Thursday, September 22, 2011
Dr. Z's Florida Atlantic Preview
Old man yells at cloud.
So the Howard Schnellenberger farewell tour makes it way through Auburn Saturday. No word yet on if he will coach the game from a rocker on the sideline. At least Schnelly has the good sense to retire before age 80 (looking at you Joe Pa).
Howard is best known for the rejuvenation of "The U" at Miami, winning the national title in 1983*. But he does not get much credit for being the brains behind Bama's 3 national titles in the 60's. He was the Bear's Guz Malzahn back then, though no one at the Capstone would care to admit that.
After Miami, he took over a Louisville program and made it respectable, beating fellow Bear Bryant sound-a-like Gene Stallings in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl 31-7. Many would argue that Bama should have hired Schnelly in the 80's while floundering under Perkins and Curry. Count me as one who is glad they didn't.
He only managed one train wreck year at Oklahoma, then bailed for some strange reason, only to show up at Florida Atlantic a few years later.
I like Schnellenberger. He is probably one of the better Bryant disciples in the coaching business. Similar in many ways to Brother Oliver, he's under appreciated an often scorned by the Bama nation.
He has no shot this year at being competitive for one main reason. The Owl offense averages 97 yards a game. So this week really is the irresistible force (Auburn D) meeting an immovable object (Owl O). I don't really think it's supposed to work out that way, but we'll just go with it.
Auburn hopefully gets well this week against a much lesser opponent. Hopefully we'll remember how to tackle, and get some much needed confidence on defense.
*If it would have been Bama the U jumped in the polls to #1, do you think they'd be claiming 14 National titles now?