What'd I Miss?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Guilty as charged. I've been AWOL for a few days, but I gotta tell you; it's tough holdin' down a full time job and sneaking in time to feed my passion.

Apparently I've missed out on all the latest Big East coaching staff movement. Jim Leavitt at USF is out another coordinator now that long time assistant Wally Burnham is moving on to Iowa State. Star Bull d-lineman George Selvie is beside himself following Burnham's decision to bolt for Aimes. To make matters worse, it looks like yet another defensive assistant in Troy Douglas, will be moving on to coach defensive backs at UNC with Butch Davis.

In regards to above, I can't say that I'm all that surprised that this is occurring. Part of the draw for Burnham to join Paul Rhoads at Iowa State, is to have the opportunity to coach alongside his son, who currently coaches at Elon, but will now coach the Cyclones' D-line. That being said, if Douglas announced his departure first, it might have opened a spot for Burnham's son to join Leavitt's staff in Tampa, thus keeping Burnham around for a while longer. That didn't happen though, so Leavitt is left to fill vacancies for his two coordinators and a defensive backs coaching positions. The good news? USF's schedule is complete with a second D-1AA team on the docket for 2009.

What else?:

Brian Bennett Rushes More

Friday, February 13, 2009

Brian Bennett's next gimmicky stunt over at his ESPN Big East Blog is to compile a running list of "Mount Rushmores" of Big East football programs. He's providing four individuals per program, that define the building blocks of their perceived success. I don't really have a problem with any of the selections he made, but I'm somewhat surprised he didn't pick Tom Jackson (if only for his NFL Game Day career status) for the Louisville Mount Rushmore. Anyway, without further ado, here are B-Squared's first three mounts:

Just a couple of more links:

Here's a Shocker: Gregory is Officially Out at USF

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It doesn't happen often, but today, Brett McMurphy who authors the Bulls Report, scooped his journalistic rival Greg Auman of the USF Sports Bulletin. Today, he is the first to announce that former USF offensive coordinator Greg Gregory is officially leaving the program for the same post at the University of South Alabama (an upstart D-1A program this year).

It was a long and strange saga that began with Gregory notifying head coach Jim Leavitt that he was interviewing for the vacant tight ends coach position at the University of Florida, being relieved of his coordinator duties by Leavitt (all while still working on behalf of the Bulls), switching offices with former OC Mike Canales, and now officially leaving the program for the affectionately acronymed USA.

As McMurphy points out at the end of his piece, Leavitt will have to decide between elevating Canales to OC (as many expect he will) and hiring a wide receivers replacement from outside, or vice versa. Hey, I hear Mitch Browning is still maybe...sorta...available?

Linkage

Too busy unfortunately to come up with my own material at the moment, so:

A Hump Day Look Around the Big East Football Landscape

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Here's what I've got for you:

Two Post-Lunch Links

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just a couple of links for you to digest with your lunch this afternoon:

D-Coordinator Tresey Leaving Cincinnati

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Yet another coaching change to announce; this time on the defensive side of the ball. Despite leading the 31st overall defense in the country last season, Joe Tresey "differs philosophically" with Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly. That is why Tresey and the Bearcats are parting ways, leaving Kelly to have to find a replacement going into the Spring. It it unclear at this point, whether Tresey's replacement will come from inside or outside of the program, but it's reasonable to assume that it would be someone from outside of the program because anyone who worked under Tresey would most likely jive with the previously employed defensive philosophy.

Five, Count Em', Five New Offensive Coordinators in the Big East

Monday, February 9, 2009

With the high turnover rate in college football coaching, it's no surprise to see several new faces stalking the sidelines on an annual basis. This coming season, the offensive play calling will have a decidedly different look when five new offensive coordinators take the helm of Big East offenses. Syracuse brought in Rob Spence under new head coach Doug Marrone; UCONN replaced Rob Ambrose who left to coach Towson state, with Joe Moorhead; Jim Leavitt relieved Greg Gregory of his play calling duties at USF; Pitt's Matt Cavanagh is moving on to the New York Jets as of today, and finally, Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe will be calling the plays for the Cardinals now that Jeff Brohm is off to Florida Atlantic University.


