Grantham: "Big people beat up little people"

Ask coaches around the country where Todd Grantham stands among college footballs defensive coordinators and you'll get a consistent message. He's one of the best in the business.

With the Bulldog defense going up against Alabama and Grantham's former colleague Nick Saban (from their time together at Michigan State days) in the SEC title game tomorrow night, there's no question that Grantham will have his work cut out for him.

During a press conference yesterday, Saban noted that Grantham would rank righ up there among the best assistants that he has ever had on staff. Considering the Saban coaching tree, that's some elite company.

Grantham admits that much of his philosophy and preparation stem from what he learned during his time under Saban, including their vision of "big people beat up little people" when football boils down to its essence, and the best thing about working under Saban is that he allows his assistant to focus on coaching.

 In the New York Times, Grantham offered up a few overall details on his overall defensive philosophy.

"My whole thing is matchups. How can we get the mismatch in the rush. You are trying to get your best player on their weakest link on offense." Grantham explained.

"Little people can't block big people,. When you have big people, you don't have to commit all your defensive backs to the run game. You can play what I call a seven-and-a-half-man box. You got the extra half guy in the secondary because your guys up front can seal off gaps and hold the point."

"Big people beat up little people. It's why there are weight classifications in boxing."

Good point coach.

Like most of the country, we're really looking forward to tomorrow's game between the two close friends and former colleagues. March Richt and the Bulldogs have won numerous close games, and had just one slip this season (a 35-7 loss to South Carolina) so you can expect the Bulldogs to be as prepared for the big stage as they've ever been. It should be a good one.


Off and back again: Oregon State hosts Nicholls State tomorrow

Oregon State was supposed to open the 2012 season by hosting Nicholls State on Sept. 1. Then Hurricane Isaac hit, trapping the Colonels in Louisiana. A rain-check was scheduled for Dec. 1, but when the Beavers got off to a 5-1 start in the Pac-12 and played themselves into contention for the Pac-12 Championship, this game appeared to be in doubt. Alas, Oregon State lost to Stanford and Oregon, and now the Beavers and Colonels will face off tomorrow. 

(On a side note, we're having trouble remembering the last time a team had 15 days between regular season games. Can anyone offer another example?)

Nicholls State last played on Nov. 16, meaning Charlie Stubbs and his staff have seen Oregon State play two full games since they last played. With 15 days between games and nothing to lose, it will be intriguing to see what tricks the Colonels can throw at Oregon State.

“They’ve had some time,” Oregon State head coach Mike Riley told The Oregonian. “It’s a little interesting. They’re approaching it like it’s a bowl game."

The game itself should be a total mismatch. Oregon State is 8-3 and ranked No. 15 in the BCS. Nicholls State is 1-9 and went 0-7 in the Southland Conference.

Riley's challenge this week has been to motivate a team that came within a whiff of the Rose Bowl, and is fresh off a Civil War loss to Oregon, to get up for a 1-9 FCS foe. 



VIDEO: Charlie Weis takes you inside his program at Kansas

It's well known that Charlie Weis has a decided schematic advantage any time he steps on the field. You know it, I know it, he knows it. Even his opponents know it.


On top of that, does he also have a facilities advantage? He thinks so. 

The folks at Kansas sent us this video of Weis giving an overview of what he has to sell in Lawrence. We see lots of these videos every week and this one is really, really well done. A certain bet to get any recruit's attention. 


Cincy AD comments on missing out on ACC expansion and what its impact may be on keeping Butch Jones

In the ever evolving world of conference realignments, there is no doubt that media markets play a large role. Cincinnati had been in talks with the ACC about potentially moving from the Big East, and definitely would have brought a substantial market with them, but in the end their budget restrictions forced the conference to instead take rival Louisville.

In a one on one interview recently, Bill Koch of Cincinnati.com sat down with Bearcat athletic director Whit Babcock to gather his thoughts on the realignment situation and what it might possibly mean for head coach Butch Jones.

"I think we’ve got great coaches but our budget is one of the lowest ones at the BCS level and we have a good bit of debt from Varsity Village, so I think we’re challenged a lot from a budget standpoint. I think we need to make improvements to Nippert" Babcock explained, fully understanding the role that facilities and budget play such a big decision for a conference.

"Another thing I’ve learned about conference realignment is there’s about 10 percent that you can control and the other 90 percent is in the hands of other people. We want to compete at the highest level possible. That stance won’t change."

Babcock goes on to explain that their average BCS finish over the past five years is 16th. That's higher than all but one school in the ACC (Virginia Tech), and better than all Big East schools. So that has to count for something in Babcock's eyes. Everyone wants a bigger budget and better facilities, but Cincinnati has a pretty rich history, has been impressive over the handful of seasons, and has definitely made a name for themselves in the national spotlight. That's offering quite a bit to a new conference.

Another area that Babcock addressed was his faith on whether their conference realignment picture would increase the chances that Butch Jones would listen to other schools with a head coaching vacancy.

"I don’t know." Babcock explained. "I know he’s really popular in the coaching ranks. In one way I take it as a compliment that everybody’s interested in him. I think he’s a key part to our brand and I’d sure like to stop this revolving door of coaches leaving. He showed some good loyalty last year and so far this year he has. We’ll see how that goes."

He added that no other school has contacted him about Jones, but also noted "that etiquette is not always extended as much as it used to".

Yesterday, we had heard that Jones plans to meet with Purdue officials following Saturday's game, but that it the situation is by no means a done deal. Stay tuned to The Scoop page for more.


VIDEO: Al Golden delivers powerful message to team

From the video below, it looks like Al Golden found the perfect way to deliver a message of their season and unique situation through a poem entitled "The road ahead or the road behind" by George Moriarty.

Powerful message in here, and another great job by 3 Penny Films who handles the "Raising Canes" series.


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