Tag:Mike Sherman
Posted on: February 21, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 11:11 am
 

Eye on CFB Recruiting Review, 2/21

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Hey, Eye on College Football reader, are you also reading our sister blog, the excellent Eye on Recruiting as written by the excellent Bryan Fischer (who you can folllow on Twitter here )? If not, why not? Don't you like being well-informed about the myriad goings-on in the world of college football recruiting? Because if you read Eye on Recruiting, you will be.

But we also know that not everyone is a hardcore recruitnik. For those of you who aren't, we're providing a new weekly public service: the biggest headlines and most interesting stories to come out of recruiting this past week as reported at Eye on Recruiting , all collected in one easy post right here. Enjoy:

  • Alabama hasn't wasted any time putting together their next loaded recruiting class, already adding their seventh and eighth commitments for 2012. One of them, highly-regarded Powder Springs (Ga.) running back Kenyan Drake, shows that Nick Saban's efforts in Georgia aren't slowing down anytime soon. Their SEC rivals at Florida are off to a fast start as well , with three commitments in the past week and five total; with Stone Mountain (Ga.) RB Mike Davis and Seffner (Fla.) RB Matt Jones in the fold, the Gators may be done at tailback already.
  • Though they've decided to back off from their usual stragey of locking up half their class by spring break, Texas is nonetheless up to six commitments already after Mansfield (Texas) defensive end Hassan Ridgeway pledged to the 'Horns over multiple other in-state offers.
  • How did the final 2011 recruiting hauls stack up head-to-head, position-by-position, in the Iron Bowl rivalry? Fischer has your answer , with the Crimson Tide having the edge but Auburn having nothing to hang their head about. Also examined are hte more lopsided comparsions between Texas and Texas A&M and USC and UCLA .
  • Among the teams nabbing their first commitments for the class of 2012 are Colorado, with legacy recruit Clay Norgard, and Georgia Tech, with Lakeland (Ga.) linebacker Junior Gnonkonde. Gnonkonde is a native of Cote D'Ivoire who came to the U.S. only three years ago.
  • This weekend's Nike Combine and National UnderClassmen Combine, both in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, allowed some of the best talent from the state of Florida (and elsewhere) to shine; here's the names you need to know from the Nike event, and a full rundown of both events is available here . The headliner was 6'2", 207-pound Clermont (Fla.) linebacker Justin Horton, who currently carries offers from USF and Louisville but will likely see his recruiting heat up in a big way after running a 4.58 40.
One more reminder: if you don't want to wait for these Monday recaps, simply read Eye on Recruiting . You'll be glad you did.

Posted on: January 8, 2011 3:09 am
 

Bowl Grades: Cotton Bowl

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

LSU takes an 11-point lead into halftime after a critical Ryan Tannehill interception, and never looks back in a 41-24 victory.

LSU

Offense: Where on earth did that come from? "That" meaning: the nation's 87th-ranked offense, taking on an explosive and talented Big 12 defense, unloading a 446-yard, 41-point barrage that looked more like something we'd expect to see Monday night than tonight. For 60 minutes, the usually error-prone and conservative LSU attack -- remember, this is the same team that gained only 282 yards and scored just four touchdowns against Alcorn State -- lived up to every ounce of its vast potential.

Shall we count the ways? Jordan Jefferson had what may have been the best game of his career, throwing for three touchdowns to MVP Terrance Toliver and terrorizing A&M with his legs; aided by a dominant line, running backs Stevan Ridley and Spencer Ware each went over 100 yards, the latter on just 10 carries; and offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, less-than-popular amongst the LSU faithful these days, kept the Aggies off-balance all night with an expertly-called game. The Grade here is an easy A.

Defense: The LSU defense had a few shaky moments early on, as the Aggies showed a little bit of balance of their own to score 17 points (and miss a field goal) on their first four possessions. But from there, it was all Bayou Bengals as the Aggies' final seven drives ended interception, interception, punt, punt, touchdown, interception, fumble.

