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Louisville has accepted invitation to Orlando's Russell Athletic Bowl. Will Canes be there, too?

So, it's now official. The Louisville Cardinals is heading to the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, to be played Dec. 28 at the Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando.

Will quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, a Miami product who graduated from Northwestern High and was once committed to the Miami Hurricanes, face the team he grew up loving?

We won't know until Sunday. I still think Miami has a good shot of heading to Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Bowl to face an SEC opponent. ESPN likes the ratings that the Canes bring, and something about the Canes and the SEC makes it a good draw.

Either way, both bowls could be fun games. Future ACC team Louisville, with Teddy (and former UM defensive line coach Clint Hurtt) would make for an intriguing matchup as well.


Here's the story posted by Matt Repchak of FCSports & The Russell Athletic Bowl:

The Louisville Cardinals have accepted an invitation to play in the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl. This year’s edition of the game will take place on December 28th at Orlando’s Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium at 6:45 p.m., and will be televised nationally by ESPN.

"Russell Athletic is thrilled that the Louisville Cardinals will complete their outstanding season by appearing in the Russell Athletic Bowl," said Gary Barfield, Senior Vice President, Russell Athletic. "We are eager to find out on Sunday who Louisville will be facing in what is sure to be an exciting game."

Louisville heads to Orlando for the first time after posting its second-straight 10-win season, capped by a 31-24 overtime win at Cincinnati tonight. It becomes the third team in bowl history to enter the game with double-digit wins (Boston College (10), 2007 Champs Sports Bowl; Alabama (10), 1991 Blockbuster Bowl). The previous two teams each went on to win the bowl game and finish with an 11-win campaign.

The Cardinals return junior QB Teddy Bridgewater, who already ranks third in Louisville history in passing yards and fourth in career touchdowns.

The Louisville defense has stymied the opposition all year long. The unit ranks second in total defense in the FBS, allowing only 242.5 yards per game and third in scoring defense, surrendering just 11.4 points per game. The Cardinals also rank in the top five nationally in rushing defense, passing defense, turnover margin and third down conversion percentage.

"We're excited to host a ranked, one-loss Louisville team for the first time in the Russell Athletic Bowl,” said Steve Hogan. “It has built a powerful fan following and we look forward to rolling out the red carpet for Orlando Bowl Week."

Head coach Charlie Strong is an impressive 36-15 with the Cardinals, leading them to two conference championships and bowl appearances now in each of his four seasons. Louisville can earn at least a share of its third straight conference championship with a UCF loss on Saturday.




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The below avg qb's who have tourched us for 3 yrs now are nothing to what Manziel or Bridgewater may do to us. Look for around 600-700 yds off offense against Donofrio's soft zone.

This would be the true test of what the value of Al Golden is. The nation would see if Al Golden can truly prepare his team and make game day adjustments. Against a well thought of team and coach.

The defense of Miami against the offense of Louisville. The top quarterback, from Miami, against his hometown university. The lesser recruited Louisville defense against the highly recruited Miami offense. The defensive minded Al Golden against the same minded in Charlie Strong.

The administration and boosters would see if Al Golden has what it takes to continue to lead Miami. Louisville, on paper, is not vastly neither way. As compared to Miami. Coaching will decide who is better. This game, would be, a very valid determiner of what Miami's future will be.

ChampCane, you are saying Louisville on paper is not vastly better than Miami?

Not disagreeing, just asking for the missing word.

Duke is healthy and we are playing for the ACCCG? No, sir; highly doubt that is the dispositive factor.
Posted by: beedharphong | December 05, 2013 at 07:47 PM

Hmm. I realize it was a hypothetical proposed by someone else, but I think it is worth looking at in more detail.

1. VT. Duke on the team, then he is returning kicks, and since he has worked on stopping his fumbling since that early season issue, Coley and Burns do not have their two fumbles. In addition, 24 carries for 28 yards? Duke makes that result much better.

So, it is possible that we win if a healthy Duke is on the field.

2. Duke. Our Duke on the team, we still have that 17-7 lead, but perhaps Morris is not forced into an INT on 3rd and 4, essentially ruining the momentum and turning the game into 17-14. Perhaps.

So, it is possible that we win if a healthy Duke is on the field, but not likely. In this case, the defense was the main cause of the loss, so I don't see Duke stopping the Duke offense.

So, I think we are 10-2 with Duke, but likely lose a closer game to Duke and lose the tiebreaker to them.

