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Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: January 19, 2012 7:33 pm
 

Purdue hires Tim Tibesar as defensive coordinator

Posted by Adam Jacobi

On Thursday, Purdue head coach Danny Hope announced that Purdue had found its next defensive coordinator in Tim Tibesar. Tibesar's journey to West Lafayette via the unusual route of the CFL; he had been the defensive coordinator for the Montreal Alouettes for the past three years. Tibesar will also serve as Purdue's linebackers coach.

“I am thrilled with the addition of Tim Tibesar to our coaching staff,” Hope said in a statement. “He is on the cutting edge of the science of defensive football. The Canadian Football League is an offensive league – with 12 players per side on a wider field and three downs to get a first down – and features the zone read game that we are seeing more and more of at the college level. Tim knows how to defend that offense, and I am excited to see him bring his defense to Purdue."

"My family and I are very excited to join the Boilermaker family," Tibesar said. "I am really looking forward to working with coach Hope and the Purdue players."

Now, Tibesar's background is not exclusively in Canadian football, so it's not like he's going to be running 12 players out there on every other player then slapping his forehead when the flag gets thrown; that would be funny, but wildly implausible for many reasons. Tibesar's football knowledge is much more grounded in American football than Canadian: he was a standout linebacker at North Dakota through the 1996 season, and he spent nine seasons coaching defense or special teams at the collegiate level at Cornell (one season), North Dakota (five seasons), and Kansas State (three seasons) before heading to Montreal.

Once in the CFL, however, Tibesar was instrumental in the Alouettes' remarkable success. The Als, as they're commonly called up north, won the Grey Cup in Tibesar's first two years as defensive coordinator, then made the playoffs again in 2011. The Montreal D was particularly tenacious in 2009, leading the CFL in nearly every statistical category, and this season's rush defense was the best in the league.

Tibesar is Purdue's third defensive coordinator in as many years. 2011 DC Gary Emanuel was quietly deleted from Purdue's roster of coaches in the offseason this year after his first year atop the defense; in 2010, Emanuel shared the defensive coordinator position with Donn Landholm, who still coaches outside linebackers for the Boilermakers. That kind of tumult isn't generally conducive to success in developing players and a defensive system, but Hope must think he's got a long-term prospect at DC in Tibesar, who won't turn 40 years old until less than a week before the 2012 season.

It should be noted, however, that KSU was ranked 117th in total defense under Tibesar in 2008, and while the Big 12 was absolutely loaded with offensive talent that year (that was the season of the three-way tie in the Big 12 South at 11-1 between Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech), that doesn't excuse the 38 points given up to Louisville or the 37 ceded to Louisiana-Lafayette in non-conference play. Tibesar is likely a much better coach now than he was four years ago, but his track record isn't exactly one of a wunderkind just yet.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 3:09 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Denard Robinson in the UM student section (GIF)

Posted by Chip Patterson

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson loves being a Wolverine.

The electrifying playmaker threw for 18 touchdowns and rushed for 16 more in 2011, earning All-Big Ten honors and leading the Wolverines to a Sugar Bowl victory in their first season under Brady Hoke.

But Robinson also loves being at Michigan. If you had any doubts, just take a look into the student section from No. 19 Michigan's 60-59 win over No. 9 Michigan State Tuesday night on the hardwood. There was Robinson on the front row, taking in a basketball game with his fellow students.

(HT: MGoBlog, MGoVideo)



This is just one of the many on and off-field reasons the Wolverines are thrilled to have another year with Denard in the maize and blue.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 2:13 pm
 

Illinois FB Jay Prosch to transfer to Auburn

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We mentioned in the wake of Barrett Trotter's departure from the Auburn football program that Gene Chizik appeared to be looking to move in a pro-style direction with his new offensive coordinator hire--a decision that looks even more likely with the delay in replacing Gus Malzahn rumored to be due to Chizik interviewing candidates still involved in the NFL playoffs. But the arrival of a new transfer from Illinois now makes that philosophical shift look more likely than ever.

That player is Illini fullback Jay Prosch, a Mobile (Ala.) native who will be transferring to Auburn in order to be closer to his ailing mother, who is battling cancer. New Illinois head coach Tim Beckman announced Prosch's decision in a statement Wednesday.

