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  • Jim Harbaugh went on Colin Cowherd today… and it was incredibly awkward

    Jim Harbaugh mic

    Jim Harbaugh, apparently kicking and screaming, appeared on Colin Cowherd’s show Wednesday morning, and it was by all accounts on of the worst radio interviews you will ever hear.

    Take a listen and decide for yourself.

    (HT The Big Lead)

  • Five years later, conference realignment is finally over. For now.

    On Dec. 15, 2009, the Big Ten released a statement saying the conference intended to explore expansion over the next “12 to 18 months.” Six months later, Nebraska became the Big Ten’s 12th member, and a nationwide game of musical chairs had begun.

    As noted by Fox Sports’s Stewart Mandel, 43 schools – slightly more than one third of all FBS membership – eventually moved leagues, though the school at the center of it all – Texas – stayed put. And, oddly enough, though the Big Ten’s announcement started the game of musical chairs, its addition of Nebraska was not the first move. The Pac-12 added Colorado and Boise State jumped ship from the WAC to the Mountain West a day before the Huskers moved east.

    Every FBS conference has seen its roster change. Two of them, the Big East and WAC, dropped football altogether, while an entirely new conference, the American, came into existence. In the meantime, a new postseason structure was born, allowing the ballooning SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC and the depleted Big 12 to consolidate power.

    And now, five and a half years after that fateful announcement, the music has finally stopped. Navy officially became the American’s 12th member as of 12:01 a.m. ET this morning.

    Additionally for 2015, Charlotte has now joined Conference USA as a football member, joining UTSA, Texas State, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, South Alabama and Old Dominion among schools that used the moving and shaking as an opportunity to jump into FBS.

    With Navy now in the AAC and the Big 12 locked into a grant of rights through the next decade, only one potential move lays on the horizon: Massachusetts enters its final season as a football-only MAC member in 2015 and heads into independence after that. Will the Minutemen become the Sun Belt’s representative, or will the Big Ten shock the world and use UMass as its bridge to New England? If we learned one thing over the last half decade, it’s to expect the unexpected.

    Below is a rundown of changes from 2010 to 2015:

    Big Ten
    Lost: None
    Added: Maryland, Nebraska, Rutgers

    SEC
    Lost: None
    Added: Missouri, Texas A&M

    Pac-12
    Lost: None
    Added: Colorado, Utah

    ACC
    Lost: Maryland
    Added: Louisville, Notre Dame (non-football), Pittsburgh, Syracuse

    Big 12
    Lost: Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas A&M
    Added: TCU, West Virginia

    American (Big East)
    Lost: Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia
    Added: Central Florida, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Navy, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa

    Mountain West
    Lost: BYU, TCU, Utah
    Added: Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Jose State, Utah State

    Conference USA
    Lost: Central Florida, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa
    Added: Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, UTSA, Western Kentucky

    MAC
    Lost: Temple, Massachusetts (2016)
    Added: None

    Sun Belt
    Lost: Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Western Kentucky
    Added: Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Idaho, New Mexico State, Texas State

    WAC
    Lost: Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Texas State, UTSA
    Added: None

     

  • Video: South Alabama warns you to “Lock Your Door”

    Normally, videos that football programs push out tend to stick to a template of sorts – something exciting that gets the blood pumping. You usually know what you’re in for in the first five seconds.

    Well North Carolina and Fedora’s Freakshow were one of the first to buck that trend, and now they have some company with South Alabama’s scary movie-like trailer titled Lock Your Door.

    There’s nothing cookie cutter about this one, and even though I’m not sure what they’re referring to in the title, I like it.

  • Video of the Day: “This is Auburn” preview

    Video of the Day

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015

    “This is Auburn” Preview

  • How to turn around a program Barry Alvarez-style: Confidence, confidence and more confidence

    Barry Alvarez 1990

    Hard as it is to imagine now, there was a time not too long ago where Wisconsin – today one of the most consistent winners in college football – was among the very worst programs in America. The Badgers had no money, no history, no players, no momentum, no enthusiasm and no pride. The Badgers were 3-19 in 1988 and 1989 and drew somewhere south of 20,000 people per game.

    Then they hired Barry Alvarez.

    A 43-year-old Midwesterner, Alvarez had never been a head coach before, but the Badgers’ brass was impressed by his winning pedigree as a player at Nebraska and later as an assistant on Hayden Fry’s powerhouse staff at Iowa and as Lou Holtz’s defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. “It was obvious he would be a head coach,” said Holtz. “It was just a question of when.”

    Alvarez learned the game under Hall of Fame coaches in Nebraska’s Bob Devaney, Fry and Holtz, but the attribute that best served Alvarez in turning around Wisconsin was his outsized confidence. To hear those who knew him, the man had a presence, an air, an aura of confidence in himself. Seriously, look at the picture above and tell me that is not the most secure man on Earth at that very moment.

    Gleaned from Fox Sports Wisconsin’s excellent oral history on the early years of the Alvarez era, here are a few nuggets on how Alvarez changed the culture of Wisconsin by being a one-man battering ram of confidence.

    Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.57.45 PM

    Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.59.05 PM

    How about the time he introduced an assistant coach before he’d officially accepted the job?Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.59.26 PMOr the time he guaranteed victory over Ohio State in front of Columbus TV cameras:Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.59.44 PMThere was the time he pulled the old, “We’ll win with you or without you,” in front of a recruit’s dad.

    Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.21.15 PM

    That’s not to say he was all bluster and testosterone:

    Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.31.54 PM

    Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.32.05 PM

    In my favorite anecdote, there was time he pulled a bait-and-switch with his linemen: Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.47.43 PM

    After a 1-10 debut and two 5-6 campaigns in the years that followed, Alvarez and the Badgers won the Rose Bowl in 1993, the program’s first Pasadena trip since 1963, and finished the season ranked fifth in the coaches’ poll. From there, Wisconsin became the program we know it as today. The Badgers went 107-51-4 from 1993 through his retirement in 2005, winning games by controlling the line of scrimmage and turning Camp Randall Stadium into one of the game’s best home-field advantages. He joined his mentors Devaney, Fry and Holtz in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

    Alvarez The AD has drawn criticism for his hands-on management style (including from this site), but Alvarez The Program Builder’s results are inarguable. And every coach going through a rebuild would be wise to borrow a bit of Alvarez’s gusto.