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Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Franchione’

Who, What, When: Texas State

Chase Harper

Tight end

Projected Role
Starter, 20-30 catches

It’s rare that a player of Chase Harper’s caliber falls to the F.C.S. level. It’s only slightly less rare – not common, but it happens – to see a player like Harper tumble down to the lower levels of the F.B.S., which is where he finds himself after Texas State prepares for its move into the WAC this fall. As a JUCO transfer two years ago, Harper verbally committed to Nebraska, turning down scholarship offers from Miami (Fla.), among others, but ran into the sort of academic issues that brought a program like Texas State into the picture. While certainly behind San Jose State’s Ryan Otten, who is one of the most underappreciated players in college football, Harper may very well be the second-best tight end in the WAC.

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    No. 121: Texas State

    He’s a wanderer. Brian Kelly’s been a head coach at four different stops, starting at Grand Valley State in 1991. Todd Graham’s had four head coaching jobs since 2006, two of which, Rice and Pittsburgh, lasted a single season. Nick Saban’s had four jobs, each on the F.B.S. level: Toledo, Michigan State, L.S.U. and Alabama. Jerry Kill has had five, beginning with Saginaw Valley State in 1994 and continuing at Minnesota, where he’s about to enter his second season. Dennis Franchione sees your four, smiles knowingly at your five, and raises you all the way to eight, if you count Texas State twice. Southwestern, in Kansas, from 1981-82. Pittsburg State, also in Kansas, from 1985-89. Texas State — part one — from 1990-91. New Mexico from 1992-97. T.C.U. from 1998-2000. Alabama from 2001-2. Texas A&M from 2003-7. Then break, then back to Texas State — part two — in time for last season. He’s a wanderer. The Bobcats hope that Franchione, in his second go-round, has decided to make himself a permanent home.

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      Reviewing the WAC’s 2012 Dance Card

      It’s here. Finally. Are you excited? Weeks after the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and A.C.C. lifted the curtain and unveiled their league-wide schedules for the 2012 season, the WAC has joined the party. Some names will be familiar: Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Idaho and Utah State. Another, Texas State, is new to the WAC. A third, Texas-San Antonio, is not only new to the WAC but new to college football altogether: 2011 marked the Roadrunners’ first season of football on any level, so it’s been a quick move from nothing to the WAC — and please save your jokes about there being little difference between the current WAC and utter nothingness.

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        Non-B.C.S. Teams Get Into the Recruiting Act

        You won’t find the highest-ranked non-B.C.S. conference signing class anywhere on the list of this year’s top 50 classes, according to Rivals.com. But you will find a pair of programs, Utah and T.C.U., who have clearly benefited from their new conference affiliation. The Utes’ class came in just outside the top 25, thanks in large part to an eight-man offensive line haul that help should keep Jordan Wynn clean and Kyle Whittingham happy in 2012. The Horned Frogs continued to make hay in Texas, sweeping up a number of second-level recruits that may flown in under the radar, while adding a quartet of recruits from SEC country. How would Utah and T.C.U. have done on the recruiting trail had each remained part of the non-B.C.S. conference landscape? Not as well, one would think.

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          A Meet and Greet With the New Guys

          Three more teams will join the F.B.S. in 2012, with a fourth, South Alabama, entering its second and final year transitioning upwards from the F.C.S. to the Sun Belt. Massachusetts will join the MAC, taking a spot in the East division and giving the league two even, seven-team divisions; Bowling Green will move to the West, a move that makes sense on multiple levels. Texas State and Texas-San Antonio — the former run by Dennis Franchione, the latter by former Miami (Fla.) head coach Larry Coker — will join the WAC, helping that conference make up for the loss of Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii to the Mountain West.

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            The Status Quo, Sherman, Isn’t Working

            The bottom line is this: Texas A&M hasn’t had a team this good – this talented, from top to bottom – in more than a decade. A cursory look back at A&M’s recent past yields a few contenders, such as the Dennis Franchione-led team in 2006, which finished 9-4. That was a fine team, one that balanced a steady running game with an uncharacteristically stout defense, but that squad’s talent level pales in comparison to that put forth by the Aggies in 2011. That Mike Sherman compiled a solid percentage of this talent highlights one of his coaching strengths, but this fact also cuts to the heart of the matter: Sherman can reel in the talent, but this fall, he’s proved himself incapable of being the coach A&M needs him to be.

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              Texas State, Dropping Quotes

              Crisscrossing the globe, searching every nook and cranny, all in pursuit of former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione. In previous installments of the series, we’ve seen Franchione finish third in a best-ball golf tournament in Horseshoe Bay, Tex., and hawk his wares — a self-help book, for all intents and purposes — after being introduced as Alabama’s coach in 2001. Franchione’s back in the news today, thanks to his involvement with the open position at Texas State and his words of advice for Pittsburgh as it embarks on another coaching search.

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                Franchione Unveils Book in T-Town

                It’s been a long time since Dennis Franchione graced this site’s presence — too long, in my opinion. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, way back to 2001, when Franchione was first hired at Alabama. Those were happy days, days filled with smiles, promise and potential, with both parties sure success lay just around the corner. The occasion: a book party for Franchione’s soon-to-be-released opus, titled — and I kid you not — “Coach Fran: The Mission… The Method… The Man.” Franchione took the scene with the book’s co-author, Mike McKenzie — more on him in a moment.

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                  The Countdown

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