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Tag:ACC
Posted on: January 12, 2012 1:14 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 1:56 pm
 

DC Kevin Steele will not return to Clemson

Posted by Chip Patterson

Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will not return next season, the school announced on Thursday.

“I have had a great experience at Clemson and feel good about what we have accomplished the last three years,” said Steele in an official release. “But, there are some other coaching opportunities I wish to pursue at this time.

“It has been rewarding to see this program grow to the point of winning Clemson’s first ACC Championship in 20 years. I want to thank the coaches and players who worked so hard these last three years. Clemson is a special place and I wish the program and the players continued success.”

Steele has served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach since 2009, and is considered one of the ACC's better recruiters. But Clemson's defensive performance in 2011 was less than ideal, coming to a head in the record-breaking 70-33 Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia.

No defense in bowl history has allowed 70 points in a game, especially on a national stage like the Orange Bowl. As West Virginia rolled off touchdown after touchdown - including five second-quarter scores - Steele stood on the sideline as the center of attention for an angry and frustrated fan base.

The Tigers ranked 81st nationally in scoring defense (allowing 29.2 points per game), only better than Duke and Maryland in the ACC. This coming just one year after leading the conference in the same category, and with all-conference defensive linemen Brandon Thompson and Andre Branch in the lineup.

“Although we were inconsistent at times with a young defense this year, overall we have been one of the best defenses in the country the last three years under his direction, head coach Dabo Swinney said in a prepared statement.  "I thank him for his hard work and dedication to our program and wish him nothing but the best.”

Steele is considered one of the bright defensive minds in the game, serving as executive head coach and linebackers' coach for Bobby Bowden at Florida State and two season's on Nick Saban's Alabama staff before arriving at Clemson. But Steele's schemes did not seem to work with the Tigers' young personnel, and Clemson was repeatedly burned for big plays in 2011 because of breakdowns in the linebackers and secondary.

Follow Travis Sawchik's Tigers RapidReports for more on this story, including potential replacements for Dabo Swinney's staff.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 12:33 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 4:17 pm
 

2011-12 All-Bowl Team

J. Darin Darst

Another season gone and another SEC team has been declared BCS Champions.

And after 35 bowl games, it's time to look back and remember some of the great individual performances of the past month. Here are the best in this year's All-Bowl Team:

QB: Geno Smith, West Virginia (Orange): The junior had quite a homecoming in South Florida, setting three Orange Bowl records. He threw for a record 407 yards and accounted for seven total touchdowns (six passing, one rushing) in the Mountaineers' 70-33 thrashing of Clemson. Smith finished 32 of 43 passing, while also rushing for 26 yards on five carries.Geno Smith

RB: Terrance Ganaway, Baylor (Alamo): All the attention was on Robert Griffin, but the senior had quite a game. He rushed for 200 yards on 21 carries and scored five touchdowns -- all in the second half. He scored on runs of 89, 1, 1, 4 and 43 yards.

RB: Stepfan Taylor, Stanford (Fiesta): Another running back in the shadow of his quarterback, Taylor had a strong performance in the loss to Oklahoma State. In his best game of the season, the junior ran for 177 yards on 35 carries, while scoring two touchdowns (1 and 4 yards).

WR: Tavon Austin, West Virginia (Orange): Not to be overshadowed by teammate Smith, the junior receiver had his own amazing Orange Bowl. He set a bowl record with 280 all-purpose yards, including 117 receiving yards on 11 catches. He also recorded four receiving touchdowns. Austin, who was a member of the CBSSports.com All-America Team as an all-purpose player, also finished with a 23.4-yard average on five kickoff returns.

WR: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (Fiesta): The junior playing in his final college game, went out with a bang. He had eight catches for 186 yards (23.3-yard average) and scored three touchdowns. Blackmon was a huge part of the Cowboys offense, scoring on catches of 43, 67 and 17 yards.

WR: Patrick Edwards, Houston (TicketCity): In an era of huge offenses, it's only fitting to have three receivers on this year's All-Bowl Team. The senior had one of his best games of the season, catching 10 passes for 228 yards with two touchdowns in the victory over Penn State. Edwards scored on passes of 40 and 75 yards.

TE: Ladarius Green, La.-Lafayette (New Orleans): The senior has had quite a career at Louisiana-Lafayette, but before bolting off to the NFL, Green helped the Rajin Cajuns win their first bowl game. He had five catches for 121 yards and scored on a 20-yard reception.

Offensive Line: Nate Potter (LT), Joe Kellogg (LG), Cory Yriarte (C), Chuck Hayes (RG), Charles Leno (RT), Boise State (Maaco): The offensive line not only blocked for Doug Martin, who ended up with 151 yards rushing, but didn't allow a sack in Kellen Moore's final game of his college career. Potter, Yriarte and Hayes go out with Moore as one of the most successful senior classes in history.

DL: Whitney Mercilus, Illinois (Fight Hunger): In his final college game, the junior recorded five tackles, including three for a loss and 1.5 sacks against UCLA. The Bruins were held to 18 yards rushing and Mercilus was a big reason for that.

DL: Cordarro Law, Southern Miss (Hawaii): The defensive MVP of the Hawaii Bowl led the Golden Eagles with seven tackles, 4.5 for a loss and recorded two sacks.

Courtney UpshawDL: Mike Martin, Michigan (Sugar): The senior had a strong performance, recording 10 tackles and 0.5 sacks in Michigan's victory over Virginia Tech. The defensive end helped limit the Hokies to just one touchdown.

DL: William Gholston, Michigan State (Outback): The sophomore had a great game against Georgia, recording seven solo tackles, including five for a loss, with two sacks and a fumble recovery.

LB: Kiko Alonso, Oregon (Rose): The junior recorded five tackles, including 2.5 for a loss with 1.5 sacks. But his biggest play of the game was when he intercepted Russell Wilson late in the third quarter, which set up Oregon's go-ahead touchdown. Alonso earned defensive MVP honors from the Rose Bowl for his outstanding play.

LB: Courtney Upshaw, Alabama (BCS championship): The defensive MVP of the BCS Championship game, Upshaw was the leader for the Crimson Tide, allowing LSU to cross the 50-yard line only once. Upshaw finished with seven tackles, including six solo with one sack.

LB: Khaseem Greene, Rutgers (Pinstripe): He led the Scarlet Knights defense with 13 tackles, including seven solo, to go along with three tackles for a loss and a forced fumble in the victory over Iowa State.

DB: David Amerson, N.C. State (Belk): The sophomore added two more interceptions to his total, giving him an ACC record 13 for the season. Amerson also returned one for a 65-yard touchdown and recorded five tackles in the victory over Louisville.

DB: Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (Liberty): One of the best defensive backs in the SEC went out in style, recorded eight tackles with two interceptions while being named defensive MVP for the game.

DB: Dexter McCoil, Tulsa (Armed Forces): The junior had one of his best career games, recording 10 tackles and two interceptions against BYU. McCoil actually intercepted a third pass from quarterback Riley Nelson, but it was nullified after a Tulsa penalty.

DB: Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama (BCS championship): The leader of the Alabama secondary recorded four tackles, including two for a loss, while shutting down LSU's Rueben Randle in the BCS championship game.

Eric PageP: Paul Hershey, Ohio (Idaho Potato): The senior had six punts for 300 yards (50.0-yard average), including three inside the 20 (two inside the 10). With 4:23 remaining and Ohio down by a touchdown, Hershey nailed a 49-yarder down to the Utah State 7. That punt allowed Ohio to play the field position game, getting the ball back at their own 39 and scoring the game-winning score with seven seconds remaining.

K: Jeremy Shelley, Alabama (BCS championship): Shelley had quite a redemption game against LSU the second time around. The junior hit five field goals -- 23, 34, 41, 35 and 44 yards in the championship game to help Alabama build a 15-0 lead.

KR: Eric Page, Toledo (Military): One of the best kick return man in the nation, Page returned four kick returns for 153 yards (38.25 avg), including a 87-yard touchdown in the victory over Air Force.

