Posted on: January 14, 2010 10:13 am
Edited on: January 14, 2010 3:25 pm
Tennessee offered Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp $3 million a year to coach the Vols. However, several outlets have reported that Muschamp is staying put in Austin. Muschamp has not spoken publicly since his name was attached to the Tennessee job.
Tennessee is desperate to get the best guy available so it was willing to pay big money. Muschamp has deep SEC roots and would have been able to hit the ground running. This would have been good time for him to move at the age 39, but Muschamp has been convinced to hold on as the coach-designate for Mack Brown.
While Texas AD DeLoss Dodds wasn't going to go $3 million for an assistant, the supposed offer seemed about right for Muschamp -- at least in the SEC.
No word on the length of the contract offer. Now that Air Force's Troy Calhoun has decided to remain in Colorado Springs, where does Tennessee turn to next? Perhaps Duke's David Cutcliffe.
Posted on: November 19, 2009 6:00 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2009 10:48 am
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).
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.
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.
Posted on: October 29, 2009 5:00 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2009 5:01 pm
New Mexico coach Mike Locksley is back after being suspended for a week for punching an assistant. After losing $29,000 in pay, Locksley returns in time for the winless Lobos to go to San Diego State ... The nation’s leading rusher, Fresno junior Ryan Mathews, is weighing his NFL options. Mathews says if he is rated in the top 40 he might go. The Bulldogs host Utah State ... The last time Georgia beat a No. 1 team was 14 years ago in the Cocktail Party, 24-3 over the Gators …
Posted on: October 4, 2009 9:42 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2009 9:43 pm
It’s becoming apparent that Notre Dame has to beat USC in two weeks to go to a BCS bowl. I told you in Sunday’s story how lowly regarded ND is in the polls.
Here’s why: It has plenty of competition. Notre Dame is currently one of 30 one-loss teams in Division I-A. Twenty-three of the other 29 teams are from BCS leagues. Ten of the 29 are ranked. Six of those 10 have a victory over a ranked team. That's something Notre Dame doesn't have.
That means ND is one of 20 one-loss teams in I-A that are unranked. it is in a group with the likes of Boston College, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Baylor, Texas A&M, Michigan, Pittsburgh, UConn, Rutgers, West Virginia, Stanford and UCLA. Four of those teams are left on ND’s schedule – BC, Pittsburgh, UConn and Stanford.
Given that the Irish play only one more team that is currently ranked (USC), the Oct. 17 game becomes make-or-break for a BCS bowl the way I see it. It’s 11-1 or bust. The pollsters and computers simply won’t get ND high enough at 10-2 because of the quality of the remaining schedule.
In 2006, OU lost to both Oregon and Boise State by a point. In its history, OU has lost 299 games. Only 18 have come by a single point. That’s a one-point loss for every 16 losses. Since Sept. 16, 2006, four of the Sooners’ last 10 losses have come by one point.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops had lost 26 games. Four have been by one point and two have been by two points.
• Which way LSU? All we can say is the that Tigers are still undefeated after sneaking out of Athens with a 20-13 victory over Georgia. Charles Scott’s game-winning 33-yard run with 46 seconds left was set up by A.J. Green’s excessive celebration penalty. You’ll read more about that from Tony Barnhart on Tuesday. My take? That kind of penalty should never decide a game. This one did.
“It was a want-to run,” said Scott who had been struggling this season. “I ran mad.”
He better run madder with Florida coming to town. I’ve trotted this out a bunch of times, but the winner of LSU-Florida has won the national championship in the last three seasons.• All that stuff about USC slipping in the Pac-10? Maybe not. The 30-3 win at Cal re-positions the Trojans for BCS bowl No. 8 in a row.
• Anyone want to take a stab at the Florida State mess? One of the most trusted and knowledgeable beat writers in the South says it’s time for Bobby to go. For most of the BC game, it looked like Bobby Bowden had lost his team. Down 21-6, the Seminoles rallied to tie, only to lose late 28-21. That marks FSU’s first 0-2 start in the ACC. It is 2-3 for the first time since 1976.
--In the battle of point guards, Syracuse’s Greg Paulus had more turnovers (five interceptions) than South Florida’s B.J. Daniels. The former Duke guard lost to the current South Florida guard (they’re both quarterbacks, by the way) 34-20.• Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor threw for a career-high 327 yards against Duke. Yes, you read that right.
• Stanford, 4-1, is off to its best start since 1995.
• Minnesota mascot Goldy Gopher stuck it to Wisconsin fans by wearing a Brett Favre jersey during the Badgers’ 31-28 victory in Minneapolis. Let’s hope Goldy is not on scholarship because that would be a waste of good polyester.