And in answer to the person asking why we are not in the ACCCG, Duke is the reason. They did much better than the writers, pollsters, Vegas, and the rest of the college football world expected. Sometimes, an OSU 2002 type team comes along, going far beyond expectations.

Louisville, on paper, is not vastly neither way.

The team Al Golden had was better, on paper, than Louisville. But, he ran off some of that talent. Louisville did not get higher ranked recruits, to enroll out of high school. But with the transfers, to Louisville, and the talent ran off by Al Golden. The two teams are close, on paper, in talent.

A lot of Louisville's talent wanted to be Miami players. That will be a huge factor in this game.

This would be a true determiner of the University of Miami's coaching staff. This would truly let us know what our future will be.

I think Al Golden is a really good administrator, but need to surround himself with better coordinators. Superb Offensive and Defensive coordinators in combination with our talent base would mean The U's return to glory. Why this President, Athletic Administrators and Power Boosters can't see that amazes me. They will point to the generic reason of improvement in recruiting and record, but fail to see the limitation of this staffs player development and game day coaching abilities. The reality is that only FSU and Clemson should present any competion to us in the ACC. Just getting better players is only part of the equation. To beat the FSU's, Bama'a, Auburn's Oregon's, USC's and Florida's- You have to coach who can prepare players, develop players, not coddle players, scheme and make immediate adjustments. This is where these coordinators fall behind the pack of Championship Level coaches. Don't wait till you're about to hit the ground before you pull the parachute cord.

Louisville had the 120th strength of schedule and their numbers are tempered by that stat alone! And the way they played last night, I have no doubt the U can hang with them. JMO

Louisville, for years, has been picking off the Miami locals that could not get into Miami academically or disciplinewise.

But once there, Charlie Strong has been a great coach of them, getting the best out of that talent even against a very weak schedule.

Their only tough opponent was #16 UCF. Their SOS was 116th, and for folks that claim our schedule was weak, at 55th, I DO wonder how they think Miami would have done against that Louisville schedule.

No FSU, VT, or Duke on that schedule, and would FSU, VT, and Duke beat Louisville?

So, I agree with ChampCane, the teams are not that far apart, and the battle between a very good coach in Charlie Strong and Al Golden will give us alot of information about Golden, positive or negative.


Where I got the 116th SOS and 55th SOS for Louisville and Miami.

Argue any thing you want, it is a fact and cannot be refuted that Miami is still playing with much of Randy Shannon's recruits so this is not a referendum of the coaching staff. Strong is playing with all his recruits and Golden and staff are not. A fact you cannot simply shove to the side as easily as some want to do!

I really hope that we play Texas A&M in Atlanta so that Al can see up close a personal how our defensive schemes (not lack of talent) has plagued the “U” since he came on board with Coach D. Either way, Bridgewater and/or Johnny has the potential to light it up against us - what better way to continue to expose the lack of defensive prowess from this current staff. Bottom line, based on what has transpired over the past three years; a coaching change on D is needed to get the “U’s” defense under control and established as a top tier defense (within top 10 within NCAA). If you (Al) are so enamored with Coach D and are so reluctant to hold him accountable or fire him, demote him and assign him less demanding duties. Move on and get an upgrade at D Coor so that we can take advantage of our present and incoming talent.

Anonymous, I wasn't arguing, and the difference between your 120th and my 116th was minimal.

However, Strong has been there only one more year than Golden, and last year in his third year, beat a 11-1 UF team. So, it isn't like their situations are that far off.

I DO think it a big factor in the outcome will also be battle between Morris and Bridgewater. By the time the game starts, Morris should be healed. the whole injury issue should not be a factor, and Bridgewater's elusiveness will test our defense. But Bridgewater won multiple games for Louisville, not just in the Cincinnati game.

This would be a true determiner of the University of Miami's coaching staff. This would truly let us know what our future will be.

Posted by: ChampCane

Champ gotta disagree to some extent. Let us know what our future will be? That's kind of a broad statement isn't it? I mean we'll have a much different team next season, with some MUCH needed top recruits, and L'ville will most likely be losing BW to the NFL, so whether we win or lost this game, our future looks bright, and I even gotta wear shades, lol. We play them like Cincy did last night, and we can certainly drum them. Our offense is waaaaay better than Cincy's.

Your logic is very flawed, Anonymous. The high number of transfers, to Louisville, supersedes the previous coach's players at Miami. Those transfers are from several other colleges, at Louisville. Having that many should negatively affect Louisville, based on your logic. But it does not, at all.

Louisville's talent was greatly increased by the recruits who wanted to play for Miami's previous coach. They are succeeding, but Miami is failing because of their similar recruits? That does not add up. The success at Louisville should be markedly less, if your logic was accurate.

Even with Louisville lesser schedule. Because their only loss was to Central Florida. Who's best player was ran off, from Miami, by Al Golden. So that is another team that is succeeding with Miami's previous coach's player.

I think Miami will play better on defense in the bowl game because of the amount of time they have to prepare. For UF, I believe the coaching staff spent all summer gameplanning. My biggest concern going forward is that D'O cannot gameplan week to week or make adjustments during games. I'm worried that if Miami plays well on defense against either Louisville or Texas A&M (by well, for Miami's current standards, holding the opposing offense to below 400 yards), that D'O will receive a ton of credit and it will ensure his spot for another year at least.

I've seen enough over the past three years to conclude D'O is not sharp enough to adapt quickly to opposing offensive schemes. They put him up in the booth this season so that he could see the field better and make adjustments. It did not help.

I think he will come up with a great gameplan to stop either Bridgewater or Manziel because he will have 4 weeks to prepare. However, my opinion of him will not change until he proves he can prepare week to week.

ChampCane, why do you claim that Teddy Bridgewater was run off by Al Golden?

The ONLY recruit that Al Golden "ran off" was a linebacker by the name of Nick Menocal. And even that was only because they did not see him fitting in their defense.

"The new coaching staff at Miami wanted to honor my scholarship, but they told me that they didn't see me playing linebacker in their scheme and they wanted me to play offense, which was fine. But I just never felt wanted at the end of the day by them," Menocal told Rivals.com affiliate JacketsOnline.com.

"Coach Buzz Preston from Georgia Tech in the meantime came down to my school and met with me whenever he could and he was all over me trying to get me to come up for a visit. Once I saw everything it all fell into place."

"Bridgewater's mother and uncle had attended high school with Shannon, and he apparently had a close bond with the coach. Once Shannon got the pink slip, Bridgewater pulled his oral commitment. He made a recruiting visit to Miami this weekend, but apparently wasn't impressed with the program under Golden."

Golden failed to impress, and Bridgewater decommitted as soon as Shannon was fired, BUT Golden did not run off Bridgewater. No matter WHO was here, they were not family friend Randy, so they would fail to keep Bridgewater.

I agree with the rest of your post, just saying that the ran off claim is not based on any reports I have seen.

Sunny Dee, you saw I gave you credit on the Cook article? You were saying we should go after him, and it looks like we are close to getting him. I hope he is not just yanking our chain.

I do wonder how many other schools are using this "grant-in-aid" agreement loophole, because if it is only Miami, the NCAA will shut it down pretty quickly.

As for Donofrio getting to stay if we beat Louisville, I hope not. His defense failed against Duke, and there have been too many other cases where they have failed, even in wins. How many last minute TDs and massive yardage fourth quarters has our defense given up, just this year? I can think of at least five TDs, to USF, UF, GT, UVA, and Pitt, and that should not be happening.

Champ gotta disagree to some extent. Let us know what our future will be?

Posted by: Cola Cane

Yes it does let us, Miami, know what our future will be. Your comments after that relate to Louisville. That has no bearing on my statement, about Miami.

Al Golden will get to prepare for only Louisville and vice versa. These two teams are very evenly matched. The major difference would be coaching. No if, and, or buts can alter what would take place on the football field.

Terrible coaching, game day, preparation, etc. would not change with more talent. The difference would be that talent could overcome the coaching deficiencies.

watch bridgewater light up al golden......

BS.....golden didn't even go after bridegwater when he got here.bridgewater verbal commitment was 12/20/2010.......al golden was hired 12/12/2010

the national signing day was in feb......golden let him go....

al golden is 13-11 conference and almost 4 loses per year.....cant win division EVER with that stat let alone national championship......

al golden and staff are nothing but an exercise in fantasy.....

2014: 6-6 at best.....

@ Nebraska - loss
@ louisville - loss (teddy)
Cincinnati - loss

not to mention - fsu, clemson and boston college

no QB plus a 500 yard defense.....forget 2014

Gallo and his " alumni" personalities ....where is that golden casualty list with the gators on the bottom? Been asking for 3 months. You're a quitter just like your gators. Try alumnus next time you try to lie about attending my school.

ChampCane, why do you claim that Teddy Bridgewater was run off by Al Golden?

Posted by: Five Titles

I did not post a comment close to that. I stated that players, that were on the team, were ran off by Al Golden.

The practice is very well known in college athletics. Movies and reports have been made on it. It is not stated as that by fans of Al Golden. But that can clearly be seen as that, from an objective observer.

The high amount of transfers from Miami, during Al Golden's tenure, is extremely greater than previous coaches. That was not occurring when the talent was greater and players wanted more playing time. It did not happen when coaches replaced previous coaches. It did not happen, at that high of a rate, when Miami was placed on a much more severe probation.

I already quoted a New Times article where Bridgewater went to Miami to meet the new staff, and decided that he dd not like them as much as Randy. How does that equate to Golden not going after him?

Bridgewater DECOMMITMENT was right after Randy was fired, as this December 7th article shows, before Golden even got here.


We get it, you hate Miami, but you have plenty to attack without piling on with lies.

As for Golden is 13-11 in conference, true, but I notice you don't show how he did each year in conference.

3-5 that first year, 10-6 since then. 5-3 and 5-3.

You can demand that we forget 2014, but since you will be here, daily, throughout 2014, it looks like YOU won't be able to forget Miami in 2014.

As for your predicted losses to
Boston College,

Shouldn't you ate least wait until we see how e do against Louisville in the bowl game (if that is who we face) before predicting a loss?

Oh, who are we kidding, you predicted 13 losses this year, and were right only 3 times, you will be doing the same next year no matter HOW we do in the bowl game.

Five - Yes, I saw that. Thanks!

A lot of schools will start offering these financial aid agreements because recruits will demand them. The students are allowed to sign them with multiple school. It binds the school, but not the student. The school cannot yank someone's scholarship after it is signed. Since it is good for the students, I think the NCAA will allow them to continue.

I think it's a great sign that Cook signed one, but Miami still has work to do if they want him to commit. The good thing about these agreements is that it allows unlimited contacts with the recruit. I think it will come down to UM and FSU. Cook has said great things about FSU but I'm sure he would love to join his teammate at UM.

By the way, I believe Cook also signed one with FSU and he plans to sign one with UF.

Problem: in single game, Defense gave up 31 first downs, 628 yards of offense and 42 points. IN SINGLE GAME! Solution? Fire DC. Start over. Horrible coaching.

Problem: team failed to win division after being picked to do so. Solution? Fire HC. Start over. Coach obviously sux.

Granted, nick saban and Kirby smart might beg to differ, but it's all about the coaching, right? AG isn't playing UL. 11 guys in a um uniform at any given time are. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't force him to drink. Especially if he isn't thirsty. Build a roster, build a program, and the consistent results will follow.

Champcane, I must have misinterpreted this comment then:

"Even with Louisville lesser schedule. Because their only loss was to Central Florida. Who's best player was ran off, from Miami, by Al Golden."

I took the leap that Louisville's best player was run off from Miami by Al Golden. And I figured you meant Teddy Bridgewater.

As for the number of transfers, some were due to discipline issues, some due to playing time, and at least one due to the NCAA investigation.

For comparison, how many occurred under Muschamp? Kiffin? I don't know. But you are saying it is at an exteremely greater rate than anywhere else. There must be a comparison article or something like that, if that was the case. Can you pass on a link?

ru an idiot.....11 loses total averages almost 4 games per year in the conference....

Louisville has teddy bridgewater verbal commitment on 12/20/2010....golden had the whole month of January to sign him...he didn't end of story....forget your stupid story....the official date is 12/20/2010...that is a fact.

you better hope UM doesn't get invited.....another embarrassment on national tv after duke wins coastal, lol

drink your koolaid all you want:


2011 - nothing
2012 - nothing
2013 - nothing
2014 - less than nothing (prediction)

Mark your calendar, Gallinda with an early 2014 wrong prediction. 6-6 at best is her definitive statement.

2010 - Randy Shannon
total offense - 5499 yards - #31 rank
total defense - 4203 yards - #22 rank
average win/loss record of opponents = 7-6

2013 - Al Golden
total offense - 5362 - #39 rank
total defense - 4989 - #76 rank
average win/loss record of opponents = 5-7

a complete waste of time.....

2014: 6-6

"Problem: team failed to win division after being picked to do so. Solution? Fire HC. Start over. Coach obviously sux."

Great point, TGMoney.

By that logic, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Louisville, Oregon, and UCLA should also fire their head coaches. They all failed to win their division or conference after being predicted to do so.

However, in the case of Kirby Smart, he has a record of success with his defense for the most part. Donofrio has not earned that same benefit of the doubt, IMO.


