Posted on: November 18, 2009 10:57 am
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Posted on: November 17, 2009 6:31 pm
Rumors are blowing up about Mark Mangino's job security at Kansas. It was reported earlier Tuesday that the Kansas coach had been the subject of a players-only meeting with AD Lew Perkins Monday night.
Posted on: November 17, 2009 10:56 am
Edited on: November 17, 2009 2:47 pm
The latest from the coaching rumor mill is that there is a mutual interest between Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and Louisville.
It is almost a certainty that Cardinals’ coach Steve Kragthorpe will be relieved of his duties after this, his third season. Louisville is 4-6 with games left against South Florida and Rutgers. It needs to win those to have a chance to go bowling for the first time since 2006. Kragthorpe is 15-19 at Louisville.
The school is already assured of its first consecutive non-winning season since 1987.
Leach just went through a bitter contract extension negotiation earlier this year. But he emerged with a who’s-your-daddy chip after a battle with AD Gerald Myers. Leach owes no buyout if he leaves. The Red Raiders are 6-4 which ties for their worst 10-game start since 1999, the year before Leach was hired.
The colorful coach is known to have a wandering eye. He interviewed with Washington last year and was reportedly interested in the opening at UCLA before Rick Neuheisel took over in 2008.
Such a move would make sense. Texas Tech is coming off its best season in Leach’s decade-long stay. It went 11-2, losing to Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl in 2008.
The Big 12 South Division is one of the most rugged in the game with annual powers Texas and Oklahoma in control. A move to the less competitive Big East would allow Leach better access to a conference title and BCS bowl.
Posted on: November 15, 2009 9:44 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2009 10:21 pm
Here’s why Rich Rodriguez is an odd fit for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh is an odder fit for Stanford …
The same reason that Notre Dame needs to reach out to Brian Kelly right now is the same reason Harbaugh should be playing footsie with his alma mater. But it can't happen for Harbaugh right now. As painful as the transition has been at Michigan, Rodriguez deserves another year. He has only 71 scholarship players (for a variety of reasons), the offense shows promise and, well, Harbaugh isn’t available.
It’s just not a good time. After the second-biggest victory Saturday in his short three years on The Farm – remember USC in 2007? – Harbaugh is hotter than July. Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby is hurrying to complete a contract extension that would tie up Harbaugh through 2014 at $1.25 million per year.
“Tie up” is a relative term these days. Because of the awkward timing, Michigan/Stanford could lose Harbaugh to another college or NFL team by the time it is ready to make a change after next season. The $1.25 million salary makes Harbaugh one of the highest paid coaches ever at Stanford. It’s also about half of what Harbaugh is currently worth on the open market.
What makes the Cardinal so interesting is that Harbaugh has installed a toughness gene. He talked before the season about playing physical. Sorry, but the words “toughness” and “Stanford football” seldom appeared in the same sentence ever. Until now.
Tailback Toby Gerhart has run for 401 yards the last two games. If he isn’t on the top of every Heisman list this week something is wrong. Owen Marecic started at linebacker and fullback on Saturday. Marecic already has broken a couple of helmets this year.
All of it sounds sooo like Michigan and sooo unlike Stanford that you’d figure that Harbaugh would be in Ann Arbor soon. But it’s too early for Michigan pull the trap door on Rich Rod and too early for Harbaugh to leave.
Here's why USC isn't done: At some point next month, the Trojans will wake up in El Paso and wonder how the hell they got there. It’s called the Sun Bowl, fellas, and it this rate you’re going to be playing in it.
The popular thing this week will be to bash USC and say that Troy has crumbled before our eyes. That would be true if some other team were out there to take control. Oregon leads the Pac-10 for now but still has to go to Arizona and beat Oregon State in the Civil War.
Arizona botched a great opportunity Saturday, losing at Cal which without Jahvid Best. Stanford, the hottest team in the league, has lost three times, one of them to Wake Forest. Suddenly Oregon State is in the mix.
This is not to say it isn’t bad. It’s real bad at USC right now.
“You could see that everything was not there,” Stanford’s Richard Sherman told the L.A. Times. “They didn’t run as hard. They didn’t play as hard.”
The 55 points were the most given up in the 121-year history of USC football. You never thought you’d see the day where a Pete Carroll team would lose that toughness groove. When you’re bitching about a run-it-up two-point conversion, which the Trojans were in the fourth quarter, that’s just deflecting bigger problems.
The quarterback (Matt Barkley) is a freshman and playing like it. The defense, led (?) by senior two-time All-American Taylor Mays, has been embarrassed. Turnovers are coming in bunches.
