Re-hashing what he said last month, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said Thursday any notion of Brady Hoke being on the hot seat is “nonsense.”
Via MLive.com, Brandon had this to say on a Detroit area radio station Thursday morning:
“That’s websites and that’s bloggers and that’s social media and that’s all part of the game that’s played out there — let’s stir up controversy,” Brandon said during an afternoon radio interview with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM. “This happens every year. I can’t do very much about that, other than (say), that’s nonsense.
“Brady and his staff are building something very important here. I believe strongly we’re moving in the right direction and I’m looking forward to a great a season coming up. All this hot seat stuff, to me, is just nonsense. I don’t pay any attention to it.”
Perhaps Brandon is telling the truth. While Michigan’s arrow has pointed down the last two years, the program is only three years removed from an 11-2 season and Sugar Bowl victory.
Hoke fired offensive coordinator Al Borges after last season and paid up to bring in Doug Nussmeier from Alabama, and giving him only one year with his new offensive coordinator may be short-sighted, too.
But then again, what are the odds Brandon would go on a radio station and say his coach is on the hot seat? There’s a reason why “the dreaded vote of confidence” is a thing in sports. Brandon isn’t going to tip his hand until he sees how things go in Ann Arbor this fall, so for now, of course he’s going to say everything is fine and he doesn’t expect to have to can Hoke.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah