Mangino out as Iowa State OC, but is Paul Rhoads on chopping block?

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After dropping to 2-5, Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads may be in the final weeks as head coach of the Cyclones. At 31-51 in his seventh season on the job, the time may soon be coming for Iowa State to consider some drastic changes with its program, but for now Rhoads is making changes he feels are necessary to improve Iowa State now. Today that mean cutting ties with offensive coordinator Mark Mangino.

Iowa State and Rhoads made the decision official today by announcing Mangino has been let go as the team’s offensive coordinator. Passing game coordinator Todd Sturdy will take over the role of offensive coordinator for the rest of the season. A lack of cohesiveness between head coach and offensive coordinator appeared to be the tipping point.

“Mark and I couldn’t get on the same page on a few important items,” Rhoads said, per SI.com. “We tried to talk that through again this morning in an effort to get us moving in a different direction. In the end, Mark was not interested in that. I wish that wasn’t the case, but I respect and understand his conviction.”

Iowa State owns the 48th best total offense in the nation, which is not so bad. The Cyclones have stalled inside the red zone though with a scoring percentage of just 75 percent once entering the 20-yard line. That ranks 111th in the nation, with 21 scores on 28 red zone trips. Iowa State has scored just 16 touchdowns on this trips, a touchdown success rate of just 57.14 percent (86th in the nation). Iowa State’s struggles on offense are pretty clear, but there is much more holding Iowa State back from developing a winning reputation.

History alone suggests winning at Iowa State does not come easily, and because of that the bar for success for Iowa State and Rhoads has never really been all that high. However, Iowa State is two losses away from being ineligible for postseason play for a third straight season. Rhoads is absolutely a coach that can keep a good relationship with his players, and that counts for something. The question is whether or not Iowa State would be better off with a different head coach.

Iowa State will make another change with the offense as well. Joel Lanning will be the team’s new starting quarterback starting this week against Texas. Lanning replaces Sam Richardson, who had completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 1,420 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. In six appearances this season, Lanning has completed 65.5 percent of his pass attempts for 264 yards and four touchdowns while backing up Richardson.

Colorado dismises LB N.J. Falo

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The rocky tenure of N.J. Falo at Colorado has come to an abrupt end.

According to the university, the linebacker has been dismissed from head coach Mike MacIntyre‘s football program.  Other than the standard violation of unspecified team rules, no reason for the dismissal was given.

In late April of last year, Falo (pictured, No. 42) and then-Buffs running back Dino Gordon were arrested in connection to an alleged dorm-room theft.  The duo had been accused of stealing prescription drugs, laptops, video games and other electronics from a dorm room earlier that month.

Falo, who played in seven games as a true freshman in 2015, was suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season because of the incident.  After returning, the then-true sophomore played in the final 11 games of the year.  As a backup, he was credited with 12 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.

Because of injury, he sat atop CU’s post-spring depth chart just months ago.

Texas transfer Brandon Hodges uses Twitter to commit to Pitt

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A month after leaving Texas, Brandon Hodges has decided on a new college football home.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday afternoon, Hodges announced that he has decided to enroll at Pittsburgh and continue his playing career with the Panthers.  As the offensive lineman is coming to the Panthers as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017.

The upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.

Hodges spent the first two seasons of his collegiate career at East Mississippi Community College before transferring to UT in 2015. He took a redshirt his first season in Austin.

Last season, Hodges started nine games at right tackle for the Longhorns. Academics forced Hodges to miss some of spring practice this year as well as the spring game, although he was able to graduate from the university not long after.

Urban Meyer: Greg Schiano ‘will be head coach’ again after turning down two ‘significant’ jobs this offseason

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It won’t be this year, but Urban Meyer could be forced to replace his defensive coordinator in short order.

In December of last year, Greg Schiano‘s name was attached to head coach openings at Oregon (HERE) and USF (HERE), although those jobs ultimately went to Willie Taggart and Charlie Strong, respectively.  At the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, Schiano’s boss stated that his coordinator had turned down two “significant” opportunities this offseason to again become a head coach.

While the Ohio State head coach declined to divulge the names of the jobs Schiano decided against, or even what level of the sport was involved, Meyer emphatically stated that it’s a matter of when, not if, Schiano becomes a head coach again.

“He will be a head coach (again),” Meyer said by way of ElevenWarriors.com. “I’m going to keep him as long as I can. He’s one of the best I’ve ever been around.”

Schiano, who was the head coach at Rutgers from 2001-11, is entering his second season leading the Buckeyes’ defense.  In his first, OSU was third nationally in points per game (14.2) and tied for fourth in yards per game (282).

New medical study finds CTE in brains of 48 of 53 deceased college football players

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As the sport at all levels continues to aggressively address the issue of safety for its players, another report has surfaced that shines a harsh light on the potential brutality of the game.

In a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Tuesday, the Associated Press reports, researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine and the VA Boston Healthcare System examined the brains of 202 deceased men who had played football at various levels.  Of those, 53 played college football; 48 of them were diagnosed postmortem with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE as it’s more commonly known.

Even more startling, 110 of the 111 brains of former NFL players studied had CTE.  Conversely, three of 14 brains of individuals whose highest level of football was high school were diagnosed with it.

From the AP:

There are many questions that remain unanswered,” said lead author Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University neuroscientist. “How common is this” in the general population and all football players?

“How many years of football is too many?” and “What is the genetic risk? Some players do not have evidence of this disease despite long playing years,” she noted.

It’s also uncertain if some players’ lifestyle habits — alcohol, drugs, steroids, diet — might somehow contribute, McKee said.

Dr. Munro Cullum, a neuropsychologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, emphasized that the report is based on a selective sample of men who were not necessarily representative of all football players. He said problems other than CTE might explain some of their most common symptoms before death — depression, impulsivity and behavior changes. He was not involved in the report.

CTE is a degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repeated blows to the head, particularly in sports such as boxing hockey, rugby and, of course, football.  At this time, CTE can only be diagnosed after death, although there are experimental tests being studied that may work on the living.

In that vein, the AP writes that “McKee said research from the brain bank may lead to answers and an understanding of how to detect the disease in life, “while there’s still a chance to do something about it.”

Among those who donated their brains and were part of the new study included Ken Stabler (Alabama), Bubba Smith (Michigan State), Junior Seau (USC), Dave Duerson (Notre Dame) and Frank Wainright (Northern Colorado).  All of those went on to lengthy careers in the NFL.