Tag:Randy Shannon
Posted on: June 2, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:54 am
 

CBSSports.com College Football 100: 50-41

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.

50. COWBELLS, traditional noisemakers, Mississippi State. On the one hand, yeah, it's just a bell with a stick attached to it and (usually) a State logo affixed to one side. But on the other, it's a huge reason why trips to Starkville have become a gigantic thorn in the side of SEC favorites since Dan Mullen took over the Bulldog helm. The cowbells create a tremendous amount of noise during their designated usage periods (touchdown celebrations, timeouts, etc.), but there's plenty enough State fans willing to use them during non-designated periods that Davis-Wade Stadium can become just as loud and disruptive as SEC stadiums with twice its capacity.

And in 2011, how loud Davis-Wade can get will matter. A lot. The Bulldogs will play host to both of the consensus SEC West favorites and the closest thing the preseason has to an SEC East favorite--LSU visits Sept. 15, South Carolina Oct. 15 and Alabama Nov. 12. A State victory in any one of those three games could immediately turn the entire conference on its head--and given that this is Mullen's most experienced team yet, the guess here is that thanks in part to those cowbells, the Bulldogs will come away with at least one of those scalps. -- JH

49. DOAK CAMPBELL STADIUM, home venue, Florida State. The Seminoles' home field will play host to one of the biggest non-conference matchups of the season--and it takes place on the third weekend of football. On September 17, Oklahoma -- expected to be one of the top-ranked teams in the nation -- will visit Doak looking to repeat last year's thumping of FSU in Norman. The Seminoles return 17 starters from last year's team that finished the season as the ACC runner-up and Chick Fil-A Bowl champion, though, leading many to tap Florida State as the 2011 ACC frontrunner. It's safe to say head coach Jimbo Fisher has brought the hype back to Tallahassee in just his second year.

So the two juggernauts will collide in Doak Campbell Stadium. A win for Oklahoma would be a huge confidence boost after struggling in a few crucial road games over the last couple years. A win for Florida State would not only bring the Sooners' title hopes to a screeching halt, it would transform the home team from ACC favorite to national title contender. The 'Noles also get Maryland, N.C. State and Miami all at home, making Doak not only a key destination for the national title picture but the key venue for the ACC Atlantic race. If the Seminoles can escape the month of September undefeated, it could be their race to lose down the stretch. -- CP

48. AL GOLDEN, head coach, Miami. The Hurricane coaching search was heavily publicized and tossed around flashy names like Jon Gruden and Dan Mullen, but the final decision was on the decidedly less-flashy, hard-nosed Golden. Since joining the program, Golden has talked about changing the "culture" of Miami football. After watching the team prepare for the Sun Bowl, Golden said he wanted to practice faster, hit harder, and increase the toughness up and down the roster. His winter conditioning program produced players' tales of being worked harder than ever, and his gritty demands continued well into spring practice.

But Golden needs to be more than a strength coach and philosopher for the Hurricanes. He needs to be the face of the program moving forward, and the team needs to believe in his word. There is a roster full of talent in Coral Gables that has not come close to sniffing a conference championship. Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hurricanes have yet to produce so much as a Coastal division title. Golden's arrival has brought a lot of excitement back to The U, but also the expectations for winning. If Golden is going to get the trust of Randy Shannon's team, he will need to show them that his "culture" produces championship-caliber football. -- CP

47. THE BIG TEN THANKSGIVING DINNER, new-and-improved rivalry weekend, November 25-26. The Big Ten, for better or worse, has always been unusually staid about its traditions--that means Saturday conference games only, no conference games after November 25 (which usually ends the season before Thanksgiving), and Michigan-Ohio State to end the conference season, always. That has worked out pretty well for the Big Ten for the most part, although Buckeye fans in particular have long rued the six weeks of layoff between a pre-Thanksgiving conference finish and a January BCS bowl game (since the SEC and most other conferences would only have four weeks).