Posted on: September 23, 2009 10:19 am
[The policies of the Pac-10 and Sun Belt are listed in Wednesday's story]
Big Ten: Ongoing discussions regarding contingency plans.
Conference USA: In the process of developing a policy. Could have specific language on the issue within a week.
Big East: Has taken out an “event cancellation” insurance policy that protects against several elements including swine flu.
WAC: (Regular season)
1. In the event the visiting institution is unable to arrive at the site of a contest for any reason in order for it to be played at its regularly scheduled time, it shall notify the home director of athletics, home head coach and the Conference office as soon as possible.
a. The contest shall be rescheduled only upon the mutual consent of the involved Directors of Athletics and the approval of the Commissioner.
b. If the contest is unable to be rescheduled, it shall be declared no contest and shall not be included in the regular season standings.
Posted on: September 7, 2009 10:01 am
Edited on: September 7, 2009 10:02 am
Or at least get new seat cushions, especially for Dan Hawkins, Ron Zook and Al Groh. Those three are the main targets of columnists, fans and message boards after the first week of play. (Note: This is before Miami-Florida State so this post may appear dated by Monday night.)
This ain't intramurals, brother, but it sure looked like it Sunday night in Boulder. Colorado, a 10 1/2-point favorite, was manhandled by in-state rival Colorado State 23-17. And, yes, the score was as misleading as Byron Hout's "internal discipline" at Boise State.
They're all over coach Dan Hawkins for a) sticking with his son Cody at quarterback the entire game and b) leaving one-time program building block Darnell mostly on the bench. Hawkins completed 24 of 40 for 222 yards but still looks like he's too short to see over the line when the rush comes. His dad picked him in a tight battle with Tyler Hansen to be the starter so, if nothing else, you can't doubt a dad's love.
That was one problem. The bigger one was that the Buffs weren't ready to play. Colorado State scooted off to a 17-0 lead in front of stunned Folsom Field fans. CU AD Mike Bohn had said privately that is was very unlikely that Hawkins was even in trouble going into the season. Scratch that. CU can't afford a rebuilding effort that includes a flat offense, an intimidated defense and an unprepared squad.
Zook has to be on the hot seat (again) after his team's performance against Missouri. Sure, he lost preseason All-American receiver Arrellious Benn early on but quarterback Juice Williams looked flat in a 37-9 loss to Missouri. Yes, Missouri's defense surrendered single-digit points to a BCS conference school for only the fourth time since October 2004. (Ironically, two of those performances have been against Colorado.)
Williams did not look comfortable against a defense he had skewered for 42 points in last year's meeting. On the other side, Missouri's Blaine Gabbert is a national player of the week candidate after throwing for 319 yards in his first start. Gabbert averaged 9.7 yards per attempt. Chase Daniel surpassed that average only nine times in his 41 games as a Tiger.
Speaking of national players of the week, please don't overlook William & Mary's B.W. Webb. Bill and Mary's redshirt freshman picked off three passes, returning one for a touchdown, in his team's shocking 26-14 win over Virginia. The immediate reaction in the Georgia Dome press box was whether Groh would last the week.
You can catch all the action here. William & Mary's SID department immediately threw up on an online video of the game. Don't miss the seven -- yes, seven -- Virginia turnovers.
Until the ACC actually starts winning football games the league office ought to institute a media blackout. The ACC was 4-6 in the opening week against non-conference opponents. There's no truth to the rumor that BCS honchos are considering replacing the ACC with the Colonial Athletic Association.
The CAA took two ACC scalps (Richmond beat Duke) and is considered the Big Ten (roughly) of I-AA. William & Mary is ranked No. 14 and Richmond is a former I-AA national champion.
Posted on: September 6, 2009 2:53 am
Edited on: September 7, 2009 10:39 am
And you thought the Big Ten had a bad day?
At least Ohio State and Iowa, won – clumsily -- but they got out alive on college football’s first Saturday.
At this point, No. 3 Oklahoma is probably hoping for a Holiday Bowl invitation. No. 7 Virginia Tech is now 0-21 against top five competition away from Blacksburg.
Can you say, Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Low?
All this translates to a shocking opening week. Two top 10 teams went down Saturday night, changing everything. Florida and Texas can breathe a little easier, for now, atop the polls. The Sooners lost their Heisman winning quarterback Sam Bradford and then the season-opener to BYU, 14-13.
Both losses have come in the last five years. TCU upset the Sooners to kick off 2005.
Bradford suffered a sprained right shoulder in the second quarter against BYU and returned to the sidelines in the second half with the arm in a sling. He could be out two to four weeks.
Another Heisman might be out of reach. Considering the mounting losses (tight end Jermaine Gresham missed the game), so might be Texas.
--Coach of the day: Baylor's Art Briles who is making his sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin III into a star. Briles' call of an option pass (coming from an inside receiver, mind you) helped seal the deal against Wake Forest. The huggable Bears needed this one to keep alive hope of a bowl for the first time since 1994.
Posted on: June 26, 2009 3:41 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2009 11:00 am
It has been easy to take shots at the ACC since expansion.
The whole Florida State/Miami axis-of-excellence thing hasn't panned out. But there have been some stories worth reading. Wake Forest competes favorably representing one of the smallest schools in I-A. Everybody is waiting for North Carolina to break out under Butch Davis. Georgia Tech's option game has baffled opponents, at least in Paul Johnson's first season.
Virginia Tech has remained the only constant. The Hokies have won consecutive ACC titles and never seems to drop far off the grid. Frank Beamer could be anywhere. He has chosen to remain in Blacksburg and built an unlikely powerhouse.
The Hokies are prohibitive favorites to make it three in a row.
2. Florida State -- The bandwagon is not full. I'm intrigued why the Seminoles are most people's choice in this division. Bobby Bowden is back to having an established quarterback (Christian Ponder) for the first time in eight seasons. The offensive line is reflecting line coach Rick Trickett's toughness (left tackle Andrew Datko was a freshman All-American). But there aren't the dynamic athletes we're used to seeing. And there always seems to be some drama around the program. People have talked more about the loss of 14 victories in the offseason more than Ponder having some reliable receivers. Try to envision a nine-win season with road trips to BYU, North Carolina, Clemson, Wake and Florida. I can't. FSU could win the division and probably eight games but it will take a step back from '08 when it won nine.
3. Wake Forest -- The Deacons have won 11, 9 and 8 games the last three seasons. It would be logical to assume the decline is going to continue. Most of the returning players are back on offense, which struggled. The defense loses eight starters. Four players were taken in the first four rounds of the draft. That's amazing but also troubling for this season. Wake will have to get those new defensive starters ready to contribute right away for it to be a factor in the division.
5. Maryland -- We can see the end of the Ralph Friedgen era in College Park. Offensive coordinator James Franklin is the coach in waiting. The Terps should take a major dip after going 8-5. Twelve starters have departed including receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Friedgen loves Torrey Smith and redshirt freshman Kevin Dorsey as emerging talents at receiver. Franklin has done a good job shaping senior quarterback Chris Turner.
6. Boston College -- Gene DeFilippo is my hero. Look, I liked Jeff Jagodzinski but I admire BC's AD for calling the former coach's bluff when Jags interviewed with the Jets. I admire DeFilippo more for replacing Jags with the guy who most deserved it. Frank Spaziani was d-coordinator for 10 years and had earned his shot. There is enough left over from the nation's No. 5 five defense to compete (linebacker Mark Herzlich was ACC defensive player of the year). You wonder, though, if the Eagles will be able to throw when they need to. Junior Codi Boek arrived as a quarterback, then was converted to fullback. He is now is back at quarterback. He is competing with freshman Justin Tuggle.
1. Virginia Tech -- Beamer doesn't get enough credit. The Hokies have become the dominant program in a league that was formed showcase Miami and Florida State. In the last five seasons he has won 52 games and three ACC titles, including the last two in a row. Virginia Tech should go to a third consecutive BCS bowl. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor gets the job to himself after injuries and Sean Glennon blocked his way the past two seasons. Taylor's game resembles a certain legend whose name rhymes with "quick." Sophomore tailback Darren Evans rushed for most of his 1,265 yards in the second half of the season. Coordinator Bud Foster might have his best defense ever. It is quick and mean. If the Hokies get past Alabama in the opener, they could be in the national championship hunt.
3. North Carolina -- Davis continues to recruit. The Tar Heels should continue to win. In Davis' second year the Heels jumped from four to eight wins. Often-injured quarterback T.J. Yates lost his two most reliable targets (Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate) to the NFL. Fortunately, the defense is loaded. If the Heels can win at Georgia Tech on Sept. 26 don't be surprised if they start 6-0.
6. Duke -- There won't be a more upbeat last-place team in the country. David Cutcliffe squeezed out four victories in his first season as coach. That ties for the most in Krzyzewskiville since 1994. Senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis gets one last season to work under the guy who tutored Peyton and Eli. Last season's defense held three opponents to less than 10 points for the first time since 1976. Only four starters return including potential All-ACC defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase.