Tag:Al Golden
Posted on: March 12, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 11:50 am
 

Seantrel Henderson not transferring, suspended?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There have been a lot of rumors involving Miami offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson floating through Miami and Coral Gables in the last few days. According to InsidetheU.com, Henderson has been suspended for Miami's season opener against Maryland in 2011. Then there are the rumors that Henderson is thinking about transferring from the school.

Which wouldn't be the first time Henderson changed his mind about his school, after all. One of the most highly rated recruits of the 2010 class, Henderson originally announced a commitment to USC on signing day in 2010, but did not sign his letter of intent. He wanted to wait and see about the sanctions that would be hitting USC before signing, and then eventually chose to go to Miami.

One of the biggest reasons Henderson chose Miami was head coach Randy Shannon, who has since been fired and replaced by Al Golden. And that's where the Henderson transfer rumors grew from. Rumors which have now been denied by both Henderson and Al Golden.


More Miami

“Seantrel has every intention of remaining with the University of Miami and our football program,’’ Golden said in a written statement. “It is disappointing that individuals are taking the liberty to hypothesize on his future. He is coming off a strong finish to off-season workouts, rotated with the first team on Thursday and is well respected and liked by his teammates. Seantrel is growing into a leader, loves the game and cares deeply about being a part of the Miami Hurricane family.’’

“I am committed to my teammates, coaches and the championship goals we are chasing at the University of Miami," said Henderson in his statement. "I have no desire to play anywhere but at the U.”

Of course, while that settles the transfer rumors, you'll notice Al Golden said nothing about any possible suspension. Though according to Seantrel's father, Sean, neither he or his son have been informed of any suspension.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 3:47 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Miami , who opens spring camp this Saturday, March 5.

How will Miami buy into Al Golden's plan to change the culture around Miami football?

When Miami left the Big East, they were on a four-season streak of winning the conference and making an appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game, including one national championship in 2001 and the infamous double-overtime loss to Ohio State in the title game the next year. But since moving to the ACC Miami has failed to even win their own division, much less the conference. Randy Shannon put together a 28-22 record in his four seasons as head coach, failing to deliver success with a team loaded with highly-touted recruits at one of the most notable programs of the last 30 years.

Whether you think the blame falls on former coach Randy Shannon, the administration, or the players themselves; the Hurricanes are hungry to be back among college football's elite. At the conclusion of a coaching search that tossed around names like "Gruden" and "Leach," Miami settled on Temple's Al Golden as the head coach of the future. On Saturday, Miami kicks off Spring Practice. It will be the first of fifteen opportunities Golden will get to build the foundations for a new era in Miami football.

But Golden does not want to focus on changing the schemes, but instead changing the themes. His first goal is to change the attitudes and culture of the team.

"Number one we have to become more disciplined. We have to become more physically and mentally tough. We have to become a smarter football team," Golden recently told CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer. "Those are things you can work on and, as I say to the players all the time, the culture is really the collective capacity of everybody in this building to create value. How are we going to create more value from our four hours today from the other 14 teams we're going to play? Those are the things we're trying to teach them, something larger than the offense and defense and special teams, the culture is larger than that."

After observing a few practices leading up to Miami's 33-17 Sun Bowl loss to Notre Dame, Golden immediately commented that he wanted to change the speed of practice. That mental toughness has been tested in the winter conditioning workouts already. Players are said to have been pushed like never before with the offseason conditioning, with different stories that paint a picture of vomit-inducing physical exertion.  Message boards always give birth to hyperbole, but the fact these things are shocking and different support Golden's message of improving physical and mental toughness.

One of the reasons Golden wants to focus on the toughness and culture in Coral Gables is because the talent is already there. Miami's 2008 recruiting class was heralded as one of the best in the ACC. Those players (now mostly juniors and seniors) came to Miami to be champions. Instead, the class has a combined 23-15 record with three straight bowl losses.

One thing that has helped Golden's cause is that this frustrated group of upperclassmen welcomes the change. With their college days numbered, the leaders of the 2011 Miami team know that they must buy in to Golden's culture or everyone will suffer together. In fact, Golden recently said that it is the older players that have "bought in" first. Starting Saturday, he will count on those players to set the example for the rest of the roster as the Hurricanes begin sorting out the details for the 2011 season.

While Golden has mostly focused on the big picture changes/decisions, there will be a lot of attention on the position battles this spring. According to the head coach, every position is "open" at this point. The hope being that the competition for starting jobs will help push player development and lead to a more polished final product. But most of the attention will fall on the quarterback position.

Jacory Harris has had the opportunity to see the field since he arrived with the rest of the 2008 recruiting class. But between injury and inconsistent play, the hometown Miami native has yet to really take ownership of the quarterbacking duties. Harris recognizes the competition ahead, and welcomes the challenge.

“I really feel like I need the push,” Harris said during an interview last week according to the Palm Beach Post. “The past two years it was me being too comfortable. I think that’s how we felt as a team – too comfortable. These new coaches are bringing the dog out in us. Competition is good for you. All that comfortable stuff is out the door.”

But there is also Stephen Morris. The talented quarterback was called to take over after Harris was sidelined with a concussion against Virginia. Morris displayed flashes of potential at times, but the 9 interceptions in less than 6 full games of action do not support his case as the immediate answer for Harris-based frustrations

So the competition will begin this spring, pushing both quarterbacks to prove why they should be the starter next August. Harris appears to have bought in to Golden's philosophy, and the coach thinks that many of the other leaders have as well. But now he has to make an entire roster buy in to "Al Golden's Miami."

It's a little more hard-nosed and gritty than most of the team has become accustomed to, but after watching the last couple seasons of Hurricanes football it might be their only option for success.

Miami kicks off Spring Practice on March 5, they will hold their annual spring game on April 16. 

Click here for more Spring Practice Primers

Fischer: Golden brings new plan to return Canes to Miami of old
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 12:46 pm
 

Golden looking to speed things up at Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

Randy Shannon was known for his even-keeled nature, rarely seen with outbursts of enthusiasm or anger on the Hurricanes sideline.  That calm nature may have rubbed off a bit on the Miami practice atmosphere, because new head coach Al Golden has made it clear one of his first changes will be enchancing the attitude and tempo of the Hurricanes' practices.  Golden recently addressed his plans for Spring Practice, which begins March 5.

"After watching three of the [bowl] practices, the first thing we have to do is change the speed and overall tempo of the practice," Golden told the Sun Sentinel. "And the energy and enthusiasm that I witnessed in the previous practices, I'd like to enhance that. We want to be an up-tempo, better-conditioned team.

Golden went on to express his desire for a tougher, and more disciplined team.  The Hurricanes were dead last in the ACC in penalties and penatly yards in 2010.  Many times Miami fans saw game-changing plays called back for a minor lapse in judgement, and the former Temple head coach hopes to change that in 2011.  Of all the new coaches in the ACC, Golden might be one of the more interesting situations.  The New Jersey native has never coached south of Virginia until now, and his only previous head coaching experience was at his previous job with the Owls.  Golden has an opportunity to create his legacy as a head coach with one of the most noteworthy programs of the last 30 years.

Or he could butt heads with Donna Shalala and be gone in 3-4 years.  But that's why we watch.     


Posted on: February 14, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 6:21 pm
 

2011 ACC regular season schedule released

Posted by Chip Patterson

The ACC lost their chance at one of their last big recruits of 2011 when Jadeveon Clowney left Clemson hanging at the altar on Monday morning.  Perhaps a reason to sweat that matchup with the Tigers a little bit less.  Go ahead and start projecting your favorite team's win count, because the 2011 regualar season schedules were released today.

OBSERVATIONS

- As recently as last week, there was buzz about Florida State and Miami opening their seasons with a primetime showdown on Labor Day in Tallahassee.  We mentioned some of the scheduling complications, and one of those reasons likely kept the game from making the final slate.  Instead new coach Randy Edsall and the Maryland Terrapins will host Miami on Labor Day evening, facing a Miami team also in their first year under new head coach Al Golden.  The two relocated coaches will provide a decent storyline for the national media, and it will provide the stage for Maryland to make a statement in 2011.

- Many people believe that Ralph Friedgen left the pieces for a bright future under Randy Edsall, and the Terps will have a chance to prove their worth in the first month of the season.  Maryland does not have to leave College Park until October 8, and there will be several opportunities for big wins in that first month.  In addition to the home opener against Miami on Labor Day, West Virginia and a Steve Addazio-led Temple squad should both be good tests for the new look squad.  I think Maryland is a team to keep an eye on in 2011, but we'll know for sure by the end of the September.  

