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Tag:Gary Pinkel
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:21 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 11:21 am
 

Mizzou down two starters on defense

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Missouri offense wasn't exactly a well-oiled machine in the Tigers 17-6 win over Miami (OH) on Saturday, but at least the team's defense seemed to be in mid-season form. Both sides of the ball will face a tougher test in Arizona State this week, and the Tigers offense may need to improve quickly because the defense is going to be without two starters on Friday night.

Defensive end Jacquies Smith and linebacker Will Ebner will both miss the Arizona State game after suffering injuries on Saturday.

Smith disclocated his elbow during the win, and Ebner suffered a high ankle sprain. While there is no set timetable on the return of Ebner, as high ankle sprains can take over a month to recover from, head coach Gary Pinkel is at least optimistic that Smith could return after missing only one game.

"Who knows when Jacquies will be back," Pinkel said. "He won't play this week. Hopefully we'll get him back (soon)."

Not all the news is bad for Missouri's defense, however. Starting cornerback Kip Edwards didn't play on Saturday because of a hamstring injury, and he's likely to be dressed and playing Friday night.
Posted on: September 2, 2011 8:03 pm
 

David Boren: Oklahoma 'looking over all options'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Like most days as of late, Friday hasn't been the best day for the Big 12. Earlier in the day Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said what many people are thinking by placing the blame for the conference's problems on commissioner Dan Beebe, and on Friday evening Oklahoma president David Boren didn't do much to douse the fire of Oklahoma possibly leaving the Big 12 for another conference.

Boren talked to The Oklahoman's Travis Haney, and basically said that he has no idea what the future of the Big 12 or Oklahoma holds.

“It’s too early yet to know exactly what the outcome will be," said Boren. "Our main responsibility will be protecting the interest of the University of Oklahoma, do what’s in the best long-term interest of the university and our athletics department and the fans. That’s what we’ll attempt to do to. Beyond that, while we haven’t been saying much publicly – frankly, on purpose, because we’re at the sensitive point of discussions among schools. Too much said in public reduces success of our goals rather than enhances it.

“We have to study the best options for ourselves and not lock ourselves into a course of action until we know what’s best for the university. We’re heavily involved. I don’t know how long it will be before clarity comes to us. My experience is that, in these kinds of things, it might be a matter of 72 hours, it might be a matter of two weeks. I don’t really think this is something that’s going to linger on beyond two or three weeks, from the outside. This has been consuming my life the last few days. It’s a fascinating challenge. We’re just in the search for what’s best for the university."

Doren also went on to say that other conferences are interested in Oklahoma, though he did not say anything about Oklahoma being contacted by anyone. He also said that Oklahoma is exploring all its options.

“At this point in time, I’ll be very honest with you in saying I do not know with certainty, or perhaps even can’t hazard a totally intelligent guess as to what our final decision will be. But we are carefully looking over all the options."

It's been speculated in recent days that one of those options would be the Pac-12 as it is considering becoming the Pac-16 by adding Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech. Of course, the SEC has been rumored to be interested in Oklahoma before as well, though I'm not sure the Sooners would make that move without Oklahoma State. Which means the SEC would then have to add a 16th school.

Of course, as Doren said, nobody can be sure what's going to happen in the Big 12 over the coming days, weeks and months. But it's somewhat hard to deny that dark clouds seem to be forming overhead. 
Posted on: September 2, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 4:59 pm
 

Gary Pinkel isn't a huge Dan Beebe fan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Big 12 has seemed to be on the brink of extinction for about a year now, even when it supposedly wasn't, and with Texas A&M being the latest school to leave, everybody is just sitting around waiting for the next shoe to drop. Is the Pac-12 going to swoop in to take Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech? Could adding BYU save the Big 12?

We don't know. In fact, while there's plenty of speculation on the future, nobody knows much of anything for sure. Unless you're Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel. According to Pinkel, while he may not know what the future holds, he knows exactly who to blame for the past.

