Archive for November, 2011

Nov
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Louisiana Tech, Utah State accept bowl bids

Louisiana Tech and Utah State have accepted two of the WAC’s four bowl bids.

Louisiana Tech is headed for the Poinsietta Bowl, while Utah State is going to the play in the Idaho Potato Bowl (formerly the Humanitarian Bowl).

But there are still some teams that can move into bowl eligibility.

In the Big East, four teams – Connecticut, Pittsburgh, South Florida and Syracuse – are all playing for their sixth win this weekend. Connecticut faces Cincinnati, which is playing for the Big East title. Pittsburgh faces Syracuse, both of which are sitting on five wins. So one will eliminate the other. And South Florida faces West Virginia.

So there could be anywhere from one to three new bowl-eligible teams in the league by the end of this weekend. The Big East needs them. Right now the conference only has four bowl-eligible teams. They have two bowl tie-ins they must fill.

Of course, if they don’t, there are more than enough bowl-eligible teams to come riding to the rescue. After the Week 13 games, there are 74 bowl-eligible teams in FBS, meaning at least four teams are going home unhappy.

The Big East is the only conference where teams are still alive for bowl berths. The other conferences have already settled who is bowl-eligible and who is not, so more invitations could start flowing out to the non-BCS teams this week, while the BCS conferences will likely wait to see invitations until after the conference championship games.

To be bowl-eligible, a team must have at least six wins. That doesn’t necessarily mean your team will get in a bowl game. But it does mean they can be selected. And, with a whopping 35 bowl games out there, the odds are pretty good your team will be playing somewhere in December.

For each conference I’ve included their bowl tie-ins, plus notes on each conference, including already confirmed bowl bids.

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Nov
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How to pour a beer the right way

Check out the video below to learn how to pour a beer the right way. Nothing is worse than a large head overflowing the top of your glass and spilling over the side. So to prevent that, take some mental notes from CHOW.com.

Nov
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Hiring of Urban Meyer hard to argue with

Urban Meyer smells a new job in Columbus after being named the head coach at Ohio State on Monday.

On the surface, Ohio State’s hiring of Urban Meyer is hard to argue with.

The Buckeyes and the former Florida coach came to terms on a six-year contract on Monday and introduced him to the masses in Columbus. The contract calls for $4 million a year, making him one of the top-paid coaches in the game. If that wasn’t enough, Ohio State may also pay him up to $2.1 million in “retention bonuses,” whatever that means.

Meyer’s resume is stellar. He’s been a winner everywhere he’s been. He won two national titles at Florida – one with that quarterback in Denver that everyone says can’t play quarterback. Meyer left the game for a year, citing health and family reasons and spent Saturdays this fall on your TV dial as a color commentator alongside Dave Pash and Chris Spielman. At least until last weekend, when he begged off his assignment from ESPN.

The game? Ohio State at Michigan. That was the first hint that something was up. Then Meyer backed out of studio work and the rush was on to confirm his deal with the Buckeyes.

So what does all of this mean in Columbus? After the jump we’ll explore the different aspects of how Meyer’s arrival will change things in Columbus.

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Nov
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The Walkthrough: Should Paul Wulff keep his job?

Washington State coach Paul Wulff (right) may not make it to a fifth year with the Cougars.

The Walkthrough features five of college football’s hottest questions, with answers from PigskinU.com’s Matthew Postins. It appears every Monday and Friday. We’ll start this week with this question: Should Paul Wulff keep his job at Washington State?

Here’s a tough one. Wulff has been on the hot seat at Wazoo since the first hot seat coaching article was written, say, a week after Auburn beat Oregon in the BCS National Championship game. Outside of New Mexico’s Mike Locksley, no coach was perceived to have done a worse job with his program the past two years.

But is Wulff making progress? Well, the Cougars won four games this year, more than any other year of Wulff’s three-year tenure. Their win over Arizona State was the Cougars’ biggest of the season. But considering the Sun Devils had slipped into mediocrity by that point, “big win” means something different there. The Cougars also had the ninth-best passing offense in the nation, averaging 322 yards per game. The offense, despite the running game’s No. 104 ranking, was No. 33 overall. But I think most of that yardage came as the Cougars played from behind.

The fact is the Cougars lost every meaningful game this year, and the 9-40 record under Wulff – the worst four-year stretch in program history – will likely be too much for athletic director Bill Moos to deal with.

