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?


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):



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


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


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: