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  • Check out all of the Big Ten Coaches “Traditions” video promos from BTN


    The Big Ten conference is full of fun, rich college football traditions from white outs at Penn State to Wisconsin playing “Jump Around” at Camp Randall.

    Here, the Big Ten coaches have some fun with their team “Traditions” promo from the Big Ten Network

    Ohio State’s is strong, Northwestern’s had me laughing out loud, and Wisconsin’s is pretty good too, but which one is your favorite?




    Penn State

    Ohio State




    Michigan State





  • FootballScoop Predicts: Biggest Non-Coaching Surprises of 2015

    EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 6: Devon Allen #5 of the Oregon Ducks heads toward the end zone on a 70-yard touchdown reception in the first half of the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Autzen Stadium on September 6, 2014 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

    Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    In case you missed our Biggest Coaching Surprises of 2015 predictions yesterday, you should rectify that immediately. If you didn’t miss them, then you’ll understand the context for our Biggest Non-Coaching Surprises of 2015.

    Scott (@FootballScoop): Within a year we will see at least one current “Group of 5″ FBS program either stop playing football, or opt to move down to FCS.

    The economics of fielding a competitive full squad at the FBS level -if you aren’t in a Power 5 conference – are simply becoming difficult to make work unless you have a sizable, loyal, giving and growing fanbase. To remain competitive requires financial investment and while the Power 5 guys are reaping the benefits of what at some point felt like never-ending TV money (and it feels like that ship is slowing, too), Group of 5 programs are not all rolling in new TV money. Tough decisions lay ahead. Here’s a bit of unsolicited advice to university presidents out there: find yourself an athletic director who is aligned with your vision for your university and invest in that person. Together, develop your plan and stay the course, but be willing to make minor course corrections as needed (sometimes even to get ahead of the competition). Keep him (or her) happy and watch his or her roots grow and your university will see the benefits for years to come.

    Zach (@Zach_Barnett): One conference gets two teams in the Playoff AND the Heisman winner comes out of nowhere.

    I’m technically cheating here with two predictions, but that’s because I’m so sure in each of these that I’d venture to label them “guarantees.”

    I had one bet-the-farm pick in 2014 – four separate conferences would make the inaugural Playoff. With so many competing agendas and so little trust in the new system, spreading the wealth as far as possible was a lock last year. Now that we’re a year in and college football has not exploded from within, the committee stretches its legs a little and leaves two conferences out of the semifinals.

    As for my second prediction, let’s look at the recent history of Heisman winners. Before Marcus Mariota took the Heisman home to the West Coast last year, the last preseason favorite to actually win the stiffarm statue was… Troy Smith in 2006? In fact, prior to Mariota, three of the last four winners (Newton, Manziel, Winston) were in their first year on the field with their respective teams. So I’d actually put money on a guy like UCLA true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen before Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott or TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin.

    Doug (@CoachSamz): Only one of the four teams from the 2014 playoff field will appear again in the 2015 playoff.

    Ask college football experts around the country who is going to make the college football playoff this season, and their opinions are going to be all over the place. Some say LSU, others say Michigan State, or Clemson or Arizona State. There are just so many quality teams this year that pose a real threat.

    I think the biggest surprise in the 2015 playoff field is that only one team will be making a repeat appearance, and I think that team will be Ohio State. Oregon and Florida State both have to replace big-name quarterbacks and other firepower on both sides of the ball, and I’m not confident that Alabama will even win the loaded SEC.

  • How coaches and parents can help the HS to college transition, according to an Olympian


    For college freshman student-athletes, adjusting to life away from home can present a set of unique challenges. College coaches know this all too well, as year after year they’re tasked with helping a handful of freshman through the growing pains of both training camp, and homesickness.

    Earlier today, the website Swim Swam released an article with thoughts from 4-time Olympian Jill Sterkel on how parents, and coaches can better prepare their kids for the transition from high school to college, and it’s a very interesting read. Sterkel coached the Texas swim team for 14 years and is a parent herself.

    While the parellels between swimming and football may be few and far between, as coaches (and parents) we all face similar issues, and with the 2015 season very young, and the 2016 season right around the corner, Sterkel’s thoughts will carry significant meaning for many of us as assistant coaches, coordinators, and head coaches.

    “I have a theory. It’s not scientific. It’s my own theory I’ve cooked up in my head, for what it’s worth,” Sterkel started off telling Swim Swam.

    “I think parents who have raised their children and have given them the leeway to make mistakes, and have corrected them along the way, have kids that fare far better in college than the kids who have been forced to do this, do that, ‘because I said so.’”

    “You’ve got to teach independence, with boundaries. When they can experience a problem and work through it to the other side, there is a sense of accomplishment. There’s a sense of “Wow!” They are adding to their toolbox. It’s easier for us to jump in and fix it. We can fix a problem in two seconds and we’re done, but that doesn’t teach them a whole lot.” Sterkel explained.

    Finding a way to do that as a coach can be a challenge. Many coaches have an open door policy with their guys, while other programs match them up with an upperclassmen or big brother of sorts to be their mentor and guide. There’s many ways to approach it, but the best way to keep your retention rate high is to spend time building quality relationships with your young guys.

    For the coaches out there who are also parents, this advice is invaluable, because before you know it, your little ones will be making the all-important transition from high school to college, and when they do, you may want to take another look at Sterkel’s advice.


  • Saban on winning four national titles: “I feel like we’ve had good enough teams to win eight.”


    Nick Saban chatted with his No. 1 fan and No. 1 critic – depending on how the Tide did last Saturday – Paul Finebaum, in which he opined on all the things he hasn’t accomplished at LSU and Alabama.

    “We haven’t finished the season in the last two seasons like we’d like,” Saban told Finebaum, via CollegeFootballTalk. “People talk about you won four national championships. Well, I feel like we’ve had good enough teams to win eight. So I feel like we failed four times. I feel like I failed four times.”

    And, yeah, he’s probably right. The 2013 and 2014 teams had national title ability in them, and his 2010 team is truly the season that got away – his most talented team ever (Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, most of the record-breaking 2011 defense) that somehow found a way to lose three games.

    But, still, going 4-for-8 still makes Saban pretty darn successful – or lucky, depending on how you slice it up.

    Mack Brown had national title caliber teams in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009 and won one. Bob Stoops could’ve won national titles in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2008, and he’s only won one to date. Pete Carroll was a few plays away in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Urban Meyer was right there in 2009 and 2013. And so on and so on.

    Every successful coach will have seasons to lament. Saban’s fortunate he only has four – and just as many national title rings to keep him company at night.

  • After beating #1 ranked NDSU, Montana’s Bob Stitt responded to the Twitter skeptics


    While Bob Stitt had already captured the respect and attention of offensive coordinators across the NFL and FBS level with his innovative offensive mind, there were still a large number of skeptics who thought that his offense was too gimmicky to succeed at the Division I level.  Three days ago he got his first chance at the FCS level as he led his 12th ranked Montana team on the field for the first time against FCS powerhouse North Dakota State.

    One of the more vocal doubters was actually senior analyst Gil Brandt, who took to Twitter before the game to offer his take on the opening game of the college football season.

    Needless to say, Brandt was quite a bit off with that prediction, and Stitt led the Montana program to a 38-35 upset of the four-time defending national champion Bison. The Griz scored on the last play of the game out of the old Power I formation with a play as old as football itself.

    And of course, Stitt was sure to remind Brandt of how it all played out.

    Next time you want to doubt coach Stitt and his Montana squad on social media, you can bet he’s got his eye on you.