Muschamp on top of Tennessee list

Posted in Longhorns Football, NCAA Football with tags , , , on January 13, 2010 by burntorangehorn09

By Anthony Casson

Since it was announced Tuesday evening that Lane Kiffin is leaving Tennessee to become the head coach at USC, UT has been on the search for a proper replacement; the top of the list has Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator at Texas.

Will Muschamp, DC at Texas and head-coach-in-waiting, came to the Longhorns from Alabama starting in 2008. Since then he has become a leading force behind Texas’ success defensively. It’s no surprise that Tennessee is looking in his direction. Muschamp had years of experience with Alabama under head coach Nick Saban. SEC familiarity might be one of UT’s requirements, or at least high preferences. has reported, however, that many sources at Texas are “not concerned” with Muschamp leaving. The same sources say Muschamp is comfortable with his situation and there is no worry the Volunteers will sweep him away from the Longhorns program.

Any confirmation of his decision will be reported.


Even Pete Carroll’s wake brings future success for USC

Posted in NCAA Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2010 by burntorangehorn09

By Anthony Casson

The University of Tennessee’s football head coach, Lane Kiffin, 34, announced Tuesday evening that he is leaving to become USC’s new head coach.

Just when things in the college football world seemed to be settling down, Lane Kiffin jumps ship after just one season at Tennessee. This surprising news comes after a month-long coaching hiatus, including Brian Kelly leaving Cincinnati, Urban Meyer “taking a break” from Florida, and Pete Carroll ending an epic career at USC to coach the Seattle Seahawks.

Pete Carroll and the Trojans have had a successful decade, and, even with Carroll’s departure, the Southern California dominance might still continue with the coaching package it has just put together.

USC has not just gained Lane Kiffin, a former coach under Pete Carroll between 2001-2006, but also Tennessee defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin (Lane Kiffin’s father), and assistant head coach and recruiting mastermind Ed Orgeron.

Monte Kiffin, heralded as one of America’s best defensive minds, will pick up where Carroll left off. Well, at least that’s what USC is hoping will happen.

Ed Orgeron, Pete Carroll’s recruiting genius between 2001-2004, will be hoping to take back any recruits that have recently de-committed after the Carroll news began. His success as a recruiter cannot be denied by anyone. During his tenure at USC, Orgeron helped Carroll and the Trojans gain top honors for recruiting classes each season. Tennessee  currently ranks #6 in the country for the 2010 recruiting class; that will most likely change when Volunteer recruiting prospects are broken the recent news.

So, all is right in Los Angeles, right? Well, for USC it seems so, but UCLA has a problem. Sources have been told that Norman Chow, UCLA offensive coordinator, will be contacted by the new gang. Chow also comes from the USC program.

So, all is wrong in Knoxville, right? That’s a ten-four good buddy!

The hole that Tennessee is put in will have a lasting effect. Recruits pulled in by Kiffin’s group will start turning away, fans will continue showing their anger through verbal abuse, and the school will be left finding a proper coach. The current interim coach is supposedly wide receivers coach Kippy Brown.

Tomorrow will bring another day, but obviously from the past month’s college football news, it will also bring more drama.

This isn’t over yet…

New USC Head Coach Lane Kiffin

Mike Riley, lifetime commitment to Beavers

Posted in Beavers Athletics with tags , , on January 10, 2010 by burntorangehorn09

By Anthony Casson

Oregon State Athletic Director Bob De Carolis has been reported conjuring up a lifetime coaching contract for OSU head coach Mike Riley, Sunday.

Riley, who will be wooed by USC financial heads, will have to make a coaching decision in the near future; choose to stay at OSU, or go off to Southern California and take over the Pete Carrol program.

It probably wouldn’t be a tough decision for any coach to make, but for Riley it certainly will be.

Riley left the program once before to coach the San Diego Chargers. Money pulled him away from the town he grew up in, Corvallis. The same thing might happen soon.

USC has a large bank of money stemming from boosters. A job getting $3 million a year is a total possibility for Riley, if he were to take the job. OSU pays him under $1 million right now.

A lifetime contract does what it says. It says in a unique way, “We would like you to coach here until you’re ready to call it good.”

What no one has yet to address, however, is what OSU will offer to pay him during this time-period.

The school is already hit with financial issues. Job cuts across the academic landscape happen often nowadays.

It isn’t like OSU has any huge numbers of wealthy boosters either.

What this ultimately means is OSU cannot offer Riley large sums of money, and USC can.

As I have posted on many occasions after reading about the contract, Riley can make $15 million in five years at USC, or he can make $15 million in 15 years at OSU. He just needs to choose where his family should live until he retires.

