Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Defensive Back of the Year

Here are our semi-finalists for our 2013 All-Bilo Defensive Back of the Year Award! Finalists and the winner will be announced this weekend!

Semi-finalists are as follows:

Anthony Harris-Virginia
Lorenzo Doss-Tulane
Damante Horton-Washington State
Tim Bennett-Indiana
D'Joun Smith-Florida Atlantic
BJ Lowery-Iowa

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Linebacker of the Year

Here are our semi-finalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Linebacker of the Year Award! Finalists and the winner will be announced this weekend!

Semi-finalists are as follows:

Keith Smith-San Jose State
Cody Peterson-Navy
Tyler Matakevich-Temple
Ryan Shazier-Ohio State
Trent Murphy-Stanford
Anthony Barr-UCLA

Coming up next...Semi-finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Defensive Back of the Year!

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Defensive Lineman of the Year

Here are our semi-finalists for our 2013 FBS Defensive Lineman of the Year Award! The finalists and the winner will be announced this weekend!

Semi-finalists are as follows:

Marcus Smith-Louisville
Hau'oli Kikaha-Washington
Jackson Jeffcoat-Texas
Aaron Donald-Pittsburgh
Kareem Martin-North Carolina
DeMarcus Lawrence-Boise State

Coming up next...Semi-finalists 2013 FBS All-Bilo Linebacker of the Year!

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Kicker of the Year

Here are our semi-finalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Kicker of the Year Award! Finalists and the winner will be announced this weekend!

Semi-finalists are as follows:

Nate Freese-Boston College
Jeremiah Detmer-Toledo
Robert Aguayo-Florida State
Zane Gonzalez-Arizona State
Jeff Budzien-Northwestern
Shawn Moffitt-UCF

Coming up next...Semi-Finalists 2013 FBS All-Bilo Defensive Lineman of the Year!

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Punter of the Year

Here are our semi-finalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Punter of the Year Award! Finalists and the winner will be announced this weekend!

Semi-finalists are as follows:

Austin Rehkow-Idaho
Zac Murphy-Miami (Ohio)
Drew Kaser-Texas A&M
Pat O'Donnell-Miami (FL)
Spencer Roth-Baylor
Justin Manton-UL-Monroe

Coming up next...Semi-Finalists 2013 All-Bilo PK of the Year!

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Kick Returner of the Year

Here are our semi-finalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Kick Returner of the Year. Finalists and the winner will be announced this weekend!

The semi-finalists are as follows:

Carlos Wiggins, New Mexico
Ty Montgomery-Stanford
DeVon Edwards-Duke
Autrey Golden-UTEP
Brandon Smith-Texas State
Victor Bolden-Oregon State

Coming up next...Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS Punter of the Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Punt Returner of the Year

Here are our semi-finalists for our 2013 FBS Punt Returner of the Year Award! Finalists and winners will be announced next weekend!

The semi-finalists are as follows:

Ryan Switzer-North Carolina
Nelson Agholar-USC
Josh Stewart-Oklahoma State
Jamison Crowder-Duke
Jalen Saunders-Oklahoma
Devon Smith-Marshall
Bruce Natson-Utah State

Coming up next...Semi-finalists 2013 FBS Kick returner of the Year!

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo TE of the Year Award

Here are our semi-finalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Tight End of the Year Award! Finalists and winners will be announced this weekend!

The semi-finalists are as follows:

Jace Amaro-Texas Tech
Eric Ebron-North Carolina
Devin Funchess-Michigan
Gator Hoskins-Marshall

Coming up next...Semi-finalists Punt Returner of the Year!

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Wide Receiver of the Year Award

Here are our finalists for the 2013 FBS All-Bilo Wide Receiver of the Year Award! Once again, the finalists and winner will be named this weekend!

The semifinalists are as follows:

Brandin Cooks-Oregon State
Davante Adams-Fresno State
Allen Robinson-Penn State
Willie Snead-Ball State
Chandler Jones-San Jose State
Mike Evans-Texas A&M

Coming up next...Semi-finalists 2013 FBS All-Bilo Tight End of the Year Award!

Semi-Finalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo RB of the Year

Here are our semi0finalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Running Back of the Year Award. Finalists and the winner will be announced this weekend!

The semi-finalists are as follows:

Andre Williams-Boston College
Ka'Deem Hardy-Arizona
Bishop Sankey-Washington
Kapri Bibbs-Colorado State
Ty Gaffney-Stanford
Tre Mason-Auburn

Coming up next: Semi-Finalists 2013 All-Bilo Wide Receiver of the Year!

Semi-Finalists: FBS All-Bilo QB of the Year 2013

I am a bit delayed announcing our semi-finalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo QB of the Year Award. My apologies for the delay. Finalists and the winner will be announced next weekend!

The semi-finalists for the award are as follows:

Teddy Bridgewater-Louisville
Derek Carr-Fresno State
Shane Carden-East Carolina
Sean Mannion-Oregon State
Johnny Manziel-Texas A&M
Jameis Winston-Florida State

Once again, expect the finalists and the winner to be named next weekend before the national title game!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

If I Ran the Bowl System...

I've been a huge opponent of how many bowls there are, and I've been an even bigger opponent of the BCS system, and what is sure to be a failure early on of this new playoff system that will go into place. Being a man over the age of 40, I remember a day when there wasn't a push to have an absolute #1 team at the end of the season, and almost every bowl had meaning to it. .500 teams weren't considered bowl worthy, unless they got hot in conference play like UCLA did in 1984 when at 6-4-1, the Bruins won the PAC-10, and routed Illinois 45-14 in the Rose Bowl.
As far as that national championship thing, we didn't care back in those days. If you had a split title, it was water cooler talk for the entire off-season. A healthy debate as to who you sided with ensued, and it extended the season for months in our minds as we talked endlessly about proving who the better team was the following year. It was fun. The modern day system is anything but fun, and non-deserving teams get peachy bowl slots, while deserving teams play before Christmas.
If I were college football king, here is the bowl schedule that I would allow, and trust me, there will be little scope on commercialism, and more scope on tradition and value.

