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  • FootballScoop Top 10: Locations for new bowl games

    Great Pyramids

    Bowl season is growing. Again. According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy – the Edward R. Murrow of the bowl industry – Tucson, Ariz., will apply for a new bowl game this season and Little Rock, Ark., has strong interest in joining them before Wednesday’s deadline to take part in the 2015-16 postseason circus. Orlando is also getting a third bowl game this winter, the Cure Bowl, bringing the total to 42 games.

    McMurphy also reported that considered applying for approval to play a bowl game in Melbourne, Australia, but has tabled discussions until 2016.

    Australia. Forty-two bowl games. Eighty-four bowl teams. The hallowed tradition of bowl season was discarded 20 years ago, and now any semblance of sanity has been blown to smithereens. It’s time to embrace the gleeful insanity of bowl season and add these 10 new games to the lineup.

    1) Philadelphia: The largest metro area in America without a bowl game, it’s time Philly got its own bowl game. If Shreveport and Little Rock can, then dog gone it, so can Philadelphia. Working Title: The Real Liberty Bowl. Tie-ins: ACC vs. AAC Winner Gets: The Liberty Bell.

    2) Buford, Wyoming: With a population of one, Buford is the smallest city in the United States (and, technically, the entire world.) Working Title: The Buford Bowl. Tie-ins: MWC vs. Sun Belt. Winner Gets: Buford’s lone resident must come home with the winning team and live in its trophy case for one month.

    3) Green Bay, Wisconsin: The Rose Bowl hosts a bowl game. Yankee Stadium hosts a bowl game. It’s only fitting professional football’s most famous venue also hosts a bowl game. Yes, Green Bay is a terrible host city, and a Lambeau bowl game would be a miserable experience. But bowls are now purely television events and the players’ and spectators’ misery only fuels my enjoyment as a consumer. Working Title: The Tundra Bowl. Tie-ins: Big Ten vs. MAC Winner Gets: A free pass to deny one all of the interview requests from Dennis Dodd.

    4) Orlando, Florida: Yes, there are already three bowl games in Orlando. That’s the entire point. We’ll play all three games simultaneously on top of each other. Florida plays Penn State in the Citrus Bowl while Clemson plays Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl while at the same time Temple plays Florida Atlantic in the Cure Bowl. This is the type of entertainment I demand as a bowl game connoisseur in 2015. Tie-ins: SEC vs. Big Ten vs. ACC vs. Big 12 vs. AAC vs. Sun Belt. Working Title: Bowl in a Bowl in a Bowl. Winner Gets: First in line at the MRI machine, and also half off DisneyWorld access for a year.

    5) Barrow, Alaska: Located 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle, this is the northernmost football field on Planet Earth. If a high school team can do it, so can the Big Ten’s ninth-place team and the ACC’s 11th-place team. Working Title: Top of the World Bowl. Tie-ins: Big Ten vs. ACC. Winner Gets: To fly home.

    6) Beijing, China: Larry Scott and Steve Patterson are running first and second in a race against no one else – to capture the hearts and minds of 1.3 billion Chinese to buying American college sports memorabilia and watching American college sports on fringe cable networks. So they get what they want. Every year. (In fact, this game already exists on the hardwood. Texas and Washington will meet in China this November.) Working Title: The #GlobalBrand Bowl. Tie-ins: Pac-12 vs. Texas. Winner Gets: All the revenue.

    7) Dubai, UAE: This one has actually been in the rumor mill for a year and a half now. Except we’ll bring this one on top of a skyscraper. Better bring your running game.


    Working Title: The Dubai Bowl. Tie-ins: MWC vs. AAC. Winner gets: To choose a new location for the 2018 World Cup.

    8) Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean: College basketball can not be allowed to get the upper-hand in the “wheels off and totally unnecessary sporting events” department. This one will be played on an aircraft carrier while on a normal deployment out at sea. The kicking game and downfield passing will be a challenge. Working Title: The Pacific Bowl. Tie-ins: Pac-12 vs. C-USA. Winner gets: To fire one missile at a target of its choosing.

    9) The Great Pyramids of Giza: Instead of playing on a level playing surface like the rest of these games, this one is actually played on the pyramids. Winning the coin toss and securing higher ground during the fourth quarter is of tantamount importance. Working Title: The Desecration of History Bowl. Tie-ins: C-USA vs. AAC (or Army). Winner Gets: To exhume one pharaoh.

    10) The Moon: It’s a bowl game on the moon. Working Title: A Bowl Game on the Moon. Tie-ins: SEC vs. Pac-12. Winner Gets: To go home.

  • Which FBS head coaches don’t have a Twitter account?


    Late last week, I saw a tweet saying that Ohio Bobcats head coach Frank Solich, at 70 years old and going into his 11th season at Ohio, had finally joined Twitter. Whether it’s actually run by him, or an intern is irrelevant, Solich has jumped on the Twitter bandwagon in the public eye, which is more important in today’s landscape of college football than it has ever been before

    That got us to thinking about which head coaches aren’t utilizing the power of Twitter? And further, which conferences have the highest (and lowest) percentage of their head coaches on Twitter?

    Thanks to Solich’s recent decision, the MAC is the only league with 100% of their head coaches on Twitter. Then comes the SEC, whose only head coach without Twitter is Nick Saban (and I don’t see that changing anytime soon). After that, basically all the conferences are missing at least two coaches including the American, the ACC, the Big 12, C-USA, Mountain West, Sun Belt and the Pac-12 at two a piece, with the Big Ten missing a trio of coaches. Also worth noting; all three of the head coaches leading independent programs (Notre Dame, Army, BYU) are active on Twitter.

    In an era where social media rules everything from recruiting, to connecting with the fan base, to branding for college football programs, here are the head coaches that have resisted the social media push, along with a friendly Twitter handle suggestion if they ever decide to join the rest of us.

    For the Twitter handles that I left blank, feel free to shoot me a snazzy suggestion to @CoachSamz and I’ll share the best ones in that column.

    Bob DiacoConnecticutAmerican@UConn_El_Diaco
    George O’LearyUCFAmerican@UCFGoldenKnightInShiningArmor
    Dabo SwinneyClemsonACC@DaboDaboDaboDaboDaboDabo
    Frank BeamerVirginia TechACC@BeamerBall
    Paul RhoadesIowa StateBig 12@SoDamnProud
    Bill SnyderKansas StateBig 12@WhatIsATwitter?
    Kirk FerentzIowaBig Ten @FerentzAndForAll (via @CoachCandela99)
    Darrell HazellPurdueBig Ten
    Jerry KillMinnesotaBig Ten @TheOriginalUHC
    Bobby WilderOld DominionC-USA@TheODUWildMan
    Sean KuglerUTEPC-USA@TheKugz
    Norm ChowHawaiiMountain West@3xHeismanCoachChowUH
    Bob DavieNew MexicoMountain West@BobDavieIsLobo4FB
    Gary AndersenOregon StatePac-12 @AndersenWithAnE
    Jim MoraUCLAPac-12@FBKingOfLA (@ThisAccountSoonToBeDeleted)?
    Nick SabanAlabamaSEC@TheProcess
    Paul PetrinoIdahoSun Belt@NoNotThatPetrino
    Dennis FranchioneTexas StateSun Belt


    Other interesting notes I gathered from this research:

    • Oldest FBS head coach on Twitter: Frank Solich – @CoachSolich (70 years old)
    • Youngest FBS head coach on Twitter: PJ Fleck – @CoachFleck (34 years old)
    • Youngest FBS head coach NOT on Twitter: Bob Diaco (42 years old)
    • Oldest FBS head coach NOT on Twitter: Bill Snyder (75 years old)
    • Longest tenured FBS head coach NOT on Twitter: Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer (hired in December of 1986)
    • Shortest tenured FBS head coach NOT on Twitter: Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst (hired on December 17 of 2014)
    • Conference with the highest number of head coaches on Twitter: Mid-American Conference (13 of 13 -100%) and Independents (4 of 4 – 100%)
    • Conference with the lowest percentage of head coaches on Twitter: Big Ten (11 of 14 coaches – 79%)

    (A previous version of this post listed Appalachian State’s Scott Satterfield. That was incorrect.)

  • Inside Nebraska’s strength program: “We’re a different breed. This is Nebraska, baby!”


    Nebraska did a really nice job putting together this look at the new strength program under new head strength and conditioning coach Mark Philipp. Philipp spent last season as an assistant strength coach at USC, and was on the Oregon State strength staff a few seasons before that.

    The clip goes over his approach in the weight room, why he loves what he does for a living, and the high regard he has for Nebraska football.

    “We’re a different breed. This is Nebraska, baby.” he tells a group of guys before starting their workout.

    “I think it’s super important to have five different strength coaches to help the kids out because everyone sees things a little different.” Philipp explains a little later in the clip. “We’re all pretty versatile in programming, and Olympic weight lifting.”

    “That’s the fun part of my job. I get to come in and do this and watch these kids grow. There are a lot of things that I look forward to, but I definitely look forward to tomorrow and seeing them again, and training them, and pushing them…that’s what I look forward to.”

  • Video of the Day – The Aggie Youth Experience

    Video of the Day

    Tuesday March 31, 2015

    The Aggie Youth Experience

  • Jim Harbaugh makes his winners run and losers watch

    Jim Harbaugh mic

    Everything about this is totally backward. A good, solid day of work is to be rewarded with a free conditioning period, and a lackluster effort is to be treated with a full set of wind sprints. An especially bad practice is to be followed with perhaps a full extra round of conditioning.

    Not in Jim Harbaugh’s world. To the surprise of no one, he sees things differently.

    The first official practice of the Harbaugh era in Ann Arbor included a competitive drill between the Wolverines’ offense and defense, which the defense won. At the end of the day’s work Harbaugh gathered the team and told the victors to get on the line for conditioning. The losers were told to stand and watch.

    “It didn’t feel good standing there watching,” wide receiver Amara Darboh told the Detroit Free-Press. “You sort of felt guilty almost. We just lost and we’re just standing there watching.”

    In Harbaugh’s word, conditioning is just another chance to improve yourself, a right that hast to be earned. And those that lost the drill got to contemplate what they’ll do next time to win themselves a chance to improve themselves.

    “If you win, you get the chance to get better,” sophomore offensive lineman Mason Cole says. “And then, you get the chance to help yourself.”

    Read the full story here.