Category:NCAAF
Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:00 pm
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Weis to Kansas? Can't see it

Charlie Weis’ name has been mentioned for the Kansas job, which is interesting.

The man is highly thought of in the area. He made Matt Cassel an All-Pro in his one year with the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City won the AFC West and led the NFL in rushing with Weis as offensive coordinator. Weis was also determined to leave the area after one season because he and his wife had enough because of disturbing incidents involving their daughter.

Weis made the move to Florida to be with his son Charlie Jr. and to provide a better setting for that special needs daughter, Hannah. I don’t think he comes back to Kansas to be a head coach. Kansas has less of an infrastructure than Notre Dame and Weis went to two BCS bowls with the Irish.

I might be totally wrong. Kansas may have spoken extensively with Weis. Maybe he wants to get back into college head coaching in the worst way. He would be that sexy hire and get KU football back on the map. It’s hard to remember but the Jayhawks were national championship contenders in 2007.

Florida took a downturn in 2011 with Weis as offensive coordinator but that’s all it was – a downturn. And don’t forget the growing possibility that Urban Meyer didn’t exactly leave the cupboard stocked.

As of now, Weis isn’t going anywhere because his focus remains where it should be – his family.

Meanwhile, as of now …

Arizona State: With June Jones apparently out of the picture, the Sun Devils are reportedly turning their attention to Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, Oregon offensive coordinator Jim Helfrich and 49ers assistant Jim Leavitt. Still can’t understand why Sumlin was out of the mix early. Said it was his dream job.

UCLA: An LA Times report says the Bruins are centering on Jim Mora Jr. 

Illinois: The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Illini like Toledo’s Tim Beckman.

Kansas: Completely silent. The Kansas City Star lists 11 candidates.

 

Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:39 pm
 

AP voter says LSU can't drop out of No. 1

Erik Gee believes LSU can’t lose.

Oh, the Tigers can score fewer points than Alabama in the BCS title game but they can’t lose his No. 1 vote. They’ve done enough. That’s Gee’s belief and he intends reinforce it with his Associated Press ballot.

The 39-year old radio host in Albuquerque, N.M. is going to vote LSU No. 1 pretty much win or lose following the BCS title game.

“It would have to be something like a 63-0 pasting [by Alabama],” for Gee to change his mind, he told CBSSports.com this week.

His is a stance we haven’t heard of this week as talk of a split national championship starts to bubble up. Now we have a face and a name and reasons why LSU should stay No. 1 in AP. That’s the only place it could happen, by the way, if Alabama wins. The coaches’ No. 1 vote is committed to the BCS title game winner, although there have been some defectors among voting coaches over the years.

“They’ve beaten Alabama once, what else do they need to do?” Gee said of LSU.

“I honestly feel this is the first year somebody is getting screwed by the system because they beat a team on the road, won the division, won the conference and now the system is saying, ‘Play it again, this time on a neutral field.’ “

This is the first time in BCS history two teams from the same conference have met. It is the third time a team that hasn’t won its conference is playing for the title. Complicating matters is No. 1 LSU being asked to beat No. 2 Alabama again after winning the SEC and beating eight ranked teams, three of them in the top three.

Gee’s opinion shouldn’t be a shock. We have seen weirder things – this week. Nick Saban conspicuously voted Oklahoma State No. 4, seemingly attempting to hold the Cowboys underwater so they couldn’t challenge his Tide for No. 2. No coach voted Alabama lower than third. Five coaches voted Oklahoma State lower than third.

Since LSU won the SEC title game Saturday there has been some talk of a split national championship, but not in detail. Oklahoma State finished behind No. 2 Alabama by the closest margin (.0086 of a point) since the BCS formula was changed in 2004. The last split national title occurred in 2003 when USC remained No. 1 in AP. LSU, which beat Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, won the BCS title.

Gee graduated from Oklahoma but his second choice for college was LSU. He considers himself a passionate and educated college football fan. On Sunday, he voted Oklahoma State No. 2 in his latest AP ballot.

“Not because I believe they deserve to play in the national championship but because I believe they and Alabama should get to play for [second place]. LSU should get to kick back and watch everyone else make fools of themselves.”

As for the realistic chances of a split national championship? So far, Gee seems to have a lot of support.  For the last four weeks, all 60 voters were unanimous in voting LSU No. 1. Would a close Alabama win -- say, three points -- convince the majority of those 60 to keep LSU at No. 1?

“I think the majority of them [voters] would vote Alabama No. 1 [if the Tide won],” Gee said. “But if it’s a close game, there’s enough of them out there to go, ‘I’m not changing the vote.’ “

You want more? Listen to Gee on “The Sports Bar” weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on KNML in Albuquerque.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:10 pm
 

Robert Griffin wins Scripps Heisman Poll

Baylor’s Robert Griffin III will be the Heisman Trophy winner according to the oldest Heisman poll.

Scripps-Howard News Service announced Wednesday that Griffin had barely nosed out Stanford’s Andrew Luck in its last Scripps Heisman Poll. The Scripps Poll has correctly matched the Heisman winner 20 of the last 24 years since it started in 1987.

Points are assigned on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Ten media members vote each week. They are listed below.

 1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor, 40 points (6 first-place votes)

2. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford, 38 (3)

3. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama, 19 (1)

4.(tie) Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin, 18; Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU, 18

Others receiving votes: USC QB Matt Barkley 7, Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden 5, Houston QB Case Keenum 3, Boise State QB Kellen Moore 2.

Voters: Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; Randy Beard, Evansville Courier and Press; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Bob Condotta, Seattle Times; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Vahe Gregorian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; John Helsley, The Oklahoman; Mike Griffith, Knoxville News-Sentinel; Michael Lewis, Salt Lake Tribune; and Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger.

Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 10:03 am
 

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

Start with the fact the Big East has BCS membership only because of a hall pass.

The BCS commissioners awarded the conference a waiver to stay in the club in 2007 just, well, because. Back then, the Big East still had enough existing juice from its teams and power from its administrators to keep its nose under the BCS tent.

No more.

You don’t have to be told that the Big East hasn’t had a team ranked in the final BCS top 20 since 2009. Or had one team in the top 10 of the BCS since 2008. (The Big Ten has had seven.) Such things matter when a conference is being awarded an $18 million-$20 million bowl game each year just, because.

That’s why you may have noticed the Big East is expanding, to chase that magic BCS berth like it was a contact high. CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy reported Tuesday that Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and Central Florida will join the league in 2013.

The problem is no one really knows what it all means. Four of the five new schools are basically warm bodies to keep the Big East afloat. The league is hoping the fifth, Boise, can keep the conference in the BCS big time. Air Force and Navy may join later.

But there’s no certainty the BCS is even going to be around in a few years. Commissioners will spend most of the next year deciding what college football’s postseason will look like beginning in 2014 (when the current BCS contract expires). The question – now that there is a bit of clarity regarding Big East membership – is if the league is better off with this current expansion.

Short answer: No. Not even close. The schools that have left – West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh – have accounted for five BCS bowls in the 14-year history of the system. That’s more than twice as many as the new schools bring to the table, all of them by Boise State (two).

But what choice did the Big East have? After the latest ACC raid, it just needed a heartbeat.

Here is  breakdown between the old and new. Decide for yourself if the Big East is worthy of a BCS bid.

(Note: We are considering the “highest level of football” since 1973 when Division I was established by the NCAA. Boise State moved up to Division I-A in 1996. All ranking references are to the Associated Press and BCS.)

 

Boise State

Conference: Mountain West, first year

Age of program at highest level of college football: 16th year in Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era that the Broncos ended the season ranked (1998-present): Seven

The last year the Broncos ended the season ranked: 2011

BCS bowls: two (2007 Fiesta, 2010 Fiesta)

 

San Diego State

Conference: Mountain West, 13th year

Age of program at highest level: 39th year in Division I/Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era that the Aztecs ended the season ranked: None.

The last year the Aztecs ended the season ranked: 1977

BCS bowls: None.

 

Houston

Conference: Conference USA, 16th year

Age of program at highest level: 39th year in Division I/Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era that the Cougars ended the season ranked: One (2011)

The last year the Cougars ended the season ranked: 1990

BCS bowls: None



SMU

Conference: Conference USA, sixth year
 
Age of program at highest level: 39th year in Division I/Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era that the Mustangs ended the season ranked: None.

The last year the Mustangs ended ranked: 1984

BCS bowls: None.

  

Central Florida

Conference: Conference USA, sixth year  

Age of program at highest level: 16th year in Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era the Knights ended the season ranked: One (2010)

The last year the Knights ended ranked: 2010.

BCS bowls: None.

 

The skinny on new teams

Average stay in current conference: 8.4 years

Average age of new programs at highest level of football: 29.8 years

Total seasons in the BCS era that ended with a ranking: Nine (average of 1.8 times per school)

Average length of time, in years, since last end-of-season ranking: 16.4 years

Last season ranked at the end of the season: Boise, 2011

Total BCS bowls: Two.

