Friday, November 30, 2007

Saban Returns to Scene of His Prime

With Louisiana State coach Les Miles about to talk with Michigan and defensive coordinator Bo Pelini reportedly going to Nebraska, Alabama's Nick Saban spent Wednesday recruiting the Baton Rouge area.

The Daily Reveille reports that Saban flew into the Baton Rouge airport and was escorted by Louisiana State Troopers to an undisclosed location.

The Monroe News Star reports that Saban sees this as a prime time to invade his old stomping gounds.

"That's why he's in the state right now," Bastrop (La.) coach Brad Bradshaw said. "He sees an opportunity to pounce, and that's what he's doing."

Thanks to Tiger Droppings.

Where We Stand on the Job Openings

Wake Forest's Jim Grobe, left, among the coaches who have talked with Nebraska, doesn't sound as if he's ready to become the Cornhuskers' next coach. Grobe gave an interview Thursday to Raleigh's 850 The Buzz and from the sound of it, he's not in the mix at Lincoln. Bo Pelini and Turner Gill are considered to be the finalists, and Gill isn't talking.

Arkansas: There were a flurry of reports indicating that Tommy Tuberville had agreed to become Razorback coach, but even Arkansas media outlets are backpedaling from those accounts. Tuberville's departure was news to reporters in Alabama, who say Tuberville was in Arkansas to hunt for ducks, not a new job. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs says he hasn't been contacted by anybody from Arkansas, which is a stipulation in Tuberville's contract.

Houston: Alabama offensive coordinator Major Applewhite and former Miami coach Larry Coker are being mentioned as possible candidates.

Michigan: The agent for Louisiana State's Les Miles said he has not been contacted by anyone in the Michigan athletic department, but Miles "wants to be the next coach at Michigan," according to a friend. LSU is ready to navigate into $3.5 million waters to keep Miles. Michigan reportedly will go to only $3 million.

Southern Methodist: Sources tell the Dallas Morning News that the Mustangs are interested in Navy's Paul Johnson.

Washington State: The Seattle Times reports that Greg Olson, the offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, is expected to be among the candidates.

Navy's Prank of Pranks on Army

Army's successful prank of stealing Navy's mules, then posting the video on YouTube was nothing compared to what the Midshipmen pulled off in 1992, according to Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun.

Unlike the Navy's goats, unguarded on a farm 15 miles outside Annapolis, the Midshipmen decided to go after Army's mules, which are housed on school grounds in a veterinary compound with guards stationed at the gate and the barn.

The plan was hatched by the class of 1991 and executed in 1992. A group of 17 Midshipmen were involved, making several reconnaissance missions to West Point, posing as tourists to map out the area, snapping photos and shooting video. One of the Midshipmen was an electrical engineering major, and he visited West Point to study the alarm systems.

The story has many twists and turns, but Navy was able to pull it off in what is thought to be the only time Army's mules were stolen in the 117-year history of Army-Navy.

Hawaii's Charmed Season Continues

We told you earlier this week that six helmets belonging to Hawaii players were stolen during the postgame celebration after the Warriors' victory against Boise State. Hawaii station KITV made an appeal Tuesday night for the return of the helmets — no questions asked. Incredibly, all the helmets have been returned. Thanks to the Warriors Will Throw.

Reporters' Notebooks

Bill Mayer, Lawrence Journal-World: The 2007 records of the five coaches who did not play college football: Kansas' Mark Mangino (11-1), Texas Tech's Mike Leach (8-4), Texas A&M's Dennis Franchione (8-4), Navy's Paul Johnson (7-4 to date) and Notre Dame's Crewcut Charlie Weis (3-9).

Jeff McLane, Philadelphia Inquirer: After a long legal battle, Joe Paterno's salary is public. The Penn State coach will earn a surprisingly low $512,664 in 2007.

Mel Bracht, Oklahoman: Having covered Lee Corso's 1976 Indiana team for the Indiana Daily Student, he's not surprised Corso made it big in television.

