Tag:Georgia
Posted on: March 8, 2010 9:37 pm
 

Big 12 schedule analysis

(This is next installment of a continuing series analyzing the 2010 schedules of the BCS conferences)

You thought the Big 12 has been good lately? Year 15 of the conference kicks off with three familiar names at the top. At least two of the three are familiar.

Even with the loss of Colt McCoy, Texas never rebuilds (or is never allowed to). Oklahoma is over the loss of Sam Bradford as Landry Jones begins his first full season as starter. Nebraska is a fallen power making the long, slow slog back to the top. It hopes. But the Huskers are all the buzz coming off a 10-win season and sporting one of the nation's defenses -- even without a boy named Suh.

Elsewhere, there is depth throughout the Big 12. Missouri has established itself as a top 25 team every year. Texas Tech can only get better under Tommy Tuberville after Mike Leach's conduct going out the door almost ripped the program apart. Oklahoma State isn't going away with the Boone Pickens pipeline still running and Texas A&M is making strides, at least offensively. Baylor gets Robert Griffin back trying to end that pesky 15-year bowl-less streak.

Expect another national championship run, by some league team or another. A Big 12 team has been in five of the last seven BCS title games.

Game of the year: (non-conference) Florida State at Oklahoma, Sept. 11. In a sense, the suspense has been building for a decade. These teams last met in the 2000 BCS title game. Florida State is a shell of itself. Oklahoma not quite as strong as in the past. Watch for a rare Stoops vs. Stoops matchup. This time it's Oklahoma's Bob against FSU's Mark, the Seminoles new defensive coordinator. But there's so much more at stake here. This is essentially Jimbo Fisher's first real test (the opener is against Samford). It comes on the road in one of the game's most revered temples. We know FSU can score with Christian Ponder and other significant weapons. But for the Seminoles to get back to the top, it must start stopping people. God bless Mickey Andrews, but his final defense stunk. It's up to you, Mark.

Game of the year: (conference) Oklahoma vs. Texas, Oct. 16. As goes the Red River Shootout, so goes the Big 12. Or so it seems. The winner of this game usually has the inside track to the Big 12 South and national championship contention. Texas is a roll having won four of the last five. Included in that streak is two Big 12 titles, two national championship berths, one national championship. Or as they call it in Austin, "Doing pretty good lately."

Team on the spot: Nebraska. After a 10-win, Holiday Bowl-winning season in Bo Pelini's second year, we're all wondering if the Huskers are truly back. The Flying Pelinis will go into 2010 as favorites to win the North. At least. The next step is to win the Big 12 for the first time since 1999. Nebraska was one playmaker on offense -- one -- away from beating Texas last season. Armed with a fearsome defense, the only question for Pelini is whether his offense can score enough to make 10-2 a reality. Nebraska almost pulled off the upset last year. The toughest games (Texas, Missouri) are at home. Oklahoma is off the regular-season schedule.

Toughest non-conference schedule: Colorado. No surprise here. The Buffs haven't backed off in the non-con since the Bill McCartney days. Good for building a program, not good for keeping your job. Dan Hawkins starts a win-or-else season with Colorado State, Cal, Hawaii and Georgia outside of the Big 12. That's a blood rival, a Pac-10 team that tied USC for third in the Pac-10 and a Georgia team on the rebound. The only game you'd feel confident of putting in the win column is Hawaii and even that might be a stretch. CSU has split the last four meetings. CU has split the last four against the Pac-10 on the road but hasn't won in a Pac-10 stadium since 2004. Georgia is an SEC powerhouse coming off a down year but will be favored in Boulder. A 3-1 start is recommended. A 2-2 beginning might not be enough for Hawkins who has to play Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska on the road.

Easiest non-conference schedule: Missouri. The Tigers have beaten Illinois five consecutive times. McNeese State has never beaten a team from a current BCS conference. San Diego State last beat a team from a current BCS conference in 1999. Miami (Ohio) has lost 23 of its last 26. Throw in a home game against Colorado after that and the Tigers don't have to leave the state of Missouri to start 5-0.

 

 

Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2010 3:15 pm
 

Derek Dooley expected to be named Tennessee coach

Indications are that Derek Dooley will be named the next coach at Tennessee.

