Posted on: February 7, 2011 1:55 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Last week UCLA hired Rocky Seto to be its new defensive coordinator. Seto, who used to be an assistant at USC under Pete Carroll, was pretty excited about the new job. In fact, he was so excited about it, that he even announced that he'd gotten the job on his Facebook page so all of his friends could click "Like" and leave comments saying "Congrats! xoxo"
Well, UCLA did not click like. In fact, if there had been a button that said "Fire," they'd have clicked that. Since there isn't a "Fire" button, the Bruins did the only other thing they could do. They just fired Seto.
Yes, it seems that UCLA took umbrage to Seto announcing that he was the school's new defensive coordinator on Facebook, as I guess UCLA still considers itself a MySpace stalwart. Apparently this caused a lot of fan backlash amongst the faithful who had been hoping that Randy Shannon or somebody else would get the job over the inexperienced Seto.
Whatever the case, let this be a lesson to the rest of you. Facebook is to be used for nothing more than posting party pictures, pictures of your children, and helping you remember all of your friend's birthdays. That's it. If you have to play that farm game, fine, but there are a lot better games out there that you could be wasting your time with.
Posted on: January 22, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 4:19 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Well, now that UCLA has gotten the process of replacing an offensive coordinator it hasn't fired yet, the Bruins are now moving on to finding a replacement for a coach they have fired. According to the Los Angeles Times, former Miami head coach Randy Shannon is in Los Angeles to interview with UCLA for the defensive coordinator position.
Former University of Miami Coach Randy Shannon is being interviewed for the UCLA defensive coordinator job on Saturday, according to a person inside the program who was not authorized to speak on the subject.Shannon was fired by Miami in November after four seasons as the school's head coach, where he went 28-22. He also spent the six seasons before taking over as head coach as the defensive coordinator at Miami. UCLA fired Chuck Bullough from the position in December, as the Bruins were pretty disappointing on both sides of the ball in 2010.
Whoever ends up replacing Bullough will be taking over a defense that just lost two of its best players to the NFL in Akeem Ayers and Rahim Moore.
UPDATE: Chris Foster now tweets that the Shannon interview will take place on Sunday.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 12:05 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
"Headset Reset" is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the SEC and the ACC.
WILL MUSCHAMP, Florida
Why him? Urban Meyer blindsided the college football community by stepping away from his gig as the head coach at one of the biggest football programs in the nation. So naturally, Florida poached the highest profile assistant coach from right under Mack Brown to lead the Gators into the new decade. For 2011, Muschamp needs to: Win the SEC East. By bringing in Charlie Weis as the new offensive coordinator, Gators fans will expect that many of the offensive woes that plagued them in 2010 will be eliminated immediately. But despite all their downfalls, Florida still came one game from winning the division. There will be no excuse not to reclaim the East in 2014. By 2014, Muschamp needs to have: Won the SEC Championship. Urban Meyer won two national championships in his first four seasons at Florida. Muschamp needs to at least win the SEC crown by 2014, presumably meaning the Gators are also in the national title discussion. Chances Muschamp gets what he needs?: There is no reason to think that Muschamp, a coach who carries a strong reputation in several major recruiting hotbeds, cannot continue to bring in the talent to Gainesville to build his own dynasty. I'd say chances are pretty good.
JAMES FRANKLIN, Vanderbilt
Why him? After Bobby Johnson retired less than two months before the start of the season, Vanderbilt scrambled to promote offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell to head coach. After Caldwell's 2-10 record in 2010, he stepped down as well. For 2011, Franklin needs to: Beat Elon and win at least one conference game. After two straight 2-10 seasons Franklin at least needs to equal that win total, even with a difficult non-conference schedule. The bar isn't too high, but the Commodores need to find at least one non-conference and one conference win in 2011. By 2014, Franklin needs to have: Made the postseason. Again, the bar is not too high (Vanderbilt has only 2 bowl appearances since 1980), but Franklin would likely land himself a long-term contract and cement his own place in Vanderbilt history by adding a postseason win to the school's resume. Chances Franklin gets what he needs?: Have you seen the SEC? Not great.
RANDY EDSALL, Maryland
Why him? New athletic director Kevin Anderson clearly had plans to get rid of Ralph Friedgen before he went on to win 8 games and be named ACC Coach of the Year. Despite the biggest turnaround in school history, the coach was removed in favor of Randy Edsall, the perennial coaching search smoke-screen. For 2011, Edsall needs to: Equal or improve from Friedgen's 8-win regular season in 2010. With many Terps fans and players sad to see Fridge shoved out the door, Edsall will immediately be compared to his predecessor. Fortunately, Edsall inherits a young and talented team led by ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien. By 2014, Edsall needs to have: Won the ACC Atlantic. Anderson's main reason for buying out Friedgen's contract was to take the Maryland football program from "good to great." After coming one game from winning the division in 2010, the only way to improve would be an appearance in the ACC Championship Game. Chances Edsall gets what he needs?: Not very good. The ACC Atlantic is getting stronger with Jimbo Fisher bringing Florida State back to national relevance, Dabo Swinney beefing up his coaching staff, and Tom O'Brien turning N.C. State into a perennial threat in the conference. Thinking that Edsall will be able to take the Terps to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014 is a tall order. But if it happens, it will be because of the play of O'Brien.
AL GOLDEN, Miami
Why him? After another year of poor attendance from a disinterested fan base, not to mention the failure to compete within their own division, Miami decided it was time for a change. For 2011, Golden needs to: While Shannon failed collect any hardware on the field, he certainly did his part recruiting during the offseason. Golden realizes the importance of recruiting in-state, and has hit the trail running. With only two weeks left until signing day, Golden is in the middle of his 45 scheduled visits for the month of January to solidify his 2011 class. Many recruits, including ones in-state, have expressed how impressed they were with Golden and his new staff. Golden won't be expected to win the division in 2011, but Hurricanes fans will be far less forgiving if they see a drop-off on national signing day. By 2014, Golden needs to have: Won the ACC Coastal. After years of dominating the Big East, Miami boosters have been disappointed to see Miami fall out of the conference race each year since joining the ACC. Golden needs to take the Hurricanes to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014, or else an occasionally unstable administration may get trigger happy once again. Chances Golden gets what he needs?: Golden faces an uphill battle as a coach with no experience south of Charlottesville, VA, but what progress he has made so far has been pleasantly surprising. He still is competing against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, who have combined for every ACC Coastal crown since the division formation in 2004. I'd put the chances of Golden taking Miami to the ACC Championship game right at 50-50.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 6:33 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 10:51 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Earlier, we reported that there were strong indications that Connecticut was looking to hire ex-Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple as its new head coach. And while Whipple did end up being one of the finalists for the job vacated by Randy Edsall two weeks ago, the Boston Globe reported today that UConn has hired former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni instead.
Pasqualoni, 61, compiled a 107-59-1 record at Syracuse from 1991 to his firing in 2004, and while those numbers are fine -- winning 100 games at the I-A level is no trivial feat -- TNIAAM rightly notes that the program diminished in quality under him; two of Pasqualoni's 10-win seasons came in his first two seasons with the team, and his only three non-winning seasons were his last three. Since his firing, Pasqualoni has been an assistant in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys , then the Miami Dolphins , then the Cowboys again (briefly) this season.
What this means for Whipple is unclear, other than that he won't be on the sidelines at Connecticut this season; he was not retained by new Miami coach Al Golden after Randy Shannon was fired, so it's not as if Whipple's still got a job to come home to. Whipple was a successful head coach at Massachusetts and other smaller programs, and he has assistant experience both at Miami and in the NFL. His skill set is still impressive, and at 53, he's got plenty of miles left on him. It's just up to him to convince a new team that his Hurricanes' offensive struggles were aberrations and not indications of larger strategic shortcomings in Whipple's game-planning.