Suzanne Halliburton, Austin American-Statesman: Two suspended Texas players were indicted by a grand jury for their alleged roles in a July robbery.

John McClain, Houston Chronicle: Recent history shows that athletic directors who dip into the NFL to find head coaches are taking a risk. Sometimes that risk is not worth taking.

Brian Davis, Dallas Morning News: The newspaper has obtained all of Dennis Franchione's VIP Newsletters that Texas A&M officials have collected. To view all the PDF files, click here.

Jeff Carroll, South Bend Tribune: It appears the Pacific 10 officiating and replay crew at the Notre Dame-Stanford game blew a call.

Angelique Chengelis, Detroit News: A lot of things have to happen, but Michigan and Louisiana State could meet in the Capital One Bowl.

Larry Brown Sports: Granny Holtz blames the irresponsible Internet for turning up the heat on coaches. Brown's comment: "It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to be a blogger. You got analysts and prominent media members out there bashing you left and right, creating a constant struggle."

Tess Hollis, Auburn Plainsman: A Birmingham jeweler is playing damage control for an "offensive" Auburn advertisement that ran in the Birmingham News. Thanks to UWire.

Eric Crawford, Louisville Courier-Journal: In the end, Louisville found passion and a running game. It resulted in a victory against Rutgers.

Lexington Herald-Leader: Kentucky fans who were arrested after they stormed the Commonwealth Stadium field to celebrate the Wildcats' victory against Louisiana State will not face trespassing charges.

Mick McGrane, San Diego Union-Tribune: Bronco Mendenhall is the best coach you've never heard of, restoring Brigham Young as the premier team in the Mountain West.

Crystal Ball

Double D, Boston Herald: Those bumbling UCLA Bruins have a chance to play in the Rose Bowl but must play at USC. This looks like a rerun of "Mission Impossible." Ignore all that and take the Bruins and the points against the Trojans.

Jody Demling, Louisville Courier-Journal: Oklahoma has too much firepower and will take down Missouri in the Big 12 title game.

Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News: His Pacific 10 selections have Stanford keeping it close against California.

National Championship Issue: You think Tennessee is going to spring the upset against Louisiana State in the Southeastern Conference title game? Think again.

Phil Steele: His top 25 forecast calls for Virginia Tech to defeat Boston College in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.

New York Post: Saturday's heroes tackle the spread.

For the latest numbers, visit Doc's Sports.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rate of Unemployment Remains High

Because we care, here is the latest on the coaching openings:

Arkansas: Good luck, Razorback fans. First, Tommy Tuberville's name is being tossed about. Consider that Texas A&M just took a look at Tuberville's $6 million buyout clause and said no, so the chances of Tuberville becoming Arkansas' coach are slim and none with none being a heavy favorite. Oakland Raider coach Lane Kiffin is also being mentioned. "That's news to me," Kiffin said. And consider that Kiffin signed a three-year contract in January and would need to persuade Raiders owner Al Davis to let him out of the remaining two years. In other words, no chance in hell.

Georgia Tech: A lengthy list at this point, with Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, Florida State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, former Auburn coach Terry Bowden and Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe among those mentioned. Still in the development stage.

Michigan: Louisiana State's Les Miles will talk with the Wolverines, but not until after Saturday's Southeastern Conference title game. Miles' agent George Bass flew from Dallas to Baton Rouge on Wednesday to discuss enhancements and pay increases to Miles' contract with LSU chancellor Sean O'Keefe. It's clear LSU is not going to let Miles leave without first offering him a bundle of money. In an interesting sidenote, ESPN analyst and former NFL and Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman said he would select Iowa's Kirk Ferentz over "questionable" call-maker Miles.

Nebraska: Buffalo's Turner Gill and Louisiana State defensive coordinator Bo Pelini have interviewed. Wake Forest's Jim Grobe is also believed to have interviewed. But the ability to track the Cessna Citation CJ3 used by Tom Osborne on Sunday and Monday has been lost. Richard Robinson, the Cornhusker booster who owns the aircraft, paid a fee to have it removed from flight-tracking websites.

Southern Methodist: Rick Neuheisel, the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator and former Colorado and Washington coach, said he had been contacted indirectly about the job. Officials have raised an estimated $10 million in order to lure a top-flight coach.

Southern Mississippi: South Carolina defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix is scheduled to interview this week with his alma mater about replacing Jeff Bower.

Washington State: Texas El Paso's Mike Price has been contacted about the job. Also expressing interest are John L. Smith, the former Michigan State, Louisville, Utah State and Idaho coach, Eastern Washington's Paul Wulff, whose I-AA Eagles play Appalachian State in the national quarterfinals this week, and California defensive coordinator Bob Gregory. Here is an interesting piece on Price and his possible interest/motivation in returning to Pullman.

'Operation Good Shepherd' Is a Success

Army and Navy are finishing preparations for Saturday's game in Baltimore, but the Black Knights have already pulled off a rather entertaining prank, stealing Navy's three goats during a commando-like raid and documenting it by putting a video on YouTube, above. Navy has issued its YouTube response, below.

Reporters' Notebooks

Scott Cacciola, Memphis Commerical Appeal: More than 1,500 people were on hand to greet new Mississippi coach Houston Nutt. An estimated 500 people had to be turned away at the door. Nutt has a four-year deal valued at more than $7.4 million.

Donnie Webb, Syracuse Post-Standard: Greg Robinson, 7-28 in three seasons, will be back as Syracuse's coach.

Jerry Hill, Waco Tribune-Herald: Art Briles is Baylor's coach. He left Houston for a seven-year deal that will pay him up to $1.8 million annually, including incentives.

Eric Connor, Greenville News: The American Civil Liberties Union has accused Clemson's Tommy Bowden of abusing his authority by imposing his religious beliefs on players.

Randy Rosetta, Baton Rouge Advocate: Louisiana State quarterback Matt Flynn's sore throwing shoulder might not allow him to play against Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference title game.

Adam Kilgore, Washington Post: For the second season in a row, the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game will give off an embarrassing appearance on television — swaths of empty teal seats at Jacksonville's Municipal Stadium.

Bob Clark, Eugene Register-Guard: Because it's never too early to look ahead, a glance at how the Pacific 10 race is shaping up for 2008.

Ferd Lewis, Honolulu Advertiser: Confident Hawaii, which plays Washington on Saturday night, is planning to invite fans to a nationally televised celebration of its bowl pairing as part of Fox Sports' selection show Sunday.

Ryan Finley, Arizona Daily Star: University of Arizona police received numerous noise complaints from homes surrounding Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats pumped in crowd noise during a two-hour practice for Saturday's game at Arizona State.

Christian Swezey, Washington Post: The Congressional Bowl — a proposed 2008 game for the Washington D.C. area — is aiming for one of the participants to be a service academy team, starting with Navy in 2008 and Army in 2009.

Luciana Chavez, Raleigh News & Observer: South Carolina's Steve Spurrier was spotted in Durham talking with Duke athletic director Joe Alleva, likely giving his opinion on who the Blue Devils should consider for their coaching opening.

Lawrence Journal-World: Kansas receiver Dezmon Briscoe is due in court on Jan. 2, which is the date of the Fiesta Bowl, the expected postseason destination of the Jayhawks.

Steve Ellis, Tallahassee Democrat: It's time to implement a plan for the post-Bobby Bowden era at Florida State.

Jack Stripling, Gainesville Sun: Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade and a University of Florida professor, died Tuesday morning. He was 80.

Today's not so mystery link: Video of the recent Bobby Knight shooting incident. For background, click this link.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ESPN Has Its Man on the Search Committee

Word out of Ann Arbor is that ESPN's Desmond Howard has been named to Michigan's search committee to help find the successor to Lloyd Carr. This is a good thing for ESPN, which figures to be a lock to break this story now that it has access to the inner circle. Just imagine the embarrassment if the four-letter network were to get scooped!

The bad news for the Wolverines? It's that Howard is on the search committee. Desmond seems like a nice enough guy, but who can forget his expert analysis on last year's Holiday Bowl. Texas A&M was California's opponent, not Texas. At least the graphics department got it right.

Howard was later summoned to the Budweiser Hot Seat where he apologized.

Maloofs Climb Aboard the Pineapple Express

Last time we heard from the billionaire Maloof brothers — Joe and Gavin — they were noshing on $6 burgers at their Palms Casino in Vegas. They've resurfaced in another playground of the rich — Hawaii.

The brothers recently attended a Hawaii practice and game and met coach June Jones. During the meeting, Jones told the billionaire brothers that his recruiting budget was only $50,000.

"I couldn't believe what I heard," said Joe, who played football at New Mexico. "I couldn't believe he built this kind of team — I guess you can call it a dynasty — with the type of budget that he has."

The Maloofs then donated $50,000 to Na Koa, the team's booster club, and cut a $25,000 check to the June Jones Foundation. They also plan to establish a scholarship in Jones' name valued at $15,000 annually.

Hawaii — the only remaining unbeaten team — is all the rage. The Warriors' game against Boise State produced the largest audience for ESPN of its 14 Friday night games on ESPN or ESPN2 this season.

Now the Warriors are not without problems. At least six Hawaii players had their helmets swiped during the postgame celebration after the win over Boise State. Plus receiver Davone Bess has been reprimanded by the Western Athletic Conference for taunting Nevada fans after the Warriors' victory on Nov. 16.

A Lott of People Don't Care About Trent

What's more important in Mississippi, outgoing Senator Trent Lott, or outgoing Southern Mississippi coach Jeff Bower?

It's not even close.

Rick Cleveland of the Clarion-Ledger writes in his blog that the paper's website story on Lott stepping down received 46,037 hits on Monday. The story on Bower's dismissal tallied 125,441 hits, a difference of 79,404.

Cleveland has several entries dealing with Southern Mississippi's stunning decision to send Bower packing. Of interest is an email he received from Jeff Hammond, a former Golden Eagle quarterback who is now commanding the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division that is in the process of deploying to Baghdad for the next 15 months. Part of Hammond's email:

"Jeff did things right at USM and in the end produced young men who for the most part will make us all proud into the future. He won games, graduated students, changed the face of USM Football and did more than any others before him.

"I cried a bit yesterday at the news of his departure…Had to go home for a few hours just to be with my wife, Diane. Unsuccessfully attempted to contact Jeff via telephone to tell him we care…He is USM Family and we cannot “hire” what he brought to the table. In fact, we could use more like him."

Reporters' Notebooks

Ian R. Rapoport, Birmingham News: In an attempt to control bowl speculation, the Southeastern Conference has imposed a gag order on bowl chairmen, executive directors, and spokesmen until after Saturday's games.

Scott Cacciola, Memphis Commercial Appeal: In the coaching hire of the offseasion, it took Houston Nutt and Mississippi less than six hours to agree on a four-year deal worth more than $7.4 million.

Pete Pelegrin, Miami Herald: Florida International, losers of 23 in a row, is offering free admission to Saturday night's game against North Texas, the last college football game to be played in the Orange Bowl.

Evan Woodbery, Mobile Press-Register: Auburn plans to review security procedures after cornerback Jerraud Powers was bitten by a police dog late in the fourth quarterback of the Iron Bowl. Video link.

Eagle in Atlanta: Who says it's difficult to beat a team a second time? A little research shows otherwise.

Tom Kirkendall: Tulsa officials have filed a complaint with Conference USA over a halftime performance by Rice's marching band that took a jab at former Owl and current Golden Hurricane coach Todd Graham.

Michael Murphy, Houston Chronicle: Houston's Art Briles interviewed with Baylor but at the end of the day said he was "still proud to be a Houston Cougar."

Heisman Pundit: Tim Tebow holds a slim lead over Darren McFadden in this week's Heisman Trophy straw poll, with Chase Daniels lurking in third.

Chip Brown, Dallas Morning News: The loser of the Big 12 title game between Missouri and Oklahoma is likely headed to the Cotton Bowl.

Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News: Standout Missouri freshman Jeremy Maclin, who originally committed to Oklahoma, said he changed his mind in part because Sooner coach Bob Stoops "never came to my house."

Terrance Harris, Houston Chronicle: Texas A&M is catching heat from the Black Coaches Association for its quick hire of Mike Sherman.

Natalie Meisler, Denver Post: Sonny Lubick's departure from Colorado State was difficult to the end.

Brian Bennett, Louisville Courier-Journal: Thursday night's Rutgers-Louisville game is a matchup of teams that have fallen short of expectations.

Bryan Strickland, Durham Herald-Sun: Former Duke coach Ted Roof on what advice he'd give his successor: "Make sure you get all the facts and ask all the questions walking in the door. Look back at the 30-year history. A lot of coaches have come and gone. They need to take a look at every part of the program."

Michael Klitzing, North County Times: San Diego State coach Chuck Long was given the dreaded vote of confidence by athletic director Jeff Schemmel.

To bypass registration, go to Bug Me Not. Here is today's mystery link.

The Joy of Six

Our last grouping of front pages from Week 13 games, leading with the Alabama-Auburn game. Click an image for a closer look.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

USC Set to Move Games to the Rose Bowl

USC is negotiating to move home games beginning in 2008 to the Rose Bowl, the Los Angeles Times reports.

USC approached the Rose Bowl because officials have grown frustrated with the lack of progress on a lease agreement to remain in the L.A. Coliseum, which first played host to a Trojan home game in 1922. USC's potential move has the blessing of rival UCLA, which is the primary tenant of the Pasadena venue.

The Times reports that USC had offered to fund a minimum of $100 million over 10 years toward the repair and restoration of the Coliseum, which is adjacent to the USC campus. As part of that deal, the school would be in charge of running the venue. Coliseum officials have said no to the proposal.

If USC moves, Saturday's game against UCLA could be the last for the Trojans in the Coliseum, the historic venue that has played host to two Olympic games.

Thanks to Image of Sport.

About the Ferentz-to-Michigan Chatter ...

If Kirk Ferentz is headed to Michigan, it's news to nearly everybody, including Iowa athletic director Gary Barta.

"There is nothing new regarding Kirk ... no news," Barta wrote in an email to the Iowa City Press-Citizen. A clause in Ferentz's contract stipulates that he must notify the athletic department before discussing any opportunities elsewhere.

Speculation surrounding Ferentz becoming Michigan's coach started almost immediately after Lloyd Carr announced he was stepping down. Former Des Moines Register sportswriter Ron Maly was among the first to brush off talk of any interest in Ferentz by Michigan. "Would Michigan hire a coach to beat Ohio State who can't beat Iowa State?" Maly wrote in his blog.

But the respected M Go Blog, which first broke the news about Carr's retirement, continues to suggest Ferentz is in the mix. That has spread to message boards, including this interesting post saying the reason Carr stepped down was because he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease several years ago. (Carr has been medicated, according to the post, and for the most part has been fine.) The post also suggests that Carr and Louisiana State's Les Miles, thought to be near the top of Michigan's coaching list, were not the best of friends.

"Miles’ and Carr’s dislike for each other played out on the recruiting trail for years. Miles was allegedly one of the first coaches telling kids about Carr’s health and impending retirement and that was 4 years ago. The dislike spiraled and spiraled.

"This is what Carr meant in his resignation speech when he said that certain issues would be left on the recruiting trails [it was directed at Miles]."

Nebraska Getting Close to Decision

Nebraska "interim" athletic director Tom Osborne and university chancellor Harvey Perlman arrived back in Lincoln on Monday night after a two-day swing that took them to Baton Rouge and Atlanta in search of a successor to fired coach Bill Callahan.