There is nothing inherently wrong with the change that is occurring on the offensive side of the ball in the Big East. In fact, many could argue that Syracuse, UCONN, and Pitt will get a definite upgrade with these switches. It will be critical to see how the new play callers respond to the uncertain quarterback situations at all of these schools (with the exception of USF), making for interesting story lines going into the 2009 season.
What else is up?:

Monday Links

Still haven't finalized my recruiting analysis for posting yet, but I should have it done later today or early tomorrow. In the meantime, here's what's going on:

Signing Day: The Aftermath

Friday, February 6, 2009

Apologies for being M.I.A. yesterday. I'm back, and I have plenty O' links to throw your way (although I'm sure you've seen all or most of these already). FYI - I plan to have my own rankings/breakdown of each recruiting class posted this weekend. Until then, enjoy these:

First: The "all-important" ESPN recruiting grades for Big East schools

Bush = Yes / Brown = No

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Greg Schiano and the Rutgers fan base hoped they would beat out Penn State for Delaware wide receiver Justin Brown. That unfortunately, did not happen as Brown announced his commitment to the Nittany Lions earlier today.

New Jersey tight end Malcolm Bush did however end up coming through for the Knights, choosing Rutgers over Syracuse, Pitt, and UNC.

So my optimism has a one for two track record thus far as Brown is headed to State College, PA. I was right on Tiller going to 'Cuse, and we're still waiting on David Oku's decision.

BULLieve It!

It's a widely known assertion at this point, that USF this year nailed down their best recruiting class ever. Adding to that stellar class, Kayvon Webster, who verbally committed to the University of Miami, will now be a Bull (along with two of his high school teammates: Derrick Hopkins and Sterling Griffin).

On a disappointing note, USF lost out on defensive back Jayron Hosley, who opted to instead sign with Virginia Tech. On the bright side, this was really the only negative surprise for the Bulls.

More on the USF's 2009 class:

Surprise Surprise!

I'm sure you guys can more than capably follow the filtering-in of letters of intent from eager student athletes today. I thought I might update you on some of the more nail biting signings that some thought may or may not happen:

NLI Day....Signing Day....Whatever...It's Here

The day most or all of you have been waiting for is finally here. There will undoubtedly be some heartbreak as I predict that at least two or three major recruits from the conference decide to fax their national letter of intent to another major college program (in another conference), even though they were verbally committed to a Big East school for some time. There may even be some surprise commits that fall into the Big East's lap at the last second as well. That's the beauty of signing day. Whatever the case, I have links coming out of all of my orifices right now, so please indulge:

Big East overall:

Connecticut (someone needs to wake Desmond Conner up from his slumber):

Pitt:

Rutgers:


USF (all from Greg Auman of the USF Sports Bulletin):

Syracuse:

West Virginia:

Reasons for Optimism

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Let's face it; unless you're in one of these kids' heads, you're not going to know where they're going sign until signing itself, or shortly thereafter. That being said, it's always fun to speculate, and speculate I shall (based on some interesting tidbits strewn about the Internet). Here are some reasons for Big East fans to feel optimistic about three major potential recruits coming on board:

David Oku (RB - Oklahoma):

Rated as the #1 all-purpose back on Rivals.com, David Oku has been disenchanted with the idea of fulfilling his verbal commitment to Tennessee ever since their coaching staff was shaken up. Phil Fulmer's former running backs coach, Stan Drayton, has since moved on to Syracuse in the same capacity, inciting interest in Oku to come North as well. Gene Chizik's new staff at Auburn has also focused in on Oku though, and Tennessee can never be counted out to retain the shifty half back. So, why should Syracuse feel good about Oku following in the footsteps of Jim Brown and Ernie Davis?:

  1. Oku has officially relinquished his verbal commitment to UT -- also mentioned in this post is Oku's distaste for the spread offense, which Auburn will employ with new OC Gus Malzahn (3rd Saturday in Blogtober)
  2. Scroll down this posting on Warblogeagle.com and see the concern over Auburn's saturation at the running back position (something Oku may not want to deal with)

Justin Brown (WR - Delaware):

Just about everyone in the Mid-Atlantic region wants to know about where this four star (Rivals.com) wide receiver is going to end up catching passes. With great size (6'3"), speed (4.4 forty time), and smarts (3.8 gpa), Brown is a coach's dream recruit. Penn State (old guard in the East) and Rutgers (the new kid on the block) are fighting for Brown's services. What may make Scarlet Knights fans feel more confident about seeing Brown catch bombs from Tom Savage in the near future?:

  1. This posting on Fannation.com notes the ominous absence of Joe Paterno in the recruitment of Justin Brown, versus the open recruitment being done by Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. Advantage Rutgers in my opinion.

