Posted on: December 13, 2010 4:11 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 9:00 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
UPDATE: In a blog from the Post-Gazette late Monday afternoon, Paul Zeise writes that "Dana Holgorsen will not be the next head coach of Pitt." He cites a source close to the situation, but does not elaborate. Though he does suggest that Holgorsen might still end up in the Big East, which could hint at possible openings at Connecticut (Edsall leaves) or West Virginia (Stewart leaves/retires). Regardless, something seems to have developed today to change the coaching search at Pitt. Stay tuned to CBSSports.com for more as this story develops.
Dave Wannstedt's "resignation" will go down as one of the more awkward departures of the 2010 postseason. Pittsburgh Athletic director Steve Pederson now must find a new face for the program. Facial hair or not, Pederson knows that he needs to take action finding his next coach. The coaching carousel has been spinning as fast as ever, and many of the names at the top of the national wish-list are quickly being employed.
Near the end of last week, it was believed the two top candidates for the job were Temple's Al Golden and Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen. With Golden heading to Miami to lead the Hurricanes, Holgerson appears to be the new favorite for the job in Pittsburgh. Of course, there are no promises that Holgerson would be interested in leaving Oklahoma State right now. He has put together an incredibly potent offense with Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, and Kendall Hunter as the cornerstones in 2010. With Weeden and Blackmon possibly returning for 2011, there is a chance that Holgerson could stay for one more successful year and boost his stock significantly.
But according to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Holgerson was contacted by Pitt late last week and interviewed with Pederson at an undisclosed location over the weekend. Holgerson brings a high-energy offense that could energize the fanbase and immediately utilize some of the weapons already in place for the Panthers. Similar to Blackmon, Panthers' wide receiver Jon Baldwin could return for another season and join Dion Lewis and Tito Sunseri as the playmakers of Pitts offense. Sunseri and Lewis have both been inconsistent across their young careers, but have shown flashes of their potential (In Lewis' case, his entire freshman season). There are no notions as to if this will develop into anything further, but it sounds like one of the best potential scenarios for Pittsburgh.
Posted on: December 7, 2010 10:52 am
Edited on: December 7, 2010 10:53 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon has had quite the impressive season. The redshirt sophomore entered the Cowboys football program as one of the most heralded receivers in the the class, but it took a few seasons before he really made his mark on the Big 12.
The way things have gone for Blackmon, that mark looks like it will be pretty close to permanent. Blackmon leads the nation in touchdown receptions, yards per game, and was recently named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. With such a fast arrival on the scene, Blackmon has seen his name fly up draft boards as the season has progressed. While eligible for early entry to the 2011 NFL Draft, Blackmon does have potentially two years of eligibility left with the Cowboys.
But if you ask him, Blackmon will tell you the NFL Draft is the farthest thing from his mind.
“I haven’t thought about it at all,” Blackmon said to Tulsa World. “That’s something I have to look forward to. Right now I’m just focusing on the Alamo Bowl and getting ready for the game.”
Blackmon's season has brought his name into the discussion for the first round, but there are many people that believe Blackmon has a lot of development left that could turn him into a top pick with guaranteed money. One of the people who think Blackmon can benefit from another year at Oklahoma State is his head coach, Mike Gundy.
“My recommendation to him would be to come back and to prepare himself to be even a more highly regarded player when it comes to the NFL draft, and to be a part of the team,” Gundy said. “He’s got a long way to go. You can do that for the rest of your life. He’s still young. He can still mature and help himself, in my opinion.”
Blackmon is currently considered by many to be the third best receiver available, but he may also want to consider the possible work stoppage as a reason to return. While he may not be able to get the "Sam Bradford money" he mentioned back in October, the money could be much more when the draft comes back around 2012.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 5:58 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The ancient saw about football is that offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. But based on this offense-dominated 2010 season, it may be time to admit that when it comes to college football, offense can just about handle the whole thing, thanks; likely BCS title game participants Auburn and Oregon both ride their record-breaking offenses first and their defenses second, and whether it's the Big Ten with Wisconsin , the Big 12 South with Oklahoma , or the SEC East with South Carolina (and their 100th-ranked pass defense ), defense-first teams are giving way to more explosive counterparts.
Which helps explain why of the five finalists announced today for the Broyles Award , given annually to the nation's top assistant coach, four of them are offensive coordinators at the helm of some of the nation's best attacks. They are:
Dick Bumpas, defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, TCU
Paul Chryst, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Wisconsin
Dana Holgorsen, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State
Gus Malzahn, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Auburn
Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, Stanford
Of the five, Malzahn has become (almost without question) the biggest name in the group and with his unorthodox scheme producing not only an SEC West title but a probable Heisman Trophy for Cam Newton , he's your likely front-runner. But all five have done incredible work this season: Holgorsen took over a Cowboy offense missing its longtime quarterback and biggest receiving threats and helped make Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter All-Americans; Chryst has made Scott Tolzien the most efficient quarterback in the Big Ten by a mile while maintaining the Badgers' bulldozing ground-based mentality; Roman, likely the most obscure name in the bunch, has coordinated an offense that lost Toby Gerhart and still averaged better than 40 points per game; and though a couple of off-games have denied TCU their run at being the best statistical defense of the decade , Bumpas's perenially excellent Frogs again lead the nation in both total and scoring defense.
But a vote for Bumpas in 2010 feels a bit like counterprogramming opposite the Super Bowl or something similar. This is the season of offense in college football, and the Broyles winner will likely reflect that.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: November 29, 2010 11:54 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
As many schools have wound down their regular season, the time has come for 2010's series of accolades and awards. There will be predictable nods, deserving players snubbed, and a guarantee of AT LEAST one slightly irrational fan base being furious by the omission of their star player. The first notable All-America team was released on Monday morning, the AFCA FBS Coaches' All-America Team.
It is the only All-America team that is voted on exclusively by the coaches, and it was not surprising to see the team headlined by Oregon's LaMichael James and Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers. Auburn fans, don't worry, your boy made the cut.
Check out all of the coaches' selections below:
A few notes on the list:
- Despite constant criticism for a "down year," the ACC has as much representation on the list (4) as the SEC and Big 12. Only the Big Ten (6) produced more players on the 2010 team.
- As Bryan Fischer pointed out, there were four Texas natives selected to the All-America team. Outside of TCU's Tank Carder, none of them even play for a school in Texas. How should that reflect on the in-state universities, particularly Texas head coach Mack Brown? I know that the 2010 Longhorns would have benefited significantly from a Kendall Hunter or LaMichael James in the backfield.
- There was little turnover from last year's squad, with Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones being the only repeat selection from 2009. However, the same could be true for next year's list. Only ten players on the list could return for 2011, and there is no guarantee that they all will.
Posted on: November 27, 2010 10:05 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Things may have gotten off to a slow start in Stillwater on Saturday night, but Bedlam picked it up in the second quarter, and at halftime Oklahoma leads Oklahoma State 24-17. Both teams have made their share of mistakes, particularly Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden. Jones has thrown two touchdowns for the Sooners, but he's also thrown one for Oklahoma State, as one of his three interceptions was returned for a touchdown by the Cowboys' Shaun Lewis -- one of two Lewis interceptions in the half, though his second came courtesy of a fantastic play by Broderick Brown.
Jones came into the game having thrown only 7 interceptions all season.
Though, as troubled as Jones has been in the first half, Weeden has been worse. He's completed only 10-of-21 passes without a touchdown, and two interceptions of his own. A big reason for his struggles has been the fact that Oklahoma's secondary isn't letting Justin Blackmon find much room. Blackmon only has 3 catches for 62 yards -- which leads Oklahoma State -- but 45 of those yards came on one grab late in the second quarter.
A catch that helped set up freshman Jeremy Smith's second touchdown of the game to cut the lead to 21-17 with just over a minute before halftime. Oklahoma would then put together a nice drive in the final minute to set up a 29-yard field goal as time expired to put the score where it is now.
In other words, both teams have made mistakes, and both offenses seemed to be finding their groove towards the end of the first half. Hopefully they can keep it up in the second half, and the shootout we were hoping for continues.
Posted on: November 25, 2010 12:23 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
There was some concern this week in Stillwater about the status of wide receiver, and finalist for the Biletnikoff Trophy, Justin Blackmon wouldn't be available for this weekend's huge game between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Blackmon injured his ankle in last week's game against Kansas and was reportedly walking around in a boot on Monday.
Blackmon missed practice on Wednesday because of the ankle, but he's continuing treatment on the injury, and as of now the Cowboys expect that he'll be able to play on Saturday. Of course, that's not a guarantee that he will play. Depending on the extent of the ankle injury, and how it responds to the treatment, the possibility he won't be available against the Sooners remains.
Needless to say, having Blackmon healthy and ready to go is key for Oklahoma State. Blackmon has 94 receptions for 1,560 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. If he isn't able to go that will lead a large void in the Oklahoma State offense in it's most important game of the season.
Not just because it's Bedlam and against Oklahoma, but because if Oklahoma State wins then it'll be representing the Big 12 South in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Posted on: November 21, 2010 1:11 am
Edited on: November 21, 2010 1:11 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. And then there was one (state). As if the rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State needed any more significance in the state of Oklahoma, next week's game between the rivals will determine who wins the Big 12 South. Should Oklahoma State win, then the Cowboys will be headed to Dallas -- don't let Justin Blackmon drive -- and it's settled. If Oklahoma wins, things get a little dicey depending on what happens between Texas A&M and Texas. Should the Aggies and Oklahoma win, that would leave all three teams tied at 6-2 and we'd have to go through a whole mess of tiebreakers to determine which team would win the division.
2. The North is still undecided. All Nebraska had to do on Saturday night was beat Texas A&M and they'd clinch the Big 12 North. Well, I guess Nebraska didn't want to make it easy on us, instead picking up about 40 more penalties than points, and causing Bo Pelini to burst about 18 eardrums. Now, the Cornhuskers still control their own fate thanks to a win against Missouri earlier this season. If they beat Colorado this week, then they're going to Dallas. If they don't, well then they need Kansas to beat Missouri. In other words, they should probably win.
3. The Big 12 isn't happy about Nebraska leaving. At least that's the impression that I got on Saturday night. Now the 'Huskers didn't get 46 penalties called against them like I implied earlier, but they did pick up 16 penalties for 145 yards. Some of them were deserved, but not all of them. While I don't really condone Bo Pelini screaming obscenities into the side judge's ear all night long, I could understand why he was so upset. I'm sure the Aggies committed a few penalties as well, but they were only called for two.
4. Colorado is still alive for a bowl game. This is one of those things that I see in the standings and think to myself "that can't be right. Somebody messed up." But it's true. Thanks to the Buffaloes second straight win in the post-Hawkins era, they find themselves at 5-6 on the season. That means beating Colorado next week would not only kill Nebraska's conference hopes, but send the team bowling as well. I wonder if Dan Hawkins will go to that game?
5. Texas should play in the Sun Belt. It seems to be the only conference whose representatives they can beat in Austin these days.
6. Oklahoma can play well on the road. Sure, it was against a Baylor team that has stumbled coming down the stretch, but the Sooners have had problems with just about everybody on the road. Until Saturday night, anyway. The Sooners came out firing on all cylinders and blasted the Bears, 53-24, and the game wasn't even that close. Baylor scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter while the Sooners were on cruise control.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 5:01 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Linemen, defenders, running backs, and quarterbacks have all had their day in the "award announces smaller list of potential winners from larger list" sun, so now it's time for the guys that catch the ball. First, the 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award , given to the nation's outstanding wide receiver:
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Randall Cobb, Kentucky
Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M
A.J. Green, Georgia
Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
Julio Jones, Alabama
Aldrick Robinson, SMU
Greg Salas, Hawaii
Jordan White, Western Michigan
And the eight semifinalists for the Mackey Award , due the nation's top tight end:
George Bryan (Jr., North Carolina State)
Michael Egnew (Jr., Missouri)
Ladarius Green (Jr., Louisiana)
Daniel Hardy (Sr., Idaho)
Lance Kendricks (Sr., Wisconsin)
Allen Reisner (Sr., Iowa)
Luke Stocker (Sr., Tennessee)
D.J. Williams (Sr., Arkansas)
What's interesting about contrasting the two lists in how many names pop off the firts list and don't pop off the second one. Of course, of course, the first is wide receivers and the second is tight ends. But whereas Green, Jefferey, and Jones are all universally considered first-round talents and players like Blackmon, Broyles, Salas, and White are all putting together flatly ridiculous statistical seasons (oh, and Cobb is only leading the nation in all-purpose yardage, and incredible talents like Michael Floyd and Jeff Maehl didn't make it), the tight ends are ... well, they're around. The No. 1 TE in receiving yardage is Egnew, followed by Green, and neither is exactly a household name. The early draft projections don't feature any of the tight ends listed above ... or any at all.
It's probably a one-year fluke. But as with the lack of workhorse running backs among the nation's top offensive skill players , it also speaks to how dominant the spread offense has become in college football. There just aren't as many traditional tight ends playing college football ... and it appears to be having an impact on the quality of the position overall.
Tags: A.J. Green, Alabama, Aldrick Robinson, Allen Reisner, Alshon Jeffery, Arkansas, Biletnikoff Award, D.J. Williams, Daniel Hardy, George Bryan, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Jeff Fuller, Jordan White, Julio Jones, Justin Blackmon, Kentucky, Ladarius Green, Lance Kendricks, Louisiana, Luke Stocker, Mackey Award, Michael Egnew, Missouri, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Randall Cobb, Ryan Broyles, SMU. Greg Salas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Western Michigan, Wisconsin