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  • Bill Snyder headlines list of coaches on College Football Hall of Fame ballot

    Bill Snyder

    The National Football Foundation on Wednesday revealed a list of 75 players and six coaches among the FBS ranks and 87 players and 25 coaches from the divisional ranks on the ballot for the 2015 class of the College Football Hall of Fame.

    The ballot will be set to vote before the NFF’s 17-member Honors Court and its 12,000 members. The 2015 class will be announced Jan. 9 in Dallas in conjunction with the College Football Playoff Championship festivities.

    “It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 5.06 million people have played college football,” said Hatchell. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,500 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names. We look forward to announcing the 2015 Hall of Fame Class on the Friday before the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship.”

    Bill Snyder, a first-time ballot member, headlines the list of FBS coaches, joined by West Virginia, Texas Tech and South Carolina coach Jim Carlen, Austin College (Texas) and Texas Tech coach Pete Cawthorn, Sr., Clemson and Arkansas coach Danny Ford, Memphis coach Billy Jack Murphy, and Cal State Hayward, Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State and Arizona State coach Darryl Rogers. To be eligible for consideration, a coach must have at least 10 years and 100 games to his credit, a winning percentage of .600 or greater, and be retired for at least five years. Active coaches are eligible for consideration at age 75. (Snyder turned 75 on Oct. 7.)

    The Hall recently completed a move from South Bend, Ind., to Atlanta, with doors opening in August.

    Bios for each Hall of Fame candidate are below, courtesy of the National Football Foundation.

    2015 FOOTBALL BOWL SUBDIVISION COACH CANDIDATE CAPSULE BIOS
    Jim Carlen-West Virginia (1966-69), Texas Tech (1970-74), South Carolina (1975-1981)-Led teams to eight bowl games and 13 winning seasons in 16 years as head coach…1973 National Coach of the Year…Three-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year… Coached Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers at South Carolina.

    Pete Cawthon Sr.-Austin College (Texas) (1923-27), Texas Tech (1930-40)-Led Tech to four Border Conference titles in 11 seasons at the helm…Led 1938 team to 10-0 regular season and the school’s first-ever Cotton Bowl appearance…Boasts highest win percentage (69.3) among Tech coaches with terms of three years or more.

    Danny Ford-Clemson (1978-1989), Arkansas (1993-97)-
    Led Tigers to perfect 12-0 season and national title in 1981…Won five ACC championships and twice named conference coach of the year…Boasts four of the top five winningest seasons in school history and set Clemson record with 41 consecutive weeks in AP Top 20…Led Arkansas to first SEC West title in 1995.

    Billy Jack Murphy-Memphis (1958-71)-
    All-time winningest coach in Memphis history…Had 11 winning seasons and retired as the 15th winningest coach in the nation…Member of the Memphis Hall of Fame and Mississippi State Hall of Fame.

    Darryl Rogers-Cal State-Hayward (1965), Fresno State (1966-72), San Jose State (1973-75), Michigan State (1976-79), Arizona State (1980-84)-
    Took Fresno State to two bowl games…Achieved an unprecedented national ranking at San Jose State…Was Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1977 and National Coach of the Year by Sporting News in 1978…Won the Big Ten title in 1978.

    Bill Snyder-Kansas State (1985-05, 2009-present)-Winningest coach in K-State history, leading program to 15 of its 17 bowl appearances all-time…14th-fastest coach in college football history to win 100 games and ranks third nationally in wins among active FBS coaches…Led Wildcats to two Big 12 Championships, four Big 12 North Division titles, 12 top 20 finishes, and two No.1 BCS rankings in regular season.

    2015 DIVISIONAL COACHES CANDIDATE CAPSULE BIOS

    Bill Bowes-New Hampshire (1972-98)-Won more games than any coach in Yankee Conference history…Claimed 11 conference titles and was a multiple winner of the District I Coach of the Year award…He was the recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Football Award by the New Hampshire Chapter of the NFF.

    Paul Durham-Linfield (Ore.) (1948-67)-
    His team won seven conference championships…Named 1962 NAIA Coach of the Year…Was the athletics director at Linfield while coaching…Member of the Oregon Sports, Helms Athletic and NAIA Football Coaches Halls of Fame.

    Jim Feix-Western Kentucky (1968-83)-
    Named Kodak College Coach of the Year for Division IV in 1973 and 1975…Won or shared six conference titles…Three-time conference Coach of the Year (1973, 1978, 1980)…The winningest coach in school history…Charter member of the school Athletic Hall of Fame.

    Howard Fletcher-Northern Illinois (1956-68)-
    Coached unbeaten NCAA College Division and NAIA National Championship team in 1963…Led NIU to three conference titles (1963-65)…Inducted into the NIU Athletic Hall of Fame…Was the runner-up as Kodak College Division Coach of the Year in 1963…Made three appearances in the Mineral Water Bowl.

