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Dan Hawkins, Dirk Koetter Prove Chris Petersen Is Wise to Remain at Boise State

Dan Hawkins was fired Monday night as head coach at Colorado, two days after his team gave up 35 points in the 4th quarter blowing a 45-17 lead against Kansas. Many people feel the move was well overdue and that the Buffs delayed the firing because they couldn’t afford to buy out Hawkins’ contract earlier. The firing of Hawkins completes the cycle of failure for coaches following their departure from Boise State.

Hawkins was promoted to head coach at Boise State after serving as an assistant to Dirk Koetter who left for Arizona State. After going 8-4 in his first season, Hawkins had three straight one-loss years, going 12-1, 13-1, and 11-1 including a 2-1 record in bowl games. They went 9-4 in his final season in 2005 before he left for Colorado. In five seasons at Boise State, Hawkins was 53-11 with four conference titles, a 31-game conference winning streak, and three WAC Coach of the Year awards. Wanting a new challenge of bigger and better things, Hawkins moved on to Colorado taking over for Gary Barnett.

Hawkins’ tenure at Colorado was forgettable. The team went 19-39 in his four-plus years including a putrid 10-27 Big 12 record. The closest he came to a winning record was going 6-7 in his second season with the 7th loss coming in the bowl game. Prior to Hawkins leaving Boise State, it was Dirk Koetter who made the fatal move.

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Cam Newton Reportedly Involved in Academic Cheating Scandal at Florida

With the way Urban Meyer “disciplines” his players, you know Cam Newton had to do something pretty bad to not stick around at Florida. The report always was that he got caught stealing a laptop and then left for Blinn College. Meyer lets his players send life-threatening text messages to women and return to the team, so that hardly seems like a cause for being kicked off the squad.

So what really happened that led to Newton leaving the school? Thayer Evans of FOXSports.com has filled in several blanks that tie the saga together. He says Newton was involved in an academic cheating scandal while in school.

According to Evans, Newton was busted putting his name on a paper written by another student in the same class. Then, it was discovered his makeup essay supposedly was purchased online. Newton apparently was set to appear for a “hearing in front of Florida’s Student Conduct Committee during the spring semester of 2009, but instead transferred to Blinn College.”

With this information revealed, it makes Newton’s already shaky situation at Auburn look even worse. Auburn’s recruitment of Newton is under investigation after the SEC was informed a man claiming to represent Newton wanted $180,000 to get Cam to sign a letter of intent. I didn’t believe Newton was innocent to begin with but I wasn’t too bothered by the situation knowing that most players do the same thing. Their denial was not credible and the Newton party is losing believability by the day.

Blocked Extra Point Return Helped USC Beat Arizona State

If I were to tell you that the kicking game was a big reason a team lost in a USC game, you wouldn’t have been surprised. What is surprising is that it was the other team’s kicking game that blew the ballgame for a change.

USC and Arizona State were matched almost identically when it came to the stats. They had a similar amount of first downs, total yards, penalties, and punts, and they were each sacked and intercepted the same amount of times. Oddly enough, it was a blocked extra point that helped give the Trojans a 34-33 win. Arizona State scored three straight touchdowns to rally and take the lead 33-29 on USC with about seven minutes left. Their extra point attempt following a 10-yard touchdown pass was blocked, and Torrin Harris returned it the other way for a two-point conversion. Instead of being up 34-29, Arizona State was then up just 33-31.

USC drove 68 yards to set up Joe Houston’s go-ahead 29-yard field goal, which made him 1-for-3 on the game. After missing his first two kicks, Houston became the hero because his adversary, Thomas Weber, not only had the extra point blocked, but he also missed the potential winning field goal for Arizona State from 42 yards away. The NFL doesn’t have the same rule as college where the defending team can return a ball the other way for a two-point conversion. Maybe college football will rethink their policy.

Damarlo Belcher Dropped TD Helps Iowa Avoid Upset Against Indiana

Most of us expected No. 16 Iowa to beat Indiana with ease on Saturday afternoon, but when all was said and done Indiana should have won the game.  The Hoosiers led for much of the game, but Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi hooked up with Marvin McNutt for a 52-yard score that gave the Hawkeyes an 18-13 lead with under three minutes left to play.

Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell was able to quickly lead his troops back and give them a chance to pull out the upset, but receiver Damarlo Belcher dropped a pass in the end zone on fourth down.  There were only 35 seconds remaining and the touchdown likely would have meant the win for the Hoosiers.  Definition of a heart breaker.

Photo Credit: AP Photo

Utah Wearing Hideous Under Armour Camouflaged Jerseys for Wounded Warrior

You’ve probably seen the camouflaged jerseys worn during a college football game at some point over the past year, but it’s still startling anytime you see it. Turning on the TCU/Utah game on Saturday, the uniforms of the Utes stood out immediately. They were wearing camouflaged jerseys made by Under Armour as part of the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Project is a “non-profit organization that provides various programs and services to wounded members of America’s armed services.” Here’s the army garb they were wearing:

Calling one of these games must be a pain for broadcasters. Instead of having last names on the back of the jerseys, the words “Duty, Honor, Commitment, Service, Courage, Integrity, and Country” have replaced them — all military-oriented terms. I like the charitable intention of the project, but perhaps they could come up with something either easier on the eyes, more coordinated with the school’s colors, or both.

Photo Credit: Daily Utah Chronicle

Cam Newton Being Investigated by NCAA for Auburn Recruiting Violations

So much for the Cam Newton Auburn love fest. The Heisman Trophy favorite is being investigated by the NCAA for possibly accepting illegal benefits during his recruitment. Word of the report was first passed along by Bryan Fischer on twitter, and then it was confirmed by Pete Thamel of the New York Times.

Newton, currently the star quarterback at Auburn, left Florida after getting into trouble for stealing a laptop and went to Blinn College. After having success at Blinn and winning a national championship, Newton was heavily recruited by SEC teams once again. He wound up going to Auburn over Mississippi State and has led them to a 9-0 season and number two ranking in the BCS Standings. A report from ESPN says Mississippi State told the SEC that a man who claimed to represent Newton said MSU could have him for $180,000. The implication is that Auburn at least matched the price tag during their recruitment of the QB.

Auburn is home against Chatanooga this weekend and Newton is currently eligible but there’s no word on his status for the game. With his situation under investigation, Auburn might not want to have Newton play until he is officially cleared from wrongdoing. Any wins they achieve while he was deemed ineligible can be forfeited retroactively. You can bet Bama fans are having a ball over this news.

Georgia Coordinator Todd Grantham Gives Florida Kicker the ‘Choke’ Signal (Video)

There’s nothing quite like a coach acting like a child and getting bagged on camera.  My guess is Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham won’t be giving the choke signal to an opponent anymore after Saturday’s overtime loss to Florida for two reasons: he now looks like a complete clown, and he was trying to intimidate a 21-year-old college kid who showed how he cared by banging home the game-winning field goal.  Check out the video of Todd Grantham giving Chas Henry the choke gesture, courtesy of Deadspin:

There has been quite a bit of backlash over this already, and I think rightfully so.  Don’t get me wrong — it’s not the end of the world and Grantham doesn’t deserve to be fired.  It’s just one of those things that’s just plain stupid.  Players do stuff like this all the time.  It’s part of the game and you certainly wouldn’t want your child hearing and seeing everything that goes on down in the trenches during a game.  However, doing something like that just makes a coach look idiotic and immature.  Not to mention, Grantham set himself up for a college kid to publicly embarrass him , and that’s just what Henry did.

Video Credit: YouTube user O7shanksta13