Posted on: December 3, 2010 10:46 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
During the week leading up to the final Big 12 Championship Game one of the biggest questions facing the Oklahoma Sooners was whether or not running back DeMarco Murray would be available to the Sooners. Murray was hurt last Saturday against Oklahoma State when he took a helmet to the knee, and never returned to the game.
Through the week Bob Stoops has had some doubts about his running back's availability, but optimism seemed to reign, and for good reason. On Thursday night Stoops announced through a press release that Murray was able to practice on Thursday and is expected to play against Nebraska.
Which is big news for the Oklahoma offense. Murray is not only the team's leading rusher with 1,053 yards and 14 touchdowns, but he also plays a large role in the passing game as well, as he has 64 receptions for another 535 yards and 5 touchdowns as a receiver out of the backfield this season. He's also the school's all-time leader in in touchdowns (64) and all-purpose yards (6,498) while returning kicks to boot.
So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that he's kind of important to Oklahoma, so it'll be nice for the Sooners to have him around against a tough Nebraska defense on Saturday.
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:21 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
So about that whole three finalists for the Colorado job post we put up a little while ago, it seems that there is only one finalist. At least, that's what former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney is saying. According to McCartney, who himself was a candidate for the job, the school has offered the job to former tight end and current Redskins tight ends coach Jon Embree.
Embree has been given a formal offer for the position with hopes that he'll hire Eric Bieniemy, another finalist for the job, the position of offensive coordinator. McCartney says that while he was a candidate for the job, as soon as it became clear that he wasn't going to get the job, he started pushing for either Embree or Bieniemy.
"It was never about me doing it again," McCartney told The Denver Post. "It was about setting the table for a black man to come in (as head coach). And he (Mike Bohn) hired one. Now, give him a chance."
The report also says that neither Embree or Mike Bohn could be reached for comment, and that the word around the Washington Redskins office is that Embree has received the offer and is mulling it over.
Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain was also considered a finalist, but was deemed a longshot since he had no ties to the school.
Posted on: December 2, 2010 12:38 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's beginning to look like at least one of the head coaching vacancies out there could be filled soon enough.
After interviewing Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain this week, it seems Colorado is done interviewing candidates to replace Dan Hawkins, and according to the Boulder Daily Camera those finalists are McElwain and former Buffaloes Eric Bieniemy (pictured) and Jon Embree.
It's been reported in recent days that Bieniemy, a former running back at Colorado and current running backs coach with the Minnesota Vikings, is the favorite to land the job. In fact, he and Embree are both the odds-on favorites to get the job. Yes, McElwain is a finalist for the position, but it hasn't been a secret that most people associated with the school prefer a new coach with ties to the program.
McElwain has no such ties.
According to the report, Colorado could make the decision as soon as Friday, but no later than Monday.
Posted on: December 2, 2010 11:34 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
With a 5-7 season, there wasn't much doubt that heads were going to roll at Texas this offseason. Mack Brown has been hinting at it for the last few weeks, saying last week that this season was the coaches fault, and not the players. The most likely candidate to get the ax is offensive coordinator Greg Davis, as he's the one who the fans have been calling for, and the best way to appease an angry fan base who might be after you in the near future is to give them what they want.
It seems Brown may have done that.
According to Geoff Ketchum of Orangebloods.com, Greg Davis is out at Texas.
Personally I wasn't sure Davis deserved to be fired, but I'm not shocked that it has reportedly happened. Still, Davis had to run an offense with a new quarterback this season, and not everybody can be Colt McCoy or Vince Young. Just because Garrett Gilbert might not be of the caliber of McCoy or Young in his first season as a starter doesn't mean the coach should be fired. Vince Young had his turnover struggles in his first season as well, and things turned out fine his senior year.
Though angry fan bases often don't want to listen to reason.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:37 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is a name that is likely going to come up as a possible candidate for a few different head coaching jobs this offseason. Calhoun has gone 33-18 in four seasons at Air Force, and his history both in college and the NFL is appealing to schools looking for a new head coach. One spot his name has come up pretty often is at Colorado.
Along with his experience, the fact that Calhoun is familiar with the state of Colorado thanks to his time at Air Force and with the Denver Broncos only makes him more attractive to the school. Unfortunately for Colorado, Calhoun had to let the school know that while he's flattered, he's just not into them.
Calhoun recently let the school know that he won't be a candidate to replace Dan Hawkins, and removed his name from the discussion. He's the second candidate to do so, as former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti removed himself from consideration a few weeks ago.
