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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Nov. 20

Sources indicate the heat is rising on Illinois coach Tim Beckman.

Smiles have been been tough to come by lately for Nebraska's Bo Pelini and Illinois' Tim Beckman. (Photo: Nati Harnik, AP)

Smiles have been been tough to come by lately for Nebraska’s Bo Pelini and Illinois’ Tim Beckman. (Photo: Nati Harnik, AP)

Athletic director Mike Thomas has been noncommittal about his future. That was before Beckman almost came to blows with OC Bill Cubit on the sidelines Saturday.

Beckman is 5-17 in his second season at the helm. Thomas fired former coach Ron Zook after he led the Illini to back-to-back bowls. (Those Illini teams won back-to-back bowls for the first time in program history).

We’re hearing that Nebraska’s Bo Pelini is likely to be safe if the Huskers finish 9-3. That is, unless they give up 70 in the bowl game ( a la last year’s Big Ten title game).

Frank Solich was fired after going 9-3, but sources say current AD Shawn Eichorst probably isn’t likely to be as quick on the trigger as Steve Pederson.

Oklahoma State handed Mack Brown his worst home loss as Texas head coach on Saturday, beating the No. 24 Longhorns, 38-13. It was Brown’s eighth straight defeat against a ranked team at home.

The reality is that Brown likely needs to beat Texas Tech and Baylor (and have Baylor beat Oklahoma State). That scenario would give the Longhorns the Big 12 title and a BCS bowl berth.

Anything less than that and it’s probably over.

In an interview with Steve Hartman and Pat O’Brien, LA Daily News writer Scott Wolff says Ed Orgeron has a 50% chance of landing the USC job on a permanent basis. If the Trojans beat UCLA, that could increase to 75%.

Former Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat says he’d give Orgeron another shot.

“If Mr. Haden asked me that question, given the performance, the 180-degree turnaround — if I’m the president or chancellor, I would recommend that we give him a shot at it,” Khayat said. “[Orgeron] knows what it’s like to be hired, fired, to win and lose.

“I’ve probably said more than I should — I should answer this as a hypothetical. But I would want to see him have the opportunity to be a head coach.”

There’s been some speculation privately – and now publicly – that FIU coach Ron Turner could leave on his own accord and head back to the NFL. Sources indicate there’s a growing movement to dump both him and athletic director Pete Garcia.

Southern Miss coach Todd Monken announced a change in the Golden Eagles coaching staff Tuesday afternoon. Graduate assistant Grant Garner will replace veteran assistant Pete Perot as offensive line coach for the final two games of the season.

Rhode Island head coach Joe Trainer has been released from the final year of his contract, athletic director Thorr Bjorn announced.

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Pete Perot out as Southern Miss offensive line coach

Southern Miss offensive line coach Pete Perot has been let go according to multiple reports.

The story was broken by Southern Miss website Big Gold Nation on Twitter:

 

The Golden Eagles are 0-10 in Todd Monken’s first season as head coach and mired in a 22-game losing streak.

Perot, who played six seasons in the NFL during the early 80s, spent the past 12 seasons as OL coach at Louisiana Tech. He was offensive line coach at Southern Miss from 1997-99.

USM will face Middle Tennessee State at home followed by UAB on the road to finish the 2013 season.

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Monday, Oct. 28

It’s not exactly at shock that Bo Pelini’s Nebraska is going to lose at least four games this season (he always does), but we really didn’t expect one of them to be Minnesota.

Are there enough "Bo-lievers" to save the Nebraska coach?

Are there enough “Bo-lievers” to save the Nebraska coach?

Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised. @GarrettGordon reports this is the fifth consecutive season a ranked Nebraska team has lost to an unranked opponent.

Pelini entered the season on the hot seat after last season’s meltdown in the B1G Championship Game when his team gave up 70 to Wisconsin.

Then, in September, an audio tape surfaced where Pelini ripped both the media and Cornhuskers’ fans after a 2011 game. The best line was reserved for the Husker faithful: “It took everything in my power to not say, ‘F— you, fans. F— all of you.’ F— ‘em.”

Nebraska can beat every opponent left on it’s schedule. The Huskers could also lose four more. More than likely, they’ll split the difference and end up with four losses just as they have in each of the past five seasons under Pelini.

We think that gets him fired.

Dana Holgorsen won ten games in his first season at West Virginia — but that was in the Big East.

In 2012, WVU moved to the Big 12 and the record dropped to 7-6. The Mountaineers are now 3-5 and could potentially lose out.

Sources tell us that 5-7 probably earns Holgorsen a pink slip. The only wild card is A.D. Oliver Luck. As we mentioned yesterday, he very well could be headed to Texas.

How does that affect Holgorsen? we don’t know yet but it’s an interesting wildcard.

