SBNation.com: All Posts by Bill Connelly http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/community_logos/46737/sbn-fave.png 2014-04-19T18:35:41-04:00 http://www.sbnation.com/authors/bill-connelly/rss 2014-04-19T18:35:41-04:00 2014-04-19T18:35:41-04:00 2015 Missouri football recruiting: St. Louis ATH Cameron Hilton commits to Tigers <img alt="" src="http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31871575/20140419_mta_ad9_011.jpg.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MizzouMade&src=hash">#MizzouMade</a> - St. Louis, MO! GP</p> &mdash; Coach Gary Pinkel (@garypinkel) <a href="https://twitter.com/garypinkel/statuses/457622020335751169">April 19, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>Cam Hilton,&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://sports.yahoo.com/missouri/football/recruiting/player-Cam-Hilton-159659">an athlete from St. Louis' Webster Groves</a>, committed to Missouri today during the spring game festivities.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://rivals.yahoo.com/video/recruiting-football/pmtv-hd-hilton-commits-1125232">He talks about his commitment here with PowerMizzou</a>.</p> <p>Hilton is not yet a known quantity when it comes to recruiting services. He hasn't been assigned a rating by Rivals, 247Sports, or ESPN. He did have an offer from Indiana.</p> <p>Hilton is listed at 6'1, 175 pounds; he will probably need to bulk up a bit in college, but his highlight video is fun to watch. He runs with his hair on fire.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iLGryQMZAsI" height="315" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>He plays receiver and cornerback on film, but he told Pete Scantlebury at PowerMizzou that he is being recruited as a safety at the moment. That makes him either Mizzou's first or second safety commit, depending on which position Chase Abbington ends up playing.</p> <p>Welcome, Cam!</p> http://www.rockmnation.com/2014/4/19/5632004/2015-missouri-football-recruiting-cam-hilton-webster-groves Bill Connelly 2014-04-19T08:02:37-04:00 2014-04-19T08:02:37-04:00 2014 Missouri spring football: Black & Gold Game live thread <img alt="" src="http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31848887/bcp_7864.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>Consider this your Saturday live thread as well. Baseball and Softball both play at 2pm if you're looking for something to do after the scrimmage. (And if there's suddenly any basketball coaching news, we'll have that covered, too.)</p> <p>Here are some links to prepare you for today's Black & Gold Game, which kicks off ("kicks off") at 1pm at Faurot Field.</p> <h4>Receivers</h4> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/sports/mu_football/mu-football-team-needs-replacements-to-catch-on/article_0a373f98-c785-11e3-b592-10604b9f6eda.html">The Trib: MU football team needs replacements to catch on</a><br><a href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/blogs/behind_the_stripes/stat-spotlight-the-receiving-end/article_d1220b8e-c5ae-11e3-9969-001a4bcf6878.html" target="_blank">The Trib (Behind the Stripes): STAT SPOTLIGHT: The receiving end</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/18/4968924/mus-bud-sasser-moves-up-in-wake.html">KC Star: MU&rsquo;s Bud Sasser moves up in wake of Dorial Green-Beckham&rsquo;s departure</a></p> <h4>Defensive End</h4> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/18/4968924/mus-bud-sasser-moves-up-in-wake.html"></a><a target="_blank" href="http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/mizzou-s-golden-ready-to-prove-himself/article_70e0fa34-dae5-5d7c-8775-70014c36838a.html">Post-Dispatch: Mizzou's Golden ready to prove himself</a></p> <h4>Linebacker</h4> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/mizzou-s-golden-ready-to-prove-himself/article_70e0fa34-dae5-5d7c-8775-70014c36838a.html"></a><a href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/sports/mu_football/scherer-to-stick-with-it/article_c939eb96-c65b-11e3-bbb4-10604b9f6eda.html" target="_blank">The Trib: Scherer to stick with it</a></p> <h4>Spring Game Questions</h4> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IiI4CTR7G9s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/sports/mu_football/scherer-to-stick-with-it/article_c939eb96-c65b-11e3-bbb4-10604b9f6eda.html" target="_blank"></a><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/blogs/behind_the_stripes/missouri-spring-game-storylines/article_eced10c2-c6ab-11e3-9eed-001a4bcf6878.html?_dc=115922993281.85619">The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri Spring Game Storylines</a></p> <blockquote> <p><b>Steward Spotlight</b>: Pinkel said <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/158642/russell-hansbrough" class="sbn-auto-link">Russell Hansbrough</a> is scheduled to undergo labrum surgery Friday, so he's probably out for the scrimmage. <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/115146/marcus-murphy" class="sbn-auto-link">Marcus Murphy</a> bounced back with a good second scrimmage, but he's still fighting off a right ankle injury he suffered in the first scrimmage, and Missouri might not want to push it too much with him. That leaves <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/158645/morgan-steward" class="sbn-auto-link">Morgan Steward</a> with the chance to have another breakout performance like he did in the first scrimmage. Steward ran for 117 yards and three scores on 13 carries that day, before taking a backseat to Hansbrough and Murphy in the second scrimmage and going for 26 yards on seven carries. He showed his ability to bull forward in short-yardage situations, as well as an ability to make people miss and accelerate to the open field once holes present themselves. Another turn for Steward as feature back could give the coaches more of an indication of whether they can get by with he, Hansbrough and Murphy this fall -- if things go well -- or whether they might want to explore playing Trevon Walters or Ish Witter as true freshmen if things go poorly. Steward has generated a whole lot of confidence in the coaches with his spring thus far. A good capper could solidify his place as a solid number three, perhaps with a number two or number one ceiling.</p> </blockquote> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/blogs/behind_the_stripes/missouri-spring-game-storylines/article_eced10c2-c6ab-11e3-9eed-001a4bcf6878.html?_dc=115922993281.85619"></a><a target="_blank" href="https://missouri.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1631766">PowerMizzou: Five unanswered questions</a></p> <blockquote> <p><b>Can the Tigers bring the heat like last year?</b> Missouri led the SEC in sacks despite blitzing less frequently than just about anyone in the league. With Kony Ealy and <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/76621/michael-sam" class="sbn-auto-link">Michael Sam</a> gone, can it happen again? The answer may lie heavily with the progression of <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/207875/marcus-loud" class="sbn-auto-link">Marcus Loud</a> and <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/207897/charles-harris" class="sbn-auto-link">Charles Harris</a>. The redshirt freshmen defensive ends have drawn rave reviews, but until they do it on Saturdays, no one can be sure how deep the Tigers are at defensive end.</p> </blockquote> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://missouri.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1631766"></a><a target="_blank" href="http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/five-questions-for-missouri-football/article_6963b5c1-248b-5aa5-a96d-ffa273034ec3.html">Post-Dispatch: Five questions for Missouri football</a></p> <blockquote> <p><b>Which rookies will stand out?</b> For the team&rsquo;s redshirt freshmen and four true freshmen, today&rsquo;s scrimmage will be their first live action in front of a crowd since high school. For some, like safety <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/207871/anthony-sherrils" class="sbn-auto-link">Anthony Sherrils</a>, defensive ends <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/135163/charles-harris" class="sbn-auto-link">Charles Harris</a> and Marcus Loud and linebackers <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/207873/joey-burkett" class="sbn-auto-link">Joey Burkett</a> and <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/207877/eric-beisel" class="sbn-auto-link">Eric Beisel</a>, expanded roles this fall could be on the line. "Certainly we want to see players play in a game-day environment," Pinkel said. "Then we&rsquo;ll make the final decisions going into August as far as depth is concerned."</p> </blockquote> <h4>And just for fun...</h4> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://missouri.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1631766"></a><a target="_blank" href="http://kbiasports.org/2014/04/18/missouri-football-coach-gary-pinkel-extends-his-contract-including-an-incentives-package/">Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel extends his contract, including an incentives package |</a></p> http://www.rockmnation.com/2014/4/19/5627346/missouri-football-2014-spring-game Bill Connelly 2014-04-18T12:01:40-04:00 2014-04-18T12:01:40-04:00 The big 2014 Utah State football preview: Welcome back, Chuckie :) <img alt="" src="http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31814389/20130829_jla_ai4_981.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>Quarterback Chuckie Keeton is expected to return at 100 percent for Utah State in 2014, but the Aggies' success in the Mountain West will depend on their ability to account for losses, especially in the secondary and on the offensive line.</p> <p> <style> .m-sbnation-2014-college-football-countdown { display: block; width: 100%; } .m-sbnation-2014-college-football-countdown img { max-width: 100%; } </style><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/2014-college-football-team-previews" class="m-sbnation-2014-college-football-countdown"> <img alt="SB Nation 2014 College Football Countdown" src="http://cdn1.sbnation.com/assets/4017419/bill-c-college-football-countdown.jpg"></a></p> <p><i>Confused?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.footballstudyhall.com/2014/2/10/5389226/college-football-advanced-stats-glossary" target="_blank">Check out the advanced-stats glossary here</a>.</i></p> <h3>1.&nbsp;They survived</h3> <p>Head coach Gary Andersen, who needed just three years to craft a top-25 team from a destitute program, left for Wisconsin.</p> <p>He took ace defensive coordinator Dave Aranda with him.</p> <p>Running back Joe Hill got hurt in Game 5.</p> <p>And then star quarterback Chuckie Keeton got hurt in Game 6.</p> <p>Midway through the 2013 season, Utah State was led by a first-year head coach and a freshman quarterback. And the Aggies finished the regular season with five consecutive wins, beat out Boise State -- Boise State! -- for the MWC Mountain Division title, narrowly lost at Fresno State in the conference title game, beat Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois in a bowl game, and finished 32nd in the F/+ rankings, only 15 spots below where they ranked in 2012.</p> <p>Utah State survived in 2013 when it had every excuse in the world not to. I'm not sure you can say anything more flattering about any program. But now more tests come in 2014.</p> <center><img width="100%" src="http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/assets/4287101/2014UtahStFPlus.jpg"></center> <h3>2.&nbsp;Skill, timing, and luck</h3> <p>There is so much randomness in college football. So much of your fate in a given year is determined by the timing of injuries nad the success of others.</p> <p>Despite losing Andersen, Aranda, and a few defensive stars from the 2012 squad that ranked ninth in Def. F/+, Utah State's defense actually improved to eighth in 2013. It was a remarkable feat, one that could have helped USU maintain its top-20 overall ranking. But the offense lost the one guy it couldn't lose. And not only did the Aggies lose Chuckie Keeton, but they lost him during the BYU game, one week before the Boise State game. Quarterback Craig Harrison was thrown into the fire at the worst possible time -- overwhelmed, he went just 25-for-58 for 192 yards against the Cougars and Broncos -- and failed, giving way to freshman Darell Garretson. If Keeton is lost either before the season (with plenty of time to adapt to his absence) or after the Boise State game, maybe USU scores another win and gets to double digits for the second consecutive year.</p> <p>Regardless, Keeton's injury means that USU is more prepared to account for his absence after 2014. That's good. And it appears he's on track to be completely healthy this fall.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/57732500-77/keeton-state-usu-utah.html.csp">That's even better</a>.</p> <h4>2013 Schedule & Results</h4> <table style="border-color: #000000; border-width: 1px; background-color: #ffffcc;" border="1" width="100%"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center" colspan="8"><b>Record: 9-5 | Adj. Record: 12-2 | <a target="_blank" href="http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/fplus2013"> Final F/+ Rk:</a> 32 </b></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Date</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Opponent</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Opp. F/+ Rk</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Score</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>W-L</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Adj. Score</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Adj. W-L</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>5-gm Adj. Avg.</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>29-Aug</td> <td>at Utah</td> <td style="text-align: center;">31</td> <td style="text-align: center;">26-30</td> <td style="text-align: center;">L</td> <td style="text-align: center;">35.8 - 32.5</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;"></td> </tr> <tr> <td>7-Sep</td> <td>at Air Force</td> <td style="text-align: center;">113</td> <td style="text-align: center;">52-20</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">32.4 - 15.6</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;"></td> </tr> <tr> <td>14-Sep</td> <td>Weber State</td> <td style="text-align: center;">N/A</td> <td style="text-align: center;">70-6</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">34.3 - 10.0</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;"></td> </tr> <tr> <td>21-Sep</td> <td>at USC</td> <td style="text-align: center;">11</td> <td style="text-align: center;">14-17</td> <td style="text-align: center;">L</td> <td style="text-align: center;">16.8 - 17.7</td> <td style="text-align: center;">L</td> <td style="text-align: center;"></td> </tr> <tr> <td>27-Sep</td> <td>at San Jose State</td> <td style="text-align: center;">74</td> <td style="text-align: center;">40-12</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">25.7 - 21.0</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">9.6</td> </tr> <tr> <td>4-Oct</td> <td>BYU</td> <td style="text-align: center;">30</td> <td style="text-align: center;">14-31</td> <td style="text-align: center;">L</td> <td style="text-align: center;">23.6 - 21.4</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">9.4</td> </tr> <tr> <td>12-Oct</td> <td>Boise State</td> <td style="text-align: center;">45</td> <td style="text-align: center;">23-34</td> <td style="text-align: center;">L</td> <td style="text-align: center;">24.8 - 23.9</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">6.2</td> </tr> <tr> <td>19-Oct</td> <td>at New Mexico</td> <td style="text-align: center;">110</td> <td style="text-align: center;">45-10</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">26.6 - 14.5</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">3.8</td> </tr> <tr> <td>2-Nov</td> <td>Hawaii</td> <td style="text-align: center;">82</td> <td style="text-align: center;">47-10</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">30.4 - 20.6</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">5.9</td> </tr> <tr> <td>9-Nov</td> <td>at UNLV</td> <td style="text-align: center;">96</td> <td style="text-align: center;">28-24</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">29.8 - 26.8</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">5.6</td> </tr> <tr> <td>23-Nov</td> <td>Colorado State</td> <td style="text-align: center;">66</td> <td style="text-align: center;">13-0</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">9.6 - (-0.1)</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">7.1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>30-Nov</td> <td>Wyoming</td> <td style="text-align: center;">102</td> <td style="text-align: center;">35-7</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">16.4 - 6.5</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">8.9</td> </tr> <tr> <td>7-Dec</td> <td>at Fresno State</td> <td style="text-align: center;">49</td> <td style="text-align: center;">17-24</td> <td style="text-align: center;">L</td> <td style="text-align: center;">12.4 - 22.3</td> <td style="text-align: center;">L</td> <td style="text-align: center;">4.5</td> </tr> <tr> <td>26-Dec</td> <td>vs. Northern Illinois</td> <td style="text-align: center;">60</td> <td style="text-align: center;">21-14</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">17.8 - 14.1</td> <td style="text-align: center;">W</td> <td style="text-align: center;">3.3</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1" style="border-color: #000000; border-width: 1px; background-color: #ffffcc;"><tbody> <tr> <td><b>Category</b></td> <td><b>Offense</b></td> <td><b>Rk</b></td> <td><b>Defense</b></td> <td><b>Rk</b></td> <td><b>Spec. Tms.</b></td> <td><b>Rk</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>F/+</td> <td align="right">-7.4%</td> <td align="right">93</td> <td align="right">+18.3%</td> <td align="right">8</td> <td align="right">+2.8%</td> <td align="right">12</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Points Per Game</td> <td align="right">31.8</td> <td align="right">50</td> <td align="right">17.1</td> <td align="right">7</td> <td colspan="2"></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Adj. Points Per Game</td> <td align="right">24.0</td> <td align="right">99</td> <td align="right">17.6</td> <td align="right">4</td> <td colspan="2"></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h3>3.&nbsp;7.7 points above replacement value</h3> <p>The idea of a "replacement player" is a common one in advanced stats, mostly because of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=VORP" target="_blank">VORP</a>. It basically gauges the value of a player by comparing him to your standard-issue player at a given position, someone just about any team can land.</p> <p>Obviously the idea of the "replacement player" is tricky at the college level. A replacement-level player at a powerhouse like Alabama is simply going to be different than someone with the same term at a mid-major program. That said, we got a pretty clear glimpse of Chuckie Keeton's value when he was lost for the season with a knee injury against BYU.</p> <p><u>Adj. Points Per Game (first 5 games)</u>: Utah State 29.0, Opponent 19.4 (plus-9.6)<br><u>Adj. Points Per Game (last 9 games)</u>: Utah State 21.3, Opponent 16.6 (plus-4.7)</p> <p>Adjusted Score is a way to measure game-to-game performance while taking both opponent and breaks into account. With Keeton, Utah State's offense was a little bit above average. Keeton had minimal big-play threats in the receiving corps, but he was able to efficiently move the ball against teams not named USC. (Almost nobody moved the ball efficiently against USC.)</p> <p>Without Keeton, Utah State was 7.7 points worse. After averaging at least 5.6 yards per play four times in their first five games, the Aggies did so only three times the rest of the way (and against New Mexico, Hawaii, and UNLV). In their last four games of the year, they averaged just 3.8 yards per play. And the defense was so incredible that they still went 3-1 in that stretch.</p> <p>With Keeton, Utah State was a legitimate top-25 team, one with an efficient offense and ridiculous defense. Without him, USU was all defense.</p> <p>In 2014, the Aggies will be forced to reload a bit on the defensive side of the ball, and the offense might need to carry a bit more weight. And while Keeton will probably be healthy, it's probably not a good idea for him to have to carry 10 other offensive players in every game. He'll need some help.</p> <h4>Offense</h4> <center><img width="100%" src="http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/assets/4287105/2014UtahStOffPrint.jpg"></center> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center" colspan="7"><b>FIVE FACTORS -- OFFENSE</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><b></b></td> <td colspan="2" style="text-align: center;"><b>Raw Category</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Rk</b></td> <td colspan="2" style="text-align: center;"><b>Opp. Adj. Category</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Rk</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>EXPLOSIVENESS</b></td> <td>IsoPPP</td> <td align="right">1.15</td> <td align="right">60</td> <td>IsoPPP+</td> <td align="right">97.2</td> <td align="right">79</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>EFFICIENCY</b></td> <td>Succ. Rt.</td> <td align="right">39.4%</td> <td align="right">90</td> <td>Succ. Rt. +</td> <td align="right">90.6</td> <td align="right">93</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>FIELD POSITION</b></td> <td>Def. Avg. FP</td> <td align="right">26.5</td> <td align="right">8</td> <td>Def. FP+</td> <td align="right">103.4</td> <td align="right">21</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>FINISHING DRIVES</b></td> <td>Pts. Per Trip in 40</td> <td align="right">4.3</td> <td align="right">64</td> <td>Redzone S&P+</td> <td align="right">89.1</td> <td align="right">99</td> </tr> <tr> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>TURNOVERS</b></td> <td>EXPECTED</td> <td align="right">25.0</td> <td></td> <td>ACTUAL</td> <td align="right">19</td> <td style="text-align: right;">-6.0</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Category</b></td> <td align="center"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.cfbstats.com/2013/leader/national/team/offense/split01/category10/sort01.html">Yards/<br>Game Rk</a></b></td> <td align="center"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaaoff2013">S&P+ Rk</a></b></td> <td align="center"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaaoff2013">Success<br>Rt. Rk</a></b></td> <td align="center"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaaoff2013">PPP+ Rk</a></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>OVERALL</td> <td align="right">60</td> <td align="right">96</td> <td align="right">94</td> <td align="right">94</td> </tr> <tr> <td>RUSHING</td> <td align="right">52</td> <td align="right">82</td> <td align="right">95</td> <td align="right">77</td> </tr> <tr> <td>PASSING</td> <td align="right">66</td> <td align="right">97</td> <td align="right">90</td> <td align="right">96</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Standard Downs</td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right">101</td> <td align="right">98</td> <td align="right">86</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Passing Downs</td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right">75</td> <td align="right">76</td> <td align="right">65</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td>Q1 Rk</td> <td align="right">97</td> <td>1st Down Rk</td> <td align="right">107</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Q2 Rk</td> <td align="right">78</td> <td>2nd Down Rk</td> <td align="right">99</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Q3 Rk</td> <td align="right">72</td> <td>3rd Down Rk</td> <td align="right">68</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Q4 Rk</td> <td align="right">120</td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h4>Quarterback</h4> <p><i>Note: players in bold below are 2014 returnees. Players in italics are questionable with injury/suspension.</i></p> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Player</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Rivals</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Comp</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Att</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Yards</b></td> <td align="center"><b>TD</b></td> <td align="center"><b>INT</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Comp<br>Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Sacks</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Sack Rate </b></td> <td align="center"><b>Yards/<br>Att.</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left"><b>Darell Garretson</b></td> <td align="left"><b>6'0, 200</b></td> <td align="left"><b>So.</b></td> <td align="left"><b>3 stars (5.5)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>125</b></td> <td align="right"><b>207</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1436</b></td> <td align="right"><b>10</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7</b></td> <td align="right"><b>60.4%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>19</b></td> <td align="right"><b>8.4%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.8</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left"><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/137583/chuckie-keeton">Chuckie Keeton</a></b></td> <td align="left"><b>6'2, 200</b></td> <td align="left"><b>Sr.</b></td> <td align="left"><b>2 stars (5.3)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>136</b></td> <td align="right"><b>196</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1388</b></td> <td align="right"><b>18</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>69.4%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>9</b></td> <td align="right"><b>4.4%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>6.6</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left"><b>Craig Harrison</b></td> <td align="left"><b>6'2, 203</b></td> <td align="left"><b>Sr.</b></td> <td align="left"><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>35</b></td> <td align="right"><b>74</b></td> <td align="right"><b>434</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>47.3%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>4</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.1%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.3</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left"><b>Kent Myers</b></td> <td align="left"><b>6'0, 185</b></td> <td align="left"><b>Fr.</b></td> <td align="left"><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h4>Running Back</h4> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Player</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pos.</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Rivals</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Rushes</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Yards</b></td> <td align="center"><b>TD</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Yards/<br>Carry</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Hlt Yds/<br>Carry</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Opp.<br>Rate</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Joey DeMartino</td> <td>RB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">221</td> <td align="right">1221</td> <td align="right">13</td> <td align="right">5.5</td> <td align="right">6.4</td> <td align="right">38.0%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Robert Marshall</td> <td>RB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">94</td> <td align="right">415</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">4.4</td> <td align="right">3.3</td> <td align="right">36.2%</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116645/joe-hill">Joe Hill</a></b></td> <td><b>RB</b></td> <td><b>5'11, 190</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>53</b></td> <td align="right"><b>252</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>4.8</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>34.0%</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Chuckie Keeton</b></td> <td><b>QB</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 200</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.3)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>46</b></td> <td align="right"><b>285</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>6.2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.4</b></td> <td align="right"><b>50.0%</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Darell Garretson</b></td> <td><b>QB</b></td> <td><b>6'0, 200</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.5)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>41</b></td> <td align="right"><b>149</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3.6</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3.9</b></td> <td align="right"><b>31.7%</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>JoJo Natson</b></td> <td><b>WR</b></td> <td><b>5'7, 151</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>29</b></td> <td align="right"><b>108</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3.7</b></td> <td align="right"><b>4.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>37.9%</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Kennedy Williams</b></td> <td><b>RB</b></td> <td><b>5'8, 160</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>21</b></td> <td align="right"><b>68</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3.2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3.8</b></td> <td align="right"><b>33.3%</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Kelvin Lee</b></td> <td><b>RB</b></td> <td><b>5'10, 187</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.3)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>14</b></td> <td align="right"><b>54</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3.9</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>21.4%</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Rashad Hall</b></td> <td><b>RB</b></td> <td><b>6'1, 200</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Karris Johnson</b></td> <td><b>RB</b></td> <td><b>5'11, 208</b></td> <td><b>RSFr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Justin Hervey</b></td> <td><b>RB</b></td> <td><b>5'9, 180</b></td> <td><b>Fr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>LaJuan Hunt</b></td> <td><b>RB</b></td> <td><b>5'9, 185</b></td> <td><b>Fr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h3>4.&nbsp;Where are the big plays?</h3> <p>When Keeton got injured, college football Twitter was crestfallen. Few players were more fun to watch than the senior from Texas, and thanks to the increased prevalence of USU games on national television, we saw quite a bit of him. His decision-making is sound, his elusiveness is top-notch (hopefully this remains the case post-injury), and his ability to make plays out of the pocket is as strong as almost anybody's in college football.</p> <p>But his supporting case got terribly depleted following the departure of running back Kerwynn Williams (2,209 rushing and receiving yards in 2012) and his top four wideouts. With less experience and known play-making ability around him, he found himself throwing shorter passes to players less capable of breaking big plays. He completed more than two-thirds of his passes, but for just 10.2 yards per completion.</p> <p>Keeton's elusiveness might be just fine in 2014, but he needs as much help as he can get from his supporting cast, and considering last year's top two rushers are gone, as are two of the top three wideouts, there's nothing saying he'll get that help.</p> <p>That Joe Hill is back will help. He also suffered a season-ending injury midway through the season, and he showed reasonably decent explosiveness in 2012-13. (Anything over 5.0 highlight yards per opportunity is pretty good; he had 5.8 in 2012 and 5.2 in 2013.) But if he isn't quite as strong post-injury, Keeton and offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven will have to turn to an almost completely untested batch of backs.</p> <p>It's the same story at wide receiver. Travis Reynolds, easily the biggest big-play threat in the receiving corps, is gone. Ronald Butler showed decent explosiveness, but Bruce Natson and Brandon Swindall were used almost entirely close to the line of scrimmage. Receivers had a lovely spring -- Swindall was explosive, and former three-star recruits Alex Wheat and Braelon Roberts looked good -- but that came against a rebuilt set of USU corners. We'll see if they can do it against others, too.</p> <h4>Receiving Corps</h4> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Player</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pos.</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Rivals</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Targets</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Catches</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Yards</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Catch Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Target<br>Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>%SD</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Yds/<br>Target</b></td> <td align="center"><b>NEY</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Real Yds/<br>Target</b></td> <td align="center"><b>RYPR</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Travis Van Leeuwen</td> <td>WR-X</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">92</td> <td align="right">52</td> <td align="right">661</td> <td align="right">56.5%</td> <td align="right">20.2%</td> <td align="right">54.3%</td> <td align="right">7.2</td> <td align="right">-13</td> <td align="right">8.4</td> <td align="right">64.9</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>JoJo Natson</b></td> <td><b>WR-T</b></td> <td><b>5'7, 151</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>79</b></td> <td align="right"><b>58</b></td> <td align="right"><b>385</b></td> <td align="right"><b>73.4%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>17.3%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>51.5%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>4.9</b></td> <td align="right"><b>-274</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.3</b></td> <td align="right"><b>37.8</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Travis Reynolds</td> <td>WR</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">72</td> <td align="right">51</td> <td align="right">832</td> <td align="right">70.8%</td> <td align="right">15.8%</td> <td align="right">56.3%</td> <td align="right">11.6</td> <td align="right">243</td> <td align="right">10.8</td> <td align="right">81.7</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Brandon Swindall</b></td> <td><b>WR-X</b></td> <td><b>6'4, 198</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.5)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>55</b></td> <td align="right"><b>29</b></td> <td align="right"><b>285</b></td> <td align="right"><b>52.7%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>12.1%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>44.9%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>-105</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.6</b></td> <td align="right"><b>28.0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Ronald Butler</b></td> <td><b>WR-Z</b></td> <td><b>6'0, 185</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>36</b></td> <td align="right"><b>24</b></td> <td align="right"><b>346</b></td> <td align="right"><b>66.7%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7.9%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>32.0%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>9.6</b></td> <td align="right"><b>60</b></td> <td align="right"><b>8.7</b></td> <td align="right"><b>34.0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Joey DeMartino</td> <td>RB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">29</td> <td align="right">13</td> <td align="right">125</td> <td align="right">44.8%</td> <td align="right">6.4%</td> <td align="right">46.2%</td> <td align="right">4.3</td> <td align="right">-67</td> <td align="right">4.2</td> <td align="right">12.3</td> </tr> <tr> <td>D.J. Tialavea</td> <td>TE</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">22</td> <td align="right">17</td> <td align="right">93</td> <td align="right">77.3%</td> <td align="right">4.8%</td> <td align="right">57.9%</td> <td align="right">4.2</td> <td align="right">-96</td> <td align="right">4.3</td> <td align="right">9.1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Keegan Andersen</td> <td>TE</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">22</td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">167</td> <td align="right">63.6%</td> <td align="right">4.8%</td> <td align="right">60.0%</td> <td align="right">7.6</td> <td align="right">-4</td> <td align="right">3.5</td> <td align="right">16.4</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Joe Hill</b></td> <td><b>RB</b></td> <td><b>5'11, 190</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>15</b></td> <td align="right"><b>13</b></td> <td align="right"><b>94</b></td> <td align="right"><b>86.7%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3.3%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>53.3%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>6.3</b></td> <td align="right"><b>-43</b></td> <td align="right"><b>6.2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>9.2</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116637/shaan-johnson">Shaan Johnson</a></b></td> <td><b>WR-T</b></td> <td><b>6'1, 190</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.5)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>10</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7</b></td> <td align="right"><b>72</b></td> <td align="right"><b>70.0%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.2%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>83.3%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7.2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>-9</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.9</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7.1</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Wyatt Houston</b></td> <td><b>TE</b></td> <td><b>6'5, 245</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>10</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7</b></td> <td align="right"><b>118</b></td> <td align="right"><b>70.0%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.2%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>50.0%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>11.8</b></td> <td align="right"><b>37</b></td> <td align="right"><b>8.7</b></td> <td align="right"><b>11.6</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/35469/jefferson-court">Jefferson Court</a></b></td> <td><b>TE</b></td> <td><b>6'3, 238</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Alex Wheat, Jr.</b></td> <td><b>WR-Z</b></td> <td><b>6'4, 218</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.5)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116661/tyler-weese">Tyler Weese</a></b></td> <td><b>WR-T</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 195</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Braelon Roberts</b></td> <td><b>WR-X</b></td> <td><b>6'3, 173</b></td> <td><b>RSFr.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.6)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Hayden Weichers</b></td> <td><b>WR-T</b></td> <td><b>6'0, 170</b></td> <td><b>RSFr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.3)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Hunter Sharp</b></td> <td><b>WR</b></td> <td><b>6'0, 190</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Devonte Robinson</b></td> <td><b>WR</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 184</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Landon Horne</b></td> <td><b>TE</b></td> <td><b>6'3, 230</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Marcus Mosley</b></td> <td><b>TE</b></td> <td><b>6'4, 210</b></td> <td><b>Fr.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.5)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Tyler Fox</b></td> <td><b>WR</b></td> <td><b>5'11, 170</b></td> <td><b>Fr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h4>Offensive Line</h4> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Category</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Adj.<br>Line Yds</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Std.<br>Downs<br>LY/carry</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pass.<br>Downs<br>LY/carry</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Opp.<br>Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Power<br>Success<br>Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Stuff<br>Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Adj.<br>Sack Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Std.<br>Downs<br>Sack Rt.</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pass.<br>Downs<br>Sack Rt.</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: left;">Team</td> <td style="text-align: right;"><b> 92 </b></td> <td style="text-align: right;">2.69</td> <td align="right">3.19</td> <td align="right">37.3%</td> <td align="right">62.8%</td> <td align="right">23.5%</td> <td align="right"><b> 84.0 </b></td> <td align="right">6.1%</td> <td align="right">7.7%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: left;">Rank</td> <td style="text-align: right;"><b> 97 </b></td> <td style="text-align: right;">97</td> <td align="right">72</td> <td align="right">85</td> <td align="right">96</td> <td align="right">118</td> <td align="right"><b> 88 </b></td> <td align="right">98</td> <td align="right">75</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Player</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pos.</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt </b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Rivals</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Career Starts</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Honors/Notes</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Tyler Larsen</td> <td>C</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">52</td> <td>1st All-MWC</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Eric Schultz</td> <td>RT</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">46</td> <td></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Jamie Markosian</td> <td>RG</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">27</td> <td></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Kevin Whimpey</b></td> <td><b>LT</b></td> <td><b>6'5, 295</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>26</b></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kyle Whimpey</td> <td>OG</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">18</td> <td></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Sini Tauauve'a</td> <td>LG</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">9</td> <td></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Logan Malohifo'ou</b></td> <td><b>LT</b></td> <td><b>6'6, 304</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Bill Vavau</b></td> <td><b>RG</b></td> <td><b>6'4, 314</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Joe Summers</b></td> <td><b>C</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 294</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Taani Fisilau</b></td> <td><b>LG</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 293</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.6)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Jake Simonich</b></td> <td><b>RT</b></td> <td><b>6'5, 286</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Andrew Chen</b></td> <td><b>OT</b></td> <td><b>6'3, 271</b></td> <td><b>RSFr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Tyshon Mosley</b></td> <td><b>OL</b></td> <td><b>6'5, 305</b></td> <td><b>RSFr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Cody Boyer</b></td> <td><b>OL</b></td> <td><b>6'6, 260</b></td> <td><b>Fr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"></td> <td><br></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h3>5.&nbsp;Scary inexperience up front</h3> <p>Perhaps the most alarming part of Keeton's supporting cast in 2014 comes up front, where the Aggies will be forced to replace five of six players with starting experience. Those accounting for 152 career starts, including all-conference center Tyler Larsen, are gone. Only two-year starting guard Kevin Whimpey returns.</p> <p>The good news, as it were, is that USU's line stats have been pretty poor for a couple of years now. The numbers can only fall so far. But again, when you've got a quarterback coming off of a knee injury and a skill position cast full of potential but almost no known production, an inexperienced line is the last thing you want to have to deal with.</p> <h4>Defense</h4> <center><img width="100%" src="http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/assets/4287103/2014UtahStDefPrint.jpg"></center> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center" colspan="7"><b>FIVE FACTORS -- DEFENSE</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><b></b></td> <td colspan="2" style="text-align: center;"><b>Raw Category</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Rk</b></td> <td colspan="2" style="text-align: center;"><b>Opp. Adj. Category</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><b>Rk</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>EXPLOSIVENESS</b></td> <td>IsoPPP</td> <td align="right">1.05</td> <td align="right">19</td> <td>IsoPPP+</td> <td align="right">112.6</td> <td align="right">14</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>EFFICIENCY</b></td> <td>Succ. Rt.</td> <td align="right">36.9%</td> <td align="right">15</td> <td>Succ. Rt. +</td> <td align="right">117.5</td> <td align="right">11</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>FIELD POSITION</b></td> <td>Off. Avg. FP</td> <td align="right">32.7</td> <td align="right">15</td> <td>Off. FP+</td> <td align="right">105.4</td> <td align="right">14</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>FINISHING DRIVES</b></td> <td>Pts. Per Trip in 40</td> <td align="right">3.1</td> <td align="right">3</td> <td>Redzone S&P+</td> <td align="right">180.5</td> <td align="right">1</td> </tr> <tr> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>TURNOVERS</b></td> <td>EXPECTED</td> <td align="right">29.6</td> <td></td> <td>ACTUAL</td> <td align="right">30.0</td> <td style="text-align: right;">+0.4</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Category</b></td> <td align="center"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.cfbstats.com/2013/leader/national/team/defense/split01/category10/sort01.html">Yards/<br>Game Rk</a></b></td> <td align="center"><b><a target="_blank" href="www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaadef2013">S&P+ Rk</a></b></td> <td align="center"><b><a target="_blank" href="www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaadef2013">Success<br>Rt. Rk</a></b></td> <td align="center"><b><a target="_blank" href="www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaadef2013">PPP+ Rk</a></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>OVERALL</td> <td align="right">12</td> <td align="right">7</td> <td align="right">11</td> <td align="right">7</td> </tr> <tr> <td>RUSHING</td> <td align="right">8</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">12</td> <td align="right">2</td> </tr> <tr> <td>PASSING</td> <td align="right">52</td> <td align="right">29</td> <td align="right">23</td> <td align="right">38</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Standard Downs</td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right">7</td> <td align="right">13</td> <td align="right">11</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Passing Downs</td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right">10</td> <td align="right">10</td> <td align="right">26</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td>Q1 Rk</td> <td align="right">13</td> <td>1st Down Rk</td> <td align="right">7</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Q2 Rk</td> <td align="right">8</td> <td>2nd Down Rk</td> <td align="right">6</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Q3 Rk</td> <td align="right">10</td> <td>3rd Down Rk</td> <td align="right">18</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Q4 Rk</td> <td align="right">5</td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h3>6.&nbsp;I want to marry this defense</h3> <p>The state of Utah knows defense. From 2007-13, 11 defenses from the state have ranked in the Def. F/+ top 30. Six have come in the last three years.</p> <p> </p> <ol> <li><span>2013 Utah State (No. 8)</span></li> <li><span>2008 Utah (No. 8)</span></li> <li><span>2012 Utah State (No. 9)</span></li> <li><span>2012 BYU (No. 10)</span></li> <li><span>2007 Utah (No. 14)</span></li> <li><span>2013 BYU (No. 15)</span></li> <li><span>2011 Utah (No. 16)</span></li> <li><span>2007 BYU (No. 20)</span></li> <li><span>2009 Utah (No. 29)</span></li> <li><span>2013 Utah (No. 30)</span></li> <li><span>2009 BYU (No. 30)</span></li> </ol> <p>The 2013 Utah State defense had the highest actual F/+ rating (plus-18.3 percent) of the bunch. And again, the Aggies did this despite losing defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, perhaps the best young defensive coordinator in the nation, to Wisconsin. Aranda's replacement, Todd Orlando, who had spent the previous two seasons coordinating another rather successful defense at FIU, not only kept USU's defense from dropping too far ... he made it even better.</p> <p>The 2013 Aggies were simply stout. They were quite possibly the toughest defense in the country against the run. They had the size, depth, and talent up front to occupy blockers with three down linemen. They had a foursome of linebackers that lived in the backfield (not literally, as that would be a penalty ...&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sbnation.com/2013/12/5/5166604/breaking-madden-a-land-where-offsides-has-no-meaning" target="_blank">unless</a> ...). They had two of the most active cornerbacks in college football and a pair of safeties that made plays both behind the line and 30 yards downfield. This was a sound, sound unit. It made Utah State incredibly fun to watch despite the low scores on the scoreboard. There were occasional breakdowns when it comes to big pass plays, but that's only so much of an issue when you are so successful at making teams one-dimensional.</p> <p>Orlando faces a relatively stiff test in 2014, however. The Aggies return quite a few difference-makers -- outside linebackers Kyler Fackrell and Nick Vigil, end B.J. Larsen, inside linebacker Zach Vigil, safety Brian Suite -- and Utah State redshirted a few defenders in anticipation of attrition. Still, six pretty damn good starters are gone; we'll see if the replacements are far enough along in their development to avoid a drop-off.</p> <h4>Defensive Line</h4> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Category</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Adj.<br>Line Yds</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Std.<br>Downs<br>LY/carry</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pass.<br>Downs<br>LY/carry</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Opp.<br>Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Power<br>Success<br>Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Stuff<br>Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Adj.<br>Sack Rate</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Std.<br>Downs<br>Sack Rt.</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pass.<br>Downs<br>Sack Rt.</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Team</td> <td align="right"><b> 135.6 </b></td> <td align="right">2.25</td> <td align="right">2.76</td> <td align="right">30.4%</td> <td align="right">65.5%</td> <td align="right">24.4%</td> <td align="right">133.2</td> <td align="right">5.7%</td> <td align="right">7.8%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Rank</td> <td align="right"><b> 1 </b></td> <td align="right">2</td> <td align="right">17</td> <td align="right">3</td> <td align="right">56</td> <td align="right">11</td> <td align="right"><b> 13 </b></td> <td align="right">38</td> <td align="right">41</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Name</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pos</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Rivals</b></td> <td align="center"><b>GP</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Tackles</b></td> <td align="center"><b>% of Team</b></td> <td align="center"><b>TFL</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Sacks</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Int</b></td> <td align="center"><b>PBU</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FF</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FR</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Paul Piukala</td> <td>DE</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">27.0</td> <td align="right">3.5%</td> <td align="right">5.0</td> <td align="right">0.0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>AJ Pataiali'i</td> <td>NG</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">24.5</td> <td align="right">3.1%</td> <td align="right">3.5</td> <td align="right">1.0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116668/b-j-larsen">B.J. Larsen</a></b></td> <td><b>DE</b></td> <td><b>6'5, 275</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>14</b></td> <td align="right"><b>22.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.9%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>8.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>4.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Jordan Nielsen</b></td> <td><b>DE</b></td> <td><b>6'5, 265</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>14</b></td> <td align="right"><b>22.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.8%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Ricky Ali'ifua</b></td> <td><b>NG</b></td> <td><b>6'3, 275</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>13</b></td> <td align="right"><b>15.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.0%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>4.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Connor Williams</td> <td>DE</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">10</td> <td align="right">15.0</td> <td align="right">1.9%</td> <td align="right">2.0</td> <td align="right">2.0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116658/elvis-kamana-matagi">Elvis Kamana-Matagi</a></b></td> <td><b>NG</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 298</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>14</b></td> <td align="right"><b>9.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1.2%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Travis Seefeldt</b></td> <td><b>NG</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 302</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>12</b></td> <td align="right"><b>6.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.8%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Jake Gallegos</b></td> <td><b>DE</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 271</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Edmund Faimalo</b></td> <td><b>DE</b></td> <td><b>6'3, 290</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>John Taylor</b></td> <td><b>DE</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 270</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Siua Taufa</b></td> <td><b>DE</b></td> <td><b>6'1, 260</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h4>Linebackers</h4> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Name</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pos</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Rivals</b></td> <td align="center"><b>GP</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Tackles</b></td> <td align="center"><b>% of Team</b></td> <td align="center"><b>TFL</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Sacks</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Int</b></td> <td align="center"><b>PBU</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FF</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FR</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Jake Doughty</td> <td>ILB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">95.0</td> <td align="right">12.2%</td> <td align="right">13.0</td> <td align="right">2.0</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">3</td> <td align="right">2</td> <td align="right">1</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116653/zach-vigil">Zach Vigil</a></b></td> <td><b>ILB</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 232</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>14</b></td> <td align="right"><b>86.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>11.1%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>12.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>3</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Kyler Fackrell</b></td> <td><b>OLB</b></td> <td><b>6'5, 245</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>14</b></td> <td align="right"><b>59.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7.6%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>13.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Nick Vigil</b></td> <td><b>OLB</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 230</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>14</b></td> <td align="right"><b>39.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.1%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>8.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116636/tavaris-mcmillian">Tavaris McMillian</a></b></td> <td><b>LB</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 230</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7</b></td> <td align="right"><b>9.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1.2%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Terrell Thompson</td> <td>LB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">10</td> <td align="right">6.5</td> <td align="right">0.8%</td> <td align="right">1.0</td> <td align="right">1.0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Keylon Hollis</td> <td>OLB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">9</td> <td align="right">6.0</td> <td align="right">0.8%</td> <td align="right">0.5</td> <td align="right">0.0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Torrey Green</b></td> <td><b>ILB</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 220</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7</b></td> <td align="right"><b>4.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.6%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Jarom Baldomero</b></td> <td><b>ILB</b></td> <td><b>6'0, 230</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>13</b></td> <td align="right"><b>4.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.5%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>La'Bradford Harold</b></td> <td><b>OLB</b></td> <td><b>5'11, 225</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.5)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.3%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/137590/michael-okonkwo">Michael Okonkwo</a></b></td> <td><b>OLB</b></td> <td><b>6'1, 222</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Alex Huerta</b></td> <td><b>ILB</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 214</b></td> <td><b>RSFr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Sunia Tauteloli</b></td> <td><b>LB</b></td> <td><b>6'0, 225</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.3)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Chase Christiansen</b></td> <td><b>OLB</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 210</b></td> <td><b>Fr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Ian Togiai</b></td> <td><b>ILB</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 230</b></td> <td><b>Fr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> <td align="right"><br></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h3>7.&nbsp;A test of depth</h3> <ul> <li> <u>Pro</u>: B.J. Larsen and three of four awesome linebackers return. And while there are two starters gone up front, second-stringers Jordan Nielsen and Rick Ali'fua return.</li> <li> <u>Con</u>: Utah State had no backup linebackers last year. The Aggies got away with completely unproven depth because the starters didn't miss any playing time. And for all we know, that depth might prove itself just fine when given the opportunity. Any injuries whatsoever will force them to prove that, however, and there are nothing but unknowns outside of the top tier.</li> <li> <u>Pro</u>: USU has earned the benefit of the doubt after the last two years.</li> <li> <u>Con</u>: Two years ago, USU ranked 72nd in Def. F/+. The Aggies have only had a great defense for two years; it's not a birthright, and new blood simply might not be as good as the old blood.</li> </ul> <h4>Secondary</h4> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Name</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pos</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Rivals</b></td> <td align="center"><b>GP</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Tackles</b></td> <td align="center"><b>% of Team</b></td> <td align="center"><b>TFL</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Sacks</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Int</b></td> <td align="center"><b>PBU</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FF</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FR</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Maurice Alexander</td> <td>FS</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">13</td> <td align="right">59.0</td> <td align="right">7.6%</td> <td align="right">9</td> <td align="right">3.5</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">6</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116638/brian-suite">Brian Suite</a></b></td> <td><b>FS</b></td> <td><b>6'3, 205</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>14</b></td> <td align="right"><b>57.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>7.3%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>6</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Nevin Lawson</td> <td>CB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">45.0</td> <td align="right">5.8%</td> <td align="right">5</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">4</td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Tay Glover-Wright</td> <td>CB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">41.5</td> <td align="right">5.3%</td> <td align="right">5</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">10</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Quinton Byrd</td> <td>CB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">34.0</td> <td align="right">4.4%</td> <td align="right">2</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">9</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116650/frankie-sutera">Frankie Sutera</a></b></td> <td><b>FS</b></td> <td><b>6'1, 201</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>14</b></td> <td align="right"><b>19.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.5%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Cameron Sanders</td> <td>SS</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">13</td> <td align="right">14.5</td> <td align="right">1.9%</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Jeremy Morris</td> <td>CB</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">11.5</td> <td align="right">1.5%</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">2</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Rashard Stewart</b></td> <td><b>CB</b></td> <td><b>5'11, 185</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b>13</b></td> <td align="right"><b>11.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1.4%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.5</b></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Clayton Christensen</td> <td>S</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">14</td> <td align="right">5.5</td> <td align="right">0.7%</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Devin Centers</b></td> <td><b>FS</b></td> <td><b>5'9, 190</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>NR</b></td> <td align="right"><b>13</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0.3%</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/137579/ladale-jackson">Ladale Jackson</a></b></td> <td><b>CB</b></td> <td><b>5'11, 178</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.5)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Marwin Evans</b></td> <td><b>SS</b></td> <td><b>6'1, 195</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Daniel Gray</b></td> <td><b>CB</b></td> <td><b>5'1, 170</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>3 stars (5.5)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Marquan Ellison</b></td> <td><b>CB</b></td> <td><b>5'11, 175</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.2)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Myron Turner</b></td> <td><b>FS</b></td> <td><b>5'11, 170</b></td> <td><b>RSFr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Deshane Hines</b></td> <td><b>CB</b></td> <td><b>5'10, 180</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> <td align="right"><b></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Aaron Wade</b></td> <td><b>S</b></td> <td><b>6'2, 180</b></td> <td><b>Fr.</b></td> <td><b>2 stars (5.4)</b></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> <td align="right"></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h3>8.&nbsp;Potential weakness in the secondary</h3> <p>I can't work up too much concern about the front seven even with a little bit of turnover. But there's a <i>lot</i> of turnover in the secondary. Not only three of four starters gone, but four of the top six backups are gone, too. Maurice Alexander was one of the most successfully aggressive safeties in the country; he was a huge asset near the line of scrimmage. Meanwhile, corners Nevin Lawson, Tay Glover-Wright, and Quinton Byrd combined for not only five picks and 33 passes defensed, but ALSO 12 tackles for loss. The secondary did occasionally give up some big plays, but they were easily effective enough to counter that.</p> <p>Now Orlando (also the safeties coach) and Kendrick Shaver (corners coach and defensive passing game coordinator) start over.</p> <p>There are some athletes here -- among others, Ladale Jackson is a former three-star recruit, and Daniel Gray started briefly at Tennessee in 2012 -- but the experience level goes from major asset to liability. We'll see how much of USU's recent success is because of system and how much is because of a unique confluence of talent.</p> <h4>Special Teams</h4> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Punter</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Punts</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Avg</b></td> <td align="center"><b>TB</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FC</b></td> <td align="center"><b>I20</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FC/I20<br>Ratio</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116647/jaron-bentrude">Jaron Bentrude</a></b></td> <td><b>6'1, 209</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td align="right"><b>73</b></td> <td align="right"><b>39.8</b></td> <td align="right"><b>6</b></td> <td align="right"><b>39</b></td> <td align="right"><b>31</b></td> <td align="right"><b>95.9%</b></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Kicker</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Kickoffs</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Avg</b></td> <td align="center"><b>TB</b></td> <td align="center"><b>OOB</b></td> <td align="center"><b>TB%</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/89091/jake-thompson">Jake Thompson</a></b></td> <td><b>6'0, 200</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td align="right"><b>86</b></td> <td align="right"><b>62.4</b></td> <td align="right"><b>42</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>48.8%</b></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Place-Kicker</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>PAT</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FG<br>(0-39)</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pct</b></td> <td align="center"><b>FG<br>(40+)</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pct</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/players/116667/nick-diaz">Nick Diaz</a></b></td> <td><b>5'8, 182</b></td> <td><b>Sr.