Tag:Jon Gruden
Posted on: June 22, 2011 2:25 pm
 

Jon Gruden grills Terrelle Pryor

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Just because former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor left Columbus after the NFL Draft had already taken place, that doesn't mean he was going to escape the evaluating eye of ESPN analyst and former head coach Jon Gruden. Much like Gruden did with quarterbacks Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder, Gruden sat down with Pryor for a film session that is set to debut on ESPN as an hour-long special on June 30th.

Of course, given it's Terrelle Pryor, his abilities as a quarterback weren't the only thing the two discussed. In an excerpt below, Gruden asks Pryor about what happened at Ohio State that caused him to have to leave.



Well it was awful nice of Terrelle to relieve the pressure on his school. Honestly, it's hard for me to get on Pryor's case too much for the things he (allegedly) did while at Ohio State, because I can't say with certainty I wouldn't have done the same things if it were me in his position. That being said, his apology here with Gruden, and the one with new agent Drew Rosenhaus, don't exactly give me the impression that he actually regrets anything.

Odds are Ohio State will regret Terrelle Pryor in the future. 

Posted on: June 2, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:54 am
 

CBSSports.com College Football 100: 50-41

By the Eye on College Football bloggers

To celebrate the (now fewer than) 100 days remaining until the first Saturday of the new college football season, this is the CBSSports.com College Football 100: our countdown of the 2011 season's 100 most influential players, coaches, administrators, venues, or any other related
things in college football. It's like that other "most influential" list, but, you know, more important. Also: it's supposed to be fun. Enjoy.

50. COWBELLS, traditional noisemakers, Mississippi State. On the one hand, yeah, it's just a bell with a stick attached to it and (usually) a State logo affixed to one side. But on the other, it's a huge reason why trips to Starkville have become a gigantic thorn in the side of SEC favorites since Dan Mullen took over the Bulldog helm. The cowbells create a tremendous amount of noise during their designated usage periods (touchdown celebrations, timeouts, etc.), but there's plenty enough State fans willing to use them during non-designated periods that Davis-Wade Stadium can become just as loud and disruptive as SEC stadiums with twice its capacity.

And in 2011, how loud Davis-Wade can get will matter. A lot. The Bulldogs will play host to both of the consensus SEC West favorites and the closest thing the preseason has to an SEC East favorite--LSU visits Sept. 15, South Carolina Oct. 15 and Alabama Nov. 12. A State victory in any one of those three games could immediately turn the entire conference on its head--and given that this is Mullen's most experienced team yet, the guess here is that thanks in part to those cowbells, the Bulldogs will come away with at least one of those scalps. -- JH

49. DOAK CAMPBELL STADIUM, home venue, Florida State. The Seminoles' home field will play host to one of the biggest non-conference matchups of the season--and it takes place on the third weekend of football. On September 17, Oklahoma -- expected to be one of the top-ranked teams in the nation -- will visit Doak looking to repeat last year's thumping of FSU in Norman. The Seminoles return 17 starters from last year's team that finished the season as the ACC runner-up and Chick Fil-A Bowl champion, though, leading many to tap Florida State as the 2011 ACC frontrunner. It's safe to say head coach Jimbo Fisher has brought the hype back to Tallahassee in just his second year.

So the two juggernauts will collide in Doak Campbell Stadium. A win for Oklahoma would be a huge confidence boost after struggling in a few crucial road games over the last couple years. A win for Florida State would not only bring the Sooners' title hopes to a screeching halt, it would transform the home team from ACC favorite to national title contender. The 'Noles also get Maryland, N.C. State and Miami all at home, making Doak not only a key destination for the national title picture but the key venue for the ACC Atlantic race. If the Seminoles can escape the month of September undefeated, it could be their race to lose down the stretch. -- CP

48. AL GOLDEN, head coach, Miami. The Hurricane coaching search was heavily publicized and tossed around flashy names like Jon Gruden and Dan Mullen, but the final decision was on the decidedly less-flashy, hard-nosed Golden. Since joining the program, Golden has talked about changing the "culture" of Miami football. After watching the team prepare for the Sun Bowl, Golden said he wanted to practice faster, hit harder, and increase the toughness up and down the roster. His winter conditioning program produced players' tales of being worked harder than ever, and his gritty demands continued well into spring practice.

But Golden needs to be more than a strength coach and philosopher for the Hurricanes. He needs to be the face of the program moving forward, and the team needs to believe in his word. There is a roster full of talent in Coral Gables that has not come close to sniffing a conference championship. Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hurricanes have yet to produce so much as a Coastal division title. Golden's arrival has brought a lot of excitement back to The U, but also the expectations for winning. If Golden is going to get the trust of Randy Shannon's team, he will need to show them that his "culture" produces championship-caliber football. -- CP

47. THE BIG TEN THANKSGIVING DINNER, new-and-improved rivalry weekend, November 25-26. The Big Ten, for better or worse, has always been unusually staid about its traditions--that means Saturday conference games only, no conference games after November 25 (which usually ends the season before Thanksgiving), and Michigan-Ohio State to end the conference season, always. That has worked out pretty well for the Big Ten for the most part, although Buckeye fans in particular have long rued the six weeks of layoff between a pre-Thanksgiving conference finish and a January BCS bowl game (since the SEC and most other conferences would only have four weeks).

Say goodbye to that disparity, though, because the Big Ten has moved the end of its regular season to Thanksgiving weekend. That decision plus the conference championship game equals football in December in the Big Ten, just like everywhere else. And what a regular season finale week the Big Ten has lined up for its fans this year: Michigan-OSU is still there, as fans demanded en masse when scheduling was going on, but now it's not the only show in town. Iowa and Nebraska have set up a season-ending rivalry for the next four years (one expects this to be made permanent if fans respond well to the new rivalry), and breaking with all sorts of conference tradition, it'll be on Friday. There's also a key showdown with Penn State at Wisconsin, and if Ohio State's not in contention for the (sigh) Leaders Division title, PSU-Wisconsin will likely have heavy implications for that bid to the championship. Same goes for Michigan State at Northwestern in the Legends Division. That's a heck of a way to spend a Thanksgiving weekend, isn't it? -- AJ

46. KELLEN MOORE, quarterback, Boise State. Kellen Moore's career thus far seems to have taken an arc we usually only see in TV shows. Last season was the "championship run" season, where Boise State was as poised as it ever was to crash the BCS Championship before fate conspired to take down the heroes. And make no mistake, Moore was a hero last year, leading the nation in passing efficiency and racking up 35 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He may not have had a chance to overtake Cam Newton for Heisman consideration, but his fate was sealed in the Broncos' 34-31 loss to Nevada--even though Moore threw a downright miraculous 53-yard bomb to Titus Young that put Boise in position to win the game.

If last season was all about the team taking its best shot at the title, this year's all about Moore; his top two receivers, Young and Austin Pettis, are both off to the NFL now, and key reserve RB Jeremy Avery is also gone. The Broncos find themselves in a tougher conference, too, though they still look to be favorites to win the Mountain West championship. If there were ever a time for Moore to erase the last of the doubts about his ability to play quarterback, this'll be it, and with any luck, this season'll end on a much more crowd-pleasing note for Moore and the rest of his teammates. -- AJ

45. THE PAC-12 HOT SEAT, conference furniture, Pac-12. When Pac-12 media days roll around next year, there's a good chance there will be a few different faces from this year's edition. While every conference has their fair share of coaches on the hot seat, it seems as though the Pac-12 has a hot couch with so many people to fit on it. Washington State's Paul Wulff, UCLA's Rick Neuheisel, Arizona State's Dennis Erickson and Cal's Jeff Tedford are those that are feeling the heat ... and a bad year by USC's Lane Kiffin could find him starting to sweat as well.

The coach with the best chance to get off of the seat is Erickson, who has a team full of upperclassmen and is primed to make a run at the first ever Pac-12 South title. Erickson is just barely over .500 in his time in Tempe and has only finished in the upper half of the conference standings once. Needless to say, it's put up or shut up time. Wulff's winning percentage is well south of the Mendoza Line (.135 entering 2011) and he probably needs to get the Cougars close to a bowl game in order to get another year. Neuheisel and Tedford both have upset fan bases and a really bad year will likely mean they're out; financial considerations might be the only thing that could keep them around. The hot seat is crowded in the Pac-12 and it should be fun to see who gets off of it this season -- one way or another -- first. -- BF

44. OKLAHOMA'S BUMPY ROAD, scheduling hurdle, Oklahoma. Oklahoma seems to be the popular pick to be ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls, which gives the Sooners an edge in its pursuit of a national championship. All it has to do is go undefeated -- that's it! -- and the Sooners will find themselves in the BCS Championship Game. Obviously, winning every single game on the schedule is not an easy thing to do, particularly when you've got that giant target on your back ... and things could be even tougher for Oklahoma when you look at their schedule.

Over the last two seasons, Oklahoma has played nine games on the road -- not counting neutral site games -- and the Sooners have gone a distressing 3-5. Last season the Sooners won two games on the road, against Cincinnati and Oklahoma State, but only won those games by a combined eight points. This season two of Oklahoma's toughest games will be on the road, as it travels to Florida State during the second week of the season and will finish the year against those same Cowboys in Stillwater. Then there's the neutral site battle with Texas. It wouldn't be a shock to anybody if the Sooners came away from those three games with at least one loss on the marker. And given that there's no longer a Big 12 title game that could help boost the Sooners' profile at the end of the year, that loss could singlehandedly derail the team's 2011 title hopes. -- TF

43. WILL MUSCHAMP, head coach, Florida. In some ways, Muschamp will have less pressure on him this season than the other two head coaches in the SEC East's "Big Three"; Mark Richt is firmly in win-or-else mode, and Steve Spurrier has to know his career won't last long enough to see talents like Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery come around again. Muschamp, meanwhile, may need a couple of seasons to get his favored pro-style offense working and his aggressive defense completely in place.

Then again, this is Florida. And Muschamp is replacing a coach with three SEC East titles and two national championships in the last five seasons alone; transition or no transition, a second straight year bumbling around the 7-5 mark with an offense barely fit to wear the same jerseys as the Spurrier Fun n' Gun or the Tim Tebow/Percy Harvin spread juggernaut won't go over well at all. The easiest way for Florida to improve, fortunately, is Muschamp's specialty: defense. The Gators have all the athletes needed to dominate on that side of the ball, and if Muschamp's going to extend his coaching honeymoon past the season's first month, they'd better. -- JH

42. BIG EAST CONFERENCE TIEBREAKERS, potential title-deciders, Big East. Since 2003, the Big East title has been split four times. Two of those times were between at least three teams, most recently last season when Connecticut won the tie-breaker over West Virginia and Pitt. As the conference's front office continues to eye expansion and the addition of a conference championship, the eight teams participating in conference play this fall will all be fighting for the BCS berth awarded to number one team in the standings.

With the seven game conference schedule (which is backloaded, for most teams), there are less games to separate the teams in the standings. Unless one team goes undefeated (West Virginia in 2005, Cincinnati in 2009), there is a good chance that there will be a tie at the top of the standings. In the final month of the season the Big East title hunt will become a wild collection of if/then scenarios, with each conference game carrying a tie-breaker significance. -- CP

More CFB 100
Related Links
41. ROBERT GRIFFIN III, quarterback, Baylor. Last season the Baylor Bears finished the season 7-6 and played in their first bowl game in 16 years, a 38-14 loss to Illinois in the Texas Bowl. While there are plenty of reasons to help explain the turnaround in Waco the last few seasons, no person has had a bigger impact on the program than quarterback Robert Griffin III. The kid known as RG3 has not only been a star in the classroom, but on the field as well, accounting for 4,145 total yards and 30 touchdowns in 2010. Make no mistake about it: while the Baylor defense cost the team some games, Griffin kept the Bears in just about all of them with what he brought on offense.

As a redshirt junior in 2011, Griffin will be playing his fourth season with the Bears, and should be better than ever--a scary proposition for Big 12 defenses already struggling to stop him. While Baylor's defense will likely keep it from having a real shot to win the Big 12 this season, odds are that RG3 is going to have a big say in who ultimately does win the conference ... meaning that he could have a big impact on the national title picture as well before the year is finished. -- TF

The 100 will continue here on Eye on CFB tomorrow. Until then, check out Nos. 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61 and 60-51. You can also keep up with the 100 by following us on Twitter.



Posted on: April 5, 2011 1:08 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Gruden's plane hit by lightning on way to Chicago

Posted by Tom Fornelli

THAT GUY who currently spends his time on ESPN in the Monday Night Football booth talking about FOOTBALL PLAYERS, and was once rumored to be the new head coach at Miami, had a scary experience on Thursday night. Jon Gruden was on a plane bound for Chicago because he had agreed to take part in the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Clinic with Illinois coach Ron Zook. Only Gruden never made it to Chicago, as his plane was hit by lightning when it was only twenty minutes out of Tampa.

