Tag:Big 12
Posted on: November 13, 2010 12:01 pm

Colorado has contacted Bellotti, Richt next?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As Colorado continues its search for a new coach, it appears the school is keeping its eyes on the big fish.  On Friday the Denver Post reported that Colorado had already talked to former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti about replacing Dan Hawkins. 

"We had some initial talks, nothing more than that," Bellotti told the paper. "As this thing goes on, we'll see. That's the only way I can characterize it.  I'm interested in getting back in coaching but it would have to be the right situation. I'll have to do some research and get a better feel."

Bellotti, however, is not the only coach that it Colorado would like to talk to.  The school was already reportedly interested in trying to pry Les Miles away from LSU, but changed its mind after LSU beat Alabama last week.  So now, according to another report in the Denver Post, the Buffaloes have turned their eyes to another coach in the SEC.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt .

According to the report, although Richt is no longer in danger of losing his job, a source said that he is growing weary of the pressure that comes with coaching in the SEC.  Ironically enough, the seat Richt sits on was its hottest following a Georgia loss at Colorado earlier this season.  Still, there's a problem for Colorado when it comes to hiring Richt or Bellotti.

Athletic director Mike Bohn has said that the school probably won't be able to go over $2 million annually for a new head coach, and Richt already makes more than that, and it's doubtful Bellotti would come back for that amount either.  Unless the school wants to invest more money into a new coach -- and according to Gary Barnett, they won't -- the odds of Colorado landing either Bellotti or Richt are pretty slim.

As for another possible candidate, Colorado's chancellor said earlier this week he'd prefer a coach with ties to the Big 12 or Pac 10, which is a description that fits former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.   Though according to the same source that told the paper about Richt, that's not going to happen because Leach comes with "too much baggage."
Posted on: November 12, 2010 11:26 am

Mack Brown gives himself and his staff an F

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While it is still possilble that Texas could end up going to a bowl game this season, there isn't much question that 2010 has been a disaster for the Longhorns.  Sure, after losing a quarterback like Colt McCoy to the NFL, you figured there would be a step back in Austin this season, but nobody saw losses to UCLA, Iowa State, Baylor and Kansas State coming.  Here we are in the middle of November, and the Longhorns find themselves on the bottom of the Big 12 South with a record of 2-4 in the conference.

Which means that somebody's head has to roll. Whether deserved or not, somebody is going to have to take the blame for it, the only question is who.  Something that is hard to determine if you go based on the grades that Mack Brown has given himself and his coaching staff.  According to Brown, everyone is failing this year.

"I think it's an ‘F,'" Brown told The Statesman. "We just haven't been as productive as we should have with these players. That doesn't sound good. It's not pretty. But it's factual."

Yeah, yeah, you're all terrible.  So who's getting fired?

"This season I've been mad about half of it," Brown said. "So when you're tired and you're mad, I've been told you never make decisions.

"What you do is research information and take some time after the season to look at it and see exactly where things are. I do it every year, good and bad. Then you try to make the decision that's best.

"The biggest thing would be that people just want you to fire somebody. You want to make sure you're right. These coaches are great coaches."

If these coaches are so great, then why did you give all of them an "F"?  I've been out of school nearly ten years, did they change the grading system?  Do "F"s now stand for fantastic?  I would think it stood for fired.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 11, 2010 1:38 pm

Barnett questions Colorado's commitment

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Gary Barnett first burst on the coaching scene when he led Northwestern to the Rose Bowl after winning the Big Ten in 1995, and then left the program a few years later to take over at Colorado.   While in Boulder, Barnett's Buffaloes won the Big 12 in 2001 and won the Big 12 North four times in his seven seasons, even though they only went 34-22 in conference play.

So Barnett has a pretty good idea of what it takes to win in Boulder, and how hard of a task that is.  He was on ESPN 1600 in Denver on Thursday to talk about coaching at Colorado, and he didn't really try to temper his feelings about the situation.

“There’s a disconnect between what it takes to compete at that level and what’s being done," Barnett said when asked about the difference between the expectations at Colorado, and the commitment the school puts into the football program. "I think what happens is nationally, on the outside, people perceive CU and Boulder to be like it is in Oklahoma, like it is in Nebraska, like it is in places where we have defeated programs and played for National Championships and played for league championships. And in reality, we’ve scratched along and found a way to be competitive on those levels without having that same sort of culture and environment that other people have. And as long as that culture and environment doesn’t change and remains the same, then it’s going to be a constant scratch and claw.

"Yeah, there’s a disconnect between those that want and what the university is willing to do. And as long as it stays that way, there’s going to be this constant set of expectations that are unrealistic for any coach that goes in there. And that’s what’s really hard – on the outside the expectations are one thing, on the inside the expectations are something else. But you only hear the ones on the outside, and those end up being negative when the job gets harder to do and more complicated to do than you can perform or accomplish.”

Barnett then went on to give an example of the school's commitment, particularly when it comes to putting a coaching staff together, and trying to keep it together.

“Well it’s not challenging getting those coaches here, but once they get here and realize the expectations that are put upon them and the resources that they actually have, and then they’re on a month-to-month contract…they’re not even on a year-to-year contract, they’re on a month-to-month…so they have absolutely no security.

"And then what happens is they get persuaded to go to other places with two and three year contracts. It just makes it difficult to maintain a staff. It’s not hard to get them there, it’s hard to maintain it once they’re there and realize the complications of the job there.”

In other words, you're expected to win at Colorado, and the school expects you to win, but the school doesn't do much to help you do it.  These are words that any head coach who is considering taking over at Colorado should probably want to consider before making any commitment to the school.

I mean, seriously, month-to-month contracts?  It's like they're hiring freelance coaches.

Obviously, if what Barnett said is true, then Colorado needs to make a lot of changes if it wants to contend in the newly formed Pac-12 next season.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 11:21 am
Edited on: November 11, 2010 11:37 am

Colorado AD: Buffs "just not good enough"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn went on Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan yesterday and spoke a little bit about what he was looking for in a new head coach for his struggling Buffalo football program. One factor cited: improved recruiting, which has lagged near the bottom of the Big 12 in recruiting ranking estimates ever since Dan Hawkins ' big (and unfortunately, largely overrated ) splash of a class in 2008. Bohn is right to say that hiring a coach with enough energy and savvy to pay dividends on the recruiting trail would make a big difference as the team prepares to take on its new rivals in the Pac-12 .

But could Bohn have done so with a little more tact? Yes, he could have done so with a little more tact:
"In the end, I think that [Hawkins] just wasn’t able to galvanize, not only a lot of our constituents that are important to us in the end, but being able to galvanize enough recruits to come. We had some challenges with some academic performance issues and things like that that just kind of ate away at it in a negative tone that didn’t allow it to click. The bottom line is, as much as we love Cody Hawkins — he’ll probably end up being the all-time quarterback — and Scotty McKnight , the all-time leader receiver, doggone it we love those kids, but they’re just not good enough, big enough, strong enough, fast enough to really put us over the edge.
Maybe Bohn is right. But now -- with Cody's father just fired and his being forced to take over the offense anyway as the only fucntional quarterback available -- seems like a really terrible time to tell the world that Cody Hawkins isn't a good enough athlete to play football at this level. Most coaches and administrators would be bending over bakwards to praise a player like McKnight who had stuck it out through so many terrible seasons t obecome a school record holder. Instead, Bohn openly wishes he'd had someone better all along. This is how he "loves those kids"?

If Bohn is truly that worried about recruiting, maybe he should take the first step by showing recruits that if they choose Colorado, they won't have their accomplishments belittled and their talent made fun of by their athletic director on local radio.

Posted on: November 10, 2010 1:35 pm

Bowl Blog: Catching up with latest rumors

J. Darin Darst

Checking in around the nation on the latest bowl rumors.

Penn State eyeing Florida

As reported by Pennlive.com, it looks like Penn State is headed to either the Gator or Outback Bowl. They break it down this way:

After Penn State's comeback win Saturday over Northwestern, it's hard to figure out any way the Nittany Lions will fall below the Gator Bowl. The Outback Bowl remains a possibility. The Gator Bowl, new this year to the Big Ten lineup, is slated for 1:30 on New Year's Day. It holds the possibility of being Joe Paterno's last game although we certainly can't count on it. But as of the second week of December when all the bowl invitations will be made, that allure should enter into bowl reps' thinking.

