to play football, not to play trumpet
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|9 weeks 5 days ago||Purdue is a year away from hiring Brock Spack.||
I'm kind of surprised they didn't hire him this year. He's done very well at Illinois State, and he deserves the call from his alma mater.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||They might stick with Clay Helton.||
I don't think it's likely, but he couldn't do much better in his audition for the job than to win the PAC-12, which USC has a chance to do this weekend. If Helton pulls that off, I could see Pat Haden convincing himself that what USC needs more than anything else after this period of coaching craziness is stability.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||I'm not sure that's how this worked.||
I'm assuming that today's reporting is accurate, and it may not be-- VT's AD said no deal has been officially reached, and added that since the new coach hasn't been hired, he couldn't confirm that any assistants were staying. But if this is true, I imagine Fuente wanted Bud Foster to stay. Part of his success at Memphis stemmed from hiring former head coaches as assistants, so he's comfortable working with guys who might have things to teach him, and he'd likely want to smooth the transition by keeping the most popular assistant coach in the history of the program.
As for Shane Beamer, I'd point out that he was hired at Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and South Carolina before returning to VT, he was VT's interim head coach in last year's bowl win, and media reports had him almost getting the Florida Atlantic head coaching job a couple of years ago. Keeping him on staff may not be the right decision for Fuente, and I'd agree that Fuente shouldn't have been asked to keep him as part of negotiations, but it wouldn't surprise me if Fuente wanted to keep Shane Beamer, too. The younger Beamer has accomplished a few things on his own.
|16 weeks 6 days ago||That Georgia Tech team wasn't exactly chopped liver, either...||
They spent the entire 1956 season in the top five, finishing 10-1 and ranked #4. That's an awfully good list to be on.
|23 weeks 2 days ago||It wasn't. This one falls on Frank Beamer.||
Beamer hasn't had a lot of oversight since winning his battle for control over the football program with former AD Jim Weaver in 2000. He's been fining coaches for swearing in practice(nothing major, more of a "swear jar" type fine) for the last several years, and either he thought he could apply this sort of thinking to players or somebody in the football office did. I'm reasonably certain the assistants had nothing to do with it-- Foster's getting flak for it because he was the first coach asked about it, and he clearly wasn't prepared to answer the question. VT AD Whit Babcock immediately sent out a press release indicating that he would be discussing this matter with the coaching staff as soon as possible, which I strongly suspect means these fines will never be implemented.
|1 year 11 weeks ago||Hoke is Michigan's Gerry Faust.||
Good man, loves the program fiercely, but just in over his head when it comes to running an elite program.
|1 year 12 weeks ago||His buyout is actually $0.||
So yes, it is very small.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Of all the movies about football I've seen, I've only seen one..||
that I would call great. This one:
This won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary film. I know a lot of people zone out when you mention the word "documentary," thinking it's a one-way trip to Boresville. Please trust me on this-- this is better and more dramatic than most fictional films you'll ever see.
|2 years 20 weeks ago||1985: UTEP 23, BYU 16||
UTEP was winless. BYU was the defending national champion(as we all remember) and was ranked #7. I believe the Cougars were 35 point favorites or thereabouts.
|4 years 2 weeks ago||I'm not sure that's possible...||
As I understand it, Luck's contract wouldn't be the problem-- it's Manning's deal that would be the major issue. He's due a $28 million roster bonus in March or April, IIRC. Add that to Luck's signing bonus, his overall deal, and the Colts' remaining needs, and I'm not sure the math works any more. The Colts may have to deal Manning before the draft.
|4 years 6 weeks ago||I'd be very surprised to see VT's Georgia Tech package much...||
against Michigan. Georgia Tech's offensive line is one of the smaller OL groups in the FBS, and the Yellow Jacket running game depends more than most on cut blocking, making quickness paramount for defensive linemen against that system. Also, Tevin Washington is a much less capable passer than Denard Robinson-- VT can't hope to play four-man contain against Denard and not get beat downfield eventually. I could see Collins moving inside on a long-yardage passing down, but I seriously doubt VT's going to break out the base defense against Georgia Tech as the base defense in the Michigan game.
