Penn State is currently searching for their next head coach to replace Bill O’Brien. With Al Golden confirming his satisfaction with Miami and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin drawing interest from the NFL, fired Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak ha started to gain some momentum as a candidate for the Nittany Lions. Knowing what one rather significant criticism of his coaching resume is, Munchak apparently laid out a full plan for how he would run the program from day one if he wins the job.
According to David Jones of The Patriot News, Penn State sources have confirmed Munchak had an interview with Penn State and he made sure to make a point of being able to adapt to the college game after decades in the NFL as a player and coach. According to the report, “Munchak made a detailed presentation of exactly how he would go about recruiting, who he believed would be on his staff and how he would sell 2014-class recruits on remaining committed to the program and signing next month.”
At least he came prepared, from the sound of it. Munchak is a former Penn State offensive lineman standout, so he certainly would come to the program knowing about the history and tradition as well as everything that has gone on with the program in recent years. As has been reported, the Titans were prepared to offer Munchak a contract extension if he made some coaching staff changes but his refusal to do so led the franchise to removing him as head coach. That could be a bit of a concern for Penn State over time if Munchak becomes the next head coach. While Penn State’s coaching staff has traditionally had a strong sense of stability, there could come a time when a change would have to be made on the staff for whatever reason.
Would Munchak be more willing to make a staff change in the future? Could that end up being a negative? Or is there something to be said about coaching staff stability through thick and thin?
At the moment, BYU is looking at one hellacious start to the 2019 season.
Thursday afternoon, BYU announced tat it has added a future home-and-home series with Tennessee. The Volunteers will serve as the host for a Sept. 7, 2019, matchup at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, with the second game set for Sept. 1 or 2, 2023, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
The 2019 game will mark the first-ever meeting between the two football programs.
“There’s something about those orange and white checkerboard end zones that shouts ‘Tradition!’,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement. “When the opportunity to play a series with Tennessee presented itself, we didn’t blink. They’re a storied football program with a winning tradition, national championships, a classic stadium, incredible fans and hall of fame coaches.
“It will be a great experience to visit SEC country and play in Neyland Stadium, and later host Tennessee in Provo.”
BYU will kick off the 2019 season against Utah, followed by games against Tennessee, USC and Washington the next three weeks. They also have a pair of mid-October games against Washington State and Boise State.
UT’s other non-conference games that season include Georgia State, Chattanooga and UAB.
Lovie Smith is not a big fan of fighting amongst his Illinois players, a lesson he shared with his aptly nicknamed Fighting Illini squad Wednesday evening.
According to the Decatur Herald & Review, Illinois’ spring practice session yesterday came to an abrupt and premature end after a fight between players broke out. The names of those involved in the fisticuffs are not known as the media hadn’t been permitted to view practice.
From the Herald & Review‘s report:
…a source said Smith wanted to send a strong message about how he hates fighting and considers it an inexcusable transgression that robs the rest of the team of a chance to concentrate on getting better.
The field was cleared at about 5:35 p.m., nearly an hour before practice was scheduled to end. The players were sent to the locker room and the field was quickly cleared of equipment. Reporters were told there would be no interviews and were told to vacate the Memorial Stadium facility.
The Illini, which finished 3-9 in their first season under Smith last year, kicked off spring practice feb. 14 and will conclude it March 10 with the annual spring game.
With spring practice getting set to kick of en masse all across the country, there’s more of the expected personnel attrition settling in and coming to light.
On his Twitter account Wednesday, Andy Dodd announced that it is in his “best interest” to transfer from LSU and continue playing college football elsewhere. “This decision was not an easy one, but it is what’s best for me moving forward,” the offensive lineman wrote.
Dodd was a three-star member of the Tigers’ 2013 recruiting class, rated as the No. 17 guard in the country.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, the lineman played in eight games the next two seasons. He played in six games, with one start, in 2016.
Another graduate transfer has made a move, albeit with a slightly different bent than most others.
Auburn confirmed Wednesday that Casey Dunn has been added to Gus Malzahn‘s football roster. The center comes to The Plains as a graduate transfer, which makes him eligible for the 2017 season.
He also comes to Auburn from Jacksonville State, an FCS school that would’ve made him immediately eligible aside from the grad transfer exception. Oh, and his new position coach is excited to have him in the personnel fold as well.
The past two seasons, Dunn was an FCS All-American. While Dunn comes to the Tigers as a center who started 27 games at that position for the Gamecocks, he could play anywhere along the interior of the Tigers’ offensive line.
Malzahn is also very familiar with Dunn’s talent as the lineman started for the JSU squad that took him to overtime in 2015.