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Tag:Cincinnati
Posted on: December 8, 2009 10:08 am
 

An endorsement from Lou Holtz for Brian Kelly

Holtz just told Rivals Radio that he believes Brian Kelly will be the next coach at Notre Dame.

"I personally [believe], in my heart, yes, unless something unforeseen happens," Holtz said.

Kelly reportedly is interviewing with Notre Dame today. Don't overthink this thing. It's too easy. Back-to-back Big East titles, undefeated in 2009, Irish, Catholic, from Boston, Democrat. Good Lord [oops, sorry], how do you go wrong with Kelly? All he needs is a big-time defensive coordinator. He's already proven he can turn chicken bleep into chicken salad. Take a look at the Cincinnati roster. Not many five stars on it.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 7, 2009 11:29 pm
 

Notre Dame Twitterers

We have entered a new age of coaching searches/journalism/communications.


Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly announced, and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick confirmed, that Kelly would be speaking to ND.

Via Twitter.

Found it on my account this afternoon and my jaw dropped. That's right. No secrets. No coy back-room discussions. Kelly and Swarbrick just told the world what they're doing. This is great for journalists and fans. Hey, thanks for keeping us updated, guys. Now, if you could just tell us which room at the Waldorf-Astoria you're meeting in, we'd be thankful.

Oh, and don't forget to throw in the salary terms being discussed.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 7, 2009 3:07 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2009 4:43 pm
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

I want to believe the Fiesta Bowl is breaking new ground with matching TCU and Boise against each other. It has more than a 35-year history of thinking out of the box.

Remember Miami-Penn State in 1987? That was a Fiesta-arranged meeting between No. 1 and No. 2. Right or wrong, Louisville filled a void in 1991 when the Martin Luther King holiday controversy raged.

So what are we supposed to make of TCU-Boise State? The bowl says the game is a ratings winner for TV. The stats say that last year’s Poinsettia Bowl between the same two teams was the 15th highest rated bowl.

The bowl says it’s a chance to match up a couple of unbeaten non-BCS teams. In that sense, Orrin Hatch, the schools, the Mountain West and Congress can’t complain. The alternative was playing a two-loss team from a major conference.

That’s what TCU and Boise probably wanted but neither school can complain either. They are playing the highest ranked team available -- except that they aren’t. The ideal matchup would be TCU vs. Cincinnati. But as executive director John Junker explained Cincinnati is like a long-distance girlfriend, not very geographically desirable.

OK, so this isn’t the best matchup. It isn’t particularly a TV ratings winner either, although TCU-Cincinnati would be worse.

Here’s a working theory based on nothing but conjecture …

 There was some low-level pressure from spin doctor Ari Fleischer, the BCS’ p.r. king, to keep the kids away from the adult table. That’s assuming that Fleischer knew enough about the system to suggest a Boise-TCU game. (Nothing personal, Ari. Ninety-nine percent of the country doesn’t get the BCS.)

The point being, that such a game would reduce the yelp from critics to almost zero.

 The four BCS bowl directors “colluded” to dump TCU and Boise in the desert. That keeps the embarrassment factor for all the BCS bowls to a minimum.

 With Cincinnati, Boise and TCU in separate bowls, the possibility exists of three unsettling upsets by non-traditional programs. Now the number is down to one, if Cincy beats Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

I don’t give the BCS bowl honchos that much credit. They’re in this for the individual gain of their bowls. If they’re in the business of helping other bowls, this instance would be the first time ever.

On the other hand, the Fiesta wasn’t exactly crowing (privately, that is) about having to take Utah in 2004 and Boise in 2006. Suddenly, a school with 40,000 living alumni (TCU) and one from the Idaho hinterlands (Boise) are appointment television?

Something doesn’t fit here.

Final verdict: We’ll have to take the Fiesta at its word. At the end of the day, it’s trying to get as many people in the Valley of the Sun for as long as possible to spend a lot of money.

As a fan, the alternatives – Iowa-Boise, Iowa-TCU – don’t do much for me. We already know that Boise and TCU are probably better than Iowa.

Now if one of those schools were matched up against Florida in the Sugar Bowl?

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 7, 2009 12:16 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2009 1:25 pm
 

We'll know by Saturday on Brian Kelly

The Cincinnati coach just told Dan Patrick on his radio show that we would "absoutely" know his coaching future by Saturday.

Patrick, as usual, asked pointed questions and, as usual, Kelly was frank. Example: Kelly could not guarantee he would be Cincinnati's coach for the Sugar Bowl.

