You say you want a revolution.
You say you want modern football — high-flying, high-scoring, head-turning football. Fun football.
You fewer huddles and more gimmicks. You want to kidnap everyone on campus and send ’em all out on pass routes.
The Southeastern Conference has a one-word response to all that.
From coast to coast, casual fans and media folks are groaning. They’re flat-out tired of teams that win with punishing defense and a grind-it-out ground game.
They’re flat-out tired of teams like Alabama and LSU, two heavyweights who trade haymakers and field goals.
Old man football is good. Old man football works. It is alive and well — more well, in fact, than anything the newbies are pulling from their toddler-size sleeves.
You can thank Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson, incidentally, for the “old man football” tag. It’s lovely, really.
If you’ll recall, Richardson and his teammates left the pass-happy Big 12 this year for the rock-’em-sock-’em SEC.
Richardson was not impressed with his new rivals, referring to Georgia’s style as “old man football.”
A few days later, Georgia thumped Missouri 41-20.
A few weeks later, Missouri suffered a severe beating at the hands of Alabama (42-10, to be precise).
Then there’s LSU. Sure, Les Miles has taken heat lately for his stagnant, unimaginative offense. He has also won 31 of his last 35 games. Who’s the fool, exactly?
See, new-age football was supposed to have revolutionized college football by now.
More than a decade ago, Mike Leach rolled into Texas Tech with new practice methods and an unconventional offense. His quarterbacks shattered records. His teams won a lot of games. But they also won zero conference championships, let alone a national title.
Rich Rodriguez embraced the modern-day spread as offensive coordinator at Tulane, helping the Green Wave go 12-0 in 1998. He then moved on to West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona. He has won zero national championships.
Joe Tiller at Purdue: zero national championships.
Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State: zero national championships.
Gary Pinkel at Missouri ... Chip Kelly at Oregon ... Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia ... Chris Petersen at Boise State ... Art Briles at Houston and Baylor ... Kevin Sumlin at Houston and Texas A&M.
Zero, zero, zero, zero, zero and zero.
Notice a pattern here, youngsters?
The uptempo attack, the goofy hand signals, the five-receiver sets ... they only get you so far.
Meanwhile, the best teams in the SEC — the teams that hold crystal trophies in January — keep it simple.
They limit mistakes, control the line of scrimmage and play great defense.
One day, that might change. One day, new-age football might take over.
Until then, whipper snappers, pipe down.
Burrow into that easy chair, turn on the oldies station and order the early-bird special.
It’s a heaping helping of old man football, and it still rules the day.
Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved