Wednesday, November 30, 2016

As the Coaching Carousel Turns: 11/30/16

More new news today...let's get right to it...

A report this evening has stated that USF coach Willie Taggert is a strong candidate  with the Ducks. Taggert has been a builder and winner at his two head coaching stops, at Western Kentucky, and now with the USF Bulls in Tampa. Taggert is one of my favorite coaches in the game right now, and He is deserving of a big Power 5 opportunity. As I have stated many times, on another front, Chip Kelly is absolutely not going to walk through the Oregon door again. Once again today, he fully shot down any rumors of his return, as he has been doing for weeks now. Jim McElwain of Florida denied any rumors of his involvement with Oregon at this time, and has stated that he has not had contact with anyone from the Ducks. Bryan Harsin of Boise state is also a strong candidate, but many in the fan base do not want him at this time. CBS is reporting that other candidates could include Mike MacIntyre of Colorado, Larry Fedora of North Carolina, PJ Fleck of Western Michigan, Dan Mullen of Mississippi State, and others who I have already mentioned. Another name thrown in the mix by USA Today is West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen. SI adds Phillip Montgomery of Tulsa and Kyle Whittingham of Utah to the list. We are certain to get a lot of smoke on this job opening, but if I had a gun to my head and had to pick, I would name Willie Taggert, PJ Fleck, Dana Holgorsen, and Phillip Montgomery as my final four on this list. We should see some major movement in Eugene by the end of this coming weekend.

Mike MacIntyre is a great coach, and a very good guy. Out of the many coaches I have met over the years, he is one of the classiest people that I have ever met in the business. His football philosophy and IQ are through the roof. That is why I pull for his success wherever he goes. For a guy who was about to be fired at Colorado early this year, he has gone all the way to the pinnacle of his profession, where every job that opens has his name attached to it. I have reached out to sources in the last 24 hours about Mac and if there is anything to be taken about any rumors that are circling him at this time. The word I received on average was that he has not been looking to leave Boulder. He is more likely to take a contract extension there, which is currently being worked out. Colorado is likely to seriously pay Mac to stay at this point, so there may be no need to worry about him leaving if you are a Buffs fan. His name is attached to almost every major job open at this time, which is a compliment to him, but right now, odds are in favor of him signing an extension, and staying with the Buffs for the foreseeable future.

The Cougar administration is looking to make a move very quickly according to Tilman Fertitta. There are 5 or 6 current candidates to select from, and the Cougars would like to pick one of them by next week sometime. My best bets are on either Todd Orlando or Major Applewhite being elevated to the position, however Dana Holgorsen, Les Miles, and even Art Briles are on the list at this time. Of course, Briles comes with some serious issues, so take that one with a grain of salt.

Chad Morris is officially out of the Baylor race, as he has signed a contract extension that will keep him with the Mustangs through 2023. The buyout is lofty, although a number is not out there, so consider him to be around in Dallas for a bit. As I said the other day, Morris overshot what he was asking Baylor for, and they moved on, but his name was going to be out there again, so the Mustangs locked him up.

San Jose State
Pete Kwiatkowski is not a candidate at this time, according to sources. I had brought his name up as a possible candidate. and he was interested, but he would end up likely taking a pay cut to become the coach of the Spartans. Look for a lower level assistant or a successful FCS coach to take the reins there at this point. Former SJSU player Marcus Arroyo, the current Oklahoma State RB coach is a strong candidate.

The Wolfpack are in the same boat as San Jose State. They do not have enough money to lure Kwiatkowski, and according to Brian Polian, who just parted ways, there is a lack of financial commitment to the football program in Reno. UCLA QB Coach Marques Tuiasosopo has reached out and shown interest in the job. Louisville OC Chris Klanakis, who was a finalist when Polian was hired, is not a candidate this time around as had been previously reported by various outlets.

Georgia State
No interviews have taken place as of yet, which is surprising given how long the post has been open. The salary range is in the mid $500,000 area, so count out anyone making more than that where they are currently.

More news as it becomes available!

Bilo's College Football: Buffalo Bulls 2016 End of Year Report

Buffalo Bulls 2016 End of Year Report
Lance Liepold was a bold hire after winning big at Wisconsin-Whitewater on the D3 level. What Leipold has since figured out is that there is a huge jump from D3 to FBS football, even in the MAC. The Bulls finished a miserable 2-10 this fall, and beat only Akron in MAC play to finish 1-7 in the conference. The only other win was a shocker in non con play against Army. Leipold had better figure out a formula quickly, or else he can punch his ticket back to D3 in a hurry.
The offense was a disaster, and you can start to pin a lot of this on bad QB play, which is a recurring theme on bad football teams. Freshman Tyree Jackson got a bulk of the duty in 10 games this fall, passing for 1772 yards and 9 TDs, but he also tossed 9 picks and completed just 53.1% of his passes in a conference not exactly known for raging defenses. Senior Grant Rohach played in 9 games and passed for 628 yards, and could not break from even with a 2:2 TD to INT ratio. He completed just 54.8% of his passes.
Grade: D-
Running Backs
Jordan Johnson gave the Bulls something to be happy about, as he rushed for 1040 yards and scored 6 times, but only carried 16.67 times per game. With a standout like that, there is no reason why his average carries per game were not somewhere closer to 25. After Johnson, productivity fell way off with Jonathon Hawkins rushing for just 338 yards and one score. Hawkins did manage over 4.5 yards per carry, so he just needs to get some work. Johnson was a senior and will not be back.
Grade: B