My bowl schedule is posted below, with who would be playing in said games this season:

January 1 Games
Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Stanford
Cotton Bowl: Baylor vs. Ohio State
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Alabama
Sugar Bowl: Auburn vs. Oregon
Fiesta Bowl: UCF vs. Oklahoma
Outback Bowl: Louisville vs. Clemson
Capital One Bowl: Duke vs. South Carolina
Gator Bowl: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State

December 31
Peach Bowl: Miami vs. Arizona State
Liberty Bowl: Rice vs. Northern Illinois
Sun Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Wisconsin

December 30
Independence Bowl: Marshall vs. LSU
Holiday Bowl: Fresno State vs. Ball State
Alamo Bowl: UCLA vs. Houston
Texas Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Iowa

December 29
Military Bowl: East Carolina vs. Texas
Aloha Bowl: Nebraska vs. Utah State
Pizza Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Minnesota

December 28
New Orleans Bowl: UL-Lafayette vs. Middle Tennessee
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: BYU vs. Boise State
Las Vegas: USC vs. Navy
Russell Athletic Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Georgia

December 27
California Bowl (San Francisco): Vanderbilt vs. Washington
Sunshine Bowl (Pasadena): North Texas vs. Texas A&M

I have replaced some existing bowls with new bowls, but overall, I have cut the bowl schedule from 39 games to 24, and I have kept all bowls to the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Notice there would be no games after New Year's in keeping with tradition. The schedule also allows athletes to enjoy Christmas with their families before traveling for Bowls.
In this schedule, there are no teams below 8 wins. Only Western Kentucky, at 8-4, gets left out of a bowl. Every other program left out would have been 7-5 or worse. If this would have been your program, I don't apologize, as teams who are 7-5 and 6-6 hardly deserve to be bowling outside of winning a conference title.
Also notice that other than conference champion destinations, every other slot is filled by an at-large team, much like the old days. Other than these conference championship slots, there will be no conference affiliations in my bowl system, allowing a wide variety of schools to enjoy a more varied destination system yearly.
The start date of December 27th also extends the amount of time that teams would be able to practice for bowls, and also gives bowls more time to actually promote their bowls. In the current system, a team can play in a bowl as soon as two weeks after their final game.
College football is a journey, and while the destination is meaningful, so is that journey. By starting after Christmas, the opportunity is provided to actually enjoy that journey.

Bilo's Picks: 2013-14 Bowls

Sorry for the lateness of this post, as I was suffering from an inconvenient flu bug all week...here are my picks for the bowl season!

Las Vegas Bowl
Fresno State wins this game if they can use their offensive firepower aggressively and early. David Carr must get the ball to his talented receivers, and spread the field to neutralize the tough and rigid USC defense, which was the only bright spot for the Trojans in another down season.
USC is on their third coach this season, and that could effect the groove that USC can start on. If the defense can contain the Bulldogs using tight zones and blitzing, the Trojans could pull this one off..
My Pick: Fresno State

New Mexico Bowl
Washington State favors the pass. Colorado State can stop the run, but struggles against the pass. Washington State won't likely run all that much, so the edge goes to Mike Leach and company here.
My Pick: Washington State

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Buffalo was the surprise team in the MAC East this season, and they were in the race for the MAC title until the very end. San Diego State started the season by being blown out by FCS member Eastern Illinois, but put enough of a run together in the last 6 weeks to push for a bowl bid. Buffalo is the hotter hand here.
My Pick: Buffalo

New Orleans Bowl
This is a Tulane home game, with the Green Wave coming in as one of a number of surprise teams in CUSA. UL-Lafayette won the Sun Belt handily this season, and is now the reigning power in that conference. Once again, I am going hot hand here.
My Pick: UL-Lafayette

Beef O'Brady's Bowl
Ohio struggled for much of the season in the MAC, and really struggled to get to a bowl in 2013. East Carolina was the overwhelming favorite in CUSA, and they have one of the best QB/WR combos in the country.
My Pick: East Carolina

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
I am still trying to figure out how Pitt got to a bowl this season after struggling much of the year despite the play of DE Aaron Donald. Bowling Green stuck around all season, and finally bounced Buffalo and Northern Illinois to win the MAC. Even though the Falcons are the hotter hand here, I like Pitt's defense to control the tempo.
My Pick: Pittsburgh

Hawaii Bowl
Who really wants to play in a bowl in the most non-Christmas place in the country on Christmas Eve? This bowl will probably suffer low ratings, and no buzz. Boise State is limping into this game this season, and Oregon State has been awful for the last 6 weeks, despite the play of Mannion and Cooks on offense.
My Pick: Boise State

Poinsettia Bowl
Utah State has one of the bets defenses in the country, and survived after the loss of QB Chuckie Keeton. Northern Illinois was a shoe in for the Fiesta Bowl before Bowling Green ruined their season in the MAC title game. If NIU and Jordan Lynch are suffering a hangover, anything can happen.
My Pick: Utah State

Military Bowl
Marshall took down CUSA favorite East Carolina behind the play of QB Rakeem Cato. Maryland was awful for weeks on end, and only gets here by virtue of a hot start to their season. Hot hand again.
My Pick: Marshall

Texas Bowl
Syracuse impresses me not at all, and barely scraped their way into this bowl with a .500 record. Minnesota had a huge season despite not having head coach Jerry Kill for most of the season. Interim Head Coach Tracy Klaes would have been a coach of the year candidate in most circles, and will be considered for our Big 10 award.
My Pick: Minnesota

Fight Hunger
This is probably the most interesting early bowl matches between Washington and BYU. BYU QB Taysom Hill is a dual threat QB on the rise, and Keith Price has had a very nice career that he's wrapping up. UW is going into the game with an interim coach before Chris Petersen arrives, so that gives the edge to...
My Pick: BYU

Pinstripe Bowl
This is one of the more "who cares" bowls of the season. I won't waste much time here. Rutgers is awful, and Notre Dame is passable at best right now.
My Pick: Notre Dame

Belk Bowl
Again, this bowl has very little buzz, and very little effect on the big picture. Again, a low energy game between Cincinnati and North Carolina.
My Pick: Cincinnati

Russell Athletic BowlNeither Louisville nor Miami lived up to expectations, and Miami was just plain flat the last few weeks of the season. Louisville barely scraped by in several high profile games, with Teddy Bridgewater's season looking highly average despite some nice numbers. If it weren't for Bridgewater, Louisville would have been a mess. Still, Miami slumped despite having Stephen Morris, who in my opinion, has been one of the most overhyped QBs in America.
My Pick: Louisville

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Michigan completely collapsed in Big 10 play this season, and Brady Hoke is feeling some heat heading into 2014. Kansas State was a team that most people paid no attention to this season, and despite being highly average, they seem to just find a way to hurt people at weird times.
My Pick: Kansas State

Armed Forces Bowl
Middle Tennessee had a slow start in 2013, but got hot in the second half, and comes into this bowl at 8-4. Navy was up and down, and never really got a rhythm going in 2013. That being said, Navy looks intriguing with an offense that can explode at any given time.
My Pick: Navy

Music City Bowl
Ole Miss and Georgia Tech both limp into the game having lost their rivalry games in situations where both should have won said games. I'll be honest, I won't be building my schedule around this tilt.
My Pick: Ole Miss

Alamo Bowl
You have to know that neither team really wants to be in San Antonio after all of the expectations that both fan bases had for the season. Texas will be coached by Mack Brown for the final time after he resigned last week, but do the Horns have the tools to keep up with Marcus Mariota and company?
My Pick: Oregon

Holiday BowlArizona State came up severely flat in the PAC-12 title game loss to Stanford, but Texas Tech is Flat Stanley coming into the bowl season. After a red hot start, GQ head coach Kliff Kingsbury must now find a way to motivate his team rather than concentrate on all the attention he's getting for looking like a movie star. Here's a side story...will Todd Graham still be coaching the Sun Devils, or will he have already bolted to join his old boss, Steve Patterson, at Texas?
My Pick: Arizona State

Independence Bowl
Here's the story line...Arizona's BJ Denker and Ka'Deem Carey against Boston College's Andre Williams. This could be fun, and is one of the more interesting matches, despite neither team being anything huge on a national scene.
My Pick: Arizona

Sun Bowl
UCLA may have fallen short of taking the PAC-12 South for the 3rd straight season, but they are coming off of two straight seasons of beating USC. The Bruins are coming in hot, and Virginia Tech is coming in after having been highly average for most of the season. For once, the Hokies may have found their match in the special teams game.
My Pick: UCLA

Liberty Bowl
Another no buzz game. Rice was a nice surprise in CUSA, but Mississippi State is as average as they come, only getting here by virtue of a last game win over Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.
My Pick: Rice

Chik-Fil-A Bowl
As wonderful a story as Duke was over the final half of the season, they are outmatched on an athletic level once again. I usually like this bowl, but I feel a bad game coming on this year.
My Pick: Texas A&M

Gator Bowl
I can't really pick two teams who may be less deserving to be playing on New Year's Day than Nebraska and Georgia. In the old days, this would not have occurred. Too Many bowls?
My Pick: Georgia

Heart of Dallas Bowl
UNLV is taking a $200,000 loss playing this game. North Texas hardly has to travel. Again, a bowl that I would dump. UNLV was traded here after being originally touted for the Military Bowl, but the bowl couldn't have Middle Tennessee playing North Texas (both CUSA members). Hence, the trade.
My Pick: North Texas

Capital One BowlWisconsin had a solid season, and had it not been for a stronger Michigan State team, Wisconsin would likely be in the Rose Bowl. South Carolina hung around in the SEC East all season, pressing Missouri until the final game. This will be a battle, but don't expect a ton of points.
My Pick: Wisconsin

Outback Bowl
I am not exactly hyped about an Iowa-LSU matchup. Again, two teams who hardly deserve a New Year's Day bout.
My Pick: LSU

Rose Bowl
Always the best game on the bowl schedule. and to me, the only one that usually sets my schedule. It's the oldest, the grandest, and the king of all bowls. Stanford-Michigan State will be a fantastic tilt between two old school, smash mouth styled football teams. This is what the Rose Bowl is all about.
My Pick: Michigan State

Fiesta Bowl
This is the garbage plate bowl for the BCS, and has rarely ever gotten a top tiered matchup during the BCS era, which ends this year. This year we get Baylor, one of the more fun teams to watch in college football, against UCF, who, while solid, hardly matches up athletically with the Bears.
My Pick: Baylor

Sugar Bowl
This would have been a huge game in 1975. Not so much today. Alabama is a junior NFL team that had a bad moment against Auburn. Not that I'm complaining, but Alabama could have very well been playing in the title game. Don't expect Nick Saban to let the Tide have a letdown moment against an Oklahoma team who, let's face it, have hardly been a BCS bowl juggernaut.
My Pick: Alabama

Orange Bowl
This could be the best Orange Bowl in years, but the last time Clemson went to Miami for a bowl, they were crushed against West Virginia. This game has all of the makings of a solid tilt between two teams who love to play up tempo football. Expect lots of points between Clemson and Ohio State here.
My Pick: Ohio State

Cotton Bowl
The only reason that there is a Heart of Dallas Bowl is because this game got pulled out of the Cotton Bowl stadium and moved to the ridiculous megaplex that the Jerry Dome is. The Cotton Bowl should be played in the original stadium, and on New Year's morning. Despite all that, this Missouri-Oklahoma State match will be a blast to watch.
Oklahoma State failed miserably to hold off Oklahoma for a BCS birth, while Mizzou fell flat in the SEC title game. Both teams want the win here, but both could be flat as well.
My Pick: Oklahoma State

BBVA Compass Bowl
Another bowl that nobody asked for, except for maybe ESPN for advertising money. This may be one of their more enticing matches in this game's history, however, pitting Houston against Vanderbilt. Will James Franklin still be the coach of the Commodores?
My Pick: Vanderbilt

GoDaddy Bowl
I hope I have something else to do this night. Nobody really cares about this bowl game. Between Ball State and Arkansas State, BSU has the best news heading into the game, because they still have their head coach (Pete Lembo) after Bryan Harsin bolted ASU for Boise State.
My Pick: Ball State

National Title Game
Florida State and Auburn are intriguing for so many reasons. Auburn is red hot, but Florida State was never challenged by anyone all season. That being said, Auburn probably played the tougher schedule by far. Jameis Winston needs this game as a showcase for what he can do, but Auburn's run game, lead by option QB Nick Marshall, will have something to say about this title thing.
My Pick: Florida State

Sunday, December 15, 2013

As the Carousel Turns: December Edition 4 (Mack Brown Edition)

By now, we all know the direction that the drama in Austin, Texas has taken, and Mack Brown is remaining on at Texas after the Alamo Bowl as an advisor to President Bill Powers at a tune of roughly $500,000 per year. Let us break down what happened and what is ongoing at Texas, as well as what else is happening and what has happened in the coaching carousel over the last couple of days.

The Longhorn administration and faithful can go on all day long about who they want and who they believe they will hire, but let us look at what the reality is here.
Jim Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin have both flatly turned down overtures and interest in the job. Harbaugh has told the 49ers that he won't be leaving for any job anywhere. Tomlin, who has some heat on him right now with the Steelers, has also said that he has no interest in being a college coach. Pete Carroll is another name that has surfaced, but that isn't happening either.
How about Jimbo Fisher and Gus Malzahn? With Malzahn, he's from Texas, so he's got to be interested, right? Flatly speaking, highly unlikely being where he has Auburn at the moment, and Auburn can pay him whatever Texas can. Fisher? Why would he leave Florida State right now, as he is playing for a national title, and has built a recruiting base that could have FSU as a top 5 program for a decade.
How about Jim Mora of UCLA...yet another name that has been tossed around senselessly, because we all know that Mora has such deep connections with the state of Texas, right? Seriously? Why don't we just name every coach who has had success anywhere in the last 5 years as a candidate. Soon enough you'll have a joke of a candidate list much like North Dakota's "candidate list".
There are two names that make some sense that have been tossed about. They are Mark Dantonio of Michigan State, and James Franklin of Vanderbilt. Franklin was on USC's early wish list, but something didn't click there, and according to the Vandy administration, nobody ever contacted them about Franklin. Franklin is getting a lot of credit for turning the Commodores into a competitive program in the SEC East, but there is a glass ceiling at Vandy, and Franklin certainly has to know that.
There is no such glass ceiling at Michigan State, but Dantonio could be had for a staggering sum of cash after leading the Spartans to their first Rose Bowl since 1988. MSU certainly cannot match a truck load of gold that Texas could offer, even with Big 10 network money backing them up. Texas is a job of infinite resources, which Dantonio, also a Texas native (but really, that probably has little to no play in this) would be hard pressed to ignore at this stage of his career. Dantonio is a winner, a solid guy, and would be a very nice fit.
On the Dantonio note, Pat Narduzzi was an absolute frontrunner for the UConn job, but pulled out at the last minute to stay on at MSU. Narduzzi is an absolute when it comes to head coaching material, and MSU has made a power play to keep him, even as a DC. What this means to me is that MSU is keeping him around, because they fear that if Dantonio leaves for Texas, they would need Narduzzi to step up as head coach, not just for the Rose Bowl, but for the full time job as well. Narduzzi is entrenched in East Lansing, and could very well be their next head coach.
My final bet on this job is that it'll come down to Franklin or Dantonio, with an outside shot that the game's biggest mercenary, Todd Graham of Arizona State could toss his name in the hat at the 11th hour as well, and join his old boss Steve Patterson.

Penn State
There is a large amount of information, especially from CBS Sports that the Vikings and Texans have reached out to Bill O'Brien about becoming their next head coach. CBS is also reporting that the Redskins could be next if they remove Mike Shanahan, who has already seen his son Kyle resign effective at the end of the season as Washington OC.
If this happens, Penn State could go a couple of ways. They could promote from the existing staff (continuity would be a huge bonus), or there are two candidates that could be in play here that would fit into the needs of this program. Those names would be Pat Narduzzi, if he hasn't been named Michigan State head coach, and Ball State's Pete Lembo. Both names have been mentioned for numerous jobs thus far, and both could be back in play once again, if not now, then in 2014.

Florida Atlantic
In yet another turn of events that seems senseless, FAU has agreed with Arkansas OL Coach Charlie Partridge on a deal as head coach for the Owls. Partridge's name had been dismissed in regards to this job, only to have him appear with job in hand less than three days later (See Bryan Harsin, Boise State). This hiring is by far not the best move that could have been made here, and it would appear that after everyone else turned down this job, and OC Brian Wright had been dismissed as a candidate, that FAU ended up picking someone who just wouldn't say no. That's always the path to greatest success...Yes, they are still FAUcked.

Of course, as I had spoken about last time, Nick Saban has officially been extended at Alabama. Seems about the time that Saban was going to be outed with just how much time he spent considering the Texas job, he jumped at the chance to sign that extension worth $7 million annually, and is more than willing to speak about how he never intended to go to Texas. If Saban's lips are moving, you should take the other side of the story, as we all know too well (again, see Miami Dolphins).

FCS Jobs

North Dakota State
After pounding Coastal Carolina 48-14 yesterday, NDSU named DC Chris Klieman as the next head coach for the Bisons, who are a major power house program in FCS football. Klieman will replace Craig Bohl, who is bound for Wyoming at the end of the FCS playoff run.

Stephen F. Austin
Central Arkansas coach Clint Conque, who I felt would be a major candidate for the Arkansas State job, has now taken the job coaching the Lumberjacks. This is a strange move, because it seems like a lateral choice for Conque, who moves to another school in the same conference (Southland). Conque had been at UCA for a decade, and was amazingly successful in helping transition the Bears from D2 to FCS football.

Weber State
The Wildcats have hired Utah TE/ST coach Jay Hill, and Hill will be bringing some Ute staffers with him for the ride. Weber State is replacing Jody Sears, who was given the job when John L. Smith jolted the Cats for Arkansas without ever coaching a game. One note of interest was that Gary Crowten was also a candidate for this job.

North Carolina Central
This job has been getting play lately, and the latest name to interview is South Alabama WR coach Jerry Mack. Connell Maynor, a former Arena League MVP and current Winston-Salem State coach, is still my favorite for this job. He has won big at WSSU, a former MEAC member who dropped down to D2.

