Tag:Bob Stoops
Posted on: December 7, 2010 2:34 am
 

Indiana set to hire Oklahoma OC Kevin Wilson

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Reports out of Indianapolis and the AP are that by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday (or, unless you're on the west coast, today), Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will be introduced as the next head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers following his interview earlier today in Bloomington. As mentioned before, Wilson was a protege of Randy Walker and Bob Stoops during 23 of his 25 years as an assistant coach. Thus, Wilson -- the 2008 Broyles Award winner for the nation's top assistant coach -- knows a thing or two about scoring a lot of points from the spread.

It's almost something of a wonder that Wilson chose Indiana for his first college head coaching gig; the Hoosiers have been to precisely one Rose Bowl (a 14-3 defeat at the hands of O.J. Simpson and USC in 1968), and no coach has ever surpassed the .500 mark in Big Ten play during his tenure at Bloomington in Indiana history. Even Nunavut seems less bleak this time of year.

The conventional wisdom, then, is to select a coach with a personal connection to Indiana's program so he'll be less likely to bolt at the first sign of success and an offer from a higher-profile team. To that end, Wilson's only connection to the Hoosiers is the time he spent with future IU coach Terry Hoeppner while both were assistants at Miami University in the mid-'90s.  But even that, the putative "nightmare scenario" of a coach bolting a team trying to build its way back to respectability, doesn't really happen at Indiana at all. The last coach to leave the school for greener pastures was Sam Wyche, who spent all of one 3-8 season with the Hoosiers in 1983 before taking the Cincinnati Bengals ' head coaching spot. Since then, it's been one firing after another with only Hoeppner's death before the 2007 season as the tragic exception to the rule.

Thus, if a coach comes to Indiana and achieves any level of success that would lead a better team to hire him away, that would necessarily be a step up in performance and results at IU. Really, Indiana's at the point where anything more than one eight-win season or two bowl bids before the coach leaves -- for whatever reason -- would be pure gravy. Thus, it makes sense to hire the coach who's most likely to succeed, period, and Kevin Wilson probably fits that bill.

From Wilson's perspective, meanwhile, this job probably looked a lot less attractive two years ago, and what changed in those two years has nothing to do with anything that happened at Indiana or even the Big Ten. The key event here was Gene Chizik going 5-19 during his first tenure as a head coach up at Iowa State (the Indiana of the Big XII, basically), and still not only landing the Auburn job but going 12-0 in his second year with the Tigers. Sure, Chizik had enough history with Auburn that if he'd stayed at Texas as the offensive coordinator for those two years, he might have gotten the job anywy, but he might not have. And really, the lesson here is that good teams aren't automatically considering a lousy record at a lousy program the poison pill that they used to. Nor should they, really.

So really, even if Wilson doesn't exactly get the Hoosiers back in the Rose Bowl hunt before he leaves, the odds are pretty good that this hire will be beneficial to both Indiana and Wilson. Thus, barring major transgressions on Wilson's part (which, considering his mentors through his career, seems awfully unlikely), this should turn out to be a good hire for all involved.

Posted on: December 6, 2010 4:49 pm
 

Indiana to interview OU's Kevin Wilson

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last week there was a report that Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson had interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at Indiana.  It was a report that Bob Stoops made sure to say was wrong.  Though, before he was done denying the report, Stoops did say that he hoped Wilson would get the chance to interview for the position.

Well, according to a report in the Tulsa World, that's what is about to happen.  A source at Indiana told the paper that Wilson was will interview for the position on Monday night.

If Wilson does end up getting the Indiana job, it would be nice hire for the school. Wilson has been at Oklahoma working for Stoops since 2002 and became the offensive coordinator in 2006 after Chuck Long left for his ill-fated job at San Diego State.  Wilson had been the co-offensive coordinator before that.

Obviously, he's been pretty successful in the postion and he won the Broyles Award in 2008 as the top assistant coach in the country when he ran a very prolific Oklahoma offense that got Sam Bradford a Heisman Trophy in 2008.  This season's offense was fourth in the nation in passing yards with 336.8 yards a game, and ranked 17th with 36.4 points per game.  Of course, there's a slight difference between the talent at Oklahoma and the talent at Indiana.
Posted on: December 4, 2010 4:22 am
 

Big Ten schools looking in-conference for coaches

Posted by Adam Jacobi

There are, as of now, two job openings in the Big Ten: Indiana and Minnesota. Those two programs are generally regarded as being among the three worst in the conference (Illinois being the third, but at least the Illini go to a Rose Bowl every now and then), so a head coaching spot at one of these places probably isn't going to be terribly attractive -- or a recipe for success -- unless the candidate in question is familiar with the Big Ten, its style of play, the recruiting grounds, etc., and wants to spend years and years in the conference.

It's no real surprise, then, that both Indiana and Minnesota are reportedly interviewing candidates from other Big Ten schools -- and really, both schools are looking at superb hires. Minnesota has reportedly interviewed Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst. You may remember Wisconsin's offense from such hits as 83-20 over Indiana, 70-21 over Northwestern , and 48-28 over Michigan. Sure, it's not like hiring Chryst is all it takes to get the Gophers dropping 50 on everybody that walks into TCF Bank Stadium, but at least they'd be getting a guy that knows how to do that at this level.

Meanwhile, over in Indiana, the Hoosiers apparently have their eyes on several coaches with Big Ten ties. Michigan State assistant head coach Don Treadwell is going to be the name that's most familiar to Big Ten fans, but watch out for Oklahoma OC Kevin Wilson -- previously Northwestern's offensive coordinator for three very productive years. Treadwell was the de facto head coach for Michigan State while Mark Dantonio recovered from his heart attack, and it's worth noting that the Spartans stayed undefeated while Dantonio was either out or operating in a limited capacity. If Treadwell was auditioning for a head coaching spot, it's hard to imagine he got anything but an A+.

Still, Wilson is considered the leader in this race, for whatever that's worth; if so, Indiana hiring away Bob Stoops' OC would be nothing short of a coup, especially considering Wilson was the winner of the Broyles Award for the top college assistant in 2008. He's got almost 30 years of tutelage under Randy Walker and Stoops, dating back to his college football playing days, and he's still only 49. Frankly, it's something of a surprise that Wilson hasn't been hired already. If he or even Treadwell is seriously considering a Hoosier offer, the future just might be bright in Bloomington. If, however, the interest isn't totally mutual and Indiana's forced to go the route of, say, Iowa OC Ken O'Keefe instead, well, that'd be just a little more depressing, if not exactly surprising.

Posted on: December 3, 2010 10:46 am
 

DeMarco Murray expected to play

Posted by Tom Fornelli

During the week leading up to the final Big 12 Championship Game one of the biggest questions facing the Oklahoma Sooners was whether or not running back DeMarco Murray would be available to the Sooners.  Murray was hurt last Saturday against Oklahoma State when he took a helmet to the knee, and never returned to the game.

Through the week Bob Stoops has had some doubts about his running back's availability, but optimism seemed to reign, and for good reason.  On Thursday night Stoops announced through a press release that Murray was able to practice on Thursday and is expected to play against Nebraska.

Which is big news for the Oklahoma offense.  Murray is not only the team's leading rusher with 1,053 yards and 14 touchdowns, but he also plays a large role in the passing game as well, as he has 64 receptions for another 535 yards and 5 touchdowns as a receiver out of the backfield this season.  He's also the school's all-time leader in in touchdowns (64) and all-purpose yards (6,498) while returning kicks to boot.

So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that he's kind of important to Oklahoma, so it'll be nice for the Sooners to have him around against a tough Nebraska defense on Saturday.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:13 am
Edited on: November 30, 2010 11:37 am
 

DeMarco Murray's status improving for Saturday

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Monday morning, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops was uncertain about the availability of leading rusher DeMarco Murray for the Big 12 Championship Game against Nebraska on Saturday.  Murray took a helmet to the knee in the fourth quarter of Oklahoma's division-clinching win against Oklahoma State and did not return.  The medical staff did not feel like the injury was serious, but there was still doubt as to whether he would be able to take the field against the Huskers in Dallas.  However Stoops' tone changed after seeing Murray in practice on Monday, and things appear to be looking up for the Sooners most dangerous offensive threat.

“DeMarco is much improved from (Sunday),” Stoops said following Monday's practice. “We'll see as the week goes. I don't want to say something until it's for sure...But it's looking positive right now.”

Murray's importance to the Oklahoma offense cannot be understated.  A dual-threat running back, Murray constantly forces matchup problems for opposing defenses with his ability to catch out of the backfield.  On average, Murray rushes the ball 20.0 times per game and adds 5.3 receptions, totaling up to 132.3 yards of total offense per game.  Since losing to Texas A&M on the road, the Oklahoma offense has been scorching defenses for 40+ points each outing.  They will need to keep up that kind of production in order to keep up with Nebraska, particularly if Taylor Martinez is healthy enough to play.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 10:34 am
Edited on: November 30, 2010 10:38 am
 

Nebraska may use two QBs in Big 12 Championship

Posted by Chip Patterson

As Nebraska prepares for one last shot at a Big 12 title, head coach Bo Pelini is having to prepare for the Oklahoma Sooners with an uncertain quarterback situation.  Starting quarterback Taylor Martinez was forced to miss the regular season finale against Colorado with turf toe, and on Monday Pelini said that the freshman's status for the Big 12 Championship game is officially "day-to-day."  Nebraska would like nothing more than to say farewell to the Big 12 by getting redemption in Dallas after last year's heartbreaking last-second loss to Texas.  

Martinez was replaced on Saturday by sophomore quarterback Cody Green.  Green played well against the Buffs, completing 10 of 13 passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns.  While Green displayed a little fancy footwork, rushing seven times for 23 yards and punching in a score on the ground in the fourth quarter to ice the game for the Huskers, he does not provide nearly the threat that the speedy Martinez does in the open field.  However, Pelini did say on Monday that "it might be a combination of the two" quarterbacks against the Sooners.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 1:34 pm
 

DeMarco Murray's status for weekend unknown

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Oklahoma went out and took care of its business on Saturday night, defeating its in-state rival Oklahoma State in Bedlam, and because of it, the Sooners are now on their way to Dallas to take on Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship.  Unfortunately for the Sooners, while they may have won the game, it looks like they may have lost a couple of starters as well.  Most notably, running back DeMarco Murray.

Murray injured his left knee in the fourth quarter when he took a helmet to it on a run.  He did not return to the game, and it seems possible that he may not be able to return in time for Saturday's game either.  Though Bob Stoops isn't entirely sure of anything concerning Murray at the moment.

"I'll have something a little more to say and make sure (the media) knows probably closer to practice or after practice," Stoops said Monday during his weekly teleconference.

Obviously, being without Murray would be a bit of a blow to the Sooners offense.  He's eclipsed 1,000 yards this season for the second time in his career. Along with Murray's status, the condition of starting safety Jonathan Nelson is also up in the air at the moment.  Nelson, who was second in tackles on the Oklahoma defense heading into Bedlam, suffered a concussion in the first quarter and did not return to the game.

He may miss the this week's game as well.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 11:49 am
 

Kiffin says Newton never asked UT for money

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember the good old days of the SEC when the only "controversy" was what Lane Kiffin had done or said?  Then Kiffin left Knoxville for USC, which has had its own issues with the NCAA lately, but not before he made an attempt to recruit Cam Newton while Newton was at Blinn Junior College after leaving Florida.   So, naturally, now that the college football world is one of Newton, Newton, Newton and more Newton, it only makes sense that somebody would ask Kiffin if anything unseemly took place during Newton's recruitment.

When asked directly if Newton or anyone claiming to represent Newton ever asked for money during the recruitment, Kiffin said "no."  Though he also said that Tennessee wasn't that actively involved in recruiting him, because he wasn't a great fit for the Tennessee system.  Newton was never offered a scholarship by Tennessee, something Kiffin said "doesn't make me look very smart."

Kiffin also went on to say that his time spent in the SEC gave him a unique perspective on the situation, because "you hear so many things down there."

"I remember so many things said about me that weren't accurate," Kiffin said. "It was a good lesson learned. If something comes on the radio or in print, I don't think there are any facts to it at all until someone shows some proof. This is a perfect example."

Kiffin is the second head coach to recruit Newton, along with Bob Stoops, who has come out and said that money was never involved during the process.  Which is a good sign for all those Auburn fans hoping Newton is cleared of all this, but it doesn't prove anything.  All it means is that Newton is either innocent, or that Oklahoma and Tennessee were never really in the running for his services.
 
 
 
 
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