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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday Practice Notes (11/19)

Mark Richt probably won't be giving his thoughts on a bailout for the auto industry any time soon, but he said he doesn't mind having president-elect Barack Obama chime in with some thoughts on college football. In fact, Richt said he agrees with Obama's proposal for a college football playoff.

"I think eight is the limit of what I think would be wise, but I'd be all for it," Richt said. "I really would. There's just too many good teams out there that you just get one trip and you're out. It's tough if everybody's thinking national championship or bust."

Richt isn't alone. Linebacker Rennie Curran said Georgia's snub from the national championship game last season convinced him the system needed to be changed.

"I feel like what happened last year with us, a couple teams jumping us when we had won through that BCS process, that really made me question the whole system," Curran said. "So I think (a playoff) should definitely be given a try."

Of course, players and coaches aren't likely going to get a playoff pushed through. That task belongs to people a bit higher up the totem poll.

"I don't think it matters what coaches think," Richt said. "It all comes down to what the presidents think. Now, if the president of the United States tells them they have to, maybe that will work."

-- Former Georgia player and current Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp became the latest coach-in-waiting Tuesday when the Longhorns announced he would succeed current head coach Mack Brown when Brown decides to retire.

The trend of offering an assistant a promise and a hefty raise has been prevalent in college football in recent years, with Florida State and Kentucky among the other schools to tab a coordinator for a future head-coaching job.

"I could see where it makes sense to people to do that," Richt said. "Because it's relatively new, only time will tell if it will turn out to be a successful decision or not."

Richt said he doesn't expect the changes to come soon for Texas or Kentucky. Even Bobby Bowden, Florida State's 79-year-old head coach and Richt's former boss, might not move too quickly, Richt said.

"I would be surprised to see Coach Bowden go three, four, five more," he said. "That's just Coach Bowden."

But how about Richt? Would he be interested in naming a successor any time soon?

"Maybe when I'm 55 or 60," Richt joked. "If I make it that long."

-- Richt has heard a few complaints over the years that he's just too nice to be a great football coach. On the other side of the field next Saturday will be Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson, who has gained a reputation for employing an in-your-face style of coaching.
Richt thinks both style can work, as long as they're authentic, he said.

"I'm not saying one style is any better than another, but you need to be who you are," Richt said. "If you try to invent some kind of alter ego, the player is going to know you're full of baloney, and you're going to lose them."

-- Corvey Irvin can list more than a half-dozen teams he has played that ran an offense similar to Georgia Tech's triple option. The problem, however, is that all those teams were from his high school career.

Tech is one of a small number of Division I college teams running the triple option, but Irvin said he thinks his defense will be ready to stop the run-heavy attack when the two teams face off Nov. 29.

"Football is football no matter what formation you come out in," Irvin said. "If you practice hard enough in your game plan, it can be stopped. I'm pretty sure they can be stopped because they're not undefeated. I don't mean that to be cocky or anything, but they can be stopped."

-- Rod Battle was in a green jersey Wednesday with an elbow hyperextension, but Richt said he would continue to practice and was expected to play against Georgia Tech.

-- Richt was asked if he ever ran an option offense in high school or college. His answer began with the phrase, "I've got a funny story about that..." and those answers always end well.

"There was a guy named Otis Anderson who was a senior when I was a freshman at Miami. Lou Saban was the head coach, and for whatever reason he hired a guy named Joe Bratski (sp?) to put in the inside-outside veer. He called in the quarterbacks -- Coach Saban -- he goes, 'Men, we're going to run this option, we're gonna run this veer.' He said there's a dive, and you could keep it or you could pitch it. That's how the veer works. He goes, 'But here's the deal. This is how we're going to run it.' He said, 'If Otis is the dive back, give him the ball.' He said, 'If Otis is the pitch back, pitch him the ball.' He said, 'If you ever change a play, if you ever audible, you make sure Otis gets the ball.' And that was it. We would hand that ball to Otis, and that end would be crashing down to get him, and Otis would snatch it out of your hand and just dodge the guy and go. That guy was so good. Coach was right. Just give the ball to Otis. That was the option."

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