Tag:Stanford
Posted on: October 30, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2011 6:10 pm
 

Thoughts On A Football Saturday: West Virginia

This is on Don Nehlen. Major Harris too. Don’t forget Bobby Bowden. Rich Rodriguez gets credit. Even Bill Stewart.

West Virginia joined Big 12 on Friday (beginning in 2012) because of all those folks. Nehlen, the gritty, veteran coach who put the school on the map. Major Harris, the dual threat sensation before there were dual threat sensations leading the Mountaineers to the brink of a national championship. Rich Rod, the homeboy, and his basketball-on-grass offense. And all Coach Stew did was beat Oklahoma and average nine wins a year.

You can thank Gordon Gee too. Gee was West Virginia’s president during a key time (1981-85) in the school’s history. If not for the school’s admission into the old College Football Association, it might not be here today. West Virginia was among a group of about 15 independents in that initial CFA group of 63 schools.

The CFA gained power out of the Supreme Court’s de-regulation of college football in 1984. It was the television negotiating arm for those top 63 football-playing schools.

“They [West Virginia] met all the criteria,” said former CFA executive director Chuck Neinas. “They routinely get 60,000, their stadium size, strength of schedule, certain academic commitments.”

The qualifications for the old CFA have faded into history. But they are essentially why West Virginia is in a BCS league going forward and the Big East is in trouble. West Virginia has been selected to move on as a big-time football program.

That, and cold, hard numbers. You want to know why West Virginia is in the Big 12 and Louisville isn’t? 500,000 homes. That’s the difference in the half-rating point for television that separates the two schools.     

It comes down to West Virginia’s average 2.6 television rating over the past five years as opposed to 2.1 for Louisville. That half-rating point equals half a million television homes. That’s according to an industry source who had the numbers in front of him for all 120 FBS schools.

The FBS average rating is 2.2 In other words, Louisville is an average TV draw. West Virginia is an above average draw.

Big 12 inventory becomes more valuable because of  West Virginia-Texas and West Virginia-Oklahoma Louisville doesn’t move the needle as much. According the industry source, that 2.1 Louisville rating was boosted significantly by a pair of two five-year-old results – games in 2006 against West Virginia and Rutgers.

Neinas, currently interim Big 12 commissioner, was CFA executive director for the 20 years of existence. It disbanded in 1997. The Mountaineers move to the Big 12 can be traced back to Neinas’ time when he guided college football through a treacherous period. West Virginia made the cut Friday because of all those things – Nehlen’s leadership, that national championship run, ratings points. But it goes back to West Virginia being leading Eastern independent when the CFA was formed.

The CFA was a precursor the current BCS (membership: 66).

So West Virginia has its nose under the tent and the Big East moves on with uncertainty. Even if it does reconstitute itself and expand to 12 teams, there is no guarantee the Big East will retain its BCS status. That issue will at least be discussed when the BCS holds its next scheduled meeting Nov. 14 in San Francisco.

For 2012 at least, the Big 12 is a 10-team conference but don’t hold your breath.

“The only thing constant in this world is change,” Neinas said. “Right now we’ve got our house in order. We’re looking forward to a very aggressive conference.”

 

National notage …

 

A closer look at how Wisconsin has blown its last two games to Michigan State and Ohio State:

In the final eight minutes of both those games the teams’ combined score has been even, 21-21. In those fourth quarters, Wisconsin’s pass defense allowed 10 completions on 17 attempts for 155 yards. Take away the two game-winning plays – Michigan State at the gun and Ohio State with 20 seconds left – and the opposition completed only eight of 15 in that span for 74 yards, 4.93 yards per attempt.

But you can’t leave out those two plays. Keith Nichol caught the winner for Michigan State from 44 yards out. Ohio State’s Devin Smith caught that 40-yard touchdown from Braxton Miller with 20 seconds left.

Essentially, Wisconsin hasn’t responded when playing tougher competition. It won its first six games by at least 31 points. Two plays have killed the Badgers. They will likely be the difference in a BCS bowl (Rose?) and perhaps a Big Ten title.

 


Case Keenum has to be the season’s most valuable player to this point.

Houston is in the running for a Big East berth (maybe) and BCS bowl (barely) primarily because of its quarterback’s right arm. The nation’s leading passer has the Cougars ranked and on the periphery of BCS contention. The memory may have faded by now but Houston beat Rice 73-34 Thursday with Keenum throwing nine touchdown passes.  Someday soon he will be the all-time leader in passing yardage.

