Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weekend Wrap

Who will want to come and coach the Hurricanes knowing the last two coaches Miami fired had winning records?

By MIKE DAROZA
CFRT Editor

OMG Moment of the Weekend

There used to be a time when the kiss of death for college football coaches was when the school's athletic director would come out and publicly announce that the coach had their full support.
Of course, by the end of that season, no one would remember that empty announcement when the coach was loading his belongings into a cardboard box on the way out of town.
Nowadays, most athletic directors are skipping the false formalities and simply acting swiftly and decisively.
Just hours following his team's overtime loss to South Florida, Miami Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon was summoned to an emergency meeting with UM Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt and fired.
I guess we shouldn't be too surprised.

Larry Coker's head coaching career at Miami began with a 31-1 record in his first 32 games with the 'Canes. Apparently, that didn't matter because he was fired less than three years later after his worst season (7-6) in 2006.
I mean, after all, this is the same school that sacked Larry Coker, who STILL has yet to post a losing season.
Coker coached at "The U" from 2001-2006, took the Hurricanes to two national championship games (winning one) and had an overall 60-15 record.
But his 7-6 campaign in 2006 was too much for the Miami brass, as they felt the program was heading in the wrong direction.
Their answer was to hire Shannon, a former Hurricanes player, to restore the once proud tradition at Miami.
It would take Shannon two seasons to reach the the height of Coker's low point, as Shannon went 5-7 in his first year and "improved" to 7-6 in his second.

Coker guided Miami to two consecutive BCS title games, the first of which came in his first season as the Hurricanes blasted Nebraska for the national title in 2001.
Things appeared to be turning in the right direction for Shannon when UM climbed to 9-4 in 2009, and finished with a No.19 ranking with one of the toughest schedules in the country.
Shannon even received a raise and a four-year contract extension over this past off-season. 
Problem was, last year simply set the bar and the expectations too high for Shannon and his Hurricanes.
The first sign of trouble came early in the season when Miami - ranked No.12 at the time - was beaten soundly by then No.2 Ohio State on the road.
Then came the embarrassing 45-17 loss at home to in-state rival Florida State.

In his four years at the helm in Miami, Shannon was 28-22 and 16-16 in the ACC.
By the time they fell to South Florida in ovetime on Saturday, the Hurricanes had dropped to 7-5 and are now on the threshold of finishing out of the Top-25 for the third time in Shannon's four years as their head coach.
One of the biggest indicators that Shannon's job was in joepardy was the fact that since he arrived in 2007, all four of the other major college football teams in their own state (Central Florida, Florida, Florida State and South Florida) had recorded more wins than Miami.
Of course, Shannon's kiss of death still came in the form of too many losses, but just as importantly, it also came in the form of too many empty stadium seats. 

Empty seats were just as much a culprit to Shannon's demise as the mounting losses.
Only about 27,000 seats out of the 73,000-seat Sun Life Stadium (Miami's home field) had fannies in them.
And I'm sure every time ABC's camera shots were forced to rise above field level on kickoffs or were shown from the blimp coming back from commercials, the UM brass in the press box had only one collective response when they thought about that empty stadium being broadcast to recruits all over the country.
OMG!

Gameballs

It was a Garnet and Gold letter day on Saturday.
Nole More Tears!

Talk about a good day.
It may not have been a national championship day, or an absolute confirmation that the Seminoles are all the way back, but Florida State fans had one of the best Saturdays they've experienced in a long time.
Not only did FSU beat hated-rival Florida to hand the Gators their worst regular-season loss count since 1988, they ended a six-year drought against UF with the 31-7 win.
Then, NC State lost to Maryland, making the Seminoles the ACC Atlantic Division champion.
But, the cherry on top had to be when their other in-state nemesis - Miami - not only lost to South Florida in overtime, the Hurricanes fired their head coach Randy Shannon.
That's a Garnet and Gold letter day if there ever was one.

Streak Stoppers

Yes, FSU ended their six-year losing streak to the Gators, but the Seminoles were hardly the only ones ending long-standing, frustrating streaks.
Notre Dame's 20-16 victory over USC was the Irish's first win over the rival Trojans in eight years.
Minnesota, which upset then No.24 Iowa 27-24, ended a three-year losing streak to the Hawkeyes.
That two streaks the Gophers have ended in their last two outings; their win over Illinois snapped a string of nine consecutive losses to the Fighting Zookers, and an eight-game losing streak in the Big Ten. 
 
Wisconsin has scored 70 points or better three times this season.
SCORE!!!!!!!!

Say what you want about whether Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema is running up the score on the competition, but you can't argue with his team's offensive production.
On Saturday, against a decent team in Northwestern, the Badgers scored 70 points, making it the third time they've scored at least 70 this season.
Wisconsin has now scored 83 against Indiana, 70 on Northwestern and 70 on Austin Peay.
The Badgers hadn't scored more than 69 in any game since 1946.

Headscratchers

An Alabama staff member was fired for playing a Steve Miller Band song at the wrong time Saturday.
Hey Mr. DJ

OK, I know it was in bad taste, but you've got to give credit to the guy who is in charge of playing music at Alabama home games for having a sense of humor.
Correction, the guy who USED TO BE in charge.
He was fired on Monday for playing two unauthorized songs  - "Take the money and run" and "Son of a preacher man" - before the Alabama-Auburn Iron Bowl on Saturday.
The songs were played while Auburn and their quarterback Cam Newton - who is being investigated for allegations that his father, who is a minister, arranged payment for Newton to play - warmed up.

Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman has received death threats for missing two field goal attempts against Nevada that essentially eliminates the Broncos from national title contention.
No Mustard for this Brotzman

Out of all the ways Nevada could have beaten Boise State and end what might have possibly been the Broncos best shot of pulling off the biggest BCS busting ever, few people thought it would be because of their kicker Kyle Brotzman.
Brotzman not only leads all active players in the NCAA in scoring (425 points), but he's also the highest scoring kicker in the history of the Western Athletic Conference.
But that's exactly how Boise State lost.
Brotzman - who was 14-for-17 on the season and 3-for-3 outside 50 yards - missed a 26-yarder that could have won the game in the final seconds of regulation, and then another from 29 yards in overtime.

Kentucky's losing streak to Tennessee keeps going...
And going, and going, and going...

Kentucky's 24-14 loss at Tennessee on Saturday now puts the Wildcats' consecutive game losing streak to the Volunyeers at 26.
This losing streak is not only the longest losing streak in the NCAA between two teams, it's outlasted 10 head coaches that have coached in the rivalry.

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