- Dabo Swinney pulled several big wins for Clemson on the recruiting trail in early 2011, but the Tigers may find wins more difficult near the start of their regular season schedule.  After hosting Troy and Wofford, Clemson faces Auburn (defending National Champion), Florida State (defending ACC runner-up), and travels to Virginia Tech (defending ACC champion) with no break between games.  Swinney has some fresh faces on staff and one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, but with that schedule the new talent may not be able to prevent a 2-3 start for Clemson.   


PREMATURE PREDICTION

- If Florida State can upset Oklahoma and beat Clemson in Death Valley, they will be in the national title hunt on November 1.  The Seminoles have already been slated by many as a Preseason Top 10 team already, and knocking off the Sooners will be a fast way to jump up a few spots.  After Clemson (and an open date), Florida State will face Wake Forest, Duke, then host Maryland and N.C. State.  Under Jimbo Fisher's leadership, the Seminoles could start 8-0.  But Oklahoma should be very tough to beat in the coming season, and there are very few free road wins in the ACC.  But if Florida State can pull off both wins, they should be a national contender as the season winds down.

Click here to see the .PDF from the Atlantic Coast Conference



Posted on: February 7, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Florida State-Miami talk Labor Day season opener

Posted by Chip Patterson

With the 2011 ACC football schedule still in negotiation, Florida State and Miami are mulling over the possibilities of moving their annual matchup to Labor Day evening (September 5) in Tallahassee.  Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post recently reported the schedule development after an interview with Hurricanes' athletic director Kirby Hocutt.

“We’re generally open to that because of the exposure and visibility that it brings,” Hocutt said in the interview. “It’s a tremendous opportunity. Obviously we have our set of concerns that we want to make sure we feel satisfied with before agreeing to anything.”

Both teams would have some schedule rearranging to do in order to make the game happen.  Florida State would have to re-schedule Louisiana-Monroe, currently scheduled on Saturday September 3, and the Hurricanes would look to move their October 1 meeting with Bethune-Cookman to September 10.  If the Hurricanes cannot get that move completed, they would have to burn a bye week to avoid two ACC meetings in five days.  

The game is not ideal for the Seminoles either.  Even if they can move ULM to later in the season, they would still be kicking off their 2011 campaign with three games in 12 days.  The last of that stretch being an awfully important matchup against Oklahoma.  With the talent coming back, and the job Jimbo Fisher has done on the recruiting trail, the Seminoles are an early favorite to win the ACC in 2011.  But even more important for the conference, Florida State has the opportunity to be a national title contender - something the conference has yet to produce since expansion in 2004.  If Florida State can knock off Oklahoma at home, they have a legitimate shot to be a contender when November rolls around.  

But as Andrew Carter, of the Orlando Sentinel, points out: these talks are likely a result of the ACC's television deal with ESPN.  The conference's contract calls for one "special appearance" game per season.  In 2010, the Virginia Tech - Boise State game (played on Labor Day evening at FedEx Field) filled that requirement.  Also, if the deal does go through it would at least provide Florida State with a season-opening homestand that could set the tone for a memorable 2011.
Posted on: January 31, 2011 7:10 pm
 

How important is a coach's age to winning titles?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Virginia Tech-centric blog Gobbler Country posted an interested study today, examining the breakdown of championship-winning coaches' ages in the modern era of college football. The question raised is "how old is too old," and excepting some obvious outliers, the answer is "younger than you think."

For the champions, I used the BCS from 1998-present, the coaches' poll from 1982-1997 and the AP poll from 1960-1981.

Time span Avg. Age
1960-69 46.4
1970-79 51.0
1980-89 48.6
1990-99 55.6
2000-10 49.9
BCS Era 55.1
1960-2010 51.3

The ages of head coaches have fluctuated from mid 40s to mid 50s since 1960, but the average has been a little over 51 years of age. However, there has been one coach that has helped break the curve. Take away Bobby Bowden's two titles and the average in the 90's shrinks to 52.8 and the BCS era shrinks to 53.8.

What's even more unsettling to programs with older coaches is the breakdown of championships by age bracket:

Age Span Champs
< 40 5
40-44 9
45-49 9
50-54 14
55-59 9
60 + 5

Not only is there a precipitous dropoff from the early 50s to 60+, those five titles were won by just three coaches: The aforementioned Bowden with two, Bear Bryant with two, and Joe Paterno -- the three most celebrated coaches of the modern era of I-A football. What's more, Bryant had won his first title at the age of 50, while Paterno won his first at 56. Bowden didn't win his first until he was 64, but that was after six straight top-five finishes in the final poll for Florida State. In other words, each of those three coaches firmly established his national championship bona fides before his 60th birthday, while every other coach who ever hit 60 in the last 50 years was quite evidently past his prime.

It's not really surprising, then, to have seen Maryland jettison longtime head coach Ralph Friedgen, who was 63 at the end of the 2010 and who clearly wasn't about to win a title at such a mediocre football school (no offense, Terps, but let's be honest). Incoming coach Randy Edsall will have just turned 53 at the outset of the 2011 season, and while one might joke that Maryland's only got two seasons of Edsall in his prime before it all goes downhill, it's not as if he's got 15 years in front of him with the Terrapins.

So with all this in mind, here are a few more notable coaches and their ages as of the start of the 2011 season. It would be incorrect to say there's a "new generation" of coaches on the move (seven years or so doesn't really constitute a generational gap) but it's pretty clear that a few of these guys aren't lasting much more than five years -- especially if they're not winning 10 games a year anymore.

Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech, 64
Mack Brown, Texas, 60
Gene Chizik, Auburn, 49
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa, 56
Al Golden, Miami, 42
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State, a man, 44
Brady Hoke, Michigan, 52
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame, 49
Chip Kelly, Oregon, 47
Lane Kiffin, USC, 36
Mike Leach, free agent, 50
Les Miles, LSU, 57
Dan Mullen, Mississippi St., 39
Will Muschamp, Florida, 40
Joe Paterno, Penn State, 84
Gary Patterson, TCU, 51
Bo Pelini, Nebraska, 43
Chris Petersen, Boise State, 46
Bobby Petrino, Arkansas, 50
Mark Richt, Georgia, 51
Nick Saban, Alabama, 59
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma, 50
Jim Tressel, Ohio State, 58
Kyle Whittingham, Utah, 51

Now obviously, not all of these schools are going to win national championships in the next 5-10 years. But by and large, most of these schools do pay their coaches a gigantic salary -- to the point that the expectation of competing on a national level is inevitable. If a coach is struggling in his fourth or fifth year with a program, is an athletic director going to be more apt to fire the coach if he's 57 instead of 47? Is that age discrimination, or common sense?

Posted on: January 27, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Harris will get a fresh start with the new staff

Posted by Chip Patterson

Jacory Harris has been a polarizing figure for Hurricanes fans since his breakout as a freshman splitting time with Robert Marve. When he's playing well, he looks like one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC. He has even been put on several Heisman watch lists at different times throughout his career. Then come the arm-punts.

Harris has failed to string together a consistent streak of mistake-free games through his three years in Coral Gables. After missing three games with a concussion in 2010, Hurricanes fans saw a glimpse of the post-Jacory era with freshman quarterback Stephen Morris. Harris was beyond frustrating this past season, throwing at least one interception in 8 of his 10 appearances. He totaled 15 interceptions on the season, which look even worse compared with only 14 touchdowns.

But there is a new regime at Miami under head coach Al Golden, and a fresh chance for Harris to reclaim the starting position for his senior year. New offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch recently addressed the quarterback situation in a recent radio interview on WQAM 560.

“If [Jacory] has what we’re looking for in a quarterback, he can have a great year, and Stephen the same,” Fisch said, “They both have an opportunity to do something special. What I can’t wait for is to be a part of that with them, to help them along, not hold anything back and not hold anything against them for what they’ve done in the past.”

Fisch was the quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, and was offensive coordinator for Minnesota in 2009. He plans to institute a pro-style offense, asking the quarterbacks to be "the point guard" of the offense; delivering the ball to the different playmakers on the field. He has already addressed the nation-leading 27 interceptions in 2010, a number that Fisch says he wants to "at least cut in half."

If cutting down interceptions is a main focus, it could be tough for Harris to win the starting position outright. Unless he has overcome his knack for giving the ball to the other team, in which case this "clean slate" is the best thing that could happen for his career.

Posted on: January 19, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 12:05 am
 

Headset Reset: Reviewing new SEC and ACC hires

Posted by Chip Patterson

"Headset Reset" is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the SEC and the ACC.


WILL MUSCHAMP, Florida

Why him? Urban Meyer blindsided the college football community by stepping away from his gig as the head coach at one of the biggest football programs in the nation. So naturally, Florida poached the highest profile assistant coach from right under Mack Brown to lead the Gators into the new decade. For 2011, Muschamp needs to: Win the SEC East. By bringing in Charlie Weis as the new offensive coordinator, Gators fans will expect that many of the offensive woes that plagued them in 2010 will be eliminated immediately. But despite all their downfalls, Florida still came one game from winning the division. There will be no excuse not to reclaim the East in 2014. By 2014, Muschamp needs to have: Won the SEC Championship. Urban Meyer won two national championships in his first four seasons at Florida. Muschamp needs to at least win the SEC crown by 2014, presumably meaning the Gators are also in the national title discussion. Chances Muschamp gets what he needs?: There is no reason to think that Muschamp, a coach who carries a strong reputation in several major recruiting hotbeds, cannot continue to bring in the talent to Gainesville to build his own dynasty. I'd say chances are pretty good.

JAMES FRANKLIN, Vanderbilt

Why him? After Bobby Johnson retired less than two months before the start of the season, Vanderbilt scrambled to promote offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell to head coach. After Caldwell's 2-10 record in 2010, he stepped down as well. For 2011, Franklin needs to: Beat Elon and win at least one conference game. After two straight 2-10 seasons Franklin at least needs to equal that win total, even with a difficult non-conference schedule. The bar isn't too high, but the Commodores need to find at least one non-conference and one conference win in 2011. By 2014, Franklin needs to have: Made the postseason. Again, the bar is not too high (Vanderbilt has only 2 bowl appearances since 1980), but Franklin would likely land himself a long-term contract and cement his own place in Vanderbilt history by adding a postseason win to the school's resume. Chances Franklin gets what he needs?: Have you seen the SEC? Not great.

RANDY EDSALL, Maryland

Why him? New athletic director Kevin Anderson clearly had plans to get rid of Ralph Friedgen before he went on to win 8 games and be named ACC Coach of the Year. Despite the biggest turnaround in school history, the coach was removed in favor of Randy Edsall, the perennial coaching search smoke-screen. For 2011, Edsall needs to: Equal or improve from Friedgen's 8-win regular season in 2010. With many Terps fans and players sad to see Fridge shoved out the door, Edsall will immediately be compared to his predecessor. Fortunately, Edsall inherits a young and talented team led by ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien. By 2014, Edsall needs to have: Won the ACC Atlantic. Anderson's main reason for buying out Friedgen's contract was to take the Maryland football program from "good to great." After coming one game from winning the division in 2010, the only way to improve would be an appearance in the ACC Championship Game. Chances Edsall gets what he needs?: Not very good. The ACC Atlantic is getting stronger with Jimbo Fisher bringing Florida State back to national relevance, Dabo Swinney beefing up his coaching staff, and Tom O'Brien turning N.C. State into a perennial threat in the conference. Thinking that Edsall will be able to take the Terps to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014 is a tall order. But if it happens, it will be because of the play of O'Brien.

AL GOLDEN, Miami

Why him? After another year of poor attendance from a disinterested fan base, not to mention the failure to compete within their own division, Miami decided it was time for a change. For 2011, Golden needs to: While Shannon failed collect any hardware on the field, he certainly did his part recruiting during the offseason. Golden realizes the importance of recruiting in-state, and has hit the trail running. With only two weeks left until signing day, Golden is in the middle of his 45 scheduled visits for the month of January to solidify his 2011 class. Many recruits, including ones in-state, have expressed how impressed they were with Golden and his new staff. Golden won't be expected to win the division in 2011, but Hurricanes fans will be far less forgiving if they see a drop-off on national signing day. By 2014, Golden needs to have: Won the ACC Coastal. After years of dominating the Big East, Miami boosters have been disappointed to see Miami fall out of the conference race each year since joining the ACC. Golden needs to take the Hurricanes to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014, or else an occasionally unstable administration may get trigger happy once again. Chances Golden gets what he needs?: Golden faces an uphill battle as a coach with no experience south of Charlottesville, VA, but what progress he has made so far has been pleasantly surprising. He still is competing against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, who have combined for every ACC Coastal crown since the division formation in 2004. I'd put the chances of Golden taking Miami to the ACC Championship game right at 50-50.
 
 
 
 
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