BOZICH | Monday Muse: Clemson more talented than Louisville? Squashing LSU talk
How big is the talent gap between Clemson and Louisville? A look back at the recruiting ratings. Any rumblings about Bobby Petrino and LSU? The coaching carousel is rolling.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Here we go again. The second Game of the Year for the University of Louisville football team in 15 days.
Hello, Coach Corso. Nice to see you again. Maybe we’ll do this once a month before the season ends. Ask Herbie, Desmond, Samantha and Rece if they’d like to tag along.
But for now the Monday Muse has prep work to do for the Louisville-Clemson game and the other outrageous stuff going on in college football.
Let’s get to work.
1. Cards Have NO Shot At Clemson (according to recruiting gurus)
Yes, I borrowed this idea from something I wrote before the Florida State game. It still fits.
I checked the recruiting rankings from the last four seasons at rivals.com and the numbers don’t align with the point spread, which currently tilts toward Clemson by two points.
Should be more, especially if the home team usually gets three bonus points.
Ask the folks at Rivals or the other recruiting services. Either the line is wrong or the gurus are wrong or Bobby Petrino is a legitimate coaching firecracker.
Over the last four seasons, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney has recruited classes ranked 14th (2013), 13th (2014), fourth (2015) and sixth (2016) in the nation. Credit Swinney with signing seven 5-stars and 26 four-stars.
During the same period, Louisville has recruited classes ranked 41st, 36th, 32nd and 36th. The Cards have one 5-star guy starting (Josh Harvey-Clemons, the transfer from Georgia) and have also landed nine four-stars.
How do the starting lineups compare?
"-four 5-star recruits (led by quarterback Deshaun Watson)
“nine 4-star players
“eight 3-star players
“one 2-star player.
“two walk-ons (both kickers).”
Now, for Louisville:
- “One 5-star player (Harvey-Clemons)
- “Five 4-star players (Receiver James Quick, Quarterback Lamar Jackson and Linebackers James Hearns, Devonte Fields and Stacy Thomas)
- “13 3-star players
- “Four 2-star players
- “Three walk-ons.”
I’m not a math major, but that looks like advantage Clemson to me. Sorry, Dabo. You got more horses.
2. Coaching Carousel Arrives Early
Sunday morning was a dangerous time for college football coaches to answer their telephones. Long before the point spreads were posted for this week’s games, four prominent coaches got the ziggy.
I shrugged at the news that Florida International dumped former Illinois coach Ron Turner. Bad hire from Day One.
Then Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly dumped his defensive coordinator, the first legitimate sign that Kelly is trending toward Charlie Weis territory because of ND’s 1-3 start.
Then came the big news: LSU was no longer laughing at the silly things Les Miles has done in Baton Rouge. The head-shaking decisions that had everybody calling Miles zany and cute nine years ago aren’t so funny when your team doesn’t have a quarterback and can’t score 19 points, which would have been enough to beat Wisconsin or Auburn.
So Miles is gone — and taking his offensive coordinator Cam Cameron (the former head coach at Indiana) with him.
Some news from the Muse: With the firing of Miles, guys who have won six of the last 15 college football national titles are no longer in those positions.
Four for losing. One for bringing NCAA investigators to campus. (One other coach — Pete Carroll — left for the NFL while USC smoldered with its NCAA issues.)
The list features:
Gene Chizik of Auburn. Won his BCS title in 2010. Thumped after the 2012 season. Didn’t keep winning. Went 3-9 his final season.
Miles of LSU. Won his BCS title in 2007. Returned to the title game in 2011. Thumped four games into the 2016 season. Didn’t keep winning enough. Went 9-3 (2015) and 8-5 (2014) his last two seasons.
Mack Brown of Texas. Won his national title with Vince Young in 2005. Politely asked to move along after the 2013 season. Didn’t keep winning enough. Went 8-5 (2013) and 9-4 (2012) his last two seasons.
Jim Tressel of Ohio State. Won his national title with Maurice Clarett in 2002. Resigned in May 2011 as NCAA investigators set up a regional office in Columbus.
Larry Coker of Miami. Won his national title with the Hurricanes in 2001. Was thumped five years later after two nine-win and another 7-6 season.
That leaves only this trio of guys who have won national titles in the last 15 seasons who are still FBS head coaches:
Nick Saban — Five (four at Alabama, one at LSU).
Urban Meyer — Three (two at Florida, one at Ohio State).
Jimbo Fisher — One at Florida State.
Maybe Nick Saban is worth $15 million per season.
3. What Will LSU Do? Not Petrino
The Les Miles firing will be the talk of college football until the next round of games are played — or until the next coach is fired.
Everybody wants to know which Big Name the Tigers will get. Has to be a Big, Big, BIG Name right, to swim in the same SEC West pool with Nick Saban.
Saban is the guy who created most of the problems for Miles because Saban continued to drive LSU fans crazy by winning four national titles at Alabama after winning just one and fleeing LSU.
The more Saban won, the less that 10-2 or 9-3 became tolerable for Miles in Baton Rouge.
Nearly every LSU list I’ve seen starts with Tom Herman of Houston or Jimbo Fisher of Florida State.
Herman is the hottest name in the game. He’ll be mentioned for every 5-star job in the country. Fisher is a former LSU assistant who will have the leverage to squeeze at least $8 million out of LSU.
