Posts tagged ‘College Football’

Mark Ingram Brings First Heisman Trophy To Alabama

Sophomore running back Mark Ingram won the 75th Heisman Trophy last night, the first-ever Heisman trophy winner from the Alabama Crimson Tide. The young man’s speech was great, thanking his parents, family, and acknowledging the fact that the award is a team effort.

The 2oo9 Heisman Trophy race was the closest of all-time. Ingram received 227 first-place votes and 1,304 points. Stanford running back Toby Gerhart got 222 first-place votes and 1,276 points, while Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, last season’s runner-up, received 203 and 1,145. Although it’s a little unfortunate that McCoy didn’t get a Heisman after a historically tremendous career at Texas, Ingram deserved every inch of the trophy. And to go along with the Heisman hardware, Ingram will try to bring a National Championship to Alabama as well when they take on Texas in the BCS Title game.

The big question now? Where is Mark Ingram going to play his football in 2010?

December 13, 2009 at 10:21 am Leave a comment

Turner Gill To Coach Kansas Jayhawks

Former Buffalo head football coach Turner Gill has reportedly been hired to take the same position at Kansas, a position recently vacated by the departure of Mark Mangino as a result of “pressure”.

Mark Mangino was named the National Coach of the Year in 2007 and had the Kansas football program going in the right direction. However, reports surfaced in 2009 and claimed that Mangino used hateful and disrespectful treatment toward Jayhawk players during games and practices. An investigation then followed, leaving a head coaching job available for someone special. Step on up Turner Gill.

Gill has led Buffalo to a 20-30 record in four years, including a MAC Championship in 2008. Gill has the leadership and feel for the game, making him truly one of the greatest young coaches in the country. His move to Kansas takes him to a better program, makes him more money, and gains him much more attention. Turner Gill will eventually get his shot at a big program job and the recent jump to the Big XII is a perfect stepping stone. I would look for some noise coming out of Lawrence.

December 13, 2009 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

Brian Kelly Heading To South Bend

After leading the Cincinnati Bearcats to a 12-0 undefeated season and a Big East title, head coach Brian Kelly will be announced as the head coach at Notre Dame Friday afternoon.

As for the players in Cincy…they didn’t particularly like the move. Most of the players felt betrayed by the coach that led their program to a 34-6 record in three seasons. “He went for the money,” Gilyard told The Associated Press. “I’m fairly disgusted with the situation, that they let it last this long.” Tight end Ben Guidugli added, “We already knew what he was going to say. We weren’t giving him a round of applause or anything. It’s like somebody turned their back on us. We brought this whole thing this far. We’ve come this far. To have someone walk out now is disappointing.” Quarterback Tony Pike also mentioned how Kelly told his players before the Pittsburgh game about how much he loved Cincy and how much he loved coaching there.

But maybe someone should inform the Bearcats, especially Gilyard, that Cincinnati is not Notre Dame. Notre Dame is arguably one of the most prestigious universities in the entire country, not only for their sports but for their academics. For the Cincy players to say that Coach Kelly “left for the money” is absolutely ridiculous. Coach Kelly took the Notre Dame job because he has worked his way from coaching at a high school, to coaching at Grand Valley State, and finally leading a Cincy team (with no record of significance) to an undefeated season. Notre Dame is a dream job for almost every coach in the country and that’s why Brian Kelly took the job. He earned it. Congrats to Brian Kelly, I’m sure he’ll do just fine in South Bend.

Brian Kelly’s Quick Resume (provided by ESPN):

 34-6 in 3-plus seasons at Cincinnati
• 12 wins this season represent the most for a college head coach in the season before taking over at Notre Dame
• Two-time Big East Coach of the Year
• 19-16 in three seasons at Central Michigan
• Won two D-II championships at Grand Valley State
• Played linebacker at Assumption College (Mass.)

December 11, 2009 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

Clausen Will Enter NFL Draft: A Quick Analysis of the 2010 ‘Potential’ QB Class

With the early departure of Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen announced today, the NFL Draft analysis can begin. With that said, my first bold statement of the NFL Draft is that I believe the quarterback class in 2010 will be a lot deeper than most people expect. At first glance, the QB Class may look a bit too cluttered with spread offense gun-slingers. But I would argue that, with the number of teams that may opt for a quarterback at some point in the draft, we’ll be hearing about these kids for longer than expected. 