It is rare that at TE leads any team in receiving these days, which is why Mason Schreck is an All-Bilo TE of the Year candidate. Schreck caught 59 passes for 651 yards and 4 TDs this season. As far as the wide receivers on this team, Marcus McGill caught just 40 passes for 573 yards and never saw the end zone. Malcolm Robinson caught only 22 balls as the second best receiver on this team that was not a TE. This was a huge area of concern all season.
Grade: D
Defensive Line
Brandon Crawford was a load up front for the Bulls, collecting 14 TFLs on the year. By comparison, Charles and Demone Harris combined for 9. Other than Crawford, there was little consistent applied pressure to opposing backfields, which allowed for teams to rush for 253 yards per game on the year. On the whole, teams averaged over 430 yards of offense per game against the Bulls because there was no push up front, save for one individual, and those 14 TFLs are solid, but not star inspiring numbers.
Grade: F
Khalil Hodge was a tackling machine for the Bulls, collecting 123 for the season, while Ishmael Hargrove recorded 103 on the season. Jarrett Franklin added 75, making this one of the most active LB corps in the MAC. The good news is that the unit returns almost intact for 2017, giving the Bulls a building block moving forward.
Grade: B+
Defensive Backs
Cameron Lewis and Boise Ross both broke up 7 passes in 2016, but nobody else recorded more than 3 on the season. Teams did not throw on this secondary as much as they ran on it, because teams ran on the Bulls very well. Another drawback is that the Bulls defenders picked off just 5 passes all season, with Tim Robins grabbing 2 of those. This unit is not loaded with play making ability on any level.
Grade: D+
Special Teams
Sophomore Adam Mitcheson was a mess at PK, hitting on only 11/18 FGs on the year. He also missed 2 PATs on the season, leaving a total of 23 points on the field. Kyle DeWeen also largely underwhelmed at Punter, averaging just 39.79 yards per punt on 6 punts per game. As a unit, Bulls kick returners only averaged 16.26 yards on kickoffs, and that is a terribly low number. Jamarl Eiland only averaged 8.9 yards per game on punt returns, so again, there was no star power there either.
Grade: F
2016 Successes: Linebackers were a bright spot this season, with a bulk of the core group returning in 2017. Johnson was a star at RB, but will not be back, and it is hard to see who can replace him from the group behind him.
2016 Failures:  The passing game was a mess, and their TE was the leading receiver, which makes matters worse. The D Line was run on constantly, and lacked big time play makers. The secondary could not take candy from a baby, and largely was bland and without much identity. Special teams were a complete mess.
2017 Non-Conference Opponents

At Minnesota, at Army, Colgate, FAU

Bilo's College Football: Kansas Jayhawks 2016 End of Year Report

Kansas Jayhawks 2016 End of Year Report
I think that it can be said at this point that the first two years of the David Beaty era have not exactly taken off like a rocket. Other than a conference win over Texas (Beaty is now just 1-17 in Big 12 play), Kansas is not demonstrating nearly enough to make me into a buyer that this program is making many strides. Texas was under a ton of turbulence the week it played Kansas, and had the game been played a couple of weeks earlier, I see no way they win that game. Overall, this had to be another huge disappointment for Kansas football fans.

As a unit, this group tossed more INTs than TDs this season, with just 16 TDs being thrown to 22 being picked off. This is awful, and is a strong reason why the Jayhawks averaged just a shade over 20 points per game. Montell Cozart was back, but played in just 8 games, passing for 1075 yards with 7 TDs and 9 INTs. He averaged just 134 yards passing per game, completing 58.6% of his passes, which is fairly pedestrian. Carter Stanley, a freshman, played in 9 games, which was one more than Cozart. He passed for 959 yards while tossing 6 TDs to 6 picks. Stanley was slightly more accurate, completing 59.6% of his throws, but only averaged 106.6 yards passing per game. Sophomore Ryan Willis also played in 7 games, passing for 811 yards, but he tossed just 3 TDs to 7 picks. Willis was the most accurate of the group at just over 61% completion rate. In short, there was no star to be found here.
Grade: F

Running Backs
The leader of the unit was senior Ke’aun Kinner, who rushed for just 738 yards on the season, averaging just 61.5 yards per game. Kinner scored just three times, but did average an impressive 5.27 yards per carry. Had Kansas given him the football more often, they could have slowed some tempos down, and taken advantage of his playmaking ability. Taylor Martin, a sophomore, ran for just 324 yards on the season, and may be the leader for the starting job next fall barring recruiting efforts. Khalil Herbert and Denzel l Evans combined to carry the ball just 61 times combined in backup roles, so nothing much can be gleaned from that.
Grade: D

There were two solid performers worth talking about here. Steven Sims , Junior and LaQuvionte Gonzalez were both breakouts this fall. Sims caught 72 passes for 859 yards, while Gonzalez picked up 62 grabs for 729 yards. They combined for 10 scores, which leads me to believe if any QB had developed, this could have been a dangerous group. Shakiem Barbel caught 34 passes, but nobody else caught 20 balls or more. The excellent news is that 8 Jayhawks wide receivers who caught passes this season will return in 2017, which will be awesome if Beaty can find a QB who can get the ball to this group on any reliable basis.
Grade: B