I'd expect VT to alternate eight-man front pressure defense with spy packages utilizing either Kyle Fuller or Antone Exum against Denard. VT can't exactly copy either approach that proved successful against Michigan this year, because I don't think VT's defensive line is as deep or as powerful as either Iowa's or Michigan State's, and VT's overall defensive approach is more varied than either of those teams. VT's going to have to mix things up and take some chances, as they always do.
|4 years 7 weeks ago||With respect to Brian's analysis of this game...||
First of all, I'd like to point out that the Duke safety that delivered that hit, Matt Daniels, was first-team all-ACC this year, and he deserved to be. He can play. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see that kid on an NFL roster next year.
As for the game analysis, I'll start by agreeing wholeheartedly with Brian's first Sugar Bowl game key. Logan Thomas has had stretches this year where he was the best player on the field, and he's capable of doing that against Michigan, but like most young QBs, he's struggled when pressured. He also has a bad habit of holding the ball low, particularly on his dropback, which has contributed to a couple of critical first-play fumbles this year(against North Carolina and in the ACC championship game against Clemson).
David Wilson is a lot faster than either Anthony Thomas or Chris Perry. The only Michigan back that comes to mind as a physical analogue to Wilson is John Vaughn-- Tyrone Wheatley had breakaway speed, too, but was much bigger than Wilson or Vaughn. Wilson's an All-American in two sports-- he finished sixth at the NCAAs in the triple jump.
The Duke game was possibly VT's strangest performance of this year-- it was as if VT was determined to do just enough and get out of town, and they barely managed to do that. If Duke's placekicking had been better, VT might well have lost that game. This was the third time in the last four seasons that Duke has given VT problems-- VT beat the Blue Devils 14-3 in 2008, in a game that wasn't decided until the final two minutes, and 34-26 in 2009. I suspect a large part of the problem this year was that this was the game before the big road game at Georgia Tech, and VT just couldn't get up for it. They outgained Duke by over 100 yards, they were +2 in turnovers, but they just weren't sharp on key plays. They missed a field goal, shanked a punt, threw an interception inside the five when a receiver ran the wrong route. It was just an uninspired performance, and while it's fair to consider every game when analyzing a team, I wouldn't take too much from that game with respect to VT.
|4 years 7 weeks ago||I'll give you a short bit of analysis...||
On the whole, VT's performance on special teams this year ranks among the worst of Frank Beamer's tenure. Danny Coale, a starting WR, is punting(and has done fairly well considering) because VT couldn't get consistent distance or hang time from either Scott Demler or Michael Branthover. He's solidified VT's punt game, but I wouldn't call him a field position weapon. Placekicker Cody Journell is solid but unspectacular-- I think his long for the year is something like 44 yards. The return game has not contributed much, though with David Wilson back on kickoff returns, you make one mistake and he scores. If VT makes a big play on special teams, I would think it'll be on a kickoff return, due to Wilson's ability and Michigan's occasional struggles covering kickoffs(though that's gotten better as the season's gone along). Jayron Hosley can hurt you on punt returns, but he's struggled much of the second half of the season with a hamstring injury, so VT hasn't gotten much there. Danny Coale's had to fill in as a punt returner as well-- he's sure-handed, but isn't going to break one. The punt and kick block units have not been productive so far, but VT will go for blocks more often against conventional punt formations. I wouldn't surprised to see Frank Beamer attack Will Hagerup early if he gets the chance. VT's kick coverage units have been OK, at best-- their best special teams tackler, Alonzo Tweedy, got hurt and missed three games.
The last two times VT's played in the Sugar Bowl, the Hokies were beaten in part because they were outplayed on special teams-- they missed a chip shot field goal early in the fourth quarter against Auburn(in a game they eventually lost by three), and got blown out on special teams in the national title game against Florida State(gave up TDs on a punt return and a punt block, failed on a fake field goal and a fake punt).
