Nearly 16 months after abruptly announcing he was transferring from Buffalo and ultimately winding up at Cal, and after sitting out the 2010 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Zach Maynard has officially become Kevin Riley‘s successor under center at Cal.
Following a spring-long battle that included Brock Mansion, Allan Bridgford and the since-departed Beau Sweeney, head coach Jeff Tedford announced Saturday that Maynard, the press release states, will be the team’s starting quarterback heading into the 2011 season. The wording in the release seems to indicate that the battle for the starting job has ended and will not resume in summer camp.
“Zach showed a tremendous amount of upside during spring practice and is the quarterback that gives us the best opportunity to win football games,” said Tedford. “He has the ability to both throw and run the ball effectively, giving us another dimension at that position that we haven’t had in a while.”
“I’m excited and honored to have been named the starting quarterback at Cal,” said Maynard. “I enjoyed competing for the job with some excellent competitors during spring practice and will continue to work hard to keep the starting role. I have an excellent opportunity to help lead this football team and plan to take full advantage of it.”
Maynard started 11 of the 12 games in which he played in 2009 for the Bulls before deciding to transfer from the school in January of 2010. Maynard’s decision to head to Cal became a “package deal” after five-star recruit Keenan Allen, who is the QB’s half-brother, flipped his commitment from Alabama to the Golden Bears when it was learned there was no room for his relative in the Tide’s ’10 recruiting class.
As a true freshman, Allen led the Golden Bears in receiving touchdowns with five, and finished second in receptions (46) and receiving yards (490). Now, the second half of the package is apparently delivering as well.
Incidentally, the release stated that the senior Mansion and sophomore Bridgford would be listed as co-No. 2’s on the post-spring depth chart.
When you go undefeated, people tend to give you awards.
In the wake of Clemson’s first perfect regular season, its first since 1981, head coach and pizza party patron Dabo Swinney was named the ACC’s top coach on Tuesday.
Swinney received 27 of the 50 available votes, edging North Carolina’s Larry Fedora (21). Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Pittsburgh’s Pat Narduzzi each gobbled up one of the two remaining votes.
Aaron Brenner of the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier notes Swinney is due a $25,000 bonus for winning the award.
Clemson’s 12-0 regular season will be celebrated Sunday, whether or not the Tigers win Saturday night’s ACC Championship.
“We’re gonna have a pizza party on Sunday. That’s gonna happen,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney pledged Tuesday to the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier, following through on an off-hand comment made a few weeks back. “It’s kind of hard to plan for a pizza party when you don’t know the outcome. We’re not going to know that until midnight — that’s a lot of dough.”
It’s unclear if Swinney’s last statement was meant literally or figuratively or both.
Either way, Clemson said it will provide at least 2,500 Papa John’s pizzas, which will be distributed for free upon admittance to Memorial Stadium. Assuming a Tigers win over North Carolina, gates will open at 11 a.m. in advance of the noon ET College Football Playoff selection show.
But the party will go on regardless of Saturday night’s result.
“Regardless of whether we win or lose the game Saturday night, this team deserves to be celebrated.”
The search for a new coach at Missouri continues, and apparently one candidate has backed away from the pursuit. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple head coach Matt Rhule has turned taken himself out of the mix for the job at Missouri, which likely means Rhule will stay put in South Philly during this coaching carousel cycle.
According to the report, Temple is also in the process of negotiating a new contract for Rhule. Rhule has already signed a contract extension with Temple that runs through 2021. Rhule’s Owls are also preparing to take on Houston in this week’s American Athletic Conference championship game. Rhule does not believe this will serve as a distraction to his team as they prepare for the Cougars.
“I think our team is way too strong to be distracted about anything with me,” Rhule said. “I am honest with our players and tell them everything.”
Ironically, Houston also received some encouraging news this week when head coach Tom Herman said he has an agreement in principle to stay at Houston. Not only is that good news for Houston and Temple, but that is outstanding news for the conference as a whole, although Memphis did lose Justin Fuente to Virginia Tech.
For Temple, this should be encouraging news as a program. The two coaches before Rhule took the job each left to take on power conference opportunities once they came along. Al Golden took an offer to coach Miami (that, uh, didn’t exactly pan out nicely) and Steve Addazio bolted for Boston College. Who knows if Rhule will stick around for the long haul, but it would seem just being able to get him to return in 2016 would be a major step in the right direction for Temple.
Texas Tech may be getting ready for a bowl game, but they will do so without three defensive assistant coaches. Co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Mike Smith, cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis and outside linebackers coach Trey Haverty have been cut from the coaching staff, head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced today.
“We appreciate all that Mike, Kevin and Trey have done at Texas Tech over the last three seasons,” Kingsbury said in a released statement. “All three are great Red Raiders and we wish them the very best.”
Texas Tech had the Big 12’s ninth-ranked total defense after allowing 540.2 yards per game. That was nearly 100 yards more per game than Iowa State’s eighth-ranked defense. Only Kansas had a worst defense, allowing 560.8 yards per game. Texas Tech’s defense ranked 126th in the nation out of 128 schools. The Red Raiders were torched through the air, allowing 268.3 yards per game through the air, which was ranked 113th in the nation.
Offense appears to be the key to success in the Big 12 and defense has tended to be a hurdle for the Red Raider program. This much appears to be clear though. Kingsbury is making moves with his roster to find a way to improve defensively and become a more well-rounded threat in the Big 12.