Mississippi State, which is ranked 24th in this week's Associated Press Top 25, will have the opportunity to earn a spot in the final rankings of the season for just the fifth time since 1998 provided the team win its bowl game.
There was excitement in town Wednesday when the university made the formal announcement of its new coach, naming Moorhead, 44, a Pittsburgh native who had rejuvenated the Penn State offense over the last two seasons with a clever and innovative read option attack. Moorhead built a historic offense in his years with the Rams and accumulated a 38-13 record there. The Nittany Lions now stand at seventh in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 41.6 points per game.More news: Foot Traffic Analysis Shows Height of Black Friday Retail Bump
Moorhead brought more of the same this season. Both have set school records in large part due to the success Moorhead's offense has had the past two years. Beginning in 1998, Moorhead has had coaching stops at Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Akron and CT before he was the head coach at Fordham and offensive coordinator at Penn State. He'll have a great chance to coach a team that should have high expectations in Starkville next season and leaves a void that Franklin will need to replace with another great hire.
-The Tennessee Volunteers reportedly are turning their focus to Purdue's Jeff Brohm to fill their head coaching vacancy after Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy took himself out of the running. Keep an eye on JoMo's protege & collaborator on that system Fordham HC Andrew Breiner. In his two seasons there, they have improved to No. 19.
He has 20 seasons of collegiate coaching experience, and his background with regards to being an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach is similar to the credentials Mullen possessed when he was hired to lead the Mississippi State program in 2008. Current Penn State tight ends coach Ricky Rahne, who came with Franklin from Vanderbilt, will also likely garner heavy consideration. His Sun Devils averaged 31.9 points per game a season ago.