Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Buffalo Bulls and Turner Gill

Late congrats to the the MAC champion Buffalo Bulls and their Head Coach, former Husker QB and coach Turner Gill. Buffalo, winners of only 10 games in the seven seasons previous to hiring Gill, went 8-5 this year to win its first conference title. Facing previously unbeaten Ball St and given little chance to win the game, Buffalo forced four turnovers, inlcuding two fumble recoveries for TDs, to defeat the Cardinals 42-24.

"The Bulls (8-5) capped the program's first bowl-eligible season since joining college football's top tier of teams in 1999. Buffalo athletic director Warde Manuel said the school accepted an invitation to play in Toronto's International Bowl.

"To have the game an hour and a half away is a reward for our fans," coach Turner Gill said.

Manuel said members of Buffalo's 1958 team will join the current program on the trip because they turned down a chance to play in the Tangerine Bowl because their black players wouldn't have been able to participate.

"The 1958 team deserves a bowl experience," Manuel said.

Gill is supposedly under consideration for the open head coaching gigs at both Syracuse and Auburn, and is one of only four black head coaches at the BCS level (OWH story here). Gill faced a great deal of skepticism in interviewing for head jobs after leaving NU due to the fact he had never served as a coordinator, but the Buffalo AD (also black) took a flyer on the former NU star, who was the the Green Bay Packers of the NFL as Player Director after leaving NU under Bill Callahan. Also of note is the great job former NU LB/DE Jimmie Williams is doing as Gill's DC.

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