Pat Forde

  • Sources: Colorado State hires Mike Bobo as next football coach

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Colorado State has reached an agreement with Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to make him the Rams' new head coach, sources tell Yahoo Sports.

    Bobo will be introduced at a press conference on Tuesday.

    Bobo is replacing another former SEC offensive coordinator in Jim McElwain, who was hired by Florida last month after three seasons at CSU.

    The 40-year-old Bobo was a quarterback at Georgia from 1993-1997 and coached at his alma mater for all but one year since. Bobo mostly served as quarterbacks coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2006.

    After going 10-2 in the regular season under McElwain, the Rams lost 45-10 to Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. After the game, interim coach Dave Baldwin told the media that he and the rest of CSU’s staff had been given termination papers.

  • Sources: MSU coordinator Pat Narduzzi in talks to become next Pitt coach

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi has emerged as the leading candidate to become the next head coach at Pittsburgh, sources told Yahoo Sports on Monday.

    Narduzzi had interviewed with both Pittsburgh and Colorado State within the last week, sources said. Narduzzi was the leading candidate for the CSU job as well, but sources say he was more interested in the Pittsburgh job. He’s been a candidate for several head-coaching jobs in recent years – he turned down Connecticut and interviewed with Louisville last year, and also was in the mix at Cincinnati before it hired Tommy Tuberville two years ago.

    The 48-year-old Narduzzi has been one of the top assistant coaches in the country, coordinating a Michigan State defense that consistently has been among the nation’s best. The Spartans this year were ranked No. 7 in total defense, their fourth straight season in the top 10 in that category. During the 2013 season, when it won the Rose Bowl, Michigan State was No. 2. 

    Narduzzi was the highest-paid coordinator in the Big Ten in 2014, with a three-year contract worth $900,000 annually.


  • Clear of conduct hearing, Jameis Winston can (finally) focus solely on football

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    For now – and for once – it’s only about football for Jameis Winston.

    What’s left of the Florida State quarterback’s season – one game or two – can go forward without complication. There is no more threat of suspension or expulsion or prosecution hanging over him. He will play Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl against Oregon, and if the Seminoles win he will play again Jan. 12 in the College Football Playoff championship game.

    Unless there is one more land mine out there for him to step on. With Jameis, never say never.

    But for the first time since November 2013, the cloud of an alleged sexual assault has lifted from above Winston. The Florida State Student Code of Conduct hearing ruling came down Sunday, and former state Supreme Court chief justice Major Harding did not charge Winston with any of four potential violations of that code. That followed by more than a year the decision by state attorney Willie Meggs not to charge Winston with a crime after he was accused of raping an FSU coed.

    Given the shoddy handling of the case initially by law enforcement, those likely were inevitable results. But that's well-plowed ground.

    Just win, baby.

  • Forde-Yard Dash: Bowl edition

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football, bowl edition:

    We have reached the postseason, and it’s going to be the best postseason ever. Sure, there is still the wide array of dud bowl games with clunky sponsor names. There still are several teams ready, willing and able to mail in their bowl performance and turn a potentially interesting matchup into a bust. There still are interim coaches dotting the landscape, and ESPN promos we’ll be tired of by sundown Saturday, and the task of finding out what Foster Farms is.

    But there also is a playoff. And that makes everything better.

    In addition to a playoff, there are new bowls in Boca Raton, Miami and the Bahamas. (The good news is not the “new bowls” part; it’s the “Boca Raton, Miami and Bahamas” part.) And there are plenty of good matchups as well.

    Whether The Dash can provide insight into those matchups is another question. The Bowl Dash picks are an annual crapshoot – if you are planning on using these picks in your office pool, remember: they’re worth exactly what you paid for them. Now Dash away, Dash away, Dash away all, to the rest of the column:

    Conference scoreboard: Mountain West 1-0, Sun Belt 0-1.

  • Sources: Houston set to hire Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 11 days ago

    Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman and Houston were finalizing terms on a five-year contract Monday night to make Herman the next head coach of the Cougars, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Herman will stay with the Buckeyes through the College Football Playoff, a source said. Ohio State plays Alabama on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl, and if it wins would play Jan. 12 in Dallas for the national championship.

    Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports reported earlier Monday that Herman was expected to get the job.

    Already a hot commodity coming into the season, Herman is the 2014 Broyles Award winner as the nation's outstanding assistant coach. His work with Ohio State's quarterbacks after season-ending injuries to starter Braxton Miller and backup J.T. Barrett helped keep the Buckeyes in the national championship picture.

    Herman and former Florida head coach Will Muschamp interviewed for the job, sources said. The school also had preliminary discussions with California coach Sonny Dykes.


  • Oregon's Marcus Mariota wins Heisman Trophy in historic landslide

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    It was a milestone night as Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy in a landslide Saturday.

    Mariota becomes the first Oregon Duck to win the award, the first Hawaii-born winner and the first player from a Pacific Northwest university since 1962 to take the most prestigious individual award in college football. Terry Baker of Oregon State was the only previous winner from the states of Oregon and Washington.

    Mariota became the clear choice as the season wore on, and that clarity was reflected in the voting: the Oregon QB garnered 90.9 percent of the total points possible - the second-highest total ever, behind Ohio State QB Troy Smith in 2006. Mariota finished with 2,534 total points, including 788 first-place votes.

    Runner-up Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin received 1,250 points, while third-place finisher Amari Cooper of Alabama had 1,023 points. Cooper did finish with 49 first-place votes to Gordon's 37. Defending Heisman winner Jameis Winston of Florida State finished a distant sixth place, and was not one of the three finalists brought to New York City for the ceremony.


  • UK enduring after key injury thanks to relentless POY candidate Willie Cauley-Stein

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The season-ending knee injury to forward Alex Poythress on Thursday shook the Kentucky Wildcats to the core.

    In part because the core of this team is Willie Cauley-Stein.

    The 7-foot center is the nation's best defensive player, and the most valuable, versatile and relentless member of the nation's best team. He's also its leader. And he is Poythress' roommate.

    The team took the news of Poythress' injury hard, but no Wildcat took it harder than the thoughtful giant from Olathe, Kan.

    "He's one of the best kids I ever met," Cauley-Stein said Saturday, after the 'Cats moved to 11-0 by pounding North Carolina, 84-70.

    The two young men who share the cover of the Kentucky media guide are the rarest of John Calipari commodities – highly recruited juniors. The fact that they're not in the NBA right now, along with the sophomore Harrison twins, is why Kentucky is the runaway No. 1 team in the nation. This isn't just the most talented team, it's a veteran team as well.

    "Every player's worst nightmare," Cauley-Stein said.

  • Sources: Houston interviewed Will Muschamp for head-coaching job

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago

    Former Florida coach Will Muschamp interviewed this week for the vacant head-coaching position at Houston, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Several Southeastern Conference schools are believed to be courting Muschamp for a defensive coordinator position, but he is interested in staying in the head-coaching ranks, sources said.

    Muschamp was fired after four seasons with the Gators, compiling a 28-21 record. Prior to coming to Florida, he was the defensive coordinator at Texas and knows the recruiting landscape in the state.

    Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman also is a candidate for the Houston job, sources said. Herman won this year's Broyles Award as the outstanding assistant coach in college football, largely for his work developing backup quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones.

    A timetable for naming a new coach is unclear. After its second year in the American Athletic Conference, Houston fired Tony Levine on Monday after three seasons at the school.

    More NCAA football coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • On Wisconsin? Gary Andersen bolting shows UW's problem may be institutional

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    Barry Alvarez said Wednesday he was “very surprised” that football coach Gary Andersen had abruptly fled Wisconsin for Oregon State.

    That comes two years and four days after Alvarez was “totally caught by surprise” by football coach Bret Bielema abruptly fleeing Wisconsin for Arkansas.

    Surprise, surprise. The football program Alvarez turned into a contender shockingly has become the most dump-able program in the Power Five conferences.

    The question is why? What has made Wisconsin a bailout job?

    Neither Andersen nor Bielema left Madison for an obvious step up. That should concern Alvarez and the Wisconsin administration.

    Arkansas is in a better conference but also is a tougher place to win – Bielema is 9-15 there, but just 2-14 in Southeastern Conference games. He knew he’d be getting his teeth kicked in for a while at least. Andersen departs what is at worst a top-six Big Ten job for one of the three toughest in the Pac-12. He ran to a job where his daily challenge is going up against the Nike trust-fund baby that is Oregon.

    "Bret used my gameplan to win,” he said. “The coach I hire will have to understand who we are and how we go about our business."

  • Is Heisman Trophy race a foregone conclusion or is there more to it?

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    When Heisman Trophy voters cast their ballots online, we have to check a box saying we won’t disclose our votes before the ceremony Saturday night.

    I don’t like strong-arming the voters into a vow of secrecy – we’re in the news business, not the withholding news business.

    But I checked the box Monday, or else I could not have filled out my ballot. Thus, I regretfully inform you that I cannot divulge whom I voted for in a year when there is zero suspense about who will win.

    However, this would be a pretty short and uninformative column if it ended right here. So, ahem, I will list three guys who had a really nice season in college football. Any appearance they may have made on my Heisman ballot would be purely coincidental.

    Nobody played better in 2014 than Marcus Mariota. And no, it’s not close.

    He has had to make big plays and simultaneously be nearly error-free in taking care of the football – especially in an up-tempo offense, where the decisions come fast and furious. Yet Mariota has done it. He’s run or passed on more than half of Oregon’s 966 plays. He is by far the biggest reason why the Ducks are 12-1, champions of the Pac-12 and the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff.