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Football

Williams Blog: Silly season breakdown

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher

Over the last week, not for one second have I been worried about Paul Rhoads leaving Iowa State for Pittsburgh. That’s not based off of any “inside information” either. Rhoads leaving Iowa State right now doesn’t make sense for numerous reasons. I’m not going to elaborate on this topic more than I already have. That would be unproductive.

There is a point to this blog though and that is to take a look at Iowa State’s 2011 football schedule and examine the programs (there are many) that are experiencing attrition here in the month of December, that I like to refer to as college football’s "silly season."

Texas

We’re about to find out how much gas Mack Brown has left in that old tank of his. For the past five years, all Brown has had to do is be a figurehead who sold the program. Over the weekend, Texas’ “head coach in waiting," Will Muschamp, was hired by Florida.

–       For the record, I’m not crazy about this hire by the Gators. They could have had just about anybody they wanted. Instead of grabbing a big name, proven head coach, Florida elected to gamble on Muscahmp, who has never been a head coach before. I get that he is an up and comer and Muschamp definitely coached some great defenses during his time in Austin, but I just don’t understand the fascination that many people out there have with this guy. Maybe I’m wrong. We all know how it turned out the last time a Texas defensive coordinator left to take his first head coaching job at a BCS school…

Back to the point, which is Texas’ turmoil. Not only did Brown lose his defensive coordinator, he also let his longtime offensive coordinator Greg Davis (who had been with the program since 1998 and spent time with Brown at North Carolina) go. Mack Brown has built his entire career on being fiercely loyal to his players and coaches. That’s a move that had to sting the 59-year old leader of the Longhorns.

The Cyclones won in Austin last year. On Oct. 1, 2011, the Horns will invade Ames for league game number one in the new look Big 12. This shake up in Austin could result in a stronger Texas program. It could also be the beginning of the end for Mack Brown. From a Cyclone perspective, let’s hope for the latter.

Oklahoma State

Iowa State caught a heck of a break by not having to take on Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2010. OSU’s offense was dynamite, ending the regular season ranked first in total offense, second in passing offense and third in scoring offense. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’sPaul Zeise, the man who orchestrated that masterful performance, offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, has interviewed for the Pitt opening.

If Holgorsen were to take the job, it wouldn’t mean that Iowa State’s Nov. 19 home date with the Cowboys would be any easier to win. It would however put a chink in Oklahoma State’s armor though.

Texas Tech

Texas Tech head coach TommyTuberville recently told reporters that he was not a serious candidate to replace Randy Shannon at Miami, where he spent 10 years at as an assistant. According to THIS REPORT, Tuberville was however in contact with Hurricane administration in more of an advisory role….So he says at least.

Iowa State beat Texas Tech in 2010. I’m confident that the Cyclones will have a shot at knocking off the Raiders (in Lubbock) on Oct. 29, too.

I feel like I’ve written the following a million times. You can’t just replace Mike Leach. He’s the type of coach that made Mack Brown and Bob Stoops squirm.

This is just my opinion so take it for what it is worth. To me, Texas Tech doesn’t appear to be a stable program right now.

Oklahoma

I think that Indiana made a fantastic hire by snatching up now former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson.

Earlier today, Oklahoma announced that Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell will be co-offensive coordinators for Bob Stoops in 2011.

The Cyclones will travel to Norman on Nov. 12 next season.

Northern Iowa

In case you missed it over the weekend, Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley has been rumored with two jobs in the Mid-American Conference, in Ball State and Northern Illinois. CLICK HERE to read an interesting take on this situation from Sean Keeler of the Des Moines Register.

Note: Earlier today, Northern Illinois hired Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren as their next head man.

My take? I don’t see the Panthers as a legitimate threat Iowa State in Ames on Sept. 3, 2011. Still, that program would definitely lose its edge without Farley, who I’ve heard loves keying his team up for dates with Iowa State. From a Cyclone perspective, this isn’t anything major, but it is something to keep an eye on.

Iowa

If you’re keeping score at home, there appears to be trouble in paradise. I’ll just push you all over to Jon Miller’s HawkeyeNation.com for the latest on Iowa’s attrition issue leading up to the Insight Bowl. LINK HERE.

Regardless of what may or may not go down here over the next week, don’t tell me that the Cyclones don’t have a shot to take back the Cy-Hawk Trophy on Sept. 10, 2011 in Ames.

Iowa huddle 527x350

UCONN

They are playing Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl and they damn near lost their head football coach last weekend. UCONN’s Randy Edsall was a finalist for the Miami gig that eventually went to former Temple coach Al Golden. Unless the Michigan job opens up, it is likely that Edsall will lead the Huskies against Iowa State in Storrs, Conn. on Sept. 17 next year.

Here’s my question regarding Edsall. Will he move up the coaching ladder like Brian Kelly (went from Cincinnati to Notre Dame), or will he become irrelevant like Greg Schiano (who appears to literally be stuck at Rutgers)?

Kansas

I’m not sure why any BCS school would be interested in Turner Gill, but Matt Tait of KUSports.com wrote THIS PIECE about why Kansas’ coach will stay put in Lawrence. Just read the comments below the column. After one season, Gill’s approval rating is lower than Brad Childress’ at the end of his tenure in Minnesota with the Vikings.