Posted on: November 28, 2011 8:48 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 6:06 pm

Urban Meyer will be the next coach at Ohio State

Urban Meyer will be Ohio State's next coach, has confirmed.

The 47-year-old Meyer comes to one of the most promiment football programs in the country with a proven track record. He has been successful at every level as a head coach -- Bowling Green, Utah and Florida where he won two national chamnpionships. The Ashtabula, Ohio native had been out of the game for a year after resigning at Florida on Dec. 8.

Meyer has agreed to a seven-year, $40 million deal according to at least two reports. The seven-year contract may have something to do with Meyer's ability to dig out from NCAA penalties which are expected to be handed down soon. 

The school has scheduled a 5:15 p.m ET press conference.

The  Columbus Dispatch reported that Ohio State AD Gene Smith was to meet with the current coaching staff Monday morning. 

The program is awaiting sentencing on two fronts. Ohio State has been charged with “failure to monitor” in the Bobby DiGeronimo booster case. The school thought it had wrapped up the situation involving Tattoogate and Jim Tressel during an infractions committee hearing in August.   

The school already has vacated all its wins from the 2010 season and will dock itself five scholarships over the next three years.  

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 27, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 3:39 pm

Power Poll Week 13: SEC can't be beat

Let’s see, what would it have to be?

Georgia by 30? Georgia by 40?

That’s the projected point spread that would keep LSU out of the BCS title game as the season draws to an anti-climactic close. LSU virtually clinched a spot in the BCS game last week. It really doesn’t matter if it beats Georgia on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game. Does it?

Actually, it does. The best possible result for everyone in the SEC is Georgia winning. That would all but assure the league an unprecedented three BCS teams. That wouldn’t impact an LSU-Alabama championship game rematch.

Unless Georgia wins by 30.

Or would it be 40?

This week's Power Poll ... 

1. LSU: Best. Team. Ever? Getting into discussion after beating seven ranked teams, three in top five.
2. Alabama: Second place in SEC West = Second in the country.
3. Oklahoma State: Big, big Georgia fans this week because OSU needs a big, big Bulldog margin of victory over LSU.
4. Stanford: This is the look of a hot BCS at-large: 11-1 with prospective Heisman winner.
5. Arkansas: Did Bobby Petrino have words for Les Miles? “Not many,” says LSU coach.
6. Virginia Tech: Yes, Virginia there is an ACC Championship Game. You’re just not playing in it.
7. Houston: Tulsa had its shot, and failed miserably.
8. Boise State: Chris Petersen signs two new recruits – Slim and None – in hopes of getting to BCS.
9. USC: Neuheisel: UCLA has “closed the gap.” Actually, soon to be working at The Gap.
10. Oregon: The ice on LaMichael James’ elbow looked troubling.
11.Oklahoma: Life in the Big 12: A week after giving up 600 yards to Baylor, Sooners smother Iowa State.
12. Michigan State: Classy: Dantonio didn’t rest players against Northwestern prepping for Big Ten title game. Spartans won 10 for the fourth time in history.
13. Wisconsin: Montee Ball within shouting distance of Barry Sanders’ single-season rushing touchdowns record.
14.Georgia: Richt couldn’t be blamed for going to middle of Georgia Dome and lobbing middle finger to his own fans Saturday.
15. Michigan: Exactly 366 days since Ohio State has beaten Michigan.
16. South Carolina: One of Spurrier’s masterful coaching jobs this season and against Clemson.
17. Kansas State: National coach of the year award awaiting Bill Snyder’s acceptance.
18. Baylor: Texas Tech pays for two cheap shots on RGIII. Rout 66 by Briles vs. Red Raiders.
19. TCU: Getting ready to face UNLV team that just beat North Carolina. Wait, that was basketball.
20. Nebraska: Say Rex Burkhead 38 times. Bo Pelini did. It resulted in 160 yards vs. Iowa.
21. Florida State: Jimbo Fischer has swept Miami and Florida in each of first two seasons.
22. West Virginia: Baby steps for Big East. First produce a ranked champion.
23. Southern Miss: If it isn’t already, Larry Fedora’s phone should be ringing off the hook.
24. Clemson: November goes out like a lamb for Tigers, who lost three of last four.
25. Penn State: Bowl poison?


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 27, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: November 27, 2011 12:16 pm

The farce that has become the Pac-12 title game

Look what the NCAA has done. Look what the Pac-12 done. Look what Rick Neuheisel has done.

Actually, UCLA’s coach-for-now might be the least culpable in the farce that has turned into the first Pac-12 championship game.  Start with the fact that there is every reason to believe the best team might not be playing in it. And that one of the league’s worst is playing in it.

