Arkansas State... First-year offensive coordinator Hugh Freeze was named as Steve Roberts' replacement. Freeze, was the Red Wolves OC last year. Yawn...
Ball State... Stan Parrish didn't get as much time as predecessor Brady Hoke; then again, Hoke didn't inherit a 12-1 team as did Parrish, out after two years and going 6-18. The Cardinals are looking at MSU OCDon Treadwell, and perhaps Wisconsin OC Paul Chryst. Sources say another longshot to watch could be Stanford special teams coach Brian Polian, son of NFL Colts President Bill Polian, not far away in Indianapolis. Hope Treadwell gets his chance
Kent State... Doug Martin announced his resignation before the end of the regular season, and the Golden Flashes seem in no hurry to fill the position. MAC sources indicate the two preferred candidates seem to be West Virginia OC Jeff Mullen andOhio State assistant HC Darrell Hazell. The intriguing long shot to watch could be former Kansas and Minnesota HC Glen Mason, who held the same position at Kent in 1986-87 and apparently wants to give it one more try as a head coach.
UL-Lafayette... Ricky Bustle's nine-year run ended without the Ragin' Cajuns ever exceeding six wins, so his successor has been forewarned. Pac-10 sources indicated that Southern Cal DL coach and former Ole Miss HC Ed Orgeron had an interest in the position, but the Cajuns have opted for a more-current regional flavor, tabbing Mississippi State WR coach Mark Hudspeth as the new coach over the weekend.
Miami-Florida... Along with Florida, this has been the primo job opening on the market, and after flirting with CFL Montreal Alouettes HC Marc Trestman, who has won the Grey Cup the past two years and whose links to the school go back to the early '80s when Trestman was a young assistant and QB coach for Howard Schnellenberger's
legendary 1983 national title team, the Canes have instead opted for a highly-regarded up-and-comer, Temple's Al "Touch of" Golden, who was hired over the weekend. Golden, rumored strongly of late in the northeast to be a possibly replacement for Joe Paterno (some day) at Golden's alma mater Penn State, apparently became very anxious to make a move after his Owls were bypassed for a bowl berth. Not wanting to wait around for the call from the Nittany Lions, quickly got on a short list at Miami and Pitt, Golden landed the job with the more upside of the two. The reported candidacy of Nebraska's Bo Pelini was a hot topic until Husker AD Tom Osborne refused to grant an interview request
North Texas... The Mean Green went for an established name when plucking Florida DL coach and former Iowa State HC Dan McCarney as the successor to Todd Dodge.
Northern Illinois... Jerry Kill will not be coaching the Huskies in the Humanitarian Bowl, with defensive assistant Tom Matukewicz in charge for the game vs. Fresno State. On Monday, NIU hired Wisconsin DC Dave Doeren as Kill's replacement for 2011.
Pittsburgh... Dave Wannstedt's surprise dismissal after a 26-12 mark the past three seasons opened a lot of eyes in the Big East and elsewhere; with Miami and Florida filling their positions over the weekend, at the moment this is the biggest job on the market. A candidate who apparently won't be moving to Pittsburgh is Iowa State HC Paul Rhoads, who had been the Panthers' defensive coordinator before taking the Cyclone job, but says he is staying put in Ames. Sources say to keep an eye on some high-profile assistants, including, Penn State DC Tom Bradley, current Pitt OC Frank Cignetti, Alabama LB coach and Panther alum Sal Sunseri, and Florida State DC Mark Stoops, from nearby Youngstown, Ohio.
