We think about college football 24/7 so you don't have to.

Posts Tagged ‘Marshall’

Conference USA Nosedives to Rock Bottom

Rewind eight months. Houston capped one of the finest seasons in program history by decimating Penn State, 30-14, during bowl play. Southern Mississippi won its program-record 12th game against Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl – and in their last time out, the Golden Eagles had harassed Case Keenum and the Cougars out of the B.C.S. conversation. Tulsa, S.M.U. and Marshall acquitted themselves well in the postseason, with the Mustangs beating Pittsburgh, Marshall beating Florida International and the Golden Hurricane leading B.Y.U. for 59 minutes before a late collapse. Was last season the finest in the history of Conference USA? It’s not hard to make that case.

Continue Reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
     Share   |   Comment   Comments (14)   |   Home  Home

    Marshall’s Recruiting Efforts are Paying Off

    Rivals.com ranked Marshall’s most recent recruiting class the 67th-best in the country, smack-dab between Indiana and Arkansas State, four spots behind Boston College and two ahead of Wake Forest. Scout.com had Herd’s class tied for 89th nationally with Buffalo. ESPN’s recruiting coverage focuses primarily on the B.C.S. conferences, but the site’s experts did not list Marshall’s class among the top non-B.C.S. conference efforts in the country — though Houston and East Carolina, Marshall’s conference rivals, did get a plug. Given that Marshall’s recruiting class wasn’t universally acclaimed, why does it seem like Doc Holliday and his staff are adding enough talent to be a major Conference USA player in 2013 and beyond?

    Continue Reading »

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
       Share   |   Comment   Comments (3)   |   Home  Home

      No. 97: Marshall

      Doc Holliday has passed his first test, which was winning — period. But the winning Marshall has done over Holliday’s first two seasons has come about with Mark Snyder’s players doing a good portion of the heavy lifting, which leads Holliday to his second test: Winning with his own players, not a roster composed predominantly of players recruited and developed by the previous staff. This quest begins in 2012, as Holliday and the Thundering Herd experience some large-scale roster turnover for the first time. But help is on the way. Holliday’s reputation as one of the nation’s premier recruiters was well-deserved: Marshall has recruited as well as any program in Conference USA since his arrival following the 2010 season, reeling in the league’s third- and second-best classes in 2011 and 2012, respectively. More than a third of February’s recruiting class held B.C.S. conference offers — and not just from Duke and Indiana, mind you, but L.S.U., U.S.C., Nebraska and Florida, among others. And yes, help is on the way: 15 of the 30 recruits signed in February were on campus in time for spring ball.

      Continue Reading »

      Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
         Share   |   Comment   Comments (6)   |   Home  Home

        The Year in Review: Marshall (7-6, 5-3)

        Jekyll, meet Hyde. Hyde, Jekyll. In the span of seven days, Marshall beat Southern Mississippi, 26-20, and lost to Ohio, 44-7. In another seven-day span, the Thundering Herd beat Louisville, 17-13, and lost to U.C.F., 16-6. Over a three-game span, Marshall lost to Houston and Tulsa by a combined 77 points and beat U.A.B. by 45 points. The three samples point to two different conclusions: the first pair say that the Thundering Herd were merely inconsistent, beating and losing to good teams with little explanation; the third group says that the Thundering Herd were just bad, feasting on the weaklings of Conference USA while standing miles away from the league’s best.

        Continue Reading »

        Tags: , , , , ,
           Share   |   Comment   Comments (0)   |   Home  Home

          F.I.U. Looks to Back Up Its Bowl Bluster

          Florida International athletic director Pete Garcia took a page out of the big boy’s playbook in convincing the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl committee to select his Golden Panthers, the fourth-place team in the Sun Belt, ahead of Western Kentucky. It helped that both the Big East and Conference USA failed to meet their bowl allotments: with neither conference able to send a team down to St. Petersburg, the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl opted for F.I.U. and Garcia; the latter had feverishly worked the phones, beginning as early as the first week in November, in an effort to sway the bowl’s selection protocol.

          Continue Reading »

          Tags: , , , , , , , ,
             Share   |   Comment   Comments (0)   |   Home  Home

            U.C.F. at B.Y.U.; Non-B.C.S. Themes

            It’s a big weekend for Conference USA. It’s a big week — big month — for Conference USA, in fact, what with the potential for a major merger with Mountain West clearly on the table for both parties. In terms of this coming weekend, the Conference USA slate will be highlighted by a Friday night date with U.C.F. and B.Y.U., with both teams looking for a win after disappointing losses a week ago. Who needs it more? You can see it from both sides: U.C.F. should be a bit chagrined after losing to Florida International last weekend, as that was an opportunity for the Knights to stem F.I.U.’s recent climb; B.Y.U. isn’t merely chagrined but humiliated after losing by 44 points at home to bitter rival Utah. Touching on the upcoming Conference USA schedule and other non-B.C.S. conference themes:

            Continue Reading »

            Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
               Share   |   Comment   Comments (6)   |   Home  Home

              Forecasting Conference USA in 2011

              It’s not Grand Canyon-like, but it’s wide. What’s another natural chasm, one slightly smaller than the Grand Canyon, to use as a metaphor for the split between the haves and the have-nots in Conference USA? Here are the haves: Houston, U.C.F., Tulsa, S.M.U., Southern Mississippi and maybe, if I’m being kind, East Carolina. The have-nots: Marshall, U.A.B., UTEP, Rice, Tulane and Memphis. It’s a very distinct gap, one that highlights the strong upper half of the conference but also one that diminishes the resume a Conference USA power might bring into bowl play.

              Continue Reading »

              Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
                 Share   |   Comment   Comments (6)   |   Home  Home

                Conference USA’s Weaker Half

                Every conference has its haves and have-nots. It just seems more pronounced on the non-B.C.S. level, if only because their worst spends September losing to the B.C.S. conference’s worst — in other words, Indiana might have been terrible in 2010, but the Hoosiers still managed to have their way with Akron, a last-place doppelganger from the MAC. The distance in the standings, therefore, is even more pronounced on the non-B.C.S. conference level: an Akron goes 3-5 in the MAC and finishes 4-8; an Indiana goes 3-5 in the Big Ten and goes bowling. But is the actual distance between the best and the worst from a non-B.C.S. conference greater than the same distance in a B.C.S. league?

                Continue Reading »

                Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
                   Share   |   Comment   Comments (4)   |   Home  Home
                  Next Page »

                  The Countdown

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