Posted on: December 26, 2009 10:46 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2009 10:52 pm
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen may emerge as the leading candidate at Florida in the aftermath of Urban Meyer stepping down Saturday night.
The key to the new hire is the state of the Florida staff. The move must be made quickly and in the heart of recruiting season. In most cases, that means hiring a coach who would want to bring in an entirely new staff or, at least, forcing the new coach to keep the core of Meyer's staff.
That staff is in the process of landing what looks like another top 10 class. Transitioning in the middle of the recruiting season could be messy. That's why Mullen seems like the ideal answer. Florida's former offensive coordinator would be able to keep the staff and recruiting together. Mississippi State finished 5-7 in its first season under Mullen.
Mullen has been with Meyer since 2001 when he was hired as Bowling Green's quarterbacks coach. A member of the "New Hampshire Mafia", Mullen shares offensive philosophies with LSU's Gary Crowton and Oregon's Chip Kelly. All three are from New Hampshire. It was Mullen's offense that made Tim Tebow a star and made his successor John Brantely want to stick around for three years to get the starting job. The key for Florida is continuity.
Mullen is in the process of hiring a defensive coordinator after losing Carl Torbush to Kansas. One player who won't be coming with him is quarterback Cam Newton, one of top junior college prospects. Newton was being recruited heavily by Mullen. Both were at Florida a couple of years ago when Newton was thrown off the team for allegedly stealing a laptop. He has emerged from his juco experience as a five-star prospect.
Mullen just completed the first of a four-year contract that is paying him $1.2 million per season.
Other names attached to the opening include Jon Gruden, Bobby Petrino, Bob Stoops, Steve Spurrier, Kyle Whittingham and Mike Shanahan
Posted on: November 18, 2009 12:29 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2009 3:14 pm
We all know that the SEC rules our lives. So what are we to make of the release this week of The Blind Side, the much-hyped movie adaptation of the famous book?
To me, it's free advertising for the coaches and schools involved. Free recruiting advertising.
Think that other coaches aren't jealous? The movie features Nick Saban (as LSU's coach), Houston Nutt (as Arkansas' coach), Tommy Tuberville (as Auburn's coach), Phil Fulmer (as Tennessee's coach) and, uh, Lou Holtz.
Sure, they're at other jobs, or out of jobs, but think about what they represent. When they watch the movie potential recruits will see the current coach of Alabama (Saban), the current coach at Ole Miss (Nutt) and a couple of out-of-work coaches who will be getting free advertising -- Tuberville and Fulmer.
I'm all for Tubby and Fulmer getting new jobs. Holtz, well, I think you know my stance on him. This is not the economy of health care, I just wonder if the rest of the SEC coaches, or the rest of college football will be so thrilled about Friday's premier.
Fiesta frolic: The Fiesta seemingly holds the fate of Boise State in the BCS. The bowl would get the second pick after the Sugar Bowl if the rankings remain the same -- Florida or Alabama at No. 1 and Texas at No. 2.
The Sugar Bowl would take the Gators-Tide loser because it would have lost its anchor team, the SEC champion, to the BCS championship game. The Fiesta would pick second because it would have lost its anchor team, the Big 12 champion (Texas). In that scenario, the only threat to the Broncos -- unless Texas is upset – is Oklahoma State. It could finish 10-2 and qualify as an at-large team.
Qualify is a relative term. It was communicated to me this week that the Fiesta Bowl considers its relationship with the Big 12 similar to that of the Rose Bowl with the Pac-10 and Big Ten. In other words, the Fiesta isn’t passing up a BCS-eligible Oklahoma State to take Boise State.
A lot has to happen: The Cowboys still have to beat Colorado and, more significantly, win at Oklahoma to finish 10-2. The Pokes would be going to Glendale having finished second in the Big 12 South with no wins over currently ranked teams.
Boise, then, has to be big Oklahoma fans on Nov. 28. If not, the at-large teams look like this: TCU, Big Ten (Iowa/Wisconsin/Penn State), SEC (Florida/Alabama) and Oklahoma State. The six other slots are taken up by the six major-conference champions.
TCU search: Sometimes you just get lucky. Nine years ago, the TCU coaching search’s was kept small and secret. Dennis Franchione was going to Alabama. Then-TCU AD Eric Hyman was joined by NFL personnel guru Gil Brandt and TCU trustee Malcolm Louden.