James Madison
JMU has released a list of candidates, and it's not as impressive as I figured it would be. Oakland Raiders QB coach John DeFilippo, Arizona Cardinals OC Rod Smith, and current JMU OC Mike O'Cain are the latest candidates mentioned. I'm not jumping up and down about anyone on this list.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Quarterfinalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Defensive Back of the Year Award

Here are our quarterfinalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Defensive Back of the Year Award! Semifinalists will be named next weekend, with the winner named championship weekend!

Anthony Harris-Virginia
Lorenzo Doss-Tulane
D'Joun Smith-Florida Atlantic
Bobby McCain-Memphis
Justin Gilbert-Oklahoma State
Tim Bennett-Indiana
BJ Lowery-Iowa
Ronald Zamort-Western Michigan
Nevin Lawson-Utah State
Michael Mudoh-Tulsa
Cody Prewitt-Ole Miss
Blake Countess-Michigan
Derron Smith-Florida State
Rashaad Reynolds-Oregon State
Ricardo Allen-Purdue
Steven Nelson-Oregon State
Kendall Fuller-Virginia Tech
Jimmie Ward-Northern Illinois
Robert Nelson-Arizona State

Quarterfinalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Linebacker of the Year Award

Here are our quarterfinalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Linebacker of the Year Award. Semifinalists will be named next weekend, with the winner announced on championship weekend!

Keith Smith-San Jose State
Jake Doughty-Utah State
Tyler Matakavich-Temple
Ryan Shazier-Ohio State
Trent Murphy-Stanford
Shaquil Barrett-Colorado State
Khalil Mack-Buffalo
Anthony Barr-UCLA
Shawn Jackson-Tulsa
Chris Young-Arizona State
Ejiro Ederaine-Fresno State
Xavius Boyd-Western Kentucky
Kyle Van Noy-BYU

Quarterfinalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Defensive Lineman of the Year

Here are our quarterfinalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Defensive Lineman of the Year Award. Semifinalists will be named next weekend, with out winner being named championship weekend!

Marcus Smith-Louisville
Jeremiah Attaochu-Georgia Tech
Vic Beasley-Clemson
Jackson Jeffcoat-Texas
Ryan Mueller-Kansas State
Kareem Martin-North Carolina
Aaron Donald-Pittsburgh
Demarcus Lawrence-Boise State
Carl Bradford-Arizona State
Nikita Whitlock-Wake Forest
Michael Sam-Missouri
Will Clark-West Virginia

Quarterfinalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Punter of the Year

Here are our quarterfinalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Punter of the Year Award! Semifinalists will be named next weekend, with the winner announced on championship weekend!

Austin Rehkow-Idaho
Drew Kaser-Texas A&M
Pat O'Donnell-Miami
Zac Murphy-Miami (Ohio)
Spencer Roth-Baylor
Justin Manton-UL-Monroe
Ben Skaer-New Mexico
Tom Hornsey-Memphis

Quarterfinalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Kick Returner of the Year Award

Here are our finalists for the 2013 FBS All-Bilo Kick Returner of the Year Award. Semifinalists will be named next weekend, with the winner being named championship weekend!

Carlos Wiggins-New Mexico
Ty Montgomery-Stanford
DeVon Edwards-Duke
Brandon Smith-Texas State
Autrey Golden-UTEP
Victor Bolden-Oregon State
Demarcus Ayers-Houston
Odell Beckham, Jr.-LSU
DeAndre Reeves-Marshall
George Atkinson III-Notre Dame

Quarterfinalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo Punt Returner of the Year

Here are our quarterfinalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Punt Returner of the Year. Semifinalists will be announced next weekend, with the winner being named on championship weekend!

Ryan Switzer-North Carolina
Nelson Agholar-USC
Jamison Crowder-Duke
Josh Stewart-Oklahoma State
Bruce Natson-Utah State
Christion Jones-Alabama
Jalen Saunders-Oklahoma
Kevonte Martin-Manley-Iowa
Bralon Addison-Oregon
Isaiah Burse-Fresno State
Levi Norwood-Baylor
Rashard Smith-NC State

Quarterfinalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo TE of the Year

Here are quarterfinalists for our 2013 FBS All-Bilo Tight End of the Year Award! Semifinalists will be named next weekend, with the winner being named championship weekend!

Jace Amaro-Texas Tech
Eric Ebron-North Carolina
Devin Funchess-Michigan
Gator Hoskins-Marshall
Nick O'Leary-Florida State
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins-Washington

Quarterfinalists: 2013 FBS All-Bilo WR of the Year Award

Here are our quarterfinalists for our FBS All-Bilo Wide Receiver of the Year Award! Semifinalists will be announced next weekend, with the winner being named on championship weekend!

Josh Huff-Oregon
Tommy Shuler-Marshall
Jeremy Johnson-SMU
Jamison Crowder-Duke
Brandin Cooks-Oregon State
Davante Adams-Fresno State
Allen Robinson-Penn State
Willie Snead-Ball State
Chandler Jones-San Jose State
Paul Richardson-Colorado
Jordan Matthews-Vanderbilt
Mike Evans-Texas A&M
Jeremy Gallon-Michigan
Sammy Watkins-Clemson
Justin Hardy-East Carolina
Antwan Goodley-Baylor

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quarterfinalists: 2013 All-Bilo FBS Running Back of the Year

Here are our quarterfinalists for our 2013 All-Bilo FBS Running Back of the Year Award:

Andre Williams-Boston College
Ka'Deem Hardy-Arizona
Bishop Sankey-Washington
Antonio Andrews-Western Kentucky
Carlos Hyde-Ohio State
Kapri Bibbs-Colorado State
Ameer Abdullah-Nebraska
Tyler Gaffney-Stanford
Melvin Gordon-Wisconsin
Travis Greene-Bowling Green State
Branden Oliver-Buffalo
Trey Watts-Tulsa
Tre Mason-Auburn

Semifinalists will be announced next week!

Next up: Quarterfinalists 2013 All-Bilo Wide Receiver of the Year!

Quarterfinalists: All-Bilo FBS QB of the Year 2013

Here are our quarterfinalists for our FBS All-Bilo Quaterback of the Year Award for 2013:

Jordan Lynch-Northern Illinois
Blake Bortles-UCF
Teddy Bridgewater-Louisville
Marcus Mariota-Oregon
Jameis Winston-Florida State
Bryce Petty-Baylor
Johnny Manziel-Texas A&M
Shane Carden-East Carolina
Keith Wenning-Ball State
David Fales-San Jose State
Sean Mannion-Oregon State
Derek Carr-Fresno State

Semifinalists will be announced next week!

Next Up: Quarterfinalists, All-Bilo FBS Running Back of the Year

As the Carousel Turns: December Edition 3

It's been interesting today. Nothing makes sense right now, as there were some hirings that were completely out of left field, and screwed up the general equation of things. Let's take a look at what transpired today...

Once UConn was turned down by Pat Narduzzi this morning (smart move in my book), the Huskies moved on, but instead of making a move on either Ball State's Pete Lembo or Towson's Rob Ambrose, Warde Manuel went with Notre Dame DC Bob Diaco instead.
I'm sure Diaco is a fine coach, but once again, this is a hire made seemingly out of desperation, and could be constituted as a reach. This is a low grade hire by what has become a low grade program.
One note to add, apparently the Huskies are dishing out $1.5 million per year on Diaco, to a guy who has never coached on this level before. Yet another stellar decision by an incompetent organization that knows nothing about football.

Eastern Michigan
Speaking of low grade hires by low grade programs, Eastern Michigan had looked at Eastern Illinois coach Dino Babers and Colorado State Pueblo head coach Jeff Wristen, and instead reached low for Drake's Chris Creighton. Creighton hasn't won a thing at Drake, and when you had better options, this surely makes zero sense. Creighton wasn't even on any radars until today.
Basically, this job is a graveyard, so I guess EMU decided not to shoot to high.

In another move that makes minimal sense, AD Patrick Chung has informed interim coach Brian Wright that he will not be considered for the full time job. Wright didn't do too much, as he only drove this putrid program up from the toilet to get them bowl eligible AFTER they fired their drug abusing head coach, but hey, you can't ask for too much, especially when all of your other candidates keep pulling themselves from consideration. This program is bleeding a sense of massive dysfunction. They are absolutely FAUcked.

Arkansas State
DC John Thompson, a venerable veteran of the program after spending two years on the staff, will be the interim head coach after Bryan Harsin did a 180 and bolted for Boise State after telling everyone he was staying at ASU. Thompson will also be a candidate for the full time job, because, seriously, someone needs to stick around for a while. Whoever the new coach is will be their fifth head coach in five years. The door swings often in Jonesboro.
Other names tossed around in consideration for the job are Auburn OC Rhett Lashlie, Cincinnati OC Eddie Gran (he recently turned down the FAU job), Ed Orgeron, Clay Helton, and others.

Yeah, Mack is on his way out the door, and no, nobody has confirmed it or will. Yeah, they are apparently wooing Nick Saban from Alabama for an amount of money that would fund some third world countries, but no, Saban won't confirm or deny anything, including Alabama's offers of an extension that would fund whatever third world countries that Texas' offer wouldn't fund. In other words, lots has happened, and yet it didn't. Stay tuned, while staying confused. While the saying goes "Don't mess with Texas", you don't have to, because Texas seems messed up all on their own.
One thing that came to mind about this job is this. Pat Narduzzi has turned down UConn, and in passing, Mark Dantonio's name has come up lightly in consideration for this job from some circles. Could Narduzzi be staying on at Michigan State because he's been offered the head job in East Lansing if Dantonio is a fall back for the Texas job? Again, stay tuned.

FCS Jobs

With Chris Creighton off to Eastern Michigan (are we really serious about this?), Rick Fox has been elevated from assistant to the full time head job. Nobody else was interviewed obviously.

Ball State OC Rich Skrosky has been named the head coach of the Phoenix today. This is an interesting hire, and Elon got a solid grab here. Probably the best hire of the day by a mile.

North Carolina Central
Former Arena League QB and Winston-Salem State coach Connell Maynor has met with officials about the job. This would be a huge grab for NCCU if they go this way. Maynor has built a machine at WSSU.

North Dakota
The application process closed today, and the list contains a who's who that resembles applicants for an open dishwasher's job at Denny's. Seriously, there is a guy on the list who currently works at Aetna, a high school teacher who isn't currently coaching football, and a list of JC coaches and High School assistants from all over America. Out of 43 applicants, maybe five are serious. It's just funny. That being said, there are some really interesting guys on a very short portion of the list, so stay tuned on this one.

On that note...stay tuned for the next edition of "As the Carousel Turns"...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

As the Coaching Carousel Turns: December Edition 2

There has been more movement this week, but one thing that has shocked me thus far is that there have been far fewer moves made in terms of firings are concerned. Schools like Virginia and Hawaii could very well make moves, and could make them still, but for whatever reason, they are still holding on. It makes zero sense.

Let's take a look at what's happened in the last week, and check some rumors and information that are coming across my email from multiple sources...

Wake Forest
The Deacons may have moved just a bit too quickly this week in hiring Bowling Green's Dave Clawson. There were certainly better candidates available (Pete Lembo, anyone?) Clawson's record at Bowling Green was just 31-31, with one MAC title.
Clawson's experience at schools like Fordham and Richmond wore on the decision, as Clawson had some success at private schools with academic standards, but that alone is hardly a great reason for this hire.

The Cowboys made a major splash by picking up North Dakota State's Craig Bohl, who will continue to coach NDSU through the playoffs. Bohl built NDSU into a super power in the FCS ranks, but before we get too excited about that, remember Bobby Hauck's struggles in transitioning from Montana to UNLV. It's not a lock by any means, but Bohl was a great get for a Wyoming program that is trying to turn pages from mediocrity to annual power in the northwest.

One of my best sources still believes that Norm Chow has got to go and will soon. One name he brought to my attention was June Jones, who may decide to leave SMU, and could be persuaded to return to the Islands for another go in Rainbowville. Jones is not happy at SMU, and my source mentioned the botched attempt at the Arizona State job as proof.

