Posted on: January 24, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 3:11 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins made headlines earlier this month his announcement to skip the NFL Draft and return to Gainesville for another season. For new head coach Will Muschamp, it was a great display of leadership from one of the most talented upperclassmen on next year's roster. Unfortunately that positive act was quickly offset with Jenkins' citation over the weekend for possession of marijuana.
The Gainesville Police Department informed the Associated Press that Jenkins was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession early Saturday. He was in the bathroom at a nightclub and caught with a "clear baggie" of marijuana. The misdemeanor charge is for an amount of marijuana less than 20 grams, and his court date has been set for February 17.
Of course this is a notable arrest for Muschamp's campaign to win Florida their first Fulmer Cup, "awarded" to the program with the worst collective criminal record. Urban Meyer often was criticized for the off-field issues under his watch in Gainesville, and this arrest does suggest that little has changed.
The timing was also not ideal for Jenkins' arrest. Being the midst of changing coaching staffs, and just two weeks after his big return announcement, it will not be easy to quietly sweep this story under the rug. Jenkins would like to keep his name in the headlines for next year's NFL Draft, but he would prefer the story to be on the football field.
Posted on: January 20, 2011 3:51 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
College football fans love to chatter about which of the 11 FBS conferences is best. They get much less excited to discuss which of them is worst, though for the few who do, this past bowl season provided some quality fodder when the two leagues generally considered the FBS's weakest -- the MAC and Sun Belt -- squared off in three different bowl games. The Sun Belt came out ahead 2-1, with Troy dominating Ohio and FIU winning a 34-32 barnburner over Toledo. (MAC champion Miami (Ohio) did cruise past Middle Tennessee State for the Midwestern league's victory in the MAC-SBC "Challenge.") Case closed?
Not even close. This week the College Football Blog reviewed all 22 (or 21, if you don't count Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia) new head coaching hires in our Headset Reset series , and that review turned up something interesting about the Sun Belt and the MAC: namely, that the MAC is making much stronger coaching hires.
First, look at the MAC's new coaches : two of them are coordinators from two of the 2010 Big Ten co-champions; one was the offensive coordinator and highest-ranking assistant for Urban Meyer's national-title winning program at Florida ; one was a longtime position coach and ace recruiter for Ohio State; and the "weakest" of the hires on paper, Ball State's Pete Lembo, is a 40-year-old coach with 10 years of successful head coaching experience on the FCS level already under his belt.
Contrast that with the Sun Belt's three choices: one a promotion from within the Arkansas State staff, one a potentially past-his-prime Florida position coach, the other the Mississippi State wide receivers coach.
All three of those hires could prove to be shrewd (it's not as if Dan McCarney and Mark Hudspeth don't have quality head coaching experience to draw on, and Hugh Freeze has been knocking on the door of his own head coaching gig for years). But if the MAC is to the Big Ten as the Sun Belt is to the SEC, then you'd have seen the SBC hiring the SEC equivalents of Don Treadwell or Dave Doeren (pictured at right), well-regarded college-first coordinators like Manny Diaz or John Chavis or Mike Bobo. That's not happening. In fact, the only 2010 SEC coordinator to take a head coaching job this offseason went to ... Temple.
(As an aside, this might also be an indication of the relative strength of the Big Ten and SEC; where SEC schools are willing to pay top dollar to retain their best assistants and keep them out of the clutches of smaller schools, the Big Ten watches the likes of Treadwell and Doeren walk away.)
The Sun Belt's bowl performance was nice. But until they show they can land the same caliber of coaching talent as their Midwestern counterparts (or, more easily, the WAC says its official goodbyes to Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii) they should continue to be regarded at the bottom of the FBS conference barrel.
Tags: Arkansas State, Ball State, Big Ten, Dan McCarney, Dana Holgorsen, Dave Doeren, Don Treadwell, FIU, Florida, Fresno State, Hawaii, Headset Reset, Hugh Freeze, John Chavis, MAC, Manny Diaz, Mark Hudspeth, Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee State, Mike Bobo, Mississippi State, Nevada, Ohio, Ohio State, Pete Lembo, SEC, Steve Addazio, Temple, Toledo, Troy, Urban Meyer, WAC, West Virginia
Posted on: January 19, 2011 3:13 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
"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 five new head coaches in the MAC.
DON TREADWELL, Miami (Ohio) (pictured)
Why him? Because few assistant coaches in the country had a better 2010 than Treadwell, who turned a collection of average-looking talent into one of the Big Ten's most effective offenses at Michigan State and added a couple of victories as the Spartans' interim head coach to boot. For 2011, Treadwell needs to: capitalize on the momentum built by Mike Haywood's amazing 9-win turnaround in Oxford. A second straight MAC title isn't a necessity, but the pieces are in place for the kind of solid, winning season that would stamp the RedHawks as a contender for years to come. By 2014, Treadwell needs to have: won the MAC. With so much coaching turnover, there's a power vaccum at the top of the conference, and no reason Miami can't fill it. Chances Treadwell gets what he needs? Good-to-very good. Haywood left behind an excellent foundation and Treadwell's work in East Lansing suggests he's just the man to build upon it.
PETE LEMBO, Ball State
Why him? At just 40 years of age, Lembo already has 10 years of head coaching experience (all at the FCS level, no less) and just finished resuscitating a truly rotten Elon program. For 2011, Lembo needs to: just move the Cardinals in the right direction. Stan Parrish's dreadful two-season reign-of-error means Lembo has to get the program walking towards, say, not losing to Eastern Michigan before it runs towards bowls and league titles. By 2014, Lembo needs to have: put the Cardinals in position for a postseason berth; the Brady Hoke era showed it's far from impossible for the right coach. Chances Lembo gets what he needs? Not bad. BSU's not an easy gig, but Lembo's energy and FCS success mean he could be a sneakily good hire.
STEVE ADDAZIO, Temple
Why him? Not his efforts running the Florida offense, that's for sure, but his top-notch recruiting expertise, Northeast ties, and Urban Meyer -trained CEO skills won him the job all the same. For 2011, Addazio needs to: put together a coaching staff -- particularly at the coordinator positions -- that can take advantage of Addazio's good work on the recruiting trails. Maintaining Temple's perch near the top of the MAC East would be a nice signal that Al Golden's tenure wasn't a fluke, too. By 2014, Addazio needs to have: gotten the Owls back to a couple of bowl games; anything else would be a terrible waste of Golden's remarkable work. Chances Addazio gets what he needs? Better than you'd think. There's a reason Meyer tabbed Addazio as his replacement during his sabbatical; he's got the leadership skills necessary to head up a successful program ... if he can just find someone to call his plays for him.
DAVE DOEREN, Northern Illinois
Why him? NIU can't ask for a whole lot more than a long-time successful Big Ten defensive coordinator fresh off a visit to the Rose Bowl. For 2011, Doeren needs to: win the MAC? Those are high expectations for a first-time head coach, but the Huskies were the league's best team in 2010 and their offense returns almost entirely intact. By 2014, Doeren needs to have: won the MAC, no question mark. With the offensive talent left behind by Jerry Kill and Doeren's defensive acumen, the Huskies should find a way to finish what they started in 2010. Chances Doeren gets what he needs? Solid; none of the other new MAC coaches steps into a situation quite this friendly, and Doeren's defensive pedigree is promising.
DARRELL HAZELL, Kent State
Why him? No one the Golden Flashes could have hired knows the Ohio recruiting scene better than the longtime Buckeye receivers coach and recruiting ace. For 2011, Hazell needs to: find a difference-maker or two. KSU's been close to getting over the bowl hump, going 5-7 each of the past two seasons; if Hazell can recruit just a handful of actual play-makers, he could get them there in short order. By 2014, Hazell needs to have: reached the postseason. It would be a huge milestone for woebegone program that's had just two winning seasons since 1977, and has never played in a bowl as an FBS program. Chances Hazell gets what he needs? Like Addazio, it'll depend on who Hazell can hire for his staff, since he has no coordinating experience. But the talent level in Kent should definitely rise on his watch.
Tags: Al Golden, Ball State, Big Ten, Brady Hoke, Darrell Hazell, Dave Doeren, Don Treadwell, Eastern Michigan, Elon, Florida, Headset Reset, Jerry Kill, Kent State, MAC, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, Mike Haywood, Northern Illinois, Pete Lembo, Rose Bowl, Stan Parrish, Steve Addazio, Temple, Urban Meyer
Posted on: January 5, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 1:39 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that the news is official, and Rich Rodriguez has been fired at Michigan, the process of finding a replacement is underway in Ann Arbor. If we're to take Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon's words at his press conference on Wednesday to heart, it doesn't sound like a replacement will be announced quickly. In fact, Brandon made it sound like he hasn't even begun the process yet, which, if true, doesn't bode well for Michigan in 2011.
Still, if he hasn't begun the search yet, here are a few names that will likely be hearing from Michigan in the coming days.
Jim Harbaugh - Actually, from what Brandon said, I'm pretty sure Harbaugh has already heard from Michigan. Brandon may say he hasn't begun the process but reading between the lines, it sounds like Michigan has contacted Harbaugh and that Harbaugh has told the school he's not interested. Which is why Brandon didn't seem to have any problems addressing Harbaugh-related questions and even say that he feels Harbaugh is headed to the NFL. Still, until an official announcement is made by Harbaugh, a portion of the Michigan faithful will hold out hope.
Brady Hoke - Hoke's name has come up as a possible replacement, and he's made it known that Michigan is his dream job and he'd have no problem leaving San Diego State for the job. Still, even though Hoke has been successful at Ball State and with the Aztecs, I don't think that's enough to make him Michigan's top choice. Odds are the school will take a stab at some bigger names with Hoke as a backup plan.
Les Miles - Before Michigan hired Rodriguez, rumor was that Miles was one of the school's top choices to replace Lloyd Carr. Miles stayed at LSU, but it's possible that Michigan could make a run at their former offensive lineman once more. The question is whether or not Miles would want to leave his nice contract at LSU to take the job, or whether Michigan would be comfortable bringing him home.
Chris Petersen - Any athletic director at a BCS conference school who is looking for a head coach that doesn't call Boise State's Petersen isn't doing his job. Petersen's done a remarkable job at Boise State, helping keep a tiny commuter school in Idaho a power on the national scene. If he could do that at Boise State, imagine what he might be able to do with the resources available to him at Michigan.
Gary Patterson - During his press conference, Dave Brandon pointed out that whoever he brings in to replace Rodriguez, an emphasis will be placed on defense. That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be a defensive-minded head coach, but if Brandon wants a strong defense at Michigan, he could do a lot worse than TCU's Patterson. The question here is whether or not Patterson would want to make the transition north, or if he has a need to. After all, TCU will be joining the Big East in 2012, so if Patterson wants to coach in a BCS conference, he no longer has to leave the school.
Mike Leach - I don't think Brandon has any interest in Mike Leach, but I'll bet Leach has interest in Michigan. Hell, he has interest in every school.
Kyle Whittingham - Whittingham hasn't had any trouble maintaining what Urban Meyer started at Utah, and could bring that success to Ann Arbor. Of course, considering that Whittingham has been at Utah for 16 years, it doesn't seem as though he's in a hurry to leave the place. Plus, like Gary Patterson, he's now running a program that is bound for a BCS conference, so the motivation to leave isn't as strong as it may have been.
Urban Meyer - Speaking of Meyer, how about Urban Meyer? Do I think this would happen? No, I believe Meyer was serious when saying he wants some time off. Still, you know it's only a matter of time before somebody throws his name out there, so I may as well.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 12:07 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If the Urban Meyer spread-option regime was still in charge at Florida, no one would bat an eye at John Brantley exploring his transfer options. (There's probably no truth to the rumor they've added a picture of him running the zone read to the Dictionary of American Slang under "square peg in a round hole," but we wouldn't blame them if they had.) But with Will Muschamp heralding a new offensive era in Gainesville and Charlie Weis, the coach that turned Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen into first-round draft picks, now in the offensive coordinator's chair, you'd think that would be enough to placate Brantley, right?