PR: Joe Adams, Arkansas (Cotton): Adams did it again, returning his fourth punt this season for a touchdown, breaking a 51-yarder in the victory over Kansas State.

All-Purpose: De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon (Rose): The freshman had quite a game against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. He rushed for 155 yards on two carries, scoring both times. One of those runs was a 91-yard burst. Thomas also had 125 yards on four kickoff returns, to go along with 34 yards receiving on four catches.







Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:01 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:03 am
 

All-ACC RB Andre Ellington returning to Clemson

Posted by Chip Patterson

Clemson running back Andre Ellington has decided to return for his senior season. CBSSports.com's Travis Sawchik reports the all-conference running back announced his decision after a team meeting on Tuesday.

"Last year's success has me excited to enter the 2012 season as a Clemson Tiger," Ellington said.

Ellington rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011, good enough for second team All-ACC honors and moving to 10th place on Clemson's all-time rushing list. The junior submitted paperwork to the NFL Draft advisory committee, but upon receiving a response has elected to put one more season on tape.

One factor that may have led to Ellington's return is the hope for a full season of health. Ellington missed four games in 2010 with a foot injury that later required surgery, then was nagged by an ankle injury during conference play in 2011. When the speedy running back is 100 percent, he is one of the most explosive running backs in the conference. But the injuries could be enough to keep NFL scouts wary if Ellington made the jump this season.

With Ellington back, 2012 will be the first time in school history the Tigers return a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard receiver and 1,000-yard rusher from the previous season. All factors contributing to Clemson's Top 15 ranking in Brett McMurphy's way-early Top 25 ranking for 2012.

Check out the rest of McMurphy's Top 25, and follow Tigers RapidReports for more updates on Clemson's outlook for 2012.

Get caught up on the early-entry announcements HERE, and all the latest rankings, mock drafts, and breaking news check out the NFL Draft Home

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:40 pm
 

ACC Recruiting Reset

Posted by Chip Patterson

Now that the 2011 season has come to an end it's time to move on to the next phase of the college football year: recruiting. With the ACC Recruiting Reset we fill you in on what you may have missed in the ACC and what you should expect to see between now and signing day.

TOP THREE CLASSES

1. Miami - Head coach Al Golden's goal was a 30-person recruiting class, and the Hurricanes appear well on their way with 31 verbal commitments. Defensive end Jelani Hamilton will add depth to a young defensive line next season, while top-rated running back Duke Johnson should have an opportunity to wow Canes fans early with Lamar Miller on his way to the NFL. The Hurricanes already have a class that ranks in the Top 10 nationally, and still could close with a few more names before signing day.

2. Florida State - Some shaky commitments from top recruits Mario Edwards and Jameis Winston have knocked Florida State from the presumed top recruiting spot in the conference. Both elite prospects could likely end up with the Seminoles, but with only 15 commits any defects hurt the class. But with four of MaxPreps' Top 100 on board, Jimbo Fisher has assembled yet another impressive group of highly-touted recruits.

3. Clemson - Dabo Swinney's recruiting prowess was on display in 2011, winning an ACC Championship while usually playing 20+ redshirt or true freshman per game. The 2012 class is shaping up to be another strong one, highlighted by safety Travis Banks and highly-touted defensive tackle Carlos Watkins. The Tigers are still in the play for several top recruits, including Ronald Darby (below), and could see their ranking improve in the coming weeks.

TOP PLAYERS AVAILABLE

1. Ronald Darby - After de-committing from Notre Dame, one of the nation's top cornerbacks has re-opened his recruiting to several schools including Clemson, Florida State, and Maryland. In addition to being a top-ranked defensive back, Darby is also a gifted return specialist and can have an immediate impact on any team he joins.

2. Jameis Winston - One of the nation's top quarterback prospects scared Florida State fans when his supposed firm commitment softened in recent months. Many still expect Winston to end up in Tallahassee, but a late push from Alabama and a career in Major League Baseball have threatened Florida State's chances to sign the dynamic signal-caller.

