Pat Forde

  • Forde's Fab Four: Where normalcy finally reigns

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 9 hrs ago

    Every week, I will play Selection Committee member, take a look at the College Football Playoff picture and offer what I believe the bracket should be if the season ended today. Call it Forde's Fab Four, and feel free to disagree.

    In something of a buzzkill, the playoff has sorted itself out in a remarkably orderly and non-controversial way. Big 12 champion Oklahoma is a virtual lock. The Big Ten champion, be it Michigan State or Iowa, is a virtual lock. Clemson and Alabama are 60 minutes away from lock-dom as solid favorites in their respective conference championship games. The only way this gets weird is if North Carolina (unlikely) or Florida (all but impossible) upsets the Tigers or Crimson Tide.

    For months on end, college football fuels a massive rhetorical furnace with controversy and squabbling, regionalism and blind fan bias, what-iffing and league-bashing. And now all of a sudden we're fresh out of fuel. A ravenous furnace turns its growling stomach to you, Tar Heels. You're pretty much the only hope to reignite the mayhem.

    Unless or until that happens, here's the way it shakes down:

    ORANGE BOWL: No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

    Dropped out: Notre Dame.

  • Heroics and heartbreak: Stanford delivers in clutch to dash Notre Dame's playoff hopes

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 22 hrs ago

    STANFORD, California – The big-picture outcome is this: Stanford kicked a walk-off field goal to beat Notre Dame, 38-36. That eliminated the Fighting Irish from College Football Playoff contention.

    Coupled with the other results of the weekend, a previously murky CFP picture now is surprisingly clear: Oklahoma is almost certainly in, alleviating the Big 12 anxiety over a possible second consecutive snub; the winner of the Big Ten championship game between Iowa and Michigan State is almost certainly in; and Clemson and Alabama both need to win conference championship games as solid favorites to lock up the other two spots.

    If the Tigers and/or Crimson Tide lose, then it gets messy and acrimonious. Then we start hearing from Florida or North Carolina or Stanford or Ohio State, stating their case. But for now, there should be relative calm – and resignation among those on the outside looking in – across the land.

    That’s the big picture.

    But the pictures within the picture here are worth a thousand words.

    He nailed the scenario. And the kick.

  • Sources: Houston’s Tom Herman no longer a candidate to coach South Carolina

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Houston head coach Tom Herman is no longer a candidate to be the football coach at South Carolina, multiple sources have told Yahoo Sports.

    Herman had been the school's top choice to replace Steve Spurrier, sources said, and third-party discussions had been extensive. But Herman has withdrawn his name from consideration, according to sources.

    A salary raise to $3 million a year was approved for Herman last week at Houston, where the Cougars are 10-1 in his first year on the job after a successful stint as offensive coordinator at Ohio State. Herman could still be a candidate for other jobs, but the option of staying at Houston – with a loaded team for 2016 – appears to be a growing possibility.

    South Carolina's Plan B could be Kirby Smart, the Alabama defensive coordinator. Smart has rebuffed other head-coaching opportunities to stay with Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa since 2007.

    However, Smart also is a Georgia graduate, and if embattled coach Mark Richt leaves or is fired, it could create another opening that could attract Smart.


  • Sources: Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin a strong candidate for Maryland job

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin has emerged as a strong candidate for the vacant Maryland head-coaching job, multiple sources have told Yahoo Sports.

    Durkin, 37, met recently with Maryland officials, sources said. No job offer was made, but the interview went well, sources said.

    Michigan’s defense has been vastly improved this season under Durkin, his first year in Ann Arbor as part of Jim Harbaugh's staff. The Wolverines are allowing just 14.9 points per game (down from 22.4 last year) and 263 yards per game (down from 311 last year). Michigan plays Ohio State in the annual rivalry showdown game Saturday to end the regular season.

    Durkin previously was the defensive coordinator at Florida under Will Muschamp and worked with Harbaugh at Stanford from 2007-09. Durkin is known as a highly effective recruiter and was the 2012 recruiter of the year.

    Maryland fired Randy Edsall in early October to get a jump on the coaching search process. It is unclear how many other candidates the school has interviewed or will interview.

    More college football


  • Forde-Yard Dash: Coaching carousel edition

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football (#TeamFreeSpeech T-shirts sold separately in Columbus):


    LSU’s three-game losing streak has brought down a surprising amount of heat upon the second-winningest coach in school history. As Yahoo Sports reported Monday, the school is “prepared” to pass the hat and buy out The Hat in Baton Rouge.

    Which just goes to show the cannibalistic nature of the Southeastern Conference, the pressure to win big, and the high price of not beating your biggest rival for a while. It’s also illustrative of the two-edged sword of continuity – coaches crave it, but longevity can work against them sometimes. With that in mind, The Dash looks at coaches who have won big but lost some mojo, and are in danger of overstaying their welcome:

    Two guys who have effectively killed the same out-with-the-old talk this season:



    Mid-major jobs that could be considered better than the worst Power 5 jobs: Houston, Central Florida, South Florida, Cincinnati, Boise State, San Diego State, Memphis if it’s sustainable after Fuente.