Currently, I have Penn State projected to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville taking on Florida. The Gator Bowl gets pick No. 4 or 5 from the Big Ten.

Liberty Bowl, Conference USA, SEC mess

Conference USA has sent their champion to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in every season since the league began in 1996, but there's a very real possibility that could be coming to an end. According to UCFSports.com, the 2010 C-USA Champion could be scrambling to find a new bowl, or be relegated to one of the league's lesser bowls, should the SEC not qualify enough teams to fill both their Liberty and Birmingham Bowl slots.

The Liberty Bowl's new partnership with the Big East apparently also gives first right of refusal to the SEC and they don't want to play a team from C-USA if they can help it. AutoZone Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Ehrhart spoke about this possibility Tuesday morning during his weekly radio segment on "Sportstime Extra with Dave Woloshin and Brett Norsworthy", which airs on 560 WHBQ in Memphis.

The early part of the interview centered around the possible SEC representative in the bowl, which includes Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Georgia or Kentucky. Assuming the SEC team would play the champion of C-USA, the show's hosts then asked Ehrhart to comment about UCF, who with a 5-0 league record is considered the current favorite to win the conference and that's when Ehrhart acknowledged a C-USA team may not go to Memphis after all.

"Not necessarily," Ehrhart said when asked about C-USA's participation in the bowl. "We may still go with a Big East team against the SEC, provided the SEC has enough teams. That's no disrespect to Conference USA. It just may work out the combinations work that way.

That's ridiculous that the conference champion might be forced to go play elsewhere. This really all comes down to whether or not the SEC gets two teams in the BCS or not. Also at play are teams like Ole Miss and Tennessee. Both are struggling to get bowl-eligible, but if they do, than there won't be a problem. Currently I project only one SEC team in the BCS, so Georgia or Kentucky would play the C-USA champion in the Liberty Bowl.

SMU or UTEP in Armed Forces Bowl

Looks like the Armed Forces Bowl is down to either one of those two from C-USA to play either a Mountain West school or Army in the Dec. 30 bowl. According to the El Paso Times, it looks like if SMU doesn't go to the Hawaii Bowl, the Armed Forces Bowl comes into play. It has been moved for this season only from Fort Worth to SMU's Robertson Stadium.

Air Force almost locked to Independence Bowl

It's not a done deal, but getting close, according to the Denver Post:

It doesn't take a lot of speculation to suggest that coach Troy Calhoun should contact his travel agent about making plans for the Air Force Falcons to travel to Shreveport, La., to play in the Dec. 27 Independence Bowl. Jim Hagan, chairman of the Independence Bowl selection committee, said Monday that the Falcons are more than sentimental favorites to get the call and return to the bowl for the first time since 1984. "I think you can say that if Air Force still is on the board when we pick, it's our top choice," Hagan said. "We're going to be at their game Saturday. We're looking at them real strong."

Maaco Bowl might look to Big 12

The Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas is supposed to feature a team from the Mountain West and Pac-10, but the Pac-10 might not have enough eligible teams. If not, look for the bowl to take somebody from the Big 12. According to the Las Vegas Journal, Iowa State and Texas Tech are the Big 12's most likely at-large candidates, though Texas could find itself looking for a bowl.

Greenwood to perform at Sun Bowl

Grammy Award winning artist Lee Greenwood will headline the Hyundai Halftime Show at the 77th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 at Sun Bowl Stadium. Greenwood, who is a two-time Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year, won a Grammy in 1984 and has charted seven No. 1 hits on the Billboard’s country chart.

Posted on: November 10, 2010 12:48 pm

We mean it this time: Martinez '100 percent'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Like a lot of high-profile quarterbacks this season (oh hey Denard Robinson ), the health of Taylor Martinez has been something of a weekly guessing game ever since he injured his ankle in a win against Missouri . But after "T-Magic" was a late scratch from last week's barnburning 31-30 win over Iowa State , it appears there won't be a whole lot of guessing this week : he's in:

Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said he expects freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez to be 100 percent for Saturday’s game against Kansas.

“That’s the plan right now,” Watson said Tuesday. “He practiced yesterday, did a good job, moved around. We take it day to day and keep increasing the workload.”

