Big Ten: Greg Schiano

Michigan coaching search: Names to know

December, 16, 2014
Dec 16
10:00
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As Michigan’s search for its next head coach reaches two weeks and counting, the end result remains a guessing game. Here we take a look at some of the names (in alphabetical order) most frequently mentioned during the search and lay out the arguments for why they will or won’t end up in Ann Arbor.

Jim Harbaugh – San Francisco 49ers

The Case For: Harbaugh remains the slam-dunk hire for Michigan. He transformed Stanford from a program that had not had a winning season in five years before he arrived to an Orange Bowl winner when he left for the NFL. Harbaugh’s stay in San Francisco will likely come to an end this year, making it a good time for him to return to his alma mater.

The Case Against: The ultra-competitive Harbaugh may not want to leave the NFL on a bad note. Many NFL insiders, including ESPN’s Adam Schefter, previously said they expect Harbaugh will remain at the pro level. Michigan has been patient so far, but it would have to wait two more weeks for the 49ers to finish their season before trying to sign Harbaugh. That puts the Wolverines in a bad spot while trying to build a recruiting class that is down to only six committed prospects.

Les Miles – LSU Tigers

The Case For: Miles has been mentioned as a candidate in each of Michigan’s last three coaching searches. He played for the Wolverines during the same era as interim athletic director Jim Hackett. He’s another native son who would excite fans because of a resume that includes two SEC titles and a national championship.

The Case Against: Miles told LSU beat reporters Monday night that he didn’t want to be quoted directly about the Michigan opening, but that he wasn’t considering leaving for Ann Arbor. He said neither he nor his agent has talked to the Wolverines. If Miles were to reverse course it wouldn’t be the first time a coach took a job after saying he wouldn't, but reports out of Baton Rouge are that he was adamant he wasn’t considering it.

Jim Mora – UCLA Bruins

The Case For: Mora’s early success in recruiting has helped UCLA become a force in the Pac-12 South during his three seasons as a college head coach. He spent the first quarter century of his coaching career in the NFL before taking three years off and eventually landing with the Bruins. He’s a strong second-tier option if Michigan can’t land its top choice.

The Case Against: Mora, a father of four, was happy enough keeping his family on the West Coast last year when he was reportedly offered a job at Texas. There’s nothing to indicate he would be any more swayed to leave behind what he’s building in Los Angeles to come to Michigan. His contract with UCLA extends through 2019 and his assistants would be shocked if he left now.

Dan Mullen – Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Case For: Mullen became one of the coaching world’s rising stars this season while leading Mississippi State to the No. 1 ranking and holding it until November. The former Urban Meyer assistant previously coached in the Midwest as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame and a quarterbacks coach at Bowling Green.

The Case Against: Mississippi State is working this month to extend Mullen’s contract in Starkville and keep him around. Athletic director Scott Stricklin said on Dec. 8 that he was optimistic that the two sides would reach a deal. Mullen told The Clarion Ledger he had not been in contact with Michigan as of Tuesday morning. He also said in October that he hopes to have shoveled his last driveway.

Sean Payton – New Orleans Saints

The Case For: It was a surprise when Payton’s name was one of many tossed out as possible candidates during the first two weeks of the search. He is a Midwest native who coached as an assistant in Big Ten for one season (Illinois) before moving to the NFL in 1997. He’s had a lot of success in nine seasons with the Saints, including winning Super Bowl XLIV, but is in the middle of his first losing season since 2007.

The Case Against: Payton’s salary is reportedly in the $8 million range, which would be almost impossible to match on the college level, even for a school like Michigan. He has spent almost two decades in the NFL and told reporters he has no plans to leave New Orleans.

Greg Schiano – Free Agent

The Case For: If Michigan is looking for a tough disciplinarian, Schiano fits that bill. He is largely responsible for building Rutgers’ program from a laughingstock to a top-10 team in his decade there. He has spent the past year traveling the country to hone his coaching philosophy and prepare for his next job.

The Case Against: Schiano struggled at his most recent job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where players complained he was too much of a micromanager. His year away from the game makes him a harder sell to Michigan fans who are hoping for a big name to join the program.

Bob Stoops – Oklahoma Sooners

The Case For: Stoops provides that big name after 15 seasons at Oklahoma. He has won 168 games, a national championship and multiple national coach of the year awards. The Sooners have grown stagnant in recent years, which leads some to believe that Stoops and Oklahoma would both be better off with a fresh start.

The Case Against: Stoops has a good relationship with the university leadership at Oklahoma and one of the largest annual salaries in college football. The Youngstown, Ohio, native has no problem recruiting talented players to Norman and it’s unclear if he would be interested in taking on a perceived fixer-upper like Michigan.

Big Ten morning links

December, 5, 2014
Dec 5
8:00
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Too bad it's such a quiet week in the Big Ten.

Check that.

Let’s get ready for a weekend like college football has never seen by hitting the three stories burning hottest in the league.

First up, Nebraska hired a coach. Mike Riley flew into Lincoln on Thursday night and headed straight to a meeting with the Cornhuskers. The former Oregon State coach will introduce himself to the state of Nebraska on Friday morning with a press conference at Memorial Stadium.

If Riley has any doubt about the level of obsession in his new position, he won’t after going through the ringer of obligations in his first full day on the job. I realize he coached in the NFL for three seasons. But he coached in San Diego, where, if fans get disinterested in the Chargers, they head to the beach of the golf course. If they lose interest in Nebraska, it’s statewide emergency.

Lost in the news on Thursday: How did Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst keep everyone in the dark? Riley’s name never surfaced among the dozens of coaches in mainstream speculation for the Nebraska job this week, perhaps because he was 5-7 this season and 61 years old.

The recent whereabouts of Eichorst also remain a mystery. Either he conducted the entire search from the depths of his office or he ought to think about moonlighting as a Homeland Security operative.

A few opinions:
  • Eichorst is taking a risk with Riley, writes Dirk Chatelain, but it’s one that illustrates the AD’s apparent lack of a big ego.
  • Lee Barfknecht writes of the widespread respect Riley has earned among peers and how his skill at developing quarterbacks could hold the key in the coach’s bid to elevate Nebraska.
  • According to George Schroeder, Riley is a great fit at Nebraska. Writes Schroeder: "He's unlikely to be overwhelmed by the expectations or surprised by the obstacles." A rare combination, indeed, that perhaps offers insight into the nature of Eichorst's outside-the-box hire.
  • The Lincoln Journal Star compiles more reaction from media and current and former Nebraska players.
  • And after some Nebraskans wondered about the star power of their new coach, it’s worth taking this advice: Just chill.
Not much news out of Michigan on first full day of its coaching search. Interim AD Jim Hackett seems intent to take his time. Unless, that is, a slam-dunk candidate is ready to say yes.

