Monday, December 19, 2011 All-Bilo FBS RB of the Year Award 2011

We now continue our FBS awards season with our All-Bilo RB of the Year Award for 2011. There are 12 finalists for the award this year, with the lowest considered average score of 6000 points. Averages were taken from five rushing categories this season. Here is a list of the 12 finalists for 2011:

David Wilson, Virginia Tech
Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Marcus Coker, Iowa
Bernard Pierce, Temple
Branden Oliver, Buffalo
Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State
LaMichael James, Oregon
John White, Utah
Trent Richardson, Alabama
Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky
Robbie Rouse, Fresno State
Robert Turbin, Utah State

Congratulations to all of our finalists for this season, as all had incredible seasons. We are now proud to announce our All-Bilo FBS Running Back of the Year for 2011. And the winner is...

Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Ball was absolutely stellar for the Badgers this season. He rushed for 1759 yards on the season and scored 32 TDs on the ground. What makes his numbers even more amazing is that he caught 20 passes for 255 yards and 6 more scores, giving him 38 TDs on the season for a non-QB. Ball had 275 carries on the season, and averaged 6.4 yards per carry, while averaging 135.31 yards per game rushing, which was good for 3rd nationally.
Congratulations to Montee Ball, and to the Wisconsin Badgers! All-Bilo FBS QB of the Year 2011

Welcome back to our Awards Season, as we begin the process of naming our All-Bilo FBS individual players of the year for 2011. We begin the FBS process with our All-Bilo QB of the Year award. There is no doubt that 2011 saw amazing QB performances across the landscape, but we also saw many performances either go unnoticed or underappreciated. This award takes all QBs from all leagues into account, as we average off a score based on 8 different passing categories. There are no votes, and conference affiliation has no bearing. Based on the information just given, here is a list of our 2011 finalists for the All-Bilo QB of the Year Award for 2011. There were 19 semi-finalist, and the list was scaled down to the following finalists:
Seth Doege, Texas Tech
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Robert Griffin, Baylor
Case Keenum, Houston
Geno Smith, West Virginia
Kellen Moore, Boise State
Matt Barkley, USC

In order to qulaify for being a finalist, the QB named to the list had to score at least 6500 points amongst the 8 categories mentioned once scores were averaged out. If you were wondering, as he was evidently left off of the list, Andrew Luck, a Heisman finalist, scored 6018.38 points.

At this time, we are proud to announce the winner of the All-Bilo QB of the Year Award winner for 2011! And the winner is...

Case Keenum, Houston
The Heisman voters chose to largely ignore the feats of Keenum all season long, but at the end of the day, nobody coud argue the accomplishments that he had on the field. Keenum missed all of 2010 after having major knee surgery, and came back with a vengeance in 2011 by passing for 5099 yards, 45 TDs to just 5 picks, and completed 71.72% of his passes on the season. With an average score of 8903 points, nobody came within 1200 points of Keenum amongst the 19 semifinalists on our list.
Keenum completed 29.46 passes per game on the season, and had a total of 383 pass completions in 13 games during the regular season, as the Cougars narrowly missed a BCS birth by falling to Southern Mississippi in the CUSA title game. Both Southern Miss and Houston are in our PRS FBS top ten heading into bowl games.
Congratulations to Case Keenum, and to the Houston Cougars program!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 All-Bilo FCS Coach of the Year 2011

It is with great pleasure that we now wrap up our FCS Individual awards by naming our All-Bilo FCS Coach of the Year for 2011. And the winner is...

Willie Fritz, Sam Houston State
In just two seasons, Willie Fritz has taken the Bearkats from 6-5 to 13-0 and knocking on the door for an FCS National Title. The Bearkatz take on Montana this weekend in the FCS semifinals, but whatever happens, nobody has transformed a program like Fritz has in 2011. Fritz is one of our rising stars to watch in the coaching game, and we can expect more from him in the coming years!
Congratulations to Coach Fritz and to the BearKats Program! All-Bilo FCS Kick Returner of the Year 2011

We conclude our individual player of the year awards for FCS College Football with the All-Bilo Kick Returner of the Year for 2011. The finalists are as follows:

Kevin Fogg, Liberty
Brock Jackolski, Stony Brook
Austin Minefee, Southern Utah
AJ Cruz, Brown
Seitu Smith, Harvard
Laron Scott, Georgia Southern
Fabian Truss, Samford

It is with great pleasure that we now name our All-Bilo FCS Kick returner of the Year for 2011. And the winner is...

Kevin Fogg, Liberty
One phrase that probably became redundant in 2011 was "Kick away from Fogg." Many kickers missed that memo and kicked to him anyway, much to their own demise. Fogg led the nation with a 33.52 yard average per return, and took 3 kicks all the way back for scores this season. When it was all said and done, Fogg rolled up 771 yards in kick returns on the season while averaging just 2.09 returns per game. Fogg rolled up over 100 yards in returns 4 different times in 2011.
Congratulations to Kevin and to the Liberty Program! All-Bilo FCS Punt Returner of the Year 2011

Continuing on with our special teams awards, here are the finalists for All-Bilo FCS Punt Returner of the Year for 2011:

Brady Measam, Southern Utah
Albert Wilson, Georgia State
Shawn Abuhoff, Dartmouth
Darius Drummond, South Carolina State
Marcus Cooperwood, Norfolk State
Ryan Smith, North Dakota State
CJ Estelle, Tennessee-Martin
Toms Bernhard-Calla, Davidson
Sam Hoekstra, San Diego
Darius Cary, McNeese State
Gralyn Crawford, Stephen F. Austin
Brandon Collins, Southeastern Louisiana
Moses Ellis, Prairie View A&M

And the winner of the 2011 All-Bilo FCS Punt Returner of the Year is...

CJ Estelle, Tennessee-Martin
Estelle led the nation this season by averaging 17.69 yards per return on the season, and brought one return back for a score in 2011. Estelle racked up 283 return yards on just 16 returns on the season, and was the most dangerous man in the country when having the ball punted directly to him. Estelle returned a season high 4 punts against Union College, and busted loose for 137 yards in that one contest, while rolling up 92 yards on just 2 returns against Austin Peay.
Congratulations to CJ, and to the Skyhawk program! All-Bilo FCS Punter of the Year 2011

Moving along with our special teams individual awards, we move to our All-Bilo FCS Punter of the Year for 2011. The finalists are as follows:

David Harrington, Idaho State
Jonathon Plisco, Old Dominion
Patrick Murray, Fordham
Billy Janson, Drake

The winner of the All-Bilo FCS Punter of the Year for 2011 is...

David Harrington, Idaho State
David is our first two time recipient of an All-Bilo individual award. Possessing a rocket launcher for a leg, Harrington averaged 48.7 yards per punt this season on 5.6 punts oper game, good for 1st  nationally. Harrington punted 56 times in 2011, and racked up 2727 yards on punts. He carried a 50 yard average in 5 different games this season.
Congratulations to David, and to the Idaho State program! All-Bilo FCS PK of the Year 2011

We now move on to special teams for our FCS Awards for 2011. Here are the finalists for our All-Bilo FCS Placekicker of the Year Award for 2011:

Zach Brown, Portland State
Jason Cunningham, Montana State
Brody McKnight, Montana
Ryan Estep, Norfolk State
Tyler Sievertsen, Northern Iowa
Cameron Yaw, Samford

We are proud to announce that the winner of the 2011 All-Bilo FCS Placekicker of the Year for 2010! The winner is...

Ryan Estep, Norfolk State
Ryan was almost automatic for the playoff bound Spartans in 2011, hitting 20 of his 22 FGs on the season. His 1.67 FGS per game ranked 5th in the nation in 2011, and with NSU winning with a struggling offense at times, his kicks kept NSU in games in which the Spartans won enroute to the MEAC title. Estep was good for double digit points in 4 different games this season, capped by a 17 point performance in a 47-14 win over Morgan State.
Congratulations to Ryan and to the Norfolk State program! All-Bilo FCS DB of the Year 2011

We now wrap up our individual defensive FCS players of the year awards with our All-Bilo FCS Defensive Back of the Year for 2011. Here are our finalists for this award:
Donald Porter, Stony Brook
Trevor Coston, Maine
Marcus Williams, North Dakota State
Bryce Robertson, Bucknell
Daxton Swanson, Sam Houston State
Kejuan Riley, Alabama State
Saeed Lee, Alabama State

Congrats to all of our finalists, as they all had tremendous seasons. That being said, one player on that list was outstanding beyond all for the season. We are proud to announce the winner of the All-Bilo FCS Defensive Back of the Year for 2011. And the winner is...

