2013 Quarterbacks Coach of the Year - Finalists
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards, presented by ProGrass, are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. Finalists were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors and other athletic department personnel. The winner will be chosen by the previous winners of this award and will be announced on Thursday, December 19th.
The 2013 FootballScoop Coaches of the Year will be recognized and will receive their awards at an event held in their honor at the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention in January.
Previous winners of the Quarterbacks of the Year award are Josh Heupel (Oklahoma, 2008), Tom Rossley (Texas A&M, 2009), Mark Hefrich (Oregon, 2010 & 2012) and Philip Montgomery (Baylor, 2011).
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Cut, Gus and Gary Pinkel named Maxwell Coach of the Year finalists
Late Saturday night we posted a column debating the merits of Gus Malzahn and David Cutcliffe for national coach of the year. Each coach has (obviously) done and outstanding job, and each has fantastic points in his favor. Check the comments of that article and you'll see support is split down the middle, with some votes thrown toward Missouri's Gary Pinkel as well.
Two days later and - what do you know? - the three national coach of the year finalists are Gus Malzahn, David Cutcliffe and Gary Pinkel.
Naming those three finalists was easy. Picking a winner will be the hard part. A trio of clubs that went a combined 5-19 in conference play last season will each play for a conference title on Saturday.
A quick re-hash of each coach's candidacy:
PRO: He went 10-2 at Duke. He's 60 minutes away from winning the ACC and playing in the Orange Bowl. AT DUKE.
CON: Even Cut will tell you this season hasn't been much of a surprise. A season like this has been six seasons in the building. And the ACC schedule-maker did the Blue Devils a ton of favors by allowing them to miss both Florida State and Clemson.
PRO: An 11-1 debut after last year's 3-9 debacle will be the one-year turnaround for which all other one-year turnaround are measured against. If things break right elsewhere on Saturday, Malzahn could be the first coach since Miami's Larry Coker to play for a national title in year one.
CON: Last year's disaster notwithstanding, this is how a team with four straight top-10 recruiting classes should perform. Name another coach that walks into a situation with this much talent and talent specifically recruited to play in his system.
PRO: They don't have an Iron Bowl-like marquee win, but Missouri has been the most consistent of the one-loss teams. The Tigers have yet to allow more than 28 points this season, and each win has come by at least seven points. Aside from that disaster of a fourth quarter against South Carolina, this has been one of the top two teams in the country all season.
CON: At 5-7, he doesn't have the dramatic turnaround story of Malzahn, and going 11-1 at Missouri doesn't feel as impossible as going 10-2 at Duke. Outside of last season's injury-plagued 5-7 season, Pinkel's always been a winner in Columbia.
So, who you got?
At Ohio State, 'preparation doesn't stop until the foot hits the ball'
As we all know from his time at Florida, to his exit, to his now stellar start at Ohio State, Urban Meyer puts a ton of time in at the office, and his assistants have proven to be among the best in the country at developing the right game plan to attack their opponents.
This weekend's challenge in the Big Ten title game against Michigan State presents a unique opportunity for Urban and offensive coordinator Tom Herman to develop a game plan against one of best defenses that college football has seen over the past few seasons.
As one reporter pointed out in a press conference yesterday, the Spartan defense (who lead the country in most major defensive categories) haven't allowed a single point in the second half of six of their eight Big Ten games. Based on that stat, a reporter asked Herman if he would have two game plans ready; one for the first half and one for the second.
Herman, after acknowledging that the stat was something he was unaware even existed, responded with a quote on preparation from Urban Meyer that has undoubtedly played a role in their offensive success this season.
"Coach Meyer has a great phrase where he says 'preparation doesn't stop until the foot hits the ball,'" he explained. "Once the foot hits the ball, you're in adjustment mode and you're constantly adapting throughout the course of the game, whether it's the first quarter or the first drive, or the first drive of the second half, or the third drive of the fourth quarter.
"You're constantly adjusting and trying to figure out where the defense is trying to attack you and how they're going to attack you. So no, I don't think that there is anything to be saved for the second half even if a team like this is having great success in the second half."
Kelly: 'You can't start winning until you stop losing'
Brian Kelly joined The Seth Davis Show recently to talk about how him and his staff went about changing the culture at Notre Dame and ended up sharing some really interesting thoughts on coaching, life and (of course) football.
The show opens up with Davis asking Kelly about the uniqueness of the Notre Dame job because of the rich history and always having to live up to expectations based on past accomplishments, and evolves into the changing landscape of college football and why he has decided to emphasize the little things like how each player arranges his locker the same.