This would be cause for bigger alarm if USC couldn’t get it back, quickly. They can in the same way Carroll began storming the conference in 2002, by playing some of the best defense in the country. It seems laughable to think that now, but the recruiting isn’t going away and, until further notice, the conference isn’t exactly slipping away.
Carroll has lost one game -- one -- in November while at USC (28-1). Barkley is going to get getter. The defense can’t get any worse. If an 82-year-old man can lead Penn State within sniffing distance of its third BCS bowl in five years, if a small, private school in Fort Worth that doesn’t sell out its games can go undefeated, believe me, USC can get it back.
A lot of fingers will be pointed this week – at coaches and players. Remember this whole thing started with a wake up call in Sin City in 2001 at the Las Vegas Bowl for USC. Waking up in El Paso might be the shock to the system the Trojans need.
Yes, that’s SMU in first place in Conference USA’s West Division: The Mustangs beat Texas-El Paso becoming bowl eligible for only the third time since their last bowl in 1984. You might remember that the little thing called the death penalty that intervened.
The scuttlebutt is that the Ponies will play in the Hawaii Bowl. June Jones will triumphantly return to the scene of his greatest glories, this time to boost attendance at the Hawaii-less bowl.
Vandenberg, a freshman subbing for the injured Ricky Stanzi, led the Hawks back from a 24-10 deficit only to lose in overtime, 27-24.
Not another one!: SEC officials blew another one in the third quarter of the Florida-South Carolina game. Florida’s Brandon James clearly went to knee to field a punt near midfield. It didn’t matter as block in the back nullified James’ long return. Caleb Sturgis eventually missed a 54-yard field goal.
More incredible was the replay official in the Notre Dame-Pittsburgh game. Notre Dame had its final possession cut short when Jimmy Clausen was ruled to have fumbled while trying to throw. The replay clearly showed Clausen’s arm going forward as he was it. The ball came out at an odd angle, but it still came out while he was throwing. That was one of the more egregious rulings this season.
Stingy Blackshirts: Nebraska allowed its first rushing touchdown allowed in 14 quarters. Big deal. The Huskers rebounded to beat Kansas 31-17 and take the lead in the Big 12 North.
BCS trivia: In case you’re wondering, in the BCS era no unbeaten team from one of the power conferences has been knocked out of the BCS title game by a team with one loss. That possibility still exists for Cincinnati if Texas, Alabama or Florida lose.
Heisman hit: Going to be hard to justify Heisman mention now for Case Keenum. Houston’s two losses have come to Texas-El Paso and Central Florida. Can’t remember the last Heisman winner to lose to two directional schools. Keenum threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns in the 37-32 loss to Central Florida.
Heroism: Rowan (Division III) defensive end Matt Hoffman missed his team’s season-finale against The College of New Jersey. On Thursday, Hoffman began donating blood marrow to a 52-year-old man who is dying of lymphoma. Hoffman was one of seven matches found through a search of the national registry.
Dog of the day: Louisville beat Syracuse 10-9 in the dog game of the day. Somehow we’ve missed the fact that the once mighty Cardinals had lost nine Big East games in a row.
The no B.S., up-to-the-minute, not-what-they-did-last year, right now Heisman list
Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford: Hottest skill player in the country. Gerhart has Stanford in the Rose Bowl conversation after running for 178 yards against USC.
Tags: Alabama, Boise State, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Florida, Houston, Iowa, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Mississippi State, NC State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio state, Penn, Pittsburgh, Rowan, SMU, South Carolina, Stanford, Stanford, Sun Bowl, Syracuse, Temple, Texas, Texas-El Paso, The College of New Jersey, USC, USC, Villanova
Posted on: November 11, 2009 10:31 am
Edited on: November 12, 2009 11:32 am
Happy birthday, of sorts, to the Associated Press poll. The 1,000th AP poll was released this week with Florida at No. 1.
Historical perspective: Back in 1936 when the first poll debuted Florida was kicking off a 4-6 season under Josh Cody. The Gators weren’t ranked in AP until 1950 during a 5-5 season under Bob Woodruff.
Minnesota was No. 1 in that first poll. I think we all know where the Gophers are these days in terms of poll relevance – underground.
I bring all this up because the AP poll might be our lifeboat this season. With the season hurtling toward a BCS-record four undefeated teams at the end, we are squarely in line for split national champions.
That would be more than fair in the only game where the national championship matchup that frequently isn't decided on the field.
Here’s the scenario for your split national champion:
BCS title game: Alabama, Florida or Texas win the big game. One of three will finish 14-0 and be the BCS champion.
Fiesta Bowl: TCU defeats USC or Iowa to finish 13-0.
Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati defeats the SEC championship game loser, Alabama or Florida, to finish 13-0.
Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State beats a two-loss Utah to finish 13-0.
Keep dreaming Boise, Cincy and TCU.
Here’s why it won’t happen: In the TCU-Boise argument don't forget that these two teams played 10 months ago. I would love to see this game in the Fiesta Bowl (which is the only place it can happen in the BCS) but the fact a two-loss Penn State or USC will probably jump Boise. They can rationalize it because Boise is, frankly, an old story. Given the option the Fiesta Bowl will exercise that option. Unfair? Sure, but a bowl never changes its stripes (or something like that).
You have to be kidding me? We can watch the game at home in HD, the television production trucks have HD, but the guys making the decisions are watching on the same low resolution sets that have been around for years?
Amazing. In the case of Saturday’s LSU-Alabama controversy you can see why perhaps replay official Gerald Hodges ruled inconclusive evidence. You can also see why there was outrage.
We may have had a better view?
It’s not like these conferences can’t afford to upgrade. Do yourselves a favor, commissioners, and save the possible embarrassment of missing a key call. Go to Best Buy and start loading up the shopping cart.
Posted on: November 8, 2009 4:07 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2009 12:14 pm
After watching that replay again from Alabama, how can a reasonable person rule that wasn’t an interception? I’m expecting something out of the SEC office in the next couple of days.
Why I like Alabama on game day … “Sweet Home Alabama” comes on and immediately everyone on University Ave. starts jukin’ and yellin’. Ever see 10,000 folks do the Bama version of the River Dance?
Why I like Alabama on game day II … The houndstooth 1) skirts and 2) beer coozies.
Why I like Alabama on game day III … Yes, they were taking pictures of me as I was in makeup prior to my appearance on CBS College Sports’ SEC Tailgate. You people must find some meaning in your lives.
Get ready for a noisy Boise: The way things are sorting out, an undefeated Boise State is going to be beaten out for a BCS bowl by a two-loss team from one of the power conferences, p.r. firm or not.
The BCS bowl matchups began to get into sharper focus when Iowa lost and Alabama won. Here’s out it works:
The automatic qualifiers are down these teams …
Big Ten: Iowa/Ohio State. The teams plays this week in Columbus so that will sort itself out. Both teams have lost once. Saturday's winner most likely goes to the Rose Bowl.
Big 12: Texas will play either Kansas State or Nebraska from the North Division. K-State controls its own destiny after beating Kansas. Texas might be cruising but could get some blowback at Texas A&M on Thanksgiving or from Nebraska or K-State in the Big 12 title game.
SEC: Alabama vs. Florida in the SEC title game. If they teams stay undefeated before Dec. 5, the winner plays for the national championship. The loser most likely goes to the Sugar Bowl.
ACC: Still a mess but Georgia Tech is the conference’s only one loss team and leads the Coastal Division. Clemson controls its fate in the Atlantic Division. The ACC winner most likely goes to the Orange Bowl.
Big East: Cincinnati is undefeated but still has tough games left against West Virginia and Pittsburgh. With no conference championship game to hinder it, the Bearcats could be headed to the Sugar Bowl to face the Alabama-Florida loser.
Pac-10: It looks as if Oregon, Arizona or Stanford will go to the Rose. The Wildcats and Ducks meet Nov. 21 in Tucson. Despite the letdown loss at Stanford, Oregon still seems to have the advantage. Arizona still has its toughest games to play (Cal, USC, Arizona State). Stanford has to get past USC and Cal before meeting Notre Dame in the regular-season finale,
That leaves four at-large berths. Notre Dame is out after losing to Navy. If TCU stays undefeated and ahead of Boise State in the BCS, it will go, most likely, to the Fiesta Bowl. As mentioned, the Florida-Alabama loser should gobble up a Sugar Bowl spot. If USC wins out it could get the other Fiesta Berth at 10-2.
That leaves an undefeated Boise having to fight off a two-loss team from a major conference in order to get to the BCS. Things being what they are, which is the same for the past 50 years in this situation, the Orange Bowl most likely would pick a 10-2 Penn State to play the ACC champion.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce you to Kansas State, 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the Big 12 North after beating Kansas 17-10. In Bill Snyder’s second term as coach, the Wildcats need only beat Nebraska in its final two games to clinch a spot in the Big 12 title game.
Snyder is getting some run for Big 12 coach of the year. We’re fairly sure no COY has lost to Texas Tech by 54 and lost to a fourth-place Sun Belt team in the same season.
Advantage Alabama: A better running game (I think) and the revenge motive for last year’s classic loss in Atlanta.
Advantage Florida: Tebow, Tebow, Tebow. As long as he’s taking snaps, Florida has a chance.
Advantage Florida: Defense. By a hair. This is going to be another matchup of the ages. Charlie Strong vs. Nick Saban/Kirby Smart. At this point Florida’s unit seems a bit more active.
Advantage Alabama: Special teams. With Javier Arenas returning kicks and Terrence Cody blocking them, give the Crimson Tide the edge. Kicker Leigh Tiffin is more than reliable. If you’re looking for an edge, this is it. Games like this tend to turn on special teams.
Stuff: SMU needed three blocked kicks to beat Rice and move to within one win of bowl eligibility. The Ponies last went bowling pre-death penalty in 1984 … Alabama hasn’t been 9-0 in consecutive seasons since 1973-74 … In its last 39 home games, Cal is 0-7 against Oregon State and USC, 32-0 against everyone else … My God, did you see Cal’s Jahvid Best suffer that concussion while diving into the end zone? Coach Jeff Tedford actually said his guy was “OK.” No, coach, he’s not OK. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Best’s season is over … Who knew UCLA had lost seven conference games in a row before beating Washington?
The right now, no B.S., up to the moment Heisman Watch
1. Case Keenum, Houston. Another last-second win, this time over Tulsa. In his last two games Keenum has thrown for 1,081 yards and eight touchdowns. Any questions? My goal in life is to get this kid a trip to New York. He’s earned it. In a perfect world, he’d win the Stiff Arm but because he plays at a Conference USA school it probably isn’t going to happen.
2. Mark Ingram, Alabama. It’s the KIIS system – Keep It Ingram, Stupid. After throwing 25 passes in the first half, Nick Saban changed tactics and had Ingram carry it 16 games in the second half against LSU. The result was 144 yards.
3. Colt McCoy, Texas. It was only Central Florida but McCoy continued a recent uptick with 469 passing yards. McCoy was removed from the game with nine minutes left four yards shy of the school passing record (Major Applewhite, 473 yards in the 2001 Holiday Bowl).
Funny thing, Applewhite might have the school record but because the NCAA didn’t recognize bowl stats back then it officially doesn’t exist. What makes things more annoying is that a few years ago the NCAA started counting bowl stats. I still contend that an intern at each school in the country could go back and add in all the bowl numbers.
The NCAA explains that current record holders would have their names expunged if records were updated. Tough! You count all the numbers, not just some of them.
4. Toby Gerhart, Stanford. Coach Jim Harbaugh is preaching physicality. Gerhart pounded Oregon for a school-record 223 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-42 win.
5. C.J. Spiller, Clemson. If the Tigers are going to win their first ACC title in 18 years, Spiller is going to be the reason. He went for a school-record 312 all-purpose yards against Florida State.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida Stsate, Georgia Tech, Houston, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, NCAA, Nebraska, Ohio State, Orange Bowl, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rice, SMU, Stanford, Stanford, Texas, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Washington, West Virginia
Posted on: November 4, 2009 1:50 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2009 11:02 am
Please ignore Washaun Ealey. A cheap shot is a cheap shot is a cheap shot. It doesn’t matter if Ealey thinks so.
Part of this Brandon Spikes thing is about the power of the internet. Spikes’ eye gouge was shown Saturday during the CBS telecast. The replay became viral Sunday afternoon on YouTube. Amazing that it wasn’t an issue to millions of people watching live but after millions of people alerted by the internet replay, Florida felt compelled to do something. Not because Spikes necessarily committed a penalty but because he’d been caught on camera.
A fine whine from Iowa: The e-mail from Iowa sports information this week starts with the sentence, “It seems popular for national pundits to criticize the University of Iowa football team these days …”
The e-mail then goes to inform the reader that Iowa has defeated more teams with winning records than Cincinnati, TCU, Oregon and Boise State. The winning percentage of its opponents is higher than Oregon, TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State. Iowa has defeated as many top 25 BCS teams as Oregon (three).
One point: What are the Iowa flaks bitching about? Their team is No. 4 in the BCS and a heartbeat away from the national championship. It is essentially ranked as the best team in the country beyond Florida, Alabama and Texas. Not bad for a team that wins games with cushion shots.
Attendance issues: TCU and Boise State fans might be whining about which school deserves to go to a BCS bowl, but they aren’t showing up to watch their teams.
There were 11,000 empty seats in Fort Worth on Saturday to watch the Frogs shut out UNLV. It’s not like the game was widely televised. Once again, Versus did its best to keep TCU a secret. Amon Carter Stadium only holds 44,000.
Boise State can’t sell out 33,500 Bronco Stadium but still has plans to expand the stadium. Idaho Statesman columnist Brian Murphy breaks it down perfectly.
At least those two schools fans aren’t front runners. Only 67,700 showed up at Florida State to watch the Noles play N.C. State. That’s the smallest crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium since 1993.
• Notre Dame sports information has compiled the remaining schedule strength of the top 25 teams in the BCS. Turns out that the Irish, No. 22 in the BCS, have the third-toughest remaining schedule behind Ohio State and Pittsburgh.
The remaining four games are against Navy, Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Stanford. Will beating those four be enough to raise the Irish into the top 14 where they will need to be to get a BCS bowl? We’ll see.
More to the point is whether ND can run the table. Navy (6-3) and Pittsburgh (7-1) are bowl eligible. Stanford (5-3) and UConn (4-4) could be.
• A.J. Green has a “pulmonary contusion”? That’s what they’re calling a bruised lung at Georgia. At least it wasn’t an eye gouge.
Posted on: November 1, 2009 8:52 pm
Stunning stat of the day: At least one former Miami player has scored a touchdown in 112 straight weeks of NFL play dating back to week 15 of 2002.
BCS ramblings: Iowa is a heartbeat away from the presidency at No. 4 in the BCS. Here’s how it gets to the title game: LSU upsets Bama this week (Tigers have won five of the last six overall and the last three in a row in T-town) and then beats Florida in the SEC championship game. That opens up a spot for the Hawkeyes vs. Texas.
It’s looking worse for Notre Dame, 6-2. At 22, the Irish are the second-lowest ranked two-loss team in the BCS top 25. It will get some bump for beating No. 13 Pittsburgh, but that’s about it. It has to get to No. 14 in the final standings to be “eligible” which for Notre Dame would mean a BCS bowl bid.
It doesn’t help that eight of the nine teams above Notre Dame all have a chance to run the table. That could block out the Irish even if they win out.
• If you don’t vote Case Keenum No. 1 this week for the Heisman, you’re high.
There, I said it. The kid has accomplished more than Jimmy Clausen and is more consistent than Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy. The Houston quarterback’s Heisman moment came Saturday in the final minute when he tossed the winning touchdown pass to beat Southern Miss.
That ended one of the best games by a quarterback this season. Keenum completed 44 of 54 game for 559 yards and five touchdowns. Oh yeah, he’s the second most accurate passer in the country too.
The Cougs also ran for 191 yards. That’s 750 yards in total offense. I know it probably isn’t going to happen, but I’d love to see Houston in a BCS game against a defense like Texas’. The Longhorns beat Texas-El Paso 64-7, the only team that has defeated Houston. Strange.
2. Ryan Mathews, Fresno State – The nation’s leading rusher went for 185 yards against an aggressive Utah State defense to keep the national rushing lead. Mathews was able to return after a third-quarterback hit that reportedly bruised his ribs. “Probably the hardest I’ve ever been hit,” he said.
Mathews has run for 1,316 yards despite not playing a couple of fourth quarters.
3. Iowa defense – Your offense turns it over six times. Your quarterback throws four interceptions in one quarter. The Iowa D deserves some sort of recognition for a couple of pick sixes that might have been the difference in the Hawkeyes’ 42-24 win over Indiana.
Las Vegas should just get it over with and list Iowa as a pick ‘em in every remaining game. Team Turnover is that flaky.
Two rushing touchdowns by Superman shot him past Herschel Walker for SEC lead in career rushing touchdowns, 51.
5. Kellen Moore, Boise State – A trip to New York would be Boise’s consolation prize for missing out on a BCS bowl in consecutive years. Moore has 24 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
Also consider Golden Tate. He's still the best Notre Dame player, not Jimmy Clausen. Had an effective game against Washington State.
• A Tennessee radio guy FOI’d (Freedom of Information Act) the Mike Slive letter to Lane Kiffin on Friday. The contents of it are out there. It’s good reading.
In case you missed it, the SEC commish brought the hammer down on Friday threatening suspensions and fines if there is any more criticism of league officials. He seemed to call out Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin who is going from the reprimand hat trick. Remember him erroneously saying that Urban Meyer “cheated” in the recruiting of Nu’Keese Richardson?
``It is your responsibility as a coach to comply with the policies of the Southeastern Conference and to know the football playing rules …,” Slive wrote.
``Since it is clear from your public comments that you believe this letter `mean(s) nothing,' let me be equally as clear to you. The next time you, or a member of your staff, make public comments of this nature, you will be suspended from all coaching duties for one or more games, and the institution may be subjected to a substantial fine … ''
Bam, zing, boom!