Tag Archives: Miami Hurricanes

College Football Preview – Week 2

All times Central

For the foreseeable future my Saturdays in the fall are consumed by college football. I often include a second, and sometimes third screen in my day, and this year will be no exception. Be that as it may, I figured a good way to preview the college football weekends would be to go through the day and say what I plan to watch on each screen.

Friday, September 6th

Evening

Main Screen
Wake Forest at Boston College (7 pm/ESPN2) – Really rough slate of games on Thursday and Friday this week. If you have to watch something, this is the only one of the two games worth watching. Without looking ahead at all, I’d wager that this is the worst Thursday/Friday slate until November.

Saturday, September 7th

Morning

Main Screen
Florida at Miami (11 am/ESPN) – Miami is just outside of the top 25, and Florida is trying to prove they are a legit SEC contender. The winner of this game is going to make a name for themselves early, no question about it. Even though Miami isn’t ranked, it’s rare to get this type of marquee matchup in the early time slot.

Second Screen
Cincinnati at Illinois (11 am/ESPN2) – The pickings get slim after that. This game presents one of the few FBS vs. FBS match ups early. Illinois almost lost to Southern Illinois last week, and Cincinnati took down Purdue. This one could get ugly, but maybe Illinois will find a way to pull it out. This one only gets second screen love for the local connection.

Third Screen
South Florida at Michigan St. (11 am/ESPNU) – South Florida lost at home to McNeese St., by 32 points. Michigan St. beat Western Michigan but not by a ton, and they really need to win this one convincingly to start showing people they are a legit Big Ten contender.

Afternoon

Main Screen
South Carolina at Georgia (3:30 pm/ESPN) – No rest for the weary. Georgia comes off a tough loss to Clemson, and South Carolina is coming off 2 extra days rest after taking care of North Carolina. The winner of this one instantly becomes the favorite in the SEC East. There are multiple Heisman candidates playing. Everything about this screams good game.

Second Screen
Oregon at Virginia (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – The Ducks are one of the best reams in the country, and Virginia barely escaped BYU at home. This could get ugly, but anytime a team has to go across the country, and change time zones like this, anything is possible. What that really means is that this one will be closer than it should, but still probably an easy Oregon victory.

Third Screen
San Diego St. at Ohio St. (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – Just like Oregon, moving across time zones like this won’t work out for San Diego St. But this will be a chance for Ohio St. to really flex it’s muscles after struggling a bit against Buffalo early. The reality is, that this early in the season it’s hard to find three good games.

Evening

Main Screen
Notre Dame at Michigan (7 pm/ESPN) – The #2 game of the day after South Carolina/Georgia. This one is under the lights in the Big House. It’s the last meeting between Notre Dame and Michigan for the foreseeable future. It’s two teams that want to make a statement early. And of course, Michigan is my favorite team. Should be a good one.

Second Screen
Texas vs. BYU (6 pm/ESPN2) – Texas is my dark horse National Champion, and people think they are getting back to being Texas. Winning on the road is always important, and BYU is down this year. So this shouldn’t be a problem, but lately with Texas, you never know.

Third Screen
West Virginia at Oklahoma (6:00 pm/Fox) – Another early season conference game. West Virginia did not look good against William & Mary in week 1, but maybe this being a conference game means all bets are off. Oklahoma is another one of these teams looking to prove they are worthy of being in the conversation.

Did I miss any games you will be watching?

2013 Under the Radar Heisman Candidates

Five Heisman Candidates

This time last year, nobody was talking about Johnny Manziel, Collin Klein or Mantei Te’o as Heisman candidates. That’s basically three years in a row (RGIII and Cam Newton) where the winner basically came from nowhere. So here are five guys not many people will be talking about between now and September.

RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama

The next great Alabama running back had an impressive freshman season. He finished second on the team in yards to Eddie Lacy, who will almost certainly be back for his senior season. If Lacy goes pro unexpectedly, Yeldon could be poised for a huge season. Either way, he should only get better.

RB Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.)

Johnson just finished a strong freshman season after being a heralded five-star recruit. He averaged an impressive 6.8 yards per carry. He also returned two kickoffs for TDs, caught a TD and threw a TD. Like Yeldon, he should only get better as he fills out and adds some bulk. Johnson split carries with senior Mike James, but should get a lot more for himself next season.

RB Todd Gurley, Georgia

Continuing a trend, here is another freshman running back who shared carries this season. The difference here is that Gurley shared carries with another freshman (Keith Marshall). Marshall had a better average but Gurley had more carries. Gurley is a little bigger and is the guy I remember more from my time watching Georgia. He will have to beat out Marshall for the starting job first and foremost. Aaron Murray returning would be helpful for him as well.

QB Everett Golson, Notre Dame

It’s risky putting Golson on this list because if he has a big game against Alabama he could get elevated onto more mainstream preseason lists. Notre Dame should enter the preseason in the top 10 at worst. Golson will be a junior, and with a full season of starting under his belt he should have the reins taken off a bit next year. He is fast, and could be Braxton Miller Light if he has a good season next year.

QB Brett Hundley, UCLA

Brett Hundley put together a solid season as a true freshman under first year coach Jim L. Mora. He has a long way to go as a passer, but he did complete 66% of his passes (21st in NCAA). He was sacked a ridiculous 52 times, which greatly hurt his rushing stats. Theorectically his interception rate will go down, which should improve his already solid QB rating (26th in NCAA). UCLA should be better in year two of the Mora era, and Hundley should be better too. This might be one year early for him, but at some point in his career I expect him to be a big time college QB.

Mack Brown’s Possible Replacements

UPDATE (Sept. 10th 2013): There is a new version of this post for the 2013 season.

Darren Rovell tweeted Mack Brown’s buyout over the weekend. This after Brown’s Texas Longhorns suffered their second straight loss in an absolute beatdown at the hands of rival Oklahoma. After losing the National Championship to Alabama at the end of the 2009 season Texas went 5-7 and 8-5 (although only 4-5 in the Big 12 that second season). Despite a National Championship in 2005, and back-to-back one loss seasons, Longhorn fans have apparently had enough. This is of course ludicrous, but what else is new. Brown is owed a ridiculous amount of money over the rest of his contract, but can be bought out for just $3.5M this year, and it goes down each subsequent year. That latter point is what makes me think they are in no hurry to replace him, but it’s still fun to speculate.

Texas is a “destination job”. In other words, it basically means that the coach of this school wouldn’t leave to be the coach somewhere else (besides the NFL) unless he was fired. There are probably about a dozen schools that fall into this category besides Texas. Notre Dame, USC, Ohio St., Alabama, Oklahoma and Florida are no brainers. Michigan, Florida St., LSU, Georgia and maybe Penn St. probably are in the conversation as well. What is really means, is that almost no one would turn this job down.

I have comprised a list of 10 guys I think could get be on Texas’ radar, assuming they wouldn’t hire either of their top two assistants (Manny Diaz and Major Applewhite), which they might.

Art Briles – Baylor Head Coach

Art Briles is 56 and is a Texas native. He has coached in Texas his entire life, starting with high schools before being an assistant at Texas Tech for just two seasons. He then served as Houston’s head coach from 2003-2007. He has been the head coach in Waco for five seasons. This is a good way to summarize his success there:

Briles has won 13 Big 12 conference games in his four years as head coach. Baylor had won only 11 Big 12 conference games in the 12 seasons preceding his arrival.

Briles signed an extension last December with a significant pay bump, but I can’t find the years or buyout. It’s not likely that any buyout will be an issue for a school like Texas but you never know.

Mark Dantonio – Michigan St. Head Coach

Mark Dantonio is also 56, but grew up in Ohio and has no ties to Texas. It’s unclear to me whether he was ever a candidate for the Ohio St. job last year, but if he was he didn’t go for it. He is in his 6th season at Michigan St. and is coming off two 11-win seasons and two top 15 finishes.

Dantonio signed an extension last fall and has a $3.5M buyout and basically has a “lifetime” contract now because it includes an athletic department position after he retires.

It’s pretty say to say that he isn’t going anywhere, but Texas might kick the tires.

Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern Head Coach

Pat Fitzgerald is 37 and one of the younger head coaches in the country. He has been Northwestern’s head coach since 2006 and it’s the only head coaching job he has had. He grew up outside of Chicago, went to Northwestern and is probably their greatest player ever. He is just a few wins shy of most coaching wins in team history in just his 7th season. He has taken them to four straight bowl games and a couple of winning Big Ten records.

Fitzgerald supposedly took his name out of the race for both the Notre Dame and Penn St. openings. I can’t see a situation where he would pass those up but consider Texas. He has no ties there either. It seems like an incredible longshot, but because of his age he is going to be a candidate for big time jobs for a while.

