College Football Nation: FSU Back on Top and the Coaching Carousel
What an amazing ending to the BCS. Every game was non-stop action and ended in epic fashion. The Championship game had an amazing start and a thrilling finish. With the BCS gone, we can now start the debate over the “Final Four” of college football. With the end of the season, we have National Signing Day on Feb. 5 to look for and to follow the coaching carousel, which is picking up steam. Thanks to Charlie Strong being hired at Texas, the carousel is in for a wild spin.
1) FSU 34 Auburn 31 – NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – When you first watched the game and saw Auburn take a 21-3 lead, all you could think of was, “Is this really happening again?” Is the SEC going to win it all again? That was what went through a majority of the fans’ minds, until FSU woke up in the 4th quarter and gave us one of the best finishes on the biggest stage. FSU’s Jameis Winston was average all night and his supporting cast really helped bring it home for the Seminoles.
On the final drive Winston was 6-7 passing, but it was really the YAC (yards after catch) that helped set up the win. Rashad Greene turned a 5-yard curl route into a big gain, giving FSU the ball at the 20-yard line with less than a minute to score. Winston completed a little 5-yard pass with less than 15 seconds to go, to Kelvin Benjamin for the go ahead touchdown, and after that the SEC STREAK was over.
2) With the season over, we have already had some major changes on the coaching scene. Charlie Strong to Texas was the first big domino to fall. Then Penn State’s Bill O’Brien went back to the NFL. Now we have Vanderbilt’s James Franklin taking over at Penn State. This will prove to be the best hire.
Franklin won at Vanderbilt(!), which has been impossible since before the advent of moonshine, as an SEC doormat program. He has been able to successfully recruit and turn the Commodores around without the big budget, facilities or big school brand. For him to move into Penn State, he will have all that and put the school back near the top of the B1G almost immediately. The talent is there already and with his drive and motivation, he will have Penn State ready to compete — as soon as the NCAA PENALTIES are lifted. Good hire — I still think he should have gotten more looks from Texas and USC.
Since Strong is gone, you have Louisville looking for a coach, and who they got will surprise you but probably work out great until the next big coaching job comes up. The Cardinals hired back their old coach, Bobby Petrino. Some will question this move, but Louisville got him before other schools decided he was worth the risk. Petrino will need to find a quarterback, but he knows his X’s and O’s and will get the job done.
The hiring of Lane Kiffin as Alabama’s new Offensive Coordinator is making some news, probably because Kiffin use to talk smack about Saban, while he was at Tennessee — and now Saban is his boss. I think it is a good hire, however, as Kiffin knows his offensive schemes. He was able to make USC successful with his play calling and recruiting, so I think it is a match made in heaven. Kiffin will recruit well for Alabama, and he will then have some amazing athletes to coach up. Besides that, he has a hot wife. Watch Alabama hire Ed Orgeron next, then the Dynasty will be complete for many years to come.
There will be some more vacancies to fill but with Texas, USC, and Penn State closed, we really won’t pay much attention to it the rest of the off season.
3) This is not super-big news, but it is the stuff you better get use to now that the off season is here. Notre Dame is in the works of switching from Adidas to Under Armour. The only thing about this is that Notre Dame is all about “tradition” and the old ways, but if they sign this deal, you know they will be cranking out the new uniforms like Maryland has done since going all in with UA.
We can also talk about how FSU’s roster is going to be depleted by many of their players now leaving for the NFL. This is the time of year where coaches will lose their top players to the NFL draft and prepare to re-fill the roster again on signing day.
Now the dreaded ‘off season’ is about to begin. I am fully prepared to start writing about the “He said, player said” drama, or I can just fill everyone in on the police blotter as the players go wild and do a bunch of dumb things. It was an exciting end of the season and we, as fans, could not ask for a better finish to the BCS. It almost makes all the years of controversy seem not so bad. It’s now time to start campaigning for our team to be in the “Final Four.” Sad to say, the clock has finally struck ZERO on our college football season, and we must now look ahead to kickoff in 2014.
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