Larry Johnson turned down Terps, too


On Wednesday, Randy Shannon turned down Maryland’s offer to become their new defensive coordinator as it would’ve cost him most, if not all, of the $1.5 million buyout he’s slated to receive from Miami.

A day later, word has surfaced Larry Johnson has done the same because, well, he’s that damn loyal to Penn State, Joe Paterno and the 2011 recruiting class.

The Nittany Lions defensive coordinator told David Jones of the Patriot-News that he is not a candidate for a position on Randy Edsall‘s Terps staff.  The same couldn’t be said earlier this month, however.

A knowledgeable source within the team said Johnson reluctantly turned down an overture from Edsall 10 days ago when Johnson was working a clinic in Baltimore. Johnson told Edsall he could not in good conscience entertain thoughts about the Maryland DC job after having assured several PSU recruits he had just signed that he would be coaching them next season, the source said.

First of all, bravo to Johnson for telling a recruit something… and sticking to the pledge.  Second of all, brav-freaking-o to Johnson for keeping his word to the 17- and 18-year-old young men who are coming to Happy Valley in large part because of his influence.  Johnson is a native of the area, so it must have been twice as tough for him to turn down both a chance to go “home” as well as coordinate his own defense.

Johnson has spent the past 15 seasons with the Nittany Lions, 11 of those years as Paterno’s defensive line coach.

Earlier today, the Terps announced that they had promoted Todd Bradford from inside linebackers coach to coordinator.

Expect Oregon’s quarterback rotation to continue for the next two weeks

AP Photo

Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.

As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.

“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”

“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”

Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.

“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”

With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.

SEC shut out of AP top five for first time in half a decade

Stephen F. Austin visits Amon G. Carter Stadium to play the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs.
AP Photo

The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.

Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.

And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.

That group breaks down as follows:

  1. Ohio State
  2. TCU
  3. Baylor
  4. Michigan State
  5. Utah

An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Oregon
  3. Boise State
  4. TCU
  5. Nebraska

Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.

None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.