Southern California is rather attractive. I’m glad I’m not the coach.

Texas Fans, It’s Time

Posted in Longhorns Football with tags , , , on January 7, 2010 by burntorangehorn09

By Anthony Casson

Here it is, January 7th, 2010–the new year means the slate is wiped clean and we all prepare for another long, arduous college football off-season. But one game remains; the game that matters most to any fans supporting a team in the match-up; the BCS National Championship Game.

Texas and Alabama fans will surround their televisions, radios, computers, even cell phones, just to watch their respective team fight for a chance to be named The National Champions.

It’s a highly emotional time–I have made no attempt at hiding my adoration for the Longhorns, so I will say that even I, someone that is latched to the laws of media-unbiased beliefs, am very emotional today.

Texas fans have been waiting half the decade to get back to this event. That isn’t a long time however. Some teams never get the chance to play top-ranked college teams, let alone have the opportunity to go to a National Championship game. We must be thankful that our team gets a shot occasionally; maybe this could be  a repeat of the ’60s and tomorrow we will have to start a 30-some years before going to play the Big Game once again. Most of us will think that’s impossible though, myself included.

Embrace everything today, Texas fans. Our football helps define us, so be good about it. Enjoy all that this time has to offer, but do not become too serious. Remember that win or lose tonight, the friends and loved ones around you, watching the game with you, will be around forever. Wins feel great, but losses can breed lessons.

I think we’d all like another trophy on the mantle though…


Ohio State; no longer BCS losers

Posted in NCAA Football with tags , , , , on January 1, 2010 by burntorangehorn09

By Anthony Casson

In what many would consider the best Rose Bowl Game since Texas played Michigan, The Ohio State University defeated the University of Oregon in this year’s Rose Bowl.

The Buckeyes tallied 419 total yards and dominated possession with 41 minutes; Oregon had the ball 18 minutes.

Impressive player of the game? Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor, who has been kept on a leash since the loss to Purdue, completed 23 of 37 passes for 266 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He finally showed the nation what he can do; like his team, he has been considered “overrated” by critics since the beginning of the season.

Ohio State fans finally breathe a sigh of relief after their beloved team ended a three-BCS-game losing streak. Jim Tressel, the coach of the Buckeyes, was also able to smile and enjoy a pleasantly cold Gatorade bath, courtesy of his players.

What happens now?

Well I would assume Oregon fans will make the short journey back to Eugene and Ohio State fans will take their time getting back to the chilly Midwest climate.

The decade ends on a high note for the Buckeyes.

Oregon should not feel bad though. While they were controlled throughout the entire game, the talented team has a lot to look forward to.

Both Jeremiah Masoli and LaMichael James will come back next year; James is only a freshman.

A year of verbal torture from Oregon State fans will keep the Ducks hungry for more. Next season looks bright.

Once again, congratulations to the 2010 Rose Bowl Champions, The Ohio State Buckeyes. Anyone affiliated with the university, enjoy the moment and good luck next year.

Teams of The Decade

Posted in NCAA Football with tags , , , , on December 31, 2009 by burntorangehorn09

By Anthony Casson

The decade, spanning from 1999-2009, has seen a lot of drama. Universities that started the decade with championships haven’t come through. Instead of the dominant groups of the nineties continuing to win, teams like Oklahoma, Texas, and USC have made strong statements.

#1- USC:  While it took until 2002 for the Trojans to get the program in top shape, the team has been one of the most widely recognized and respected teams since then.

  • 2 National championships
  • 3 Heisman winners
  • 7 BCS bowls, including NC games
  • 7 Pac 10 conference championships
  • 7 10-plus game winning seasons
  • 2 coaches (Hackett, Carroll)

#2- Oklahoma: The Sooners are relegated to the second spot. One National Championship in four appearances showed they were a very strong team this decade and also that following through isn’t their thing.

  • 4 Heisman candidates (Heupel, White, Peterson, Bradford)
  • 2 Heisman winners
  • 1 national championship
  • 4 national championship appearances
  • 6 Big 12 championships
  • 7 Big 12 South championships
  • 1 coach (Stoops)
  • Bowl appearances every year this decade
  • 7 BCS bowl games, including 4 NC appearances

#3- Texas: The University of Texas is listed as having the most lucrative football program by Forbes. This isn’t surprising when you consider everything they have accomplished the last 10 years. A troubling stat, however, is that only two Big 12 Championships were won.

