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Tag:Notre Dame
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:40 pm
 

Oliver Luck not looking to be Big 12 commissioner

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Big 12 right now, not the least of which is who will be the conference's next commissioner. Chuck Neinas, who was brought on to replace Dan Beebe, has no interest in removing the word "acting" from his title, and the conference has put a search committee together to find a replacement.

Although his school isn't even an official member of the conference yet, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck's name has been brought up as a potential candidate for the job, though it doesn't sound like he's all that interested in taking it. Luck told the Charleston Gazette that it's not really in his plans.

"I'd rather be on the search committee," Luck told the paper.

"No, I'm very happy with what I'm doing. We have lots to do here yet. I'm happy being on [school president] Jim Clements' team."

Others brought up as potential candidates include Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, and NCAA interim vice president of championships and alliances Greg Shaheen.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 9:34 pm
 

Signing Day is bittersweet in South Bend

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you look at the players Notre Dame has in its latest recruiting class, you can see why the Irish are ranked at #17 in CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25 this year. After all, Brian Kelly and his staff managed to sign one of the top quarterbacks in the country with Gunner Kiel, got a perfectly named William Mahone -- if Irish fans aren't calling him "Pogue" before he even sets foot on the field, they're doing it wrong -- at running back, and continued to build on defense with players like Tee Shepard, Sheldon Day and Jarron Jones.

The problem is when you look at Notre Dame's list of commitments and realize who isn't there. That's when you notice wide receiver Deontay Greenberry is suddenly missing.

His name was supposed to be on that list, and his signature was supposed to be on a letter of intent coming across a fax machine, only it wasn't. Instead Brian Kelly was caught off-guard on Wednesday morning when he found out that Greenberry had given his letter of intent to Houston. Understandably, Kelly was a bit perturbed at the development.

"I used to have a saying about players like that and that was I'd rather play against him for four games than with him for four years," Kelly said shortly after hearing the news.

Kelly would later change his tune on Greenberry, saying it's hard "to feel disappointed about something I never had," but his original feelings reflected that of a fan base in shock. Five-star wide receivers just aren't supposed to turn down a chance to play at Notre Dame for a school like Houston. A school like Houston that just lost its head coach at that.

Times, however, they are a changing, both in South Bend where the Irish just aren't the powerhouse they want to be, and in the recruiting game, which is more national than ever before. 

The real reason Greenberry's switch hurts is because Notre Dame has a big playmaker to replace on offense next season in Michael Floyd. Nobody knows who is going to be lining up under center for the Irish next season. It could be Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson or the newcomer, Kiel.

Whoever it ends up being, having a target like Greenberry available would have made things a lot easier.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:59 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 7:01 pm
 

Meyer completes OSU staff with NFL vet Sheridan

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Urban Meyer has made national waves with his success in recruiting players for the class of 2012, but he's also been busy recruiting coaches for his 2012 football staff. So how well will he do at the former job now that he's finished with the latter?

Ohio State announced its ninth and final assistant coaching hire for Meyer's staff Monday, naming 31-year coaching veteran Bill Sheridan a defensive assistant. Sheridan arrives from the Miami Dolphins, where he coached linebackers the past two seasons. His positional assignment with the Buckeyes, however, is yet to be determined.

“Bill Sheridan is a perfect fit for our program,” Meyer said in a statement issued by Ohio State. “His experiences in the NFL are huge. He has Midwest roots and, most importantly, he wants to be an Ohio State Buckeye. I am really impressed with him and I think he is going to be a terrific addition to our defensive staff as a coach, teacher and as a recruiter.”

Sheridan is perhaps best known for his single season as a defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in 2009, a year that (unfortunately) marked the end of a five-year tenure with the team. Before that, Sheridan spent time with several Midwestern powers including Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame.

“I have a refreshed perspective coming back from the NFL and getting into college coaching again,” Sheridan said in the statement. “I am really interested to study the offenses people are running in the Big Ten. The running quarterbacks are distinctly different than what you see in the NFL. It is stimulating if you enjoy the schematic part of the game, and I do.”