</b></td> <td><b>51-52</b></td> <td><b>13-17</b></td> <td align="right"><b>76.5%</b></td> <td><b>4-6</b></td> <td align="right"><b>66.7%</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Jake Thompson</b></td> <td><b>6'0, 200</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td><b>0-0</b></td> <td><b>0-0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>N/A</b></td> <td><b>1-3</b></td> <td align="right"><b>33.3%</b></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><b>Returner</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Pos.</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Ht, Wt</b></td> <td align="center"><b>2014<br>Year</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Returns</b></td> <td align="center"><b>Avg.</b></td> <td align="center"><b>TD</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Tay Glover-Wright</td> <td>KR</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">19</td> <td align="right">22.6</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Travis Reynolds</td> <td>KR</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">4</td> <td align="right">16.5</td> <td align="right">0</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>JoJo Natson</b></td> <td><b>PR</b></td> <td><b>5'7, 151</b></td> <td><b>Jr.</b></td> <td align="right"><b>31</b></td> <td align="right"><b>11.3</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Devin Centers</b></td> <td><b>PR</b></td> <td><b>5'9, 190</b></td> <td><b>So.</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> <td align="right"><b>2.0</b></td> <td align="right"><b>0</b></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td><b>Category</b></td> <td><b>Rk</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><a target="_blank" href="http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/feist"><b>Special Teams F/+</b></a></td> <td align="right"><b> 12 </b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Field Goal Efficiency</td> <td align="right">73</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Punt Return Efficiency</td> <td align="right">6</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kick Return Efficiency</td> <td align="right">86</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Punt Efficiency</td> <td align="right">34</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kickoff Efficiency</td> <td align="right">6</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Opponents' Field Goal Efficiency</td> <td align="right">39</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h3>9.&nbsp;Just find a return man...</h3> <p>Utah State was so good at the little things in 2013. The Aggies stiffened near the goal line, and they were good to great in the field position battle. Really, all they lacked was a kick returner, and they'd have had a top-10 special teams unit.</p> <p>The strengths of this unit return: punter Jaron Bentrude doesn't have the longest kicks in the world, but opponents get almost no return opportunities against him. Bruce Natson is one of the best punt returners in the country. And while Nick Diaz could stand to be a little more consistent on shorter kicks, he's solid.</p> <p>If the Aggies can unearth a good kick return man (Natson perhaps?), this should once again be a great unit.</p> <h4>2014 Schedule & Projection Factors</h4> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td align="center" colspan="3"><b>2014 Schedule</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Date</b></td> <td><b>Opponent</b></td> <td><b>Proj. Rk</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>31-Aug</td> <td>at Tennessee</td> <td align="right">57</td> </tr> <tr> <td>6-Sep</td> <td>Idaho State</td> <td align="right">NR</td> </tr> <tr> <td>13-Sep</td> <td>Wake Forest</td> <td align="right">89</td> </tr> <tr> <td>20-Sep</td> <td>at Arkansas State</td> <td align="right">84</td> </tr> <tr> <td>3-Oct</td> <td>at BYU</td> <td align="right">32</td> </tr> <tr> <td>11-Oct</td> <td>Air Force</td> <td align="right">105</td> </tr> <tr> <td>18-Oct</td> <td>at Colorado State</td> <td align="right">85</td> </tr> <tr> <td>25-Oct</td> <td>UNLV</td> <td align="right">109</td> </tr> <tr> <td>1-Nov</td> <td>at Hawaii</td> <td align="right">93</td> </tr> <tr> <td>7-Nov</td> <td>at Wyoming</td> <td align="right">100</td> </tr> <tr> <td>15-Nov</td> <td>New Mexico</td> <td align="right">116</td> </tr> <tr> <td>21-Nov</td> <td>San Jose State</td> <td align="right">82</td> </tr> <tr> <td>29-Nov</td> <td>at Boise State</td> <td align="right">18</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td><b>Five-Year F/+ Rk</b></td> <td align="right">0.0% (54)</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Two-Year Recruiting Rk</b></td> <td align="right">107</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>TO Margin/Adj. TO Margin*</b></td> <td align="right">11 / 4.6</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>TO Luck/Game</b></td> <td align="right">+2.3</td> </tr> <tr> <td><b>Approx. Ret. Starters (Off. / Def.)</b></td> <td align="right">7 (3, 4)</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <h3>10.&nbsp;Don't take Chuckie away from us again, please</h3> <p>We'll begin to learn if Utah State is truly built for the long haul this year. Taking a moribund program (here's your annual reminder that the Aggies won 15 games in the six years before Gary Andersen took over and didn't have a winning record from 1997 to 2011) and putting together a short span of success is hard but reasonably common. Sustaining that success, especially through a coaching change, is anything but common.</p> <p>Matt Wells passed his first test, both in how he crafted his staff and how his first team played; but as the players most closely associated with USU's 27 wins in three years begin to graduate and depart, it's up to Wells to replenish the stock. He might pass that test, but even with the return of Chuckie Keeton, there is quite a bit of uncertainty here.</p> <p>I think the Aggies are still in pretty good shape for 2014, however. The front seven should still be strong enough to key a decent defense even if the pass defense falls apart to a certain degree, and the return of both Keeton and Joe Hill should make the backfield just effective enough to move the ball a bit even if the line is sketchy. Injuries in the backfield or in the front seven could be devastating, but that goes for a lot of teams. The first string, as we know it, is pretty good.</p> <p>But seriously, Sports God, don't injure Chuckie Keeton in his last year. We don't ask for much, but we want to watch him for another 13-14 games.</p> http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/4/18/5625140/utah-state-football-2014-preview-schedule-roster Bill Connelly 2014-04-18T08:00:02-04:00 2014-04-18T08:00:02-04:00 Missouri basketball coaching search: The April 18 hot-list hot list <img alt="" src="http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31800871/480199695.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>We've gotten some practice at this. We know how the process works for hiring a new coach for a major sport: we get rumors, we get SOURCES!! ... and then we get a hire that might not have had any link to the rumors and sources. I profiled like 15 rumored coaches three years ago when Mike Anderson left, and Frank Haith was not one of the 15.</p> <p>Tracking coaching rumors is a sport in and of itself. As with recruiting, there are "winners" and "losers" in this fake game.</p> <p>And as with recruiting, there are hot boards. Lots of hot boards. Let's keep track of them.</p> <p>Hot lists are echo chambers. One random person says a name, and he gets added to others' lists. And the first 24 hours of a coaching vacancy basically consist of members of the media bouncing names off of each other before the list slowly gets honed down.</p> <p>Right now, though? Total free-for-all. Let's take a look. We'll add, subtract, and create rules as we go.</p> <p><b>Current hot lists in use</b><br><a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/GoodmanESPN">Jeff Goodman on Twitter, 4/17</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/17/4966460/possible-candidates-if-missouris.html">KC Star, 4/17</a><br><a target="_blank" href="https://missouri.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1632785">PowerMizzou, 4/17</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/sports/mu_basketball/reports-haith-agrees-to-take-coaching-job-at-tulsa/article_6dbad5be-c66a-11e3-a09c-0017a43b2370.html">The Trib, 4/17</a></p> <table border="1"><tbody> <tr> <td><b>Coach</b></td> <td><b>Current job</b></td> <td><b>Jeff Goodman</b></td> <td><b>KC Star</b></td> <td><b>PowerMizzou</b></td> <td><b>The Trib</b></td> <td><b>TOTAL</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Archie Miller</td> <td>Dayton</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right"><b>4</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mike White</td> <td>Louisiana Tech</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right"><b>3</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Tim Miles</td> <td>Nebraska</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right"><b>3</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Matt Painter</td> <td>Purdue</td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right"><b>3</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Craig Neal</td> <td>New Mexico</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kim Anderson</td> <td>Central Missouri</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ben Howland</td> <td>unemployed</td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Chris Mack</td> <td>Xavier</td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Shaka Smart</td> <td>VCU</td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Gregg Marshall</td> <td>Wichita State</td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>2</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Donnie Tyndall</td> <td>Southern Miss</td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brad Underwood</td> <td>Stephen F. Austin</td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mick Cronin</td> <td>Cincinnati</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Tim Fuller</td> <td>Missouri (assistant)</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Frank Martin</td> <td>South Carolina</td> <td></td> <td></td> <td align="right">1</td> <td></td> <td align="right"><b>1</b></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <p>Some initial thoughts:</p> <p>1. One has to assume that the list starts with Gregg Marshall no matter what. Whether we ever find out about it or not, the odds are strong that Mike Alden puts out a feeler. If you believe <a target="_blank" href="http://blogs.kansas.com/lutz/2014/04/15/marshall-to-tennessee-forget-about-it/">Bob Lutz at the <i>Wichita Eagle</i></a>, maybe there will be some traction there. But until we hear otherwise, this is obviously in the "probably not" category. Marshall and Smart are mentioned for every single job opening, and they pass on every single job opening.</p> <p>2. Archie Miller has three years of experience at Dayton after three years with Sean Miller at Arizona, one with Thad Matta at Ohio State, and three with Herb Sendek at N.C. State and Arizona State. He's gone 26-22 in conference, and he led his team to the Elite Eight this past season. This was his first real year of success, however, and while Dayton was really fun to watch in the tournament, they did finish just 38th in the Pomeroy rankings. Because of the lightning-in-a-bottle nature of his current r&eacute;sum&eacute;, I doubt he's Alden's first choice. That doesn't mean he won't be Alden's <i>final</i> choice, of course.</p> <p>3. Michael White has had about the same level of success as Miller. He has been a head coach for three years, and he has shown steady progress at Louisiana Tech -- from 12-20 to 18-16 in Year 1, to 27-7 and NIT 2nd Round in Year 2, to 29-8 and NIT quarterfinals in Year 3. He has SEC ties (he attended Ole Miss), but his pedigree doesn't have as many big names on it, for whatever that's worth to you. He was an assistant at Jacksonville State for the first four years of his career, and he was a top assistant for each of the last two Ole Miss coaches in Oxford. If or when Andy Kennedy doesn't work out, one has to figure White will get a long look. Again, I don't see enough head coaching experience to assume he's one of Alden's immediate top choices.</p> <p>4. Of the names with at least three points right now, only Miles and Painter have the major-conference experience Mike Alden seems to value more and more. Miles has proven himself in terms of reclamation projects, that's for sure. In fact, Miles has all sorts of experience, period. He has been a head coach since 1996 -- first at Mayville State (he went 17-11 and 18-11), then at SW Minnesota State (he went 28-7 and reached the Division II Elite Eight his final year), then at North Dakota State (he won 20 games twice while NDSU was still an Independent), then at Colorado State (he took over an outright reclamation project, went 7-25 his first year, then reached the NCAA Tournament in his fifth year), and finally at Nebraska. It took him only two years to turn Nebraska into a tournament team.