USC has the same record as and has beaten North Division champion Oregon (both 10-2). The Ducks will be the prohibitive favorite in the conference’s first championship game that looks more like a September conference opener. It’s hard to argue against the Trojans playing the best Pac-12 football at the moment. Actually, some of the best football in the country.

The Trojans all but shouted that from the top of the Coliseum Saturday night routing UCLA, 50-0. That would be the UCLA that is the South Division “champion” facing Oregon Friday in Eugene. There may not be a worse league title game in history. And, yes, I’m counting the MAC and Conference USA.

At least teams from those conferences had earned their way to their championship games. UCLA is the back-up date to the prom after the head cheerleader said no. Take away the divisions and UCLA finished in a tie for fourth. But in this age of divisional formats, paper heroes can be created. UCLA was that Back-Up Plan because, well, you might have read somewhere that USC is ineligible for postseason play. The Trojans, Pac-12 and NCAA went into this season knowing that was the case.

What they didn’t know is that the second-place team in the South would be 6-6 UCLA, coming off a skunking by the Trojans. What they didn’t know is that UCLA would “clinch” the South when Colorado, a team that had lost 23 straight road games, would win at Utah.

They couldn’t have conceived that only that championship game is keeping Neuheisel from being fired right now. Should be quite a celebration in Eugene, and a funeral dirge in Westwood once the plane lands. Among other sins, UCLA’s coach actually had the temerity to suggest that UCLA had “closed the gap” on USC in the last four years. Bad move, Slick Rick. That probably explains why Matt Barkley was still in the game in the fourth quarter chucking his sixth touchdown pass.

USC got hammered with the one of the worst penalties in NCAA history. In terms of closing that gap, UCLA couldn’t even kick down a door that was left wide open.

Neuheisel being fired after Friday’s Eugene beating is a given. AD Dan Guerrero can’t tap dance fast enough around the issue. If the Bruins somehow won and got to – wait for it – another home game in the Rose Bowl, that would only heighten the urgency. The Bruins would be playing in the Rose Bowl but they’re not nearly a Rose Bowl team

Call it one of the unintended consequences of a postseason ban. Surely, the NCAA infractions committee couldn’t have conceived of these circumstances when it banned USC: A team ineligible for a bowl would be replaced by a team about to be ineligible for a bowl.

An explanation: A UCLA loss would drop the Bruins to 6-7, making the Pac-12 South Division “champions” (love using those quotes) ineligible for a bowl. The Bruins could then could seek a bowl waiver from the NCAA if the Pac-12 can’t fill its seven bowl slots.

Great. Nothing says “bowl experience” than a team with a losing record. Though, using that logic, if Ohio State is going to be allowed in the Sugar Bowl because of some unknown rule, UCLA at least has played by the rules to get to 6-7. Those rules being set by the NCAA when it banned USC.

You’re way ahead of me if you’re thinking that Alabama can play for a national championship without winning its division, but UCLA can’t play in a bowl after “winning” its division. (Check the standings. USC is two games better than UCLA.)



Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 26, 2011 9:04 pm

Kansas' Turner Gill could be next to go

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The 800-pound gorilla took on a different form Saturday night. Turner Gill’s job security was the $6 million buyout in the room Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Both were hard to ignore.

There is wide speculation that Gill, Kansas’ second-year coach, will be the next major-college coach fired following Missouri’s 24-10 win over the Jayhawks. The former Nebraska star is 5-19 in two seasons in Lawrence.

Gill may be next up on the chopping block in a coaching silly season that figures to pick up momentum this week. Arizona just filled its opening. Ole Miss and North Carolina remain open. But the jobs at Illinois, Tennessee, Memphis, Arizona State and Ohio State could soon come open as well. According to reports, Urban Meyer is expected to formally announced any day as the new Buckeyes’ coach.

Kansas, at times, has been laughably bad this season finishing 2-10 while threatening to set an NCAA record for average yards allowed (531.45, last in FBS). Six of the losses were by at least 30 points.

Names being tossed around already include Mike Leach, former South Florida coach Jim Leavitt and former Arizona coach Mike Stoops. Leach still is dealing with three active lawsuits following his December 2009 firing from Texas Tech. Leavitt left South Florida after being accused of laying hands on a player. Stoops’ sideline demeanor was an issue at Arizona but his team also slumped badly toward the end. He was 41-50 in eight seasons.

“I think a positive is that our guys stuck together as a team,” Gill said after his team blew a 10-0 lead. “They were truly a team inside and outside of the lockerroom. They played their hearts out.”

