Category: Northwestern Wildcats

Bill Cubit
Associated Press

Illini to decide on fate of interim head coach Bill Cubit by Sunday


Illinois will decide whether or not to retain interim head coach Bill Cubit for the full-time job by Sunday, interim AD Paul Kowalczyk told WSKJ-FM Wednesday.

“We need to make that call and figure out which way we’re going for everyone’s sake,” Kowalczyk said, via the Chicago Tribune. “For me, it’s posthaste.”

Illinois closes its regular season Saturday against No. 16 Northwestern in Champaign. The Illini are 5-6 on the year and, for what it’s worth, Cubit desperately wants the job.

Also worth noting: the athletics department is operating under a total state of dysfunction in the wake of AD Mike Thomas‘s firing.

From 670 The Score in Chicago on Wednesday:

Sources tell 670 The Score that as overwhelmed university officials are dithering and providing little guidance, the group of trustees, boosters and alums left to run things can’t yet agree on much.  Some want to hire a search firm with a spotty recent track record, others want to form their own search committee, while another faction thinks they need to act faster by using their own contacts to target specific AD and coaching candidates right now and just get moving.

Any support for retaining Bill Cubit is getting strong push-back from those who don’t believe he wasn’t aware of Tim Beckman’s aberrant behavior, and from some who feel strongly about making a more dynamic hire.

For those keeping score at home: Illinois is dealing with a power vacuum of trustees, boosters and alums battling for control while an interim chancellor and interim athletics director work to reach a resolution on an interim football coach.

And the coaching carousel starts spinning in full four days from now.

Oklahoma, Iowa move into top four in latest College Football Playoff rankings

C.J. Beathard, Zach Poker, Mike Caprara
Associated Press

The fourth set of College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and Clemson is No. 1 for the fourth consecutive week. Alabama remained second, and Oklahoma leapt from seventh to third after winning their second consecutive game against a top-20 team. Iowa moved up a spot from fifth to fourth, and Michigan State jumped from No. 9 to No. 5 after its massive road win over Ohio State.

Ohio State fell from third to eighth due to that loss. Baylor passed the Buckeyes for No. 7 following their decisive win at then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, and Notre Dame dropped from fourth to sixth after a close win a Boston College.

Washington State, Mississippi State, UCLA, Toledo and Temple jumped into the rankings, while LSU, Houston, Memphis, USC and Wisconsin fell out.

The full rankings:

1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma
4. Iowa
5. Michigan State
6. Notre Dame
7. Baylor
8. Ohio State
9. Stanford
10. Michigan
11. Oklahoma State
12. Florida
13. Florida State
14. North Carolina
15. Navy
16. Northwestern
17. Oregon
18. Ole Miss
19. TCU
20. Washington State
21.  Mississippi State
22. UCLA
23. Utah
24. Toledo
25. Temple

AP Top 25: Clemson gobbles up first-place votes, Alabama gets small slice of pie

Deshaun Watson

As expected, the No. 1 Clemson Tigers remain on top of the latest Associated Press Top 25, and they gathered a number of first-place votes previously being awarded to Ohio State. The Tigers received 55 first-place votes in this week’s poll to be the clear number one team in the country according to the voters. No. 2 Alabama moved up one spot and received six first-place votes despite having one loss.

No. 8 Ohio State tumbled six spots in the poll this week, while undefeated No. 3 Iowa was bumped up three spots. No. 6 Michigan State, who handed Ohio State its first loss of the year, was moved up three spots. No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 5 Oklahoma each moved up two spots. No. 7 Baylor moved up three spots as well, while No. 9 Oklahoma State was dropped five following their loss to the Bears. No. 10 Florida dropped two spots after avoiding an overtime upset at home against FAU.

No. 11 North Carolina and No. 12 Michigan each moved up two spots following road victories, and No. 13 Stanford moved up three spots. No. 14 Florida State moved up two spots this week. No. 15 TCU dropped four spots after coming up just shy of stunning Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs remain one spot ahead of No. 16 Navy, the highest-ranked Group of Five program in each of the major polls. Navy is followed by No. 17 Northwestern (up three), No. 18 Oregon (up five), No. 19 Ole Miss (up six) and No. 20 Washington State (up four) in the top 20.

No. 21 Houston fell eight spots but remain ranked after losing at UConn. Houston stays ahead of No. 22 UCLA and No. 23 Mississippi State. Toledo (No. 24) and Temple (No. 25) returned to the AP top 25 this week after previously appearing and dropping out earlier this season.

