Walt Bell

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Florida State’s 36-year bowl streak is in serious danger of ending


Florida State is in serious jeopardy of seeing its 36-year bowl streak snapped this season with a record of 4-5 with games against Notre Dame, Boston College and Florida remaining in the regular season. Desperate times call for desperate measures, which may be why Florida State head coach Willie Taggart is changing things up with the coaching responsibilities.

According to a Tallahassee Democrat report, Taggart turned over playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Walt Bell before Saturday’s game at NC State. The change may not have had an impact in the win column, but it was clear a change needed to be made if the offense at Florida State was going to improve.

Florida State has the nation’s 107th ranked offense, averaging 360.1 yards per game. The only ACC program averaging fewer yards per game this season is Louisville. The Seminoles also rank 106th in the nation in scoring with an average of 23.8 points per game after their 47-28 setback at NC State over the weekend.

Why would Taggart make such a move now? It may come off as the head coach pressing a panic button, but why waste time making a change you feel is necessary for the best of the program moving forward? Taggart has a lot on his plate right now with getting Florida State back to the top of the ACC. That clearly was not going to happen overnight, but having the program’s bowl streak come to an end in his first year is a tough hurdle to clear out of the blocks.

Brighter days are still likely ahead for Taggart and Florida State. Taggart’s track record shows he is capable of elevating a program’s status, and this is essentially the same Florida State program that had to reschedule a game last season against Louisiana-Monroe (which had been previously canceled due to inclement weather) just to qualify for a chance to play in the Independence Bowl with a 6-6 record. Getting to six wins could be a tall order now for the Seminoles, who enter the week with a record of 4-5 as they head to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish this season.

Broyles Award nominees include Kiffin, Venables, 38 others


With the next round fo the coaching carousel about to get underway at full speed, some programs may want to pay attention to the list of names nominated for the Broyles Award. The Broyles Award is presented annually to the top assistant coach in college football, and the list of 40 nominees for this year’s award includes some names with previous head coaching experience and others about to be in line for a head coaching gig somewhere around the country.

Current head coaches who previously won the Broyles Award include Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, UConn’s Bob Diaco and Duke’s David Cutcliffe. Last year’s Broyles Award winner was Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who many feel could be ready for a head coaching offer in the next round of the coaching carousel.  This year Narduzzi is not a finalist for the award, but Spartans co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner is.

“This will be one of the most challenging years ever for our selection committee to choose the top 5 finalists and winner, so many assistant coaches did outstanding work this year,” David Bazzel, Broyles Award executive director.

This year’s Broyles Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 9 by The Rotary Club of Little Rock and sponsor Delta Dental. The award is named after former Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles, who had a solid track record of pumping out quality assistant coaches. Some of the assistants who coaches under Broyles include Barry Switzer, Jimmy Johnson, Hayden Fry, Joe Gibbs, and Jackie Sherrill.

Broyles Award Nominees

Alabama – Lane Kiffin, Offensive Coordinator
Appalachian State – Dwayne Ledford, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Arizona – Jeff Casteel, Defensive Coordinator
Arkansas – Robb Smith, Defensive Coordinator
Arkansas State University – Walt Bell, Offensive Coordinator
Boise State University – Mike Sanford, Offensive Coordinator
Boston College – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator
Brigham Young University – Nick Howell, Defensive coordinator
Clemson – Brent Venables, Defensive Coordinator
Colorado State – Dave Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
Duke University – John Latina, Run Game Coordinator/OL
East Carolina University – Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator
FIU – Josh Conklin, Defensive Coordinator
Georgia Southern University – Doug Ruse, Offensive Coordinator
Louisiana – Marquase Lovings, Running Backs
Louisiana Tech – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
Louisville – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator
Memphis – James Shibest, Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
Miami – Mark D’Onofrio, Defensive Coordinator
Michigan – Greg Mattison, Defensive Coordinator
Michigan State University – Dave Warner, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Minnesota – Tracy Claeys, Defensive Coordinator
Mississippi State – Geoff Collins, Defensive Coordinator
Missouri – Dave Steckel, Defensive Coordinator
NC State – Desmond Kitchings, Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator
Ohio State University – Tom Herman, Offensive Coordinator
Ole Miss – Dave Wommack, Defensive Coordinator
Oregon – Scott Frost, Offensive Coordinator
Penn State University – Bob Shoop, Defensive Coordinator
Stanford – Lance Anderson, Defensive Coordinator
TCU – Doug Meacham, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Temple – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator
UCF – Brent Key, Offensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
UCLA – Noel Mazzone, Offensive Coordinator
Utah – Kalani Sitake, Defensive Coordinator
Utah State University – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator
UTSA – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator
West Virginia University – Tony Gibson, Defensive Coordinator
Western Michigan University – Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator
Wisconsin – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator