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  • FootballScoop Radio: John Wristen explains his blueprint for a national title


    Prior to July of 2007, the football program at Colorado State-Pueblo was merely an idea. Fast forward seven years to this past weekend and John Wristen – the man tabbed with building the program from scratch – and his staff captured the school’s first national title.

    Wristen’s squad went 4-6 in their first season, and in the two years that followed, went 7-4 and 9-2. Starting in 2011, Wristen and his staff have led the team to 11 wins or more, and at least one playoff win each season, culminating in the national title this year. As a first time head coach, building a program from the ground up, Wristen has an impressive career record of 68-16 overall.

    Coming off last season’s disappointing loss to Grand Valley State (D-II – MI) in the second round of the D-II playoffs, Wristen had the idea to hand out some motivational t-shirts on the first day of camp this year.

    “Our kids were really ready and prepared for the moment, because it’s something that we really discussed the first day that we came to camp. I handed out t-shirts that said ‘WTLG’ and I tried to explain that was the process. You have to understand the process.”

    “That mean ‘Win The Last Game’, and if you understand the process of taking care of business, and not looking up at the scoreboard and only playing against one team, you could win the last game. Sure enough, we were able to do it, Scott.”

    When we asked about how his defense was able to stifle the prolific offense Minnesota-Mankato (and shut them out 13-0) in that title game, Wristen gave credit to each member of his defense staff and added, “We were just on point, it’s just one of those things where we executed so well.”

    “You know, I ask my guys to be Clark Kent, not Superman. If you’re supposed to be in that gap, be in that gap and play it as hard as you can, and they did that.”

    Coach Wristen also sheds some light on his perspective as a head coach when other programs come calling for his assistants and his thoughts on how he goes about filling those positions.

    “You know, for me, my job is to help my guys get job,.” he noted. “I just want good quality people. I think that knowing football…everyone knows football…to me, I want to be surrounded by great, quality people that have great character, great integrity within the staff and are loyal, not just to me, but to each other.”

    Hear more of our interview with coach Wristen below.

  • The Twitter 6 pack of things I didn’t expect to see during the first round of bowl games


    Another weekend with just enough football to keep us hungry for more means another craft brewed #Twitter6Pack for your enjoyment.

    This weekend actually had more entertaining nuggets than I expected. Thank you football God(s).

    1) It was great to see Lance Leipold’s outstanding tenure at Wisconsin-Whitewater end on a high note, but this was the highlight of that game for me.

    …Yes, that’s the kicker laying the wood

    2) Well that’s an interesting fourth down call

    3) South Alabama head coach Joey Jones took a nasty foot to the face in the Camellia Bowl

    4) There were a number of “Uh…what?” moments by the media over the weekend

    5) If you plan on placing any bets on Florida State, here’s the only piece of information you may need to know

    6) This from yesterday’s Rams vs. Giants game is sick

    Bonus: The best news of the entire weekend

  • Photos: Rice announces new end zone facility project

    The stadium economy in the state of Texas is booming.

    Texas A&M is essentially building a brand new Kyle Field right now. TCU did the same with Amon Carter Stadium. Baylor, SMU, North Texas and Houston have built new stadiums. Texas, Texas Tech and Texas State have put significant work into their existing structures. Even FCS Abilene Christian and Division III Mary Hardin-Baylor have built new stadiums.

    And then there’s Rice.

    The Owls play in historic Rice Stadium, which opened in 1950, hosted a historic John F. Kennedy speech in 1962 and Super Bowl VIII in 1974. Problem is, Rice Stadium hasn’t changed much since then. The Owls have made the best of what they have, installing FieldTurf in 2006 and dropping capacity from 70,000 to a more realistic 47,000.

    Still, Rice needs a home that matches the product it puts on the field. That Bailiff has posted two 10-win seasons, a Conference USA championship and now three straight bowl appearances speaks to his coaching ability. And now, thankfully, help is on the way.

    The university has announced a $31.5 million end zone facility, which will begin construction toward the beginning of next year and open in time for the 2016 season. At 60,000 square feet, the facility will house a new weight room, locker room, coaching offices, a players lounge, meeting space, and all the other creature comforts of modern football headquarters. Athletics director Joe Karlgaard has described it as “the first in a series of upgrades to our stadium.” It’s a start, and a start that was a long time coming.

    Rice 1

    Rice 2


    (Photos courtesy @Chronicle_Owls)

  • Video: Gary Pinkel’s coaching gear swag sends meeting room into a frenzy

    Gary Pinkel walked into the Mizzou team meeting room over the weekend with the swagger of a professional wrestler, and his custom coaching gear for the day played a major role.

    As part of their NFL Day, where players get to wear whatever they want to the last practice in Columbia before leaving for Citrus Bowl prep in Orlando, Pinkel walked into the meeting room decked out from head to toe in yellow and gold, with a yellow sweat suit, and gold shoes that would make former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson jealous.

    The best part of this entire video is the reaction from the players sitting closest to the aisle as Pinkel walks in, especially when they see those gold kicks he’s rocking.

    PinkelReaction PinkelReaction1 PinkelReaction2

  • Video of the Day – Mizzou receives their bowl gear

    Monday December 22, 2014

    Video of the Day

    Mizzou receives their bowl gear