IN MY OPINION

At FAU, already tough times could get tougher

 

jgoodman@MiamiHerald.com

I’m going to go ahead and assume that there are pictures somewhere in Boca Raton of Carl Pelini teaching children how to take hits off a gravity bong while wearing a Nancy Reagan T-shirt.

Or maybe Pelini and his stooge sidekick Pete Rekstis got caught at a meth party trying to cook up some of that “Blue Sky” from Breaking Bad.

Whatever Pelini’s vice, how he got caught doing it must surely be damning for him to lose his job. Florida Atlantic football was in a desperate situation before athletic director Patrick Chun forced Pelini to resign. Now, the Owls’ program might be worse off than Florida International, which is still trying to recover from its own coaching change.

Tough times are going to get tougher for FAU, but it’s refreshing to see someone such as Chun protect the honor of his school by doing the difficult but right thing. And, hey, Chun also is apparently pretty smart. Instead of firing Pelini, Chun convinced Pelini to resign. Now, the Owls’ disgraced coach also might be on the hook for $500,000 because of a clause in his contract.

Chun has the unenviable task of trying to convince a quality coach to come in and take over a team that was 2-7 and already a shell of its glory years under the program’s founder, Howard Schnellenberger. If FAU really wanted to stick it to its South Florida rival, it would do the obvious thing and hire former FIU coach Mario Cristobal.

From what I hear, Cristobal would love to return to South Florida, and it’s no secret he would be more than motivated to coach against FIU. Of course, Cristobal might want to temper his desire to exact revenge against his former employer just in case something more desirable opens up in the area.

SACK ATTACK

Overlooked in all the hype about Jameis Winston is that he has had all kinds of time to pick defenses apart. The redshirt freshman is playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the country, which has allowed Winston to look downfield and wait for receivers to get open for long gains.

Winston enters Saturday’s showdown against the Canes ranked second nationally in yards per completion (17.01) and eighth in completion percentage (.699). Any chance of Miami pulling off the road upset lies along its defensive line, which is ranked 10th nationally in sacks, averaging 3.14 per game.

Of course, Clemson is ranked first in sacks per game (3.63), so good luck with that.

NO LOVE

Ohio State has no chance of playing for the national championship if Alabama, FSU and Oregon all the run the table in their conferences, so, in that respect, you can’t say the BCS standings aren’t completely useless. Still, the standings are pretty bad considering the Buckeyes are grossly overrated at fourth.

Ohio State plays at Purdue this weekend before ending the season with Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. In other words, even if Ohio State wins out, Urban Meyer might finish his first two seasons in Columbus undefeated yet never coming close to playing for a national championship.

And undefeated Baylor is ranked sixth in the BCS standings without having played a ranked opponent this season. But, unlike Ohio State, the Bears can make their case for a spot in the national discussion in the next few weeks. Baylor plays No. 10 Oklahoma next weekend followed by No. 15 Texas Tech and No. 18 Oklahoma State. Baylor then finishes the season with instate rivals TCU and Texas.

Miami is ranked seventh in the BCS and rest assured there will be plenty of outcry in South Florida if Miami somehow upsets FSU but remains behind Ohio State, Stanford and Baylor in the BCS standings.

Read more Colleges stories from the Miami Herald

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