Bottom line: Virginia Tech certainly can win the special teams battle in this game, but by no means should Michigan go into the game expecting to be beaten in this area.
|4 years 7 weeks ago||Pederson's also the guy that hired Bill Callahan at Nebraska...||
If Pittsburgh cares about football, the powers that be there will not allow Pederson to make another head coaching hire.
|4 years 7 weeks ago||I've seen rumors for years that claimed Graham and Rodriguez....||
can't stand one another-- supposedly there was some real friction on RR's first WVU staff. On the one hand, this would seem unlikely, since Rodriguez promoted Graham after his first year, but given that Graham left for the same job at Tulsa after year two, and that Rodriguez seems to have difficulty with any defensive coordinator not named Jeff Casteel, I'd say there might be something to this. Once Rodriguez hired Gibson, Dews, and Magee away, Graham may have decided he wanted a job where a major measure of success would be beating Rich Rodriguez every year.
|4 years 7 weeks ago||The point in the article about the secondary market...||
providing better seats is key here. VT's ticket office did itself no favors by doing an awful job of securing good seats for the 2008 Orange Bowl against Kansas. I can speak to this personally-- my father bought the family a VT-sponsored travel plan for Christmas, complete with tickets through the ticket office, only to find out our seats were in the top row of the stadium, and the buses VT arranged to take fans to the stadium that night were late and got stuck in traffic for over an hour. My father's been a VT donor for more than twenty years, and is a season ticket holder. There were scores of complaints made to the VT athletic department after that trip, and a lot of people vowed not to go through VT for bowl tickets again. There will still be a lot of VT people there-- many of them have just learned the hard way that organizing their own trips makes more sense.
|4 years 10 weeks ago||I have ties to both VT and Michigan, so I'd rather not see that||
matchup, but it would be a good game, and it is at least somewhat plausible, because the Fiesta and Orange Bowls might be dealing with cases of fan fatigue. Oklahoma's been to the Fiesta Bowl three times in the last five years, and VT has been to the Orange Bowl three times in the last four(not counting regular season road trips to play the Miami Hurricanes-- add those, and VT would be going to Sun Life Stadium for the sixth time in five seasons). It's possible the Fiesta and Orange Bowls could switch conference champions, and VT-Michigan could happen in the Fiesta. The Sugar Bowl could also decide to offer a switch, and Michigan could swap places with VT. If Clemson wins the ACC, though, the Tigers would be locked into the Orange Bowl, since Clemson would figure to bring plenty of people to south Florida.
|4 years 11 weeks ago||Rodriguez has a real chance to win at Arizona...||
USC is facing scholarship limitations, UCLA is mired in mediocrity, Colorado is a mess, Utah is adjusting to life in the PAC-12, and Arizona State has underachieved since Erickson's first season(and Erickson is rumored to be on his way out). Arizona has better talent than they've shown, and Rodriguez will get a pass if the defense is terrible for a year or two, as it's been hideous at times this year. I didn't think Rodriguez would get a job this good after his starcrossed time at Michigan. I'm glad to be wrong, and I wish him the best. Bear Down, Rich.
|4 years 15 weeks ago||I think Richt has a much better chance of surviving now than he||
...did a month ago. Georgia's won five straight, and of their last five regular-season games, two are gimmes(New Mexico State and Kentucky), two are against rivals that are struggling badly with inexperienced QBs on offense(Florida and Auburn), and they finish up with a Georgia Tech team that crashed and burned at Virginia this past Saturday. Georgia has a realistic chance at finishing 10-2, and with the injury to Marcus Lattimore at South Carolina, 9-3 in the regular season might be good enough to win the SEC East. That would probably get Richt another year. Even if Richt were to be fired, I'd expect Alabama DC Kirby Smart(a Georgia alumnus) would be first in line for that job.