Mack Brown helped his cause once again with an impressive win over TCU. The Longhorns figure to throttle both Kansas and West Virginia over the next two weeks to get to 7-2.

Then, the rubber meets the road.

Texas ends the season with Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and at Baylor.

The Baylor game could very well decide the Big 12. A Longhorns win and it’s hard to see a change. A bad loss makes the situation much more dicey.

Despite big wins in the last two, this soap opera is a long way from over.

USC wants (and needs?) to make a big splash with their hire. Mike Riley’s name was floating around last week, and Jack Del Rio was hot for awhile. So were Kevin Sumlin and James Franklin.

We think Pat Haden is likely doing due diligence on several candidates and will move quickly once the season ends to fill the position.

Virginia A.D. Craig Littlepage announced less than two weeks ago that coach Mike London would return next season, but we all now how much mid-season declarations of safety mean.

Littlepage made those statements before the Wahoos lost to Duke and Georgia Tech, bringing the losing streak to five, and UVa’s overall record to 2-6. With games against Clemson, at North Carolina and Miami, and the season finale vs. Virginia Tech remaining, winning one more to finish 3-9 may be a stretch.

Sources close to London indicate they believe the Cavs coach is safe for another season. Others aren’t so sure.

Regardless of what Littlepage said publicly, we’re told London is not out the woods. A 2-10 season almost has to bring a change, so there’s a good chance this one opens.

We’ve heard rumblings that Kansas could replace Charlie Weis after just two seasons, and those rumors are picking up steam.

The Jayhawks fired a religious fanatic after two seasons and replaced him with Satan’s brother.

Perhaps KU should try looking for someone a little more “normal”?

We told you about the hell Southern Miss is in in Friday’s Rumor Mill, and after this weekend, the Golden Eagles have now lost 19 straight. This week was a 55-14 thrashing by North Texas, on Homecoming no less…

Quick Hitters

Iowa State: We’re told, at a minimum, to expect staff changes.

North Texas: Lots of chatter here. Some think Dan McCarney could hang it up after the season.

Purdue: Look for staff changes. Possibly several.

Florida Atlantic: Expect staff changes on the defensive side of the ball.

Photo credit: Nati Harnik, AP

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Friday, Oct. 25

Could Auburn play in the National Championship Game?

First-year Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has his team believing.

First-year Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has his team believing.

While it may seem far fetched, at least one former major college coach thinks it’s a distinct possibility.

“The way things falling out, Auburn could end up playing for the whole thing,” the coach told one member of the Rumor Mill staff today.

I laughed at first but after giving it’s some thought, it’s not as out there as you might think.

The Tigers control their own destiny, and their two toughest remaining games — Georgia and Alabama — are both at home. A win over Georgia doesn’t nearly as out of reach as it did a month ago, and while Alabama is, well, Alabama, Gus Malzhan’s offenses have caused their share of problems for Nick Saban.

The Auburn players apparently don’t think it’s crazy, either.

“I think we can win it all. You know?” defensive end Dee Ford said earlier this week. “There’s no reason to say that we can’t. We said we wanted to have the biggest turnaround in college football. Why not win it all?”

Still, a road win over a Texas A&M team that is porous (to put it nicely) on defense is a long way from playing for the National Championship. This was, after all, a team that was 3-9 last season and had clearly quit competing for Gene Chizik late in the year.

The Tigers should get a win Saturday at home against Florida Atlantic, but they still have to travel to Fayetteville — a place where Auburn has historically struggled even when it has won — where they’ll face an Arkansas team that should be hungry for a big win for first-year coach Bret Bielema.

The Tigers also must also go to Knoxville to face a Tennessee Vols team that may present the biggest challenge left on the regular season schedule not named Alabama.

Regardless of whether or not Coach is right and the Tigers end up playing for the title, there’s no denying that the turnaround  Malzahn has orchestrated thus far on the Plains has been remarkable.

It will be very interesting to watch how it plays out the rest of the way to say the least.

Southern Miss now boasts the nation’s longest losing streak. 18 games. As Mississippi sportswriting legend Rick Cleveland recently pointed out, it has been 670 days since the Golden Eagles have tasted gridiron victory. It takes more than one bad season under a new coach to get that bad.

It takes a few years of bad recruiting. It takes an incompetent president and an ill equipped, ego-centric, uninformed and incompetent athletic director, a bunch of meddling boosters and a host of other factors.

Southern Miss used to play toe to toe with the Alabamas, Auburns and Nebraskas of the world. Now? The Golden Eagles are stuck in a conference with UAB, Rice, UTSA, FAU, FIU, MTSU and the like — and losing.

Meanwhile, former conference foes Tulane, East Carolina, Tulsa, SMU and others are either playing in or set to play in the revamped AAC (former Big East), while former rival Louisville is headed to the ACC.

Southern Miss currently has 23 freshmen on the two-deep depth chart. Seventeen of those are true freshmen. Of the 19 offensive linemen signed in 2009 and 2010, only four remain on the team.

Southern Miss bypassed purgatory and went straight to hell — and the Golden Eagles may be there for quite some time.

Not surprisingly, Oregon State coach Mike Riley’s name has again been mentioned in connection with the USC job. Keep in mind, Riley has turned down both USC and Alabama (his alma mater) in the past.

Has there been a guy over the past 11 seasons who has done a better job? Oregon State used to be considered the worst job in the Pac, but not anymore.

Riley has compiled a 79-54 record since he returned in Corvalis is 2003. The Beavers are off to a 6-1 start this season after an opening day loss to Eastern Michigan and a slew of injuries. The schedule gets tougher down the stretch, but Riley will likely have them in every game.

Could the Corvalis native end up back at USC after all these years? Scott Wolf of the LA Daily News reports that he asked Riley directly a couple years ago if he would ever return to USC. “You never know,” he said.

Our sources view a move as possible, but unlikely.

Dan Mullen got a much needed win over Kentucky tonight. The Bullies are now 4-3 and will need to win two more to be bowl-eligible. South Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss remain. Frankly, it’s hard to find two wins in that group.

As we’ve noted previously, if he goes winless with some bad losses, he could be in big trouble. Could being the operative word.

Our guess is that he wins one and returns for 2014.

How do coaches grade film after a game? Here’s some interesting insight from former Florida and Illinois coach Ron Zook via 247sports’ site AuburnUndercover:

“Everybody grades differently, but we used to always have an assignment and a technique grade for every single play. We always added a hustle grade…

The assignment: What was the player’s assignment and then the technique in which he performed that assignment? Not every player is going to be involved in every single play. If he’s lined up right, carries out the assignment and his responsibility – and does it with the correct technique and does it with hustle, then usually we are going to give him a plus.

What you’re going to do is take the number of plays that you have and divide it by the number of minus plays and come up with a grade.”

Photo credit: Todd J. Van Emst, Auburn Media Relations

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UAB loses six commitments in a single weekend

UAB head coach Garrick McGee had a rough weekend. (Photo: Butch Dill/AP)

UAB head coach Garrick McGee had a rough weekend. (Photo: Butch Dill/AP)

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o matter how bad it may have seemed, chances are your had a better weekend than Garrick McGee.

The UAB coach saw an astonishing six Blazers verbal commitments change their allegiance to other schools.

That’s not a typo. UAB had six commits flip to other schools in the 48 hour period between Sunday-Monday.

Three of the recruits were from Birmingham, the school’s hometown. One of them had been committed since July, two others since September.

When the sun came up Tuesday morning, the Blazers were left with just 15 commitments and a coaching staff that had to be scratching their heads.

It’s hard to imagine losing nearly one third of a recruiting class with just over a week left until signing day, but that’s exactly the situation that McGee and the Blazer staff face. (UAB did sign two recruits in December that have already enrolled.)

The Blazers lost three assistants this off season, and that certainly played a role in this weekend’s defections.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jeff Brohm left to work for his college head coach and mentor Bobby Petrino at Western Kentucky, while recruiting coordinator Tyson Helton joined Tommy Tuberville’s staff at Cincinnati. Receivers coach Ron Sigler resigned after the season. (One of the recruits, defensive end Kalvin Robinson of Vestavia, Ala., switched to Brohm’s new school.)

McGee promoted tight ends coach Richard Owens to offensive coordinator and brought in Arkansas graduate assistant Joseph Henry to take over the role of tight ends coach. There is still one staff spot open.

Though it’s hard to judge whether the sudden rash of decommitments is a sign of a program in turmoil or merely a function of bad timing and the general wackiness that has been the 2013 recruiting cycle, it’s clear that the staff turnover done damage.

With time quickly running out, McGee and company have to hope their luck takes a turn for the better. After last weekend, it certainly can’t get any worse.

UAB Weekend Decommits

[colored_box color="grey"]Jamaris Hart (2-star DB, Florence, Ala.) – Committed since Sept., flipped to Arkansas State
T.J. Green (2-star ATH/KR, Sylacauga, Ala.) – Committed since Oct., flipped to Clemson
Trey Lamastus (2-star C/DS, Monroe, La.) – Committed since Dec., flipped to ULM
Julius McCall (2-star RB/ATH, Chelsea, Ala.) – Committed since July, flipped to Troy
Nick Mullens (2-star QB, Hoover, Ala.) – Committed since Dec., flipped to Southern Miss
Kalvin Robinson (2-star DE, Vestavia, Ala.) – Committed since Sept., flipped to WKU[/colored_box]

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