As for who the new front runner for the gig is, the names Bill McCartney and Eric Bieniemy keep popping up, and interim head coach Brian Cabral had an interview earlier this week. There are also rumors that the school still has the pipe dream of stealing Les Miles from LSU. Why Miles would ever leave LSU to take a pay cut at Colorado, I'll never know.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 7:26 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 7:32 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
At the height of conference realignment talks last year, there was real concern that Texas (and most of the other Big XII South schools) would flee the conference for -- pardon the pun -- greener pastures, leaving the schools up north wondering what their next move would be. Six conference members doth not a viable conference make, after all, and there was real concern that schools like Iowa State or Kansas State would have to suffer the indignity of joining a non-AQ conference.
Fortunately, as Kansas basketball coach Bill Self told listeners on his weekly radio show yesterday, his Jayhawks' AQ status was never in doubt -- and nor was that of Missouri, KSU, and ISU. When asked about TCU and its move to the Big East, Self said that if the Big 12 folded, those schools would have been offered a spot in the Big East. And further, Self thinks the Big East was smart to make those offers, because it was the only way to ensure the Big Ten doesn't kill the Big East's football program.Audio, courtesy of the IMG Jayhawk Network, is below. Those interested in the full show may listen through Jayhawks All-Access ($$).
If you can't listen, here's the full text of Self's statement, with minor alterations for clarity's sake:
Although there had been rumors to this extent back in the spring and summer, this is the first time that a school official has not only addressed the rumor that the Big East was set to invite the wayward Big 12 North schools, but out-and-out confirmed it. And as Self mentioned, with the Big Ten purportedly sniffing around for expansion targets out east, the Big East needed to either go into buyer mode or prepare to get out of the business of football altogether. While some college football fans might have preferred the latter, the Big East would have lost an automatic qualifier bid and all the money it entails, so that was never really going to happen.
And above all else, this should at least reassure fans of those four schools that even if the Big 12 had folded, the day that ISU or Missouri would have had to share a conference with Wyoming or Middle Tennessee State was never really going to happen; there had always been another BCS conference waiting, and there probably still will be if this latest iteration of the Big 12 doesn't work over the next few years. The arms race probably isn't over yet.
Tags: Big 10, Big 10 Expansion, Big 12, Big 12 Realignment, Big East, Big East Expansion, Bill Self, Bill Self Big East, Bill Self Statement, Cincinnati, Conference Realignment, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas Big East, Kansas State, Louisville, Middle Tennessee State, Missouri, TCU, TCU Big East, Texas, Wyoming
Posted on: November 30, 2010 5:52 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The first major bowl domino to fall has fallen, as the Cotton Bowl has announced via Twitter that Texas A&M has accepted an invitation to play in the Jan. 7 game against an SEC opponent to be named later.
The announcement doesn't come as much of a surprise: our J. Darin Darst had the Aggies pegged for Arlington in this week's edition of CBS's bowl projections. Their likely opponent? LSU , which would set up a matchup of two of the country's most explosive defensive lineman in Drake Nevis and Von Miller and a pair of thunderous running backs in Stevan Ridley and the red-hot Cyrus Gray . A&M might have a sliught leg up thanks to their familiarity with the Cowboys Stadium setting; the Aggies have already played their twice the past two seasons in nonconference matchups with Arkansas .
With the Cotton having made its decision, the other top-tier Big 12 bowls look likely to fall in line with the rest of Darst's projections, if Oklahoma defeats Nebraska in the Big 12 title game: the Sooners to the Fiesta , the Huskers to the Alamo , Oklahoma State to the Holiday , and Missouri to the Insight . A Huskers victory could send the Sooners to San Antonio, or cause other shake-ups down the line.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:13 am
Edited on: November 30, 2010 11:37 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
On Monday morning, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops was uncertain about the availability of leading rusher DeMarco Murray for the Big 12 Championship Game against Nebraska on Saturday. Murray took a helmet to the knee in the fourth quarter of Oklahoma's division-clinching win against Oklahoma State and did not return. The medical staff did not feel like the injury was serious, but there was still doubt as to whether he would be able to take the field against the Huskers in Dallas. However Stoops' tone changed after seeing Murray in practice on Monday, and things appear to be looking up for the Sooners most dangerous offensive threat.
“DeMarco is much improved from (Sunday),” Stoops said following Monday's practice. “We'll see as the week goes. I don't want to say something until it's for sure...But it's looking positive right now.”
Murray's importance to the Oklahoma offense cannot be understated. A dual-threat running back, Murray constantly forces matchup problems for opposing defenses with his ability to catch out of the backfield. On average, Murray rushes the ball 20.0 times per game and adds 5.3 receptions, totaling up to 132.3 yards of total offense per game. Since losing to Texas A&M on the road, the Oklahoma offense has been scorching defenses for 40+ points each outing. They will need to keep up that kind of production in order to keep up with Nebraska, particularly if Taylor Martinez is healthy enough to play.