Holtz liked the veer. It's a great offense for a solid to excellent running QB who can use the fear of a dominant running game to set up the passing game. Holtz was excellent with it. Candidly, Holtz's passing game was nothing special. Especially with the excellent TE's he had, along with the very good WR's he had. Who knows what happens if Moss gets to play with Powlus.
I live in KC and so we have to listen to Pinkel a ton on the radio. To Pinkel's credit (and funny you would mention Saban as together under Don James way back in the day) he runs a program and has a system. He doesn't deviate from it...he just does the same boring thing over and over and over. I'm unsure if Pinkel is that smart...but I can guarantee you they bring in okay talent and develop it. Does he care about academics? I don't necessarily think so. But if you look at the NFL draft as an evaluator and determiner of football talent, MU has killed ND over the years. Aldon Smith, Shelton Richardson, and Shane Ray this year tells me that they find size and develop it.