Defensive Line
There is some very real, if not young, talent on this Kansas D Line. Sophomore Dorance Armstrong, Junior recorded 20 TFLs on the season for Kansas, and fellow soph Daniel Wise recorded 10. This is an attacking unit that gets after the football off the edges. Cameron Rosser and Damani Moseby combined for 14 more TFLs, while a total of 8 other Jayhawks on the line recorded TFLs as well. Armstrong was the team leader in sacks with 10 this season, so this group should be featured next fall. The bad news is that with the offense failing as it did, this unit was on the field too much, and got worn down to the point that they allowed 236.4 yards rushing per game last season. That being said, this unit played as well, or more, as could be expected under the circumstances.
Grade: A-

This unit was not very productive in 2016, and may have been the core reason that the run yards against the defense were so high. Senior LB Courtney Arnick was the leading tackler in the LB group with just 66, a substantially low number for a Power Five unit. Keith Loneker, Junior, was second among LBs with just 43. Arnick and Marcquis Roberts also only combined for 13.5 TFLs, so LBs were not getting much rush off the edge to stop plays before they began, also indicative of giving up big numbers against the run. Depth, Experience, and productivity may be tough to come by in 2016, especially with Arnick and Roberts both being seniors, and the rest of the unit not being very productive behind them this fall.
Grade: D

Defensive Backs
Marnez Ogletree led the team with 8 pass breakups this fall, while Fred Smithson broke up 7 passes. Tevin Shaw and Brandon Stewart broke up a combined 10 after that. The major issue is that all were seniors, so this group has to be rebuilt next season. Smithson also picked off 4 passes to lead the secondary, and the Jayhawks only combined to pick off 10 passes all season. By comparison, the Jayhawks threw 22 INTs all season, or a 2:1 difference in the negative.
Grade: D

Special Teams
Senior Matthew Wyman was a bit of a mess this season, hitting on only 13/19 FG tries on the year. He did manage to hit all 26 of his PATs. He will have to be replaced next fall, and things can only get better.  Cole Moos was dependable at Punter, averaging 41.4 yards per punt on 6.1 punts per game. Gonzalez was the primary kick return man, returning 28 kickoffs and averaging an average number of 21.46 yards per return, which was hardly stellar. The Jayhawks punt return game was pure trash this season, as they returned just 7 punts all season long.
Grade: D-

2016 Successes
The receivers, despite having virtually no dependable QB on the roster, had some solid gains this season, and the defensive line was a beats at times that just got worn out from over use in games.

2016 Failures
The QB situation is a mess, with nobody really stepping up to take control. The run game was underutilized, and never gave the passing game time to develop as a result.
LBs were underproductive as any unit in the nation, and the secondary did not force nearly enough turnovers.
Other than Moos at Punter, Special Teams are a disaster.

2017 Non-Conference Opponents: SE Missouri, Central Michigan, Ohio

Kansas is going the Bill Snyder route with a cup cake non con schedule that sets up for success. CMU and Ohio are likely bowl teams, but are both teams Kansas should be able to run with next fall, and SE Missouri is an FCS bottom feeder from the Ohio Valley Conference. Kansas should have at least an even shot at winning all three. Conference play may be a different matter. 

Bilo's College Football: Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2016 End of Year Report