    Ross Fortier-Minnesota Moorhead (formerly Moorhead State) (1970-92)-
    School’s all-time winningest coach…Led his team to seven postseason playoffs and nine conference championships…Led 1981 team to unbeaten regular season and number one ranking in the final regular season poll…Member of the NAIA Hall of Fame.

    Morley Fraser-Albion (Mich.) (1954-68)-
    Led Albion to five conference championship and was named the Small College Coach of the Year in 1964…Coached one All-America, five conference Players of the Year and 65 first team All-Conference selections…Was a Commander in the U.S. Navy during WWII…Received the Distinguished American Award from the Michigan Chapter of the NFF.

    Frank Girardi-Lycoming (Pa.) (1972-2007)
    -Led Lyco to two national championship appearances and led team to 13 Middle Atlantic Conference championships…Boasts 11 Division III playoff appearances and is one of only 15 coaches to ever win 250 games at one institution…12-time MAC Coach of the Year who coached 10 First Team All-Americans and 217 First Team All-Conference players.

    Rudy Hubbard-Florida A&M (1974-85)-
    Captured back-to-back national championships, 1977 and 1978, including the inaugural NCAA Division I-AA National Title in 1978… Led A&M to back-to-back SIAC championships.

    Art Keller-Carthage (Wis.) (1952-82)-
    Named FWAA College Division Distinguished Coach in 1982 and four-time NAIA District Coach of the Year…Member of the NAIA District 14 Hall of Fame…Won eight conference titles and compiled three 14-game winning streaks…Member of the Carthage Hall of Fame and received the President’s Medal of Honor.

    Glenn Killinger-Dickinson (Pa.) (1922), Rensselaer (N.Y.) (1927-32), Moravian (Pa.) (1933), West Chester (Pa.) (1934-41, 45-59)-
    Winningest coach in West Chester history…Member of the College Football Hall of Fame as a player and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame…Had only one losing season in 37 years as a head coach.

    Larry Korver-Northwestern College (Iowa) (1967-94)-
    Led Northwestern to two National Championships, 14 playoff appearances and 212 victories in 28 seasons on the sidelines…Twice named NAIA National Coach of the Year, he has coached 32 players to All-America status.

    Dick Lowry-Wayne State (Mich.) (1974-79), Hillsdale (Mich.) (1980-96)-
    Won seven conference championships at both schools and earned five births in the NAIA national playoffs winning the National Championship in 1985…He was voted NAIA Coach of the Year in 1982 and was conference Coach of the Year six times.

    James Malosky-Minnesota Duluth (1958-97)-
    Winningest coach in Division II history at time of retirement…Led teams to nine  conference championships…Named NSIC, MIAC and/or NAIA Coach of the Year 13 times…Produced 33 winning seasons in 40 years at UMD.

    Don Miller-Trinity (Conn.) (1967-98)-
    Recorded 28 winning seasons out of 32…Retired as the all-time winningest Division III football coach in New England history (now second)…Four-time NESCAC Coach of the Year and 1993 New England Division II/III Coach of the Year…Team recorded best record in NESCAC seven times.

    Charles Murphy-Middle Tennessee State (1947-68)-
    Captured seven Volunteer State Athletic Conference Championships…Won seven Ohio Valley Conference Championships…Named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1965.

    Jim Ostendarp-Amherst (Mass.) (1959-91)-
    Named UPI Small College Coach of the Year in 1964…Selected as the New York Football Writers Division II/III Coach of the Year in 1984…Captured 13 Little Three titles…Named AFCA/Kodak New England Coach of the Year in 1961 and 1964.

    Forrest Perkins-Wisconsin-Whitewater (1956-84)-
    At the time of his retirement, he ranked second on the active wins list on the Division III level…Named NAIA Coach of the Year in 1966…The all-time winningest coach in conference and school history…captured 11 conference titles.

    Bill Ramseyer-Wilmington (Ohio) (1972-90), Virginia’s College at Wise (1991-2001)-
    Three-time District Coach of the Year…Seven Hall of Fame inductions, including NAIA Hall of Fame (1997)…Coached his teams to a winning season in 24-of-30 seasons…Coached Wilmington to an NAIA National Runner-Up in 1980…Coached 70 All-Americans.

    Dwight Reed-Lincoln (Mo.) (1949-71)-
    Teams won three conference titles…Coached 93 All-Americans in four sports…The football stadium at Lincoln University was named for him.

    Pete Schmidt-Albion (Mich.) (1983-96)
    -Teams won nine MIAA championships (seven outright), five NCAA Division III playoff appearances and the 1994 NCAA Division III National Championship… 1994 AFCA National Coach of the Year.

    Clyde “Buck” Starbeck-Northern Iowa (1936-42, 1945-57)-
    Captured seven conference championships in 10 years…Went 31 consecutive conference games without a defeat…Member of the University of Northern Iowa Hall of Fame.

    Jim Tressel-Youngstown State (1986-2000), Ohio State (2001-2010)-
    Led teams to nine national title game appearances, winning four FCS championships with Youngstown State and one BCS championship with Ohio State…Led Buckeyes to six Big Ten titles and coached 73 First Team All-Americans during career…Two-time Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year, winning one at the FBS and one at FCS level.

    John Whitehead-Lehigh (1976-86)-
    Named Division II Coach of the Year in 1977 and Division I-AA Coach of the Year in 1979…Captured the 1977 Division II National Championship…Runner-up in the 1979 Division I-AA National Championship.

    Alex Yunevich-Alfred (N.Y.) (1937-41, 1946-76)-
    Had six undefeated teams…His team was 1971 Lambert Bowl Division III champions of the East…Named Small College Coach of the Year in 1956 by the Washington Touchdown Club and same in 1971 by the NY Football Writers.

    Allen Zikmund-Nebraska-Kearney (formerly Kearney State) (1955-71)
    -His teams won 11 conference titles…Nine of his players were named NAIA All-Americas and 67 made All-Conference…Member of the NAIA Hall of Fame.

  • Texas will begin paying each of its athletes $10,000 a year

    Texas flags

    Texas will soon begin paying each of its student-athletes $10,000 a year to cover cost of attendance and likeness rights, athletics director Steve Patterson revealed at a Big 12 college sports forum in Washington on Tuesday.

    The $10,000 will be split evenly, $5,000 apiece, between cost-of-attendance and payment for the University’s use of the athlete’s name and likeness (the figure U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken set in her O’Bannon trial ruling in August). (Cost-of-attendance, of course, varies from school to school and, thus, no uniform figure has been set since schools gave themselves the ability to provide COA stipends.) The total for all UT athletes adds up to $6 million a year.

    “If we begin to [further] remunerate the participants (over and above this figure), that’s going to break that model,” Texas women’s athletics director Chris Plonsky said.

    Considering that Patterson has been perhaps the most outspoken athletics director against the quote-unquote professionalization of college sports and stated previously that Texas doesn’t have as much money as the public assumes, consider this as a down payment against the future.

    Though it is assumed every Power Five program will be making similar payments to its athletes, the Longhorns are the first school to formally stick their toes in the water.

    This Dallas Morning News story does not set a date when UT will actually begin cutting these checks, though one would believe it would have to be soon if the Longhorns were willing to announce it.


    After speaking with an individual who attended the panel yesterday in Washington, it appears to us that there are a few things that need to happen before the actual checks can be cut… First, “Autonomy” has to be passed, giving the Power 5 conferences the authority to approve these “cost of attendance” payments. That approval is scheduled for January at the earliest is what we were told. Furthermore, the mechanism to make the “deferred compensation” / “name and likeness” part of this isn’t in place either. Additionally, court challenges / appeals (related to the “name and likeness” part) are still ongoing.

    That all leads us to believe these payments are being budgeted now (for 2015); but won’t likely be made until next school year (Fall 2015) at the earliest. Just our opinion though. Will update if we learn more.

  • ESPN takes you inside a meeting with the Ohio State running backs

    ohiostaterbbanner

    Very few (if any) people would have guessed that Ohio State would lose dual-threat-do everything quarterback Braxton Miller, and yet still rank in the top five in scoring offense (#4 nationally), and top 20 in rushing offense (#17 nationally). But thanks to the work of offensive coordinator Tom Herman and, in part, running backs coach Stan Drayton, the offense doesn’t seem to have missed a beat.

    ESPN recently wrote a piece taking you inside the meeting room with Stan Drayton and his running backs, and the messages he drills home to his running backs during their meeting.

    One note in the article that I found interesting is that with all the blue-chip talent that Drayton has in the room, very little time is spent on reviewing plays where the football is actually in their hands.

    Instead, Drayton dedicates the first 20 minutes of the 6:30am meeting to go over blitz pick up and pass protection clips.

    “You don’t get better unless you unselfishly give back to your brother.” the piece points out.

    That right there gives you a glimpse at the approach that Drayton takes in creating a well rounded back takes pride in the little things when the ball isn’t in his hands.

    Take a look at the fill article here.

  • On the possibility of Jeff Long and Bret Bielema to Michigan

    Jeff Long

    USA Today

    The waters in Ann Arbor have calmed down for the moment. Students aren’t protesting for Dave Brandon’s ouster on campus anymore. A large number of former players attended the Penn State win as a show of support for the current team. With the Penn State victory and the bye week, Michigan hasn’t lost a game in 18 days.

    However, just because things appear calm doesn’t mean there isn’t something brewing below the surface. At last weeks Board of Regents meeting, new U-M president Mark Schlissel issued anything but a vote of confidence in Brandon and the state of the athletics department as a whole. “I was deeply disappointed in the department’s initial response and handling of the situation. We must be accountable for the facts, with response that is timely and takes responsibility for errors. Without this we break trust with our stakeholders,” Schlissel said in response to the Shane Morris concussion fiasco (remember that?).

    As for the overall direction of the department? “I’m committed to taking the time to study the issues,” Schlissel said. “I’m being careful and deliberative.”

    In Sports Illustrated’s latest edition of “The Inside Read,” Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans report that Brandon is “50-50″ to survive in his current post, and that Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long could be a candidate to replace him.

    Schlissel is a former Brown provost and has admitted his unfamiliarity with major college athletics. It stands to reason he won’t be a president doubling as executive athletics director, instead hiring a strong AD and giving him autonomy over that side of the house. Long certainly fits that bill. He’s the current athletics director at Arkansas, and previously served in the same position at Pitt. He got his start in athletics under Bo Schembechler, eventually working his way up the ladder to associate athletics director, thereby satisfying the requirement that there must always be a Michigan Man in Ann Arbor.

    He’s also the chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee, making him the busiest man in college athletics through the next six weeks. It’s hard to see him taking that job before Dec. 7 (if he wants it at all) unless Long views it as a now-or-never, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    Thamel and Evans also theorize that if Long were to go to Michigan, he could bring the new head coach in tow in the form of Bret Bielema. Bielema’s success at Wisconsin makes him one of college football’s leading experts in Big Ten football, with a 37-19 mark in conference play and three Big Ten titles. He’s also college football’s version of dark beer, an acquired taste that consumers love or spit immediately out of their mouths.

    If Long were to leave, would Bielema be inclined to follow suit to avoid the risk of his new athletics director being a light beer, or even a wine man?

    If, and that’s a capital if, Long took the Michigan job and brought Bielema with him, that would also set Arkansas in an incredibly deep hole. Bielema, in year two of a total roster and philosophy makeover from the Bobby Petrino era, is in the midst of slotting Arkansas into a very specific type of system. It’s not Georgia Tech-level specific, but it’s not far from it, either. Bielema is an iconoclast by design. It’s unlikely Arkansas’ hypothetical new coach would follow that blueprint, and thus the Razorbacks could be looking at their fourth coach in five years and fourth philosophy in less than a decade, all while riding a 16-game SEC losing streak while playing in the most competitive division in sports.

    With all he has going on and the state it would leave Arkansas in, this doesn’t feel like the right time for Long to leave Arkansas and take Bielema with him.

    Update: Bielema’s buyout of $12.8 million through the first three years of his contract also make the odds of him leaving Fayetteville incredibly slim.

  • Hugh Freeze’s best winning percentage isn’t as a football coach

    freezebanner

    Chances are pretty good that if you’re a current, or former, high school football coach you’ve also got to wear not only the hat of a teacher, but also as an assistant coach (or perhaps head coach) of another sport.

    Art Briles, Chad Morris, and Hugh Freeze are just a small sampling of the big names of the FBS level that started off at the high school level, and The New York Times recently did a piece on Hugh Freeze and how his coaching style was influenced by being a high school girls basketball coach that’s a quality read.

    The Times points out that while at Briarcrest HS (TN) as the head football coach for a decade, Freeze compiled a record of 99-23 (81%) with two state titles, and was even portrayed in the 2009 movie “The Blind Side”.

    Sounds impressive right? Well his 12 year run as the head women’s basketball coach at Briarcrest was even more astonishing. Freeze led the program to a 305-63 record with four state titles, and seven straight trips to the state title game. That’s a win percentage of nearly 83%.

    His record as a college head coach at Lambuth, Arkansas State and Ole Miss? 52-18 (72%). Even that mark can’t hold a candle to his career as a high school women’s basketball coach.

    Freeze’s background coaching something other than football is very similar to Brian Kelly, who cut his proverbial coaching teeth as the softball coach at Assumption College, eventually staking his claim as the winningest head coach in program history.

    It’s not uncommon to see coaches following a similar blueprint at high schools across the country, but the success that Freeze has seen regardless of sport shows that the man has a vision and plan, and executes it as good as any coach, at any level.

    Read more on Freeze, and how coaching women’s basketball helped to ultimately helped to shape his coaching style, here.