Tag:Tom Fornelli
Posted on: January 18, 2012 6:28 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 7:27 pm
 

The Brent Venables situation gets crazier

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Brent Venables Saga is no longer a saga and has now become The Brent Venables Variety Hour.

According to multiple reports on Twitter Wednesday evening, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables was all set to become Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. He had interviewed for the position last weekend, and after a few days of speculation, it seemed a decision had finally been made.

Turns out nothing is settled yet.

After Twitter was set ablaze with "Venables to Clemson" tweets, Venables texted the Tulsa World's Dave Sittler to let him know that he was staying at Oklahoma.

Shortly after that tweet, Sittler tweeted again, saying that he may have misunderstood Venables' meaning. Venables later texted to the Tulsa World's John Hoover that he was "working through some details" and that "nothing was final either way."

In other words, in the last week Venables has gone from West Virginia, to Clemson, back to Oklahoma, to Clemson once again, followed by a return trip to Oklahoma, but could still finish his trip at Clemson. Confused? Don't worry, so are we.

At the moment it seems that people jumped the gun on Venables taking the Clemson job because the school wasn't finished doing a background check on him, and that no official contract offer had been made. However, the prevailing feeling at the moment is that once the background check is complete, the offer will be made and that Venables will accept it.

So that's where things currently stand as of now. Where will they stand in another five minutes? Nobody knows. The only thing I know for sure is that I've got a headache from watching this story go back and forth.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 2:15 pm
 

Report: Venables not interested in Kansas State

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Another day has come and gone and Brent Venables is still at Oklahoma. There's been a lot of speculation about Venables' future since Mike Stoops joined the Oklahoma staff, as he was mentioned as a replacement for Jeff Casteel at West Virginia, and he's interviewed at Clemson as well. Following the news on Tuesday that Chris Cosh had left Kansas State to become defensive coordinator at South Florida, plenty of people did the math and wondered if Venables would move to Manhattan.

He is a Kansas State graduate after all.

It seems that speculation can be put to rest. The Tulsa World's Dave Sittler tweeted on Wednesday that Venables is "absolutely not interested" in taking the defensive coordinator job at Kansas State. Which does come as a bit of a surprise. As mentioned above, Venables did go to school at Kansas State, and with Bill Snyder being 72 years old, you have to wonder how much longer he'll be sticking around to run the program.

So it's possible that Venables could take the job at Kansas State as the "head coach in waiting." A position that hasn't had a lot of success at other schools recently -- hey, Bill Stewart, how you doing? --  but Venables has shown plenty of interest in becoming a head coach before. Maybe his priorities have changed, or maybe he's just not sure how much success he could have at Kansas State.

After all, there's a lot more defensive talent at Oklahoma than there is in Manhattan.

Whatever the case is, it seems that Venables has narrowed his choices down to staying at Oklahoma or going to Clemson. We'll likely find out his decision soon enough.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:57 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 1:59 pm
 

Illinois hires Tim Banks as defensive coordinator

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Tim Beckman has finished filling out his staff at Illinois. The school announced on Wednesday that it had hired Tim Banks to be its defensive coordinator.

"Tim Banks is a great fit for the University of Illinois," said Beckman in a release. "He led an outstanding defense at Central Michigan and made a great improvement at Cincinnati this past season. Tim and I worked together at Bowling Green and I consider him one of the brightest young coaches in the nation. Tim will run a very aggressive defensive system that will work very well with our personnel."

Banks has spent the last five years of his career as a co-defensive coordinator, with the last two coming at Cincinnati and the previous three at Central Michigan. He helped turn around a Cincinnati defense that had a lot to do with the Bearcats success in 2011.

The Bearcats defense finished the season rated 42nd in total defense, but it was ranked 6th against the run, allowing only 96 yards per game. The unit also led the country in tackles for loss with 111 and finished 2nd in sacks with 45.

A trend Tim Beckman and Illinois would like to see continue. While Illinois struggled on offense over the last half of the 2011 season, its defense remained one of the best in the country. If Banks is able to keep the defense on the same level, it will make the transition on offense that much easier.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:51 pm
 

Brock Berglund learned of dismissal via Twitter

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Monday it was announced that Kansas had kicked 6 players off its team, including backup quarterback Brock Berglund. It turns out that Berglund found out he'd been kicked off the team the same way a lot of Kansas fans did: via Twitter.

At least, that's what Berglund told the Lawrence Journal-World when he called the paper on Monday.

Berglund also told the paper that he had been considering returning to the team a week ago but began to change his mind after the school didn't seem all that eager for him to come back. Berglund spent most of his freshman season away from the team while dealing with assault charges in Colorado stemming from a fight he got into while defending his girlfriend over the summer.

