Tag:ACC
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:46 pm
 

Report: Brent Venables is going to Clemson

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Finally it seems that one of the strangest coaching searches I've ever seen involving an assistant coach has come to an end. After a night of speculation that saw people reporting that Brent Venables was doing everything but running for President, it's now being reported that Venables has indeed accepted the defensive coordinator position at Clemson.

And I think it's serious this time.

The Oklahoman's Travis Haney tweeted, along with others, that Venables had confirmed to him that he's leaving Oklahoma for Clemson. 

Which should be good news for a Clemson defense that can use a tune-up. The Tigers allowed 70 points to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl and gave up 29.3 points per game during the 2011 season. Since joining Bob Stoops' staff at Oklahoma in 1999 as a co-defensive coordinator, Venables' defenses in Norman have routinely been some of the best in the country, churning out NFL players and keeping the Sooners in title contention year after year.

If he can bring that same kind of success to Clemson and the Tigers combine it with their potent offense, the school could become quite a force in the ACC.

As for why Venables would suddenly leave Oklahoma after spending the last 12 years there, it all started when Mike Stoops was brought back to the Sooners from Arizona. Rather than share defensive coordinator duties with Stoops, Venables decided he'd rather start somewhere new. He'd also been mentioned as a candidate at West Virginia since the announcement of Stoops' return.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 6:28 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 7:27 pm
 

The Brent Venables situation gets crazier

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Brent Venables Saga is no longer a saga and has now become The Brent Venables Variety Hour.

According to multiple reports on Twitter Wednesday evening, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables was all set to become Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. He had interviewed for the position last weekend, and after a few days of speculation, it seemed a decision had finally been made.

Turns out nothing is settled yet.

After Twitter was set ablaze with "Venables to Clemson" tweets, Venables texted the Tulsa World's Dave Sittler to let him know that he was staying at Oklahoma.

Shortly after that tweet, Sittler tweeted again, saying that he may have misunderstood Venables' meaning. Venables later texted to the Tulsa World's John Hoover that he was "working through some details" and that "nothing was final either way."

In other words, in the last week Venables has gone from West Virginia, to Clemson, back to Oklahoma, to Clemson once again, followed by a return trip to Oklahoma, but could still finish his trip at Clemson. Confused? Don't worry, so are we.

At the moment it seems that people jumped the gun on Venables taking the Clemson job because the school wasn't finished doing a background check on him, and that no official contract offer had been made. However, the prevailing feeling at the moment is that once the background check is complete, the offer will be made and that Venables will accept it.

So that's where things currently stand as of now. Where will they stand in another five minutes? Nobody knows. The only thing I know for sure is that I've got a headache from watching this story go back and forth.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 2:15 pm
 

Report: Venables not interested in Kansas State

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Another day has come and gone and Brent Venables is still at Oklahoma. There's been a lot of speculation about Venables' future since Mike Stoops joined the Oklahoma staff, as he was mentioned as a replacement for Jeff Casteel at West Virginia, and he's interviewed at Clemson as well. Following the news on Tuesday that Chris Cosh had left Kansas State to become defensive coordinator at South Florida, plenty of people did the math and wondered if Venables would move to Manhattan.

He is a Kansas State graduate after all.

It seems that speculation can be put to rest. The Tulsa World's Dave Sittler tweeted on Wednesday that Venables is "absolutely not interested" in taking the defensive coordinator job at Kansas State. Which does come as a bit of a surprise. As mentioned above, Venables did go to school at Kansas State, and with Bill Snyder being 72 years old, you have to wonder how much longer he'll be sticking around to run the program.

So it's possible that Venables could take the job at Kansas State as the "head coach in waiting." A position that hasn't had a lot of success at other schools recently -- hey, Bill Stewart, how you doing? --  but Venables has shown plenty of interest in becoming a head coach before. Maybe his priorities have changed, or maybe he's just not sure how much success he could have at Kansas State.

After all, there's a lot more defensive talent at Oklahoma than there is in Manhattan.

Whatever the case is, it seems that Venables has narrowed his choices down to staying at Oklahoma or going to Clemson. We'll likely find out his decision soon enough.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:38 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 12:41 pm
 

Pitt, Syracuse not likely on 2012 ACC schedule

Posted by Chip Patterson

With very little warning, the ACC made one of the most prominent moves in conference realignment in the middle of the 2011 regular season with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East. The bylaw-mandated 27-month exit period was thought to be negotiable, but all signs from Big East commissioner John Marinatto indicate that the league will hold all departing members to full withdrawal process.

Following the process outlined in the bylaws would hold off the conference move until the 2014-2015 academic year. While the ACC has made it clear they are prepared to work with the Big East to get Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the league sooner, they have not made any legal efforts to expedite the process. With the release of the ACC regular season schedule coming in early February, it is beginning to look unlikely that either school will be in the ACC for the 2012 season.

"You never say never, but it's unlikely there would be major changes once [the schedule] is set," Mike Finn, ACC associate commissioner in charge of football communications, told The Charlotte Observer.

The SEC and Pac-12 have both released their conference schedules for 2012, and the rest of the major conferences will likely follow suit in the next several weeks. The ACC released the 2011 league schedule on Feb. 14.

While the ACC seems comfortable waiting out the exit period, West Virginia is having a much more difficult time leaving the Big East. Both the school and the conference have filed competing lawsuits regarding West Virginia's plans to join the Big 12, and a Rhode Island judge has ordered both parties to enter non-binding mediation. West Virginia hopes to reach a settlement allowing the school to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012 season, while the league has no plans of making exception to the bylaws. A status conference has been scheduled for Feb. 9, as both parties hope to reach a resolution before the Big East and Big 12 release their conference schedules.

When the Big East releases their schedule for 2012, I would expect to see West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse on the slate. If the Big 12 includes West Virginia as well, it could lead to potentially massive headaches for both conferences. It seems as though the ACC is content avoiding the legalities and welcoming their new additions at a later date.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:31 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 10:46 am
 

Maryland hires Houston DC Brian Stewart

Posted by Chip Patterson

Less than a week after announcing the "mutual" exit of Todd Bradford, Maryland has found the next defensive coordinator for Randy Edsall's staff.On Tuesday, the school announced the hiring of Houston defensive coordinator Brian Stewart..

"I'm very pleased to have Brian come on board," Edsall said in the official release. "He is a proven defensive coordinator at both the collegiate and professional level. All of his experience will help us move forward as we look for him to implement his aggressive style. He will also be a great addition to our recruiting efforts."

Stewart, 47, spent the last two seasons as Kevin Sumlin's defensive coordinator at Houston. The Cougars used a 3-4 scheme under Stewart, and were 18-8 in his time on staff. Stewart spent eight seasons as an assistant in the NFL, highlighted by a two-year stint as the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator in 2007-2008. He has primarily worked with defensive backs, the same position he played at Northern Arizona.

"I'm excited to join Randy's staff," Stewart said. "I admired what he did at UConn and saw the beginning of that transformation while I was at Syracuse. We've taken similar career paths as secondary coaches and then coordinators. It will be an exciting new challenge implementing our defense in the ACC, a very competitive league and one of the traditional BCS conferences."

Maryland ranked 74th nationally in passing defense (237.4 yards per game) and dead last in the ACC in total defense. The aggressive offseason plans to rebuild around head coach Randy Edsall have included changeovers at both coordinator positions. Mike Locksley was announced as the Terrapins offensive and recruiting coordinator in December, and now Stewart joins the staff with two weeks left until National Signing Day. Stewart's NFL experience will no doubt be a selling point for prospects as the Terps look to lock up a talented group of local prospects in the final days of recruiting.

For more information on the Maryland coaching changes, follow Terrapins RapidReports

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:31 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 10:46 am
 

Maryland hires Houston DC Brian Stewart

Posted by Chip Patterson

Less than a week after announcing the "mutual" exit of Todd Bradford, Maryland has found the next defensive coordinator for Randy Edsall's staff.On Tuesday, the school announced the hiring of Houston defensive coordinator Brian Stewart..

"I'm very pleased to have Brian come on board," Edsall said in the official release. "He is a proven defensive coordinator at both the collegiate and professional level. All of his experience will help us move forward as we look for him to implement his aggressive style. He will also be a great addition to our recruiting efforts."

Stewart, 47, spent the last two seasons as Kevin Sumlin's defensive coordinator at Houston. The Cougars used a 3-4 scheme under Stewart, and were 18-8 in his time on staff. Stewart spent eight seasons as an assistant in the NFL, highlighted by a two-year stint as the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator in 2007-2008. He has primarily worked with defensive backs, the same position he played at Northern Arizona.

"I'm excited to join Randy's staff," Stewart said. "I admired what he did at UConn and saw the beginning of that transformation while I was at Syracuse. We've taken similar career paths as secondary coaches and then coordinators. It will be an exciting new challenge implementing our defense in the ACC, a very competitive league and one of the traditional BCS conferences."

Maryland ranked 74th nationally in passing defense (237.4 yards per game) and dead last in the ACC in total defense. The aggressive offseason plans to rebuild around head coach Randy Edsall have included changeovers at both coordinator positions. Mike Locksley was announced as the Terrapins offensive and recruiting coordinator in December, and now Stewart joins the staff with two weeks left until National Signing Day. Stewart's NFL experience will no doubt be a selling point for prospects as the Terps look to lock up a talented group of local prospects in the final days of recruiting.

For more information on the Maryland coaching changes, follow Terrapins RapidReports

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:12 pm
 

Brent Venables still with the Sooners, for now

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ever since it was announced that Mike Stoops would be returning to Oklahoma to join his brother Bob Stoops' staff, there have been questions about defensive coordinator Brent Venables' future at the school. Mike Stoops was officially announced as Oklahoma's new defensive backs coach and as the co-defensive coordinator along with Venables, but since the announcement, Venables' name has come up at a few other schools.

Last week Venables was reportedly interviewing with Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia after Jeff Casteel left the school to go to Arizona. Venables then took himself out of the running and left with Mike Stoops on Friday to do some recruiting in Florida. Instead of returning back to Norman, though, Venables then spent the rest of his weekend interviewing with Dabo Swinney about becoming defensive coordinator at Clemson.

There had been reports that Venables had accepted the Clemson job, but upon returning to Norman on Sunday, Venables would neither confirm or deny being offered the Clemson job.

According to the Tulsa World, Dabo Swinney still wants to interview former Miami head coach Randy Shannon and maybe a few others before making a final decision.

Whether or not Venables takes the Clemson job probably won't be known until later in the week, but the signs seem to be indicating that he's either set on leaving the Sooners. He has interviewed for head coaching positions many times while at Oklahoma, but he'd never interviewed to be a defensive coordinator at another school during that time. Now he's done so twice in the last week.

I just don't think that happens if he's happy with the idea of splitting his coaching duties with Stoops.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:54 am
 

Maryland DC Todd Bradford won't return for 2012

Posted by Chip Patterson

After just one year on the job, Maryland has opted not to retain defensive coordinator Todd Bradford for 2012. The school announced on Friday that Bradford received an undisclosed "negotiated buyout," and head coach Randy Edsall offered some words of thanks for his services.

“We appreciate Todd’s efforts this past season and wish him well in his future endeavors," Edsall said in the official release. "It is the right time for us to move forward in a different direction.”

Bradford was hired from Southern Miss after former defensive coordinator Don Brown left to join Paul Pasqualoni's staff at Connecticut - Edsall's former employer.

The Terps ranked dead last in the ACC in total defense this season, giving up 457.2 yards per game. In addition to the poor statistical showing, Maryland defense displayed an inability to close out games that cost the team at least two potential conference upsets. After blowing an 18-point third quarter lead to Clemson at home, Maryland finished the season by allowing NC State to overcome a 41-14 third quarter deficit to win 56-41. It was the biggest Wolfpack comeback in school history, and possibly the nail in the coffin for Bradford's time in College Park.

After a tumultuous 2-10 start, Randy Edsall gets to hit the reboot button in 2012. With Gary Crowton and Bradford out, the reprise of Edsall's start will be with offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and a to-be-named defensive coordinator. Competition to fill that spot will be hot in the ACC over the next several weeks, as Clemson will also be in the market to replace Kevin Steele.

Just a hunch, but it would not surprise me if former Miami head coach Randy Shannon is a name that pops up as a potential candidate for both positions. Shannon was an extremely successful defensive coordinator for six years under Larry Coker before being promoted to head coach in 2007. He has been out of coaching since his dismissal in 2010.

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