Category Archives: Big XII Football

Harsh toke AP, Coaches

Nebraska Virginia Tech Football

The weekend is over, and the nation’s observers have weighed in with their opinions. By that I mean the release of this week’s Top 25 lists.

Obviously the top 3 schools are going to be Florida, Texas and Alabama right now. From there, it’s debatable for every other position. However, there is a debate that didn’t seem to take place at all.

When I looked at the Top 25 lists, I was caught off guard and surprised by the fall that Nebraska took. Entering the weekend, Nebraska was ranked 19th in the AP poll and 18th in the Coaches poll. After losing 16-15 in Blacksburg, Va., to Virginia Tech, the Huskers fell to 25th in the AP and 24th in the Coaches.

At the same time the Hokies moved up from 13th and 14th respectably, to 11th and 12th.

This just raises a question for me. How do you justify dropping the Huskers that far after going on the road and nearly beating the Hokies? Yes, they deserve to fall from their spot at the beginning of the weekend. However, falling to 24th and 25th isn’t justified.

The Huskers instead should have been ranked around 22nd. If the loss would have come to Florida Atlantic or Arkansas State, then yes drop them as far as you want. However, on the road against a good — not great but good — Va. Tech team doesn’t seem the justification for a 6-place drop.

All in all, that was a harsh toke from both the AP and the Coaches.

Nebraska falls to Virginia Tech in heartbreaker

Nebraska Virginia Tech Football

Virginia Tech flanker Danny Coale (19) looks back as races down sideline 80 yards before getting stopped on the three-yard line by Nebraska late in the second half of an NCAA college football game at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009. The play set up the Hokies winning score in their 16-15 win. (AP)

Heartbreak.

There is no other word to describe what Nebraska Cornhusker fans were feeling after their 16-15 loss at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

The Hokies were thoroughly outplayed by the Huskers on both sides of the ball, however the story of the day for the Huskers was mistakes — such as penalties while near the goal line  and blown coverage late in the fourth quarter.

The Huskers were dominant on defense — allowing only 194 total yards until 2 minutes left in the game — with the exception of the final drive. On offense, the team moved the chains — playing especially efficiently in the run game (207 yards) — but couldn’t turn that movement into touchdowns. Continue reading

And that’s that …

University at Buffalo President John Simpson and UB Athletic Director Warde Manuel named Turner Gill the 23rd head football coach at University at Buffalo on Dec. 16, 2005. Gill signed a contract extention to continue being the head coach at Buffalo on Dec. 16, 2008. (File photo by Paul Hokanson)

University at Buffalo President John Simpson and UB Athletic Director Warde Manuel named Turner Gill the 23rd head football coach at University at Buffalo on Dec. 16, 2005. Gill signed a contract extension to continue being the head coach at Buffalo on Dec. 16, 2008. (File photo by Paul Hokanson)

Three years, to the day, that Turner Gill was announced as head coach at University at Buffalo, he signed a contract extension to continue coaching the Bulls.

Today the school and Gill announced that Gill would stay on as head coach for the Bulls with a contract extension that will go through the 2013 season.

Gill will receive a pay raise — as will his assistants — which will make him one of the highest paid coaches in the Mid-American Conference.

“On the day I came here to be the head coach I told my team that one day we would be successful here at the University at Buffalo,” Gill said in a statement.

“Now, more than ever, I have never been more proud to be the head coach of this program at this great academic institution. This program has proven it can win now and it is built to continue to win in the future. I am grateful to president John Simpson and athletic director Warde Manuel for their continued support and faith in me as a football coach and leader of young men.”

Gill has been mentioned for job openings at Syracuse, Auburn and Iowa State. He has a record of 15-22 in three years coaching the Bulls — a team that had won a total of 10 games in the seven years prior to Gill taking over. Continue reading

Was race the issue?

Buffalo head football coach Turner Gill is doused at the end of their 42-24 victory over Ball State in the Mid-American Conference NCAA championship football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. (AP)

Buffalo head football coach Turner Gill is doused at the end of their 42-24 victory over Ball State in the Mid-American Conference NCAA championship football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. (AP)

Charles Barkley was very adamant in who he wanted to take over his Auburn Tigers when on TNT for NBA coverage last week. And with Auburn’s decision, Barkley is screaming foul.

Barkley called for Auburn to hire ex-Nebraska coach and quarterback Turner Gill — now head coach at Buffalo University. Barkley sited Gill’s wonderful job at Buffalo and his ability to turn a once laughing stock of Division I football into a conference champion in just three years.