Andrew Tiller (OT - New York):

Finally, at 6'6" and 320 lbs, Nassau Community College's (NCC) Andrew Tiller is a hot commodity to anchor an offensive line. Tiller's former head coach at NCC, John Anselmo, is now on staff at Syracuse, which makes the Orange squad a natural fit. Tiller also has offers from Rutgers and Miami and made official visits to both schools recently. Most observers seem to think Tiller will choose between Miami and Syracuse. Besides the connection between Anselmo and Tiller, why should Syracuse fans feel bullish about their chances to land this behemoth?:

I'll sum it up in a quote from Manny Navarro in a posting on his Eye on the U blog:

"I think Tiller, a New York area kid, is headed to Syracuse."

I hope all this gives Big East fans a little more to chew on ahead of tomorrow's big day. All of the above is pure speculation and some of these sources are more viable than others. The reality is, unless we actually know these kids and have heard something from them first-hand (which isn't always reliable in itself), then this is all we have to rely on.

Signing Day: T-Minus One Day

With signing day literally breathing down our necks, there's no shortage of information as it relates to the recruiting scene in the Big East. Here's what I have for you this morning:

I haven't thrown any videos your way in a while, so here are a couple from the Newark Star Ledger on 1.) Some of Rutgers' incoming recruits and 2.) the battle between RU and Penn State over Justin Brown:


Luicci breaks down six solid Rutgers recruits









Latest on WR Justin Brown's decision between Rutgers and Penn








Rivasl.com

Monday, February 2, 2009

Allow me to vent for a moment. Rivals.com; in most respects, a fine subscriber-based recruiting news service owned by the good people of Yahoo!, ticks me off sometimes. First, their pricing is ridiculous. In order to get their $8.33/month rate, one must pay a full $100 payment in one lump sum. That, or one can pay month-to-month at a rate of $9.95. Really Rivals.com? You want me to pay you $100 out of my recession blasted wallet right now to save $32 in the long run?


Don't get me wrong, I'm gleaning a fair amount of the information I pass to you from Rivals, and they seem to be on top of who's committing where and when. Tom Dienhart is a quality sports journalist and always seems to be ahead of the recruiting and coaching vacancy game. That being said however, I'm not willing to sell my first born child for this info.

And then there was the Rivals.com front page today (see the above picture). Yikes. I don't claim to be Ernest Hemingway, and I'm sure there will be many a typo on this blog (that I provide for free I might add) in the future, but for Rivals to not even proofread their super-bold, mega-sized headings, is unacceptable to say the least. Okay, I've vented adequately now. The sad thing is, you'll probably see a Rivals link or two in my next posting.

Post-Superbowl Links

With the conclusion of last night's Superbowl resulting in the Steelers' second Vince Lombardi Trophy in three years, there will be a few more coaches and personnel that have ties to the Big East Conference, who will be wearing some serious hardware on their fingers. Congrats to all who represented the conference well last night, and especially to Larry Fitzgerald on a game well played despite the loss.

With two days to go until national signing day, here's what's going on:

Finally, are you interested in knowing who from the Big East will be participating in the NFL's Scouting Combine? Here's the full list of who's been invited, and below is a listing of the 25 players from the Big East Conference (congrats to Cincy on garnering six invites - the most in the conference this year):

Connor Barwin (Cincinnati - DE)

Will Beatty (Connecticut - OT)

Kenny Britt (Rutgers - WR)

Cody Brown (Connecticut - DE)

Donald Brown (Connecticut - RB)

Darius Butler (Connecticut - DB)

Trevor Canfield (Cincinnati - OG)

Hunter Cantwell (Louisville - QB)

C.J. Davis (Pitt - OG)

Tony Fiammetta (Syracuse - FB)

Adrian Grady (Louisville - DT)

Courtney Greene (Rutgers - DB)

Kevin Huber (Cincinnati - P)

Greg Isander (West Virginia - OG)

Mortty Ivy (West Virginia - LB)

Taurus Johnson (USF - WR)

LeSean McCoy (Pitt - RB)

Tyrone McKenzie (USF - LB)

Scott McKillop (Pitt - LB)

Mike Mickens (Cincinnati - DB)

DeAngelo Smith (Cincinnati - DB)

Brandon Underwood (Cincinnati - DB)

Tiquan Underwood (Rutgers - WR)

Pat White (West Virginia - QB)

Eric Wood (Louisville - C)

Pre-Superbowl Links

Sunday, February 1, 2009

As you all sit there on your couches, perusing various other t.v. channells, ordering food, waiting patiently for the big game to start, you may also be cruising the net looking for info on any range of subjects. I'll meet you halfway with these links:

Slow Saturday

Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's been a pretty slow news day as far as the Big East is concerned. With that, I'll give you all that I have:

Who's Getting Bush(whacked)?

Friday, January 30, 2009

The recruiting Odyssey of New Jersey tight end Malcolm Bush is a bit odd to say the least. After committing to Rutgers last year, Bush reversed course and de-committed shortly thereafter, citing a desire to possibly look into going to Pitt or North Carolina. UNC notified Bush that it had no room for Bush unless he wanted to Greyshirt for a year and wait for a scholarship to open up. That was until today, when scout.com reported that UNC does in fact have room for Bush.

The problem here is, that Bush never really closed the door on Rutgers (visiting on today) or Pitt (visited in Dec.), and he opened the door for Syracuse (visited on Jan. 23). As mentioned above, UNC is back in the mix, so it begs the question: who's getting this kid?

Based on past statements, I'd have to say that UNC is the favorite here, but he may be disenchanted with the idea that they originally didn't want to make room for him. Syracuse has a new staff that has been on a tear recruiting-wise, and Pitt and Rutgers are on fairly solid ground as far as their programs are concerned. My gut tells me this will be a signing day announcement.

Two other tidbits on recruiting:

Larry Fitzgerald and Pitt: A Matter of Fate

I'm sure avid fans of Pitt football already know about this, but I think this story posted by Michael David Smith on Fanhouse.com about Larry Fitzgerald, is very eye-opening. The gist? Growing up in Minnesota, Fitzgerald was a huge Penn State fan and admits,

"...I always liked LaVar Arrington and Brandon Short and I always wanted to be a Penn State linebacker."

Fair enough; Penn State was/is a great program, especially if you want to play linebacker. Something got in the way of Larry making it all the way to State College, PA though. That something, was the weather:

"On our way driving to visit Penn State it was raining really hard and the visibility wasn't good enough so we spent the night in Pittsburgh. My high school coach told me that Tony Dorsett and Dan Marino and Mike Ditka went there and that there were a lot of great players who went there. So we went over to their facility and the coaches didn't know we were coming. I met the coaches and we gave them my tape and that was how the relationship started."

Wow, to think that the Fitzgeralds weren't even planning a stop in Pittsburgh, and that the Pitt coaching staff knew practically nothing about Larry, really speaks volumes about how circumstantial this chance meeting actually was. Of course, you know the rest of the story, so I won't bore you with the details, but it's truly fascinating how these things end up sometimes. I know Pitt and the Big East for that matter, is proud to have Larry representing them in the NFL (and Superbowl!). Best of luck to him and all Big East alums on Sunday.

Mike Tranghese is a Gator Wrestler

You have to hand it to outgoing Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese. The man is not leaving without a fight....with the Gator Bowl committee. Mitch Vingle of the Charleston Gazette has a nice little piece on how our fearless leader (for now) is pressing for face time with the Gator Bowl in order to lock up a more substantial deal.

As you may or may not know, the Big East currently has a "hybrid" bowl tie-in setup, whereby the league switches off having a tie-in with the Gator Bowl every other year with the Sun Bowl (this year Pitt played in the Sun Bowl and no Big East team appeared in the Gator Bowl). Apparently, Tranghese is not satisfied with the "either/or" scenario and wants to have a set bowl schedule every year. That being said, I think the aim here is to lock up the Sun Bowl separately as well, in order for the league to appear in both bowls each year. Regardless of how things ended up for the Big East this year, I'm happy to see that Tranghese is still working hard for the league instead of checking out. I think he'll make a fine case to these bowl committees that the Big East deserves a little more respect than they've been getting.

With that, let's look at what else I have for you this glorious Friday morning:

Get to Know: Zack Chibane

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Something I'm going to try to do, to the extent that I can, is get in touch with relevant players, coaches, bloggers, and journalists who are relevant to the Big East, so that I can share their thoughts with you. This evening, I had the pleasure of exchanging messages with Syracuse commit Zack Chibane.


