Ask the Scout
Do you have any insights on what went down with the Notre Dame/Urban Meyer situation?
Meyer's talks with Florida had progressed but were put on hold when the Notre Dame job came open. Although Meyer said publicly it was not about Florida vs. Notre Dame, Meyer was Notre Dame's coach to have and it dropped the ball. The Florida job was open for some time but was put on hold for about 48 hours when the Notre Dame job became open. It been know for some time by those of us in the coaching profession that the Notre Dame job was one of three that he coveted most (Michigan and Ohio St. the others). If Florida was a done deal, then he never would have met with Notre Dame. The reality is that Meyer like many others in the coaching profession have some serious questions for the Notre Dame administration that have not been answered to their satisfaction. It's really not all about the money as some have suggested because Notre Dame has all the money it needs to pay a coach. Whether it wants to pay it or not could be another matter altogether. If you are a coach that has options like Meyer, you don't have to settle. Notre Dame, knowing it was Meyer's dream job, miscalculated and thought he would settle. So, his dream job does not become a reality because he didn't feel he would have an adequate opportunity for success at the level Notre Dame demands. The fact that Meyer took the high road was out of respect for Notre Dame as his new employer, Florida.
Where does Notre Dame go from here?
A lot of coaches have similar concerns about the Notre Dame situation that Meyer had which is why guys like Bob Petrino of Louisville elected to not meet with them. They still have a great opportunity to hire coach. And probably will do so. A lot of people thought USC was out of their minds to hire Pete Carroll several years ago. The bigger issue is for Notre Dame to have their philosophies and goals aligned in a realistic fashion. Charlie Weis, offensive coordinator of the Patriots would be a great fit but will be tied through the NFL playoffs thus making it difficult for things to work out with Notre Dame. More likely would be former Irish quarterback Tom Clements, now offensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills who could be available sooner and is being pushed by Joe Montana and the coach who recruited him, Ara Parsegian.
Is it still a great job?
Yes. They just need to adjust somewhat to make themselves a little bit more competitive in today's college football environment and that can be done with sacrificing your institutional integrity. They need to get better talent in the program to compete at a high national level. Right now, there are 35-38 college programs in the country with better personnel. That's tough for any coach.
How would you rate the Heisman finalist on your ballot?
It's a year with no clear cut favorite in my opinion but I have them:
Reggie Bush, Matt Leinhart, Cedric Benson, Adrian Peterson, Jason White, Alex Smith.
Can you run down your all-american team not as pro prospects but who performed best on film throughout the whole season?
QB Matt Leinhart-USC
RB Reggie Bush- USC
WR Braylon Edwards-Michigan
WR Mark Clayton-Oklahoma
TE Heath Miller-Virginia
OT Alex Barron-Fla St.
OT Jamaal Brown – Oklahoma
OG Davis Baas-Michigan
OG Elton Brown-Virginia
OC Greg Eslinger-Minnesota
DT Shaun Cody-USC
DT Antajj Hawthorne-Wisconsin
DE Erasmus James-Wisconsin
DE Dan Cody-Oklahoma
OLB Derrick Johnson- Texas
OLB Channing Crowder-Florida
ILB Ahmad Brooks- Virginia
ILB Will Derting-Wash State
S Ernest Shazor-Michigan
S Thomas Davis-Georgia
CB Antrelle Rolle-Miami
CB Marlin Jackson-Michigan
PK Mike Nugent-Ohio State
P Chris Kluwe-UCLA
Could you nominate your best player of the year in the 6 major conferences, regardless of position, not necessarily who you think will win the award?
SEC Carnell Williams-RB Auburn
ACC Alex Barron-Florida St.
Big 10 Erasmus James - DE Wisconsin
Big 12 Derrick Johnson-OLB Texas
Pac 10 Reggie Bush-USC RB
Big East Rob Petitti OLT Pitt
What about a coach of the year award for each conference and nationally?
SEC Tommy Tuberville-Auburn.
ACC Frank Beamer-Virginia Tech
Big 10 Kirk Ferentz-Iowa
Big 12 Bob Stoops-Oklahoma
Pac 10 Jeff Tedford-Cal
Big East Walt Harris-Pitt
Nationally- Ferentz-Iowa, Urban Meyer-Utah, Tuberville-Auburn.
What are your thoughts on the BCS championship match up?
Both USC and Oklahoma are well deserving but so is Auburn. We could see the problems developing. The biggest problem is having three undefeated from major conferences and not giving the odd team out a chance to compete for the national championship. This is why I have been a proponent of a system that uses three of the major bowls into the BCS with two hosting semifinals matching #1 vs. #4 in one match up and #2 vs. #3 in the other with the winners facing off a week later in the championship game. The fourth bowl would sit out of the championship picture and have a selection of teams outside the top four one year and host the national championship the following year. I would then have a committee of football people select the top four teams based on live and game tape viewing with the aid of polls and rankings with strength of schedule factored into the equation to some degree. You would certainly have some complaining about who is #4 and who is #5 but unlikely that you would have five unbeatens among the major conference schools. There is no perfect system but this would be much better than our current way.
What about California being left out in favor of Texas?
The BCS was only formulated with the mission of matching up #1 vs. #2. It never had any intention of picking the top 3 through 8 teams in the country which is where both the problem and confusion stems. The BCS conferences wanted to be guaranteed a financial piece of the puzzle by gaining an automatic bid for each conference. With a payout in the neighborhood of $16 million coming from each BCS bowl, that is significant. What I have suggested for a few years now is to divide the money up form all the BCS bowls if they wish among the conferences like they essentially but for competitive reasons only guarantee a BCS conference champion a spot in a BCS bowl ONLY if it finished in the top 12 of the BCS rankings. So, in this year's scenario Pitt would not be fitted into a BCS bowl like the Fiesta with its 21st BCS ranking and the Rose Bowl would have an option on the Big 10 champion Michigan team with a #13 overall BCS ranking. Since the Big East and Big Ten were still to get there financial just rewards, competitively both Texas and California would be awarded much deserved BCS bids. After all, BCS bowls like the Fiesta must be able to sufficiently market and promote their match ups in order to generate the income for the $16 million or so payout to each school. Do you think the Fiesta Bowl would rather be promoting a Utah vs. Texas match up instead of Utah vs. Pitt?
Does Auburn have a chance to win the #1 vote in the AP is it wins big and the winner of USC/Oklahoma win by a close margin?
No. Last year when there was a split amongst the polls it was due to the AP having USC #1 and they kept them so after they defeated Michigan in the Rose Bowl. History tells us that AP voters will vote the winner between #1 and #2 their champion regardless of how impressive Auburn is or unimpressive either USC or Oklahoma is in a national championship triumph.
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