Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; Dec.1

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

When he was fired as Florida’s head football coach back in 2014, Will Muschamp summed up his situation perfectly: “We didn’t win enough football games.” Muschamp went 28-21 during his stay at Florida, which wasn’t good enough to continue as the face of the UF program.

Over the weekend, Mark Richt, who won plenty of games – 145 in 15 years; 9 seasons of 10 or more wins – was fired by Georgia and LSU’s Les Miles had a close encounter with a pink slip. Richt’s sin was he never beat Nick Saban, was 5-10 against Florida, and failed to win a national championship in the same time frame that four different SEC schools brought home eight championship trophies. Les Miles won a national championship in 2007 and averaged 10 wins a season (111-32) from 2005-15, but since his last national title, Alabama has won three. Alabama is coached by Nick Saban, who also won one at LSU in 2003.

What the weekend proves is that while winning is important, beating the right people is more important.

Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, whose Tigers are ranked #1 and unbeaten at 12-0, probably put it best: “A lot of the people cheering for you and rooting for you are the same ones that will run you out the door if you have a few bad games or a couple so-called bad seasons.”

Here are three theories why Richt’s efforts weren’t good enough and Miles was within a Jimbo Fisher yes of being unemployed.

1. The Steve Spurrier Theory

When he departed Florida after the 2001 season, Steve Spurrier said that 12 years is a good number for a coach to be at one school, particularly if you’re really successful. Spurrier mentioned at his departure press conference that an 11-2 record (like the one in 2001) no longer satisfied the UF fan base. Richt won two SEC titles in his first five years at Georgia, then did an oh-fer the last 10 years. Richt had the folks thinking a national title was in the works in those first five years and they soured on him when there were no championships. Richt could have had any job he wanted in 2012 when Georgia was a tipped pass away from beating Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. If we go by the Spurrier Theory, Richt should have departed after 2012 and Miles (11 years at LSU) should think about making next season his last in Baton Rouge.

2. The Money Is Ridiculous Theory

By the time all his bonuses and incentives are factored in, Saban will make $8 million this year. The folks at Bama will tell you that it’s money well invested because Nick brings championships and championships bring in money. Mark Richt was making $4 million – not in Nick’s ball park but nice work if you can get it – and was only the 10th highest paid coach in the SEC. Miles, who would have been fired if Fisher ($5.15 million per) had said yes to AD Joe Alleva, makes $5 million. The lowest paid coach in the league is Derek Mason at Vandy, whose paycheck is a mere $200,000 per month. While Alabama justifies what it pays Nick, what about all those other SEC coaches who aren’t winning championships? Argue all you want that they’re simply making what the market will pay, but the market is way out of touch with reality. If the highest paid job was $1 million a year, do you think any of them would quit coaching because it doesn’t pay enough? While I’m all for people making as much money as they can, I also realize that when a school is paying the football coach 8X the money they pay the school president, the football coach better win championships or he’s gone. Richt didn’t win championships and Les Miles almost got the boot because he hasn’t won a national title since 2007. If there weren’t so much money involved would there be more patience?

3. The It’s All Nick Saban’s Fault Theory

If you take away that first year on the job, Nick Saban’s record at Alabama is 95-12 – 61-8 against SEC opponents and 72-0 against unranked teams. Before Nick got it rolling at Alabama, the measuring stick was Urban Meyer at Florida and before that it was Steve Spurrier at Florida. If you’re an SEC coach and you’re not doing as well as Nick Saban, you’re on a very short leash. From 2008-15 Mark Richt went 73-32 at Georgia and Les Miles went 77-26 at LSU. There is nothing wrong with those records, but they pale in comparison to Nick Saban.

ASSESSING THE QB SITUATION AT ALL 14 SEC SCHOOLS

A couple of years ago, there was this widespread theory that the SEC was trending downward because it lacked the big, strong defensive linemen of the past. The SEC is loaded with stud D-linemen these days but the league is still in a downward trend. Biggest reason? It’s the quarterback position. The only current SEC QB that you know will make an NFL roster in the future – and he may never start in the league – is Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott. Here is how I rank 14 starters in the league followed by a rundown of the situation moving forward to 2016. Notice six of the top seven QBs are in the SEC West:

1. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
2. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
3. Brandon Allen, Arkansas
4. Jacob Coker, Alabama
5. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
6. Kyle Allen, Texas A&M
7. Brandon Harris, LSU
8. Perry Orth, South Carolina
9. Greyson Lambert, Georgia
10. Jeremy Johnson, Auburn
11. Treon Harris, Florida

12. Drew Barker, Kentucky
13. Drew Lock, Missouri
14. Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt

ALABAMA

Departing: Jacob Coker (2,285 yards, 15 TDs/8 INTs, 2 rushing TDs)

Returning: Cooper Bateman, 6-3, 220, RSO (291 passing yards, 1 TD/2 INTs); Alec Morris, 6-3, 233 RJR (6 passing yards); David Cornwell, 6-5, 221, RFR; * Blake Barnett, 6-5, 200, FR

For 2016: Jalen Hurts (6-2, 208, Channelview, TX)

Projected starter 2016: Blake Barnett

ARKANSAS

Departing: Brandon Allen (3,125 yards, 29 TDs/7 INTs; 1 rushing TD) graduates

Returning: Austin Allen, 602, 210 SO (35 passing yards, 1 TD); Rafe Peavy, 6-2, 203 RFR; * Ty Storey 6-3, 211 FR

* Redshirt 2015

For 2016: Cole Kelley (6-7, 246, Lafayette, LA Tuerlings Catholic)

Projected starter 2016: Austin Allen

AUBURN

Departing: None

Returning: Sean White 6-0, 200, RFR (1,064 passing yards, 1 TD/2 INTs); Jeremy Johnson, 6-5, 240 JR (1,042 passing yards, 9 TDs/7 INTs; 111 rushing yards, 5 TDs; * Tyler Queen, 6-1, 241 FR

* Redshirt 2015

For 2016: John Franklin III (6-1, 185, Fort Lauderdale, FL/Scooba, MS East Mississippi Community College

Projected starter 2016: John Franklin III

FLORIDA

Departing: None

Returning: Treon Harris, 5-11, 190 SO (1,365 passing yards, 8 TDs/4 INTs; 193 rushing yards); * Will Grier, 6-2, 203 RFR (1,204 passing yards, 10 TDs/3 INTs; 116 rushing yards, 2 TDs; ** Luke Del Rio, 6-1, 216 RSO

* Ineligible first 6 games of 2016

** Transfer 2015, eligible 2016

For 2016: Feleipe Franks (6-6, 219, Crawfordville, FL Wakulla County); Kyle Trask (6-6, 211, Manvel, TX)

Projected starter 2016: Luke Del Rio until game seven; Will Grier after that

GEORGIA

Departing: None

Returning: Greyson Lambert, 6-5, 220 JR/GR (1.844 passing yards, 11 TDs/2 INTs; 1 rushing TD); Brice Ramsey, 6-3, 213 RSO (247 passing yards, 1 TD/2 INTs); Faton Bauta, 6-3, 215 RJR (154 passing yards, 0 TDs/4 INTs)

For 2016: Jacob Eason (6-6, 217, Lake Stevens, WA)

Projected starter 2016: Greyson Lambert unless the new coach retains Jacob Eason

KENTUCKY

Departing: Patrick Towles (2,148 passing yards, 9 TDs/14 INTs; 5 rushing TDs)

Returning: Drew Barker, 6-3, 225 RFR (364 passing yards, 1 TD/2 INTs; 1 rushing TD; Reese Phillips 6-2, 229 SO

For 2016: Gunnar Hoak (6-4, 194, Dublin, OH Coffman)

Projected starter 2016: Drew Barker

LSU

Departing: None

Returning: Brandon Harris, 6-3, 206, SO (1,904 passing yards, 12 TDs/5 INTs; 185 rushing yards, 3 TDs); Anthony Jennings, 6-2, 216, JR; * Justin McMillan, 6-2, 193, FR

