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Tag:Adam Jacobi
Posted on: December 15, 2011 3:42 am
 

Liberty hires Turner Gill as head coach

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Turner Gill, the Kansas head coach who was ousted in November after two seasons to make way for Charlie Weis, has found a new home as head coach. The FCS-level Liberty Flames announced late Wednesday night that Gill had been hired as the team's eighth head coach in its history. Liberty, which is located in Lynchburg, VA, is known every bit for its religious affiliation as it is for its athletics or other extracurricular activities, and that fact was evidently not lost on Gill or school administrators looking to make this latest hire.

"In our search for a new head football coach, almost every advisor recommended Turner Gill, said school chancellor and president Jerry Falwell Jr. in a statement released by the school. "Every indication is that he is a perfect fit for Liberty University. His experience is at the level where we would like to take our football program. His Christian faith is strong and sincere and what any new recruit would expect to see in a Liberty University head football coach. I think Liberty University and Turner Gill were made for each other."

Liberty athletic director Jeff Barber shared Falwell's view of the school's new head coach.

"Liberty is tremendously blessed to welcome Turner Gill as our new head football coach," Barber said. "As we conducted this search during the past nine days, his name was recommended to us over and over from coaches and athletics directors from around the country as the right man to lead our football program. Turner embraces all that Liberty is and stands for and it will be a privilege to work alongside him as we continue to move our football program forward."

Gill struggled mightily to get the Kansas program on track, losing his last 10 games in Lawrence against what the Sagarin ratings deemed college football's toughest schedule in 2011. The losing streak capped a 5-19 (1-16) record at KU, which was a far cry from the 20-30 (14-18) record he achieved at Buffalo prior to joining Kansas. Gill took Buffalo to its first (and only) bowl game in 2008, losing 38-20 to Connecticut in the International Bowl.

Gill will replace Danny Rocco, who racked up a 47-20 record over six years before taking a job with FCS powerhouse Richmond over this offseason. Rocco led the Flames to four consecutive Big South championships in his time atop the program, and he was named the Big South Coach of the Year in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Rocco is second in Liberty history for most wins behind only longtime head coach Sam Rutigliano, who went 67-53 in his 11 seasons with the program.

Liberty first founded a football team in 1973 and has been a member of I-AA/FCS football since 1988. The Flames, whose most notable NFL alumni include Pro Bowl tight ends Eric Green and Dwayne Carswell, joined the Big South Conference in 2002 and posted a 4-1 conference record there in 2011 en route to finishing 7-4 on the year. Liberty's Williams Stadium currently seats 19,200 and is in the process of expanding to 30,000 in the coming years.

The school has announced a press conference for Gill on Thursday afternoon. 

Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:21 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 8:21 pm
 

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In the Big Ten, there's no more tradition-obsessed (read: change-averse) football program than Michigan. where fans react with consternation toward things most programs take for granted: luxury boxes, piped-in music, and uniform changes, for some examples.

So it must have been some sort of comfort when adidas unveiled its alternate home uniforms for Michigan against Notre Dame in the second week of the season, and the uniforms were still quite obviously Michigan uniforms at first glance -- unlike, say, the Georgia Pro Combat uniform. Notre Dame, also an adidas school, wore a uniform that was also quintessentially its own in that game. Hey, there's something to be said for familiarity.

Similarly, Michigan fans must have been relieved to see that the team's alternate road uniforms it's busting out for the 2012 Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech are, again, quite obviously Michigan uniforms. The "new" threads, seen at right and courtesy of the Michigan athletic department on WhoSay.com, were the result of teamwork between adidas and the football players themselves.

“We met with our seniors and showed them some concepts that were proposed by adidas and the mock-up is what they chose,” said Michigan coach Brady Hoke in a special news release. “This is a something the players enjoy and we thought it would be a nice way to commemorate our appearance in the Sugar Bowl.”

In addition, according to Michigan, the players decided to wear the grey face mask on the famed winged helmet. Player numbers will also continue to appear on the helmet.

The uniform is being modeled by a computer simulation of UNIDENTIFIED RANDOM STUDENT-ATHLETE NUMBER 16, and is in no way meant to be thought of as anything resembling Denard Robinson

Virginia Tech will not be wearing a special uniform for the game.

Anyway, kudos to adidas for again opting not to engage in the excesses of other companies' alternate uniforms (take a look at Ohio State's scarlet mess from this year and tell me, I dare you to tell me Nike didn't only give them to OSU because Rutgers passed on them first) and sticking to the same colors and relatively similar color proportions as usual. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, sure, but a little tweak never hurt anybody either.

