August 12, 2008

McNabb will have role in next Syracuse hire

If Syracuse ends up changing coaches, I'm told former Orange quarterback Donovan McNabb will play a big role in the selection process.

McNabb wants to see his alma mater regain the glory it enjoyed when he was there from 1995-98, starting every game and compiling a 35-14 record. McNabb led the Orange to four bowls, including the Fiesta and Orange in his final two seasons. In the nine seasons since McNabb left, Syracuse is 46-61 and has been to three bowls all minor ones.

There seems to be no doubt that if Syracuse parts ways with coach Greg Robinson, the school will pick a coach with an offensive background. Figuring that, expect McNabb to make a push for Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

Mornhinweg has developed a strong Philadelphia offense since becoming coordinator in 2004. His 2006 offense set franchise record for yards (6,103), and Philadelphia's offense ranked sixth in the NFL last season.

He also was head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2000 and '01. Before taking the Lions' post, Mornhinweg was offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, where the team set a single-season record in 1998 for total yards (6,800). He also was on the staff of the Green Bay Packers from 1995-96.

Mornhinweg, 46, last coached in the college ranks with Division I-AA Northern Arizona in 1994, where he was offensive coordinator. Before that, Mornhinweg was tight ends/offensive line coach at Missouri from 1991-93.

INSPIRATION FROM A COACH'S WIFE

"Miles From The Sideline" is a book you have to read. It's written by Maura Weis, the wife of Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. The book deals with "a mother's journey with her special needs daughter."

While her husband has a high-profile job and has accomplished much in South Bend, Ind., and with the New England Patriots before that, it pales compared to the sacrifices Maura has made raising their daughter Hannah. In the book, Maura discusses the challenges she and her family have faced and the way their daughter has changed their lives in countless positive ways and showed them what love really is.

It's not often we get a peek inside the private life of a high-profile coach. Knowing what Weis and his wife have done and how they have grown as people is inspirational. It makes a football game look like a silly and insignificant proposition.

OPEN AND CLOSE

Word recently came from Miami that its locker room no longer will be open. Miami coach Randy Shannon claims some of his players have issues with women coming into the locker room. It's a sign of the pressure and paranoia Shannon is facing in trying to revive Miami.

Being in a major pro market with lots of distractions, Miami needs to offer as much access as possible. The 'Canes have a fragile and fickle fan base. Just look at the crowds at games when Miami is struggling or playing a bad foe. When access is limited, it can have a negative impact on coverage.

Limiting access has been rampant across the nation in recent years. It's all about control. Too bad more schools don't get it.

Hat's off to USC, which continues to be an almost all-access program. If the Trojans arguably the hottest thing going in college football can open their locker room, why can't everyone?

WHO'S NO. 1?

I go on numerous radio shows, and one question I'm often asked is, "Who is the best team in the nation?"

That's difficult to answer. I think seven schools have a legit shot to win the BCS title: Georgia, USC, Ohio State, Florida, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Here's how I would rank the Top 25:

1. Ohio State
2. USC
3. Georgia
4. Florida
5. Oklahoma
6. Missouri
7. West Virginia
8. Auburn
9. Clemson
10. BYU
11. LSU
12. Virginia Tech
13. Texas Tech
14. Wisconsin
15. Texas
16. Tennessee
17. Kansas
18. Wake Forest
19. Oregon
20. Penn State
21. Arizona State
22. Fresno State
23. Illinois
24. South Florida
25. Pittsburgh

Tom Dienhart is the national senior writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dienhart@yahoo-inc.com.




 

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