We interrupt this week of raging against the Georgia defense to revisit an area that fans were upset about last week: special teams.
Actually, we‚Äôre revisiting our look from two years ago about how many FBS programs have an assistant coach with the special teams coordinator title.
‚ÄúI can‚Äôt say it‚Äôs 50-50 because I don‚Äôt know what everybody‚Äôs doing,‚Äù Georgia coach Mark Richt, who doesn‚Äôt have an assistant with that title, said on his radio show Monday night. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not uncommon to have a special teams coordinator and it‚Äôs not uncommon to split it up. A lot of teams will call one guy the special teams coordinator but the bottom line there might be two or three coaches that are in charge of different teams.‚Äù
Here‚Äôs the answer: 98 of 123 FBS teams (79.7 percent) have a coach with the title special teams coordinator, according to listings in the Football Writers Association of America directory. That‚Äôs up from 89 of 120 (74.2 percent) two years ago.
In the SEC, only Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Missouri don‚Äôt have a special teams coordinator.
Whenever Georgia has special teams disasters‚Äîand that‚Äôs happened a good bit this season with two blocked punts for touchdowns and a kickoff return for touchdown‚Äîthe cry is for Richt to name a special teams coordinator.
Richt has split up special teams duties among his assistant coaches throughout his time as head coach.
‚ÄúSometimes if you give it to one guy everybody looks at it like, `That‚Äôs your job and I don‚Äôt have to worry about it,‚Äô‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs a lot of different ways to skin it.‚Äù
Among teams with no assistant with the special teams coordinator title: Baylor, Miami, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Penn State and Texas.
Richt said special teams coordinators may be in charge of the meeting time and practice time but share responsibilities with other coaches.
By my count, 20 teams have a dedicated special teams coach that aren‚Äôt in charge of another position.
Many teams choose a tight ends, running backs or linebackers coach to be the special teams coordinator.
Boston College‚Äôs special teams coordinator also coaches the sam linebackers and the nickel package. Talk about varied roles.
‚ÄúI can easily say John Lilly is the special teams coordinator because he‚Äôs the one that does coordinate who has certain meeting times, who has certain practice times and he makes sure we‚Äôre all on the same page,‚Äù Richt said of his tight ends coach. ‚ÄúI think it‚Äôs a matter of semantics half the time.‚Äù
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer