Does Wisconsin have a coaching problem?

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For the second time in three years, Wisconsin is looking for a new head coach after losing its head coach to another power conference program stuck in the bottom half of its division. Three years ago Bret Bielema left Wisconsin following three straight Big Ten championships to take over Arkansas, a program in the dumps following the bizarre ending to the Bobby Petrino era. Now, the Badgers look for a replacement to take over the program after Gary Andersen surprisingly packed his bags and left to accept a job offer from Oregon State, a program typically happy just to finish above .500 while playing in the multi-uniformed shadows of Oregon.

Wisconsin has been a solid program in the Big Ten over the course of the last five or six years. Perhaps to a certain extent Wisconsin has taken advantage of some down years by Michigan and a temporary setback for Ohio State, but credit the Badgers for seizing the opportunity to claim a spot among the top teams in the Big Ten. Now, in the expanded 14-team conference, Wisconsin is in a favorable spot in the West Division. A good coach can win in this division more often than not for years to come, keeping Wisconsin among the top teams in the Big Ten. So why is Wisconsin all of a sudden a program not capable of keeping quality coaches in Madison?

This is the question former Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez, now the school’s athletics director and a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee is left pondering. During a press conference Wednesday evening Alvarez was asked why Wisconsin was no longer a destination school. He was left without an explanation. Maybe the question is if Wisconsin was ever a true destination school in the first place. It was for Alvarez, who took the job in 1990 after serving as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator, and perhaps it was for a few of his predecessors, but then we start diving into a different age of football.

For a moment, let’s toss aside the idea that recruiting is becoming harder and harder for Big Ten programs, with recruiting trends moving away from the Big Ten’s region. If that is the case, then every school is having that problem without the issue of losing coaches to other programs. That would not make this a Wisconsin problem, but a collective Big Ten problem.

Is it the leadership at Wisconsin that is an issue? The idea Wisconsin has been unable to afford to provide comparable salaries for a coaching staff is a fair point. The Badgers ranked 40th in the nation in coaching staff salary with a total staff salary of $2,368,600 according to a coaching salary database compiled by USA Today. If Andersen left for a program with a higher financial commitment to its coaching staff, he may be going to the wrong place. Oregon State ranked 41st in coaching staff salary ($2,347,200). Of course, maybe Oregon State will change that with Andersen coming to the program. The lack of ability to provide a secure financial commitment to a coaching staff was believed to be a factor in Bielema leaving for the SEC, where coaching salaries tend to be higher. For a point of reference, Wisconsin’s coaching staff salary was ranked eighth in the Big Ten and it is possible it might even be lower. Salary information for Penn State and Northwestern is not on record.

But every school has to spend money the best way they see fit. Sometimes the payroll for the football staff has to take a backseat in order to cover other expenses in an athletics department, or the university as a whole. There is no question Wisconsin receives a healthy amount of money from the Big Ten through revenue shares in the conference, but that does not always mean the money will be spent on the staff.

Or maybe sometimes a coach just needs a new challenge (Bielema) or wants to go back closer to home (Andersen). And maybe there’s nothing wrong with Wisconsin at all. The Badgers have proven to be capable of competing for the Big Ten title (I say this fully acknowledging that 59-0 against Ohio State does not support this statement). As with any coaching search, if Wisconsin hires the right man for the job, the Badgers should be fine.

Former FIU DB Emmanuel Lubin dies in car accident, program confirms

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FIU announced on Sunday that former Panthers defensive back Emmanuel Lubin died in a car accident on Saturday night.

Lubinn (jumping, left) played in 45 games over four seasons for FIU, the most recent coming in 2018. He started all 13 games last season, collecting 31 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, one sack and four pass breakups. For his career, Lubin compiled 86 tackles, 11 pass breakups and one interception.

“Tragically, we lost a great young man in Emmanuel Lubin last night,” FIU head coach Butch Davis said. “He was a hard worker, great teammate and was respected and loved by his teammates, coaches and staff at FIU. His character, work ethic and leadership were instrumental in leading our program to success these past two seasons. Our football program is mourning his loss and we will honor Emmanuel every day moving forward. Our hearts and prayers go out to his friends and family.”

Added former teammate Tyree Johnson: “Anybody who knows you would never say anything bad on your name because you literally lit up any room you were in…I never told you this because I assumed you knew, but you made me the man I am today. If it wasn’t for you, I’ll still be the same Teejayy from four yeas (sic) ago.”

The North Miami Beach native was 22 years old.

Ex-Clemson DB Kyler McMichael headed to North Carolina

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The Portal is as mysterious as it is powerful. Some souls enter never to be heard of again, others are out as quickly as they entered. The Portal blesses whom it decides to bless, and it’s not for us humans to understand. All we know is The Portal must be questioned.

For instance, there’s the case of Kyler McMichael.

On Friday, the former 4-star recruit was a Clemson Tiger. By Saturday, he was a North Carolina Tar Heel.

Roughly 24 hours after announcing his intent to transfer, McMichael had announced his new destination. “Beyond blessed and grateful to be apart (sic) of such an amazing team last year at Clemson, however today I begin my next Chapter in life as I redirect my journey and travel to Chapel Hill, to the University of North Carolina and become a Tar Heel.”

McMichael didn’t make a major impact on Clemson’s national championship team, but that’s largely because he was a true freshman playing for the eventual national champions.

The Atlanta native played in 101 snaps according to his Clemson bio, which was still live as of this writing, spread across 12 games, where he made two tackles.

Barring a waiver, McMichael will sit out the 2019 season and compete for the Tar Heels as a redshirt sophomore in 2020.

Colorado lands Nebraska transfer LB Guy Thomas

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There’s a new Guy on the team at Colorado.

On Saturday, former Nebraska linebacker Guy Thomas announced his commitment to Colorado. “I give thanks to everybody that has been influential, and supportive in my life,” Nyon said in a graphic posted to his Twitter account. “I am taking this time to announce that I will be committing to the University of Colorado.”

Thomas first announced his transfer back in November; he appeared in just four games over two years on the club. He posted four tackles in as many games as a redshirt freshman in 2018, with three coming against FCS Bethune-Cookman.

“It’s not working out,” Thomas told the Omaha World-Herald upon his transfer.

Barring a waiver, Thomas will have to sit out the 2019 season and compete as a redshirt junior in 2020. He figures to contribute as a pass-rushing outside linebacker whenever he is cleared to play.

As of now, Jim Harbaugh plans to play Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey in every game

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Michigan does not open training camp until Aug. 2 and does not play its first game until Aug. 31, so any “as of right now” statements are devoid of 20-odd practices worth of context.

Still, as of Big Ten media days, Jim Harbaugh plans to play both Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey in every game.

“Yeah, I do (see games where they’ll both play). Where it stands right now, and that could change later or not, is I see them both playing,” Harbaugh told the Detroit Free Press. “Where it stands right now, I see it as maybe redefining what a starter is…. I’m really not talking about playing them both at the same time (on a play), when I say both in games it’d be they’re both playing quarterback during the same game. And in the way it stands now, in every game.”

Harbaugh has been a one-quarterback man for the entirety of his career, but Patterson’s inconsistency and McCaffrey’s talent may demand a change. Michigan did juggle quarterbacks in 2017 — John O’KornBrandon Peters and Wilton Speight each threw at least 81 passes — but that was due to necessity, not strategy.

Patterson completed 64.6 percent of his passes last season for 2,600 yards (on 8.0 per attempt) with 22 touchdowns against seven interceptions while rushing 76 times for 273 yards and two touchdowns. In his second year in the program, McCaffrey completed 8-of-15 passes for 126 yards with two touchdowns whilst rushing 10 times for 99 yards and a touchdown.

The son of Ed McCaffrey and brother of Christian McCaffrey is certainly the heir apparent in Ann Arbor, and it appears Harbaugh isn’t willing to wait for the future to arrive in order to unleash arguably his most talented quarterback recruit since Andrew Luck.