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.
Posted on: December 27, 2010 11:40 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
We already know that the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day will be Urban Meyer's last game coaching the Florida Gators, and now it sounds like Florida's top cornerback may have already played his final game as well. Janoris Jenkins had surgery on his right shoulder following the Florida State game, and according to a team spokesman, he has not made the trip to Tampa with the team this week and will not be playing in the game.
He may still make the trip to Tampa this weekend to be with the team, though.
Jenkins, a junior, is considered the top NFL prospect on the team this season and has been projected as a first round draft pick if he decides to leave school early and declare for the NFL draft. Of course, whether or not he'll leave school will depend on a few factors like the health of his shoulder and a possible NFL lockout next season.
Jenkins won't be the only member of the Gators missing the Outback Bowl thanks to an injury, as the team will also be without RG Maurice Hurt, DT Lawrence Marsh and DT Terron Sanders all had surgery as well.
Posted on: December 23, 2010 1:59 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Remember a few weeks ago when there were rumors that Penn State quarterback Kevin Newsome was likely going to transfer rather than return to compete with Matt McGloin and Robert Bolden? Yeah, well, they have a bit more credence now.
According to a report in The Patriot News, Newsome did not accompany the team on its trip to Tampa.
Two sources close to the Penn State football program told The Patriot-News earlier today that reserve quarterback Kevin Newsome did not make the trip to Florida for Penn State's Jan. 1 Outback Bowl game with Florida in Tampa.
The news hardly qualifies as a surprise. Earlier this month, there were internet reports that Newsome, the No. 3 quarterback behind starter Matt McGloin and backup Rob Bolden, was unhappy with his role and considering a transfer.
Those don't sound like the actions of a player who plans on returning and fighting for a job next season. The rumors started earlier in the month when Joe Paterno said during the Outback Bowl media days that he couldn't be sure whether or not Newsome would be returning next season. Which, makes sense for Newsome, because considering everything that's happened at quarterback in State College this season, it seems pretty clear that Newsome isn't the quarterback of the future.
So if he wants to see the field while he still has any eligibility, he's going to have to move on.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:03 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 4:06 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The great irony of the Outback Bowl is that one sideline will be coached by Urban Meyer, the poster child for the toll modern major college football coaching takes on those in the field, and the other by Joe Paterno, the indestructible symbol of the profession as it used to be in the days of 25-year tenures and mavericks whose name would wind up on the side of the stadium. The rumors about JoePa's health, ability to coach, and recruiting impact on his beloved Nittany Lion program have been around longer than Meyer's entire FBS head-coaching career. The contrast is staggering.
But even Paterno, 84 years young this week , is human. So the rumors have been beginning to curdle again, and they gained perhaps some measure of legitimacy in this report from the Patriot News on Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley's (now unsuccessful) candidacy for the Temple head coaching position. David Jones writes (emphasis added):
It has been increasingly difficult for PSU assistants to recruit around the age and apparent declining health of head coach Joe Paterno who turned 84 yesterday. Though Paterno has insisted he will coach next season, those surrounding the program have become increasingly skeptical that can happen .As Jones writes, that Bradley was fully committed to taking the Temple position indicates that he is not -- as has been widely believed in some quarters -- the man in line to succeed Paterno if and when he retires.
But as the closest thing to a "right-hand man" on Paterno's staff (where Bradley has coached since 1979 ), he is nonetheless a key figure in Penn State's future going forward. As Paterno is less and less able to handle his full complement of head coaching duties, more and more of those will have to be handled by Bradley and the other PSU assistants. And not only could Bradley not have performed those (obviously) as the head coach at Temple, Jones reports that he could have taken multiple other Nittany Lion assistants with him. If there's a worst-case scenario for Penn State beyond a sudden Paterno retirement for health-related reasons, it's a a sudden Paterno retirement for health-related reasons without Bradley or a handful of other PSU assistants on hand to help keep things afloat.