They climbed into a private jet, hitting as many candidates as possible in as short a time as possible. Your loyal blogger recently obtained that candidates list:
Sonny Lubick, former Colorado State coach and former assistant at Miami
After running through that group, The Thoughtful Three came back and found their guy in their backyard. They picked Dennis Franchione’s defensive coordinator, a guy named Gary Patterson. Things seem to have worked out.
McGinnis never was a head coach after the Cardinals. Bower was let go at Southern Miss a couple of years ago. Brown had a mostly mediocre stay at Alabama-Birmingham. Lubick is retired. Minter left Cincinnati after 2003 and is currently the defensive coordinator at Marshall.
“I watched Gary coach the defense and I knew he was a genius,” said Hyman now the South Carolina AD.
Goodbye, Dick Tomey: The classy, accomplished San Jose State coach retired this week (effective at the end of the season) reminded of the biggest tragedy of his career.
In 1995 while coaching at Arizona, Tomey endured the death of Damon Terrell. During a preseason workout Terrell collapsed due to sickle cell trait and died about a month later. A hospital technician removed a tube leaving an air bubble in Terrell’s bloodstream. He died not from a disease but because of hospital error.
Tomey was given the news during a game that year against Georgia Tech.
“That was gut wrenching … Damon was out of the woods, he was going to recover,” Tomey said. “At halftime of the game they told me that Damon had passed away. They weren’t going to tell a anyone else, because people were watching on television. The hospital had made an error.
“I knew it and I couldn’t tell anybody. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be anywhere … I went in the lockerroom after the game. I was about to explode. I had to tell the guys their teammate had died. It was the most gut-wrenching thing. The outpouring of affection for that young man was amazing but the circumstances were clearly the most difficult thing I ever had to deal with.”
The next week at Illinois, Arizona called timeout before the opening kickoff. They formed the letters “D” and “T” with helmets held to the sky.
Most improved: So far it’s Idaho and SMU. They’re tied. Each is five games better than last season.
Idaho has gone from 2-10 to 7-4. SMU has rebounded from 1-11 to 6-4. Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads is the most successful first-year coach to this point improving the Cyclones, 6-5, four games from last season.
Posted on: November 16, 2009 3:19 pm
A person familiar with the process says that Michigan's compliance department might be to blame for failing to monitor the filing of practice logs.
The Detroit News reported Monday that Michigan coaches failed to file the required monthly logs that keep track of time spent practicing and working out. Michigan is being investigated by the NCAA for possible violations of the maximum 20-work week for football players.
The person, a veteran major-college administrator, said that it is typically the duty of a compliance person to keep track of each players' time spent playing, practicing and working out.
"That's on compliance. If it's Auburn, LSU, Florida or some other school if you didn't have practice logs filed then that's on compliance," the person said. "It's compliance's job to make sure to get them in."
The person said that he was personally responsible for counting the individual hours of each player, by month, then turning the documents into the compliance department.
Posted on: November 8, 2009 4:07 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2009 12:14 pm
After watching that replay again from Alabama, how can a reasonable person rule that wasn’t an interception? I’m expecting something out of the SEC office in the next couple of days.
Why I like Alabama on game day … “Sweet Home Alabama” comes on and immediately everyone on University Ave. starts jukin’ and yellin’. Ever see 10,000 folks do the Bama version of the River Dance?
Why I like Alabama on game day II … The houndstooth 1) skirts and 2) beer coozies.
Why I like Alabama on game day III … Yes, they were taking pictures of me as I was in makeup prior to my appearance on CBS College Sports’ SEC Tailgate. You people must find some meaning in your lives.
Get ready for a noisy Boise: The way things are sorting out, an undefeated Boise State is going to be beaten out for a BCS bowl by a two-loss team from one of the power conferences, p.r. firm or not.
The BCS bowl matchups began to get into sharper focus when Iowa lost and Alabama won. Here’s out it works:
The automatic qualifiers are down these teams …
Big Ten: Iowa/Ohio State. The teams plays this week in Columbus so that will sort itself out. Both teams have lost once. Saturday's winner most likely goes to the Rose Bowl.
Big 12: Texas will play either Kansas State or Nebraska from the North Division. K-State controls its own destiny after beating Kansas. Texas might be cruising but could get some blowback at Texas A&M on Thanksgiving or from Nebraska or K-State in the Big 12 title game.
SEC: Alabama vs. Florida in the SEC title game. If they teams stay undefeated before Dec. 5, the winner plays for the national championship. The loser most likely goes to the Sugar Bowl.