When it comes to recruiting, Kelly talks about how some of Notre Dame's distinctions keep them from spinning their wheels because they're able to tell recruits that when you consider coming to ND, you're "shopping in a different aisle" compared to other program's.
Really well done, candid interview here with an excellent head coach who knows a thing or two about turning things around. This will be the best 15 minutes you take for yourself today.
Video: Welcome to Williams-Brice, home of the nation's longest win streak
Great video here highlighting the success that South Carolina has seen at Williams-Brice this season, and beyond.
Very well put together.
Jim Grobe resigns after 13 seasons at Wake Forest
After 13 seasons leading the program, Jim Grobe has decided to step down.
In those 13 seasons, Grobe compiled a 77-82 record, including a 42-62 record in ACC play and a 3-2 bowl record. This year the Demon Deacons struggled to a 4-8 overall record, including a 2-6 mark in conference play.
Grobe took the head coaching job at Wake back in 2001 after leading Ohio to a 7-4 record (33-33-1 overall as head coach of the Bobcats). The height of his time Winston-Salem came in 2006 when his crew notched 11 wins, including a 6-0 record on the road and an ACC championship over Georgia Tech. Grobe was later unanimously named the ACC Coach of the Year for his work during the 2006 season
Coaches around the country recognize Grobe as one of the truly great people in the profession, that coached for all the right reasons. For a program that hasn't had a whole lot of success, Grobe will leave the program in much better shape for his successor.
The school has announced a press conference for 4:15pm EST to "talk about the football program." He will step down as the winningest coach in program history.
We will update as more information becomes available.
Jim Grobe is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. He will be missed.— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 2, 2013
Wake Forest to discuss football program at 4:15 p.m. news conference http://t.co/AeTfi2e7eO— FOX8 WGHP (@myfox8) December 2, 2013
Jim Grobe is one of the finest people I've ever met. Well respected by everyone - players, coaches and media alike. And a good coach, too.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) December 2, 2013
Absolutely fascinating. Coaches texting me about other coaches saying Wake is their dream job. Love it. Hope it happens for those guys.— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 2, 2013
Why deny taking a job when you are already accepting it?
This morning Steve Sarkisian appeared on KJR-AM in Seattle and was asked about his interest in the vacant USC job as word broke during the interview that the then-Washington head coach had spoken with his former employer with the position.
"I didn't interview for the job," Sarkisian said. "They've reached out to me. I talked to them. I'm not anywhere near along the course of taking that job or not and by no means am I there in that place at all. They reached out. I was a college football fan this weekend and got a chance to watch that game, and they had a tough loss to UCLA, a good UCLA team.
"Like I've always said and I'll continue to say: I've got a great job. I love my job here at the University of Washington. I'm fired up about where this program is headed and couldn't be more proud of the work we've done this year and can't wait to get started on next year. We've got one more game to win, I think we'll win that ninth game and I think we're building something special here."
Sarkisian was then asked if he expected conversation about his connection with the USC job to continue. "I don't know. I really don't know," Sarkisian said. "Again, I've never tried to speculate and talk about the hypothetical. I focus on what I can control and that's our football team and me going out recruiting today and my opportunity to go to the Seahawks-Saints game and be supportive of this community and the great things we have going on here."
Less than two later, of course, Sarkisian was USC's new head coach.
Been able to confirm what others have been reporting. Steve Sarkisian is the new coach at USC. Offered job last night. Accepted this morning— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) December 2, 2013
Sarkisian issued a similar denial back in October, telling the Dan Patrick radio show, "I love my job. I hope I get to coach here longer than Don James did."
While it's one thing to issue a denial on a job in the middle of your own team's season, doing so on the very morning you accept that same job is another thing entirely.
The five finalists for the Broyles Award have been announced
The Broyles Award has narrowed it down to five finalists. This prestigious award has annually gone to the top assistant coach in the country.
The finalists for 2013 are:
Pat Narduzzi - Michigan State defensive coordinator / assistant head coach
Rhett Lashlee - Auburn offensive coordinator / QB coach
Kurt Roper - Duke assistant head coach / offensive coordinator / QB coach
Jeremy Pruitt - Florida State defensive coordinator / DB coach
Philip Montgomery - Baylor offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach
Winners of the award over the past five seasons include; Notre Dame's Bob Diaco (2012), LSU's John Chavis (2011), Auburn's Gus Malzahn (2010), Alabama's Kirby Smart (2009), and Oklahoma's Kevin Wilson (2008).
That's some pretty elite company. Two of the five winners from the past five seasons alone have moved on to head coaching position and the other three remain as some of the top coordinators in the country.
Our hats go off to each of these coaches for their hard work and success on the field and off. Each one of them is more than deserving of this recognition.
The winner will be announced December 10th.