Tag Archives: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Diaz To Become 6th DC Since 2003

Manny Diaz

It sounds like the rumors were true – on Wednesday, Texas announced it has hired Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz to fill the same role at Texas.

Diaz is a name that, surprisingly, came up only recently in the rumor mill that is Texas sporting circles. But, the young coach has produced stellar results and turnaround for players in the Sun Belt, SEC, and ACC conferences. His previous stints include Florida State (where he coached under Mickey Andrews), North Carolina State, Middle Tennessee State, and most recently Mississippi State. More on Diaz’s coaching history can be found here.

All told, this is a solid hire for Mack Brown and the Longhorns, and fills a big void in the coaching staff heading in to the final weeks of the 2010-2011 recruiting season.

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Gypsies and SEC Talent Headed For DKR

It’s been less than a month since it began, thankfully for most, and yet the hemorrhaging from the University of Texas football program continues. In the short time since the Longhorns ended their disastrous 5-7 season, head coach Mack Brown has gone from an in-control-of-the-program CEO to looking like Scotty Smalls trying to make friends and play backyard baseball in The Sandlot. In other words, he’s got some work to do…and fast.

Up until last week, the Longhorns had seen four coaches depart since November – offensive coordinator Greg Davis, offensive line coach Mac McWhorter, defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, and defensive line coach Mike Tolleson. But, to put a wrapper on 2010, wide receiver coach Bobby Kennedy expectedly resigned on Dec. 30 to make a lateral move to be the University of Colorado’s wide receiver coach. Make that five.

Throughout a tumultuous December, Longhorn fans across the country spread coaching hire rumors as fast as they could drink a bottle of Salt Lick BBQ sauce. They threw around more names than Santa Claus could rattle off reindeer names. And yet the New Year passed with nothing from the halls Belmont. What exactly was Mack Brown doing over there? Had we been naughty and not nice?

Darrell Wyatt

On Monday and Tuesday this week, fans began to get some answers – albeit not quite the names or coordinator-level titles fans were expecting. The first presser of 2011 brought us Darrell Wyatt as the new wide receiver coach and co-recruiting coordinator, and you can watch Wyatt’s introductory press conference here. Wyatt is a Texas-born Kansas State alumnus who is a get-to-the-point coach with credible Big 12 Conference experience and has been both a wide receiver coach, offensive coordinator, not to mention recruiting extraordinaire. The problem might be, he’s a gypsy of sorts – making his rounds year-after-year – to different schools around the country, including Kansas (most recently), Baylor, oklahoma, and Oklahoma State…and those are just his Big 12 Conference stops. In fact, he’s coached at 14 different universities in his 21 years of coaching. That said, Wyatt can downright get kids to come play for him and turn them in to top-tier talent – see also Adrian Peterson (oklahoma), Mark Clayton (oklahoma), Rashaun Woods (Oklahoma State), and Mike Thomas (Arizona). He’s recruited from Texas for most of his coaching tenure, including the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, Houston and East Texas, and Central Texas. It’s an exciting addition, and ‘Horns fans can be assured that Wyatt will turn out as much talent to the next level as former offensive coordinator Greg Davis ruined. Another positive for Wyatt – his youth and energy. Brown’s talked about it, and now it’s coming to fruition – a much-needed addition to the retirement home-bound staff that had been residing in Austin the past few seasons.

Bo Davis

In addition to Wyatt, Mack Brown also announced Bo Davis, who has served as a Nick Saban disciple at LSU, the Miami Dolphins, and Alabama, is joining the Texas Longhorns staff, making a lateral move to become the ‘Horns defensive line coach. During his tenure with the Crimson Tide, Davis has had a top-10 defense year-in and year-out in one of the toughest conferences in the country, and he has had several defensive lineman become all-conference or all-American players. Prior to joining the ranks of Saban’s various staffs across the southeast, Davis spent several years coaching at Galena Park North Shore High School in Texas, including coaching former Longhorn DE Cory Redding, and has relationships with high schools across the state. Given his background as an LSU alumnus and assistant, Davis also brings inroads to the top high schools in Louisiana.

The question now becomes whether Brown is making random hires that he hopes work well together under his tutelage. It seems odd, to this writer anyway, to hire position coaches when the coordinator positions are still up in the air. At least, publically still up in the air. Maybe Brown’s got his CEO house in order, has lined up more than we know behind the scenes, and has everything but signatures on the dotted line. Maybe he’s building a staff based on input from those to-be-named resources.

Rumors are circulating that leading candidates for the offensive and defensive coordinator positions are also in Austin interviewing this week. While many expected Teryl Austin (Florida), Everett Withers (North Carolina), or even former Longhorn Jerry Gray (Seattle Seahawks), to be leading defensive coordinator candidates, it appears as though Brown is after another young, energetic SEC coach instead – none other than Mississippi State’s Manny Diaz. Diaz would be an interesting hire, but to look at what he’s done with a middle-of-the-road SEC team only means he could flourish with the talent in Texas. On the offensive side of the ball, many have considered Boise State or Wisconsin’s coaching gurus to be the focus of the search, and that seems to be more or less true, as the Badgers offensive coordinator Paul Chryst is supposedly the top target. But, don’t rule out the Broncos’ OC, although it sounds like he wants some of his boys (namely, his offensive line coach) to come along for the ride if he signs a contract to come to Austin.

Only time will tell, but as the college bowl season wraps up and the recruiting window opens up again leading in to Signing Day in early February, it’s due time to name some coaching talent and get them in Austin and on the road solidifying what is and could still be the #1 recruiting class in 2011.

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College Football: Week 13 Viewing Guide

It’s Thanksgiving week, which is also Rivalry Week. We’ll be light on commentary this week, because most of these games speak for themselves. Many of these rivalries are sullied this year with dominant teams facing off against their historic opponents in rebuilding years. However, for those teams with nothing else to play for, these match-ups will be their “championship” because it would bring a team – like Auburn or Texas A&M – no greater pleasure than to spoil the BCS title hopes of their nemeses. So, don’t be surprised to emotional play lead to some surprising upsets this weekend.

Remember to check the TV coverage maps, and note that all rankings are the current BCS standings. Enjoy your leftovers and save room to indulge in your week 13 viewing guide.

Thursday
8:00 PM ET
#3 Texas 49 v. Texas A&M 39
This was…unusually close. Despite the loss, the Aggies might have played their best game of the year – at least offensively. QB Jerrod Johnson looked fantastic, and will continue to be a threat to Texas in the next couple of years. Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will be irate after the way the defense played Thursday night, but my guess is that emotion and momentum kept the Aggies in the game much longer than expected because the ‘Horns offense clicked most of the game. If you’re running behind on Eyes Of TX content, the in-depth game preview can be found here. There is no asterisk as division champs this year, as Texas has plowed their way to the Big 12 Championship game against Nebraska on December 5th.

Friday
11:00 AM ET
Rutgers at Louisville, ESPN2
Exciting! Not. But, football season’s almost over….let’s feast while we still can.

12:00 PM ET
Illinois at #5 Cincinnati, ABC
One final test for the Bearcats. Rumor has it former starting QB Pike will make the start this week. Eyes Of TX says, “why mess with a good thing?” Hope that doesn’t backfire for Cincinnati, but an upset sure would make the BCS happy.

2:30 PM ET
#2 Alabama at Auburn, CBS
Can ‘Bama overcome their biggest rival to give themselves a shot at #1 Florida, the SEC championship and the national championship? We’ll see how Auburn gets up for this game after a killer start, but a late season let-down. If head coach Gene Chizik pulls off the upset, sadly, he will be enshrined as the best coach ever at Auburn.

3:30 PM ET
Nebraska at Colorado, ABC
Nebraska has clinched the Big 12’s North division and will face #3 Texas on December 5th for the Big 12 conference title. This will be the last opportunity to see what Bo Pelini’s squad has to offer, in particular his offense, and while most thought it will be Colorado’s last chance to help head coach Dan Hawkins keep is job, the university confirmed that he would be coaching in Boulder again next season. The NCAA might as well give CU the “death penalty” because they’ve definitely rolled over this year.

7:00 PM ET
#9 Pittsburgh at West Virginia, ESPN2
Does anyone else think Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt has a funny mustache?

10:00 PM ET
Nevada at #6 Boise State, ESPN2
Close out the night with this late game. Boise State could be shut out of the BCS this year despite being #6 and undefeated. It’s too bad their weak schedule didn’t allow us to see just how good they can be, and perhaps Oregon helped them look better than they actually are… With #5 Cincinnati and #4 TCU as mid-major schools ahead of them in the BCS, it will be a disappointment for the home of the blue turf.

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
Both of these games are intriguing for the in-state bragging rights implications. Neither matchup is particularly compelling but in the context of Rivalry Week, they’re definitely worth watching.

#18 Clemson at South Carolina, ESPN
The ‘ol Ball Coach tries to make a stand in Columbia against a ranked opponent. Win or lose, they could keep Clemson RB C.J. Spiller from winning some post-season awards if they can hold him to a sub-par performance.

North Carolina at North Carolina State, ESPN2
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around, does it make a sound? In the shadows of the Appalachian mountains, its basketball season folks.

12:21 PM ET
#25 Mississippi at Mississippi State, check local listings
If you can find this, see the same reasons as above. If anything, Texas fans can relish in the fact that when the pressure was on to deliver a big year for Ole Miss, former Longhorn back-up quarterback Jevan Snead fell flat in 2009.