WORK TO DO

1. North Carolina - The combination of a less-than-smooth coaching transition and an impending ruling from the NCAA has created a difficult recruiting environment for new head coach Larry Fedora. One unforeseen challenge in the final weeks includes signing a quarterback. Backup quarterback Braden Hanson will transfer to North Dakota and top QB prospect Patton Robbinette, scheduled to enroll for the spring semester this week, has decided to flip to Vanderbilt.

2. Boston College - Head coach Frank Spaziani felt his seat in Chestnut Hill heat up after the Eagles' 4-8 record in 2011 resulted in the program's first bowl-less postseason since 1998. The first opportunity to win back support comes in recruiting, and Boston College is currently looking at one of the least impressive classes in the conference. Both in current number (14) and caliber of commitments.

Keep up to date with all the latest recruiting news leading up to National Signing Day with our Eye On Recruiting Blog with Bryan Fischer. 

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page. 


Posted on: January 9, 2012 5:48 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 5:52 pm
 

FWAA releases 2011 Freshman All-America team

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Monday, the Football Writers Association of America released the 2011 Freshman All-America Team. The group, selected by an 11-person panel of FWAA writers, is made up of the best true freshman and redshirt freshman from the 2011 FBS season.

The panel also names a first-year coach to the FWAA Freshman All-America team. This year's selection was West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen.

USC and Kansas State were the only schools to have two players named to the team, while the SEC and Pac-12 led the way in terms of conferences with five players apiece. Several players from the list below were also named to CBSSports.com's Freshman All-America team, though there are some noticeable differences in the two lists.

Let us know what you think about the group in the comment section below, hit us up on Twitter, or drop a line at the Eye On College Football Facebook page.

OFFENSE
QB - Sean Mannion, Oregon State
RB - Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
RB - Lyle McCombs, Connecticut
WR - Matt Miller, Boise State
WR - Marquise Lee, USC
WR - Sammy Watkins, Clemson
AP - De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
OL - Reese Dismukes, Auburn
OL - B.J. Finney, Kansas State
OL - Chaz Green, Florida
OL - Kaleb Johnson, Rutgers
OL - Jake Smith, Louisville

DEFENSE
DL - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DL - Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
DL - Aaron Lynch, Notre Dame
DL - Marcus Rush, Michigan State
LB - Dion Bailey, USC
LB - A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
LB - Jeremy Grove, East Carolina
DB - Blair Burns, Wyoming
DB - Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern
DB - Quandre Diggs, Texas
DB - Merrill Noel, Wake Forest
DB - Eric Rowe, Utah

SPECIALISTS
P - Brad Wing, LSU
K - Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
PR - Scott Harding, Hawaii
KR - Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

COACH
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.
Posted on: January 9, 2012 4:44 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 4:44 pm
 

Bobby Bowden to receive FBA Champions award

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden has been named the recipient of the 2012 Football Bowl Association Champions Award, given to an individual from the Football Bowl Association who "has provide distinguished service to college football, with an emphasis on being a contributor to post-season football bowl games."

The Football Bowl Association (FBA) is made up of the 35 licensed bowl games. Last year's recipient was former BYU head coach LaVell Edwards, other past recipients include former Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen and SEC commissioner Roy Kramer.

The longtime Seminoles head coach will be honored during an on-field presentation at Monday's BCS National Championship Game. Bowden retired in 2009 as college football's second winningest FBS coach with a record of 377-129-4. Florida State competed in 28-straight bowl games with Bowden at the helm from 1982 through 2009. From 1987 to 2000, his teams finished every season with an AP Top 5 ranking and at least 10 wins.

In September, Bowden revealed an ongoing battle with prostate cancer that he kept secret for four years. Since his announcement, the former head coach has become a prominent spokesperson for On The Line, a national cancer education initiative.

For last minute updates on both LSU and Alabama as well as keys to the game, check out our BCS National Championship Pregame

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.
Posted on: January 6, 2012 7:24 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 7:25 pm
 

Boston College LB Luke Kuechly going pro

Posted by Chip Patterson

Luke Kuechly will end one of the most impressive careers in Boston College history, foregoing his senior season to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

The school announced Kuechly's decision on Friday evening to little shock from the Boston College community, considering his current stock for this spring's draft.

Kuechly is considered the best available inside linebacker in the 2012 draft class by NFLDraftScout.com, and Rob Rang has the junior at No. 12 on his most recent Big Board. With Manti Te'o deciding to return for another season at Notre Dame, he has quickly become one of the most prized defensive prospects in the draft.

A three-time All-American, Kuechly led the nation in tackles the last two seasons and was recently awarded the Lombardi, Nagurski, and Lott Impact Trophy after recording 191 tackles in 2011. His 532 career tackles stands second in NCAA history, especially impressive considering he accomplished the feat in just three seasons of action.

The ACC Defensive Player of the Year finished his career in style, recording nine tackles and returning an interception 45 yards for a touchdown in his final game at Miami on Nov. 26. Across his three seasons in Chestnut Hill, Kuechly exhibited an uncanny ability to read the opposition and fly to the ball in open space. NFL executives would love to get a film room rat like Kuechly in the organization, and Rang's most recent (Jan. 4) mock draft predicts that to be the Buffalo Bills.

Get caught up on the early-entry announcements HERE, and all the latest rankings, mock drafts, and breaking news check out the NFL Draft Home 

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview

Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:28 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 11:34 am
 

VT RB David Wilson entering 2012 NFL Draft

Posted by Chip Patterson

Virginia Tech running back David Wilson put an end to the speculation on Friday, announcing his intentions to enter the 2012 NFL Draft. The junior held a press conference with family members and head coach Frank Beamer at his side, thanking his teammates, coaches, and the Virginia Tech community before making his plans known.

"I have played many Fridays, I have played many Saturdays, and now I will forego my final season to play many Sundays in the NFL." Wilson said in his prepared statement.

NFLDraftScout.com has Wilson ranked as the No. 3 running back in the 2012 class, behind Alabama's Trent Richardson and Miami's Lamar Miller.  At the press conference he informed the media that he received a second round grade from the NFL draft advisory board, and hopes to improve on that stock with his performance in combines and workouts leading up to draft day.

Wilson explained that since the age of 8, he had dreamed of playing in the NFL. He repeatedly thanked Virginia Tech for "taking a chance on a kid from Danville" and giving him the opportunity to become the first Virginia Tech athlete to be an All-American in two sports (football and track).

In his first year as the primary ball carrier in the Hokies backfield, Wilson exploded for 1,709 yards and nine touchdowns. In addition to leading the ACC in rushing, the junior was named ACC Player of the Year and second-team All-American by the AP and CBSSports.com, among others.

Frank Beamer offered words of support at the press conference, showing gratitude for the contributions Wilson made in his three years with the program.

"We all thank David and his family for so many great memories at Virginia Tech. What a great player, and also a great person. This was the beginning here, and it's going to continue on," Beamer said. "We're proud Virginia Tech has been a part of it, anything we can do for you in the future - we'll be there for you."

Wilson's speed and acceleration made him primarily a special teams threat while he backed up Darren Evans and Ryan Williams during his first two seasons in Blacksburg. There was some concern heading into this season that Wilson might not be as productive with a full workload. Wilson had more carries than anyone in the ACC this season, and gave Virginia Tech a reliable option while Logan Thomas grew comfortable with the starting quarterback position.

With Wilson's absence, Thomas becomes the primary offensive option for the Hokies in 2012. Backup running back Josh Oglesby is a senior, as are the top two receivers from 2011. In addition to the skill position openings, the Virginia Tech coaching staff will need to replace four two-year starters along the offensive line.

Follow Hokie Rapid Reports for more throughout the day on David Wilson's decision to enter the NFL Draft.

Get caught up on the early-entry announcements HERE, and all the latest rankings, mock drafts, and breaking news check out the NFL Draft Home 

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview

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