Sunday, October 05, 2008

Keith Hernandez

Listening to the SMU-UCF game, I realized what this season was about. June Jones decided to pull a "Keith Hernandez."

When a person seems to do something completely off the wall and/or completely outrageous for no other reason than he or she is famous and feels he can get away with it or not face repercussions from it, Simmons will say he is having an "I'm Keith Hernandez Moment". The reference comes from the famous Seinfeld episode where Keith Hernandez, on a date with Elaine, tries to convince himself to kiss Elaine by reciting (in his head), "Wait a second - I'm Keith Hernandez!" The most commonly used example of an athlete in an "I'm Keith Hernandez" Moment is Reggie Bush's ill-advised lateral against Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

You see, June Jones walked onto the Hilltop and looked at the QB situation and decided he didn't like what he saw. He had a pretty good QB in Justin Willis whose strengths were not suited to June Jones' offense. Sure, he could make do with what he had and implement his offense over time, but, hey, he's June Jones. So he defied all logic and decided that a true freshman could come in, not participate in the Spring, learn a new system and start for SMU. Of course it is going to work. He's June Jones.

Well, of course it isn't working. Bo Levi Mitchell is a true freshman. He didn't participate in Spring Practice. He is learning a new system. The odds of this working were 1 in a 1,000.

Well, it isn't Mitchell's fault. He should not have been put in this position. June Jones should have known better. June Jones probably did know better.

One of the things SMU fans have craved is accountability. They want someone to take responsibility for the 20 years of losing. They want someone to admit the last 20 years have been a series of mistakes. That carries itself to every decision that is ever made about SMU football, from those made on the field to those made in the AD's office. SMU fans never get that satisfaction.

And here is another instance where that admission is not going to be made. Nor should it. There is nothing that can be said or done that is going to change the way the season is going. Sure, Willis or Turner or somebody else could be named the starter tomorrow, but what will that accomplish? We will be int he same spot next season. Let Mitchell play; let him figure it out. If he does, then all the better. If he doesn't, it is an open competition in the Spring. Fine. And let's be honest, we all recognize this team wasn't going to be very good no matter who was the QB: the defense is terrible and the best player at his position is the kicker. If the offense worked perfectly, maybe, just maybe, the team could win enough shootouts to eek into bowl eligibility. But that, I think we can see, was not and is not going to happen.

Somebody on ponyfans wondered why other schools can bring in a new coach and turn things around immediately and SMU can't seem to do it. I will give you three reasons. First, and most importantly, past academic restrictions really hurt the overall talent level of the team. Hopefully those issues have been resolved. The hiring of June Jones suggests it has as he wouldn't come if he had to deal with the BS his predecessors have. Second, SMU has kept coaches around too long. Five years is enough and in some cases, too long. After Bennett's winless season, recruiting took a nosedive and enthusiasm dropped off dramatically. Any objective observer would have told you the football team was going to struggle (especially the defense) after Bennett's 6-6 season and the graduation of probably the three best defensive linemen SMU has had in 20 years. Third, Cavan and Bennett were idiots.


dude said...

SMU will get better every week.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Jones was a little full of himself when he decided to go with Mitchell of Willis. I think his mindset was "he's my recruit, I can with my recruit." I think that was the opposite mindset when he went into Hawaii. Going into Hawaii he didn't have any recruits, so he just made do with what he had and it actually turned out good. Sure, there were some expected growing pains, especially with the defense which is plain lousy, but Jones could have adjusted his offense to make the growing pains less evident.

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