"Obviously, we have some issues in our league," said Pinkel while on Tim Brando's radio show on Friday. "When you have Nebraska leave one year. Colorado leaves. Also now Texas A&M. Three really good football teams. You know, we’ve got some issues. Without question there’s some issues that other leagues don’t have. You don’t hear anything about any other league in the country having these kind of problems. We all know where it starts. [Missouri athletic director] Mike Alden’s not the point man here. Dan Beebe is. Dan Beebe’s our commissioner. He’s the guy to ask. I don’t know what they’re going to do. I’m just focusing now on winning the football game.

"There’s just no one in the country, no other league in the country, where this stuff goes on. And it’s really a shame because the potential of the league is just so tremendous. Anyway, I have no control over it. We’re just trying to beat Miami (Ohio)."

How do you really feel, Gary?

While Pinkel doesn't come right out and say it, it's pretty clear that he lays the blame for what has happened to the Big 12, and what could happen in the Big 12, at the feet of Dan Beebe. Pinkel is just sharing feelings that many other Big 12 schools have felt privately for a while, and that is that they don't appreciate the way Beebe has treated Texas compared to the way the rest of the schools are treated. And it's hard to blame any other Big 12 school not named Texas or Oklahoma for feeling that way.

You can hear the entire interview here.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Preseason Coaches Poll Reactions: Big 12

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The preseason coaches poll was released on Thursday morning, and while I'm not a big fan of polls in the preseason, at the moment I'm thrilled to see them. It's just a reminder of how close we are to the beginning of the season and now fans across the country finally have a reason to put a chip on their shoulder -- "My school gets no respect!" -- or feel an unearned sense of entitlement.

After persusing the poll, it's obvious that the Big 12 should puff its chest out a little bit. The last year has been filled with news of the conference losing teams, and even the last few weeks have stoked the fires of schools feeling like they're getting the short end of the stick in the Big 12 when compared to Texas, but the Big 12 has something that no other conference in the land can claim right now.

Three teams ranked in the top ten.

Let's take a look at who is ranked, who isn't, and whether or not they're in the right place.

#1 Oklahoma - I don't think it's shocking at all to find Oklahoma opening the season on top of the poll, as many predicted this is what would happen, and there's a good reason for it. Oklahoma finished 2010 ranked sixth, and unlike the five teams that were ranked ahead of them at the time, all the major players are back in Norman. Landry Jones will be getting a lot of Heisman hype as the offense should continue to put up a lot of points, and the Sooners defense should be one of the best units in the land. The real question here is whether or not Oklahoma can stay atop the polls. The preseason #1 doesn't have the greatest track record, and the Sooners have a tough schedule that includes road games against #5 Florida State and #8 Oklahoma State. Home dates against #9 Texas A&M, #21 Missouri and the annual battle with #24 Texas won't be a cakewalk either.

#8 Oklahoma State -  A top ten spot is well-deserved for the Cowboys based on what they did in 2010. Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon lit the air on fire last season as Oklahoma State finished second in the nation in passing yards per game and third in points per game. Both of those gentlemen are back, so the offense will be fine. What will really determine whether or not the Cowboys are deserving of this ranking and will finish the year in the top 10 is the defense. Offense alone can get you into the top ten, but you need a strong defense to stay there. We'll find out soon enough when Oklahoma State plays an early game against Arizona, and considering that the Cowboys play #9 Texas A&M, #24 Texas and Missouri all on the road this season, holding on to this spot or moving up is not going to be easy.

#9 Texas A&M - Based on how things finished for the Aggies last season, I get the hype. I truly do. Still, that doesn't mean I'm fully convinced the Aggies are a top ten team in 2011. Ryan Tannehill was a revelation for the Aggies after taking over for Jerrod Johnson, but will he be able to match his performance again now that teams will be ready for him? Can the defense replace Von Miller without a drop off? Those are pretty big questions to answer, and when you throw in a game against #14 Arkansas to go with the conference slate, and it's not insane to think this is a team that finishes the year closer to the 15-20 range than the top ten.

#21 Missouri - Missouri loses a bit from its 2010 squad on both sides of the ball, but this placing feels right. It won't be easy to replace Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, but nobody thought it would be easy to replace Chase Daniel either, and Gary Pinkel has proven that he knows how to find quarterbacks. Can James Franklin be that guy? We'll find out early when he Tigers go on the road to face Arizona State on the second Saturday of the season, but if the defense that allowed only 16.1 points per game last season can put up an encore performance, that would be a big help. I would be worried about road games against #1 Oklahoma and #9 Texas A&M though.