Here is the latest AP Top 25, with first-place votes noted where applicable.

  1. Clemson (55)
  2. Alabama (6)
  3. Iowa
  4. Notre Dame
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Michigan State
  7. Baylor
  8. Ohio State
  9. Oklahoma State
  10. Florida
  11. North Carolina
  12. Michigan
  13. Stanford
  14. Florida State
  15. TCU
  16. Navy
  17. Northwestern
  18. Oregon
  19. Ole Miss
  20. Washington State
  21. Houston
  22. UCLA
  23. Mississippi State
  24. Toledo
  25. Temple

Coaches Poll: No. 1 Clemson a clear top pick, No. 3 Iowa picks up first-place vote

Kirk Ferentz

When defending national champion Ohio State took a loss in the final seconds at home against Michigan State and Baylor handed Oklahoma State its first loss of the season, you knew there was going to be a new look to the latest top 25 polls. The latest coaches poll, released today, has No. 1 Clemson as a clear favorite now with 58 of a possible 64 first-place votes going to the Tigers. No. 2 Alabama picked up five first-place votes while moving up one spot in the coaches poll, and the No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes received the last available first-place vote while remaining undefeated.

No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Michigan State and No. 7 Baylor all moved up in the poll this week, as expected. Ohio State fell down to No. 8 in the latest coaches poll, down six spots from last week. No. 9 Florida fell a spot despite winning, but having to go to overtime to beat FAU rarely helps move a team up in the polls. No. 10 Oklahoma State still lands in the top 10 after losing at home to Baylor Saturday night.

No. 11 North Carolina continues to climb, although it is a slow and steady pace. The Tar Heels moved up one spot this week after an overtime win at Virginia Tech. No. 12 Stanford moved up three spots as they closed out Pac-12 regular season play with a win against rival Cal. Stanford takes on Notre Dame this week. Stanford tied in the poll for the No. 12 spot with Michigan. Both remain ahead of No. 14 Florida State. No. 15 Navy moved up four spots this week, taking advantage of another loss to No. 16 TCU (down five spots). No. 17 Northwestern, No. 18 Oregon, No. 19 Ole Miss all had nice bumps in the poll this week as well.

Here is a look at the latest coaches poll, with first-place votes noted where applicable;

1. Clemson (58)

2. Alabama (5)

3. Iowa (1)

4. Notre Dame

5. Oklahoma

6. Michigan State

7. Baylor

8. Ohio State

9. Florida

10. Oklahoma State

11. North Carolina

12. (t) Stanford

12. (t) Michigan

14. Florida State

15. Navy

16. TCU

17. Northwestern

18. Oregon

19. Ole Miss

20. Houston

21. Mississippi State

22. UCLA

23. Temple

24. Utah

Urban, Saban headline Maxwell Coach of the Year semifinalists

during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Getty Images

Based on the current College Football Playoff rankings, Urban Meyer and Nick Saban are on a collision course for a second straight postseason meeting.  Not surprisingly, their paths are crossing on the award circuit as well.

The Maxwell Football Club Friday announced the semifinalists for its George Munger Coach of the Year Award, with the head coaches of Alabama and Ohio State being two of the 18 FBS coaches up for the honor.  Meyer’s conference, the Big Ten, has five semifinalists, the most of any league.

The SEC, with Saban and first-year Florida coach Jim McElwain, accounts for just two of the 18.  In fact, one Group of Five conference, the AAC, has three — Houston’s Tom Herman, Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo and Temple’s Matt Rhule. The Pac-12 has three as well.

The ACC and Big 12 have two semifinalists apiece. The AAC is the only Group of Five league represented.

Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen was the 2014 winner of the award. The finalists for this year’s award will be announced Dec. 8, with the winner revealed Dec. 21.

Below is the complete list of semifinalists for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award:

Mark Dantonio – Michigan State
Larry Fedora – North Carolina
Kirk Ferentz – Iowa
Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern
Mike Gundy – Oklahoma State
Jim Harbaugh – Michigan
Tom Herman – Houston
Brian Kelly – Notre Dame
Mike Leach – Washington State
Jim McElwain – Florida
Urban Meyer – Ohio State
Ken Niumatalolo – Navy
Matt Rhule – Temple
Nick Saban – Alabama
David Shaw – Stanford
Bob Stoops – Oklahoma
Dabo Swinney – Clemson
Kyle Whittingham – Utah