Posted on: December 9, 2009 10:00 am
Edited on: December 9, 2009 10:04 am
Don't expect official word on Kansas next coach until next week.
KU officials spoke with Ole Miss' Houston Nutt on Tuesday. Nutt then took his name out of consideration. KU is known to favor Buffalo's Turner and East Carolina's Skip Holtz in that order. After the Louisville and Notre Dame hires, Kansas will have the college football landscape to itself next week to make the hire.
Don't know if this means anything but Gill's daughter, Jordan, has begun working for Kansas' athletic fund-raising arm, the Williams Fund. That comes from the Lawrence Journal-World. Jordan Gill is believed to be a theater major.
Posted on: September 12, 2009 7:43 pm
Maybe Georgia was just that bad. Oklahoma State is back to being Oklahoma State. Good luck, Cowboys, trying to outscore everyone the rest of the year. Meanwhile, Houston made a major statement for itself and Conference USA. Read on, notes hot off the press from Conference USA ...
• The win marks Houston’s first victory against a top 10 team since defeating No. 10 Wyoming, 34-10 on Nov. 12, 1988
• The win is Houston’s first over a top- 10 team on the road since defeating No. 3 Texas, 29-15 on Nov. 10, 1984
• Today’s victory is Houston’s third in a row over against a nationally-ranked opponent (defeated No. 23 East Carolina and No. 24 Tulsa last season).
• Junior QB Case Keenum, the nation’s leader in total offense in 2008, was 32-of-47 for 365 yards and three touchdowns.
Posted on: May 27, 2009 9:36 am
Edited on: May 28, 2009 5:49 pm
Welcome to Big 12 Jr.
Just like its big brother, Conference USA is high scoring. The offensive talent is wide ranging. Yes, there are even Heisman candidates at this level. The Big 12 has six programs from Texas and Oklahoma. CUSA has five. Both are able to mine those areas of the Southwest for talent.
C-USA had three teams in the top 10 in total offense. The Big 12 had five. Only C-USA and the Big 12 averaged more than 400 yards in total offense per game. C-USA finished second behind the Big 12 nationally in touchdown passes per game, points per game and plays per game.
Just don't come around here to find any defense. Just like the Big 12, Conference USA had a problem stopping the ball. Half the league finished No. 100 or lower in total defense last season.
On offense, though, six of the top seven rushers and eight of the top 10 passers return. Nine of the 12 teams have at least eight offensive starters returning. Four of the nation's top 20 players in total offense last season were from C-USA.
Houston, Tulsa, Texas-El Paso, East Carolina and Southern Miss look like bowl teams. Houston or East Carolina could be BCS busters.
Whatever happens, it will be fun to watch.
2. Tulsa -- In less than a month's time Todd Graham's offense scored 77 (against Texas El-Paso) and his defense gave up 70 (to Houston). If Graham can ever balance this thing out, the Golden Hurricane are going to be a BCS buster. Unfortunately for them, it's not going to be this year. The offense lost coordinator Gus Malzahn to Auburn, its quarterback (David Johnson) and top rusher (Tarrion Adams, 1,523 yards). Tulsa will score will rely on a veteran defense to hold teams under 70.
3. Texas-El Paso -- This might be Mike Price's best team since he headed for the border five years ago. Four of the five starters are back on the offensive line. Some think quarterback Trevor Vittatoe could be the league's best. A defense that helped put the Miners among the top 10 in turnover margin returns seven starters.
4. Rice -- From biggest turnaround in the country (seven-game improvement from 2007) to bottom half of the West. David Bailiff has to replace 56 touchdowns produced by Chase Clement (44 passing, 12 rushing). It's not going to be easy with the first three games on the road. After that the Owls plays Tulsa, Navy, East Carolina and Houston. If Bailiff goes 5-7 with this group give him a bonus.
5. Tulane -- Bob Toledo has won only six of 24 games in his two seasons in New Orleans. The beat should go on this year. The Green Wave's only victories last season were against Louisiana-Monroe and SMU. They come into this season having lost eight in a row, the last seven by at least 17 points.
6. SMU -- This is exactly where Hawaii was 11 years ago -- at the bottom, 0-12 under Fred vonAppen. June Jones blew into the islands in 1999, going 9-4 in his first season. It's going to take a little longer at SMU. Jones went 1-11 in his first season at SMU. He has most of his offensive talent returning but this is still SMU, losers of 17 consecutive CUSA games.