I thought Zack would be a good person to start out with because he has broad relevance to the Big East given the fact that he was recruited by three Big East schools; committed to USF, and later switched his commitment to Syracuse. He's an offensive lineman from New Jersey who's very excited about the new Syracuse coaching staff. Here's what he had to say in response to some questions I threw his way:

On his original commitment to USF:

My commitment to USF was something I really felt good about. They are a great program that is established in the national college football world.

On his commitment to Syracuse:
I have always loved Syracuse University and throughout to recruiting process I thought that if they ever offered I would love to be a part of the program. Not only did Syracuse offer but with this great coaching and recruiting situation it's something I feel great about joining. Syracuse pretty much sells itself as an academic institution and after meeting with Coach Adkins and Coach Jackson in my school I knew the athletics would soon be top notch.

On coach Derrick Jackson's (defensive line) involvement in Zack's recruitment before and after the coaching staff transition (Jackson was retained by new head coach Doug Marrone):

Coach Jackson has done a lot to make me feel good about SU. He was recruiting me on the old staff and throughout the transition told me that he would make a strong case for me to the new coach. He did that and I am very grateful for that trust he has had in me.
On the incoming recruiting class:

The incoming class is exciting to say the least. I don't think anyone expected things to turn out the way they are. It's really a testament to the new coach's dedication and passion for what's going to happen here in the coming seasons.
On competing for playing time:

I am very excited to be competing with the new commitments Justin Pugh and Andrew Phillips, and hopefully Andrew Tiller. They're all real good players and it's a great thing to have all of us in the same class. Playing together should be a challenging but enjoyable experience.

On New Jersey as a recruiting pool for Syracuse:

Coming from NJ I know the kind of talent that New Jersey, especially the northern parts produce. It's great to hear the coaches say how they want to start recruiting my area real hard. If I can do anything to make people from NJ choose Syracuse that would be awesome. I think that will pay huge dividends for the program in the future. The more NJ guys the better!

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Tons Going on In Tampa


It goes without saying that the Superbowl is pretty much making Tampa, FL the center of the sports universe right now. That's good because it means the USF Bulls also get more attention and publicity than they would normally be accustomed to. For example, their practice fields (which the Pittsburgh Steelers are using) got a nice little makeover by the "God of Sod," George Toma. Also, the Gramatica brothers (two of which kicked for USF) were used in a segment for the Conan O'Brien show on kicking field goals. And if that weren't enough, USF is doing a pretty good job of making their own publicity without the help of the Superbowl:

In other news:

uRi?

The mighty University of Rhode Island football team will apparently see an influx of transfers from Rutgers this coming season. According to Kyle Town of the Good Five Cent Cigar (URI student newspaper), backup quarterback Chris Paul-Etienne, tight end Tom Lang, wide receiver Robenson Alexis, and defensive back Rob Cervini are all coming to the Football Championship Subdivision program.

URI head coach Darren Rizzi was an associate head coach under Greg Schiano at Rutgers from 2006-07, so this pipeline is not all that much of surprise. Of the transfers, Paul-Etienne and Cervini stick out the most in my mind. Paul-Etienne was the primary backup to Mike Teel at one point this season, but eventually fell out of favor with Schiano when Dom Natale replaced him in the pecking order. That being said, I would think that Paul-Etienne would have had a solid opportunity to compete for the starting job this season along with Natale and incoming freshman phenom Tom Savage, now that Teel is graduating. Cervini, who was a program walk-on, gained some notoriety in this year's Papajohns.com Bowl when he scored Rutgers' first points of the game on a fake field goal play.

It's significant that Darren Rizzi managed to poach four players from his former employer in the first year he was able to do so. It will be interesting to see if this becomes an annual right of passage for disgruntled Scarlet Knight footballers in years to come.

What else is going on?:

NBC Has No Pull

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I came across an interesting nugget from Greg Auman of the USF Sports Bulletin today, about how USF signal caller Matt Grothe nearly played quarterback for the NBC broadcast crew for the Superbowl. Essentially, NBC wanted Grothe to throw passes to Cris Collinsworth (Grothe would be off camera) during a broadcast segment. Sounds pretty worthless to me, but I guess it could have been fun for Matt. USF signed off on the idea, but alas, with security being what it is at the "new sombrero," Grothe wasn't able to get a credential from NBC. So you're telling me that the network responsible for broadcasting the Superbowl this year can't get one measly college student on the field for a gimmicky stunt? I think I hear a PA getting fired.