However, Auburn decided to hire Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik instead.

Barkley came out after the official announcement of Chizik and claimed the only reason the Tigers didn’t hire Gill was because Gill happens to be an African-American.

“I think race was the No. 1 factor,” said Barkley, who played basketball for Auburn before a long NBA career. “You can say it’s not about race, but you can’t compare the two resumes and say [Chizik] deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst resume.”

And you know what? Barkley has a point. Continue reading

Bradford wins Heisman

Oklahoma football player Sam Bradford, right, speaks after he won the Heisman Trophy during a ceremony Saturday, Dec. 13, 1008 in New York.  (AP)

Oklahoma football player Sam Bradford, right, speaks after he won the Heisman Trophy during a ceremony Saturday, Dec. 13, 1008 in New York. (AP)

In what was an anticlimactic ceremony, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford came away from the Downtown Athletic Club of New York carrying the Heisman Trophy.

Bradford beat out Texas’ Colt McCoy and the reigning Heisman winner, Florida’s Tim Tebow, for the honor. Bradford becomes only the second sophomore ever — Tebow was a sophomore last season when he won — to win the Heisman.

This announcement came as no surprise to me — as I had predicted it early in the day — but I was somewhat disappointed by the result.

After seeing the voting totals, however, I thought it was a supremely interesting Heisman race. I mean all one needs to see is the final votes to see how interesting the race truly was.

Bradford received 300 first-place votes, McCoy 266 and Tebow 309. Not since 1956 — Tommy McDonald of Oklahoma — had a player drawn the most first-place votes and finished third. Continue reading

Chizik set to coach Auburn

Iowa State football coach Gene Chizik waits to walk onto the field with players, including Ben Barkema, left, and Todd Blythe, right, before a game against Kent State, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007, in Ames, Iowa. Chizik is in his first year as Iowa State coach. (AP)

Iowa State football coach Gene Chizik waits to walk onto the field with players, including Ben Barkema, left, and Todd Blythe, right, before a game against Kent State, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007, in Ames, Iowa. Chizik is in his first year as Iowa State coach. (AP)

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said in a statement that head coach Gene Chizik has been hired to replace Tommy Tubberville at Auburn.

“Gene [Chizik] confirmed for me today that he is accepting the head coaching position at Auburn,” Pollard said. “I’m disappointed for our Iowa State fans and student-athletes that he has chosen to leave our program after only two seasons.

“I understand that it [Auburn] is a dream job for him, but the timing and the way it played out has been hurtful and disappointing. Although this is a significant set back, we will get through the challenge because the Iowa State University athletics program is far greater than one person.”

With that in mind this hiring has to raise some eyebrows — I know it raised mine.

Is Gene Chizik really the best fit for the Auburn job? How can anyone at this point in time justify Chizik to lead a program to prominence? What has he shown to make anyone confident that he can do the job?

I’m sorry, and I don’t really mean to attack Chizik personally, but the job he’s done at Iowa State was poor — at best. He took over for a team that was on a high and quickly brought them back down to Earth. Continue reading

And the Heisman goes to…

Heisman finalists Sam Bradford, left, of Oklahoma, Colt McCoy, center, of Texas, and Tim Tebow, of Florida, pose for a photo after The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards ceremony in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. (AP)

Heisman finalists Sam Bradford, left, of Oklahoma, Colt McCoy, center, of Texas, and Tim Tebow, of Florida, pose for a photo after The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards ceremony in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. (AP)

Today marks the biggest day of individual achievement in college football, the presentation of the Heisman Trophy.

This year brings with it an interesting fight for this coveted statue, including maybe the three most compelling arguments for the award I’ve seen in a long time. However, that isn’t the only storyline that has lead up to tonight’s award ceremony. No, there has also been plenty of controversy.

It all started with the controversy of the BCS and the Big 12 Championship. With the extra game, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford showed himself well against a slumping defense and lead the Sooners to their fifth straight 60-point game. But did Oklahoma deserve the extra game over Colt McCoy and Texas? It’s debatable.

Then there is the invitations sent out by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York , and how Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell wasn’t even invited. Instead, there were only three invitations sent out … to Oklahoma’s Bradford, Texas’ McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow.

Although there was controversy about the invitations, there is no controversy about whether one of these three would win the award. With that in mind, here’s a look at each one of these three candidates. Continue reading