Sheridan becomes the ninth and final assistant coach for Meyer's first staff. Working under him on the offensive of the ball will be offensive coordinator Tom Herman, offensive line coach Ed Warinner, running backs coach Stan Drayton, receivers coach Zach Smith, and tight ends/fullbacks coach Tim Hinton; defensively, the Buckeyes will be coached by defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell, co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers, defensive line coach Mike Vrabel, and Sheridan.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:26 pm
 

SEC East coordinator hires: thumbs up or down?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With all 28 positions now filled, here's one team-by-team assessment of where the SEC stands at the two most important assistant coaching positions. Yesterday, the West. Today, the East:

FLORIDA

2011: Charlie Weis as the offensive coordinator, Dan Quinn defensive.

Departures: Weis famously left for the Kansas head coaching position.

2012: Weis has been replaced by Boise State coordinator Brent Pease.

Thumbs up/down? TBD. Weis had his moments (offensively speaking, anyway) at Notre Dame, but they nearly all came via the arms of Brady Quinn or Jimmy Clausen and the Irish's cadre of top-notch receivers--making him a terrible fit for both Will Muschamp's visions of an Alabama-like ground game and the Gators' pass-poor personnel. On paper, replicating the Broncos' balanced mix-and-match approach should be a much snugger fit. But Pease arrives with just one season of play-calling experience under his belt, and at that a season in which Boise ran the ball much more poorly than they had in recent years (34th in average yards per-carry, down from 10th in both 2009 and 2010). And thanks in large part to iffy quarterback play, Texas's 2011 attempt to import the Boise offense (via Pease predecessor Bryan Harsin) hardly set the world on fire--an ill omen for a team whose current QBs, sophomores Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett, looked out of their depth as freshmen. Pease has promise, but the jury is very much out.

GEORGIA

2011: Mike Bobo offensive, Todd Grantham defensive.

Departures: Status quo.

Thumbs up/down? Up, obviously. Bobo managed the offense as well as could be expected given the injury-struck units at running back and receiver, and Grantham came into his own as one of the SEC's hottest coordinating commodities after piloting his young Dawgs to a top-five finish in total D. Richt has no reason to consider change at either slot.

KENTUCKY

2011: Randy Sanders offensive, Rick Minter and Steve Brown defensive.

Departures: Brown was fired after the 'Cats finished 10th in the SEC and 58th nationally.

2012: Minter has been promoted to full defensive coordinator.

Thumbs up/down? Down. Despite Brown's dismissal, Minter's role as play-caller and lead defensive game-planner means that Joker Phillips is keeping things almost entirely status quo--the entire 2011 offensive coaching staff will return, for instance, even after the hapless 'Cats finished a miserable 118th nationally in total offense and 117th in scoring. Phillips' loyalty to Sanders and the rest of his staff is admirable (and the upset of Tennessee was undoubtedly sweet), but if those kinds of numbers aren't enough to cause a shakeup, what would be?

MISSOURI

2011: David Yost offensive, David Steckel defensive.

Departures: None.

Thumbs up/down? Up. These are the Daves Gary Pinkel knows, and after several productive seasons in Columbia (if not spectacular where 2011 was concerned), there's no reason to make a change before testing their mettle in the SEC.

SOUTH CAROLINA

2011: Steve Spurrier is his own OC; Ellis Johnson ran the defense.

Departures: Johnson took the head coaching position at Southern Miss. 

2012: Spurrier promoted defensive backs coach (and "defensive coordinator" in title only) Lorenzo Ward to replace Johnson.

Thumbs up/down? Tentatively up. Ward spent three years leaning Johnson's schemes and already assisted with a similar 4-2-5 approach during his time at Virginia Tech; his promotion means the already successful Gamecock defense (fourth in FBS total D in 2011) won't change much -- if any -- from a schematic standpoint. The only question is if Ward can reproduce Johnson's adept in-game adjustments (see the Gamecocks' second-half shutdown of Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl) and excellent situational play-calling. If he can even come close, the Gamecock D shouldn't miss too many beats.

