Posted on: November 28, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 12:37 pm

Urban Meyer: "I went off the deep end"

TAMPA, Fla. – On Oct. 12 back when Urban Meyer was still retired from coaching and just a television analyst, he was in Tampa to speak at an Outback Bowl function.

Chris Sullivan, founder and director of Outback Steakhouse, walked up to Meyer inside the Belvedere Ballroom in the A La Carte Event Pavilion and embraced his friend.

“What are you doing next?” Sullivan said. “We could sure use you.”

Sullivan is a Kentucky graduate. Of course, Meyer will not be coaching at Kentucky, he is headed to Ohio State.

Less than a year after "retiring," Meyer is back

Seven weeks ago I asked Meyer what it would take for him to return to coaching.

“If I ever went back, I'd have to get back a little bit of balance I used to have,” Meyer said. “I don't know if I'm there yet. I went off the deep end. When I first went to Florida, my first Tennessee game, first SEC game, my son (Nathan) was playing that (Friday) night and was going to pitch.

“I'm in a hotel. I looked at the police officers: ‘I can't take this. Will you get in a car and drive me to go watch my son pitch?’ Everybody thought I was nuts.

“I'm not going to let a job consume me. I think it did. I would have never done that at the end. I was so consumed about perfection. We created a monster. If I ever did get back, I would not let that control my life”

Meyer is now officially back under the brightest of spotlights, replacing Jim Tressel and interim coach Luke Fickell at Ohio State.

After the 2009 season, Meyer took a three-month leave of absence. The following a 7-5 regular season in 2010, Meyer announced his retirement from coaching on Dec. 8 because of health concerns and he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Meyer said then he had suffered chest pains and severe headaches, related to stress.

So how will he be able – as he says – not let the job control his life?

“It's discipline, personal discipline,” Meyer said on Oct. 12. “You've got to hire great people, but I can blame everybody else I want. At the end of the day, you have to have discipline: go work out, eat right, still have balance in your life.

“What I've experienced, because I do a lot of public speaking now, I don't think I'm a lone wolf that has that issue. Guys right here have that issue, balancing that. You can blame your job, you can blame your boss or you can blame the media. At the end of the day, it's you that has to take a hold of that thing. I didn't do that.”

In six seasons at Florida, Meyer was 65-15. He won national championships in 2006 and 2008. His final game was a 37-24 victory against Penn State in last season’s Outback Bowl, which turned out to be the final bowl game for Joe Paterno.

Now Paterno is out of coaching and Meyer is back in.

Posted on: November 26, 2011 10:24 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 10:31 pm

Big East, San Diego State begin discussions

With BYU officially out of the picture for the Big East, the league has begun negotiations with San Diego State about the Aztecs joining the league as a football-only member, college football industry sources told Saturday night.

On Tuesday, first reported that the Big East would target San Diego State after the league had decided to “move on” and no longer pursue BYU.

The San Diego Tribune first reported Saturday night negotiations had begun between the Big East and San Diego State.

The Big East is talking with the Aztecs because Boise State wants a guarantee of a “Western partner” before joining the league. The Broncos, along with Houston, SMU, UCF and Navy, are all ready to join the Big East, but Boise State is waiting for the Big East to secure a Western partner and Houston, SMU and UCF are waiting to join with Boise State.

Navy has told Boise State, SMU, Houston and UCF it definitely will join, sources said, but are waiting on those schools as well.

Air Force, which remains a football-only target of the Big East, remains undecided.

San Diego State, Boise State and Navy would join as football only members, while SMU, Houston and UCF would be all-sports members. San Diego State and Boise State could place its Olympic sports in the Big West.

None of the new Big East schools would join the league until the 2013 school year, sources told

Posted on: November 26, 2011 10:11 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 10:11 pm

Saban says Richardson "best player in country"

AUBURN, Ala. – Alabama coach Nick Saban got right to the point when asked about running back Trent Richardson’s Heisman Trophy chances.

“To me Trent Richardson is the best football player in the country,” Saban said.

Richardson rushed for a career-high 203 yards at Auburn Saturday in the Crimson Tide’s 42-14 victory. Is that enough to win the Heisman? In this wild and wacky season, who knows?

“You love saying that about someone who is such a good person and someone who does so much to serve other people,” Saban said. “He is a great teammate. He is a leader. He cares about everyone around him. His performance and production pretty much speak for itself.”

Richardson has scored 23 touchdowns this season, one shy of tying the SEC’s single season record. Richardson said the fact he’s even mentioned for the Heisman is more of a team honor.

“It’s an honor to have my name mentioned in that situation and for this team,” Richardson said. “We do deserve it. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I think the offense deserves it, especially the offensive linemen.”

Does Richardson, who is averaging 132 yards per game, deserve the Heisman? I don’t think so.

There are too many great quarterbacks out there having great seasons – Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, Houston’s Case Keenum, Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Boise State’s Kellen Moore, USC’s Matt Barkley and Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden. But Richardson could have something that none of those quarterbacks have: and that’s a national title on Jan. 9

Posted on: November 22, 2011 4:08 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 8:28 pm

Big East done pursuing BYU

The Big East has decided "to move on" and is no longer pursuing BYU as a conference member, college football industry sources told Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday morning, sources previously had told that unless BYU decided to relinquish its television rights for its home football games, the Cougars would not join the Big East. The Cougars would not do so.

"The Big East has moved on," a source said about the prospect of adding BYU.

The Cougars had been in discussions with the Big East for weeks about joining the league. In the earlier negotiations between BYU and the Big East, BYU did not have an issue with relinquishing its home television rights. That changed, however.

"They (BYU) are being extremely unreasonable all of a sudden," a source said Tuesday morning. "This is one reason why they did not get into the Big 12. Their general counsel (lawyers) is a piece of work.”

With BYU out of the picture, the Big East will target San Diego State as a football-only member, a source said. The reason the Big East would seek out the Aztecs is because Boise State wants a Western partner before joining the league.

The Big East had hoped to announce its newest members (SMU, Houston, UCF and Boise State) in the past two weeks, but the on-going discussions with BYU brought the Big East’s expansion plans to a standstill. That’s because the league wanted to announce SMU, UCF, Houston and Boise State as new members together along with either BYU or Air Force or both schools.

Air Force does not plan to make a decision until after the regular season ends on Saturday, a source said.

Navy also is waiting for the other schools to join before fully committing to the league.

“It’s like everyone standing by the pool, waiting for someone to jump in before everyone else jumps in,” a source said.

On Oct. 25, first reported that the Western contingent of possible future Big East members was making a push to add BYU.

Two weeks ago, a source told San Diego State was pursuing a football-only membership with the Big East. San Diego State had previously pursued membership in the Big 12.

Houston, SMU, UCF and Boise State are committed to joining the Big East. Navy also has told those four schools, who reported were working in concert to join the league, it also is committed to the Big East. With those five schools, the league will still need two more football schools to get to a 12-team league. Those possibilities now are San Diego State and Air Force with the 12-team league split in a West and East division.

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe and coach Bronco Mendenhall were said to favor a move to the Big East, but BYU President Cecil Samuelson and the school’s general counsel weren't as receptive. That was unless the Cougars could have retained their home television rights, which is unheard of for a conference school.

If the Big East gave up the television rights to BYU’s home games, it would have reduced the amount the Big East could seek in its upcoming negotiations for its new media rights deal with either ESPN, NBC-Comcast and/or Fox.

There are no schools in any of the BCS AQ conferences that retain their home television rights, only those schools that are independents. BYU is in its first year as an independent after leaving the Mountain West and last year signed an eight-year deal with ESPN, which would have to be reworked if the Cougars joined the Big East.

Posted on: November 18, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 3:35 pm

Another Oklahoma State tragedy

Not again.

That was the first thing I thought of when I heard the news: not again.

On Thursday night, Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna were among four passengers killed in a single-engine plane accident in Arkansas.

The tragic deaths of Budke and Serna brought back memories of another tragedy involving Oklahoma State's men's basketball team, that took the lives of 10 individuals about 10 years and 10 months ago when their plane crashed in Colorado.

In an interview with the Tulsa World today, former Oklahoma State point guard Doug Gottlieb summed up exactly what Cowboys everywhere are thinking today.

“It doesn’t seem fair or real or possible that, 10 months removed from the 10-year anniversary in which we celebrated the lives of the 10 that were lost that here we are again,” Gottlieb told the World.

“It doesn’t seem right that it would happen to anyone, let alone the same university. But it has and, in times of tragedy, I think Oklahomans show great respect for one another. I have spoken with people from the University of Oklahoma as well as Oklahoma State and many of my teammates and my coaches, the Sutton family.

“We are all just stunned and saddened and shocked. That was a plane crash (in 2001) that rocked the university to its core and this one will do no less.

“At a time in which the football program has never seen this type of success and is within two games of playing for a national championship, all that pales in comparison to losing other Cowboys and losing other people that are part of the family.”

Like Gottlieb, I'm an Oklahoma State graduate. We hurt today.

Last year I was fortunate enough to be in Stillwater the night the Cowboys honored “The Ten” on the 10th anniversary of the crash before their game with Texas and wrote about “The Ten” and their impact on Oklahoma State.

The names of “The Ten:” Kendall Durfey, 38, was a radio engineer for the Cowboy Network. Bjorn Fahlstrom, 30, sat in the co-pilot's seat. Nate Fleming, 20, was a freshman guard. Will Hancock, 31, was the media relations coordinator. Daniel Lawson, 21, was a junior guard. Brian Luinstra, 29, was a trainer. Denver Mills, 55, was the pilot. Pat Noyes, 27, was the director of basketball operations. Bill Teegins, 48, was the play-by-play voice of the Cowboys. Jared Weiberg, 22, was a student manager

Never forget them. Never forget Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna either.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 18, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 7:04 pm

NCAA will launch investigation of Penn State

Penn State was notified by NCAA President Mark Emmert that the NCAA will launch an investigation into the Nittany Lions' athletic programs in the wake of allegations of sexual abuse by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and charges of perjury against two senior Penn State officials.

"I am writing to notify you that the NCAA will examine Penn State's exercise of institutional control over its intercollegiate athletics programs, as well as the actions, and inactions, of relevant responsible personnel," Emmert wrote to the school. "We recognize that there are ongoing federal and state investigations and the NCAA does not intend to interfere with those probes."

Emmert set out several questions that Penn State officials must be prepared to answer as part of the probe. Responses to this NCAA inquiry are expected by Dec. 16 in order for the NCAA to determine next steps.

Here is a copy of the three-page letter sent from the NCAA to Penn State president Rodney Erickson, outlining the NCAA's concerns.

The NCAA indicated "NCAA Bylaw 10.1 identifies 10 types of unethical conduct, but specifically makes clear that the list of 10 is not limited to those delineated. Among, other things, that list captures the general principle of honesty embedded in Bylaw 10.01.1, which requires individuals to "act with honest and sportsmanship at all times so that intercollegiate athletics as a whole, their institutions and they, as individuals, shall represent the honor and dignity of fair play and the generally recognized high standards associated with wholesome competitive sports."

Penn State released a statement Friday afternoon in response.

Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics intends to fully cooperate with the NCAA during its inquiry, and understands that this is a preliminary step toward understanding what happened as well as how to prevent anything similar from happening in the future.  

We understand and believe in the importance of following both the letter and spirit of the NCAA rules and guidelines, and will continue to reiterate that to our coaches, student-athletes and athletic administrators.

The NCAA's pending investigation is just the latest fallout from the allegations against Sandusky and the alleged cover-up by Coach Joe Paterno and university officials.

On Monday, the Big Ten removed Paterno's name from the Big Ten's championship football trophy. Also, Tuesday, reported bowls may shy away from selecting the Nittany Lions because they were viewed as "toxic" because of the attention the Sandusky allegations would bring.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: NCAA, Penn State
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: November 14, 2011 12:13 pm

Big Ten removes Paterno's name from trophy

Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno's name has been removed from the Big Ten's football championship trophy, league commissioner Jim Delany said Monday.

The league announced in light of the series of events that have recently unfolded at Penn State, including grand jury indictments, an ongoing grand jury investigation, a U.S. Department of Education investigation, the Board of Trustees’ dismissal of Paterno and the Board of Trustees’ appointment of a Special Investigation Committee, it would remove Paterno’s name from the championship trophy.

The trophy will be awarded at the Big Ten's inaugural football championship game Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.

“We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno’s name on the trophy at this time,” Delany said. “The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial. We believe that it’s important to keep the focus on the players and the teams that will be competing in the inaugural championship game.”

The trophy to be presented in Indianapolis next month will now be called the "Stagg Championship Trophy," named after Amos Alonzo Stagg, who coached football at the University of Chicago, a founding member of the Big Ten, from 1892-1932. Stagg compiled a 199-94-22 record while the University of Chicago was a member of the Big Ten, including national championships in 1905 and 1913.

The great grandson of Stagg, Robert Stagg of Grand Rapids, Mich., said Monday the family deferred to the Big Ten on the decision. Stagg told last week the family would have issues with the trophy's name if Paterno was found "complicit" in the Sandusky scandal.

"We as a family are deferring to them (Big Ten). It was a proper thing to do," Robert Stagg told "They have a lot more people to consider things. I pretty much let them steer the whole process. They were aware we were interested in how things were going to play out."

Asked for a reaction to Paterno's name being removed from the trophy, Stagg said: "I still think it’s too early in the process to make a judgement. It’s such an unfortunate situation. I just have a feeling there is a lot more coming out."

Paterno was fired on Wednesday night for his failure to notify police about the sexual abuse allegations of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Saturday, in Penn State's first game since Paterno was fired - the Nittany Lions' first without Paterno as head coach since 1966 and the first game since Nov. 19, 1949, Paterno was neither a Penn State head coach or assistant - the Nittany Lions lost to Nebraska 17-14.

However, the Nittany Lions (8-1, 5-2 Big Ten) still lead the Big Ten's Leaders Division by one-game over Wisconsin (8-2, 4-2). Penn State visits Ohio State Saturday and Wisconsin visits Illinois. No matter the outcome of the Penn State-Ohio State contest, if Wisconsin wins at Illinois, the Badgers and Nittany Lions will play Nov. 26 in Madison, Wis., for the Leaders Division title and berth in the inaugural Big Ten championship game. Penn State would clinch the Leaders Division title by beating Ohio State and if Wisconsin lost to Illinois Saturday.

In the Legends Division, Michigan State (8-2, 5-1) owns a one-game lead over Michigan (8-2, 4-2) and Nebraska (8-2, 4-2). The Spartans will win the Legends Division by winning their final two games against Indiana and Northwestern. Nebraska visits Michigan Saturday. Both the Cornhuskers and Wolverines must win out and need a Michigan State loss to have any chance at winning the Legends Division.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:09 am

889 coaching changes since Joe Pa began

With Penn State coach Joe Paterno's announcement Wednesday that he is retiring, here's something that puts in perspective just how long Paterno had been coaching.

Since Paterno debuted as Penn State's head coach in 1966 there have been 889 coaching changes among the current 120 FBS schools.

Here is a list of the coaching changes at the BCS schools since Paterno started at Penn State.

ACC (96): Miami 13, Georgia Tech 11, Duke 9, Maryland 9, NC State 9, Boston College 8, Clemson 8, Wake Forest 8, North Carolina 7, Virginia 6, Virginia Tech 4, Florida State 4.

Pac-12 (94): Stanford 12, Arizona 10, Colorado 9, Cal 8, UCLA 8, Utah 8, Washington State 8, Arizona State 7, Oregon 6, Oregon State 6, USC 6, Washington 6.

SEC (89): Vanderbilt 11, Ole Miss 10, Florida 9, Alabama 8, Arkansas 8, Kentucky 8, LSU 7, Mississippi State 7, South Carolina 7, Auburn 6, Tennessee 5, Georgia 3.

Big Ten (73): Michigan State 9, Minnesota 9, Illinois 8, Indiana 8, Purdue 8, Northwestern 7, Wisconsin 7, Michigan 5, Nebraska 4, Iowa 4, Ohio State 4, Penn State 0.

Big 12 (70): Kansas 9, Texas Tech 9, Oklahoma State 8, Iowa State 8, Baylor 7, Kansas State 7, Texas A&M 7, Missouri 6, Oklahoma 5, Texas 4.

Big East (57): Cincinnati 13, Louisville 10, Pittsburgh 10, UConn 7, West Virginia 6, Rutgers 5, Syracuse 5, South Florida 1.

Notre Dame (8).

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Penn State
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or