Bryce Robertson, Bucknell
Bryce was an a vacuum in the secondary for the Bison in 2011, and if you threw the ball anywhere near him, you were a fool to do so. Bryce led the nation with a tremendous 13 interceptions, and finished with a grand total of 19 passes defended on the season, meaning that your percentage of success in getting the ball by him was extremely limited on any given play. Bryce averaged 1.18 interceptions per game, while also averaging 1.73 passes defended per game, both incredible numbers. In fact, Bryce picked off 2 passes in a game an amazing 4 times during the 2011 season.
Congratulations to Bryce, and to the Bucknell program! All-Bilo FCS LB of the Year 2011

Here are the finalists for our All-Bilo FCS Linebacker of the Year Award for 2011:

Clarence Bumpas, Northern Colorado
Matt Evans, New Hampshire
Chris Beranger, New Hampshire
Tyler Holmes, UMass
Keith Pugh, Howard
LJ Fort, Northern Iowa
Anthony Bowman, St. Francis
Blake Peiffer, Southeast Missouri State
Robert McCabe, Georgetown
Jordan Ridley, Butler
Cliff Exama, Grambling

At this time, we are once again proud to announce the winner of the All-Bilo FCS Linebacker of the Year for 2011. And the winner is...

Matt Evans, New Hampshire
Matt Evans won in very close fashion, beating out Northern Iowa LB LJ Fort by a half point in our system. Matt had a fantastic year, collecting 92 solo tackles, while assisting on 73 others during the year. Matt collected 17 solo tackles in a win over Lehigh, and added 13 more in a win over UMass. Matt added 7 assists in the Lehigh win. Matt added an interception, 7.5 TFLs, 3 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 QB hurries for a fantastic resume on the year.
Congratulations to Matt and to the New Hampshire program! All-Bilo FCS DL of the Year 2011

We now switch our focus for the 2011 Awards Season to the defensive side of the ball for our individual FCS PLayer of the Year awards. Here are the finalists for our All-Bilo FCS Defensive Lineman of the Year for 2011...

Andrew Schaetzke, Georgetown
Blake Oliaro, San Diego
Devon Langhorst, Dayton
Willie Jefferson, Stephen F. Austin
Adrian Hamilton, Prairie View A&M
Joseph LeBeau, Jackson State
Donavon Robinson, Jackson State
Corey Hart, Alabama A&M

We are proud to announce the winner of the All-Bio FCS Defensive Lineman of the Year Award for 2011. And the winner is...

Adrian Hamilton, Prairie View A&M
Adrian was an absolute beast coming off of the edge for the Panthers in 2011. He led the nation with a total of 20.5 sacks on the year, 17 of which were solo jobs. He finished with a toal of 22 tackes for loss, and assisted on 9 others on the season. At 2.41 TFLs per gamme, Hamilton finished 2nd in the nation in that category. He finished with 59 solo tackles and 22 assists for the year, broke up 2 passes, forced 6 fumbles, and collected 5 QB hurries.
Congratulations to Adrian for a fantastic season, and congrats to the Panther program! All-Bilo FCS TE of the Year 2011

Here are the finalists for our All-Bilo FCS Tight End of the Year Award for 2011:

Kyle Juszczyk, Harvard
MyCole Pruitt, Southern Illinois
Alex Jones, Indiana State
Shadrae King, Robert Morris
Colin Anderson, Furman

We are proud to announce our winner at this time for the All-Bilo FCS TE of the Year for 2011. And the winner is...

Colin Anderson, Furman
Anderson had an amazing season as a primary target in the Paladin passing game in 2011. He caught 40 passes on the season for 696 yards and 7 TDs, averaging 3.64 receptions per game. Colin averaged 17.4 yards per reception, and ranked 4th amongst all receivers in the SoCon with 63.27 yards receiving per game.
Congrats to Colin, and to the Furman program! All-Bilo FCS WR of the Year 2011

As we continue to hand out our postseason honors, we move on to our All-Bilo FCS WR of the Year for 2011. Here are the finalists for this season:

Rodrick Rumble, Idaho State
Nicholas Edwards, Eastern Washington
Ryan Spadola, Lehigh
Aaron Mellette, Elon

At this time, we are proud to announce that the winner of the All-Bilo FCS WR of the Year for 2011 is...

Aaron Mellette, Elon
Mellette is nothing if not absolutely consistent in his skills and production. An All-Bilo SoCon selection last season, he elevated himself once again in 2011. Aaron caught 113 passes for 1639 yards and 12 TDs on the season, averaging 10.27 receptions per game, while averaging 14.5 yards per catch on the season, making him almost automatic for big gains every time he touched the football.
Congratulations to Aaron, and to the Elon program!

Monday, December 12, 2011 All-Bilo FCS RB of the Year 2011

We continue with our individual position awards in FCS football with our All-Bilo FCS Running Back of the Year Award for 2011. The finalists for the award this season are as follows:

Zach Bauman, Northern Arizona
Migue Maysonet, Stony Brook
Shakir Bell, Indiana State
Matt Denham, Eastern Kentucky
Eric Breitenstein, Wofford
Tim Flanders, Sam Houston State

And the winner of the All-Bilo 2011 FCS Running Back of the Year Award is...

Shakir Bell, Indiana State
The Sycamores made further improvements to their program this season, and nobody personified that more than Shakir Bell. Bell rushed for 1670 yards on the season with 14 TDs, and led the nation with a 151.82 yard per game rushing average. Bell carried the footbal 230 times for the Sycamores, and averaged 7.26 yards per carry on the season. ISU finished 6-5 and fell short of the playoffs, but because of players like Bell, Indiana State is no longer the laughing stock that they were just a coupld of short seasons ago.
Congratulations to Shakir Bell, and to the Indiana State Program! All-Bilo FCS QB of the Year 2011

We continue on now with our 2011 Awards Season as we move on to the FCS Individual awards for the season. We begin at the top with naming our All-Bilo 2011 FCS QB of the Year Award. The finalists for the award this season are as follows:

Bo Levi Mitchell, Eastern Washington
Jeff Mathews, Cornell
Kurt Hess, Youngstown State
Casey Brockman, Murray State
Chris Lum, Lehigh
Zach Lewis, Morehead State
Nathan Dick, Central Arkansas
Casey Therriault, Jackson State

At this time, we are proud to announce the winner of our 2011 QB of the Year Award for FCS Football. The winner is...

Chris Lum, Lehigh
Chris Lum has been a constant success over the last two seasons that we have covered FCS football. Lum lit up his opponents for a total of 4378 yards on the season and passed for 32 TDs in 13 games. Lum averaged 336.8 yards per game on the season, and drove the Mountain Hawks to the FCS Quarterfinals before falling to North Dakota State last weekend. Lum completed just under 65% of his passes on the season, and averaged 27.54 pass attempts per game, as Lehigh finished with an 11-2 record on the season.
Congratulations to Chris, and the Mountain Hawks program! All-Bilo D2 Coach of the Year 2011

Our final individual award for D2 College Football is upon us now, as we name our All-Bilo D2 Coach of the Year for 2011. This award is given to the coach who shows excellence in improving his team from one season to the next, and who can go the farthest while dealing with adversity and issues that often transcend the game. We are very proud to give this award to a coach who we feel really started out behind the 8 bal this season, and who worked miracles to carry out one fantastic season given the cards that were dealt to start the year. The winner of the All-Bilo D2 Coach of the Year for 2011 is...

Adam Dorrel
Adam Dorrel, Northwest Missouri State
Nobody could wish the circumstances in which Dorrel took over this football team with this fall on anyone. When legendary head coach Mel Tjeerdsam retired from the job after amazing successes last season, the job was handed to former Defensive Coordinator Scott Bostwick. Before Bostwick could ever coach a game, he suddenly passed away, leaving a void at the head job, and a team in absolute mourning. Dorrel, the highly succesful former Offensive Coordinator, stepped up and into the job, and while having to figure out how to console his team, figured out a way to win after a slow start had everyone concerned. By the end of the season, the Bearcats had once again cracked the postseason, and made a daring and deep run into the playoffs before falling in the Super Region 4 final to Pittsburg State. Nobody could have expected a Bearcat run behind what this team was facing after such a turbulent off-season, but Dorrel's leadership got them through, and it was like old times again.
Congratulations to Coach Dorrel, and to the Bearcat program! All-Bilo D2 Kick Returner of the Year 2011

We complete our positional D2 players of the year for 2011 with the final piece of the special teams game, Kick Returner. Once again, after special consideration, our winner has been found. The winner for the All-Bilo D2 Kick Return Man of the Year for 2011 is...