We did, however, wonder what would happen if, like most of its other uniform providers, adidas had absolutely no regard for tradition and instead went for the flashiest design possible. We have obtained an EXCLUSIVE ALTERNATE UNIVERSE SNEAK PEEK at exactly that scenario, and we're happy to share it with you here. Enjoy:

  • First of all, the cumbersome title Wolverines has been shortened to the much more economical and efficient "'Rines," much in the same way that Miami has come to be known as "the 'Canes" or Boise State is now referred to simply as "the 'Cos."
  • Second, the winged helmet has given way to the winged shoulders, which seems more in line with the way animals fly anyway (Can you imagine if birds' wings were on their heads? Ridiculous!).
  • The colors are more eye-catching than before, and that's always a plus, right?
  • And lastly, according to the uniform patch, Michigan would be in the Pac-12. Yeah, conference realignment got weird in this alternate universe.


Anyway, feel free to show that version of the Michigan uniform to any Wolverine fan if you want to give them an aneurysm. 

Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Roundtable: Highlights, lowlights of bowl season

Posted by Eye on College Football



Occasionally the Eye on CFB team gathers, Voltron-style, to answer a pressing question from the world of college football. Today's question is:

What game are you most excited to watch this bowl season? Which game would you rather repair a leaky faucet than be forced to watch? And what under-the-radar bowl do you think will prove surprisingly enjoyable?

Tom Fornelli: There's three games that stand out to me as must-watches. The Fiesta and Rose Bowls present a couple of interesting matchups--a battle between Andrew Luck and Brandon Weeden should be a good time, and in the Rose we have two drastically different approaches to the run game. It's a classic Speed vs Strength showdown we see a lot when the Big Ten is involved.

Then there's the Alamo Bowl and what could be our last chance to see RG3 play in a Baylor uniform. Plus a game between Baylor and Washingtonshould give us plenty of points.
When it comes to games I'd like to avoid like the plague, I have to go with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Two 6-win teams playing under interim head coaches? HOO BOY. Gotta get some of that! As for the game most people probably don't care about, but could make for a very entertaining four hours, I have to go with the next-to-last game of the season: The GoDaddy.com Bowl between Arkansas State and Northern Illinois. Not exactly a glamourous matchup, but a matchup that could feature so many points and big plays, and it's likely going to come down to who has the ball last. It'll be a great way to get my last offensive fix of the season before tuning in to see LSU and Alabama trade punts.

Bryan FischerEven though it's not on New Year's Day this year, no game gets me excited like the Rose Bowl does. The pageantry, the setting, and -- of course -- the game itself are just fantastic. This year in particular is a very interesting matchup, the speed and quickness of Oregon against the smash-mouth sytle of Wisconsin. Both have something to prove: the Ducks need to win a BCS game under Chip Kelly and the Badgers are looking to forget last year's loss. It should be another great BCS game out in Pasadena.

At the complete opposite end of the scale is the Little Caesars Bowl. Detroit in the middle of winter with a 6-6 Purdue team and 7-5 Western Michigan team is not exactly glamorous. If you want an example of why we have too many bowls, this is it. The blandness of the game would be too much for anybody to sit through if there weren't a MAC team involved. The Interim Head Coach Bo... excuse me, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl isn't must-watch either.

I feel like a lot of people are overlooking the Outback Bowl this year. Michigan State was thisclose to getting to the Rose Bowl and winning the Big Ten title, but now head out to Florida with so much attention on rival Michigan and newcomer Urban Meyer that everybody has forgotten the Spartans won 10 games this year. Likewise, Georgia ran off 10 straight during the season and are looking to end on a high note after last year's ugly bowl loss. Of the BCS games, I can't wait to see Andrew Luck go against the opportunistic Oklahoma State defense.

Adam JacobiCo-signed on the MSU-Georgia game; I think that's going to be outstanding. One game that completely underwhelms me is Texas-Cal in the Holiday Bowl. I preferred the days of yore, when the Holiday matched up a defense-optional WAC team (usually BYU) against a Big Ten or Big 8/12 team and let the sparks fly. I don't see sparks with Texas or Cal, I see an interminable slog. In fact, the closest thing we've got to an old-fashioned Holiday Bowl is the TicketCity Bowl, which pits pass-crazed Houston and Case Keenum against Penn State's ferocious defense. All year long, fans have groused that Houston wouldn't be able to replicate its aerial assault against a "real" defense, and Ds don't get much realer than Penn State, which has talent up and down the lineup and depth. Of course, with PSU's spotty offense, 20 points might be all the Cougars need to score to secure a win, but even that's not a guarantee. Should be interesting to watch. In terms of fan experiences, Iowa State's Pinstripe Bowl visit to Yankee Stadium to take on Rutgers -- the closest thing to a "home team" possible in NYC -- should be beyond cool. In terms of actual football, it's probably going to be a horror show. Pass.

Chip PattersonThe first attempt at football in new Yankee Stadium was both a dream and nightmare at the same time.  The awkwardly aligned field and another in-state Big East team should make for a unique environment, but the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl will be remembered for the infamous excessive celebration penalty on the final touchdown that likely cost Kansas State a shot at overtime.  Throw two wildly unpredictable teams like Rutgers and Iowa State on the diamond, and who knows what will happen; it might not be that bad.

So in addition to the Kraft Hunger Bowl, I'll pile on with the Independence Bowl as lacking some flavor, because both teams are looking towards the future.  Missouri finished the season with three straight wins to become bowl eligible, but are on their way to the SEC and will be without star running back Henry Josey thanks to a freak knee injury.  Everett Withers will be coaching North Carolina for this one game, but with Larry Fedora already hired as the next head coach there leaves very little inspiration for the Tar Heels' staff to make this a game to build on for the future.  I could be wrong, but the Tar Heels did not show a ton of fight down the stretch, losing four of their final six games.

On the positive side, I'm looking forward to seeing Dabo Swinney and Dana Holgorsen making their first BCS bowl appearances as head coaches, and the showdown of high-octane styles should make for some fireworks in South Beach. The Rose and Cotton Bowls both seem like very intriguing on-field matchups, and I'm setting two DVR's to catch Luck and Weeden dueling in the desert. But I would rather watch the entire Big East regular season on loop for 2 days straight than watch Pittsburgh and SMU in the BBVA Compass Bowl.  Pitt blatantly tried to get out of the bowl and June Jones is fresh off an embarrassing flirtation with Arizona State. No thank you, BBVA Compass. I'll put my money elsewhere. 

Jerry HinnenIt's not surprising that precious few college football fans outside of Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge seem all that pumped for a rematch of a touchdown-free 9-6 slugfest that (save for the Bryant-Denny atmosphere) played more like a lower-rung NFL game -- in its inferior second half, anyway -- than a battle between two of the best SEC teams of the past decade. If I'd had a vote, I'd have cast it for Oklahoma State, too. 

But I'm still more excited for Tide-Tigers II than any other game on the bowl slate, because this LSU team is maybe the most compelling, fascinating college football team I can remember watching. They produce fewer yards per-game than 74 other teams in the FBS (including such non-must-see attacks as UCLA's and Virginia's), but they still make for riveting viewing because of the anything-can-happen-at-anytime nature of their games. There's Tyrann Mathieu's game-swinging plays, the terror of Mingo and Montgomery off the edge, Jordan Jefferson's capacity to win or lose any game near-singlehandedly, the phenomenon that is Brad Wing and -- oh yeah -- the mad in-game tactics of Les Freaking Miles. And now this bizarre bayou witch's brew of a team takes on its deadliest rival, again, with the opportunity to become not just national champions but -- given their domination of the SEC, nonconference gauntlet, and potential twin victories over Nick Saban's best Alabama team -- one of the game's greatest champions of the past 25 years. Whether it's the "right" title game matchup or not won't make it any less historic, or thrilling.

As for which game I'm least enthused about, at least Bruins-Illini has Nelson Rosario and Whitney Mercilus going for it. Louisville-N.C. State in the Belk Bowl seems like the most average possible matchup between the most average possible teams in the most average possible BCS leagues; I figure I'll need to average a cup of coffee per quarter to make it to the end. (At least, if Victor Anderson doesn't save me). As for an under-the-radar special, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati both come into the Liberty Bowl with plenty to prove, exciting (and balanced) offenses, and one of the hotter young coaches in the game. Show me two evenly-matched up-and-coming teams at programs where bowl wins are still worth their metaphorical weight in gold, and I'll show you what should be an outstanding contest.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 4:04 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 4:20 pm
 

VIDEO: Miami (OH)'s dancing equipment manager

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Miami University's football team has an equipment manager named Chad. Chad likes to dance. Chad doesn't know that the Redhawks' film crew has been filming his dance moves. That's pretty much all the background information you need to know.

