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A&M’s Sumlin On Complaints About Hurry-Up: “Everybody Should Be In Shape”

gfx - they said itThere are those who believe — Alabama’s Nick Saban, Arkansas’ Bret Bielema — that hurry-up offenses are more dangerous for athletes.  In their view, more injuries occur when players are winded, therefore, no-huddle, up-tempo attacks should be slowed down a bit.

There are others who believe — Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze — that those complaints make no sense as offensive players are having to move just as quickly and exert just as much energy as their defensive counterparts.

You can add another of the league’s hurry-up proponents to the list of people who think defensive-minded coaches need to get over it.  Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin had this to say when discussing his offensive philosophy last night:


“(We) want to put some pressure on defenses and maybe change their philosophies on what they’re doing and keep them in certain packages.  When you have flexibility offensively that helps you keep some personnel on the field.

Obviously, some people have complained about us not substituting and going real fast… that’s created some issues in this league all of the sudden.  (But) everybody should be in shape and be good enough to play.”


At, we’ve stated on multiple occasions that this argument will continue until the NCAA commissions a study that compares the number of injuries to the average number of seconds between plays run.

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Bielema Gets Loud When Asked About Hurry-Up Offenses

ARKANSAS MEDIA DAYSThe question was pretty straight-forward.  Bret Bielema was simply told that Auburn’s Gus Malzahn had said that he thought the notion of hurry-up offenses being dangerous was a joke.  Arkansas’ coach was asked for his response.

Bielema apparently took it that Malzahn had suggested that he specifically was being silly, rather than all of the defensive-minded coaches out there as whole.

Bielema then got loud.  And he talked even faster.  It was clear he was heated:


“He thought it was a joke?  I’m not a comedian.

Everything that I say is things that I truly believe in.  When I go into a young man’s home… when you go into recruit a kid that’s 17-years-old and you’re gonna move him halfway across the country and you say, ‘I’m gonna look out for the personal well-being of your son in everything I do.”  It’s gonna be gameday, it’s gonna be practice, it’s gonna be in conditioning sessions.  I am trusting you to give me your son to come play for me.  And if I have a son that I have brought to this campus and I don’t look for his personal well being, then I have lied to that parent.

Alls I know is this, there are times when an offensive player and a defensive player are on the field for an extended amount of time without a break.  You cannot tell me that a player after Play Five is the same player that he is after Play 15.  And if that exposes him to a risk of injury then that’s my fault.  And I can’t do anything about it.”


If that reads like a rant (including “Alls I know”), it should.  It was.  Bielema was hot.  He concluded:


“If you wanna play hurry-up offense, play it.  I’ll play it.  But it doesn’t mean I can’t try to protect my players.”


Arkansas fans will love that.  Most everyone else will think that he got a little too fired up over a comment that he didn’t hear for himself.

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Report: AU’s Dyer Filing Paperwork To Enroll At Arkansas State

You can throw another log on the Mike-Dyer’s-leaving-Auburn-fire this afternoon.  According to the website, the suspended Tiger running back filed paperwork this afternoon to enroll at Arkansas State.

Two ASU players tweeted and Facebook’d “welcome” messages to Dyer a week ago, but Auburn coach Gene Chizik said at the time that there had been no change in Dyer’s status — he was still indefinitely suspended from the AU squad.  Still, Dyer was noticeably absent from Auburn’s bowl media guide and from a postseason highlight reel that was shown in the Georgia Dome during the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Dyer’s former offensive coordinator at Auburn — Gus Malzahn — has just taken the reins as Arkansas State’s head coach.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE — Matt Harris of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has now tweeted a follow-up to the above report/rumor from  “Hearing from a source close to Dyer the #AState transfer paperwork rumor is bunk.  Family wants to meet with Chizik at Auburn.”

And that’s why used the “rumors” icon in connection with this one.  When it comes to Dyer, we want to hear an official word from Chizik or Malzahn before we believe he’s moving from one school to the other.

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Monday SEC Coaching Rumors

Just a quick catch-up on some of the coaching rumors making the rounds today…

* New Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze is expected to bring multiple assistants with him from Arkansas State.  Two names to keep an eye on are Chris Kiffin (defensive line coach) and Grant Heard (receivers coach).

It has also been reported by that Freeze has offered the offensive coordinator position in Oxford to…

* Current LSU running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson.  Wilson had been mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Bob Toledo at Tulane, but that job is expected to go to New Orleans Saints receivers coach Curtis Johnson.