Taking a quick look at NFL teams that may have a QB in mind (somewhere within the seven rounds), I come up with about a dozen, give or take. Does Denver stick with Kyle Orton? Sure he’s been decent but does McDaniels want his guy? Does Minnesota look into the future? Brett Favre can’t play forever (right?) and Tavaris Jackson isn’t the long-term answer. San Francisco has had a pleasant surprise in Alex Smith but I’m sure they’ll take a gander. Washington’s quarterback situation is always the topic of discussion, with a majority saying Campbell is at least second string in 2010. Jacksonville needs fans in seats, Garrard isn’t cutting it. Seattle has made up their mind about Hasselbeck, it was a good run. Miami drafted Chad Henne but they may take a late project. Buffalo needs another guy not named Trent Edwards. Cleveland drafted Brady Quinn and he may actually win over Mangini by the end of the season. St. Louis is on the desperate list, Bulger is about to fall apart (literally). Jake Delhomme never cut it for me in Carolina, and John Fox will look to move on in 2010. And finally…Oakland. Gradkowski has worked wonders since Russell was benched but it’s time to ‘officially’ give up on JaMarcus and his horrible attitude. Hopefully for the Raiders, an uncapped year will allow them to cut his fat ass along with his fat contract. So there you have it, about a dozen teams that may look towards a quarterback at some point in the draft. 

Now let’s take a look at the QB prospects. Although the talent level drops off drastically about a quarter through the list, that doesn’t mean the late-round guys can’t turn out okay (see: Tom Brady). Here’s a quick list of my QB prospects in somewhat of a personal Big Board rating: 

  1. Jimmy Clausen (ND)  6’3  217 – He’s played in a pro-style offense and he’s been through the up’s and the down’s of a very popular team. He’s played well, progressed even better, and knows what its like to play away from home.
  2. Jake Locker (WAS)  6’3  223 – Good talent at a bad school, Locker knows the game and is pretty athletic. His arm strength is decent but seems like a good decision-maker.
  3. Sam Bradford (OU)  6’4  214 – Other than the injuries and durability as a result, Bradford is a HUGE talent. His accuracy is second to none and he has good decision making. His athleticism is often overlooked because of how little he leaves the pocket.
  4. Ryan Mallet (ARK)  6’6  250 – Michigan transfer that can throw up numbers in bunches. He has lead feet but has tremendous upside. He would be a project but one worth taking on.
  5. Tony Pike (CIN)  6’6  225 – If you didn’t know Pike before this year, you do now. Pike is smart and very accurate. And impressively enough, the guy can move around for his size. The hype may be surrounding him but I think he could turn out.
  6. Jevan Snead (OM)  6’3  215 – One of the most overrated teams in the nation, Ole Miss got a lot of attention because of Snead. He has good arm strength and his upside was going to get him a lot. But after a crappy season in ’09, Snead’s stock has dropped off. Remember this kid couldn’t beat out McCoy at Texas.
  7. Colt McCoy (UT)  6’3  215 – Not another Vince Young. McCoy can put the pass on a dime but may need help with his ability to read a defense. His leadership is impressive and he’s had great college experience. I would say he’s a sure fire West Coast guy.
  8. Tim Tebow  (FL)  6’3  235 – He wants to play QB but it may not happen. His arm strength isn’t anything special and his decision-making won’t work in the NFL. Jacksonville may be his only hope in the first-round.
  9. Christian Ponder (FSU)  6’3  220 – Not a big fan of this guy in college but he has a very accurate pass and he understands the game. Ponder could succeed in this league as long as he doesn’t have to throw the long ball.
  10. Pat Devlin (UD)  6’4  220 – Originally a QB at Penn State, Devlin has a cannon for an arm and is hoping to follow in a certain one’s footsteps.
  11. Jarrett Brown (WVU)  6’4  220 – Big guy, extremely athletic, and able to make the pass. His upside and potential is scary but can he ever learn to read a defense?
  12. Jonathan Crompton (UT)  6’4  224 – The guy got better, I’ll give him that. He has the intangibles to succeed in the NFL but a team will have to take on a project.
  13. Zac Robinson (OSU)  6’3  210 – If anyone falls victim to the ‘spread-only quarterback’, it’s this guy.
  14. Bill Stull (PITT)  6’3  215 – Played well for a former-NFL coach but his decision-making under pressure is what keeps him down.
  15. Sean Canfield (OSU)  6’4  215 – He got better over the year and people got to find out who the Beaver is.
  16. Max Hall (BYU)  6’1  201 – His accuracy shouldn’t be an issue but his size and decision-making are.
  17. Tim Hiller (WMU)  6’5  228 – I actually like Hiller at a higher spot but his lack of competition and weak arm make him a tough shot. Hiller has a great read on defenses and makes decent decisions but he has cement feet and not a great deep-ball. He could prosper in a short-pass oriented offense.  

Where these guys actually end up will have to wait for my annual Mock Draft. A quick breakdown of the running backs will follow soon.

December 7, 2009 at 10:25 pm Leave a comment

Bowl Schedule Announced, Bama to Meet Texas In Championship

As expected, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas Longhorns will meet in the BCS National Championship Game on January 7th at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena California. After a narrow escape by the Longhorns in the Big XII Title game against Nebraska (last-second FG), head coach Mack Brown and the Horns look to snag their second championship in five years. On the other end, Nick Saban has the Tide rolling strong with Heisman favorite Mark Ingram tearing it up on the ground. The old saying is that defense wins championships…but this Texas fan won’t say that for this particular championship.

Other bowls, of moderate importance of course, are as follows (with my favorites underlined):

  • Orange Bowl          Iowa vs. Georgia Tech          January 5th                     
  • Fiesta Bowl            TCU vs. Boise State                  January 4th                      
  • Cotton Bowl          OK. St. vs. Ole Miss                  January 2nd                     
  • Sugar Bowl            Florida vs. Cincinnati             January 1st                       
  • Rose Bowl              Oregon vs. Ohio State             January 1st                       
  • Texas Bowl            Navy vs. Missouri                   December 31st                

December 6, 2009 at 8:44 pm 1 comment

Chasing the Dream – Top Candidates for the Job at South Bend

The Charlie Weis era at Notre Dame has finally come to an end, and Weis was lucky to make it this far. It’s pretty evident that Big Charlie is a perfect cut for the NFL but you can’t knock the guy for taking a stab at one of the greatest coaching jobs in the country (whether it be pro or college). And with all the recent coverage of Weis’ history with the Irish, why not scrap that and look into the future. Here are my top five candidates for the head coaching job in South Bend… 

1.) Urban Meyer – Very possibly at the top of every spectators’ list, all of the clear signs point to Urban Meyer as the next Notre Dame head coach. Not only does Meyer have one hell of a track record (95-17 all-time), but he has also been quoted as saying that Notre Dame is a “dream job”. Sure he has denounced any speculation of taking the job at Notre Dame in times past; but doesn’t every smart coach? Both Florida and Notre Dame were after coach Meyer in 2005 and Florida eventually won him over. Can we really think that Notre Dame will “leave him alone”? The chances are slim that Urban Meyer leaves Florida, as he has repeatedly promised he would not, but you can’t NOT mention the guy.

2.) Bob Stoops – A stern defensive-minded guy, Stoops can also tote his 115-29 record and impress a lot of people. Although Stoops seems completely comfortable in Oklahoma, I don’t think he’s as attached to Norman as Meyer is to Gainesville. The only reason Notre Dame looks over Stoops, in my opinion, is because of his admiration for Steve Spurrier. A former Spurrier understudy, Stoops has been quoted as saying “Spurrier is the greatest coach of all-time”. Whether that’s true or not, a Spurrier mentality (or anything close to it) doesn’t seem like the right fit for Notre Dame.

3.) Brian Kelly – Hands down, the best candidate for the job. Notre Dame prides itself on employing a coach that cares just as much about students as he does about athletes, thus creating the ideal student-athlete. Out of the top-ten BCS teams this season, Cincinnati had the highest graduation rate (75%). And please believe, if Kelly can get through to the kids in Cincy…he’ll have no problems at South Bend. Kelly is the “hot” coach of the times and his track records is outstanding. Kelly not ending up with the Irish at the start of next season would be a HUGE surprise. 

4.) Will Muschamp – A really impressive defensive coordinator, Muschamp could bring an intensity to Notre Dame that hasn’t been seen in a LONG time. However, with the recent hire and fire of Charlie Weis, I doubt that Notre Dame would go out on a limb and hire a second consecutive coach with no college head coaching experience. Not only that, Muschamp has been named the successor to Mack Brown at Texas once he decides to step down. Although Mack Brown says he has no intentions to retire, the 38-year-old Will Muschamp is in one of the most comfortable positions in all of college football. He makes just shy of $1 million a year as a coordinator, doesn’t possess the true pressure and headaches of a head coach, and he has been promised the head coaching job of a major and prestigious university in the future. What more can you ask for? If the Irish come-a-knockin’…..Muschamp wont budge. 

5.) Greg Schiano – The obvious dark horse in the pool of candidates, the mentioning of Schiano’s name may only be found right here at The Box. I like Schiano for his defensive mind, his proven leadership, his proven relentlessness, and his outstanding recruiting ability. Schiano has turned down the coaching jobs at Miami (FL) and reportedly the Michigan job when it was available, but Notre Dame is a whole different ball game. If Notre Dame rang in on Schiano’s phone, leaving Jersey would no longer sound that bad. This is probably the least likely of scenarios but don’t think it’s crazy, this guy can coach. 

With the bowl season just weeks away, anyone that has the words “Notre” or “Dame” thrown at them will deny any conversation with the university or even a thought about the current coaching vacancy. But we aren’t as stupid as we may seem, we know that EVERY coach in the COUNTRY has put themselves in an Irish cardigan just to see if they can dream it up correctly.

December 2, 2009 at 4:50 am Leave a comment

Sam Bradford Goes Down Again, Second Thoughts on NFL Jump?

Sam Bradford

Halfway through the 2009 Red River Shootout, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford has yet to return to the game. After throwing just eight passes in the game, Bradford went down on the same right shoulder that put him out for 31 days the first time. Trying to avoid the rush from the left side of his body, Bradford tucked the ball with his right hand and landed on the right shoulder with the weight of himself and a Longhorn defender. Bradford grimaced in pain and was helped off the field. And now, people are really concerned.

Last season, Sam Bradford could have skipped out of college as a redshirt sophomore and headed to the NFL where he would have likely been the first quarterback selected in the Draft (over Sanchez in my opinion). However, the fame, millions of dollars, and stud status wasn’t enough to keep Bradford from the Oklahoma Sooners. He opted to come back and take the Sooners to the championship! Now, two injuries on the same shoulder within two months of each other; could Bradford be re-thinking his off-season decision?

Sam Bradford is only a junior but he couldn’t possibly pass up on ANOTHER chance to hit the NFL, could he? If his draft stock is seriously hurt as a result of his own injuries, he could always opt to return to school. However, the smart thing for Bradford would be to sit out the rest of this season, get his shoulder right, and get ready for the NFL Combine. Although he should have made the leap last year, Bradford entering the NFL Draft this season is a MUST. Look at Matt Leinart who decided to return to school? He’s still behind a 100-year-old Kurt Warner who still has another year on his contract. And then take a look at Mark Sanchez: a guy that really only had one good year at USC and he took the money and ran, even under heavy convincing attempts by head coach Pete Carroll to stay. Now Sanchez is the next “Broadway Joe” doing GQ photo shoots and leading the New York Jets like no one has in years. Hell, take JaMarcus Russell. Russell may be a horrible quarterback playing for a horrible team, but he made the leap instead of returning to school and whether he retired today or ten years from now, he’d be set for life.

It’s one of those situations where all people sit on either side of the fence: stay at school or make the leap? It’s risky either way. Make the jump and end up like Russell? Or return to school and end up like Leinart? Let’s hope Bradford’s injuries don’t do permanent damage.

October 17, 2009 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

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