Sunday, October 26, 2014

R.C. and the SEC West

The more SEC football I watch on Saturdays, the more I believe R.C. Slocum was years ahead of his time at Texas A&M. Slocum believed that to be good, a team had to be able to run the football on offense, and stop the other team from running the ball on defense. That's it. That's essentially what Slocum tried to achieve while he was the Aggie head coach, and that's basically what his successful teams did best.

I don't think Slocum was ever comfortable with the idea of winning by relying heavily on the passing game. His best quarterback was Bucky Richardson, and his passing quarterbacks were journeymen like Corey Pullig, Mark Farris, and Randy McCown.

Slocum was never as successful in the Big 12 (1996-2002) as he'd been in the Southwest Conference (1989-1995), because his passing offenses weren't good enough to beat teams with rushing defenses that were better than his, and he couldn't recruit and develop the kind of talented quarterbacks needed to dominate games after Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas State replaced Rice, TCU and SMU on the fall schedule.

Slocum's best teams would have fit well in the SEC West, though, where power accrues to those with the ability to run the ball on offense, and stop the opponent from running the football on defense. Last night, LSU knocked off undefeated Ole Miss in a 10-7 game that featured muscular rushing and potent defense. It was the kind of game that would've been a wet dream for Slocum, and a style of football A&M stopped playing after R.C. moved on.

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Dedicated to Jim Ferguson. If you don't know who Jim Ferguson is, you (a) haven't seen The Missouri Breaks, or (b) have an inadequate ability to fully assimilate movie trivia.