College Football Blog
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By Steven Lassan, 2 months 2 days ago
College football’s head coaching carousel hasn’t been as busy as some may have anticipated in November, but there has been plenty of movement in the coaching ranks.
Whether it’s a change in head coaches or a coach wanting to shake up his coaching staff, the coordinator carousel is always one of the most active aspects of the offseason. And there will be over 50 changes in the coordinator ranks in the 2013-14 offseason.
To help keep track of the latest moves, Athlon has compiled a coordinator tracker for the 2013-14 season. An important note: We listed a coordinator position if a change was made at head coach – even if the same coordinator was hired again at that school (FAU – Brian Wright, USC – Clay Helton).
We will keep this page updated until all of the jobs have been filled this offseason.
College Football's 2013-14 Coordinator Changes
Team Position Old New Air Force Co-Defensive Steve Russ, Charlton Warren Steve Russ Alabama Offensive Doug Nussmeier Lane Kiffin Arkansas Defensive Chris Ash Robb Smith Arkansas State Co-Offensive Bush Hamdan, Eliah Drinkwitz Glen Elarbee and Walt Bell Arkansas State Defensive John Thompson Army Offensive Ian Shields Army Co-Defensive Payam Saadat, Chris Smeland Jay Bateman Ball State Offensive Rich Skrosky Joey Lynch Ball State Defensive Jay Bateman Kevin Kelly Boise State Offensive Robert Prince Mike Sanford Jr. Boise State Defensive Pete Kwiatkowski Marcel Yates Bowling Green Offensive Warren Ruggiero Sterlin GIlbert, Matt Mattox Bowling Green Defensive Mike Elko Kim McCloud Central Michigan Offensive Mike Cummings Morris Watts California Defensive Andy Buh Art Kaufman Cincinnati Defensive Art Kaufman Hank Hughes, Robert Prunty Duke Co-Offensive Scottie Montgomery, Kurt Roper Eastern Michigan Offensive Stan Parrish Kalen DeBoer Eastern Michigan Defensive Ron English Brad McCaslin FAU Offensive Brian Wright Brian Wright FAU Defensive Jovan DeWitt Jovan DeWitt, Roc Bellantoni Florida Offensive Brent Pease Kurt Roper Florida State Defensive Jeremy Pruitt Charles Kelly Georgia Defensive Todd Grantham Jeremy Pruitt Hawaii Defensive Thom Kaumeyer Kevin Clune Houston Co-Offensive Doug Meachem, Travis Bush Travis Bush Indiana Offensive Seth Littrell Kevin Johns Indiana Co-Defensive Doug Mallory, William Inge Brian Knorr Iowa State Offensive Courtney Messingham Mark Mangino Kansas Offensive Charlie Weis John Reagan Louisiana Tech Defensive Kim Dameron Manny Diaz Louisville Offensive Shawn Watson Garrick McGee Louisville Defensive Vance Bedford Todd Grantham Miami, Ohio Offensive John Klacik George Barnett, Eric Koehler Miami, Ohio Defensive Jay Peterson Matt Pawlowski Michigan Offensive Al Borges Doug Nussmeier Mississippi State Offensive Les Koenning Nevada Defensive Scottie Hazelton New Mexico Defensive Jeff Mills NMSU Defensive David Elson Larry Coyer North Carolina Offensive Blake Anderson Seth Littrell Notre Dame Offensive Chuck Martin Mike Denbrock Notre Dame Defensive Bob Diaco Brian VanGorder Ohio State Co-Defensive Everett Withers Chris Ash, Luke Fickell Oregon Defensive Nick Aliotti Don Pellum Oregon State Offensive Danny Langsdorf Penn State Offensive Bill O'Brien John Donovan Penn State Defensive John Butler Brent Pry, Bob Shoop Rice Offensive John Reagan Larry Edmondson, Billy Lynch Rutgers Offensive Ron Prince Ralph Friedgen Rutgers Defensive Dave Cohen Joe Rossi San Jose State Defensive Kenwick Thompson South Alabama Defensive Kevin Sherrer Kevin Pearson South Florida Offensive Walt Wells Paul Wulff Southern Miss Offensive Marcus Arroyo Chip Lindsey Stanford Defensive Derek Mason Lance Anderson TCU Offensive Jarrett Anderson, Rusty Burns Doug Meachem, Sonny Cumbie Texas Co-Offensive Major