Disclaimer: I'm simply positing my own OPINION as was asked of me by Mr Sanchez. (In fact, he tasks me...he tasks me, and I shall have him. I'll chase him around the moons...er, sorry...got off track.) As such, I'm passing no judgement on any particular coach or person, unless judgement is given. This is simply, TO ME, what I think quantifies the quintessential SEC football coach. There will be disagreements, maybe even arguments, but keep it classy. I don't care for a repeat of the in-game thread. (/Peers down my glasses at "you know who you are.")
First, some background: I was born and raised in the early 1970s till the early '90s in Georgia. My family, maternally, is from Alabama (Tuscaloosa area to be exact) and Mississippi (the Delta). My father's side is from NE South Carolina and some transients (in the 1850s) moved to north central Florida (needless to say, I don't have a thing to do with those folks...no joke. It's not because of football, but nice coincidence.) Every fall holiday, we got together as families, have fish fries/potlucks/pit-pig grillin/formal dinners, and sit around the tube and watch football. All of this to tell you I got a very strong (and biased) education in SEC football, and the way football is meant to be played. As an example, otherwise normally mild-mannered, well-spoken Christian men would go into frothing, profanity-laced rants if you mentioned this new-fangled "West Coast" offense. That just wasn't the way men played football.
I, of course, have allowed myself to absorb and entertain various offensive and defensive philosophies, but I never have a doubt as to whether one is an "SEC" philosophy or not. Again, this isn't saying a non-SEC philosophy is inferior necessarily, just not the way "we play football in the SEC." Appropriately, the SEC-way of playing football as taught to me 30 years ago still holds true, mostly, today. So, without further ado and after much recollection, here is what a coach an "SEC" coach to me.
1. Dominate defense. In it's most pure, I'm talking man-to-man, we own the trenches domination. Offensive evolutions have made zone defenses a necessity, but the dominant D-line is a must. Tackling is done with the arms, none of the shoulder crap. You blitzed when you wanted to, not because you had to.
2. Smash-mouth offense. I'm going to run the ball, you know I'm going to run the ball, and I'm still going to bust your lip wide open. Passing was done just to break up the runs. I'm talking 40-50 runs and 15-20 passes a game...tops! This demanded a bruising RB, a workhorse of an O-line and receivers who weren't afraid to lay some lumber.
3. Disciplined. Football is a religion, the stadium your place of worship, and you didn't desecrate that cathedral by playing sloppy, penalty-filled football. You didn't celebrate TDs (or sacks/tackles/gains of 3 yards/etc).
4. Southern. A necessity from my grandparents, uncles and my dad...the coach had to be a Southerner. Any yankees in the mix were carpet-baggers.
5. Respectable...the man coaching had to be respectable. After all, these guys were not much removed from being ordained ministers to my family.
With these 5 "quantifiable" attributes, in the end, whether I call someone an SEC coach or not is a matter of feel, a cultural-relation if you will. Not all (or even most) coaches in the SEC are "SEC" coaches, and there are coaches not in the SEC that are "SEC" coaches.
This whole sticky-booger of a subject came up when Mr Sanchez stated he liked Mike Leach as a replacement for CMB. I stated I disagreed because he was not an SEC coach and I personally dislike the man. So let's examine Mike Leach:
- Defensive philosophy--I don't recall Texas Tech being known for their defense.
- Offensive philosophy--Air Raid, with runs mixed in. Definitely not SEC football.
- Disciplined--Unsure here, never watched a lot of Red Raider football, but weren't his players show-boaters?
- Southern: Negative
- Respectable: Negative...but matter of personal opinion, so don't flame. I do not agree with his handling of the James' kid controversy, whether he actually "mistreated" the kid or not.
Again, these categories are fluid, not definitive. It's more of a "feel," something if you were born and bred SEC you just know.
Ready for some real controversy--the Ole Ball Coach wasn't an SEC coach till he got to SCAR. Urban Meyer...NOT AN SEC COACH. Nick Saban/Les Miles, SEC coaches. Mike Bobo--no, Mark Richt--yes.
I'm now going to retreat behind a blast wall, with all avenues of approach booby trapped with trip wires and claymore mines, for the assault I'm sure that is coming.