</p> <p>The problem with Miles is, he's quickly turning Nebraska into an attractive enough job that he might not want to leave. And it's certainly safe to say that the Big Ten is a more attractive basketball conference than the SEC at the moment. He has no ties to the southeast, so while I wouldn't object to Alden gauging interest, there's nothing to say that Miles would actually have any interest.</p> <p>5. And then there's Matt Painter. I mean ... I guess I could see it. We know he was attracted to the job three years ago, and we know that, with his lack of success at Purdue over the last three years (he went 22-13 two years ago and has gone 31-35 since), there's certainly a chance that he regrets not coming to Columbia and would do so if given a do-over. And it's probably safe to say that Purdue wouldn't fight nearly as hard to keep him this time.</p> <p>But still ... he completely and totally left Mike Alden at the alter two years ago. I posted this morning that one of Alden's biggest strengths is that he doesn't make emotional decisions, so technically "he left me at the alter" might not factor in. But I have to say that this would still surprise the hell out of me. Experience aside (and let's face it, his experience will still be a major pro on the pros-and-cons list), Painter isn't nearly as as attractive a name this time around. He has struggled to recruit, and while he hasn't suddenly turned into a bad coach, I don't think he's attractive enough to offset what happened three years ago.</p> <p>6. As for Kim Anderson...</p> <blockquote lang="en" class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Yes. Mizzou passed on Kim Anderson the last three times there was an opening, but THIS TIME he's a dark horse.</p> &mdash; Rock M Nation (@rockmnation) <a href="https://twitter.com/rockmnation/statuses/456912786941952000">April 17, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></p> <blockquote lang="en" class="twitter-tweet"> <p>And after being passed over three times and getting ready to turn 60 years old, Kim Anderson would be interested?</p> &mdash; Rock M Nation (@rockmnation) <a href="https://twitter.com/rockmnation/statuses/456913370847772672">April 17, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></p> <blockquote lang="en" class="twitter-tweet"> <p>(That's right, he's almost 60 years old. He's three years younger than Gary Pinkel. Maybe it's time we let this one go&hellip;)</p> &mdash; Rock M Nation (@rockmnation) <a href="https://twitter.com/rockmnation/statuses/456913940799565824">April 17, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></p> <p>He's three years younger than Gary Pinkel, he's six years younger than Norm Stewart was when Norm retired, and he's been passed over three times already. There's no reason to think Mike Alden is interested, and there's no reason to think he'd reciprocate the interest. I know the "TRUE SON" urge is strong, and for all we know, he'd be as magnificent at the job as everybody really, truly wants to think. But if it didn't happen the last three times...</p> <p>(Meanwhile, I'd like to know how someone can be a "dark horse" when people bring him up every time there's an opening...)</p> http://www.rockmnation.com/2014/4/18/5627366/missouri-basketball-coaching-search-hot-list Bill Connelly 2014-04-18T06:13:14-04:00 2014-04-18T06:13:14-04:00 Missouri is looking for a new head basketball coach <img alt="" src="http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31799011/20140225_tcb_sz2_734.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>Instead of waiting around to see if he could avoid getting fired next season, Frank Haith is leaving Missouri for the head coaching job at Tulsa.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Because there's no such thing as a slow week, <a href="http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24530608/missouris-frank-haith-has-emerged-as-a-serious-candidate-at-tulsa" target="_blank">it appears there's a chance Missouri will be looking for a new head basketball coach soon, according to CBS' Gary Parrish</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Frank is looking for a way out of Missouri," one source said. "This might be it."</p> <p>Haith just finished his third season at Missouri by missing the <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/march-madness" class="sbn-auto-link">NCAA Tournament</a> with a team talented enough to make it, and Mizzou fans have undeniably turned on him because of underachieving on the court and problems off of the court -- most recently the arrest and dismissal of Louisville transfer Zach Price. Sources told CBSSports.com that Tulsa is willing to pay in excess of $1 million for Haith, and that he's seriously considering going because he knows one more bad season at Missouri could be his last.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;">I mean ... that logic isn't exactly unsound. I've made it pretty clear over the last year or so that I don't think he's done as poor a job as Mizzou fans tend to think, but if he doesn't feel he can right the ship in Columbia, then he certainly needs to leave. And if he thinks he only has another year to do it and isn't sure how next season's roster is taking shape, then this is a perfect out.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Since this would be the worst leverage move of all-time -- "Hey, Mr. Alden, Tulsa's offering me their job, so I need a raise to stay." -- one has to assume that this is a real thing, not an agents-jockeying-for-more-money thing. And honestly, I'm cool with it. If he doesn't think he's the man for this job, he needs to leave. If he's ready to fight to turn the program around, he should stay and give it a shot.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">(And if he stays, and the angry portion of the Mizzou fanbase just got trolled, that's going to be pretty fun, too.)</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Weirdest. Month. Ever.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><b>UPDATE #1: SOURCES!</b></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/tu/mensbasketball/missouri-s-frank-haith-positioned-to-become-tu-s-basketball/article_57d62eca-c664-11e3-ba76-001a4bcf6878.html" target="_blank">Tulsa World</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;">Haith is described by the source as "a very solid front-runner" and is expected to be offered an opportunity to succeed Danny Manning as the Golden Hurricane coach. It is expected that Haith will meet today with TU President Steadman Upham and athletic director Derrick Gragg.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;"><b>UPDATE #2: IN-PERSON SOURCES!</b></p> <blockquote data-partner="tweetdeck" class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Just ran into Frank Haith. I asked about the Tulsa report. He said, "going to listen." I asked, "Tulsa?" He nodded yes. <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23abc17&src=hash">#abc17</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23mizzou&src=hash">#mizzou</a></p> &mdash; Austin Kim (@AustinKKim) <a href="https://twitter.com/AustinKKim/statuses/456891168245047296">April 17, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Really, though, you can't go to Tulsa to "listen" without taking the job at this point. A good portion of the Mizzou fanbase that <i>hasn't</i> turned on Haith would turn on him pretty quickly.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><b>UPDATE #3: This is happening. (SOURCES.)</b></p> <blockquote data-partner="tweetdeck" class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Missouri's Frank Haith has reached verbal agreement to become the head coach at Tulsa, source told ESPN. Haith is en route to Tulsa now.</p> &mdash; Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoodmanESPN/statuses/456904169346310144">April 17, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></p> http://www.rockmnation.com/2014/4/18/5627356/missouri-basketball-head-coach-frank-haith Bill Connelly 2014-04-18T06:10:19-04:00 2014-04-18T06:10:19-04:00 Mizzou Links, 4-18-14: Rev up the "coaching search" engines <img alt="" src="http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31798877/20130108_jla_ad9_398.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>Hiring a coach is really hard, hot lists are hot, and Jakeenan Gant probably didn't sleep last night.</p> <h4> <img src="http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/553964/newlogo.jpg"> 1. From nothing to "done deal" in like three hours</h4> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.rockmnation.com/2014/4/17/5625766/frank-haith-tulsa-basketball-missouri#227944345">I enjoyed this comment from Michael Atchison last night</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The most pivotal moment of Haith's career at Mizzou came when Mike Dixon was dismissed from the program. The 2012-13 team had a chance to be really good, but Phil Pressey, for all his gifts, proved to be monumentally untrustworthy as a point guard, especially in the game&rsquo;s waning moments. Things would have been much, much different with a guy like Dixon making good decisions and taking big shots. That team would have won at least four or five more games with Dixon and would have earned a good seed in the tournament. Haith would have produced in a big way in each of his first two seasons and would have stockpiled enough good will to weather a year like the one he just had.</p> </blockquote> <p>It is a nice reminder that good situations can often become shaky situations due to forces outside of your control, and good hires can become bad hires (and vice versa) at the drop of a hat. This is a really tenuous business. And as a whole, that's why I've enjoyed most of Mike Alden's tenure as athletic director. He doesn't always make a good hire -- that makes sense, as when it comes to hiring coaches, a success rate of 50% is pretty strong (which is why you don't want to have to do it very often) -- but he is pragmatic in his approach, he doesn't make emotional decisions (which hurts him in PR from time to time), and he sticks to what he sees as core values.</p> <p>Those values, and the qualifications he seeks, have been honed and refined through the years, but I think this approach gives him solid odds of success. His basketball hiring track record obviously isn't amazing, but it also isn't as bad as we want to make it. Quin Snyder looked like a solid hire until about halfway through his fourth year, when it suddenly wasn't*. Given his minimal support and resources (as I'm sure you remember, curators were voting on whether or not to fire him as he was out looking for a coach), Alden's hire of Mike Anderson was an outright home run. And with Haith ... yeah, I understand that I have a different view of Haith's second year than most, so we'll just say that while it clearly wasn't a wonderful hire, I don't think it was as bad as most do right about now.</p> <p><i>* "It was, then it wasn't" obviously means that it means it finished in the "bad hire" category, but it also points to how hard it is to project success. Quin Snyder was a former point guard who hadn't stocked the point guard position well enough, and he took a chance on a high-scoring JUCO guard playing in Idaho (a move that everyone LOVED at the time) for his fourth year in charge. And then things went in a different direction. But I think the Quin experience led to Alden changing his criteria (he now seems to seek more head coaching experience), which reminds us that coach hiring is like any other type of hiring in the world. You learn as you go.</i></p> <p>Hiring is hard, and Alden hasn't been perfect at it. But I trust the qualifications he seeks, and we'll see what he comes up with this time around.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/sports/mu_basketball/reports-haith-agrees-to-take-coaching-job-at-tulsa/article_6dbad5be-c66a-11e3-a09c-0017a43b2370.html">The Trib: Report: Tulsa to announce Haith as new coach on Friday</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/tulsa-set-to-hire-mizzou-s-haith/article_73429b3d-4176-54e8-b5e3-675e528b95af.html">Post-Dispatch: Tulsa set to hire Mizzou's Haith</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/17/4966163/report-mizzou-basketball-coach.html">KC Star: Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith reportedly will take Tulsa job</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/173718/missouri-basketballs-frank-haith-to-take-tulsa-job-reports-say/">The Missourian: Missouri basketball's Frank Haith to take Tulsa job, reports say</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://kbiasports.org/2014/04/17/missouri-coach-frank-haith-to-become-tulsa-head-coach/">KBIA Sports: Missouri Coach Frank Haith To Become Tulsa Coach</a></p> <p><u>Commentary, Etc.<br></u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/sports/mu_basketball/timeline-of-haith-s-tenure-at-missouri/article_79b7fce6-c6bc-11e3-a831-0017a43b2370.html">The Trib: Timeline of Haith's tenure at Missouri</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/17/4967160/frank-haith-could-be-doing-missouri.html">KC Star: Frank Haith could be doing Missouri basketball a big favor</a></p> <h4> <img src="http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/553964/newlogo.jpg"> 2. Recruit reaction</h4> <p>More than anybody else in this process, I feel sorry for Jakeenan Gant right about now. <i>His family just moved to Missouri so they could see him playing for Frank Haith</i>. That's ... yuck. Hopefully he connects with the incoming coach, and hopefully he stays on board. I can't blame him if he goes elsewhere (I can't <i>ever</i> blame a recruit for looking elsewhere when the coach they signed to play for leaves), but this is a really tough situation for him and his family. I can't even imagine what their thinking was around mid-afternoon yesterday.</p> <p><a href="https://missouri.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=489&mid=200302178&sid=898&tid=200302178&style=2&Override=1" target="_blank">PowerMizzou: Jakeenan Gant update</a><br><a href="https://missouri.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=489&mid=200307233&sid=898&tid=200307233&style=2&Override=1" target="_blank">PowerMizzou: Namon Wright update</a></p> <h4> <img src="http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/553964/newlogo.jpg"> 3. Hot lists? Hot lists!</h4> <p>I do believe I'll be making a hot-list hot list later today. Yes. That sounds delightful.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/17/4966460/possible-candidates-if-missouris.html">KC Star: Possible candidates if Missouri&rsquo;s basketball job is open</a><br><a href="https://missouri.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1632785" target="_blank">PowerMizzou: Hoops coaching hot board</a></p> <p>And ... a fun tidbit from Tuesday...</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://blogs.kansas.com/lutz/2014/04/15/marshall-to-tennessee-forget-about-it/">Wichita Eagle: Marshall to Tennessee? Forget about it</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Are there any other jobs out there that might entice Marshall?</p> <p>I think Missouri would be a possibility. That&rsquo;s always been a gold mine, in my opinion. It&rsquo;s a school with tremendous resources that has never produced to the level of those resources. And it&rsquo;s a fan base that would embrace Marshall and vice versa.</p> <p>But Missouri has a coach &ndash; at least for now. Frank Haith, though, will be on a definite hot seat next season and if the Tigers don&rsquo;t win, and win big, he could be in trouble.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s one of the few jobs out there I can think of that potentially could interest Marshall, who could be the second coming of Norm Stewart in Columbia. He has that kind of personalty, that kind of charisma.</p> <p>For now, though, Marshall isn&rsquo;t going anywhere and the Shockers are set up for another tremendous season in 2014-15.</p> </blockquote> <p>Overstating it, yes, but ... interesting. One has to figure Alden will at least make a run at Marshall, just like 100 other athletic directors have done in the last couple of years. The old "Make 'em say no" approach.</p> <h4> <img src="http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/553964/newlogo.jpg"> 4. And if you're in need of distraction...</h4> <p><u>CHASE<br></u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/blogs/behind_the_stripes/chase-daniel-talks-the-apparel-business-following-up-a-/article_76616d5e-c688-11e3-82c2-001a4bcf6878.html?_dc=589055477175.8616">The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Chase Daniel talks the apparel business, following up a 12-2 season and Maty Mauk</a></p> <p><u>Softball<br></u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.mutigers.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/041714aab.html">MUtigers.com: Tigers Return to University Field for Ole Miss Series</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.mutigers.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/041714aaa.html">MUtigers.com: Finucane Named Top 25 Finalist for National Freshman of the Year</a></p> <p><u>Baseball<br></u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.mutigers.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/041714aaa.html">MUtigers.com: Tigers Return Home to Face No. 22 Mississippi State</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/173714/for-missouri-baseball-working-the-count-a-key-strategy/">The Missourian: For Missouri baseball, working the count a key strategy</a></p> <p><u>Tennis<br></u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.mutigers.com/sports/w-tennis/recaps/041714aaa.html">MUtigers.com: Mizzou Falls to No. 8 Texas A&M, 4-0, in SEC Championship</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiatribune.com/sports/mu-tennis-team-falls-in-second-round-of-sec-tourney/article_9293a1b0-c6b3-11e3-a4c5-001a4bcf6878.html">The Trib: MU tennis team falls in second round of SEC tourney</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/173722/missouri-tennis-eliminated-from-sec-tournament-with-loss-to-texas-am/">The Missourian: Missouri tennis eliminated from SEC tournament with loss to Texas A&M</a></p> <p><u>Track & Field<br></u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.mutigers.com/sports/c-track/recaps/041814aaa.html">MUtigers.com: Track & Field Earns PR's on Day Two in California</a></p> <p><u>Women's Hoops<br></u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.mutigers.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/041714aaa.html">MUtigers.com: Tigers Welcome Juanita Robinson to 2014-15 Squad</a></p> http://www.rockmnation.com/2014/4/18/5627338/frank-haith-mizzou-basketball-coaching-search Bill Connelly 2014-04-17T22:27:11-04:00 2014-04-17T22:27:11-04:00 Tulsa World: Frank Haith will be introduced as Tulsa's head coach on Friday <img alt="" src="http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31790995/163783573.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>The Tulsa World is reporting what CBS' Gary Parrish and others have been telling us for most of the evening:&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/tu/mensbasketball/source-missouri-coach-frank-haith-to-be-announced-friday-as/article_57d62eca-c664-11e3-ba76-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=jqm">that it's all but official that Frank Haith will be taking the Tulsa job</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p>A source told the Tulsa World on Thursday night that the University of Tulsa will officially announce Friday that Missouri coach Frank Haith has accepted an offer to become the Golden Hurricane&rsquo;s new head basketball coach.</p> <p>Haith traveled to Tulsa on Thursday &ndash; less than 24 hours after the conclusion of Wednesday&rsquo;s Mizzou basketball banquet in Columbia &ndash; for a meeting with TU President Steadman Upham and athletic director Derrick Gragg. [...]</p> <p>A source indicated Haith, who recently completed his third season at Missouri, met with Tiger players Thursday afternoon, explaining he was considering the Tulsa job and had a "strong interest" in the position. The same source reported Thursday night that Haith talked with returning members of the Golden Hurricane team.</p> </blockquote> <p>Haith's tenure at Missouri will forever be defined by two calculated risks. After inheriting a cupboard full of soon-to-expire goods (i.e. a first-year squad loaded with seniors), Haith had the option of either rebuilding with freshmen (and losing big in Year 2) or attempting to quickly even out classes with a mix of freshmen and transfers. He succeeded enough in drawing in talent that expectations were set too high for him to actually reach. He lost six-sevenths of his rotation after Year 1 but still built a squad that got top-10 hype in his second year, and when that squad predictably struggled with chemistry issues, the fanbase began to turn on him a bit. With more pretty significant turnover following Year 2, his third-year squad failed to reach the NCAA Tournament.</p> <p>Haith's second calculated risk came today when he decided to leave. With attendance suffering and Mizzou missing the NCAAs for the first time since 2008, he had to know he needed a promising season in 2014-15 to keep his job, and with his top three players leaving (one via graduation, two via draft declaration), he had to know it was going to take his best performance yet to survive. In taking the Tulsa job, he made the decision he felt was best for his future. If he were to get fired next year, he probably wouldn't find a landing spot as solid as Tulsa. From a pure risk management perspective, it makes a lot of sense. But in leaving before trying to prove the haters wrong, you give haters the last word.</p> <p>So that's that then. Missouri is looking for a new head basketball coach. Long-term, this is probably the best-case scenario for both parties. It <i>was</i> going to be difficult (not impossible, but pretty hard) for Haith to pull Mizzou back into the tournament next year, and the odds were at least decent that Mizzou would be undergoing a search a year from now. The timing here is not optimal, with the late signing period already beginning. But it's also not mid-July or something. Mike Alden will be crafting a list of candidates soon (he probably a list on standby regardless), and we'll start listening to SOURCES.</p> <p>April, man.</p> <p>But more importantly...</p> <center><img src="http://i47.tinypic.com/50ger.jpg" width="100%"></center> <p>...it's back.</p> http://www.rockmnation.com/2014/4/17/5625766/frank-haith-tulsa-basketball-missouri Bill Connelly 2014-04-17T15:03:05-04:00 2014-04-17T15:03:05-04:00 Sources: Frank Haith likely to take the vacant Tulsa job <img alt="" src="http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31774251/20140116_kkt_ab2_322.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>Because there's no such thing as a slow week,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24530608/missouris-frank-haith-has-emerged-as-a-serious-candidate-at-tulsa" target="_blank">it appears there's a chance Missouri will be looking for a new head basketball coach soon, according to CBS' Gary Parrish</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Frank is looking for a way out of Missouri," one source said. "This might be it."</p> <p>Haith just finished his third season at Missouri by missing the <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/march-madness" class="sbn-auto-link">NCAA Tournament</a> with a team talented enough to make it, and Mizzou fans have undeniably turned on him because of underachieving on the court and problems off of the court -- most recently the arrest and dismissal of Louisville transfer Zach Price. Sources told CBSSports.com that Tulsa is willing to pay in excess of $1 million for Haith, and that he's seriously considering going because he knows one more bad season at Missouri could be his last.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;">I mean ... that logic isn't exactly unsound. I've made it pretty clear over the last year or so that I don't think he's done as poor a job as Mizzou fans tend to think, but if he doesn't feel he can right the ship in Columbia, then he certainly needs to leave. And if he thinks he only has another year to do it and isn't sure how next season's roster is taking shape, then this is a perfect out.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Since this would be the worst leverage move of all-time -- "Hey, Mr. Alden, Tulsa's offering me their job, so I need a raise to stay." -- one has to assume that this is a real thing, not an agents-jockeying-for-more-money thing. And honestly, I'm cool with it. If he doesn't think he's the man for this job, he needs to leave. If he's ready to fight to turn the program around, he should stay and give it a shot.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">(And if he stays, and the angry portion of the Mizzou fanbase just got trolled, that's going to be pretty fun, too.)</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Weirdest. Month. Ever.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><b>UPDATE #1: SOURCES!</b></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/tu/mensbasketball/missouri-s-frank-haith-positioned-to-become-tu-s-basketball/article_57d62eca-c664-11e3-ba76-001a4bcf6878.html" target="_blank">Tulsa World</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;">Haith is described by the source as "a very solid front-runner" and is expected to be offered an opportunity to succeed Danny Manning as the Golden Hurricane coach. It is expected that Haith will meet today with TU President Steadman Upham and athletic director Derrick Gragg.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;"><b>UPDATE #2: IN-PERSON SOURCES!</b></p> <blockquote data-partner="tweetdeck" class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Just ran into Frank Haith. I asked about the Tulsa report. He said, "going to listen." I asked, "Tulsa?" He nodded yes. <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23abc17&src=hash">#abc17</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23mizzou&src=hash">#mizzou</a></p> &mdash; Austin Kim (@AustinKKim) <a href="https://twitter.com/AustinKKim/statuses/456891168245047296">April 17, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Really, though, you can't go to Tulsa to "listen" without taking the job at this point. A good portion of the Mizzou fanbase that <i>hasn't</i> turned on Haith would turn on him pretty quickly.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><b>UPDATE #3: This is happening. (SOURCES.)</b></p> <blockquote data-partner="tweetdeck" class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Missouri's Frank Haith has reached verbal agreement to become the head coach at Tulsa, source told ESPN. Haith is en route to Tulsa now.</p> &mdash; Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoodmanESPN/statuses/456904169346310144">April 17, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></p> http://www.rockmnation.com/2014/4/17/5625268/frank-haith-missouri-basketball-tulsa Bill Connelly