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Posts Tagged ‘Akron’

A Few Talking Points for Confident Teams

Nick Saban is tired of everyone loving his team. No, not just tired – Saban is upset, and you won’t like Nick Saban when he’s upset, as beat reporters from Toledo to East Lansing to Baton Rouge to Miami to Tuscaloosa can attest. Said Saban on Wednesday, upon being asked how much time his backups might see in Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky, “when you people start writing stuff about people that we’re playing that doesn’t give them the proper respect, that’s not fair. It’s not fair to them, to their players who work hard. It’s not fair to our players, who need to respect them.” And then he got upset.

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    For 13 Teams, Losing Culture Carries Over

    Middle Tennessee State is in the same boat as 12 other programs in college football. The Blue Raiders, like the dozen others, enters 2012 on at least a five-game losing streak. How this team stumbled over the second half of last season raises some important questions about the program’s future under Rick Stockstill, whose career record at Middle Tennessee now falls under .500 after six years with the program. For nearly half of the 13 teams, last year’s sluggish finish has led to significant changes: six have since made a coaching change. Middle Tennessee opted to stand pat, but like every team that heads into the fall on at least a five-game losing streak, changes are afoot.

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      Zips Might Be Bad, But They’ll Be Fun

      Akron might end up being terrible. Akron might – there’s a small chance – shock the MAC and finish 4-4 in conference play, perhaps squeezing into a bowl bid with another two wins in September. The Zips should be bad, the Zips might be good, but one thing we know: the Zips are going to be fun. This team will be fun to watch operate, if only to see how Terry Bowden fares after a decade-plus away from major college football. That’s going to be fun. As will watching some parts of the old gang reunite, like Chuck Amato and Jeff Bowden, or watching a former F.C.S. backup battle for the starting role at quarterback.

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        No. 118: Akron

        Akron hired a Bowden to clean up the mess. No, not that Bowden. Bobby’s done: he’s hung up his whistle, though I’d wager he’d love to be back on the sidelines at Doak Campbell Stadium – it is Bobby Bowden Field at the Doak, after all. It’s the other Bowden. No, not that one. Tommy, who’s been out of coaching since he was fired at Clemson midway through the 2008 season, will surface sooner or later; I thought he should have been Tulane’s pick this offseason, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s the other Bowden. You know, Terry, formerly of Auburn, where his debut in 1993 remains the most inexplicable undefeated season in college football history. After winning 29 games over three years at North Alabama, Terry’s back in the F.B.S. – in the MAC, but still. Terry’s not Bobby, but he’s not Jeff, either. Though Jeff, Terry’s brother, is on his staff with the Zips.

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          Mega Millions-Level National Title Odds

          As you may have heard, the odds of pulling the winning ticket in a Mega Millions jackpot is 175,000,000 to 1. You are far, far more likely to win a gold medal at this summer’s Olympics than you were of picking six correct numbers last Friday. Not that the odds stopped me from buying a $5 ticket at my local convenience store, or prevented another risk-taker – as I witnessed while waiting in line – from stepping up to the teller and plopping down five crisp $100 bills. Do you have any idea how long it takes to print out 500 lottery tickets? To put the Mega Million odds in football perspectives, let’s consider one scenario: What odds would you give Hawaii to win every game for the next decade?

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            At Long Last, the MAC’s 2012 Schedule

            @PeteThamelNYT @PreSnapRead Mid-week MAC is vital to me avoiding spending weeknights with my family. A lot riding on this.Thu Mar 29 18:03:26 via web

            The MAC would have released its conference schedule sooner — a month or so ago, in fact — had it not been for Temple, which left for the Big East on March 7. If you remember from earlier this month, the move was fairly devastating to the MAC, which was planning on entering the fall with 14 teams, seven in each division. Temple’s bolt returns the MAC to its customary 13-team layout, with Massachusetts the new face, but the move had another, largely untouched ramification: Bowling Green was pegged to be part of the MAC West with the addition of the Minutemen, but the Falcons will instead remain part of the East. That’s good news for Bowling Green.

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              Akron Goes Back to the Drawing Board

              Remain seated with your seat belts securely fastened: the moving and shaking isn’t finished. Houston still needs its man, as does Penn State, with the former already making its way through a short list while the latter continues to adopt the slow-and-steady approach to locating Joe Paterno’s successor. Hawaii’s initial list of 30 candidates seems to have identified a leading contender in former Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter. Southern Mississippi has similarly focused on three options, if not one — South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson has interviewed twice, and may be considered the favorite to step into Larry Fedora’s shoes.

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                Filling in the Blanks at 10 Open Spots

                Coach-heavy today, and fairly negative at that. But it’s that time of year, folks. There were 13 open jobs as of yesterday afternoon, but the night closed with a flourish: Charlie Weis to Kansas, most notably, but Notre Dame offensive coordinator Charley Molnar also agreed to terms with Massachusetts, which begins transitioning to the F.B.S. in 2012. Earlier today, Illinois hired Toledo’s Tim Beckman, who recently completed his second straight eight-win season. That leaves 10 spots yet to be filled, with some schools clearly zeroing in on a target while others flop around as names quickly drop off the board.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.