Will Al Golden Be Dedicated to Miami or Hope to Replace Joe Paterno?

Dream jobs. Everyone has them, most never get to experience them. When the USC head coaching job became available, Lane Kiffin ditched Tennessee to take the gig of his dreams. When the Michigan job became available, Les Miles remained at LSU where they raised his contract value. Now that he’s been hired by Miami to replace Randy Shannon, will Al Golden be dedicated to the U or hope to return to Penn State?

Golden is 41 years old and has coached at Temple the past five years. The name should be familiar for UCLA fans because Golden interviewed for the Bruins’ head coaching job in 2007 which went to Rick Neuheisel. Temple had gone 1-11, 2-9, and 0-11 in the three years preceding Golden’s tenure, and they went 1-11 in his first year on the job. The turnaround under Golden however was swift; the Owls went 4-8, 5-7, 9-4, and then 8-4 this year under Al. In 2009, they reached their first bowl game since 1979 (a loss to UCLA at the Eagle Bank Bowl).

Golden is a defensive specialist who has served as defensive coordinator at Virginia, and linebackers coach at BC and Penn State. He is said to be a tireless recruiter and one of the best in the country (he got players to Temple, right?). Turning around the program at Temple was termed nearly miraculous, but it does not guarantee success at Miami where coaches in the state of Florida and in the ACC are of a much higher quality than the MAC.

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Joe Paterno ‘I Can’t Hear You’ Interview Reminds Us He’s Getting Old

Make no mistake about it, what Joe Paterno has been able to do as the head football coach at Penn State is truly unbelievable.  I’ll be happy if I’m not drinking my meals through a straw a week before my 84th birthday, let alone still capable of coaching a football team that’s loaded with underclassmen to a 7-5 record.  JoePa obviously has some years of signal-calling left in him, but the signs of old age are quickly setting in — and I don’t mean his Coke bottle glasses.  Sports by Brooks called our attention to an interview Paterno did with Steve “The Big Dog” Duemig of WDAE-AM in Tampa last week, and let’s just say it’s a reminder that JoePa is almost 84.  Check it out:

Come to think of it, that wasn’t much of an interview at all.  Maybe skip the radio and phone interviews from now on?  Again, no one respects Paterno more than I do, but this is absolutely hilarious.  If Saturday Night Live were to plan a skit about JoePa, they couldn’t possibly come up with something better.

Why Andrew Luck Should Win Heisman Trophy Over Cam Newton

I understand the concept of integrity means little to many of you. I understand that the idea of amateurism means even less. But for some people, most notably the Heisman Trophy Trust, those two ideals are incredibly important and they’re the reasons why Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck should win the Heisman Trophy over Cam Newton, who was the most outstanding player in college football.

Because most people don’t bother to do the research and understand what the significance of certain awards are, here is the Heisman Trust’s Mission Statement:

The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletics and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country.

Cam Newton was an incredible player for Auburn and led them to a 13-0 season and appearance in the National Championship Game. Newton threw for 28 touchdowns and only six interceptions while rushing for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was a one-man wrecking crew and the best player in college football. The problem is his pursuit of excellence was not done with integrity, and it undermined amateur athletics.

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Cam Newton Needs to Show Humility

Auburn quarterback and Heisman frontrunner Cam Newton obviously didn’t learn anything from the backlash against LeBron James’ “Decision.” In an interview with ESPN’s Chris Fowler, Newton stole some of the words right out of James’ mouth.

“I felt that as a whole Auburn possessed, you know, what’s best for Cam Newton,” Newton said in response to a question regarding why he chose Auburn over Mississippi State. You’ve got to love a 21-year-old college student who refers to himself in the third person. And that was just one of the many times during the interview Newton referred to himself in that way.

When asked if he had any conversations with anyone at Mississippi State before signing with Auburn, Newton took the LeBronisms to the next level. He expressed a great amount of respect for Mississippi head football coach Dan Mullen, whom he called when he made his decision.

“I wanted to tell him how I really felt about him, and I told him, but I also told him that I was going to take my talents to, you know, Auburn,” Newton said. Really? After all the heat James took last summer, why would anyone else let those words escape their mouth?