ACC: Still a mess but Georgia Tech is the conference’s only one loss team and leads the Coastal Division. Clemson controls its fate in the Atlantic Division. The ACC winner most likely goes to the Orange Bowl.
Big East: Cincinnati is undefeated but still has tough games left against West Virginia and Pittsburgh. With no conference championship game to hinder it, the Bearcats could be headed to the Sugar Bowl to face the Alabama-Florida loser.
Pac-10: It looks as if Oregon, Arizona or Stanford will go to the Rose. The Wildcats and Ducks meet Nov. 21 in Tucson. Despite the letdown loss at Stanford, Oregon still seems to have the advantage. Arizona still has its toughest games to play (Cal, USC, Arizona State). Stanford has to get past USC and Cal before meeting Notre Dame in the regular-season finale,
That leaves four at-large berths. Notre Dame is out after losing to Navy. If TCU stays undefeated and ahead of Boise State in the BCS, it will go, most likely, to the Fiesta Bowl. As mentioned, the Florida-Alabama loser should gobble up a Sugar Bowl spot. If USC wins out it could get the other Fiesta Berth at 10-2.
That leaves an undefeated Boise having to fight off a two-loss team from a major conference in order to get to the BCS. Things being what they are, which is the same for the past 50 years in this situation, the Orange Bowl most likely would pick a 10-2 Penn State to play the ACC champion.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce you to Kansas State, 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the Big 12 North after beating Kansas 17-10. In Bill Snyder’s second term as coach, the Wildcats need only beat Nebraska in its final two games to clinch a spot in the Big 12 title game.
Snyder is getting some run for Big 12 coach of the year. We’re fairly sure no COY has lost to Texas Tech by 54 and lost to a fourth-place Sun Belt team in the same season.
Advantage Alabama: A better running game (I think) and the revenge motive for last year’s classic loss in Atlanta.
Advantage Florida: Tebow, Tebow, Tebow. As long as he’s taking snaps, Florida has a chance.
Advantage Florida: Defense. By a hair. This is going to be another matchup of the ages. Charlie Strong vs. Nick Saban/Kirby Smart. At this point Florida’s unit seems a bit more active.
Advantage Alabama: Special teams. With Javier Arenas returning kicks and Terrence Cody blocking them, give the Crimson Tide the edge. Kicker Leigh Tiffin is more than reliable. If you’re looking for an edge, this is it. Games like this tend to turn on special teams.
Stuff: SMU needed three blocked kicks to beat Rice and move to within one win of bowl eligibility. The Ponies last went bowling pre-death penalty in 1984 … Alabama hasn’t been 9-0 in consecutive seasons since 1973-74 … In its last 39 home games, Cal is 0-7 against Oregon State and USC, 32-0 against everyone else … My God, did you see Cal’s Jahvid Best suffer that concussion while diving into the end zone? Coach Jeff Tedford actually said his guy was “OK.” No, coach, he’s not OK. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Best’s season is over … Who knew UCLA had lost seven conference games in a row before beating Washington?
The right now, no B.S., up to the moment Heisman Watch
1. Case Keenum, Houston. Another last-second win, this time over Tulsa. In his last two games Keenum has thrown for 1,081 yards and eight touchdowns. Any questions? My goal in life is to get this kid a trip to New York. He’s earned it. In a perfect world, he’d win the Stiff Arm but because he plays at a Conference USA school it probably isn’t going to happen.
2. Mark Ingram, Alabama. It’s the KIIS system – Keep It Ingram, Stupid. After throwing 25 passes in the first half, Nick Saban changed tactics and had Ingram carry it 16 games in the second half against LSU. The result was 144 yards.
3. Colt McCoy, Texas. It was only Central Florida but McCoy continued a recent uptick with 469 passing yards. McCoy was removed from the game with nine minutes left four yards shy of the school passing record (Major Applewhite, 473 yards in the 2001 Holiday Bowl).
Funny thing, Applewhite might have the school record but because the NCAA didn’t recognize bowl stats back then it officially doesn’t exist. What makes things more annoying is that a few years ago the NCAA started counting bowl stats. I still contend that an intern at each school in the country could go back and add in all the bowl numbers.
The NCAA explains that current record holders would have their names expunged if records were updated. Tough! You count all the numbers, not just some of them.
4. Toby Gerhart, Stanford. Coach Jim Harbaugh is preaching physicality. Gerhart pounded Oregon for a school-record 223 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-42 win.
