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Tag:Pac-12
Posted on: January 22, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 4:19 pm
 

Report: Randy Shannon interviewing with UCLA

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well, now that UCLA has gotten the process of replacing an offensive coordinator it hasn't fired yet, the Bruins are now moving on to finding a replacement for a coach they have fired. According to the Los Angeles Times, former Miami head coach Randy Shannon is in Los Angeles to interview with UCLA for the defensive coordinator position.
Former University of Miami Coach Randy Shannon is being interviewed for the UCLA defensive coordinator job on Saturday, according to a person inside the program who was not authorized to speak on the subject.
Shannon was fired by Miami in November after four seasons as the school's head coach, where he went 28-22. He also spent the six seasons before taking over as head coach as the defensive coordinator at Miami. UCLA fired Chuck Bullough from the position in December, as the Bruins were pretty disappointing on both sides of the ball in 2010.

Whoever ends up replacing Bullough will be taking over a defense that just lost two of its best players to the NFL in Akeem Ayers and Rahim Moore.

UPDATE: Chris Foster now tweets that the Shannon interview will take place on Sunday.
Posted on: January 22, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 4:20 pm
 

UCLA hires Mike Johnson as offensive coordinator

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's been rumored for a while, but UCLA made it official on Saturday afternoon, announcing that Mike Johnson has been hired to be the Bruins offensive coordinator.  Of course, the school hasn't officially fired Norm Chow yet, nor has Chow officially accepted a position at Utah as has been rumored as well. Still, the fact that the Bruins have a new offensive coordinator is a pretty good indication of where Chow won't be coaching next season.

In the official release, not only has Johnson been brought on to replace Chow, but Rick Neuheisel will be taking on the role of quarterbacks coach as well.

"During my assessment of our program, I felt it was necessary for me to be more involved in the day-to-day operation of the offense," Neuheisel said. "I decided that going forward, I will coach the quarterbacks and will be more hands-on in the area of play calling with a new coordinator.

"Mike is a great addition to our staff. He has a background with a multitude of offensive schemes, has coached several different positions and has experience in our conference as well as in the National Football League. Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and adds versatility to our offense and I can't wait to get in the film room and start planning for 2011 and the Pac-12.

"In addition, Mike is a dynamic and tireless recruiter who is familiar with the Pac-12 area and, in particular, southern California. He will be a great plus for our program in this important area."

Johnson spent the last few seasons with the San Francisco 49ers as a quarterbacks coach before taking on the position of offensive coordinator in 2010. He also spent two years working with Neuheisel on the Baltimore Ravens staff from 2006-07.

UCLA's offense was rather abysmal in 2010, as it finished 104th in the nation in scoring, averaging 20.2 points per game, and 116th in passing. The Bruins finished the season with a 4-8 record, including a 2-7 campaign within the Pac-10.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Headset Reset: Welcome to the Pac-12 and Big Ten

Posted by Adam Jacobi

"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 Pac-12 and Big Ten.

DAVID SHAW, Stanford

Why him? Shaw represents a reaffirmation of the Jim Harbaugh regime, which rose from doormat to Pac-10 power with Shaw as offensive coordinator. Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby didn't get Boise State head coach Chris Petersen during negotiations after Harbaugh's departure, but Bowlsby's bona fides in football coach hiring are pretty solid. By hiring Shaw (and interviewing two other in-house candidates), Stanford has told its fans, "it ain't broke, and we're not fixin'."  By 2014, Shaw will need to: perpetuate Stanford's recent successes. Harbaugh isn't the first coach to win at Stanford, and he's also not the first coach to bolt for greener pastures at the first opportunity. So being that Stanford's main opposition in the Pac-12 North is Oregon and four programs with a light history of success (and let's ignore Stanford's time in that role since 40 years ago), there's an opportunity for the Cardinal to assert some authority.  Chances Shaw gets what he needs? Pretty good. Stanford's athletic department has a surprising amount of money, and with Oregon and Nike trying to start an arms race with the rest of the Pac-12, Stanford is one of the few schools that can probably keep up -- as long as it still wants to, anyway.

JON EMBREE, Colorado

Why him? Well, let's just not ask Bill McCartney that question. Past that, Embree was hired because he's a former Buffalo, and it would take a Colorado man to take this job and not flee the first time the Buffaloes put together seven wins in a season. By 2014, Embree will need to: get his team competitive with USC -- or whoever else is atop the Pac-12 South. There's no indication that Colorado's better or even as good as the rest of the division it's entering. CU can thank Dan Hawkins in some respects for that, but really, Colorado football hasn't been relevant for almost 15 years (yes, CU went to two consecutive Big XII Championships ... and lost them by a hilarious combined score of 112-6). Continued sub-mediocrity won't fly, especially as the Buffaloes try to acclimate themselves to a new conference without the strong tradition of success the Big XII had. Chances Embree gets what he needs? Not great. Colorado has struggled with keeping its football program relevant ever since the shared title year of 1990, even with some apparently decent head coaching hires. The move from the Big XII North to the Pac-12 South won't help lighten the Buffaloes' burden any, either. Colorado's struggles could very well be an institutional problem, not a coaching problem, and if that's the case it's probably easy to see how the Jon Embree Era will end in Boulder.

KEVIN WILSON, Indiana

Why him? This might actually be the most surprising hire of 2010, mainly because we didn't know Indiana could do something like this. The Hoosiers tabbed the vaunted Oklahoma offensive coordinator for his first head coaching gig, and they briefly had Boise State WR coach Brent Pease as the offensive coordinator. Hello, points! Problem was, Boise State's OC position opened up, and Pease went back to Boise for that gig, as would most sane coaches. This is still Indiana we're talking about. By 2014, Wilson will need to: prove that his offensive genius wasn't just "hand the ball to Adrian Peterson or DeMarco Murray and watch what happens." It likely wasn't, of course; Texas ably demonstrated this year that there's no such thing as a team too talented to get run into the ground by mediocre coaching. But still, the question remains; what's Wilson going to do when week in and week out, his players are inferior to their opponents? Chances Wilson gets what he needs? The better question here is whether Indiana gets what it needs, which is a solid football program led by a solid coach. That seems unlikely. Either Wilson fails badly in Bloomington like pretty much everyone before him, or he actually puts together a winning season, and starts getting wooed by job offers. What's going to keep Wilson in town when that starts happening? He doesn't have any prior connection to Indiana (both the school and the state itself), and his salary is only ("only") $1.2 million. As soon as he wins six games in a season up there, he's getting phone calls.

BRADY HOKE, Michigan

Why him? Michigan went back to its roots by hiring a former assistant, effectively admitting that the Rich Rodriguez dalliance was a mistake (also conveying that message: firing Rich Rodriguez) and that there was a formula to be followed. Hoke has whipped two programs into shape in short order, and he'll need to do it again at Michigan, which is just a mess. By 2014, Hoke will need to: have Michigan reloading instead of rebuilding. Michigan's biggest challengers in its new division are Nebraska and maybe Iowa or Northwestern. Hoke has no excuses for not routinely making the conference championship (or if not, being just a game out). Beating Ohio State would also be strongly recommended. Chances Hoke gets what he needs? Pretty darn good. Michigan has the resources, tradition, and expectations to get at least 10 wins a year, and now it's got a coach that can make that happen too. The common theme about the Hoke hire was that it wasn't "sexy," which means he's literally not an attractive person and/or that his teams play defense. Neither fact is a valid reason not to like this hire. Hoke wasn't Michigan's first choice, but neither was Jim Tressel at OSU. That's not to say "hiring fifth choice = national championship" is a valid strategy, but it's just extremely unlikely that there's only one right choice at a school with the inherent advantages that Michigan or any other traditional college football power would have. Jim Harbaugh probably would have succeeded at Michigan. So might Hoke. So might a cardboard cutout of Bo Schembechler (which is what the older part of Michigan's fanbase really wants in its heart of hearts anyway).

JERRY KILL, Minnesota

Why him? Aside from the obvious--that his name is literally just "Kill"--Minnesota hired a guy with 200 games of head coaching experience and a 63.5% winning percentage, all before his 50th birthday. Kill has succeeded in the MAC, where success is fleeting at best, and at a Southern Illinois program that wasn't really in good shape when he arrived. The track record's there, in other words. By 2014, Kill will need to: keep the stadium full. Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium is the newest house on the block in the Big Ten, but it's not exactly the biggest -- more like the opposite of that word. The luster of the new stadium was already wearing off by the time Tim Brewster was fired, as the team struggled to fill the stadium or do anything else of merit.  Chances Kill gets what he needs? Well, this depends solely on Kill's recruiting ability. He's been a head coach for almost 20 years, all of which came in the Midwest, so he knows the drill, and he knows the coaches. He just hasn't tried to land any big names before, and while bringing big names to Minnesota seems like a challenge, both Brewster and Glen Mason did it every now and then. So there's a chance he makes a turnaround happen.