Pat Narduzzi and Pete Lembo have both interviewed for the job in Atlanta over the last 36 hours. Narduzzi just won the Broyles Award, and is likely now the front runner. Rob Ambrose is rumored to have interviewed at some point, but could get one more look. Narduzzi is now clearly the front runner.
Notre Dame DC Bob Diaco has now had his name attached to this job as well.
Fordham's Joe Moorhead is one candidate who is now out of the running, as he accepted an extension through 2020 to remain at Fordham.

Boise State
Dirk Koetter appears to be the front runner here. He could be offered sometime tonight, if it hasn't happened already. Justin Wilcox appears not to be expecting a shot at the job, and former assistant (and current Arkansas State coach) Bryan Harsin has dropped out of the running.
In a late note, Jeff Tedford has been rumored to have interviewed, but apparently has not. Tedford appears to be a plan B if Koetter doesn't work out.

There are conflicting reports that Mack Brown intends to step down by the end of the week. This has been confirmed, and denied, by many different sources. We are on a wait and see approach. One report had Texas ready to offer Nick Saban $100 million over seven seasons and a 1% share in Longhorn Network profits. I don't see Saban leaving Alabama, but he's hardly dependable when he denies a story (see Miami Dolphins).

The Tide is prepared to offer Saban $7 million a year to stay, so I am guessing that the $100 million rumor from Texas is way off. Saban will stay for that money.

Eastern Michigan
Jeff Wristen from Colorado State-Pueblo has interviewed for the job, but now Dino Babers of Eastern Illinois now seems to be a hot name for the job, and he has interviewed, along with Louisville RB coach Kenny Carter.

The Owls are sill spinning their wheels trying to hire a coach, and three names have dropped out of the running in Eddie Gran, Mario Christobal, and Charlie Partridge from Arkansas. Luke Fickell could still be the target, but names keep on spinning around this job.

Lehigh OC Dave Cecchini is the new head coach at Valporaiso, a place that has been a graveyard for years. This program is a mess, but this is a solid hire for the Crusaders.

Bowling Green
It's early, but the first name out is Tennessee OC Mike Bajakian. He's a guy who had some success while at Cincinnati, and could be a solid get fro the Falcons. It's possible that Dino Babers could shift his attention here as well. BGSU is certainly a better job than Eastern Michigan right now.

Southern Utah
Ed Lamb has been extended at SUU through 2020. He's a solid coach who deserved this, getting the Thunderbirds to the FCS playoffs in year one competing in the Big Sky.

Bobby Lamb has received an extension after leading the Bears to 10 years in the first season of competition for the program. His extension reaches to 2019.

More later in the week!

Pre-Bowl FBS PRS Rankings

With most regular season and conference championship games now completely in the books (Army plays Navy Saturday), we present our final pre-bowl FBS PRS Rankings.

There are some surprises in the rankings this week. It would seem that our formula has found an interesting turn of events in that we failed to show a final top two that matched the BCS. of course, we never do. To show how our system does not engage personal votes or human interference other than plugging in equations, our final top two pre-bowl teams in the country ended up being Florida State and Ohio State, despite Ohio State losing the Big 10 title game against Michigan State last Saturday.

Our system has always set out to show that the BCS system was inherently flawed, and teams that lost a late season game were penalized (circa UCLA's loss to Miami in 1999), while teams that had lost early games were still rewarded (Florida State that same season, amongst many others, including Alabama and LSU).

This season it came into play with Auburn having lost early in the season, and Ohio State losing late. Don't get me wrong...We actually are happy with Auburn and Florida State in the BCS final this season. There is nothing wrong with how the season ended up, despite the topsy turvy final weeks when it seemed that nobody wanted to take the number two spot and keep it.

When you look at our rankings, most of the numbers seemed to solidify in the final few weeks, and with so many teams losing late season games, leaving a collection of 9 teams with one loss this week, there was little room for separation heading into the bowls.

Looking at the Ohio State/Auburn differential, one starts with point differential in wins by each. Ohio State won their games by an average of 25 points per game, over 300 points totaled in just point differential for the season. Auburn, on the other hand, only averaged a point differential per game of 12.353 points per game, or just under 200 points for the season.

There is one more factor to consider in that Auburn played 8 home games on the year, with Ohio State playing 7. You get higher point totals for road wins in general. Each team played one home game against an FCS opponent, with the Buckeyes crushing Florida A&M 76-0, which picked up a few more points than Auburn with their win over Western Carolina.

The numbers will accumulate through the bowls, with less than 200 points separating Auburn at number five, and Louisville at ten. There will also be available opportunities to move up with upsets to the top five.

Here are our final regular season rankings for 2013:

