What about Grambling State’s football legacy after hiring Art Briles?
Redemption is embedded in the HBCU culture. The philosophy of forgiveness and grace is frequently introduced by our churches and colleges. Thus, the black community understands the value of a “second chance”. Every day, many are fighting for those same second chances for our young people – for athletes and students.
With that in mind, Grambling’s hiring of Art Briles seems like an act of absolution, rather redemption. Unfortunately, the law appears to ignore Grambling’s 94-year legacy of high values and integrity in football.
What would Eddie Robinson have said about Hue Jackson and Dr. Scott’s decision to make an offer to Briles? Doug Williams disapproves and many other alumni.
Briles has nothing to lose, but everything to gain. If the Tigers win, he wins. If the Tigers were to lose, on Hue Jackson and Dr. Scott will lose.
Briles can come out as the big winner. Either he’ll get a new coaching job or he’ll become a program advisor.
Grambling, on the other hand, will have to fix the fences.
Grambling flirting with winning
DO THEIR HOMEWORK ?
Dr Trayeon Scott said ESPN that Grambling officials “did their homework” and felt the hiring “would give him a chance to really redeem himself after figuring out where the facts lay”.
Question. What about young women allegedly assaulted? Do they deserve a second chance in the face of the atrocities suffered by Baylor footballers?
GRAMBLING INTEGRITY BET
Placing victory on the safety of young girls has often been the case in college and professional football.
Whether you agree or not, the historic shield protecting Grambling’s legacy has been dented and stained by the hiring of Briles. Would Eddie Robinson have chosen to sacrifice one of his 408 wins on the integrity of Grambling State University?
THE STATS DON’T LIE: JACKSON’S CONDITION IS THE REASON FOR THE BRILES
The Hue Jackson-era priority at GSU is to win and win big. In 2021, the Tigers offense was anemic and ranked last in several categories: touchdowns (19), points (203), passing yards (1,464), total yards (2,790) and yards per game (232, 5).
Tennessee State has not done well offensively under Hue Jackson for the 2021 season. Of the seven teams in the OVC conference, TSU ranked 6th in offense (26 touchdowns), points per game ( 18.4), rushing yards (1,262).
The Tigers finished 2nd in passing yards (2,240) and 5th in touchdowns (26) and total yards (3,502).
On September 11, 2021, Jackson State defeated Tennessee State 38-16 on primetime television in the Southern Heritage Classic. Hue Jackson’s offense was out of sync most of the afternoon and started to find its rhythm with a game out of reach. JSU limited TSU’s offense to 264 total yards.
Hue Jackson witnessed the power of Jackson State’s defense, which “will be better in 2022,” head coach Deion Sanders said.
RECOVERY OF THE SWAC
If the Grambling plans to reclaim the SWAC title from the defending champions in Jackson, Mississippi, they need to score points. Enter on the left, Art Briles.
Briles won the 2013 AP College Football Coach of the Year award and cemented a 99-65 (60.4%) record as a head coach through 13 seasons in Division 1 programs (Houston, Baylor).
He has produced a Heisman Trophy winner (Robert Griffin III – 2011) and five All-American consensus players. His teams ranked No. 2 in weekly polls and No. 8 in final national polls.
BRILES OFFENSIVE MAGICIAN
- In 2015, the Baylor’s offense scored 60 points in five straight games and over 600 yards in six straight games.
- Besides Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, Bryce Petty and Seth Russell, two other quarterbacks have become potent weapons for Briles’ system.
- He fed dynamic wide receivers like Kendall Wright and Corey Coleman.
As an attacking mastermind, Briles is exceptional. Grambling Noah Bodden could become a fantastic quarterback during Briles’ tenure.
The young quarterback showed promise but was derailed in 2021 due to inconsistent offensive strategy and porous line play.
‘Xs and Os’ versus ‘Ls and Ws’
From the perspective of the Xs and O’s, hiring Briles makes sense. Determining who deserves a second chance is up to the powers that be at Grambling State University.
Yet no one has publicly stood by Briles and been the subject of public scrutiny. Especially in front of the lights of a press conference, the cameras and the journalists’ questions. Why dodge talking about the rental?
I am not sure. Only one point is clear. Grambling is willing to risk public backlash for WINS’ sake and reclaim the SWAC title in 2022.