SEC: Kirby Hocutt
The King is coming home.
Kliff Kingsbury threw for 12,429 yards and 95 touchdowns at Texas Tech. A decade later, he has officially become the Red Raiders' new head coach at 33 years old with just five years as a collegiate assistant under his belt.
Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt didn't spend much time dwelling on any hurt feelings he may have felt when Tommy Tuberville skipped town for Cincinnati just a day after looking Hocutt in the eye and telling him he was committed to the Red Raiders.
Tuberville was never embraced in Lubbock, Texas, the way the Pirate of the Plains -- Mike Leach -- was during his decade-long run. His quick exit to a lesser job proved he never embraced Lubbock, either.
This time around, that won't be a problem. Minutes after news broke, the fan base's No. 1 choice was clear. Bring Kingsbury back home.
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris emerged as another leading candidate, but Wednesday, Hocutt made his choice clear.
The fans will surely approve, and if they haven't already started celebrating in the streets, they're not far off. Even the college-aged Tech fans would remember Kingsbury's efforts on the field. Now, can he prove himself on the sidelines?
Make no mistake, hiring Kingsbury is a risk. Hiring Morris would have been a risk, too.
But Hocutt needed to fire up his fan base after three unremarkable years under Tuberville, a man who never got the slack from fans that Leach would have gotten. Kingsbury will get those breaks. He'll get their patience.
If Hocutt swings and misses on Kingsbury, not a soul in Lubbock will blame him. If he'd swung and missed on Morris, while Kingsbury flourished elsewhere? That would've been an unforgivable mistake that very well could have cost him his job.
And if Hocutt swings and connects with the next star in Kingsbury? Well, all he'll have done is reignite what was one of the most promising programs in the Big 12 before Leach's exit. Perhaps he has discovered Mike Gundy 2.0, one of the game's best coaches who sees this job as his final destination when others might not feel the same way.
Kingsbury will be one of the game's youngest coaches, and this was an opportunity few other major programs would have afforded him. Hocutt handed the keys to his program to one of the game's most promising coaches, and it's an easy sell. If his history in Lubbock isn't enough, his résumé under Kevin Sumlin makes it clear why his services were so coveted.
Case Keenum was one of the most productive quarterbacks in NCAA history, and less than a week ago, Kingsbury's new quarterback, Johnny Manziel, became the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
Oh, and that Super Bowl ring from 2004 as a reserve player (coincidentally with Kansas coach Charlie Weis as the OC and the Patriots' Bill Belichick at the helm) won't hurt to bring into high school kids' living rooms, either.
Hocutt's loyalty to his fan base and former legends in the program will be rewarded. The fans will support Kingsbury even if the team struggles as he learns how to be a head coach. If Kingsbury wins, the likelihood he leaves is lessened significantly compared to any number of other coaches Hocutt could have hired, especially Morris.
Kingsbury is the new man in charge thanks to a gutsy, but supported move from Hocutt. If he didn't do it now, he might never have gotten another chance.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Usually, when a team travels for a nonconference game, the visiting conference uses its own officials.
That won't be the case this weekend, when an SEC crew will officiate Miami's game against Florida in Gainesville.
"I don't know when that happened," Miami coach Randy Shannon said with a laugh. "I wasn't head coach when that deal was cut."
Doug Rhoads, the ACC's coordinator of officials, told me those decisions are made based on the language of the contract, which is determined by the athletic directors. In some cases -- like this one -- that results in a change of the normal officiating pattern. Not only wasn't Shannon head coach when this "deal was cut," but new Miami AD Kirby Hocutt -- who has been in his office for about two months now -- probably wasn't in on it, either.
Not that Shannon is losing any sleep over it.
"It is what it is," he said. "I can't do anything about it. Officials are officials to me. The guys are going to do a great job because they know it's a big game on ESPN. They do a tremendous job.
"I can't sit up there and be worried about officials. They're human, they're going to make mistakes. I'm going to tell you that right now -- they're going to make mistakes. But you know what? You have to accept what it is and keep going."
2:00 PM ET Washington State Colorado State 3:30 PM ET 20 Fresno State 25 USC 5:30 PM ET Buffalo San Diego State 9:00 PM ET Tulane Louisiana-Lafayette
6:00 PM ET Pittsburgh Bowling Green 9:30 PM ET Utah State 23 Northern Illinois
2:30 PM ET Marshall Maryland 6:00 PM ET Syracuse Minnesota 9:30 PM ET Brigham Young Washington
12:00 PM ET Rutgers Notre Dame 3:20 PM ET Cincinnati North Carolina 6:45 PM ET Miami (FL) 18 Louisville 10:15 PM ET Michigan Kansas State
11:45 AM ET Middle Tennessee Navy 3:15 PM ET Ole Miss Georgia Tech 6:45 PM ET 10 Oregon Texas 10:15 PM ET 14 Arizona State Texas Tech
12:30 PM ET Arizona Boston College 2:00 PM ET Virginia Tech 17 UCLA 4:00 PM ET Rice Mississippi State 8:00 PM ET 24 Duke 21 Texas A&M
12:00 PM ET Nebraska 22 Georgia 12:00 PM ET UNLV North Texas 1:00 PM ET Iowa 16 LSU 1:00 PM ET 19 Wisconsin 9 South Carolina 5:00 PM ET 5 Stanford 4 Michigan State 8:30 PM ET 15 UCF 6 Baylor
7:30 PM ET 13 Oklahoma State 8 Missouri 8:30 PM ET 12 Clemson 7 Ohio State