 

The skinny on departing teams (West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse)

Average stay in current conference: 20 years (Each year was a charter member in football.)

Average age of programs playing at the highest level of football: 39

Total seasons in the BCS era that ended with a ranking: 12 (average of four times per school)

Average length of time, in years, since last end-of-season ranking: four

Last season ranked at end of the season: 2011 (West Virginia)

Total BCS bowls: 5


Posted on: December 5, 2011 7:17 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 7:41 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

The Sugar Bowl was actively seeking a trade of BCS teams with the Fiesta Bowl had Oklahoma beaten Oklahoma State, Sugar CEO Paul Hoolahan told CBSSports.com on Monday.

Hoolahan said he was in contact with Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas about working the deal that would have brought Oklahoma to New Orleans in exchange for Oklahoma State. That would have relieved Oklahoma from so-called “Fiesta Fatigue” by taking the Sooners had they lost Saturday to Oklahoma State. Per BCS procedure, the Sugar would actually had to take Oklahoma State with the first overall pick then wait until the selection procedure was over before working the trade for the Sooners.

Oklahoma has been in the Fiesta Bowl three of the last five years. The Sooners have played in New Orleans once since 1972. That was the 2003 BCS title game against LSU. The trade, of course, was predicated on LSU and Alabama remaining 1-2 in the BCS. It is allowable per the BCS contract. 

The Sugar ended up with Michigan and Virginia Tech.

“I was working with Neinas throughout the week prior to selections on a possible Oklahoma trade …” Hoolahan said. “We had that greased and ready to go.”

“A lot of time was spent looking at that,” he added. “A lot of time was spent looking at similar situations regarding Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech’s name didn’t come in out of the blue.”

A second source from the Fiesta Bowl confirmed the trade talks. Neinas did not immediately return a call for comment. Because it lost both LSU and Alabama as SEC anchors, the Sugar had the first and third picks in the BCS process. Michigan was the first pick.

While the trade talk doesn’t directly address the reason why Kansas State was left out of the Sugar Bowl, it does begin to explain the Sugar Bowl’s thinking. It needed a so-called “anchor” team to pair with a second participant. Michigan became a worthy choice and the potential trade was off when Oklahoma State beat the Sooners.

The Wolverines return to New Orleans for the first time since 1984. If there are less than 10 automatic BCS qualifiers, teams ranked in the top 14 of the final BCS standings that have won at least nine games are eligible for at-large selection. That explains the leeway BCS bowls have in creating their best matchup. 

An Oklahoma win in Bedlam likely would have put a second Big 12 team (Oklahoma State) in the BCS.  

While ticket sales didn’t figure to be issue in either of the possible games involving Michigan -- Michigan-Virginia Tech or Michigan-Kansas State – there are always television considerations. It could have been that Virginia Tech was a slightly better TV draw.

Virginia Tech itself is suffering from its own “Orange Bowl Fatigue” having been to South Florida as the ACC champion three out of the last four years. Still, the college football world wanted to know Monday why Virginia Tech made it over the more accomplished and higher-ranked Wildcats.

The two-loss Hokies come to New Orleans fresh off a four-touchdown beatdown from Clemson in the ACC title game. Virginia Tech beat one team (Georgia Tech) ranked at the time in the top 20. Its own coach, Frank Beamer, barely voted the Hokies within BCS at-large eligibility on his coaches’ poll ballot at No. 13. At-large teams in the top 14 are considered.

Meanwhile, Kansas State is ranked higher (No. 8, BCS) guided by a national coach of the year candidate in Bill Snyder.

Without getting into specifics, Hoolahan said it was  a matter of familiarity with Tech. “A fond relationship,” he called it. The Sugar contributed $250,000 to the school after the tragic shootings in 2007. This is the third time since 2000 and fourth time since 1995 the Hokies have been to New Orleans.

The Sugar Bowl doesn’t have a large volunteer base (125) which could also play into the decision. Compare that to the Fiesta Bowl which claims a volunteer base of close to 3,000. The Sugar is double-hosting in this BCS rotation, responsible for two BCS games within seven days.

With SEC powerhouses LSU and Alabama in the championship game, it could be one of the biggest and busiest weeks ever for the Sugar Bowl infrastructure. Anything to make the job easier – i.e. selecting a known commodity in Virginia Tech – could help.

Hoolahan called it inviting a “long-time friend and partner.”

