Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
Mmm ... links.
Lane Kiffin is now available. What does that mean for the Syracuse coaching situation? Greg Robinson hasn't been fired yet, but the connections between Kiffin and Orange AD Daryl Gross are obvious. Some fans would like to see Kiffin be named coach tomorrow. Donnie Webb of the Syracuse Post-Standard said there is risk involved in such a move:
"But here's the rub - to bring Kiffin in during the season also saddles Kiffin with whatever happens with the remainder of the Syracuse football schedule. There are significant risks including the team going in the tank, a disgruntled coaching staff facing the unemployment line and a defense that will not be fixed in a month's time. The Orange could easily go winless with or without Kiffin. But let's say Kiffin comes in and finishes out with a team that goes 0-4 or 0-5. Do you really want your new football coach going on the road with that kind of needless and perhaps damaging baggage? Recruits may only see same old same old. Does it not make more sense that he gets a fresh start, as soon as the Cincinnati game ends and the Robinson era is put to bed, to then hit the ground running? Kiffin or whoever might want/demand it that way because he's free to preach the gospel of a new vision and hope for Syracuse football. He's got a better chance of talking players out of their verbal commitments with a clean slate than he does if he comes in and is already 0-4."
I still think hiring Kiffin is a bad idea. Syracuse needs someone with college head-coaching experience and ties to the East Coast recruiting hotbeds. Kiffin has a very similar background to Robinson except that he's much younger.
Connecticut coach Randy Edsall did not make quarterback Zach Frazer available to the media this week on the eve of his first start. Hartford Courant columnist Jeff Jacobs said it's another sign of college football coaches being control freaks more than anything else.
"Sometimes it seems the bigger Edsall's success gets, the smaller the hole for inclusion. Last year from midseason, for the most part, the captains were the only ones available at the media luncheons and requests for players were not allowed. The low point came before the biggest game in program history. The captains descended almost all at once for their only availability before West Virginia for 20 minutes. About three minutes per man, if you wanted them all. The quotes had to stretch for four days' worth of stories."
Brett McMurphy of the Tampa Tribune reports that George Selvie and Terrell McClain are likely out for Thursday night's Big East opener versus Pittsburgh.
Rutgers, which hasn't beaten West Virginia since 1994, is trying to figure out a way to stop Pat White. Greg Schiano, when asked if he would assign a spy to the Mountaineers quarterback this Saturday, quipped, "We'll need the whole FBI for Pat White."
The Cincinnati-Marshall game is a reunion of sorts for Thundering Herd defensive coordinator Rick Minter, who was the Cincinnati coach for 10 years. Bill Koch writes in the Cincinnati Enquirer that Minter attended Bearcats games last season.
"Because of Brian Kelly's openness, he welcomed me back into the program a little bit. It reconnected me to Cincinnati. It was an opportunity to come back and be around some of the fans. For me personally, it was a very good feeling. I ran into those people who said they appreciated what you did for 10 years to give this program a chance to be competitive in the Big East."