Maybe Les Miles is that slam dunk. Or maybe not. A pair of Louisiana writers provide contrasting opinions: Scott Rabalais tells Miles that the time is right for him to go back to U-M, while Jeff Duncan writes that Miles would be foolish to leave.

Or is Greg Schiano the most realistic of the high-profile candidates?

Regardless, this is a critical hire for Michigan, where fresh starts are getting old. Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, no doubt, agrees. He’s not happy with the firing of Brady Hoke and has no interest in the job in Ann Arbor.

Meanwhile, Hoke lands on a list of potential candidates at Colorado State.

Back on the field, Wisconsin and Ohio State battled different kinds of adversity this season to earn trips to Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship game.

Don't expect the Buckeyes to hold back on offense because of its quarterback issues. And amid all the talk of Cardale Jones' steep learning curve as he replaces injured J.T. Barrett, the Ohio State defense faces a huge challenge on Saturday. The reason? Melvin Gordon, of course.

The Badgers have concerns with the depth on the offensive line, to the point that Gary Andersen would consider removing the redshirt from freshman Michael Deiter in this 13th game of the season.

On the other side of the ball, Wisconsin's No. 2-ranked defense is again an underappreciated collection of talent.

Looking for predictions? The Cleveland.com writers deliver in their weekly outrageous fashion. And they're bullish on the Buckeyes.

Finally, if Ohio State beats Wisconsin and Michigan State remains ahead of Mississippi State in the playoff rankings, the Big Ten looks set to leave one of its eight-bowl eligible teams at home this postseason. Here's an explanation.

Around the rest of the league:

East Division
West Division

Big Ten Monday mailbag

December, 1, 2014
Dec 1
5:00
PM ET
Lots of news this week, so let's hit the mailbag ...

Josh Moyer: Associate head coach Barney Cotton -- the run-game coordinator who coaches the tight ends and helps out with the offensive line -- was named the interim guy, so he will coach the bowl game. Now for the $10,000 question: Who will be the next head coach? Well, since there will be no search firm, that decision is almost entirely up to athletic director Shawn Eichorst -- which makes it a bit more difficult to project. So all sorts of names have popped up, even Jim Tressel. (For the record, I'd find that incredibly surprising considering he is still under a show-cause penalty.) But one name that Eichorst will almost certainly consider is Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback. If Eichorst wants an offensive mind with Nebraska connections, Frost is the right fit. (He's also currently the Bovada favorite at 5/2.) If Eichorst wants more experience? Greg Schiano, Memphis' Justin Fuente, Colorado State's Jim McElwain or Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy could all potentially fit the bill. If Eichorst wants a little more experience and those university connections? A darkhorse candidate might just be Wyoming's Craig Bohl, who was born in Lincoln and graduated from Nebraska. There are still interviews to conduct and coaches to contact but, at this point, those are six names outside the Big Ten to keep an eye on.

Josh Moyer: A lot of craziness; unprecedented craziness. It's not going to happen, but I received this question so much I feel obligated to answer. Michigan State is out of it because it's not getting ranked ahead of the Big Ten champion -- and it's literally impossible for two Big Ten teams to make the playoff at this point. As for Wisconsin, even if it beats Ohio State, think about the domino effect you would need here. If Oregon loses to Arizona, how would Arizona not stay ahead of Wisconsin? The Ducks are ranked higher than Ohio State, and Arizona's currently ranked higher than Wisconsin. If Baylor loses to Kansas State, how would Kansas State not stay ahead of Wisconsin? Kansas State's only losses came against No. 15 Auburn and No. 5 TCU, while Wisconsin fell to unranked LSU and nuranked Northwestern. One SEC team should make the playoff, so that leaves just one spot after the Pac-12 and Big 12 teams from above. For Wisconsin to stand any kind of chance then, TCU would have to lose to 32-point underdog Iowa State and Georgia Tech would have to knock off Florida State ... while still somehow not jumping Wisconsin. In other words, Big Ten fans will just have to settle for a spot or two in the New Year's Six.


Jared Amundson writes: As much as it pains me to ask, would Wisconsin be sitting in position to make the playoffs going into this game against OSU if they had beat Northwestern? I still have nightmares about how Wisconsin lost to Northwestern! Josh Moyer: Well, Jared, you might want to close your eyes instead of reading this answer then -- because the Badgers would definitely be in great position if it weren't for that Northwestern game. I could see Wisconsin and Ohio State right next to each other at the 5-6 spots, right behind TCU. And chances are a quality win in the Big Ten title game would have nudged Wisconsin (or Ohio State) over the Big 12 champ. We're talking about a lot of "what ifs," of course, and it's not an exact science. But if that Northwestern game would have gone differently? The Badgers would be set up nicely at this point in the season, and their higher ranking could have helped Ohio State more, too.

Josh Moyer: I hope you like New York because It's probably going to be the Pinstripe Bowl. We've projected that for quite a few weeks now. (Yes, even last week.) It's just a matter of whom Penn State's going to play. It looks as if Pitt is out of the equation because the ACC defines the Pinstripe as a Tier 1 bowl, and Pitt is in Tier II since it has six wins. Penn State's opponent in the Pinstripe could be any one of the following then: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Louisville, N.C. State or Notre Dame. And the Irish just played in the Pinstripe last season, so it's not the likeliest opponent either.


Isaac from Steven's Point, Wis., writes: Let's say, hypothetically, that Michigan State was a member of the West Division. Who would be playing Ohio State for the championship? Josh Moyer: Basically, what you're asking is, "Who's better: Wisconsin or Michigan State?" It's close, very close, but I'm still going with Michigan State. It's not just me, either. We Big Ten bloggers collectively ranked MSU ahead of Wisconsin in the conference power rankings, and ESPN did the same in the national power rankings. The Badgers boast the better defense, but Michigan State has the better overall offense and averages nearly six points more a game. Melvin Gordon might just be the best player in the nation, but Michigan State's trio of Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford and Tony Lippett also means you can't focus on just one guy. It's nearly a toss-up, but give me the Spartans..

Big Ten lunch links

May, 9, 2014
May 9
12:00
PM ET
Fourteen Big Ten programs combined to produce four first-round NFL draft picks. Louisville, Northern Illinois and Buffalo together had five. Eleven of 32 came from the SEC. Discuss.
  • A big night at the NFL draft for Michigan's Taylor Lewan, who landed with the Titans at No. 11 to lead off a better opening day for the league.
  • Ohio State's defensive duo, Ryan Shazier at No. 15 to the Steelers and Bradley Roby at No. 31, went to the Broncos.
  • And Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard found a home with the Bengals at No. 24.
  • Michigan’s other offensive tackle, Michael Schofield, has used a family struggle as his motivation to prepare for this draft.
  • Former Indiana receiver Cody Latimer went to New York to hear his name called at the draft. He’s still waiting.
  • Also waiting, defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hagemen of Minnesota, which hasn’t had a player drafted since Eric Decker in 2010. And the wait is almost over, too, for Wisconsin’s Chris Borland.
  • Tracking the Maryland prospects for the second through seventh rounds.
  • Meanwhile, Purdue’s 15-year streak of landing at least one player in the draft is in jeopardy.
  • Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel lands the presidency at Youngstown State after he was bypassedat the University of Akron.
  • What to do this offseason? Shane Morris can play catch ... with himself.
  • Michigan State appears interested in the younger brother of tight end Dylan Chmura.
  • James Franklin and the Penn State coaches continue their 17-stop caravan in Pittsburgh. Can the grayshirting of recruits help PSU overcome its scholarship limitations.
  • Former Rutgers quarterback Tom Savage earns the endorsement of ex-coach Greg Schiano.
  • Former Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz will remain on staff in 2014 as a graduate assistant. An appeal is deniedfor the summer jail sentence in Colorado for offensive tackle Alex Lewis is denied.
  • Minnesota loses a backup defensive lineman to North Dakota.
  • Kirk Ferentz marches to the beat of his own drum in recruiting, but even he occasionally extends a scholarship offer to a high school freshman.

Big Ten lunch links

December, 26, 2013
12/26/13
12:00
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There are no more presents under the tree. Hopefully these links can fill the void.
  • Michigan State will be without star linebacker Max Bullough after the program suspended the senior for the Rose Bowl, ending a decorated career and leaving a hole in the middle of the elite defense.
  • Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan defended himself against accusations that he attacked an Ohio State fan last month after a loss in The Game.
  • Devin Gardner is still not practicing for the Wolverines, making it even more likely that Shane Morris will be the starting quarterback in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
  • Leading Minnesota to a surprising season was a team effort by the coaching staff, and Jerry Kill's wife, Rebecca, offers an insider's account of what was behind it all.
  • Nebraska asks a lot of its nickelback, and a senior filling that role is in turn asking a lot of the younger players on the team around him as Ciante Evans sees his career wind down.
  • After another successful year and with salaries going up around the country, Urban Meyer could be in line for a raise with Ohio State.
  • Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano denied a report that he had his eye on the Penn State job should Bill O'Brien decide to leave the program.
  • Reggie Love made the tough decision to redshirt as a sophomore, and the Wisconsin wide receiver is expecting it to pay off down the road.
  • The trip to Florida is a homecoming for Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock.
  • Inside Northwestern takes a look into the future and speculates on if a true freshman could provide an instant lift for the Wildcats next season.

Big Ten Friday mailblog

June, 28, 2013
6/28/13
4:30
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Wishing you a great weekend. Be sure to follow us on Twitter.

You guys are combative today. Like it.

Jerry from Eugene, Ore., writes: Adam, the cases are very different. The Penn State punishment was a total fiasco, and somebody should have found a way to stop Emmert on that one. The USC penalty was also way out of proportion. However, I thought the Ohio State penalty was fair because the coach knew about the infractions (which involved players cheating) and ignored it, then tried to cover it up. In other words he lied! Kelly was not aware of what Lyles was doing. He never lied to anybody, but cooperated fully with the investigation. Also, the rules he broke were very poorly defined, and he was doing what most other big schools were doing, probably the B1G schools too, and he just happened to be the one made the example. You are misrepresenting to compare Oregon's misdeed to what OSU did, and perhaps PSU, too.

Adam Rittenberg: Jerry, I made it clear in the Take Two that all three cases are very different and that Penn State's is unlike anything we've seen before. The Ohio State and Oregon cases both involved head coaches who ultimately received show-cause penalties from the NCAA. While Tressel lying certainly is worse, Ohio State did take action by getting rid of him. You could argue that was enough punishment for the football program, losing its head coach in late May. But Ohio State was hit with much harsher program penalties than Oregon, which got off basically unscathed. Sure, Ohio State had players committing violations while Oregon did not, but I think once Tressel was dismissed, both cases are in the same ballpark in terms of severity. Again, the NCAA is incredibly inconsistent with its penalties, but Ohio State didn't help itself when the second wave of violations involving former booster Bobby DiGeronimo came to light in the fall of 2011.


Kevin from Chicago writes: Read the article on Northwestern becoming a Big Ten and national force that you posted posted on the lunchtime links. After reading it, you realize that even though they are a top 20 recruiting class, they're exactly where they want to be and it really cant get better. Sure, you can say they can get in the top 10 but they preach on finding players who "fit" the system and can commit academically to Northwestern. Not being judgmental but a lot of these top athletes wouldn't be able to fit into the academic environment at Northwestern or the team game Fitzgerald preaches e.g. 2-QB system. What I'm trying to say is that top 15 recruiting class is like Alabama, OSU, or Michigan taking the top recruiting spot and Northwestern is close. Its excellent for the athletes Northwestern is trying to find. It can and will get better as the facilities upgrades start to happen. I really do a feel like they're the next big thing not just for the B1G but college football as a whole.

Adam Rittenberg: Kevin, I hear you on the potential ceiling for Northwestern in recruiting and potentially on the field, but Stanford has shown that an academically elite private school can compete at the highest level of college football. Northwestern lacks the location or tradition Stanford enjoys, but it has moved a little bit closer to the Cardinal on the field and on the recruiting trail. I agree Northwestern won't have top 10 recruiting classes because of the academic standards and, perhaps, because of the need to find a "fit" rather than just the most talented players available. It'll be very interesting to see how the facilities upgrade impacts recruiting because Northwestern always has been so far behind in that department. You're right, there's probably a ceiling for Northwestern in recruiting rankings, but Stanford has shown that programs like this can compete on the field at a very high level.