TENNESSEE

2011: Jim Chaney offensive, Justin Wilcox defensive.

Departures: Wilcox took the same position at Washington.

2012: Wilcox has been replaced by Alabama linebackers coach Sal Sunseri.

Thumbs up/down? TBD. The Sunseri hire alone would get a thumbs-up, since it's doubtful the Vols could have done much better than the man who just helped put together one of college football's all-time great defenses--not to mention was widely believed to be being groomed to replace Kirby Smart when the current Tide DC finally takes a head job. While it's hardly guaranteed Sunseri can replicate the Tide defense in Knoxville any more than Pease can replicate the Boise offense in Gainesville, there's no arguing with attempting that replication after what the Crimson Tide D has accomplished of late. 

The question is if Derek Dooley should have also looked for a replacement for Chaney. Following Lane Kiffin's departure, Chaney's two years in sole charge of the Vol offense have produced a slide from 60th (in 2009) to 75th to an awful 104th in total offense. Chaney has without question been dealt a rough hand, having been forced to deal with widespread inexperience as well as catastrophic injuries, and a little bit of continuity on a staff already wracked by upheaval is a major positive. So we don't blame Dooley for standing pat in the OC's chair ... though if Chaney can't engineer a dramatic turnaround in 2012, we suspect there's plenty of Vol supporters who will.

VANDERBILT

2011: John Donovan offensive, Bob Shoop defensive.

Departures: None.

Thumbs up/down? Well up. The Commodore offense only ranked 81st in yards per-play, that was still a far sight better than the 111th they managed in 2010. Meanwhile, Shoop quietly pulled off one of the nation's most impressive coordinating jobs by pulling the 'Dores up from 76th to 14th in the same statistic. Clearly, there's no call for James Franklin to change things up at this stage.

For all of Eye on CFB's SEC coverage, click here.

Thanks to TeamSpeedKills' helpful "Coaching Carousel Scorecard." 
 

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Posted on: January 19, 2012 5:56 pm
 

Kansas won't release Berglund from scholarship

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Monday Kansas announced that it had dismissed 6 players from the team, including backup quarterback Brock Berglund. On Tuesday Berglund told the Lawrence Journal-World that he found out about his dismissal on Twitter, along with the rest of the world.

Now we find out that while Berglund has been dismissed from the team by Charlie Weis, the new head coach in Lawrence isn't making things easy for Berglund, as he is yet to release him from his scholarship.

This is an excerpt from the release written up by Berglund's attorney and sent to members of the media on Thursday.
Colorado Springs, CO. January 19, 2012 — The University of Kansas (KU) football program has a new coach, Charlie Weis, and several high-profile transfers from other programs. Fortunately for KU, schools such as Notre Dame, BYU and Oklahoma have released incoming KU transfers, quarterback Dayne Crist, quarterback Jake Heaps and receiver Justin McCay, from their respective commitments to those programs.

Unfortunately for Brock Berglund, KU, however, has refused to extend the same courtesy.

Berglund, a freshman, was heavily recruited out of high school, and accepted a scholarship to KU in 2010, primarily because of the bond formed between him and then-coach Turner Gill during the recruiting process. Gill assured Berglund that his quarterbacking skill set was a perfect fit for the KU offense, and that he expected Berglund to compete for the starter's role right away. However, KU terminated Gill and his staff at the end of the season, and hired Charlie Weis as its head coach.

Shortly thereafter, Weis successfully landed his high-profile transfers -- all of whom he had previously recruited out of high school when he was head coach at Notre Dame. In December, 2011, Berglund was informed during a short conversation with new quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus that Crist, the Irish's former starting quarterback, would start for the KU football team in 2012, and that Berglund was only competing for the backup quarterback position. Given the change in coaching staffs and offensive philosophies, and the abrupt demotion, in December 2011, Berglund requested permission from KU to enable him to speak with other Division I-A football programs about a possible transfer.
Until Berglund is released from his scholarship he cannot speak to other Division 1-A schools about a transfer without Kansas permission. This despite the fact that Kansas and Weis have already dismissed him from the team.