I think Rich Rodriguez might be in contention for an SEC job, but at Kentucky or Ole Miss, not Georgia. Even so, Rich Rodriguez should not dismiss the opportunity at Tulane out of hand. With his unfortunate time at U-M and the minor NCAA issues on his track record, Rodriguez isn't a lock to get a BCS-level job whenever he wants one. If he thinks he's got a shot at a bigger job, great, but he probably ought to keep in touch with the folks at Tulane, just in case.
|4 years 21 weeks ago||Three of my choices have already been mentioned on this thread..||
1)Michigan's first stop(came in Michigan territory after a turnover), courtesy of a Brandin Hawthorne blitz that forced Rees to throw too far in front of his intended receiver. If Michigan goes down 21-0 on that drive, there might not have been enough energy left in the building to spark a comeback.
2)The throw to McColgan. Michigan gets nothing on that play, it's 3rd and 15. 3rd and long had been death all day for the Michigan offense.
3)Wile's tackle on the kickoff return following Denard's touchdown off the fumble.
I'll add one more:
1) The delay of game penalty on the Irish in the second quarter. No one heard the whistle, so the play proceeded as normal, as far as I could see, and Rees lofted a perfect pass to Riddick for a touchdown. It didn't count, and Rees threw the pick to J.T. Floyd a couple of plays later.
|4 years 22 weeks ago||Three FBS-FCS matchups to watch out for...||
Appalachian State at Virginia Tech
William and Mary at Virginia
Montana at Tennessee
William and Mary might actually be favored to beat Virginia if there were a line on that game-- it'd be close either way. I'd expect the FBS teams to win all three of these, but the FCS school could win any one of those with just a couple of breaks.
|4 years 23 weeks ago||My picks:||
1. Boise State
2. Florida State
3. Virginia Tech
4. Notre Dame
5. Southern Cal
|4 years 24 weeks ago||I'll add to this that the last two programs to receive an NCAA..||
death penalty-- Morehouse's men's soccer program and MacMurray's men's tennis program-- were not on probation and had no prior violations before the axe fell on them. The NCAA ruled that the violations and lack of institutional control in those cases were so egregious that competition bans were required. Now, it's very difficult to see the NCAA handing down a similar penalty to an FBS football program, particularly one as prominent as Miami, but the school's past history may come into play here. Miami drew some of the harshest penalties in NCAA history in 1995, after an investigation that revealed institutional wrongdoing on a level considerably worse than what's been alleged against the Hurricanes by Yahoo! Sports(IMO), and the NCAA can waive its statute of limitations if there is compelling evidence of severe violations, as there would seem to be here. Assuming that these allegations are proven, Miami's defense is going to be that this was a rogue booster acting with the assistance of a few coaches who aren't employed by the school any more. This case, on its own merits, would most closely resemble the Michigan basketball scandal(though there are obvious differences), when Ed Martin's need to launder gambling profits wound up helping to wreck Michigan basketball for over a decade. However, if the NCAA waives the statute of limitations, and takes the view that the Shapiro case represents a continuation or resumption of the sort of lack of institutional control the NCAA hung on Miami in 1995, then the most severe penalties could come into play. I doubt that happens-- if I had to guess, taking the allegations at face value, Miami's looking at a USC-type penalty here.
|4 years 27 weeks ago||I would strongly doubt that.||
I have no animosity toward Rich Rodriguez, and I hope he does find a BCS-level job, but I doubt it'll be at UNC, because they won't be able to afford to hire anybody with a history of NCAA violations once this mess is done. Rodriguez's transgressions were minor, to be sure, but given that they occurred at two different schools, I'd think those violations will be enough to scare off any program that's facing NCAA issues.
|4 years 30 weeks ago||I think Brian hasn't accurately accounted for the GERG factor...||
In 2008, Syracuse's last year with Greg Robinson as head coach, the Orange finished 101st in total defense. In 2009, under Doug Marrone and with Scott Shafer as DC, Syracuse finished...37th. Their scoring defense didn't improve nearly as much(101st to 81st), but that was in large part due to Syracuse's awful situation at QB(this was the year of the Greg Paulus transfer), as Syracuse finished 97th in turnover margin.
I think one of the things we're going to learn this year is that the previous defensive staff really was that bad. I can agree that Michigan becoming an elite defensive team again is going to be a multi-year project, but I don't agree that Michigan is necessarily doomed to field a bad defense again in 2011.
|4 years 44 weeks ago||I agree it isn't likely...||
I don't think the Auburn case will prove to be as dire as the worst reports have made it out to be, and none of the other cases, as best I can tell at this point, remotely rise to the level that they'd deserve that penalty. Having said that, there is a point in this calculus where the NCAA's ability to exert control over college sports in the long term is worth more, in financial terms and with respect to the credibility of competition, than the short-term hit the NCAA would take if a major program had to sit out a year or two. If it does indeed turn out that the Auburn Board of Trustees funded a payola scheme that helped win them a BCS title, micromanaging the entire university(which as previously mentioned, got the school put on accreditation probation in 2003) in order to ensure that violations could continue, that would be the most serious case of institutional wrongdoing since SMU. Given that USC lost 30 scholarship and got a two-year bowl ban for one player taking money from outside parties, I don't see how the NCAA could avoid imposing the death penalty in the worst-case scenario at Auburn.
|4 years 44 weeks ago||Auburn's SACS probation ended||
Auburn's SACS probation ended in late 2004. However, if the worst of the rumors swirling around that program prove to be true, Auburn would certainly be looking at another accreditation issue. They'd be facing another potential probationary period from the SACS, at the very least.
|4 years 44 weeks ago||A couple of things in response to this....||
1) The NCAA actually has handed down the death penalty twice since 1987-- they just haven't imposed that penalty on a major program. Morehouse College soccer and MacMurray College tennis got "executed" by the Committee on Infractions, and neither was even a repeat offender. These were just cases of blatant major rules violations coming at the institutional level-- Morehouse's AD didn't even know that a professor with virtually no grasp of NCAA rules was running a soccer program, and MacMurray violated the most basic tenet of Division III competition(no direct athletic scholarships) by giving its entire tennis team full rides.
2)If you'd asked me three years ago about the likelihood of a major program in a revenue sport getting the death penalty, I'd have said it's not going to happen again. Several administrators have expressed regret over what the death penalty did to SMU football(and by extension, the SWC), and in this era, such a penalty would have drastic consequences at the conference level. But recent developments have altered my thinking on this. SMU went down in large part because they deserved it, but also because the NCAA badly needed to make an example of somebody during a period when college football was awash in scandal-- this was the era that gave birth to the Knight Commission, which in turn brought about a major overhaul of NCAA structure. The current wave of scandals(Auburn, OSU, UNC, etc.) is once again feeding the perception that the NCAA is out of touch and unable to police its programs effectively. When an administrative bureaucracy is challenged in this way, it usually attempts to reassert its authority in the strongest possible terms. I think you saw a bit of that in the USC case-- after much public moaning that the NCAA wasn't going to do anything to USC in the Reggie Bush case, USC essentially got the same penalty Miami got in 1995, despite there being much less evidence of institutional wrongdoing in the USC case. In this environment, with the NCAA needing to make a stand to shore up its credibility as an enforcement agency, if the COI gets handed a case where a repeat offender has compromised its integrity at multiple institutional levels in order to field a winning team, they'd have a powerful incentive to bring back the death penalty. The only current case that I could see fitting that description is the one at Auburn, and then only if the worst rumors circulating about that program turn out to be true.
|4 years 46 weeks ago||I see you've taken some abuse for this post...||
Given how the Michigan-Tennessee game turned out, I hereby give you permission to make a post like this before every Michigan basketball game. Keep up the good work-- you're doing a hell of a job.
|4 years 48 weeks ago||Lloyd Carr is absolutely a College Football HOFer.||
The enshrinement standards for coaches in the College Football HOF are pretty straightforward-- coach at least ten years or 100 games and win at 60% of your games, and you're eligible. Win anything of note, and you're almost certainly going to get in. There are 175 coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, many of whom had less distinguished careers than Lloyd Carr. I would think Carr gets in on this ballot.