  • Sources: LSU 'prepared' to part ways with Les Miles

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    LSU is "prepared" to part ways with coach Les Miles, multiple sources have told Yahoo Sports.

    Sources described the potential buyout of the former national champion coach as "staggering," but said money will not deter LSU from firing Miles, sources said.

    The decision is not final, sources said.

    LSU has lost three straight games after starting the season 7-0. Miles, who won the national title in 2007 and has won 78 percent of his games at LSU, has been under increasing fire during that losing streak.

    Miles is 110-32 in his 11 seasons at LSU. He is the second-winningest coach in school history, behind only Charlie McClendon.

    Miles has never had a season worse than 8-5, and has won 10 or more games seven times. But he has also lost three or more games four years in a row, including this season, and LSU's losing streak against rival Alabama – and former LSU coach Nick Saban – has now reached five games.

    Miles is being paid a reported $4.4 million per year, making him the ninth-highest-paid coach in the country.

  • Forde's Fab Four: How Michigan State's win impacts College Football Playoff

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    Every week, I will play Selection Committee member, take a look at the College Football Playoff picture and offer what I believe the bracket should be if the season ended today. Call it Forde's Fab Four, and feel free to disagree.

    We are reaching some new levels of clarity in the race for the playoff. Basically, Clemson and Alabama are locks if they simply keep winning. Then the other two spots will be decided between the Big Ten champion, Big 12 champion and Notre Dame. That will not be an easy choice, especially if it comes down to Oklahoma, Notre Dame and either Michigan State or Iowa. To the bracket we go:

    ORANGE BOWL: No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Notre Dame The Tigers (11-0, 8-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) held serve at home against Wake Forest, winning by 20 points. There was nothing remarkable or alarming about that result. The victory clears the way for the annual regular season-ending game against rival South Carolina, which is a shell of its former self – though rivalry games can be strange things. (Ask Oklahoma.) The only intrigue left is an ACC championship game matchup with a North Carolina team that hasn't lost since Sept. 3. Next up: at South Carolina.

  • Urban Meyer's Buckeyes collapse, turn on each other after loss to Michigan State

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Michael Geiger’s winning kick went through the uprights. Michigan State’s celebration began. And Ohio State’s dynasty suddenly became dysfunctional.

    Junior running back Ezekiel Elliott turned pro at the podium during the postgame press conference – but not until after ripping the Ohio State play-calling in the Buckeyes’ 17-14 upset loss to the Spartans. Quarterback Cardale Jones – the unexpected hero of 2014 turned ineffective starter in 2015 turned backup again in recent weeks – tweeted that he, too, is apparently going pro.

    And Urban Meyer, the guy who looked like he had all the answers, suddenly had an undefeated season careen ingloriously off the tracks on a cold November night. While Michigan State revived its College Football Playoff hopes, the Buckeyes’ bid almost certainly vanished.

    It was a debacle for the Buckeyes. But it got worse postgame.

    “We weren’t put in the right position to win this game.”

  • Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott rips coaches, says he'll turn pro after this season

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    Elliott said as much to reporters following a 17-14 loss at home to Michigan State on Saturday.

    "Honestly, that was my last game at [Ohio Stadium]," Elliott said in a lengthy postgame rant.

    Elliott was also highly critical of Ohio State's offensive playcalling against Michigan State. He said he lobbied Ohio State coach Urban Meyer for more carries on the sideline and did not get them.

    “What happened today was like a bad, bad dream,” Elliott said, after a 12-carry, 33-yard performance that snapped a run of 16 straight 100-yard rushing games. “I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in the play-calling. I’m disappointed in the situation we were put in.

    “We weren’t put in the right position to win this game.”

    Elliott also revealed after the game that he was hospitalized earlier in the week for a leg infection and for several days did not think he would be able to play against Michigan State.

    Elliott said he was in the hospital Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. He said he was running a fever as high as 103 degrees.

    "I couldn't walk," he said. "For a while I didn't think I was going to play."


  • College football's 10 most fascinating coaching rivalries

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago

    Coaching rivalries come and go, becoming more ephemeral than ever as the job carousel spins faster. But several juicy matchups of sideline strategists still exist, while a few others are just being born – and several of these matchups will happen this week or next.

    A very current rundown of the 10 most fascinating coaching matchups in college football:

    Bob Stoops of Oklahoma vs. Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State The current scorecard: Stoops 8, Gundy 2. Next meeting: Nov. 28 in Stillwater. What's at stake: Potentially the Big 12 title and a College Football Playoff berth. This has been a lopsided matchup for a long time, but last year stirred the pot and this year could be the biggest meeting yet. (Oklahoma State is No. 6 in the current CFP rankings and Oklahoma is No. 7.) In 2014, the Cowboys pulled off a miraculous upset as a three-touchdown underdog, tying the game on a last-second punt return touchdown and then winning in overtime. The year before, Oklahoma was the double-digit underdog scoring the upset. Both teams must win big games this Saturday – Baylor at Oklahoma State and TCU at Oklahoma – to bring next week's Bedlam game to maximum payload.