The Sugar could also feel it is owed the freedom to make such a pick. Since 2008, it has hosted non-BCS schools Hawaii and Utah as well as the Big East’s Cincinnati. Essentially, the Sugar Bowl may feel it shouldn’t be criticized when it has taken teams with ticket and TV draw issues in recent years.

Those are lingering consequences of the BCS that will start to be dealt with when the commissioners meet next Jan. 10 in New Orleans.

Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:48 pm
 

My 2011 Heisman ballot

In the interest of fair play and ethics, I did actually wait until all the games were played to file my ballot on Sunday. Here, in my opinion, are the three most outstanding players of 2011 ...


1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: The Stiff Arm needs some polishing. RGIII has the shammy.

In the last year, Reggie Bush has had to return the award. There was all the controversy swirling around Cam Newton. I’ll never get out of my head, the image of Newton being escorted by eight – 8! – security guards to his Heisman press conference.

Don’t think Griffin will need that. He is smart, charismatic and absolutely the best player in America. A one-man team? Pretty darn close. Baylor isn’t 9-3 without him.

His Heisman moment came on Nov. 19 with that last-second pass against Oklahoma. His final statement was unforgettable, four total touchdowns Saturday against Texas. He is assured of going down in history regardless. Griffin leads the country in pass efficiency and if his current numbers hold up, he would set an NCAA single-season record.

 
2. Montee Ball, TB, Wisconsin: Wisconsin pumps out 1,000-yard rushers like Milwaukee pumps out beer. This one is special.

At the beginning of the season, there was more buzz about 2010 consensus Big Ten freshman of the year, James White. At the end of it, Ball become Big Ten offensive player of the year. There’s never anything wrong with Big Ten’s leading rusher playing for the Big Ten champions becoming a Heisman finalist.

In a program that specializes in sharing the ball, Ball currently leads the country in rushing yards (1,759) and total touchdowns (38). On that subject: Ball needs two more touchdowns to break Barry Sanders’ 23-year-old record for most tds in a season. They would come in the Rose Bowl against Oregon. The junior is taking nothing for granted.

“It could be the last team I play, it could be the last camera I talk to,” Ball said. “You’ve just got to embrace it.”

 

3. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU: What’s a little synthetic chronic between friends? OK, that’s not fair. Honey Badger was technically suspended for the Auburn game for a violation of team rules.

After watching this kid all year, frankly, I don’t care. Bush once won a Heisman. I’ll take my chances with Mathieu and his blonde Fauxhawk. Besides, the Honey Badger takes what he wants

Mathieu combines the daring of Deion with multi-purpose ability of Charles Woodson, all in a 5-foot-9, 180-pound package. He has created the “Badger play”. In 25 career games, he has averaged at least one of these per game: interception, punt return for touchdown, fumble recovery, forced fumble.

How ridiculous is LSU’s defense? Fellow cornerback Morris Claiborne is an All-American. Mathieu is a Heisman candidate. 

Posted on: December 4, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Curtis Johnson to Tulane

New Orleans Saints assistant Curtis Johnson will be named the new coach at Tulane, CBSSports.com has learned.

The school would confirm or deny but has announced a Monday press conference to announce its new coach. Johnson will be replacing Bob Toledo.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2011 4:18 pm
 

Coaching carousel: Sumlin, Clemson, Colorado St

Coaching realignment and the dangers of social media …

--A lot of us will never get part of our Sunday afternoon back after chasing a bogus rumor that Mack Brown was being “forced out” at Texas. Not true. In fact, I’m told Brown has reached out to recruits to reiterate his commitment.

--I’m also told the coaching situation at Texas A&M won’t be resolved for a matter of days. As reported elsewhere, an A&M regent is close to Houston coach Kevin Sumlin. However, there is a list being considered. It’s clear from reports and the fact that Mike Sherman was fired that AD Bill Byrne is being marginalized in the decision. President R. Bow(tie)en Loftin continues to stick his nose in where it doesn’t belong.

A TAMU spokesman tweeted Sunday afternoon that there is no timeline for the search. 

--Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris has told  former CBSSports.com staffer Bart Wright of the Greenville (S.C.) News that he would be interested in the Houston opening if Sumlin leaves. Morris has extensive connections back in Texas where he coached in high school.  

There also appears to be some interest from Ohio State in Morris as Urban Meyer’s new OC. Bruce Feldman reported a “potential bidding war” may be developing between Clemson and the Buckeyes. Both Morris and Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele are expected to receive raises after the ACC championship.

--Meanwhile, former Colorado coach Gary Barnett has a key endorsement for the Colorado State job. Steve Fairchild was fired Sunday afternoon.

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