It might be. But not just yet :
After a difficult first season as a starter and Urban Meyer 's resignation, the redshirt junior is considering leaving a school.
That means the Brantleys might be waiting a bit; Weis isn't expected in Gainesville until after his season concludes with the Kansas City Chiefs .Between Brantley losing a year of eligibility in the event of a transfer (assuming he stays within the FBS) and Weis's reputation for grooming quarterbacks, it still seems unlikely Brantley will bolt. But if he does, it will make things awfully awkward for Muschamp and Weis in their first season; the only other quarterbacks on the depth chart are Trey Burton and Jordan Reed, neither of which will be a good fit at all for Weis's dropback-passer schemes. That would likely make incoming true freshman Jeff Driskel the starter by default, and though Driskel is one of the most highly-regarded recruits in the country, asking any true freshman to step in and take the reins for an SEC team from Day 1 is asking for trouble.
So expect Muschamp and Weis to make their best sales pitch to Brantley as soon as they possibly can. Their first season with the Gators might just depend on it.
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2011 5:20 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Urban Meyer goes out with a win and a complimentary Bloomin' Onion as Florida defeats Penn State 37-24
Offense: Florida scored 37 points on Saturday, but don't think that means the Gators offense finally figured things out. Fourteen of those points came courtesy of the defense and special teams. Meanwhile, the two offensive touchdowns Florida did manage came on two drives totaling 40 yards thanks to Penn State turnovers.
In total, the Florida offense managed only 287 yards on the day, with its trio of quarterbacks combining to complete 14-of-27 passes for 102 yards. If there was a standout player for Gators on offense, it was Omarius Hines who had 59 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Other than that, there wasn't much to celebrate on offense.
If the Gators were to hand out an offensive MVP for the game, it would likely go to kicker/punter Chas Henry or safety Ahmad Black. Grade:D
Defense: Thankfully for the Gators, while they still don't have an offense, the defense made the trip down south to Tampa on Saturday. Ahmad Black had a huge day in his final game as a Gator, including the deciding pick-six in the final minutes that put an end to Penn State's chances. All in all the Gators forced five turnovers on the game, all via the interception, and held Penn State to only seven points in the second half. Grade: B+
Coaching: You'd think that with over a month passing between Florida's last game and this one, the coaching staff might have been able to come up with an offensive game plan that wasn't as terrible as the one we'd seen all season. Unfortunately, even though Steve Addazio accepted the head coaching job at Temple, he stuck around Gainesville for this game. Still, since it was Urban Meyer's final game, and his beloved special teams unit got him a touchdown, the Gators staff still gets a decent grade. Grade: B-
Offense: To put it simply, Penn State's offense cost them a win on Saturday. Particularly Matt McGloin, who on one play would make a throw that completely surpassed your expectations, and on the next would throw a pass that completely defied logic. McGloin threw five interceptions on the day. Five.
You're not going to win many games turning the ball over that often.
Penn State's offense actually out-gained Florida's offense by 70 yards in this one, and Evan Royster rushed for 99 yards, but the interceptions and McGloin's overall decision-making killed the Nittany Lions. Grade: F
Defense: You can't pin this one on the Penn State defense at all. It did it's job and smothered a lackluster Florida offense, but the Nittany Lions found themselves in too many bad spots thanks to the turnovers. Really, the defense played well given the circumstances, holding Florida to field goals a lot of the time. Nobody on this Penn State defense has anything to be ashamed of following this game, and Matt McGloin owes everybody on this unit a free meal. Grade: B
Coaching: I did not like what Joe Paterno and the Penn State coaching job did on offense in this game. I'm sorry, but when my quarterback has had trouble with deeper routes all season long and is turning the ball over frequently, I'm not going to drop him back and have him throw 42 times. It just doesn't make any sense. If you feel you have to throw so much, then run plays with shorter routes. Yes, McGloin had a bad game, but his coaches didn't do him a lot of favors. Grade: D+
This game was not pretty. Not at all. Still, given the action going on around the state of Florida and in Texas elsewhere on Saturday at the same time, at least this one had a bit of drama in it at the end. It's for that reason, and that reason only, that this grade is even this high. Grade: C+
Posted on: December 31, 2010 8:46 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Basics: Florida (7-5) vs. Penn State (7-5), Jan.1, 1pm ET
Why You Should Watch: Well, first of all, you should watch this game because it'll be starting around the same time you're finally waking up out of your New Year's Eve haze. Nothing like some football to help you shake the cobwebs out of your brain. Oh, and it's also the final time you will have a chance to see Urban Meyer nearly suffer a heart attack on a Florida sideline. Not to mention, depending on who you want to believe, it could also be the final time that Joe Paterno ever graces a sideline.