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LaMichael James: We Need to Avoid the Hype, Stay Focused

Oregon running back LaMichael James made an appearance on ESPN in advance of the Heisman Trophy ceremony. His team plays Auburn in the National Championship Game on Monday, January 10th, and he was essentially asked for the key to victory. His response was one a coach would love to hear.

“Can’t believe the outside hype,” James said. “Can’t get caught up in the media watching ESPN everyday listening to people tell you that you’re all high and mighty and all great, so you have to stay focused and keep grinding each day. That hard work really pays off.”

James leads the country in rushing yards with 1,682 and touchdowns with 21, but he is expected to finish second in Heisman Trophy balloting behind Cam Newton. The good news is James says he’s more concerned with winning the national championship than the Heisman, something he has a better shot of taking home.

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Nick Saban, Mack Brown, Bob Stoops, Les Miles Highest Paid College Coaches

USA Today released its annual list of coaches salaries for all 120 FBS head coaches. As you can imagine, the coaches at the BCS conferences are well paid, and those in the SEC are truly making bank.

The Top 10 highest-paid coaches in the country (based on USA Today’s research) are the following:

    Nick Saban, Alabama – 5.997 million
    Mack Brown, Texas – 5.161 million
    Bob Stoops, Oklahoma – 4.375 million
    Les Miles, LSU – 3.905 million
    Jim Tressel, Ohio State – 3.888 million
    Kirk Ferentz, Iowa – 3.781
    Jim Grobe, Wake Forest – 2.939 million
    Mark Richt, Georgia – 2.937 million
    Bobby Petrino, Arkansas – 2.713 million
    Gary Pinkel, Missouri – 2.550 million

Note: data was not submitted by some private universities, so coaches like Lane Kiffin, Jim Harbaugh, and Brian Kelly are not on the list. Kiffin would be in the top five based on reports, and there’s no doubt Kelly would be in the top 10. Harbaugh probably isn’t in this group. Also, Urban Meyer was in the 4 million club but is not on the list because of his resignation.

If you want to look at the most overpaid coaches, you can start with

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Candidates to Replace Urban Meyer as Head Coach at Florida: Mullen, Strong,

With Urban Meyer announcing his surprise resignation from Florida, one of the prime coaching jobs in college football becomes available. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley will join Miami athletic director Kirby Holcutt chasing after some of the top coaches in football to see who will take over their programs. Here is a list of some of the top coaches in college football who may be considered for the position:

Dan Mullen, Head Coach, Mississippi State: Mullen was Meyer’s offensive coordinator at Bowling Green, Utah, and then followed him to Florida where they had tremendous success. Unlike other assistants who fail in head coaching jobs, Dan Mullen went 5-7 in his debut at Mississippi State and then led them to an 8-4 season this year, their best in a decade. Miami is also said to be targeting Mullen who stands to get a big pay raise.

Charlie Strong, Head Coach, Louisville: Was Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator his entire time at Florida until this past season. Strong was actually on Ron Zook’s staff and retained by Meyer, so he has slightly less ties to Urban than Mullen. Left for Louisville and improved their record from 4-8 under Steve Kragthorpe last year to 6-6 in his head coaching debut. May need more seasoning before leading a huge program like Florida.

Bob Stoops, Head Coach, Oklahoma: When Urban Meyer stepped down for a brief period last year, Stoops was one of the first names mentioned. A former defensive coordinator at Florida under Steve Spurrier, Stoops has been extraordinarily successful at Oklahoma. He’s won a national title and reached seven BCS bowl games. He would be my first call, but he’s been at Oklahoma since 1999 and is not likely to leave.

Bobby Petrino, Head Coach, Arkansas: Never met a coaching offer he didn’t like. Petrino returned to Louisville after a stint as offensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars and turned the Cardinals into an offensive juggernaut. After leaving Louisville for the Atlanta Falcons, he tucked tail and ran to Arkansas which came calling after firing Houston Nutt. Petrino has led the Hogs to a BCS bowl and has proven himself as an outstanding coach. Florida will probably want a coach whom they figure will stay at the school longer than the unpredictable Petrino would.

Other potential candidates based purely on record of recent college success:

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