Douglas from Akron, Ohio, writes: "If Herman called a pass, Miller believed he had to throw one, even when the window wasn't there." Adam, either you are thoroughly confused or you didn't watch enough highlights of last year's games before writing this silly statement. The opposite it true: if Herman called a pass, typically Braxton would see 1 or 2 options that 'weren't open' and he would get happy feet. He would turn a designed pass into an improvised QB run. The problem was that he 1) did not look for enough checks in his progression, 2) bailed on the play too soon, and 3) hesitated as to which lane he wanted to use for scrambling. Next time, consult people who know better before you make statements that may be the exact opposite of the truth. Just some friendly advice that you should take to heart.

Adam Rittenberg: Well, Douglas, I actually consulted someone who knows a lot about this topic: Ohio State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman. Pretty good source, I think. Here's a direct quote from Herman to me about Braxton Miller's scrambling skills or lack thereof: "When he escapes the pocket and we've called a pass, it’s almost like he thinks the ball has got to be thrown. No, it doesn't. You’re the best athlete on the field, you've got the ball in your hands, you've got open space, go take off and run. We've done a better job as a staff of making him aware of why we want him to do that. It doesn’t make him less of a quarterback because he scrambles." Herman also told me that of Miller's 1,271 rush yards last year, only about 200 came on scrambles. Both Herman and Urban Meyer say Miller has been a bad scrambler. Sure, he needs to improve in going through his progressions, and consistent footwork, as Herman told me, is a big part of that.

But thanks for the friendly advice.


Alden from Chicago writes: Adam, I'm not a fan of running two quarterbacks in a season. I think Dantonio should make a decision before the season starts and go with it. I think it adds undue pressure to the position by making the QB stress over mistakes, thinking he'll get the hook if he screws up, which can then breed mistakes. What are your thoughts? Has there been a successful team that ran a 2-QB system?? By successful I mean a team that won a BCS game. Thanks.

Adam Rittenberg: Alden, while Florida didn't run a complete two-quarterback system in 2006 with Chris Leak and Tim Tebow, both men contributed to the Gators' national title. There are also Big Ten examples like Northwestern, which rode quarterbacks Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian to a 10-3 season last fall. But in most cases, you're right that a two-quarterback system brings more problems than positives. Michigan State is in a tough spot because Andrew Maxwell has had every opportunity to establish himself as The Guy, and he can't quite do it. Maybe he will in preseason camp and carry that over to the season, but the coaches can't assume Maxwell will separate himself and ignore the other players on the roster.

Connor Cook certainly has some potential along with Tyler O'Connor, and incoming recruit Damion Terry brings explosive athleticism to the quarterback position, which Michigan State hasn't had there since Drew Stanton. Unless Maxwell has a really good camp, I think it's a bad idea for Michigan State to completely hitch its wagon to him. If there's some uncertainty, I'd be OK if the Spartans experimented a bit at the QB spot in the first three games before settling on a guy for the Week 4 trip to Notre Dame.


Matt C. from Springfield, Ill., writes: Your article about the B1G just accepting always being at a disadvantage during bowl season overlooks one big point. B1G fans travel. If the B1G was smart, they would ONLY schedule outdoor bowls in northern stadiums, and just play whoever will show up. The SEC and every other league will eventually realize it's worth their time and money to show up.

Adam Rittenberg: This is why fans shouldn't run bowl games. These are businesses, Matt, and your model is, well, flawed. Bowl games hinge on people spending money -- at hotels, at restaurants, at the game itself and also at events surrounding the game. The problem here is Big Ten fans would come to the game for sure, but they wouldn't spend a week leading up to the game in a city they can easily access for game day itself. Play whoever will show up? What if lower-level MAC teams and Conference USA teams are the only ones that do? What if no one shows up? If you think the SEC will suddenly see the light and migrate to the Midwest icebox around the holidays, you're going to be waiting a very long time. The other element you're ignoring is recruiting. By playing bowls in fertile recruiting states like Florida, California and Texas, Big Ten programs can showcase their product to some of the nation's best players about a month before national signing day.


Brian from Washington D.C., writes: Please explain to me you logic for ranking Rutgers #10 in your future power ranking? Given their recruiting success, string of bowl appearances, and outstanding player development, how can you justify entrenching Rutgers deep in the bottom half of the B1G? Is this just a way to mess with Rutgers fans, or are you serious? If you are serious, you have likely lost your grip on reality. There are three possible explanations: (1) you greatly undervalue Rutgers; (2) you greatly overvalue the teams in the B1G; or (3) a combination of (1) and (2). Under any of the above scenarios, your blogger card should be temporarily suspended for negligent/reckless behavior.

Adam Rittenberg: Best email of the week, Brian. There's a blogger card? Who knew! I should get one. Maybe my boss can revoke it and suspend me, temporarily of course. Rutgers is a solid program that has developed players very well over the years and upgraded its recruiting. The last NFL draft certainly reflected this. Greg Schiano did a masterful job building that program. Perhaps I'm overvaluing the Big Ten a bit, but I think you're grossly undervaluing the move Rutgers will make from the Big East to the Big Ten. You're going to be in the same division as Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State. Do you think Syracuse, Connecticut, Pitt and Temple are on the same level? If you do, good luck to you.

Nebraska has had an adjustment period to its new league, and the Huskers were coming off of back-to-back Big 12 North championships before they moved over. Rutgers and Maryland will hit similar speed bumps in my view, especially in the East division. The Big Ten, despite its struggles in recent years, is a superior league to the Big East, especially with the resources available to its programs. Maybe Rutgers proves us wrong, but I'm hesitant to put the Scarlet Knights in the upper half of their new league.


Kevin from Fairfax writes: I for one am pumped up that the Big Ten is moving away from bowl games located in the southeast and signing contracts with games on the West Coast. While I largely agree with your reasons for not having bowl games in Big Ten country, I do feel the Big Ten needs to push and push hard to hold the national championship game in its boundaries more frequently than other regions. And the Big Ten, which has the largest, most affluent alumni base in the country could certainly do more than they are. It's not like people are going to stop going to national championship games just because they are in a northern city.

Adam Rittenberg: Now this is an argument I can completely get behind. The Big Ten absolutely should push for the national championship game to be held outside of the traditional bowl sites in future years. Originally, the conference commissioners talked about the title game being bid out nationally, where all bowl groups or city groups could make a push. I would like to see this happen to give that game a truly national feel. Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis would be an excellent spot, and I could see indoor venues in Detroit, Minneapolis or St. Louis also bidding on the game. It's also important for more of the early season blockbuster neutral-site games to take place in Big Ten country instead of only at JerryWorld in Texas. It's encouraging that Wisconsin would get a "return" game of sorts with LSU at Lambeau Field. Weather isn't a factor in the Big Ten in early September, so it makes sense to have neutral-site games in the league footprint.
There has been plenty of recent news on the recruiting trail around the Big Ten, and we're a bit overdue for a scorecard, so here's the latest rundown. Teams are sorted based on most verbal commitments for the 2014 class.