And yes, of course, Party Rock is in the house tonight. Why would it be anywhere else?

What we'd like to know is if there was music playing in the background or if he was just, y'know, dancing to nothing. That's an important distinction. Because if you're at a dance club and there's techno playing and someone comes up to you doing "the robot," well, they're just enjoying the music in their own way. If you're on the street and someone does that to no music whatsoever? That makes them a mime, and nobody likes a mime.

If you'd been a fan of us on Facebook, you'd have seen this video first. Follow us at the official Eye on College Football Facebook page.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview 

Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 3:36 pm
 

Report: Craig James to run for U.S. Senate

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Former Southern Methodist tailback Craig James will file for a spot in the Republican primary for the United States Senate in Texas, according to Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas Morning News.

His son Adam James is currently a wide receiver for Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech.

James was one half of the famed "Pony Express" at SMU, joining fellow top RB recruit Eric Dickerson in the Mustang backfield and leading SMU to a combined 29-5-1 record from 1980-1982. In James' final game as a Mustang, SMU beat Pittsburgh 7-3 in the Cotton Bowl to preserve an unbeaten 11-0-1 record.

After graduating from SMU, James played for two seasons in the doomed USFL with the Washington Generals before spending five seasons with the New England Patriots, rushing for 2,469 career yards and 11 career touchdowns and making the 1986 Pro Bowl. 

James retired from the Patriots after the 1988 season.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:26 pm
 

PODCAST: Big 12 Wrapup with Tom Fornelli

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Was the Big 12 the best conference in the nation this year? Was Oklahoma-Baylor a better game than Texas A&M-Kansas State? What went right and what went wrong for each team? Mike Gundy, Bill Snyder or Art Briles for Coach of the Year? Big 12 blogger Tom Fornelli joins the podcast crew to answer these questions and much more. 

Your emails could be read on the next edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, so send them in to podcast[at]cbsinteractive [dot] com.

Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.


You can listen to the podcast in the player below, pop out a player to keep browsing, or download the MP3 right to your computer.



If you love the podcast, you'll "Like" our new Eye On College Football Facebook page.
 

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:30 am
 

VIDEO: Baylor fans react to Griffin's Heisman win

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III won the Heisman on Saturday -- perhaps you've heard -- and so Baylor fan blog Keg In The Quad quite helpfully put together a YouTube compilation of Baylor fans reacting to the Heisman announcement. It is, as you might expect, an avalanche of joy and exuberance, not unlike the reaction videos of the goals by Landon Donovan and Abby Wambach in their respective World Cups, and it's worth a watch.

We will second the video's warning to keep the sound low, though. The yelling is intense (as it ought to be).

Obviously, if you're a Stanford or Alabama fan, it's hard to get caught up in the emotion of these moments, other than to wish this was your fanbase celebrating instead. But then for a Stanford or Alabama fan to watch this is pure masochism, so you're getting no sympathy from us if you press play, Cardinal and Tide faithful.

That aside, it's fantastic that technology is allowing us college football fans to share in this unadulterated ecstasy that the Baylor fans have here. They've never had a Heisman winner at Baylor before, and nearly every student there wasn't even alive the last time Baylor even won nine games in a year (1986, 9-3, with a 21-9 win over Colorado in the Bluebonnet Bowl). So this is rarefied air for so many of the students and fans in this video, and to be able to at least observe these throngs of people, all of whom are simultaneously experiencing this awesome new world where the best college football player in America can be one of their own, well, it's hard not to be overwhelmed.

Posted on: December 12, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Bowl Game Picks: Who Do You Like?

Posted by Chip Patterson

Every week the CBSSports.com college football staff offers our picks straight up and against the spread in the Expert Picks. But we aren't the only ones who get to offer our opinions on the outcome of the weekend's best games. In our weekly "Who Do You Like" Picks, we give you - the readers - a chance to weigh in on how you think the upcoming slate of games will play out.

After getitng your opinion on the BCS bowls last week, we move our attention to some of the high-profile non-BCS bowls in the weeks ahead.  Let us know how you think these cross-conference showdowns will play out in the days leading up to the National Championship Game.       

You can see the results of the voting every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on Inside College Football, airing on the CBS Sports Network.



Come debate your picks for the week with other college football fans at the new Eye On College Football Facebook page. 

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com