1 3286 Florida State  13-0 Def. Duke 45-7
2 2601 Ohio State  12-1 Lost to Michigan State 34-24
3 2559 Northern Illinois  12-1 Lost to Bowling Green State 47-27
4 2445 Baylor  11-1 Def. Texas 30-10
5 2370 Auburn  12-1 Def. Missouri 59-42
6 2311 Central Florida  11-1 Def. Southern Methodist 17-13
7 2304 Michigan State  12-1 Def. Ohio State 34-24
8 2298 Fresno State  11-1 Def. Utah State 24-17
9 2295 Alabama  11-1 Regular Season Over
10 2199 Louisville  11-1 Def. Cincinnati 31-24
11 2172 Stanford  11-2 Def. Arizona State 38-14
12 2064 Missouri  11-2 Lost to Auburn 59-42
13 1997 Oregon  10-2 Regular Season Over
14 1907 Oklahoma  10-2 Def. Oklahoma State 33-24
15 1905 Oklahoma State  10-2 Lost to Oklahoma 33-24
16 1863 Ball State  10-2 Regular Season Over
17 1818 Rice  10-3 Def. Marshall 41-24
18 1770 Bowling Green State  10-3 Def. Northern Illinois 47-27
19 1725 Arizona State  10-3 Lost to Stanford 38-14
20 1708 South Carolina  10-2 Regular Season Over
21 1657 Clemson  10-2 Regular Season Over
22 1637 UCLA  9-3 Regular Season Over
23 1516 East Carolina  9-3 Regular Season Over
24 1512 Marshall  9-4 Lost to Rice 41-24
25 1506 Duke  10-3 Lost to Florida State 45-7
26 1482 Wisconsin  9-3 Regular Season Over
27 1400 Cincinnati  9-3 Lost to Louisville 31-24
28 1370 Louisiana State  9-3 Regular Season Over
29 1323 Miami (FL)  9-3 Regular Season Over
30 1315 Southern California  9-4 Regular Season Over
31 1242 Texas  8-4 Lost to Baylor 30-10
32 1239 North Texas  8-4 Regular Season Over
33 1132 Boise State  8-4 Regular Season Over
34 1087 Washington  8-4 Regular Season Over
35 1075 Notre Dame  8-4 Regular Season Over
36 1068 Georgia  8-4 Regular Season Over
37T 1060 Houston  8-4 Regular Season Over
37T 1060 Texas A&M  8-4 Regular Season Over
39 1037 Louisiana-Lafayette  8-4 Lost to South Alabama 30-8
40 1006 Buffalo  8-4 Regular Season Over
41T 987 Brigham Young  8-4 Regular Season Over
41T 987 Western Kentucky  8-4 Regular Season Over
43 953 Utah State  8-5 Lost to Fresno State 24-17
44 930 Middle Tennessee State  8-4 Regular Season Over
45 903 Iowa  8-4 Regular Season Over
46 869 Nebraska  8-4 Regular Season Over
47 866 Vanderbilt  8-4 Regular Season Over
48 858 Virginia Tech  8-4 Regular Season Over
49 837 Minnesota  8-4 Regular Season Over
50 801 Navy  7-4 Bye
51 788 Michigan  7-5 Regular Season Over
52 674 Penn State  7-5 Regular Season Over
53 668 Kansas State  7-5 Regular Season Over
54 655 Arizona  7-5 Regular Season Over
55 648 Texas-San Antonio  7-5 Regular Season Over
56 621 Texas Tech  7-5 Regular Season Over
57 616 Toledo  7-5 Regular Season Over
58 562 Colorado State  7-6 Regular Season Over
59 558 Mississippi  7-5 Regular Season Over
60 538 San Diego State  7-5 Regular Season Over
61 530 Arkansas State  7-5 Regular Season Over
62 524 Boston College  7-5 Regular Season Over
63 514 Tulane  7-5 Regular Season Over
64 484 Nevada-Las Vegas  7-5 Regular Season Over
65 470 Georgia Tech  7-5 Regular Season Over
66 464 Ohio  7-5 Regular Season Over
67 445 Maryland  7-5 Regular Season Over
68 417 Florida Atlantic  6-6 Regular Season Over
69 343 Oregon State  6-6 Regular Season Over
70 304 South Alabama  6-6 Def. Louisiana-Lafayette 30-8
71 221 Troy  6-6 Regular Season Over
72 191 North Carolina  6-6 Regular Season Over
73 181 San Jose State  6-6 Regular Season Over
74 143 Washington State  6-6 Regular Season Over
75 91 Central Michigan  6-6 Regular Season Over
76 89 Mississippi State  6-6 Regular Season Over
77 68 Texas State  6-6 Regular Season Over
78 63 Pittsburgh  6-6 Regular Season Over
79 62 Rutgers  6-6 Def. South Florida 31-6
80 24 Louisiana-Monroe  6-6 Regular Season Over
81 21 Syracuse  6-6 Regular Season Over
82 -214 Indiana  5-7 Regular Season Over
83 -225 Wyoming  5-7 Regular Season Over
84 -256 Utah  5-7 Regular Season Over
85 -274 Northwestern  5-7 Regular Season Over
86 -289 Southern Methodist  5-8 Lost to Central Florida 17-13
87 -371 Tennessee  5-7 Regular Season Over
88 -393 Akron  5-7 Regular Season Over
89 -584 Texas Christian  4-8 Regular Season Over
90 -601 Florida  4-8 Regular Season Over
91T -642 Kent State  4-8 Regular Season Over
91T -642 West Virginia  4-8 Regular Season Over
93 -653 Nevada-Reno  4-8 Regular Season Over
94 -682 Louisiana Tech  4-8 Regular Season Over
95 -705 Illinois  4-8 Regular Season Over
96 -730 Wake Forest  4-8 Regular Season Over
97 -777 New Mexico  3-9 Regular Season Over
98 -801 Army  3-8 Bye
99 -930 Colorado  4-8 Regular Season Over
100 -951 Tulsa  3-9 Regular Season Over
101 -986 Iowa State  3-9 Regular Season Over
102 -1069 Connecticut  3-9 Def. Memphis 45-10
103 -1098 Memphis  3-9 Lost to Connecticut 45-10
104 -1154 Arkansas  3-9 Regular Season Over
105 -1237 North Carolina State  3-9 Regular Season Over
106 -1260 Temple  2-10 Regular Season Over
107 -1300 Texas-El Paso  2-10 Regular Season Over
108 -1325 Kansas  3-9 Regular Season Over
109 -1475 Alabama-Birmingham  2-10 Regular Season Over
110 -1526 Air Force  2-10 Regular Season Over
111 -1532 Kentucky  2-10 Regular Season Over
112 -1557 Hawaii  1-11 Regular Season Over
113 -1563 South Florida  2-10 Lost to Rutgers 31-6
114T -1624 Eastern Michigan  2-10 Regular Season Over
114T -1624 Virginia  2-10 Regular Season Over
116 -1667 New Mexico State  2-10 Regular Season Over
117 -1793 Southern Mississippi  1-11 Regular Season Over
118 -1813 Western Michigan  1-11 Regular Season Over
119 -1925 Idaho  1-11 Regular Season Over
120 -1966 Massachusetts  1-11 Regular Season Over
121 -1986 California  1-11 Regular Season Over
122 -2060 Florida International  1-11 Regular Season Over
123 -2068 Purdue  1-11 Regular Season Over
124 -2244 Miami (OH)  0-12 Regular Season Over
125 -2440 Georgia State  0-12 Regular Season Over