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Posts Tagged ‘U.A.B.’

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.

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    In Smith, Arkansas Finds a 10-Month Solution

    Forget what you think you know about John L. Smith, because to Arkansas, all that mattered was this: he was experienced, he was familiar with the roster, he was familiar with the program’s returning staff and he was available. Oh, and he was available to rent, not to buy; Smith is being leased by the university, which needed a solution, but wasn’t yet in the market for a permanent solution. Smith, who left Fayetteville after last season to take the head coaching job at Weber State, signed a 10-month, $850,000 contract with the school, which can now reenter the coaching pool in December or January, depending on when Smith’s one-year turn with the Razorbacks ends.

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      No. 117: U.A.B.

      Even if all had gone according to plan, Jimbo Fisher still wouldn’t be the head coach at U.A.B. in 2012. Either Fisher would have flamed out, failing to lead the Blazers to respectability, or he would have won enough games in Birmingham to land the top job at, say, Arkansas. Or Florida State, even. His eventual landing spot doesn’t matter. What does matter is how the University of Alabama Board of Trustees set U.A.B. football back at least a half-decade, if not more, by nixing the university’s contract agreement with Fisher late in 2006, when he was Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator at L.S.U. Take Neil Callaway instead, suggested the trustees. In comes Callaway; five years later, Callaway and his 18 wins were sent packing. Where is U.A.B. today if Fisher is hired instead? Are the Blazers on the upswing, like Houston or Southern Mississippi, or are the built-in hurdles too much for any coach to overcome?

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        The Year in Review: Florida St. (9-4, 5-3)

        Imagine we live in an alternate universe, one where the University of Alabama system Board of Trustees can’t unilaterally dictate the ebb and flow of its athletic programs located outside of Tuscaloosa. It’s a difficult situation to consider, I know, but suspend your disbelief for the interest of this scenario. So it’s the winter of 2006, and U.A.B. reaches out to — nay, actually agrees to a contract with — L.S.U. offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, who had just completed his seventh season as an assistant in Baton Rouge. The contract, which hovered around $600,000 annually, was very much in line with what Fisher demanded as a national title-winning assistant coach; in addition, two members of the U.A.B. community offered to pay half of his annual contract.

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          Schnellenberger Gets in the Win Column

          Howard Schnellenberger’s college coaching career began in Coral Gables, will end in nearby Boca Raton, and in between took him to stops in Louisville and Norman. His career will end, more or less, in the same way it began: in victory. Schnellenberger won his debut at Miami (Fla.) on Sept. 15, 1979, beating Louisville, 24-12. His won the second-to-last game of his coaching career yesterday, as Florida Atlantic, now 1-10, beat U.A.B. by 38-35. In doing so, the Owls became the final F.B.S. team in the country to win a game.

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            It’s Not Illegal, But It’s Certainly Criminal

            A meeting of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees is currently in session, with a slate of topics ranging from the establishment of another medical institute at U.A.B. to construction of a Digital Media Center at the state’s flagship university in Tuscaloosa to the even more mundane, such as considering tenure for various professors in the university system. There’s even a section — Header G, Part 2, Section A — devoted to construction projects on tap for approval or disapproval at U.A.B.: four items, in fact, four projects that the Board of Trustees deem vital to the further growth of the university system as a whole.

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              Highlighting a Comment on U.A.B.

              I understand the particulars of the circumstances and grasp the basic principles behind each side’s point of view in the argument between U.A.B. and the University of Alabama board of trustees over construction of an on-campus stadium, but have seemingly failed in grasping the basic tenor of this situation, as a good portion of comments have suggested. In the main post from two days ago, a comment from Perry, a U.A.B. graduate, stood out to the point where I believe giving the comment its own post was warranted. All words that follow are Perry’s:

              The real question here is if there is a conflict of interest on the board of trustees that prevents the board from objectively administering the three campuses without favoring one over the others. I think the answer to that question is a clear yes.

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                U.A.B.’s Future Goes From Bleak to Dire

                There are the haves and there are the have-nots in college football, as we all know. The haves are the haves because they, well, have things. They have nice facilities. They have history. They have a good coach, they have a strong roster and, perhaps most of all, they have a dedicated base of support. And all haves share one thing: all have a stadium. Their own stadium. Even the vast majority of the have-nots have their own, football-dedicated on-campus stadium — one who doesn’t, and might not for a long, long time, is U.A.B.

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                  The Countdown

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