Tag:Colorado
Posted on: December 2, 2010 3:37 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2010 3:41 pm
 

Jon Embree? Really?

Colorado AD Mike Bohn seems to have buckled to pressure to hire a former CU player. The Denver Post is reporting that former coach Bill McCartney has said that Redskins tight end coach Jon Embree has been hired to replace Dan Hawkins. However, Bohn said the report is untrue.

There is a large faction of former CU players who supported Embree or former tailback Eric Bieniemy as the new coach. This is a potentially dangerous hire if it has happened. Embree has never been so much as a coordinator. He did spend a total of 10 years in two coaching stints overseeing tight ends at Colorado.

You'd think Bohn would have noticed to the last NFL tight ends coach hired for a BCS conference job. That would be one Tim Brewster who was hired from the nearby Denver Broncos.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 28, 2010 8:03 pm
 

Death threats in the Big 12

This will probably get me a couple of death threats, but Dan Beebe was right in not going to Lincoln, Neb. on Friday.

In a story that may have been buried because of the big football weekend, the Big 12 commissioner said that he feared for his safety and that of other conference employees had they traveled to Nebraska to present the Big 12 North Division trophy. The commissioner is traditionally on hand, but not always, to present a trophy for division titles.

"I've been involved in major institutions and had some major feedback," said Beebe, a former NCAA enforcement officer, "Obviously, I've suspended players and coaches, fined coaches but I've never had the volume and degree of vile nasty messages. It's not just me, it's several on our staff. It's the most disgusting things that people would ever say to anybody."

Beebe estimated that 2,000 messages made it to the Big 12 office in the week leading up to Nebraska's 45-17 win Friday over Colorado. He was so concerned about some of the threats that Beebe said he didn't think it was proper to send even Ed Stewart, a former Nebraska player, who works in the Big 12 office.

"It's really pretty shameful," Beebe told CBSSports.com in an interview over the weekend. "My wife and my family weren't too thrilled with me going up there. I reviewed it with folks that I've dealt with in security before. They said, 'Hey, this is not something you want to mess with until we figure it out more.' I didn't want to do anything to take away from the great accomplishment of the Nebraska players. It's not their fault."


Beebe was in Stillwater, Okla. Saturday night for the South Division showdown between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

The commissioner said some of the negative messages, which he termed "disparaging", were directed to his daughter's Facebook page. She is a college student.

I hope Nebraska doesn't have to be told, again, this is beyond reprehensible. The negative reaction from Nebraska toward the Big 12 seemed to intensify after linebacker Eric Martin was suspended following a helmet-to-helmet hit on an Oklahoma State player in late October. Beebe stressed that he believes the messages came from only a fraction of Husker Nation. There now seems to be a lunatic fringe out there who actually believe that the Big 12 has conspired against Nebraska in its last year in the conference before going to the Big Ten. When I linked to a Beebe story on Friday and posted on my Twitter account saying that it, "made my stomach turn," some of the reactions surprised me.

At that point, I began to understand what Beebe was feeling.


We can only hope this is a very small group of delusional radicals. Beebe balanced the tradition of handing out a piece of hardware against the possibility of being harmed by one of these crackpots. I know what I'd do. He said some Nebraskans have called to apologize for the crazoids but that they're "about a one-to-200 proportion."

Nebraska fans, some of the best in the country, are now earning a dark and sinister rep, fair or not. This is two weeks in a row they have made Big 12, and national, news. A lot of us criticized Bo Pelini after his outbursts in the Texas A&M. Pelini was sincere, apologized and moved on. He didn't let the episodes ruin a sterling coaching career.

But what has happened last week indicates a chronic problem. Let's hope that Nebraska doesn't leave the Big 12 with some sort of stain. You can already foresee an awkward moment next Saturday if Nebraska wins the final Big 12 trophy. Imagine Beebe presenting the trophy to Pelini with boos cascading down from the Cowboys Stadium stands.

"I don't have any reservations about giving them the trophy," Beebe told me. "If their kids win it, they deserve it. By that time we'll sort out if there are any kind of maniacs that we have to be aware of."

Nebraska doesn’t deserve this. It is going to a conference that is noble and full of class. To this point, its program has been noble and full of class.

Beebe was asked if all this has altered his opinion of Nebraska.

"I haven't had anything but great experiences with Nebraska fans and people of Nebraska," he said. "I also know this represents a very, very small portion of a fan base that's classy."

Let's hope that while it takes those Big Ten millions in the future, Nebraska also contributes to its new conference's tradition, in the right way.


Those who don't agree with me know how to reach me. And that scares me.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 22, 2010 12:53 pm
 

Bo Pelini addresses Saturday night conduct

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini apologized Monday morning for Saturday night's outbursts during the Texas A&M game and said quarterback Taylor Martinez was excused Sunday from a voluntary workout.

"I'm a passionate person ...," said Pelini whose team was called for 16 penalties Saturday night. "It's OK to disagree with the calls. It's the way you disagree with the call. At times I got too animated."

Pelini said twice that he was "sorry" for his conduct during a regulary scheduled Monday press conference. After a meeting with Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman Pelini said he had the full support of the administration. Perlman, on Sunday, publicly criticized Pelini's conduct. Not only did the coach vehemently disagree with some of the calls -- justifiably, some would say -- but Pelini angrily spoke to Martinez on the sidelines. The outburst was caught during the nationally televised game.

Pelini added that Martinez was not suspended and will play, if healthy, Friday against Colorado.

Pelini was asked specifically if the outburst had anything to do with "texting or talking to his dad" while getting treatment for an injury.

"I've already said I'm not going to get into that ... That's nobody's business but ours. I have heard things that are being said out there and they're way off base," Pelini said.

Asked if Big 12 officials could be "out to get" Nebraska, Pelini responded, "I don't know. I've never really thought about that. I can't speculate on that."

The coach also shot down some reports that Martinez may have missed a mandatory team meeting on Sunday. Pelini said Martinez missed what was termed a "Sunday shake out" because of his leg injury.

"It's a voluntary jog around to get the kinks out," Pelini said.

"He and I are on the same page. There are no issues there."

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 22, 2010 10:43 am
 

Taylor Martinez update

If Bo Pelini even has to answer this question then something is wrong in Husker Town.

It's a short week in Lincoln Land and there is no room for a short temper. Actually, there is no need to pile on. I like Bo. You know my feelings after Saturday's debacle in College Station. That's over and done with. Nebraska has to win Friday against Colorado or this season will have been a failure, pure and simple.

Our next look at Bo will come today at noon when he has his weekly presser. I'm guessing Taylor Martinez won't be one of the players available but who knows?
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 13, 2010 10:27 am
 

Bellotti, Richt emerge as candidates at CU

Mike Bellotti has spoken to Colorado about its opening and Mark Richt is high on the list of candidates according to the Denver Post.

Bellotti, the former Oregon coach and current ESPN analyst, said he is interested in getting back into coaching. Richt, the Georgia coach, could want to get out of the "SEC pressure cooker" and go to Colorado according to the story.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:28 am
Edited on: November 3, 2010 11:57 am
 

National notes

There are worse coaching-change strategies: Elevate a 70-year-old former coach who has won that school's only national championship and still has the fire in his belly.

That seems to be the way it's trending at Colorado where Dan Hawkins' fifth year at the school has the adopted title of a Sean Penn movie . Bill McCartney's name is being more than floated at Colorado. Mac is practically campaigning for his former job .

"Colorado football is a sleeping giant!" McCartney told the Denver Post recently.

Mac may have it half right. The Colorado icon is interested and ready, even if it has been 17 years since we walked away from CU citing family concerns. It was Mac who survived a rocky start -- to put it mildly -- to shape Colorado into national power. The Buffs were 7-25-1 in his first three seasons which would make him shark bait in this impatient age. The administration showed faith, McCartney made Nebraska a designated rival and he began recruiting Southern California. The program then won its only national championship in 1990 (shared with Georgia Tech). I spoke to McCartney recently about the infamous Fifth Down game that made that championship possible.

Bringing Mac back would a kind of bridge hire to get the program back on track much like 71-year-old Bill Snyder at Kansas State. 

"I know this, Bill McCartney is as fine a football coach as I`ve ever known," Snyder said earlier this season. "If he wanted to go back at the age of 90, he would still be extremely successful."

