Rankman's Friday mailbag: Which way should South Bend turn? Mora's sideline tantrums; another Pac star burial on Pac 12 Net?

It's four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
New York is cold, but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening

I hear that you're building your little house deep in the desert
You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record

--Leonard Cohen, “Famous Blue Raincoat”

Assuming that Brian Kelly is dead man walking, who do you like next at ND? Schiano? Petersen? Kiffin? Mullen?

Brian Clark @TripDad06

I like your spunk, Brian, but none of those choices. I don’t think any of them work on a billboard.

“Greg Schiano: He went 68-67 at Rutgers!”[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Winning at Rutgers was, in fact, quite a feat, but I’m not sure it means much in South Bend. Schiano, though, failed in the NFL, going 11-21 in two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Greg has rejuvenated his career as Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator at Ohio State and positioned himself for another lead job somewhere, but probably not Notre Dame. Irish fans will command a bigger name with a better track record. Schiano also has a short sentence in his bio that will get dredged up again if is considered at Notre Dame. He was a graduate assistant at Penn State in the sordid era of Jerry Sandusky. There have been accusations Schiano and other assistants knew what was going on with Sandusky. Schiano has vehemently denied this and there’s no reason to doubt him, but it would surely come up again at a high-profile place like Notre Dame. Who needs that kind of headache? Schiano would be a better fit elsewhere. I thought he would have been a good short-list choice for USC, maybe the second-coming of Pete Carroll. But USC fans laughed the way they did when Mike Garrett hired “Pete-who!”? back in 2001.

“Chris Petersen: Compared to Seattle, he’ll love our weather!”

Petersen is a great coach, as he proved at Boise State and his proving this year in Washington. The rural setting of South Bend would even suit his small-town sensibilities, but NO way could he handle the spotlight of Notre Dame. The coach at Notre Dame is more than a coach. He’s the CEO and ringmaster. He HAS to deal with the public, the press, alums and boosters. That’s not Petersen, who thinks five is a crowd. That's why he would not have been a good fit at USC. This week Coach Pete complained about the media in... Seattle. Petersen poked scurrilous scribes for saying too many nice things about Washington.

“We’ve had that since the start of the season,” he said at his Monday press conference this week. “I was so irritated with you guys and you were so irritated with me. It hasn’t changed. I mean that sincerely. You guys want to keep putting these expectations on these kids and all this stuff.”

Nah, they wouldn’t do that at Notre Dame.

“Lane Kiffin: He’s Finally Grown Up?”

No way.

“Dan Mullen: He was once on Urban Meyer’s staff?”

Not sure that’s going to cut it. Mississippi State is also in last place in the rugged SEC West, with a home loss this year to South Alabama.

So what does Notre Dame do? It is in a real pickle-jar jam because the Irish have failed with underwhelming choices in the recent past: Gerry Faust, Bob Davie, Ty Willingham, Charlie Weis. Can they now, gulp, take another chance on a rising star like Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck? Tough question: is he the next Urban Meyer, out of the MAC, or the next Brian Kelly?

I think the Irish are probably left in a position of forking over $8 million a year to the best “name” coach willing to suffer cold winters in northern Indiana. It may be too late to get Tom Herman, but how about Les Miles?

Me? I’d forget past mistakes and risk making another one with the guy from Western Michigan: “What the Heck, Take a Chance On Fleck!”

Last Rites: the story of the 2016 Notre Dame football team

Christopher Boan @cgboan

There have been a lot of movies made about Notre Dame Football, but I’m not sure that one would make it by the university censors. Here are some others that might not pass muster:

--“Kelly’s Zeroes”

--“Road to Malik Zaire.” A take-off on the old Hope and Crosby movies. In this one a talented Notre Dame quarterback gets caught in a political firestorm and gets stranded on a deserted sideline bench.

I’m still shocked Notre Dame allowed its team to be filmed last year for a “Showtime” series sometimes that ran right before VERY adult programming on the cable channel. It was enough to make an altar boy blush.

This again? Repeat: Football coaches chew out players. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to watch. We won’t miss you.

W for Westwood @WForWestbood

“W” was not happy that Rankman criticized UCLA Coach Jim Mora’s sideline behavior last Saturday night at Washington State. Mora, if you missed it, dressed down his punter on the sidelines in Pullman. Mora has a bad habit of looking bad on TV, not a characteristic he should want to share with Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly.

Mora also went ballistic on Pac 12 officials in a game this year, which cost his team an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Oh, by the way, the Pac 12 refs got the call right. I know, I know…but it happens every now and then. My question: how can Mora expect his team to play with discipline when he can’t control himself? Mora's behavior reflects poorly on him and is a bad look for an otherwise upstanding university.

You forgot to mention that the SEC West also has the next Heisman Trophy winner in Jalen Hurts. With Verne and Gary tuned up for another shot at hyping the Alabama QB this week, get ready for Lane “I know how to pad stats for Heisman winners” Kiffin to figure out a way to have Hurts throw for 300 and run for 200—against 6th ranked Texas A&M.



Oh my goodness gracious I was thinking the same thing! Time is running out on CBS to get Verne Lundquist a going-away Heisman Trophy for his retirement. Verne and Gary have another big show on CBS this week when they get to announce Texas A&M at Alabama in the highly-valued 12:30 p.m. time slot on Saturday.

Remember, in 2012, this game clinched the Heisman for Johnny Manziel after he pulled off the upset in Tuscaloosa.

Manziel was the first redshirt freshman to win the award. If Hurts has a huge game expect CBS to suggest it’s time for the first TRUE freshman winner.

Last year, the LSU-Alabama game on CBS determined the Heisman when Verne and Gary championed Derrick Henry in a game they started by championing LSU’s Leonard Fournette. That very same day, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey THREW a touchdown pass against Colorado but it got lost to history because the game was on the Pac 12 Network.

Well, guess what? It could happen again.

The Pac 12 has another legitimate candidate this year in Washington sophomore quarterback Jake Browning. Few people know that Browning leads the nation in passing efficiency? Through seven games, he has thrown 23 touchdown passes, with only two interceptions.

While Verne and Gary are hyping SEC Heisman candidates during Alabama versus Texas A&M, the fifth-ranked Washington Huskies will be hosting Oregon State. On the Pac 12 Lost City of Atlantis Network.

Meaning: The Pac can kiss another Heisman goodbye.[/membership]