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Weekend Recap: Newton wins Heisman, schools hire coaches, Stagg Bowl rematch

There was only one FBS college football game on the schedule, the 111th Army Navy game won by the Midshipmen for a ninth straight time, but there was some notable college football news to pay attention to as well. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton took the top honors that were expected by being named the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, but SEC rival Florida stole part of the spotlight Saturday night with news that they had found their replacement for Urban Meyer. Here is a rundown of the weekend that was in college football.

Newton wins the Heisman

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, despite having a number of Heisman voters make a statement by not listing him on their ballot or abstaining from voting, won the 2010 Heisman Trophy on Saturday evening to become the third player from Auburn to be named the top college football player in the 76-year history of the award. Newton received 2,236 votes to easily beat out Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (1,079 votes). Oregon running back LaMichael James finished in third and Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore finished fourth in the voting.

“There is no question that Cameron is highly deserving of the most prestigious honor in college football, and I am so proud of him,” said Auburn head coach Gene Chizik. “Not only has Cam been the best player in college football this year, he has also been an incredible leader for our football team. Winning the Heisman Trophy is also a tremendous honor for our entire football team, our coaches and our support staff. This is a special day for Cam and for Auburn University, and I feel blessed to be a small part of it.”

Florida, Miami find their new coaches

During the Heisman Trophy presentation being aired on ESPN the news broke that the Florida Gators had found their new head coach. Much to the surprise of many the new coach is Will Muschamp, who had been the coach in waiting for the Texas Longhorns.

“This is a dream come true to be the head coach of the Florida Gators,” said Muschamp in a statement released by Florida. “I grew up watching the Gators and whatever other SEC team was on television. “I have great memories watching SEC football with my father on Saturdays and playing football in the back yard with my two brothers right here in Gainesville.”

For Muschamp the decision was whether or not he wanted to start coaching now at one of the big names in college football or wait a little bit longer for his opportunity at Texas. Ultimately it was an easy decision. Muschamp has an SEC background and knows what it takes to recruit in the conference. In Florida he takes over a program that is not far removed from playing at a national championship level, although there will be some work to do with a team that enters their bowl game with a 7-5 record.

The following day, on Sunday, word got out that Miami had agreed to terms with Temple head coach Al Golden, who was thought to be likely to head to Pittsburgh for their vacancy or hang tight at Temple until the position opens up at Penn State.

“Al Golden did not just win games at Temple University, but he built a football program, and he did it the right way,” Temple University Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw said. “He engineered one of the most remarkable turnarounds in Division I history, and not only did he turn Temple football around, he did it in such a way that it will last long after his departure. The turnaround was not only seen on the gridiron, but also in the classroom, with unprecedented academic success. He also instilled core values evidenced by the team’s outstanding community service record.”

Temple was a desolate program before the arrival of Golden, who did not shy away from the challenge of winning at Temple for his first college football head coaching gig. The Owls had been kicked out of the Big East and played as an independent before joining the MAC and although the Owls fell shot of some preseason expectations the program is still in much better shape than it was when Golden took over.

“He hands off a program that is built for success, and for that Temple University is grateful. We wish him, his wife Kelly, and his entire family all the best at the University of Miami.”

Golden will be introduced as head coach at Miami on Monday while Florida will introduce Muschamp on Tuesday. Both coaches can begin working immediately for their new schools, as Temple and Texas are not preparing for a bowl game, allowing new coaches to get started right away.

Malzahn to Vandy?

In other coaching news there some contradicting reports on Sunday regarding the vacancy at Vanderbilt, but The Washington Post report that Auburn assistant coach Gus Malzahn will become the next Vanderbilt head coach appears legitimate. Auburn’s offensive coordinator could be introduced as Vanderbilt’s next head coach as early as Monday, although it remains unknown whether or not he will leave Auburn now or wait until after the BCS Championship game as Auburn takes on Oregon.

ESPN’s Joe Schad was reporting that Malzahn has a contract offer but he has yet to accept it. Schad suggests that if Malzahn turns down the offer then Maryland assistant coach James Franklin is expected to accept the job. According to the initial Washington Post report though Franklin appears set to stay at Maryland, which might be because he was told he would not be getting the Vanderbilt job.

We’ll let you connect the dots.

Quick hits

Louisiana Lafayette also hired a head coach. Mississippi State assistant coach Mark Hudspeth will be introduced on Monday morning.

Defending FCS champion Villanova came away with a big win in the FCS playoffs. The Wildcats blew away top seed Appalachian State 42-24 on Appalachian State’s own field. The win sends Villanova to Eastern Washington for a semi final match-up on Friday night. Delaware, led by Penn State transfer Pat Devlin and Villanova’s top rival, is also one game away from the championship game after beating New Hampshire this weekend. The Blue Hens will host Georgia Southern in the other semi final match-up on Saturday.

In the division three ranks it will once again be Mount Union vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater for the championship. It will be the sixth straight season the two schools will face each other for the division three championship. The schools have alternated championship game victories each of the past four years, with Wisconsin-Whitewater winning the 2009 title.

About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.