It would be more for me, too. If I were Moos, I’d let Wulff go. My personal rule is this – a coach should have four years to implement his program, recruit his guys and see where it goes. By the end of that fourth year, you should have a good feeling about where the program is going. I don’t think anyone at Wazoo has that feeling.

It’s time for Wulff to go.

More questions and answers on Brady Hoke, San Diego State, Matt Barkley and the Conference USA Championship Game after the jump.

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Nov
0

A Black Sunday for college football coaches

Well, Black Friday at the local department store had nothing on Black Sunday for college football coaches.

Let’s start first in Champaign where the ultimate survivor, Ron Zook, was finally fired as head coach at Illinois. It was that 0-6 finish that finally did him in. His is the third firing in the Big Ten this year.

In Memphis the Tigers let go of a former alum. Larry Porter was fired after just two seasons. They were horrible under Porter, as the Tigers won just three games. It wasn’t that long ago that Memphis was a Conference USA contender. Kansas did the same thing with Turner Gill, who was once a coach on the rise for his work with Buffalo. The Jayhawks went 5-19 in two seasons. Now the folks in Lawrence have to find their third head coach in four years.

Then there’s the Pac-12, where the hammer appears ready to drop on a trio of coaches. Washington State is evaluating Paul Wulff, who has actually made some progress at Wazoo. Reports have UCLA ready to axe Rick Neuheisel after the Pac-12 Championship game. And Arizona State may make a decision on Dennis Erickson on Monday. And I think that decision isn’t going to favor Erickson.

So far, there have been a dozen coaching moves since Ohio State’s Jim Tressel was fired this summer. Two have been filled and there appear to be at least a few more to come. And, of course, there’s the Urban Meyer rumor. My opinion? Meyer will be the Ohio State coach within the next week.

PigskinU.com’s chart of FBS coaching changes for 2012 is after the jump. We will update it as needed.

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Nov
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PigskinU Top 25: LSU vs. Alabama – the rematch nobody wants

Alabama and AJ McCarron may luck into another shot at LSU.

Well, we’re just about there. LSU vs. Alabama – the rematch nobody wants.

LSU took care of business against Arkansas. Alabama took care of business against Auburn. While LSU still must win the SEC Championship game against Georgia, I don’t think anyone outside of Athens, Ga., believes the Bulldogs can win that game. Although, wouldn’t that be a great, big kick in the pants?

So what happens to the BCS if LSU loses to Georgia? Well, there are greater minds than mine that can tell you that. But Alabama would most certainly move into the No. 1 spot, and there would be plenty of debate as to whether a team that didn’t win a conference championship should be playing in the BCS national championship game.

In fact, shouldn’t we be having that debate to begin with? If every game matters, as the BCS people would have us believe, than didn’t Alabama get its shot to unseat LSU already? I find it rather heinous that the Crimson Tide, as good as they are would be the No. 1 team in the final BCS rankings if LSU lost to Georgia.

To me that exposes a real flaw in the entire system. After 14 weeks a team that couldn’t even reach its conference championship game would be considered the No. 1 seed, as it were.

If we’re really interested in fairness, then the next time the BCS restructures itself, it should create a rule that doesn’t allow teams from the same conference to play each other in the BCS National Championship game. The college football season is about winnowing down the field, and part of that is the process of determining conference champions. If you don’t win your conference, then I don’t think you should play in the BCS National Championship game.

Even if you’re Alabama and you have the misfortune of playing in the same conference as LSU. Them’s the breaks.

But that’s all moot if LSU beats Georgia, as I expect. Then, LSU will play Alabama and we’ll just have to live with it.

And now the PigskinU Top 25 for Week 13.

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Nov
0

Arizona’s hiring of Rich Rodriguez a low-risk, high-reward move

Arizona‘s hiring of Rich Rodriguez  represents a low-risk, high-reward move for the Wildcats.

Rodriguez’s offense, in my opinion, was never a good fit for the ground-and-pound Big Ten. Plus, from the start, he brought baggage. Remember how many hoops he had to go through just to take the job? Unless RichRod was perfect, he would never have been the long-term solution there.

In Arizona he gets a fresh start in a conference that loves his style of offense. And RichRod’s propensity for forgetting about defense? No big deal in the Pac-12, where defense is sometimes optional.

Arizona gets a coach that, for the most part will excite the Wildcat fan base (if they overlook the mistakes he made in Ann Arbor). Plus, the Wildcats have been running a spread-type offense for years, so there will be a minimal transition for the program.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Rodriguez has the Wildcats back in the mix in the Pac-12 within the next three years. Expectations and pressure will be much lower in Tucson than in Ann Arbor. It’s hard to pick a spot where coach and program could both benefit mightily from a change. Arizona might be it.