I don’t see Bobby Petrino as a candidate. His buyout — $10 million — is steep. He’s happy at Louisville, a place where he can win with about 7 percent of the pressure at LSU. And he’d look ungrateful to U of L athletic director Tom Jurich if he even flirted with another job.
Petrino did his best to squash the conversation at his Monday press conference saying, "I'm not interested in going anywhere. I am very fortunate to be the head coach at Louisville."
Fisher also said he was not interested in the job at the same time Petrino was being asked about the situation.
4. What Does Massey Say About U of L-Clemson?
I’ve written several times about the Massey Ratings page for college football fans. It’s one-stop shopping to check all the college football ratings created by people who love the game.
Two weeks ago, Massey linked to ratings from 41 services. On Monday, the number had jumped to 68. People can’t get enough college football — or college football rankings.
Louisville is currently parked at Number 5 in the Massey composite numbers, one spot behind Clemson. The top three teams are Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan.
Louisville is ranked Number One by six formulas: Coffey, BC Moore, ESPN’s Football Power Index, Whitlock, Nolan and Rissler.
5. Who’s Next — After Miles and Turner?
If two college football head coaching jobs turned over in September, how many will swing open in October? Or November?
The usual 15-to-20.
Which job tops the list?
According to CoachesHotSeat.com, it’s USC, where the Trojans are tracking toward a losing season under Clay Helton, the guy who took over in the middle of last season. Nobody thought it was a great hire then. Even fewer people think it’s a great hire today.
Keep an eye on Charlie Strong and Texas. That Notre Dame victory on opening weekend doesn’t look as wonderful now that the Irish are 1-3. If the Longhorns lose their next two — at Oklahoma State this weekend and the rivalry game with Oklahoma Oct. 8 — anything is possible in Austin, starting with a strong push for Tom Herman.
The Orlando Sentinel has another name at the top of its lists — Mark Stoops of Kentucky. I don’t agree that Stoops is on the warmest seat in America, but you can decide for yourself after reading this story.
6. Farewell To The King
Sunday was an awful day for sports fans. First the horrible news that Marlins’ pitcher Jose Hernandez had died in a boating accident near Miami Beach. Then the evening announcement that golf icon Arnold Palmer had also passed away in Pennsylvania.
My encounters with Palmer were limited — but unforgettable.
Palmer was friends with Fuzzy Zoeller and appeared at Zoeller’s Wolf Challenge Charity event in Southern Indiana. Came early. Stayed late. Signed every autograph. Helped raise money. Supported Zoeller when other golfers stayed away.
Palmer understood as well as anybody that a long drive lasted until the next shot, but a smile and an encouraging word resonated forever. It was not by accident that Arnold Palmer became America’s Pitchman.
7. Welcome Back NBA, Part I
The TV ratings numbers say that Louisville is a solid NBA town — as least as far as watching the playoffs, NBA Draft and other high-octane moments.
I’m not here to argue for recruiting an NBA team to town. I’m here to celebrate the news that NBA training camps open this week — and that also means college basketball is not far behind.
CBS listed one — the Washington Wizards, a franchise that regressed and fired its coach (former IU star Randy Wittman) after last season.
What’s the storyline in D.C.?
Nothing outrageous. Just the news that former UK guard John Wall and Bradley Beal, who played at Florida, have admitted that they “dislike” one another on the court.
Dislike? That's, at best, a curious word.
Sounds like the perfect championship formula.
8. Welcome Back NBA Part II
I warned you there were dozens of story lines. Here is another:
With Kobe Bryant retired, are guys like former Central guard D’Angelo Russell and former UK forward Julius Randle ready to connect with new Lakers’ coach Luke Walton and give Jack Nicholson a team he can love like the Showtime Lakers again?
Nobody I know believes the Lakers are bound for the playoffs this season. But the NBA is a better place when the Lakers (and Celtics) are strong competitors.
Here is a rundown from the Los Angeles Times about the questions the Lakers face in the post-Kobe Era.
9. Vin Scully’s Pee Wee Reese Connection
I’ve warned you before and I’ll warn you again: I’m a baseball guy. Grew up watching and listening to as much baseball as possible — and that’s still my game plan.
Last weekend was Must-See and Must-Listen material for me when Vin Scully called his final home games for the Dodgers. The team did a wonderful job with its on-field tribute Friday night, incorporating Sandy Koufax and Kevin Costner into the celebration.
But Sunday was strictly Hollywood stuff.
Dodgers’ shortstop Corey Seager cranked a two-out, two-strike home run to tie the game in bottom of the ninth, the prelude to Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run in the 10th. The Dodgers beat the Rockies — and clinched the NL West. Even Scully seemed embarrassed that it worked out that way.
The lineup from the first game that Scully called with the Dodgers on April 18, 1950 in Philadelphia.
The Dodgers’ shortstop that day — Louisville Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese.
Pee Wee hit leadoff in a lineup that also included Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe. Reese was the first hitter in Scully’s first game.
10. With Louisville dominating Florida State, what is your revised prediction for how many regular-season games the Cardinals will win this season?
12 — 46.3 percent.
11 — 41.4 percent.
10 — 10.4 percent.
9 or fewer — 1.8 percent.
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