Tag:Major Applewhite
Posted on: November 25, 2011 2:05 am
Edited on: November 25, 2011 11:57 am
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Texas sends A&M to SEC with stinging rivalry loss

Posted by Bryan Fischer

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- It said it all.

Texas' band spelled out 'Thanks aTm" and played Thanks for the Memories as the Kyle Field crowd politely applauded. It was in many ways the warmest moment the two schools had in months, if not years.

For Longhorns and Aggies alike, the memory of the 118th and final scheduled time the two schools play will last.

It will hurt for some and be the source of bragging rights for others.

Texas' come back victory on Thanksgiving night was anything but a line in the record books that reads "Texas 27, Texas A&M 25."

The pain - the anguish - that typically lingers from every game will last a bit longer for the maroon side after Thursday. The pride - the jubilation - will last even longer for the burnt orange side.

"Sports can be really cruel," head coach Mack Brown said. "It was a great college football game. I don't think you can call either team a team that loses. We're the ones that had more points on the board."

The poignant thank you from the band at halftime might have been the final 'good' memory for Aggies as members of the Big 12 conference, witnessing yet another second half collapse in a season full of them.

"it seems like it's the same comment," coach Mike Sherman said. "This is a devastating loss for out team.

"I take nothing away from Texas, they played well, but it's a game we should have won and didn't."

Same old story for the Aggies, who once again said "Gag'em" after a first half full of "Gig'ems."

The third quarter was A&M's achilies heel, as Texas capitalized on turnovers to swing a 7-16 deficit into a 24-16 lead.  Despite a double-digit lead for the 11th time this season, the Aggies squandered it with two Ryan Tannehill interceptions - one returned for a touchdown - and mistake after mistake.

The team fell to 6-6 on the season thanks to flipping the switch to 'off' during halfitime, A&M outscored 86-0 in the third quarter alone in each loss.

"Well I think if you look at the games, we definitely have turned the ball over too many times," Sherman said. "We have to make the plays we have to make."

The Aggies didn't, the Horns did, the story of the series that Texas now leads 76-37-5. Tannehill's pick-six made it a two-point game. A punt on the next drive resulted in a 81-yard Quandre Diggs return and an eventual field goal to take the lead. Yet another interception put the Longhorns in business deep in A&M territory before senior Cody Johnson punched it in for a one-yard touchdown.

All it took was 13 plays and 27 offensive yards to completely snatch momentum away in a game that the Aggies didn't need to win as much as they couldn't lose.

"It was an emotional night," quarterback Case McCoy said. "We didn't play well at all the first half but our defense got us back in it. I'm proud of how hard we fought."

Case was the latest McCoy to torment Texas A&M. After what looked to be a game winning drive following Jeff Fuller's 16 yard catch and run to muscle into the end zone, McCoy took over an offense that had struggled all night. But he made the play of the game on a 25-yard scramble right up the middle to set up Justin Tucker's game-winning 40-yard field goal.

"What a great feeling to end this rivalry and celebrate Thanksgiving," McCoy said, minutes after sharing an emotional hug with offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, who was 3-1 against A&M himself.

The Aggies end their football tenure in the Big 12 with a loss, closing the book on an era in which they won just one conference title. The first line of the fight song late in the game was perhaps the saddest, most painful of all the Lone Star Showdowns because it meant far more than 'we'll see you in 365.'

"Goodbye Texas University…" the Kyle Field crowd sang in unison, swaying in different directions for the final time in 2011. The third-longest rivalry in major college football was, suddenly, over.

"It's Texas but...," A&M running back Ben Malena, the lone bright spot on the night with 93 all-purpose yards, "We're going to the SEC, we have bigger and better things to worry about."

"It's one of the great traditions we have in college athletics," athletic director Bill Byrne remarked. "But it's just part of the change".

"It takes two to sign a contract. We've expressed sincere interest in every sport to continue the relationship. So far we've had no takers. The question doesn't need to be asked of me, it needs to be asked of (Texas AD DeLoss) Dodds."

The Longhorns seem to want no part of it. As soon as Tucker's field goal went through the uprights, they ran straight to the 'Lone Star Showdown' logo and jumped with joy. Players started an "S-E-C" chant. The Longhorn Network's twitter account provided the final salt in the wounds however.

"Goodbye and Good Luck."

As the Longhorns left Kyle Field for what could be the last time in decades, they did so with as satisfying a win as ever. The only team Texas A&M has lost to from the state in two years: the University of Texas.

Thanks for the memories indeed.

Posted on: August 4, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 4:31 pm
 

Future programs of the Longhorn Network

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Thursday the new and controversial Longhorn Network announced a slate of programming that it will begin airing in the coming weeks. On the whole there's nothing all that groundbreaking in the lineup. There will be a show in which Mack Brown talks with Vince Young, Ricky Williams and Colt McCoy. There's also a look back at the 2005 national championship season, and your standard greatest games fare.

Being the visionary that I am, however, I decided to take a peak into my crystal ball to get a glimpse at what the Longhorn Network will be showing a little over a year from now. Let me tell you, there's going to be some must-see television going on.

High School Football - It's just like Friday Night Lights, except without a script, Connie Britton and every game ending on an unrealistic, last-second touchdown. What it will have, though, is plenty of Texas recruits.

The Departure - A five-part documentary series highlighting all the comings and goings in College Station as Texas A&M packs its bags and moves to the SEC.  You won't want to miss the episode where DeLoss Dodds and Bill Byrne run into each other at a local grocery store and let the expletives and produce fly.

Crying All Night with Don Beebe - A late night talk show that is shown every weeknight in which Don Beebe sits behind a desk and cries as his conference dissolves around him. His co-host DeLoss Dodds then consoles him while interviewing special guests!

Mack Daddy - Have you ever seen some of the lovely co-eds who call beautiful Austin, Texas home? Well now you have the chance to date them! Join Texas head coach Mack Brown as he hosts a game show that is a cross between The Match Game and Flavor of Love!

Major's Malfunctions - A refreshing family sitcom starring Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite. While Major has his problems with Garrett Gilbert at work, the trouble doesn't really start until he returns home to his sassy wife and two small children!

Aggie Rehab - Hosted by Dr. Drew, former Texas A&M fans move into a house where together they all try and overcome their love of Texas A&M and turn their lives around. Incredibly moving, sad and uplifting all at the same time.

Call your cable operators now!
Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:46 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:44 am
 

CBSSports.com College Football 100: 40-31

By the Eye on College Football bloggers

To celebrate the (now fewer than) 100 days remaining until the first Saturday of the new college football season, this is the CBSSports.com College Football 100: our countdown of the 2011 season's 100 most influential players, coaches, administrators, venues, or any other related
things in college football. It's like that other "most influential" list, but, you know, more important. Also: it's supposed to be fun. Enjoy.

40. BRADY HOKE, head coach, Michigan. In the modern era of college football (a nebulous concept, but one defined here as "since the inception of the Heisman Trophy"), every Michigan head coach has stayed for at least nine years, with the exception of two: Gary Moeller, who coached for five years but resigned after an arrest for assault and battery in 1995, and Rich Rodriguez, who coached three years and was run out of town last January. Past them, Michigan has been a picture of stability over the years, and the concurrent success is no accident.

With that Rodriguez firing, though, the message from Michigan seems to be, "We'd like it if you stayed a while, but we'll tell you when to get comfortable." That's the power of high standards of success, and while Brady Hoke probably has a pass on getting results for the first year, he probably doesn't have that pass for two. Ohio State won't be reeling forever, after all, so this turnaround job that Hoke performed at San Diego State and Ball State prior to that needs to happen again, real quick. If Hoke makes progress down that road in 2011 -- and especially if he beats Ohio State -- he can start getting comfortable right away, and everything in Ann Arbor will be back to its normal, stable self. -- AJ

39. MATT BARKLEY AND ROBERT WOODS, dynamic quarterback/receiver tandem, USC. There's not a lot for USC fans to look forward to this year. They're out of the Pac-12 title race and can't go to a bowl game for the second straight season. But that's not a reason to stop watching, as the Trojans have one of the best quarterback/wide receiver duos in the country in Matt Barkley and Robert Woods. The latter was named Pac-10 Offensive Freshman of the Year and was on just about every freshman All-American team after racking up a USC record for all-purpose yards. (And in case you didn't know, USC has had a few pretty good freshman play in their illustrious history.)

Then there's Barkley, the golden-haired signal caller who is one of the top quarterbacks in the country and someone many have pegged as a top 10 draft pick if he comes out after the season. Entering his third year as a starter, much is expected of him after posting 26 touchdowns against 12 interceptions last year. The Barkley-to-Woods connection was among the best in the nation last year and should be one to watch as they hook up for more than a few touchdowns in year two. -- BF

38. BRANDON WEEDEN AND JUSTIN BLACKMON, equally dynamic quarterback/receiver tandom, Oklahoma State. For all Barkley's and Woods' succes, there wasn't a quarterback-wide receiver combination in the nation quite as devastating as Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon last season. The duo hooked up 111 times for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns, as both players seemingly emerged out of nowhere and became nationally recognized names. Blackmon then surprised a lot of people at Oklahoma State and around the country when he decided to come back to Stillwater for another season, and now the two are ready to perform an encore.

The question is whether or not they'll be able to. Blackmon may have snuck up on some teams last season, but you can be sure that he'll be the focus of a lot of opposing defense's film sessions this season. It also won't help that Dana Holgorsen is in Morgantown rather than Stillwater. So it won't be easy, but if these two can match -- or maybe even improve on -- the production they had last season, this might be the season in which the Cowboys finally break through for that elusive Big 12 title.

37. ISAIAH CROWELL, running back, Georgia. We gave the most important incoming freshman in the SEC -- and maybe the country -- his own special weekend breakout entry. Read it here.

36. GUS MALZAHN, offensive coordinator, Auburn. No matter how many times you read it, the list of losses from Auburn's national title teams remains staggering: the Heisman-winning quarterback, the nation's best defensive lineman, six other offensive starters including the top two receivers, seven other defensive starters including the top two linebackers. With all due respect to head coach Gene Chizik (and his smashing successes in the recruiting and team-building departments), nearly all the hope Auburn has of retaining its top-25 perch and position near the top of the SEC West standings rests in Malzahn and his spotless offensive track record. If anyone can take what's left at Auburn (which does include some highly-talented pieces, like running back Michael Dyer and potential breakout receiver Trovon Reed) and fashion an attack that can still keep SEC coordinators up at night, it's Malzahn.

Malzahn's influence can be felt outside of just his impact on the Plains, though. Even as some major programs (like Michigan and Florida) revert to more conservative, pro-style schemes, the runaway success of up-tempo spread offenses like Malzahn's and Chip Kelly's has encouraged teams like Pitt and West Virginia to follow their fast-paced lead. College football offenses seem to be gravitating towards those two opposite poles -- pounding pro-styles and lightning spreads -- and Malzahn's tremendous accomplishments are a major part of explaining the move towards the latter. -- JH

35. THE NCAA's 2011 CELEBRATION RULE, scourge of all that is fair and good in this world, NCAA rulebook. We know it's coming; it's only a matter of the who and where. From the moment a player heads towards a clear endzone, every head coach out there will have his heart skip a beat hoping his player won't do something stupid like ... celebrate? No, thanks to a new NCAA rule, fumbles near the end zone won't be the thing players, coaches and referees will be on the lookout for this season ... it'll be a celebration.

The rule -- actually passed last year but taking effect starting this season -- says that if an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty is committed during live play (say, a high-step into the end zone), instead of 15 yards assessed on the extra point or kickoff, the touchdown will be negated. The points will be taken off the board and the ball will be placed 15 yards from the spot of the foul. Remember the Reggie Bush somersault into the end zone? Though already illegal, if this rule had been in effect before, Bush would have been left with nothing to celebrate in the first place. So here come the pins and needles as everyone, fans and coaches alike, hope an 18-year old won't celebrate. Should be a fun season ... unless it's not. -- BF

More CFB 100
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34. STEPHEN GARCIA, quarterback, South Carolina. Strange as it may sound, it's true: the Gamecocks are the legitimate SEC East preseason favorite. They have arguably the league's best running back in Marcus Lattimore. They have inarguably the league's best receiver in Alshon Jeffery. They have an experienced, well-coached defense that just added the nation's No. 1 overall recruit at defensive end. With massive advantages like those, you'd expect the fifth-year senior, third-year starting quarterback to be the final piece of a championship puzzle--and maybe not just a conference championship, either.