I've got more:

And in case anyone out there wants to question the quality of officiating in the Big East, please know that the conference's Coordinator of Football Officials, Terry McAuly is refereeing a little game called the Superbowl.

Big East vs. Mountain West

There's been a lot of talk lately, about the Mountain West's appeal to the BCS to have them included as an an automatic bid in the BCS Bowl process. With the success of Utah and TCU, one can't blame them for trying to get in the door. A big part of this discussion has been their perceived comparability to the Big East and ACC Conferences in football. Well, in case there was any question about how the Mountain West stacks up against the Big East, Brian Bennett of ESPN's Big East Blog gives us the lowdown. B-Squared's analysis is pretty much gold to me, so I think we can all sleep better at night knowing that the Big East is still a valid BCS auto bid, and a better overall football conference than the Mountain West.

With that, I give you links:

Shout Out to Pat White

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm embarrassed to say that I'm still not posting as consistently as I'd like to, and therefore, I've missed out on passing along information in a timely manner. That being said, I wanted to give a quick shout out to Pat White for his MVP-caliber performance in the Senior Bowl this past Sunday. I think we're seeing more and more why Todd McShay may be a tad off in saying that White can't be a quarterback in the NFL. I plan on posting a more substantive piece on Pat White's prospects for this year's draft and whether or not I think he can be an effective quarterback in the NFL. For now, enjoy these links:

A Monday Morning Pair of Links

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hi all. Not much going on this morning except the aftermath of a huge recruiting weekend. That being said, I have a couple of links to throw your way:

Syracuse and USF Continue to Set the Recruiting Trail Ablaze

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Doug Marrone knew when he took the head coaching job at Syracuse that fans would expect him to quickly turn around and build a formidable coaching staff and recruiting class. When Greg Robinson had been hired for the same position four years ago, some gave him a free pass because he was hired well further into the recruiting season. But as any observant Big East fan can see, Robinson built a less than stellar coaching staff and regardless of the talent he brought to the football field, the results were not satisfactory to the school's administration or fans.

In roughly a month's time, Marrone built a staff around several highly respected assistant coaches and as of this evening, has also built a modestly accomplished recruiting class (considering the time with which he and his staff had to be out on the trail). Various sources are reporting the commitment of Charley Loeb (Quarterback - MA), E.J. Carter (Linebacker - FL), Dale Peterman (Defensive Back - OH), and Philip Thomas (Defensive Back - FL) to the Orange today.

If that weren't enough, Marrone isn't stopping anytime too soon. With the February 5 national signing day looming, the first time head coach and Syracuse alum is looking to add Andrew Tiller (Offensive Tackle - NY), David Oku (Running Back - OK), and Craig Drummond (Defensive End - IL), among others. Here are the headlines on the aforementioned recruiting developments for Syracuse:

_________________________

After a somewhat disappointing season, the USF Bulls and head coach Jim Leavitt are taking no prisoners on the recruiting trail. They've shown that they too can be competitive in attracting top level talent in the state of Florida, along with Miami, UF, and FSU.

There has been a great amount of discussion over ultimate destination of former Miami quarterback Robert Marve. The troubled former high school standout announced that he would transfer from the Hurricane program and wished to play at a highly competitive football school, where he could also be closer to his sick father (he lives in Tampa, FL). Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that Marve is focusing on four schools: Oklahoma State, Purdue, USF, and Oklahoma (scroll down). This would be quite development for the Bulls, should Marve decide to play his college ball in Tampa, because he would be able to potentially step into the starting job after Matt Grothe graduates at the conclusion of this coming season (Marve would sit out this season).

Then again, it's well known that Robert Marve has had trouble "playing well with others," his coaches in particular. He was suspended for the Hurricanes' bowl game appearance, accelerating his decision to leave the program. USF would have to be sure they would want to risk using a scholarship on another athlete who causes trouble, much like strong safety Carlton Williams.

If you want to discuss the "here and now" of USF recruiting, the Bulls managed to haul in a big fish, in JUCO offensive lineman Carlos Savala. There's no question that if Grothe wants to have the type of senior year that he feels he's capable of having, his offensive line will have to help him a great deal.