"No, there's no guarantee of anything you do," Kelly told Patrick. "I'm not guaranteeing I'm going to get home at the end of the day."

Kelly confirmed he is working on a contract extension with Cincinnati but, "There's a chance I could look for another job."

Kelly remains the overwhelming favorite at Notre Dame despite some misguided journalistic attempts over the weekend to steer the story in another direction. Saturday, in particular, was a writers-on-acid day. Bob Stoops is getting tired of saying he is not going to be the next Notre Dame coach.

The Bearcats are in a BCS bowl and have won the Big East for a second consecutive year. Wouldn't be surprised if Kelly interviewed with ND Tuesday in New York at the annual National Football Foundation hoop-de-do.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 6, 2009 8:35 am
 

BCS bowl lineup and my top five

If form holds – and that means Texas finishing No. 2 in the BCS – this is how the BCS bowls will shake out tonight …

BCS title game – Texas vs. Alabama
Comment:  Got to think Bama will be almost a prohibitive favorite but Texas wasn’t supposed to beat USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl either.

Fiesta Bowl – TCU vs. Boise State
Comment: Fiesta is always thinking out of the box. It becomes the first BCS bowl to match two undefeated non-BCS schools. Should be a ratings winner.

Orange Bowl – Iowa vs. Georgia Tech
Comment:  Pasty Iowans will overrun South Florida and come away schooled in the ways of the option offense.

Sugar – Florida vs. Cincinnati
Comment: Alabama didn’t want to be here last year. Will Florida coming off an SEC title game loss? Also, who coaches the Bearcats with Brian Kelly headed to Notre Dame?

Rose – Oregon vs. Ohio State*
Comment:  Might be the best game of the bunch. Chip Kelly’s wide open Quack Attack against Ohio State’s old-style defense.

*--locked in

Here is my final regular-season top five. You can see the entire top 25 later Sunday:
1.Alabama
2. TCU
3. Texas
4. Cincinnati 
5. Florida

Posted on: November 29, 2009 10:08 am
Edited on: November 29, 2009 10:40 am
 

Latest Heisman Watch

It was the weekend to abuse bad defenses. Colt McCoy turned the quarterback draw into Texas’ biggest weapon. Toby Gerhart used his arm to help beat Notre Dame. That left Tim Tebow and his five touchdowns lagging behind in third place

1. Colt McCoy, Texas: Moves up to No. 1 because without him Texas would have lost to Texas A&M. Four touchdowns passing, one rushing and almost 500 yards in total offense. Texas stared into the abyss. Colt pulled it back.

2. Toby Gerhart, Stanford: The kid taking 21 units this semester – 21! – got some national TV love against Notre Dame. Charlie’s angels – they certainly weren’t demons – allowed Gerhart 205 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also threw for a score.

3. Tim Tebow, Florida: It’s a fairly tight race when Superman throws for three and runs for two and ends up only third. Were those camera phones going off in the end zone during his final series at home? Yes, they were.

4. Kellen Moore, Boise State: The poor guy has been forgotten all year. All five of his touchdowns were needed in an 11-point victory against Nevada. The best thing: Boise is all but in the BCS.

5. Danario Alexander, Missouri: Slowly and quietly, Alexander has become the best receiver in the country. So slow that he isn't a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. Against Kansas he caught 15 balls for 233 yards. That was the third time in four games Alexander has surpassed 200 yards. Prior to that, Missouri had three 200-yard games by a receiver in its history.

Posted on: November 28, 2009 6:38 pm
 

Boise State going to the Fiesta (tentatively)

It was like old times heading into Saturday: Oklahoma and Nebraska holding the key to the college football season.

For Boise State.

The Sooners came through for God, for country, for the Broncos who were down to their last BCS chance. Either Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State on Saturday or the Broncos might have been relegated to bowl purgatory.

For the love of all that is decent, Detroit? Really?

The BCS critics’ flamethrowers were at the ready before Oklahoma slogged through a somewhat boring 27-0 decision over Oklahoma State.

The result, though, meant a whole lot more in Idaho and in the Prairie Village, Kan. office of BCS executive director Bill Hancock than it did anywhere in Norman.
The Broncos are going BCS bowling for the second time in four years. Tentatively. The OU win knocked out Oklahoma State (9-3) and probably locked up a spot for Boise in the Fiesta Bowl against what looks like either TCU or Iowa.

