You don't have to be more than a casual observer of the SEC to know what Florida Gators fans think of Steve Addazio. As their offensive coordinator for the last two years, the fact that the hateblog Fire Steve Addazio has been pretty popular is your one-stop shopping for all the reasons UF has languished when trying to move the ball. Well, he wasn't fired. In fact, he was hired; by the Temple Owls, who has found their Al Golden replacement. To Florida fans, that's probably just as good.
So now the question remains: will this new partnership work at all?
Addazio inherits an 8-4 team that beat Connecticut and Army, and also beat up on Akron and Buffalo by a combined 72-0. He's inherting from the Golden Era a couple of wonderful sophomore running backs (Bernard Pierce/Matt Brown), some impressive defensive tackles (Adrian Robinson/Muhammad Wilkerson) and a reasonable o-line — his specialty.
The quarterback is not their strength, and never has been, so this hiring just might work out.
Another case study: in 2008 Dave Clawson wasn't retained by Tennessee after their offense went down the tubes. The next year Bowling Green snapped him up, at which point he improved the Falcons by one win, even getting them to a bowl game. Vols fans crucified Clawson after his supposed knowledge of the passing game crippled UT into ranking near the bottom of the league. At BG, he turned Tyler Sheehan, already a solid quarterback by the conference's standards, into an even more prolific passer, and athlete Freddie Barnes into an NCAA-record-setting receiver. Despite going 2-10 this year, he still turned Kamar Jorden into one of the country's top receivers.
Hey, maybe the MAC East is where embattled SEC coordinators can get a fresh start and really let their specialty flourish.
It's evident that Addazio's strength isn't the passing game. That's cool. You won't see the cherry and white throw for three bills a week, and rarely did you in the first place (although Mike Gerardi had a couple nice games last year), but you should expect the dynamic ground game to continue.
His other strength, as has been bandied about by several industry insiders, is his recruiting abilities. With Penn State and Pitt snapping up all the good in-state boys, if he's as strong as luring in talent as his accolades boast, this may be a quick rebuilding effort.
Let's also wait and see how he'll reassemble the coaching staff, since Golden took his DC Mark D'Onofrio and a couple other assistants with him to Miami. Are there any other assistants the SEC doesn't want anymore? We'd be glad to take them off your hands.