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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Embree’

The 2012 Locksley: Week 4

Important Locksley news: John L. Smith is not – I repeat, not – eligible for the 2012 award. Why? Let’s consider the first reason: Smith is an interim head coach. I can’t blame you for not being fully aware with the Locksley’s laws and bylaws, seeing that said laws and bylaws have never been put into print. But one crucial factor is that a candidate must be a real, bona fide head coach – not an interim head coach, as is Smith. A second reason is that Smith would be such a lock for the Locksley that taking him out of the running evens the playing field among a slew of other highly qualified candidates. Now, is there a chance that Smith could one day be recognized for his wonderfully inept work with the Razorbacks in 2012? I can see it now: The John L. Locksley. That’s an option. But there will be no trophy on Smith’s mantle once his tenure in Fayetteville runs its course. As recompense, Smith gets the quote of the week:

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    This Must Be Rock Bottom, Houston Hopes

    This is the bottom, I think – and Houston hopes. The most damning factoid that could be used to define a team is that it forced five turnovers yet lost the turnover battle, as the Cougars did on Saturday night. U.C.L.A. had five turnovers; Houston had six. What the heck is going on here? Through three weeks, there has be no more disappointing team in college football. No team has suffered a more inexplicable loss, with all due to respect to Pittsburgh, Arkansas and Wyoming, among others. Of the 27 teams that notched double-digit wins last fall, how many seem assured of not reaching that mark in 2012? I’ll say three: Arkansas State, Arkansas… and Houston.

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      The 2012 Locksley: Week 3

      Blind squirrels are known to stumble upon a nut every now and again, especially if that nut is, say, Maine’s football team. Or if the blind squirrel is Middle Tennessee State and the nut is Florida Atlantic, which houses the only Sun Belt team more impotent than Rick Stockstill’s Blue Raiders. So what to make of these wins? At face value, dates with Maine and the Owls pushed Boston College and Middle Tennessee State into the win column – that’s the biggest takeaway for both the Eagles and Blue Raiders. But beyond that point, what did these wins prove? That B.C. is not good enough to run with Miami (Fla.) but good enough to beat an F.C.S. opponent? That Stockstill’s gang can beat F.A.U. but not McNeese State? The wins prove nothing, in short, because for teams of this quality – or lack thereof – true colors won’t shine until the calendar turns to conference play, and for both B.C. and M.T.S.U., the season looks bleak indeed despite a bump up to .500. The coaching quote of the week come from U.N.L.V.’s Bobby Hauck:

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        A Bad Day for Colorado, Team and State

        Oh, Colorado – the state, but also you, Colorado, the team. It was not a good day for the two F.B.S. programs inside the state’s borders, the Buffaloes and Rams, both of whom suffered ugly losses to F.C.S. competition. It started with Colorado, which seesawed back and forth with mighty Sacramento State before falling, 30-28, to drop to 0-2 on the young season. At least Colorado State’s already won a game – against Colorado, unfortunately. Later in the day, following in their rival’s footsteps, the Rams were shoved around by North Dakota State in a 22-7 loss.

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          Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 2 (Sept. 8)

          Let’s not beat around the bush: this isn’t a great week. I mean, it’s great – better than what we’re used to, better than any non-football weekend – but it’s not great, all things considered. There’s no Michigan and Alabama to end the night; there’s no prime-time game on ABC at all, in fact. Instead, we’ll close our night with Nebraska and U.C.L.A., Georgia and Missouri and, later on, Arizona and Oklahoma State. Very, very intriguing games. But with perhaps the exception of Georgia, depending on how highly you think of the Bulldogs, these games don’t carry any title implications. That doesn’t make the games any less interesting – or change the fact that every game, especially while teams find their footing, carries some level of importance. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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            No. 89: Colorado

            One thing to like about Jon Embree’s recruiting efforts in Boulder: Colorado has signed only two JUCO recruits under his watch. That’s out of a total of 51 signed prospects over Embree’s two recruiting classes, with both joining the program in 2011. This past winter’s class, 28-players strong, did not include one JUCO recruit. Last year’s class also ranked eighth in the Pac-12, according to Rivals.com, after Embree’s first effort – though completed on the fly, after he was named as Dan Hawkins’ permanent successor on Dec. 6, 2010 – was ranked last in the conference. The lack of reliance on JUCO recruits indicates that Embree isn’t looking for quick fixes, and that he understands that C.U. must rebuild from the ground up. However, it also means that Colorado’s roster remains one of the youngest in college football.

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              Midseason Grades for the New Guys

              There are 24 first-year head coaches doing work on the F.B.S. level, not counting the three interim coaches keeping seats warm at Arizona, New Mexico and North Carolina. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where that trio — Tim Kish, George Barlow and Everett Withers — become full-time replacements in 2012, though the way Withers has kept U.N.C. afloat through the first half of the regular season certainly bodes well for his future coaching opportunities, whether with the Tar Heels or otherwise. So how are the new faces doing at their new stops? Let’s hand out some midseason grades for the new hires, and include the grade each coach received over the winter’s hiring recap.

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                No. 87: Colorado

                Feel the love. Gather around the warm flame of peace and order; if that alone doesn’t do it for you, rally around the fact that Jon Embree, for any of his faults, is not – I repeat, not – the one and only Dan Hawkins, who has been gone for eight months but whose unsteady touch still defines the state of Colorado football in 2011. Feel the love of your new Pac-12 brethren, who send nothing but good tidings and salutations: that love will soon be gone, lost among the slings and arrows of conference rivalry and antipathy. Feel the love of a new start on the field, off the field and in overall geography. Feel the warm sunshine of Los Angeles, Pasadena, Tucson and Tempe; feel the rocking foundation of Autzen Stadium, the orange-clad hue in Corvallis and the deafening roar of Seattle on a fall Saturday. Feel the love in Palo Alto and in Berkeley, homes of two fan bases whose off-an-on commitment to their respective football programs you’ll find familiar. Just feel the love. It all feels right.

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                  The Countdown

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