Tag:Keith Tribble
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:41 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 6:05 pm

Big East additions: what do they bring?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Big East will go a long way towards remaining a solvent football league this week when, as reported by CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphythey announce the additions of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, UCF and SMU.

The additions will bring the conference's total number of football-playing members to 10, with Nos. 11 and 12 possibly soon to follow. But just as importantly, the expansion also gives the league a bona fide headliner--Boise brings their impeccable record at the non-AQ level, national recognition, and their attention-grabbing status as the No. 1 lightning rod for the FBS's ongoing haves-vs.-have-nots discussion.

But what do we know about the other four teams joining up? What do they bring to the table? What issues might they have to deal with? We've broken it down team-by-team:


PROS: The Cougars are riding a Case Keenum-led high, having won 22 games in their star QB's last two healthy seasons, including the program's first bowl win since 1980 in 2009. But Houston has plenty going for it off the field, too; their location smack dab in the middle of one of the country's largest television markets (this is going to be a repeating theme) and most fertile recruiting grounds should pay the Big East dividends both in their TV negotiations and on the recruiting trail. If the Cougars themselves can capitalize on their new BCS status on the trails in Houston and nearby Louisiana, they could be a power for years to come.

CONS: What happens when Keenum and head coach Kevin Sumlin --as seems increasingly likely -- both depart for greener pastures? This is still a program that, as mentioned, has just one bowl win in the past 31 years and was in truly sorry shape when Art Briles (with Sumlin in tow) arrived in 2003. The wrong hire in the wake of Sumlin's exit could return the Cougars to their doormat days in a hurry. And as nice as the Houston market is, the Cougars still need to make more inroads into it; fulfilling a promise to expand or replace 32,000-seat Robertson Stadium would be a plus.


PROS: As with the Cougars, Dallas-based SMU has the advantage of being located in one of the nation's biggest metro markets, a major plus for the television bean counters. But the Mustangs also have an administration that hasn't been shy about throwing its financial support behind its formerly woebegone program, and that's not a "Pony Express" joke; the school opened Gerald J. Ford Stadium just 11 years ago and four seasons back ponied up the cash (that pun's intended) to lure June Jones from Hawaii. Result: three straight bowl bids after a 25-year drought, some of the best recruiting classes in Conference USA, and noticeably increased fan interest and attendance.

CONS: If the Mustangs can hang onto Jones, or replace him with another smart (and duly expensive) hire, they have more than enough potential to be a respectable member of the Big East for some time to come. (The league's higher-ups have to appreciate that the Mustangs defeated Big East deserters TCU this past season.) But the Dallas market and surrounding recruiting grounds are so ultra-competitive, turning SMU's resources and location into a legitimate BCS contender may take quite a few years and even more support from the SMU fanbase, which was called out by an SMU player this season for its lack of enthusiasm.


PROS: If there's any school that's put its money where its mouth is when it comes to supporting athletics, it's UCF, which opened the $55 million, 45,00-seat on-campus Bright House Networks Stadium four years ago amongst multiple other major facilities upgrades. Though a 5-7 2011 season has been a major disappointment for George O'Leary's program, this is still a team that's won two C-USA titles and earned three bowl bids in the past five years. As the second-largest school in the country in terms of enrollment and the only major college football program in the sizable Orlando market, a move to the Big East and a few years of consistent winning could give the Knights the push on the recruiting trail needed to become a legit BCS contender.

CONS: Of course, that's all assuming the NCAA Committee on Infractions doesn't give the program the USC treatment in the wake of the recent allegations against exiled athletic director Keith TribbleThough the Orlando market is an obvious TV positive, the Knight's central Florida location is both a blessing and a curse; while there's plenty of athletes available around which O'Leary (or his successor) can build a successful program, there's also few (if any) areas of the country where the competition for those athletes is more cutthroat. A few NCAA-hamstrung poor seasons could deal the program a blow that could take it years to recover from.


PROS: Long regarded as the "sleeping giant" of the Mountain West, the Aztecs finally went some way towards waking up with a 9-4 2010 season and just their second bowl berth in 19 years--a campaign that resulted in an attendance surge that ranked amongst the nation's best. Despite the loss of head coach Brady Hoke and multiple NFL talents, an 8-4 year and New Orleans Bowl berth wasn't a bad follow-up. Thanks to their access to California's bountiful recruiting grounds and the TV-friendly San Diego market, another good year or two for Rocky Long should lay the foundation for success for years to come.

CONS: As much potential as SDSU has on paper, this is still a program with just four bowl appearances and one win since 1969; just because it looks like it should be easy to win here doesn't mean it is. More than any of the other addditions save Boise, SDSU will add a sizable chunk to opponent's travel bills. And Long, already 61 years old, may not be the long-term answer at head coach; if he's not, will the Aztec brass be shrewd enough (or spend enough) to find another Hoke?

Posted on: November 9, 2011 3:32 pm

UCF WRs coach Kelly resigns in NCAA fallout

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman has already reported on the fallout at UCF from the school's NCAA notice-of-allegations, with athletic director Keith Tribble resigning and men's basketball coach Donnie Jones suspended.

But the scandal has also affected the UCF football program, as the involvement of wide receivers coach David Kelly in the recruitment of players with ties to Chicago-area runner/agent Ken Caldwell has resulted in Kelly's resignation as well.

"It's an unfortunate situation, and I just hope the best for the University of Central and the football program," Kelly told the Orlando Sentinel Wednesday, "but especially for the student athletes involved. It's much better for me at this time to step aside and let a great thing continue being a great thing."

Kelly added that he was in a "state of shock" over the NCAA findings.

Widely regarded as the Knights' top recruiter under George O'Leary, Kelly had been serving his fifth year on the UCF staff.

The Knights' impening self-imposed and NCAA sanctions are not expected to affect its potential invitation to the Big East.
Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 12:18 pm

AD Keith Tribble: UCF will be in a BCS league

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While the Big East and Villanova continue passing notes in class and asking their friends whether or not the other one likes them, or if they really, really like them, UCF sits in the back of the class waiting her turn. UCF wants to go to the dance too, you know. She's got herself a very lovely dress, and it has grown through her awkward teenage faze. While UCF isn't drop dead gorgeous, she's still a solid 7, and should be getting more attention from the popular boys in school.

But will she?

Well, ever the reassuring parent, UCF athletic director Keith Tribble wants UCF to know that even if its day doesn't come this year, there will be other dances, and UCF will be going.

Athletic director Keith Tribble says no matter what happens with the Big East, the Knights are going to get into an automatic-qualifying BCS league.

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Tribble said on our critically acclaimed Open Mike radio show earlier this week.

Of course, it’s the “when” that has UCF fans worried. They fear, and rightfully so, that if the Big East goes in another direction, it could be years before another opportunity to join a BCS league opens up.

Then again, all the Knights can do is what they’re doing right now: Winning on the field, graduating players and fielding championship-caliber teams in a number of sports.

“This program is trending the right way and doing the right things,” Tribble said. “We can’t stop doing the things we need to  do to make this program great.”

The common perception is that if the Big East does pass on adding Villanova to its football conference then UCF would be the next choice. It makes sense in that the program is on the rise, and it would give the conference another school in the state of Florida which could help recruiting for everyone. What I wonder is if the Big East does choose Villanova, then what BCS conference does Tribble see UCF joining?

The ACC and SEC would be the only other logical choices geographically, though I'm not sure what geography has to do with anything anymore considering TCU is now in the Big East. Still, I don't see the ACC or SEC expanding or replacing teams at any point in the near future, so I'm not sure they'd be an option for UCF. Really, the only options I see the school having would be if the Big East eventually expands to twelve teams, or if the Big 12 decides to go back to twelve. 

Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:09 pm

Georgia Tech AD on Miami's radar

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's been over a week since former Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt abrupbtly left the school to take the same position at Texas Tech -- on a related note, has anyone ever decided to move from Miami to Lubbock of their own volition before? -- and Miami is busy searching for a replacement. Florida Atlantic's Craig Angelos has been mentioned as a possibility in Coral Gables, but according to a blurb in the Miami Herald over the weekend, a new candidate has emerged.
UM is fast-tracking its athletic director search, and Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich, who began his career at UM, is very high on a list of about a dozen candidates. UCF’s Keith Tribble and FAU’s Craig Angelos are among others on the list. But FIU’s Pete Garcia will not be considered.
Radakovich does have ties to Miami, as he worked at the school from 1983 to 1985 as the school's athletics business manager. Radakovich has been the athletic director at Georgia Tech since 2006, and just recently signed a new five-year deal in June 2010.

Before taking the athletic director job at Georgia Tech, Radakovich spent two years (2000-01) as the AD at American University and then five seasons (2001-06) as the senior associate athletics director at LSU.
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