Al Golden – Miami Head Coach

Al Golden is 43 and in his second year as Miami’s (FL) head coach. He went to college at Penn St. and was an assistant on the east coast for a few years before taking the head job at Temple. If Golden had stayed one more year at Temple he likely would have been a lock to take the Penn St. job this past winter. Instead he muddled through a 6-6 first season and is 4-3 so far this season.

With all of the sanctions and issues at Miami, few would blame him for jumping ship. He has just three years remaining after this season, and if nothing else, could parlay a Texas offer into an extension at Miami. I think he would at least consider the job.

Dana Holgorsen – West Virginia Head Coach

Dana Holgorsen controversially took over at West Virginia when Bill Stewart was forced out. He is 41 and has no direct ties to Texas. He was an assistant at Texas Tech from 2000-2007, as well as two years at Houston as offensive coordinator. He just signed a six year contract in August of last year and might not want to move laterally to another Big 12 school with as much as he is being paid. With everything that led to his hiring, it seems unlikely he is at a point where he would leave, but he would have to give it some thought.

Chip Kelly – Oregon Head Coach

Chip Kelly grew up in New Hampshire and hasn’t coached anywhere but there and Oregon. He was Oregon’s offensive coordinator for just two seasons before getting the big job. All he has done so far is win three Pac 12 titles and a Rose Bowl, and lost one National Championship team. He is 6-0 so far this season.

Even now, it’s hard to call Oregon a destination job, but in a few years Kelly could make it that. There were rumors Kelly was in the hunt for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job, and might even have backed out at the last minute. At only 48, he will likely get more NFL offers. At this point, I think that is the only thing he leaves for. He has a good gig at Oregon, and the expectations would be higher at Texas, where he would basically be starting over.

Dan Mullen – Mississippi State Head Coach

Dan Mullen is 40 years old and grey up in New Hampshire. He doesn’t have any Texas ties either, and after following Urban Meyer around, including being Meyer’s offensive coordinator at Florida, he took the Mississippi St. job in 2009. He has had good success there in three seasons, including two bowl wins. His team is 6-0 right now and could have a big season ahead of them. Long term though, it’s hard to see Mississippi St. as a big time program. Mullen’s coaching history doesn’t point to any obvious “dream jobs”. If offered the Texas job, I wonder if he could turn it down.

Will Muschamp – Florida Head Coach

Will Muschamp is 41 and grew up in Gainesville Florida. He played at Georgia and has been an assistant at several places in the SEC. He was also Texas’s defensive coordinator for three seasons. He was also named Mack Brown’s eventual successor before deciding to take the Florida job last year instead. He has the Gators off to a surprising 6-0 start and already back on the map. It would seem crazy that he would go back to Texas at this point, especially since Florida is a destination job itself. I would assume he wouldn’t be interested.

Chris Petersen – Boise St. Head Coach

Chris Petersen is 48 and has had ridiculous success at Boise St. His name comes up for every job and time and time again he seems to turn it down. He grew up in California and spent some time as an Oregon assistant. They won WAC titles in 4 out of the 5 seasons they were a part of it. He is 4-2 in bowl games and is off to a 5-1 start despite losing star QB Kellen Moore. Petersen signed a very lucrative extension in February. He is exceptionally well paid, and with the move to the Big East, he is finally in a bigger conference. He wasn’t interested in the UCLA job, but this might be the biggest job opportunity he could have had. I still find it hard to believe he won’t try something else at some point. This might be too good to pass up.

Charlie Strong – Louisville Head Coach

Charlie Strong is 52 and one of the hot coaching names out there right now. It’s very likely he will take a step up at some point. Strong grew up in Arkansas and played at Central Arkansas. He has had four separate stints as a Florida assistant, including a recent 8 year run as defensive coordinator. He has had success at Louisville so far, including a Big East title in 2011. He already has his team off to a 6-0 start this season, which means he could have his best season ever before this is all over. Anything can happen between now and the winter, but he has to be at the top of Arkansas’ wish list. Since he has roots there, he might prefer that job to Texas anyway.

Who Will It Be?

It’s too early to know if Texas would actually release Mack Brown sometime this year, but it’s definitely possible. If it happens this year, I think Dan Mullen would be my pick as the top outside candidate. Art Briles has good Texas ties as well, and I would think he would also be a serious contender. If Chris Petersen would actually leave Boise St. he would be in the running as well. And if Charlie Strong was somehow not offered the Arkansas job, he would have to be a serious option too.

College Football – Week 2 Preview

All times Central

For the foreseeable future my Saturdays in the fall are consumed by college football. I often include a second, and sometimes third screen in my day, and this year will be no exception. Be that as it may, I figured a good way to preview the college football weekends would be to go through the day and say what I plan to watch on each screen.

Thursday, September 6th

Evening

Main Screen
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (7 pm/ESPN) – The only game in town. Big East action doesn’t do it for me, or anyone really.

Friday, September 7th

Evening

Main Screen
Utah at Utah St. (7 pm/ESPN) – Utah is a sleeper in the Pac 12. This shouldn’t really be a challenge, but you never know with road games.

Saturday, September 8th

Morning

Main Screen
Auburn at Mississippi St. (11 am/ESPN) – Neither is ranked, but an SEC conference game will always draw attention, especially at the 11 o’clock hour. Auburn vs. Clemson ended up being a pretty solid game and the Tigers could be better than previously thought.

Second Screen
Miami (FL) at Kansas St. (11 am/FX) – Kansas St. is ranked 21st and is one of 6 (!) Big 12 teams in the top 25. Miami handled Boston College last week, and have a chance to step it up this week. I predict Miami keeps this one close.

Third Screen
Penn St. at Virginia (11 am/ABC) – Penn St. had a rough go of it in week 1, but Ohio is a very underrated team and could have been half of the Big 10 in week one. Virginia is one of those teams that I think is on the upswing, and Mike London is a good coach. Penn St. badly needs to bounce back, but this is a tough road game.

Afternoon

Main Screen
Air Force at. Michigan (2:30 pm/ABC) – Michigan will usually hit the main screen in my house, but I think overall it’s still one of the three most interesting games on during the afternoon time slot. Michigan needs to bounce back from a tough week one loss, and will get Fitzgerald Toussaint back. Air Force runs a version of the triple option and it’s hard to prepare for sometimes. Michigan needs this one.

Second Screen
Florida at Texas A&M (2:30 pm/ESPN) – Texas A&M makes their SEC debut this week. Their week one game was postponed, so they couldn’t shake out the system in week 1. That doesn’t bode well. Lucky for them, Florida looked shaky against Bowling Green, and yet somehow is still ranked 24th. Florida probably needs this one more.

Third Screen
Purdue at Notre Dame (2:30 pm/NBC) – Notre Dame buried Navy in Dublin in week 1, and moved into the top 25. They get to play at home in week 2, but Purdue is another under the radar team. Notre Dame could go a long way to prove their legitimacy with a win this week.

Evening

Main Screen
Georgia at. Missouri (6:45 pm/ESPN2) – Missouri also makes their SEC debut this week, but definitely has the tougher challenge. Georgia is the favorite in the SEC East and also could be a player in the National Championship race. Georgia just has to keep winning, and this will not be a cakewalk. This figures to be the game of the week. Georgia are my guys this year so I like him.

Second Screen
Washington at. LSU (6 pm/ESPN) – Not exactly Michigan, but LSU has a pretty decent challenge of their own in week 2. Washington’s QB Keith Price is probably one of the 10-15 best QBs in the country, and gets a huge challenge against LSU in week 2.

Third Screen
Nebraska at UCLA (6:30 pm/Fox) – Nebraska lost starting running back Rex Burkhead for an indeterminate amount of time. He is one of the top 10 players in the Big Ten. UCLA won big against Rice in week 1, and while on paper this doesn’t seem like much of a challenge, on the road two time zones away could be a “trap game”. I have already seen several people pick this as their upset for the week, and while I wouldn’t go that far I think it will be a good one.

Did I miss any games you will be watching?

College Football – Week 1 Preview

All times Central

For the foreseeable future my Saturdays in the fall are consumed by college football. I often include a second, and sometimes third screen in my day, and this year will be no exception. Be that as it may, I figured a good way to preview the college football weekends would be to go through the day and say what I plan to watch on each screen.

Thursday, August 30th

Evening

Main Screen
South Carolina at Vanderbilt (6:00 pm/ESPN) – The season starts with a bang as #9 South Carolina travels to Vanderbilt for an SEC conference game the first night of the season. Vanderbilt is never very good, but it’s still tough to open the season on the road in SEC. This is a pretty impressive opening night game.

Checking in on It’s unlikely I will go with multiple screens on Thursday, but these are games I will keep an eye on

- (6:30 pm/ESPNU) Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech – A&M moves to the SEC and Louisiana Tech is the reigning WAC champ. Don’t sleep on this as the first upset of the season This game has been moved to October 13th due to Hurricane Isaac.

