Thursday, January 6, 2011

As the Carousel Spins...Thursday Episode

     It all starts at the hottest part of the spinning machine that is the carousel today, and that is in Palo Alto, where some interesting developments are occurring even as I tyoe this entry tonight. The first bombshell got dropped when QB Andrew Luck announced that he would be staying at Stanford for another season. Not so surprising to me, as I had called some time ago, but shocking to most everyone else.
     The story had picked up steam yesterday, when Jim Harbaugh had spoken with, and then almost immediately shot down the San Francisco 49ers. The drama continued today, as apparently Harbaugh was deep in discussions with the Miami Dolphins, who by the way, have not even fired Tony Sporano yet. Thos talks broke down, as Harbaugh cut off all talks with the Dolphins. Let's do the math. Luck announces a return, and all negotiations with other interests are shut down by Harbaugh. Indicators rank high that Harbaugh will remain at Stanford with Luck for at least one more season to go after the big prize, a national title at Stanford, and believe me, with both these guys back in 2011, it's not a pipe dream. Stay tuned, because I guarantee that this ride is only going to get better.
     The story shifts east now, as there is news out of Pittsburgh tonight. There has not been a hire yet, as was reported by other sources yesterday. Tom Bradley still appears to be the front runner, but Wisconsin OC Paul Chryst is now in the mix as well. Sal Sunseri interviewed yesterday, but would seem to be a long shot.
    We head back west again in our daily journey to Westwood and UCLA, Where HC Rick Neuheisel appears ready to move forward in his quest to find a new DC. Vic Fangio of Stanford is still a candidate, but former Florida DC Teryl Austin will interview with the Bruins. No other candidates have interviewed at this time. There is no word on any candidates for the open WR Coach job, nor is there any word on the status of Norm Chow.
     There is word out of San Marcos tonight that a major turn of events has transpired. After announcing a pull out of his candidacy for the HC job, Dennis Franchione has been named the new HC at Texas State. Dan Hawkins had indeed made a late pitch for the job, but was behind the curve as Franchione had been on the radar for some time. Steve Kragthorpe had also been mentioned, but never interviewed for the job.
     He may be prepping for the FCS title game tomorrow night, but Delaware HC KC Keeler is the leading candidate to be the head man at UConn. Keeler would be replacing Randy Edsell, who bailed for Maryland. Keeler would be an incredible choice for the job.
     Pat Fitzgerald had been mentioned in some very small way for the Michigan job, but had a late meeting with Northwestern administrators and will remain in Evanston as HC with the Wildcats. One would have to think that there will be an extension in order.
     Mack Brown is busy at work after hiring Manny Diaz to run his defense yesterday at Texas. According to sources in Austin. Brown apparently met with Boise State OC Bryan Harsin to fill his open OC job today. No word on an offer being made.
     Speaking of Boise State, HC Chris Peterson has had conversations with former Colorado WR Coach Robert Prince about coming back to Boise, where he was an assistant before. No word on whether or not anything came of the meeting.
     Speaking of Diaz, his replacement has been named at Mississippi State, as Co-DC Chris Wilson has been promoted to be the sole DC. Diaz called the plays last season at MSU. Don't expect the Bulldogs to mmiss a beat in 2011. On other Bulldogs news, Angelo Miranda was promoted from grad assistant to WR Coach for the 2011 season.
     Word out of Oxford, Mississippi has it that Houston Nutt has begun a staff shakeup of sorts at Ole Miss today. WR Coach Ron Dickerson and Safeties Coach Kim Dameron are out as of this afternoon. No replacements have been named as of yet. Houston Nutt will certainly be under tremendous pressure in 2011, and will begin the season on our hot seat.
     Contrary to reports throughout the last 36 hours, Marion Hobby has not accepted the Clemson DC job at this time. He remains employed on the Duke staff under David Cutliffe. Doesn't mean a deal won't be made at some point soon.
     There was a an addition made to the staff at Central Arkansas today, as Northwestern State WR Coach Matt Kubik has joined the Bears staff to an unspecified offensive position.
     A hire was made at coaching graveyard Savannah State today. UAB RB Coach Steve Davenport was hired today to run the hapless Tigers. If anyone can remeber the last time the SSU had a winning season, well you would have a better memory than me.
     There is another candidate in the slowly growing list of them for the HC job at Elon to replace the departed Pete Lembo. South Florida O-Line Coach Steve Shankweiler is the latest candidate mentioned for the job. Maryland DC Don Brown is also a candidate, but was retained by new HC Randy Edsell. Now word on if he is still a candidate at Elon.
More Spin tomorrow as we continue with all of the off-season drama.

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