Posted on: December 31, 2010 12:04 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
We're only two days removed from Ralph Friedgen's final game at Maryland, a 51-20 throttling of East Carolina in the Military Bowl, and it seems as though Maryland is on the verge of finding its next head coach. Mike Leach had been on campus both Wednesday and Thursday, looking around and interviewing with both athletic director Kevin Anderson and school president Wallace Loh.
While the Baltimore Sun say that no offer has been extended to Leach as of yet, according to the Washington Post the interviews "went well," and a report from College Football Talk says that an offer "could and should" be extended to Leach before the weekend is over, and he "appears to be the front runner" at the moment.
Which means that we may be only a few days away from everybody's favorite pirate returning to the sidelines.
Of course, Leach's name isn't the only one that has come up in connection with the Maryland job. While he may be considered the odds on favorite to land the gig at this point, names like Gus Malzahn, Kevin Sumlin and Randy Edsall (is there a coaching vacancy in which Edsall's name doesn't come up?) are also considered candidates for the job.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 5:55 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
According to Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne on Wednesday, neither Husker head coach Bo Pelini nor Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt had requested permission to speak to the other about the Hurricanes' vacant head coaching position.
But if this report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is accurate -- and it's worth noting that Pelini declined to address the rumors about his flirtation with the Miami job, rather than simply denying them -- then Pelini and Hocutt (or their representatives) decided it was easier to ask forgiveness than permission anyway:
Pelini has spoken to ... Hocutt about the Hurricanes' coaching job but has not been offered it, two people with knowledge of the search told the Sun Sentinel on Thursday.That's a mix that as of yesterday appeared to have been culled by one, with Dan Mullen likely pursuing the Florida job instead. And now it may be down another candidate, as the Austin American-Statesman reports that Tommy Tuberville is staying put at Texas Tech :
Tuberville has told school officials there he will not pursue further the head coaching vacancy at the University of Miami, a highly placed official at a Big 12 school told the Statesman Thursday afternoon.This runs contrary to previous whispers regarding Tuberville and the Miami job (which he was supposedly angling for), but where Tuberville agent Jimmy Sexton is concerned, smoke-without-fire is par for the course.
If the Sun-Sentinel report is correct that Al Golden has joined Tuberville and Mullen on the "thanks but no thanks" list, Hocutt's options have started to dwindle. If Pelini stays at Nebraska, Hocutt could be all-but-forced to go with a candidate like Randy Edsall or Kevin Sumlin by something like the process of elimination.
But Pelini hasn't declared himself out of the Miami picture just yet. While it's hard to see at first why Pelini would leave football-crazed Lincoln just as the Huskers prepare for the challenge of the Big Ten for a cash-strapped, fan-challenged 'Cane program treading water in the ACC, that Nebraska is still paying him a salary commensurate with schools like Kansas and Oklahoma State might have something to do with it. Until he says point-blank he's staying at Nebraska or the Hurricanes hire someone else, it will be premature to assume Pelini's not taking his coaching talents to South Beach.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 3:38 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
With the news that Urban Meyer has resigned/retired at Florida (delete as you personally see applicable), the Dan Mullen sweepstakes has a new almost-certain winner. The Gators will likely see Mullen as their Nos. 1, 1A, and 1B candidates, and there's no better fit -- and no place that can pay him more money -- for Mullen than his old stomping grounds in Gainesville. From the outside, it appears to be the kind of marriage that'll have both parties at the courthouse before anyone even knows they're courtin'.
That may be great news for Gator fans who would be happy to sacrifice Meyer if it meant replacing Steve Addazio' s hapless play-calling with Mullen's tried-and-proven offensive acumen, but it's a terrible blow for Mississippi State (who given their financial constraints will have no chance of keeping Mullen if/when the Gators come calling) and a big one for Miami as well. Depending on which reports you believe, the 'Canes had made Mullen their top candidate after being turned down by Jon Gruden , and given his offensive pedigree and performance in Starkville, he was the option with the best combination of availability and likelihood of success.
If he's off the board, where might Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt turn? A flurry of reports out of South Florida have identified the candidates currently at the forefront of the search. (The 'Canes will apparently risk receiving another sternly-worded letter from Donald Trump , as Mike Leach is not among them.) Taking them one coach at a time, and assessing their chances of eventually taking their talents to South Beach:
Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech: Tuberville has a strong Miami connection, having coached there for eight years and winning a national-title as a defensive coordinator under Dennis Erickson, and would certainly be capable of preserving the team's defensive improvement under Randy Shannon. He would almost certainly accept the job if offered, as whispers have indicated Tuberville has been campaigning hard for the job behind the scenes. (Then again, Tuberville's agent is infamous rumor-starter Jimmy Sexton, so take that with a grain of salt.) The problem is that Tuberville is already 56, with his best coaching days behind him, and has struggled at times putting together a working offensive staff. Would he cause enough of a splash?
Randy Edsall, UConn: Then again, if the 'Canes are seriously considering Edsall, making a splash isn't high on their list of concerns. Edsall would maintain Shannon's sense of rugged discipline, with an old-school grinding running game to match, and there's no doubt he's wrung the most out of his fledgling program. But the Huskies haven't actually been "good," even by Big East standards, as much as they have been the team least-prone to shooting itself in the foot.
Kevin Sumlin, Houston: Sumlin is a young, charismatic coach with an exciting up-tempo offense that ought to put butts in seats; he should be able to immediately connect wit hthe 'Canes fickle fanbase in a way the above candidates might not. But he's also by far the least proven, having made his name by maintaining Art Briles' previous good work at Houston.
Al Golden, Temple: Golden's resuscitation of the Owls is one of the most impressive feats of college coaching of the past few years, and he's young enough that he could be a cornerstone for Miami for years and years to come. But there's a strong sense -- bordering on consensus -- that Golden is waiting for Joe Paterno' s retirement for a shot at the Penn State gig. After Turner Gill' s struggles at Kansas , it's also worth wondering if rebuilding jobs in the MAC are easier than they're made it out to be.
Mike Stoops, Arizona: In what might be seen as a too-close-for-comfort parallel with the Shannon era, Stoops's steady year-by-year improvement project in Tucson took a minor step backwards this year. But Stoops' sideline antics prove he's got the energy for the job, and his reclamation job with the Wildcats has been impressive. But Miami may not be able to pay him much more than Arizona can, and there doesn't seem to be as much buzz as there is with the candidates above.
And that, for the time being, is the list (though the reports also agree that other candidates are likely on the radar screen). There's a few reasonably solid options there, and at this point you might have to consider Tuberville the favorite; he has the biggest name, the strongest ties, and likely the most intense interest. But if Mullen is truly no longer in the picture, Hocutt might also have to get creative to stave off the perception that the Gators stole his hire's thunder clean out from under him.
Tags: Al Golden, Arizona, Dan Mullen, Dan Mullen to Florida, Donald Trump, Florida, Florida coaching search, Houston, Jon Gruden, Kevin Sumlin, Kirby Hocutt, Miami, Miami coaching search, Mike Leach, Mike Stoops, Mississippi State, Randy Edsall, Randy Shannon, Steve Addazio, Temple, Texas Tech, Tommy Tuberville, UConn, Urban Meyer, Urban Meyer resigns, Urban Meyer retirement
Posted on: October 27, 2010 9:50 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 9:54 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
While Minnesota interim head coach Jeff Horton has his hands full this week preparing the Golden Gophers for their conference matchup with Ohio State, athletic director Joe Maturi and the rest of the Minnesota administration are busy trying to narrow the list of coaching candidates. Several high profile names were tossed around initially (Dungy, Leach), but the one that is gaining steam is current Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Marcus R. Fuller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported early Wednesday morning that there was "lots of love being thrown Kevin Sumlin's way all of the sudden." Of all the active coaches on the Golden Gophers' radar, Sumlin is one of their most high profile options. He has only in his third season as a head coach, but his Division I coaching career goes back almost two decades.