"Jay Prosch has decided to transfer to Auburn and will be there for the current semester," Beckman said. "He will have an opportunity to be much closer to his mother, who continues to face health issues. We wish Jay the best as he makes this move."

Prosch could be available for the Tigers as soon as the 2012 season, if the NCAA approves a hardship waiver due to his mother's health; if not, he will redshirt during his transfer year and return with two years of eligibility remaining in 2013.

Though the transfer of few fullbacks would make headlines, Prosch isn't any ordinary fullback. He was named a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weeklyan honor that essentially amounts to the publication naming the sophomore the FBS's top pro prospect at the position. Prosch became the Illini's starting lead blocker as a true freshman and helped the team to an 11th-place finish in rushing in 2010, thanks in large part to his workout-warrior strength and devotion to the weight room.

Prosch recently admitted to the Mobile Press-Register that he may have considered staying in Champaign if not for the Illini's head coaching change, which will see the team move to a spread system that doesn't utilize fullbacks; Beckman reportedly told Prosch he would be used as either an H-back or tight end, and with Prosch claiming he's "never been trained in running pass routes," a diminishing role appeared to be a certainty.

But this begs the question: why transfer to Auburn, whose offense under Malzahn also rarely (if ever) used a traditional fullback? Prosch said he had been cleared to talk to 11 of the 12 SEC schools (the Illini prohibited him from following ex-Illini assistant and newly-hired coordinator Paul Petrino to Arkansas), many of which already employ pro-style offenses and use Prosch-like fullbacks far more regularly than the Tigers.

The answer is very, very likely to be that Auburn is about to become the sort of team that regularly uses a fullback. And fortunately for Chizik, his team stands poised to start by using one of the nation's best.

For daily real-time updates on Auburn or Illinois football, follow our Tiger CBSSports.com RapidReports by Jay Tate here or Cody Westerlund's Illini RapidReports here. 

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:57 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 1:59 pm
 

Illinois hires Tim Banks as defensive coordinator

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Tim Beckman has finished filling out his staff at Illinois. The school announced on Wednesday that it had hired Tim Banks to be its defensive coordinator.

"Tim Banks is a great fit for the University of Illinois," said Beckman in a release. "He led an outstanding defense at Central Michigan and made a great improvement at Cincinnati this past season. Tim and I worked together at Bowling Green and I consider him one of the brightest young coaches in the nation. Tim will run a very aggressive defensive system that will work very well with our personnel."

Banks has spent the last five years of his career as a co-defensive coordinator, with the last two coming at Cincinnati and the previous three at Central Michigan. He helped turn around a Cincinnati defense that had a lot to do with the Bearcats success in 2011.

The Bearcats defense finished the season rated 42nd in total defense, but it was ranked 6th against the run, allowing only 96 yards per game. The unit also led the country in tackles for loss with 111 and finished 2nd in sacks with 45.

A trend Tim Beckman and Illinois would like to see continue. While Illinois struggled on offense over the last half of the 2011 season, its defense remained one of the best in the country. If Banks is able to keep the defense on the same level, it will make the transition on offense that much easier.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:07 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 11:17 pm
 

ISU DB coach Elliott to take Notre Dame ass't job

Posted by Adam Jacobi

On January 2, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly (seen at right) announced a litany of job status updates in his coaching staff, including a promotion for cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks to co-defensive coordinator alongside Bob Diaco, who has also assumed the role of assistant head coach for the Fighting Irish. Chuck Martin was also moved from safeties coach to offensive coordinator. With that, then, Diaco now has three responsibilities and Cooks has two, and there's a hole at safeties coach, so the Notre Dame staff would appear ready for some help with position coaching. Now, Notre Dame has found just the man for the job.

Tom Dienhart reported on Tuesday night that Bobby Elliott, the secondary coach at Iowa State, would be taking an assistant role at Notre Dame, and CBSSports.com can confirm that report, per a source close to the situation. Iowa State defensive back Deon Broomfield also tweeted that Elliott informed the team that he would be leaving. Elliott's role with Notre Dame is likely to be involved with the safeties, as the secondary has been the main focus of his positional work over the course of his career, but the exact job title and responsibilities that he will accept with Notre Dame have yet to be confirmed.

There shouldn't be much time spent acclimating Elliott with Cooks and Diaco, Elliott's superiors on the defensive staff; he coached them both at Iowa during his 12 years as a defensive assistant under Hayden Fry. Diaco was an All-Big Ten linebacker with the Hawkeyes and graduated in 1995, while Cooks was a standout strong safety through the '99 season.

Elliott, 58, had actually been a strong candidate to assume the Iowa head coaching position from Hayden Fry as Fry's career wound down in the late '90s; he was young, experienced, and had extensive ties to the program (all factors that eventually led to Kirk Ferentz's hiring). A life-threatening blood disorder was discovered late in the 1998 season and forced Elliott out of coaching, however, and he didn't come back to the sidelines until a two-year stint with Dan McCarney and Iowa State in 2000-01.

From there, Elliott was the defensive coordinator for Kansas State for four years, then he was DC in Chuck Long's hapless regime at San Diego State for three years after that. Elliott rejoined ISU in 2010 after another year outside the coaching ranks, and his secondary was best known this season for neutralizing the Oklahoma State passing attack in the thrilling 30-24 overtime victory at Jack Trice Stadium that ended the Cowboys' national championship dreams.

Elliott is the second Iowa State assistant coach to leave during the offseason; former offensive coordinator Tom Herman joined the Ohio State staff as the Buckeyes' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach following the Pinstripe Bowl.

Notre Dame is expected to announce Elliott's hiring by the end of the week.

For more Fighting Irish updates, subscribe to the CBSSports.com Notre Dame RapidReports by Mark Bradford.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:30 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 6:33 pm
 

Wisconsin's new OC: Northern Ill. OC Matt Canada

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Wisconsin continues to shore up its coaching losses from the departure of Paul Chryst to Pittsburgh and various other hirings, and on Tuesday the Badgers announced that Northern Illinois offensive coordinator Matt Canada had agreed to become Wisconsin's offensive coordinator.

"Matt has a terrific history as an offensive coordinator and has excelled at developing quarterbacks throughout his career," Bielema said in a statement. "I know he is very excited about running a pro-style offense and handling a game the way we typically have at Wisconsin. I think this is a great hire for us and I can't wait for him to get to work with our coaches and players." 

Canada was only one year into his second stint as NIU's offensive coordinator; he had been rising through the ranks at Indiana from 2004-2010, starting as quarterbacks coach and finishing as offensive coordinator, before Kevin Wilson came to Bloomington and cleaned house. Canada coached Kellen Lewis and Ben Chappell at quarterback for the Hoosiers, and both were highly productive in their times under center: Lewis was a first-team All-Big Ten QB before his career derailed, and Chappell holds Indiana single-season records in every major passing category.

Fortunately for Northern Illinois, Canada was able to put together a dynamite offense in his first year back, as the Huskies went 11-3, won the MAC Championship, won the GoDaddy.com Bowl 38-20 over Arkansas State, and scored over 42 points per game in the process. NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish was named the MAC offensive MVP in 2011, and his numbers backed it up: he threw for 2,942 yards, 26 TDs, and only five interceptions on 219-348 passing (good enough for the 15th-best passing efficiency in the nation), and he rushed for 1,382 yards and 11 TDs on 185 carries (leading all FBS quarterbacks) to back it up.

That kind of overall quarterback production doesn't come out of a pro-style offense, of course (but don't start hyperventilating just yet, Badger fans). Check out this video of the different ways Harnish used his quarterback, and how many different formations NIU used in the process. There's even a John Moxon Oop-De-Oop formation in there.



That's some serious offensive creativity, and completely outside the bounds of how Wisconsin has made hay for the last 15+ years as a rushing powerhouse. But fear not: as Bielema mentioned in his statement, Wisconsin will stay with a pro-style offense. Bielema's no fool. Really, he's not.

It'll be interesting to see, then, what details of Canada's style of offense survives the assimilation into the Bucky Borg. Surely Bielema wouldn't have hired an offensive coordinator he's coached against in eight games in one way or another (twice when Canada was at NIU, six times with him at Indiana) if he wasn't interested in that coach's offensive acumen in some significant respect. Until we find out what that entails, though, opposing defensive coordinators may feel free to peruse the offensive performances of Canada offenses, and if the color starts draining from the DCs' faces in the process, well, that's to be expected.

For more up-to-the-minute Badger news, subscribe to CBSSports.com's Wisconsin RapidReports by Tammy Madsen.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Michigan dismisses WR Darryl Stonum

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Troubled Michigan wide receiver Darryl Stonum has been dismissed from the Wolverine program after another recent run-in with the law, Brady Hoke announced in a statement Tuesday.

"I love Darryl and wish him nothing but the absolute best," Hoke said.  "However, there is a responsibility and a higher standard you must be accountable to as a University of Michigan football student-athlete.  That does not and will not change.  It's unfortunate because I believe he has grown a great deal as a person since the beginning of the season.  My hope is that maturing process continues."

Hoke suspended Stonum for the entire 2011 season after a drunk driving arrest last May, Stonum's third incident involving law enforcement since enrolling at Michigan in 2008. Stonum was then ticketed Jan. 5 for driving on a revoked license, a violation of his probation and likely his third strike with Hoke.

"I appreciate everything the University of Michigan, [athletic director] Dave Brandon and Coach Hoke have done for me," Stonum said in the statement.  "I look forward to continuing my football career down the road, but more importantly, right now I'm focused on graduating from Michigan this Spring.  I understand only I am responsible for my actions. I'm sad about how all of this turned out, but I completely understand.  I love this school and my team and will miss them all greatly.  But I'll always be a Wolverine."

Despite his absence from the Wolverine receiving corps in the team's triumphant return to the BCS ranks in 2011, Stonum's dismissal remains a substantial blow for Al Borges' offense. One of the major prizes of Rich Rodriguez's well-regarded first class in Ann Arbor, the Stafford, Texas product broke through in 2010 with 49 receptions for 633 yards, good for second on the team in both categories. He also developed into a weapon on kick returns, setting a school record with 1,001 yards to go with a critical return-for-touchdown vs. Notre Dame.

The Wolverines are also now looking at a depth chart shy on the tall, rangy deep threats Borges prefers to use to stretch the field. Leading receiver Junior Hemingway has graduated, taking his Sugar Bowl MVP trophy with him and leaving the 5'8" Jeremy Gallon and 6'0" Roy Roundtree as the team's leading returning receivers. No other returning Michigan wide receiver caught more than 9 passes in 2011. Had Stonum returned, he likely would have played a major role in the Michigan offense.

But he won't, so Borges and Hoke will have to look elsewhere. If they can't find someone to fill the hole left by Hemingway, they (and Stonum) may regret Stonum's off-the-field choices even more than they do already.

For up-to-the-minute updates on Michigan football, follow Jeff Arnold's CBSSports.com Michigan RapidReports. 

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.

Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:39 pm
 

Bill O'Brien's offensive coordinator is himself

Posted by Adam Jacobi

New Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien is in the process of filling out his coaching staff, and one of the most crucial roles on any staff is that of offensive coordinator. The offensive coordinator typically calls plays, coaches his quarterbacks, and puts to Xs and Os what the head coach's offensive philosophy dictates. Pretty important stuff, all in all.

So it came as no small surprise when the Penn State athletic department announced on Tuesday that the Nittany Lion offensive coordinator would be nobody at all, as O'Brien has decided to take on the play-calling responsibility itself. O'Brien is the current offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, so he's probably got as good an idea as to what the job entails as anybody else, but it's also worth reiterating that O'Brien is the head coach of the entire team -- not just the offense.

Of course, there are dozens of different ways a college coaching staff can be arranged without being derelict in any of its actual duties, so it's not as if the lack of an official offensive coordinator on O'Brien's staff specifically means that any major aspect of the team will be out-and-out neglected in his regime. That notion doesn't come close to passing the smell test.

Still, it's worth noting that this is certainly an unorthodox approach to staff-building, and it'll be interesting to see how O'Brien's delegation of tasks works out. He may be onto something here -- or he may just be on something. Common sense suggests the former. 

For more up-to-the-minute news on the Bill O'Brien era of Nittany Lion football, read the CBSSports.com Penn State RapidReports with Jim Rodenbush.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com