Update at Ohio State
Ohio State fans (and coaches throughout the profession) are excited for Tom Herman; but also want to know what Urban plans to do to fill the offensive coordinator role at Ohio State.
Let me preface this by saying that we haven’t heard from Urban and aren’t aware of any public comments he has made about this yet; but here are my thoughts.
First, as we expected, Tom Herman will continue to call the offense through Ohio State’s playoff run; but will, appropriately, shift his focus full-time to Houston following Ohio State’s final game. Herman, Urban and the collective offensive staff have created a unique offensive identity and while they will always seek to improve upon what they have, we don’t see them brining in a new coordinator from outside the program as this time. We anticipate Urban promoting co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner to offensive coordinator.
There has been some speculation out there that receivers coach Zach Smith might move to quarterbacks. We don’t see that as the most likely scenario. We would expect Urban to look to bring in a new quarterbacks coach. No pressure on the new guy, Tom Herman set the bar…well, good luck with that.
As more becomes official we’ll keep you posted as always on The Scoop.
Coaching vs. cancer: The inspirational story of Mark Grossner
On August 18 of this year, Mark Grossner began his own personal three-a-days. There were the regular two-a-days as head coach of Baker University, an NAIA school in Baldwin City, Kan., and then there was his daily cycles of chemotherapy and radiation to fight off squamos cell carcinoma, a cancer that had formed in his neck that was discovered a week prior.
“If you saw me that Friday (Aug. 15), the stitches were … my whole neck was hanging,” Grossner told the Lawrence World-Jouranl in October. “I looked like I had been slashed across the neck pretty good.”
Grossner settled into his routine throughout the fall, treatment in the morning and practice in the afternoon, and missed only two practices through the first half of the season. As a matter of fact, he excelled. The Wildcats won their first seven games of the season and rose to No. 2 in the NAIA rankings before closing the season with an 8-3 record, with two of their three losses coming in one-possession games.
As Grossner continued to coach while he fought and fight while he coached, he served as an inspiration to his team.
“It kind of put everything in check for us this year. Coach G is not one to talk about himself or bring attention to himself, and the fact that he brought that up before the game and said that he really wanted to win that game really inspired us,” wide receiver Connor Stremel said. “I think it brought us through if you look at the kind of game we had. It was a fight until the end, and it was a tough game for us.”
However, Grossner’s story resonated far beyond Kansas. In his now nine seasons at the helm at Baker, Grossner has done much of his recruiting in the San Diego area. Local high school coach Rolando Rivera put together this video of former Grossner’s former players encouraging their coach and talking about the lasting impact he had on their lives.
The mark of any successful coach is not the games he wins, but the lives he touches. By any measure, Mark Grossner is a tremendously successful coach.
Keep fighting, coach.
The LSU Music City Bowl hype video starts with a bang, courtesy of Les Miles
The only thing that could make an LSU hype video even better, is audio of a Les Miles pregame speech.
“This uniform, and your helmet, bring a passion and speed, and violence that many opponents don’t want to measure.” Les tells the team.
“They don’t want in that battle. Get ready, because tonight is about this football team.”
The Tigers will face off against Notre Dame on December 30th at 3pm EST.
2014 NAIA Coordinator of the Year – Finalists
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards, presented by ProGrass, are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. Finalists were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors and other athletic department personnel. The winner will be chosen by the previous winners of this award and will be announced on Friday December 12th.
The 2014 FootballScoop Coaches of the Year will be recognized and will receive their awards at an event held in their honor at the American Football Coaches Association’s annual convention in January in Louisville, KY.
Joe Woodley (Grand View [Iowa]) was named the inaugural NAIA Coordinator of the Year in 2013.
Lucas Lueders and Collin Prosser, Morningside College
Simply put, Morningside has blown people away this season. The Mustangs lead the entire country – by a mile – with a total offense average of 662.2 yards per game. Morningside also averages 55.5 points per game with 101 total touchdowns. They managed to hit 50 points or more eight times this fall, including a month long stretch where they averaged 74.75 points a game. The Mustangs’ attack also rips off an astounding 8.2 yards per play while averaging more than 300 yards per game on the ground and through the air. In all, Morningside led NAIA in eight separate offensive categories.