Colorado definitely needs some healing. The Hawkins thing just hasn't worked out. The former Boise coach is 19-38 at CU heading into this week's Kansas game. His tenure has been sort of a warning for all coaches who might think the grass is greener. In this case it certainly has been a warning to Chris Petersen who has been wildly successful since replacing Hawkins.

CU doesn't seem to be that far away. It won the Big 12 North as recently as 2005 and won division titles four of five years beginning in 2001. Those Gary Barnett days look pretty good right now. Hawkins could save his job with a bowl but it doesn't seem likely. The Buffs, 3-5, need to win three out of their last four to get bowl eligible. If not, AD Mike Bohn needs to hit a home run for one, big obvious reason: He hired Hawkins. The Buffs are moving to the Pac-12, a new chapter in their history, and can't afford to keep languishing. Bohn might be put off by McCartney's time away from the game, but with Snyder coming back and Joe Paterno going after his 400th win experience has to count for something.


Would McCartney embrace modern notions like the spread offense? Does he have the energy to recruit? Those are questions yet to be answered. There has been speculation about the makeup of the staff. Former CU and Broncos player Dave Logan has been mentioned as an assistant. Logan is currently a high school coach in the Denver area. Other names heard as possible McCartney staff members: former CU player and assistant Jon Embree (Redskins tight ends coach) and the Buffs' career rushing leader Eric Bieniemy (Vikings running backs coach).


* The most likely way the BCS standings come into play in the Big Ten tiebreaker is if Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State all tie at 7-1. The Badgers currently lead in the BCS standings at No. 9. There is still the possibility of a four-way tie that would include Illinois, with each team at 6-2.


Ohio State is tied for the top spot in the Big Ten with a team it does not play, Michigan State (each are 4-1). Wisconsin is at 3-1 having beaten Ohio State and Iowa and losing to Michigan State. Either Iowa, also 3-1, or Ohio State probably will be eliminated from the race when they meet Nov. 20 in Iowa City.
 
The Buckeyes are gunning for a conference record-tying sixth consecutive Big Ten title. Ohio State has the toughest road to the Big Ten title if you consider combined conference records of remaining opponents (6-6).  Wisconsin has the easiest road (5-11). Michigan State hasn't won the league since 1990. For Wisconsin, it has been since 1999. Iowa hasn't won it since 2004.

 Even if the Large Eleven is out of the national championship picture, the league has played in the most BCS bowl games (21) and will probably get two teams in again this season.

* Phil Fulmer is the latest name to surface at Minnesota, mostly because Fulmer himself all but expressed interest at Minnesota recently.

“Minnesota has great potential, and with its new facilities it’s a place you could recruit to,’’ Fulmer told the Knoxville News Sentinel . “I believe it’s a place where you can compete.’’

Other names mentioned for the job include Mike Leach, former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski, former Kansas coach Mark Mangino, Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and Canadian Football League coach Marc Trestman.

It looks like a slow offseason for coaching changes. Colorado may be the biggest job that opens up assuming that Georgia doesn't do anything with Mark Richt.


Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:28 am
Edited on: November 3, 2010 11:57 am
 

National notes

There are worse coaching-change strategies: Elevate a 70-year-old former coach who has won that school's only national championship and still has the fire in his belly.

That seems to be the way it's trending at Colorado where Dan Hawkins' fifth year at the school has the adopted title of a Sean Penn movie . Bill McCartney's name is being more than floated at Colorado. Mac is practically campaigning for his former job .

"Colorado football is a sleeping giant!" McCartney told the Denver Post recently.

Mac may have it half right. The Colorado icon is interested and ready, even if it has been 17 years since we walked away from CU citing family concerns. It was Mac who survived a rocky start -- to put it mildly -- to shape Colorado into national power. The Buffs were 7-25-1 in his first three seasons which would make him shark bait in this impatient age. The administration showed faith, McCartney made Nebraska a designated rival and he began recruiting Southern California. The program then won its only national championship in 1990 (shared with Georgia Tech). I spoke to McCartney recently about the infamous Fifth Down game that made that championship possible.

Bringing Mac back would a kind of bridge hire to get the program back on track much like 71-year-old Bill Snyder at Kansas State. 