Chris Ash had his hands full in Piscataway this fall, as Rutgers was repeatedly humiliated by top powers in the Big 10. Rutgers finished 2-10, but even worse, they were 0-9 in Big 10 play. Their only wins came against FCS member Howard, and they won at home against New Mexico, which now looks like a quality win of sorts. The average margin of loss was by 30.9 points per game, something further moved by a 58 point loss to Ohio State, and a 78 point loss to Michigan, which was the worst defeat by a Big 10 team since the University of Chicago was a member of the league. The good news is that it can only go up from here.
Rutgers could not settle on a QB all season, and as a result got just 11 TD passes in 12 games with two different QBs sharing a bulk of the playing time. Giovanni Rescigno, a sophomore, played in 7 games, while Chris Laviano, a junior, played in 7 as well. Freshman Tylin Oden got into 6 games, and completed just 1/8 passes for his trouble. Rescigno was the slightly better QB between he and Laviano, but it was just barely, and by simple logistical math. Rescigno completed 52.8% of his passes, while Laviano completed just 48.3%. Rescigno passed for 889 yards, while Laviano went for just 748. Neither QB went over 6 yards per attempt all season, which is abysmal. Laviano was better in TD/INT ratio with 5/2, while Rescigno was 5/5. Basically, this position imploded this season, and a replacement must be found in recruiting that can put it right again.
Grade: F
Running Backs
The good news about the run game is that it could have been worse…much worse. With that said, it was not great either. Junior Robert Martin led the team with just 625 yards rushing and only 2 TDs on 12 carries per game. He was closely followed by senior Justin Goodwin, who finshed with 517 yards, but he only ran for one score, averaging just 43 yards per game. As a unit, Rutgers backs averaged 144 yards per game. This was not a great number, but it was made much worse when you realize just how bad the passing game was.
Grade: D
With no reliable passers, this group suffered badly. The team leader in receptions finished with just 39 catches, and that was promising freshman Jawuan Harris. Harris finished with 481 yards with a 12.33 yards per catch average, but scored only 3 times al season. He averaged just 3.3 catches per game. He needs to see the ball more, and I believe if he does, he can become a star in this league. Andre Patton caught 33 balls as a senior, and fellow senior Janarion Grant, who was supposed to be the star of this unit, finished with just 20 receptions after playing in only 4 games. This unit loses a ton of depth due to attrition after this fall, so you will see several new faces next season.
Grade: D-
Defensive Line
For what it is worth, the line did not perform horribly in 2016. Pressure came from two sources in Julian Pinnix-Odrick (10 TFLs) and Darnell Davis (8 TFLs). Jon Bateky and Sebastian Joseph showed some flashes from time to time, and five other DLs made tackles behind the line this season, which is promising when Rutgers will lose only two of those players. The Knights recorded 1.75 sacks per game, led by Pinnix-Odrick, which shows some talent up front on defense. The main issue this unit had was not in getting into the backfield to apply pressure, but in stopping the run, as Rutgers allowed 264.17 yards rushing per game.
Grade: C-
Trevor Morris, a sophomore, has had to step up and lead this defense as a young player, and that is no easy task. He recorded 102 tackles this season, and got completely abused most days. Deonte Roberts, also a sophomore, compiled 95 total tackles on the season. Tyreek Maddox-Williams recorded 47 tackles, and productivity fell off from that point. Because of the inability to stuff running lanes by the line, the young LBs were forced into action, and largely failed to stop anything before it was a 5 to 7 yard gain. Morris and Roberts are stars in the making, but they need some help.
Grade: D
Defensive Backs
This unit showed some promise, as they allowed just 186.5 yards passing per game. Of course, when teams are running at will and running up the score, why pass? Sophomore Blessuan Austin became a shutdown star with 14 pass break ups on the season, which is highly promising. Only sophomore Isaiah Wharton had as many as five otherwise, which is not. Senior Anthony Cioffi was the only DB to pick off multiple passes on the season, and even then he only recorded two. Again, as teams ran at will against the Scarlet Knights, there were fewer opportunities to make plays in the passing game. As such, Rutgers recorded just 8 INTs all season as a team. Cioffi also led all DBs in tackles with 63, and the bad news is that he leaves the team as a graduate.
Grade: D
Special Teams
Junior PK David Bonagura had limited opportunites in 2016, and did not make the most of those at times. He connected on 10/14 PKs on the year, and also managed to miss two PATs.  Those numbers do not scream reliability. Even worse was the play of Punter Michael Cintron, who was just awful in 2016. He averaged just 37.89 yards per punt, while punting a whopping 7.9 punts per game. Janorian Grant was highly successful in his 4 games returning kickoffs, averaging over 32 yards per return. The same cannot be said for Justin Goodwin, who averaged just 18.4 yards per return. That is a diametric difference. Grant also averaged 16 yards per punt return, but Jawuan Harris averaged only 3.73 per return, again, a gaping difference.
Basically, Chris Ash has to tear down the house and rebuild almost every aspect of this football team. The honeymoon is over, and now he knows what must be done. Rutgers is a basic disaster of a program right now, and a complete rebuild is all that can be done. It was hard to find any one area where the Scarlet Knights really excelled this season. They averaged just 15.7 points per game on offense, so I suggest that they start working there.
Successes: Very few indeed. Other than some moderate success in pass defense, there was not anything worth writing home about.
Needs: Everything. Rutgers needs a QB in the worst way, they need a reliable run game, and the line pretty much must be rebuilt from end to end. Defensively, stopping the run in2017 has to be a priority, because that was where most of the damage against them was done. Special teams are a wreck as well.

2017 Non-Conference Opponents: Washington, Eastern Michigan, Morgan State…Washington should crush Rutgers once again, but there are opportunities against an improving EMU club. The Morgan State game is an absolute win. Going 2-1 against this rather weak lineup (Washington being the exception) is not out of the line of possibilities. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Potential UCLA Offensive Coordinator Candidates Named

Bruin Report Online has named a few possible candidates for the UCLA OC job that became available this week. Here is who they are naming, and my take on each candidate...

Greg Knapp
He is currently the QB Coach for the Denver Broncos, working with Paxton Lynch. He has been an NFL assistant forever, and could be a decent mind for Josh Rosen to pick during what is sure to be his final season at UCLA, if he is healthy.
My Take: He understands the NFL style pro set offense that Mora so badly wants to run. Could be a good sign, but would not be my first pick.

Sterlin Gilbert
Now formerly of Texas, Gilbert was working with a freshman QB who developed decently this season, and RB De'Onta Foreman was a 2000 yard rusher. Those are traits that make him an interesting candidate.
My Take: It was not offense that failed the Longhorns in 2016, and the run game he brings is something that UCLA is in dire need of. Still, he brings too many spread elements, which is something that UCLA is trying to get away from.

Mike Sanford
Currently the QB Coach and OC at Notre Dame, where he had a very successful QB in DeShone Kizer. He has a spread mentality, but has had some success. He should be a primary target, as Notre Dame and Brian Kelly's relationship falls apart.
My Take: Could be a primary target, as his offenses have been explosive at times, and his QB development history is very good. UCLA needs someone who can develop QBs, as they haven't had that since Jim Svaboda was unceremoniously dumped by Karl Dorrell.

Phil Longo
Currently the OC at FCS school Sam Houston State. His offense is one of the most potent units in FCS football, and is a master at QB development. Again, this is something that UCLA needs.
My Take: Longo is up for the Delaware job, but the UCLA OC job could be a better match. He could be my favorite candidate on the list.

Steve Sarkisian
Working as an offensive analyst at Alabama after getting canned at USC for being an out of control drunken crazy man.
My Take: No...just no. 

Cam Cameron
Now former LSU OC, and former Indiana Coach. His offensive mindset is probably more 1983 than 2016.
My Take: Absolutely not!

One candidate not mentioned here, because he is simply my guy...

Jim Svaboda
Current Central Missouri Coach who coaches massively explosive offenses. Dumped by Karl Dorrell as OC by text message, because Svaboda would not run Dorrell's boring offense. He developed Drew Olsen into a star college QB, and also developed RB Maurice Jones-Drew and TE Marcedes Lewis.
My Take: Bring Him BACK!!!! MAKE IT RIGHT!!!!

As the Coaching Carousel Turns: 11/29/16 Edition

As has been expected all week, and is highly overdue by at least 48 hours, Mark Helfrich is out as coach of the Ducks, and it is likely going to be a complete sweep of the staff. This move should have been made on Sunday, but Rob Mullens, stupidly and cruelly, waited until today to tell Helfrich what he probably already knew.
Early candidates for this job are Florida Coach Jim McElwain, Boise State Coach Bryan Harsin, Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy, and UCF Coach Scott Frost. Three extreme dark horse candidates could be Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly, West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen, and Eastern Washington Coach Beau Baldwin in some capacity. All of these coaches run systems very similar to what Oregon wants, and several are Nike guys with connections to Phil Knight.

Chad Morris is still on the list, but is not on top of the list that people in power are holding onto at this point. The Baylor administration is not ready to throw money stupidly at anyone who walks in the door at this point. There are so many issues attached to this job, including a recruiting  class that has all but vanished, that Baylor may have to settle for someone that may not be a leading candidate. They are still pushing hard for Larry Fedora, among others as well.
UPDATE: Mark Schlabach of ESPN is reporting tonight that Morris has decided to stay at SMU, and Sonny Dykes, not Larry Fedora, is the new leader, which has been a huge development in the last 12 hours or so. Dykes and Mack Rhoades had several interviews for the Missouri job, and Rhoades has regretted not hiring him ever since. Baylor may also wait until after the PAC-12 title game to speak with Mike MacIntyre about the job, but could move sooner if a deal comes together with Dykes, who really wants out of the Cal job badly. SB

In a move that makes no sense today, Rice will retain David Bailiff, who is coming off of his second straight losing season, and has an overall losing record at the school. It was largely believed that this would not be the case, but here we are. Really, I am not certain what would get Bailiff fired at this point, but I would have fired him after 2015.

San Jose State
In a surprising move today, San Jose State reached out to former Fresno State Coach Pat Hill, who has not coached since 2013. He is the only candidate officially contacted at this point in the search, but it is very early in the process.

Western Michigan
PJ Fleck will open talks with other schools as soon as the MAC title game is completed. That said, it is not a certainty that he will leave the Broncos at this point, as he does not seem completely overwhelmed by the Purdue job. If some bigger jobs open up, look for Purdue to fall by the wayside with Fleck early next week, which would start a bidding war between Purdue and Baylor for Les Miles, possibly.

Look for Florida DC Geoff Collins, Michigan QB Coach Jedd Fisch, Alabama Line Coach Mario Christobal, Ohio State assistants Luke Fickell and Greg Schiano, former Miami Coach Randy Shannon, and Colorado DC and former USF Coach Jim Leavitt.


Frank Tavani is out with the Leopards after 30 years on the staff, the last 17 as head coach. No candidates are known at this time. Tavani had a great deal of success here until the last few years, as the program has been sinking like a stone since 2014.

More news as I get it...

Monday, November 28, 2016

2016 All-Bilo FBS Tight End of the Year Award

My awards season continues with the FBS TE of the Year Quarter Finalists...

Evan engram, Ole Miss
Michael Roberts, Toledo
Adam Breneman, U Mass
Mason Schreck, Buffalo
Deon Watson, Idaho
Nate Iese, UCLA
Jacob Hollister, Wyoming
Scott Ordoff, Pittsburgh
David Njoku, Miami
Jordan Leggett, Clemson
Blake Mack, Arkansas State
Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech
Hayden Plinke, UTEP
Cole Hikutini, Louisville

Semifinalists will be named next Tuesday.

2016 All-Bilo FBS Wide Receiver of the Year Quarterfinalists

As we continue our awards season, we shift to our Quarter Finalist list for the FBS Wide Receiver All-Bilo winner.

Zay Jones, East Carolina
Amba Etta-Tawo, Syracuse
Richie James, Middle Tennessee
Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech
Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky
DeDe Westbrook, Oklahoma
Corey Davis, Western Michigan
Anthony Miller, Memphis
Chad Hanson, California
Courtland Sutton, SMU
Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech
Austin Carr, Northwestern
Cody Thompson, Toledo
Michael Gallup, Colorado State
James Washington, Oklahoma State
Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State

Semifinalists will be named next Tuesday!

As the Coaching Carousel Turns: 11/28/16 Edition

Today was fairly quiet once again. I am not certain as to what has been happening, but several coaches who should be out the door are retaining their jobs at this late hour. Here is what has happened since yesterday:

Florida Atlantic
Some how, some way, Charlie Partridge, a man who had never been a head coach at a major program has a buyout at FAU that is in the neighborhood of $1 million. That is an insane amount of money for a G5 program to be paying a coach who was hired off of being the DL coach at Arkansas. This is just a small reason why college football is spiraling out of control.

U Mass
AD Ryan Bamford has lumped his support behind Mark Whipple, who is now 9-27 in his second stint at head coach of the Minutemen. One can hardly blame him, as Whipple has won there before, and is a solid coach. You cannot blame Whipple for the program playing FBS football, which they are ill suited for. Whipple will be back in 2017, much as I had suspected.

Jim Grobe will not coach beyond this season, at Baylor, or anywhere for that matter. It seems as if he is seriously contemplating permanent retirement at this point. Contract talks are bogged down with Larry Fedora, and in some small twist, talks with Chad Morris are back on, as it seems that he wants the job more than anyone else does at this point. Recruiting has tanked for 2017, and the future of Baylor football sinks every day that a coach is not named, as currently, there is zero stability within the program.

Ed Orgeron has completed his first task in retaining DC Dave Aranda. Aranda has agreed to a new 3 year contract with LSU. Now, Orgeron needs to focus in on that OC hire he was bragging about to the brass.

Tracy Claeys will be receiving a contract extension in the coming days, as will his staff. It would seem that the Gophers are stabilizing the future of the program moving forward. Times are bright for Gophers football.


UC Davis
The Aggies engaged in a coup today and hired former Boise State and Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins to move the program forward in Big Sky play. Hawkins had just joined the staff at FIU under Butch Davis last week, but could not resist an offer to become a head coach again. Hawkins will be a huge upgrade over Ron Gould.

Turner Gill has already been contemplating staff changes, but he will be on the hot seat big time as  the Flames named former Baylor AD Ian McCaw their new AD today. McCaw will have football at a top priority spot at Liberty, and Gill will need to make the playoffs next season to save his job.

More as news comes available...

Bilo's College Football: Week 13 FBS PRS Rankings

Rank Points Team Record Opponent
1 2724 Western Michigan  12-0 Def. Toledo 55-35
2 2678 Alabama  12-0 Def. Auburn 30-12
3 2554 Ohio State  11-1 Def. Michigan 30-27 2 OT's
4 2369 Washington  11-1 Def. Washington State 45-17
5 2247 Clemson  11-1 Def. South Carolina 56-7
6 2134 Michigan  10-2 Lost to Ohio State 30-27 2 OT's
7 1982 Boise State  10-2 Lost to Air Force 27-20
8 1959 Penn State  10-2 Def. Michigan State 45-12
9 1910 Oklahoma  9-2 Bye
10 1858 Louisville  9-3 Lost to Kentucky 41-38
11 1818 South Florida  10-2 Def. Central Florida 48-31
12 1803 Colorado  10-2 Def. Utah 27-22
13 1720 Wisconsin  10-2 Def. Minnesota 31-17
14 1635 Navy  9-2 Def. Southern Methodist 75-31
15 1597 Western Kentucky  9-3 Def. Marshall 60-6
16 1574 Southern California  9-3 Def. Notre Dame 45-27
17 1544 Appalachian State  9-3 Def. New Mexico State 37-7
18 1540 Troy  9-2 Def. Texas State 40-7
19 1518 Oklahoma State  9-2 Bye
20 1501 Virginia Tech  9-3 Def. Virginia 52-10
21 1499 Houston  9-3 Lost to Memphis 48-44
22T 1484 San Diego State  9-3 Lost to Colorado State 63-31
22T 1484 Toledo  9-3 Lost to Western Michigan 55-35
24 1469 West Virginia  9-2 Def. Iowa State 49-19
25 1458 Tulsa  9-3 Def. Cincinnati 40-37 OT
26 1442 Stanford  9-3 Def. Rice 41-17
27 1401 Florida State  9-3 Def. Florida 31-13
28 1384 Temple  9-3 Def. East Carolina 37-10
29 1376 Old Dominion  10-2 Def. Florida International 42-28
30 1369 Nebraska  9-3 Lost to Iowa 40-10
31 1367 Air Force  9-3 Def. Boise State 27-20
32 1269 Florida  8-3 Lost to Florida State 31-13
33 1192 Washington State  8-4 Lost to Washington 45-17
34 1183 Louisiana Tech  8-4 Lost to Southern Mississippi 39-24
35 1089 Memphis  8-4 Def. Houston 48-44
36 1061 Pittsburgh  8-4 Def. Syracuse 76-61
37 1057 Miami (FL)  8-4 Def. Duke 40-21
38 1021 New Mexico  8-4 Def. Wyoming 56-35
39 997 Texas A&M  8-4 Lost to Louisiana State 54-39
40 995 Wyoming  8-4 Lost to New Mexico 56-35
41 982 Auburn  8-4 Lost to Alabama 30-12
42 977 Iowa  8-4 Def. Nebraska 40-10
43 964 Tennessee  8-4 Lost to Vanderbilt 45-34
44 963 Utah  8-4 Lost to Colorado 27-22
45 946 Brigham Young  8-4 Def. Utah State 28-10
46 897 Ohio  8-4 Def. Akron 9-3
47 895 Minnesota  8-4 Lost to Wisconsin 31-17
48 829 Georgia Tech  8-4 Def. Georgia 28-27
49 798 North Carolina  8-4 Lost to North Carolina State 28-21
50 771 Kansas State  7-4 Def. Kansas 34-19
51 726 Middle Tennessee State  7-5 Def. Florida Atlantic 77-56
52 708 Louisiaina State  7-4 Def. Texas A&M 54-39
53 688 Colorado State  7-5 Def. San Diego State 63-31
54 661 Arkansas State  8-4 Lost to Louisiana-Lafayette 24-19
55 505 Eastern Michigan  7-5 Def. Central Michigan 26-21
56 471 Kentucky  7-5 Def. Louisville 41-38
57 469 Arkansas  7-5 Lost to Missouri 28-24
58 461 Georgia  7-5 Lost to Georgia Tech 28-27
59 429 Idaho  7-4 Def. South Alabama 38-31
60 400 Baylor  6-5 Lost to Texas Tech 54-35
61 386 Texas Christian  6-5 Def. Texas 31-9
62 245 Central Florida  6-6 Lost to South Florida 48-31
63 244 Indiana  6-6 Def. Purdue 26-24
64 229 Southern Mississippi  6-6 Def. Louisiana Tech 39-24
65 224 Army  6-5 Bye
66 199 Northwestern  6-6 Def. Illinois 42-21
67 172 Miami (OH)  6-6 Def. Ball State 21-20
68 126 Central Michigan  6-6 Lost to Eastern Michigan 26-21
69 118 Vanderbilt  6-6 Def. Tennessee 45-34
70 104 Texas San Antonio  6-6 Def. Charlotte 33-14
71 93 North Carolina State  6-6 Def. North Carolina 28-21
72 60 Maryland  6-6 Def. Rutgers 31-13
73 38 Texas  5-7 Lost to Texas Christian 31-9
74 29 California  5-7 Def. UCLA 36-10
75 -32 Northern Illinois  5-7 Def. Kent State 31-21
76 -34 Boston College  6-6 Def. Wake Forest 17-14
77 -38 Wake Forest  6-6 Lost to Boston College 17-14
78 -43 Texas Tech  6-6 Def. Baylor 54-35
79 -80 South Carolina  6-6 Lost to Clemson 56-7
80 -140 Hawaii  6-7 Def. Massachusetts 46-40
81 -166 Louisiana Lafayette  5-6 Def. Arkansas State 24-19
82 -197 Mississippi State  5-7 Def. Mississippi 55-20
83 -222 Arizona State  5-7 Lost to Arizona 56-35
84 -235 Missouri  5-7 Def. Arkansas 28-24
85 -268 Nevada-Reno  5-7 Def. Nevada-Lsa Vegas 45-10
86 -272 Mississippi  5-7 Lost to Mississippi State 55-20
87T -292 Notre Dame  4-8 Lost to Southern California 45-27
87T -292 Akron  5-7 Lost to Ohio 9-3
89 -300 Southern Methodist  5-7 Lost to Navy 75-31
90 -345 North Texas  5-7 Lost to Texas-El Paso 52-24
91 -352 South Alabama  5-6 Lost to Idaho 38-31
92 -366 Georgia Southern  4-7 Bye
93 -432 UCLA  4-8 Lost to California 36-10
94 -523 Louisiana Monroe  5-6 Bye
95 -550 Oregon  4-8 Lost to Oregon State 34-24
96 -554 Ball State  4-8 Lost to Miami ()OH) 21-20
97 -592 Florida International  4-8 Lost to Old Dominion 42-28
98 -596 Nevada-Las Vegas  4-8 Lost to Nevada-Reno 45-10
99 -670 Tulane  4-8 Def. Connecticut 38-13
100 -675 Oregon State  4-8 Def. Oregon 34-24
101 -677 Duke  4-8 Lost to Miami (FL) 40-21
102 -708 Charlotte  4-8 Lost to Texas-San Antonio 33-14
103 -730 Syracuse  4-8 Lost to Pittsburgh 76-61
104T -741 Bowling Green State  4-8 Def. Buffalo 27-19
104T -741 New Mexico State  3-8 Lost to Appalachian State 37-7
106 -746 San Jose State  4-8 Def. Fresno State 16-14
107 -779 Texas-El Paso  4-8 Def. North Texas 52-24
108 -787 Cincinnati  4-8 Lost to Tulsa 40-37 OT
109 -909 Georgia State  3-8 Bye
110 -912 Iowa State  3-9 Lost to West Virginia 49-19
111 -1023 Utah State  3-9 Lost to Brigham Young 28-10
112 -1033 Michigan State  3-9 Lost to Penn State 45-12
113 -1037 East Carolina  3-9 Lost to Temple 37-10
114 -1077 Florida Atlantic  3-9 Lost to Middle Tennessee State 77-56
115 -1101 Marshall  3-9 Lost to Western Kentucky 60-6
116 -1107 Rice  3-9 Lost to Stanford 41-17
117 -1147 Arizona  3-9 Def. Arizona State 56-35
118 -1155 Connecticut  3-9 Lost to Tulane 38-13
119 -1164 Purdue  3-9 Lost to Indiana 26-24
120 -1177 Kent State  3-9 Lost to Northern Illinois 31-21
121 -1213 Illinois  3-9 Lost to Northwestern 42-21
122 -1365 Virginia  2-10 Lost to Virginia Tech 52-10
123 -1437 Texas State  2-9 Lost to Troy 40-7
124 -1450 Massachusetts  2-10 Lost to Hawaii 46-40
125 -1492 Buffalo  2-10 Lost to Bowling Green State 27-19
126 -1567 Kansas  2-10 Lost to Kansas State 34-19
127 -1726 Rutgers  2-10 Lost to Maryland 31-13
128 -1878 Fresno State  1-11 Lost to San Jose State 16-14

