Lovie Smith Vs. Winning TeamsJanuary 6th, 2014
On this holy day of the Church of the Bucs, Lovie Smith will be brought before the altar of Team Glazer and in a very public ceremony, be ordained as the 10th coach in Buccaneers history.
And no, Lovie won’t have to dive in a retention pond behind One Buc Palace to retrieve a coach’s headset to consummate his anointing.
But in this day of jubilation among many Bucs fans, Joe has sobering news by way of former Chicago Tribune scribe Dave Wischnowsky (now that’s a Chicago name!), who types a column for WSCR-AM 620, “The Score,” in Chicago.
Wischnowsky, published this in the waning days of Lovie’s tenure in Chicago. His research and crunched numbers revealed a troubling trend concerning Lovie.
When Lovie’s Bears teams played teams with winning records, rarely did Lovie’s men come out on top. In fact, Smith’s record against teams with a winning records was a paltry 19-of-61, or in baseball terms a .311 average. To be more specific, this means Lovie won less than one out of three against good teams.
[Clarification: The numbers Wischnowsky cited in the link above were not Lovie's full Chicago career, but through 12 games of his final season in Chicago. The numbers Joe calculated were Lovie's full tenure with the Bears.]
That would be a great batting average for Dirtbag Longoria but f,or an NFL head coach, that may be why Lovie was looking for work up until a few days ago.
To be fair, Lovie pounds lesser opponents. His record is 51-15 when facing the dregs of the NFL, a .772 mark.
Joe brings this up for a few reasons:
One, if the Bucs are going to win the division, the only sure way to secure a playoff spot, Lovie must beat good teams consistently. Both New Orleans and Carolina got into the playoffs this season, and does anyone really believe Atlanta won’t be vying for another winning season?
Two, Joe often ragged on leaky Rip Van Freeman’s dismal record against teams with winning records, so this isn’t some hatchet attack job on Lovie.
Three, Joe is lukewarm to the Lovie hire in part because of his record. Trust Joe, no one wants his socks knocked off with thrilling wins from Lovie more than Joe. Time will tell if Lovie can better his nasty trend with the Bucs.