Leading the way was, predictably, an LSU cornerback ... but maybe not the one you're thinking. Freshman Tyrann Mathieu clinched the game with a pair of second-half turnovers, the first a diving interception of Tannehill and the second a smooth strip-and-recovery that would have given him a fumble returned for touchdown if not for an LSU penalty. And it was fellow freshman defensive back Eric Reid that made the play of the game, intercepting Tannehill and returning the ball to the Aggie 2, setting up the touchdown that would stretch LSU's lead to two possessions for good. By that point, any sins to open the game had long since been forgiven. Grade: B+

Coaching:
Crowton had arguably his best game since the 2007 national championship, and despite the lingering concerns that Les Miles might be plotting an escape to Michigan, the Mad Hatter had his team ready to play their best game since at least the win over Alabama. No complaints here. Grade: A

Texas A&M

Offense:
Give A&M some credit: as athletic, well-coached, and just plain fast as LSU's defense is, 24 points and 351 yards aren't anything to sneeze at. Despite the presence of Drake Nevis and Kelvin Sheppard in the front seven, Cyrus Gray still got his school-record seventh-straight 100-yard rushing game, and the Aggies finished with only one fewer first down than LSU, 24 to 23.

But none of that mattered half as much as the four turnovers, particularly the backbreaking Reid pick just before the half, which robbed the Aggies of a shot to take the lead and instead sent them in at halftime down 11 with LSU getting the ball. Tannehill had a tremendous half-season after taking over the starter's job, but this wasn't his best night. Grace: C+

Defense:
It's pretty simple: when you've let an offense as moribund as LSU's walk all over you the way LSU's did -- when Jordan Jefferson has looked like a world-beater, when Gary Crowton looks like a genius, when with the game slipping away in the third quarter you allow them to embark on a 12-play, 59-yard march that eats up 7 minutes of clock -- then you have had bad, bad night. Von Miller was his usual self -- a sack and three tackles-for-loss -- but even he couldn't do it alone. Grade: D+

Coaching:
Not many in-game decisions from Mike Sherman and his crew seemed like particularly egregious mistakes, but clearly something went awry in the Aggies' defensive game-planning for LSU to put together the kind of performance they did. And while the attempt to keep Gray involved and the offense balanced in the fourth quarter makes a certain kind of sense, a little more desperation (read: passing) would have been needed to actually turn the thing around. Grade: C

FINAL GRADE:
The first quarter made it seem the game would be a classic; the second quarter made it seem it would still be competitive; the third made it look like A&M would need a miracle; the fourth was just garbage time. Oh well. Grade: B-

Posted on: November 23, 2010 6:21 pm
 

VIDEO: Nebraska player gets a TSA inspection

Posted by Adam Jacobi

During last Saturday's game against Texas A&M, Nebraska tight end Ben Cotton had one of the most eventful single plays from scrimmage a player could possibly have. In one play, Cotton recovered a fumble from teammate Cody Green, then was flagged for unnecessary roughness, then got another 15-yarder for unsportsmanlike conduct after he ripped his helmet off while leaving the field.

Oh, also, Cotton got one of the most uncomfortable "inner thigh massages" outside of an airport security gate in decades. Here's the video, which is not going to be comfortable to watch at all. Watch it anyway.

That's Texas A&M defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie with the invasive procedure. Wonder what he was looking for.

Not surprisingly, Nebraska has decided to send film of the game to the conference for review. Bo Pelini declined to discuss any specifics of what plays the school may be protesting, but this play must be near the top of the list. Of course, if this lousy officiating was really some Big 12 conspiracy, it's not exactly going to matter if Nebraska complains to the conference or not, but Pelini and AD Tom Osborne ought to at least do their due diligence.

Also, Jerod-Eddie will not be suspended from this Friday's game, according to A&M coach Mike Sherman; Sherman said he had a "long" talk" with his player about respecting opponents, and that was that. Sherman's course of discipline stands in stark contrast to Man Law, which dictates that Jerod-Eddie must now be shot into space, never to be seen again. Butt stuff is no light matter.

Posted on: November 13, 2010 11:40 pm
 

What I learned from the Big 12 (Nov. 13)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Texas A&M might actually be good.   Which is insane to contemplate considering the way the Aggies' season started, and the roller coaster interception ride that was Jerrod Johnson at the start of the season.  But since Mike Sherman finally decided to replace Johnson with Ryan Tannehill, the Aggies have won four in a row -- averaging 41.25 points a game while doing so -- and now sit in second place in the Big 12 South.  It's possible that if the Aggies can beat Nebraska at home next week, and then a Texas team that does nothing but lose in Austin on Thanksgiving, they could end up playing for the conference title.

2. Of course, Oklahoma State will have to lose twice for that to happen.   Something that doesn't seem all that likely considering the way the Cowboys have been rolling through the Big 12 this season.  Aside from the loss to Nebraska last month, not much has gotten in the Cowboys way this season, as they became the latest team to beat Texas in Austin on Saturday night.  If they can beat Kansas next week -- and something tells me they will -- they'll be hosting Oklahoma on the 27th with the Big 12 South on the line.  Well, assuming that Oklahoma beats Baylor next week, and considering how the Sooners struggle on the road, that's not a sure thing.

3. Missouri is still alive. The Tigers ended their two-game skid with an impressive 38-28 win over Kansas State on Saturday, which means they still have a chance to get to Dallas, even if it is a remote one. Not only would the Tigers have to beat both Iowa State and Kansas the next two weeks, but they'd need Nebraska to lose to Texas A&M and Colorado too.

4. Colorado should fire Dan Hawkins every week.
  Seriously, hire him on Sunday and then fire him on Monday, because it seemed to work out very well for the Buffaloes this week.  The Buffs had their best game since beating Georgia back on October 2nd, which coincidentally, was the last time they actually won a game.  Even Cody Hawkins seemed to be celebrating his new independence from his father, throwing for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 11:28 am
 

Christine Michael's season likely over

Posted by Tom Fornelli

For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.  It's science! It's science that directly applies to just about every play on a football field during a game.  If a defensive end runs full speed into a quarterback from the blind side, that quarterback goes down and probably bleeds internally.  If a team finally finds a quarterback that doesn't kill its chances of winning a game, it loses its leading rusher to a broken leg.

Well, at least that's how things seem to be working at Texas A&M.   Ryan Tannehill replaced Jerrod Johnson this weekend and set a school record with 449 yards against Texas Tech, but now the Aggies get the news that they're likely to be without Christine Michael for the rest of the season.  Michael broke his right tibia during the third quarter of A&M's win over Texas Tech.

Head coach Mike Sherman says that the injury will keep Michael "out for a while," and considering that the Aggies only have four games left this season, that while could mean the season.  Though it is possible that Michael would be back for a bowl game, IF the Aggies can get to a bowl game.  They only need one more victory, but considering the final four games include Oklahoma, Baylor, Nebraska and Texas , there are no guarantees there.

Wait a second.  That game against Texas is in Austin, so that should be a guaranteed win for the Aggies.  The Longhorns never win at home.
Posted on: October 30, 2010 11:53 pm
 

What I learned from the Big 12 (Oct. 30)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Nebraska will be playing for the Big 12 title. Forget about that loss to Texas at home a few weeks ago, unlike the Longhorns, the Cornhuskers will be back in Dallas for the Big 12 title game this season.  Its last in the conference. I just don't see a team left on the schedule that can knock off the Cornhuskers, especially if they play the way they did against Missouri on Saturday afternoon.  Speaking of the Tigers....

2. Missouri isn't quite ready for primetime. It's one thing to beat Oklahoma at home, which was a huge win for Missouri last week, but going on the road with the Big 12 North on the line is a completely different animal.  The Tigers got blown out of the water early by Roy Helu Jr, and just couldn't recover.  Still, just because I don't think it's going to happen doesn't mean it won't.  Missouri needs to shake this loss off because if they win out they are still alive for the conference championship and a BCS bowl.

3. Mike Sherman needs to listen to me sooner.   A few weeks ago I told him to bench Jerrod Johnson.   He didn't.  Now, this week, he finally handed the keys to the station wagon over to Ryan Tannehill, and Tannehill returned home with a Maserati and a full tank of gas.  Tannehill set a Texas A&M record with 449 yards passing and 4 touchdowns in the Aggies 45-27 rout of Texas Tech.