A person intimately involved in the search told CBSSports.com Dooley was "a great hire," Friday afternoon although no formal announcement had been made. At least three other outlets had reported that Dooley was expected to be Tennessee's choice. Knoxville radio station WNML first reported that Dooley was the choice at about noon ET.

Govolsextra.com reported that Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton would interview current assistant Kippy Brown at 1 p.m. ET.

Dooley apparently did not tell his Louisiana Tech staff of his departure but reportedly cancelled player meetings to travel from Ruston, La. to Knoxville. The son of legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley has a 17-20 in three seasons as head coach at Louisiana Tech.

As recently as Thursday night, Tennessee officials met with Utah coach Kyle Whittingham in Salt Lake City according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. Whittingham turned down a job offer according to the newspaper. Earlier this week, CBSSports.com reported that Tennessee had offered Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp $3 million per season. Duke coach David Cutcliffe said Friday he was staying at the school.

Dooley is a former walk-on receiver at Virginia who earned a scholarship in his second season. He went to earn his law degree from Georgia in 1994. He practiced law for two years in Atlanta before getting into coaching.

His coaching career started with Georgia in 1996 as a grad assistant under Jim Donnan. From there he went to SMU to three years before joining LSU in 2000. That’s where his career took off. Dooley coached tight ends, running backs, special teams and was the recruiting coordinator under Nicks Saban from 2000-2004

Dooley then followed Saban to the Miami Dolphins. In 2007, he was hired by Louisiana Tech. Dooley seemingly comes highly recommended by Nick Saban and Muschamp. All three were on the staff together at LSU.

Muschamp reportedly recommended Dooley to Tennessee after he was pursued by Vols AD Mike Hamilton. Dooley had recommended by Muschamp and Kirby Smart to Saban at LSU. Smart is now the Alabama defensive coordinator under Saban.

As LSU’s recruiting coordinator, Dooley helped LSU land the No. 1-ranked recruiting classes in 2001 and 2003. 

Dooley is expected to inherit the majority of Lane Kiffin's former staff. It was Cutcliffe's unwillingness to do so that kept the Duke coach and former Tennessee assistant from progressing further in talks with Hamilton.

The leftover members of Kiffin's are still recruiting, according to one of those coaches. Coach or no coach, Tennessee is expected to have a group of recruits in this weekend for official visits.

 

Posted on: November 6, 2009 9:43 am
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

If I’m Jimbo Fisher I’m raising holy hell.

Bobby Bowden picking the new defensive coordinator has to be a deal breaker for Jimbo. The job is going to be his in 13 months or so. No way he wants to be saddled with a d-coordinator who is hand-picked by Bobby.

Just to refresh: Bobby will be retired in January 2011. Jimbo Fisher has to live with his choice as d-coordinator.

Bobby’s legacy doesn’t include sticking his nose into Jimbo’s staff. This move could not only bring down the defense, it could bring down the program.

Dollar Bill: Kansas State’s Bill Snyder might re-retire sooner than we think. Speaking on Kansas City station WHB this week, Snyder hinted that he is a mere caretaker until the program is in good enough shape to turn over to someone else.

“This isn’t something to do for the rest of my life,” Snyder said prior to Saturday’s game with Kansas. “I want to get it back, calm the waters and [rally] the constituency. Get it in good position for a smooth transition …

“I’ve got to spend time with my children and grandchildren. There’s going to come a time when I went to do [that] again. Hopefully that is in the not-too-distant future.”

Snyder, 70, is in the first year of his second coaching career at K-State.  Originally, he was the author of the “Miracle in Manhattan” from 1989-2005. The Wildcats are currently 5-4 and in first place in the Big 12 North heading into the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas.

SEC bowls: The SEC has only five bowl-eligible teams. The league is trying to fill what looks like a potential 10 bowls spots (eight regular bowls plus a likely two BCS bowls). Nervous? There are five other teams at 4-4 or 4-5 that have some work to do.

Three of the five teams are playing winnable non-conference games this week. Mississippi State, that 4-5 team, is off. Mississippi, 5-3, still has to win two because it played two I-AAs. Arkansas, 4-4, might face a do-or-die game at home against South Carolina. Tennessee Tech is at Georgia, 4-4. Memphis is at Tennessee, 4-4. Kentucky, also 4-4, has Eastern Kentucky at home.

