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  • “I Don’t Know”: Rick Neuheisel now has a song about the selection committee

    Hopping on the Dan Patrick Show with a new song to debut has become pretty common for Rick Neuheisel since he has left the UCLA sideline and landed a job with the Pac-12 Network.

    He’s touched on topics like Johnny Football, the national title, and “The Stairway to the Playoffs,” and his latest song is dedicated to the first ever college football playoff selection committee.

    Just give the man a pen, some paper, a microphone, a guitar and an audience and let him do work.

    It’s quite entertaining.

    Can someone get this man a record deal already?

  • Dear UAB – It’s time to do the right thing


    The situation at UAB is just bizarre at this point.

    Bill Clark and his staff have completely re-energized a program that many had left for dead, and somehow there is still no shortage of talk circulating that the university plans to cut the football program.

    When called out on the carpet by former UAB players, instead of answering the concerns, president Dr. Ray Watts danced around the issues and concerns instead of addressing them.

    Just to give you an idea of how impressive Clark and his staff have been at UAB, back on September 4th, after their first game against Troy (a 48-10 win) we were ready to appoint Clark as the best under-the-radar coaching hire of 2014.

    In the weeks that followed UAB has dropped a 13 point decision to Mississippi State and went on to beat Alabama A&M, a tough Western Kentucky team, North Texas, and Florida Atlantic. It should go without saying that we proudly stand by that statement from back in Week 2 on coach Clark.

    The poisonous cloud of speculation and uncertainty continues to circle UAB football, and the decision makers have yet to come out and definitively stand up for the program. This situation has become the poster child on “how not to treat a coaching staff,” and yet Clark and his staff still manage to get their guys to go out and play quality football every week.

    This past weekend, on their biggest stage yet against an undefeated Marshall team, UAB went out and fought their tails off but fell just short, 23-18 in a game that was every bit as close as it looks. We hear that they had nearly 30,000 people at that game at Legion Field, which is far more than any other Sun Belt, MAC, or Conference USA game that took place that day.

    Did we mention that kickoff was at 11am? All things considered, that’s really impressive.

    Against all odds, the UAB program is on the rise.

    Today the executive director of the new UAB Football Foundation pledged to raise $4-5 million in the next year to support the program, and even more in the next 10 years. All UAB needs to do is meet three conditions, according to

    “1. Extending coach Bill Clark’s contract. Clark, nearing the end of his first season at UAB, agreed to a three-year deal originally.
    2. Scheduling non-conference opponents beyond the 2016 season. At the moment, UAB has no non-conference games scheduled for 2017 and beyond.
    3. UAB’s administration committing to support the program “at levels that provide UAB football an opportunity to compete for C-USA championships.”

    Now there is simply no excuse. There is support, there is money, and you have coaches, players, and people that care.

    UAB needs to step up and do the right thing here…it’s past time. They’ve got a quality staff in place that cares about the kids, the community, and the university (even if that’s a clear one-way street).

    Do the right thing UAB.


  • Every team in the Eagles’ division tried to hire Nick Aliotti


    When Chip Kelly was hired away from Oregon by the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2013, every team in the NFC East reached out to the one man who saw his schemes on a daily basis from the other side of the ball; Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.

    Aliotti, who is now enjoying retirement after coaching the 2013 season under Mark Helfrich in Eugene, told the Oregonian that he was the coaching equivalent of a blue-chip recruit when Kelly took the Eagles job.

    “I have been asked by everybody in the NFC East…” he explained to the Oregonian.

    “The Giants asked me to come back when Chip got the first job. I didn’t feel right doing that. Some teams have called when they’re getting ready to play the Eagles and they call and have certain questions on the thing.”

    Even after fielding interest from a number of teams, Aliotti explains that his loyalty, and insight into Kelly’s approach and offensive philosophy was never really up for grabs for just anyone.

    “Unless I know the guy and he’s a good friend, I don’t get involved with that.”