Say goodbye to that disparity, though, because the Big Ten has moved the end of its regular season to Thanksgiving weekend. That decision plus the conference championship game equals football in December in the Big Ten, just like everywhere else. And what a regular season finale week the Big Ten has lined up for its fans this year: Michigan-OSU is still there, as fans demanded en masse when scheduling was going on, but now it's not the only show in town. Iowa and Nebraska have set up a season-ending rivalry for the next four years (one expects this to be made permanent if fans respond well to the new rivalry), and breaking with all sorts of conference tradition, it'll be on Friday. There's also a key showdown with Penn State at Wisconsin, and if Ohio State's not in contention for the (sigh) Leaders Division title, PSU-Wisconsin will likely have heavy implications for that bid to the championship. Same goes for Michigan State at Northwestern in the Legends Division. That's a heck of a way to spend a Thanksgiving weekend, isn't it? -- AJ

46. KELLEN MOORE, quarterback, Boise State. Kellen Moore's career thus far seems to have taken an arc we usually only see in TV shows. Last season was the "championship run" season, where Boise State was as poised as it ever was to crash the BCS Championship before fate conspired to take down the heroes. And make no mistake, Moore was a hero last year, leading the nation in passing efficiency and racking up 35 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He may not have had a chance to overtake Cam Newton for Heisman consideration, but his fate was sealed in the Broncos' 34-31 loss to Nevada--even though Moore threw a downright miraculous 53-yard bomb to Titus Young that put Boise in position to win the game.

If last season was all about the team taking its best shot at the title, this year's all about Moore; his top two receivers, Young and Austin Pettis, are both off to the NFL now, and key reserve RB Jeremy Avery is also gone. The Broncos find themselves in a tougher conference, too, though they still look to be favorites to win the Mountain West championship. If there were ever a time for Moore to erase the last of the doubts about his ability to play quarterback, this'll be it, and with any luck, this season'll end on a much more crowd-pleasing note for Moore and the rest of his teammates. -- AJ

45. THE PAC-12 HOT SEAT, conference furniture, Pac-12. When Pac-12 media days roll around next year, there's a good chance there will be a few different faces from this year's edition. While every conference has their fair share of coaches on the hot seat, it seems as though the Pac-12 has a hot couch with so many people to fit on it. Washington State's Paul Wulff, UCLA's Rick Neuheisel, Arizona State's Dennis Erickson and Cal's Jeff Tedford are those that are feeling the heat ... and a bad year by USC's Lane Kiffin could find him starting to sweat as well.

The coach with the best chance to get off of the seat is Erickson, who has a team full of upperclassmen and is primed to make a run at the first ever Pac-12 South title. Erickson is just barely over .500 in his time in Tempe and has only finished in the upper half of the conference standings once. Needless to say, it's put up or shut up time. Wulff's winning percentage is well south of the Mendoza Line (.135 entering 2011) and he probably needs to get the Cougars close to a bowl game in order to get another year. Neuheisel and Tedford both have upset fan bases and a really bad year will likely mean they're out; financial considerations might be the only thing that could keep them around. The hot seat is crowded in the Pac-12 and it should be fun to see who gets off of it this season -- one way or another -- first. -- BF

44. OKLAHOMA'S BUMPY ROAD, scheduling hurdle, Oklahoma. Oklahoma seems to be the popular pick to be ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls, which gives the Sooners an edge in its pursuit of a national championship. All it has to do is go undefeated -- that's it! -- and the Sooners will find themselves in the BCS Championship Game. Obviously, winning every single game on the schedule is not an easy thing to do, particularly when you've got that giant target on your back ... and things could be even tougher for Oklahoma when you look at their schedule.

Over the last two seasons, Oklahoma has played nine games on the road -- not counting neutral site games -- and the Sooners have gone a distressing 3-5. Last season the Sooners won two games on the road, against Cincinnati and Oklahoma State, but only won those games by a combined eight points. This season two of Oklahoma's toughest games will be on the road, as it travels to Florida State during the second week of the season and will finish the year against those same Cowboys in Stillwater. Then there's the neutral site battle with Texas. It wouldn't be a shock to anybody if the Sooners came away from those three games with at least one loss on the marker. And given that there's no longer a Big 12 title game that could help boost the Sooners' profile at the end of the year, that loss could singlehandedly derail the team's 2011 title hopes. -- TF

43. WILL MUSCHAMP, head coach, Florida. In some ways, Muschamp will have less pressure on him this season than the other two head coaches in the SEC East's "Big Three"; Mark Richt is firmly in win-or-else mode, and Steve Spurrier has to know his career won't last long enough to see talents like Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery come around again. Muschamp, meanwhile, may need a couple of seasons to get his favored pro-style offense working and his aggressive defense completely in place.