There are several factors that make Sumlin seem like a great fit at Minnesota. Maturi has already stated that the next Golden Gophers head coach needed to "get Minnesota," and Sumlin served as an assistant at Minnesota from 1993-1997. Sumlin's staff at Houston also has Minnesota connections, with assistant head coach Tony Levine a former Gophers WR and Minnesota native. He is already getting endorsements from the Gophers football community, most recently from former offensive line coach Gordy Shaw.
Sumlin appears to be a great fit for Minnesota, and a much more favorable option to throwing a ton of money at an inactive coach. At 46, Sumlin still has a lengthy career ahead and with all of the personal connections to the area (his wife is a native as well), could be interested in setting up shop for the long term.
Posted on: September 15, 2010 6:50 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 6:54 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's Wednesday and it seems that Kevin Sumlin and the Houston Cougars are yet to come to a decision on what to do with quarterback Case Keenum. Keenum suffered what is being termed as a "mild concussion" last Saturday in the Cougars' 54-24 victory over UTEP last Saturday, and though Sumlin has said his quarterback's condition has improved throughout the week, he's still not sure whether or not to let him play against UCLA in the Rose Bowl on Saturday.
Well, since Sumlin and offensive coordinator Jason Phillips have had such a tough time figuring out what to do, I figured I'd help them out a little bit.
There, problem solved. As Jacobi went over earlier in the week, the more we learn about the effect of concussions on those who suffer them, the scarier things get. So whether it was a mild concussion or not, there is absolutely no reason to play Keenum. Especially when Phillips sounds so confident about Keenum's backup, Cotton Turner. Who, on an unrelated note, has an awesome name.
"We're going to do what we do," Phillips said. "Our system is in place. Our offense is in place. Our players are confident in what we're doing. Cotton is very confident in what we do, and our players believe in him."
Okay, so if you're so confident in Turner, then why the hesitation over playing him? Is a victory over UCLA worth endangering Keenum's quality of life? He is just a kid after all, not a professional athlete. I'd imagine just going to class with a concussion could be an adventure, let alone playing in a football game.
Turner proved himself more than capable of filling in for Keenum against UTEP, and let's be real, you're facing UCLA here. Have you seen the Bruins this season? I don't think playing Turner hurts your chances of leaving the Rose Bowl with a victory.
So for the sake of Keenum, I hope all this indecision is nothing more than posturing just so UCLA doesn't know who to expect under center.
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Posted on: September 11, 2010 10:19 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Houston quarterback Case Keenum passed Colt McCoy and Philip Rivers for fifth place all time on the NCAA's career passing yards list on Friday night against UTEP, throwing for 279 yards in the Cougars 54-24 rout of the Miners, but his 13,503 career yards are likely the last thing on the Cougars' minds when it comes to their quarterback this morning.
Keenum had to leave the game in the third quarter with what appeared to be a head injury. After having a pass intercepted by UTEP's Travaun Nixon, it looked as though Keenum took a blow to the head while trying to make a tackle. He was slow to get off the ground and seemed a little woozy before finally leaving the field under his own power.
Keenum did not return to the game, but according to his coach Kevin Sumlin, he didn't need to .
“I just talked to him; he was smiling in the locker room,” Sumlin said. “So we’ll evaluate it and see where he is. The situation was such at that point of the game, the way Cotton was playing, there was no need to do anything. We’ll see where it is.”
Cotton Turner came on for Keenum, completing nine of ten passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. Which was one more touchdown than Keenum threw before having to leave the game and seeing his streak of 31 consecutive games with a touchdown pass come to an end.
As for the severity of Keenum's injury and whether or not he'll have to miss Houston's game at UCLA next Saturday, we'll have to wait and see.