Boise blitz: Boise State has hired a p.r. firm to keep the Broncos in the “forefront” of the “minds” of “pollsters”.  That smells a lot like buying voters. First, let The List express its regret that it is not a Harris or coaches’ poll voter.

No, this isn’t Daley-era Chicago. Boise isn’t going to buy votes. In fact, it is fighting an uphill battle going into Friday’s game at Louisiana Tech. All TCU (at San Diego State on Saturday) has to do is keep winning. The voters <i>and</i> computers have spoken. They like Horned Frogs better than Needy Broncos.


Beaver milestone: As the 300th game at Beaver Stadium looms, let’s review the previous 299 games …

Penn State has a 241-58 record (80.6).

There have been 15 unbeaten seasons.

The Nittany Lions are 216-40 at Beaver with Joe as head coach. Fourteen of those undefeated seasons have come under Paterno.

Penn State is 32-3 in its last 35 at home. The only setbacks have come to No. 4 Michigan in 2006, No. 1 Ohio State in 2007 and Iowa on Sept. 26.


Paterno has been around for all of them.


  The North is 3-9 against the South Division. Two of those wins are against Baylor, in last place in the South.

  Kind of tells you something when Oklahoma-Nebraska gets relegated to the WWL blog. The teams now only meet twice in any four-year period.  A Husker win in Lincoln would give Nebraska a huge boost in the North.

  Does Colorado AD Mike Bohn have the $3.2 million he’ll need to buy out Dan Hawkins? Some more contributions might be added to the pot if the Buffs, 2-6, lose Texas A&M, 5-3

  Something has to give. Navy (34 minutes, 18 seconds) and Notre Dame (33:19) are 1-2 in time of possession.
 
  South Carolina is 7-10 after Nov. 1 under Steve Spurrier. USC is 27-0 in the month under Pete Carroll. 


Personal rant: The decision on player suspensions needs to be taken away from the school, the athletic director, maybe even the school president. SEC commissioner Mike Slive stepped in a week ago to issue his edict about critical coaches. Then Urban Meyer criticized officials and wasn’t punished. Yet. It seems like commissioners basically exist these days to pursue the best television contracts and shake hands with bowl reps.

The call here is for leagues to put in their constitutions (or whatever they’re called) language that gives the commissioner (or some league panel) the sole power to hand out discipline. Then the commissioners need to have the you know what to follow through.
.

 

Posted on: November 4, 2009 1:50 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2009 11:02 am
 

National notes

 Please ignore Washaun Ealey. A cheap shot is a cheap shot is a cheap shot. It doesn’t matter if Ealey thinks so.

Part of this Brandon Spikes thing is about the power of the internet. Spikes’ eye gouge was shown Saturday during the CBS telecast. The replay became viral Sunday afternoon on YouTube. Amazing that it wasn’t an issue to millions of people watching live but after millions of people alerted by the internet replay, Florida felt compelled to do something. Not because Spikes necessarily committed a penalty but because he’d been caught on camera.

A fine whine from Iowa: The e-mail from Iowa sports information this week starts with the sentence, “It seems popular for national pundits to criticize the University of Iowa football team these days …”

The e-mail then goes to inform the reader that Iowa has defeated more teams with winning records than Cincinnati, TCU, Oregon and Boise State. The winning percentage of its opponents is higher than Oregon, TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State. Iowa has defeated as many top 25 BCS teams as Oregon (three).

One point: What are the Iowa flaks bitching about? Their team is No. 4 in the BCS and a heartbeat away from the national championship. It is essentially ranked as the best team in the country beyond Florida, Alabama and Texas. Not bad for a team that wins games with cushion shots.

Attendance issues: TCU and Boise State fans might be whining about which school deserves to go to a BCS bowl, but they aren’t showing up to watch their teams.

There were 11,000 empty seats in Fort Worth on Saturday to watch the Frogs shut out UNLV. It’s not like the game was widely televised. Once again, Versus did its best to keep TCU a secret.  Amon Carter Stadium only holds 44,000.

Boise State can’t sell out 33,500 Bronco Stadium but still has plans to expand the stadium.  Idaho Statesman columnist Brian Murphy breaks it down perfectly.

At least those two schools fans aren’t front runners. Only 67,700 showed up at Florida State to watch the Noles play N.C. State. That’s the smallest crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium since 1993.

 Notre Dame sports information has compiled the remaining schedule strength of the top 25 teams in the BCS. Turns out that the Irish, No. 22 in the BCS, have the third-toughest remaining schedule behind Ohio State and Pittsburgh.

The remaining four games are against Navy, Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Stanford. Will beating those four be enough to raise the Irish into the top 14 where they will need to be to get a BCS bowl? We’ll see.

More to the point is whether ND can run the table. Navy (6-3) and Pittsburgh (7-1) are bowl eligible. Stanford (5-3) and UConn (4-4) could be.

 A.J. Green has a “pulmonary contusion”? That’s what they’re calling a bruised lung at Georgia. At least it wasn’t an eye gouge.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 4, 2009 11:33 am
Edited on: November 6, 2009 9:23 am
 

Meyer first to test SEC suspension or fine?

In what might be the first test of the SEC's new edict against critical coaches, Florida's Urban Meyer criticized what he perceived as a missed call Saturday vs. Georgia.

Georgia's Nick Williams seems to hit quarterback Tim Tebow late on this play. During the SEC conference call Wednesday morning, Meyer said, "That should have been a penalty in my opinion."

That seems to put Meyer in danger of being suspended or fined per the law laid down Friday by Mike Slive. When I talked to the SEC commissioner on Saturday, he was adamant about coming down hard on any further criticism of officials or calls. Slive is the sole arbiter of the penalties and will apply them with discretion.

Does Meyer's comment qualify?

Spikes was suspended for the first half of this week's Vanderbilt game. Later, Spikes suspended himself for the entire game.

It's now Friday and there are critics in the media asking when and if the SEC is going to do something. It's obvious Meyer is going to coach this week, but will Meyer be around for next week's South Carolina game. What the SEC office cannot do is stay silent. Slive created this situation, he is going to have to rule on each one individually. We clearly seem to have a violation here, but how severe?

C'mon Mike.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Florida, Georgia
 
Posted on: November 2, 2009 2:16 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2009 5:11 pm
 

Florida pleads an eye for an eye

Half a game? Wow. What would have happened if Brandon Spikes had succeeded in actually removing Washaun Ealey's eyeball from its socket?

God forbid, Spikes would have to sit three quarters.

Instead, Florida coach Urban Meyer sat down his star linebacker for the first half of Saturday's Vanderbilt game. Videos on YouTube outed Spikes on Sunday afternoon. From there on, it was clear Florida had to do something. Shame on the SEC, which had the final say in the matter, accepted the penalty as is.

Conspiracy theorists you may once again start your engines. Florida is protected -- this time against the league doormat. It's a good thing this wasn't the week of the Alabama game, Spikes would be, gulp, running steps.

In the wire story, Meyer mentions something about Spikes getting eye gouged early in the game, as if that is any excuse at all. That sounds like the logic speeders tell the cop that stops them: "Everybody else was doing it."

What Meyer did -- or didn't do -- was an insult to Georgia. Just when this "rivalry" was cooling down, the Dawgs have reason to hate again -- if they can ever get within three touchdowns.

Spikes deserved to be suspended a full game, at least. Maybe more. Spikes has apologized. That's a good start, 48 hours later. Thank goodness for hi-def TV or we wouldn't have seen this assault.

We're told that eye gouging is part of the game, much like a punch to the package. That doesn't mean it's right and certainly doesn't mean it's right when someone did it to you first.

C'mon Urban, we expected more of you and your star linebacker.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 1, 2009 8:52 pm
 

Thoughts on a football Saturday

Stunning stat of the day: At least one former Miami player has scored a touchdown in 112 straight weeks of NFL play dating back to week 15 of 2002.

BCS ramblings: Iowa is a heartbeat away from the presidency at No. 4 in the BCS. Here’s how it gets to the title game: LSU upsets Bama this week (Tigers have won five of the last six overall and the last three in a row in T-town) and then beats Florida in the SEC championship game. That opens up a spot for the Hawkeyes vs. Texas.

It’s looking worse for Notre Dame, 6-2. At 22, the Irish are the second-lowest ranked two-loss team in the BCS top 25. It will get some bump for beating No. 13 Pittsburgh, but that’s about it. It has to get to No. 14 in the final standings to be “eligible” which for Notre Dame would mean a BCS bowl bid.