According to the school, Berglund emailed different members of the school on Sunday requesting a transfer release and to let them know he wouldn't be able to attend a mandatory team meeting on Sunday night. After Berglund missed the meeting, Kansas and Charlie Weis decided to dismiss Berglund from the team.

While I can understand why Kansas dismissed Berglund from the team, and can also understand why Berglund would want to leave the program, you'd think the school could have at least sent him an email back letting him know he was getting his release rather than letting him find out on Twitter. That just seems a bit cold to me.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:02 pm
 

Report: Cosh leaving KSU for USF

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Kansas State is coming off of its best season in years, but it looks like the Wildcats will have to find a new defensive coordinator for 2012.

GoPowercat.com is reporting that defensive coordinator Chris Cosh is leaving Kansas State to take the same position at South Florida. Cosh spent the weekend in Tampa interviewing for the job and spent Saturday night at the team's banquet.

Cosh has spent the last three seasons as Kansas State's defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. He would be reuniting with Skip Holtz at South Florida, as both spent five seasons together on Lou Holtz's staff at South Carolina, where Cosh spent his first four years as linebackers coach before becoming defensive coordinator in 2003.

Cosh would be replacing Mark Snyder, who left South Florida to take over as defensive coordinator on Kevin Sumlin's staff at Texas A&M.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 7:47 pm
 

Plenty of roster turnover at Kansas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On the day that Charlie Weis introduced his three new transfers to the Kansas football team, the Jayhawks also bid farewell to ten others.

The school announced on Monday that six players had been dismissed from the program, including quarterback Brock Berglund, running back Damian Miller, wide receiver Keeston Terry and defensive end Tyrone Sellers. The players were all dismissed for academic or behavioral issues.

"You can't make decisions on how good they are. You have to make decisions on doing the right thing," said Weis.

There were also three players who are no longer a part of the Kansas football team, but remain enrolled in school. The list includes starting quarterback Jordan Webb. Webb started all 12 games for the Jayhawks this season, throwing for 1,884 yards and 13 touchdowns. His decision to leave the football team likely had a lot to do with the fact that two of the three transfers being introduced on Monday were quarterbacks Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps.

While Heaps has to sit out the 2012 season due to his transfer, as a graduate student, Dayne Crist will be eligible to play right away for the Jayhawks next season. Which relegates Webb to the role of backup.

It's possible that Webb could plan on finishing up his degree at Kansas this spring and then transfer to another school to play next fall just like Crist.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 2:03 pm
 

Report: Nussmeier to be Alabama's new OC

Posted by Tom Fornelli

According to a report from al.com, Washington offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is set to become the new offensive coordinator at Alabama. With the holiday on Monday, there is no scheduled announcement for the hire.

Nussmeier has been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Washington under Steve Sarkisian for the last three years. If he does leave to take the Alabama job, he'll be replacing Jim McElwain who left Tuscaloosa to take the head coaching job at Colorado State. Ironically, this would be the second time that Nussmeier has taken over a position left vacant by McElwain.

Before taking the job at Washington, Nussmeier was an offensive coordinator at Fresno State, taking that job after McElwain left to become Alabama's offensive coordinator.

After averaging 26.1 and 21.8 points per game in Nussmeier's first two seasons at Washington, the Huskies offense averaged 33.4 points per game in 2011, while gaining 409.8 yards per game.

Nussmeier would also be the second new coaching hire at Alabama since the Crimson Tide won the national championship last week. Lance Thompson will be returning to Tuscaloosa from Tennessee to take his old job of linebackers coach.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:12 pm
 

Brent Venables still with the Sooners, for now

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ever since it was announced that Mike Stoops would be returning to Oklahoma to join his brother Bob Stoops' staff, there have been questions about defensive coordinator Brent Venables' future at the school. Mike Stoops was officially announced as Oklahoma's new defensive backs coach and as the co-defensive coordinator along with Venables, but since the announcement, Venables' name has come up at a few other schools.

Last week Venables was reportedly interviewing with Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia after Jeff Casteel left the school to go to Arizona. Venables then took himself out of the running and left with Mike Stoops on Friday to do some recruiting in Florida. Instead of returning back to Norman, though, Venables then spent the rest of his weekend interviewing with Dabo Swinney about becoming defensive coordinator at Clemson.

There had been reports that Venables had accepted the Clemson job, but upon returning to Norman on Sunday, Venables would neither confirm or deny being offered the Clemson job.

According to the Tulsa World, Dabo Swinney still wants to interview former Miami head coach Randy Shannon and maybe a few others before making a final decision.

Whether or not Venables takes the Clemson job probably won't be known until later in the week, but the signs seem to be indicating that he's either set on leaving the Sooners. He has interviewed for head coaching positions many times while at Oklahoma, but he'd never interviewed to be a defensive coordinator at another school during that time. Now he's done so twice in the last week.

I just don't think that happens if he's happy with the idea of splitting his coaching duties with Stoops.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com