Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; Dec. 19

A few thoughts to jump start your Friday morning...

As of Thursday evening, there was a lot of chatter regarding Doug Nussmeier and Dave Baldwin as Florida’s next offensive coordinator. Here is some information about both and their connection to Gator head coach Jim McElwain.


McElwain and Nussmeier worked together on John L. Smith’s Michigan State staff from 2003-05. Nussmeier followed McElwain as the offensive coordinator at Fresno State in 2008 and at Alabama in 2012. He has pro experience in the CFL with the BC Lions and Ottawa Roughriders and NFL experience with the St. Louis Rams. Prior to the Alabama gig he worked as the offensive coordinator at Washington from 2009-11. This past season he was the offensive coordinator at Michigan.

At Alabama, Nussmeier’s offenses averaged 38.7 points and 445.5 yards per game in the 2012 national championship season and 38.2 points and 454.1 yards in a 12-2 2013. In 2012, A.J. McCarron passed for 2,933 yards (9.3 per attempt), 30 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. In 2013, McCarron passed for 3,063 yards (9.1 per attempt), 28 touchdowns and 7 picks. Alabama had two 1,000-yard rushers in 2012 (Eddie Lacey and T.J. Yeldon) and one (Yeldon) in 2013.

The numbers weren’t good at Michigan this year: 20.9 points and just 333 yards per game. Quarterback Devin Gardner threw for 1,896 yards (6.7 per attempt) and 10 touchdowns with 15 picks. Michigan averaged only 162.83 rushing yards per game, turned the ball over 26 times (8 fumbles, 18 picks) and gave up 26 sacks for -172 yards.

The question is why Nussmeier left Alabama, where the Crimson Tide won the 2012 national championship and was well on its way to a second straight when Auburn got a miracle 100-yard touchdown return of a missed 57-yard field goal as time expired. Although he got a $170,000 raise to go to Michigan, money certainly couldn’t have been the object since Nick Saban can pretty much pay whatever he wants and the people who sign the checks in Tuscaloosa will rubber stamp it.

When he took the Michigan job, Nussmeier said he was in Ann Arbor because of all the things Brady Hoke stands for. Hoke’s a nice guy and certainly not lacking for values and principles, but you don’t leave Alabama, where they contend for national championships nearly every year for Michigan to coach for a guy everybody knew would be fired if he didn’t win at least eight or nine games. Now, Michigan is one of college football’s blue blood programs, but the Wolverines haven’t been relevant in awhile and as long as Saban is the head coach, Alabama will be.

To his credit, Nussmeier would have been Washington’s head coach in 2014 if Chris Peterson hadn’t elected to bolt Boise State. Nussmeier is currently between jobs since Hoke was canned following Michigan’s loss to Ohio State.


Baldwin’s connection with McElwain dates to 2003-06 when he was the offensive coordinator at Michigan State under John L. Smith. McElwain was the wide receivers coach on that staff. Since Michigan State, Baldwin was the offensive coordinator at New Mexico (2007-08) for Rocky Long, offensive coordinator for Gary Anderson at Utah State (2009-11) and spent the last three years working as McElwain’s offensive coordinator at Colorado State.

Baldwin has spent all but his first year in coaching (1978, Granada Hills High School) in the college ranks. He has six years of head coaching experience. He was head coach at Cal State-Northridge (1995-96) where he went 2-8 his first year, 7-4 his second. He was head coach at San Jose State from 1997-2000, going 7-4 in 2000, the Spartans first winning season in eight years.

At Colorado State, the Rams went from 21.2 points and 339 yards per game in year one to 36.8 points and 471.6 yards in 2013 to 35.9 points and 497.8 yards in 2014. In the three years that McElwain and Baldwin worked together at CSU, the offense went from averaging 5.42 yards per play to 6.29 in 2013 and 7.21 in 2014.

The 2012 offense suffered a blow when Garrett Grayson went down with with an injury, forcing Baldwin to go to the bench. Prior to his injury, Grayson threw for 946 yards, 7 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. In 2013, Grayson threw for 3,696 yards (7.8 per attempt), 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In 2014, Grayson has thrown for 3,915 yards (9.5 per attempt), 32 touchdowns and only 6 picks. In 2013 the running game featured Kapri Bibbs, who totaled 1,741 yards and scored 31 touchdowns. This season, Dee Hart ran for 1,254 yards and 16 touchdowns. The 2013 passing game produced eight receivers with at least 21 catches led by Rashard Higgins with 68-837 and 6 touchdowns. In 2014, there were eight receivers with at least 10 catches led by Higgins who had 89-1,640 and 16 TDs.

Baldwin runs a lot of one-back sets with a tight end, three wide receivers and a single back, mostly with the quarterback in the pistol formation. His play calling is typically 50-50 run to pass.

Baldwin has interviewed for the vacancy at Colorado State now that McElwain has departed for Florida. He is considered the fallback choice for the job in case the Colorado State coaching search fails to come up with a good fit from a field that includes Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost, Notre Dame running backs coach and CSU alum Tony Alford, Mississippi State co-OC/WR and CSU alum Billy Gonzales and Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

SINCE 2005 …

From 2005-10, the Gators went 65-15, the best record in the SEC and the third best win total in college football behind Boise State (70-9) and TCU (66-11). In the four years since, the Gators are 28-21. Their 93-36 record won’t crack the top 10. Nationally, Boise State still has the best record (112-19), followed by Ohio State (108-22), Alabama (107-26), Oregon (105-25) and LSU (103-28).

Here are the records of the 14 SEC teams, plus those of Florida State and Miami since 2005:


1. Alabama, 107-26
2. LSU, 103-28
3. Florida, 93-36
4. Georgia, 93-38
5. Missouri, 90-41
6. Auburn, 87-41
7. South Carolina, 83-45
8. Texas A&M, 74-52
9. Arkansas, 69-56
10. Mississippi State, 64-60
11. Tennessee, 63-61
12. Ole Miss, 58-65
13. Kentucky, 53-70
14. Vanderbilt, 52-60


Florida State, 96-37
Miami, 72-53


Call the Belk Bowl the ultimate dilemma for a Georgia fan. Over on the Louisville sideline will be former defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who Georgia fans loathe. On their own sideline will be offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. While they don’t loathe Bobo, they certainly wish he would go somewhere – like maybe to Colorado State, where he interviewed.

Here is the dilemma: Do Georgia fans want Bobo to screw up so badly that Mark Richt will fire him, which would mean Grantham would look really good, or do they want him to do so well that someone will hire him outright, which would mean embarrassing Grantham?

Ideally, for Georgia fans, the Bulldogs will find a way to win the game but both Bobo and Grantham will embarrass themselves.


Best offense:

1. Oregon: 546.2 yards per game (7.35 yards per play) and 46.3 points per game.

2. Ohio State: 507.6 yards per game (7.04 yards per play) and 45.2 points per game.

3. Alabama: 490.5 yards per game (6.73 yards per play) and 37.1 points per game.

4. Florida State: 434.7 yards per game (6.42 yards per play) and 34.8 points per game.

Best defense:

1. Alabama: 312.4 yards per game (4.88 per play), 16.6 points per game.

2. Ohio State: 328 yards per game (4.79 per play), 21.2 points per game.

3. Florida State: 378.3 yards per game (5.31 per play), 23 points per game.

4. Oregon: 413.8 yards per game (5.4 per play), 22.5 points per game.

Best running game:

1. Ohio State: 260.77 yards per game (5.78 per carry), 34 touchdowns

2. Oregon: 237.31 yards per game (5.45 per carry), 37 touchdowns

3. Alabama: 209.46 yards per game (5.11 per carry), 32 touchdowns

4. Florida State: 134.85 yards per game (4.25 per carry), 26 touchdowns

Best run defense:

1. Alabama: 88.69 yards per game (2.81 per carry), 3 touchdowns

2. Ohio State: 139.85 yards per game (3.87 per carry), 21 touchdowns

3. Oregon: 154.23 yards per game (4.12 per carry), 16 touchdowns

4. Florida State: 160.08 yards per game (3.94 per carry), 16 touchdowns

Best passing game:

1. Oregon, 308.9 yards per game (10.0 per attempt), 40 touchdowns, 2 picks

2. Florida State: 299.8 yards per game (8.3 per attempt) 25 touchdowns, 19 picks

3. Alabama: 281 yards per game (8.8 per attempt) and 30 touchdowns, 7 picks

4. Ohio State: 246.8 yards per game (9.2 per attempt), 39 touchdowns, 10 picks

Best pass defense:

1. Ohio State: 188.2 yards per game (5.8 per attempt), 13 touchdowns, 21 picks

2. Florida State: 218.2 yards per game (7.1 per attempt), 20 touchdowns, 13 picks.

3. Alabama: 223.7 yards per game (6.4 per attempt), 17 touchdowns, 10 picks

4. Oregon: 259.5 yards per game (6.6 per attempt), 19 touchdowns, 11 picks

Fewest turnovers:

1. Oregon: 8 (2 picks, 6 fumbles)

2. Alabama: 19 (7 picks, 12 fumbles)

3. Ohio State: 20 (10 picks, 10 fumbles)

4. Florida State: 27 (19 picks, 8 fumbles)

Most turnovers forced:

1. Ohio State: 29 (21 picks, 8 fumbles)

2. Florida State: 24 (13 picks, 11 fumbles)

3. Alabama: 18 (10 picks, 8 fumbles)

4. Oregon: 17 (11 picks, 14 fumbles)

Most sacks:

1. Ohio State: 40 for -284 yards

2. Oregon: 34 for -257 yards

3. Alabama: 28 for -184 yards

4. Florida State: 17 for -136 yards

Fewest sacks allowed:

1. Alabama: 13 for -91 yards

2. Florida State: 21 for -169 yards

3. Ohio State: 24 for -165 yards

4. Oregon: 29 for -159 yards


Now that he’s hired Geoff Collins to coordinate the defense, how critical is it for McElwain to name an offensive coordinator rather quickly?


The Chambers Brothers were a rather unique group from 1954-72. Originally Carthage, Mississippi, the four brothers cut their musical teeth on the gospel music circuit before they moved into soul music. When they moved to Southern California, they combined soul with psychedelic rock. They produced more than a dozen albums. Their best was the 1967 release “The Time Has Come” which featured the single “Time Has Come Today.”

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