Mike Shanahan won two Super Bowls with John Elway and the Denver Broncos. Now, it appears he’s setting his sights on the College Football Playoff.
A key domino has fallen in what is sure to be the one of the hottest coaching searches this winter. Now, that Dave Brandon has resigned as Michigan’s AD the Wolverines can use his vacant seat as a bargaining chip to lure the next head coach.
Now that the College Football Playoff Committee has released its first poll we can move on to the bigger story, who’s going to head perennial powers—Michigan and Florida?
This week’s scoop…Can Brady Hoke survive at Michigan? David Shaw to the Raiders? And, NFL scouts don’t trust Jimbo Fisher.
Al Borges is out, and apparently Alabama’s Doug Nussmeier is in as Michigan’s offensive coordinator.
“Decisions like these are never easy,” said Hoke in a statement released by the school. “I have a great amount of respect for Al as a football coach and, more importantly, as a person.
“I appreciate everything he has done for Michigan Football for the past three seasons.”
According to a report by Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com, Michigan acted quickly to lure Nussmeier away from Alabama.
Hoke and Michigan AD Dave Brandon reportedly plan to make Nussmeier one of the five highest paid assistant coaches in the country.
The Wolverines actually improving scoring offense from 2012 to 2013, but clearly struggled in the post-Denard Robinson move to a more traditional, pro-style offense and limped to a 7-6 record.
Nussmeier was Washington’s offensive coordinator from 2009-11 and was considered a leading candidate to replace Steve Sarkisian as the Huskies’ head coach.
After winning a national title in his first season at Alabama, Nussmeier directed a Tide offense that scored 38.8 points per game in 2013.
We hear that former USC coach Lane Kiffin, who last month made headlines when he visited Tuscaloosa to consult with the Tide staff, is a leading candidate to replace Nussmeier at Bama.
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck issued a statement reaffirming his support of head coach Dana Holgorsen.
In the statement, Luck said, “I strongly believe in our coaching staff, including the work that our strength and conditioning staff is doing. In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect.”
In reality, there are 11.3 million reasons that Holgorsen’s job is safe — as in the amount it would cost the school to buy out his contract. Holgorsen should get his agent a nice Christmas present this year.
Miami (Ohio) has hired Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin as head coach.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has fired longtime linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and second-year quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher, multiple sources confirmed to Lions247.
GatorBait.net reports that while former USC coach Lane Kiffin had a strong interest in the Florida offensive coordinator job at, but says that the Gators are unlikely to hire him. Mike Mularkey, Clay Helton and Blake Anderson are among the names we continue to hear. Arizona State’s Mike Norvell and UCLA’s Noel Mazzone are other names being mentioned.
According to AP writer Mark Long, Muschamp plans to scrap the pro-style system and switch to up-tempo an offense in 2014.
Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe has resigned.
Sources tell us Ball State’s Pete Lembo, Rice’s David Bailiff, Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason and Tulane’s Curtis Johnson could be candidates for the job.
Multiple sources feel it’s likely June Jones will either leave SMU on his own accord or be fired. The national media is starting to report some chatter as well.
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz are expected to be among the candidates to fill the job should it open.
Sources tell us that Hawaii head coach Norm Chow is weary of the job already and that the school might be happy for him to move along. There are strong rumors June Jones could return.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson “has worked with the Tulane Board to reconfigure football coach Curtis Johnson’s contract, as well as those of his assistants.”
Auburn’s Jay Jacobs plans a raise for Gus Malzahn.
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says that Brady Hoke will lead the program “well into the future.” We assume that means he’s in no danger of losing his job (not that we ever thought he was).
Hoke says he has no plans to make any staff changes, even though many think he should.
According to the Tampa Tribune’s Joey Johnston, “USF coach Willie Taggart says he doesn’t anticipate any changes to his coaching staff.”
RealDawg reports that Washington athletic director Scott Woodward was “blindsided” by Steve Sarkisian’s move to USC and that defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, once thought to be next in line, is now unlikely to land the job.
