Ed Orgeron

Ed Orgeron named one of 16 Maxwell COTY semifinalists


And the drumbeat, right or wrong, for Ed Orgeron to have the interim tag stripped from his title continues.  Or, at the very least, the growing numbers banging the drums have received a bit more ammunition.

The Maxwell Football Club released its list of 16 semifinalists for its Coach of the Year award Wednesday and, of course, USC’s Orgeron is a part of that elite group.  Since taking over for the fired Lane Kiffin in late September, Orgeron has guided the Trojans to a 5-1 record, including a 5-0 mark in Pac-12 play.

USC’s lone loss with Orgeron as head coach was a four-point defeat against Notre Dame in South Bend.

While acknowledging that his search for a permanent replacement must expand beyond what’s happening in Los Angeles at the moment, athletic director Pat Haden also understands what Orgeron has accomplished during what’s essentially been an on-the-job interview.

“What Ed had done has been absolutely remarkable,” Haden said during a radio interview yesterday. “He is clearly in our eyesight. We understand. It’s not just the fans. We’re sophisticated enough and know enough about this to understand the attributes that he has and he’s a known quantity.”

Of the 16 semifinalists for this year’s award, 13 come from the so-called Big Five conferences.  The ones from outside that club are Northern Illinois’ Rod Carey, Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter and UCF’s George O’Leary.

The only coach among this year’s semifinalists who have previously been named Camp’s Coach of the Year is Urban Meyer, who won the award in 2004 while at Utah.

This year’s finalists will be announced Dec. 3, with the winner being announced Dec. 17.  Last year’s winner was Penn State’s Bill O’Brien.

Below, in poll form, are the 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Club Coach of the Year. Vote for the coach you feel is most deserving, or click “Other” and whine bitch moan state your argument for another in the comments section below:


Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press
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As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.