12:30 PM ET
#12 Oklahoma State at oklahoma, Comcast Sports Net
Another one that will be hard to find, unfortunately, because it’s always nice to watch ou struggle. With this year’s ‘Pokes team rolling to a potential BCS at-large bid, it’s hard to imagine them dropping this one, even though they’re away from home.

3:30 PM ET
Florida State at #1 Florida, CBS
Florida’s won the last 21 games of this series, if memory serves. For Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden, the good thing is he’s old enough to forget each game. Florida wins big, and sets up the ultimate SEC Championship match-up of #1 v. #2 Alabama for the right to play in the national championship.

#14 Virginia Tech at Virginia, ESPN
Virginia is an absolute debacle this year. Expect the Hokies to roll the ‘Roos at home.

#17 Miami at South Florida, ABC
This might actually be interesting, as South Florida started out the year strong, as did Miami. We’ll see what the ACC has to offer up the bowl committees besides a surprising Georgia Tech. Can Miami step up?

(Also in this slot on ABC is Arizona at Arizona State, and Missouri at Kansas.)

5:00 PM ET
#21 Utah at #19 BYU, CBS College Sports
A great in-state matchup between two of the best non-BCS conference teams.

7:00 PM ET
Arkansas at #15 LSU, ESPN
LSU has found out they weren’t quite as good as they thought, in part due to horrible coaching by Les Miles last week. Arkansas has been inconsistent, but could pull off the upset. Unfortunately, Death Valley isn’t an easy place to play, especially the week after an LSU loss.

8:00 PM ET
Georgia at #7 Georgia Tech, ABC
Who would have thought the best team in Georgia would be out of Atlanta? Georgia Tech’s triple-option has proven surprisingly successful this year. Go Yellowjackets!

Notre Dame at Stanford, ABC
What could be head coach Charlie Weis’ last game at Notre Dame will be shown in most of the country. Meanwhile, Stanford will try to stamp their ticket with another win against a big-time program.

Thanks again to LilPete for his 2009 season viewing guides.

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College Football: Week 11 Viewing Guide

Only a few weeks remain before the conference championship games. Some teams still have some tough games ahead while others just have to maintain and avoid a stumble. The most important game this weekend is arguably Utah at TCU, with the Horned Frogs in position to turn the BCS on its head. But, there’s lots of other goodies too. As always, check your coverage maps, and all rankings are the current BCS standings. Now, here’s your week 11 viewing guide!

Coverage Maps: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?page=coveragemaps2009
BCS Rankings: http://espn.go.com/college-football/bcs

Thursday
7:30 PM ET
#24 South Florida at Rutgers, ESPN
Remember that year the Rutgers were good? South Florida gets a break by taking on the Scarlet Knights after three straight games against ranked opponents. Wonder if the Rutgers students will storm the field if they win?

Friday
8:00 PM ET
West Virginia at #5 Cincinnati, ESPN2
Cincinnati held on to win last week and may have been exposed. The Bearcats are facing some of the toughest competition in the Big East right now and will have to find a way to hold off the overlooked Mountaineers. There are only six unbeaten teams left, and the Bearcats are sitting at the bottom of that list.

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
#3 Texas at Baylor, FSN and Comcast Sports Net
Check your listings to see where this one will be broadcast. It should be a sat-padding throttling yet no team should be overlooked, even one that has lost 11 straight to the ‘Horns and wears diarrhea colored uniforms.

#7 Georgia Tech at Duke, ESPN2
Not much else to get excited about with the early games, so if you can’t find Texas game, check this out. Georgia Tech is the best in the ACC, though not by much. It’s kind of like being the coolest guy at Comic Con.

12:30 PM ET
Missouri at Kansas State, Versus
Mizzou has taken a fall this season, but this game has major implications on the Big 12 North race with K-State leading the standings and Nebraska right on their heels.

3:30 PM ET
#1 Florida at South Carolina, CBS
Steve Spurrier gets to take on his former team at home. South Carolina has already taken down one top five team at home this season, and even though they got waxed by Alabama, you can bet that this is the game they’ve been looking forward to all year.

#10 Iowa at #11 Ohio State, ABC/ESPN
This is the game for all the marbles in the Big 10. The winner will be the presumptive rep in the BCS this year. Woo hoo. Cincinnati, this is your complaint if you don’t get in a big post-season game.

(Also in this slot on ABC/ESPN are #14 Miami at North Carolina, while Nebraska at Kansas will be on ABC. Check the coverage map for your area.)

7:00 PM ET
#2 Alabama at Mississippi State, ESPN
Mississippi State shouldn’t be overlooked, they’ve played spoiler before. The Tide have also looked vulnerable, and without the incompetence of Lane Kiffin and the benefit of some horrible calls, they likely wouldn’t remain unbeaten. The Tide’s time will come. Mark my words.

7:30 PM ET
#16 Utah at #4 TCU, CBS College Sports
How did ESPN not pick up this game with the way they’ve been giving TCU a verbal lap dance for the last few weeks? This is arguably the toughest game on TCU’s schedule and the last road bump on what could be a BCS appearance. Although Mike Wilbon would have you believe that early season wins at Virginia and Clemson are a barometer for a worthy national title contender, this game coupled with their win over BYU are the true tests of their worth. With TCU’s new uniforms this week, wouldn’t you be intimidated?

8:00 PM ET
Texas Tech at #19 Oklahoma State, ABC
No team has gotten a raw deal like the one Okie State has. Their only two losses have come from current #3 Texas and #15 Houston (teams with a combined record of 17-1), yet they will likely miss out on an at large BCS bowl bid despite the opportunity to finish with only one Big 12 loss. Consider this: LSU actually went UP in the polls after their loss to Alabama last weekend, and USC continues to rise while they’ve lost to two teams with a combined record of 10-8. Only those in Big 12 country will get to see this one; everyone else will have to suffer through Notre Dame at #12 Pittsburgh.

10:15 PM ET
Arizona State at #13 Oregon, ESPN
A little Pac-10 night cap to carry you over into next week.

Thanks to LilPete for his ongoing contribution of the weekly viewing guide.

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NCAA Football: Week 8 Viewing Guide

NCAA FootballA bit late, readers, but early enough on Saturday to still be useful for the day.

Wow, what a week 7. Although no one reading this blog probably remembers anything that happened after about 3:30 PM Eastern time last weekend, there were some exciting games following up the Texas Longhorns’ victory over oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Any weekend of college football would be a letdown by comparison, but this week seems especially so. Still we’ll find enough to keep us glued to the action – and plus, what seems like a 364-day baseball season is almost over, so Eyes Of TX can’t complain. Truth be told, all of our heart’s are collectively still recovering from last week’s victory. With that said, here’s your week 8 viewing guide, with all rankings based on the current BCS standings, as well as ESPN’s regional coverage maps for reference.

Thursday
7:30 PM ET
Florida State 30 v. North Carolina 27
Close game, for two teams that were struggling for their first conference victory after an up-and-down beginning to the season. Isn’t that Bobby Bowden’s 2,000th win? Starting to think he’s a terminator on the inside — he just won’t go away.

Friday
8:00 PM ET
Rutgers 27 v. Army 10
With the most effective armed servicemen still serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, is it any question why Army struggles? Just once, Eyes Of TX would like to see a real service academy (Air Force doesn’t count…they are actually capable of competing) – like Army or Navy – compete on the national scene. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
Minnesota at #19 Ohio State, ESPN
Ohio State has a chance to bounce back after their road loss to Purdue. Don’t expect much from Minnesota here, although back-to-back Big 10 losses for OSU would be something for Buckeye Nation to get their sweater vests in a twist over.

12:30 PM ET
#15 Oklahoma State at Baylor, Versus
Oklahoma State has been efficient offensively even without suspended wide receiver Dez Bryant and injured running back Kendall Hunter, and things aren’t expected to be any different going in to Waco. This will be Texas’ last look at OSU before going to Stillwater, oklahoma on Halloween.

3:30 PM ET
oklahoma at #25 Kansas, ABC
ABC is going with regional coverage in the 3:30 PM slot so check your local listings. It would be nice for Kansas to take this one at home to protect their current ranking, but the loss to Colorado last weekend wasn’t a good sign. Texas faces only two more teams who are currently ranked, including the Jayhawks, and even though the ‘Horns are on course to play for the BCS championship as long as they win out, it’s still nice to have that strength of schedule to boost.

(Other games in this time slot are #13 Penn State at Michigan, #11 Oregon at Washington, and Clemson at #10 Miami)

7:30 PM ET
#1 Florida at Mississippi State, ESPN
Florida was the beneficiary of a controversial call last weekend, setting them up for the game-winning field goal to put away Arkansas at home. With that in mind, the Gators shouldn’t expect an easy game this weekend on the road, as Urban Meyer’s teams have lost four in a row in Starkville, Mississippi, and could get caught looking ahead to their rivalry game against Georgia next week.

8:00 PM ET
#3 Texas at Missouri, ABC
The Texas offense needs to reappear this week. While Texas continues their toughest three-game stretch this season, the Tigers face their third straight ranked opponent and are a dangerous challenger (especially on homecoming weekend in Columbia), although they’ve dropped the last two games. To upset Texas in front of their home crowd would make Mizzou’s season, so we’ll see if the ‘Horns are up to this task.

(Oregon State at #7 USC will also air regionally on the west coast at this time. Of note, the Beavers have defeated USC two of the last three years at home in Corvallis, but they’ve lost 21 straight to the Trojans in Los Angeles.)

Thanks to LilPete for these weekly viewing guides.

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