About 20 reporters were waiting at the airport for Osborne, who was asked if he had anything to say about the search. "No, nothing. Thanks for coming. I know you had nothing better to do."

This much is known: Louisiana State's Bo Pelini and Buffalo's Turner Gill have been interviewed. Other names being tossed about include Wake Forest's Jim Grobe and Cincinnati's Brian Kelly. The Omaha World-Herald, citing an anonymous source, said a new coach could be in place as early as Wednesday.

And to correct an earlier report in the World-Herald, a second plane that traveled from Omaha to Atlanta on Monday appears to have no connection to the search. That aircraft is registered to regent and booster Howard Hawks, whose company, Tenaska Inc., operates a power-generating station in Georgia. The five men who deplaned in Atlanta appeared unconnected to the search, the paper reported.

Sign of the Times

Check out the frame grab of a sign being held by an Auburn fan at the end of the Tigers' sixth consecutive victory against rival Alabama. Thanks to Deep South Sports.

Reporters' Notebooks

Natalie Meisler and Terry Frel, Denver Post: Sonny Lubick is out as Colorado State's coach. A news conference — nothing more than a spin job — will be held Tuesday announcing that Lubick, 70, will become senior associate athletic director.

Scott Cacciola, Memphis Commercial Appeal: Houston Nutt was a busy man on Monday. He "resigned" as Arkansas coach between negotiating terms of a possible deal to become Mississippi coach.

Dwain Price, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Houston's Art Briles will interview Tuesday for the Baylor job.

Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman: Boise State's Chris Petersen, whose name has been mentioned with nearly every opening, does not sound like a man looking for a new gig: "This is a great place. I'm completely happy here. I'm not even kind of looking to go anywhere else, and I hope I can stay a long time."

Terry Hutchens, Indianapolis Star: Bill Lynch, who took over Indiana on an interim basis after the death of Terry Hoeppner, was given a four-year contract.

John Mullin, Chicago Tribune: Joe Novak has stepped down as coach at Northern Illinois. Among the expected candidates: Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Haywood, Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and former Cincinnati coach Rick Minter.

Donnie Webb, Syracuse Post-Standard: Syracuse is unlikely to fire Greg Robinson because of a costly buyout — around $3 million.

Bob Condotta, Seattle Times: Washington athletic director Todd Turner, when asked whether there was any doubt that Tyrone Willingham would return next season: "Not in my mind."

Jim Moore, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Bill Doba made it easy for Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk to decide to go in another direction.

Chip Brown, Dallas Morning News: Advice for new Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman: Start owning recruiting in the Houston area and the Golden Triangle encompassing Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange. That's where some of A&M's best players have come from.

Tom Kirkendall: The hiring of Sherman at seven years for $1.8 million per year is a good hire, especially considering how A&M badly overpaid for Dennis Franchione.

Andy Staples, Tampa Tribune: Might Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley be standing in the way of a Florida-Illinois bowl matchup because he wouldn't want the Gators to face the coach — Ron Zook — he fired three years ago?

Cecil Hurt, Tuscaloosa News: It wasn't the 6-6 record that was surprising, really. It was the way Alabama arrived at the .500 mark.

Mike Baldwin, Oklahoman: Oklahoma State most likely will play in the Insight Bowl after Alamo Bowl officials narrowed their Big 12 choices to Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune: The Sun Bowl voted to extend an invitation to South Florida. A team from the Pacific 10 will be the opponent.

Rick Scoppe, Greenville News: South Carolina could get an invitation to the Music City Bowl, where its opponent could be Florida State.

Jake Schaller, Colorado Springs Gazette: Air Force has accepted a bid to play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Texas Christian is expected to play in the Texas Bowl, where it would take on the hometown Houston Cougars.

Ryan Autullo, Toledo Blade: Bowling Green is expected to get an invitation to the GMAC Bowl.

