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Tag:Tulsa
Posted on: January 6, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Report: Pitt interviewing Tulsa's Graham

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Wednesday brought quite a flurry of rumors about Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and the head coaching job at Pitt.  First he was the new head coach, then he wasn't.  Then he was texting his former players to let him know he was taking the job, and then he wasn't sending his players anything.  Here we are a day later, and Pitt still doesn't have a new head coach.

Will it end up being Bradley, we don't know.  What we do know, however, is that according to a report on Pantherlair.com, Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson wasn't even in Pittsburgh to be interviewing Bradley.  No, apparently he's in Atlanta to talk to Tulsa head coach Todd Graham.
According to sources, Pederson was in Atlanta meeting with Tulsa head coach Todd Graham.
Graham, 46, was interviewed in Pitt's first coaching search of the 2010-11 offseason, but multiple sources have confirmed that financial issues prevented him from moving further in the process. He is currently believed to be making more than $1 million annually at Tulsa. 
The report also says that Alabama assistant head coach Sal Sunseri has interviewed with Pitt as well this week.

Graham has been at Tulsa since 2007, and has gone 36-17 in those four seasons, and has had three seasons with at least 10 wins.  He has no experience coaching at Pitt, but he did spend a few years as an assistant at West Virginia.
Posted on: December 25, 2010 1:49 am
 

Bowl Grades: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

Posted by Chip Patterson

Tulsa uses speedy scoring to keep Hawaii in check on their home turf in the 62-35 win.

TULSA

Offense:  It was going to be tough to try and keep up with the nation's best passing offense score for score, so Tusla did a fantastic job of seizing every opportunity they were given.  Thankfully for Golden Hurricanes fans, Hawaii offered up enough opportunities to stimulate an economy against Tulsa in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.  Tulsa took advantage of Hawaii's mistakes to jump out to an early lead on the heavily favored Warriors.  The thing that was so impressive about Tulsa's offense was their relentlessness once the lead was established.  They scored quickly and often, continuing to steal all the momentum from a Hawaii team that did their best to rally a not-so-neutral crowd in a comeback.  Wide receiver Damaris Johnson wrote himself into the NCAA record books with 326 all-purpose yards, and Hawaii had no answer for the quick-strike attack of Tulsa.  GRADE: A   

Defense: Tulsa didn't do a ton of radically impressive things in their gameplan, but what the simple things worked on Friday.  Hawaii has one of the best passing offenses in the country, and for some reason dropping a linebacker into coverage seemed foreign to both Bryant Moniz and G.J. Kinney.  Both quarterbacks threw interceptions in the first half on coverage-heavy plays by the Golden Hurricanes.  The stats also do not accurately represent the effect of Tulsa's defense sucking the momentum away from Hawaii with the turnovers.  GRADE: B

Coaching: The Golden Hurricanes entered the game as a two-score underdog basically playing an away game.  But none of these obstacles seemed to bother a Tulsa team that came in with the utmost expectations of winning.  Have to impressed with Tulsa's preparation and aggressiveness coming into the game.  Over and over again, it seems that half of the postseason battle is seeing which team cares more, and Tulsa seemed to have that edge about them on Friday. GRADE: B+

HAWAII

Offense:  If Hawaii thought they were going to run n shoot over the Golden Hurricanes on their home turf they were sorely mistaken Statistically, there are tons of reasons to believe that Hawaii's offense was successful on Friday night. Unfortunately, all of that analysis requires you ignore the fact that they had six turnovers. Sure, 471 sounds about right for a Warriors win. But having multiple drives end in turnovers and allowing Tulsa to convert those turnovers into points continued to keep Hawaii stuck behind a deficit the entire game. GRADE: F

Defense: The Warriors not only allowed Tulsa to score in plentiful amounts, but they allowed it to happen at record speeds.  The longest (time) scoring drive Hawaii gave up on Friday night was 3:31, and that was late in the fourth quarter with the game decided.  Granted, the defense was not given much of a chance with the turnovers by the offense, but still it is hard to leave a 62-35 game and feel like the losing team really did their best out there on the defensive side of the ball. GRADE: F

Coaching:  Outside of a general lack of preparation for the moment, it is difficult to pin the blame for Hawaii's embarrasment on head coach Greg McMackin.  The team did come into the game flat, but the coaching had nothing to do with the first half turnovers that basically buried the Warriors.  I will give the coaching staff credit for keeping Hawaii fighting for a while, but by the fourth quarter they did a great job of making their opponents look like the runners and shooters.  GRADE: C-

FINAL GRADE
All in all, the Hawaii Bowl was not the best game on the slate thus far.  Not that we have been served the most gourmet menu thus far, but still a painful second half to watch.  The stadium in Honolulu had less fans than points on the scoreboard by the time the final horn sounded, and my guess is that most of the national audience chose to divert to other holiday festivities.  There was a lot of scoring, and the big plays at least gave some "wow" factor.  Still far too sloppy to laud the "greatness" of the game.  GRADE: C
Posted on: December 22, 2010 1:55 pm
 

BCS automatic bids not helping BCS attendance

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Some of the stories that have emerged over the past few days about teams struggling to sell their allotment of bowl tickets aren't surprising, quite honestly. How many FIU fans are going to want to leave Miami for a late-December trip to Detroit ? What percentage of the fanbase at Tulsa -- one of the smallest schools in all Division I -- are going to have the means to fly to Hawaii ?

But you might think that things would be different on the top rungs of the bowl ladder. You'd think wrong, as the Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl are each finding out. We mentioned last week that UConn was looking at a major financial shortfall, and that hasn't changed; the Huskies have still sold only approximately 4,500 of their 17,500 tickets and are on the hook for at least $1.4 million in unsold ticket costs alone. Stanford, meanwhile, isn't much better off , according to San Jose Mercury-News columnist Mark Purdy (emphasis added):
Why should the Cardinal football team and its loyal followers be forced to schlep way across the country to Miami for the Orange Bowl in two weeks? As of late last week, Stanford had sold less than half of its 17,500-ticket allotment for that game. Isn't it stupid that the team can't play in a big bowl much closer to home?
Purdy's column makes clear that he and the Pac-10 would have much preferred to see the the Cardinal in the Rose Bowl over TCU (and no doubt the Rose itself agrees), but he doesn't ask the question from the opposite perspective: isn't it stupid the Orange Bowl can't invite a big school closer to home? Why do they have to take a team representing a private academic institution from the West Coast whose fanbase is mostly apathetic even in the best of times when teams like LSU or even Michigan State could provide a lot more attendance bang for the invitation's buck?

In Stanford's case, it's because of a BCS bylaw that requires any team in the BCS rankings top-four to receive an automatic BCS berth; in UConn's, it's because the Big East champion is also admitted auotmatically, no questions asked. If Purdy thinks the agreement that sent TCU to Pasadena at Stanford's expense is unfair (and that's debatable, since the other BCS bowls have each been saddled with non-AQ teams before and will be again; why should the Rose be excepted?), how fair is it that the bowls are forced into inviting schools they know will leave them with attendance issues?

It's a little fair, sure, because there's no question that at 11-1, Stanford has done more to deserve a BCS berth than, say, 9-3 Alabama. But it's high time the NCAA started examining a way to free teams from the burden of ticket guarantees -- since it is unfair for a team like FIU, caught between an invitation they can't afford to turn down for the sake of their program and a guarantee they can't afford to accept on the financial ledger -- and if they might start with either limiting or eliminating those guarantees, they can definitely continue by loosening bowl tie-ins and doing away with the BCS's automatic bid. If bowls can take teams that will actually fill seats, they won't have to charge the schools that don't when those seats go empty.
Posted on: December 7, 2010 4:45 pm
 

Vandy to cut candidate list, as they should

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Thanks to the Jon Gruden panic at Miami, the Bill McCartney escapades at Colorado , etc., the coaching search at Vanderbilt has flown mostly under the radar to date despite it being the only vacancy this offseason in the SEC (barring Dan Mullen' s hypothetical departure at Mississippi State ). That doesn't mean the Commodore brass hasn't been doing their due diligence. In fact, as this report from the Tennessean indicates , they've been extremely diligent. According to the report, the full alphabetical list of coaches contacted or coaches whose agents have been contacted by the 'Dores --and it may not be comprehensive -- is as follows:

Troy Calhoun , head coach, Air Force
Dave Doeren , defensive coordinator, Wisconsin
James Franklin, offensive coordinator, Maryland
Al Golden, head coach, Temple
Todd Graham , head coach, Tulsa
Gus Malzahn, offensive coordinator, Auburn
Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, Stanford
Don Treadwell,
offensive coordinator, Michigan State
Shawn Watson, offensive coordinator, Nebraska

If that seems like a lot of candidates, Vandy Vice Chancellor of Athletics David Williams agrees with you :
Williams said he will select three candidates — maybe four — from the first round of interviews to become finalists. There would then likely be a second round of interviews.

The cut could come as early as today or as late as next week.

"What I'd prefer to do is probably take more than three to the second round, but to get this thing done, three is probably the optimal number," said Williams, who has declined to comment on candidates during the search process.
We already know a few names on the above list that won't reciprocate enough interest to make the cut -- Calhoun, Malzahn, possibly Golden -- and even though Williams said the frequency of offensive-minded coaches on the list is "just how it's gone," add that frequency to the 'Dores hopeless struggles on offense the last few years and it's easy to see Vandy leaning in that direction.