James Langford, Shaw
Langford blew the doors off of the stadium whenever he touched the ball on kickoff returns in 2011, as he led the nation with an average of 37.07 yards per return, while taking three to the house for TDs on the year. Langford rolled uop 556 yards on just 15 returns on the season for the Bears, while averaging 1.88 returns per game in 8 games on the season.
Congratulations to James and to the Shaw program! All-Bilo D2 Punt Returner of the Year 2011

The next award given out for our All-Bilo Series is for Division 2 Punt Return Man of the Year. There were many solid candidates for this award in 2011, but we only choose one. The winner of the award for 2011 is...

Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama
Jenkins finished second in the nation in return average for the season with 21.67 yards per return, but what really put him over the top was that he returned three punts for TDs on the season. Jenkins, an explosive transfer from Florida, was a key piece in yet another Lion playoff run in 2011. Janoris collected 390 yards on the season on just 18 returns in 12 games, averaging 1.5 returns per game on the season.
Congratulations to Janoris, and to the North Alabama program! All-Bilo D2 Punter of the Year 2011

We continue with our positional player of the year awards for Division 2, as we wrap up with our special teams players for 2011. At this time we are proud to announce our All-Bilo D2 Punter of the Year for the 2011 season in Division 2 Football. The winner of this year's award is...

Taylor Accardi, Colorado Mines
Nobody in D2 college football was even close to Accardi in punting ability in 2011, as he led the nation with an amazing 48.55 yards per punt on the season. Accardi punted 51 times over 9 games this season, which was good for 5.67 punts per game on the year. Accardi was by far the top ranked punter in D2 football on the season, and more than deserves this award.
Congratulations to Taylor and to the Colorado Mines program! All-Bilo D2 PK of the Year 2011

As our award season continues, we begin to wrap up the positional players of the year for the D2 level. We are on to special teams now, as we are proud to announce our All-Bilo D2 Kicker of the Year! After much consideration, we are proud to announce that the winner for 2011 is...

Greg Zuerlein, Missouri Western State
Zuerein's season was nothing short of amazing for the Griffons in 2011, as he nailed 23 of his 24 field goals on the year, helping Missouri Western State make a playoff bid, where they fell short to MIAA rival Northwest Missouri State in the 1st round in a 6 point loss. Overall, Zuerlein's field goal percentage was a whopping 95.8% on the season, and he averaged 2.3 field goals per game, good for the top ranking in D2 football for 2011.
Congratulations to Greg, and to the Griffons program!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Best of the Best

It's finally over.

College football's regular season has already come and gone, and now we're just stuck waiting for the playoff to start. Oh, wait, about that. No, we're not, because Division I doesn't have a playoff. You know, kids would have to miss too much class and all of that. Regardless, it was an action-packed regular season completed with a ton of upsets, some Cinderella teams, some teams that ended up being fool's gold and a Heisman race that's as competitive as any in quite some time. With that said, it's time to unveil my 2011 NCAA Division I All-America team. If you make it all the way to the end, there will even be a Heisman ballot (if people actually asked me to vote on this, which, well, that's for another day).

    Honey Badger doesn't give a shit about this team, but he's on it. 
                                   Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report.

QB- Robert Griffin III, Baylor
RB- Trent Richardson, Alabama
RB- Montee Ball, Wisconsin
WR- Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
WR- Robert Woods, USC
WR- Jordan White, Western Michigan
OL- David DeCastro, Stanford
OL- Barrett Jones, Alabama
C- David Molk, Michigan
OL- Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
OL- Matt Kalil, USC

DE- Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
DT- Devon Still, Penn State
DE- Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
OLB- Jarvis Jones, Georgia
ILB- Lavonte David, Nebraska
ILB- Luke Kuechly, Boston College
OLB- Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
CB- David Amerson, North Carolina State
CB- Morris Claiborne, LSU
CB/S- Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
S- Bacarri Rambo, Georgia

K- Randy Bullock, Texas A&M
P- Brad Wing, LSU
KR- Taveon Rogers, New Mexico State
PR- Joe Adams, Arkansas

Heisman Ballot

                                    Baylor's first Heisman winner?
                                    Photo courtesy of SB Nation.

1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
2. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
3. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
4. Tyrann Mathieu, CB/S, LSU
5. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin

Matt Chandik can be reached by email at or on Twitter @MattChandik. 

Monday, December 5, 2011 All-Bilo D2 DB of the Year 2011

Our awards season continues with the naming of our All-Bilo D2 Defensive Back of the Year Award. The finalists for this season are as follows:

Derek Lohmann, Emporia State
Alex Dinolfi, Kutztown
Clarence Lassiter, Southwest Oklahoma State
Bryce Peila, Western Oregon
Brandon Waters, Slippery Rock
Jeremy Jones, Wayne State (MI)

We are proud to now announce the winner of this year's award. The winner of the All-Bilo Defensive Back of the Year 2011 is...

Alex Dinolfi, Kutztown
Alex had an outstanding season in 2011 for the PSAC Champion Bears. Dinolfi intercepted 11 passes on the year, which was a national best, and added an outsatnding 16 passes defended to the list. Dinolfi added 58 total tackles on the season to an outstanding stat sheet. Congratulations to Alex, and to the Kutztown Bears for an outstanding season!

As the Carousel Turns-Volume 4 2011

There was still more movement over the weekend, as more coaches were fired (some officially), and more candidates came on the scene for various jobs. Let's get caught up with our Monday edition of As the Carousel Turns!

North Carolina
James Franklin had been the top choice for team officials, but that was before Vandy locked him up to a long term contract extension that promises to completely upgrade the Commodore program, which was a long time coming. North Carolina would like to now speak with Houston Coach Kevin Sumlin, but they are a long shot at best to land him. Troy Calhoun is also playing heavily here.
Candidates: Troy Calhoun, Air Force; George Edwards, Bills DC; Skip Holtz; USF; Butch Jones, Cincinnati; Gus Malzahn, Auburn OC; Chuck Pagano, Ravens DC; Paul Rhoades, Iowa State; Everett Withers, UNC Interim HC
Our Choice: Break the bank for Malzahn at this point, as he gives UNC instant credibility on the recruiting front, and gives the fan base something to buzz about.

The Panthers are losing three key assistants to Arizona this week. Calvin Magee leaves to become the OC for Rich Rodriguez at Arizona, while Tony Dews and Tony Gibson are both likely to join the UA staff as well. No word yet as to whom Todd Graham intends to replace them with.

Penn State
All is quiet on this front as of now, but the front runner would still have to be Dan Mullen at this point. Penn State is being patient with this hire as they literally cannot afford to get this wrong.
Candidates: Dan Mullen, Mississippi State; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern; Tim Murphy, Harvard; Gary Patterson, TCU; Darren Perry, Packers; Chris Petersen, Boise State; Paul Rhoades, Iowa State; Mark Richt, Georgia; David Shaw, Stanford
Our Choice: If you want a guy with no baggage and has a track record of getting it right, and you have a realistic shot at getting him, you go with Murphy at Harvard. Murphy is not a household name, but he should be. He runs a class organization and wins constantly, while always doing it the right way. You cannot go wrong with hom if you are Penn State.

Paul Chryst and Pat Narduzzi both played out their on-filed auditions in the Big 10 title game Saturday night. Chryst's Wisconsin Badgers won the game, and he appears to be a serious front runner for this job.
Candidates: Paul Chryst, Wisconsin; Tim Beckman, Toledo; Larry Fedora, Southern Miss; Butch Jones; Cincinnati; Todd Monken; Oklahoma State; Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State; Kevin sumlin, Houston; Willie Taggert, Western Kentucky; Kirby Wilson, Steelers
Our Choice: Chryst seems to be the guy to go to here. Narduzzi would make a solid plan B. Both know the conference, and would have the ability to succesfully recruit.

Rumors were flying all over the place yesterday that Texas intended to force Mack Brown out. There is no truth to this rumor, and MAck Brown is still entrenched at UT.

There is not much new to report on this front this morning, as the rumor mills have been quite quiet. The guy that appears to be at the center of the storm would be Florida State assitant Mark Stoops, but there has been no movement over the last 72 hours in any direction. The Jayhawks also appear to be very interested in Larry Fedora, who has a truck load of Big 12 experience while working at Oklahoma State.
Candidates: Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Dave Christensen, Wyoming; Nolan Cromwell, Rams WR Coach; Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois; Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech; Larry Fedora, Southern Miss; Skip Holtz, USF; June Jones, SMU; Dirk Koetter, Jaguars OC; Houston Nutt; Mark Stoops, Florida State DC; Kevin Sumlin, Houston
Our Choice: Go outside of the box and make a play for Dave Christensen. Christensen has worked wonders at Wyoming with a talent lacking roster, and was the OC at Missouri during the Tigers peak years. He knows the league, and he is not likely to get snagged out from under them. This would be a steal hire.

The Blazers made a move by hiring Arkansas OC Garrick McGee yesterday as their new head coach. This move is not likely to ensure a ton of buzz around the campus, as McGee was largely the OC in name only, running Petrino's offense with the Hogs. That being said, the Blazers were in dire need of someone who actually wanted the job, and McGee came in at the last minute. We're taking a wait and see appraoch to this hire.

