Posted on: June 9, 2011 12:00 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Oklahoma's defensive line got a bit thinner on Thursday as the school announced that rising sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Noble will no longer play football for Oklahoma, or anybody else. Noble worked his way into the Sooners' defensive line rotation last season as a freshman, but suffered a concussion against Iowa State. Noble missed the rest of the season due to the concussion, and though he returned for spring practice, a setback kept him out of Oklahoma's spring game.
Now, with the effects of the concussion still lingering, Noble has decided to put an end to his football career.
“He's still having trouble,” Bob Stoops told The Oklahoman. “He was a strong, young guy that did well. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get past the injury.”
This news leaves Oklahoma with only three returning defensive tackles that have any playing experience: Casey Walker, Stacy McGee and Jamarkus McFarland. Redshirt freshman Torrea Peterson is the likely candidate to replace Noble in Oklahoma's rotation.
Posted on: June 8, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:42 am
By the Eye on College Football bloggers
To celebrate the (now fewer than) 100 days remaining until the first Saturday of the new college football season, this is the CBSSports.com College Football 100: our countdown of the 2011 season's 100 most influential players, coaches, administrators, venues, or any other related things in college football. It's like that other "most influential" list, but, you know, more important. Also: it's supposed to be fun.
We're now down to the nitty-gritty: Nos. 10-3 below, No. 2 tomorrow and our No. 1 unveiled Friday. Stay tuned.
10. JOHN MARINATTO, commissioner, Big East. Marinatto joined the Big East executive staff as senior associate commissioner in 2002, just in time to see the biggest shakeup in membership since the conference began football competition in 1991. Now, as the Big Ten and Pac-12 have shaken up the conference landscape with the expansion to 12 teams -- as well the ACC and Pac-12 recently negotiating lucrative multi-network media deals - the onus falls on Marinatto to bring the Big East up to par with the new standards of major conference football.
In his discussion with CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, Marinatto made no mistaking that the primary driver of Big East expansion is the expiration of their current television deal with ESPN at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Beginning in September 2012, the Big East will have a 60-day exclusive negotiation period with the network. At that point Marinatto hopes to have expansion completed, and be holding all the attractive chips for a bidding war that will pay out the way it did for the Pac-12. TCU's arrival next season obviously holds the greatest national intrigue, as well as reaching a very un-Big East audience in the Southwest. But where will expansion stop? With the right moves, the league cound finally abandon its role as college football's BCS-conference punchline.
For now Marinatto insists that there is no model, and all options are still on the table. The only driving factor in the eyes of the conference is how will the addition of a certain team add value to television contract negotiations. College football is a big money business that networks will pay for, and after seeing the deal that Larry Scott got for the Pac-12 everyone will one a piece. But we'll get to Scott soon enough ... -- CP
9. LANDRY JONES, quarterback, Oklahoma. With Oklahoma being the popular pick to start 2011 on top of the polls, there's no arguing that quarterback Landry Jones won't begin the season as a Heisman favorite. But it's not just the visibility of being under center for the nation's No. 1 team: the junior-to-be has thrown for 7,916 yards and 64 touchdowns in his first two seasons in Norman. The formula will be pretty simple--the more games that Oklahoma wins, the more talk you'll hear of Landry Jones.
The Sooners offense has been an explosive one for as long as Bob Stoops has been at the wheel, and one that gives the quarterback a lot of toys to play with. Life is a lot easier when you have guys like Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills and James Hanna to throw to. Still, Jones is the kid in charge of driving the car. He doesn't have a ton of room to improve this year, though he has thrown 26 interceptions in his career. If Jones can cut down on turnovers this season it will only boost his touchdown numbers, Oklahoma might never let go of that top spot, and Jones will be in New York this winter to pick up some hardware. -- TF
8. MIKE SLIVE, commissioner, SEC. If you thought for one red second someone other than Slive was the true ruler of the SEC, we hope you paid attention to the league's recent spring meetings. Slive proposed a "soft cap" of 25 signees per class, among other "roster management" initiatives designed to curb oversigning. The SEC's 12 head coaches voted against the proposal 12-0. But with the final decision in the hands of the league's presidents, the proposal passed anyway, the presidents voting 12-0 in favor. What Mike Slive wants, Mike Slive gets.
Well, except maybe a new television contract. The "no outs" nature of the league's current 15-year deal, signed three years ago, looks worse and worse as league after league (most notably the Pac-12) strike it rich on the open market and the Big Ten Network's revenues continue to grow. The SEC is hardly hurting for money, though, and it's Slive who has overseen the conference rise to five consecutive BCS championships -- spread across four teams, even more impressively -- even as its number of programs under probation has dwindled (pending a few open investigations, mind). The modern SEC might still be the Conference (former commish and BCS visionary) Roy Kramer Built, but Slive has done a masterful job of pressing its football advantages while pushing a handful of successful academic measures (like the oversigning legislation) to battle the league's win-at-all-costs image. If the SEC does make it six-for-six in 2011, its commissioner will no doubt get some measure of credit--and it's hard to argue he won't deserve it. -- JH
7. BILL HANCOCK AND THE BCS, Executive Director of/and championship cartel. Boo! Hiss! The BCS and Bill Hancock aren't the most popular topics amongst college football fans, but they are both incredibly influential in the world of college football. It's the BCS that helps inject more money in the BCS conferences, and is also a driving factor behind the conference realignment we've seen the last few years. After all, 2011 isn't TCU's final year in the Mountain West if they hadn't just finished two undefeated regular seasons and not gotten a chance to play for a title. Of course, while it's fun to rage against a acronym, it's also nice to have a face to go with that acronym.
Which is where Bill Hancock comes into play. No matter who you are -- a fan, a writer or the United States government -- if you present the BCS with a rational, well-thought and logical complaint about the BCS system, Hancock is the man you'll hear from. He'll be the guy telling you that you're wrong, and that the BCS is perfect. The BCS will then go about its business doing things the way it always has, and at the end of the season they'll determine who has the right to play for a national championship, and you won't. -- TF
6. JIMBO FISHER, head coach, Florida State. First Will Muschamp burned Texas to accept the job at Florida, then the recent Dana Holgorsen/Bill Stewart feud exploded at West Virginia. It seems like one of the only "coach-in-waiting" situations that has worked out recently was Jimbo Fisher at Florida State. After contractually getting the title in 2007, Fisher waited behind the legendary Bobby Bowden to take control of the powerhouse in Tallahassee. But in those last few years under Bowden, the Seminoles had slipped from being perennial national title contenders to perennially playing December bowl games. But that all seemed to change when Fisher took the reigns and delivered the Seminoles' first 10-win season since 2003.
Now Florida State returns 17 starters from that squad, and last year's backup quarterback E.J. Manuel steps in after leading the Seminoles to victory over South Carolina in the Chick Fil-A Bowl. Fisher's promotion also paid immediate dividends on the recruiting trail, with blue-chippers like defensive back Karlos Williams and running back James Wilder Jr. giving the 'Noles their strongest haul in years. (The 2012 class, incidentally, is already shaping up to draw consideration as the nation's best.) The pundits now have Fisher's team tagged as ACC favorites, and there is once again a major buzz around Tallahassee regarding Seminoles football. Fisher has demanded that his players understand what expectations mean. "Just because you're picked to win, they don't give you a trophy when the season starts," he explained recently.
The fast-talking Fisher will fill your ear with areas where his team needs to improve. He never gets complacent, and constantly asks more from his players. It was complacency that arguably played a major role in Florida State's fall from grace after the turn of the century, and now Fisher has a great chance to restore that dominance in 2011, in just his second year as head coach. College football's next true powerhouse could get its start here. -- CP
5. ANDREW LUCK, quarterback, Stanford. Luck finished runner up for the Heisman last season and many figured he'd be house shopping in the Charlotte area after dismantling Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Every NFL pundit was labeling him a surefire number-one pick and future Hall of Famer after watching him shred opposing defenses every time he dropped back. CBSSports.com draft analyst Rob Rang called him the best quarterback and elite prospect he's ever scouted. With his head coach, Jim Harbaugh, headed to the San Francisco 49ers, many assumed he was a lock to bolt for NFL riches.
The architectural design and engineering major from Houston had other plans, however. He kept his Palo Alto address and announced he would stay at Stanford for his redshirt junior year to try and capture the inaugural Pac-12 title. He'll be gunning for the few Stanford quarterback records he hasn't already broken and look to get back to a BCS bowl as well. He's not just an accurate pocket passer, though; he can run and doesn't mind giving a shove to defenders if they end up in his way. It's good that he's mobile as two of the Cardinal's biggest challenges under new head coach David Shaw are replacing several starters along the offensive line and finding a few targets for Luck to throw to. Despite the issues on offense, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound quarterback is the prohibitive favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this year. He's got a lot riding on his heavily insured right arm in 2011, but with a manageable schedule and the fact that he's competed over 70 percent of his passes for his career, don't be surprised if the talented Luck keeps the Cardinal offense humming and the team in the national title hunt as well. -- BF
The COI will be in the news a lot this year, as the off the field headlines in college sports have dictated. First up is Boise State -- battling the dreaded charge of "Lack of Institutional Control" for violations in several sports -- and Tennessee this weekend. The Volunteers' case is one many observers are looking at with a close eye due not only to the coaches involved (Lane Kiffin and Bruce Pearl) but to see how they treat a coach that blatantly lied to investigators ahead of their later date with Ohio State and Jim Tressel. In addition to levying scholarship reductions, bowl bans, probation and a host of other penalties, the COI has also started to hand out suspensions to coaches, such as the three-game suspension for UConn head basketball coach Jim Calhoun.
