Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:07 am
Edited on: February 22, 2011 11:07 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Everyone hopes for their chance at fame, and few backup quarterbacks have gotten attention like Connecticut's Johnny McEntee. McEntee recently lit up the interwebs with his trick shot compilation video. Currently the video has hit 4.8 million views, so Johnny Mac might be on to something here.
So here come the impersonators. I have no problem with replication, or trying to improve the product. But Monmouth quarterback Alex Tanney gets advertised in his YouTube video as "even better than Johnny Mac." While many of Tanney's throws are impressive, I fail to see the difference between these videos and something that would be put together by Dude Perfect. Is it cool? Absolutely. But does it display actual quarterbacking prowess? Not entirely. Which is why it was so silly that a radio host recently asked McEntee why he wasn't the starting quarterback.
So it's the battle of the trick shot quarterback. Who do you think is more impressive? Monmouth's Alex Tanney or Connecticut's Johnny McEntee? Let us know in the comments section below.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 1:22 am
Edited on: February 11, 2011 1:23 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
When Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown bolted his post for the same at UConn last week, it seemed to mean, well, something; after all, incoming Terps head coach Randy Edsdall had made precisely the opposite move, so perhaps not everybody shared Edsall's sentiment that Maryland was a dream job.
Fortunately, Edsall knows the single most important maxim one can learn: that the best revenge is massive success. To that end, Edsall immediately sought out former Miami head coach Randy Shannon to replace Brown, and now the Washington Post reports that the two are closing in on a deal to bring Shannon to Maryland.
Say what you will about Shannon's results as a head coach of the Hurricanes and the fan exodus that ensued, but the man can coach defense. In his six seasons as Miami's defensive coordinator, the Hurricanes ranked in the top ten nationally in total defense in five of those seasons. In his four subsequent seasons as a head coach, his team never finished lower than 33rd nationally.
Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard Shannon's name attached to a prominent job; he was a strong contender at UCLA three weeks ago, but obviously that didn't pan out. On that note, then, it's important to wait for official confirmation from all parties involved that the deal is on, but for now, it looks like Randy Edsall is making the most of his unexpected opening at defensive coordinator, and that Randy Shannon is back in college football, where he belongs.
Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: February 8, 2011 10:11 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
The coaching carousel has slowed since the regular season ended in December, but there are still several pieces shuffling back and forth, particularly in the ACC and Big East. After moving Connecticut into the FBS and all the way to the Fiesta Bowl in 2010, Huskies head coach Randy Edsall departed to take Ralph Friedgen's vacant seat at Maryland. Maryland's offensive coordinator, James Franklin, accepted a head coaching position at Vanderbilt while defensive coordinator Don Brown was retained. Just before Edsall was ready to round out his staff by hiring Andre Powell, former running backs coach at Clemson, to the same position in College Park, Brown shocked the Terps fan base by bolting to Connecticut, Edsall's former employer.
Confusing, I know.
Now former Miami head coach Randy Shannon has emerged as a candidate to replace Brown at Maryland. ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman is reporting that Shannon will be in town on Tuesday and Wednesday to interview for the defensive coordinator position. Shannon served as defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes for six years under Larry Coker before being promoted to head coach. Shannon also is a highly-touted recruiter, with deep ties to the schools in the Miami-Dade County area.
Also in the running for Don Brown's job in College Park is former Maryland assistant Kevin Lampa. Lampa spent four seasons as a secondary coach under Ralph Friedgen, and interviewed for the position on Friday. Shannon's services are not being tied exclusively to Maryland, either. With UCLA awkwardly ridding itself of Rocky Seto thanks to a Facebook flub, Shannon has also become a target for the Bruins.
While the biggest moves are made in December and January, these shifts of assistant coaches could be some of the details that can make or break the 2011 season for these teams. Shannon is a well-respected coach and recruiter, and seasoned enough to jump right in with little transition. He will likely be coaching in 2011, and he will be a great addition to whatever staff he joins.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 12:05 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
"Headset Reset" is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the SEC and the ACC.