So the Owls opting for Steve Addazio over Bradley might be a bullet dodged for Penn State. There's still some issues to be addressed -- the questions about JoePa are already having a serious detrimental impact on PSU's recruiting, and assistants like Bradley looking ready to bolt won't help matters -- but Temple's decision gives PSU at least one anchor that won't have to be pulled up right away.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 6:19 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 6:23 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
The Outback Bowl became a lot more interesting on Wednesday with the news that Urban Meyer would step down as Florda's head coach following the game. The true irony, of course, is that the opposing coach is Penn State's Joe Paterno, who still has not retired at the age of 83 [note: Paterno will turn 84 on December 21]. But while everyone spends the foreseeable future discussing the future of the Florida football program, the Nittany Lions will prepare to face the Gators of the present.
Step one in that preparation was naming a starting quarterback. After the signal calling duties were split throughout the season between Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin, but Paterno has named McGloin the starter for the team's bowl game on New Years Day.
“I think that Matt is the quarterback,” Paterno said in a bowl teleconference earlier this week. “Now the other kid (Bolden) has a lot of ability, but he is a true freshman in the truest sense of the word – he wasn’t even here for spring practice. He came in and unfortunately we had to start him a few games early until the other kid (McGloin) started to show some promise."
So talk all you want about Urban Meyer, Dan Mullen, Winston Churchill, or the Ghost of Tim Tebow, but the Outback Bowl will still be about the 2010 Gators against the 2010 Nittany Lions. If anything, Penn State has gained a competitive advantage from the new off-field distractions out of Gainesville. For a team that struggled in the big games this year, the Nittany Lions will take every advantage they can get.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 2:44 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 2:54 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The college football world was rocked today when the University of Florida announced that Urban Meyer would step down as head coach after the Gators' Outback Bowl match against Penn State on January 1. A press conference is scheduled for later this evening.
The announcement comes nearly a year to the day after Meyer's last resignation from the school, and like last year, Meyer's current resignation appears to be health-related. While Meyer doesn't specifically mention health in his resignation, he also makes no mention of any future professional aspirations, just to spend more time with his family. Moreover, as Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch reported today, sources close to Meyer indicated that he appeared to be in poor health once again, suffering from various stress-related maladies. In other words, it's extremely unlikely at this point that Meyer's resignation is a sign that he's a candidate for the Denver Broncos (featuring third-string quarterback Tim Tebow ) or that his impending availability had anything to do with the firing Josh McDaniels earlier this week.
And again, Meyer has announced that he will at least coach through the end of this season, so Florida fans dreading the words "interim head coach Steve Addazio " can at least rest easily. The Florida job is high-profile enough that the school will likely have its pick of candidates, so any downtime between Meyer's stepping down and the new coach's hiring should be minimal -- think a couple weeks or so.
Here's Meyer's statement, released through the university:
Tags: Denver Broncos, Denver Broncos Urban Meyer, Florida, Florida Interim Coach, Gators Interim Coach, Josh McDaniels, Josh McDaniels Fired, Outback Bowl, Penn State, SEC, Steve Addazio, Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer, Urban Meyer Denver, Urban Meyer Quits, Urban Meyer Resigns, Urban Meyer Retires, Urban Meyer Steps Down
Posted on: December 7, 2010 2:18 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 2:27 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
This time of year, it's standard for coaches who aren't committed to leaving their current positions but who also aren't committed to staying in them, either, to issue a non-denial denial, something along the lines of "I'm happy where I am" or "I'm not looking to leave [School X] right now." Sure, it sounds nice, but the gap between statements like those and the iron-clad "I'm going to be here next year/I'm not going to take that other job" is still easily wide enough to drive the coach's moving vans through.
None of this is news to longtime college football fans, of course. And of course, Urban Meyer doesn't need to use any of that kind of double-talk when it comes to his own employment; he's not going anywhere.
But this may be the first time a coach has put those kind of statements to use to discuss someone else's employment. Meyer has been asked repeatedly in recent weeks about his intentions to retain or dismiss under-fire offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, and though he's consistently stated he plans on keeping Addazio in his current position, he's also consistently left the door open to making a change.
The most recent example came on an Outback Bowl teleconference yesterday, when Meyer addressed the situation like this:
Meyer said Monday that right now he anticipates Addazio staying in that position next season.This much we can say: Meyer has not decided to keep Addazio as his OC for 2011. "Expecting" is not the same as knowing. "Further updates" are most certainly not the same as it being a done deal. So cheer up, Gator fans: there's still a chance that Addazio could get the hook, and judging by how gently Meyer is tiptoeing around the subject, there might even be a good chance.
We're not going to tell Addazio to keep the moving company's number around, because he's been invaluable to Meyer as a recruiter and assistant head coach; if he loses the coordinator's chair, it's far more likely he's simply reassigned within the staff rather than told to leave Gainesville entirely. But we also wouldn't recommend Addazio have any new business cards printed up any time soon.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 1:35 pm
J. Darin Darst
Checking in around the nation on the latest bowl rumors.
Penn State eyeing Florida
As reported by Pennlive.com, it looks like Penn State is headed to either the Gator or Outback Bowl. They break it down this way:
After Penn State's comeback win Saturday over Northwestern, it's hard to figure out any way the Nittany Lions will fall below the Gator Bowl. The Outback Bowl remains a possibility. The Gator Bowl, new this year to the Big Ten lineup, is slated for 1:30 on New Year's Day. It holds the possibility of being Joe Paterno's last game although we certainly can't count on it. But as of the second week of December when all the bowl invitations will be made, that allure should enter into bowl reps' thinking.
Currently, I have Penn State projected to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville taking on Florida. The Gator Bowl gets pick No. 4 or 5 from the Big Ten.
Liberty Bowl, Conference USA, SEC mess
Conference USA has sent their champion to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in every season since the league began in 1996, but there's a very real possibility that could be coming to an end. According to UCFSports.com, the 2010 C-USA Champion could be scrambling to find a new bowl, or be relegated to one of the league's lesser bowls, should the SEC not qualify enough teams to fill both their Liberty and Birmingham Bowl slots.
The Liberty Bowl's new partnership with the Big East apparently also gives first right of refusal to the SEC and they don't want to play a team from C-USA if they can help it. AutoZone Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Ehrhart spoke about this possibility Tuesday morning during his weekly radio segment on "Sportstime Extra with Dave Woloshin and Brett Norsworthy", which airs on 560 WHBQ in Memphis.
SMU or UTEP in Armed Forces Bowl
Looks like the Armed Forces Bowl is down to either one of those two from C-USA to play either a Mountain West school or Army in the Dec. 30 bowl. According to the El Paso Times, it looks like if SMU doesn't go to the Hawaii Bowl, the Armed Forces Bowl comes into play. It has been moved for this season only from Fort Worth to SMU's Robertson Stadium.
Air Force almost locked to Independence Bowl
It's not a done deal, but getting close, according to the Denver Post:
It doesn't take a lot of speculation to suggest that coach Troy Calhoun should contact his travel agent about making plans for the Air Force Falcons to travel to Shreveport, La., to play in the Dec. 27 Independence Bowl. Jim Hagan, chairman of the Independence Bowl selection committee, said Monday that the Falcons are more than sentimental favorites to get the call and return to the bowl for the first time since 1984. "I think you can say that if Air Force still is on the board when we pick, it's our top choice," Hagan said. "We're going to be at their game Saturday. We're looking at them real strong."
Maaco Bowl might look to Big 12
The Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas is supposed to feature a team from the Mountain West and Pac-10, but the Pac-10 might not have enough eligible teams. If not, look for the bowl to take somebody from the Big 12. According to the Las Vegas Journal, Iowa State and Texas Tech are the Big 12's most likely at-large candidates, though Texas could find itself looking for a bowl.
Greenwood to perform at Sun Bowl
Grammy Award winning artist Lee Greenwood will headline the Hyundai Halftime Show at the 77th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 at Sun Bowl Stadium. Greenwood, who is a two-time Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year, won a Grammy in 1984 and has charted seven No. 1 hits on the Billboard’s country chart.