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1-11-14 Latest---Strong to Texas, Franklin to PSU. Petrino to L'ville. Sarkisian to USC. Cutcliffe and Malzahn win top coach honors.Kiffin OC at 'Bama. B1G opens checkbook.
October 4, 2013
2:39 pm
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keggythekeg
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Chris Mahr makes a strong case for USC to hire Boise State's Chris Petersen.

http://www.lostlettermen.com/t.....en-at-usc/

I think Petersen would be an ideal choice, but that Jack Del Rio, former Trojan All-America linebacker, will get the job!

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October 5, 2013
12:19 pm
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keggythekeg said
Chris Mahr makes a strong case for USC to hire Boise State's Chris Petersen.

http://www.lostlettermen.com/t.....en-at-usc/

I think Petersen would be an ideal choice, but that Jack Del Rio, former Trojan All-America linebacker, will get the job!

federer_fan: Jack Del Rio did a poor job as the Jaguars head coach. He was arrogant and a poor judge of talent.

Jack Del Rio has nothing to say on USC speculation

Baltimore Ravens v Denver BroncosImage Enlarger Getty Images

Eagles coach Chip Kelly faced questions on Thursday about people linking him to the vacancy created at USC by the school’s decision to fire head coach Lane Kiffin and Kelly responded that he was “not entertaining” talk about the job.

Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has also been linked with the job at his alma mater, although reports out of Denver indicate that Del Rio would not leave the team during the season in order to take over at USC. Del Rio was also asked about the reports on Thursday and said that he only wanted to talk about the team’s game against the Cowboys this Sunday.

“I’m not in a position, nor do I have a desire to comment on speculation.....

If Del Rio is a leading candidate for the job and if he is going to fulfill his contractual commitment to the Broncos, USC may have to wait quite a while before they can name their next coach. The Broncos are a good bet to extend their season into January and would be busy into February if they advance to the Super Bowl, which would be a long time for the school to go without a coach.

 

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October 7, 2013
5:27 pm
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Jerry Hinnen of CBS Sports (and I confirmed that he is a Biletnikoff Award voter) reports that Tony Dungy tells the USC Trojans he is NOT interested in the head coaching job!

http://www.cbssports.com/colle.....ld-them-no

 

 

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October 8, 2013
9:20 am
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cheerleader111 said
Jerry Hinnen of CBS Sports (and I confirmed that he is a Biletnikoff Award voter) reports that Tony Dungy tells the USC Trojans he is NOT interested in the head coaching job!

http://www.cbssports.com/colle.....ld-them-no

 

Apparently USC impostors contacted Dungy and Jack Del Rio according to AD Pat Haden. This is getting comical.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/.....o/2939785/

 

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October 10, 2013
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Ft. Worth Star-Telegram's Randy Galloway blasts Mack Brown.

Calls him and Texas soft mentally and physically. Declares obvious--that Iowa State was jobbed by the Big 12 officials and in fact the Texas fumble at the goal line was indeed a fumble and was recovered by Iowa State. So, the officials robbed the Cyclones of victory. Also, on one play a Longhorn took a cheap shot at a Cyclones' player's knee and the officials should have kicked him out of the game. Brown should have disciplined the player. Texas is a  complete mess.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2......html?rh=1

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October 11, 2013
5:21 pm
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Berry Tramel: http://newsok.com/red-river-se.....le/3892044

Excerpt: "Stoops hasn't always owned Mack Brown; Stoops leads Mack 9-5. Heck, as recently as summer 2010, Stoops had a Texas Problem, having lost four of five to the Longhorns.

But Stoops has rolled up his sleeves and gone back to work. OU football isn't where it once was, but it's a far cry from where it could be. Where Texas is.

This series is a priceless measuring stick. You don't always win OU-Texas. Great teams can lose OU-Texas. The 2004 ‘Horns; the ‘2008 Sooners.

But to be consistently pulverized by an archrival, when everyone from coast to coast calls your program the nation's best job? Inexcusable.

No team comes into the Cotton Bowl unfocused. The second Saturday of October sneaks up on no one. The talent divide between these squads rarely is wide.

So a blowout is puzzling. Repeated ( OU blowouts of Texas) blowouts are revealing.

63-14 in 2000. 65-13 in 2003. 55-17 in 2011. 63-21 in 2012. Something is rotten in the state of Texas.

Mack Brown has a job this year not because the Texas brass believes in him. Mack has a job because UT didn't want to face the unpleasantness of starting over."

Hot KissSportsKiss Chick

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October 12, 2013
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Congrats to Texas and Mack Brown: 36-20 victor over Oklahoma and Coach Bob "No Game" Stoops.

The mighty Oklahoma defense held the Horns to 444 yards of total offense, 24 first downs, and only 13 of 20 third down conversions!

That mighty OU offense had 263 yards and converted only 2 of 12 third downs.

Remember two weeks ago when "No Game" Stoops was taking a shot at SEC offenses and defenses?

Bob, you and the Sooners got your butts kicked by a very average Texas team. Bob, please be quiet until you beat somebody good, preferably from the SEC.

 

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October 23, 2013
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Forbes article:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/jo.....-usc-fans/

John TamnyImage Enlarger

John Tamny, Forbes Staff

I cover the intersection of economics and politics.

 

Will Muschamp's Poor 3rd Season Is Fair Warning To Texas And USC Fans

 

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 15: Will Muschamp he...Image Enlarger

Will Muschamp head coach of the Florida Gators. Getty Images via @daylife)

 

As head coach of the Florida Gators, Will Muschamp suffered his third loss of the season in his 3rd season. In Muschamp’s defense all three losses came to ranked opponents (LSU, Miami and Missouri), but then it’s hardly the Florida norm to lose to teams like Missouri, no matter their ranking.

 

So while it’s probably too soon for Gator fans to give up on Muschamp, it’s a fair bet that some have. As modern college football history dictates, the big name coaches (Steve Spurrier, Bob Stoops, Lou Holtz, Pete Carroll, Mack Brown and yes, ex-Gator coach Urban Meyer, to name just a few) who’ve thrived usually had dominant teams by year three, and often year two.

 

Image Enlarger

 

Image Enlarger LSU Vs. Alabama Exposes The Absurdity Of A College Football Playoff

 

Image Enlarger Does Texas A&M Exploit Its Players? Johnny Manziel, Meet Lance Pavlas

 

Also notable about the successful coaches mentioned is that they replaced failed coaches, and in doing so, inherited relatively failed recruiting classes. In Muschamp’s case he inherited the blue chips lured to Gainesville by Urban Meyer; Meyer the Pete Carroll and/or Nick Saban of his time. Florida fans are not used to this kind of losing, and they’re surely impatient.

 

Muschamp’s near-term struggles are a reminder of how quickly things change. Not too many years ago he was one of college football’s most coveted assistants; so much so that Texas anointed him Mack Brown’s successor. But when Florida came calling after Meyer’s resignation Muschamp jumped, and more than a few Texas fans expressed irritation that Brown didn’t step down so that the next great coach could work his magic on Texas football. Maybe now Texas fans aren’t as angry.

 

Indeed, what the Muschamp story should remind fans of is how very difficult it is to find a good football coach. Just as great CEOs are worth well more than every cent they’re paid, so are football coaches. As the modern histories of Texas and USC football make very apparent, they can take decades to find.......

 

Read the rest of this fascinating article. Follow the link above.

 

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October 23, 2013
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http://www.cbssports.com/colle.....zzou-at-70

Senior College Football Columnist

Hot Seat Ratings: Pinkel in much safer situation with Mizzou at 7-0

October 22, 2013 2:59 pm ET

  •  

 

Gary Pinkel has cooled his hot seat ranking to a 1.0. (USATSI)Image EnlargerGary Pinkel has cooled his hot seat ranking to a 1.0. (USATSI)

Gary Pinkel has every right.

Every right to flip someone off. The man is within five wins of becoming Missouri's winningest coach, passing the likes of Dan Devine and Don Faurot. He has Mizzou positioned this week in the BCS top five. His team is also threatening to run away with the SEC East Division.

Hot Seat Rating Key
Rating What it means
0-0.5 Can't be touched
1-1.5 Very safe, change unlikely
2-2.5 Safe, but you never know
3-3.5 On the bubble, feeling pressure
4-4.5 Warm seat, better start winning
5 Hot seat! Win or be fired

All this after some dope had him teetering on the brink of unemployment in August. CBSSports.com's annual coaches' Hot Seat Ratings pegged Pinkel at 4.0 on a Hot Seat scale of 5.0. Definition: "Warm seat, better start winning."

Consider that seat cooled considerably in late October. The Tigers are 7-0, one of nine undefeated teams left going into the ninth week of the season.

"A lot of people think change is the best thing and sometimes it might be," Pinkel said.

Not in this case. That aforementioned dope has decided to reevaluate those August rankings. Three coaches were fired before the halfway point. Some, like Pinkel, have repositioned themselves dramatically. And it never hurts to reevaluate some dopey preseason predictions.

The departed

Lane Kiffin, USC (4.0 in the preseason-to-fired.): AD Pat Haden lost faith after a spanking at Arizona State. The Trojans got an initial burst of energy from the outgoing Ed Orgeron. Meanwhile, Kiffin began his rehab tour on Game Day last week describing USC play: "It's like watching someone else raise your children."

Paul Pasqualoni, Connecticut (2.5-to-fired): This move has significant ramifications. UConn is desperately trying to hook on with a BCS league. Letting the football program slide is not the best look. The hiring of this retread made no sense from the beginning. The former Syracuse coach started 0-4 and was 10-18 in two-plus seasons when he was canned. The administration really needs to hit a home run with the next hire to keep UConn football relevant.

Don Treadwell, Miami (Ohio) (3.0-to-fired): The Redhawks were 122nd (second-last) in offense when Treadwell (8-21 at the school) was let go. Miami should never be this bad.

The improved

Gary Pinkel, Missouri (4.0, Now 1.0): The Tigers went 5-7 last season largely because quarterback James Franklin was injured and the offensive line was banged up. Armed with a healthy squad, Pinkel's Tigers are soaring with speed, size and attitude. Franklin is out for two-to-four more weeks. In his first career start, Maty Mauk threw for 295 yards in his first collegiate start against Florida.

Mack Brown, Texas (3.5, Now 2.5): He's gone, right? Change of regimes, right? Can't beat Oklahoma, right? If Mack is leaving Texas it's not going to be an easy change. The Horns are atop the Big 12 (3-0) after beating Oklahoma. If Texas keeps winning, it's going to be hard getting rid of the Big 12 coach of the year.

George OImage EnlargerGeorge O'Leary has UCF on the verge of winning the AAC. (USATSI)

George O'Leary, UCF (1.5, Now, 0.0): On O'Leary's watch, there has been an NCAA probation and the death of a player. The 67-year old coach has survived, building a program from scratch. Entry into the American Athletic Conference and a big win at Louisville, means the Knights could snag a BCS bowl. O'Leary isn't done yet.