Rodriguez’s hiring represents the second hiring for 2012, after Bob Davie’s acceptance of the New Mexico job. And there will be plenty of firings and hirings to come.

PigskinU.com’s chart of FBS coaching changes for 2012 is after the jump. We will update it as needed.

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Nov
0

Massachusetts fires Kevin Morris as head coach

Massachusetts fired Kevin Morris as head coach on Monday. When does a coaching change at Massachusetts merit news?

Because UMass is getting ready to move into the Mid-American Conference as a full football member next season. So technically, this is the eighth coaching move in FBS.

His record wasn’t horrible – he was 16-17 in three seasons as coach. But the Minutemen are getting ready to move into Gillette Stadium for home games and they need to fill that baby up. Under .500 won’t get it done for a new FBS program.

There are already rumblings about Dennis Erickson’s job in Arizona and plenty more changes to come. And just a few minutes ago CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman reported that multiple sources are saying that former Michigan coach Rick Rodriguez will take over in Arizona. But no official announcement yet.

PigskinU.com’s chart of FBS coaching changes for 2012 is after the jump. We will update it as needed.

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Nov
0

The Bowl Game Scramble is almost here

This past weekend was all about BCS chaos. This article is all about the Bowl Game Scramble.

Ever been to a calf scramble? It’s kind of like that.

Why? Well, Navy and Army are not bowl-eligible. That means the Military Bowl and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl need backups. The Military Bowl may be in a real pickle because one of its backups, Conference USA, won’t have enough teams for its bowl tie-ins. That lack of bowl-eligible teams could also impact the TicketCity Bowl, which doesn’t have a backup this year if Conference USA doesn’t have enough bowl-eligible teams. I mean, they’ll find somebody, but who knows who it will be.

Right now the Western Athletic Conference is short two bowl teams, and while Hawaii will likely reach six wins, I’m not sure about New Mexico State.

And, believe it or not, the SEC is two bowl teams short entering next weekend. Three teams have five wins and two of them should win. But you never know.

Add to that the wealth of bowl-eligible teams in the Mid-American Conference (seven) and the Sun Belt (four) and you have lower-tier bowl games facing some interesting options.

But bowl committees don’t like risk. They like good gate, so they’ll go with the teams that make the most sense financially. So don’t expect seven MAC teams in the bowl season.

To be bowl-eligible, a team must have at least six wins. That doesn’t necessarily mean your team will get in a bowl game. But it does mean they can be selected. And, with a whopping 35 bowl games out there, the odds are pretty good your team will be playing somewhere in December.

For each conference I’ve included their bowl tie-ins, plus notes on each conference, including already confirmed bowl bids.

Continue Reading…

Nov
0

PigskinU Top 25: Iowa State, Oklahoma State, BCS chaos ensues

The weekend started with this headline: Iowa State beats Oklahoma State. BCS chaos ensues.

They weren’t kidding. This was the most chaotic weekend of the season.

By the time the weekend was over, Oklahoma lost to Baylor, Oregon lost to Southern California and the path to an Alabama-LSU rematch was clear.

Alabama received the kind of help it needed to get back into the hunt. When the new BCS rankings come out Sunday night, the Crimson Tide will be No. 2. They’re also No. 2 in our poll.

After Oklahoma State lost on Friday night I think most people thought they were staring at an insane scenario with a wealth of one-loss teams vying for the right to play LSU.

Well, Oregon had a chance, but the Ducks squandered it against Southern Cal.

Oklahoma still had a chance, but they squandered it against Baylor.

But could there be more chaos?

LSU must play two more games to get to the BCS National Championship game. First, Arkansas comes to down, and don’t discount the Razorbacks. They’re playing fantastic football right now and could go right down to Baton Rouge and screw everything up. Alabama could still lose to Auburn. Don’t think so? It’s a rivalry game. Anything could happen.

But in the short term, Alabama certainly benefits the most from this largesse of upsets. And the Tide only has to win one more game to solidify its credentials as a BCS Championship game contender.

At the start of this month there seemed to be so many ways this could go, so many potential great matchups for January.

Who would have thought that 15 days after LSU beat Alabama we’d be talking about them playing again. Legitimately.

But, to paraphrase my favorite baseball manager, “Sometimes that’s how football go.”

And now the PigskinU Top 25 for Week 13.

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