Downs and distance

Four items of interest on the college football landscape

By Jim McBride
Globe Staff / December 3, 2010

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1. Not a winning move
Randy Shannon got jobbed. There’s no two ways about it. Miami fired Shannon last weekend after the Hurricanes finished their regular season at 7-5, with a bowl invitation coming Sunday. In four seasons, the former linebacker, who won a national championship in 1987 at The U, went 28-22. He failed to win an ACC title or bowl game but what he did do was bring stability to a program known as much for off-field incidents and bad-boy behavior as it was for its accomplishments on the field. Not a single Hurricane was arrested during Shannon’s tenure. There will be no shortage of candidates for the job, but it’s too bad the higher-ups didn’t realize they already had the right man. 2. Agonizing wait
About the only decent thing about Randy Shannon’s firing was the timing. At least AD Kirby Hocutt made a quick decision. Such cannot be said of Michigan AD Dave Brandon, who seems comfortable with letting coach Rich Rodriguez hang in the wind while he determines the future of the program. With Wolverine Nation howling for a change (most have their hearts set on former Maize and Blue QB Jim Harbaugh), Brandon said “everyone needs to take a deep breath.’’ The AD will not make a decision on Rodriguez until after the team’s bowl game. That doesn’t sound good for Coach Rod, who is 15-21 overall and 1-10 vs. ranked teams in three seasons in Ann Arbor. 3. Face the music
One question for the powers that be at Alabama: Why so serious? Shortly after losing the Iron Bowl to Auburn a week ago (and what a game it was!) word leaked that the school had fired a part-time employee who apparently made an egregious decision. As the Tigers took the field for pregame warm-ups, the employee, who was in charge of the stadium music, decided to poke some fun at Auburn QB Cam Newton. The aspiring DJ spun “Take the Money and Run’’ and “Son of a Preacher Man.’’ Pretty clever considering Newton’s pastor dad, Cecil, has been accused of trying to get $180,000 from Mississippi State to secure Cam’s commitment. I know it was a tough loss, but lighten up. 4. Short memories
Only us lucky insomniacs on the East Coast got to see the entire Boise St.-Nevada instant classic a week ago. The game ended when Wolf Pack kicker Anthony Martinez nailed a 34-yard field goal in overtime for a 34-31 win. While Martinez has been enjoying the spoils this week, Broncos kicker Kyle Brotzman has been living a nightmare. Brotzman, who missed short kicks in regulation and OT, has been vilified by the gutless, faceless bloggers of the world. He even received harassing messages at his house. These haters are quick to forget that Brotzman, an ex-walk-on, is the WAC’s all-time leading scorer. Lucky for Brotzman, his teammates have been steadfast in their support.