Pat Forde

  • Sources: Missouri interviewing head coaching candidates, including Cal's Sonny Dykes

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 5 hrs ago

    Missouri athletic director Mack Rhoades has been in Denver this week conducting interviews for the school’s vacant football coaching job, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Among the candidates in the region Rhoades is believed to have interviewed: Air Force coach Troy Calhoun; Utah State coach Matt Wells; and Colorado State coach Mike Bobo. But a fourth candidate from outside the Rocky Mountain area is meeting with Rhoades in Denver on Tuesday, according to sources: California coach Sonny Dykes.

    Dykes, in his third year at Cal after replacing Jeff Tedford, has a contract extension on the table from the school but has not agreed to it. His Golden Bears finished the regular season 7-5, returning to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2011. Dykes could be in play at other schools with openings as well.

    Calhoun is in his ninth year at Air Force, with a 67-48 record. The Falcons will play at San Diego State on Saturday for the Mountain West title. Wells is in his third season at Utah State, with a 25-15 record. Bobo, the former offensive coordinator to Mark Richt at Georgia, is in his first season as a head coach. Colorado State is 7-5 and awaiting a bowl destination.

  • Forde-Yard Dash: Everything you need to know ahead of championship weekend

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 16 hrs ago

    Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college sports (Les Miles Buyout Fund closed until future notice in Baton Rouge):


    After a season on crazy pills, the College Football Playoff is on the cusp of a very sane Selection Sunday. At the moment, the strong consensus is that Oklahoma is in the playoff, the winner of the Big Ten championship game is in the playoff, and both Clemson and Alabama are 60 minutes away from being in the playoff. It’s all so orderly.

    But all hope is not lost for sowers of discord (including The Dash). The two teams that are 60 minutes away have to win Saturday. A look at their opponents, who can still throw a wrench into the currently controversy-free CFP selection proceedings:

    North Carolina (1). Opponent: Clemson in the ACC championship game Saturday.

    This is the best and only realistic spoiler possibility. The Tar Heels have won 11 in a row after giving away the season opener to South Carolina via two interceptions in the end zone. They are explosive on offense and dramatically improved over 2014 on defense. And they catch a Clemson team that hasn’t played a high-caliber opponent in several weeks.


  • USC calls all-too-familiar play in naming Clay Helton its head coach

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    Nobody from the outside world need apply – as football coach, or as athletic director. If you haven’t already walked the hallowed halls of Heritage Hall, if you haven’t already raised your fingers in a “V” for Victory, if you haven’t already wrapped yourself in the cocoon of cardinal and gold, well, they don’t need you there.

    It takes a special man to lead the Trojans. And only other Trojans are apparently special enough.

    That’s the deduction from athletic director Pat Haden (former star Trojan quarterback) hiring Clay Helton (former interim coach and offensive coordinator) as the full-time football coach. Previously, Haden had hired Steve Sarkisian (former USC offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll). Prior to that, Haden’s predecessor as athletic director, Mike Garrett (former star Trojan running back), had hired Lane Kiffin (former USC offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll).

    But it’s a big world out there, filled with lots of smart football coaches who likely would love a shot at a Cadillac program like USC’s. The school’s continued reliance upon the same small pool of guys connected to the school is amazing and a little unsettling.

    That inbred enough for you?


  • Forde's Fab Four: Where normalcy finally reigns

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 2 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.

    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 2 days 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 6 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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.