Pete Lembo, Ball State (0.5, Now: 0.0): Lembo came in as a highly-rated coach from Elon and Lehigh. He has the Cardinals neck-and-neck with Northern Illinois for best-in-the MAC status. Wednesday night showdown with NIU awaits only Nov. 13.

David Cutcliffe, Duke (0.5, now 0.0): The Blue Devils have never been to back-to-back bowls in school history. They need one more win for bowl eligibility. Cutcliffe is threatening his resume littered with the Manning brothers with a bigger accomplishment –- making Duke football matter.

Al Golden, Miami (Fla.) (1.0, Now 0.0): What else do you want out of a coach who has the Hurricanes undefeated midway through his third season while navigating a grease fire of an NCAA investigation? From here, Golden looks like a perfect candidate at either USC or Texas. All that's off the table if Bill O'Brien leaves Penn State. Golden would be going "home." Then again, he might stay for 15 years.

Dennis DoddBaylor's Briles is Midseason Coach of the Year
Tony Levine, Houston (2.0, Now 0.5): In his second full season, Levine has the Cougars at 5-1 after a one-point loss to BYU. You need to understand how hard it is to win consistently at Houston.

Mark Helfrich, Oregon (1.5, Now 0.0): There were legitimate questions about Helfrich. He had never been a head coach if you don't count for a few hours in January 2012 when Chip Kelly was flirting with the NFL for the first time. Forget all that. Helfrich now may be overseeing the best Oregon team ever.

Bobby Hauck, UNLV (4.5. Now 4.0): The former Montana coach was done, kaput. In his first three seasons with the Rebels he was 6-32. Somehow UNLV has rebounded in Year 4. The Rebels are 4-3 and a game out of the Mountain West West Division following a loss to Fresno State. Maybe this is going to work out.

Jeff Quinn, Buffalo (3.0. Now 1.5): After being outscored 110-30 by Ohio State and Baylor to start the season, the Bulls have won their last five and are 3-0 in the MAC. Quinn, a longtime Brian Kelly assistant at Grand Valley State and Central Michigan, is proving someone else besides Turner Gill can win at Buffalo.

The even

James Franklin, Vanderbilt (0.5, Now 1.5): Here's how ridiculous this game is: Franklin has gone from heir apparent at USC to winless in the SEC to the biggest win of his career. All in the space of two months. He needed the Georgia win bad to continue the momentum from 2012's nine-win season. Will USC still call?

Chris Petersen, Boise State (0.0, Now 0.0). Petersen is still untouchable despite a second consecutive down year for the Broncos. But there are rumblings that CP would be willing to look elsewhere. While it's hard to picture the reclusive Petersen at Texas or USC, it may be time to consider him at another outpost west of the Mississippi.

The fallen

Mike London, Virginia (4.0, Now 4.5): 2-5 this season, 6-13 since 2011, 18-26 overall with the Cavaliers, London just received a vote of confidence from AD Craig Littlepage. That's either the kiss of death or a warning that London better win next season. Too bad for a guy who deserves better. But in an improving ACC it's time to win now.

Charlie Weis, Kansas (3.0, now 3.5): It's still a long shot that KU AD Sheahon Zenger cans Weis after only two seasons. It cost the school millions to pay off the last two coaches, Mark Mangino and Turner Gill. Weis is only in his second year with three years remaining. Still, he is 3-15 at Kansas in a program that's gone more than 1,000 days since last winning a Big 12 game. That's 24 in a row. (Weis is actually 3-19 in his last 22 games as a head coach counting Notre Dame.) The idea to load up on jucos this season has had middling results. Most troubling is an offense that is torture to watch (118th nationally, sixth-worst). And Weis is an offensive coach.

Todd Monken is still searching for his first win at Southern Miss. (USATSI)Image EnlargerTodd Monken is still searching for his first win at Southern Miss. (USATSI)

Todd Monken, Southern Miss (2.5, now 3.5): The school has no hesitation about canning a coach after one year. Ask Ellis Johnson. The Eagles are tied for the nation's longest losing streak (18 games) in Monken's first season.

Mark Richt, Georgia (1.0, now 2.5): Here we go again: Georgia loses a few games it shouldn't and the unrealistic Dawg fans hit the message boards. Georgia's three-loss season to date is directly attributable to massive injuries. Richt probably isn't going anywhere but the heat has been turned up slightly after losses to Missouri and Vanderbilt.

Will Muschamp, Florida (1.0, now 2.0): Another franchise where injuries have cut the heart out of the team. That still doesn't explain an offense that is torture to watch. Could be wrong, but this smells like a change in offensive coordinators after the season. "[Muschamp's] not going anywhere," AD Jeremy Foley told the Gainesville Sun following Saturday's loss to Missouri, "and I'm not going anywhere."

Jerry Kill, Minnesota (1.5, Now 3.0): Kill is taking an indefinite leave to work on treating his seizures. There's a faction who want him gone because of his health issues. It's too early to make a determination on his future, especially after the staff he left behind just upset Northwestern.

Larry Fedora, North Carolina (1.0, Now 2.5): The good: North Carolina is the best 1-5 team in the country. The bad: They're still 1-5 in an improved ACC coming off an 8-4 debut season at Carolina.

HotKiss SportsKiss Chick: Mike London is a punk and his players play like punks as well.