Again, very quiet at Memphis this weekend. The Tigers jumped at an intriguing prospect in Larry Porter two years ago and it was a disaster. The Tigers need someone who has a want to eb there, and has a track record of winning at previous stops, and the Tigers also need someone who is experienced in running a football organization from the top down. No more assistants with no track records of running a team. This is too important now.
Candidates: Tommy Bowden; Clint Conque, Central Arkansas; Randy Fitchner, Steelers QB Coach; Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana-Lafayette; Ross Huesman, Chattanooga; Houston Nutt; John L. Smith, Arkansas ST Coach
Our Pick: Bowden and Nutt bring instant name credit to the school, but Conque is a guy who's star appears to be rising. Bring in any of those three names, and you go down as a winner.

You can kill those Jim Tressel dreams (or nightmares). He has said no to Akron. The weekend turned up no new news on this front, but that could bear to the fact that the front running candidate is still playing football in Paul Winters. Stay tuned.
Candidates: Matt Campbell, Toledo OC; Trent Miles, Indiana State; Joe Moorhead, UConn OC; Paul Winters, Wayne State (MI)
Our Choice: Winters is a winner at D2 Wayne State, and the Warriors are still running deep in the D2 Playoffs. He appears to be the man, as Akron appears not to be discussing the job with any other candidates at this time. He would also be the right pick here.

UMass is stuck in neutral in their search, but there are intriguing candidates lined up for the Minutemen. Two former Minutemen head coaches appear interested in coming back in Don Brown and Mark Whipple, both of whom had big success at Amherst.
Candidates: Mark Bajakian, Cincinnati OC; Don Brown, UConn DC; Neal Brown, Texas Tech OC; Ben Albert, Temple LB Coach; Bill McGovern, Boston College DC; Mark Whipple, Browns QB Coach
Our Pick: Brown or Whipple both had success here, and in this case, UMass could do some good by going back to their succesful roots.

Colorado State
The Rams officially fired Steve Fairchild this weekend, although we knew that this would be coming down for quite a while. The 22-19 loss to Wyoming sealed the deal. This job could be a tough sell.
Candidates: None listed at this time
Our Pick: Go to the Big Sky to get some help with instant Northwest/Rocky Mountain credibility and make a play for Rob Ashe at Montana State, or Robin Pflugrad at Montana.

This search is officially becoming a clusterfuck of epic proportions. There are two seperate camps it appears in "Chianti" Dan Guerrero, the lame duck AD, and LA Billionaire Casey Wasserman and several UCLA power Alumni including Troy Aikman, Jonathon Ogden, and Cade McNown. Guerrero spent the weekend in Houston trying to lure Houston's Kevin Sumlin, while the Wasserman group flew to Miami to meet with Hurricane Coach Al Golden. Here's the thing. The fan base is not buzzing about either of those selections. This could go badly and lead to an internal UCLA civil war.
Candidates: Mike Bellotti; Tom Cable, Seahwaks OL Coach; Herman Edwards; Steve Mariucci; Vic Fangio, 49ers DC; June Jones, SMU; Mike McIntyre, San Jose State; DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Our Pick: Go outside of the family, and outside of the box. Mariucci would be a huge name move, and has the ability to recruit the right kids. I like the small school route in names like Willie Taggert, Jim Svoboda at Central Missouri, Plugrad at Montana, and Ashe at Montana State.

Arizona State
The Sun Devils waived the big white flag on Kevin Sumlin this weekend, preferring instead to turn their attention to June Jones. It appears that the  job belongs to Jones if he indeed wants it. ASU is having money problems, and they need a solid hire that is also affordable.
Candidates: Mike Bellotti; Ron English, Eastern Michigan; Larry Fedora, Southern Miss; Mark Helfrich, Oregon OC; June Jones, SMU
Our Pick: Get some bang for your buck and avoid retreads that will suck up big money. Look small school and succesful in Sam Houston State's Willie Fritz, Central Arkansas Coach Clint Conque, Pflugrad at Montana, or Ashe at Montana State.

The Rebels went with a solid move by hiring Arkansas State Coach Hugh Freeze. Freeze has been succesful every place that the has coached, and is coming off a Sun Belt Championship Season at Arkansas State. He is well thought of throughout the Southeast, and will up the Rebel profile immediately with offensive players.

Arkansas State
With Freeze leaving after just one season, ASU has been left in the lurch. The talent base is there, and a (fragile) foundation has been built. A careful hire here is a must.
Candidates: None at this time.
Our Pick: Have to be careful here. Conque at Central Arkansas, Fritz at Sam Houston State; Jeff Monken at Georgia Southern; Joey Jones at South Alabama. These are all names that you need to look at, but don't be afraid to reach out to someone like Houston Nutt.

Florida Atlantic
FAU moved quickly in hiring Nebraska DC Carl Pelini this weekend. Pelini could be a huge hit here, and brings some serious clout to South Florida. Moves on staff announcements coming up.

Fresno State
The Bulldogs felt as if they were stuck in neutral, and so fired Pat Hill after 15 seasons. I don't necessarily agree with this move, but what's done is done. The Bulldogs now must move forward with a vengeance if they want to be a player in the Mountain West next fall.
Candidates: Jim McElwain, Alabama OC
Our Pick: McElwain is a name with a history here, but go another direction. Rick Neuheisel could actually fit here, as could any of the Big Sky names listed, including Eastern Washington Coach Beau Baldwin.

FCS Moves

Weber State
A new name that popped up is Arkansas ST Coach John L. Smith. No hire has been made yet.
Our Pick: Paul Wulff was fired at Washington State last week, but has a track record of success in the Big Sky at Eastern Washington. Wulff brings instant credibility to the Wildcats.

The school has a policy of not discussing their coaching searches, so I struck out there. Jim Hofher and Pete Mangurian are names mentioned in reports. The schol intends to wrap things up by December 15th.
Our Pick: Ray Friore, Penn DC...He knows the league, and is a solid defensive coach. With the right OC hire, he could turn this ship around quickly.

Eastern Illinois
The Panthers are down to their final four candidates, and they are currently interviewing. All of them have FBS experience as assistants, but head coaching experience does not appear to be a worry.
Our Pick: Dino Babers, Baylor WR Coach

No real news out of Fordham this weekend. All is quiet, with no stirring or buzz around this job.
Our Pick: Peter Rossomondo, New Haven...Undertsands the Northeast scene, and drove the Chargers to the NCAA D2 quarterfinals. His season is complete, and he has the ability to build, and do it quickly.

The Spiders have all sorts of candidates lined up according to various reports, but most of those are smoke creens. Richmond is vehemently closed mouthed about this search process.
Our Pick: Chuck Friore, Stony Brook...Runs a system similar to what the SPiders are good at, which is power run and hard core defense. Stony Brook is coing off of a Big South title, and just wrapped up a playoff appearance.

Southeast Louisiana
Ron Roberts, Delta State Head Coach has apparently jumped to the top of the list here. Hal Mumme prooved that you could win here, but the Lions need someone who can do it the right way. Roberst would be an ideal fit, and is solid in Southeast circles.
Our Pick: Roberts...major winner at DSU, and brings some championship stock to a struggling program.

South Dakota
The Coyotes hit a major home run bby hiring former Montana and Wyoming Coach Joe Glenn this weekend. Glenn was a big time winner at Montana, and ran into apathy at Wyoming before being fired there. Still a solid coach, and he can turn USD into a winner in the MVC immediately.

Western Carolina
The Catamounts are way deep in the hole right now, and they need a complete rebuilding project to be put in place, including image. OUr source has informed us that former WCU OC Kurt Bethard is in play here. Bethard wants the job, and has a history here, so it all plays well with the local fan base.
Our Pick: Bethard is solid, and we also like North Greenville coach Jamey Chadwell, who has built up a power on the D2 level.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

As the Carousel Turns-Update 2

Texas A&M
Mike Sherman has been bought out and fired by the Aggies today. It will cost between $5 million and $6 million to buy out his contract. As of this evening, the primary candidate for the job seems to be Kevin Sumlin, Houston Head Coach, who appears to have suddenly gotten very popular in the last few days. Other candidates appear to be Charlie Strong of Louisville and Chris Petersen of Boise State.
More news on this as we progress.

Florida Atlantic
A report is circulating at this late hour that Nebraska DC Carl Pelini has been offered the job and has accepted it. More on this as details become available.

Texas Tech OC Neal Brown is now in the mix according to reports. He has officially interviewed for the job.

Central Oklahoma
Tracy Holland has been fired by the Bronchs today. No candidates have been announced.

I Missed You So Much, Old Friend

                                         And so the nightmare ended. 
                                       Photo courtesy of 

By Matt Chandik
WARNING: This is rather lengthy. 

It seemed like it would never come.

For the past seven years, Michigan fans have been subjected to pure hell, or at least what pure hell feels like to the winningest college football program. For seven years, no matter the circumstances of the regular seasons, what players donned the Maize and Blue, what coach stood on the sidelines or what players were on the other side, Michigan always fell flat against Ohio State.

There were close games. There were blowouts. There were games where Michigan led late and there were games where a Michigan lead was never even a possibility. Anthony Gonzalez broke the Wolverines' hearts. Troy Smith reached deep into Michigan's collective body and ripped out its heart, shredded it to little pieces while laughing at the Wolverines' collective pain. Chris “Beanie” Wells always picked The Game to play his best of the year, always finding room for at least one back-breaking and soul-crushing run. Ted Ginn streaked down the middle of the field and caught a touchdown pass from Troy Smith against All-America cornerback Leon Hall in the 42-39 “Game of the Century” in 2006, the same one where it was decided that Shawn Crable was at fault for Troy Smith being a midget.

Every year, the pain got worse. Every year, that stupid fucking counter of “Days since Michigan beat Ohio State” added 365 (or 366 in some cases) more agonizing days since the Wolverines had downed the Buckeyes. In 2004, it was Ginn who broke UM's back with a dazzling punt return to set up a 37-21 upset of the Wolverines. 2005 was Gonzalez's turn. 2006 was the Troy Smith Show yet again. In 2007, Chad Henne gamely tried to throw despite a banged-up shoulder, only to see his offensive efforts laughed at by a Buckeye defense that showed no fear of the pass. The 2008-10 games were all a Rich Rodriguez-induced blur, one that saw a whole lot of points for the Scarlet and Gray and not so many for the Maize and Blue. Grown men on Internet forums berated, mocked and took glee in tallying up that counter, using such creative monikers for their rival such as “scUM” and “TSUN” and assuring themselves that Ohio State would never lose another game to Michigan...ever. On the other side, Maize and Blue fans wondered when the next win would come. What would it be like? Who would get it done? Would it the rocket-propelled Floridian at quarterback who would get UM over the hump? How many classes would end up going 0-4 against the folks from Columbus? Could the defense ever return to the Michigan defenses of old, those same defenses that considered 20 points allowed in a game inexcusable? Fear, despair, anger and frustration seeped from the Wolverines' fans into the mindset of the team. It was a team that expected to and was expected to lose. It was a team that couldn't feel safe with a three-touchdown lead. It was, in short, something that Michigan had never expected. Michigan didn't lose seven-straight to Ohio State. Michigan didn't go 3-9 or 5-7. Michigan didn't allow teams to dominate the Wolverines physically, mentally and emotionally. This shit just did not fucking happen.

Then a head coach with a previous losing record stepped in. He loved Michigan. No, scratch that. He fucking adored Michigan. He said he would have walked from San Diego to Ann Arbor to take the job. While Dave Brandon was cordial enough to give Brady Hoke a plane ride halfway across the country, Hoke's point was made. Long gone were the days of The Game being “just another game”. Long gone were the days of Michigan being a mockery. He promised a return to I-formation handoffs for four yards, defenses that would make a quarterback quiver, but most importantly, he promised a return to the way things used to be. A complete restoration of the Michigan brand, if you will. Most fans expected this to take a few years. Sure, there was the $750,000 investment in former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, but Rodriguez had said the year before that, “Even Vince Lombardi couldn't fix some of the problems on this defense,” so why would Wolverines expect a 62-year-old defensive coordinator who hadn't been in the college game since he helped the Florida Gators run all over the – wait for it – Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2006 BCS title game like the Buckeyes were a JV team with a 2-8 record? There was the luring of offensive coordinator Al Borges, but what could Borges really do with a kid that couldn't hit throws that weren't wide-open? Denard Robinson could run, but to say the passing needed work is like saying that Ohio State's compliance department is a bit lacking.

All year long, no one was sure whether or not to believe in Michigan. Sure, there were exciting games. The first night game in Michigan Stadium history, a thrilling win over rival Notre Dame, gave hope to some. A defense that finished tied for 107th in scoring defense would end up improving all the way to No. 9 overall with mostly the same players as the year before. Still, in rough-and-tumble games against Michigan State and Iowa, the Wolverines looked flat. They looked easy to push around. They looked, for lack of a better word, soft. If there's one thing Brady Hoke doesn't do, it's soft. The man wears short sleeves regardless of weather. He calls out players that need to be called out. He preaches the virtues of a team that can hit people in the mouth. So calling his team soft is an insult to Hoke, but it was true.

Then something happened. I don't know if a light switch came on, someone ripped the team a new one behind closed doors or whatever it may be, but the Wolverines stopped playing soft. They tore apart a talented Illinois team that many predicted would beat Michigan like a lion snacking on a gazelle. They shredded Nebraska, another team expected to beat UM, like a woodchipper does to a tree that's seen better days. All of that to set up a showdown with Columbus' finest. And something changed yet again. With Michigan leading 37-34 late in the Ohio State game, breakout tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint looked like he had scored a game-icing touchdown. In a move that reeked of Hoke, Robinson took the handoff under center and handed off to Toussaint, who powered his way down and over the goal line. Or so it seemed. Somehow, some way, despite no indisputable evidence to overturn the call, it was overturned. On the next play, Michigan picked up a pair of penalties and had to settle for a field goal, giving the ball back to Big 10 Freshman Of The Year Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes with a chance of winning what could have been the worst game of cat-and-mouse ever. It would have killed Michigan.

Things change, people change and circumstances change. When Miller picked up a late first down by vaulting over UM cornerback J.T. Floyd, I resigned myself to the fact that Michigan was done. Miller would inevitably find someone wide-open for a touchdown, most likely DeVier Posey or Jake Stoneburner, and that would be it. Urban Meyer would be announced as Buckeye coach a few days later and Michigan might never win another Game. Like I said, though, things change. Miller inexplicably spiked the ball on 3rd-and-6 to set up a huge fourth down. He dropped back, danced around in the pocket and fired a wobbler to fellow true freshman Devin Smith. Michigan sophomore cornerback Courtney Avery reached behind Smith, tipped the ball up and landed with it for the interception to set off bedlam in the Big House. Finally, it's time to exhale. Finally, it's time to enjoy the next 360 and some-odd days left until the 2012 version of the Game.

                                          Those who stay....
                                    Photo courtesy of through MGoBlog

                                          It's beautiful.

No, I don't care that UM's win came against the worst Buckeye team in a while. First of all, Ohio State put itself in that position. The Tat Five brought this on themselves. Jim Tressel brought this on himself. I know that it's the NCAA's fault because it's just such a mean organization that only acted because it was Ohio State and not because some players decided to act like idiots. I simply don't care. Ohio State didn't give a shit when it was beating some of the worst Michigan teams ever put on the field. Ohio State didn't care when its fans were saying, “Well, you know, since this completely arbitrary year, UM and OSU are even in the series,” or, “OSU leads the series since this arbitrary year,” or, “Football was not created before Jim Tressel, therefore Ohio State is 1,381-1 against UM since football was created.” So pardon me if I don't give a shit. For the next 360 some-odd days, kindly shut the fuck up. I know that's never going to happen, especially with Meyer now at the helm for the next few years, but you don't have shit until that scumbag wins something.

58-44-6, fuckers.

Other notes...
  • Braxton Miller is a good player. I expected him to be a good player. I expected him to have a career game against Michigan. But until he learns to complete more than 50 percent of his passes and until he learns to throw a spiral instead of a duck, let's hold off on anointing him as the greatest thing since sliced bread. (For the record, I fully believe that sliced bread is cooler than Braxton Miller, but that's just me.)
  • Zach Boren, you're a clown. Listening to you whine about how “disrespectful” and how it's a “lack of class” that Michigan had the audacity, the GALL, to celebrate a major win over you and your team is laughable. This is the same asshat who started an O-H-I-O chant (congratulations to Ohio State fans are in order on that one. No one expected them to properly spell a four-letter word.) in Michigan Stadium two years ago with the game well in hand. This is the same douchebag whose brother transferred from Michigan to Ohio State, thrashed the coaching staff on his way out and dressed as Rich Rodriguez for Halloween to mock him. This is the same moron who cried because Rodriguez didn't offer him a scholarship because Rodriguez never offers fullbacks. Yeah, I'm going to take lessons on “class” from you. Right. Same goes for you, Jeff Heuerman and Brad Roby.
  • Ryan Shazier is Ohio State's next All-American linebacker.
  • Enough of that shit now. More Michigan stuff. Blake Countess will be Michigan's best cornerback since Leon Hall.
  • Taylor Lewan is a stud. Teams should just stop pretending like their pass-rusher will make it by Lewan. It's not happening.
Non-UM/OSU stuff...

  • Trent Richardson is my Heisman winner. He does it all for Alabama. He could have put up more yards against LSU, despite not having his best night, but apparently Nick Saban was saving him for something else. Only 23 carries that night? Laughable.
  • Luckily for Trent, he should get a second crack at LSU. I want the two best teams in the title game. Sorry, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, it's not you. Put your hand down, Stanford and Oregon. Who the hell let Houston in the room? Get out of here and come back when your schedule doesn't look like what the computer gives you in NCAA 12 on “easy”. Virginia Tech? Seriously?
  • I badly underestimated Michigan State. I said before the year that Sparty could go 6-6 with a daunting road schedule, but the Spartans proved me wrong. Excellent defense, opportunistic offense, a seasoned quarterback, a douchebag of a coach who allows thugs and felons on his team and a sprinke of luck made for a good year.
  • Unfortunately for MSU, that good year meets a roadblock in the Big 10 title game. Take Wisconsin and the points, thank me later.
  • Glad to see Mike Leach back in coaching. Those Washington State vs. Arizona games should be basketball-esque.
  • My top five for the Heisman? Glad you asked.
    1. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
    2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
    3. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    4. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
    5. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
  • Picks for this weekend? Glad you asked. Y'know, if gambling were legal and all.
    Five College Games
    Oregon -31 over UCLA (Pac-12 title game)
    Baylor -3 over Texas
    LSU -13.5 over Georgia (SEC title game)
    Wisconsin -9.5 over Michigan State (Big 10 title game)
    Oklahoma +3.5 over Oklahoma State.
    Five Pro Games
    Philadelphia -3.5 over Seattle
    Atlanta -3 over Houston
    Denver +1 over Minnesota
    New England -20.5 over Indianapolis
    Oakland +3 over Miami
To reach Matt Chandik, email him at or on Twitter @MattChandik.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As the Carousel Turns-2011 Volume 3

It's time for the most up to date events surrounding the Coaching Carousel that tipped off its spin this week! More information is incoming from all over the country, so let's take a look at the ongoings from around the world of college football...

No changes are anticipated at Maryland, but there are loud grumblings with the failures that have escorted Randy Edsell through his first season in College Park. Several voices want him gone now, but he is likely to get one more season before any fires are lit to oust him. He will be on a short leash in 2012.

Penn State
Rumors abound that the Nittany Lions are seeking a coach from the ranks of the SEC. The lates rumor circled the head of Misissppi State coach Dan Mullen, who appeared to be very upset that this information made it into public hands, calling the rumor "irresponsible". Where there is smoke, there is fire, as Mississippi State is putting together a candidate list just in case Mullen does bolt, which centers around Louisiana-Lafayette Coach Mark Hudspeth. That being said, Hudspeth pulled himself out of consideration for the Mississippi job just two days ago.
Other Candidates: Harvard Coach Tim Murphy, Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald, Boise State Coach Chris Petersen, Iowa State Coach Paul Rhodes

Ohio State
With Urban Meyer firmly entrenched as the new Buckeyes Head Coach, Meyer has made some quick moves on defense, retaining Luke Fickell, and also hiring former Buckeye and NFL LB Mike Vrabel. Moves will come quickly in Columbus.

Texas A&M
There were conversations going on in the athletic complex today at College Station in regards to Coach Mike Sherman. Sherman may very well not be safe, and many feel that the Aggies would be better off with new leadership heading into their debut with the SEC next fall. Coming off of a loss to Texas last week, Sherman would be especially vulnerable to a firing if he were to fall in a bowl game. His position as of tonight is tenuous at best.

Word out of Lawrence is that Kansas is moving ahead with their search quickly, and it may have centered around Florida State assistant Mark Stoops. It is unknown at this time whether or not he has interviewed, but it seems as if the operation is full steam ahead, with him being their primary target at this hour.
Other Candidates: Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Dave Christensen, Wyoming; Nolan Cromwell, Rams WR Coach; Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois; Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech; Larry Fedora, Southern Miss; June Jones, SMU; Dirk Koetter, Jacksonville Jaguars OC; Kevin Sumlin, Houston

Nothing new out of Birmingham at this hour, but Oregon Secondary Coach John Neal appears to be the frontrunner. Neal has strong ties to the school, and was a former assistant with the Blazers under former coach Watson Brown. Our source tells us that the unstable nature of this program (no new stadium, talk of shutting down the program) has scared away most major candidates, and many coaches are avoiding this job like the plague.
Other Candidates: Jeff Monken, Georgia Southern; Paul Petrino, Illinois OC; Jason Phillips, Houston OC

George O'Leary has made major staff changes, releasing his DC and others, but he still remains onboard. The staff changes were a way to save himself for another season, but the four years remaining on his contract probably saved him more than anything. It will all be on O'Leary to get the Knights back to the top of the conference next fall, or he may not get any more time past 2012.

Larry Porter made a major mess out of what was already a major mess, and it could take years to clean up, if it ever can be. Major candidates appear to be shunning the Tigers for better opportunities, and it appears unlikely that they can nab anyone from the top pf their list (Hugh Freeze, Hudspeth). Stay tuned.
Other Candidates: Clint Conque, Central Arkansas; Randy Fitchner, Steelers QB Coach; Ross Huesman, Chattanooga; Houston Nutt

Dead Pool swimmer David Bailiff has been thrown a last minute life raft at the 11th hour to save his job. Bailiff will likely be given only one more season to turn Rice into a winner. The Owls did improve somewhat this season, so it all falls in 2012.

The Miners administration have also given Mike Price one more season to straighten out their football program, as UTEP fell one win short of bowl qualifying this season.

Every day we hear that the Green Wave are close to making a hire, only for the deal to fall apart. The current candidates are Oklahoma State OC Todd Monken and New Orleans Saints WR Coach Curtis Johnson. A deal has been imminent for several days running, making this job a running joke. One piec of good news is that Tulane has been approved for the contruction of an on campus stadium, which would move them out of the cavernous Super Dome.
Other Candidates: Manny Diaz, Texas DC; Mark Hudspeth, UL-Lafayette; Jeff Jagodzinsky; Steed Lobotzke, Wake Forest OC; Todd Monken, Oklahoma State OC

The Zips job was offered to none other than Jim Tressel, but Tressel turned them down, offering instead to act as a conusltant to help them find their man. What Akron was even thinking is beyond me, as Tressel brings nothing but baggage and problems with the NCAA. The search has now seemingly narrowed down to Wayne State (MI) head coach Paul Winters, but the Warriors are currently entrenched in D2 playoff games. Others mentioned have been UCLA interim coach Mike Johnson and UConn QB Coach Joe Moorhead.
Other Candidates: Matt Campbell, Toledo OC; Trent Miles, Indiana State

Colorado State
It is largely thought that Steve Fairchild will be fired at CSU after the Rams complete their season this weekend at home against Wyoming. With a loss, the Rams will have finished at 3-9 for the season.

Oregon State
Mike Riley is still standing, and is refusing to make any changes to his staff for 2012. Word is that without immediate improvement next fall, Riley will be out after next season.

Washington State
AD Bill Moos didn't waste a minute, hiring Mike Leach today. Leach was signed to a 5 year deal worth 2.5 million dollars per season today. Leach will have a pool of $1.8 million to hire assistants, and WSU is already working on improving football facilities on campus. This may be the home run hire of the year.

Los Angeles billionaire Casey Wasserman has taken over the UCLA coaching search entirely, according to many sources in LA this week. It has been reported that Wasserman, who donated $50 million to UCLA Medical Center's eye clinic, has cracked open his immense checkbook and will reportedly pay for the next head coach, his staff, and to upgrade UCLA's football facilities. His first target? Boise State coach Chris Petersen, who has been the primary want from day one dating back to September this time around. Before you laugh, consider these factors. First, Petersen's son has special needs, and his doctor in Boise has recently located to UCLA Medical Center, where Petersen's son was seen last week. Second, Petersen is no fan of the Big East flirtations, and prefers not to join the far flung conference. Third, Petersen is rumored to not like the new Boise State school president. Fourth, the graduation of Kellen Moore and many other stars takes place this off season. The second target would apparently be Houston Coach Kevin Sumlin, with Cincinnati Bengals OC Jay Gruden climbing the list.
Other Candidates: Mike Belotti; Tom Cable, Seahawks OL Coach; Herman Edwards; Vic Fangio, 49ers DC; June Jones, SMU; Mike McIntyre, San Jose State; DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State

Arizona State
With Dennis Erickson out, the search has seemingly focused on three current candidates for ASU. Housont Coach Kevin Sumlin, SMU Coach June Jones, and Chicago Bears OC Mike Martz are currently the top three candidates in Tempe. Martz appears to be the favorite, as it has been rumored that Sumlin is waiting to see how things shake out at UCLA with Chris Petersen before making a move.
Other Candidates: Ron English, Eastern Michigan; Larry Fedora, Southern Miss; Mark Helfrich, Oregon OC

The focus on this job came down to Alabama DC Kirby Smart today, as it was reported that the Rebeles had come to an agreement with Smart, only to have that news immediately retracted. The Rebels have had problems locking anyone into this job, as UL-Lafayette Coach Mark Hudspeth pulled out after being mentioned as a favorite just two days ago. Arkansas State Coach Hugh Freeze and Southern Mississippi Coach Larry Fedora appear to be the other candidates for the job.
Other Candidates: Gus Malzahn, Auburn OC; Kevin Sumlin, Houston

Florida Atlantic
The Owls have been jilted twice in the last week, first by Mike Leach, and then by Mike Stoops, as the job was offered and nixed by both. Look for the search to turn to former Miami Coach Randy Shannon, who may be very interested indeed. Also mentioned are Terry Bowden of North Alabama, Florida State RB Coach Eddie Gran, and Houston OC Jason Phillips.
Other Candidates: Mentioned Above

With Zook out of the picture, expect the Illini to focus on someone with strong midwestern roots who will know how to attack the Chicago area high schools. No real names have surfaced as frontrunners yet.
Candidates Mentioned: Tim Beckman, Toledo; Paul Chryst, Wisconsin OC; Larry Fedora, Southern Miss; Butch Jones, Cincinnati; Todd Monken, Oklahoma State OC; Kevin Sumlin, Houston; Willie Taggert, Western Kentucky; Kirby Wilson, Steelers RB Coach

North Carolina
Expect some movement to a new regime, as Everett Withers seemed to slide towards the end of the season as the schedule got increasingly more difficult. As of today , the search seemed to focus on Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin, but Vandy was busy trying to come up with an extension to lock Franklin down.
Other Candidates: George Edwards, Bills DC; Skip Holtz, South Florida; Gus Malzahn, Auburn OC; Chuck Pagano, Ravens DC; Paul Rhodes, Iowa State

The Minutemen made a change as they leave their FCS foothold to join the FBS and the MAC in 2012. Kevin Wilson was released after three consecutive seasons of either finishing 6-5 or 5-6.
Candidates: Mike Bajakian, Cincinnati OC; Don Brown, UConn DC; Ben Albert, Temple LB Coach; Bill McGovern, Boston College DC; Mark Whipple, Browns QB Coach; Jack Bicknell, Jr., Giants OL Coach
Brown and Whipple are former UMass head coaches who moved on to other jobs.

Northern Michigan (D2)
OC Chris Ostrowski has been named head coach replacing Bernie Anderson. A new DC will need to be hired as well.

South Dakota Mines
A finalist list is expected in the next 5 to 7 days.

Ferris State
The Bulldogs are making a change, as Jeff Pierce is out.

Weber State
As was reported earlier in the week, look for the Wildcats to make a play for Paul Wulff at this time. Also look for a request to interview Eastern Washington's Beau Baldwin.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 All-Bilo D2 LB of the Year

At this time, I am pleased to announce the finalists for the 2011 All-Bilo D2 LB of the Year! The ten finalists are as follows:

Prince Simunyu, Brevard
Apollo Stretch, Newberry
Cory Whitfield, Texas A&M Commerce
Jordan Campbell, New Mexico Highlands
Darius Wilson, Central State
Daron Jones, Lincoln (PA)
Corey Jones, Lane
Courtney Daniels, Fort Valley State
Fred Williams, North Carolina-Pembroke
Shawn Loiseau, Merrimack

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 All-Bilo Linebacker of the Year D2 is...

Jordan Campbell, New Mexico Highlands
Jordan had a huge season for the Cowboys in which he collected 110 tackles, 28.5 TFLs, and 2 picks on the season. Campbell added 5 sacks, 5 pass break ups, 5 QB hurries, and recovered a fumble. Congrats to Jordan and to New Mexico Highlands! All-Bilo D2 DL of the Year Award

We continue the All-Bilo Post Season Awards season today with our Defensive positional players of the year for the D2 level. At this time I am proud to announce the finalists for the All-Bilo D2 finalists for Defensive Lineman of the Year. The finalists are as follows:

Roderick Benman, West Texas A&M
Barrington Morrison, Clarion
Randy Colling, Gannon
James Celian, West Virginia Wesleyan
Connor Wright, Colorado Mesa
David Bass, Missouri Western State
Howard Jones, Shepherd
Tim Green, Lincoln (PA)
Brett Moss, Kutztown

At this time, I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 All-Bilo D2 DL of the Year Award is....

Brett Moss, Kutzown
Brett was a monster for the PSAC champion Bears this season, racking up 18.5 sacks and 25 total TFLs on the season. Moss also totalled 39 solo tackles with another 27 assists on the season, while forcing 4 fumbles on the year as well.
Congratulations to Brett and to the Kutztown Bears!

Monday, November 28, 2011

As the Carousel Turns 2011-Update

Sources are confirming for us tonight that Los Angeles billionaire Casey Wasserman is going to foot the bill for UCLA's new head coach and for the staff as well. Wasserman, one of LA's power brokers, is not denying this story tonight, which means that UCLA's days of hiring on the cheap and not going after their main target may be over. Mike Leach would be considered as the lead candidate as he met with middle men in October during an LA book signing. It can only be assumed that those middle men were representative of Wasserman and his interests.

I spoke to senior members of the Weber State administration today, and any list of candidates that is floating about is premature. There is no list as of yet of candidates that Weber State intends to interview. When I asked if Paul Wulff would be considered (former Big Sky ties as HC at Eastern Washington) if he was indeed cut loose at Washington State, I was told that it was probable that Weber State would contact him. Washington State will have an announcement at 12 noon PST tomorrow (Tuesday) to announce Wulff's fate.

I also spoke with the Eastern Illinois administration today, where I was given a final 4 list of candidates who have or will interview in the coming days. The list includes Mark Hutson, the current interim coach at Tulane, Jeff Choate, Special Teams Coordinator at Boise State, Randall McCray, Special Teams/LB Coach at Pittsburgh, and Dino Babers, Outside Receivers Coach at Baylor. There was no clear favorite amongst the 4 candidates, and the Panthers expect to have an announcement on or around December 8. When asked if there were any possible late additions to this group, I was told there would not be unless any of the current candidates declined an interview, or dropped out for any purpose, and that was no expected to be the case.

I spoke with the administration at Southeastern Louisiana today. There are no current candidates to replace fired coach Mike Lucas as of yet, but the search committee was scheduled to meet tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon. I expect to hear from the school tomorrow after that meeting has commenced.

According to our main source, former Kentucky, New Mexico State, and Southeastern Louisiana coach Hal Mumme has surfaced as a candidate at D2 Incarnate Word. The Cardinals have committed fully to the program, and according to our source, many feel that Mike Santiago got a raw deal because the school wanted to go with a bigger name to take the school to the next level. Mumme is currently the coach at D3 McMurry.

Fordham has an opening, and names our source has sent us are former Nebraska intern Joe Moglia and current Stony Brook head man Chuck Friore. Friore is currently headed to the 2nd round of the FCS Playoffs after defeating Albany 31-28 in the 1st round to give Stony Brook their first ever FCS post season win. I will be speaking with the Fordham administration tomorrow.

Richmond has an opening as well, and I currently await a call back from their AD. One major name that has been handed to us by our source is John Shoop, currently the OC at North Carolina. Shoop has long term interest in the Richmond job, which would be great to stop the rotating door that this job has become. With a rabid fan base and major administrative support, Richmond is one of the better jobs in FCS football.

Columbia is working on replacing fired coach Norries Wilson, but a rumor reported by the Roar Lions Roar blog that Jim Margraff of Johns Hopkins being the lead candidate appear to be false. Our source has worked many times with Margraff, and we are told that he is a Hopkins lifer and will likely retire there. I spoke with several administrative people at Columbia today, and will do so again tomorrow.

According to our guy, nobody wants the UAB job. After making a dozen or so calls to his sources, the only name that appeared was John Neal, secondary coach at Oregon who has SEC ties. Certainly not a sexy hire, Neal has area roots, which could bode well, as he worked there under Watson Brown. Some feel that this is a negative fact, as Watson Brown seems to be a lightning rod name in split camps.

It would seem that June Junes is a primary candidate at both Arizona State and UCLA. Our source tells us that Jones would want to bring his entire staff with him to either location. The only reason that Jones did not wind up at UCLA in 2007 is because UCLA insisted on keeping DeWayne Walker on as DC, which wound up killing the deal. There will be no such issues this time around.

More information tomorrow, As the Carousel Turns!

Updated at 11PM PST

Emerging names at this hour are as follows:

Tulane: Saints WR Coach Curtis Johnson
UCLA: Mike Martz, Chris Petersen, Kevin Sumlin
Ole Miss: Mark Hudspeth, Hugh Freeze
SE Louisiana: Ricky Bustle (will confirm this tomorrow)
Akron: Wayne State (MI) HC Paul Winters, Jim Tressel, Luke Fickell

As the Coaching Carousel Turns 2011-Volume 2

Today was Dooms Day for many coaches across the landscape. Many of these fired coaches were featured in our Swimming in the Dead Pool articles at throughout the year, so we're still batting at a very high average of predicting who will be out at year's end. That being said, let's take a look at the latest developments.

Paul Wulff was finally cut lose at Washington State today after a seriously disasterous tenure with the Cougars. It is firmly believed that the Cougars are in the market to send some serious cash on their next candidate, as they are also spending big money on fixing up their facilities. They appear to be interested in Mike Leach as of now, but if they went the same route as when they hired Wulff, Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin, Montana coach Robin Pflugrad, and Montana State coach Rob Ashe could all be attractive candidates. Wyoming coach Dave Christensen could also be a target.

Rick Neuheisel will be done at UCLA after the Bruins finish up the season in the Pac-12 title game, in which they'll be huge underdogs to Oregon. It is widely believed that Neuheisel has already been notified, but a final meeting is scheduled to happen in Eugene on Friday night immediately after the game. Early known candidates are Mike Leach and Cincinnati coach Butch Jones. Others that should be considered (my list, not theirs) would be Willie Taggert of Western Kentucky, Jim Svaboda of Central Missouri, Pflugrad of Montana, and Ashe of Montana State.

Larry Porter has taken an early exit after just two seasons at Memphis. Porter's departure comes on the heels of rumors that he had absolutely not a clue as to how to run not just a football team, but an organization at large, and he was in over his head from day one. Memphis appears ready to make amends for the debacle that was Porter by really looking deeply into the candidates. Those considered are Arkansas State coach Hugh Freeze, and UL-Lafayette head man Mark Hudspeth, both who are finishing up their first seasons at their respective schools.

Neil Callaway, a Dead Pool candidate from day one this season, has resigned at UAB. The replacement hire is going to be the most important hire made by the Blazers, as they are literally trying to save this program from the chopping block. No candidates have been mentioned as of yet.

After a collapse to trump all others, Illinois lost 6 straight after starting the season 6-0. Today, Ron Zook is unemployed once again. The Illini coach finished with a 31-54 record during his tenure with the Illini, and was on his way out last season before getting the team to a bowl game. Illinois will bowl again this season, but the 6 game collapse was inexcusable. Again, no candidates have been mentioned as front runners.

It only took Kansas two seasons to see all that they needed to see out of Turner Gill, and the Jayhawks spent $6 million to take him out of the job on a buyout. Gill's two season were an absolute disaster at KU, which validated my point when they hired him that he was not proven enough in the first place.

After a collapse nearing the intensity of Illinois, Dennis Erickson resigned at Arizona State under pressure. Erickson was largely thought to being on his way to taking the Sun Devils to the Pac-12 title game after ASU pounded USC earlier this season, but then came a disasterous one point loss to UCLA, and the wheels came off of the wagon after that. June Jones of SMU and Kevin Sumlin of Houston are names that have emerged as likely ASU targets.

Ohio State and Urban Meyer have finally come to an official agreement to have Meyer coaching the Buckeyes in 2012, which was one of the worst kept secrets in America. Meyer will get a 7 year deal worth $40 million overall. Luke Fickell, who served as the interim coach, has been offered a spot to stay on with the new staff, but may be receiving other offers.

I will be making many calls this afternoon to lock down some facts from all of the open FBS, FCS, and D2 jobs and will report my findings back here this evening. Stay tuned, As the Carousel Turns!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

As the Coaching Carousel Turns-Volume 1 2011

It's that time of year again when we get to start speculating on who will be going where when the coaching carousel stops turning. It had been my intention to not start the carousel series up until next week, but there is just so much already going on that we had to start up ahead of schedule this season. Let's take a good look at the latest rumors, rumblings, and goings on around the country, as we receive information from our own sources, sources on the web, and you, the fans and alumni.
As we already know, new coaches have landed at New Mexico (Bob Davie) and Arizona (Rich Rodriguez). In my opinion, both hires were home runs for those programs.
Starting with Davie at New Mexico, the Lobos crushed that hire, as Davie is everything that Mike Locksley was not. He will charm the locals, he will instill discipline, and he will eventually win to a respectable level. Don't pin everything on Notre Dame on Davie, as he was taking over for Lou Holtz, who had (as he always has) left Notre Dame on probation. Davie is a solid, seasoned coach, who after 9 years as an assistant at Texas A&M, has a solid feel for the American Southwest. Davie will recruit well, and given time, take New Mexico to another level.
Rodriguez was a grand slam at Arizona. He never would have succeeded at Michigan, as he was never supported properly from day one. There were Michigan people that hated him right out of the gate, but that won't happen in Tucson, where his high energy spread offense will be a breath of fresh air. His style fits the west coast properly, and Rodriguez will build a fearsome program, much like he had at West Virginia. Arizona could not have made a better move in a million tries. This was a brilliant hire for the Wildcats and Greg Byrne. Announcing the hire on Twitter? Pure forward thinking.

Here are the latest rumors and happenings going on as the Carousel Turns...

Florida Atlantic appears to be the frontrunner for Mike Leach, according to our well placed source. Leach is seeking out his best option to run his defense at FAU so that he can concentrate on running his Air Raid offense without any distractions. Leach has been living in Key West since being fired at Texas Tech, and would have a few offers, but he seems most comfortable with this move. Short of UCLA dumping Neuheisel for him, this appears to be a done deal.

Boston College will likely fire Frank Spaziani and his staff after this weekend's game against Miami, according to our source. We have speculated this move, as Spaziani has been in the Dead Pool most of this season. Our source informs us that we can expect BC to take a look at Temple coach Steve Addaazio, who was a finalist when the Eagles stayed in house and hired Spaziani.

Akron appears to already be in the mood to dump Rob Ianello and his staff after another disaster of a season with the Zips. Sources state that Ianello will be removed, along with his entire staff, on Monday. Our own source claims that the alumni at Akron are pushing for a move at this time, which would confirm all that we have heard.

Purdue may need more than a win this weekend against Indiana to save Danny Hope. While a loss would certainly end his tenure, rumblings out of West Lafayette are stating that Hope may be out either way. No rumors yet on potential replacements, but this may bear some watching.

We have been reporting this for some time, but Joker Phillips may be running out of time at Kentucky. High profile administrators have been backing off of support for Phillips like he has contracted the plague, and finding public support from anyone of power in Lexington is about as easy as finding a living, breathing unicorn. Phillips may not survive to get one more season with the Wildcats.

We reported on Twitter that several sources had stated that Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson has already told his staff that he will not coach the Sun Devils next fall. He has publicly stated in the last two days that he is not going anywhere, but sources are now telling us that he will only stay through the bowl game, and that he will walk away after that. That is, if the alumni don't push for a move sooner, which they very well might after falling to Arizona last weekend.

Weber State is making a run for Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin. Baldwin is coming off of a rather disappointing season at EWU after winning the 2010 national championship, meaning that he may be more available to WSU due to conventional thinking in Ogden. Baldwin has never coached outside the State of Washington, having also been the head guy at Central Washington.

The name we are hearing from our source in regards to the Columbia job is Penn Defensive Coordinator Ray Priore, who is the brother of Stony Brook head man Chuck Priore. Priore has been the DC for some time at Penn, and has solid knowledge of the Ivy League, making him an attractive fit for the Lions.

South Dakota has fired Ed Meierkort and his staff as they prepare to make the move to the Missouri Valley Conference with the folding of the Great West Conference. Now word yet on potential replacements.

Texas Southern and Richmond will not be staying with their respective interim coaches, but will interview them for those openings, meaning that they stand a snowball's chance in hell of retaining their jobs.

Now word yet on potential replacements at UMass for fired coach Kevin Morris, as the Minutemen transition to the FBS and the MAC in 2012. We will report on movement as reports become available, and I fully expect to speak with the UMass athletic department on Monday.

Mike Lucas is out at Southeast Louisiana.

No word yet on the Fordham opening, but I will be speaking to them on Monday as well.

There are four openings on the D2 level, including Incarnate Word, Missouri Southern, Eastern New Mexico, and South Dakota Mines, and there will be more moves coming. I will update as we receive info on those jobs as well.