Tag Archives: Tim Tebow

Dan McCarney: A National Champion


How about that? You go from having your head-coaching run at Iowa State come to an end in December 2006 to being a defensive guru on the 2008 national champions.

That’s Dan McCarney (pictured above with Bob Tebow, the father of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow). Urban Meyer hired him to right the Gators’ defense, which was all wrong when it got shredded by Michigan for 41 points in last year’s Capital One Bowl.

McCarney had just spent a year at South Florida, doing a lot to help turn that defense into something good.

Oklahoma, just 14 points? Are you kidding me? That Florida “D” looked pretty good in Thursday’s BCS title-game, wouldn’t you say?

Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong is getting hosannas for his game plan against the Sooners. McCarney shaped a young defensive line into something formidable, and every one of those linemen return for next season.

Here’s another photo of McCarney in the spiffy, NFL-like Gators football facility. Gazette photographer Jim Slosiarek and I went to Gainesville on Dec. 30 for a feature on McCarney, who was nice enough to give us a tour of the complex. The photos here are Jim’s.

Congrats to Mac.



South Carolina Loses Yet Another Player to Grades

Steve Spurrier has had his share of headaches lately

Steve Spurrier has had his share of headaches lately

The following was cut-and-pasted directly from The State, the daily newspaper of Columbia, S.C.:
USC fifth-year linebacker Dustin Lindsey became the third Gamecocks’ player ruled ineligible for the Outback Bowl when the NCAA denied Lindsey’s appeal, sources told The State on Monday.

Lindsey, an Alabama native who failed out of school following the 2005 Independence Bowl before returning the following year, joins strong safety Emanuel Cook and offensive lineman Kyle Nunn. All failed to pass the mandatory six credit hours this semester required by the NCAA to be eligible for a bowl game.

Punter Spencer Lanning is awaiting word on his appeal.


Lanning, by the way, is the Gamecocks’ starting punter.

On this subject, a South Carolina faculty member isn’t thrilled with how Gamecocks athletes are being monitored as far as classroom progress. The link:


We told you about new Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin’s in-your-face attitude toward South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier.

Kiffin has swiped Spurrier’s quarterbacks coach John Reaves and strength coach Mark Smith, and is talking with bravado in response to Spurrier questioning whether Kiffin had taken the NCAA certification test to recruit before he began wooing players.

Kiffin said he got 39 out of 40 on the test and “I’d like to see what (Spurrier) got.”

Spurrier had his chance to return the fire Sunday and opted for tongue-in-cheek humility.

“I have always passed it,” said Spurrier. “Nah, I know he’s smarter than me. There’s no question about that. I barely graduated from college. I know I’m not the smartest guy out there. No big deal.”

Elsewhere in the Charleston Post and Courier story from which the above quote was borrowed, Spurrier says starting quarterback Stephen Garcia needs “to have that Tim Tebow attitude.”

Spurrier mentioned twice Sunday he’d like to hear Stephen Garcia sound a little more like Florida’s Tim Tebow.

“That ‘nobody’s going to work as hard as I am,’ Spurrier explained. “If Stephen Garcia says that, tap me on the shoulder. He’s got to learn how to work at it himself.”

The Gamecocks’ Outback Bowl game against Iowa will be played in Garcia’s hometown of Tampa. The Gamecocks will practice at Jefferson High, where Garcia starred.

“Really, he should be up to start the bowl game as a redshirt freshman. Not many quarterbacks get to do that,” Spurrier said. “I’m just trying to get him to learn his plays better.”


Ten Heisman Voters Surveyed – Very Little Support for Shonn Greene

Oklahomas Slingin Sammy Bradford

Oklahoma's Slingin' Sammy Bradford

If the Rocky Mountain News’ most-recent survey of 10 Heisman Trophy electors is a good sampling, Iowa running back Shonn Greene won’t be one of the five Heisman finalists.

Here is what Monday’s Rocky reported:

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is the new leader in this week’s Rocky Mountain News Heisman Trophy poll, just barely ahead of Texas QB Colt McCoy. Likely dazzled by Bradford’s four touchdown-pass performance in Saturday night’s 65-21 rout of Texas Tech, Bradford earned five of 10 first-place votes to jump from third to first with 42 total points. McCoy, who was off Saturday, remained in second place with 41 points that included three first-place votes.

The leader the previous three weeks, Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell, fell two spots to third, with defending Heisman-winner Tim Tebow of Florida remaining in fourth. The Heisman will be awarded Dec. 13 in New York City.

In its 22nd year, the Rocky poll is the longest-running weekly Heisman ranking in the country. The final poll, taken in December, has predicted the Heisman winner correctly in 18 of the previous 21 seasons. Ten voters select five players each week. The tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points for a first-place vote, four points for second, etc. First-place votes are in parentheses.

The Hlog notes: Heisman voters only list three players. Greene got either one fourth-place vote or two fifth-place votes. Which means he would have received zero votes had these 10 people — which include some well-known names in sports journalism — sent their Heisman ballots today.

This week’s Rocky poll, with statistics from last week:

Player, position School Last week Points
Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma 14-for-19 passing, 304 yards, 4 TDs 42 (5)
Colt McCoy, QB Texas Did not play 41 (3)
Graham Harrell, QB Texas Tech 33-for-55 passing, 361 yards, 3 TDs 27 (1)
Tim Tebow, QB Florida 9-for-11, 201 yards passing, 3 TDs 23 (1)
Daryll Clark, QB Penn State 16-for-26 passing, 341 yards, 4 TDs 4
Chase Daniel, QB Missouri Did not play 4

Others receiving votes: Knowshon Moreno (RB, Georgia) 3; Michael Crabtree, (WR, Texas Tech) 3; Shonn Greene (RB, Iowa) 2; Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri), 1.

Voters: Kirk Bohls, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Vahe Gregorian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Mike Griffith, The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel; Michael Lewis, Salt Lake Tribune; Bernie Lincicome, Rocky Mountain News; John Lindsay, Scripps Howard News Service; Tom Luicci, The (Newark) Star-Ledger; John Rohde, The Oklahoman.

The link: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/nov/24/heisman-poll-sooners-qb-bradford-soars-top-tech-tr/

Odds Still Seem Against Greene Becoming a Heisman Finalist

Probable future U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clintons Heisman pose

Probable future U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Heisman pose

This will be edited as more information filters in, but early returns Sunday show it will be an uphill run for Iowa’s Shonn Greene to become a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2 1/2 weeks.

From sportingnews.com Sunday: “He has the numbers to get to New York, but the name recognition still isn’t there.”

In Heisman watches in the Denver Post and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Sunday, four players were listed. None were Greene.

Before Saturday’s games, a McClatchey Newspapers panel of nine Heisman voters listed the way they would fill out their ballots (you only get to vote for three players). Only Jeff Shain of the Miami Herald listed Greene, and at No. 3. Quarterbacks Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, Colt McCoy of Texas, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Tim Tebow of Florida had every vote covered by the third-place vote for Greene and a third-place nod for Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree.

Greene’s 1,729 rushing yards lead all of Division I-A football, but it’s the Year of the Quarterback. Not that a running back with a dozen straight 100-yard games wouldn’t be a shoo-in for the Heisman ceremony had he played for a team headed for a BCS bowl, but an unranked 8-4 club has a harder time getting drum beats sounded for a Heisman candidacy.

It doesn’t help, either, that Greene isn’t glib or eager to do any self-promotion. Normally, the latter is a good thing.

Nonetheless, Greene will be making the rounds in December when national awards are handed out. He absolutely has to win the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back. There will be other honors, and a first-team All-America spot. Those aren’t bad consolation prizes if he isn’t invited to New York.

Then there’s a bowl game. You know, Greene is only a 271-yard game from a 2,000-yard season …

In an unrelated matter, congratulations to former Iowa defensive lineman Howard Hodges for being a member of the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders. Hodges played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last year, they went 3-15, and Hodges got waived. He hooked on with the Stampeders and played a significant role for the league champs.

The Hlist: A Look Back at Last Week in College Football

Opening kickoff

“Lloyd’s of London has just refused to insure Ringer’s legs. Forty-four carries in a single game means Ringer deserves a sedan chair to get around campus for the next week in between practices and workouts.” — Spencer Hall, Sportingnews.com. Michigan State running back Javon Ringer rushed 44 times for 198 yards in MSU’s 42-29 win at Indiana.

First downs

1. Victors Valiant: Michigan Stadium sits nearly three-fourths underground. The Wolverines dug out of quite a hole in their 27-25 win over Wisconsin.

In the first half they had 21 yards, one first down, and five turnovers. They trailed 19-0 at halftime and were booed off the field.

“If you were anywhere in the Ann Arbor vicinity,” Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez said, “you heard that.

“If there was a hole to crawl into, I’m sure a bunch of us, including myself, would have liked to crawl into it.”