WILL MUSCHAMP, Florida
Why him? Urban Meyer blindsided the college football community by stepping away from his gig as the head coach at one of the biggest football programs in the nation. So naturally, Florida poached the highest profile assistant coach from right under Mack Brown to lead the Gators into the new decade. For 2011, Muschamp needs to: Win the SEC East. By bringing in Charlie Weis as the new offensive coordinator, Gators fans will expect that many of the offensive woes that plagued them in 2010 will be eliminated immediately. But despite all their downfalls, Florida still came one game from winning the division. There will be no excuse not to reclaim the East in 2014. By 2014, Muschamp needs to have: Won the SEC Championship. Urban Meyer won two national championships in his first four seasons at Florida. Muschamp needs to at least win the SEC crown by 2014, presumably meaning the Gators are also in the national title discussion. Chances Muschamp gets what he needs?: There is no reason to think that Muschamp, a coach who carries a strong reputation in several major recruiting hotbeds, cannot continue to bring in the talent to Gainesville to build his own dynasty. I'd say chances are pretty good.
JAMES FRANKLIN, Vanderbilt
Why him? After Bobby Johnson retired less than two months before the start of the season, Vanderbilt scrambled to promote offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell to head coach. After Caldwell's 2-10 record in 2010, he stepped down as well. For 2011, Franklin needs to: Beat Elon and win at least one conference game. After two straight 2-10 seasons Franklin at least needs to equal that win total, even with a difficult non-conference schedule. The bar isn't too high, but the Commodores need to find at least one non-conference and one conference win in 2011. By 2014, Franklin needs to have: Made the postseason. Again, the bar is not too high (Vanderbilt has only 2 bowl appearances since 1980), but Franklin would likely land himself a long-term contract and cement his own place in Vanderbilt history by adding a postseason win to the school's resume. Chances Franklin gets what he needs?: Have you seen the SEC? Not great.
RANDY EDSALL, Maryland
Why him? New athletic director Kevin Anderson clearly had plans to get rid of Ralph Friedgen before he went on to win 8 games and be named ACC Coach of the Year. Despite the biggest turnaround in school history, the coach was removed in favor of Randy Edsall, the perennial coaching search smoke-screen. For 2011, Edsall needs to: Equal or improve from Friedgen's 8-win regular season in 2010. With many Terps fans and players sad to see Fridge shoved out the door, Edsall will immediately be compared to his predecessor. Fortunately, Edsall inherits a young and talented team led by ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien. By 2014, Edsall needs to have: Won the ACC Atlantic. Anderson's main reason for buying out Friedgen's contract was to take the Maryland football program from "good to great." After coming one game from winning the division in 2010, the only way to improve would be an appearance in the ACC Championship Game. Chances Edsall gets what he needs?: Not very good. The ACC Atlantic is getting stronger with Jimbo Fisher bringing Florida State back to national relevance, Dabo Swinney beefing up his coaching staff, and Tom O'Brien turning N.C. State into a perennial threat in the conference. Thinking that Edsall will be able to take the Terps to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014 is a tall order. But if it happens, it will be because of the play of O'Brien.
AL GOLDEN, Miami
Why him? After another year of poor attendance from a disinterested fan base, not to mention the failure to compete within their own division, Miami decided it was time for a change. For 2011, Golden needs to: While Shannon failed collect any hardware on the field, he certainly did his part recruiting during the offseason. Golden realizes the importance of recruiting in-state, and has hit the trail running. With only two weeks left until signing day, Golden is in the middle of his 45 scheduled visits for the month of January to solidify his 2011 class. Many recruits, including ones in-state, have expressed how impressed they were with Golden and his new staff. Golden won't be expected to win the division in 2011, but Hurricanes fans will be far less forgiving if they see a drop-off on national signing day. By 2014, Golden needs to have: Won the ACC Coastal. After years of dominating the Big East, Miami boosters have been disappointed to see Miami fall out of the conference race each year since joining the ACC. Golden needs to take the Hurricanes to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014, or else an occasionally unstable administration may get trigger happy once again. Chances Golden gets what he needs?: Golden faces an uphill battle as a coach with no experience south of Charlottesville, VA, but what progress he has made so far has been pleasantly surprising. He still is competing against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, who have combined for every ACC Coastal crown since the division formation in 2004. I'd put the chances of Golden taking Miami to the ACC Championship game right at 50-50.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 4:56 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
1. Don't let the conference's 4-2 record fool you - While some might have boasted that the Big East's bowl record made up for a season of mediocrity, a closer look at the games on the slate do not impress quite as much. Pittsburgh and South Florida's wins were over teams that finished 6-7, and Syracuse's controversial win over Kansas State in the Pinstripe Bowl is far less dramatic when you realize the Wildcats only won three conference games all season. Having said that, the bowls try to make each matchup as even as possible. It would not be completely misguided to give the Big East teams credit for representing their conference well, just don't let it fool you into misjudging the caliber of performance from the league as a whole in 2010.
2. Pittsburgh impressed with focus despite distractions - Of all the teams that dealt with transition amidst the postseason, Pittsburgh entered their bowl game with the least stable situation. Interim coach Phil Bennett took over as the Panthers were forced to dismiss new coach Mike Haywood almost immediately after the former Miami (Ohio) coach was arrested for a domestic dispute off the field. Bennett did a good job of keeping the Panthers focused on Kentucky rather than the off-field speculation surrounding the vacant coaching position. Many of the Panthers players felt that Dave Wannstedt was forced out prematurely, and Pittsburgh dedicated 27-10 victory to their former coach. Instead it was Kentucky, dealing with off-field arrests themselves, who appeared distracted and uninterested in the awkwardly timed BBVA Compass Bowl on the Saturday before the BCS Championship Game.
3. Connecticut's storybook season had a sour ending - This was supposed to be a memorable season for Connecticut. After less than a decade of being in the FBS, and only having been in the conference since 2004, the Huskies found themselves sharing a piece of the Big East Championship and earning a BCS Bowl bowl bid to face Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Hardly anyone actually expected Connecticut to pull off the upset, but the fashion in which the Huskies lost and the events that followed may have tarnished a legendary season for the program. Oklahoma's defense did not shut down Connecticut completely, as they were able to rack up 335 total yards of total offense. But the Huskies inability to get an offensive touchdown, along with a pair of Zach Frazer interceptions and a non-existent defense made the Fiesta Bowl loss more frustrating than uplifting.
To make matters worse, head coach Randy Edsall took a different chartered plane back from Arizona than the rest of the team. The reason was so Edsall could finalize the details on his new gig as head coach of the Maryland Terrapins, a job he accepted the next day after the Oklahoma loss. Edsall mentioned nothing of the move to the players after the game, and only addressed them through a conference call after the announcement. Now the Huskies will try to build on last season's success with veteran coach Paul Pasqualoni, hoping to make sure that last season was not a fluke.
4. Changing of the guard amongst the Big East coaching ranks - Of the four teams that picked up wins in the 2010 bowl season, three of them were led by first or second-year coaches. Big East football fans can be hopeful for the future if it continues to see success under the leadership of coaches like Syracuse's Doug Marrone, South Florida's Skip Holtz, and Louisville's Charlie Strong. All three coaches inherited teams going through disappointing and/or controversial seasons, and all three coaches guided their 2010 squads to postseason victories. The turnover has continued throughout the conference, with Todd Graham hopping on board at Pittsburgh, Pasqualoni at Connecticut, and Dana Holgorsen waiting in the wings at West Virginia. When TCU arrives in the July 2012, the transition into the next era of Big East football will be complete. The struggle will be to continuing to battle a damaged reputation that hasn't been the same since Miami and Virginia Tech left the conference in 2004.
