Chad Morris

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Former Tulsa QB GJ Kinne reunites with Chad Morris as SMU assistant

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After multiple stops between short-time professional football jobs in the NFL, UFL, Arena Football League, and the CFL, former Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne is heading back to school for his next gig. He’ll be working for a familiar face as well.

Kinne is joining the coaching staff at SMU, headed by Chad Morris. Kinne played quarterback for Tulsa during the 2010 season, at which time Morris was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator and quarterback coach under head coach Todd Graham. Though their time together was brief with just the one season in 2010, Morris and Kinne developed a solid relationship and Morris continues to praise Kinne as one of the best quarterbacks he has worked with.

Kinne finished his college career at Tulsa having thrown for 9,472 yards and 81 touchdowns after starting his collegiate career at Texas. He transferred to Tulsa in 2008 and took over the starting job in 2009 and kept it for the final three years of his eligibility. Morris moved to Clemson after the 2010 season to take on the offensive coordinator role for the Tigers.

This will be Kinne’s first coaching job.

SMU locks down Chad Morris with extension through 2023

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With rumors swirling around about possible interest from Baylor, SMU has gone all in on keeping Chad Morris happy where he currently resides. SMU announced on Wednesday that Morris has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in charge of the program through 2023.

The news is even more significant given the current climate of the coaching carousel that has seen one of SMU’s rivals (Houston) lose one  of the top coaching targets in the coaching carousel (Tom Herman) to a power conference program in the same state (Texas). SMU handed Houston one of their three losses this season, and now managed to keep their head coach from leaving for another potential job opportunity. For a program looking to rebuild and become a contender in the AAC, SMU has plenty of reasons to be smiling right now.

Morris has been the head coach at SMU for two seasons now, and while the results have not necessarily paid off in the win column just yet with a bowl trip or a conference title push, the groundwork is being laid for future long-term success with Morris serving as the foreman. SMU has focused on recruiting well within the state of Texas.

While Morris may be signed to a long-term deal at SMU, if he continues to show progress with the program there is a very good chance his name will continue to pop up in the rumor mill in the future. Such is the life of a successful coach from the Group of Five.

Chad Morris building SMU with Texas recruits

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The rebuilding of SMU is a project that is no easy task. As Chad Morris gets ready for his second season on the job, he continues to do what he can to build a foundation based on Texas recruits. For the second straight season, SMU assembled a recruiting class consisting of only Texas recruits.

I’m extremely proud of that,” Morris said last week, per The Dallas Morning News. “You’ll hear a lot of talk about us being Texas tough.

“The toughest thing was trying to create the momentum that we had a year ago, especially coming off a season that wasn’t up to our standards. The majority of our kids were committed to us before the season ever started.

SMU is the only FBS program to land a recruiting class consisting of just players from the state of Texas over the past two recruiting classes. The state of Texas has always been a large and competitive recruiting state, and SMU is certainly facing some stiff competition left and right between traditional heavyweights like Texas and Texas A&M, emerging powers in Baylor and TCU and rising conference rival Houston in addition to other programs from the Big 12 and SEC and beyond making visits into the Lone Star state.

If restoring pride in the SMU program is going to succeed, installing a strong Texas connection is a smart way to go for Morris and the Mustangs.

“It was important for us to do that, to build that continuity, build that relationship with these guys,” Morris said. “The majority of them had big-time offers, so we were battling all the way up to the final hour.”

SMU head coach Chad Morris busts out his best club moves

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If you are a college football coach, you must know how to break out some smooth dance moves in order to show just how much you can relate to college football players of today. Few coaches shined in that department over the course of the past year as well as Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who led the Tigers to an undefeated regular season and to an appearance in the College Football Playoff national championship game. Along the way, Swinney would entertain the masses and his players by showing off his dance skills in postgame celebrations.

It would seem Swinney has had quite the impression on a former assistant, Chad Morris. The former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Clemson became the head coach of the SMU Mustangs last year, but not before taking a few dance lessons from his former boss on the way out.

In all honesty, those may be some of the best moves we have seen from a college football coach since the dawn of the age of dancing coaches. Although, we should remember that Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy has shown some smooth agility as well…

Group of Five: Another good weekend for the American (besides UCF)

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If the College Football Playoff selection committee had to choose a team from the Group of Five conferences to play in the New Years Six, it would have to come out of the American Athletic Conference. The American had another good weekend, although UCF took another punch to the gut.

Memphis scored the big win of the weekend for the conference, with a road victory at Bowling Green. Justin Fuente‘s Tigers continue to impress after winning a share of the conference a year ago. Memphis moved t 3-0 by outlasting the Bowling Green Falcons in an offensive showdown, 44-41. The win is notable because it comes against another Group of Five contender. Winning games against other Group of Five conferences is important in this season-long race as the committee looks to see which conferences perform the best overall. Cincinnati also picked up a win against the MAC, defeating Miami Ohio on the road. Temple managed to escape UMass with a win as well, thanks to some special teams heroics to keep their 3-0 record alive. Right now, no Group of Five conference is thriving like the American. The conference even earned some possible point sin losing efforts.

The work Chad Morris has done at SMU is commendable. The Mustangs lost to Big 12 powers Baylor and TCU by a combined score of 101-0 last season. This year may not have resulted in a win against either in-state foe, but SMU has shown much more fight in pushing each program. SMU still gave up 56 points to both the Bears and Horned Frogs, but the offense managed to score 58 points between the two games.

UConn also showed some good fight on the road against the SEC’s Missouri. The Huskies held a 6-2 lead into the second half but were unable to pull the major upset. UConn’s defense may not be a joke though, as UConn only let up nine points in the losing effort. Tulsa also took their first loss of the season after losing step with Oklahoma in the second half. You may not get credit for losing games, but seeing signs of improvement from these programs is encouraging for the American.

What is not encouraging is the fall of UCF. Two years ago UCF won the Fiesta Bowl, defeating Baylor. Now, three weeks into the season the Knights have lost at home to FIU and Furman and are staring at a possible 0-4 start with South Carolina on deck. UCF scored seven points in the first quarter, five in the second, three in the third and zero in the fourth. If it were possible to score one point in college football, UCF surely would have done that to keep the diminishing prime number trend going.

The only team right now that would have a strong case to be picked ahead of a team from the American might be Toledo out of the MAC. Toledo picked up a second straight win against a power conference opponent by edging Iowa State in overtime on Saturday. Iowa State is not exactly a powerhouse contender out of the Big-12, and now Arkansas is sitting at 1-2 before getting to SEC play. How much stock will those wins bring Toledo down the road, and will Toledo manage to win the MAC in order to qualify for the New Years Six selection? Northern Illinois and Bowling Green still look like contenders out of the MAC as well.

If the College Football Playoff committee had to rank its top five Group of Five programs right now, here is how I think they would do it.

  1. Toledo
  2. Temple
  3. Memphis
  4. Houston
  5. Navy