It doesn’t help that eight of the nine teams above Notre Dame all have a chance to run the table. That could block out the Irish even if they win out.

 If you don’t vote Case Keenum No. 1 this week for the Heisman, you’re high.

There, I said it. The kid has accomplished more than Jimmy Clausen and is more consistent than Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy. The Houston quarterback’s Heisman moment came Saturday in the final minute when he tossed the winning touchdown pass to beat Southern Miss.

That ended one of the best games by a quarterback this season. Keenum completed 44 of 54 game for 559 yards and five touchdowns. Oh yeah, he’s the second most accurate passer in the country too.

The Cougs also ran for 191 yards. That’s 750 yards in total offense. I know it probably isn’t going to happen, but I’d love to see Houston in a BCS game against a defense like Texas’. The Longhorns beat Texas-El Paso 64-7, the only team that has defeated Houston. Strange.

2. Ryan Mathews, Fresno State – The nation’s leading rusher went for 185 yards against an aggressive Utah State defense to keep the national rushing lead. Mathews was able to return after a third-quarterback hit that reportedly bruised his ribs. “Probably the hardest I’ve ever been hit,” he said.

Mathews has run for 1,316 yards despite not playing a couple of fourth quarters.

3. Iowa defense – Your offense turns it over six times. Your quarterback throws four interceptions in one quarter. The Iowa D deserves some sort of recognition for a couple of pick sixes that might have been the difference in the Hawkeyes’ 42-24 win over Indiana.

Las Vegas should just get it over with and list Iowa as a pick ‘em in every remaining game. Team Turnover is that flaky.


4. Tim Tebow – The question is not whether Tebow can play in the NFL. The question is whether he will be alive to play in the NFL. You saw my Saturday column. I love the kid, but good Lord, 84 rushes in four games after a concussion? His excellence against Georgia proved once again that Tebow is pretty much all Florida has on offense, or at least that’s what the coaching staff believes.

Two rushing touchdowns by Superman shot him past Herschel Walker for SEC lead in career rushing touchdowns, 51.

5. Kellen Moore, Boise State – A trip to New York would be Boise’s consolation prize for missing out on a BCS bowl in consecutive years. Moore has 24 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

Also consider Golden Tate. He's still the best Notre Dame player, not Jimmy Clausen. Had an effective game against Washington State.

 A Tennessee radio guy FOI’d (Freedom of Information Act) the Mike Slive letter to Lane Kiffin on Friday. The contents of it are out there. It’s good reading.

In case you missed it, the SEC commish brought the hammer down on Friday threatening suspensions and fines if there is any more criticism of league officials. He seemed to call out Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin who is going from the reprimand hat trick. Remember him erroneously saying that Urban Meyer “cheated” in the recruiting of Nu’Keese Richardson?

``It is your responsibility as a coach to comply with the policies of the Southeastern Conference and to know the football playing rules …,” Slive wrote.

``Since it is clear from your public comments that you believe this letter `mean(s) nothing,' let me be equally as clear to you. The next time you, or a member of your staff, make public comments of this nature, you will be suspended from all coaching duties for one or more games, and the institution may be subjected to a substantial fine … ''


``I also remind you that this is your second public reprimand in your brief tenure as Tennessee's head football coach, and on both occasions, you were wrong about the applicable rules.''

Bam, zing, boom!

 

Posted on: October 31, 2009 5:48 pm
 

Slive on SEC officials

Just talked to SEC commissioner Mike Slive at the Florida-Georgia game.

Without saying the actual words, he agreed that he is going to be iron fisted in enforcing his new edict on criticizing officials. After two rookie head coaches in the SEC (Dan Mullen and Lane Kiffin) and one second-year guy (Bobby Petrino) had popped off, Slive said he felt like he had to “change the culture.”

On Friday, Slive said any further criticism of officials would result in suspensions or fines.

Slive also told me that some Tennessee media outlet had filed a Freedom of Information Act to obtain his reprimand letter to Kiffin. It’s out there, somewhere, I’m still checking cyberspace.

The commish seemed rather pleased that his letter had become public.

“Go read it,” he said.

We will.

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