Coaching vacanies begin to be filled as bowl season approaches

Hank South

College football will take a bye week before it returns with the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15. The season that saw a near-non-SEC national championship game lacked no excitement, which will undoubtedly continue into bowl season. Let’s take a look at some of the notes around the nation.

• Texas A&M and Kansas State quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Collin Klein, and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, have been invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony on Saturday night. If Manziel were to win the award, he would become the first freshman to take home the trophy. If Te’o were to win he would become the second defensive player next to Michigan’s Charles Woodson to claim the award.

• Arkansas has hired Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema away from Madison. Bielema has turned the Badgers into a national power, leading the program to three straight Rose Bowls. The unexpected hire came as a surprise to many due to the elite program Wisconsin is.

• Auburn has tabbed its former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn as its next head coach after firing Gene Chizik. Malzahn called plays for the 2010 BCS Champion Tigers before accepting the head coaching job at Arkansas State. Malzahn led ASU to a 9-3 record and the Sunbelt Conference Championship.

• Purdue has hired Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell to the same position. Hazell led Kent State to its first winning season since 2001 and an overtime touchdown away from a potential BCS berth. Hazell will receive a significant raise with his six-year, $12 million deal compared to his $300,000 salary as the Golden Flashes’ front man. 

• Louisville is doing everything in its power to keep head coach Charlie Strong in Louisville. The Cardinals are reportedly working on an extension on top of his current five year, $11.5 million contract. On Tuesday it was reported Strong is likely to stay at Louisville, who will join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014. The Cardinals will play Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

• Rutgers has filed a lawsuit against the Big East in regards to the $10 million, 27-month notification in order for the University to head to the Big Ten. Rutgers claims the same fines and waiting period are not the same for all Big East schools and that the conference is solely trying to punish the University for exiting.

Printed on Friday, December 7, 2012 as: Malzahn takes over at Auburn, Rutgers appeals fine