Posted on: January 11, 2011 3:08 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Hey, did you know that there are other coaching searches going on right now besides the one at Michigan? I'm serious, there are! UConn still needs to find a head coach since Randy Edsall decided to leave following the Fiesta Bowl and take over for Ralph Friedgen at Maryland. Though it's starting to look as though the job vacancy in Storrs has been filled.
Reports out of Florida say that former Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, now out of a job following the firing of Randy Shannon and hiring of Al Golden, will be named the new head coach at UConn.
If the reports turn out to be correct, and the 53-year old Whipple lands the UConn gig, it will be his first head coaching job on the FBS level, and his first head coaching job anywhere since he left UMass in 2004. While at UMass he won a Division-IAA national championship in 1998. Whipple has spent the last two seasons as Miami's offensive coordinator, assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach. After a nice 2009 season that saw the Hurricanes score the most points they had in a season since 2002, things took a big step backwards in 2010. Of course, that could be the fault of Jacory Harris throwing interceptions like they were going out of style more than it was Whipple's offensive system.
Either way, to lose a job as an offensive coordinator only to find yourself getting a job as head coach at another BCS program is a pretty nice turn of events for anybody.
Posted on: January 4, 2011 11:57 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
With Randy Shannon gone from Miami , any Hurricanes he recruited to Coral Gables aren't too likely to stick around if they believe the NFL will give them a fair shake in the draft. So it's no surprise that two-time All-ACC cornerback Brandon Harris has elected to move on to the next level after his junior season :
The advisory committee hasn't always had cornerbacks' best interests in mind (witness Michigan's Donovan Warren coming out last spring after an encouraging grade, only to go undrafted), but with a handful of 2009 All-American honors under his belt, a major role on the nation's third-ranked pass defense, and a firm spot on the NFL's radar , Harris isn't in any danger of slipping too far down the draft.
But if the move makes a lot of sense from Harris's position, it's not going to help a Miami secondary that's already losing two seniors from the two-deep at corner. Al Golden will have to find some players willing to grow up in a hurry to keep the 'Cane pass defense anywhere near the lofty perch it enjoyed in 2010
Posted on: December 31, 2010 7:09 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 7:11 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Notre Dame never breaks a sweat during 33-17 win over Miami in El Paso
Offense: Tommy Rees probably isn't the best quarterback on scholarship at Notre Dame, but he's proven that sometimes there's more to the quarterback position than talent. The Irish improved to 4-0 on the season when Rees starts, though even Rees would tell you it's a lot easier to play quarterback when you have a talented wide receiver like Michael Floyd at your disposal.
Floyd says he hasn't made a decision as to whether or not he'll return for his senior season, but there are likely some NFL scouts drooling after his Sun Bowl MVP performance on Friday. Floyd finished the game with 6 receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Still, as nice as Floyd was for the Irish, the real key to their success was the running game, which racked up over 200 yards behind Cierre Wood, Robert Hughes and Theo Riddick. If it weren't for the Irish offense slowing down a bit in the second half -- which is understandable considering the game was already over at halftime -- I'd be giving them a higher grade than this. Grade: B+
Defense: The Notre Dame defense had flown a bit under the radar this season, and came into the Sun Bowl allowing only one touchdown in the last 12 quarters of play. That one touchdown was by USC, and it was a four-play three-yard drive following a turnover. The Irish stretched that streak to 15 quarters before Miami found its way into the end zone, and forced four turnovers on the day with safety Harrison Smith intercepting three passes by himself.
Miami finished the game with over 400 yards and 17 points of offense, but just about all of those came when the game was well out of reach late. Grade: A
Coaching: Brian Kelly didn't come to South Bend with the same fanfare that Charlie Weis and Ty Willingham did, but it's starting to look as though he may finally be the head coach that restores the winning tradition of Notre Dame. The Irish attacked Miami's defense early and built a big enough lead that it was able to coast through the second half, and Bob Diaco's defense stuffed Miami's running game and forced Jacory Harris to throw. And when you force Jacory Harris to throw, it's but a matter of time before the turnovers happen. Grade: A
Offense: It was really a tale of two quarterbacks for Miami. Jacory Harris came into the game looking to redeem himself and just made things worse. Here's what you need to know about Harris' day: he completed seven passes. Only four of them were completed to Miami receivers, the other three ended up in the hands of Notre Dame.
