My buddy Shane and I were coming home from work yesterday and we were listening to sports radio. Upon hearing the news of Gary Crowton leaving Oregon for LSU, we both chuckled. After a hard day of work, it always great to hear news like this.
It looks like Crowton is following my advice by getting out of Eugene. He needs to make sure to stay at LSU for only one year. Most likely he won’t. I want LSU fans to know why Gary Crowton is going to cause you pain when he stays more than one year.
First of all, let me preface these comments by saying that Gary Crowton is a great person. I’m sure he is a great husband/father. But because of what he did to BYU football, just thinking of his tenure here in Provo makes me cringe.
The news of Crowton’s hiring is circulating around the internet. LSU fans are gitty about this hire. Here are a few for you to enjoy:
Not many agree with me that this will be a bad hire. It looks like David James and I are in agreement.
Let me explain why I think this will be a bad hire.
Crowton runs a version of the spread offense. When he gets a new job, his first year has been great. Let the stats explain.
1999: Bears record was 6-10. Their offense scored 272 points (17/game), 7th worst in the NFL. 31 TDs, 7th worst in NFL (source). Leading passer: Shane Matthews
2000: Bears record was 5-11. Their offense scored 214 points (13.4/game), 4th worst in the NFL. 22 TDs, 3rd worst in the NFL (source). (The thing that you want to do from an offensive standpoint is you want to score points.) Leading passer: Cade McNown
It’s safe to say that he didn’t have the greatest quarterbacks to run his offense. Get this though. In 2001, the Bears went 13-3 with Jim Miller as the quarterback. They scored 338 points (21.1/game), good enough for 11th in the NFL.
2001: BYU went 12-2. They scored an amazing 608 points (46.8/game). Luke Staley was the leading rusher in the nation. However they got killed in their last two games. Everybody loved Crowton as head coach. What a great season! But it was a terrible watching them get killed by Hawaii and Louisville. Coincidentally, Luke Staley was injured in the two games BYU lost.
2002: Their record was 5-7. BYU’s first losing season in 30 years. They scored 272 points (22.7/game).
2003: BYU went 4-8. They scored 196 points (16.3/game). They didn’t score a point in the game versus Utah, the first time they went scoreless in a game in my lifetime.
2004: BYU went 5-6. They 267 points (24.3/game).
BYU went from scoring 608 points in 2001 to a low of 196 points in 2003! This was against average teams in the Mountain West Conference. He was the head coach and offensive coordinator at BYU.
2005: Oregon went 10-2. They scored 414 points (34.5/game).
2006: Oregon went 7-6, losing their last 4. They scored 383 points (29.5/game).
There you have it. The only year he improved upon his previous year while at the same program was 2004. BYU couldn’t have gotten any worse after a terrible year in 2003.
The truth is Gary Crowton has a good offense. But smart teams are going to figure it out. Guess who was coaching Utah when BYU went scoreless in 2003-Urban Meyer. Most of the coaches in the SEC are almost as smart as Urban and they will shut down LSU’s offense. LSU has great athletes and he will find a way to make them look bad.
The Las Vegas Bowl was a great game this year. For most fans, I am sure it was a boring game. BYU almost shut out Oregon and won the game 38-8. Watching Oregon play brought back bitter memories of when Crowton was at BYU. They looked clueless out there. BYU’s secondary was injured. They didn’t have most of their best players playing because of injuries. Crowton failed to take advantage of his highly athletic receivers. Instead he was worrying about which quarterback to play on which down.
Be ready for an undisciplined offense that fails to make any adjustments-during the game or season.
LSU will probably have a great year with their athletes. They will score a lot of points. But don’t expect them to stay that way. Not with Crowton as the offensive coordinator. The numbers don’t lie.