  • 1 national championship, 2 NC appearances
  • 2 Big 12 championships
  • 5 Big 12 South championships (2008 was shared between OU and TT)
  • 1 coach (Brown)
  • 4 BCS bowls, including 2 NC games
  • 9 10-plus game winning seasons (Longest streak in NCAA since 2001)
  • Every year with at least 9 wins since 1998 (best in NCAA)
  • Bowl appearance every year of this decade
  • 2 Heisman contenders (Young, McCoy)

#4- Florida: It may seem harsh to put such a dominant Gators team back at No. 4. Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer have brought total glory to Gainesville; the great talent elsewhere should also be mentioned. I’m not ranking teams of the last five years though.

  • 2 National Championships
  • 3 SEC championships
  • 5 SEC East championships
  • Bowl appearances every year this decade
  • 1 Heisman winner
  • 5 10-plus game winning seasons
  • 3 coaches (Spurrier, Zook, Meyer)
  • 6 BCS bowl appearances, including NC games

#5- LSU: Louisiana State has had success with two different coaches. The team has also competed well against the rest of a powerful SEC conference. Their National Championship victory against Ohio State gives them the No. 5 mention ahead of the Buckeyes.

  • 3 conference championships
  • 2 national championships
  • 5 SEC West championships
  • 10 bowl games
  • 5 10-plus game winning seasons, with a possible 6th at the Capital One Bowl
  • 2 coaches (Saban, Miles)
  • 1 Heisman contender (Glen Dorsey)

Mike Riley: A coach with no proper dough

Posted in Beavers Athletics with tags on December 30, 2009 by burntorangehorn09

By Anthony Casson

There is an extreme amount of skill and even artistic ability required to coach football. College football in particular requires a special person; someone that can not only connect with the players, but also to everyone else affiliated with the program.

Because so few people with a knack for handling the college football environment exist, salaries rise, and rightly so.

Mack Brown, head coach at the University of Texas, was recently given a pay hike from 3 million to 5 million dollars per year. This puts Coach Brown at the top of the salary list in college football.

Coach Brown isn’t the only one earning large sums of money. Others like Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Dennis Erickson, and even Steve Sarkisian surpass the million dollar mark; the first two make upwards of 4 million per year.

What this tells us then is that college football means a lot to Americans.

If bulks of football fans and programs agree that coaches should be rewarded with bundles of cash, how do we go about divvying the dough?

What kind of person deserves hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars every year to coach college football?

This is where we consider the always-impressive, yet financially underappreciated Mike Riley of Oregon State.

Riley is recognized as one of the nation’s best coaches, despite not leading an “elite program” such as Florida, Alabama, Ohio State, or Texas.

His true talent as a coach is something to be admired by even the highest paid individuals.

If you’re not aware of Riley’s talents, I suggest you do some research. The rest of us, however, know full well what an impact he has had on OSU athletics.

It wouldn’t be surprising, then, to see Riley’s salary touch well above a million dollars, right?


Currently, Riley makes $950,000 per year. Three seasons ago he made $835,000.

That is not a bad number by any means, but comparing the sum to other coaches, it doesn’t seem enough.

Consider Ron Zook of Illinois.

Coach Zook led his team to a Rose Bowl just a couple seasons ago. They were destroyed by USC and finished with a record of 9-4. That year, Zook made over a million dollars.

He made 1.2 million the year before.

This season ended terribly for the Illini, just like 2008. Last year he came away 5-7. This year, he went just 3-9 with the team. The saddening part is his 1.5 million dollar salary that goes along with two losing seasons.

How about Jeff Tedford at California?

Since 2006, he has made at least 1.5 million per year. This season he’s at 2.8 million, not to mention a possible $265,000 bonus if goals are reached (Cal does not specify what those goals are).

Why did Tedford’s pay rise over a million in three seasons, while Riley’s went up just a tenth of that?

Cal’s records since 2007 are as follows: 7-6, 9-4, 8-5.

Riley’s Oregon State team beat Cal each of those seasons. OSU has also been far closer to a Rose Bowl berth than Cal has, especially the last two years.

OSU athletics needs to take all of this into perspective and maybe change it up a bit.

Oregon State doesn’t need to break the bank for Riley, but come on, the guy deserves more than what he currently gets.

The Beavers aren’t supported by a huge fan base and many wealthy boosters, we know. I’m not saying make him a multi-million dollar man though.

In the Pac 10, only Paul Wulff at WSU is paid less. However, his team is really bad, so it matches. Mike Riley does not have an income that matches his success as a coach.

If OSU does anything wrong these days it’s not paying their star coaches enough money. The school may not have the attention and cash flow of some “popular” universities, but there is undoubtedly enough to get the guy seven figures.

It’s my ever-growing fear that if the school doesn’t react, another “top” program will snatch Riley away from us. That may never happen, but college football seems to always throw folks for a loop.