- 1st in all of college football in total offense (662.2 yards per game)
- 1st in scoring offense (55.5 points per game)
- 1st in yards per play (8.2)
- 1st in first downs per game (29.8)
- 1st in third down conversions (53.2%)
Ken Fasnacht, Southern Oregon
Take away Morningside’s ridiculous season and Southern Oregon has a strong case for owning NAIA’s top offense. The Raiders lead the nation in passing offense and rank second in total offense, scoring offense, first downs and third down conversions. Southern Oregon has scored at least 27 points in every game, and 40 or more in 10 of them – including 50 points a game in their run through the NAIA playoffs. And that’s where Southern Oregon one ups Morningside, as the Raiders will play for the NAIA championship, while Morningside was sent home in the semifinals.
- 1st in passing offense (379.7 yards per game)
- 2nd in total offense (563.7 yards per game)
- 2nd in scoring offense (45 points per game)
- 2nd in third down conversions (48.9%)
- 2nd in first downs per game (27.2)
Matt McCarty, Northwestern College
Northwestern owned arguably the best defense in NAIA in 2014. The Raiders led the country in scoring defense and total defense – their 3.6 yards per play average was 10 percent better than second-place Siena Heights – ranked fifth in rushing defense second in pass defense – again, they led the nation in yards per attempt allowed by a wide margin – and led the nation in pass efficiency defense (11 touchdowns allowed, 23 interceptions). Northwestern also ranked third in sacks per game (3.5), second in first downs allowed and first in third down defense.
- 1st in yards per play allowed (3.6)
- 1st in yards per attempt allowed (4.6)
- 1st in third down defense (24.9%)
- 1st in pass efficiency defense (11 touchdowns allowed, 23 interceptions)
- 1st in third down defense (23.2 percent)
Scott Power, Marian
Headed to face Southern Oregon in the NAIA national championship, Marian’s stone-wall defense will meet with Southern Oregon’s high-flying offense. The Knights have a multi-talented front, ranking second in NAIA in rushing defense and 10th in sacks. Marian is also a threat against the pass, ranking sixth in pass efficiency defense. Overall, Marian ranks seventh in scoring defense, ninth in total defense, seventh in yards per play allowed and 10th in third down defense.
- 2nd in rushing defense (78 yards per game allowed)
- 2nd in yards per carry allowed (2.5)
- 10th in sacks per game (2.8)
- 6th in pass efficiency defense (94.2)
- 7th in scoring defense (17.8 points per game allowed)
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Oliver Luck leaving West Virginia for the NCAA
The scoop of the day (well, the morning, at least) came from Charleston Daily Mail writer Mike Casazza tweeted that West Virginia Oliver Luck is leaving the department to take a position with the NCAA. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy followed up with his own report shortly thereafter. While it isn’t confirmed what position exactly Luck is taking, those in the know have presumed Luck is taking the No. 2 spot in the organization, working directly under president Mark Emmert. Longtime COO Jim Isch announced in August he would retire early next year.
Update: The hire has now been announced by the NCAA, to a new position entitled vice president of regulatory affairs. In the NCAA’s words, Luck will bring academic and membership affairs, the Eligibility Center and enforcement under one roof.
A few quick reactions to this hire:
1. Nabbing Luck is a stabilizing move to the NCAA, a group that desperately needs a dose stability and credibility. Luck is one of the most widely-respected administrators in the industry. At a time when the entire business model is in flux and athletics directors are requesting a larger voice in the process, having one of their own in senior leadership has to be a good thing for all of college athletics.
2. Luck was a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee this fall. Presumably, he will step down from that post once his change of address becomes official. The Big 12 will now get to choose among its nine remaining athletics directors to replace Luck. Texas Tech athletics director, and Kansas State former all-conference linebacker, Kirby Hocutt feels like a smart choice from where I sit.
3. With Luck moving on, this guy now has a major athletics hire to make.