The nation finally got to see the great Gunner Kiel on Friday night and the world should have been impressed. I’m not sure how many viewers there are for a Friday night game between Cincinnati and Toledo, but this game was worth a watch. Plus, Gunner Kiel finally got to make his college debut.
Gunner Kiel is from Columbus, Indiana where he attended Columbus East High School. Kiel was named Mr Football for the state of Indiana his senior season after leading his team to a 12-2 record and the state semi-finals. He threw for 2,517 yards and 28 TDs. He also had 482 yards rushing and 11 more Touchdowns showing he has some mobility. Kiel threw for 7,175 yards in his high school football career.
Gunner Kiel comes from an athletic family. His uncle, Blair Kiel, played quarterback at Notre Dame and then in the NFL. His father, Kip, played quarterback at Butler University and he had 2 brothers play college football. Brother Drew went to Illinois State and his other brother Dusty played at Indiana. Quarterbacking and football is in his blood.
Several recruiting services had Gunner rated as the number 1 QB prospect in the entire country during his senior year of high school. Others, like ESPN had him near the top. ESPN had him rated 3rd behind number 1, Jameis Winston, and number 2, Zach Kline.
Winston has already won the Heisman Trophy, but Kline signed with California and was beat out and transferred to a JC.
Gunner Kiel, obviously, was recruited by the entire college football world. At 6-4, 208 he is perfect Quarterback size and has good feet and was known for having the arm and the intangibles that make a great player.
He surprisingly committed to Indiana in high school. Then, he switched to LSU. After making a commitment to the Tigers, briefly, he changed his mind and enrolled at Notre Dame at midterm of his senior year of high school. Kiel went through Spring Practice with the Irish. Then, he redshirted his freshman year while the Irish won all of their games and went to the now defunct BCS championship game and got obliterated by the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Everett Golson was the Irish Quarterback along with Tommy Rees. If you’ve read my blog, you know how I generally feel about Quarterbacks transferring. There are cases where I totally understand the need to make a change and go a different direction and start over at a new school. Kiel saw Golson and Rees ahead of him and for whatever reason he left Notre Dame and wound up at Cincinnati.
If Gunner Kiel had stayed at Notre Dame he would have started in 2013 for sure. Golson was suspended for a year and they were left with Tommy Rees and Kiel should have beaten him out pretty easily.
But, transfer he did and he had to sit out another year due to NCAA rules.
When Gunner Kiel stepped out on the field on Friday night, he hadn’t played football for 2 years.
It didn’t matter.
Kiel connected with MeKale McKay on a long pass on his very first collegiate pass and it was a thing of beauty.
Call me impressed with Gunner Kiel.
Gunner Kiel threw for 418 yards off of 25 completions out of 37 attempts. In his first college start, he threw 6 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. He also ran for 24 yards on 4 carries.
Laying off 2 seasons, certainly did not hurt Kiel.
Cincinnati Head Coach Tommy Tuberville said that this group of receivers for the Bearcats is the best he has ever coached even at Auburn and Texas Tech.
That leads us to Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville. Gunner Kiel committed to two schools before signing with Notre Dame and then he left the Irish, too.
Tuberville is without a doubt a good coach. His record indicates a good coach, but probably not a great one. At Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas Tech and has won 140 games and lost 81. The record is not something that blows you away, but it is still good. Tommy Tuberville will not make many lists as the world’s greatest coach, but he is a good coach.
Coach Tommy Tuberville got his first head coaching job at Ole Miss in 1995.
Coach Tuberville had a coaching record of 25-20 for the Rebels. After his fourth season was over, Tuberville was asked about his future at Ole Miss. He was quoted as saying ”They’ll have to carry me out of here in a pine box”.
Two days later, he announced he was leaving for the Auburn job.
Tuberville took over the Auburn Tigers in 1999. The Auburn Tigers went 85-40 under Tuberville from 1999 until 2008. Good, but not great record and Auburn wants great.
His best years at Auburn were 2004 when the Tigers went 13-0 but did not win the national championship. His other best season was in 2006 with the War Eagles winning 11 games and losing 2.
His first year at Auburn was 5-6 and he ended his career there at 5-7.
He was fired after the 2008 season and he took the 2009 season off from coaching.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders fired Mike Leach for locking Craig James’ son up in a tool shed for punishment.
The Red Raiders hired Tommy Tuberville to take over.
I always thought this was not a fit.
Tuberville went 20-17 in 3 seasons at Tech.
After the 2012 season was over, Tommy Tuberville was with some recruits and their families in a restaurant. He received a phone call, and excused himself to the restrooms. The phone call notified him that he had gotten the Cincinnati job. Tuberville left the restaurant without saying a word to anyone, just leaving the recruits and family members waiting.
Lubbock is an acquired taste, probably like beer, and I suppose Tommy Tuberville never got paste the first nasty sip. I don’t blame him for taking another job but the way he handled it was pretty shady.
Tommy Tuberville went 9-4 his first season at Cincinnati. His second season started off with a bang on Friday night and with his new and talented QB, Gunner Kiel.
Tuberville is a good coach, but not a great one. He has been a head coach for 18 plus years and has proven himself to be good.
Gunner Kiel has only played one college game but looked sensational. He has 2 more years to prove himself, but if I am a betting man I am taking odds that Kiel leaves for the NFL after this year.
I don’t have anything against either man. Ole Miss fans and Texas Tech fans probably hate Tommy Tuberville.
Indiana, LSU and Notre Dame fans probably hate Gunner Kiel.
A person has to do what is right for themselves.