4. Things actually can get worse for Texas.
What's worse than losing two straight home games to UCLA and Iowa State?   Losing three straight home games to UCLA, Iowa State and Baylor. It's the first time Texas has lost to Baylor since 1997, and the first time its lost at home to the Bears since 1991.  All of which means Baylor gets to spend another week atop the Big 12 south.  I only wish that the now-defunct Baylor blog, Bear Meat , were still around to see this.  Since they aren't, however, we share this video in their honor.


Posted on: October 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 12:42 pm
 

Jerrod Johnson's reign of terror appears over

Posted by Tom Fornelli

During a 45-10 win over Kansas last week, Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson became the Aggies all-time leader in total offense while splitting time with fellow quarterback Ryan Tannehill.   Something that should be of some consolation for a quarterback who has failed to meet the expectations placed on him before the season started.

What kind of reward will Johnson be getting for this feat?  Well, it looks like he's going to lose his job.

Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman won't come out and say it just yet, but from the sounds of it, Tannehill will be starting for the Aggies when they take on Texas Tech this weekend.

"We'll play it by ear. It's too early in the week to make that decision when I don't have to," Sherman told the Dallas Morning News . "I have two really good quarterbacks."

Sherman also went on to say that the Aggies would need both quarterbacks, but if I understand my coach speak, I believe what Sherman is saying is that Tannehill is going to start.  Generally when there's a question at quarterback, if the starter will remain the starter, a coach says that his starter is still his starter.

When he starts implying that he hasn't made his decision yet, that just means he's made his decision and he's trying to protect his former starter for as long as possible.  So, to me, it looks pretty clear that Tannehill will be starting against Texas Tech.  Which is a decision that Sherman probably should have made a few weeks ago.

Posted on: October 16, 2010 11:02 pm
 

What I learned from the Big 12 (Oct. 16)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. T-Magic has a lot of tricks left to learn.   Seems somebody left their top hat and magic wand back in the dorm room this morning, because Taylor Martinez had no answer for the Texas defense in Lincoln on Saturday.  Martinez only had 21 yards on 13 carries and had completed 4-of-12 passes for 63 yards before getting yanked by Bo Pelini in favor of Zac Lee.  The good news for Martinez is that Lee didn't exactly do anything to take away his starting job. 

2. Texas' defense is still pretty good, the offense, however, is not.
  Hey, listen, the way things have gone for the Longhorns this season, they have no reason not to be thrilled after picking up a big win on the road against Nebraska.   That being said, unless they start picking things up on offense, whatever slim hopes they have of winning the Big 12 are nothing more than a pipe dream.  The good news is that the 'Horns finally found some semblance of a running game, as they did gash a stout Nebraska defense for 209 yards on the ground.  The biggest surprise being Garrett Gilbert 's 71 yards and two touchdowns.  Still, that 4-of-16 passes for 62 yards needs a lot of work.

3. I still don't know what to make of Missouri.   I made a comment about this on Twitter on Saturday afternoon, and caught a lot of flak from Missouri fans over it.  Listen, I don't think Missouri is a bad football team, it's just I don't know how good they are.  I'm sorry, but beating Texas A&M just doesn't impress me all that much because the Aggies are horrible.  So far the Tigers most impressive win is against an Illinois team that is 3-3.  Other than that it's wins against teams like McNeese State, San Diego State and Miami (OH).   Next week's date with Oklahoma will give us all a better idea of how good this Missouri team actually is.

4. Jerrod Johnson just isn't working.
  It's time for a quarterback change in College Station.  I don't care what Johnson has done in the past, or what everybody thought he'd do this season, the fact is the kid has played horribly.  Maybe Mike Sherman is just worried about losing his job and doesn't want to give the ball to another quarterback at this point in the season, but trust me, staying with Johnson at this point is only going to help ensure he's out of work at the end of the season.

5. More people need to learn about Justin Blackmon.  The Oklahoma State wide receiver has been a monster this season, and his name should be thrown out there when it comes to Heisman talk.  He has 48 catches for 748 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, including a 10-reception 207-yard performance against Texas Tech on Saturday.  His worst game of the season (yardage wise) came in the Cowboys' opener.  Blackmon only had 8 catches for 125 yards and 3 touchdowns that day.
 
 
 
 
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