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  • NAIA title game video: “Being realistic is the most traveled road to mediocrity”

    Southern Oregon (NAIA) faces off against Marian (NAIA – IN) in the national title game later today, and this hype video should give them a little extra juice on the field.

    Southern Oregon was our winner of the 2013 non-FBS Video of the Year, so the quality here should be no surprise.

    Tonight SOU faces a Marian program that has been in existence for less than a decade, with one national title already to show for it (2012).

    Dating back to 2004, only two NAIA title games have been decided by 14 points or more, so if history is any indication, this evening we should be in store for a fine showing of small college football.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 3pm EST on ESPNU.

  • Urban: “You can’t tell players ‘We have 18 practices,’ you have to compartmentalize it’


    Urban Meyer’s second year at Florida culminated in a 13-1 season, complete with an SEC title game victory over Arkansas, which propelled them to a national title game appearance against #1 Ohio State.

    During the prep period for that game, Urban’s former Notre Dame boss Lou Holtz shared some advice with him that has helped shaped his bowl preparations ever since.

    “We break it into three phases; Phase 1 is fundamentals and conditioning, phase 2 is gameplan and installation, and Phase 3 is game week.” Urban noted in yesterday’s presser.

    “The way that a young mind, and even an old mind, works is that if I said ‘Hey, by the way we have 18 more practices, or whatever it really is’ – I don’t really know how many practices there are – I only know that we’re in Phase 2 and we’ve got two left.”

    “I want to make sure that we get our nine coaches, our strength coach, and most importantly, our players into that mentality, because you can’t handle that. There is too much going on, so it’s very compartmentalized, and that came from Lou Holtz back in 2006 when he told us, ‘don’t play the don’t have to play the game today.'”

    “I don’t even want to think about the game yet. There will be a right time for that, and that will be once we get to New Orleans.”

  • Video of the Day – Tour the memorabilia inside the office of Utah AD Chris Hill

    Friday December 19, 2014

    Video of the Day

    Tour the memorabilia inside the office of Utah AD Chris Hill

  • A state senator wants to pass a law to cut the number of teams making the Texas high school football playoffs

    The term bracket creep was invented to define the inevitability that if a playoff bracket exists, it’s going to expand. The NCAA Tournament grew from 64 to 68 teams in 2010, Major League Baseball expanded its playoffs from eight to 10 teams in 2012, and the NFL playoffs could grow from 12 to 14 teams as early as 2015. There was talk of expanding the College Football Playoff from four to eight teams before the College Football Playoff even existed.

    Playoffs make a lot of money for a lot of people, and the only thing people like more than making money is making more money.

    As those brackets continue to grow, there is no bracket creep quite like the Texas high school football playoffs.

    This weekend the University Interscholastic League – the governing board of Texas high school football – will crown the last of its 12 state champions across six classifications. Each of its classifications, from 1A to 6A, is split into two divisions, and each division has its own state champion. The number of teams qualifying for the playoffs varies from two (in the smallest classification) to four (in the four largest classifications). All told, a total of 672 teams participated in the Texas high school football playoffs this fall.

    Texas state senator Charles Perry thinks that’s entirely too much.

    Last week, Perry filed a bill to limit only two teams per district in all classifications to be eligible for the playoffs.

    “Current UIL rules allow 50 percent to 74 percent of football teams to make the playoffs.We have truly watered down competition to the point that 0-10 and 1-9 teams are able to make the playoffs in some districts,” he said in a release.

    He added: “This not only devalues the hard work of the first- and second-place teams in a district, but it costs our school districts thousands of dollars that could be spent in the classroom. The cost is especially high in rural areas. Some schools in my district are spending an upwards of $8,000 per playoff game.”

    Perry isn’t alone, but he isn’t in the majority, either. One group that disagrees with him? The UIL. “UIL member schools believe the current playoff system best serves the schools and students of Texas.”

    While there is plenty of evidence across sports of playoff brackets expanding, I can’t think of one playoff field getting smaller. One thing about bracket creep – once those extra teams have been invited to the party, it’s incredibly difficult to kick them out.

    Coaches, what do you think? Does a larger playoff field serve the greater good, even if it means a few 2-8 or 3-7 teams sneak in every year? Or does an expanded field water down the accomplishment for everyone?

  • P.J. Fleck is now the MAC’s highest-paid coach

    PJ Fleck Western Michigan

    Just a year after posting a 1-11 debut, P.J. Fleck is set to become the highest-paid coach in the Mid-American Conference.

    The Broncos announced a six-year contract extension, keeping Fleck signed through the 2020 season, worth $800,000 annually, plus incentives. The new contract will make Fleck the MAC’s highest-paid coach, nearly 45 percent higher than second place Frank Solich ($554,500), according to the USA Today coaching salary database.

    “This is a wonderful time to finalize this contract extension and thank Coach Fleck for his commitment to the Bronco program,” said WMU President John M. Dunn said in a statement. “Success on the playing field, achievement in the classroom and engagement with the community have been the team’s hallmarks over the past year. The pride and excitement generated by our scholar- athletes, their coach, assistant coaches and staff are reflective of the very best in collegiate athletics. Using any measure, this is a successful program and one we want to continue and build upon for years to come.”

    Western Michigan posted a seven-win improvement in 2014, leaping from 1-11 to 8-4 and a berth in Saturday’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl versus Air Force. The Broncos finished one game shy of sharing their third MAC West Division championship. Combined with a number of facilities updates, Western Michigan is making a significant investment to a program that still looking for its first bowl victory and has won just one MAC title in the last 44 years.

    Fleck signed what has been called the highest-rated recruiting class in MAC history in 2014 and could be even better in 2015.

    Check The Scoop for the latest.