Jim Mora would have been a candidate if he had wanted to be, but he reports indicate that he has agreed to a six year extension to stay at UCLA. Mizzou’s Gary Pinkel and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier are also rumored to be strong candidates, along with Boise State’s Chris Petersen and Vandy’s James Franklin.
The Seattle Times reports that Sarkisian’s buyout of $1.5 million is due within 30 days. the Times also reports that Wilcox would owe “$1 million, according to his contract. That penalty is triggered only if Wilcox leaves early ‘to take a position at another Pac 12 school, with the exception of Head Coach.'”
Huskies defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi would owe $410,000 if he were to leave.
Sports Radio KJR reports that Wilcox is headed to USC with Sarkisian.
Sources tell us that a loss to South Florida this weekend could mean the end of Kyle Flood’s tenure at Rutgers.
Western Kentucky’s Bobby Petrino says he won’t “deal with speculation” when asked if he was a candidate for other jobs.
Air Force’s Troy Calhoun is keeping quiet on possible staff changes.
We continue to hear that Florida International’s Ron Turner could go back to the NFL.
UNLV has given Bobby Hauck an extension.
At USC, Ed Orgeron has resigned and offensive coordinator Clay Helton will coach the Trojans bowl game.
Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage has again voiced his support for his embattled head football coach.
“I firmly believe that Mike London is going to be successful here at the University of Virginia,” Littlepage said.
In other words, London and his big buyout are safe for another year.
Sources tell us that Nebraska’s Bo Pelini still might not be 100% safe.
An ugly bowl performance could make things dicey. In other words, nothing is certain. He probably makes it, but this is still one to watch.
ESPN reports that Pelini will have to pay for his latest rant:
“The Big Ten Conference on Monday issued a public reprimand of the Cornhuskers’ head coach and fined the university $10,000 for Pelini’s comments about the officiating in a loss to Iowa last week. University spokeswoman Chris Anderson said the money will come out of Pelini’s compensation.”
Michigan’s loss at Penn State on Oct. 12 frustrated fans, but Saturday’s 29-6 thumping at the hands of Michigan State was something else entirely.
What’s worse, Brady Hoke’s staff had two weeks to come up with the game plan.
After winning 11 games in his first season, Hoke’s team slid to 8-5 in 2012. Michigan has now lost two of its last three, and sits at 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.
Still, athletic director Dave Brandon believes in his head coach.
“He’s absolutely the right guy to lead the Michigan football program,” Brandon told the AP on Monday. “We were all disappointed in the outcome of Saturday’s game. No one more than Brady, his coaches and the team. But we still have important games to play before the season is over, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
On Sunday, Brandon watched the Michigan State game film with Hoke and coordinator Al Borges and the defense plays with coordinator Greg Mattison.
“It was tough,” Brandon said. “We didn’t play well and give Michigan State a lot of credit for that. They had a great defensive game plan that got a lot of our young guys out of sync to disrupt our quarterback.
“It isn’t about making or finding excuses. It’s about developing our young players so we can be more consistent.”
Michigan’s remaining schedule includes Nebraska at home, followed by road games against Northwestern and Iowa. The season finale against Ohio State is at home on Nov. 30.
A conference championship is now a pipe dream, but how the Wolverines finish out 2013 will set an important tone for Hoke’s fourth season in Ann Arbor and beyond.
It’s certainly possible that Michigan wins out and looks back on the recent defeats as a mid-season blip. The most likely scenario — three wins and a loss to Ohio State to finish 9-3 — is probably enough to keep most of the grumbling quiet, too.
Losing two or more to finish 8-4 (or worse) would leave a sour taste in lots of mouths.
Hoke needs a win Saturday against Nebraska and another coach who needs to win badly. His first two Michigan teams have beaten Northwestern, but Hoke’s Wolverines lost to Iowa when they visited Kinnick Stadium in 2011.
If Hoke wants to remain on comfortable ground with Brandon (not to mention Wolverines fans), Michigan needs to get right the ship righted quickly.