2011: coach blindsided by ncaa investigation overcomes odds and recruiting program in shambles, guides team to bowl eligibility

2012: coach saddled with ncaa witch hunt wins more games than previous year, guides team to share of division title and bowl eligibility

2013: despite years of mass exodus of talent as noted by "Gallo list", coach tramples critics, eyes 10 win season, guides team to bowl eligibility

2014: who knows, that's why we play the games

Orange and green kool aid is DELICIOUS!!

The high amount of transfers from Miami, during Al Golden's tenure, is extremely greater than previous coaches. That was not occurring when the talent was greater and players wanted more playing time. It did not happen when coaches replaced previous coaches. It did not happen, at that high of a rate, when Miami was placed on a much more severe probation.

Any clearer, Five Titles?

Miami does not run players off, when a new coach comes in. Never did it before Al Golden. Other schools transfer rate does not matter. They do not graduate their players like Miami does, either. The high graduation rate, especially the previous coach's extremely high one, does not enter into any of the discussions. So why would the other teams transfer rate have anything to do with Miami's?

Players run off by Al Golden:

vernon davis - RB
darion hall - RB
storm johnson - RB
kevin nelson - LB
andrew tallman - TE
billy sanders - TE
cj holton - FB
adarius johnson - WR
keion payne - DB
devonta davis - DB
jermaine barton - OL
ray ray armstrong - S
thomas finnie - CB
gionni paul - LB
travis williams - LB
jamal reid - DB
kelvin cain - LB
Vaughn telemaque - S
tracy howard - CB
curtis porter - DT
luther robinson - DT
jeffery brown - DT
darius smith - DT
alex collins - RB
denver kirkland - OL
terrell brooks - DT
matthew thomas - LB
jaynard bostwick - DT
keith bryant - DT
Eddie Johnson - LB
Rashawn Scott-currently out of the discipline bull pen
Gabe Terry - LB
Robert Lockhart - WR
Sony Michel - RB
Preston Dewey - QB
Ricardo Williams – DE
Delvon Simmons – DT
Jacoby Briscoe – DT
David Thompson – QB
Jalen Grimble – DT
Jontavious Carter - WR
Danny Dillard - RB
Dyron Dye – DL
Alin Edouard – QB
Seantrel Henderson - RT
Raphael Kirby – LB
Dalvon Stuckey - DT

green peas are in total dreamland.....

morris was the best thing at UM.....without him UM probably has only 3 wins......

he ends up #35 with 2868 yards and 21 TD's....even weak a'''s tommy rees gets #33 with 2938 yards and 27 TD's......

olsen is light years away from Morris talent....he is a complete disaster.....2014 will be disastrous for UM.....

If Miami wants to win champions hips. You will need a proven coach at this level. You can have that after the Buccaneers season. Schiano will be fired. You will need a OC and DC. You will have that. With Schiano comes Butch Davis and Dave Wansdstet. They are already Miami guys. Losing any recruits should be minimal at best. Re build the Orange Bowl on campus. Attendance will skyrocket. Win the ACC Championship. Then join the Big 12 alone with FSU.

funny...walked by the UM display case and didn't see ANY division and/or bowl trophy's from 2011 to this date.......

were they stolen?......maybe Al Golden took them when he quits in the gloom of night with a sign outside his door..."gone fishing"

If u objectively look at our defensive roster is it the worst in the acc? While we aren't elite in defensive talent it's clearly not the worst but we do have the worse dc in the acc so avg talent plus worst dc equals worst defense in acc. How can golden preach accountability and not hold his dc accountable? There must be something between dno and golden we don't know bc why else does he keep supporting the guy and blaming talent and freelancing instead of calling out his dc.

5 titles, I agree with you brother. I was being a deliberate smart arse re: Kirby. It was interesting to see him characterized as "totally confused" and "without answers" against a&am. Granted, j fball does that to a lot of dc's......

I'm just frustrated that we all see the debacle that is the D, and also appear totally confused and without answers. I'm shocked by the lack of athleticism. They literally look like they are playing in ankle chains. But it is just as frustrating to think a change in scheme or coaching is the answer. We keep asking a staff to start teaching geometry to guys that can't master basic math. Kirby smart was a perfect example of a coach considered the best in the biz being depantsed because of match ups. What is hard to accept as a cane fan is that we are on the losing side of match ups week after week, regardless of scheme. Again, consider that not a SINGLE player on D received a nod on the preseason acc team. Nothing is more pure than the other sideline weighing in on your talent.

UM loses.....key offensive players, breaks in a rookie QB that the coach has no confidence in since he sat on the bench with zero playing time.....a RB that may never be the same after injury......a defense that gives up 500 yards per game....a schedule not favorable to UM stat padding.....

but 2014 is gonna be a 11-1 or 12-0 season....lmao

that's a good one.....

Over the last couple years watching college football the team that reminds me the most of the early 2000s hurricanes from a size/strength/speed standpoint is lsu. Their sc coach is tommy moffitt the same sc coach under butch. I don't think that lsus rise coinciding with his arrival and our slow decline beginning after he left is purely coincidence. I wish al would get that guy back on staff first and foremost.

all of shannons recruits other than duke Johnson will be GONEEEEEEE......

Williams will not start since no coach will want to waste time with a QB that can only play for a year........the time will not be split.....UM defaults to Olsen....there is other choice....

Olsen gets killed since he has weak down field vertical throw.....probably wont know the playbook.....coley will keep it ABC with him.....UM suffers

Jim Gallo I did not know that you could walk.

Prove that you even know where the UM display case is located???????????.

You are such a fraud that I wonder why you don't cut and paste while knitting for the Gators, or Alabama. Nothing contributed by you on this site.

No 'Canes team need you on board, because the 'Canes could care less what you think, how you think, or even contemplate your miserable green pea existence.

The 'Canes will do fine without you, sweet pea, green pea or whatever!!!!!!!!!!
Go 'Canes

Facts on Teddy Lazy. Miami gave him a list of 7 things he needed to accomplish. Grades classes other things. He accomplished Zero. He was to busy partying to do any. That's why he went to Louiville. A box of rocks Gaines entrance there. Wouldn't draft the kid in round 5 because of his lazy habits and lifestyle

Yeah what Gallo said, we'll be 0-12, and have a complete meltdown, more players transfer, and all our recruits will bolt. Yep bank on it folks, we're cooked so we may as well not even think or talk about next season. Hell lets just not even root for the U anymore. Thanks so much Gallo for bringing us ALL into YOUR light. You're such a student of the game and we're all so stupid. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

hey know it all gallo... goin to be hard to lose to Clemson & bc nxt yr when we don't even play them nxt yr... smh

Louisville would torch UM. Their defense though would have a tough time keeping UM's offense in check. Cardinals have been collectively as a team somnambulist since they lost to UCF. If UCF could stop them, UM has more than enough talent to do so.

The problem is the same defensive game plan is going to be implemented for the 37th time in a row under Alverage. Hurricane fans thus know that Louisville will be unstoppable unless Bridgewater has one too many late nights in Orlando and self destructs.

Ganes fans don't get this of course, because they're Ganes fans and as the saying goes;

It's a Ganes thing, they never understand.

It's a Ganes thing, they never understand.

Posted by: Defense keeps getting worse as the experience deployed in it gets greater


And you're STILL a sad Gator who is 4-8 and stinks, and as Gator fans know, you're also BUMS.

Coach Golden here is a thought:

Kevin Steele too good to be off the sideline

[+] Enlarge
AP Photo/ Richard ShiroKevin Steele has a proven track record as a defensive coach at many levels.

Sometimes, coaches get lost in the shuffle or branded because of one bad season -- or even one bad game. Kevin Steele certainly comes to mind. He's at Alabama now as the Crimson Tide's director of player personnel and not coaching on the field. But he's too good a coach and too good a recruiter to stay off the field much longer. Steele was at Clemson for three seasons as defensive coordinator from 2009-11, and the Tigers had top-20 defenses nationally his first two seasons.

But they dipped that third season after losing some key guys to the NFL and having to lean on some younger players, and Steele didn't survive the 70-33 debacle against West Virginia in the Orange Bowl. The ironic thing is that Tennessee was interested in hiring him as its defensive coordinator at the time, and that obviously didn't sit well with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney after such an embarrassing loss. It's just another reminder of how quickly a coach's star can fade. But Steele has been too big a part of too many good defenses over the years not to get another shot, and he's done it everywhere -- the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and even the NFL, where he was the Carolina Panthers' linebackers coach in 1996, when they reached the NFC championship game in only

Nice catch Panhandle Cane.

Of course, if we DID pick up Steele, Gallo would harp on his 1-31 conference record as a head coach, how he has had multiple teams give up 70 points on them, etc.

But we first need to remove Donofrio before we can seek out a replacement.

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