College Coaches Winning In NFL

Coach Chip Kelly led the Philadelphia Eagles to the NFC East title in his first year after leaving Oregon | AP photo/Tony Gutierrez

Coach Chip Kelly led the Philadelphia Eagles to the NFC East title in his first year after leaving Oregon | AP photo/Tony Gutierrez

The last BCS national championship game was very possibly the best of the lot. Despite Florida State being a double-digit favorite, they didn’t lead after their first-quarter field goal until late in the fourth quarter. When Auburn re-took the lead with 1:19 remaining, only a furious drive gave the Seminoles the winning touchdown with 13 seconds left. Fabulous down to the final seconds, the game saw Florida State finally break the SEC seven-game win streak.

While the upcoming national football playoff begins next year, even BCS detractors can admit that far more often that not the BCS ended up getting it right. The playoff format will include four teams, which is a step in the right direction, but it would be better served by including eight teams. Occasionally the fifth-best team could argue it is of national championship caliber; rarely could the ninth team make that claim with credibility.

* The coaching carousel continues as Charlie Strong was named the new head coach at Texas. Texas claims that Strong was the only coach offered the position. While that may be technically true, it was clear that Strong was not their first choice. Many are questioning whether the media-averse Strong is a good fit, considering the unusual demands placed on the UT coach by the Longhorn network.

* Possibly by the time you read this, Penn State may have hired a coach. My guess is former Nittany Lion player and just-fired Titans head coach Mike Munchak will be the guy. He’s got a sterling personal reputation and chose to be let go rather than knuckle under to Tennessee’s management, which tried to force him to fire many of his assistants. He’ll pass all the character tests at Penn State, and he doesn’t even have a buyout to deal with.

And don’t be shocked if there is some back and forth between college and the NFC with the recent success enjoyed by Chip Kelly at Philadelphia. Stanford’s David Shaw, Baylor’s Art Briles and Auburn’s Guz Mulzahn all have some sizzle that will appeal to NFL owners.

* It is almost beyond belief how many NBA stars have been put on the shelf by injury. Kobe Bryant and all the Laker point guards, plus Derek Rose, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Al Hor-ford are currently out with injuries. Other key players, such as Rajon Rondo and Andre Igoudala, also are out, and the league is becoming a war of attrition.

And for all the people who insist that Miami is done and can’t possibly three-peat, I say just wait. They still have the best player in the world playing his best basketball, and coach Eric Spoelstra has taken a page from Spurs coach Greg Popovich and is resting his starters by reducing their minutes. Do not count Miami out.