1. East Carolina -- The Pirates are loaded with 16 starters returning a CUSA championship team that beat Virginia Tech and West Virginia. While opponents are more wise to the ways of quarterback Patrick Pinkney, it's hard to scout takeaways. The Pirates had 33 of them last year, including six against Tulsa in the conference title game.
Posted on: December 10, 2008 12:44 am
My Heisman ballot:
1. Tim Tebow
I can't give you a quantitative reason why Tebow is my No. 1. His numbers are down from '07. However, after watching him lead that fourth-quarter comeback against Alabama, it's more of a feel, an emotional reaction.
I go back to Sept. 27 when Tebow basically called his shot after the Ole Miss loss and then delivered! Nine wins in a row. Go back and at the quotes from that day. Tebow as Babe Ruth pointing his bad toward the Wrigley Field bleachers.
Until Saturday, Bradford was my guy. I had started hyping him for Heisman back when he was a freshman. How many players ever have led the country in pass efficiency two years in a row?
It's hard to vote Colt McCoy third when he took a team with a mediocre offensive line and led it in passing and rushing. The point is, I can't slide a piece of paper between the three of them.
The voters: John Adams, Knoxville News Sentinel; Tony Barnhart, CBS; Mark Blaudschun, Boston Globe; Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; B.G. Brooks, Rocky Mountain News; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Brian Davis, Dallas Morning News; Mike DeArmond, Kansas City Star; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Michael DiRocco, Florida Times-Union; Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle; Scott Ferrell, Shreveport Times; Anthony Gimino, Tucson Citizen; Herb Gould, Chicago-Sun Times; Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune; Mike Griffith, Knoxville New Sentinel; Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune; Matt Hayes, Sporting News; Tommy Hicks, Mobile Press-Register; Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial Appeal; Mark Janssen, Manhattan Mercury; Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch; Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star; Ted Lewis, New Orleans Times-Picayune; Mike Lopresti, Gannett Newspapers; Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger; Ray Melick, Birmingham News; Rodney McKissic, Buffalo News; Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune.
(Two voters did not want their names used)
The rest of the national awards, etc.
There's a difference between the Heisman winner and MVP. McCoy did more with less. Texas wouldn't be in the conversation without him.
Best quarterback: Bradford
This is getting confusing so let's just drop it.
Best running back: Shonn Greene, Iowa
The nation's No. 2 rusher came on in the second half of the season to surpass Michigan State's Javon Ringer and UConn's Donald Brown as the most consistent ground force in the nation.
Best receiver: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
This was tough. I recently shifted away from Missouri's Chase Coffman who was too injured at the end of the season to back up a spectacular first eight games of the season.
The 6-foot-6 inch Gresham gets opens, is hard to tackle and has speed. Need anything else?
Best offensive lineman: Andre Smith, Alabama.
He is what coaches look for when they recruit left tackles. A case can be made for Smith, the likely Outland Trophy winner, being Bama's MVP. Without him protecting John Parker Wilson and carving out holes for Glen Coffee, the Tide don't start 12-0.
Defensive player of the year: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
From a troubled beginning, this voracious tackler became the foundation for one of the best statistical defenses in history.
Best defensive lineman: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
Ask BYU's Max Hall what he thinks of the nation's sacks leader In their October matchup, Hughes sacked Hall three times.
Best defensive back: Eric Berry, Tennessee.
Lane Kiffin should be at Berry's house right now making sure he's happy, comfortable and ready to take 20 snaps a game on offense.
Best special teams player: Kevin Huber, P, Cincinnati
You won't find many other All-Americans on the best Cincinnati team in history that won 11 games and the Big East. We'll give it to Huber who bombed 20 punts more than 50 yards and dropped 20 punts inside the 20.
Remember when Cincinnati used to be a basketball school?
Freshman of the year: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State
How did he get from Texas to Corvallis?
Coach of the year: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
Staff of the year: Penn State
The Broyles Award is doing a disservice to Penn State. The honor goes to the assistant coach of the year. Not only were there no Penn State assistants among the finalists, the Broyles folks didn't do the right thing and pick the entire Penn State staff.
With JoePa ailing, his staff basically took over and led the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten title. Big ups to defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, defensive line coach Larry Johnson and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno. They were the glue.
Biggest disappointments: Georgia, Notre Dame, South Florida, West Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, the ACC, the Pac-10.
Biggest surprises: Oregon State, Ball State, Alabama, Buffalo, East Carolina, Rice, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech.
Sometimes you just live right: Charlie Weis almost got run out of town after a 6-6 season. His reward? A trip to the Hawaii where he can continue to recruit linebacker Manti Te'o.
Don't give me any of this stuff about a dead period. Te'o will be a captive audience as the Irish take over Oahu.
Best games: Texas 45, Oklahoma 35, Oct. 11 in Dallas.
The winner usually wins the Big 12 South and competes for the national championship. Right? Right?
Texas Tech 39, Texas 33, Nov. 1 in Lubbock.
Not to pick on the Horns here but the reason they are playing Ohio State instead of Florida is Crabtree's game-winning catch with one second left.
UCLA 27, Tennessee 24 (OT) Sept. 1 in the Rose Bowl.
Tennessee's defense held UCLA's Kevin Craft to only four interceptions in the first half. Then, in his best performance of a long, long season, Craft rallied the Bruins in the second half.
Rick Neuheisel led a post-game pep rally.
Florida 31, Alabama 20, Dec. 6 at the SEC championship game.
The BCS was smiling as the closest thing to a national semifinal was played out in front of the largest Georgia Dome crowd in history.
Whine of the year: Pete Carroll and USC
You lost to a team you weren't supposed to (Oregon State). You paid for it in the polls. Deal with it. Maybe the difference between that and Florida losing to Ole Miss? Urban Meyer has made a habit lately of winning the big ones <em>and</em> the little ones.
Six teams ranked No. 1 during the season (the most since 1984)
Alabama arriving a year early (at least) under Nick Saban
Utah, TCU and BYU making a huge statement by the Mountain West: The BCS doesn't belong to the six power conferences.
Notre Dame's collapse from 4-1 and Weis barely hanging on for another year.
Oregon State beating USC and chasing its first Rose Bowl in 44 years.
Coaches in waiting.
Coaches waiting in line ("resigning" in the middle of a season).
The end of a Bowden (Tommy).
The continuation of a Bowden (Bobby).
The longing of a Bowden (Terry, to get back in the game).
Nate Davis' gloves.
Jay Jacobs' "shock" over Tommy Tuberville's "resignation."
Tennessee goes from old school to youngest coach in the country.
The (sad) state of Washington. (Combined records of the Huskies and Cougars, 2-22).
Big 12 quarterbacks.
Big 12 offenses.
Big 12 top 10 games each week.
The Big 12 surpassing the SEC, if only for a moment, as the best conference in the country.
The tie in the Big 12 South.
The cry that followed.
The high road.
Running it up.
Calling off the dogs.
"To me that's a little ridiculous," Bradford said.
That's a good way to end it, for now.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Ball State, Buffalo, BYU, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Gerogia Tech, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Pac-10, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rice, South Florida, TCU, Tennessee, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, West Virginia, West Virginia
Posted on: December 2, 2008 11:17 pm
Nice move by Oregon to lock up Chip Kelly. Whether the move was accelerated by Syracuse's interest or not, it made sense. Kelly has been around only two seasons. It has been long enough to prove himself. In 2007, Oregon led the Pac-10 in scoring. This season, the Ducks lead the league in total offense. That's what you want out of your offensive coordinator.
Let's see, that makes five coaches in waiting: Kentucky, Purdue, Texas, Florida State and Oregon.• Sometimes all you have to do break the code in these coaching searches. Cincinnati's Brian Kelly announced Tuesday that he was staying at the school. His name had been most recently linked to Notre Dame.
Kelly's action signaled to me that Notre Dame had decided to keep Charlie Weis. Otherwise, Kelly wouldn't have made a grandstand move out of sticking around at Cincinnati. Sure enough, Tuesday night it was announced that Weis would be back for his sixth season.
The best option for Notre Dame might be to wait a year, suck it up, and see if it can shake loose Urban Meyer. It's going to be incredibly awkward to pursue Meyer anyway at this point. The former ND assistant has at least a BCS bowl and maybe a national championship game to prepare for in Gainesville.
ND might be wise to ride out a choppy 2009 if it allows easier access to Meyer. The coach has said on numerous occassions that Notre Dame was his dream job. That was <>before<> he found happiness in Gainesville.
One of ND's few advantages are Meyer's success, strangely enough. If he wins his second national championship in three years at Florida, what is there left to accomplish?• We have our first confirmation that Mike Leach has shown interest in the Washington job. The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that Leach had been in Seattle, ostensibly to interview. At the the same time, Texas Tech is readying a raise and extension offer. It better hurry. If U-Dub president Mark Emmert can get past Leach's quirky ways (and wardrobe), Washington just might have its next coach.
Leach had stoned potential suitors until after the season so he could concentrate on football.• Syracuse is all over the map according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. The 'Cuse has interviewed or will interview Temple coach Al Golden, Eagles assistant Mark Whipple, Bengals assistant Paul Alexander, Florida assistant Steve Addazio, Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone and Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley.
Buffalo's Turner Gill and East Carolina's Skip Holtz are also still in the mix.
Posted on: November 23, 2008 9:05 pm
It looks like it's over for Texas.
It's over if Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State on Saturday. Although Texas moved up to No. 2 in Sunday's latest BCS standings, it has a very slight lead over No. 3 Oklahoma -- .0084 of a point.
It is almost assured that if Oklahoma beats No. 11 Oklahoma State the Sooners will make up that margin on Texas and win the three-way tiebreaker in the Big 12 South. The tie goes to the team with the highest BCS ranking.
Texas plays its final regular-season game on Thanksgiving against Texas A&M.
The Horns have to hope for an Oklahoma State upset. That would send Texas Tech to the Big 12 championship game (if it beats Baylor)and at the same time strengthen Texas' hold on No. 2. The Horns could become the third Big 12 team since 2001 to play in the national championship game without winning the conference.• Up to date profiles of the three teams involved in the current Big 12 South tie ...
Texas had Tech beat in Lubbock until it gave the ball back with 1:29 left in the Nov. 1 game. Harrell was able to drive the team down for the game-winning touchdown with one second left. But that was only after Gideon, a Texas defensive back, dropped a tipped pass that would have ended Tech's drive.
Crabtree made an amazing catch against double coverage and tight-roped the sidelines into the end zone for a 39-33 victory.
Ranked teams beaten (ranking at time of kickoff): No. 1 Oklahoma 45-35; No. 11 Missouri 56-31; No. 7 Oklahoma State 28-24.
Common opponent with other two teams: Defeated Kansas 35-7.
Schedule strength (Sagarin): No. 5 (up from No. 7 last week)
BCS ranking: No. 2
Argument for: Defeated three teams ranked in the top 11, including No. 1 Oklahoma. Colt McCoy is this year's version of Tim Tebow leading the Horns in rushing and passing. Will Muschamp's defense might not be impressive statistically but it is a big play group and is coming off its best performance of the season against Kansas.
Argument against: Not much of one except that it didn't play on Saturday while Oklahoma got all the national love. If Texas doesn't get to the Big 12 title game it will be because of a six-point loss on the road with one second left against Texas Tech.
Regular-season game remaining: Thursday vs. Texas A&M
Ranked teams beaten (ranking at time of kickoff): No. 19 Kansas 63-21; No. 1 Texas 39-33; No. 8 Oklahoma State 56-20.
Common opponent with other two teams: Defeated Kansas 63-21.
Schedule strength (Sagarin): No. 19 (up from No. 50 last week)
BCS ranking: No. 7
Argument for: Defeated No. 1 (Texas), last week's Heisman frontrunner (Harrell) and the nation's best receiver (Crabtree). But there's more than this high-flying offense. Texas Tech has been well -rounded most of the season with a serviceable running game and effective defense. Until Saturday.
Suddenly Tech has the best schedule strength of the three jumping from No. 50 to No. 19. Until Saturday, Utah State has played a tougher overall schedule than Texas Tech.
Argument against: You can't lose by 44 on national television on Nov. 22 and expect to play for a national championship, much less a Big 12 title.
But both are still a possibility.
Regular-season game remaining: Saturday vs. Baylor
Why they're in this position: Colt McCoy. Texas' quarterback had a career day on Oct. 11. The Sooners led by five with 12 minutes but were outscored 15-0 down the stretch the day in beating Oklahoma.
Other than that, Kansas (14) has been the only team to get within 22 points of OU.
Ranked teams beaten (ranked at the time of kickoff): No. 24 TCU, 35-10; No. 2 Texas Tech, 65-21.
Common opponent with other two teams: Defeated Kansas 45-31.
Schedule strength (Sagarin): No. 26 (up from No. 42 last week)
BCS ranking: No. 3
Argument for: Playing the best right now. OU has laid waste to its opponents since losing to Texas. It has won successive games by 14, 23, 34, 38 and 44 points.
Sam Bradford leads the country in touchdown passes and seems to be the new Heisman leader.
Argument against: Beat Tech which beat Texas which beat Oklahoma. Oh no, here we go again.
Regular-season game remaining: Saturday at Oklahoma State
• Picking up the pieces after Notre Dame's epic meltdown: ND had four possessions inside the Syracuse 24 and came away with six points ... The Irish blew their third double-digit lead this season ... Notre Dame was held to 41 yards rushing. The previous season low given up by the Syracuse defense was 90 yards rushing allowed to Division I-AA Northeastern which finished 2-10.
• Maryland dropped out of contention in the ACC Atlantic after losing to Florida State. Chalk it up to inconsistency. The Terps were 4-0 against ranked teams, 3-4 against unranked teams and 0-4 at night.
• North Carolina State captured the "state championship" by beating North Carolina, Wake Forest, East Carolina and Duke. That's the first state sweep for the Pack since 1986. "What it speaks to is we're the best football program in the state," coach Tom O'Brien said.
• Either Beanie Wells is injured or he's turning into Franco Harris. I'm not talking about the Franco who led the Steelers to Super Bowls. I'm talking about the Franco who became famous for stepping out of bounds rather than accept punishment from, or deal out punishment to, defenders.
Wells broke for a long run to midfield in the second half and clearly cut his run short and stepped out of bounds rather than lower a shoulder. Wells could have picked up another five yards, instead he did an out route out of bounds.
That's the not first time I've seen him do that. Wells did leave the game later because of hamstring problems. It will be interesting to see what Wells does after this season because his junior season has been somewhat of a disappointment.• The recent legacy of bad decision making among Tennessee apparently carries on to the next level. Former Tennessee golden body Erik Ainge was suspended by the NFL for violation of the league's policy on steroids and related substance.
It's not like Ainge is blowing his career. First, he would have to have a career to blow it. The Jets rookie quarterback was already on injured reserve so, hey, maybe was bored.
Posted on: November 20, 2008 6:54 am
While Florida's Steve Addazio and Notre Dame's Rob Ianello remain at the top of the list, don't count out East Carolina's Skip Holtz.
Syracuse's fine beat writer Donnie Webb breaks it down.
Posted on: October 13, 2008 2:15 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2008 11:59 pm
I'm told that Clemson will pay its next coach between $1.25 million and $1.75 million.
The biggest reason, the school can't afford to go get a bigger name coach and pay him $2 million-$3 million per year. The school will probably spend in the neighborhood of $6 million to get rid of Tommy Bowden. They owe him a $3.5 million buyout starting Dec. 1. That will come in six installments.
"These buyout figures are like a prenuptial agreement ... " agent Mike Brown told me on Monday. "There's no bean counter that comes up with an Excel spread sheet. For the athletic director it's, 'What number can I live with if I fire you?'
"If you are going to make a change, it impacts you on the quality of guy you can go get. I don't see them (Clemson) going out and paying a guy who can be in the $2 to $3 milion category. Most of those guys making $1.5 or $2 million might have a buyout equal to that amout."
So what's the answer for Clemson?
Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator, Texas -- The toast of Texas after helping beat Oklahoma, Muschamp had been mentioned for the job before Tommy Bowden left. At age 36, is he ready to become a head coach? Making $425,000 per year, Muschamp comes affordable too.
Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt -- Not many know BJ is a Clemson grad. If he was going to leave, this would be the time. His stock will never be higher.
Skip Holtz, East Carolina -- Familiar in South Carolina after helping his dad with the Gamecocks. He was the hottest name in the country until a recent slide by the Pirates.
Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee -- solid coach familiar with Clemson.
Bud Foster, defensive coordinator, Virginia Tech -- If Clemson is tired of going the offensive route, Foster is their guy. He is one of the top defensive minds in the country and is more than ready to take over his own program.
Dabo Swinney, receivers coach, Clemson -- the new interim could be the guy. He's affordable and accomplished at Clemson. Swinney reportedly helped land running back C.J. Spiller. A former Alabama walk-on, Swinney knows how to work. He was Tommy's assistant head coach before being tapped on Monday.
Todd Graham, Tulsa -- the genius behind Tulsa's mind-blowing offense isn't a man to be tied down. He left Rice after one season and now has Tulsa as one of the nation's 10 undefeated teams. If Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips wanted to energize the program, this is his man.
Brent Venables, defensive coordinator, Oklahoma -- Bob Stoops no doubt would give his blessing for his long-time assistant to take this job. Venables defensive credentials are top notch. Get him a top offensive coordinator and Clemson would take off.