#24 Texas - You're going to hear a lot of folks saying that this is a reputation spot for Texas and nothing else. Those saying it will be correct, too, because there's no way you can say that Texas earned this spot with its play last season. That being said, I think it's entirely possible that when the dust settles on 2011, Texas will be ranked higher than this. Hell, the Longhorns may be the second-highest ranked team in the conference. I'm of the opinion that 2010 was an aberration and I don't think the offense can be as detrimental in 2011 as it was in 2010. Plus this is still a fantastic defense, and one that will keep Texas in every game, so if the Longhorns can win 8 or 9 games that reputation that got them to #24 in the preseason poll will only help push them up further as the year goes on.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Hot Seat Ratings: The Big 12 coaches

Posted by Tom Fornelli

CBSSports.com's very own Dennis Dodd went through every head coach in the FBS this week and assigned a hot seat rating for each one, with 0 being the "coolest" seat and 5 meaning that the coach may end up in a hospital burn ward should he sit down. Looking through Dodd's ratings for each coach in the Big 12 this year, while I agree with most of his ratings, there were a couple I didn't feel were accurate.

Here's the list of Big 12 coaches and the Hot Seat Rating Dodd gave them from lowest to highest.

- Bob Stoops, Oklahoma: 0.0

- Bill Snyder, Kansas State: 0.5

- Paul Rhoads, Iowa State: 1.0

- Gary Pinkel, Missouri: 1.0

- Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: 1.0

- Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech: 1.5

- Art Briles, Baylor: 2.0

- Mack Brown, Texas: 2.0

- Mike Sherman, Texas A&M: 2.0

- Turner Gill, Kansas: 3.5

Again, for the most part, I agree with Dennis' rankings, but there are a few of the coaches who I have some nitpicks about. So instead of just writing Dodd an email to let him know, why not publicize it?

Mack Brown - Dodd gives Brown a 2.0 ranking, which according to his system means "Safe--solid position." I do not agree. Honestly, if these were my rankings, I'd bump Brown up to a 4.0. Which Dodd describes as "Warm seat--feeling the pressure." Which is exactly where I think Brown sits at the moment. Coming off of a 5-7 season Brown had to let go of his offensive coordinator Greg Davis and brought in Bryan Harsin. He also saw Will Muschamp leave for Florida. Which means that he was already feeling pressure. You don't go firing your offensive coordinator, and essentially lay the blame at his feet in the process, if you aren't a bit worried about what might come your way.

In a sensible world, Mack Brown should be at 2.0. He should be safe. But this isn't a sensible world, this is Texas Longhorns football where a 5-7 season just isn't acceptable at anytime under anybody. Brown may have a national title to his name, but if Texas goes through another season like the one it went through in 2010, I don't care who Mack Brown is. He'll likely find himself out of a job.

Mike Sherman - Much like Mack Brown, Dodd sets Sherman at a 2.0, and much like Mack Brown, I feel this number is a bit too low. After all, last October when Texas A&M was 3-3 on the year and 0-3 in the Big 12, there were plenty of people who felt Sherman wouldn't be around College Station much longer. Sherman then made the move he had to make by benching Jerrod Johnson for Ryan Tannehill and Tannehill rewarded him by saving his job and helping lead the Aggies on a six-game win streak and berth in the Cotton Bowl.

Still, even with that 9-4 season, the Aggies are still only 19-19 in Sherman's three seasons with the school. The Aggies may not be the power that they once were these days, but I don't think a .500 record is ever going to sit well with a fan base that wants to rule the state of Texas year in and year out. Now, after such a positive finish to the season, expectations are raised at A&M. Should the Aggies and Sherman stumble out of the gate again this season -- and with a stretch of games against Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Missouri early, another 3-3 start isn't out of the question -- then Sherman's pants may be literally on fire before the year is done.

Art Briles - Dennis has Baylor's Art Briles at a 2.0, but I feel that's a bit too high. I'd put Briles at more of a 1.0 or a 1.5 because I just don't see a situation where he's going to be fired this year. In his first two seasons in Waco, Baylor had 4-8 campaigns under Briles, but there was improvement in the team that was evident in anyone who watched. Improvement that led to a 7-6 season in 2010 and Baylor's first trip to a bowl game since 1994.

At a school like Baylor, where football success isn't exactly a common theme, nor is it that big of a deal, I don't see any way in which Briles is going to be fired after leading the program to its first bowl game in 17 years. The only way I can envision Briles not coaching at Baylor in 2012 is if he gets a job somewhere else.

Bob Stoops - Dodd lists Bob Stoops as a 0.0, the safest coach in the Big 12. Dennis is right, Stoops is the safest coach in the conference, but I just don't feel that 0.0 is low enough. I'd put it at a -5.0 because the only way I see Bob Stoops getting fired is if he goes on some cross-country killing spree, and even then he might survive. 

Posted on: June 2, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Gary Pinkel has no Ohio State aspirations

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that Jim Tressel is no longer the head coach at Ohio State, we should all probably get ready for six to eight months of speculation about who will eventually take his place in Columbus. The name we'll hear about more often than any other is Urban Meyer, but what if Meyer is serious about being done with coaching? Where will Ohio State go from there? Gary Pinkel's name is one that could come up, as Michigan was interested in the Missouri head coach, and Pinkel is from Ohio. Given the success he's had at Mizzou and his Ohio roots, it would only make sense that he be mentioned.

Though Pinkel would like to put an end to that speculation right now. Talking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pinkel said that Missouri is where he's at and where he plans on being.

"There's 5,000 names probably up for that," Pinkel told the paper. "I grew up in Ohio and I have great respect for Jim Tressel, too. It's very unfortunate what happened and how everything came down.

"I'm the head football coach at the University of Missouri and I'm committed to trying to continue to build the program and make it better and better. And that's what I intend to do."

Which is a lot easier said than done because, after all, there is no offer in front of Pinkel right now. The Dispatch also asked him what he would say should he get an offer, and Pinkel said he'd tell Ohio State the same thing. Which is no doubt exactly what Missouri fans want to hear from their head coach, but depending on what happens with Ohio State when the NCAA is done with the school, it may not be as easy to tell Ohio State no if a real offer eventually does come along.

Posted on: May 9, 2011 11:40 am
 

Tyler Gabbert to transfer from Missouri

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It looks like the Missouri quarterback competition has been settled. In what can only be described as a surprising announcement, Missouri issued a release on Monday morning saying that quarterback Tyler Gabbert, younger brother of former Missouri and newest Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert, will be transferring from the school.

“We wish Tyler the best and will do everything we can to assist him going forward,” said coach Gary Pinkel in a statement. “He’s worked very hard in our program this past year, and we thank him for his efforts. Tyler is a high quality person and an outstanding football player.”

This comes as a shock because there were plenty of people who felt that Gabbert could be Missouri's starting quarterback this season. He finished spring practice second on the depth chart behind James Franklin. According to the release Gabbert is leaving Missouri to pursue other playing opportunities, so maybe he knew more about Missouri's quarterback situation than the school was letting on?

Gabbert came to Columbia as part of the school's 2010 recruiting class, enrolling early and then redshirting the 2010 season.

Posted on: May 3, 2011 6:08 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Where should Russell Wilson land?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

He's not exactly Curt Flood,   but all the same Russell Wilson may wind up serving as a college football landmark: the sport's first legitimate free agent. Cut loose from N.C. Stateeligible to play virtually anywhere thanks to his early graduation, "95 percent" likely to take advantage of that eligiblity, and -- most importantly -- a bona fide all-conference candidate with three years of starting experience and a 76-26 career touchdown-to-interception ratio. 

So Wilson represents uncharted waters for college football; while other players have been eligible to transfer without penalty, none have offered such tantalizing immediate benefits. But which school is going to be the lucky one to sail into those waters? 

We don't know. No one does, Wilson included; he's still got months of baseball ahead of him. But we can say which programs would be the best fit should Wilson decide to take a look. Here's our guesses for the comfiest landing spot for Wilson in each BCS conference, judging by both which team would benefit most by Wilson's arrival and which team Wilson would benefit most by joining. Enjoy:

SEC: TENNESSEE. Yep, we're saying the Vols, despite most of the early Wilson speculation centering on South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Auburn. But multiple reporters covering the Tigers have said they won't be interested; it makes sense considering that 2012 shapes up as a much more likely championship campaign for Auburn than 2011, and Gene Chizik won't want to spoil that with a first-year starter under center. Steve Spurrier will certainly give Wilson a ring if Stephen Garcia is finally dismissed, but if Garcia sticks around, neither he nor Wilson will want the controversy his arrival would bring. And though we have little doubt Houston Nutt would welcome Wilson with open arms rather than ride with the untested Randall Mackey or Barry Brunetti, Wilson can probably find a team with higher expectations.

Enter Tennessee. Yes, the Vols have a starter already, promising sophomore Tyler Bray. But Bray's boom-or-bust results late last season and ugly 5-for-30 spring game performance suggest that he might need more seasoning before taking the reins for a full SEC season. Bringing in Wilson lets the Vols redshirt and groom Bray for three solid seasons to follow, without taking a step back at the position; going to Tennessee lets Wilson play for a high-profile team in the nation's toughest conference, one with plenty of playmakers at his disposal. It's a win-win.

BIG TEN: WISCONSIN. An easy call: the perpetually consistent Badgers have the defensive playmakers, the ball-carriers and the receivers to put together another fine Big Ten team if they can hold the line on the offensive line ... and if they can find a quarterback. The results at the Badgers' spring game  suggest they don't have the latter yet. The stodgy Badger attack won't make much use of Wilson's mobility, but no other team in the conference offers Wilson the chance to waltz in as the unquestioned starter for a top-25 program.

BIG 12: MISSOURI. After years of Chase Daniel and then Blaine Gabbert spearheading the Tigers' aerial attack, Gary Pinkel has to feel a little spoiled when it comes to quarterbacks. But that may be changing, as Mizzou comes out of spring without a clearcut starter and with neither candidate (Tyler Gabbert, younger brother of Blaine, or James Franklin) having looked quite in the Daniel/Gabbert class. Wilson would short-circuit any potential quarterback-platoon talk immediately upon arrival and give the Tigers one of the best trigger-men their spread could ask for. Wilson, meanwhile, would have the benefit of having the ball in his hands 40 to 50 times a game, for a team whose underrated defense should make them top-25 contenders.

PAC-12: UCLA. Let's face it: the 3-9 Bruins maybe don't have a heck of a lot to offer in terms of football glory. But after their seemingly endless quarterback carousel of the past few seasons, no program would be more appreciative -- no coach more thankful -- than UCLA and Rick Neuheisel. If Wilson can salvage a winning season out of 2011 and potentially turn around the flagging tenure of Neuheisel, the gratitude aimed his way from the Westwood faithful would likely dwarf anything he'd receive anywhere else. (Besides, most of the other Pac-12 contenders -- Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, Cal, even ineligible pseudo-contender USC  -- have fairly established quarterbacks.)

ACC: FLORIDA STATE NO ONE

[This section originally discussed the "far-fetched" possibility that Wilson could transfer to the Wolfpack's intra-division rivals in Tallahassee, but it's more than far-fetched; it's impossible, since Wilson's release -- originally, erroneously reported as "unconditional" -- specifies that he may not transfer to an ACC school or any school on NCSU's schedule. In retrospect, this is a common sense precaution. Apologies.]

BIG EAST: WEST VIRGINIA. We're kidding, mostly; Geno Smith enjoyed an excellent spring game and will be the Mountaineers' 2011 starter. And given Wilson's unwillingness to give up on a "football dream" that likely includes the NFL, he would likely pass on Dana Holgorsen's Mike Leach- inspired  "Air Raid" offense anyway, which has struggled putting its passers in the pros. But an offense like Holgorsen's, as helmed by a talent like Wilson? We can dream of those kinds of pinball games, can't we?



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