Channel 8 this AM.

So WFAA promotes it, but it isn't happening? Sounds odd. Suggests June didn't have the time, but channel 8 did. II am sure June has a good reason for not doing it, if so. Too bad he pissed all his goodwill away or else, I'd believe it.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I am on Twitter

Why? Because we all are.

@smufootballblog

Quick Hit: Rice Game Attendance

Much has been made of the lack of attendance at the Rice-SMU game. Personally, I thought attendance was better than previous post-Thanksgiving games. I recall sparse crowds for even TCU-SMU on those dates (at either place).

This is not a problem unique to SMU. There is a reason Texas-Texas A&M was that week every year. There was a reason those schools weren't scheduling Rice that week.

Should it be better? Yes. However, I think it is unfair to judge SMU on what I suspect is historically the worst attended weekend attendance-wise in college football.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Did That Just Happen?

So here I am sitting at my computer listening to the Black Keys’ “El Camino” (which I highly recommend, BTW) and I am just flabbergasted. I thought I was going to write about a coaching search. Seriously. Just a giant case of WTF?-itis. Did this just happen? Did this just unhappen?

Last Thursday, I was listening to the Troy Aikman show on the KTCK. They talked for a minute about the UCLA coaching search. Troy said he was excited because he had some information on who they were looking at, but he wouldn’t share. For some reason, that made me nervous; I had a suspicion he was talking about June. Aikman and June Jones have the same agent-Leigh Steinberg.

I thought on Monday June Jones was leaving and going to Arizona State. I assumed on Tuesday, June Jones was staying. I was sure Wednesday AM he was leaving for Arizona State. Then, on Thursday afternoon, it breaks that Arizona State has withdrawn its offer.

For those that need a refresher, here is a timeline:

November 28th- ASU fires Dennis Erickson. ASU hires Dallas search firm Eastman & Beaudine to assist with the search. Eastman & Beaudine assisted with the SMU searches that led to the selections of Steve Orsini, Matt Doherty and June Jones. Bob Beaudine is a graduate of SMU.

December 2nd-SMU begins the biggest recruiting weekend in the last 20+ years.

December 3rd-At some point during the day, ASU officials meet with June Jones for several hours.

Late December 4th-June Jones is announced as the only finalist for the ASU coaching position. Outrage on the message boards, twitter, myspace, tumbler and, hell, probably e-harmony as well, breaks out suggesting that June Jones is not acceptable. Apparently, in the mind of the ASU fan, June Jones is “Dennis Erickson-lite,” which I guess means a decent name, player coach, old and mediocre.

December 5th-Outrage on the web has reached such a fever-pitch that ASU backs off and is determined to slow things down, interview the Sumlin and Fedora’s of the world at the coaching convention in NY taking place as I write this. This is all well and good, but it quickly appearing that Fedora is going to UNC; Sumlin is likely going to A&M; Art Briles is uninterested in leaving Baylor.

December 6th- By the end of the day, June Jones is the only candidate again.

SMU LB recruit Thomas Brown commits to ASU. This is interesting. ASU doesn’t have a coach. Thomas Brown has never visited there. Thomas Brown has said he was deciding between Nebraska and SMU. Now he is committed to ASU.

Khalil Pettway, SMU commit, the highest rated recruit in SMU’s class, decommits. He was visiting this past weekend while June Jones talked with ASU.

At some point, June calls his staff together for a meeting in Dallas on the 7th. This is interesting because, (i) his staff is on the road recruiting; and (ii) he is supposed to be in NY. There is an alumni event in NY on the 7th and both Steve Orsini and June Jones are supposed to be in attendance.

Outrage is beginning to percolate on the ASU boards again.

December 7th-AM: June Jones has agreed to coach ASU. There is a deal in principle. June meets with his staff and says he is leaving. June apparently tells some players he is leaving, although there is no team meeting.

ASU outrage is boiling.

December 7th-PM: June is clearly out at ASU. He will not coach at ASU. Money quote from Leigh Steinberg: "Just had one of the most bizarre endings to a set of productive discussions to bring a client to a new situation. Everything was set, few tweaks left, and the principal decision maker yanks the deal with no real explanation."

Can’t find the quote, but Turner says that June Jones will lead SMU to the Big East or something to that effect.

Orsini still attends the NY alumni event (obviously, June who was/is in Dallas, was not in attendance). Austin Kilgore was there and tweeted about it. His twitter feed is here: https://twitter.com/aus10fromhous10

Orsini suggests June will continue to be the coach. Gerald Ford suggests the same. I am not going to say “follow” the guy, but his tweets from this event are interesting. Go read them. Or follow the guy. He does something with real estate and mortgages. I am sure it is riveting.

Anyway…

You can go to ponyfans or rivals or scout and read the same speculation, but it is just that: speculation. Bottom line right now is June Jones either leaves stays or he is leaving voluntarily or involuntarily. If I had to place a bet, I wouldn’t. If you gave me money and told me I had to place a bet, I suppose right now I bet June Jones is coaching SMU next week, next month and next year.

I can see June Jones “retiring” from college coaching, with a plan to coach again when this blows over. He would not be at SMU and SMU wouldn’t pay him. I guess June could get a job as a QB coach in the NFL, though I doubt anyone would hire him as a coordinator or head coach. If he “retired,” however, if I were SMU, I hold the contract over him until it expires in 2015, keeping him out as a head coach at the college level.

I can see SMU sacking June Jones over this, though that appears unlikely. The “Circle of Champions” would have to make the call and pony up the money to buy out Jones and then pay for a new coach. I don’t think people realize the money involved there. More likely, SMU and June Jones reaching a mutual agreement to part ways. The parties would have to negotiate some dollar amount less than the $6,000,000 he is owed on his contract. Contrary to the views of the amateur lawyers on the message boards, I don’t see “cause” to fire Jones over this, meaning SMU would have to buy him out of the approximately $6,000,000 he is owed on his contract. That being said, if June and his staff used SMU resources to recruit kids to another university….

I can’t see June Jones coaching anywhere but SMU in 2012. He is toxic to programs at this point. Rivals notes the $2,000,000 buyout. Yes, that is something. However, the first thing that will be brought up is the ASU matter.

June has some work to do. I am not forgiving this. This was nonsense. June Jones needs to sit down with Orsini and figure out how he will fix this mess. Reassure recruits for this year and next. Reassure the assistants for this year and next. Oh, and reassure the fanbase, too... if he can.

On the road again...

Sigh.

I haven't blogged in three years. Be gentle.