December 13, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• Livin' on a prayer. Urban Meyer's abrupt resignation from Florida last week (like his abrupt resignation last year) may have been prompted by more than a burning desire to spend more time with the family in the short term: Doctors reportedly told Meyer last week that ongoing symptoms, including burning sensations in his chest, could raise his cardiovascular risk factors if he continued coaching. Meyer's brief flirtation with retirement in 2009 was prompted by a collapse following chest pains on the night of the Gators' loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, after which he admitted that "chest pains controlled my life" throughout most of his Florida tenure. Gainesville Sun]
• Not so fast, my friend. The Sunday night report by the Washington Post that Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had accepted the head coaching job at Vanderbilt was a little premature, according to a Vandy spokesman. But an offer apparently exists to the SEC's resident spread guru, and the Commodores expect to announce Malzahn "within the next day or so." [The Tennessean, Associated Press]
• Life in the fast lane. We may not be far from a decision at Pittsburgh, either, where Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen has emerged as a clear frontrunner to replace Dave Wannstedt. Pitt maintains that it hasn't offered the job to anybody, but with Temple's Al Golden en route to Miami, the Panthers appear to be on the verge of boarding the spread train: With Okie State's finish as the nation's No. 1 total offense this year, Holgorsen has now been a part of designing the No. 1 or No. 2 attack in four consecutive seasons, at three different schools. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
• We're prepared to offer 75 extra pounds over three years. No doubts at Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin' Cajuns' new head coach is Mark Hudspeth, most recently wide receivers coach on Dan Mullen's staff at Mississippi State. Prior to that, though, he was the head coach at Division II power North Alabama – current home of one Terry Bowden – where Hudspeth's teams were 66-21 with five playoff appearances in seven years. He'll have all of Acadiana at his feet if he can get the Cajuns into their first ever bowl game. [Associated Press]
Miami's coach can beat up your coach, and I think they'll take that.
• You reach a point where you start thinking about settling down, after reaping millions and millions of dollars. One coach who won't be going anywhere anytime soon, incredibly: Bobby Petrino, who inked a seven-year contract extension worth more than $3.5 million per year through 2017. More to the point: A whopping $18 million buyout beginning next year, which should extend Petrino's tenure in Fayetteville well beyond that of any other stop in his career – 2011 will be his fourth year as head of the Razorbacks, matching his four-year stay in Louisville from 2003-06 as his longest stay in one place in 27 years. [HawgSports.com, Associated Press]
• Don't hold your breath. In non-coaching news, N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson's return for his senior season in Raleigh is looking a little shaky, per coach Tom O'Brien, who seems resigned to watching his star QB take the pro baseball money and run this spring: "When he left the last time he spent the whole spring here [on N.C. State's baseball team] and was, the whole time, around us," O’Brien said. "And he wasn't being paid [last spring]. He’s being paid now. And they have money. And what do I have to offer? So who knows what's going to happen." [Charlotte Observer]
Quickly… ESPN's college football ratings this season were the network's best since 1994. … Tracking down Will Muschamp's Gainesville past as a junior high star and through his old high school coach. … A fan favorite has emerged to replace Muschamp as Texas' defensive coordinator. … Exposing the myth of Auburn's size advantage over Oregon. … TCU's addition to the Big East may mean the end of the Marshall-West Virginia series. … USC votes Jurrell Casey team MVP. … A.J. Green is Georgia's MVP despite missing the first month of the season. … Watch a virtual tour of Tennessee's forthcoming Football Training Center. … And yes, there was that hockey game at the Big House, but you didn't miss the weekend's only playoff game on a snow-covered red field, did you?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.