So, to recap, Charlie Weis came to Kansas and brought his own quarterbacks with him. Then, after dismissing Berglund from the team -- a decision in itself that I have no problem with -- he refuses to release him from his scholarship.

So Berglund can't play for Weis or anybody else. Such a nice guy, that Charlie Weis.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:13 pm
 

Miles denies rumors of BCS pregame conflict

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

So why did Les Miles elect to keep Jarrett Lee rooted to the bench during the BCS title game as Jordan Jefferson flailed his way through the flailingest quarterback performance since, well, his performance against Georgia*? 

It made little-to-no sense, and like most things in college football that make little-to-no sense, rumors and theories have popped up in the game's wake to explain Miles's decision--most of them claiming that Miles faced a minor player revolt in support of Lee just before kickoff, and responded by throwing his own support behind Jefferson as feverishly as ever.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the BCS title game, Miles addressed those rumors, and predictably squashed them.

"Not at all," Miles said when asked if there was any truth behind the speculation. "We took the field just like we always have. There's never been any issue prior to a game. 

"There has never been a player-coach interaction before or after a game that was negative," he added.

Miles instead reiterated his postgame stance that he felt Jefferson's advantage in mobility vs. the Alabama pass rush simply made him the better choice. "We needed someone who could move his feet," Miles said.

Will that be enough to quell the rumors? It's not likely--not when, immobile feet or not, the Tiger offense was crying out for a quarterback who could get the ball downfield and loosen up the Tide front. That quarterback was Lee, especially given how lost Jefferson looked. Given Miles' history as a coach who prefers to juggle quarterbacks over sticking with one guy come hell-or-high-water-or-Alabama's-2011-defense, it's hard not to think some kind of off-field development shaded his thinking in some fashion.

But will we ever truly know for certain one way or the other? That's even less likely.

Miles also addressed several other topics Tuesday:

-- On star quarterback recruit Gunner Kiel's departure for Notre Dame after a previous commitment to LSU: ""There's a guy in the Midwest that's staying close to home. I understand that very much. This recruiting class will still be the style of class that we've had in years past."

-- On whether the ascension of projected 2012 starter Zach Mettenberger might lead to a shift in offensive philosophy:  "We'll throw the football more ... We'll have a guy who can scramble, but he'll throw the football for a greater percentage."

-- On Lee's excellent performance (13 of 18, 176 yards, 2 TDs) at a recent All-Star game: "I understand he did well, and I think that's great." 

*In retrospect, Jefferson's 5-for-13, 2.3 yards-per-attempt outing against the Bulldogs should have been treated as a much bigger red flag than it was.  

All quotes via reporter Glenn Guilbeau's CBSSports.com LSU RapidReports. Follow them for up-to-the-minute LSU updates and analysis here.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:07 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 11:17 pm
 

ISU DB coach Elliott to take Notre Dame ass't job

Posted by Adam Jacobi

On January 2, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly (seen at right) announced a litany of job status updates in his coaching staff, including a promotion for cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks to co-defensive coordinator alongside Bob Diaco, who has also assumed the role of assistant head coach for the Fighting Irish. Chuck Martin was also moved from safeties coach to offensive coordinator. With that, then, Diaco now has three responsibilities and Cooks has two, and there's a hole at safeties coach, so the Notre Dame staff would appear ready for some help with position coaching. Now, Notre Dame has found just the man for the job.

Tom Dienhart reported on Tuesday night that Bobby Elliott, the secondary coach at Iowa State, would be taking an assistant role at Notre Dame, and CBSSports.com can confirm that report, per a source close to the situation. Iowa State defensive back Deon Broomfield also tweeted that Elliott informed the team that he would be leaving. Elliott's role with Notre Dame is likely to be involved with the safeties, as the secondary has been the main focus of his positional work over the course of his career, but the exact job title and responsibilities that he will accept with Notre Dame have yet to be confirmed.