Tentatively, because there is one more hurdle to clear. If Nebraska upsets Texas next week in the Big 12 title game then Boise’s spot in the BCS will be taken Texas. The Horns would most likely go as an attractive 12-1 at-large team.

For Boise, Oklahoma and Nebraska have become teams of the century. If form holds – Texas will be a prohibitive favorite next week – then all five current undefeated I-A programs would be in BCS bowls. (TCU, Cincinnati, Boise, Texas and the Florida/Alabama winner)

Relieved: BCS bosses were ready to take more hits if Boise had been shut out despite a second consecutive undefeated regular season by the Broncos.

Comatose: Oklahoma State which shouldn’t have bothered to get off the bus. With a Fiesta Bowl berth staring them in the face, the Pokes choked.

What else do you call it? Sure, quarterback Zac Robinson was banged up, but didn’t we see a former minor league pitcher Brandon Weeden rally Okie State against Colorado?

As we’ve learned, the BCS has different affects on different people.

Posted on: November 19, 2009 6:00 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2009 10:48 am
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

It's that insane time of year when we have been asked to pick the best players in the country -- before all the games are played.

Some awards are narrowing their lists of semifinalists to finalists after Saturday's games. That would be with two weeks left in the regular season. Those kinds of deadlines are particularly unfair especially at  quarterback and running back where there are multiple candidates.

(I never understood the whole semifinalist-finalist thing anyway. It’s just a way to string out and hype the award.)

The Heisman has always been a pet peeve for me. So much can happen in bowls that sometimes the winner is diminished (see Oklahoma’s Jason White in the 2004 Sugar Bowl) or the person who should be the real winner emerges (see Vince Young in the 2006 Rose Bowl).

But at least the Heisman gives voters enough time to wait until after all the regular-season games are played. Not so for most of the other awards, of which there are way too many.

A couple of pieces of information came across SOWWL's desk this week. The list of three finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award (best quarterback) are expected by 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. How, on Sunday, are we supposed to pick between Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Case Keenum, Kellen Moore, Jimmy Clausen, Andy Dalton and Bill Stull? Those are seven names that come to mind at the moment . There might be more.

Consider that McCoy and Tebow still have to play conference championship games. Moore is the nation’s most efficient passer working on an undefeated season. Dalton and Stull are among the most improved quarterbacks in the country.

I'm considering waiting at least another week to vote. If the O'Brien folks don't approve, tough spit.

The  Doak Walker Award’s list of the 10 semifinalists was released this week. The list did not include the nation’s fourth-leading rusher Bernard Pierce (Temple), the SEC's second-leading rusher Anthony Dixon (of Mississippi State, eighth in the country) or the Pac-10’s second-leading rusher (LaMichael James of Oregon).

It did include the nation’s No. 46 rusher, C.J. Spiller of Clemson who should be considered the best all-purpose runner in the country, not the best running back. 

Missouri’s Danario Alexader is fifth in catches per game and third in receiving yards per game after catching 10 balls for 200 yards against Kansas State. You won’t find him on the list of the 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award (best receiver). Three of the 10 players have been injured or left their team.

There is a safety net. Candidates can be written in, however voters are a group are traditionally lazy. They tend to vote for what is in front of them. One exception was 2007 when the Biletnikoff process was so off the mark in 2007 that Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree won as a write-in candidate.

The main reason for these incredibly early lists is college football’s awards show. It airs the Thursday after the end of the regular season. If the awards committees want to be seen on national TV, then they have to cow tow to ESPN deadlines.

Here’s another idea: How about setting yourself apart and waiting until after the bowl season? Somehow I think some network or another would still televise the Heisman ceremony.

Etc: Cincinnati is one of the few teams that could afford having a quarterback in jail. No biggie, there’s always Tony Pike …  A loss to Ohio State would doom Michigan to its worst Big Ten finish since 1962 … Iowa (vs. Minnesota) and Penn State (at Michigan State) both need to win to stay in BCS consideration … Connecticut’s Zach Frazer has a chance this week to become one of the few players in history to play both for and against Notre Dame. Frazer transferred from ND in 2007 … Receiver Jordan Shipley will replace the suspended D.J. Monroe for Texas on kick returns this week against Kansas … Texas has scored 10 non-offensive touchdowns this season (defense and special teams). That leads the nation and is a school record … Miami’s Jacory Harris (at home vs. Duke) has thrown 16 interceptions, the most of the top 100 passers rated by the NCAA.

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