It may not be enough. Gill was hired by former AD Lew Perkins and handed a five-year, $10 million guaranteed contract starting in 2010. If he were fired, Gill would be owed every cent of the remaining three years ($6 million). Some KU booster(s) will have to dig deep if they want a change. But it may be worth it at Kansas which has been able to tolerate mediocre football as long as it doesn’t embarrass the basketball program.

It is embarrassing the basketball program, gaining national attention for all the wrong reasons.

“It’s hard to turn something in two [years],” Kansas offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. 

“We all understand three [years]. We all understand that [is a key time for a coach] … But we feel like 2012, 2013 could be good years for us.”

Long has been in this situation himself. The former Heisman runner-up was 9-27 in three years as head coach at San Diego State.

“If that [two years] was the case they probably would have fired me too,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “I wasn’t the most popular guy in my first four years here … He’s [Gill] a colleague and a friend. I don’t think there is any way you can  make a decision on a program in two seasons.”



Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 25, 2011 5:48 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2011 5:57 pm

LSU beats Arkansas; BCS picture clears -- a bit

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The weirdest thing about LSU’s undefeated regular season is that the Tigers may be able to rest their starters next week in the SEC championship game.

Such is LSU's large margin for error after beating No. 3 Arkansas on Saturday. The win before the second-largest crowd in Tiger Stadium history cleared up the BCS mess just a bit. The Hogs, having lost their second game, were eliminated from the SEC West and national championship races. LSU clinched a spot in Atlanta next week against Georgia. But as one of two undefeated teams left -- Conference USA’s Houston is the other -- it may have room to lose that game against the Bulldogs and still play in the BCS title game.

Against who is to be determined. Alabama can all but get to New Orleans itself for a rematch by beating Auburn on Saturday in the Iron Bowl. 'Bama began the weekend as the best of the one-loss teams. That doesn’t figure to change if beats Auburn’s Tigers.

That’s where it comes back to LSU’s Tigers. Barring a blowout win by Georgia in Atlanta, LSU will still have to be considered one of the top two teams in the BCS. That’s the result of going undefeated in the SEC, beating No. 3 at home and advancing to a less-than-pressurized SEC title game.

The Tigers have built up that much equity with the pollsters and computers that it may be able to suffer a loss. It’s happened before. Nebraska didn’t even win its division in 2001 before advancing to play Miami. In 2003, Oklahoma lost by four touchdowns to Kansas State in the Big 12 title game but still advanced to play … LSU in … New Orleans.

The BCS formula has actually changed since then to make it less likely. But with LSU and Alabama having separated themselves from the college football pack, what else are you going to do? Is a one-loss LSU at that point better than a one-loss Stanford, Oklahoma State or Virginia Tech?

Up to this point, the BCS has spoken.  LSU is the only team to beat seven ranked opponents, three in the top five. In the biggest game at Tiger Stadium since 1959 -- when No. 1 LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss -- the home team survived. Barely.

It was clunky: LSU fell behind 14-0, trailing for the first time at home all season, then rallied in the final seven minutes to take a 21-14 halftime lead. Trailing 14-zip, the Tigers fumbled as many times as Jordan Jefferson was booed on the Tigers’ first touchdown drive. A 14-play, 77-drive was finally completed when freshman Kenny Hilliard scored to lead LSU back from its biggest deficit of the season.

It was amazing: Tyrann Mathieu ended a month or so of anonymity by taking a Dylan Breeding punt back 92 yards for a score. Cue the Richter Scale. Tiger Stadium shook, seemingly knowing what was coming next. Fourteen-all.

It was a turnaround: After stinking on the previous series, Jefferson completed four of five for 66 yards and a touchdown to put LSU ahead 21-14. That drive was set up when Arkansas’ Dennis Johnson was ruled to have fumbled at LSU’s 34. Three scores in 6:50 put the Tigers ahead to stay at halftime.

LSU should have known it was in trouble when Jarius Wright snuck free over the middle for a 13-yard touchdown reception. The first score of the game marked the first time all season the Tigers had trailed at home. It was the first touchdown pass given up by LSU in 1½ months.

The BCS started to look murkier when Arkansas’ Alonzo Highsmith returned a Mike Ford fumble 47 yards for a touchdown that made it 14-0.

Through all of LSU’s recent excellence, Arkansas had been that rock in the Tigers’ shoe. The Hogs had won three of the last four meetings. Something was going to give.

Eventually, Arkansas did.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Arkansas, BCS, LSU
Posted on: November 23, 2011 3:35 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 4:38 pm

Source: Meyer has not accepted Ohio State job

A person close to the process denied a Wednesday report that Urban Meyer was about to become the next coach at Ohio State.

The person did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation but is intimately involved in the process.