Applewhite, Darrell Wyatt Joe Wickline Texas Defensive Greg Robinson Vance Bedford Texas A&M Offensive Clarence McKinney, Jake Spavital Jake Spavital Texas A&M Co-Defensive Marcel Yates, Mark Snyder Texas Tech Co-Offensive Sonny Cumbie, Eric Morris Eric Morris and ? Toledo Co-Offensive Louis Ayeni, Jason Candle Jason Candle and ? Toledo Defensive Tom Matukewicz Jon Heacock Tulsa Offensive Greg Peterson Denver Johnson UAB Offensive Richard Owens UAB Defensive Jimmy Williams UCF Defensive Jim Fleming Paul Ferraro UCLA Defensive Lou Spanos Jeff Ulbrich UConn Offensive T.J. Weist Mike Cummings UConn Defensive Hank Hughes Vincent Brown, Anthony Poindexter UMass Offensive John Bond UMass Defensive Phil Elmassian Tom Masella USC Offensive Clay Helton Clay Helton USC Defensive Clancy Pendergast Justin Wilcox Utah Offensive Dennis Erickson, Brian Johnson Dave Christensen Vanderbilt Offensive John Donovan Karl Dorrell Vanderbilt Defensive Bob Shoop David Kotulski Wake Forest Offensive Steed Lobotzke Warren Ruggiero Wake Forest Defensive Brian Knorr Mike Elko Washington Offensive Eric Kiesau Jonathan Smith Washington Defensive Justin Wilcox Pete Kwiatkowski West Virginia Defensive Keith Patterson Western Kentucky Offensive Jeff Brohm Tyson Helton Western Kentucky Defensive Nick Holt Wyoming Offensive Jim Harding, Pete Kaligis Brent Vigen Wyoming Defensive Jamar Cain Steve Stanard
By Steven Lassan, 2 months 3 days ago
After a successful three-year stint as Vanderbilt’s head coach, James Franklin is returning home. Franklin was announced as Penn State’s new head coach on Saturday, replacing Bill O’Brien who departed Happy Valley for the NFL.
Prior to taking over at Vanderbilt, Franklin worked as an offensive coordinator at Maryland and Kansas State and worked for one year as an assistant with the Packers. Franklin also spent time at James Madison, Washington State and Idaho State.
Franklin finishes his three-year stint at Vanderbilt with a 24-15 record, including three consecutive bowl appearances. The Commodores won 18 games over the last two seasons.
Franklin grew up in Pennsylvania and played his college ball at East Stroudsburg, which is less than three hours outside of Happy Valley.
By David Fox, 2 months 1 week ago
The Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast returns after a brief holiday hiatus to talk about the three big stories in college football. The Texas job remains opens as the Longhorns (maybe) close in on candidates. David Fox and Braden Gall discus the reported list of finalists.
Penn State also opened up this week. Where does this job rank right now given the sanctions for the next few years, and what kind of candidates can Penn State hope to get?
After that, Fox and Gall delve into the national championship game. On paper, all the signs point to Florida State dominating. But there’s something about this Auburn team.
Finally, we share our hopes for the college football world in 2014 and react to a best names of 2013 bracket.
Send any ideas, questions or comments to @BradenGall or @DavidFox615 or email email@example.com. The podcast can be found on athlonsports.com, iTunes and our podcast RSS feed.
By Steven Lassan, 2 months 2 weeks ago
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien has accepted the head coaching job with the Houston Texans. O’Brien went 15-9 in two years with the Nittany Lions.
O’Brien inherited a challenging situation at Penn State, as the program was hit by NCAA sanctions from the Jerry Sandusky scandal prior to his first season in Happy Valley.
Penn State is one of the Big Ten’s top jobs, but it isn’t without challenges. The school has uncertainty surrounding its athletic director position and is ineligible for a bowl game for the next two years.
Here are 10 replacements for Bill O'Brien at Penn State.
Texans are expected to introduce Bill O'Brien as their new head coach by Saturday, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 1, 2014
By Steven Lassan, 2 months 2 weeks ago
Michigan State’s Rose Bowl hopes took a hit on Thursday, as head coach Mark Dantonio announced linebacker Max Bullough has been suspended for the Jan. 1 matchup against Stanford. Bullough was suspended for a violation of team rules.
Bullough ranked third on the team with 76 tackles (9.5 for a loss) and recorded one forced fumble and 1.5 sacks.
The senior was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and the coaches this season and finished his career in East Lansing with 299 tackles and eight sacks.
Bullough is a big loss for a Michigan State defense that led the nation in rush defense and allowed just 12.7 points a game.
Senior Kyler Elsworth is listed as Bullough’s backup, but there’s plenty of talent for coordinator Pat Narduzzi to mix if necessary. Senior Denicos Allen and junior Taiwan Jones are solid players and will anchor the outside spots in the linebacking corps in the Rose Bowl.
Michigan State LB Max Bullough has been suspended for the Rose Bowl - http://t.co/ODE0rVkxSS— Eye on College FBall (@EyeOnCFB) December 26, 2013
By Steven Lassan, 2 months 3 weeks ago
Wisconsin’s 2014 Big Ten title hopes received a boost on Friday, as running back Melvin Gordon announced his intention to return for next season.
Gordon is only a junior but could have left early for the NFL Draft, as he redshirted after playing sparingly in 2011.
Gordon rushed for 1,466 yards and 12 touchdowns on 181 attempts in 2013.
Gordon should be one of the top returning running backs in college football next season.
By Steven Lassan, 3 months 1 week ago
Illinois coach Tim Beckman is just 6-18 in his first two seasons, but athletic director Mike Thomas has indicated he will return for 2014.
Beckman’s debut in 2012 was a disaster, which resulted in a 2-10 record and a winless mark in Big Ten play.
Illinois made small progress in 2013, recording a 4-8 overall mark and a 1-7 record in conference games.
Hiring Bill Cubit as the team’s offensive coordinator was a huge step in the right direction for Beckman, and the offense will gain a potential standout at quarterback in Oklahoma State transfer Wes Lunt in 2014.
While the offense should be in good shape next year, Illinois has to address its defense, which finished 2013 ranked 11th in the Big Ten (allowed 6.7 yards per play and 481.5 yards per game).
Illinois’ 2014 schedule is challenging, including non-conference games against Washington and Western Kentucky, while featuring road trips in Big Ten play against Nebraska, Wisconsin and Ohio State.
I just finished an interview with #Illini AD Mike Thomas. He told me Tim Beckman will return as coach next season.— Matt Wettersten (@WCIA3Matt) December 2, 2013
By David Fox, 3 months 2 weeks ago
The revelry on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium hadn’t even ended before various scenarios putting the SEC into the national championship game started popping up.
What would Auburn have to do to leapfrog an undefeated Ohio State? Is Missouri realistic? And is Alabama out of it ... really?
For this week, BCS order remains with the two undefeated teams in the national championship slots. For Auburn to get into the title game over an undefeated Ohio State, the voters and BCS computers would have to do something they’ve never done by leaving out an undefeated major conference champion at the expense of a one-loss team.
Did we mention there are still conference championship games to play. An Ohio State or Florida State loss would render SEC arguments moot. So would an Auburn loss to Missouri.
And after what you’ve seen at Auburn the last two weeks, are you going to doubt the possibility of Duke upsetting the whole thing on the last day of the season?
No. 3 Auburn. As expected, Auburn moved to No. 3 in the BCS and narrowed the gap with Ohio State. The Tigers checked in with a BCS average of 0.9233 with Ohio State at 0.9503. The difference is a little bigger than the Sunday afternoon chatter indicated, but it’s not insurmountable for Auburn with a game remaining against No. 5 Missouri while Ohio State faces No. 10 Michigan State. The gap of 0.027 between Auburn and Ohio State, a margin that figures to get closer if both win, would be the closest between No. 2 and No. 3 since Florida edged out Texas by 0.0181 in 2008.
No. 2 Ohio State. The Buckeyes lost the most ground in the coaches’ and Harris polls as nearly all the first-place votes that went for Alabama last week went to Florida State. The Seminoles have 97 of 105 first-place votes in the Harris poll and 58 of 62 first-place votes in the coaches’ poll (though Ohio State gained four top votes from the coaches). Ohio State is 25 points ahead of Auburn in the coaches poll and 84 behind Florida State. The Buckeyes are 66 points ahead of Auburn in the Harris poll and 129 behind Florida State.
Quick BCS Projections
BCS Championship Game: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Ohio State
Rose: No. 11 Arizona State vs. No. 10 Michigan State*
Orange: No. 4 Alabama* vs. No. 13 Clemson*
Sugar: No. 3 Auburn vs. No. 16 UCF
Fiesta: No. 6 Oklahoma State vs. No. 14 Northern Illinois
Key Games This Week
Auburn vs. Missouri (SEC Championship). Auburn is holding out hope to get into the BCS title game with a win in Atlanta regardless of what Ohio State does, but a loss by either of the top two teams likely vaults the SEC champion to the national title game.
Ohio State vs. Michigan State (Big Ten Championship). A rout of Michigan State, especially after the close call with Michigan, would probably help Ohio State fans rest easy no matter what happens to Auburn. But in the event of a loss, the Spartans would also like to look respectable enough to remain in the top 14 to remain eligible for an at-large bid to the Rose Bowl against the winner of Stanford-Arizona State.
Texas at Baylor. Even though they looked nothing like it the last two weeks, the Bears have the ability to get into a BCS game. An Oklahoma State loss to Oklahoma and a Baylor win will earn the Bears the automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl. And given losses by Clemson and Wisconsin, the at-large field has dwindled. A one-loss Baylor ranked in the top 10 may be the best of what’s available.
Alabama is out. The fantasy of Alabama getting back to the championship game with an Auburn loss in the SEC title game and an Ohio State loss in the Big Ten title game is probably finished. Alabama checked in at No. 4, but only 0.0111 points ahead of No. 5 Missouri in BCS average. A Missouri win over Auburn would almost certainly vault Mizzou ahead of the Crimson Tide. The only plausible scenario for the Tide in the title game would require losses by Florida State and Ohio State, setting up a matchup with Missouri or an Iron Bowl rematch.
The BCS at-large picture is a mess. Prepare to complain about teams outside of the top-10 earning BCS slots. Alabama is a virtual lock for the first BCS at-large spot (the Orange, if Florida State finishes No. 1), but after that, nothing is certain. The Rose may like to pair a Big Ten team with its Pac-12 champion if Ohio State goes to the title game, but the only candidate is No. 10 Michigan State, thanks to Wisconsin's loss to Penn State. No. 13 Clemson should remain eligible for the BCS and would be more attractive that a second team from the Big 12. At No. 12, Oregon also would be a strong BCS contender, but the Ducks won’t go to the Rose Bowl to face the Pac-12 champion.
Northern Illinois is creeping closer to an automatic bid. Fresno State’s loss to San Jose State means Northern Illinois is the only team from a non-automatic qualifying conference in the mix for a BCS bid. The Huskies moved up to No. 14, but they’re behind idle Oregon and Clemson. It would take quite a bit of a shakeup for NIU, who faces Bowling Green in the MAC title game, to get into the top 12 for an automatic bid. However, Northern Illinois remains two spots ahead of No. 16 UCF, the projected champion of the American Athletic Conference. UCF finishes with 5-6 SMU.
Notes on BCS selection
• Automatic BCS bids go to the top two for the title game, the champions of the ACC (Orange Bowl), Big 12 (Fiesta), Big Ten (Rose), Pac-12 (Rose) and SEC (Sugar). The American’s automatic bid is not tied to a particular bowl.
• Notre Dame receives an automatic bid if it finishes in the top eight.
• A champion from a non-automatic qualifying league (Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt and non-Notre Dame independents) receive an automatic bid if it finishes in the top 12 of the standings or if it finishes in the top 16 and ahead of a champion from a non-AQ conference.
• To be eligible for an at-large BCS bid, a team must have nine or more wins and finish in the top 14 of the BCS standings.
• Once automatic tie-ins are placed, the selection order for BCS bids goes as follows: 1. The bowl losing the BCS No. 1 team to the championship game, 2. The bowl losing the BCS No. 2 team, 3. The Orange Bowl, 4. The Sugar, 5. The Fiesta.
By David Fox, 3 months 2 weeks ago
Ohio State still has a chance for a spot in the national championship game, even if Michigan did everything it could (in regulation) to end those hopes.
A game that began with a bit of nastiness — a fracas early in the second quarter that resulted in three ejections and two obscene gestures for the Ann Arbor crowd — ended in fireworks.
After battling back from a 14-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, Michigan elected to go for a two-point conversion after the final touchdown. Rather than playing for overtime, Michigan rode the momentum of a back-and-forth game with its rival to go for the win.
The result was an Ohio State interception to keep the Buckeyes unbeaten and in championship game contention. The 42-41 Ohio State win was the second one-point win in the history of the rivalry and the first since Michigan won 17-16 in 1926. The rivalry has ended in a tie four times.
With Florida State throttling Florida 37-7 in Gainesville, Ohio State likely remains a spot behind the Seminoles in the BCS standings. All eyes in Columbus, though, will remain on Alabama and Auburn today before the Buckeyes prepare for Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Three Things We Learned From Ohio State 42, Michigan 41
Ohio State’s backfield is something special. This isn’t a new revelation, but it took nearly the entire season for a high-profile performance like this out of Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde as a tandem. Blame the Big Ten schedule. Blame the early season injury (Miller) and suspension (Hyde). The duo gashed Michigan’s defense up the middle all day with Hyde rushing for 226 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries and Miller rushing for 153 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. Michigan kept coming back against the Ohio State defense, but anytime the Buckeyes needed to move the ball, Hyde and Miller delivered. After a slow start, Miller still finished 6 of 15 passing for 133 yards with two touchdowns and interceptions. Given the way the Heisman race has self-destructed in recent weeks, one has to wonder how Miller or Hyde would have fared if both played all season. The duo that averaged 379 rushing yards and 8.8 yards per carry will face a Michigan State defense that’s allowed 100 rushing yards in a game only two times this season.
Ohio State’s defense came up when it mattered ... and that’s about it. When the Buckeyes make a case for the BCS Championship Game, they won’t point to Saturday’s defense. Ohio State entered the game ranked fourth in a lackluster Big Ten in total defense before allowing 603 yards to Michigan. Devin Gardner and his supporting cast have shown this potential, but what makes for exciting rivalry week football didn’t make for a resounding statement for the Buckeyes. Ohio State opened a 35-21 lead entering the fourth quarter before three Michigan scoring drives in the fourth quarter set up the potential go-ahead two-point attempt. Stops where hard to find as Ohio State allowed Michigan to score on touchdown drives of 99, 83 and 84 yards.
Michigan finally took some chances ... and failed. The Wolverines have not been the most risky team in the Big Ten this season, but that changed against Ohio State. The most prominent example was the decision to go for a two-point conversion to take a lead in the final 32 seconds rather than going for a game-tying extra point. Brady Hoke and Al Borges called for a pass play to Devin Gardner’s right with three receivers stacked in the formation. Top receivers Devin Funchess and Jeremy Gallon were covered when Gardner went for Drew Dileo. The window was tight, and freshman Tyvis Powell jumped in front of Dileo for the interception. Earlier in the game, Hoke also elected to go with his offense on a fourth-and-2 from the Ohio State 14. The conversion failed, and Ohio State scored on the ensuing drive. Michigan is only two weeks removed from kicking two sub-30-yard field goals in regulation against Northwestern, so it will be interesting to see what happens next time Hoke is in risky or conservative play call situation.
By Steven Lassan, 3 months 2 weeks ago
Michigan-Ohio State is one of college football’s top rivalries, so it’s no surprise there were a few scuffles between the two teams on Saturday.
However, things got a little ugly in the first half, as punches were thrown in a confrontation between the Wolverines and Buckeyes on Saturday.
Three players – Ohio State’s Dontre Wilson and Marcus Hall, along with Michigan’s Royce Jenkins-Stone – were ejected, with Hall saluting the crowd with a double bird as he left the field.
Below is a video of the fight, followed by Hall’s salute to the Big House: