Greg McIlroy & Taylor Zarser

Heard them on the radio discussing our talent level this season as they had apparently just had CBB on air with them. One of them said we had the lowest talent level in SEC, or, it was close between us and Vandy. Apparently CBB admitted he had made some mistakes in last “couple of years” in recruiting and roster. Seems to me that mistakes were made earlier as well, as evidenced by so few seniors and juniors starting or even on the roster. A new coach has some serious work to do.

Woo Pig!

They clearly signed some highly recruited OL (and Jucos) who haven’t worked out and that ultimately is what led to his downfall.

The main problem was his Texas recruiting or lack thereof.

There was a stat that showed his numbers in Texas which were something like 15 players in 5 years to a previous coaches 50.

Wish I could find it.

That and our S&C was absolutely terrible, regardless of what any expert says about Herb. We looked small, slow, or fat.

Not in SEC shape.

The Texas recruiting numbers were counter-balanced in large part by the best south Louisiana recruiting we’ve ever done. He also started getting more Texas guys in the latter part of his tenure, such as Whaley. We do need to recruit in Texas, but that was not the problem.

The truth of it is that lots of OL that were as good or better rated coming out of JC and HS as the guys who were All Americans on his teams at Wisconsin were either busts or failed to develop fully. That indicates that BB’s own ability to develop/recruit OL is not good, and the OL coaches were disastrous. Of the guys he signed, Kirkland, Skipper and Ragnow (with Froholdt as a likely fourth) are not much to show for five years of recruiting to a system that prizes/showcases and needs OL.

The primary recruiting failures on defense were in the secondary and at LB. The CB recruiting got a lot better the last couple of years, but the safety play and recruiting outside of Ramirez was generally awful. LB recruiting has been very hit and miss. Spaight and Scoota Harris being the brightest spots, a couple of fair but flawed guys in Greenlaw( good athlete/poor instincts) and Ellis(good instincts/too slow), and lots and lots of marginal players. The desperation switch to the 3-4 when we did not have enough OLBs ready to play in that defense was a low point for sure.

I agree.

I also think the the switch to 3-4 was a good idea, but bad timing. We had neither the LB’s nor DL to go to it in 2017. I bet we’d had better results in 2017 if we’d stayed in the 4-3, with a plan to convert once the talent was more aligned.

I think everyone of the factors mentioned above led to the imperfect storm

I don’t know the answers to the following so it’s a perception;

Didn’t his first class or two result in as many as 7 NFL players - These guys leaving early is a reason for the roster not being stocked with Juniors and Seniors? Roster is absent of good players when he arrived and the studs that were recruited were gone to NFL opportunities sooner than we all wanted.

In that first class or two they went after the best lineman wherever they happened to be? Florida, Minnesota, Colorado? Is it possible too much emphasis has been put on Texas/Arkansas for offensive lineman? Our football in high school down south has created a situation where the offensive lineman are not what they develop up north where many of the best lineman come from. (I suspect the pass attack style of play doesn’t develop the skills that we saw in Ragnow/Skipper/Kirkland etc)

Alabama has a few studs on the OL that I noticed this weekend. Piersbacher is from Iowa and another kid was from Minnesota?

Just some perceptions that haven’t aligned with what I hear the radio stations and message boards keep repeating

Great thread… would like to hear more analysis on this. My perception is that he really didn’t get it done on the recruiting front for whatever reason (again, would like to hear thoughts). Is it because we refused to cheat? Did he slack off? Mis-evaluate talent? I also agree that (again, for whatever reason) the OL was the critical failure. Thoughts on why would be interesting: recruiting failure-- possibly. But seems like there were some highly rated OL that just didn’t develop. So maybe coaching misfire. Pittman at Georgia doesn’t seem to be doing too bad there, so not sure he was the problem. The comment on the S&C program is an interesting one… and would also explain the epic second half collapses.

The previous post reminded me of another comment that was made, I think by Zarser, that one or two of the assistants either were not a good fit or simply were not good. Very interesting to me that someone who is not close to the program, but did call one or more of our games believed this and said it.

I think Bret thought he could build a roster of high character prospects with potential, develop them into SEC caliber players, add a few top rated players mixed in, and field a team that would be tough to beat. I liked the idea, but it didn’t happen quick enough.

Good evaluation. The only thing I would say to be fair to both CBB and Coach Pittman is that they did take Brey Cook and Mitch Smothers, both of whom had under performed previously, and turned them into SEC linemen. The signing of Tretola was also outstanding.
I would also say the emphasis on recruiting Florida heavily did not pay off. Of all the Florida players signed I would say only Kirkland, Collins and Pulley have panned out. Jury is still out on Randy Ramsey.
And the killer this year was Austin Allen coming out of the box uninspired, something his brother NEVER did, and then getting hurt. This was supposed to be his big season and from game one he was gun shy and lackluster. The team followed suit.
The Pulley injury didn’t help.

I don’t have an ounce of inside knowledge but I do know when you give up more than six yards per play on defense there is a lack of players, development, and coaching… all in abundance. I won’t even touch the ineptness on Special Teams, etc.

Thank God the Bielema disaster has come to an end and best wishes to the man that is chosen to come in and pick up the pieces. That is all

I have also felt that (for lack of a better term) began chasing his own celebrity…around 2015…just received a huge, new contract, he had a reality show made about him, he was tweeting out pictures of being backstage at concerts, being on a entertainer’s tour bus, tweeting pictures of Paris while attending Russell Wilson’s wedding…pictures riding on a Lear jet (also with KA a time or 2).

I think the above caused him to become satisfied and think things had arrived and maybe distracted him a bit and took away from recruiting and recruiting evaluations. I don’t think it was the only reason but I think it contributed. That is about the time when things began to turn down and by the time it is fully realized (2017) the snowball is too far downhill and the rest of the league is staring at us in the rear view mirror.

I will always remember Joe Kines comment about the SEC “They will cut your throat and drink your blood.”

Thanks for the very good thread guys. I believe that the next HC must have some knowledge of the talent level required to compete in the SEC West. CBB was an absolute success at Wisky and a failure with us. I point to the talent that he could win with and the talent that he could not win with. In any event we got ourselves in a screwed up box, thank God for TN!

Forgot about Tretola, our hybrid OG/QB.

I agree great thread. However, we have to look to the future and hope we get it done fast. The decommits are starting to happen.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the decommits. It’s not like CBB was the greatest recruiter. I feel that whomever is hired may bring in better players.

There’s really no way to know that right now, but we can certainly hope.