Tags: Big East, Big East Football, Charlie Strong, Connecticut, Dana Holgorsen, Dave Wannstedt, Doug Marrone, Fiesta Bowl, Kansas State, Louisville, Oklahoma, Paul Pasqualoni, Phil Bennett, Pittsburgh, Randy Edsall, Skip Holtz, South Florida, Syracuse, Todd Graham, What I Learned, What I Learned Bowl Edition
Posted on: January 13, 2011 6:33 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 10:51 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Earlier, we reported that there were strong indications that Connecticut was looking to hire ex-Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple as its new head coach. And while Whipple did end up being one of the finalists for the job vacated by Randy Edsall two weeks ago, the Boston Globe reported today that UConn has hired former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni instead.
Pasqualoni, 61, compiled a 107-59-1 record at Syracuse from 1991 to his firing in 2004, and while those numbers are fine -- winning 100 games at the I-A level is no trivial feat -- TNIAAM rightly notes that the program diminished in quality under him; two of Pasqualoni's 10-win seasons came in his first two seasons with the team, and his only three non-winning seasons were his last three. Since his firing, Pasqualoni has been an assistant in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys , then the Miami Dolphins , then the Cowboys again (briefly) this season.
What this means for Whipple is unclear, other than that he won't be on the sidelines at Connecticut this season; he was not retained by new Miami coach Al Golden after Randy Shannon was fired, so it's not as if Whipple's still got a job to come home to. Whipple was a successful head coach at Massachusetts and other smaller programs, and he has assistant experience both at Miami and in the NFL. His skill set is still impressive, and at 53, he's got plenty of miles left on him. It's just up to him to convince a new team that his Hurricanes' offensive struggles were aberrations and not indications of larger strategic shortcomings in Whipple's game-planning.
Posted on: January 10, 2011 5:44 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 6:00 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
According to Fox 23 out of Tulsa, the next Pittsburgh football coach will be Todd Graham of Tulsa. Fox 23 reports that while Graham's hiring has yet to be announced, it is a "done deal" and he will depart for Pittsburgh later this evening.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirms this report, reporting that Graham and Pitt have come to terms on a deal and will be announcing the hiring tomorrow. It's likely that the announcement may come later today, considering the pressure such reports put on athletic officials who are being asked constantly for confirmation, but Pitt's current plan is to take care of the formalities on Tuesday.
At any rate, this report likely dismays Panther fans who had been holding out hope for Tom Bradley , the longtime Penn State assistant who was the early favorite for the job. Bradley did interview with Pitt, but obviously those talks stalled at some point. It's also entirely possible that Pitt AD Steve Pederson just plain liked Graham better as a candidate (rather than, say, getting hung up on money with Bradley), but those specifics will have to come from Pederson.
Bradley is also interviewing with Connecticut this week, as the Huskies look to replace Randy Edsall after his move to Maryland a week ago.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 11:35 am
Edited on: January 5, 2011 11:47 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
After a day of back and forth, the deed was finally done on Wednesday morning. Rich Rodriguez has been fired as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. While the potential Michigan opening has been the subject of discussion for coaches such as Jim Harbaugh, Les Miles, and San Diego State's Brady Hoke; the move also makes Rodriguez, a high commodity himself, available on the coaching market.
Many people are quickly trying to link Rodriguez to one of the currently vacant head coaching positions, but sources believe otherwise. The Detroit News reported that those close to Rodriguez believe there is a strong possibility he will take a year off to spend with his family before returning to coaching. The move would give Rodriguez a chance to reboot after three frustrating seasons in Ann Arbor, as well as give him the option to pick his options when he decides to return to coaching. That's not to say there aren't suitors that are interested in obtaining Rodriguez's service.
One of the popular thoughts for Rodriguez's next stop, should he make a move this offseason, is the recently vacated position at Pittsburgh. With new hire Mike Haywood pushed out just as soon as he arrived, speculation has swirled at the possibility of Rich Rod coaching the rival of his Alma mater. There is also the opening at Connecticut, now available with Randy Edsall leaving to take the job at Maryland. Another interesting possibility would be at Clemson if Dabo Swinney is relieved of his duties. Rodriguez spent two years as Clemson's offensive coordinator under Tommy Bowden before accepting the head coaching position at West Virginia.