Football Rumor Mill Staff

Author Archives: Football Rumor Mill Staff

Report: Dave Christensen out at Wyoming

Wyoming has reportedly fired head coach Dave Christensen after five seasons.

Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen has reportedly been fired. (Photo: AP)The USA Today cites a source “with knowledge of the decision” that Christensen has been let go. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the school has not yet made a formal announcement.

Christensen was 27-34 in five seasons at Wyoming, including a 16-22 record in the Mountain West Conference.

The Cowboys started the season 4-2, but limped to a 5-7 record after a 35-7 loss to Utah State on Saturday.

Christensen came under fire last season after a postgame confrontation with Air Force’s Troy Calhoun went viral on YouTube.

During the profanity-laced tirade, Christensen called Calhoun “Howdy Doody,” and earned a one-game suspension and $50,000 fine from athletics director Tom Burman.

Prior to Wyoming, Christensen spent 12 seasons as offensive coordinator at Missouri.

Photo: AP

Read More

OC Brent Pease, Tim Davis out at Florida; Lane Kiffin possible replacement

Florida has fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease

Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease

Pease became the primary scapegoat for the Gators’ offensive woes, and he moves were expected. The firings were announced one day after the Gators (4-8) finished the program’s first losing season since 1979.

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Pease and Coach Davis,” coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. “They are both good football coaches and even better people.

“There have been a lot of unfortunate circumstances this year, but that is part of the game sometimes. I want to thank each of them for their contributions to the program both on and off the field.”

A Florida offense ravaged by injuries finished the season ranked 112th in total offense. The Gators managed just 279 yards in a 26-20 loss to lower-division Georgia Southern on Nov. 23 followed by 193 in the season-ending 37-7 loss to Florida State.

Both Pease, who replaced Charlie Weis prior to the 2012 season, and Davis received raises in May. Peasereceived an additional $100,000 per year while Davis was given an $25,000 a year raise.

Florida owes Pease about $1.2 million for the remaining two years on his contract.

Former USC coach Lane Kiffin is rumored to be a candidate to replace Pease.

Former Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell, now head coach at Jacksonville University, is another name that has been mentioned. Fellow ex-Gator player Mike Mularkey is also rumored to be interested in the job.

Veteran assistant Neil Callaway, now at Western Kentucky, is considered a popular pick to replace Davis as offensive line coach.

Photo: UF Sports Information

Read More

Nebraska's Bo Pelini gets defensive following 38-17 loss to Iowa

Bo Pelini went on the defensive following Nebraska’s 38-17 loss to Iowa on Friday.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini (Photo: Doug McSchooler, AP)Pelini bristled at a question about his job status, but said he’s not concerned.

“If they want to fire me, go ahead,” Pelini told reporters following the game. “I believe in what I’ve done. I don’t apologize to you. I don’t apologize to anybody, myself or this staff.

“My record, our record since I’ve been here, speaks for itself. And this program is heading in a good direction.”

The numbers don’t exactly back him up.

With the loss, Pelini’s team finished the regular season 8-4 and 5-3 in the Big Ten. It was the Huskers’ fewest regular-season wins since 2008, his first year. Nebraska lost three home games for the first time since 2007 under Bill Callahan.

Despite a 57-24 in six seasons at Nebraska, Pelini has come under heavy fire in the wake of ugly losses to UCLA and Minnesota. An audio recording of a profanity-laden tirade against Cornhuskers fans that went public in September isn’t helping matters.

Pelini’s temper was on full display Friday, and he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after he protested a third-quarter pass-interference call. He didn’t mince words when asked about the call in the postgame press conference.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Pelini said. “I’ve done a lot worse than that, and I saw (Iowa coach) Kirk Ferentz over on the other side acting a lot worse than I act. I didn’t see a flag come out on him.

“The bottom line is they knew they blew the call. They blew it. They blew that call over there on that third down. And everybody in the stadium knew it. They didn’t man up enough to pick that flag up.”

The question now becomes whether first-year athletic director Shawn Eichorst will decide to go in another direction. Pelini, who makes nearly $3 million a year, is under contract through 2017.

The general feeling has been that things were 50-50 with a 9-3 regular season. At 8-4, the odds probably aren’t nearly that good.

Still, the fact remains that six offensive linemen missed time with injuries, and fourth-year starting quarterback Taylor Martinez was limited to four games with a mysterious foot injury. Backup Tommy Armstrong Jr. missed the Iowa game with an ankle injury, forcing third-stringer Ron Kellogg III into action.

Pelini wouldn’t respond to questions about whether or not he had done enough to save his job.