Dave Curtis, Orlando Sentinel: A complete list of bowl projections.

Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News: Veteran Stanford announcer Bob Murphy is calling his last game on Saturday — the Big Game against California.

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Scary Moment for Stanford's Pritchard

Happy to report that Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard, one of the heroes of the Cardinal victory over USC, has been cleared to play against California after this horrific and questionable hit by Notre Dame's Terrail Lambert.

Cheap Shot?

Oregon State quarterback Sean Canfield suffered an injury to a shoulder on this play when hit by USC's Will Harris during a Nov. 3 game at the L.A. Coliseum. Canfield hasn't played since and his status for Saturday's Civil War game against Oregon has yet to be determined.

Our question: Is this a cheap shot? Harris does appear to be leading with his helmet, but Canfield was slow in getting down. The gang at the Oregon State fan site Building The Dam clearly believe this is a cheapie.

Battle for the Beehive Boot

Here is video shot by the Salt Lake Tribune of Saturday's Utah-Brigham Young game at Provo. More newspapers are shooting video and photographers or reporters are often required to shot the video in addition to their other responsibilities. Of course, they aren't paid for the extra work. Management will tell you there are no victims, only volunteers, but all of this is an issue for another journalistic day.

Display Type

Here is the second set of front pages from last week's games. It was an exceptional week for designers, but hey, that's what happens when you put college football on the front page! We will post the last group on Wednesday. Click an image for a closer look.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ousted: Nutt, Gailey, Doba, Roof and Bower

Five more coaches are gone in what has quickly become the bloodiest offseason in years. Houston Nutt and Arkansas have parted ways after the sides negotiated a buyout settlement of his contract. Nutt, 50, won't be out of work long. He reportedly is negotiating to become Mississippi's coach. Last week he had been mentioned in connection with the opening at Baylor.

Georgia Tech fired Chan Gailey after six seasons. Gailey, 55, was 44-32 at Tech, 28-20 in Atlantic Coast Conference games and 0-6 against Georgia.

Bill Doba, 67, is out at Washington State. He was 30-29 in five seasons after taking over for Mike Price, the current Texas El Paso coach who is expected to be at the top of the Cougars' list.

Duke fired Ted Roof, who was 6-45 in four-plus seasons. His winning percentage (.118) ranks as the lowest in the program's 87-year history.

In a controversial move, Southern Mississippi forced Jeff Bower, 54, to resign after a 119-82-1 record in 17 seasons. The Golden Eagles (7-5) clinched a 14th consecutive winning season with a 16-10 victory over Arkansas State on Saturday and received an invitation to the Bowl in Birmingham. It will be the team's ninth bowl trip in the last 10 years, but it wasn't enough to save Bower.

Nebraska has scheduled a meeting for players on Tuesday, but Tim Cassidy, the Cornhuskers' director of football operations, said don't read too much into it. Of interest is that a private airplane left Omaha for Atlanta on Monday morning — the second plane thought to be associated with Nebraska's search to land in Atlanta in two days.

This plane is owned by Howard Hawks, a Nebraska regent and substantial donor to the athletic program. On Sunday, a plane with Tom Osborne aboard left Lincoln and flew to Baton Rouge, where Bo Pelini was interviewed.

The plane carrying Osborne left Baton Rouge on Sunday night and landed in Atlanta, where Turner Gill was interviewed on Monday. Two other candidates are expected to be interviewed. One is thought to be Wake Forest's Jim Grobe. The other candidate is unknown.

New A&M Coach Caught Sleeping on the Job

That fella sleeping at the NFL scouting combine is Mike Sherman, assistant head coach/offensive coordinator of the Houston Texans. Presumably he'll be awake Monday morning, because he's going to be introduced as Texas A&M's new coach.

We don't make this stuff up.

It's now clear why Auburn's Tommy Tuberville was saying last weekend that he wanted to stay at Auburn. He had no choice. A&M wasn't interested in paying a $6 million buyout clause in Tuberville's contract.