The committee is not bound by prior case precedent -- though they say they use it as a guide -- so decisions can feel arbitrary and vary from case to case. All of that simply makes predicting what they will do harder than getting the right lotto numbers. It's not a courtroom where schools have due process rights; the COI, rather, is all about finding "clear and convincing evidence" to support the NCAA enforcement staff's case against schools. The NCAA has recently tried to be more transparent with the COI, showing how things are done and opening the door into their world ever-so-slightly under new president Mark Emmert. Questions still remain, though, about what penalties will eventually come out of the room for schools such as Tennessee, Ohio State, and eventually North Carolina. The only answer at the moment is to wait. -- BF
3. NICK SABAN, head coach, Alabama. It's the year 2011, and the argument is over; Nick Saban is the most powerful college football coach in Division I. Every rival who might have challenged him for that honor is in decline, or gone entirely. Jim Tressel: resigned in disgrace. Pete Carroll: fled back to the NFL just ahead of the NCAA posse. Mack Brown: went 5-7, ceded Big 12 superiority to Bob Stoops. Stoops: has seen Saban win two rings with two different teams since he won his last. Urban Meyer: retired to punditdom (however temporarily). And when it comes to being the biggest, baddest head coach on the FBS block, are they really any other challengers?
If Les Miles can down the Tide in Tuscaloosa this season on his way to a second crystal football, or Chip Kelly can get his Oregon team over the hump of their nonconference struggles, or--most likely--Stoops can finally grab that elsuive second national title, then we can talk. But it's Saban until then, not least because he's as likely to come away with this season's ultimate prize as anyone; between what projects as the nation's clearcut No. 1 defense and what should be a punishing ground game, even a potentially up-and-down passing game (featuring a first-year quarterback and wideouts mostly more steady than spectacular) may not be enough to prevent the Tide's second BCS title in three years.
The old saying is that college football teams take on the personality of their coaches, and nowhere is that more true than at Alabama. Saban's brutally professional, clinically detail-oriented, obsessively driven approach has created a program where sloppiness and shoddy preparation--from offseason workouts to gameday routines to play execution--isn't so much "not tolerated" as nonexistent. It's not a particularly personable philosophy, which is one reason Saban has arguably become the SEC's most hated villain. But as the 2011 season grinds into motion, it's also what's made him the nation's single most successful active college football coach. -- JH
The 100 will continue here on Eye on CFB tomorrow. Until then, check out Nos. 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51, 50-41, 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. You can also keep up with the 100 by following us on Twitter.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Andrew Luck, BCS, Big East, Big Ten, Big Ten Network, Bill Hancock, Bill Stewart, Bob Stoops, Bobby Bowden, Boise State, Bruce Pearl, CBSSports.com College Football 100, Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Chip Kelly, Dana Holgorsen, David Shaw, E.J. Manuel, ESPN, Florida State, Heisman Trophy, James Hanna, James Wilder Jr., Jim Calhoun, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tressel, Jimbo Fisher, John Marinatto, Karlos Williams, Kenny Stills, Landry Jones, Lane Kiffin, Les Miles, Mack Brown, Mark Emmert, Mike Slive, NCAA, NCAA Committee on Infractions, Nick Saban, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Orange Bowl, Pac-12, Pete Carroll, Roy Kramer, Ryan Broyles, SEC, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, UConn, Urban Meyer, Virginia Tech, Will Muschamp
Posted on: June 6, 2011 3:55 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 4:12 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Bob Stoops and Jim Tressel aren't so dissimilar, fashion senses aside. They're both from the Youngstown area of Ohio, they were both coaches of perennial powerhouses up until Memorial Day, and as such they've got plenty of experience with unsavory characters trying to give impermissible gifts to their star players. These things just happen from time to time.
The difference between the coaches from Oklahoma and Ohio State, then, is that Stoops still has a job, and Tressel doesn't -- and that's directly related to how the two men handled similar situations with benefits and star quarterbacks in their past. Tressel quite famously declined to inform anybody of potential eligibility issues for Terrelle Pryor, whereas Bob Stoops decided to address an issue involving QB Rhett Bomar more directly:
Cold-blooded, to be sure, but Stoops' approach is correct: if any player knowingly does something that could affect his eligibility, that's an issue that could impact his entire team, and he's got to be made an example of.
Of course, it helps that Stoops had Paul Thompson, a senior QB-turned-WR-turned-QB, behind Bomar, and Sam Bradford calmly redshirting behind Thompson. And yes, Thompson wasn't great, but OU still went 9-4 with a trip to the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State. Stoops' career marched on without a hitch, and here we are today.And that's what makes Tressel's transgressions so infuriating. Yes, Terrelle Pryor is a unique talent and the main catalyst for success on that Buckeye offense, but this is Ohio State we're talking about. Joe Bauserman can quarterback that team to nine wins. Heck, Joe Biden can probably quarterback them to at least eight.
Moreover, Tressel's job wasn't exactly on the line coming into 2010. If anything, he was one of a few coaches in college football who had the political capital to punish his star player even more heavily than usual and take a couple extra losses as a result, just on the principle of the matter. He could have done that. He should have done that. Instead, Tressel punted on the Pryor issue several times, then went through with punishing and obligating Pryor and his teammates only after the issue became public. Then he lied about it. Why on earth did he think he needed to do that? It just doesn't make sense.
Posted on: April 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 4:35 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.
1. Want a quarterback? Like Clemson's Tajh Boyd (pictured)? You might want to head to the state of Virginia, which despite its relatively small recruiting profile could produce starters at as many as seven different BCS programs, including potential national title contenders Alabama and Florida State. (The class of 2012 might tend more towards wideouts, though; both the Virginia-based members of Tom Lemming's top 100 are receivers.)
2. Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier is a funny guy. On why the Broncos are joining the Mountain West rather than the Pac-12: "We’ve applied for membership into the NFL. … The truth is schools must be invited into a conference. You don’t get to just join a conference like you can go and join Costco.” Of course, it was his less-amusing, more-serious remarks on the lack of a college football playoff that made headlines.
3. We found out this week that both Auburn and Alabama are going to take a trip to the White House this year; the Tigers to see President Obama as national champions, of course, but Penn State announced that the Tide's Week 2 visit to Beaver Stadium will also be to a "White House." It will the first white-out for the Nittany Lions since 2009, but they maybe should have picked a different opponent, at least if the Tide's infamous 2008 throttling of Georgia during a "black-out" is in any way indicative.
4. The lead item in this Tulsa World post-spring notebook on Oklahoma concerns the Sooners trying to fill the Thanksgiving week hole in their schedule, but the most interesting item comes at the notebook's end, when we discover that Bob Stoops once hitchhiked "several hundred miles" to see Bob Seger in concert.
"I put the name of the city on some cardboard around my tennis racket," Stoops said, "and went out to the highway, held up the racket and hitched a ride to the concert." So if he ever chooses to kick against the wind for no apparent reason, you'll know why.
AND A CLOUD ...
Navy's spring game will air tonight on our own CBS Sports Network, with a few twists ... And speaking of the Midshipmen, Ken Niumatalolo has signed a long-term extension , though the non-release of details means we don't know for much or for how long ...The first wave of Ohio State Tatgate smack shirts is hitting store racks and Internet shopping carts ... Colorado was the first school to go all-HD this spring when it comes to practice film, a move that's made post-practice film study much quicker and easier, the Buff coaches say ... Mike Slive reiterates that he expects the SEC to "do something more than we have done up to now" to curb oversigning ... Yes, Virginia, it is possible for a football program to attend the Humanitarian Bowl and turn a profit; Northern Illinois (somehow) just did it ... The go-to reporter for news on Chad Bumphis's ankle injury scare at Mississippi State was Chad Bumphis ... Every school keeps things simple during their spring games, but "simple" means something different at Boise State ... A look at which SEC schools are getting the biggest financial boost from their boosters ... All-American Big 12 receiver Justin Blackmon interviews All-American Big 12 receiver Ryan Broyles, and finds out Broyles' favorite XBox game is FIFA?!?
Tags: Alabama, Alabama, Auburn, BCS, Big Ten, Bob Seger, Bob Stoops, Bob Stoops Loves Bob Seger, Boise State, Chad Bumphis, Clemson, Colorado, Florida State, Friday Four Links, Gene Bleymaier, Georgia, Humanitarian Bowl, Justin Blackmon, Ken Niumatalolo, Mike Slive, Mississippi State, Mountain West, Navy, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Pac-12, Penn State, Ryan Broyles, SEC, Tajh Boyd
Posted on: March 22, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2011 12:20 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
As a blogger, I absolutely love Twitter. It's a great way for me to keep track of stories to write about, and also discuss those stories with others. It's also a great way to waste some time talking about stupid things with friends. If I were a head coach, though, I could see why Twitter could be a huge headache. Yes, at most college football programs, players are trained on how to deal with the media, and taught to measure their words before they say them. On Twitter, however, there is no filter between a player's mind and his fingertips, which could lead to trouble.
Which a few Oklahoma players have run in to the last year or so. There was Jaz Reynolds joking about a shooting at Texas last season, and in general, it's a great way for other teams to get some nice bulletin board material. Many head coaches around the country have banned players from using it, and while he hasn't gone that far yet, Bob Stoops plans on implementing a Twitter policy with his team.
“Guys that don't know what they're doing need to have it taken away,” Stoops told The Oklahoman.
“It's hard to believe they don't get it. They still think they're at East Handkerchief High School, where no one cares. And that's not the case.”
Of course, while he hasn't completely banned his players from using Twitter yet, it seems that it would be right around the corner. While he implements this policy with his players, it's not hard to imagine that the second somebody slips up on Twitter and says something they shouldn't, Stoops is going to just take it away from them.
And when he does, I'll likely tweet a smart-assed comment about it.
Posted on: March 4, 2011 5:40 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
In February, Oklahoma had to give its players a week off from training after self-reporting violations committed by the school's coaching staff when four assistants improperly questioned players about their lack of workouts. It was a minor violation, and not one that brought a lot of trouble to the program, but there had been some speculation that defensive back Marcus Trice was the player who gave Oklahoma's compliance department a recording of defensive backs coach Willie Martinez.
It's an accusation that Trice denies, though this bit of news won't help quell the conspiracy theories. Oklahoma announced on Friday that Trice would be transferring.
“It was my dream school,” Trice told the Tulsa World. “I pretty much always wanted to come to OU since I was little. I fulfilled my dream to play here at the University of Oklahoma, and I got to play early. Right now, I’m just looking to get on the field and play somewhere.”
“Marcus is looking for another opportunity and we’ll do everything we can to help him find a good situation,” Bob Stoops said in a press release. “Marcus has worked hard here and will leave with our best wishes.”
As for the tape of Willie Martinez, Trice said he didn't do it “but I don’t and won’t throw anyone else under the bus.”
As for where he'll end up, Trice says he'll take a look at Tulsa, which was one of his finalists before he decided to attend Oklahoma.
Posted on: February 25, 2011 4:11 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 4:17 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Oklahoma has been in headlines this week with their self-reported secondary violations caused by excessive offseason workouts. So I guess they figured that everyone would be distracted when the Sooners dropped a suspicious note about starting cornerback Jamell Fleming on Friday. The athletic department issued a release stating that Fleming is not currently enrolled at Oklahoma and will not be participating in spring practices.
"We're hopeful that Jamell can work through the things he's facing and resume his college career," head coach Bob Stoops said in the release. The schools did not offer any other details on Fleming's academic or athletic status, though the star cornerback does have one year of football eligibility remaining.
Fleming led the Sooners with five interceptions in 2010, and his 14 pass breakups were among the most in the nation. With Oklahoma entering the 2011 season as an early Big 12 (and possibly national) title favorite, this could be a big blow for the Sooners. The situation is referred to as a "personal matter," so his return to the field in the fall is still possible. However, the phrase "personal matter" could encompass any number of off-field issues. When Fliming resumes his college career, the extent of the "issues" will likely impact whether he returns to the field. If he does not, Fleming's promising career with the Sooners may be ending just as fast as it started.
Posted on: February 22, 2011 1:12 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
College students and marijuana go together like Lady Gaga and attention-craving antics, so odds are that there will never be a time that college students aren't experimenting with the demon weed. Still, that being said, I'm sure most college football coaches would appreciate it if their players could manage to avoid it. The latest coach to feel this way would be Bob Stoops.
One of his defensive tackles, Stacy McGee, was cited for marijuana possession on Sunday evening.
OU defensive tackle Stacy McGee was cited and released for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia Sunday, Norman police spokeswoman Jennifer Newell.
McGee was pulled over by police on East Lindsey Street a little after 5 p.m. A police officer spotted one joint of marijuana and a marijuana grinder. Because he was a Norman citizen, McGee was allowed to do a sign and release.The school has not made a statement about what punishment, if any, McGee will face.
As a sophomore, McGee started 10 of 13 games for the Sooners last season, finishing the year with 26 tackles.