    Aliotti could have easily parlayed his knowledge into an NFL coaching or consulting gig, but that’s just not the type of person he is. But if you’re an NFL team in that situation, you’ve got to at least ask I suppose.

    Read the full piece from the Oregonian here.


  • Coaches: What books would you recommend for other coaches this offseason?


    With the regular season done for nearly everyone (except the FBS), college coaches are hitting the road to recruit, while high school coaches are enjoying a brief breather before getting back in the weight room.

    While it’s far from an offseason of any kind, this time of year does leave coaches with some “down time” on their hands, even if that includes sleeping in hotels far away from family, or long nights on the open road.

    That may help to explain why, over the last few days, we’ve fielded a number of emails, calls, and texts from coaches looking for some recommended reading material before next season creeps up. Plus, clinic season, when coaches are at their thirstiest for knowledge, is approaching quick.

    Instead of responding to every coach personally with my own personal take on great reads, I thought I would instead provide my personal top three, and then open things up by taking recommendations from the coaching community to further help our colleagues in this great profession.

    Leave your top 3-5 picks in the comments below, or shoot it to me @CoachSamz on Twitter, or at, and I will update the article throughout the day. All genres are wide open, if you think it can somehow help a coach out there, send it over.

    My list is as follows:


    The Winners Manual - Jim Tressel

    When it comes to creating a culture of winning and a championship mindset, coach Tres did it better than anyone in my opinion, and he lays it all out in The Winners Manual, especially the intangibles of a great program. In my first year of coaching I heard the quote “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” from coach Tressel, and I knew I had to read the book


    Wins, Losses, and Lessons – Lou Holtz

    Holtz shares his wealth of experience in this one, as well another book of his Winning Everyday. and has a ton of great advice. Reading either one of them means you won’t ever have to pay to hear him speak, because he covers everything in this book.


    Win Forever – Pete Carroll

    To be honest, I bought this book about a year ago, and had been chipping away at it up until recently taking a renewed interest in it. My advice for this one is to pick out a coach (who has a book out) who your coaching style most resembles and you’re bound to pick up a few good things from it. Pete Carroll is that guy for me.

    Now time for your recommendations.



    1: Earn the right to win – Tom Coughlin: Much like Coach Carrol’s book, he talks about building a program, the stress it takes on a family, and the mistakes he made.
    2. The Education of a Coach by Book by David Halberstam is a great read and very well written.  Coach Belichick’s meticulous attention to detail is impressive.
    – via email from Hans Straub

    1. The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn
    2. Good to Great by Jim Collins
    3. Built to Last by Jim Collins
    – via email from Jason Aubry

  • Urban: “We make rivalries a huge deal because we want players to take ownership in it”


    When Chip Kelly was at Oregon his approach of treating every week the same, regardless of opponent, was well documented. To a lot of coaches it makes sense – try to keep everything consistent so you never play to the level of the opponent you’re facing.

    It’s a popular approach that a lot of coaches have adopted.

    However, when it comes to rivalries, and especially Michigan week, coaches that believe in Kelly’s approach have a polar opposite in Urban Meyer.

    “I’ve heard at other places that rivalry games are just another game, we don’t take that approach here at all.” Meyer explained yesterday.

    “When you ask a player to come play for your school, or even a coach – I’ve got Chris Ash [a background at Wisconsin] and Larry Johnson [who spent 18 years at Penn State] – we explain that this is not just another game. You go back and have a little chat with Earl Bruce for six or seven minutes and this game is going to come up.”

    “That’s the way that it is here, and that’s the way that it should be.”

    “We make a huge deal over rivalry games because we want players to take ownership in it. This is not just another game, this is thee game. So it’s different around here, and I want to have some fun with it, but I also want to have fun by singing the fight song in the locker room after a win.”

    Meyer’s approach makes a lot of sense. If the rivalry game isn’t treated any different, it’s seems like it would be a lot harder to instill ownership among players in the outcome. It’s an interesting approach.