But the bad news -- or is it the good news? -- for Carolina is that that quarterback is Stephen Garcia. There's no doubt anymore; if Garcia behaves himself over the summer, he will be the Gamecocks' starting QB again this fall. That means he might uncork a whole season like his 17-of-20, three-touchdown masterpiece in Carolina's 35-21 2010 upset of No. 1 Alabama, and bring home the 'Cocks' first-ever SEC title. It also means he might get suspended the Saturday morning of the biggest game of the season or fumble four times in a loss to Vanderbilt. Because he represents the team's best chance of capitalizing on its best chance yet to claim a championship, Steve Spurrier and Co. will just have to take the good with the bad. How much of each Garcia gives them could (or maybe will) singlehandedly determine who represents the East in Atlanta. -- JH

33. THE ACC'S SEPTEMBER 17th, nonconference opportunity, ACC. When the ACC expanded in 2004-2005, the hope was that adding Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College and a championship game would raise the football status of the supposed "basketball conference." But thanks to a poor bowl record and a total lack of national title contenders over the past decade, the conference has quickly become the butt of many college football jokes. The conference produces nearly as much NFL talent as the SEC, but with such little impact on the national scene, it's assumed the ACC just can't hang with the other BCS conferences.

Well, if the ACC is going to make a statement in 2011, September 17 is their chance. Most notably, it is the date of the aforementioned Florida State-Oklahoma showdown. But the Seminoles are only one of five ACC teams hosting a major non-conference showdown that day. Clemson welcomes defending champion Auburn to Death Valley for a rematch of last year's 27-24 overtime thriller. The Miami - Ohio State showdown in Coral Gables has much less star-power than before, but that might only benefit the Hurricanes. In addition, Maryland hosts West Virginia and Georgia Tech looks for redemption from last year's upset against Kansas. The Seminoles and Tigers may take a loss, but Miami, Maryland, and Georgia Tech all have shots to win their non-conference game. If the strongest argument against the ACC is how they stack up against non-conference opponents, the conference can silence those critics with a strong showing on the third Saturday in September. -- CP

32. TAYLOR MARTINEZ, quarterback, Nebraska. It takes a lot of self-confidence for a grown man to unironically adopt a nickname like "T-Magic," but fortunately for Nebraska fans, Taylor Martinez isn't lacking for that confidence--nor for freakish athleticism. The freshman quarterback conjured up memories of Eric Crouch and Tommie Frazier as he ran for 965 yards and 12 touchdowns while throwing for 1631 yards and 10 more TDs. That's even taking into consideration a right ankle injury that bothered Martinez throughout the second half of the season, keeping him out of two games and limiting him in others. A healthy, more experienced T-Magic for the entire 2011 campaign could be quite the weapon.

However, as both Martinez and Denard Robinson demonstrated just last year, football is not a sport that caters to the health of smaller quarterbacks with heavy rushing workloads. The defenses in the Big 12 are no picnic for opposing QBs, but they're even more physical in the Big Ten. Meanwhile, the once-rocky relationship between Martinez and head coach Bo Pelini seems to have healed to some extent. Certainly, there aren't any reports of Martinez missing practices, and he had the chance to transfer this off-season but didn't. Once that first player-coach fight happens, contentment is usually relative and impermanent, but it seems like much more of a 2010 problem than a 2011 problem, and that's bad news for the rest of the Big Ten. -- AJ

31. BRYAN HARSIN, offensive coordinator, Texas. Earlier in the Top 100 we featured Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Well, if Gilbert is going to have a big impact on college football this season, odds are it will have a lot to do with his new coach, offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin. Okay, so technically Harsin is the co-offensive coordinator, but I really don't think Mack Brown fired Greg Davis and then brought Harsin in from Boise State so he could share play-calling duties with Major Applewhite. No, Harsin will be grooming one current Longhorn quarterback and one former Longhorn quarterback.

Because if there's anything that Harsin proved himself able to do in his time at Boise, it was produce good signal-callers. Harsin's biggest influence at Texas this year will be to help Gilbert increase his touchdown passes and significantly reduce the turnovers. Over the last three seasons at Boise State, Harsin helped Kellen Moore throw 99 touchdowns to only 19 interceptions. He also put together an offense that averaged about 43 points per game the last three years, and while the defenses in the Big 12 are a bit better than the ones Harsin saw in the WAC, if he can get within reach of numbers like that with the Longhorns in just one season, the rest of the college football world will likely cower in fear. -- TF

The 100 will continue here on Eye on CFB tomorrow. Until then, check out Nos. 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51 and 50-41. You can also keep up with the 100 by following us on Twitter.
Posted on: February 22, 2011 5:02 am
Edited on: February 23, 2011 8:54 am
 

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Texas which begins its spring practice on Thursday.