* Carl Pelini has been named the head coach at Florida Atlantic.  Former Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee was a strong candidate for that job before officially accepting the job as UAB’s head coach yesterday.

John L. Smith — the special teams coach in Fayetteville — is rumored to be a top candidate at his alma mater, Weber State.  The school has scheduled a press conference to announce its coach tomorrow.

* Auburn’s Gus Malzahn appears to be totally out of the mix at North Carolina at this point.  Troy Calhoun of Air Force and Larry Fedora of Southern Miss appear to be the top candidates for that job.

* Fedora is also in the mix at Kansas and at Texas A&M.  Fedora is a native of College Station, was an Aggie fan growing up, and his brother coaches a nearby high school team.  His name began to shoot up the ranks after his Southern Miss team — 11-2 and C-USA champions — pounded previously unbeaten Houston on Saturday.  On the other end of that beating was Kevin Sumlin who is also a candidate for the A&M job. 

Currently, it sounds like Fedora and Louisville’s Charlie Strong are the leaders for the A&M gig.  Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart has also been discussed as a possible candidate.

We still wonder if A&M might not have been wiser keeping Mike Sherman as head coach — to allow for a smoother transition into the SEC — while adding a top-flight defensive coordinator.  Supposedly, if A&M goes with the offensive-minded Sumlin he will have to bring in a “name” D-coordinator.  Sherman’s offense was proven.  Seems like the safer and less expensive move would have been to simply add someone like Mike Stoops to Sherman’s staff… rather than start all over again from the top down.

*  We mentioned Smart above, but fellow Alabama assistant Jim McElwain — the Tide’s offensive coordinator — has been mentioned in connection with the open head coaching position at Fresno State.

* It’s been reported that Georgia AD Greg McGarity will begin working with Mark Richt on a contract extension in the next couple of weeks.

* is reporting that Kentucky receivers coach Tee Martin will not be heading to Tennessee.  Reports from the Volunteer State say Martin was never officially offered a job with his alma mater.

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SEC Headlines – 8/26/11 Part Two

1.  Kentucky coaches believe Collins Ukwu can become a great defensive end.

2.  If quarterback Morgan Newton doesn’t improve, UK and Joker Phillips “are in trouble.”

3.  Freshman receiver Nile Daniel has returned to high school in an effort to gain his eligibility for the Cats.

4.  South Carolina will use both Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw against East Carolina.

5.  This writer says Tennessee got rid of a potential distraction by booting safety Janzen Jackson.

6.  Cuonzo Martin can now get to work with no fear of further NCAA punishment.

7.  Vandy’s strength coach has been working over his new team.

8.  Nick Saban hints at progress in Duron Carter’s eligibility case.

9.  Bama has still not decided how it will use its quarterbacks.

10.  Auburn’s Gus Malzahn wants to run 80 plays per game this year.

11.  Gene Chizik set up a 6am practice this morning.

12.  In the worst kept secret department: Tyler Wilson has finally been named Arkansas’ starting quarterback.

13.  Injured tailback Knile Davis says he’ll be back faster and stronger than ever.

14.  Now under arrest, Jordan Jefferson and Josh Johns have also been suspended from the LSU football team.

15.  With all the mess in play in Baton Rouge, Les Miles’ new contract actually offers him more security.

16.  Held back in practice, Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden is ready for game action.

17.  The grind of camp is taking its toll on the Rebels.

18.  MSU’s Vick Ballard says he’ll top the 1,000-yard mark this fall.

19.  Rick Stansbury is now saying he made the decision for Renardo Sidney to go to Houston rather than travel to Europe with the rest of the team.

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Smart Gets Another Raise At Bama

In 2009, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was paid $360,000.

The Crimson Tide won the national championship and Georgia — Smart’s alma mater — came calling.  But Smart stayed put.  For his loyalty to Bama, UA more than doubled his salary (not unlike George C. Scott’s Scrooge to David Warner’s Bob Cratchit).

So in 2010, Smart was paid $750,000.  Then rumors swirled that his old college teammate and buddy Will Muschamp was interested in having him join his new Gator staff down at Florida.  But Smart stayed put.  And now he’s getting another raise worth $100,000.

2009 — $360,000

2010 — $750,000

2011 — $850,000

Think the big football factories don’t have plenty of excess cash to throw around?

Of course, Smart’s salary doesn’t even make him the highest-paid coordinator in the state of Alabama.  Auburn’s Gus Malzahn will make $1.3 million next season.

Joining Smart at the Tuscaloosa teller window is strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran who’ll receive a raise that will take his pay up to $290,000 next year.

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