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  • It’s official: Coastal Carolina to join the Sun Belt

    Coastal Carolina

    If we’ve learned anything at all from the past five years of conference realignment, it’s that two things ultimately matter for schools looking to improve their lot in life: recent football success and the ability to tap into large sums of money. And not necessarily in that order.

    The Sun Belt is set to announce Coastal Carolina as its 12th member on Tuesday. The Chanticleers beat out Eastern Kentucky in a vote of Sun Belt presidents on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy. Eastern Kentucky has played football since 1909, winning national championships in 1979 and 1982, claiming 21 conference titles and 20 playoff appearances. The Colonels play in 20,000-seat Roy Kidd Stadium. Coastal Carolina, on the other hand, didn’t launch football until 2003, and its home, Brooks Stadium, holds just 9,214, well below FBS standards.

    But the Chanticleers have Joe Moglia, the former banking executive and billionaire that left the business world to pursue his dream of coaching football. After a stint with Nebraska and the Omaha Nighthawks, Moglia landed the Coastal head job before the 2012 season and has gone 32-10 since, reaching the FCS quarterfinals in each of the last two seasons.

    “On behalf of all of us at Coastal Carolina University, I’m honored to accept the invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference,” Coastal president David A. DeCenzo said in a statement. “I am grateful to Sun Belt Commissioner, Mr. Karl Benson, for his steadfast support of CCU, and to the Sun Belt presidents and chancellors, who honored CCU by selecting their 12th member school.”

    Adding the Myrtle Beach, S.C., based school will allow the Sun Belt to split into two divisions of six apiece. Coastal Carolina figures to join with Appalachian State, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Troy and South Alabama in the East division, while Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas State, Texas State, New Mexico State and Idaho figure to from the West division.

    Coastal Carolina will join the Sun Belt in all sports except football in 2016-17 and in football in time for the 2017 season.

  • Report: George O’Leary wants to be UCF’s full-time AD, step down as head coach

    George O'Leary

    George O’Leary has expressed a desire to step down as head coach after the 2015 season and become Central Florida’s full-time athletics director, according to a report from Dan Wolken of USA Today.

    O’Leary stepped in as the Knights’ interim AD in July after then-AD Todd Stansbury, who took a similar post at Oregon State.

    O’Leary has successfully shepherded UCF into big-time college football, leading the Knights from the MAC to Conference USA and then to the American Athletic Conference. The Knights have won a conference or division championship in four of the past five seasons, including a 12-1, Top 10 finish in 2013, including a Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor, and an AAC co-championship in 2014. Entering his 12th year at the school, O’Leary is 81-60 as head coach.

    Rumors of O’Leary’s impending retirement from coaching have persisted for more than a year. Fox Sports reported last August O’Leary was considering stepping down after the Knights’ opener against Penn State in Ireland. That, of course, did not happen.

    But while O’Leary’s credentials as a coach are not in doubt, some within the athletics department have expressed dismay at the possibility of him leading the athletics department full time, Wolken reports. O’Leary, 69, has no administrative experience outside his now two months leading the UCF athletics department on an interim basis. Wolken reports UCF president John Hitt is on board with the idea, but the rank-and-file members of the administration remain on the fence.

    “No one (on ground level) tracking with the president on this,” a source told USA Today.

    If O’Leary’s transition does receive a green light, look for him to push for  anoint offensive coordinator Brent Key as his successor.

    Central Florida opens the 2015 season Thursday night versus Florida International (6 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network).

  • Tom Herman’s coaching mentors give him three words of advice for his head coaching debut

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    Tom Herman hasn’t physically been on the sidelines for a college football game since 2004. As an offensive coordinator at Texas State, Rice, Iowa State, and Ohio State, his place on game day has been in the press box.

    However, for his head coaching debut at Houston on Saturday against Tennessee Tech, Herman will find himself on the sidelines for the first time in 11 seasons.

    Over the course of the off season, as the first game of his head coaching career has drawn closer and closer, Herman reached out to a few of his coaching colleagues for some advice on their first time leading a college football program on game day.

    “The one thing that a lot of my mentors told me, is that their first game, I don’t know if regret is the right word, but they wished that they had enjoyed the moment more.” Herman explained.

    “So I’ve made a conscious decision each day that I wake up to remember to enjoy the moment and not get too wrapped up in my own nerves, or my own anxiety. I’m going to look around, and smell the air, and see the great fans and enjoy the moment.”

    “It will be my first time since 2004 that I’ll be on the sidelines for a college football game too, so that will be an interesting experience. It’s been 11 years since I’ve been on a sideline.” Herman added.

  • NBC has scrapped plans to bring back the 90’s hit comedy “Coach”

    Back in March, news leaked that NBC was planning to revitalize everyone’s favorite 90’s sitcom with a refreshed storyline and 13 scheduled episodes for the first season.

    The new series was set to pick up with now-retired coach Hayden Fox, coming back to coaching for his son, who had just been named a head coach at an Ivy League program that had decided to start a football program from the ground up. Star of the original series, Craig T Nelson, and co-star Bill Fagerbakke (known on screen as “Dauber”) were both set to appear on the new show, as well as a few of the other original cast members.

    Judging from the reaction to this tweet, people were really, really excited.

    But there’s bad news. Apparently that wasn’t enough for NBC, as the website Deadline (which specializes in TV and movie news around the Hollywood scene) reported last night that the series has been scrapped by NBC after just a pilot episode. The article cites creative differences between NBC and the producers as the reason behind the cancellation.

    There is a silver lining in all of this though, and that is that NBC’s sister studio (Universal TV) will be shopping the series around, and Netflix is a logical, and potential landing spot.

    I know that I’m not alone when I say that I’m crossing my fingers for Netflix to pick this series up and revitalize it so we don’t continue to miss out on gems like this.

  • Les Miles explains his hospital visit yesterday: “I OD’d on coffee”

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    Yesterday afternoon, as Les Miles was scheduled to address the media, LSU athletic director took the podium instead to announce that Miles had been taken to the hospital on a “precautionary” basis. Alleva added that Miles would be at practice later and would also be available to the media afterwards.

    After practice Miles explained his trip to the hospital in true Les fashion by first quoting Mark Twain.

    “The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,” Miles noted before getting into comments about Saturday’s game against McNeese State.

    A little while later, Miles went into further detail and explained that his rocky relationship with coffee was to blame for the scare.

    “I had too much coffee. Whatever it was, it was absolutely too much. It didn’t seem like too much, but it went down so easy,” Les told reporters. “I went six months where I didn’t have a cup of coffee. I slowly but surely worked it back into my diet. Now I remember I didn’t really get along with coffee.”

    “You have those kind of moments all the time, but I just happened to have mine right in front of our trainer. Then you say ‘Boy, I’m not feeling good’ and then he does his job, and he gets me in front of a doctor.”

    “I should have just stayed quiet and went through the day. I wouldn’t have missed a thing. I wouldn’t have missed the press conference and certainly there wouldn’t have been so much news. I wouldn’t have had to text all my kids ‘I’m fine, don’t worry about me.'”

    Good to have Les back where he belongs, and we’re happy to hear that it wasn’t something more serious.