October 12, 2009
• You may not believe it now, son, but this is harder for me than it is for you ... Greg Paulus' temporary benching at Syracuse wasn't the weekend's only difficult quarterback change, nor the coldest -- for the really calculated, business-is-business move, see Colorado, where embattled coach Dan Hawkins was compelled to bench his starter and eldest spawn, Cody, after the younger Hawkins' 6-of-18, two-interception effort at Texas, culminating in a limp, lazy lob into the flat in the third quarter that UT's Earl Thomas returned 92 yards to kill the Buffs' surprisingly persistent upset bid in Austin:
Unlike last year, when coach Dan Hawkins only temporarily benched his quarterback son, the Colorado Buffaloes are set to go with Tyler Hansen for the remainder of the season.
"Tyler is our quarterback," offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau said.
Cody Hawkins, who had led the Buffaloes to a surprising 14-3 first-half lead over No. 2 Texas on Saturday night, was replaced by Hansen after throwing two interceptions, the first of which was returned 92 yards for a touchdown that turned the tide in the Longhorns’ 38-14 win.
"He's got to make that throw," Dan Hawkins said. "You can’t turn it over in the red zone like that and you certainly can’t give it up for a TD."
This is the second straight year CU has decided to burn Hansen's redshirt at midseason in search of an offensive spark, and if he holds the job the rest of the year, it will be the second year in a row Cody Hawkins' season ended with him throwing to the wrong team for an icing touchdown. But you may be able to hold your breath in anticipation of Cody's return: Hansen was hopelessly one-dimensional in a four-game stint in Hawkins' place last year as a freshman, running about as often as he passed, losing both of the games he played start-to-finish and getting pulled against Iowa State with a 1:4 touchdown:interception rating and a truly dreadful 81.3 efficiency rating. Cody returned with the best game of his career in the comeback win over ISU and regained the job for the last two games. At this point, with the prospects of his holding his own job past December dwindling, the elder Hawk is just picking his poison.
• One and done? Could be more like half of one. Speaking of embattled coaches out West, it's possible New Mexico's Mike Locksley isn't going to make it past the turn of his debut season in Albuquerque: The Lobos are not only off to an especially ugly 0-6 start, but on the heels of his going Buddy Ryan on an assistant coach last month, Locksley could be suspended or fired by the middle of the week:
New Mexico officials planned a news conference for Tuesday to announce whether Lobos football coach Mike Locksley will be suspended or fired for allegedly striking an assistant coach, a person familiar with the investigation said Sunday night.
New Mexico athletics director Paul Krebs initially issued verbal and written reprimands to Locksley for his role in the altercation. Locksley told reporters last month that he could have handled the situation better and apologized to [receivers coach J.B.] Gerald.
But the school's Human Resources Division launched a probe last month to determine whether Locksley's actions constituted additional discipline. Under school policies, employees face progressive discipline for violent behavior. The policies also state some actions "may be of such serious nature that immediate suspension or discharge may be appropriate."
The Ron Zook coaching tree, ladies and gentlemen. If you'd told Zook he might outlast his former offensive coordinator and recruiting ace at Illinois, this is probably not the scenario he would have envisioned. Almost two-thirds of readers in an Albuquerque Journal poll think Locksley should be fired, although it doesn't specify if that's because of the losing or the punching.
[UPDATE, 10:55 a.m. ET] Whatever happens to Locksley, some turnover is already under way: J.B. Gerald, the receivers coach who was on the receiving end of Locksley's fist for allegedly telling his boss "whatever" at the end of a heated conversation, is already on his way out after three weeks on administrative leave. (Hat tip: SbB.)
Locksley's rough start is overshadowing one of the better early-season coaching jobs, right down the road in Las Cruces, where another rookie boss, DeWayne Walker, has perpetual loser New Mexico State sitting at 3-3 and ended the Aggies' six-year losing streak to UNM in September. Yes, NMSU currently ranks dead-last nationally in total offense, and one of its three wins is over I-AA Prairie View, and all the heavier hitters in the WAC are ahead; as Walker's predecessors can attest, when you're .500 in October at New Mexico State, you don't sweat the details.
• RIP Peter Wilkes. After much confusion surrounding the tragic shooting of Southern Miss walk-on Peter Wilkes last Friday -- the university initially issued a news release stating Wilkes had been killed, only to retract it later in the afternoon with word that he remained alive but in critical condition in a Tennessee hospital -- Wilkes died on Saturday from the gunshot wound. Wilkes was not with the team for its game in Louisville, but was visiting his home in Tennessee when the shooting occurred early Friday morning; there are few details, but it's reportedly being investigated as an accident.
Condolences to Wilkes' family.
• Adams? He'll be fine. But what about poor Tebow's brain?! The title of weirdest injury of the weekend belonged to Arkansas' leading receiver, Joe Adams, who was scratched from the Razorbacks' lineup against Auburn because of "a mild stroke" suffered earlier in the week. Even weirder? Adams apparently practiced the day after suffering the stroke, according to coach Bobby Petrino (who clearly is not a lawyer):
Adams suffered the stroke possibly on Monday, Petrino said.
Adams, 19, practiced on Tuesday and it is unclear of when the condition was detected.
The good news is that Adams is "doing very well," was with the team on Saturday and could still return to the team, a la Tedy Bruschi following his stroke a few years ago. If Lee Corso can come back (more or less), there's hope for Joe Adams.
Quickly ... Michigan has indefinitely suspended sometime starting cornerback Boubacar Cissoko for academic issues. ... Michigan State running back Glenn Winston is out for the season with a knee injury, and quarterback Keith Nichol suffered an elbow injury of unknown severity in the Spartans' win over Illinois. ... Banged-up Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter may have a chance to redshirt and keep another year of eligibility. ... The Miami Herald takes the Hurricanes' "obsession" with SpongeBob a little too far. ... And Deion Sanders reiterated that there was no funny business re: agents in his relationship with since-suspended Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant, who will be in Indianapolis Tuesday to plead his case to the NCAA.