I'm Back, and So Is the Big East Apparently

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I have to apologize folks, yet again, for being M.I.A. for about 24 hours. I'm but one man with a full time job that doesn't always allow me to post copious amounts of comments/information on Big East football. But alas, I'm back and I promise to try to continue posting consistently. And speaking of being back, how about all these Big East schools setting the recruiting trail ablaze? I have to say, I'm impressed with the quality of student athlete that some of our schools our pulling in. Even a school like Syracuse is managing to get back on the horse by having the number one rated overall running back in the country (rivals.com) visit them this weekend. Best of luck to the Orange in trying to lock up his commitment. For now, catch up on all the action going on behind the scenes in the Big East since I last left you:

Big East Overall:


Cincinnati:

Connecticut:

Louisville:

Pittsburgh:

Rutgers:

South Florida:

Syracuse:

West Virginia:

Greg Gregory: That whole thing about me going to coach with Urban Meyer...that was a joke. Can I have my job back?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sorry folks, for not being around for the better part of yesterday. I'll really briefly mention that Greg Gregory was not hired to coach tight ends at the University of Florida, as was speculated. Now, Gregory is sitting around as an idle staff member of the USF Bulls, but remember, he is no longer the offensive coordinator (he was stripped of those duties by head coach Jim Leavitt when Leavitt learned that he would be pursuing the UF opening). No update on what will happen with Gregory at this point, but one interesting tidbit to note is that the coach that Urban Meyer decided to hire is Brian White, who not all that long ago, was the offensive coordinator for the Syracuse Orange.

And with that, I give you a plethora of Big East football related information:

Leavitt Was Gator Baited

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

According to Greg Auman of the USF Sports Bulletin, USF head coach Jim Leavitt fired offensive coordinator this past weekend due to Gregory informing him that he would be interviewing for the vacant tight ends coaching position at the University of Florida.

This is an interesting development to say the least, being that many felt Leavitt's reasons for letting Gregory go were purely performance-related. Even more interesting perhaps is that Gregory is apparently still "on staff" at USF and working on recruiting and other football-related activities.

Leavitt is still searching for an OC replacement and current Bulls wide receivers coach Mike Canales is apparently a viable option (he was USF OC from 1996-2000). Leavitt maintains that he never intended to "fire" Gregory, but to merely strip him of his role. He would have to find a new role on staff for Gregory if he were to stay at USF and if a new offensive coordinator was hired from outside of the program.

My take on the whole scenario: A bit of a brash move on Jim Leavitt's part. After hearing about UF, I might give Gregory an ultimatum, or a drop-dead timeline as to when I would need a decision from him. But to go ahead with a public firing is kind of silly and probably sends the wrong message to incoming/potential recruits, as well as other staff members. I do however, agree with Leavitt that he has to take quick action, especially when it relates to his primary staff.

I've got more for you:

Randy Shannon Not Getting Any Young(er)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This one is indirectly related to the Big East, so please bear with me. Oklahoma State has hired Bill Young away from the University of Miami to be their defensive coordinator. Young, who was also DC at "the U," is the second coordinator to leave Miami (OC Patrick Nix was fired).

I bring this up because it will be interesting to see how Randy Shannon is able to retain recruits who had previously committed to the 'Canes under the impression that they would be working with either Nix or Young. This could have a profound impact on whether Big East schools who were also in the mix for these recruits are able to swoop in and reopen the recruiting process. I would look for USF in particular to try to take advantage of a seemingly less stable situation at Miami.

What else?:

Syracuse and Michigan Complete a Trade

So if you didn't get your daily dosage of Vitamin C today, I bet you're glad you stopped by the Dangerfield Division because we're packing more Orange information than you can imagine. The latest news out of Ann Arbor has former West Virginia head man and current top dog at the University of Michigan, Rich Rodriguez, hiring former Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson as his new defensive coordinator.


Granted, this is pure rumor in the blogsophere at the moment (one that has persisted for about two weeks now), but if it were to be true, it would make for interesting fodder considering that new Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone recently hired former Michigan defensive coordinator Scott Spence as his new DC. This "trade" of sorts is odd to say the least and probably has many fans scratching their heads.

One can easily tout Robinson's appeal as a defensive coordinator due to his relative success in the NFL (winning two Super Bowls with the Broncos) and at the University of Texas (Rose Bowl win). On the other hand, many Syracuse fans feel that Robinson single-handedly exacerbated the decline of the Orange football program; something that has many Wolverine fans worried. Stay tuned for an official announcement should it come.
Photo Credit: Kevin Rivoli / AP

Will Mitch Browning Board the Kiffin Gravy Train?