5. C.J. Spiller, Clemson. If the Tigers are going to win their first ACC title in 18 years, Spiller is going to be the reason. He went for a school-record 312 all-purpose yards against Florida State.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida Stsate, Georgia Tech, Houston, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, NCAA, Nebraska, Ohio State, Orange Bowl, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rice, SMU, Stanford, Stanford, Texas, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Washington, West Virginia
Posted on: November 1, 2009 8:52 pm
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.
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 … ''
Bam, zing, boom!
Posted on: October 23, 2009 11:24 am
Edited on: October 24, 2009 9:49 am
Montana coach Bobby Hauck has disgraced his profession. Wonder why the American Football Coaches Association hasn't weighed in on this issue...Let's see, because it condones this conduct by ignorning it. Bullying students, real nice Bobby ...
• There’s tough and there’s SEC tough: Since suffering a broken jaw and concussion on Oct. 3 against LSU, Georgia tailback Caleb King has missed one game while subsisting on a liquid diet. King scored two touchdowns against last week against Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs are off this week before the Cocktail Party on Oct. 31.
• Whatever happened to that Sam Bradford press conference to announce his future? Love this stat: Three starting Big 12 quarterbacks have started against Texas. Three Big 12 starting quarterbacks have not finished this games.
• WWL saw USC’s Matt Barkley on some Heisman lists this week. Check the Pac-10 first. Barks isn’t even the best freshman quarterback in his own league. Stanford’s Andrew Luck has thrown for almost 1,600 yards with nine touchdowns.
• National rushing leader Ryan Mathews of Fresno State is on pace to rush for almost 2,000 yards. Four of the six rush defenses he will face the remainder of the season are ranked 98th or worse against the run (New Mexico State, Utah State, Louisiana Tech and Illinois).
USC at Oregon. Trojans haven’t won in the state of Oregon since 2005 and need this one to stay in the Pac-10 and national championship hunt. Beavers, though, could end USC’s seven-year run of dominance with a win.
Texas at Oklahoma State. Cowboys thought they should have beaten the Horns last year in Austin. If they win in Stillwater, Pokes take control of the Big 12 South.
Posted on: October 22, 2009 10:27 am
It's not a case of this crew working again. It will. The SEC said it, Nov. 14 they'll be back on the field.
Posted on: October 10, 2009 11:33 am
Let’s say LSU beats Florida, who is your new No. 1?
No. 3 Alabama – A big win over Ole Miss, or maybe even a little win, may vault the Tide over everyone into the No. 1 slot. They’re used to this type of stuff. They were No. 1 for five weeks last season. This is arguably the most balanced team in the country.
No. 4 LSU – Depending on how it goes down, how do you deny the Tigers? You beat No. 1, you should be No. 1. If LSU does win, it will answer a lot of questions about its quarterback, offense and running back. The defense has been fairly consistent although not quite yet up to LSU standards.
No. 5 Virginia Tech – Hello? The Hokies’ only loss is to Alabama. They’ve destroyed Miami. If Ole Miss handles Bama, The Fighting Beamers will have an argument.
No. 6 Boise State – Not likely. Off this week and already slipping in the polls. We’ll next know about the Broncos on Wednesday when they travel to Tulsa.
Game day notes: Four Tennessee true freshmen have combined for 215 all-purpose yards per game – Bryce Brown, David Oku, Nu’Keese Richardson and Marsalis Teague … UCLA (hosting Oregon) has won six of its last nine home games against ranked teams … Off week chattel: Despite losing eight starters, USC goes into its bye week third in scoring defense, fifth in rushing defense and third in pass efficiency defense. The D has not allowed a passing touchdown this season … When Tim Tebow gets a concussion, the whole world stops. That’s why you probably don’t know that Rutgers’ freshman quarterback Tom Savage will try to play this week against Texas Southern after suffering his own concussion … Some things never change: South Florida freshman quarterback B.J. Daniels leads the team in rushing. It has been that way for the previous three years under out-for-his-career starter Matt Grothe … Demaryius Thomas looks out of place in Georgia Tech’s option-based offense. That doesn’t keep him from being one of the nation’s best receivers. Thomas has caught 24 of Georgia Tech’s 35 completions for 536 yards. He is averaging 107.2 yards per game … Cal has accomplished what has been done only 10 other times in Pac-10 history. It went back-to-back games mustering only field goals against both Oregon and USC. They go for a touchdown next week against UCLA … Freakin’ Idaho, 4-1, needs two wins to become bowl eligible. The Vandals’ one and only bowl appearance came in 1998 in the Humanitarian against Southern Miss (42-35 victory). It has one winning season since then.