Sherman's ties to Texas A&M? He was an assistant with the Aggies, serving as the offensive line coach from 1989-93 and 1995-96 under R.C. Slocum. He went on to coach the Green Bay Packers and was fired in 2005 after a 4-12 season.

Reporters' Notebooks

Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star: Tom Osborne asked for and was granted permission to approach Buffalo coach Turner Gill about becoming Nebraska's next coach. Louisiana State athletic director Bo Pelini was interviewed Sunday in Baton Rouge.

Craig Smith, Seattle Times: Washington State is expected to announce Monday whether it is hanging out the "help wanted" sign for a coach or sticking with Bill Doba.

Dave Curtis, Orlando Sentinel: The Southeastern Conference race reveals the flaws in the Bowl Championship Series system.

Greg Stoda, Palm Beach Post: What a fabulous college football season. Too bad the BCS is about to ruin it.

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times: The prospect of a Cinderella BCS matchup between West Virginia and Missouri seems to have traditionalists aghast. They need to get over it.

Norman Chad: The BCS is a crock — who doesn't know that? Next.

Terrance Harris, Houston Chronicle: Arkansas and Texas A&M are talking about playing in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium.

Bob Thomas, Florida Times-Union: Florida State's Bobby Bowden says the Seminoles are lacking in talent.

Bryant-Jon Anteola, Fresno Bee: Is Fresno State back? The Bulldogs' confidence is soaring after a victory against Kansas State.

Bryan Strickland, Durham Herald-Sun: Mike Krzyzewski on Duke football: "For any sport, Duke should not play a sport where our goal is to be competitive. We shouldn't field a team for that. We should field teams only where our goal is to win and win with class and dignity. If it's just to be competitive, we shouldn't fund that program."

Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun: Baltimore, which plays host to Saturday's Army-Navy game, could be among 15 cities bidding to play host to future games between the teams.

To bypass registration, go to Bug Me Not. Here is today's mystery link. Thanks to Joe!

There's Only One Vili the Warrior

Honolulu station KHNL has a feature called job swap, where a member of the staff tries their hand at another job. Enter anchor Stephanie Lum, who goes through training with Hawaii's Vili the Warrior, the greatest college mascot in the land.

Police Dog Bites Auburn Player

A police dog tries to take a chunk out of Auburn defensive back Jerraud Powers during Saturday night's Iron Bowl game against Auburn. An close look below:

That Great Arkansas-LSU Game

Can't let the Arkansas-Louisiana State game — one of the best of the season — fade without three videos.

First we have the highlight package. Seriously, how great is Darren McFadden? He's clearly the best player in college football. Clearly. And he's about to get screwed out of the Heisman. We also have trouble understanding Granny Holtz on this video. Perhaps he didn't use enough PoliGrip.

Next we have an Arkansas fan who was being secretly taped. He gets so excited over the winning play that he faints, recovers, then runs out the front door and screams to all of Little Rock. Funny stuff and it comes with a language warning.

Next we have Houston Nutt and McFadden celebrating the victory. Nutt might not be the best guy around, but he knows how to use a great, great talent like McFadden. Arkansas fans, you'd be nuts to lose him.

Giving Him the Business

It's garbage time. Maryland leads North Carolina State, 37-0, and referee Ron Cherry calls a penalty on the Wolfpack's Kalani Heppe for giving a Terrapin player the business. Thanks to Aaron!

Snapshots From Week 13

A look back at the week that was from TV Tan Line. This man watches a lot of football. Check out his review of the week's games by clicking here.

How Newspapers Covered the Firings

It was a huge weekend of college football. How huge? We have so many newspaper front pages stacked up that we've decided to break the display into three parts. We start with coverage of three coaches who were fired: Bill Callahan of Nebraska, Dennis Franchione of Texas A&M and Madman Ed Orgeron of Mississippi. Click an image for a closer look and check back on Tuesday and Wednesday for other spectacular fronts.