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October 30, 2013
10:56 am
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Will former Nebraska quarterback and present Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost replace  Bo "Anger Management" Pelini as Husker coach? Is Frost the next Kliff Kingsbury?

Pros and cons. See: http://www.lostlettermen.com/w.....kingsbury/

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November 5, 2013
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Gary Smits of the Florida Times-Union : Muschamp is on the Gator hot seat!

 

Coach Will Muschamp, Florida facing must-win stretch of games

Florida coach Will Muschamp watches the final moments of his teamImage Enlarger

John Raoux/Associated Press
Florida coach Will Muschamp watches the final moments of his team's 23-20 loss to Georgia on Saturday.
 
FlaGaInclude2013.jpgImage Enlarger

 
Jacksonville.com Unviersity of Florida Gators app
Florida coach Will Muschamp doesn’t speak to the media on Sundays, reserving his comments for his televised show.

But on the day after the Gators lost to Georgia for the third time in a row at EverBank Field, Muschamp didn’t say anything much different from his comments following the Bulldogs’ 23-20 victory, in which Florida rallied from a 23-3 halftime deficit.

“I feel like we did seize control,” Muschamp said on his show. “We have a lot of character guys on the team, a lot of guys who will understand what it takes to be successful. We’ve been through some tough times. We understand that. We need to win those games in the end.”

Muschamp needs to win any game, any way he can. The Gators (4-4, 3-3 SEC) have lost three in a row. To get bowl-eligible, they must win two of the final four games: homecoming against Vanderbilt on Saturday, at South Carolina Nov. 16, then back home to play Georgia Southern Nov. 23 and No. 3 Florida State Nov. 30.

Florida has won 22 games in a row against Vandy. Georgia Southern is a Football Championship Subdivision team. Because South Carolina is 7-2 and ranked 13th and the Seminoles are 8-0 and ranked third, the Gators are in must-win situations against the Commodores and Georgia Southern.

..... And if the Gators can’t beat Vandy and finish 5-7, it would be the first losing season since 1979, when the Gators were 0-10-1 — a span of 33 years.

More and more, Florida’s 11-2 season in 2012 is looking like it was smoke, mirrors and good fortune, with this season paralleling 2011, when Muschamp went 6-6 in the regular season and beat Ohio State in the Gator Bowl.

Muschamp wouldn’t speak to his future at Florida after the game and continually praised his players for their effort. But with an offense chugging like a Ford Pinto going uphill, a defense that plays well — except for the several big plays per game it gives up — and an abysmal kicking game, there were plenty of opinions following the loss to the Bulldogs.

“This is Muschamp’s third season,” wrote Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The Gators were 11-2 in 2012 with the 104th-rated offense in the nation. That was a step up from 2011, when their offense was 105th. Florida’s offense entered this game ranked 109th. It’s astonishing that the flagship program in a state that produces so many good players could be this awful on O, but when it happens three years running it’s no accident. It’s lousy coaching.”

Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report took note of Muschamp being unable or unwilling to use his offensive skill players.

“Florida doesn’t have playmakers,” Sallee wrote. “They exist on the roster, but they aren’t being developed. That’s on Muschamp and the entire Gators coaching staff.”

And George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel took note that even if Florida gets bowl-eligible, will it matter? “Do the math: The Gators have virtually no prayer of beating South Carolina and Florida State. We’ll give them Georgia Southern. But that’s only five victories. They need to get to six, and even then they’ll be playing in the Nobody Is Interested Leftover Kibbles ’n Bits Bowl.”

More than one member of the media note that Muschamp’s SEC record is 13-9 (.591) and Ron Zook was fired in 2004 after an SEC record of 14-7 (.667). And Zook was 2-1 against the Bulldogs.

Garry Smits: (904) 359-4362

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November 6, 2013
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http://www.nationalfootballpos.....-seat.html

Muschamp should not be on the hot seat

The Gators head coach has proven that he can win in Gainesville. Dave Miller

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There are plenty of Florida fans that are beyond disappointed in the team's performance throughout the 2013 season.

Despite fighting back from a 23-3 halftime deficit to Georgia this past weekend in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, the Gators fell short against the Bulldogs in a 23-20 loss. It was the team's third setback in a row, and UF is now sitting at 4-4 and in danger of actually missing the postseason because it still has games left at South Carolina and against Florida State.

Will MuschampImage EnlargerUS PRESSWIREWill Muschamp deserves the time to turn around the Gators.

Because of the team's struggles, some Florida fans are hoping for a change at the head-coaching position.

While it's fair to be disappointed in the team's regression following its standout 11-2 campaign, which included a 7-1 mark in SEC play, Will Muschamp should not be in any danger of losing his job.

  ......While his 22-12 mark in three seasons in Gainesville is similar to that of Ron Zook, who was dismissed after being a first-time head coach at UF and compiling a 23-14 overall record and 16-8 mark in league play, Zook never had the Gators in BCS national championship territory. In fact, he could not get over the 8-win hump in any of his three years there. Muschamp, on the other hand, put together a fantastic 2012 campaign, one in which had the Gators in the BCS title race deep into the year. Despite the lackluster loss to Louisville in January's Sugar Bowl, last season's effort was impressive considering the cupboard that Muschamp inherited was not exactly stocked. While Florida lost four in a row in Muschamp's debut 7-6 season in 2011, the job that he did last year was remarkable.

There's no question that injuries are a big part of the game, but the fact is that poor health has derailed the Gators this fall. And yet there hasn't been any quit. While moral victories don't carry too much weight in the SEC, in this case playing hard should hold some weight. Meanwhile, Gator players supported Muschamp earlier this week.

The third-year head coach has also done a very good job thus far on the recruiting trail, which should continue to help build depth in Gainesville. And the defense will always be stout on Muschamp's watch.

The real problem for the Gators — and it's been the case since Tim Tebow left — is on the offensive side of the ball. Tyler Murphy had actually played surprisingly well since replacing the injured Jeff Driskel at quarterback, but he has been battling a sprained shoulder in recent weeks. And the team still needs to find more offensive playmakers. If there's any area that Muschamp needs to improve on, it's getting more production on offense.

Next year is a big season for the Gators, and I would expect a new offensive coordinator to be in place to help solve a woeful unit that is last in the SEC in total offense, last in passing offense, 13th in scoring and 13th in rushing. But Muschamp should be given time to improve upon this season, because he showed last year that he could win on a big stage.

Dave Miller, the college football editor and writer for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

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November 8, 2013
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Making sense of the Nick Saban-to-Texas talk

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....z2k5y3H8UI

Excellent article by Andy Staples

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Muschamp Gone?

Pressure builds on Muschamp as Florida struggles

 

For every coach that inherits a broken program, there is always a moment — sometimes obvious, but often hard to pinpoint — when the lingering problems can no longer be blamed on the former regime and fall instead on those currently in charge.

Then the clock starts ticking.

VANDY CRUISES: Another big loss for the Gators

For Florida's Will Muschamp, it's quite possible that pivot point arrived well before Saturday, which marked the 35th game of his tenure. But just for good measure, the Gators' 34-17 loss to Vanderbilt ensured that Urban Meyer is now off the hook for the mess he left behind in 2010.

 

Florida, which was neck-and-neck with Southern California and Oklahoma as college football's best program for the first part of this century, is languishing at 4-5 and very much in danger of its first losing season since 1979. Unless the Gators can beat soon-to-be No. 2 Florida State or No. 15 South Carolina — and neither seems very likely right now — they'll be home for the holidays, something that didn't happen even during the program's three-year misadventure under Ron Zook.

And with Florida State rolling toward the national championship game and Miami on the improve, now winning the kind of in-state recruiting battles that used to go to the Gators by default, there does not seem to be a cavalry of blue-chippers on the way to turn things around next year.

........

Though it is often obvious whether a coach should be fired or not, even after just three seasons, the situation at Florida will be an interesting test case for just how much patience programs will have in the Southeastern Conference, where everybody is pouring big money into coaches and facilities to chase precious victories.

The problem in a league like that — especially when it added programs like Texas A&M and Missouri — is that somebody has to lose, and right now the Gators are no more of a threat to rise back up the ranks as anyone else. Though Florida is still a cream-of-the-crop program, college football in 2013 is far more about the head coach than tradition or brand name.

That's the problem facing Muschamp and why it will be so interesting to see how Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley proceeds, especially given that he fired Zook midway through his third season.

.....

There are mitigating factors, of course. Nobody would dispute that Florida was in rough shape when Muschamp arrived, leaving his post as Texas' defensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting. Florida wasn't stocked with enough Florida-caliber talent, and the culture of the program was mired in discipline problems left over from Meyer's lenient approach.

Florida also has suffered more than its share of injuries this season, with starting quarterback Jeff Driskel, receiver/kick returner Andre Debose, running back Matt Jones and defensive tackle Dominique Easley among the players who were lost for the season early.

It also seems absurd that Florida would fire a football coach who went 11-1 in the regular season last year, coming within a game of playing for the national title.

But when that season is sandwiched between 7-6 and 5-7 (this year's likely record), it raises concerns for Florida's fan base, which showed its displeasure Saturday by leaving thousands of empty seats at homecoming.

Not only is Muschamp responsible for the record, which includes three consecutive losses to rival Georgia, but his staff has struggled to put a competent offense on the field and doesn't seem to have recruited the kinds of skilled, fast offensive players that should be easy for the Gators to get.

Those are legitimate complaints and justifiable reasons for Foley to make a change, if he were so inclined to spend the $6 million it would take to be rid of Muschamp.

If not, however, the pressure will be significant for Florida to show progress in 2014, which again won't be easy without significant offensive changes and better personnel to run, throw and catch. If Foley thinks that's possible, Muschamp will get a fourth season. If not, better to go ahead and make the change now because after Saturday, there's no more blaming Urban Meyer for the state of Florida football.

Dan Wolken, a national college football writer for USA TODAY Sports, is on Twitter @DanWolken.

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November 14, 2013
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First-and-10: Season's final weeks could trigger coaching changes

http://www.sportingnews.com/nc.....rban-meyer

Published Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm EST

 

 

  I don’t want to get on a soapbox, but …

We’ve hit the nexus of the college football universe, standing in wait at the corner of you never know and you’ve got to be kidding me.

A month from now, the three biggest jobs in the sport could be open. And that’s just the beginning of what could be a wild offseason of coaching change.

MORE: Top 10 head coaching jobs in college football

USC needs a coach after firing Lane Kiffin in September. Mack Brown may have to win out and win the Big 12 to save his job at Texas, and Will Muschamp’s position at Florida gets shakier by the day/loss/injury.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini needs a win this weekend at home against Michigan State, or the Huskers might just be done with a coach who produces four losses — and no conference championships — season after season.

At this point even Michigan, dangerously close to tanking in season three under Brady Hoke, isn’t even a safe bet. Losing out and finishing 6-6 is a very real possibility.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” one agent said earlier this week. “There’s this strange mix of panic and excitement in the entire (coaching) community. You’re talking about some serious jobs that potentially could be available.”

And others that could because of unintentional movement (one coach leaving a job for another) — or the NFL taking another run at three of the game’s best: Brian Kelly (Notre Dame), Bill O’Brien (Penn State) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M).

Contracts in this sport mean nothing — on both sides of the transition. Schools will buy out contracts if they feel they’re getting the right coach.

Arkansas will pay Bret Bielema $5.1 million this fall, and about $2.1 million of that goes toward paying off Bielema’s contract at Wisconsin. Tennessee paid $1.4 million more in buyout money to get Butch Jones from Cincinnati, which paid nearly a million to get Tuberville from Texas Tech.

Gone are the days where coaches would pay to get out of contracts (the Rich Rodriguez debacle at Michigan ended that). Now coaches (and their agents) demand that schools pay buyout costs.

That’s why this offseason will be so tricky — and so full of the unexpected. Consider these crazy but all too real possibilities:

—The Texas job comes open, and the Longhorns strike a deal with UCLA coach Jim Mora. That leaves the UCLA job, in the middle of the most talent-rich area in the nation, open.

—Bill O’Brien moves to the NFL, Al Golden moves to Penn State, and another big BCS job is open at Miami.

—USC hires Sumlin, and Texas A&M, with its planned stadium upgrade and newfound strength in the SEC, is a prime job.

—The Washington Redskins, done with the Mike Shanahan experiment, hire Art Briles away from Baylor at the behest of Robert Griffin III — who is as close to an owner as any player in the NFL. That leaves Baylor and its brand-new stadium — and newfound status in the Big 12 — a prime spot. (UPDATE: The Associated Press reported Wednesday night that Briles had agreed to a new 10-year contract that will run through 2023.)

The possibilities are endless. But know this: there will be change come December, and the events of the next four weeks will dictate if it’s typical turnover.

Or groundbreaking change.

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http://bleacherreport.com/arti.....-whos-next

Texas vs. Baylor: If This Was the End of Mack Brown, Who's Next?

By

(National College Football Lead Writer) on December 7, 2013

 

Hi-res-450099235-mike-gundy-head-coach-of-the-oklahoma-state-cowboys-and_crop_northImage Enlarger Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Give Mack Brown credit. Without his starting quarterback and with a handful of key injuries throughout the year, he had Texas within 30 minutes of a BCS bowl. It wasn’t always easy on the eyes, but the season never truly got away.


With that worthy disclaimer on the table, Texas will likely look long and hard at making a change at head coach. If it does decide to go this route—and a change seems both likely and appropriate—it may not have to search far and wide to find the ideal replacement.


No, not Nick Saban. Let’s stop this, please. Jon Gruden? Again, let's not. But landing current conference foe Mike Gundy is possible, and he should be the name at the top of the (realistic) wish list.

Image Enlarger Brett Deering/Getty Images


Interestingly enough, it was Oklahoma State’s loss to Oklahoma earlier in the day that created a Big 12 championship game of sorts. Texas and Baylor competed with a BCS bowl bid on the line, and the Longhorns battled early.


Offensively, they never truly got it going. Despite having ample success on the ground, Texas called far too many passes. As the offense struggled to sustain drives, however, the defense limited the potent Baylor offense to just three points at halftime.


The second half featured more scoring, actual touchdowns and more points in Baylor’s favor. Although Texas never truly gained control in the second half, the game never quite felt out of reach until the bleeding moments.


Baylor seemingly put it in neutral following a few touchdowns, and the 30-10 final score was indicative of the game. Not a blowout, not embarrassing, just a loss in a game that could have made the decision over Brown’s future slightly more intriguing with a different outcome. In a lot of ways, this game was synonymous with Brown’s recent run.


It hasn’t been the train wreck many have built it to be, but the overall product is simply lacking given the expectations and resources within the program.


Good simply isn’t good enough.


Following the game, Brown was asked about his future. His response, or lack thereof, wasn't surprising. Perhaps it was expected.


If Texas does jump head-first into the market for a new head coach, it will be late to the party. We’ve seen USC waste little time deciding on its next coach, while Washington finally hauled Chris Petersen—someone who has been connected to Texas in the past—away from Boise State. Kevin Sumlin, Art Briles and Gus Malzahn each landed monster new deals that should keep them at their current schools.


It’s not as if Texas will be out of options, however. An opening would send shock waves throughout the college football landscape. Despite the school’s struggles in recent years, this is a job that will draw interest from a lot of places.


One coach who could have interest is Mike Gundy. For Texas, the interest should be mutual.

Image Enlarger David Purdy/Getty Images


At Oklahoma State, Gundy has a record of 77-37 since 2005. He’s won at least 10 games in three of the past four seasons and has a bowl record of 5-2. He knows the conference, and although he hasn’t exactly taken the recruiting world by storm, his familiarity with the area could pay dividends early on in new colors.


While Gundy is happy—often dancing with his players to celebrate victories—he’s also been connected to jobs in recent years. Last year, it looked like he was heading to Tennessee for a while, and then the talk of a deal subsided.


He’s not ready to drop everything and leave, but he’s not necessarily cemented to the school either. 


For Texas, it needs a head coach with an offensive background. It needs a personality that can take the state by storm and revive recruiting to a place it was not long ago. It needs a name that will guide it away from the current narrative.


Most importantly, it needs a winner.


Mack Brown’s future has not been decided yet, at least not publicly. If and when a change is made, however, the Longhorns shouldn’t outthink themselves. They’ve seen first-hand what Oklahoma State has become under Gundy’s guidance.


Perhaps a phone call is in order.

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December 15, 2013
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The Inside Story of how Brown Manipulated Everyone to Block Saban's Coaching Texas
http://texas.rivals.com/conten.....ID=1587416

December 14, 2013

Talk about it in Inside the 40 Acres

The tweets saying Nick Saban had re-upped with Alabama raced through the Longhorns' football banquet Friday night, igniting a Game of Thrones power struggle among the mega-wealthy donors at Texas.

1478775.jpgImage Enlarger spacer1.gif
AP Photo
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Texas fans suffering from Macklash may have Mack back in 2014.

For a growing percentage of Texas fans suffering from Macklash, the news was devastating.

For Mack Brown and school president Bill Powers, it was reason to celebrate. (Although, I'm told Brown was upset Powers didn't make a more emphatic statement that Brown would be back for as long as he wants during the banquet. Probably because Powers saw his 2-year battle with UT regents flashing before his eyes).

Brown could be seen after the banquet smiling and laughing with his inner circle.

Had Brown gotten payback for losing to Saban and Alabama in the 2009 national title game? It's a game Brown is convinced he would have won if Colt McCoy's throwing arm hadn't gone numb.

What's now clear to a group of regents and billionaires who had targeted Saban as Texas' next coach is Brown and Powers did everything they could to sabotage their attempt to hire Saban for a second straight year.

One person involved in Texas' attempt to hire Nick Saban called Mack Brown's ability to thwart that effort, "The greatest upset of the college football season."

Now, Brown gets to stay on as coach at Texas despite a 30-20 record (18-17 Big 12 play) since burning the program to the ground in 2010, going 5-7 while alienating assistants and players, because of his "Alabama hangover."

Brown gave everyone a warning in November that he wasn't about to let Saban come to Texas to save the Longhorns after Brown's failed, four-year rebuilding plan.

"Nick is a friend and he's done a tremendous job at Alabama," Brown told the Tim Brando Show in November. "Nick's not trying to get my job. I mean, I know Nick. So I don't have to worry about that. And if I do my job, there won't be any job to be open to get, so I think that's the other thing."

Brown was well aware of efforts being made at that time by top boosters and a group of regents to land Saban for a second straight year. And Brown's ego was raging.

At the time of Brown's comment to Brando, Texas was on a six-game winning streak and in contention for a league title (although Texas would then suffer the worst home loss of the Mack Brown era in a 38-13 waxing by Oklahoma State).

Brown's UT tenure was on life support at 1-2 after giving up 550 yards rushing to BYU and replacing Manny Diaz with Greg Robinson, followed by a 44-23 home loss to Ole Miss. And he knew it. Saban might be coming.

Texas was a near-interception and a near-fumble away on the final drive from losing at 3-9 Iowa State and fourth-and-7 away from losing to 4-8 West Virginia. If any of those plays go against the Longhorns, Brown would have been Texas toast.

But in November, Texas was contending for a Big 12 title, and it didn't matter if Blackjack Mack was rolling out 9-card 21s to win games.

With 30 minutes left against Baylor, Texas was tied and still had a shot for Brown's third-ever conference title in 30 years as a head coach. His job could be saved. But Texas lost the game 30-10 (UT's four losses this season were by an average of 21.3 ppg), and UT's big-money Saban supporters were ready to accept Brown's playbook.

The sentiment of that group was revealed in an Associated Press story in September, when it was revealed current regent Wallace Hall and former regent Tom Hicks had a conversation last January with Nick Saban's agent.

According to the AP story, former Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks went to Mack Brown two days later and asked him if he wanted to keep coaching. Brown said yes. The drive for Saban was put on hold, until Brown's 8-4 regular season in 2013.

Brown knew all season if he didn't meet certain criteria - 10 wins, a BCS bowl berth or at least a share of the Big 12 title - he would be stepping down because it would be too difficult to claim progress with the fan base. And the negativity would be too much.

But Brown's saving grace was that Bill Powers never wanted Nick Saban, either.

Texas never schedules the best teams in the SEC in football because Brown had convinced Powers and former athletic director DeLoss Dodds the SEC benefited from an unfair playing field. Saban was often Brown's example. Yet Mack hired one former Saban assistant after another (Mike Haywood, Will Muschamp, Stacy Searels, Bo Davis, Patrick Suddes, etc).

Brown and Powers knew what was coming. And that's when they began trying to delay any resignation announcement (UT's Saban supporters wanted Brown to retire/resign Sunday after the Baylor loss).

No one ever wanted it to look like Brown was being fired. Texas was used to coddling Brown's ego after extending his contract from 2016 through 2020 after an 8-5 season in 2011. That was done to stop rumors of his demise and negative recruiting.

This year, it had to look like Brown was ready to step away because the negative recruiting and constant job security questions had simply become too much. But Brown was taking too long to step down in some minds, and that's when sources started talking about Brown stepping down in my report and other reports.

Brown knew Texas was going to accommodate his ego once again, and it gave him the power to control when any such announcement would come.

If he waited long enough (I'm told there was a deadline of Monday, Dec. 16, for any Saban offer), Brown could kill the UT Saban supporters' efforts a second straight year.

By waiting until after Powers had received a vote of continuance as UT president from the board of regents on Thursday, Brown and Powers successfully filibustered themselves into having all the control.

In a meeting Friday with his attorney, Joe Jamail, as well as Powers and new athletic director Steve Patterson, Brown threatened to go public with behind-the-scenes efforts to take him down, including press leaks.

That word got to Saban's camp almost immediately, and within an hour Saban had agreed to a new contract at Alabama that will pay him more than $7 million per year, according to reports.

That news hit Texas fans suffering from Macklash like a stock market dive. That it was released in the middle of the Texas football banquet was no accident.

Saban was already going to be seen as a bad guy if he left Alabama after saying he'd stay. He wasn't about to leave that situation to succeed a bitter, scorned Brown at Texas - no matter how many houses in Austin Terri Saban looked at.

UT's dysfunction had already caused numerous athletic director candidates to take themselves out of consideration for the UT job.

What's become clear is UT may have all the money, but it also has a football coach whose ability to manipulate through public relations could fill a trophy case.

So on Friday night Mack Brown's camp immediately started telling reporters he was going to step down except for press leaks.

Press leaks not just to me but to Brett McMurphy, Joe Schad, Bruce Feldman, Jenn Engel and others.

Brown's blaming of press leaks as to why he didn't step down was a lie, according to the UT Saban supporters. They now think Brown would have stopped at nothing to block Saban. But Powers made everyone believe Mack was going to step down, the UT Saban supporters say. Now they think Powers and Brown played everybody.

The regents and big-money supporters have been driving changes in the athletic department and led the hire of Steve Patterson as athletic director.

Patterson called himself Powers' "subordinate" during the banquet. What must Patterson be thinking after being hired under the premise his first hire was intended to be Nick Saban as part of an athletic department overhaul?

When it comes to coaching, Brown has always put controlling the message above all else -for recruiting purposes. He and wife, Sally, and other family members scour fan message boards to see what's being said.

Brown spends as much time, if not more, courting boosters and people in positions of influence as he does recruits.

One of his masterstrokes was hiring UT booster billionaire Joe Jamail as his lawyer, who even threatened tortious interference lawsuits against any regent trying to oust Brown.

Behind closed doors, Brown has dragged numerous reporters who cover the program into his office for tongue-lashings, including former Texas linebacker Brian Jones of CBS.

"Mack Brown is more politician than football coach," Jones said.

Brown has even chastised Longhorn Network anchor Lowell Galindo, who named his son, Mack, after Mack Brown.

Mack takes everything personally. Everything. And, right now, his fragile ego just cost a group of regents and powerful billionaires at Texas another shot at landing Nick Saban.

The battle lines are being drawn among the school's wealthiest supporters, who may take aim at Powers again.

But at least for now, Powers, fresh from his vote of support from the regents, is saying Mack Brown can stay ... as long as he wants.

There is suddenly a whole lot more pressure on Brown to beat Oregon in the Alamo Bowl or the Macklash will intensify.

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December 15, 2013
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Saban refutes Texas speculation as Texas blows opportunity to hire America's top college football coach

Updated: December 14, 2013, 1:16 PM ET

By Chris Low | ESPN.com

Nick Saban, who agreed to a long-term extension Friday to remain the coach at Alabama, said Saturday that he never had any intentions of going to Texas.

Saban said his commitment has and will continue to be to Alabama and that the speculation about potentially replacing his friend, Mack Brown, at Texas was unfair to everybody involved.


Saban Mack Brown is the coach at Texas. He deserves the right, based on his body of work, to be able to leave the program the way he wants to leave the program. It wasn't fair to him or to me to be speculating about this job, which I haven't talked to anybody there about. Really, the whole thing from my perspective stunk, but there wasn't a hell of a lot I could do about it.

-- Nick Saban

"The way this sort of got spun, it was a little bit more like, 'OK, he got a new contract at Alabama, so he's going to stay at Alabama instead of going to Texas,'" Saban told ESPN.com on Saturday. "I never considered going to Texas. That wasn't even a conversation.

"I knew that if Mack stepped down, there would probably be an opportunity, but it wasn't something I was interested in doing, not at this stage in my career."

Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, had been discussing a contract extension with Alabama officials before the season ended. Similar discussions have taken place the last few years, but this new deal reportedly will pay Saban upward of $7 million per year.

"We've been trying to do this thing with Alabama all the way back into the season," Saban said. "It really wasn't about the contract. It was about staying at Alabama, wanting to be at Alabama, wanting to continue to do good things for Alabama and our commitment to the players here, the university and the community."

While Brown's future with Texas remains unclear, Saban said the hardest part for him last week was seeing how the situation took on a life of its own, with his name being linked to a job that wasn't even available.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mack Brown," Saban said. "Mack Brown is the coach at Texas. He deserves the right, based on his body of work, to be able to leave the program the way he wants to leave the program. It wasn't fair to him or to me to be speculating about this job, which I haven't talked to anybody there about.

"Really, the whole thing from my perspective stunk, but there wasn't a hell of a lot I could do about it."

Saban, who has won three of the last four national championships, hopes any chatter about leaving Alabama for another coaching job will at last cease.

"I don't want to go someplace else," Saban said. "I don't know how many times I can say that.

"Maybe this will be what the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay thing was to the NFL the last couple of years. That kind of ended the pro speculation. Maybe this will end the college speculation. This is where I'm going to finish my coaching career."

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December 15, 2013
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Tim Cowlishaw: Brown will be gone soon; he is merely delaying the inevitable.

http://www.dallasnews.com/spor.....ack-brown-

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Pat Forde believes Charlie Strong is a bad fit at Texas because Strong hates dealing with the media and alumni. That was Mack Brown's strong suit.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/t.....ncaaf.html

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