Then again, this is Florida. And Muschamp is replacing a coach with three SEC East titles and two national championships in the last five seasons alone; transition or no transition, a second straight year bumbling around the 7-5 mark with an offense barely fit to wear the same jerseys as the Spurrier Fun n' Gun or the Tim Tebow/Percy Harvin spread juggernaut won't go over well at all. The easiest way for Florida to improve, fortunately, is Muschamp's specialty: defense. The Gators have all the athletes needed to dominate on that side of the ball, and if Muschamp's going to extend his coaching honeymoon past the season's first month, they'd better. -- JH

42. BIG EAST CONFERENCE TIEBREAKERS, potential title-deciders, Big East. Since 2003, the Big East title has been split four times. Two of those times were between at least three teams, most recently last season when Connecticut won the tie-breaker over West Virginia and Pitt. As the conference's front office continues to eye expansion and the addition of a conference championship, the eight teams participating in conference play this fall will all be fighting for the BCS berth awarded to number one team in the standings.

With the seven game conference schedule (which is backloaded, for most teams), there are less games to separate the teams in the standings. Unless one team goes undefeated (West Virginia in 2005, Cincinnati in 2009), there is a good chance that there will be a tie at the top of the standings. In the final month of the season the Big East title hunt will become a wild collection of if/then scenarios, with each conference game carrying a tie-breaker significance. -- CP

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41. ROBERT GRIFFIN III, quarterback, Baylor. Last season the Baylor Bears finished the season 7-6 and played in their first bowl game in 16 years, a 38-14 loss to Illinois in the Texas Bowl. While there are plenty of reasons to help explain the turnaround in Waco the last few seasons, no person has had a bigger impact on the program than quarterback Robert Griffin III. The kid known as RG3 has not only been a star in the classroom, but on the field as well, accounting for 4,145 total yards and 30 touchdowns in 2010. Make no mistake about it: while the Baylor defense cost the team some games, Griffin kept the Bears in just about all of them with what he brought on offense.

As a redshirt junior in 2011, Griffin will be playing his fourth season with the Bears, and should be better than ever--a scary proposition for Big 12 defenses already struggling to stop him. While Baylor's defense will likely keep it from having a real shot to win the Big 12 this season, odds are that RG3 is going to have a big say in who ultimately does win the conference ... meaning that he could have a big impact on the national title picture as well before the year is finished. -- TF

The 100 will continue here on Eye on CFB tomorrow. Until then, check out Nos. 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61 and 60-51. You can also keep up with the 100 by following us on Twitter.



Posted on: March 12, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 11:50 am
 

Seantrel Henderson not transferring, suspended?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There have been a lot of rumors involving Miami offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson floating through Miami and Coral Gables in the last few days. According to InsidetheU.com, Henderson has been suspended for Miami's season opener against Maryland in 2011. Then there are the rumors that Henderson is thinking about transferring from the school.

Which wouldn't be the first time Henderson changed his mind about his school, after all. One of the most highly rated recruits of the 2010 class, Henderson originally announced a commitment to USC on signing day in 2010, but did not sign his letter of intent. He wanted to wait and see about the sanctions that would be hitting USC before signing, and then eventually chose to go to Miami.

One of the biggest reasons Henderson chose Miami was head coach Randy Shannon, who has since been fired and replaced by Al Golden. And that's where the Henderson transfer rumors grew from. Rumors which have now been denied by both Henderson and Al Golden.


More Miami

“Seantrel has every intention of remaining with the University of Miami and our football program,’’ Golden said in a written statement. “It is disappointing that individuals are taking the liberty to hypothesize on his future. He is coming off a strong finish to off-season workouts, rotated with the first team on Thursday and is well respected and liked by his teammates. Seantrel is growing into a leader, loves the game and cares deeply about being a part of the Miami Hurricane family.’’