“People can throw out guesses,” the person said. “Some may or may not know what they’re talking about. It’s [the report] not true. That’s not the case. That is all there is to say.”

The Columbus Dispatch, citing two well-placed sources, reported Wednesday that Meyer will be announced next week as the new Buckeyes coach. The report added that contract terms had not been agreed upon.

Meyer has denied on at least two occasions he has been offered the job. That doesn’t account any indirect contact that may have been between his representatives and Ohio State officials. An Orlando, Fla. television station reported that Meyer has agreed in principle to a seven-year, $40 million deal.

Meyer has been widely speculated, and in cases reported, to be Ohio State’s next coach. He is not joining his usual ESPN broadcast crew at the Ohio State-Michigan game. ESPN released a statement saying the Bristol, Conn. studios were the best place for him to be this weekend to analyze games.



Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 21, 2011 5:57 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 12:22 pm

Arizona replaces Sgt. Hulka with ... Rich Rod

CBS Sports Network loses an analyst. Arizona gets a future.

That’s my first impression after hearing that Rich Rodriguez is taking the Arizona job. Just about the perfect hire. Rich Rod is hungry and wants to prove himself after the Michigan detour. Arizona needs to be revitalized. Rodriguez needs a job.

In short, Rich Rodriguez fits in Tucson. It is a laidback town, one of those big-little towns that isn’t pretentious. Larger than Morgantown, not as tradition-bound as Ann Arbor. In terms of sideline demeanor, Rodriguez is the antithesis of Mike Stoops. Arizona just traded Sgt. Hulka for this guy. 

That’s motivation.

Let’s be honest: Both sides needed rejuvenation. The Michigan thing just didn’t work out. Stoops had worn out his welcome. This just made Arizona matter again.

You can believe Rich Rod will attract top quarterbacks. No word on who he’ll get as defensive coordinator, but you can be sure Wildcat football will be exciting again. This is a new era in the Pac-12 and for the only team in the old Pac-10 never to play in the Rose Bowl, this is a home run.



Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 20, 2011 1:57 pm

Power Poll Week 12: Cowboys still in running

We know the SEC has a choke hold on the top three spots, and thus the national championship race. But who is next in line?

The Power Poll says it's Oklahoma State which went from despair to hope in the space of 24 hours. The Cowboys are still in it despite losing Friday to Iowa State. They have to hope for losses by two SEC teams above them and then smack down Oklahoma in Bedlam.

1. LSU – Don’t load up on turkey, boys. There’s plenty of Hog to go around.
2. Alabama – Dear Lane: Thank you for the lovely gift. We received it late Saturday night. Signed, Nick.
3. Arkansas – This has to be the best week of football for the Piggies since 1969.
4. Oklahoma State – Nothing like a Friday night in Ames.
5. Stanford – Cardinal still have another Big Game left if teams above them lose.
6. Virginia Tech – What’s wrong with a fourth ACC title in five years?
7. Houston – Question: If the Cougars are the lone remaining undefeated team, do they play for it all. If that happens do dogs and cats start living together?
8. Boise State – It’s hard to believe that Kellen Moore will probably play in only one BCS bowl.
9. Oregon – On that final drive against USC, Chip Kelly was too fast even for himself.
10. Oklahoma – Can’t win the little ones.
11. Michigan State – Indy or bust. Spartans clinch a spot in first Big Ten title game.
12. Wisconsin – Please, someone, quick, trademark “MonteeBall”.
13. Kansas State – Cotton Bowl on Line 1.
14. South Carolina – Back-to-back nine-win seasons for the first time.  
15. Georgia – Hot seat has turned into a comfortable recliner for Mark Richt. Dawgs clinch SEC East.
16. USC –  At last check, were still singing “Fight On” in raucous Autzen Stadium lockerroom.
17. Clemson – This is called a let down game: Losing big to N.C. State after the division is clinched.
18. Baylor – We all need a hero in our lives. Robert Griffin III is it.
19. TCU – Soon to be in their third conference in a year, Froggies clinch at least a share of their third straight Mountain West. Or was it the Big East?
20. Penn State – Good on Tom Bradley. He wins the Interim Coach Bowl over Ohio State.
21. Michigan –  Big House fans chated “Beat O-hi-o [State]”. It’s been almost 3,000 days since the Wolverines have.
22. Nebraska – The good version of Denard Robinson showed up in Ann Arbor. Huskers were just bad.
23. Notre Dame – Could still win 10 after matching last year’s victory total (eight).  
24. Virginia – Mike London can have his pick of jobs.
25. Iowa State – In case you haven’t heard, Paul Rhoads is so proud to be your coach, Cyclones.



Category: NCAAF
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