MICHIGAN

Total commits: 9
ESPN 150 commits: 8
The latest: Michigan's recruiting once again is off to an extremely fast start, as the Wolverines not only are piling up commits but quality players. Defensive end Lawrence Marshall on Saturday became the eighth ESPN 150 prospect to pick Michigan. No other FBS team has more than five ESPN 150 players pledged for the 2014 class. Barring a surprise turn, Michigan will sign a top-5 class in February. The Wolverines currently rank No. 3 in the RecruitingNation rankings.

PENN STATE

Total commits: 9
ESPN 150 commits: 1
The latest: Penn State has filled out most of its 2014 class before mid May, and the Lions are adding quality prospects like ESPN 150 athlete De'Andre Thompkins, wide receiver Chris Godwin and linebacker Troy Reeder. The Lions picked up two more commits late last week in defensive back Marcus Allen and linebacker Jared Wangler. Bill O'Brien and his staff have to be selective because of scholarship restrictions, but they've also been aggressive in piling up early commits. Penn State is No. 13 in the latest class rankings.

NORTHWESTERN

Total commits: 8
ESPN 150 commits: 0
The latest: Northwestern is quietly putting together the best class in coach Pat Fitzgerald's tenure. The Wildcats are 19th in RecruitingNation's class rankings after an excellent week that ended with them landing talented running back Auston Anderson on Thursday. Anderson's pledge came on the heels of four-star athlete Dariean Watkins choosing Northwestern. Although Northwestern hasn't landed an ESPN 150 prospect, it boasts several commits (QB Clayton Thorson, Watkins) who are close.

OHIO STATE

Total commits: 8
ESPN 150 commits: 1
The latest: Urban Meyer's assistants are all over the recruiting trail -- and letting us know about it on Twitter -- and after a six-week drought without a commitment, the Buckeyes added one Sunday in wide receiver Lonnie Johnson. The Gary, Ind., native had offers from Indiana, Purdue and Nebraska, among others, but gives Ohio State a four-star prospect at a position of need. Ohio State checks in at No. 14 in the latest class rankings.

MICHIGAN STATE

Total commits: 6
ESPN 150 commits: 0
The latest: The Spartans' total hasn't changed since they picked up linemen Brian Allen and Enoch Smith Jr. during spring game weekend, but they're closing in on prospects like tight end Matt Sokol and defensive end Rashawn Pierce. The downside is that Michigan State lost Marshall to rival Michigan after many believed Marshall would go green. Michigan State also had been pursuing Watkins, who verballed to Northwestern.

WISCONSIN

Total commits: 4
ESPN 150 commits: 1
The latest: Gary Andersen's staff has added just one 2014 commit (defensive tackle Craig Evans) since taking over in late December. Although Evans pledged in March, the Badgers staff has been active on the recruiting trail and extending plenty of scholarship offers. Wisconsin made a late addition to its 2013 class last week by picking up junior-college cornerback Tekeim Reynard.

ILLINOIS

Total commits: 4
ESPN 150 commits: 0
The latest: The Illini added to their quarterback depth earlier this month by picking up a commitment from Ohio prep signal caller Chayce Crouch. Crouch led his team to the state championship game last season and had received scholarship offers from several MAC programs, as well as some interest from other Big Ten schools. Illinois also has injected some more spice into its in-state rivalry with Northwestern by picking up defensive end recruit Tito Odenigbo, the younger brother of Wildcats defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo.

IOWA

Total commits: 3
ESPN 150 commits: 1
The latest: The Hawkeyes haven't added to their total since getting a pledge from offensive lineman Lucas LeGrand in early April. But with three in-state prospects -- headlined by guard Ross Pierschbacher, the nation's No. 47 player and highest-ranked Big Ten commit, according to RecruitingNation -- Iowa still is off to a decent start. Iowa is extending its recruiting reach to Georgia and recently offered defenders Henry Famurewa and Bradley Chubb.

MINNESOTA

Total commits: 3
ESPN 150 commits: 0
The latest: The Gophers added two verbals during spring game weekend in athlete Dimonic McKinzy (early All-Name team nominee) and defensive tackle Steven Richardson. In-state running back Jeff Jones, a three-star prospect, headlines the class so far. Like the previous coaching staff, Jerry Kill and his assistants are targeting Texas for recruits like linebacker Everett Williams and defensive end Noah Westerfield.

NEBRASKA

Total commits: 2
ESPN 150 commits: 0
The latest: The Huskers wait for their second 2014 commitment ended last week as Texas defensive back Jason Hall pledged for Big Red. At 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds, Hall brings excellent size to Nebraska's defensive backfield. Although Nebraska should continue to add to its total in the coming weeks and months, recruiting coordinator Ross Els told ESPN.com last week that the Huskers likely won't see a surge until prospects start coming to campus on official visits this fall.

PURDUE

Total commits: 1
ESPN 150 commits: 0
The latest: Purdue is going back to its recruiting roots under new coach Darrell Hazell, as its first verbal for 2014 comes from the fertile state of Texas. The Boilers recently added wide receiver Trae Hart to the mix. I'll have more on this later in the week, but Boilers recruiting coordinator Gerad Parker said the program is ramping up its efforts in the Lone Star State, mindful of the success former Purdue boss Joe Tiller had there.

INDIANA

Total commits: 0
ESPN 150 commits: 0
The latest: After signing an excellent recruiting class in February, Indiana's efforts for 2014 are off to a slow start. Indiana and Colorado are the only programs from a big-five conference (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12) without a verbal commit for next year. Things should pick up when camps kick off next month in Bloomington.

Future Big Ten members Rutgers and Maryland also are recruiting for the Big Ten, so here's a quick look at how they're doing ...

RUTGERS

Total commits: 9
ESPN 150 commits: 0
The latest: The Scarlet Knights recruited well under Greg Schiano, had six players selected in April's NFL draft and continue to bring in quality players under Kyle Flood. After a productive March and April, Rutgers began May by adding a pledge from defensive tackle Pete Mokwuah. Running back Joshua Hicks and defensive end Justin Nelson headline Rutgers' 2014 so far. Rutgers also went into current Big Ten territory for quarterback Tyler Wiegers from Detroit Country Day School.