“I am committed to my teammates, coaches and the championship goals we are chasing at the University of Miami," said Henderson in his statement. "I have no desire to play anywhere but at the U.”

Of course, while that settles the transfer rumors, you'll notice Al Golden said nothing about any possible suspension. Though according to Seantrel's father, Sean, neither he or his son have been informed of any suspension.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 3:47 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

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 Miami , who opens spring camp this Saturday, March 5.

How will Miami buy into Al Golden's plan to change the culture around Miami football?

When Miami left the Big East, they were on a four-season streak of winning the conference and making an appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game, including one national championship in 2001 and the infamous double-overtime loss to Ohio State in the title game the next year. But since moving to the ACC Miami has failed to even win their own division, much less the conference. Randy Shannon put together a 28-22 record in his four seasons as head coach, failing to deliver success with a team loaded with highly-touted recruits at one of the most notable programs of the last 30 years.

Whether you think the blame falls on former coach Randy Shannon, the administration, or the players themselves; the Hurricanes are hungry to be back among college football's elite. At the conclusion of a coaching search that tossed around names like "Gruden" and "Leach," Miami settled on Temple's Al Golden as the head coach of the future. On Saturday, Miami kicks off Spring Practice. It will be the first of fifteen opportunities Golden will get to build the foundations for a new era in Miami football.

But Golden does not want to focus on changing the schemes, but instead changing the themes. His first goal is to change the attitudes and culture of the team.

"Number one we have to become more disciplined. We have to become more physically and mentally tough. We have to become a smarter football team," Golden recently told CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer. "Those are things you can work on and, as I say to the players all the time, the culture is really the collective capacity of everybody in this building to create value. How are we going to create more value from our four hours today from the other 14 teams we're going to play? Those are the things we're trying to teach them, something larger than the offense and defense and special teams, the culture is larger than that."

After observing a few practices leading up to Miami's 33-17 Sun Bowl loss to Notre Dame, Golden immediately commented that he wanted to change the speed of practice. That mental toughness has been tested in the winter conditioning workouts already. Players are said to have been pushed like never before with the offseason conditioning, with different stories that paint a picture of vomit-inducing physical exertion.  Message boards always give birth to hyperbole, but the fact these things are shocking and different support Golden's message of improving physical and mental toughness.

One of the reasons Golden wants to focus on the toughness and culture in Coral Gables is because the talent is already there. Miami's 2008 recruiting class was heralded as one of the best in the ACC. Those players (now mostly juniors and seniors) came to Miami to be champions. Instead, the class has a combined 23-15 record with three straight bowl losses.

One thing that has helped Golden's cause is that this frustrated group of upperclassmen welcomes the change. With their college days numbered, the leaders of the 2011 Miami team know that they must buy in to Golden's culture or everyone will suffer together. In fact, Golden recently said that it is the older players that have "bought in" first. Starting Saturday, he will count on those players to set the example for the rest of the roster as the Hurricanes begin sorting out the details for the 2011 season.

While Golden has mostly focused on the big picture changes/decisions, there will be a lot of attention on the position battles this spring. According to the head coach, every position is "open" at this point. The hope being that the competition for starting jobs will help push player development and lead to a more polished final product. But most of the attention will fall on the quarterback position.

Jacory Harris has had the opportunity to see the field since he arrived with the rest of the 2008 recruiting class. But between injury and inconsistent play, the hometown Miami native has yet to really take ownership of the quarterbacking duties. Harris recognizes the competition ahead, and welcomes the challenge.

“I really feel like I need the push,” Harris said during an interview last week according to the Palm Beach Post. “The past two years it was me being too comfortable. I think that’s how we felt as a team – too comfortable. These new coaches are bringing the dog out in us. Competition is good for you. All that comfortable stuff is out the door.”

But there is also Stephen Morris. The talented quarterback was called to take over after Harris was sidelined with a concussion against Virginia. Morris displayed flashes of potential at times, but the 9 interceptions in less than 6 full games of action do not support his case as the immediate answer for Harris-based frustrations

So the competition will begin this spring, pushing both quarterbacks to prove why they should be the starter next August. Harris appears to have bought in to Golden's philosophy, and the coach thinks that many of the other leaders have as well. But now he has to make an entire roster buy in to "Al Golden's Miami."

It's a little more hard-nosed and gritty than most of the team has become accustomed to, but after watching the last couple seasons of Hurricanes football it might be their only option for success.

Miami kicks off Spring Practice on March 5, they will hold their annual spring game on April 16. 

Click here for more Spring Practice Primers

Fischer: Golden brings new plan to return Canes to Miami of old
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 12:46 pm
 

Golden looking to speed things up at Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

Randy Shannon was known for his even-keeled nature, rarely seen with outbursts of enthusiasm or anger on the Hurricanes sideline.  That calm nature may have rubbed off a bit on the Miami practice atmosphere, because new head coach Al Golden has made it clear one of his first changes will be enchancing the attitude and tempo of the Hurricanes' practices.  Golden recently addressed his plans for Spring Practice, which begins March 5.

"After watching three of the [bowl] practices, the first thing we have to do is change the speed and overall tempo of the practice," Golden told the Sun Sentinel. "And the energy and enthusiasm that I witnessed in the previous practices, I'd like to enhance that. We want to be an up-tempo, better-conditioned team.

Golden went on to express his desire for a tougher, and more disciplined team.  The Hurricanes were dead last in the ACC in penalties and penatly yards in 2010.  Many times Miami fans saw game-changing plays called back for a minor lapse in judgement, and the former Temple head coach hopes to change that in 2011.  Of all the new coaches in the ACC, Golden might be one of the more interesting situations.  The New Jersey native has never coached south of Virginia until now, and his only previous head coaching experience was at his previous job with the Owls.  Golden has an opportunity to create his legacy as a head coach with one of the most noteworthy programs of the last 30 years.

Or he could butt heads with Donna Shalala and be gone in 3-4 years.  But that's why we watch.     


Posted on: February 15, 2011 12:08 pm
 

Report: Randy Shannon turns down Maryland

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Over the weekend a report surfaced that Randy Edsall was Maryland's sixth choice to replace Ralph Friedgen. Maybe that means Edsall will have to wait for his sixth choice to find a defensive coordinator. According to the Baltimore Sun, former Miami head coach Randy Shannon has turned down Maryland's offer to become defensive coordinator.
Shannon had been offered the job last week, and had returned to his home and talked with representatives of his old school.
When he got back in touch with Maryland, he told the school that he stood to lose about $1.5 million in Miami buyout money if he signed on with Maryland, the source said.
Certainly that's a decision that I can understand if I were Shannon. If I had two options, and one of them included working incredibly hard for $500,000 (I've no idea what Maryland's actual offer was) while the other was do nothing at all for $1.5 million, I think I'd choose the $1.5 million as well. Not because I'm lazy, but because I'm lazy and I like money.

Though even if I can understand Shannon's motive behind the decision, it is a shame that he won't be Maryland's defensive coordinator when the Terps meet Miami on Labor Day this season.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 1:22 am
Edited on: February 11, 2011 1:23 am
 

Report: Randy Shannon may be Maryland's next DC

Posted by Adam Jacobi

When Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown bolted his post for the same at UConn last week, it seemed to mean, well, something; after all, incoming Terps head coach Randy Edsdall had made precisely the opposite move, so perhaps not everybody shared Edsall's sentiment that Maryland was a dream job.

Fortunately, Edsall knows the single most important maxim one can learn: that the best revenge is massive success. To that end, Edsall immediately sought out former Miami head coach Randy Shannon to replace Brown, and now the Washington Post reports that the two are closing in on a deal to bring Shannon to Maryland.

Say what you will about Shannon's results as a head coach of the Hurricanes and the fan exodus that ensued, but the man can coach defense. In his six seasons as Miami's defensive coordinator, the Hurricanes ranked in the top ten nationally in total defense in five of those seasons. In his four subsequent seasons as a head coach, his team never finished lower than 33rd nationally.

Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard Shannon's name attached to a prominent job; he was a strong contender at UCLA three weeks ago, but obviously that didn't pan out. On that note, then, it's important to wait for official confirmation from all parties involved that the deal is on, but for now, it looks like Randy Edsall is making the most of his unexpected opening at defensive coordinator, and that Randy Shannon is back in college football, where he belongs.

Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: February 8, 2011 10:11 am
 

Report: Shannon interviewing for Maryland DC

Posted by Chip Patterson

The coaching carousel has slowed since the regular season ended in December, but there are still several pieces shuffling back and forth, particularly in the ACC and Big East.  After moving Connecticut into the FBS and all the way to the Fiesta Bowl in 2010, Huskies head coach Randy Edsall departed to take Ralph Friedgen's vacant seat at Maryland.  Maryland's offensive coordinator, James Franklin, accepted a head coaching position at Vanderbilt while defensive coordinator Don Brown was retained.  Just before Edsall was ready to round out his staff by hiring Andre Powell, former running backs coach at Clemson, to the same position in College Park, Brown shocked the Terps fan base by bolting to Connecticut, Edsall's former employer.  

Confusing, I know.

Now former Miami head coach Randy Shannon has emerged as a candidate to replace Brown at Maryland.  ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman is reporting that Shannon will be in town on Tuesday and Wednesday to interview for the defensive coordinator position.  Shannon served as defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes for six years under Larry Coker before being promoted to head coach.  Shannon also is a highly-touted recruiter, with deep ties to the schools in the Miami-Dade County area.

Also in the running for Don Brown's job in College Park is former Maryland assistant Kevin Lampa.  Lampa spent four seasons as a secondary coach under Ralph Friedgen, and interviewed for the position on Friday.  Shannon's services are not being tied exclusively to Maryland, either.  With UCLA awkwardly ridding itself of Rocky Seto thanks to a Facebook flub, Shannon has also become a target for the Bruins.

While the biggest moves are made in December and January, these shifts of assistant coaches could be some of the details that can make or break the 2011 season for these teams.  Shannon is a well-respected coach and recruiter, and seasoned enough to jump right in with little transition.  He will likely be coaching in 2011, and he will be a great addition to whatever staff he joins.
Posted on: February 7, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Florida State-Miami talk Labor Day season opener

Posted by Chip Patterson

With the 2011 ACC football schedule still in negotiation, Florida State and Miami are mulling over the possibilities of moving their annual matchup to Labor Day evening (September 5) in Tallahassee.  Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post recently reported the schedule development after an interview with Hurricanes' athletic director Kirby Hocutt.

“We’re generally open to that because of the exposure and visibility that it brings,” Hocutt said in the interview. “It’s a tremendous opportunity. Obviously we have our set of concerns that we want to make sure we feel satisfied with before agreeing to anything.”

Both teams would have some schedule rearranging to do in order to make the game happen.  Florida State would have to re-schedule Louisiana-Monroe, currently scheduled on Saturday September 3, and the Hurricanes would look to move their October 1 meeting with Bethune-Cookman to September 10.  If the Hurricanes cannot get that move completed, they would have to burn a bye week to avoid two ACC meetings in five days.  

The game is not ideal for the Seminoles either.  Even if they can move ULM to later in the season, they would still be kicking off their 2011 campaign with three games in 12 days.  The last of that stretch being an awfully important matchup against Oklahoma.  With the talent coming back, and the job Jimbo Fisher has done on the recruiting trail, the Seminoles are an early favorite to win the ACC in 2011.  But even more important for the conference, Florida State has the opportunity to be a national title contender - something the conference has yet to produce since expansion in 2004.  If Florida State can knock off Oklahoma at home, they have a legitimate shot to be a contender when November rolls around.  

But as Andrew Carter, of the Orlando Sentinel, points out: these talks are likely a result of the ACC's television deal with ESPN.  The conference's contract calls for one "special appearance" game per season.  In 2010, the Virginia Tech - Boise State game (played on Labor Day evening at FedEx Field) filled that requirement.  Also, if the deal does go through it would at least provide Florida State with a season-opening homestand that could set the tone for a memorable 2011.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com