It's Hoke-a-Mania in Ann Arbor!!
In the most botched coaching search of the year - Michigan hired its man (sort of) going with Brady Hoke. After getting played by
Harbaugh and Les Miles the Weasels settled for a HC with a 47-50 overall record. Actually it's not a bad hire. UM will be solid again on defense though the offense will be reined in a bit. They will most likely return to the glory days of Floyd Carr going 9-4 and blaming the refs for all the losses.
Meanwhile Big Al tossed up an interesting choice from his sub - going with Paul Pasqualoni for HC of his beloved UConn Huskies.
2004 with a record of 107-59-1. He had only one losing season but was let go in 2004 after Syracuse brought in a new AD who promptly pulled a Friedgen on PP by firing him after winning COY in the Big East. Of course, going
6-6, 6-6 and 4-8 his last three years didn't help his cause. CT high school coaches were pulling for PP as former HC Randy Edsall was said to not give enough love to the locals. PP was selected over PSU DC Tom Bradley and
UMass HC Mr Whipple.
Other seats on the carousel were filled as National Signing Day quickly approaches. Stanford promoted OC David Shaw to HC after Harbaugh left for the Niners. Shaw is fairly young (38) but has experience having been an
assistant in the NFL for 9 years prior to the Stanford gig. With QB Andrew Luck staying on the Farm, Shaw's offense should hum again next year.
San Diego State also promoted from within after Hoke left - appointing DC Rocky Long as HC. Long joined Hoke at SDSU after stepping down as 11 years as HC of New Mexico. If his track record with the Lobos is any indication the Spaztecs will hover around 5-7 wins per year.
Pitt's Coach of the Month club rotated over to Todd Graham to be the new HC. Graham was HC at Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes were an offensive juggernaut under Graham and led the nation in offense in 2007 and 2008. No more fears about getting Wannstedted - Graham will run up the score.
Having to get someone in quick - Tulsa went with their special teams coach Bill Blankenship as HC. Looks like a desperation hire as Blankenship's claim to fame is being the HC of Tulsa Union HS where he guided the preps to a 57 game winning streak and three 6A state titles. Gerry Faust anyone?
Week 19 Results:
Nevada -7.5 vs Boston College - The trend of gimmicky offenses struggling in the Bowls continued as Boston College stymied the Pistol offense all night. With 9:30 to go Nevada kicked a FG to go up 20-10 and had the cover. But with 5:30 left BC started at their 33 and with the help of two very questionable pass interference calls - were able to drive to the WolfPack 15 and kick a FG getting a back door cover. Nevada went three and out then stopped BC at their 44 on downs. Nevada then went into their Wannstedt formation and I lost the bet by one half of a freakin point. Crap LOSS
Week 20 Picks:
Not wanting to end the season on a near Wannstedt (Nevada was too far from FG range to call it a true Wannstedt) nor on a back door half point cover - I'll have to go with a Divisional Playoff game.
I like New England to pound the Jets especially with all the flapping of the lips by Antonio Cromartie. Expect Cromartie to get eaten alive by the slot receivers and running backs out of the backfield. But the 10 point spread is too rich for me so I'll pass
Same with Chicago vs Seattle. Seattle shot their wad against New Orleans last week and should get pounded by Da Bears. But 9 points is a bit too much so I'll pass on this one too.
I actually like Green Bay getting 1.5 at Atlanta but rooting against the Falcons is a hanging offense down here so I'll
Which leaves me with
Baltimore +3.5 at Pittsburgh - Most places have the spread at 3 but the Mirage is showing 3.5 so I'm taking
the monorail over there to lay my bet. The teams split their games with each winning by a FG on the others home field. Pitt was without Big Ben Roethlisberger in their loss. In the rematch Big Ben threw a TD with 2:51 to pull out a 13-10 win. These teams play old school tough football and should have another classic decided by a FG. I'll take the 3.5 and the Ravens.