Well-Timed Change

Tuberville's decision to revamp offense before bowl game will pay off

May 29, 2008

By Trev Alberts

Special to CSTV.com


Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CBS College Sports and CSTV.com.

You've got college football questions and CSTV football analyst Trev Alberts has answers and opinions. Each week Alberts will be answering questions and queries on the world of college football. So if you've got a question for Trev? Just ask him.


Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin still has not settled on a starting quarterback, but if it's based on performance thus far, it should be Kodi Burns - his mechanics have vastly improved, and no other player on Auburn's roster has his type of big-play ability.  And with all starters on the o-line returning, it appears Auburn's concern on offense should be a lack of playmakers at wide receiver.  Trev, just wanted to get your opinion on Auburn's transition to the spread offense. - John-Fielding Myers, Atlanta


Anytime you have a transition it does take some time. But looking back in hindsight I think it was a really intelligent idea for Tommy Tuberville to make the change when he did. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt knowing that the transition was going to take time and in essence they've had two sets of spring practices.  


If you knew you were going to make a change, and you knew you were going to make such a drastic change, I thought he was very wise to bring in Tony when he did before the bowl game. That being said, having not named a starting quarterback I wouldn't be too concerned about at the moment. I've talked about this in the past, but I don't like it when it goes deep into fall camp and you haven't named a starter. I think it's important for the team to know who its leader is going to be.


With the spread offense, certainly you want to have playmakers at every position, but here's the benefit of the it: you can threaten people even if you have only one or two difference makers. It's more difficult to take away the one real difference maker in a spread offense than it is in a more traditional offense. Would Auburn like to have a bunch of playmakers on the outside? Of course they would. But Florida went through a similar transition and we've all been able to see how dominant you can be with one special player.


But I think Auburn will be just fine in the long run.


What do you think Mike Stoops needs to do to keep his job? - Jason L.


I really like Mike Stoops and I can tell you from firsthand experience that he is an excellent football coach. He really is. He understands the game, but I would say first off that it's tough being down there next to Arizona State and in such a competitive league.


He has been on the hot seat before and come through with amazing victories. They've beaten teams that maybe they weren't supposed to or people didn't think they could beat. I think the thing for him now is to develop some consistency. They've proven they can knock off top flight talent. But they've also proven they can't do that on a consistent basis.


It's been a tougher transition for him than people thought. Maybe Arizona football was further down than people really knew about. Mike's a good coach, but at the same time I think it's fair for fans to say it's been four years and we need to get to a bowl game.


What differences did you see in Colt McCoy when you compare his freshman year with his sophomore year. And what can we expect from him in 08? - Kellen, Texas


There are a lot of variables into why a guy is more successful one year compared to another. Sometimes you see a guy come in and he's young and you don't put too much on him. You don't want to overwhelm him. Then maybe the next year you loosen him up and throw more things on his plate. I'm not sure if they put too much on his plate, if he couldn't handle some things last season. Maybe you wonder if the guy got too comfortable. I don't know. There are a lot of different factors.


If I'm his coach I would go back to the drawing board and figure out what made him so comfortable. What were the plays, the schemes, that he executed so well. You obviously can't bring back offensive linemen and playmakers who are in the NFL.


Now remember, defensive coordinators have been scouting him to track his weaknesses. And sometimes young quarterbacks can force the ball, wanting to do more than what you're capable of, but I'm confident Mack Brown have been looking at what's best for him.

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