Yes, a sixth year of eligibility has helped but look at what it has wrought: In conference realignment where your worth can be judged by what you did yesterday, the Cougars are a hot commodity – at least to the Big East. Houston could be included in a batch of teams that would stretch from BYU to Texas and back East just to keep the conference viable.

Basically, Keenum is all Houston has. That’s no disgrace considering what’s at stake. While the defense is improved over last season (from 103<sup>rd</sup> to 86<sup>th</sup>), the Cougars have won games this season allowing 34 (twice) and 42 points. It all comes back to Keenum, already the NCAA’s career total offense leader, having thrown a nation-leading 32 touchdowns.

Without him, Houston is a commuter school in media market where it is the fourth or fifth option. With him, Houston may someday be able to thank Keenum for a berth in a BCS bowl.

That brings us to this week’s top Heisman contenders ...

1. Keenum – 139 career touchdown passes. 
2. Kellen Moore, Boise State – forget his measurables. Should end up in a pro camp somewhere.
3. Andrew Luck, Stanford – Completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception and passer rating all up over last season.
4. Trent Richardson, Alabama – We’ll know more after Saturday.
5. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin – Don’t blame the nation’s most efficient passer for the Ohio State loss.

 


While we’re speculating on coaching turnover, let’s not forget North Carolina State’s Tom O’Brien.

 

After being shut out by Florida State, 34-0, the Wolfpack is 4-4 having beaten only one BCS conference program this season (Virginia). N.C. State was shut out on the road an ACC game for the first time since 1990, not to mention Wilson’s decision to let Russell Wilson become a free agent.

O’Brien is 29-29 in his fifth season, having never finished better than a tie for second in the ACC Atlantic Division.

 

 
This from the Boulder Daily CameraIt seems like it’s already time to question why Colorado was included in the Pac-12’s expansion plans.

So why was CU No. 1 on Larry Scott's expansion list?

"CU just checked all the boxes for us," the forward-thinking Pac-12 commissioner said. "CU was a fit in terms of academic compatibility, being a good geographic fit and sharing a similar philosophy and culture in terms of the role of athletics within the broader mission. And Denver is a very important market."

Colorado dropped to 1-8, 0-6 in the Pac-12 South after a 48-14 loss at Arizona State. Pac-12 newbies CU and Utah are a combined 5-12 overall, 1-10 in the league.

 


Penn State may be the worst 8-1 team you ever saw, but it has a plucky defense and, more importantly, an inside track to the Big Ten title game.

After beating Illinois Saturday, the Nittany Lions have a 2 ½-game lead over Wisconsin, Purdue and Ohio State in the Leaders Division with three games to go. Hold onto your Coke bottle glasses. Those final three games are at home against Nebraska, at Ohio State and at Wisconsin. If JoePa somehow grabs another Big Ten title at age 84 he will have earned it.

 

Posted on: October 6, 2011 9:31 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 9:32 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List: Coaches' poll attacks?

The love-child addendum to Friday's Weekend Watch List ...

What SWWL wouldn't give to get a weekly look at the coaches' poll ballots. It just so happens this week that the coaches of the top six teams in the poll all have votes -- 1. Oklahoma (Bob Stoops), 2. LSU ( Les Miles), 3. Nick Saban (Alabama), 4. David Shaw (Stanford), 5. Bret Bielema (Wisconsin) and 6. Boise State (Chris Petersen).

In some small (or large) way they -- or any coach in the process -- could manipulate who plays in the national championship game. College football continues to stage the only championship literally controlled by the coaches competing for it.  

 

--Add Mike Stoops to the hot seat list. Arizona (1-4) goes to Oregon State having lost so many conference games in a row (seven) that the streak began in the Pac-10 and continues in the Pac-12.



--You think your life is rough? Here's a look inside Mack Brown's Longhorn Network commitments during the week.

Monday: Texas Rewind, a one-hour replay show that requires a two-hour commitment.

Wednesday: Longhorn Sportsline with Mack Brown. One-hour show that requires a slightly more than a two-hour commitment; Also 10-15-minute segment on Texas All Access.

Thursday: Game Plan with Mack Brown. One-hour show that requires a 90-minute commitment.

An interview to open coverage of live practice Tuesday and Wednesday. (5 or 10 minutes).

Home games: Texas GameDay on set, 10-15 minutes. Road: one-on-one sideline.

One-hour show every Wednesday: All-access recordes interview 10-15 minutes.