* Redshirt 2015

For 2016: No commitments

Projected starter 2016: Brandon Harris

MISSISSIPPI STATE

Departing: Dak Prescott (3,413 passing yards, 25 TDs/4 INTs; 541 rushing yards, 10 TDs

Returning: * Damian Williams, 6-1, 228, RJR; Nick Fitzgerald, 6-5, 227 RFR (235 passing yards, 3 TDs/0 INTs; 127 rushing yards, 3 TDs); Elijah Staley, 6-6, 248, RFR (51 passing yards, 1 TD/0 INTs)

* Redshirt 2015

For 2016: No commitments

Projected starter 2016: Damian Williams

MISSOURI

Departing: Maty Mauk (654 passing yards, 6 TDs/4 INTs; 145 rushing yards, 1 TD); Corbin Berkstresser

Returning: Drew Lock, 6-4, 205, FR (1,332 passing yards, 4 TDs/8 INTs; 1 rushing TD); Eddie Printz (6-3, 205, RSO); Marvin Zanders (6-1, 185, RFR)

For 2016: No commitments

Projected starter 2016: Drew Lock

OLE MISS

Departing: None

Returning: Chad Kelly, 6-2, 215, JR (3,740 passing yards, 27 TDs/12 INTs; 427 rushing yards, 10 TDs; Ryan Buchanan, 6-3, 217, SO (96 passing yards, 2 TDs/1 INT); DeVante Kincaid, 6-0, 184, SO (79 passing yards, 1 TD/0 INTs; 87 rushing yards)

For 2016: Shea Patterson (6-1, 197, Shreveport, LA/Bradenton, FL IMG Academy)

Projected starter 2016: Chad Kelly

SOUTH CAROLINA

Departing: Perry Orth (1,929 passing yards, 12 TDs/9 INTs; 138 rushing yards, 2 TDs)

Returning: Lorenzo Nunez, 6-2, 190 FR (376 passing yards, 3 TDs/3 INTs; 375 rushing yards, 2 TDs); Connor Mitch, 6-3, 211 SO (165 passing yards, 1 TD/0 INTs; 1 rushing TD; Michael Scarnecchia, 6-4, 201, RFR

For 2016: Brandon McIwain (6-1, 204, Newtown, PA Council Rock North)

Projected starter 2016: Lorenzo Nunez

TENNESSEE

Departing: None

Returning: Joshua Dobbs, 6-3, 216, JR (2,125 passing yards, 15 TDs/5 INTs; 623 rushing yards, 9 TDs); Quinten Dormady, 6-4, 216, FR (181 passing yards, 1 TD/0 INTs); * Sheriron Jones, 6-2, 208, FR

* Redshirt, 2015

For 2016: Jarrett Guarantano (6-4, 194, Oradell, NJ Bergen Catholic)

Projected starter 2016: Joshua Dobbs

TEXAS A&M

Departing: None

Returning: Kyle Allen, 6-3, 210, SO (2,210 passing yards, 17 TDs/7 INTs; 102 rushing yards, 2 TDs); Kyler Murray, 5-11, 188, FR (686 passing yards, 5 TDs/7 INTs; 335 rushing yards, 1 TD); Jake Hubenak, 6-3, 195, SO (92 passing yards, 1 TD/O INTs)

For 2016: No commitments

Projected starter 2016: Kyle Allen

VANDERBILT

Departing: None

Returning: Kyle Shurmur, 6-4, 226, FR (503 passing yards, 5 TDs/3 INTs); Johnny McCrary, 6-4, 220 RSO (1,533 passing yards, 6 TDs/15 INTs; 186 rushing yards, 2 TDs); Wade Freebeck, 6-5, 220, RSO (26 passing yards, 0 TDs/1 INT)

For 2016: Deuce Wallace (6-2, 205, Sevierville, TN Sevier County)

Projected starter 2016: Kyle Shurmur

COUNTDOWN TO FIRING DAY UPDATES

Per FoxSports.com’s Bruce Feldman, South Carolina is taking a long look at former UF HBC and Auburn DC Will Muschamp. That could be a sure sign that a Kirby Smart to Georgia deal is in the works.

Southern California removed the interim from Clay Helton and gave him a 5-year deal. Helton will probably make staff changes in the offseason, most likely on the offensive side of the ball. Does he bring younger brother Tyson in from Western Kentucky where his offense averaged 44.2 points and 519.7 yards per game with QB Brandon Doughty throwing for 4,184 yards and 42 TDs?

There are reports that Mark Richt will be meeting with the administration at Maryland on Tuesday. There is also a very good possibility that Richt could be the new head coach at Virginia. Richt says he has already been contacted by “about five schools.”

Tom Herman has agreed to a raise to $3 million that will keep him in Houston for at least a couple more years.

Kentucky coach Stoops is saved by the buyout -- $15.5 million now and $12 million next year.

SEC IN NCAA STATS

OFFENSE

Scoring (points per game): (13) Ole Miss 40.3; (30) Arkansas 35.2; (34) Alabama 34.5; (36) Tennessee 34.3; (45) Mississippi State 33.0; (54) LSU 30.7; (68) Texas A&M 28.3; (79) Auburn 27.2; (86) Georgia 26.5; (92) FLORIDA 25.3; (Tie, 96) Kentucky 24.7; (110) South Carolina 21.9; (Tie, 123) Vanderbilt 15.2; (126) Missouri 13.6

Rushing (yards per game/per carry): (10) LSU 245.9/5.80; (21) Tennessee 223.4/4.76; (28) Alabama 206.2/4.92; (38) Georgia 194.3/5.24; (41) Arkansas 192.6; (42) Auburn 191.8/4.33; (55) Ole Miss 181.1/5.10; (65) Texas A&M 171.7; (77) Kentucky 162.7/4.66; (Tie, 87) South Carolina 154.7/4.39, Vanderbilt 154.7/3.75; (102) Mississippi State 140.3/4.30; (103) FLORIDA 137.0/3.56; (119) Missouri 115.4/3.49

Passing (yards per game/per attempt): (11) Ole Miss 333.7/8.82; (17) Mississippi State 311.1/8.15; (34) Arkansas 264.3/9.11; (40) Texas A&M 251.3/6.95; (73) Alabama 215.2/7.09; (74) FLORIDA 214.9/7.24; (81) Kentucky 209.3/6.33; (85) South Carolina 207.5/7.09; (93) Tennessee 199.0/7.00; (103) Georgia 187.1/7.38; (107) Auburn 175.5/7.26; (110) LSU 173.1/7.47; (112) Vanderbilt 171.8/5.48; (113) Missouri 165.5/5.32

Total offense (yards per game/per play): (11) Ole Miss 514.8/7.02; (33) Arkansas 456.8/6.70; (34) Mississippi State 451.4/6.37; (49) Texas A&M 423.0/5.64; (50) Tennessee 422.5/5.60; (51) Alabama 421.3/5.83; (54) LSU 419.0/6.39; (76) Georgia 381.4/6.11; (90) Kentucky 372.0/5.47; (97) Auburn 367.3/5.37; (100) South Carolina 362.2/5.61; (104) FLORIDA 351.9/5.16; (116) Vanderbilt 326.5/4.50; (124) Missouri 280.9/4.38

Sacks allowed (number/yards): (Tie, 7) Arkansas 12-83; (Tie, 10) Georgia 13-87; (Tie, 31) Ole Miss 17-131, Alabama 17-128; (Tie, 39) LSU 17-119; (Tie, 42) Auburn 19-141; (Tie, 51) Tennessee 21-156; (Tie, 68) South Carolina 26-169; (Tie, 78) Vanderbilt 28-178; (Tie, 91) Missouri 30-176, Kentucky 30-191; (Tie, 99) Mississippi State 31-191; (Tie, 102) Texas A&M 32-211; (116) FLORIDA 37-208

Turnovers Lost: (2) LSU 9; (Tie, 3) Arkansas 10; (Tie, 13) Tennessee 12; (Tie, 19) FLORIDA 14, Auburn 14; (Tie, 26) South Carolina 15; (Tie, 36) Alabama 16; (Tie, 47) Missouri 17, Mississippi State 17; (Tie, 56) Georgia 18; (Tie, 92) Kentucky 22, Ole Miss 22, Texas A&M 22; (Tie, 112) Vanderbilt 25;  

DEFENSE

Scoring (points per game): (3) Alabama 14.3; (5) FLORIDA 15.5; (7) Missouri 15.8; (10) Georgia 16.9; (21) Vanderbilt 21.0; (26) Tennessee 21.2; (29) Texas A&M 21.6; (Tie, 38) Mississippi State 22.8, Ole Miss 22.8; (45) LSU 24.9; (68) Auburn 27.3; (69) Kentucky 27.4; (71) South Carolina 27.5; (Tie, 73) Arkansas 27.8

Rushing (yards per game/per carry): (1) Alabama 78.9/2.47; (7) FLORIDA 111.3/3.30; (18) Arkansas 119.6/3.77; (26) LSU 131.5/4.01; (27) Ole Miss 132.4/3.41; (28) Missouri 132.8/3.29; (38) Vanderbilt 143.2/4.02; (48) Georgia 151.9/3.97; (49) Tennessee 153.3/4.25; (72) Mississippi State 171.7/4.29; (91) Auburn 189.7/4.63; (96) Kentucky 196.1/4.61; (104) Texas A&M 205.9/4.85; (111) South Carolina 217.4/5.13

Passing (yards per game/per attempt): (1) Georgia 146.1/5.8; (5) Texas A&M 161.3/5.85; (7) Missouri 172.3/5.74; (9) FLORIDA 172.3/5.62; (16) Alabama 185.7/5.79; (32) Kentucky 198.1/6.93; (44) Vanderbilt 207.3/6.43; (47) LSU 211.0/6.39; (50) South Carolina 212.4/7.35; (56) Mississippi State 216.8/6.57; (57) Tennessee 217.2/6.50; (76) Auburn 232.2/6.62; (98) Ole Miss 255.1/6.27; (120) Arkansas 284.5/8.31

Total defense (yards per game/per play): (2) Alabama 264.8/4.13; (5) FLORIDA 283.6/4.41; (8) Georgia 298.0/4.70; (9) Missouri 302.0/4.32; (25) LSU 342.5/5.20; (30) Vanderbilt 350.5/5.17; (42) Texas A&M 367.2/5.25; (46) Tennessee 370.4/5.33; (55) Ole Miss 387.5/4.87; (57) Mississippi State 388.4/5.32; (61) Kentucky 394.2/5.55; (73) Arkansas 404.1/6.12; (89) Auburn 421.8/5.54; (95) South Carolina 429.8/6.03

Sacks (number/yards lost): (3) Alabama 41-257; (Tie, 5) FLORIDA 38-277; (Tie, 19) Texas A&M 33-190; (31) LSU 28-193; (Tie, 43) Missouri 28-168; (Tie, 56) Tennessee 26-148, Vanderbilt 26-156, Ole Miss 26-171; (Tie, 64) Mississippi State 25-182; (Tie, 88) Georgia 21-121; (Tie, 95) South Carolina 20-137; (Tie, 102) Arkansas 18-111; (Tie, 105) Auburn 17-122, Kentucky 17-110

Turnovers created: (Tie, 17) FLORIDA 24; (Tie, 27) Alabama 23; (Tie, 34) Ole Miss 22; (Tie, 43) Georgia 21; (Tie, 56) South Carolina 20, Kentucky 20; (Tie, 70) Auburn 18, Texas A&M 18; (Tie, 82) Arkansas 17, Vanderbilt 17; (Tie, 90) Missouri 16, LSU 16; (Tie, 99) Tennessee 15; (Tie, 114) Mississippi State 12

QUESTION OF THE DAY

How much of a factor does money play in the impatience with coaches these days?

MUSIC FOR TODAY

From the first time I heard him sing “Gimme Some Lovin” for the Spencer Davis Group back in 1966, I’ve been listening to Steve Winwood. Monday was a good day for listening to “Arc of the Diver,” Winwood’s 1980 solo album that features the classic “While You See a Chance.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzYMIcb9M_Y

 


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