Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Al Groh probably isn't good at chess

The former Tech coach loves to wear his sweatshirts
with the sleeves pushed up to the elbows

...that's not the reason he's probably not a chess player - it's just something I noticed when looking for pics of him...

Coach had his pre-Gator Bowl practice press conference on Tuesday. Several Virginia area media outlest were there to cover the event and share their take on Virginia's preparation for the bowl matchup against the Red Raiders.

After reviewing these articles, Coach Groh may need to take a course in strategery from GWB.

From the News and Advance in Lynchburg, Virginia:

Kansas State coach Ron Prince, a UVa assistant for five seasons, figured to be a good source on Texas Tech. Not so. Despite being in the Big 12, Prince's Northern Division Wildcats have not faced the Southern Division Red Raiders in either of his two years in Manhattan. They do next year, however.

"I told him, 'This is screwy,'" Groh joked. "'They're in your conference and we're going to be able to help you more than you can help us.'"


Use the internet much? I'm sure you and Coach Prince had a nice visit and all - but you could have learned that K-State is "off-rotation" from any number of wonderful places call "internet sites."

The News and Advance does a good job recapping Coach Groh's short stay in Lubbock and the circumstances that brought him through town:

One of the many stops in Groh's career was at Texas Tech, where he was a linebacker coach for Rex Dockery in 1980. As has been the case throughout his career, it had a lot to do with Bill Parcells.

Groh was Parcells' defensive coordinator at Air Force from 1978-79 before Parcells left to be defensive coordinator for the New York Giants.

That prompted Groh to join Dockery's staff in Lubbock in 1980. Dockery, who was the Red Raiders' head coach from 1978-80, had been the schools offensive coordinator prior to that. The defensive coordinator at that time? Bill Parcells.

Dockery left for Memphis State in 1981 and Groh was hired by former West Point coaching pal John Mackovic to be Wake Forest's defensive coordinator. But Mackovic left two months later to be the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback coach, making Groh the Deacons' head coach. He was there from 1981-86 and went 24-40.

Back to Groh's pursuit of defensive strategy...this time from The Roanoke Times:

Virginia football coach Al Groh has no better source for information about pass-happy opponent Texas Tech than his old University of North Carolina coaching colleague, Gary Darnell.

Darnell is in his second season as Texas A&M's defensive coordinator but he's a little busy right now.

Darnell is serving as the Aggies' interim head coach for their Alamo Bowl matchup with Penn State.

"When I spoke to him, it was, 'OK, I've got a couple of minutes,'" said Groh, who said Darnell told him, 'I'd like to talk to you some more but we've got to go to practice.'

"I'm waiting for the return phone call. It's a little bit overdue from when it was promised. What would appear to be our best resource is not cashing in yet."

Okay Virginia. Since you haven't figured out how to find our schedule online, let DT! help you out with the result of Darnell's defensive strategy against Tech:

Here's the boxscore in case you missed it.

I thought you said that Virginia needed to keep Texas Tech from scoring points? Here's a tip Gary Kasparov can get on board with: Coach Darnell may not be the guy to ask about keeping Tech out of the endzone.

Finally someone in the Big 12 did give Al Groh some advice - and while this coach was not mentioned by name - I wonder if Coach Groh finally decided to call someone that actually played Tech and *gasp* maybe even beat us...


Among the suggestions Virginia coach Al Groh has heard from friends in the business on how to slow the Texas Tech offense is this one, provided by an unnamed colleague who has faced the Red Raiders:

“He said his plan was to put the best basketball players on the field that he had,” Groh said Tuesday.

I would rank this just ahead of whatever Coach Darnell might actually suggest. Basketball players might be fun to play against.

Charlottesville's CBS affiliate has their broadcast video available featuring the mighty Groh at the mic...

Maybe the weird strategy of dial-a-coach is partly responsible for Groh ending up on Stewart Mandel's list of "5 Worst Football Coaches." Mandel wrote this piece before the season kicked off (it was published 7/11/07) and so it's interesting now to see how prescient most of the list is...

#2? Coach Fran.
#4? Coach Doba @ Washington State
#5? Karl Dorrell

His "Just Missed" section includes Bill Callahan, Chan Gailey and Houston Nutt.

Stewie definitely swings and misses after excellent performances this season by Coach Groh, Tommy Bowden, and Ron Zook.

DT! Heather Dinich of reports on the loot that the bowl participants will be given this year. The Konica Minolta will be handing out Oakley Thumps to all the players. That's a $200 gift. Not a Nintendo Wii (BCS Championship Game, Holiday and Poinsettia) or an iPod Touch (Las Vegas Bowl). But it's no commemorative watch.

DT! The LA Times released their rankings and picks of bowl games today. The Gator clock in at the 12th most intriguing matchup. Just ahead of the Alamo and just behind BC versus Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl. Good grief. I'm concerned I might be taken to the ER by my wife to get me out of a coma if I watch the Champs Sports Bowl.

DT! I don't know who Chip Ramsey is, but I like this line:

Texas Tech scores like an oilman in a cat house with a roll of $100 bills. Virginia had a nice season, but really. Take Texas Tech.

Wreck 'em.

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