 

--Finally, SWWL can't get enough of Texas safety Blake Gideon who has been a friend of The List for three years since he dropped the potential game-clinching interception against Texas Tech in 2008.

"In reality, we're not playing for anybody in the stands," he said of Saturday's Oklahoma game. "We're playing for the brotherhood we've developed."  

Q: You're a senior what's it like to go out there in Red River Shootout for the first time?

Gideon:  "It was tough for me as a true freshman to go out there and really being overwhelmed by it for the that first series. It's hard not to get caught up. I just tell the young guys, 'It's the same game you've been playing."

 
Q: You've been on both sides, winning and losing this game. What's it like?

Gideon: "It's heartbreaking to lose, last year obviously. The first two years we played we came away with victories. It doesn’t matter how you played individually. You won, you beat Oklahoma. It's the game everybody grew up watching, at least everyone in Texas.

 

Q: Tell me about that first series when you're so nervous.

Gideon:  "You make a tackle for a loss, half the stadium stands up and goes wild. Half the stadium is quiet. Next play they get a first down, it's completely flipped. It really hinges like that one play the entire game. The fans are on the edge of their seat, the entire game.

"From the time both teams come out of the tunnel to the whistle, it's all out emotional passion. You can't help but give everything you have and pouring everything you have into it."


Q: You cracked two vertebrae in high school. Do they ever bother you?

Gideon:  "It's sore every now and then, nothing like it was in high school. In high school, that was definitely a scary time in my life. There was numbness in my legs, excruciating pain.

"After my sophomore year [in high school], my back had been bothering me. I drove back to my house after a game. I really couldn't get out of the car because my legs were numb. I wore a back brace for nine months."


Q: What's it like being in that Cotton Bowl tunnel right before the game?

Gideon: "There's a little bit of talking going on, a lot of emotion. The past three years, the Oklahoma fans have been at that end of the stadium.. They're sending all the good lucks down to us."

 

 

Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:54 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

Starting with leftovers from the Friday Charlie Weis interview.

Florida's offensive coordinator takes on Alabama Saturday in his biggest college game since leaving Notre Dame in 2009. The knee he had replaced in June is no longer an issue. I began by asking him if walking around pain-free makes a difference in his job. 

"Absolutely no effect," he said.

All righty, then. Moving on. 

Question: You've coached at the highest level. Is the SEC, in some ways, like the NFL because it is a line-of-scrimmage league?

Weis: "It's not just a line-of-scrimmage league, it's how much speed there is. There's fast guys all over the place. That's a big testament to the conference. It's not just the linebackers and defensive backs. There's a bunch of athletic lineman running around too. You have to be on guard just to give yourself the best chance."

Question: When Urban Meyer came into the league one of the first things he realized is he had to have a fullback out there. Was there any surprise about coming into this league?

Weis: "I just came from the NFL so you're used to guys who can run real fast. You see it on a weekly basis. Now especially as we're getting ready for Alabama, I look at these guys on tape. This is what you're used to playing against."

Question: Have you snuck a look at the Chiefs this season?

Weis: "I know what's happened right there. We don't have time to watch any of their games or anything. Sunday is a very busy day for us."

Question: How is your son? (The reason Weis came to Florida was because he could be with his son Charlie Jr.)

Weis: "He's an intern for the head coach. I got him away from me, so he isn't like daddy's little tag along. That's worked out very nicely.

Question: What does he do for Will Muschamp?

Weis: "He's kind of the offensive liaison. He keeps Will [Muschamp] abreast of everything we do on offense. Will is always completely up to date with everything we do on offense. He brings him our daily grades and personnel. It's been a nice role for him."


Jordan Jefferson is back:
Now that LSU's quarterback has been reinstated, could it be that in a convoluted way, that bar fight might be one of the best things that happens to LSU?

Jarrett Lee (this week vs. Kentucky) probably never would have gotten the reps, or the starting job, had Jefferson never been suspended. Now, the Tigers essentially have two starting quarterbacks. If Lee slumps or loses the job, Jefferson is in the wings. Les Miles is already saying Jefferson will play in every game as a super-backup.

WWL would never advocate violence but in a weird way, this episode has worked out in LSU's favor. Jefferson is expected to see action against the Wildcats.


The gift that keeps on giving: The NCAA's top five passers this week all have ties to Mike Leach:

Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden, Houston's Case Keenum, West Virginia's Geno Smith, Arizona's Nick Foles and Oklahoma's Landry Jones.

Weeden, Keenum and Smith are or were coached by Dana Holgorsen, Leach's offensive coordinator at Texas Tech from 2000-2007. Holgorsen has since coached at Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

Foles' offensive coordinator at Arizona, Seth Littrell, played at Oklahoma under Leach. Littrell was also Leach's running backs coach at Texas Tech. Prior to Litrell, Sonny Dykes was Foles' offensive coordinator at Arizona, before going to Louisiana Tech as head coach. Dykes coached with Leach at Kentucky and Texas Tech.

Connection to Jones: Oklahoma's co-offensive coordinator is Josh Heupel who was coached by Leach in 1999 as OU's OC.


This gets a WWL mention because we are a quarter of the way through the season and, well, it matters:
 Temple is No. 1 in scoring defense. The Fighting Addazios (3-1, hosting Toledo) have given up four total touchdowns playing an FCS (Villanova), a conference rival (Akron) and two BCS programs (Penn State and Maryland).


This week's Power Poll
1. LSU
2. Oklahoma
3. Boise State
4. Alabama
5. Wisconsin
6. Virginia Tech
7. Oklahoma State
8. Stanford
9. Nebraska
10. Oregon
11. South Carolina
12. Texas A&M
13. Clemson
14. Baylor
15. Florida
16. Georgia Tech
17. Michigan
18. Kansas State
19. Illinois
20. Michigan State
21. TCU
22. Arkansas
23. West Virginia
24. Arizona State
25. Ohio State



Piling on: George Barlow makes his head coaching debut for crippled, battered, embarrassed New Mexico. The Lobos, 2-26 under Mike Locksley, try to salvage some pride in a rivalry game against New Mexico State. Barlow was New Mexico's defensive coordinator before Locksley was fired on Sunday. That defense is 116th nationally having allowed 24 touchdowns, the most in the country ... Look who is the No. 1 running back in the country. After a slow start against LSU, Oregon's LaMichael James has 613 yards. James is coming off a school-record 288 yards against Arizona. The Ducks play Cal on Thursday ... We'll see how that K-State defense defends its manhood after defending the goal line last week against Miami. Baylor's Robert Griffin threw for 404 yards and four touchdowns last season against K-State in a 47-42 win ... Half of the Big 12 (actually five of 10 teams) are ranked No. 17 or higher in the coaches' poll ... Joe Paterno coaches his 700th game this week as a part of the Penn State staff (at Indiana) ... If South Carolina's Stephen Garcia doesn't get it going this week against Auburn he never will. Steve Spurrier's much-cussed quarterback is ranked second-worst among the 100 quarterbacks rated by the NCAA. Auburn's secondary has allowed opponents to complete almost 68 percent of passes ... LSU is No. 1 for the first time since November 2007.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:46 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 11:49 am
 

National notes

Since I didn't get around to predicting the BCS bowls before the season actually started, let's just call this a BCS bowl preview (after one week).

BCS championship in New Orleans: Alabama* vs. Oklahoma*

Did nothing in Week 1 to change my opinion of the two best teams in the country.


Rose Bowl:
Oregon* vs. Wisconsin*

Oregon suddenly not a prohibitive favorite in the Pac-12.


Fiesta:
Texas A&M vs. Stanford

Fiesta gets supposed Heisman winner (Andrew Luck) against Big 12 runner-up.


Sugar:
LSU vs. Florida State

Tigers make it back to Sugar, but not the big one.


Orange:
West Virginia* vs. Virginia Tech*

Tech makes a return trip to South. Mountaineers giddy over return to BCS bowl.

*-automatic qualifier


--One reason why we saw all those games delayed or postponed by weather:

Lawyers, or the threat of them if even one person was injured, never mind or killed. Our society is so litigious that even one person slipping on a staircase could cost a school millions. That's why you saw 80,000 people evacuated from stadiums in a short period of time. It's obvious by the speed at which these teams were cleared that schools have prepared for this occurrence.

I can remember seasons when we didn't see this many weather-related delays. Now schools are erring on the side of safety. Who can blame Notre Dame for clearing the stadium twice after it lost a student videographer last season?


--Give Miami's Al Golden credit for not whining about his predicament at Miami.

"Eight of the 110 kids on our team had a significant issue for something they did three years ago?" Golden said. "We're moving on right now. I've been to the deepest depths in the NCAA."

Those depths would have been inheriting a roster with 54 scholarship players at Temple as well as NCAA and APR problems. The difference, as Golden has pointed out, Temple was shooting for a winning record. Miami wants to win championships.


--Yes, it's early and it probably means nothing but here's where you'll find last year's returning Heisman finalists in the current NCAA stats after one week.

Andrew Luck, Stanford: The Heisman runner-up threw for a modest 171 yards against San Jose State in a 57-3 blowout. He is 39th overall in pass efficiency.

LaMichael James, Oregon: Not listed in the top 100 after rushing for 54 yards in 18 carries against LSU. In his last two games, both against SEC superpowers, James has rushed for 103 yards on 31 carries.

Kellen Moore, Boise State: 21st in passing efficiency after completing 28 of 34 against Georgia. How does that get him to 21st after one of the biggest wins in Boise State history? Think of it this way: Moore is first on that list among quarterbacks who played a BCS-conference opponent in the first week.


--Weird stat of the week: Of Oregon's 83 scoring drives last season, it was forced to go more than 11 plays only five times. Oregon had to go 79 yards in 19 plays to score its first touchdown of the season against LSU. What looked at the time like a turning of the tide against the Tigers, turns out to be another reason to like LSU's defense.


--Baylor isn't likely to lose in the month of September. After this week's bye, the Bears have Stephen F. Austin and Rice at home. The conference opener is Oct. 1 at Kansas State and that's looking easier by the moment.

Look for more deserved Baylor hype. The Bears could be 5-0 heading into Texas A&M on Oct. 15.


--Way too early Heisman ballot:

1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: Best quarterback in the Big 12 after beating TCU. Felt like Friday Night Lights in Waco.
2. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU: It's good to have a playmaker. It's great to have a playmaker on defense. It's almost impossible to have a game changer in the secondary.
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State: Now, only the NFL has to take notice.
Posted on: August 29, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Handicapping the Heisman field

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford -- The ghosts of Jim Plunkett and Herschel Walker will haunt the season

2. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma -- OU has become Quarterback U

3. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State -- Hasn't been one like him at OSU since Hart Lee Dykes (including Dez Bryant). I mean that in a good way.

4. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon -- With Lache Seastrunk no longer a threat to get in the rotation, is it possible the nation's leading rusher will get even more work?

5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State -- New set of receivers, same old arm.

6. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan -- Would be a front runner but Michigan needs to win more and Brady Hoke is going to make him a pocket passer.

7. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina -- Just call him "Hoss" and give him the ball.

8. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama -- Longshot because Nick Saban spreads the carries around.

Posted on: March 2, 2011 1:54 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 1:55 pm
 

BYU's honor code from the football side

PROVO, Utah -- In the middle of a spectacular sunny afternoon at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, Bronco Mendenhall brought up the subject of player conduct. The BYU football coach probably didn't understand that a revealing look at the school's honor code would, in a few hours, take on added significance. 

It turns out Mendenhall was speaking hours before BYU suspended basketball center Brandon Davies on Tuesday for an honor code violation. The information was released Tuesday night. 

BYU is in the process of transitioning from the Mountain West to independent status in football. Almost all of its other sports will play in the West Coast Conference beginning next season. There is more urgency right now in basketball because it is seeking its first No. 1 seed. Davies was a key element in that chase. 


Here is BYU's honor code. You've probably heard or read about it in the past. The basics: honesty, chastity, abiding by the law, clean language, no alcohol, tobacco, tea or coffee and dress and grooming standards. Pertaining to nothing in this blog, it also includes a clause dealing with homosexuality.  

We didn't talk Tuesday about Mendenhall losing lost star running back Harvey Unga in April. Unga voluntarily withdrew from school because of an undisclosed honor code violation. These Mendenhall quotes are from an interview dealing with football independence. Once again, the Davies suspension had not been announced. 

"It doesn't mean that we still don't have a young man who makes a mistake out there," the coach said. "I'll lose about five players a year, probably, through academic choices or social choices or honor code choices ...

"To my knowledge we have the highest GPA in the country. When you're talking about recruiting young men, we're talking 3.3 cum [grade-point average] with at least a 19 [ACT] plus honor-code endorsed plus Division I [talent]. If we lose a player who, for some reason, hasn't had success here you're talking about an increased difficulty in him being replaced. We lose about 40 percent of our team every year through [two-year] missions and graduations. It's probably the highest turnover of any program in the country ...

"We really recruit quite a different kid. We will run into Stanford more than we'll run into Utah [in recruiting]."

Mendenhall said BYU players are a mix of those with Stanford's academic standards, the moral standards of military academy recruits with a "dust of Notre Dame". That refers to the religious underpinnings of the school. Oh, and they have to be good enough play in "a top 25 program." 

"Rather than complain about it," he said, "I see it as a great competitive advantage ... It matters how we play and it also matters how the kids live. More importantly it matters what they represent."

Mendenhall was reminded that, because of that honor code, what would be news at BYU isn't,  necessarily, at other schools. The trade-off, perhaps, is that the coach doesn't have to lecture his players on Fridays about staying out of trouble over the weekend. "I don't say that at all," Mendenhall said. It assumed they will walk the straight and narrow. He added that the 15 members of the football team who aren't Mormon, are seeking the same structure as the Mormon Church provides for members. 

"Grade-point average has been a better predictor of social conduct than religious preference," said Mendenhall who has coached at BYU six seasons. "The higher the grade-point average of these kids coming in, the more obedient they are, the more faithful they are."

Over those six seasons, a question was asked of each of the players: Why did you choose BYU? Ninety percent, the coach said, replied "faith." 

"Most of them want to be around like-minded youth," he said. "Catholic kids, Methodist kids, Lutheran kids that come, I don't offer any of them scholarships unless their parents come on campus. How do you explain through words or pictures what this is?"
Category: NCAAF
Tags: BYU, Stanford, Utah
 
Posted on: January 9, 2011 1:19 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2011 6:18 pm
 

Bellotti likes Petersen at Stanford

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. -- Former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti endorsed Boise State's Chris Petersen Sunday for the current opening at Stanford.

"If I was [Stanford] I'd hire Chris Petersen," Bellotti said Sunday morning following a press conference for Monday's national championship game. "I think he's a great coach. I think he is in a really unique situation at Boise that he loves but he's lost last year's defensive coordinator and this year's offensive coordinator."

Justin Wilcox left following the 2009 season to coordinate Tennessee's defense. Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin left last week to go to Texas. Petersen is the game's winningest active coach, 61-5 since taking over in 2006. He was Bellotti's receivers coach at Oregon from 1995-2000 and still speaks fondly of Oregon.

Obviously Bronco Nation is nervous. There have been reports that Stanford has sought permission to speak to Petersen The job would seemingly fit Petersen's comfort level. He dislikes having to deal with the media even in media-friendly Boise. One person familiar with the Bay Area scene told me Saturday that Petersen would have to deal with four to six regular reporters on the Stanford beat.

Actually, both men's names have been attached to the Stanford job since Jim Harbaugh left for the 49ers last week. Bellotti downplayed his interest in getting back into coaching.

"I don't know, maybe," he said. "If I was Stanford I'd go after Chris Petersen."

Chip Kelly took over for Bellotti, now an ESPN analyst, at Oregon before the 2009 season.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: January 7, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Harbaugh fills one opening, creates another

Stanford might be the one that Chris Petersen takes.

I'm talking about the hotter-than-July Boise State coach who has been perfectly happy in his job. Now that Jim Harbaugh surprised absolutely no one by going to the 49ers, there is an interesting opening at an interesting place. Harbaugh proved that you can win big on The Farm, producing a season for the ages in 2010.

The prospects for 2011 are even better -- 17 returning starters including Andrew Luck, a likely top-five preseason ranking. Yes, I'm saying that the Cardinal can compete for the national championship.

With the right coach. Petersen might be that guy. The Boise coach's name comes up for literally every job opening. He has built a BCS-busting program that lately has added a shut-down defense to a usually explosive offense. He's also completely happy in Boise, a mini-Oregon that turns two-star players into superstars. Could "Pete" be pried loose by Stanford? It's on the West Coast. Harbaugh proved you could win there despite the academic restrictions. The media crush -- something that bothers Petersen -- wouldn't be much.

Petersen played and began his coaching career at nearby Cal-Davis (104 miles separate the two schools). He knows West Coast (particularly California) recruiting. He's a proven winner. Going to the Pac-12 would be a step up in competition but Petersen has proved he can compete in the BCS arena. Think about the prospect of coaching Luck.

If Petersen says no -- and Bob Bowlsby sure as hell better make him say no -- then the favorite seems to be Stanford assistant Greg Roman, a 37-year-old with 13 years of NFL experience.

Meanwhile, Michigan can now move on unencumbered by Harbaugh speculation. There was a Twitter report that Michigan had sent a plane to Baton Rouge on Friday. One problem. Les Miles is in Dallas for the Cotton Bowl. I'll stick by my original assertion that Miles has a monster team returning and is, for now, content. That could all change in one controversial Cotton Bowl tonight.

That leaves San Diego State's Brady Hoke. Excited, Michigan Men and Women?  


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