Who will be the new Texas Longhorns coach?

Now that Mack Brown has faced reality and resigned, there’s plenty of speculation as to who will be targeted by the Texas Longhorns. Here are the currrent odds:

Who will be the next Head Coach of the Texas Longhorns?

Charlie Strong 2/1
Art Briles 9/2
James Franklin 5/1
Mike Gundy 7/1
Bill O’Brien 15/2
Chip Kelly 10/1
David Shaw 10/1
Jim Mora 10/1
Jimbo Fisher 15/1
Jim Harbaugh 20/1
Mike Tomlin 20/1

Click here if you think you know who is going to win and want to cash in on your knowledge.

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Texas loses running back Jonathan Gray for rest of season

I interviewed Jonathan Gray last year as he accepted the award for the Gatorade High School Player of the Year. He was a great kid and based on his high school career Texas fans had every reason to be excited. He exploded this year in his sophomore season with 790 yards and a 4.9 YPC average. His running helped Mack Brown and Texas salvage a season that looked like a potential disaster.

Unfortunately, Gray suffered a right Achilles injury that will require surgery and he is lost for the season. Texas also lost defensive tackle Chris Whaley for the season as well. Hopefully both players will recover fully for next season.

Top 25 roundup: Oklahoma, LSU make statements

Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones (12) passes in the 1st half of their NCAA football game in Tallahassee, Florida Sept 17, 2011. The Oklahoma Sooners defeated the Florida State Sminoles 23-13. UPI/Mark Wallheiser

Yes, Texas is young. Yes, the Longhorns were overrated at No. 11 in the country. But the beating Oklahoma put on Texas today was one normally reserved for early-season patsies and not top-15 rivalry opponents.

I figured the Texas offense would struggle, and it did, managing just 10 points (one score came on a kick return) and turning the ball over five times. Freshman quarterback Case McCoy and David Ash combined to go 20-of-36 for 223 yards a touchdown and two interceptions. They had zero help from the run game, as it gained just 36 yards.

I did expect a bit more from the Texas defense, however, which was used and abused to the tune of 453 yards, most of it coming on the arm of Landry Jones (367 yards). All of these yards, and this game was well in hand at halftime.

As impressive as Oklahoma was, the one worry could be the run game, which gained just 86 yards. Texas’ run defense is certainly not as good as what the Sooners will see in a possible national title game against LSU or Alabama. They only had 19 carries, however, and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. Starting running back Dominique Whaley had 83 of those yards on 13 carries (6.4 ypc), so maybe I’m just looking for negatives in a game filled with positives.

This win, combined with the Florida State victory and a preseason No. 1 ranking, is normally good enough to be the consensus No. 1 team in the country. Not this year, however. Read the rest of this entry »

2011 College Football Program Power Rankings

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor hands off the ball to tailback Dane Sanzenbacher in the third quarter at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans during the 77th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl January 4, 2011. The Buckeyes won 31-26 UPI/Dave Fornell

Almost a year ago we decided to try to quantify the stature of college football programs so that we could rank them against one another. (Click here for the 2010 Rankings.) Then our football guru, Anthony Stalter, wrote a little bit about each program and the direction that it’s headed.

Here’s how the total points are determined — 20 points for a national championship, 10 for a BCS title game loss, seven for a BCS bowl win, five for a BCS bowl loss, five for a BCS conference championship, three for a mid-major conference championship, two for a BCS conference runner-up and one for a major bowl appearance (i.e. a bowl that has a recent payout of more than $2 million, so for 2011 that would be Capital One, Outback, Chick-fil-A, Cotton, Gator, Insight, Holiday, Champs Sports and Alamo.) You’ll see the total points in parenthesis after the team’s name.

We put some thought into the point values for each accomplishment, paying special attention to how the point values are relative to one another. For example, we figured that one national championship would equate to four BCS conference championships, or three BCS bowl wins. We only looked at the last five years, as college football has increasingly become a fluid and fickle sport, and that’s about how far back a recruit will go when deciding amongst a list of schools.

Lastly, since a program is so dependent on the guy in charge, we added or subtracted points if the program saw an upgrade or downgrade at the head coach position in the last five years. A max of 10 points would be granted (or docked) based on the level of upgrade or downgrade. Again, we tried to quantify the hire relative to the program’s other accomplishments. For example, hiring Nick Saban is probably worth two BCS bowl appearances, or 10 points. (Sure, he might lead Alabama to more, but he also might bolt for another job in a year or two.)

So, without further ado, here are the rankings. Every year we’ll go through and update the numbers based on what the program did that year (while throwing out the oldest year of data), so don’t fret if your team isn’t quite where you want them right now. Everyone has a chance to move up.

1. Ohio State (58)

Previous Rank: #2 (+1)
Some college football fans will take issue with the Buckeyes being No. 1 because of their “soft schedule.” But this is a team that has dominated its conference five of the past six years and has finished no worse than second in each of the past six seasons. They’ve also appeared in two title games (though they lost both) and nine straight BCS bowl games, winning the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl in the past two years. They’ve got an interesting season coming up though. Five of their players including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron and receiver DeVier Posey will miss the first five games next year after being suspended. Can the Buckeyes stay unscathed until those players return?

2. Florida (51)

Previous Rank: #1 (-1)
If it weren’t for Urban Meyer leaving the program (and their lousy 2010 season), the Gators would probably still be ranked No. 1. They have three conference championships and two national championships in two years, but the lose of Meyer hurts big-time in these rankings. But don’t fret Florida fans, if Will Muschamp gets the program back on the right track then the Gators won’t be at No. 2 for long.

Read the rest of this entry »

Will Cam Newton play? Will it even matter?

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Cameron Newton  of the Auburn Tigers reacts after scoring a touchdown against the LSU Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

One of the beauties of getting XM radio is that I get to listen to the Paul Finebaum show on a daily basis. For those that don’t know, Finebaum’s show is technically now a national college football radio show, but it can’t get away from its southeastern roots.

Every four out of five callers is from Alabama or Mississippi, and they’re crazy. The conspiracies they come up with on the officiating and play-calling from week to week would make Glenn Beck proud.

But the Cam Newton scandal has sent these folks into overdrive, and forced me to spend more time inside my car while it was sitting still in my driveway than one person should. People are blaming the press, Mississippi State, the press, Florida, the press, Nike, the press, Florida and the press. One caller, minutes after ESPN’s Joe Schad hung up with Finebaum, basically threatened to beat him up. It was amazing.

I don’t have a conspiracy theory on this, which is sad. But it will be really interesting to see how Auburn and Newton play today after having to listen to all of this over the last week.

I’m not picking the game because I have no idea who’s taking the field, but if Newton doesn’t play, expect the Bulldogs to win. A.J. Green has made them a legit SEC team. If Newton plays, however, the Tigers will roll on. Read the rest of this entry »

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