Stephen Morris came on, and though he threw an interception of his own, Miami's offense looked a lot better while he was in the game. Morris threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns, and even though a lot came in garbage time, the fact he didn't quit says a lot about him. Had he played the entire game, the outcome may have been a bit different. Grade: D
Defense: I can't blame Miami's defense for this one, as Jacory Harris didn't put them in a very good position in the first half. Hard as it may be to believe given the outcome of the game, I was actually impressed with Miami's defense in this game for the final three quarters. Even though the outcome of the game was never really in doubt, Miami's defense never stopped playing, and kept holding Notre Dame to field goals. Marcus Fortson, in particular, was impressive in the second half, frequently disrupting life in the Notre Dame backfield.
All that being said, however, Miami's defense never made a play to bail out its offense either. Grade:C+
Coaching: I do not envy the task that Jeff Stoutland had going into this game. A lame duck coach filling in for the recently fired Randy Shannon, and in charge of a team that seemed to lose interest in the 2010 season over a month ago. My only qualm with anything he did was starting Harris over Morris at quarterback, but given the fact that Morris sprained his ankle in practice, I can't even blame him for that. Grade: Incomplete
If you were tuning into this game hoping to see a classic like the meetings between these teams in the late 80s, then you were no doubt disappointed. Still, the game was a microcosm of the directions these once mighty programs seem to be going. Each team has plenty of work left to do, but Notre Dame seems to have already taken the first step back to respectability, while Miami needs to build a foundation first. Grade: D
Posted on: December 30, 2010 9:59 am
Edited on: December 30, 2010 1:04 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
UPDATE - Interim coach Jeff Stoutland announced at a joint press conference on Thursday that Jacory Harris would be the starting quarterback against Notre Dame. He did also say that if Stephen Morris is needed, "he'll be available." The situation sounds like a flip-flop of the South Florida game, with Morris starting and Harris "available." We saw two quarterbacks against the Bulls, so it could happen again in the Sun Bowl.
As Miami prepares to try and put an end to a tumultuous season in the Sun Bowl against Notre Dame on Friday, it seems fitting that on Thursday morning the quarterback situation is still not resolved. Jacory Harris is expected to get the start, filling in for injured quarterback Stephen Morris. Morris, who won the job after filling in for the injured Harris earlier in the season, sprained his ankle in Tuesday's practice. Harris has been practicing with the first team, but interim coach Jeff Stoutland says that Morris has not been ruled out yet.
"He's way better than we thought he would be,'' Stoutland said after practice on Wednesday. "After I left you guys yesterday and I checked on him, I thought it was going to be, you know I didn't expect [him to be that much improved."
Harris has not started a game since October 30, when he sustained a concussion against Virginia that put him out for nearly a month. When Harris was cleared to play by doctors, former head coach Randy Shannon kept Morris in the starting position. Harris did get to see the field in the regular season finale against South Florida, but even leading Miami to 20 second half points wasn't enough to squeak out the victory in the 23-20 overtime loss. Harris was mostly efficient in the outing, completing 12 of 18 passes for 118 yards. But it was a costly interception (his 12th in nine games of action) that reminded many Hurricanes fans the frustrations of having Harris under center.
The decision on the starting quarterback is expected to come on Thursday. After another day of rest, the staff will make a determination on Morris' status. Despite his apparent loyaly towards Morris, Stoutland still is confident in Harris should he be the starter. He made a point to compliment Harris' preparation for the game, saying he is "on his 'A' game right now mentally."
Notre Dame has seen some great offenses this season. Regardless of who is under center, the necessity to limit the mistakes will still hold utmost importance for the Hurricanes success.