Spring Practice Question: Is Garrett Gilbert really in danger of losing the starting job?

Last month, Texas head coach Mack Brown declared the Texas quarterback position to be wide open. It seems that after a less than stellar performance from Garrett Gilbert in his first season as a starter, along with plenty of coaching turnover in Austin, Brown isn't ready to hand the job over to just anybody.

Of course, whether he truly meant it or not, we'll begin to find out on Thursday when the Longhorns begin spring practice.

If I had to lean in one direction, I'd believe Brown, but only with the understanding that the job is still Gilbert's to lose. Whether or not Gilbert was successful in 2010, he still has more experience than either Connor Wood or Case McCoy. The true wild card in all of this, however, is the addition of Bryan Harsin as Texas' co-offensive coordinator (Major Applewhite being the other co-coordinator, though something tells me Harsin wasn't brought in from Boise to defer to Applewhite).

Harsin comes from Boise State, and has no favorites amongst the quarterback trio. Gilbert may have started all 12 games for Texas last season, but he did so under Greg Davis and with Greg Davis' plays, so in that sense he's on the same ground floor that both Wood and McCoy are.

Still, this spring could be the deciding factor for Gilbert. If he can show a strong grasp of Harsin's offense over the next few weeks, he can begin to put the job on lockdown. If he struggles, then things will be a lot more interesting this fall, as both McCoy or Wood could wrestle the job away from him.

The most important thing that Gilbert will have to do to earn Harsin's trust, and make better decisions in the pocket. While Garrett was able to make enough plays with his arm and legs last season to tally 3,124 yards and 15 touchdowns, it was the 17 turnovers that most people will remember.

17 turnovers that had an awful lot to do with Texas finishing the season 5-7 and missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 1997. That cost John Mackovic his job as head coach in Austin, and though Mack survived, that fate may still befall Gilbert.

There is reason to believe that Gilbert will be able to cut down on the mistakes. First of all, he'll be a junior in 2011, and with a year of experience under his belt, he'll be a smarter player. Plus, there's some history to look at with quarterbacks under Harsin.

In 2008, as a freshman, Kellen Moore started every game for Boise State and threw 10 interceptions. Over the next two seasons, Moore only threw 9. 

Another reason to believe that Gilbert will improve in 2011 is that his receiving corps will get better as well. Mike Davis -- who caught 47 passes as a freshman -- will be another year older, another year better, and his play could go a long way in improving the performance of his quarterback. Whether that quarterback is Gilbert, McCoy or Wood. If Malcolm Williams and Darius White can start to reach their potential, life will be a lot easier as well.

At the end of the day, I think Gilbert will leave spring practice as the team's starter, and he'll be under center when Texas opens its season against Rice on September 3. He may have had a bad season in 2011, but the truth of it is that he's just more talented than both McCoy or Wood. So unless he has a flat-out awful performance this spring, I just don't see him losing the gig.

Of course, I didn't see Texas going 2-6 in the Big 12 last season, either. So who knows what will happen?
Posted on: January 30, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Texas assistants raking in the dough

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A public records request has resulted in the release of salary information for Texas's nine assistant coaches , and to sum that information up in two words: they're buying.

Only 27 assistants nationwide earned $400,000 or more in 2010, but in 2011 more than half of Texas's staff -- co-offensive coordinators Major Applewhite and Bryan Harsin, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, offensive line coach Stacy Searels, and defensive backs coach Jerry Gray -- will meet that benchmark. Harsin's, Diaz's, and Applewhite's salaries would all rank in the top 15 among assistants nationwide last season. Searels' $425,000 per-year contract would have tied with him with Alabama's (since-retired) Joe Pendry as the FBS's highest-paid offensive line coach.

You get the point: the Longhorns are sparing no expense in the wake of last year's 5-7 disaster and the surprise departure of supposed head coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp. Depending on how well Harsin, Diaz, and the other new assistants perform, it's possible Muschamp's decision to leave for the Florida head coaching job could be a financial blessing in disguise; as the nation's highest-paid assistant a year ago with a salary of better than $900,000, Muschamp bidding Texas goodbye helped free up some of the cash that led the new assistants to sign with the 'Horns.

However you slice it, though, this kind of financial commitment shows that Mack Brown is not planning on meekly fading away after his 2010 catastrophe. He wanted a new, top-dollar staff to whisk away the stench of last year, and he convinced those in charge of the Texas purse-strings to give him that staff. No one can accuse him of shrugging his shoulders at last season, nor the Longhorns of being cheap.

Now Brown just needs to make sure no one can accuse him of wasting that money on another losing season, lest the catcalls continue that his salary is the money the 'Horns ought to be saving.

Posted on: January 7, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Harsin, Applewhite named UT co-coordinators

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

After several hours of reports corroborating each other, it's all but official : Bryan Harsin of Boise State and current Texas running backs coach Major Applewhite will be co-offensive coordinators next season at Texas.

Though there's nothing out of the official Longhorn camp just yet, Harsin appears to have spent at least 24 hours in Austin visiting and deliberating his offer to replace Greg Davis as -- we believe -- the Longhorns' primary play-caller. Apparently, he's accepted, giving Mack Brown and Co. one of the nation's hottest young offensive minds; at 34 years old and the Broncos' offensive coordinator since 2006, Harsin has already guided Boise to five finishes in the national top 20 for total offense.

As for Applewhite, while it's not entirely clear what his role will be, his promotion ensures that one of the few Longhorn offensive staff members who escaped the team's 2010 implosion with their reputations intact -- witness the rumors Will Muschamp would be taking Applewhite with him to direct the offense at Florida -- will remain in Austin and provide a sense of continuity as Harsin takes over.

As for what the Longhorn offense will look like under the Harsin-Applewhite tag team, if there's anything certain, it's that it'll feature a greater emphasis on the running game after Brown said his offseason focus (for what feels like the 10th straight year) would be on finding someone to instill more toughness (and, you know, success) in the Longhorn ground attack. But as for specifics, if it winds up looking like Harsin's Boise offense, the best place to start is this post at the ever-brilliant Smart Football , which breaks down the Bronco philosophy as one that doesn't stick to a singular scheme, formation, or approach; it simply finds plays that work, whether out of a pro set or spread, and executes them. Or as a Bronco assistant put it: "We run plays, we don’t have an offense."

Ironically, many a Longhorn fan disappointed with Davis's grab-bag of an offense have leveled that same boast as a criticism of the previous offensive regime. But if Harsin can produce an offense in Austin remotely as productive as the one he oversaw in Boise -- if he can turn that lack of identity into the strength of unpredictability rather than the weakness of confusion -- no one in burnt orange will be complaining.

Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:48 am
Edited on: December 14, 2010 12:51 pm
 

Applewhite not joining Gator staff

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The time between the announcement that Will Muschamp had become the new Florida head coach and the rumor that he'd be bringing fellow Texas staff member and former Alabama offensive coordinator Major Applewhite along as his offensive coordinator was so small you'd have to measure it in nanoseconds.

But like so many other assumptions made during the coaching carousel's silly season, it turns out a gun was being jumped , as the Gainesville Sun is reporting that Applewhite has either decided to turn Muschamp down -- with the departure of Greg Davis at Texas, he could be in line for a promotion in Austin -- or Muschamp has decided to go in a different direction. Either way, Applewhite won't be coming to Gainesville.

If that's despite overtures from Muschamp, the Gators might be receiving a blessing the disguise. Though Florida has enough raw offensive talent that virtually anyone who isn't Steve Addazio could turn them into a functional attack, Gator fans spoiled by the Steve Spurrier and Tim Tebow years likely won't settle for "functional," and unless Muschamp's defense is truly terrifying, "functional" won't win the championships the Gators have become accustomed to, either. Applewhite already has a long and promising career as a position coach, but his turn at the Tide's wheel was anything but revelatory, as Alabama limped in at 75th in total offense that season and (by most accounts out of Tuscaloosa) was only saved from demotion by his move to a lower-rung position in Austin.

Though Applewhite may have learned enough from his one season as a play-caller and his last couple of years under Mack Brown to succeed in his next attempt in the coordinator's chair, there's no question he'd be something of an unknown quantity. This being Florida, the Gators likely don't have to settle for an unknown quantity. Though Dana Holgorsen may be looking elsewhere and Auburn has probably wrapped up Gus Malzahn for at least this offseason, Muschamp should just about have his pick of the rest of the nation's OC's. Applewhite may, in fact, be a good choice ... but from here, it still seems the Gators can do better.


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