Posted on: January 14, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Greg Roman off to Niners; Vic Fangio to follow?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When Stanford hired David Shaw yesterday to replace Jim Harbaugh as the Cardinal head coach, we wrote that while Shaw's many positives no doubt outweight the negatives, selecting him over fellow Cardinal assistants Greg Roman and Vic Fangio dramatically increased the likelihood that one or both would follow Harbaugh onto the San Francisco 49ers' payroll.

And unfortunately for Shaw and the Cardinal, we've already gone past the point of "likelihoods" and onto "certainties." Where Roman is concerned, the Mercury News is reporting it's a done deal , with only an announcement from the Niners left to make it official. That news has been confirmed by the San Francisco Chronicle , who have added that a team source with the Niners believes Fangio "is the guy" where Harbaugh's defensive coordinator position is concerned. The only thing standing in the way, they report, is the hammering out of Fangio's contract.

Assuming Fangio (at right) does indeed join Harbaugh and Roman by the bay, the next question becomes: how badly does this damage the Cardinal's run at a Pac-12 championship (or more) in 2011?

Neither's departure qualifies as a surprise -- both have spent most of their coaching careers in the NFL and only came to Stanford at Harbaugh's request -- but with the coaching carousel starting to slow its spin, mid-January isn't the best time to go looking for both a new offensive and defensive coordinator. Roman and Fangio will leave behind some big shoes for Shaw to fill, too; while Shaw held the official title of "offensive coordinator," Roman (the "assistant head coach for offense") by all accounts had a great deal of input into the offensive game-planning, and Fangio only turned in one of the best defensive coordinating jobs in the country this season.

Finding coaches of their caliber at this late date is going to be quite the first test of Shaw's head coaching aptitude. Their departures won't be enough to slow down the freight train of hype that will carry the Cardinal into 2011 -- Andrew Luck will see to that all by his lonesome -- and as long as Shaw isn't a disaster, Stanford should have enough momentum to challenge for league honors regardless. But they won't help the Cardinal handle those expectations, certainly, and maintaining the foundation laid by Harbaugh beyond 2011 just got much more difficult.

Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:01 pm
 

Norm Chow seems destined for Utah

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Although UCLA says that he's still currently its offensive coordinator, all indications are that Norm Chow doesn't have much time left working for the Bruins.  At least, you wouldn't think so considering the team is reportedly hammering out a deal with former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson.  Fear not for Norm Chow, however, for it seems that should he be replaced by Johnson in Los Angeles, he won't be out of a job for long.

While Rick Neuheisel is busy trying to replace Chow, Norm isn't just sitting around waiting for the axe to drop.  He's reportedly involved in talks with Utah about their offensive coordinator position.  It seems Kyle Whittingham wasn't exactly thrilled with the Utes' offensive performance down the stretch, and is looking to make a change.  Which is somewhat understandable considering Utah scored 68 points over its final five games, and 38 of those came in a win against San Diego State.

Chow has long been considered one of the best offensive coordinators in college football, though his time at UCLA has been pretty forgettable. He also has ties to Utah, where he played guard -- NORM CHOW WAS AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN!? -- from 1965-67.  If he did return to his alma mater, it would make for some interesting matchups when the Utes move to the Pac-12 next season.

Once there he'd be facing two teams he used to work for in UCLA and USC, not to mention the fact that Chow also spent many years at Utah rival BYU, where he mentored guys like Jim McMahon, Steve Young and Ty Detmer.  
Posted on: January 6, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Fox to broadcast Pac-12 title game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Pac-10 may still have a game left to play this season with Oregon getting ready to take on Auburn in the title game, but the conference is already moving forward with plans for next season when it will become the Pac-12 and add Colorado and Utah to the conference.  Which means that the conference will now have a championship game, and now the conference has a place to broadcast that game.

It was announced on Thursday that the Pac-12 and Fox had reached a broadcast agreement for the game.
Fox has secured the rights to the Pac-12’s football championship game in '11, giving the network a doubleheader of championship games on Dec. 3. Fox also has the Big Ten’s title game that day. Industry sources said Fox is paying the Pac-12 $25M for the championship game and other game inventory that is the result of the conference’s expansion from 10 teams to 12. The Pac-12’s championship game is valued at around $14.5M, sources said; the other $10.5M is part of a prior contractual obligation. An announcement on the deal is expected later today.
Which means that Fox will now be broadcasting the Pac-10 and Big Ten title games next season, as the network has looked for more opportunities to broadcast college football games since losing the BCS to ESPN.  It also means ESPN will now only have one conference championship to broadcast for the foreseeable future, the ACC Championship.  CBS obviously holds the rights to the SEC Championship.
Posted on: December 2, 2010 10:30 am
Edited on: December 2, 2010 10:31 am
 

UCLA guarantees Neuheisel's position is safe

Posted by Chip Patterson

There is plenty of reason for concern in Westwood over the UCLA football program.  Since hiring head coach Rick Neuheisel, the Bruins have gone 15-21, they have zero offensive identity, and despite the coaching of the legendary coordinator Norm Chow - the Bruins have no certainty at the quarterback position.  Neuheisel has already addressed the evaluation process for all the assistant coaches, but what about the evaluation of the head coach?

Even with the downfalls, UCLA still has Neuheisel's back for now.  Athletic director Dan Guerrero stood firmly behind his head coach when questioned about Neuheisel's status with the Bruins for 2011.

“Of course there’s never been any question of that,” Guerrero said outside the Bruin locker-room following UCLA's 55-24 loss at Arizona State on Friday. “There’s no doubt. Why would you ask that question?”

There are many reasons why both fans and critics would question Guerrero's confidence in Neuheisel.  The former Washington head coach was brought in with the promise to "end the football monopoly in Los Angeles," but even with a win over the Trojans on Saturday the Bruins will have failed to pick up more than three conference victories in the brief Neuheisel era.  Scott Reid, of the Orange Country Register, seems to suggest that Neuheisel's critics may also be Guerrero's critics.  If so, and the losing continues, there could be major changes on the way at UCLA.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:14 pm
 

Bieniemy in line for Colorado job?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We know now who the new Colorado head coach won't be, namely, Troy Calhoun . We also know that the Buffs appear set on making a run at Les Miles that has as much chance of succeeding as a run at Ralphie-powered space travel. But what we don't know yet is who the Buffs might actually hire.

According to the Denver Post , though, we know who's edged into pole position : former Colorado great and current Minnesota Vikings running backs coach Eric Bieniemy . Why?
Ex-CU players are putting a great deal of pressure on athletic director Mike Bohn to hire the former Buffs tailback, who had a good interview Saturday. The committee was impressed with the potential staff Bieniemy said he could put together.
In one sense, Bieniemy would be an uninspiring hire. The track record of NFL position coaches as college head coaches isn't a strong one (just ask Tim Brewster and Sylvester Croom ) and Bieniemy has never been a coordinator at any level. Well-meaning as the former Buffs may be, Bieniemy's hire would also only reinforce the impression -- first created by the school's flirtation with 70-year-old Colorado legend Bill McCartney -- that the program is simply trying to recreate their late-'80s-early-'90s heyday rather than living in the present.

But if Bieniemy does indeed have a pair of inspiring choices in mind to help him out as coordinators, he could prove a galvanizing choice. Few coaches should be able to sell the Colorado program to recruits as well as a young, (allegedly) charismatic, energetic head man with ties to Boulder as deep as Bieniemy's. That both Bieniemy and McCartney have received as much popular support as they have shows how deep the Buffalo fanbase's respect for the CU glory days runs, and Bieniemy should be able to tap into that optimism in a wa ythat Dan Hawkins never could. And as Doug Marrone 's impressive salvage job at Syracuse shows, NFL assistants coachin on behalf of their alma mater can certainly have success.

None of that guarantees Bieniemy anything at this stage. But if the Buffs are as intent on making a quick hire as the Post article suggests, the other candidates in the Buffs' pool will have to move up the ladder quickly if they don't want to see the job wrapped up.


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