“You know what? People are gonna say what they want to say,” he said. “I really don’t care. If they want someone — if somebody wants someone else — so be it. I’ll move on.

“I know what I know, and I believe in what we’re doing. I believe in how we’re doing it. We do it the right way here. That’s about it. That’s all you can do.”

Photo: Doug McSchooler, AP

Read More

The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Nov. 27

Ball State’s Pete Lembo is a hot name. His Cardinals are 9-2 and won nine games last year.

Ball State coach Pete Lembo is likely to be mentioned for several openings. (Photo: Richard Shiro, AP)

Ball State coach Pete Lembo is likely to be mentioned for several openings. (Photo: Richard Shiro, AP)

We’re told Lembo could be a serious candidate at both UConn and Wake Forest.

Sources indicate that Virginia coach Mike London is likely to return in 2014.

His saving grace? An $8.06 million buyout.

It would also cost the Cavs an additional $3.12 million to dump his staff. That’d over $11 million paid to coaches not to coach. That’s unlikely to happen at a place like Virginia.

There’s a ton of chatter about Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe. Multiple sources tell us that Grobe could retire or be pushed out. The Deacons are currently 4-7.

Michigan native Jerry Glanville says he’s the man for the Eastern Michigan job. Glanville lives in Atlanta, but he’d love the opportunity to return his home state and believes the Eagles can win.

According to the Detroit Free Press, other candidates for the EMU job include former Eagles quarterback Ron Adams, ex-Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley, now an assistant with the Buffalo Bills, former Miami (Ohio) coach Mike Haywood, and Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, previously with Grand Valley State.

At Georgia, there are lots of rumors flying around Athens that the Bulldogs could make some defensive staff changes.

We continue to hear that Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is going to get looks from the NFL. It’s expected to be a big year for coaching changes in the Not-For-Long league, and the timing might be right for Sumlin to exit College Station.

We’ve been told privately some sources have told us there could be a few staff changes at Northwestern. The Chicago Sun-Times makes that sound very possible.

Akron has extended Terry Bowden’s contract. The Zips are 4-7, but that’s still the school’s most wins in five seasons.

We’re hearing varying opinions on how much trouble Nebraska’s Bo Pelini is in. After sampling several coaches this week, the consensus seems tobe that Pelini keeps his job at 9-3. If the Huskers have a meltdown against Iowa then things get a little more dicey, but for his part, Pelini says he’s not coaching for his job.

At Indiana, we continue to hear that Kevin Wilson is likely to return, but to expect major staff changes on defense. Wilson says his program is making progress.

We’re hearing that Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads will return, but again, expect a major staff shakeup. Rhoads said this week he feels his job “absolutely not” in danger.

Read More

The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Nov. 27

We’ve heard rumblings over the past several days that Rutgers coach Kyle Flood could be in trouble, and we added him to this week’s Hot Seat list.

Could Rutgers coach Kyle Flood be in trouble? (Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)

Could Rutgers coach Kyle Flood be in trouble? (Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)

Now, the Asbury Park Press reports the situation for Flood might be even worse than we thought. Athletics director Julie Hermann is already under investigation and most agree if she goes, so does Flood.

Flood would be owed $850,000 if he is fired before Feb. 1, 2014. Keep an eye on this one.

With Rutgers headed to the B1G, the Scarlet Knights may want to start with a clean slate… or an old one. Greg Schiano anyone?

Mack Brown is only a few wins away from passing Darrell Royal on Texas‘ all-time Texas wins list. In fact, he probably hits the mark next season – if he returns.

Even though UT megabooseter Joe Jamail says that Brown will decide when he retires, sources continue to tell us this is likely his last season in Austin.

If Brown goes, who takes his place? As you’ve no doubt heard numerous times, Alabama coach Nick Saban tops the Longhorns’ wish list. Earlier this week, Saban’s wife Terry told the Wall Street Journal that the couple intends to retire in Tuscaloosa, but the Sabans certainly aren’t above changing their minds.

If Saban does stay put, we continue to hear that Jimbo Fisher, Charlie Strong, Jon Gruden and Art Briles could all be in play.

Briles stated last week, that he “cannot envision” talking with other schools at season’s end, but sources indicate he’d still likely listen to Texas.

Another name that has surfaced is Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin last coached in college at Cincinnati in 1999-2000, where he was on staff with Jimbo Fisher. Ian Rappaport reported a couple of weeks ago that Tomlin’s job in Pittsburgh is safe for 2014.

Sources indicate Tomlin may be ready to move on – and that he’d have a keen interest in Texas.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy’s name is also making the rounds, both publicly and privately. Many believe he could emerge as a prime candidate at Texas.

At Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports that Will Muschamp will return as coach in 2014, but that there will be “significant changes” on the staff. Sources tell us the two most likely sacrifices are offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

Pease said today he believes he deserves to return.

You may remember Davis from his off-season spat with his former boss, Nick Saban.

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reports that FAU coach Carl Pelini was fired for not reporting conduct of staff and not for using illegal drugs. Here’s an excerpt from a letter that interim president Dennis J. Crudele sent to Pelini:

“FAU did not terminate your employment because of a finding that you used illegal drugs. Accordingly to clarify these significant points … your resignation is withdrawn and your separation is converted to a termination with cause based on our finding that you failed to timely report certain conduct of a member of your staff, as required by your contract.”

We continue to hear that Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell is a serious candidate. FAU AD Pat Chun said he would like to name the Owls’ next football coach by Dec. 8.

Stephen F. Austin has fired  coach J.C. Harper.

James Madison fired head coach Mickey Mathews.

According to the Daily News-Record, “JMU might be interested in as its new coach are Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Arizona co-offensive coordinator Rod Smith and Virginia Tech tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Bryan Stinespring.”

Elon has fired coach Jason Swepson. Swepson went 10-24 in three seasons.

Read More

Illinois staff member arrested for pointing gun at fellow coaches

A member of the Illinois coaching staff has been charged after allegedly pointing an unloaded handgun at a vehicle carrying other staff members.

Matt Sinclair (Photo: Chicago Tribune)

Matt Sinclair (Photo: Chicago Tribune)

Matt Sinclair, Illinois’ assistant director of player personnel and relations,  was arrested Saturday and charged with four counts of unlawful use of weapons after he allegedly pointed a gun.

The incident occurred following Illinois’ win over Purdue.

Sinclair, who played linebacker for the Illini from 2001-04, was arrested at around 3 p.m. Saturday after a witness in a car behind Sinclair claimed he aimed a gun at a blue SUV. The SUV contained other full-time football staff members, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Police say Sinclair said he pointed the gun as a joke.

“We’re aware of the current situation concerning staff member Matt Sinclair,” Illinois coach Tim Beckman said in a statement.

“He clearly had a lapse in judgment after returning to Champaign-Urbana on Saturday. He is in the early stages of the legal process. We’re still gathering all the information about the incident and I don’t intend to comment further at this time.”

Sinclair appeared in court for arraignment Monday, facing faces three Class 4 felony charges each punishable by one to three years in prison. He also faces a fourth charge for possession of brass knuckles, a Class A misdemeanor.

The case was delayed until Dec. 3 so that Sinclair can obtain counsel, authorities said.

In 2004, Sinclair was convicted of battery and served a year of probation.

Read More

College Football Coaching Hot Seat Ranking – Monday, Nov. 25

The Football Rumor Mill Hot Seat Ranking for Monday, Nov. 25, based on the latest college football coaching news and insider rumors:

OPEN
USC – Lane Kiffin
UConn – Paul Pasqualoni
Miami (Ohio) – Don Treadwell
FAU – Carl Pelini
Eastern Michigan – Ron English

THE FLAMING FANNYFiring Seems a Forgone Conclusion
Army –Rich Ellerson (3-7)
Hawaii – Norm Chow (0-11)

THE SCORCHED HINEYFiring Seems Likely
Central Michigan – Dan Enos (5-6) COOLER
FIU – Ron Turner (1-10)
Texas – Mack Brown (7-3)
Wake Forest – Jim Grobe (4-7)
Wyoming – Dave Christensen (5-6) COOLER

THE TOASTY TUSHFiring is a Possibility
Air Force – Troy Calhoun (2-9)
Illinois – Tim Beckman (4-7) COOLER
Indiana – Kevin Wilson (4-7)
Iowa State – Paul Rhoads (2-9)
Kansas – Charlie Weis (3-8)
Maryland – Randy Edsall (6-5)
Mississippi State – Dan Mullen (5-6)
Nebraska – Bo Pelini (8-3) COOLER
Rutgers – Kyle Flood (5-5) WARMER
SMU – June Jones (5-5)
UAB – Garrick McGee (2-9) WARMER
UNLV – Bobby Hauck (6-5)
Virginia – Mike London (2-9) COOLER
West Virginia – Dana Holgorsen (4-7) COOLER

THE HEATING PADPlenty Warm, but… will probably see 2014
Florida – Will Muschamp (4-7)
Georgia Tech – Paul Johnson (7-4)
Iowa – Kirk Ferentz (7-4)
Michigan – Brady Hoke (7-4) WARMER
Troy – Larry Blakeney (5-6)
Washington – Steve Sarkisian (7-4)

Read More
1 3 4 5 6 7 88