Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could keep lies from conquering the minds of the weak. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
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Three years ago, Tim Brewster and Bret Bielema -- then the head football coaches of the Gophers and Wisconsin, respectively -- clashed famously over Bielema's decision to go for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter with a big lead already. Brewster gave Bielema an earful; Bielema said he was just going off of what was on his two-point conversion card. Regardless, it was clear neither man particularly likes the other and that the situation was not isolated.
Fast-forward to Thursday; Brewster is now an assistant at Florida State (#NoleNation), where you cannot hunt an alligator with a pellet gun. Bielema is the head coach at Arkansas. They are not in the same conference, but they surely compete for some of the same players. And they still really don't like each other -- or at least Bielema made it clear he doesn't like Brewster, per these tweets:
Just an FYI wasn't about the message more about the source. Long history. Respect FSU and history. #relaxpeople— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) May 31, 2013
Ah, is there anything better than a whizzing match between two football coaches? We think not. Our only hope is that Brewster can't resist taking this to the next level. For old time's sake, here's a picture from that tense midfield meeting in 2010.
We grabbed a small snippet of a sweet picture of Tom Brady's son, Jack, handing his dad a flower. We only grabbed a bit -- see the full picture in all its glory here -- because the part that interests us the most is not the touching moment but what the young lad is wearing: a Gophers sweatshirt.
We have no idea why he is wearing it, but as e-mailer Dan suggests, it's never too early to start the "Jack Brady, Gophers incoming class of 2026" football rumors.
Tom, of course, played at Michigan (the other U of M).
Not that most people would be flattered to be compared to the Prince of Darkness, but then again few of us are legitimately granted that comparison. Nick Saban? Well, he's been called the devil multiple times now, most recently by Tim Davis -- former Gophers offensive line coach now in the same position at Florida. And, well, Saban doesn't really care for it. Per ESPN.com:
Two days after being called "the devil himself" by someone who served on his staff at two different places, Alabama coach Nick Saban sounded hurt.
“It really is a little terribly disappointing,” he said Thursday in response to comments made by Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis.
Saban spoke to members of the news media before a Crimson Caravan stop at Turner Field.
“I try to do right by the people that work for me," he said. "It’s a tough, demanding job. And at the same time, if anybody had an issue or problem with me, I would want them to just tell me.”
Saban is right. Having Davis say to him, "You're the devil," like the old SNL Mike Myers sketches, would have been better.
Richard Pitino made a public appearance on Thursday as the Gophers kicked off a 16-city non-metro "Chalk Talk" tour in Redwood Falls.
Call us crazy, but in the little over a month since Pitino took over, we already have a better sense for the style his team will play, his sense of accountability and his personal work ethic than we ever really did with his predecessor, Tubby Smith.
We're not here to bash Smith, who certainly left this program in better shape than he found it, even if his legacy here didn't match his previous resume. But at one point late in his tenure, Smith and several players were asked to define the identity of the team. Smith circled around the answer. Players gave different answers. It got to the heart of what went wrong with the Gophers much of the time when things did go wrong: They did not know who they were. They'd run and succeed. They'd run and turn the ball over. They'd crumble against a zone. They'd try to get tough inside. Some of it is matchups. Some of it is identity.
We think we know this about Pitino already: His teams will run. They will press. They will shoot three-pointers. If they are supposed to make threes and don't make them, that's a problem (see Pitino's comment on the link about Oto Osenieks, a great one-liner but also very true). And if players aren't in shape now, they will be soon. Or they will sit. (See his comments on Elliott Eliason and Mo Walker, players who need to bulk up and slim down, respectively. Smith has talked for years about Walker losing weight. Pitino, with the help of new strength coach Shaun Brown, looks to be demanding it. And Mo seems, for now, to be on board).
Pitino and his staff are scouring the ends of the earth (or at least the country) looking for players that make sense immediately while maintaining flexibility. Joe Coleman's departure, while unfortunate because he would have contributed on the court, pushes Minnesota up to five available scholarships in 2014. That number will stay the same even if they are able to bring in Rakeem Buckles, a power forward from FIU who could get a waiver to play right away this season, his last year of eligibility.
The Gophers will play small and shoot a lot of threes next year, both by necessity and design. They will have the energy to press, both by necessity and design.
We don't know how it will all play out, but at least we know how Pitino is trying to make it play out.
Tim Davis, a former offensive line coach for the Gophers under Tim Brewster, made headlines this week when he called Alabama head coach Nick Saban "the devil himself." Sounds like Davis, now the offensive line coach at Florida, at least knows not to hunt a bear with a pellet gun. Per ESPN.com:
Tim Davis, the Gators' offensive line coach, made the remarks about Saban while comparing him to Florida coach Will Muschamp during a booster club meeting Tuesday.
Davis and Muschamp both worked as assistants under Saban with the NFL's Miami Dolphins. In an attempt to compliment Muschamp, Davis likened the Gators' offensive approach to that of Saban, who has led Alabama to consecutive BCS championships.
"I've always wanted to work with Will [Muschamp]," Davis said. "Will's got a plan. Will coached under the devil himself for seven years. I only did three. He did seven. And his DNA is not any different than Nick."
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