"I know this, Bill McCartney is as fine a football coach as I`ve ever known," Snyder said earlier this season. "If he wanted to go back at the age of 90, he would still be extremely successful."

Colorado definitely needs some healing. The Hawkins thing just hasn't worked out. The former Boise coach is 19-38 at CU heading into this week's Kansas game. His tenure has been sort of a warning for all coaches who might think the grass is greener. In this case it certainly has been a warning to Chris Petersen who has been wildly successful since replacing Hawkins.

CU doesn't seem to be that far away. It won the Big 12 North as recently as 2005 and won division titles four of five years beginning in 2001. Those Gary Barnett days look pretty good right now. Hawkins could save his job with a bowl but it doesn't seem likely. The Buffs, 3-5, need to win three out of their last four to get bowl eligible. If not, AD Mike Bohn needs to hit a home run for one, big obvious reason: He hired Hawkins. The Buffs are moving to the Pac-12, a new chapter in their history, and can't afford to keep languishing. Bohn might be put off by McCartney's time away from the game, but with Snyder coming back and Joe Paterno going after his 400th win experience has to count for something.


Would McCartney embrace modern notions like the spread offense? Does he have the energy to recruit? Those are questions yet to be answered. There has been speculation about the makeup of the staff. Former CU and Broncos player Dave Logan has been mentioned as an assistant. Logan is currently a high school coach in the Denver area. Other names heard as possible McCartney staff members: former CU player and assistant Jon Embree (Redskins tight ends coach) and the Buffs' career rushing leader Eric Bieniemy (Vikings running backs coach).


* The most likely way the BCS standings come into play in the Big Ten tiebreaker is if Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State all tie at 7-1. The Badgers currently lead in the BCS standings at No. 9. There is still the possibility of a four-way tie that would include Illinois, with each team at 6-2.


Ohio State is tied for the top spot in the Big Ten with a team it does not play, Michigan State (each are 4-1). Wisconsin is at 3-1 having beaten Ohio State and Iowa and losing to Michigan State. Either Iowa, also 3-1, or Ohio State probably will be eliminated from the race when they meet Nov. 20 in Iowa City.
 
The Buckeyes are gunning for a conference record-tying sixth consecutive Big Ten title. Ohio State has the toughest road to the Big Ten title if you consider combined conference records of remaining opponents (6-6).  Wisconsin has the easiest road (5-11). Michigan State hasn't won the league since 1990. For Wisconsin, it has been since 1999. Iowa hasn't won it since 2004.

 Even if the Large Eleven is out of the national championship picture, the league has played in the most BCS bowl games (21) and will probably get two teams in again this season.

* Phil Fulmer is the latest name to surface at Minnesota, mostly because Fulmer himself all but expressed interest at Minnesota recently.

“Minnesota has great potential, and with its new facilities it’s a place you could recruit to,’’ Fulmer told the Knoxville News Sentinel . “I believe it’s a place where you can compete.’’

Other names mentioned for the job include Mike Leach, former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski, former Kansas coach Mark Mangino, Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and Canadian Football League coach Marc Trestman.

It looks like a slow offseason for coaching changes. Colorado may be the biggest job that opens up assuming that Georgia doesn't do anything with Mark Richt.


Posted on: October 31, 2010 5:01 pm
 

The Day After In College Football

Brian Kelly never could have foreseen his first few months on the job at Notre Dame.

The scope of the rebuilding job is obviously bigger than anyone imagined. His quarterback Dayne Crist, the triggerman for his offense, is out for the year. The defense was a chronic problem before he arrived. The results had been spotty even before Saturday's embarrassing 28-27 loss to Tulsa.

All that pales in significance to the fact that media are openly speculating about his job security in the wake of death of videographer Declan Sullivan. After Saturday's game, Kelly surprisingly admitted it was his decision to go on with practice with Sullivan in the air.

"You have to be able to look at the weather conditions and find out whether you believe it's going to be a productive day, first," Kelly said. "We believed it to be productive, it was productive, obviously up until the tragedy."

 No blaming, no scapegoating. For now, it's all on Kelly. That's almost an admission that Notre Dame is going to have to pay some kind of settlement after the tragic accident. Liability, in a sense has been decided.