There shouldn't be much time spent acclimating Elliott with Cooks and Diaco, Elliott's superiors on the defensive staff; he coached them both at Iowa during his 12 years as a defensive assistant under Hayden Fry. Diaco was an All-Big Ten linebacker with the Hawkeyes and graduated in 1995, while Cooks was a standout strong safety through the '99 season.

Elliott, 58, had actually been a strong candidate to assume the Iowa head coaching position from Hayden Fry as Fry's career wound down in the late '90s; he was young, experienced, and had extensive ties to the program (all factors that eventually led to Kirk Ferentz's hiring). A life-threatening blood disorder was discovered late in the 1998 season and forced Elliott out of coaching, however, and he didn't come back to the sidelines until a two-year stint with Dan McCarney and Iowa State in 2000-01.

From there, Elliott was the defensive coordinator for Kansas State for four years, then he was DC in Chuck Long's hapless regime at San Diego State for three years after that. Elliott rejoined ISU in 2010 after another year outside the coaching ranks, and his secondary was best known this season for neutralizing the Oklahoma State passing attack in the thrilling 30-24 overtime victory at Jack Trice Stadium that ended the Cowboys' national championship dreams.

Elliott is the second Iowa State assistant coach to leave during the offseason; former offensive coordinator Tom Herman joined the Ohio State staff as the Buckeyes' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach following the Pinstripe Bowl.

Notre Dame is expected to announce Elliott's hiring by the end of the week.

For more Fighting Irish updates, subscribe to the CBSSports.com Notre Dame RapidReports by Mark Bradford.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Michigan dismisses WR Darryl Stonum

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Troubled Michigan wide receiver Darryl Stonum has been dismissed from the Wolverine program after another recent run-in with the law, Brady Hoke announced in a statement Tuesday.

"I love Darryl and wish him nothing but the absolute best," Hoke said.  "However, there is a responsibility and a higher standard you must be accountable to as a University of Michigan football student-athlete.  That does not and will not change.  It's unfortunate because I believe he has grown a great deal as a person since the beginning of the season.  My hope is that maturing process continues."

Hoke suspended Stonum for the entire 2011 season after a drunk driving arrest last May, Stonum's third incident involving law enforcement since enrolling at Michigan in 2008. Stonum was then ticketed Jan. 5 for driving on a revoked license, a violation of his probation and likely his third strike with Hoke.

"I appreciate everything the University of Michigan, [athletic director] Dave Brandon and Coach Hoke have done for me," Stonum said in the statement.  "I look forward to continuing my football career down the road, but more importantly, right now I'm focused on graduating from Michigan this Spring.  I understand only I am responsible for my actions. I'm sad about how all of this turned out, but I completely understand.  I love this school and my team and will miss them all greatly.  But I'll always be a Wolverine."

Despite his absence from the Wolverine receiving corps in the team's triumphant return to the BCS ranks in 2011, Stonum's dismissal remains a substantial blow for Al Borges' offense. One of the major prizes of Rich Rodriguez's well-regarded first class in Ann Arbor, the Stafford, Texas product broke through in 2010 with 49 receptions for 633 yards, good for second on the team in both categories. He also developed into a weapon on kick returns, setting a school record with 1,001 yards to go with a critical return-for-touchdown vs. Notre Dame.

The Wolverines are also now looking at a depth chart shy on the tall, rangy deep threats Borges prefers to use to stretch the field. Leading receiver Junior Hemingway has graduated, taking his Sugar Bowl MVP trophy with him and leaving the 5'8" Jeremy Gallon and 6'0" Roy Roundtree as the team's leading returning receivers. No other returning Michigan wide receiver caught more than 9 passes in 2011. Had Stonum returned, he likely would have played a major role in the Michigan offense.

But he won't, so Borges and Hoke will have to look elsewhere. If they can't find someone to fill the hole left by Hemingway, they (and Stonum) may regret Stonum's off-the-field choices even more than they do already.

For up-to-the-minute updates on Michigan football, follow Jeff Arnold's CBSSports.com Michigan RapidReports. 

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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