MARYLAND

Total commits: 3
ESPN 150 commits:
0
The latest:
The Terrapins added two pieces to their 2014 class in recent weeks in running back Johnathan Thomas from Massachusetts and athlete William Ulmer from Washington D.C. Maryland has plenty of local and regional players on its radar for 2014, as the areas surrounding College Park consistently produce a ton of FBS talent. The Terps picked up most of their 2013 recruits before the start of the season, but they might have to be more patient after a 4-8 record in 2012.
Jim Harbaugh's success with the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' flirtation with Chip Kelly and hiring of Greg Schiano make one thing clear: College football head coaches are in high demand to fill vacancies at the NFL level.

Harbaugh transformed the 49ers in his first season after leaving Stanford. Kelly, the Oregon coach, was a somewhat surprise target of the Bucs, who then moved onto Schiano, the Rutgers coach for the past 11 seasons.

Even former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, a college coach throughout his career, was the runner-up for the Indianapolis' Colts' head-coaching vacancy.

It got me thinking about which Big Ten coaches would or could take the same job in the NFL.

Such a jump doesn't happen too often in this league.

In fact, a Big Ten head coach hasn't left for an NFL head-coaching job since Sam Wyche left Indiana for the Cincinnati Bengals after the 1983 season (he went 3-8 at IU). That's a surprising drought for one of college football's top conferences. While the Big Ten has had head coaches eventually go on to lead NFL teams (Michigan's Gary Moeller, Illinois' Mike White, Indiana's Cam Cameron), they didn't do so directly.

It speaks in part to the appeal of Big Ten head-coaching positions and the longevity of coaches in the league. Some would also argue that the quality of head coaches might not be as elite as that in league's like the SEC, where coaches like Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier have directly jumped to NFL head-coaching positions.

If the NFL hiring trend persists, some Big Ten coaches could get opportunities.

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz has repeatedly been mentioned for NFL head-coaching vacancies, most recently the Kansas City Chiefs' opening. Ferentz's coaching style and ties to the NFL as a former Bill Belichick assistant make him a potentially good fit. Although he has repeatedly pledged his loyalty to Iowa and makes very good coin, he remains the likeliest Big Ten coach to make the move.

Who else? Nebraska's Bo Pelini spent six years as an NFL assistant and actually might like life more outside the college football fishbowl. Pelini might be the next likeliest after Ferentz.

Wisconsin's Bret Bielema has spent his entire career in college, but he runs pro-style systems in Madison and has been very ambitious in his career.

Michigan's Brady Hoke? Don't see it, although his brother Jon is an NFL assistant.

Michigan State's Mark Dantonio? Nah.

Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald is a young, ambitious coach who might fit in well at the next level, although he needs to prove more in a college role.

Ohio State's Urban Meyer doesn't seem like a guy who would make the jump to the NFL, primarily because of his offensive system. Then again, Tampa Bay's pursuit of Kelly surprised me, so anything is possible.

Which Big Ten coach do you think is likeliest to jump to the NFL?
Penn State fans should give Bill O'Brien a chance.

Remember that he left a pretty good job, working with one of the most successful franchises in sports, to step into a potentially no-win situation in State College. He wanted you, even if you don't think you want him. While we'll learn much more about O'Brien in the coming days and weeks, it's clear the guy doesn't shy away from a challenge.

He deserves the benefit of the doubt, and I think a portion of Nittany Nation, especially those not blindly loyal to Joe Paterno, will give it to him. The more Penn Staters who take the approach of former Lions star linebacker Paul Posluszny, the better.

Much of the ire Thursday night and Friday has been directed at the school's administration, and for good reason. After a search that lasted nearly two months and inspired more confusion than confidence, the Penn State brass has a much steeper climb to win back the trust of alumni, former players and fans.

[+] EnlargePenn State's Dave Joyner
AP Photo/Brandon WadeActing Penn State Athletic Director Dave Joyner is facing questions about the length of his coaching search to replace Joe Paterno.
Penn State looked very much like a school that hadn't replaced a football coach since 1966 and had never conducted a football coaching search in the modern era. Most coaching searches take 10-14 days. They're structured and swift. The athletic director leads the way, and a search firm often is involved. Sometimes, information is actually confirmed. Imagine that.

Penn State, meanwhile, used an acting AD (Dave Joyner) and formed a search committee nearly three weeks after the school's trustees fired Paterno on Nov. 9. Ultimately, Joyner and his former Penn State wrestling teammate, Ira Lubert, a search committee member and a respected businessman, drove the search essentially by themselves. Joyner was tight-lipped during the protracted process.
"This is the first coach search, in football, that maybe we've ever done," Joyner told reporters last week in Dallas. "I'm not sure how things worked in 1950 and maybe 1966 but I imagine it was a lot different than what we're doing."

He's right. It might have been faster and more organized.

Yes, the circumstances were unique and incredibly difficult. Yes, former athletic director Tim Curley and former president Graham Spanier deserve blame for putting the school in a bind. Yes, the Penn State job isn't nearly as appealing as it was before the sex-abuse scandal broke and the school fired Paterno.

But Penn State still looked unprepared to replace its 85-year-old coach.

Joyner set deadlines that came and went. According to USA Today, Joyner had little interest in getting input from former Penn State players who wanted to be involved. The committee talked with internal candidates like interim coach Tom Bradley, Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden, but these were courtesy interviews more than anything.

And that's OK. Penn State would have been skewered for promoting from within. But it could have gotten away with hiring a candidate who had some ties to the school.

Speaking of candidates, we heard plenty of names during the past six weeks. Some were legitimate, like Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak, and some were not, like Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. The school reportedly made several runs at Boise State's Chris Petersen, who seemed more likely to become the next BCS executive director than the next Penn State coach.

Remember when Mississippi State's Dan Mullen was the flavor of the day for Penn State?

All along, Penn State fans hoped that Joyner and Lubert had an ace in the hole, a name no one was talking about who would make anxiety about the interminable wait and the compromised recruiting class go away. Munchak might have been that guy, but it didn't happen.

Even the post-hiring process has been curious. It's not unusual for players and even assistant coaches to learn of hirings through the media. But more than 17 hours have passed since ESPN reported O'Brien's hiring, and the school hasn't said anything. Bradley hadn't been told as of late Friday morning. Keep in mind this is a guy who has devoted his career to Penn State and began recruiting for the team this week after returning from the TicketCity Bowl debacle.