"All of a sudden, the woman next to me asked, 'Did you hear something?' " Gruden told The Tampa Tribune. "I told her I definitely heard a weird noise. You could sense something was up. Then the flight attendant came on the speaker and said we got hit by lightning."

The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Orlando where fire trucks waited in case anything went wrong. You know, besides that whole being hit by lightning thing. Gruden then called Zook from the tarmac and explained to him that he wouldn't be making the clinic, which is probably not the first time Ron Zook was told by someone that they couldn't make an event with him because they'd been struck by lightning, only this time it was the truth. Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino took Gruden's place, and Gruden promised that he'd speak at the clinic next year.

Gruden then decided to drive home from Orlando back to Tampa in a rental car, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's how he chooses to get to Champaign next season as well.
Posted on: April 1, 2011 5:48 pm
 

Friday Four Links (and a cloud of dust), 4/1

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.


FOUR LINKS ...

1. National champions Auburn might not have enjoyed the HBO expose that aired this week, but they got plenty of love from more official channels, with the Alabama state House honoring Gene Chizik with a resolution and Cam Newton getting similar treatment from the legislature in his home state of Georgia. But for Auburn fans, the biggest honor of the week was the news that NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip will be driving this car at Talladega April 17 to commemorate the Tigers' achievement:



2. Sounds like Florida's going to have a friend in the broadcast booth this year as Jon Gruden attended Will Muschamp's first Gainesville coaching clinic and called the Muschamp-Charlie Weis coaching tandem "the best in college football." Also in attendance despite the rumors that he and Muschamp had not always seen eye-to-eye in Austin: former Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis.

3. You may have seen this already:



Even if you haven't, you know that there is only one coach who would put up a motivational chart with a "World of the Uninvested" and a "Circle of the Untrustables." Houston Nutt explains the chart and its genesis to the Clarion-Ledger here.

4. Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen doesn't sound like he's bearing any real grudge towards former head coach Dan Hawkins and his son, fellow (ex-)quarterback Cody Hawkins, but he does say Hawkins the Elder's handling of his son did include "a little nepotism." Which is why the whole situation sounds more than a little awkward.

... AND THE CLOUD

Jimbo Fisher is asking fans for their prayers and thoughts as his son Ethan battles an undisclosed health issue ... Former Texas Tech running back and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal guest columnist Baron Batch has a pretty amazing story to tell ... After $100,000 raises for each, Alabama coordinators Kirby Smart (defensive) and Jim McElwain (offensive) are earning a combined $1.36 milllion ... Speaking of contracts, Mike Locksley has renegotiated his New Mexico deal in a fashion that makes it easier for both parties to part ways ... Two reserve linemen for Michigan State have been knocked out of spring practice (and maybe longer) with injuries ... Marcus Davis, a backup safety at Oregon who'd transferred from Texas, has left the Duck program ... Colorado reported one secondary violation to the NCAA from their recent recruiting cycle, but since it's for feeding the 10-year-old brother of a visiting recruit, we doubt they're too ashamed about it ... Mississippi State has a new announcer for their radio broadcasts, always a big deal anywhere college football's a big deal ... Joe Bauserman is taking the first-team snaps at Ohio State quarterback while Terrelle Pryor recovers ... And here's video of Notre Dame's quarterbacks donning a helmet-cam for practice. Thus the indomitable sprit of the World League of American Football lives on.

Posted on: January 2, 2011 4:03 pm
 

Marvin Lewis on Pitt's list

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Maybe Pitt can just consider the Mike Haywood hire a practice run.  A day after the Mike Haywood Era -- and what a memorable era it was -- came to an end following Haywood's arrest, names are starting to pop up as possible replacements.  One of whom is currently patrolling an NFL sideline this weekend.

Marvin Lewis's contract with the Cincinnati Bengals expires after the NFL season, and all indications out of Cincinnati is that he won't be back with the team next season. Of course, that doesn't mean he won't have a shot to be an assistant coach in the NFL next year, but it's possible he could land a head coaching gig at Pitt according to a report on Pro Football Talk.

According to the report, Lewis is on a short-list of candidates the school has in mind to replace Haywood, and Lewis does have a history with the school. He spent three seasons as an assistant at Pitt, along with guys like Jon Gruden and Mike McCarthy.  Now, just because Pitt has interest in Lewis, that doesn't mean he'll be interested in Pitt.

It's unknown who else is on this short list of Pitt's, but Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has an idea who's name should be on it.  His long time defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.  Paterno told The Morning Call that Bradley would be a very good candidate for the job, as he's an excellent coach and has strong recruiting ties in Pittsburgh and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

Over the years many people have seen Bradley as the likely successor to Paterno at Penn State, but given the fact that he recently went after the Temple job that Steve Addazio landed, he may no longer feel as if he has a future at Penn State without Paterno.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:29 pm
 

Mullen's ego too large for Miami?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that Miami has finally hired Al Golden to take over for Randy Shannon, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald took to wondering why Golden was the man Miami finally settled on.  Not a crazy question to ask considering the names that came up at times during the coaching search.  Guys like Jon Gruden, Bo Pelini and Jim Harbaugh.

Well, according to one member of the school's board of trustees, the simple fact was that no big name coaches seemed interested in leaving their current jobs for Miami.  Though, according to that same trustee, when it came to Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, it wasn't his lack of interest as much as his giant ego.
A high-level trustee fully aware of how the search was done said, ``We were not going to get a star, and it wasn't a money thing. Why would [marquee coaches] leave any of their great programs'' to take another college job? ``Florida didn't get one either. We hired the best person that wasn't in the top 20.''
The trustee said UM inquired about Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, who wasn't interested, and said Jon Gruden never seemed serious about taking the job. Chris Peterson(sic) gave UM no indication he wanted to leave Boise State. UM thought Nebraska's Bo Pelini had some interest, but he changed his mind. And UM was turned off by Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen's big ego, with one trustee saying he acts like he invented the game.

I know, it's shocking to hear that a coach who has experienced success doing his job might have an ego.  Still, the most shocking thing about this -- if it's true -- is that Miami would take offense to a coach's arrogance.

Miami is the same school that employed Jimmy Johnson, isn't it?  It's the school that walked off the airplane at the 1987 Fiesta Bowl in fatigues and, for most intents and purposes, defined swagger in the world of college football.

That's the school that has now decided a coach may have been a bit too full of himself?  Interesting.
Posted on: December 12, 2010 6:34 pm
 

Report: Al Golden to accept Miami job

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well it seems as though all the head coaching vacancies are being filled this weekend.  First Will Muschamp takes over at Florida, then Gus Malzahn moves north to Vanderbilt, and now it seems Miami has found its new head coach as well.  No, it's not Jon Gruden, apparently it's Temple's Al Golden. According to reports, Golden has been offered the Miami job, and is expected to accept it though the deal has not been finalized as of yet.

Golden has been at Temple since 2008, when he took over a program that had gone 0-11 the year before he showed up.  The Owls went 1-11 in his first season at the school, but Golden has turned the program around the last two seasons, winning 19 games.  The Owls went to a bowl game in 2009, and should have gone to another this year, but were left out despite an 8-4 record with a win over Fiesta Bowl-bound UConn.

Golden has always been an excellent recruiter, and now he'll be unleashed upon the recruiting hotbed that is the state of Florida.  Of course, getting talent to Miami hasn't exactly been a problem the last few years.  It will be taking that talent and turning it into victories that will be Golden's biggest task in South Beach.

There is no word on whether or not Golden will take over in time to coach the Hurricanes in the Sun Bowl against Notre Dame.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:27 pm
 

Urban Meyer is 'not coaching next season'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When the news came that Urban Meyer was stepping down as head coach at Florida, it was only natural to cast a doubting eye toward the situation.  We had already seen this play before last season when Meyer made the same decision, and then before you knew it, he was back coaching the Gators once again.  So of course there will be plenty of speculation that before next season actually begins, Meyer is going to change his mind once more, and he'll be the head coach next season.

Well, Urban Meyer wants you to know that's not the case.  He was in Tampa on Thursday -- where he had that talk with Jeremy Foley and Jon Gruden -- for the Outback Bowl contract signing party, and as you would expect, the question about his return was asked.  It was a question that Meyer answered, adamantly.

"I'm not coaching next season," said Meyer.

Now cue the "He only said next season!" crowd.  Which, honestly, isn't a crazy position to take.  Personally I doubt that Meyer is done coaching, as it's been such a huge part of his life, and he's still young.  Maybe he's going to take a year or two off to unwind and spend some time with his family, but sooner or later that itch is going to come back, and Urban is going to want to scratch it.

To me the question isn't so much will Meyer come back, but when and where.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com