Friday, August 31st

Evening

Main Screen
Boise St. at Michigan St. (7 pm/ESPN) – The first (and one of just a couple in week 1) top 25 vs. top 25 games of the season. A good test for this Michigan St. team that people are thinking is in the hunt for the Big 10 championship. Their defense is supposed to be stalwart and this is a good test.

Second Screen
NC State vs. Tennessee (6:30 pm/ESPNU) – Both these teams are just on the outside of the top 25 and both are trying to prove early they are conference title contenders. NC State is in the tough ACC Atlantic division with Florida St. and Clemson. Tennessee is in the slightly weaker of the SEC divisions, the East, where they are trying to prove they are on the upswing and hope keep coach Derek Dooley his job.

Saturday, September 1st

Early Morning

Main Screen
Navy vs. Notre Dame (8 am/CBS) – Thanks to the decision to play this game in Dublin, Ireland, college football fans can get their day started 3 hours earlier than normal. As a Michigan fan, I am looking forward to Notre Dame getting beat in week 1. Some of their key players are out and Navy is not only a tough matchup but usually a pretty solid team. Somehow Notre Dame is a double digit favorite.

Morning

Main Screen
Northwestern at Syracuse (11 am/ESPN2) – The morning slate of games is rough. With no Michigan (for me) or intra-conference games, this is probably the non-conference game with the biggest names. I am a casual Northwestern fan and will likely watch this game most intently of any of the morning options.

Second Screen
Ohio at Penn St. (11 am/ESPN) – This game will be interesting for lots of reasons, especially to see how Penn St. handles their first game post-everything. Ohio is coached by former Nebraska head coach Frank Solich and won 10 games last season. They are no slouch. Penn St. needs to get off to a good start.

Third Screen
Miami (OH) vs. Ohio St. (11 am/BTN) – While I hope to see a huge upset here, I am not counting on it. Instead I am hoping to use this as an excuse to test out the BTN2GO app.

Afternoon

Main Screen
Iowa vs. Northern Illinois (2:30 pm/ESPNU) – Unfortunately the afternoon doesn’t get a lot better. There is some appeal to this game because 1) There’s a Big Ten team. 2) There’s an Illinois team. 3) It’s at Soldier Field.

Second Screen
Miami at Boston College (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – More week 1 conference action, this time in the ACC. Miami is on the cusp of NCAA sanctions so they might not be eligible for the postseason before the season finishes. In the meantime, they are probably the #2 team in the ACC Coastal division so this is an important game for them.

Third Screen
Northern Iowa at Wisconsin (2:30 pm/BTN) – Should be a blowout but we will see if Monte Ball can get his Heisman campaign going in week 1. Also, another potential chance for BTN2GO app.

Evening

Main Screen
Alabama vs. Michigan (7 pm/ABC) – Unquestionably the game of the weekend, especially for me as Michigan fan. GameDay will be there and the game is at Cowboys Stadium. Michigan needs to prove they are legit and Alabama needs to prove they are the best team in the SEC (for now).

Second Screen
Auburn vs. Clemson (6 pm/ESPN) – Another neutral site, non-conference, big time program game. Auburn desperately needs to bounce back from a 4-4 SEC record. Clemson should be one of the three (or so) favorites in the ACC and needs to take the leap to big-time program and stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Third Screen
Hawaii at USC (6:30 pm/Fox) – Should be a blowout, but as Chris and I both picked USC to win the National Championship it will be interesting to see if they are as good on offense as we think they will be.

Did I miss any games you will be watching?

Miami Hurricanes Won’t Get Death Penalty

This post refers to espn.go.com

Pat Forde of ESPN.com on college football at Miami and the death penalty:

To be clear, SMU’s ’87 death penalty did not eradicate scandal in college football, even in the short term. It was 1989 when Oklahoma quarterback Charles Thompson appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in an orange prison jumpsuit after a cocaine trafficking bust, and 1992 when Auburn defensive back Eric Ramsey appeared on “60 Minutes” with pay-for-play revelations.

Later:

It’s a more complicated penalty to assess nowadays. A complete program shutdown would adversely affect high-dollar conference television packages and impact revenue streams at multiple athletic departments. A conference commissioner would certainly object and potentially try to influence those charged with making such a decision. Legal challenges would be a distinct possibility. Public outcry would be louder than ever. Scheduling would be thrown into turmoil.

Two big reasons why I don’t think another team will ever get the “death penalty”. The second point is key. It’s all about the Benjamins now. So many people who be affected, there is just no way I think it will happen no matter what.