NFL | NCAA Football

NCAA College Football 2015: Strong to Miami and Other Pigskin Thoughts

More rumors persist that the University of Miami is going to hire a big name to come in and reshape its football program.

Earlier this week, there was discussion some boosters were in favor of the school reaching out to Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula about the position, now it seems there is another big name that is being bounced around.

Welcome to the party, Texas head coach Charlie Strong.

A palmbeachpost.com story by Matt Porter links Strong to the school, only if Texas decides it has had enough with the losing ways of the program. And if that were to happen, the school from south Florida would be more than willing to see if the defensive-minded coach would like to move east.

“One well-placed source told the Post that UM’s decision-makers have zeroed in on Strong as their leading candidate, and that they are waiting to see if Texas will fire him and make him available to a busy coaching market,” Porter said.

Evidently, beating Oklahoma this year may not be enough for Strong to keep his job in Austin.

The story goes on to say Strong is somewhat annoyed his name is even being discussed with a coaching change. Strong was brought in to replace Mack Brown last season after Brown left the program. His arrival has been met with nominal success. The Longhorns are 4-6 this season close their schedule with games against Texas Tech and Baylor. Should the program not make it to a bowl game, the seat in Strong’s office, which is already very warm, should turn white hot.

The story eludes the notion that if Strong indeed wants out of his contract, where is currently 10-13, Virginia Tech may make a strong (no pun intended) to lure him to the ACC. Even if he is not fired by the school, Strong may leave on his own.

Besides Shula and Strong, it is believed that former Hurricanes head coach Butch Davis and former player Mario Cristobal are on a list of potential candidates.

WATSON GETS SUPPORT FROM NEWTON

While Deshaun Watson of Clemson makes a solid push toward a potential Heisman Trophy invite in December, one NFL player who is firmly in his corner is Cam Newton, who Carolina Panthers are also undefeated and atop the NFC Conference.

Both actually are leaning on each other.

Newton hasn’t been coy at all who he will vote for when he turns in his Heisman Trophy ballot. Much like Newton, Watson could be a quarterback who leads his Tigers to a national title while winning college football’s most prestigious award.

“That’s my little brother, man. I’ve seen Deshaun grow,” Newton said Wednesday on charlotteobserver.com. “When I first met Deshaun he was in 11th grade and he was on my all-star team. He was always eager. He was like a sponge. Quiet, but yet always looking to see how he could make his game better. For me to see him playing down the road at Clemson, it’s great.”

The majority of the Heisman talk has been centered on LSU’s Leonard Fournette, but the play of Alabama’s Derrick Henry has begun to swing some talk and lot of press coverage. All the while, Watson has been the glue in the Clemson offense on the top ranked team in the country.

OHIO STATE VS. MICHIGAN STATE

With so much talk about Clemson, Alabama and Notre Dame, it seems everyone has forgotten about Ohio State and the fact the reigning, defending national champions are undefeated and still very much alive in the discussion for a national title.

This weekend, the Buckeyes put their undefeated record to the test against Michigan State. If the Spartans lose, they are assured of being out of the CFP discussion. Should the Buckeyes lose, there is a glimmer of hope, but it’s weak at best.

When these two powerhouses get together, everything is on the line. And more importantly, can Ohio State win in Columbus for the first time since 2007?

“Seems like a long time, but the Buckeyes and Spartans have only played in Ohio Stadium once since then,” explains Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com. “Remember, Ohio State and Michigan State have only been in the same division for two years – Legends and Leaders had them on opposite sides of the conference.”

Now, the game is played in the regular season without a conference title game in the picture and a lot riding on the outcome.

A win by Michigan State changes the entire complexity of the College Football Playoff. It also keeps Urban Meyer and his Buckeyes from potentially repeating as champions.

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