This could lead the 'Dores to Roman, who's coming off of two incredible seasons with the Cardinal, has first-hand experience dealing with the Stanford-like academic requirements at Vandy, and even got some measure of name-recognition following his nomination as a Broyles Award finalist.

But before they can settle on one candidate, the 'Dores have to settle on three or four. It's time for Williams to make that call.

Posted on: October 31, 2010 6:22 pm
 

Irish lose starting QB and RB for season

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Saturday Notre Dame not only lost at home to Tulsa , all but destroying any chance the team had to go to a bowl game this season, but it lost its starting quarterback as well.  Dayne Crist had to leave the game in the first half after rupturing the patellar tendon in his left knee -- nearly a year to the day he tore the ACL in his right knee -- ending his season.

Now we learn that Crist isn't the only starter the Irish are going to be missing the rest of this season.  Running back Armando Allen did not play in the Tulsa loss, battling a hip injury, and on Sunday Brian Kelly said that Allen is going to undergo surgery on his hip.  A surgery that will not only end his season, but his college career as well.

"Armando, we're setting up a potential surgery for him," Kelly told the Chicago Tribune . "We dressed him so he could run out of the tunnel one last time, because we were pretty certain he's not going to be able to play again.... He has a right and left torn cartilage in the hip, I think specifically the labrum. Very, very unusual. We treated the first one. If you watched him in the Navy game, he played hard, he played with great passion, but he did not have that second gear he had early in the year. We have not concluded it with 100 percent certainty until the surgery is done, but we believe some of this was a preexisting condition."

Allen had 514 yards and two touchdowns this season, and was on pace for the best season of his career in South Bend.  As it is, that career will come to an end with 2,144 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns.

Obviously, at 4-5 with games against USC and Utah remaining on the schedule, getting to six wins this season was going to be very hard for the Irish to do. Now that they'll be without their starting quarterback and running back, it'll be just about impossible.
Posted on: October 31, 2010 9:10 am
 

What I Learned from the Non-BCS (Oct. 30)

J. Darin Darst

1. We are in for one hell of a game next weekend between TCU and Utah . For those who love that "the whole season is a playoff" nonsense, it basically is an elimination for a BCS game. I thought Utah would stumble to Air Force , but it held on to win 28-23. And of course, TCU blasted UNLV 48-6. So now this game is for a potential Rose or Orange Bowl berth. And I have no idea who is going to win this game. Both teams are playing so well on both sides of the ball, especially defensively. Can we please get the Mountain West an automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl next year and get rid of the Big East bid? Even San Diego State deserves to be in the Top 25!

2. UCF is the class of Conference USA. After beating East Carolina 49-35 with Ronnie Weaver rushing for 180 yards, the Knights are now the only undefeated team in the conference at 4-0. If it can win at Houston on Friday, it should be smooth sailing to the conference title game. UCF deserves to play a SEC team in the Liberty Bowl, but I'm not sure the SEC will have enough teams to qualify. Also, this conference now runs six teams deep with Tulsa's win over Notre Dame. That would be quiet an accomplishment for the conference to get six bowl teams. Speaking of Notre Dame ...

3. Notre Dame will miss a bowl game ... again. It had to win against Tulsa, but now at 4-5 it needs to win two of its final three games. With games vs. Utah, Army and USC and quarterback Dayne Crist out for the season, that doesn't seem like its going to happen. Some people are calling for Brian Kelly to be fired, but please ... the guy is in his first year. It takes time. You Notre Dame lovers can't expect your team to be 9-3 overnight. Give Kelly some time. Army on the other hand needs to win one more game to get bowl-eligible for the first time since 1996. All it needs to do is win one of these final games -- Air Force, at Kent State, at Notre Dame and at Navy.

Posted on: October 27, 2010 12:04 pm
 

Notre Dame seniors have a sense of humor

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As we are all well aware, Notre Dame has struggled over the last few years.  The days of the Fighting Irish being a national championship contender are long gone, and there are many college football fans across the country who revel in Notre Dame's follies.  Of course, there are also the many Notre Dame fans who have had a tough time adjusting to the program's down times.

And I mean a tough time.  It's been over 20 years since the school won anything, yet those fans still think that Notre Dame is one of the best football teams in the country, or at least should be.

This doesn't seem to affect the younger Irish fans, however, particularly the students.  In fact, if this letter to the editor of Notre Dame's independent newspaper, The Observer, is any indication, they're quite proud of Notre Dame's new tradition.
The senior class is on the brink of an achievement that has never been accomplished. Assuming (and this is a big assumption) that the football team beats Tulsa this weekend, the game against Utah will be our chance to break the record of most losses in a four-year period, previously owned by the Class of 1964. When we get steamrolled by Utah on Nov. 13, we will officially be the losingest class in Notre Dame History. That day will also be Senior Day, a day that the senior class is allowed on the field at the end of the game. The senior class should not walk onto the field, but storm the field in celebration of its four seasons as spectators in the student section. The senior class should show its thanks and appreciation for a record-breaking four seasons by storming the field at the closing of the loss to Utah on Nov. 13.

You know things have changed when Notre Dame students can't even be sure that the Irish will beat Tulsa.

Unfortunately, no matter how funny I think it would be to see students storming the field after a loss, I just don't see this happening.  Which is too bad.  It's somewhat pleasing to see that the new generation of Notre Dame fans are more at peace with reality than the older generations.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 4:40 pm
 

Insane Predictions: Week 6

Posted by the College Football Blog Staff

Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Les Miles wouldn't be the coach that screwed up the endgame the worst during Tennessee-LSU? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.

Highly Unlikely

Utah punishes every single "win-go-up, lose-go-down" poll voter by dropping their night game at Iowa State, 31-20. The previously comatose Cyclone defense comes to life against the Utes, sacking Jordan Wynn four times and picking him off twice. The exasperated Utah coach, Kyle Whittingham, will blame the pollsters for Utah's upset loss, saying "I wasn't the one telling my guys they were the tenth best team in the [censored] nation." -- Adam Jacobi

Washington State slows down and upsets Oregon in Martin Stadium, claiming their first conference win with a 24-0 victory over the Ducks. The shutout will be thanks to the defense who, despite starting the day ranked 118th in the nation in yards allowed per game (509.8), shut down the best offense in nation by simply putting 11 linebackers on the field at all times. -- Chip Patterson

Michigan's defense actually shows up to play on Saturday, allowing Denard Robinson to see even more snaps behind center.  The end result is a 600-yard performance from Robinson as the Wolverines coast to a surprisingly easy 42-17 victory over Michigan State, giving Denard an even firmer grasp on the Heisman Trophy. -- Tom Fornelli

Severely Unlikely

Michigan and Michigan State's defenses completely shut each other down in a 3-2 Spartan victory in the Big House.  Denard Robinson attempts to run 18 times, but is only held to 14 yards.  Braylon Edwards gets behind the wheel and drives the Spartans back to East Lansing, hitting every bar on the way. At 73 mph. -- Chip Patterson

A week after having a huge day in a losing effort against Michigan, Indiana's Ben Chappell does even more damage in the Horseshoe.  Chappell picks the Ohio State secondary apart for 520 yards and 5 touchdowns. Terrelle Pryor's leg injury reappears and the Buckeyes offense has absolutely no answer. The Hoosiers shock the world, picking up what would be considered the biggest win in the program's history.  Final score: Indiana 45, Ohio State 31. -- Tom Fornelli

Oregon pours it on hapless Washington State for the full 60 minutes and becomes the first I-A team to hit the century mark since Houston beat Tulsa 100-6 in 1968. LaMichael James reclaims the top spot in Heisman consideration with 532 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Oregon cruises, 113-0. -- Adam Jacobi

Utterly Preposterous

The game between LSU and Florida is an all-time epic performance that will be talked about 50 years from now.  The game goes back and forth as the offenses take turns destroying the defenses, and the defenses respond in kind.  Finally, in the fourth quarter Jordan Jefferson takes the field with LSU down 24-20 and two minutes left on the clock.  He has yet to throw an interception as the Tigers begin their drive.  They enter get inside the Florida 20-yard line as the clock goes under the minute mark.  Les Miles stands on the sidelines with no worries in the world.  Amazingly, he still has all three of his timeouts left.  He uses them well, and Gary Crowton calls the perfect plays as Jefferson hits Terrence Toliver for the game winning touchdown with 12 seconds left.  LSU wins 27-24. -- Tom Fornelli

In a scene reminiscent of the realistic football documentary Varsity Blues, the Texas Tech players rise up in mutiny against head coach Tommy Tuberville at halftime as they trail Baylor 21-3. Red Raiders QB Taylor Potts makes one call on his cell phone, and five minutes into the third quarter, Mike Leach parachutes onto the field, delighting the Cotton Bowl crowd. Leach, seeing no sheds present at the game, has WR Adam James locked in a bathroom stall for the rest of the game. Leach re-installs the spread, Baylor's defense is overmatched, and the Red Raiders prevail 34-31. -- Adam Jacobi

South Carolina upsets Alabama 28-24 after Mark Ingram has his 5th fumble of the game on the goal line in the final seconds. Trent Richardson, who had 250 yards rushing in the game, erupts with rage that he did not get a chance to win the game himself.  In the locker room, things get heated. Our own Tom Fornelli emerges from Richardson's locker and pins Ingram's arms behind his back, allowing Richardson to head-butt Ingram and knock the Heisman Trophy winner to the ground. Alabama coach Nick Saban suspends Ingram for the confrontation, claiming "the kid showed no fight." -- Chip Patterson

 
 
 
 
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