Photo Credit: Frank Ordonez/Syracuse Post-Standard


Apologies for the over-abundance of Syracuse related stories today, but I couldn't help but share this one. As Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com astutely points out, former Syracuse offensive coordinator Mitch Browning is considering an offer to join Lane Kiffin's staff at the University of Tennessee as a....wait for it....wait for it....GRADUATE ASSISTANT!

Browning, considered to be one of the best offensive line mentors in the country, would go to Knoxville to help in that regard. He's still under contract with the Orange for another year, so the lack of salary at Tennessee would not be a factor. The recently unemployed coach is credited with discovering talent at the running back position in Marion Barber and Lawrence Maroney, while he coached under Glenn Mason at the University of Minnesota. It could also be asserted that he played a significant role in senior Syracuse running back Curtis Brinkley finally having a breakout season with over 1,000 yards rushing.

With all of the coaching/recruiting talent that Lane Kiffin has been surrounding himself with at UT, one can already see that he's not screwing around. The hiring of Browning as a grad assistant however, would without a doubt, take the cake. If this move were to come to fruition, it would surprise me for two reasons:
  1. Even though Mitch Browning is a quality coach and would be a worthy staff addition, why wouldn't Kiffin want to use a graduate assistant spot for a younger up-and-coming coach that he could mentor; maybe even a minority candidate that could use the role as a stepping stone to future Division 1-a opportunities?

  2. Why, when Glenn Mason was fired, was Browning out of work for a year before being hired by Greg Robinson at Syracuse. And why, now that Greg Robinson has been let go, is Browning not being seriously considered for a paying gig at another institution?

Stay tuned for a link to come later if in fact Mitch Browning takes a graduate assistant position at UT, or otherwise.

Get Your Syracuse Fill

Donnie Webb of the Syracuse Post-Standard is all over news pertaining to Syracuse football today. H/t to him for pointing out the following:

Okay, I decided to throw in at least one link unrelated to Syracuse:

Randy's On a Roll

Randy Edsall and the UCONN Huskies are on something of a roll as of this weekend. You first heard about running back Martin Hyppolite ending his recruitment by giving his verbal commitment to Edsall. After being radio-silent for several weeks following the departure of offensive coordinator Rob Ambrose to Towson State, we now know that Edsall went out and hired Akron Zips offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Joe Moorhead (pictured left; courtesy of Gozips.com).

Here's Moorhead's official bio from the Akron athletics website, but the following is the skinny on him:


  • Started at quarterback for three years at his alma mater, Fordham
  • Had a stint as a graduate assistant under Walt Harris at Pitt
  • Spent time as an offensive coordinator, among other things, at Georgetown
  • Has been a quarterback and receivers coach, as well as offensive coordinator at Akron for the past five years
  • The Zips were 40th in total offense this season, with a 5-7 record
  • Two notable players that Moorehead had a hand in developing: New York Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon and Cleveland Browns quarterback Charlie Frye

The above sounds like a nice, albeit less than overwhelming resume. That being said, it's not as if Rob Ambrose's reputation preceded him prior to him coming on board at UCONN. If Randy Edsall trusts Moorhead, and if Moorhead can continue the development of the UCONN offense along with quarterbacks Cody Endres and Zach Frazier, then this could be a very fruitful partnership.

Randy also managed to nab two more recruits whilst hiring his new OC:

  1. Kevin "will you be my?" Friend
  2. Nick Williams

Finally, here are a couple of more unrelated links for your reading pleasure:

Another Big East Coaching Vacancy

Monday, January 19, 2009

Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe has to be wondering when he's going to catch a break. After a rough season, losing his defensive coordinator (Ron English), losing his replacement for Ron English (Bill Miller), dealing with the uncertainty surrounding offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm, players transferring, and a tough recruiting situation, he's now faced with losing his running backs coach (Tony Alford) to Notre Dame. One certainly can't blame Alford for wanting to jump ship to a prestigious program like Notre Dame, but it leaves Kragthorpe in a precarious situation. It will be interesting to see how Krags fills the holes he has on his staff in order to right the ship in the 'Ville.

In other news:

MLK Day Links

Happy MLK Day everybody. I hope those who have a day off from work are enjoying themselves, and those that don't....well, that sucks. Anyway, here's all the news that's fit to print in the world of Big East football: