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  • Why small college ball is better than major college football, and Hal Mumme as Davy Crockett

    Kevin Van Valkenburg  wrote a great profile of Hal Mumme for ESPN the Magazine this week, which you can read here. Van Valkenburg does a great job of chronicling Mumme’s zig-zag path through the coaching ranks and his influence on the game. When you read it (which I am ordering each of you to do) it almost becomes eerie how many wide-spread ideas started with him and how many successful coaches he influenced.

    Along the way, the profile gives us some great quotes about the way Mumme sees the world:

    “How many football coaches have you heard say, ‘This is war! This is hard work!’ Guess what. Football isn’t work. I’ve never worked a day in my life. This isn’t rocket science! This isn’t cancer! It’s fun! And when I die, I want that on my tombstone: ‘Hal Mumme: His players had fun.'”

    And also makes the argument for small college football over the major college counterpart:

    “The coaches who think Belhaven is beneath them? They’re idiots,” Mumme said. “I just feel sorry for them because this is like the best deal in the world. Small colleges are a lot better than big-time football. The kids are getting educated, which you can’t say at a lot of places, and they’re having fun. How do you beat that?”

    “There’s been a lot of innovation out of those levels because there is more freedom. Even now when I study schools, I probably study more small schools. I already know what big schools are doing. The higher you go, the more homogenized it gets. The lower you go, you’ll see some wild stuff,” added Mike Leach.

    Seriously, check it out.






  • What’s your best bet for Week 4? The FootballScoop staff weighs in


    Last week, Scott took a look at the lines and thought to himself “easy money”. That was not the case this week as we all had to dig deep to find a pick we felt even somewhat comfortable with. With that said, here are our “Best Bets” of the week. Take them or leave them.

    Zach: Texas A&M (-34.5) over SMU


    My strategy has been pretty simple so far, and it’s worked out like Sex Panther: Sixty-six percent of the time, it works every time. I fully expect SMU to come out with an effort far surpassing what they showed against Baylor and North Texas, but what does that really mean? I watched their entire 45-0 loss to Baylor and much of their 43-6 loss at North Texas and – shocking opinion warning – they just don’t have a lot of talent, no matter who’s coaching. Even if SMU hits its stride offensively and scores 17 points, I don’t see them holding the Aggies under 52.

    Pick I’ll wish I’d taken if this one goes wrong: Texas State and its ball-control offense (+13) at Illinois and its 90th-ranked rush defense.

    Scott: Bowling Green +27 at Wisconsin.


    I suspect the Badgers will win the game; but I can’t see them outpacing Bowling Green by 28 or more. Bowling Green’s offense was clicking against Indiana last week, reeling off 113 plays en route to 176 yards rushing and 395 yards passing…and 45 points. Wisconsin’s defense is better than Indiana’s but still, give me BGSU and the points.

    Doug: Eastern Michigan +45 at Michigan State



    I had a hard time with this one, because I don’t want to make it a habit to bet on struggling football teams. However, sitting at 1-2 against the spread on the year, I can recognize the need for a “win” when I see it.  Here’s where my logic lies; the last time that Mark Dantonio scored 50+ points in a game was his 2007 debut when he put up 55 on UAB, and 45 point wins aren’t something Dantonio hangs his hat on. He’s just not the type of coach that’s going to run up the score in favor of imaginary “style points”… even if given the opportunity to improve the Spartans’ playoff resume. Based on my quick research, he’s never won a game in East Lansing by 45 points or more, and I don’t see that trend changing on Saturday afternoon.

    This season: Scott (1-2), Doug (1-2), Zach (2-1)


  • Video: Mizzou’s new Nike uni “feels like it gives you superpowers”


    For their game on Saturday against Indiana, Missouri will be wearing a brand new Nike uniform combination.

    “It feels like it gives you superpowers” defensive lineman Lucas Vincent noted while modeling the unis in a quick 14 second spot.

    While that may be an exaggeration, if you believe in the “look good, play good” mantra, it should mean good results.

    More pictures will be added as they become available.

  • Texas A&M is spending $300,000 to replace their field for four games


    Leading up to Texas A&M’s game against Rice, the Aggie playing surface saw nearly 5 inches of rain in less than a 24 hour span. The field was such a mess that you could catch people from the grounds crew running onto the field during breaks with buckets of sand to fill holes and tears in the grass throughout the game.

    If that doesn’t give you a clear enough picture of what the field conditions were like Saturday, Rice head coach David Bailiff was reportedly seen arguing with Aggie AD Eric Hyman on the way into the locker room at the half about the condition of the playing surface.

    After the game, and a few injuries to players (which team doctors did not attribute to the field conditions), the administration decided that a change to the playing surface was needed, and grass from a North Carolina’s sod farm would be the replacement.

    The new sod, which is coming in on 24 refrigerated trucks according to The Eagle, is based on a much thicker sod base which will allow it to take root and provide a firm base for their next home game on October 11 against Ole Miss.

    The decision to replace the field at the cost of $300,000 may seem like a monumental mid-season decision, but Carolina Green (the company selected for the replacement) has replaced playing surfaces for NFL franchises like the Eagles and Redskins in recent years, as well as at Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina, all during the season, effectively making the decision much easier. Just last week they replaced the surfaces at for the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans with a one week turnaround before kickoff.

    More importantly, the last thing that you want as a coach or athletic director is the field conditions being discussed as a possible reason for a sustained injury to any of your players. That’s something you simply can’t risk (see Robert Griffin III).

    Once the field is down, Texas A&M will get four games in on the new surface (Ole Miss, ULM, Missouri, and LSU) before it is torn up for the second part of the $450 million renovation to Kyle Field.

    Read more here.


  • Florida HS coach delivers an emotional “I am a champion” speech honoring his late son

    Three years ago, Barbara Goleman HS (Miami, FL) defensive coordinator John Murillo lost his son, Ricky Quintanilla, to cancer. During Ricky’s battle, he would often sit in front of a computer and watch videos of coaches delivering his favorite pregame speech titled “I am a champion” to draw inspiration.

    Yesterday, before taking the field, coach Murillo delivered an emotionally charged “I am a champion” speech to his team in memory of his son, and you can tell it came from a special place in his heart. He’s made it a tradition after his son’s passing, with this being the third year he’s done it according to Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.

    Read more of the story behind the speech here.

    This serves as a great reminder of the personal battles we all struggle with off the field and how, as coaches, our team is an extension of our family.

    (H/T Manny Navarro)