News, Notes & Quotes - Oct. 24

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday October 24, 2016

- Fresno State became the fifth FBS head coaching opening. On this date last year, there were also five open jobs.

However, UCF and Miami opened on Oct. 25, 2015. We’re at the point in the year now where teams are losing hope of a bowl game, so schools could make a change. The coaching carousel is going to really get spinning over the next month.

What will Fresno State look for in a coach? It sounds like California ties will be key. Athletic director Jim Bartko said, “I’m not saying it has to be a Fresno State grad, but someone that knows this area and community and the state of California.”

- A week of words between Mike Leach and Todd Graham continued after Washington State’s win over Arizona State. Graham is sick of Leach’s complaints about sign-stealing.

Leach was fined $10,000 late in the week for accusing Arizona State of having a “command center,” while Graham defended his program. At the post-game handshake, cameras caught Graham telling Leach it was “chickens**t.”

Asked about it afterward, Graham said, “That’s between me and him.”

Leach wouldn’t touch it, saying, “I’m respectfully declining at the risk of getting a public reprimand.”

It’s likely the last spat between the two, as the teams won’t meet again until 2019.

- Lost in Auburn’s dominating offense performance against Arkansas was how good the defense was.

Kevin Steele’s defense held Arkansas to 0.8 yards per rush, had 4 sacks and forced two turnovers.

"On every single play, we had the front four either knocking people back or affecting the rusher and we did that playing good technique, had good gap control, so it started up front and ended up front," Steele said. "I thought our linebacker group did a good job feeding off that. The secondary did a good job in terms of not getting the top knocked off the coverage."

- Mark Dantonio has turned to young players, but there are growing pains with that, like with redshirt freshman QB Brian Lewerke not realizing a defender was tying his shoe.

“I’m on the sideline, I’m watching a (Maryland) guy tie his shoe getting ready to cover our wide receiver,” Dantonio said Sunday. “He’s tying his shoe. We’ve got a play on to shoot the ball out to him — it’s an either/or play — and we run the inside zone. That ball’s got to go outside. The guy is tying his shoe through the whole play.”

The Spartans have lost five straight, and they’re an 18-point home underdog to Michigan. It’s clear Dantonio is building for the future with so many young players, including nine true freshmen playing. It’s not like typical Dantonio to call out individual mistakes publicly. The fact he has might show how concerned he is.

- Did Kliff Kingsbury figure 59 points and 854 yards should be enough to win? He knew Oklahoma would be a shootout.

“Not that team. They're really good offensively,” Kingsbury said. “When they get hot like that and don't turn the ball over, if you look at their season, they've scored a lot of points and we didn't turn them over. That's the result.”

- Mark Helfrich said Oregon had a huge cut-down in mental errors against Cal, but it’s still a loss.

Helfrich said there were 101 mental errors in the 70-21 loss to Washington. There were 31 in the 52-49 double-OT loss at Cal. But five of those 31 mistakes led to scoring plays.

"When five guys have mental errors out of 55, that hurts you," Helfrich said. "There were some coverage things we had called perfectly. It’s not one guy, but certainly, it was a big-time problem in three of those plays."

- A disgusted Hue Jackson took off his headset and gave Pep Hamilton play-calling duties late in the Browns’ 31-17 loss to the Bengals. The Browns are 0-7 and gave up 271 rushing yards.

Jackson called a timeout with five minutes left to rip into his team.

"Yeah, I took (the headset) off,'' Jackson said. "I called the team out. Yeah, I was disappointed because I don't want anybody running the ball like that on us. We've got to get some things squared away, but I take responsibility for it all. It's not our players; we've got to fix some things and keep working on some things and we will."

- Here is Larry Fedora’s locker room speech after North Carolina’s 35-14 win at Virginia.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to