The Huskers (8-1, 4-1 in the Big 12) probably won’t use the wildcat in Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against Kansas (3-6, 1-4) at Memorial Stadium if Martinez is ready to go.

“When you have Taylor Martinez you don’t need it,” Watson said. “You have a healthy Taylor and he is our most explosive player. You would rather have that explosiveness, making those reads, so we didn’t have to use it.”
Martinez's health is of even greater importance since backup Zac Lee , who relieved Martinez in the Huskers' lone loss of the season against Texas, is also banged-up.

Or at least, it would be if the Huskers weren't facing Kansas , either the worst team in the Big 12 or the team that needed a 35-point fourth-quarter comeback to beat the worst team in the Big 12, Colorado . If the combination of Cody Green and wildcat quarterback Rex Burkhead worked well enough to eke out a victory over ISU on the road, they would almost certainly be enough against the Jayhawks at home.

All the same, the sooner Martinez returns, the sooner he knocks off the rust that the Huskers won't be able to afford in next week's tricky trip to Texas A&M , much less a Big 12 championship showdown with Oklahoma or Oklahoma State . Even against Kansas, Nebraska needs him back to 100 percent if at all possible. Good thing that appears to be the case ... this week.

Posted on: November 10, 2010 12:43 pm

CU chancellor wants coach with Big 12/Pac-10 ties

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier this morning I wrote about the interest Minnesota has in San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke and said that if the Gophers are seriously interested, they should probably act quickly because Colorado may turn its attention towards Hoke as well.  Well, maybe they don't have to after all.

Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano held a teleconference with local media on Wednesday morning, and although he says he won't get in the way of whatever athletic director Mike Bohn wants to do in his coaching search, he feels that the school would be best served to look for a new coach who has experience in either the Big 12 or Pac-10.

“A coach who is either successful now as a head coach or has recent coaching experience either with someone from the Pac 12 or the Big 12," said DiStefano. "Somebody in a conference similar to, if not equal to, the conference that we’re joining.”

DiStefano also said that he thinks moving to the Pac-10-soon-to-be-12 will help Colorado in its efforts to replace Dan Hawkins.

“I think going to the Pac 12 is actually going to help us,” DiStefano said. “The limited financial resources we have, we’re more similar to the teams in the Pac 12 than in the Big 12. I think we’ll fare well in the Pac 12, but we’ll probably have to look at some upgrades in facilities. And I don’t know what those are and I’ll certainly leave those up to Mike to work with, but I think that will be a priority for a new coach coming in.”

Now exactly who the next head coach will be, nobody knows, but Mike Bohn did say that there is no timetable to find a replacement.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:41 pm

Could Bill McCartney return to Colorado?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that Dan Hawkins has finally been disposed of at Colorado, the process of finding a new head coach has begun.  While there were rumors that Colorado might make a run at Les Miles, following an LSU win over Alabama last weekend, the idea of Miles leaving for Colorado becomes an even bigger pipe dream.

So where will the Buffs look?  Will they go after the big splash by poaching a coach from somewhere else, or could they possibly look to the past?  Former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney says that if Colorado were to call and ask him if he'd be interesting in returning, he'd be interested as well.
Former CU coach Bill McCartney, who led the Buffs to a national championship, will be a strong candidate to succeed Hawkins, but other candidates from around the country will be considered, sources said. McCartney retired from coaching in 1994.

"My heart hurts for coach Hawkins and his family," McCartney said Monday night. "He's a guy that did his best. It's a difficult time. Our hearts go out to him."

Asked whether he would be a candidate for the job, McCartney said, "If Colorado was interested in me, I would definitely be interested in returning."
Now, on the surface, this idea seems somewhat silly.  Yes, McCartney was the man in charge in Colorado the last time the program truly mattered on the naitonal landscape.  He led them to a share of the national championship in 1990, and won three Big 8 conference titles before retiring in 1994.  Still, today in 2010, McCartney is 70 years old, and does Colorado really want to hire a 70-year old coach to rebuild the program?

I mean, it just wouldn't make sense.  Excuse me, what's that?

Well then.

Now it's possible that Colorado could just be paying McCartney lip service because they don't want to insult someone who meant so much to the program.  At least, I hope that's what's going on here.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com