O'Brien deserves a fair chance, and he might just be the right guy to lead Penn State football through its most difficult period.

Maybe the best thing he can do is make everyone forget how Penn State hired him.
Penn State is planning to meet with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, who has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Joe Paterno, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting.

"Bill is focusing on another Super Bowl run," said O'Brien's agent, Joe Linta. "However, if an NFL team or Penn State seeks permission from (Patriots coach) Bill Belichick, then Bill will speak to them."

O'Brien, 42, played at Brown University like Paterno did. He was an assistant in the ACC for 12 years, including stops at Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke. He served as receivers coach in 2008 and quarterbacks coach from 2009-10 with the Patriots before being elevated this past season to offensive coordinator. Unlike some other prominent candidates, he has no ties to Penn State, and he has no head coaching experience.

Indications are that Green Bay quarterbacks coach Tom Clements remains in the mix for the Penn State job as well. San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman has also reportedly interviewed. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano does not appear to be a candidate at this time and has not interviewed.

It looks like the Nittany Lions want to hire someone from the NFL, for reasons I don't quite understand. The track record for New England assistants taking over head coaching jobs has been spotty, with Charlie Weis being the most glaring example in college. O'Brien could still go for a head coaching job in the NFL as well and has been mentioned for the opening in Jacksonville.

Stay tuned, as we enter our third month since Paterno was fired. Someday, Penn State will actually hire a successor.
Joe Paterno was fired exactly two months ago today. And who will replace Paterno as head coach at Penn State?

We still don't know.

Today also begins a short open window where coaches can contact recruits. They can do so until Saturday. Interim coach Tom Bradley is going out to meet recruits this week even though he has no idea whether he'll be retained by the school. Bradley is in a very difficult position in trying to sell prospects on Penn State. High school players want to know who their head coach will be, and Bradley can't give them that answer.

Some Nittany Lions fans and boosters still held out hope that Boise State's Chris Petersen would change his mind and come to State College. Petersesn just got a raise and a new deal with the Broncos.

StateCollege.com reports that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano may be a candidate. Schiano, a former Penn State assistant, had long been mentioned as a potential Paterno successor down the road, but his stock had cooled as the Scarlet Knights struggled to repeat their success from a breakthrough 2006 season. Rutgers did win the New Era Pinstripe Bowl this year. He has run a clean program that has excelled at graduating players, and Penn State could do a whole lot worse at this point.

Otherwise, most of the chatter has been about NFL assistants, like New England's Bill O'Brien, San Francisco's Greg Roman and Green Bay's Tom Clements. All of those teams are in the playoffs, so perhaps that is the delay on further word with them.

As the New York Times reported earlier this week, interim athletic director Dave Joyner and trustee Ira M. Lubert appear to doing most of the work on the search alone, and neither has any experience hiring a coach. Penn State fans' hopes are dwindling for a big name coming out of nowhere.

Meanwhile, we wait and wait. It's been two full months since the board of trustees dumped Paterno with a phone call. When will they finally call upon a successor?

Big Ten lunch links

November, 29, 2011
11/29/11
12:00
PM ET
You got your Urban Meyer-Ohio State fill earlier today. Now it's time to look at the rest of the league.

Big Ten mailblog

November, 22, 2011
11/22/11
1:00
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Mail time.

Alex from Jackson, Mich., writes: I've seen this a couple times on this blog, and for some reason it irritates me.Why would Spartans fans be happy that Michigan won this weekend? Sure, it guaranteed our spot in the title game and takes pressure off of the Northwestern game. But here's the thing. As a Spartan from birth, I don't want to see Michigan in a BCS bowl game at all. If we don't get there, I certainly don't want them there. I'd rather them lose to Nebraska and us earn it on the road in Evanston, than see the Wolverines in our BCS game (Of course, this assumes we lose in the title game, which is NOT a foregone conclusion).

Adam Rittenberg: Alex, I see your point about not wanting Michigan to get an at-large spot ahead of Michigan State, but Nebraska would be in a similar position if it had beaten Michigan. Michigan State's problem is its nonconference loss to Notre Dame. The Spartans are in a position to either win the Big Ten title game and earn an automatic BCS berth, or end the regular season with three or four losses if they lose the title game. Even at 10-3, I doubt Michigan State gets an at-large berth. So if you'd rather see Nebraska instead of Michigan in position to earn an at-large berth, I totally get it. But Michigan State is in a position to either earn the automatic berth or miss the BCS bowls.


Lance from Greensboro, N.C., writes: Is it just me, or does Urban Meyer/Ohio State have culture clash written all over it? We've already seen what can happen when good coaches don't "fit" with the university. Examples are Callahan at Nebraska and Rodriguez at Michigan. If Meyer does go to tOSU, it seems to me that Penn State may have dodged a bullet.For all his undoubted success, somehow dominant defense and powerful ground game just don't seem to go with Meyer.

Adam Rittenberg: Lance, while I agree it'd be different to see a full-blown spread offense at Ohio State, it's time for a culture change in Columbus on the offensive side of the ball. Jim Tressel did some nice things as the primary playcaller, but his teams won with defense and special teams more often than not. The offensive staff has been so-so to below average, and Meyer would make significant upgrades there. I think the bigger potential issue for Ohio State is whether the program could handle a coach with rock-star status. Although Tressel became an iconic figure in Columbus, he didn't arrive that way, coming from Youngstown State. Meyer would be the story at The Ohio State University, and it'll be interesting to see how that would play at the school and in Columbus. But from an offensive perspective, Ohio State needs a change and Meyer would bring one. What's happening now simply isn't working.


Pete from Boston writes: I keep hearing everyone say the next Penn State head coach needs to be someone from the outside, with no ties to the program whatsoever and I can't say I disagree. Even so, it's a real shame that both Tom Bradley and Larry Johnson Sr probably won't be around next year. It also gets me thinking, how many current NCAA/NFL coaches out there were players or assistants at Penn State under JoePa? It has to be a lot right? Are we shrinking the talent pool just to save face?

Adam Rittenberg: Pete, while I agree with you about Scrap and Johnson, who both are excellent coaches, Penn State can't hire someone off of the current staff after what has happened there. Penn State has to take a hard look at whether it can hire anyone with ties to the program, even those who haven't been in State College for many years. Is Al Golden too far removed? Is Greg Schiano? You're right in that quite a few coaches have ties to Joe Paterno and Penn State. The scandal there certainly has reduced the talent pool, as elite coaches who might have been interested before will be reluctant. But the big question is whether Penn State hires a total outsider or brings in someone who knows the school, which could be a p.r. risk.