Bilo's College Football: Fresno State Bulldogs 2016 End of Year Report

Fresno State Bulldogs 2016 End of Year Report
This was not the way the year was supposed to go for the Bulldogs. Fresno State finished dead last in our PRS rankings with -1878 points and a 1-11 record for the season. Their only win on the year came against FCS member Sacramento State, and eventually, the season ended up with a coaching change, which should elevate the program moving forward. Here is our review for the season…

The ball ended up in the hands of a freshman, Chason Virgil, this season, and the reviews were that he is a work in progress with a decent upside for the future. Virgil played in 10 games, completing166/322 passes for 2021 yards and 13 TDs to 10 picks. His completion percentage was just over 51%, but he did manage to average 202.1 yards per game.  With improved play from his line next season, you can expect a better completion percentage and in increase from his 111.58 passer rating.
Behind Virgil, there is a gaping void of experience. Zach Kline is gone, and nobody with any experience returns in 2017.
Grade: C-

Running Backs
The line did not do their job very well, and this area was completely obliterated by bad performances. Junior Dontel James was the leading rusher with just 697 yards and 5 TDs, and averaged just 63.36 yards per game on 18.91 carries per game. What was worse is that James rushed for just 5 TDs all season. As a team, the Bulldogs rushed for just 11 TDs in 12 games this season. As a team, the Bulldogs averaged just 3.17 yards per carry and averaged just a shade over 116 yards rushing per game. This was a central reason as to why Fresno State failed in 2016.
Grade: F

This was a decent, not great, but decent group in 2016. KeeSean Johnson, Jamire Jordan, and Delvon Hardaway all are slotted to return in 2017 after the group combined for 121 receptions this season. Johnson led the club with 66 catches on the year for 773 yards and a team leading 6 TDs. Jordan caught 45 passes for 713 yards and is a better deep ball threat. Johnson and Jordan will be juniors. Hardaway caught just 10 passes all season, but has room for development as a senior next fall. After those three, depth really falls off as far as experience is concerned.
TE is a position with no real value for the Bulldogs, as their top two TEs caught a combined 13 passes on the season. Chad Olson looked promising in a small spurt, but played in only 5 games this season. Kyle Riddering and Jared Rice are both also slotted to return, so the Bulldgos should be able to develop this group in the spring.
Grade: C

Defensive Line
This unit was largely terrible in 2016. The best penetrating defender up front on the line was Malik Forrester, and he recorded just 5.5 TFLs on the season. Nathan Madsen was next with just 1.5. There was a complete inability to stop the run, as the Bulldogs gave up 167 rushing 1st downs on the season, against 80 passing. That is a terrible number to contemplate. This unit accounted for just 3.5 sacks all season as well, which is abysmal.
Grade: F

Jeff Camilli was a standout in disrupting the backfield, but stil only recorded 9.5 TFLs to lead the team. He will move on and will not be back in 2017, so the leadership would go to Nela Otukolo, who finished with 5.5 TFLs, and James Bailey, who had 5. Camilli led the unit with 108 tackles, and so will be missed. Bailey finished with just 54 on the season, while Robert Stanley had 54. Tobenna Okeke, Otukolo, Trent Soechting, and Jeffrey Allison all return after decent seasons, so there should be some depth here next fall. Still, this group has to do better at preventing the run next year as well.
Grade: C+

Defensive Backs
Tyquwan Glass led the team in passes broken up with 9 this season, and was a star on defense for the Bulldogs. Jamal Ellis finished with 5 PBUs as well, but the bad news is that both are seniors who will not be back. Deshawn Potts, a sophomore this season, finished with 5 PBUs, and will be the new leader in the secondary for his junior season, but he will be leading a small group of returnees. The Bulldogs picked off just 5 passes all season, and everyone who picked off a pass for this unit will not be back next year. That is concerning.
Grade: C

Special Teams
Thank God for PK Kody Kroening. He was one of the most dependable players on this football lteam in 2016, hitting on 15/17 FGs, and connecting on all 23 of his PATs. The junior will return next season, giving the Bulldogs at least one area of consistent scoring.
Freshman Blake Kusick was not at all dependable, and had a rough freshman season, averaging just 38.33 yards per punt on the year. Expectations are that he can improve as a sophomore, but if I were the new staff, I would recruit a punter just in case.
There are options in the kick return game, as Dejonta O’Neill averaged over 30 yards per return in 2016. Jordan and Johnson from the WR corps also will return next season, and had some decent gains here.
Glass was the primary punt return guy this season, but he averaged just under 6.5 yards per return, so that does not work. Expect JuJu Hughes to get more work in that department in spring ball.
Grade: B-

A new staff will be in place for 2017, as Tim DeRuyter was fired earlier in the season. Jeff Tedford, the former California and BC Lions head coach, will come in and try to bring the Bulldogs back to prior glory, but this roster needs a virtual rebuild before that can happen. Tedford was known at Cal for starting fast and fading late, and Fresno State cannot afford that approach right now. DeRuyter was a hot commodity early, and then went to rock bottom at an alarming speed. This entire team needs major overhauls, but there is some promise for a better tomorrow at QB, LB, and at PK.
Grade: F

Areas of Need: Offensive Line, Running Back, Depth at WR, Physicality on D Line, depth and productivity in secondary, consistency at Punter, new direction in punt return game are all primary needs.

2017 Non-Conference Opponents: The non con schedule is a meat grinder, and I can only see the Bulldogs slogging through it to go 1-3. Fresno State begins next season with Abilene Christian of the FCS Southland Conference, but the next three are at Alabama, at Washington, and BYU on 11/4. It’s brutal for a rebuilding team.