Wolverines receiver Greg Mathews: “Their strength-and-conditioning coach was talking about how we were soft and out of shape, and ESPN was talking about how this was a warm-up for the Big Ten for Wisconsin. We take that personally. Michigan is nobody’s doormat, especially in the Big Ten.”

2. Biggest 12: The SEC faded into the sunset as superpowers Florida and Georgia lost at home. Looking westward, America finds its football power conference to be the Big 12.

Four of the top seven teams in the Associated Press rankings are Big 12 bullies. Oklahoma ascended to No. 1 after throttling previously unbeaten TCU, 35-10.

The Sooners rushed 36 times for a measly 25 yards — and still dominated. In the first half alone, OU had pass plays of 38, 24, 73 and 55 yards.

“Some teams are great stopping the run,” said receiver Manuel Johnson, who had an Oklahoma-record 206 receiving yards. “Other teams are great in the back end. If they’re going to give you an apple you’re going to eat it.”

3. Rebels With a Cause: The University of Mississippi hosted a rather important debate Friday night. The next day, its football team ended the debate over whether Florida was a strong contender for the national title with a shocking 31-30 triumph.

“I still can’t believe it,” a giddy Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden told a bunch of writers when talking about Florida’s shocking loss after FSU’s win over Colorado. “I’ll have to read your newspapers just to make sure.”

The game effectively ended when the Rebels stopped Florida quarterback Tim Tebow on a keeper on 4th-and-1 at the Ole Miss 32 with 41 seconds left.

“(Tebow) was saying, ‘I got it, I got it.’ I said, ‘No you don’t,'” said Ole Miss defensive end Kentrell Lockett.

4. High Tide: Before the season, Georgia was the chic pick to win the national championship. But national champs don’t trail 31-0 at home, at halftime, to anyone.

Alabama bulldozed the Bulldogs, 41-30.

“They had probably never been hit in the mouth like that,” said Crimson Tide offensive tackle Andre Smith.

“Forget Corso and Herbstreit,” wrote Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Forget Holtz and May. Forget, for that matter, anything you might have read in this space about Georgia being really good this year. For guidance in matters concerning college football, you had only to read the financial magazine Forbes, which last month proclaimed Nick Saban ‘the most powerful coach in sports.’

“Here’s how mighty the Alabama man actually is: He came to Sanford Stadium and outflanked (Georgia Coach) Mark Richt in a way nobody has since … since ever.”


1. Choked Cheddar: Wisconsin blew a 19-0 lead at Michigan in the game’s final 18 minutes, allowing three scoring drives of 75 yards or more.

“It was embarrassing,” Badgers linebacker DeAndre Levy said. “I didn’t know how to react. I couldn’t believe this was happening, how we basically gave the game away in the second half.”

“This isn’t something that ever goes away,” Wisconsin defensive tackle Mike Newkirk said. “No matter how much time passes, it’s going to haunt you.”

Thanks for participating in National Title Derby, Badgers. Off you go.

2. Fla-Fla Flooey: Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has a Heisman Trophy. He won’t get a second.

Tebow’s top speech of this year won’t be given at New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. Instead, it was delivered after the Gators’ stunning loss to Ole Miss.

“To the fans and everybody of Gator Nation, I’m sorry. Extremely sorry,” Tebow said. “We wanted an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida has never done here. I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this.

“You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see another player push his team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.

“God bless.”

3. Black Eye: Georgia went to black jerseys for its game against Alabama, and had its fans wear black as well. It was a blackout, all right.

Alabama strength coach Scott Cochran told Crimson Tide players in a practice last week “They’re wearing black because they’re going to a (expletive deleted) funeral.” Somebody caught Cochran’s comment on video, and it showed up on YouTube.

Georgia’s players were so upset by that insult to their competitive spirit that they rolled over and played dead.

4. Ooooh! Scary!: Nebraska running back Marlon Lucky issued a warning for unbeaten Missouri as the Tigers get ready for their game at Lincoln this week.

“Missouri … they need to watch out, because we’ve got a lot of anger right now,” Lucky said after the Cornhuskers’ 35-30 loss to Virginia Tech.

Lucky had eight carries for 17 yards in that game. The Hlist thinks it’s better to be good than Lucky.

Final gun

“There’s a certain emotional fragility about (Coach Joe) Tiller’s recent teams. They simply don’t bounce back, after a bad break, after a bad loss. After Notre Dame came out in the third quarter and scored a quick touchdown to go ahead 21-14, Purdue became deflated. Just like that.

“The Boilers routinely put up big numbers against lesser teams, but routinely fall short against better teams.” — the Indianapolis Star’s Bob Kravitz on Purdue’s 38-21 loss at Notre Dame