Vanderbilt... Word from Nashville sources is that Vandy is ready to make a huge splash, and could commit between $2.5-3 million per year to a new coach in hopes of upgrading the program to a level similar to Northwestern in the Big Ten. Improvements to facilities and a new football complex are supposedly in the works, with the possibility of future games being played at the NFL Titans' LP Field as a further inducement to recruits. Reports over the weekend had a 6 or 7-year deal waiting for Auburn OC Gus Malzahn, although Malzahn has rejected the offer, instead signing an upgraded deal to stay at Auburn. With the Malzahn deal unraveling at the 11th hour, "Plan B" apparently involves Maryland OC. James Franklin (coach-in-waiting at Maryland, but might have to wait a while longer with Ralph Friedgen supposedly on the verge of a 3-year contract extension), former Clemson and Tulane HC Tommy Bowden, or Stanford assistant Greg Roman, who might be waiting to seewhat Jim Harbaugh's next move is on The
Farm. SEC sources indicate that the "cigars" in Nashville are not likely to step forward with a big-bucks cash infusion if the best David Williams can do is Franklin; Tommy Bowden or Fulmer could be another matter.
West Virginia... The Mountaineers made a bold move on Tuesday, hiring Oklahoma State o.c. Dana Holgorsen as the "coach in waiting." Bill Stewart will stay on the job for one more year in 2011, as the transition to Holgorsen for 2012 will begin.
Stay tuned as the dominoes continue to fall.
Week 15 Results
A nice week for the BBofG 2.0 as it went 3-1. That brings the total for the last 2 weeks to 6-3 - for the last four weeks to 11-7 - and the total starting with VEGAS BABY week to 26-17-1 or better than 60%. Anything over 53% wins money in VEGAS BABY!
Congratulations to the Lions. Led by former MSU QB Drew Stanton they beat Green Bay 7-3. Meanwhile, Chicago and Minnesota lost. It is the first time since Nov 5 2006 that the Lions won a game and the rest of the division lost.
Navy -7.5 vs Army - Navy jumped to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter but Army did not quit. The Black Knights responded with a TD and with a minute left in the first half drove deep into Navy territory. With a 2nd and goal at the Navy 3, Army fumbled, Navy scooped it up and ran it back for a TD. A 14 point swing. It was apparent Big Al's hands were all over this game. Ahead 31-17 with 3 minutes to go - Navy had the game well in hand but a late TD would get Army the cover. Army drove and had a 1st and goal at the Navy 8 with less than a minute to go but Navy forced two incompletions and a sack. On fourth and goal from the 15, Army's QB was forced to scramble and taken down at the 10 getting Navy the win and the cover. WIN
Carolina 29. 3 plays later the Falcons were leading 7-0. Atlanta scored a TD on their next drive too and were on their way to a 17-0 halftime lead. Carolina rumbled into the end zone on their first drive of the second half but that would be as close as they got as Atlanta won going away 31-10. WIN
Tampa Bay -2.0 @ Washington - In a tight game - TB was trailing 9-10 with 7 minutes to go. A 41 yd pass from Josh Freeman to Kellen Winslow put the Bucs up 17-10 with 3:42 left. At that point I figured I had gotten a late gift and I was either going to get the cover or go into OT with a chance to win on a FG. Sure enough - Washington drives and gets a TD with 9 seconds left but misses the PAT. Oh come on! a missed PAT??? TB wins 17-16 but doesn't cover. LOSS
Baltimore -3 @ Houston - Baltimore came out fired up, as expected, building an early 21-0 lead. Houston scored a TD with 42 seconds left in the first half but the Ravens countered with a TD on the opening second half kickoff and were comfortably ahead 28-7. At that point I was feeling pretty good about the pick. But from then on the Texans
defense stoned the Raven offense and their offense kept chipping away at the lead. With 6 minutes left Houston was trailing 13-28 and had a fourth and 3 at the Raven 5 yd line. I figured - just watch - Houston will score two more TD's
but miss the 2 point PAT getting Baltimore the win but my second lost cover due to a missed PAT.
Sure enough Houston gets the first TD. The Ravens then drive to the Texan's 44 using up all of Houston's timeouts. For some reason, with it being 3 and 2 - RB Ray Rice having a solid game - and 2:42 left - the Ravens throw it!
The pass is incomplete and stops the clock. The announcers are all over the call saying it just saved the Texans 40 seconds. Houston then drives and scores a TD with 31 seconds left. Having been screwed by the pass call late - now I was sure I was going to get hosed by a missed PAT. But the Texans get it and we go to OT.
Now I figure – let’s get a FG and the push - and I can piss and moan about the blown opportunity. The Ravens win the toss but once again are stoned on offense. The Ravens punter, however, was having a spectacular day pinning the Texans deep - and for the sixth time in the game gets it within the Texan's 20. Now I was still worried as Houston had scored on 5 straight drives and the announcers were constantly harping on how the Raven defense was gassed.
Houston QB Matt Schaub drops back to pass and almost gets sacked for a safety............Hadn't thought of that........... Baltimore would blow the cover by getting a safety. OK Ravens play good defense but not too good. On the next play Schaub drops back into the end zone again - Don't get him! -and throws a pick six! OH YEAH BABY!! I finally got a pick six to go my way! Baltimore wins and gets the cover 34-28. Must have been a payback for the
TB loss. WIN
Week 16 Picks:
There are three Bowl games this Saturday but none seem very interesting (other than for the purposes of the pool I am in) so I will stick with the pros this week.
Dallas -6 vs Washington - Going with the revenge angle here. Washington beat Dallas 13-7 in week 1. Dallas
started out the season very poorly until they fired former HC Wade Phillips. SInce then the Boys have gone 3-2 with quality wins over NYG and Indy and two tough losses (by identical scores of 27-30) to New Orleans and Philly.
Washington continues to struggle losing to TB (damn missed PAT) and 5 of their last six including blow out losses to the NYG (7-31) and Philly (28-59). McNabb is still a joke. Washington's defense is dead last in the NFL while Dallas has averaged over 30 points per game since former OC Jason Garret took over as HC.
Atlanta -6.5 @ Seattle - I know Atlanta is going to have a let down at some point but I will keep riding the Falcon train. The Dirty Birds can clinch a playoff spot with a win and home field advantage through the playoffs by winning 2 of their last 3. Seattle lost to a bad SF team last week 21-40 and are 2-5 over their last seven games. The Seahawk defense is 31st in the NFL (just ahead of Washington) while Atlanta's offense is 9th best. As long as the Falcons keep playing at this level they should blow out a struggling Seahawk squad.
New Engalnd -11 vs Green Bay - New England and Tom Brady are laying on a whole different level lately. Since the second half of the Thanksgiving day win over Detroit the Pats have outscored their oppostion 109-10! Tom Brady has not lost a home game since 2006. Meanwhile he has thrown 268 passes without an INT - 40 short of the record (Bernie Kosar). In comes Green Bay most likely without Aaron Rodgers. Back up Matt Flynn was terrible against the Lions last week leading the Pack to one FG on a little over 2 quarters of play, Lots of points to be laying but NE won their last two by scores of 45-3 (NYJ) and 36-7 (Chi). GB without Rodgers is not as good as those two teams.
Chicago -3 @ Minnesota - Playing the good team bounce back angle here. Chicago was humiliated by NE last week 7-36. Minnesota will either start injured B Farve (who has been terrible this year or an even worse 3rd string QB Joe "Friday" Webb. Not only does Minny not now who their QB will be –they’re not even sure where they will be playing. They are clearing out the Golden Gophers home field but are awaiting permission from the NFL. They also need to figure out if they can sell booze at the stadium, get the water turned off without bursting pipes, how good the field will be after 2 months under the snow and ice and how to address the fact that TCF Bank Sttadium seats 12,000 less fans than the Metrodome. The backup plan is to play in Indy. After slumping early in the season, Chi QB Jay Cutler has caught fire winning 5 straight until last week’s loss. The defense stuffed Farve and RB Peterson in the first matchup this season - a 27-13 win.