Posted on: July 14, 2008 2:36 pm

Some thoughts on the best coach series...

I purposefully waited until the coaching series was over to go back and dissect the numbers. When picking the 

coaches in each category, I didn't want to be influenced.

Anyway, here is how it breaks down ...

 The big winners were the SEC and Big 10. Surprise! Eighteen of the 66 coaches chosen came from the SEC (27.2 percent). The Big Ten had 13 picks (19.7 percent). Only three of the coaches came from non-BCS leagues (two from Conference USA and one from the WAC).

 Another surprise (not). Nine of the 66 coaches came from schools in Florida.


 The Big 12 and Pac-10 each led with three coaches on the dream staff. Norm Chow (UCLA, offensive coordinator), Pat Ruel (offensive line, USC) and Pete Carroll (head coach, USC) came from the Pac-10. In the Big 12, there were Cale Gundy (running backs, Oklahoma), Bruce Walker (tight ends, Missouri) and Brian Cabral (linebackers, Colorado). The Big Ten and SEC each had two "bests".

 USC and Florida tied for the most coaches on the list, each with five. That means that more than half the staffs at those schools are among the best in the country. That would make sense since the schools have combined to finish No. 1 in the AP poll three of the last five years.

 Thirty-five total schools were represented, including at least two programs from all six BCS conferences. Notre Dame did not have a coach on the list. However, East Carolina, Hawaii, UNLV and Tulsa did.

 The only SEC schools not represented were Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi State.


 The only conferences not to have at least one coach on a list were the Sun Belt and MAC.


 Nine of the dream staffers have won a national championship. The only ringless member is Missouri tight ends coach Bruce Walker.

Coaches I wished could have made the list but didn't:

 South Florida defensive backs coach Troy Douglas (coached first-rounder Mike Jenkins and fifth-round Trae Williams in 2007).

 There were too many good offensive coordinators. Among those that deserve mention: Bryan Harsin, Boise State; Mike Locksley, Illinois; Joker Phillips, Kentucky; Jim Bollman, Ohio State; Steed Lobotzke, Wake Forest.

 How do you leave off defensive coordinators DeWayne Walker of UCLA and Wally Burnham of South Florida?


 This has nothing to do with the coaching series but I found it interesting that Texas A&M's new president Elsa Murano isn't expecting much out of Mike Sherman in his first season.

"I have great expectations for coach (Mike) Sherman. Poor guy," Murano told the San Antonio Express-News. "We all think he needs to win the championship the first year, which of course cannot possibly happen. We need to give him a chance to rebuild.”

Cannot possibly happen? You've got to love Murano's candor.

Posted on: July 9, 2008 7:09 pm

Ten wise guys

Ten players who could be in the NFL right now but aren't. In other words, thanks for staying in college guys ...

1. Jim Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State -- It's more about getting a degree (Laurinaitis wants to be a broadcaster) than chasing another national championship game.

2. James Davis, RB, Clemson -- Actually declared before wisely pulling out of the draft to re-form Thunder and Lightning (with C.J. Spiller) at Clemson.

3. Rey Maualuga, LB, USC -- A wild child as a freshman, maybe the No. 1 linebacker in the country as a senior.

4. Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss -- How many guys have a book written about them before they get to college?

5. Darry Beckwith, LB, LSU -- The scouts love his pursuit. Playing behind another great LSU line Beckwith should have a monster year.

6. Malcolm Jenkins, DB, Ohio State -- Is there anything more pure than this?: "I don't feel that I've accomplished everything I can accomplish in college football," Jenkins said, "and there's still a lot for me to conquer and shoot for - the national championship, another Big Ten championship, the Thorpe Award. And I really look forward to the honors and perks associated with being a senior on this team."

7. Duke Robinson, OL, Oklahoma -- Get your tears of a clown puns out of the way, this great nephew of Smokey Robinson had an amazing 13 knockdown blocks against Miami.

8. Alex Boone, OT, Ohio State -- Boone is coming back to win an Outland Trophy, ahem, if not a national championship.

9. Macho Harris, CB, Virginia Tech -- This has to be a success story: Harris declared for the draft even though he was projected in the third round. Four days before the deadline, he pulled his name back.

10. Jonathan Luigs, C, Arkansas -- How does it get better after winning the Rimington Trophy while blocking for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones?


Posted on: March 13, 2008 8:04 pm

Biggest upset of the conference tournaments?

It was in the Big 12 Thursday afternoon ... unless you're a fan of women's basketball, csurams.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/re
and let's face it, who isn't?

(Now, back to reality)

Colorado beating Baylor 91-84 in the first-round here in Kansas City could have reverberations around the NCAA bracket. Baylor, which thought it was safely in, is now sweating a bit after a No. 12 seed won a first-round game for the first time in Big 12 history. CU, 12-19, isn't going anywhere but it could have possibly opened up a spot for someone else.

Baylor is 21-10 and finished strong winning four of its last five going into Thursday. This was easily the Bears worst loss of the season so perhaps the committee will have mercy.

The juicy sub-plot for Friday: Colorado will have plenty of incentive against fourth-seeded Oklahoma. Cast your eyes back to Feb. 9 when the Buffs picked up one of their three conference wins, 72-58 over Oklahoma in Boulder. OU coach Jeff Capel said afterward, "This is the most embarrassing thing I've been a part of."

We know this bothered CU coach Jeff Bzdelik because 11 days later the Buffs lost to Texas Tech 87-69.

"Am I embarrassed? Yes," Bzdelik said after the game. "But give credit to Texas Tech. I'm not going to be one of those coaches that says this is the most embarrassing moment of my life. I'll show class and give Texas Tech credit."

Not exactly sleep-inducing stuff for a No. 4 vs. No. 12 game. Stay tuned.





Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 13, 2008 1:48 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2008 2:35 pm

National notes

I don't have much of a problem with Clemson getting out from underneath Ray Ray McElrathbey's scholarship. I do have a problem with the way they announced it.

The school has done everything possible to avoid saying they are trying to free up a scholarship by offering the backup tailback a graduate assistant's job. It's obvious that McElrathbey is not longer needed now that Clemson has one of the deepest tailback stables in the country. McElrathbey is not going to get on the field. His brother Fahmarr has $100,000 in a trust fund that the NCAA graciously allowed to be formed when their parents' negligence forced Ray Ray to take in his brother.

McElrathbey's situation is not so much a gesture of largesse on the part of Clemson, but as a way to make the school and athletic department look good. And it hides a little-known way of doing business.

For example, it is up to the school's discretion whether a scholarship player transitioning to grad assistant is able to eat at the training table. Kids sign an athletic scholarship expecting all the accompanying perks. McElrathbey seemingly will be well taken care ofl. He would receive a stipend for his meals if he chooses to become a GA, the school said. AD Terry Don Phillips has said McElrathbey will receive financial aid if he becomes a grad assistant..

Clemson isn't being as heartless as it might seem.  It will help Ray Ray find another school if he chooses to transfer in order to play out his final two years of eligibility. This is a lot more than they could have done for a kid who has been in academic hot water in the past.

Somewhere in there, though, I'd like to see the school admit it needed the scholarship rather than covering itself with glory.

 There are a lot of things messed up about the college football hall of fame process. Some no-brainer candidates have been left out for years. One player who should already be in is Arizona State's Pat Tillman who appeared on this year's 75-player ballot this week.

Tillman is a national hero, plus an athletic (and academic) inspiration who should have been inducted posthumously the moment he died four years ago in Afghanistan. This is his first year on the ballot. Please, please, please voters. Do the right thing. The voters, by the way, are 12,000 National Football Foundation members and current hall of famers.

Here's the link so you can determine who you would pick to put in this year. Here's my list alphabetically:

Troy Aikman, UCLA (1984-88) He made two schools better. When Aikman determined that he wasn't going to work in a pro style offense at Oklahoma, he transferred to UCLA. When he left OU in 1985, it won a national championship with the triple option. Then there are all those Super Bowl rings.

Tim Brown, Notre Dame (1984-87)  The 1987 Heisman winner was one of the most durable and reliable receivers in NFL history.

Dave Casper, Notre Dame (1971-73) Before there was Kellen Winslow, there was Dave Casper.

Eric Dickerson, SMU (1979-82) He took the money and ran, or so they say. It's weird how many modern-day backs are compared Dickerson. He must have done something right.

Major Harris, West Virginia (1987-89) The precursor to the modern dual-threat quarterbacks. He was Vince Young before Vince Young.

Deion Sanders, Florida State (1985-88) How is this guy not in? Possibly the best college or pro corner ever. I hope the voters aren't turned off by his fashion sense.

Chris Spielman, Ohio State (1984-87) I hope my son grows up to be like Chris Spielman. A man's man, a great football player and a gentleman who gave up his career to be with his cancer-stricken wife. Hello, voters?

Lawrence Taylor, North Carolina (1977-80) Remember what I told you about no-brainers? The voters are obviously turned off by Taylor's brash style and NFL drug use but get over it. This guy changed the game and unlike a certain Heisman Trophy winner didn't beat a double murder rap.

 From the Too Much Information Dept.: Former Oklahoma linebacker Curtis Lofton recently explained why he ran slow 40s at the NFL combine. "I ate so much food, and I didn't use the bathroom the whole time I was down there."


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