While Sullivan's family released a touching statement over the weekend, can we safely assume that there is going to be some kind of lawsuit against the school at some point?

"Quiz is very adamant in our meetings about, 'Are we going in or out [for practice]?', Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said of football video coordinator Mark Quisenberry, 'and I'm only putting my tower up 20 feet if we go out.' "

Upon seeing that, a lawyer e-mailed me saying: "I would make Tressel my star witness."


It's impossible that Kelly could have predicted all that he was getting into. There have been two deaths. Recruit Matt James died in the spring when he fell off a hotel balcony during spring break. Kelly faces the task of digging out of the losing while the school deals with a lawsuit. Can any amount of winning overcome that?

* As USC took a third quarter lead over No. 1 Oregon Saturday night, an interesting possibility emerged. Had USC won, that would have whittled the last of unbeatens to four -- Auburn, Boise State, TCU and Utah. That also would have all but guaranteed one of those non-BCS schools playing for the national championship. A USC win would have meant the possibility of only one undefeated major-conference champion (Auburn). Assuming that at least one of the three non-BCSes went undefeated (TCU and Utah meet this week), one of them would probably move up enough in the BCS to play for the title.

For its champion, the SEC right now is mostly likely able to produce 1) an unbeaten Auburn, 2) a once-beaten Alabama  or 3) the SEC East champion where each team in the division already has at least two losses. In scenarios 1) and 2) (assuming a USC win), the SEC would have a team in the BCS title game. In scenario 3) it wouldn't. In fact, it's possible that two non-BCS schools could play for the title.

* The motto in the Big Ten: Now we wait. We wait for the latest BCS standings each week to see how bad Michigan State's chances were damaged by the blowout loss to Iowa. The Spartans are now tied in the Big Ten standings with Ohio State (both are 4-1). The two don't meet this season which means if they tie, the next tiebreaker for the Rose Bowl -- or possibly the BCS title game -- is highest ranked team in the BCS. Prior to Sunday night's BCS release, Jerry Palm had Ohio State significantly ahead of the Spartans.

Wisconsin, 3-1 in the Big Ten, did not play this week. It has lost to Michigan State, and beaten Ohio State. Iowa, also at 3-1, hosts Ohio State on Nov. 20.

* Nebraska pulled into a tie in the Big 12 North with Missouri and now only has to win out to get to its second straight (and last) Big 12 title game. Nebraska's remaining schedule: at Iowa State, Kansas, at Texas A&M and Colorado. Missouri's remaining schedule: at Texas Tech, Kansas State, at Iowa State, Kansas.  Anybody else notice that the road to the Big 12 North goes through Ames, Iowa? The plucky Cyclones host both Missouri and Nebraska.

Whatever happens this year at Nebraska, the Huskers are getting back to their roots. Taylor Martinez set the single-game quarterback rushing record against Kansas State. Roy Helu Jr. set the overall single-game rushing record (307 yards Saturday vs. Missouri).  According to figures supplied by Big12sports.com, Nebraska's 860 yards on its 24 touchdown runs is more than 17 I-A teams have rushed for the entire season.

* The Pac-10's exclusive 90-day negotiating window with Fox Sports begins Jan. 15 according to Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott. The Pac-10 and Big 12 are the next conferences to get big paydays from their rightsholders. The ACC was the last to cash in getting a $1.86-billion deal from ESPN. That pales in comparison to the SEC's $3 billion deal finalized in July 2009 but is another indicator that college football has been undervalued in the market. That's one of the reasons Jim Delany created the Big Ten Network. It's also a reason the new Pac-12 is expected to significantly increase its media rights.

* For the first time since 1979, Florida and Georgia came into the Cocktail Party unranked. The Gators beat the Dogs for the 18th time in the last 21 meetings, 34-31 in overtime. If there was ever a time for Mark Richt and Georgia to get Florida, this was it. The Gators won't stay down like this for long. Urban Meyer called it one of his biggest wins. Florida remains in control of its own destiny in the SEC East.

* Joe Paterno needs one more win for his 400th after beating Michigan.

* Quote of the day from Virginia's John-Kevin Dolce after knocking Miami quarterback Jacory Harris out of the game: "When you chop the head of a giant, the rest of the body goes with it."

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