Brian from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., writes: hey adam, i'd really like your opinion on this. Bo pelini is probably going to start catching some heat this off-season from nebraska fans just because we can't seem to get over the hump back to greatness. My question is, I keep wondering if the nebraska D is struggling because we don't have the right personnel yet for the Big 10. Bo changed his defensive scheme to compensate for this and it just doesn't seem to be working out. I would think Bo and Carl Pelini would like to go back to a Peso defense but they just don't have the right type of athlete to run it. Do you think this would explain why our defense has been lacking this season?

Adam Rittenberg: Brian, I agree that Nebraska needs to adjust its defensive personnel to better fit the Big Ten, especially in the front seven. While the secondary has had its ups and downs, I trust the Pelini bros. to get things right in most seasons. Nebraska doesn't have enough Big Ten-quality linebackers right now, and it shows when Lavonte David isn't being superman out there. I fully expect Nebraska to address these issues through recruiting and bring in players that not only fit the defensive philosophy, but the conference as well.


Ben from Madison, Wis., writes: Adam, I know you and Brian mention Montee Ball a ton in your posts, but I feel like this young man still does not get enough pub around the nation. He is 2 yards shy of leading the nation in rushing yards, leads the nation in touchdowns, and has a serious shot at Barry Sanders' touchdown record. Do you... 1) see him stepping into the Heisman race? or at least get invited to NY? 2) leave for the NFL after this year? 3) if so, where do you see him getting drafted?

Adam Rittenberg: Ben, I agree "MoneyBall" isn't getting his due nationally. People noticed what he did in his last two games, and his touchdown mark is moving the needle a bit, but the problem for Ball -- and Wisconsin, for that matter -- is that the two road losses really soured a lot of people on the Badgers. Even if Wisconsin goes on to win the Big Ten, some will view the Badgers as a disappointing team for not capitalizing on a schedule that seemed set up for them to go to the national title game. It's not fair to Ball, who has been really good in every game aside from Ohio State. I'm a Heisman voter and Ball almost certainly will be on my ballot, but I'd be a little surprised if he gets an invite to New York (hope I'm wrong). I'd be stunned if he doesn't leave for the NFL after the season -- as a running back, you have to go when you have the chance. As for Ball's draft position, I'd have to talk to some more folks, but I'd be surprised if he didn't go in the first two rounds.


Tim from Iowa City, Iowa, writes: Adam,You mentioned that 6-6 Purdue or Ohio State could be selected ahead of 7-5 or 8-4 Iowa in your bowl projections and chat wrap. I was under the impression that bowls had to choose a 7+ win team if there were any available before they could select a 6 win team. I remember something like that hurting the Hawkeyes in 2007 when they missed out at 6-6. Has this been changed, or am I just way off base?

Adam Rittenberg: Tim, I checked with the Big Ten for the post earlier today, and the rule you mention no longer applies. It was changed a few years back. The only two bowls that can't take a 6-6 team ahead of an 8-4 team are the Capital One and Outback bowls. The Insight and Gator bowls are only bound to take the Big Ten title-game loser, depending on the season, if the team is still available. But after that, the bowls have license to select any eligible Big Ten team. So the 2007 rules no longer apply.


Justin from Omaha, Neb., writes: Adam:We in Husker Nation would greatly appreciate if you would stop picking our players for your fantasy team. It seems to be a kiss of death. We in Husker Nation thank you in advance.

Adam Rittenberg: It's so depressing, Justin. Every single time I add a player, he struggles. And when I drop a player, he puts up big points. Can't say I'll honor your request this week, as Rex Burkhead looks like a pretty good pickup. And Rex helped me a lot for much of the season until his struggles last week in the Big House.


John from Parts Unknown writes: Why is it that the past 3 seasons Nebraska kickers have received no awards? Alex Henry???? Brett Maher??? Soon to be 2 long time NFL kickers.

Adam Rittenberg: John, I don't get it, either. Henery was the nation's best all-around specialist in 2010, and Maher is one of the best, if not the best, this season. Maher certainly has exceeded my expectations, converting 17 of 20 field goal attempts and all 40 of his extra point tries. He also leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh nationally in punting average (45.5 ypp). If that's not enough to be a finalist for the Groza or Guy awards, I don't know what you need to do. It's a shame.

Greg Schiano on Joe Paterno

November, 10, 2011
11/10/11
7:42
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Rutgers coach Greg Schiano got his start in coaching under Joe Paterno, so you can imagine how emotional he has been over the course of the past few days.

He started at Penn State as a graduate assistant in 1990 and worked as defensive backs coach from 1991-96 under now disgraced coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Schiano refrained from comment about Sandusky after practice Wednesday but he did offer his thoughts on seeing Paterno leave as Penn State's head coach.

"I love Coach Paterno, so am I emotional, yeah," he said. "People you love and care about; this is a hard thing for him, I'm sure. ... So it hurts me when someone you love hurts. Other than that, I have a job to do. I know he'd want me to do nothing else but take care of my team. 'Do your job, kid.' That's what he'd say."

At the time Schiano spoke, Paterno was set to retire at the end of the season.

But late Wednesday night, the Penn State board of trustees fired Paterno, effective immediately.
As expected, there has been plenty of reaction to Joe Paterno's retirement announcement and the fallout from the Penn State scandal.

The Associated Press has put together this list.

A few notables:

Greg Schiano, Rutgers coach and former Penn State assistant: "I love Coach Paterno so am I emotional, yeah. People you love and care about; this is a hard thing for him, I'm sure. ... So it hurts me when someone you love hurts. Other than that I have a job to do. I know he'd want me to do nothing else but take care of my team. 'Do your job, kid.' That's what he'd say."

Paul Posluszny, Jacksonville Jaguars and ex-Penn State linebacker: "This situation is just an unbelievable black eye for the program and it's going to be tough, because whenever anybody says Penn State or you see Penn State, sexual assault of young kids is what's going to come mind, and that's such an unfortunate thing."

Michael Robinson, Seattle Seahawks and ex-Penn State fullback: "I have three kids myself, and I can't imagine what those families are going through today and went through in the past. ... I know he wishes he could have had some things back. He's not a perfect guy, but what he stands for as a man, and what he's meant to college football and what he has meant to me personally in my life, that's another reason why I'm so sad today."

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