Keys to Victory for Florida: You could question how Florida will approach this game given everything that's gone on in Gainesville over the last month, but I don't think motivation is going to be a problem. There's no way these Gators want to send Urban Meyer out with a loss. To do this, well, the Gators will have do so something they haven't done all season.
Find some consistency on offense. Whether it's John Brantley through the air, or Trey Burton on the ground, whoever is at quarterback for Florida is going to have to make some plays against this Penn State defense. That means the Gators offensive line, which has been pretty disappointing this year, is going to need to step up the protection. When Brantley is back there he tends to make dumb decisions when facing pressure and has a hard time reading coverage.
The best way to help Brantley would be to get the ground game going with Mike Gillislee, Emmanuel Moody, Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey. Penn State has had some problems with the run this season, and the Gators should watch the game film of the Penn State game against Illinois and copy Illinois' game plan. Maybe Ron Zook can finally win a bowl game for Florida after all these years.
Keys to Victory for Penn State: Florida is faster and more athletic than Penn State. The best way for Penn State to counter this will be to attack, attack and attack some more on defense. Blitz John Brantley like there is no tomorrow and force him to make decisions he's not ready to make. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the Nittany Lions need to tighten things up against the run.
When Penn State has the ball it should look to exploit the Gators a bit in the secondary. Yes, Evan Royster should still get plenty of carries to soften up the Florida defense, but the Gators don't have Janoris Jenkins in this game and he's not an easy player to replace. Now, the problem here is that as good as Matt McGloin has been, he's not very effective on deep routes. Which means that Penn State should look to attack Florida on shorter routes like slants and hitches.
Finally, it will be important for Royster and the offensive line to have move the ball against the Florida run defense. Royster had a couple of lackluster games against tough run defenses like Alabama and Ohio State this season, and for Penn State to have a legit chance in this game, he's going to have to produce.
The Outback Bowl is like: one of those Rolling Stones farewell concerts. You know that even though they claim it's the last time you'll ever see them performing, they're going to come back eventually. Yes, Urban Meyer may be leaving Florida to spend time with the family and tend to his health, but do you really believe a man that immersed in football is never coming back? I don't.
Posted on: December 27, 2010 12:06 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Outback Bowl will be the final game Urban Meyer coaches for the Florida Gators. If you were to listen to some rumors over the holiday weekend, however, Meyer might not be the only coach spending his last game on the sideline in Tampa on New Year's. According to a report on College Football Talk, sources within the athletic department at Penn State maintain that following the Outback Bowl, Joe Paterno will retire.
The apparent reason for it is not performance based, but rather Paterno's health.
Whether or not these rumors are true, you can't really be sure. The idea of Paterno retiring isn't exactly crazy considering the man is 84 years old. Still, if he is retiring, nobody has told his players yet, as a few have come forward over the last few days to claim that the rumors are false.
"There's been a few things that have been said, but we're around Coach every day," Brett Brackett told the St. Petersburg Times. "There's no truth to these rumors at all. We experience him every day. ... Nobody understands how hands-on he really is, so we really know what Coach does, and when those rumors go around they more anger us than anything because we get to experience him every day."
Of course, it's totally possible that this plan has been put in place and nobody has told the players yet. Still, I'm not sure I believe it myself. Paterno has already gone on the record publicly and stated he plans on returning in 2011, and let's be honest, if he wants to, he will. Even if his health is getting worse, the fact of the matter is that even though Paterno is the figurehead at Penn State, his coordinators and assistants have been running things for the last few years.
Next year wouldn't be any different.