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  • What’s the going rate for a guarantee game these days?

    Missouri helmet

    The cost of everything is going up these days, including the price of a guaranteed victory.

    According to open records obtained by the Columbia Tribune, Missouri is on the hook for nearly $5 million in guarantee games over the next six seasons. Here’s how it breaks down:

    – vs. Southeast Missouri State, Sept. 5, 2015: $385,000
    – vs. Eastern Michigan, Sept. 10, 2016: $1.3 million
    – vs. Missouri State, Sept. 2, 2017: $400,000
    – vs. Idaho, Oct. 21, 2017: $1.3 million
    – vs. Southeast Missouri State, Sept. 21, 2019: $425,000
    – vs. Eastern Michigan, Sept. 26, 2020: $1.1 million

    Bryan Maggard, Mizzou’s executive in charge of scheduling, told the paper that guarantee games with MAC and Sun Belt programs like Eastern Michigan and Idaho would have gone for $800,000 or less as recently as a few years ago. In 2012, Missouri paid a total of $700,000 to bring Murray State, Toledo and Arkansas State (though the Tigers returned the trip to Toledo in 2014, driving costs down) to Columbia. They’ll pay nearly double that next season just for the Eastern Michigan game.

    Maggard said prices are going up because mid-major programs’ costs are going up as well. Oh, and they’re just as aware of reports like these as the rest of us:

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    “It’s indicative of the fact that your midmajor programs have greater needs from a financial standpoint,” Maggard told the paper. “And with TV, the revenues generated by all these networks that everybody’s aware of, it’s just driven the price up. I do believe the midmajor programs are looking to support their programs in the various needs — whether it be cost of attendance, things like that — through guarantee monies.”

  • Rex Ryan is surprised the Bears didn’t hire him

    Rex Ryan

    Get a Ryan in front of a microphone and good things are bound to happen. Our latest example? The time Rex Ryan expressed disbelief that the Chicago Bears didn’t hire him to replace Marc Trestman.

    Ryan told the Chicago Sun-Times he expected a call that never came.

    “I actually did, but they got a great coach there with John Fox,” Ryan said. “I did. I thought, It made sense to me. But apparently it never made sense to them. So that’s the way it is.”

    Ryan served as the Bears’ ball boy as a high schooler during his father Buddy’s stint as the club’s defensive coordinator. Ryan joked that was the source of the club’s lack of interest in him. “I don’t know. “I must have done a bad job as a ball boy there or something,” he said.

    Ryan, who earlier this week said his brother Rob’s hair and stomach are keeping him from getting an NFL head job, was hired as the Buffalo Bills’ head coach in January after a 46-50 six-year stint as the New York Jets’ head coach.

  • Harbaugh and Michigan staff are using NCAA loophole to work camps in AL and TX

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    Remember last May when James Franklin took his staff down to Florida and Georgia to work high school football camps, exposing an NCAA loophole in an effort to expand their recruiting footprint to the fertile southern states known for churning out top notch college football players?

    Well Jim Harbaugh is following suit, taking his Michigan staff down to Alabama for a day camp at Prattville HS, followed five days later with a camp just outside of Dallas at Grand Prairie HS.

    As you can see, Prattville HS has already tabbed the event as the biggest event in the school’s history, so that should give you an idea of the turnout of talent that’s expected.

    In case you’ve forgotten, NCAA rules restrict schools from hosting football camps more than 50 miles outside of their campus. Therefore, instead of hosting a camp of their own outside that 50 mile radius, coaches are heading outside that umbrella and assisting at a handful of high school camps. Franklin and his staff were the first (at least that I’m aware of) to take advantage of the loophole, and Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame staff followed shortly after, choosing to expand their footprint out in Los Angeles.

    This move is bound to rub a handful of coaches the wrong way (namely those in SEC and Big 12 country), but the numbers show the top players in college football come from the South, so it’s only logical that coaches like Harbaugh and Franklin use every available opportunity to raid the talent-rich southern states in any way possible.

    The reward of expanding your program’s brand and recruiting footprint far outweigh the negatives of ruffling a few feathers here and there, so expect to see this trend continue as long as the loophole remains open.

    (H/T MLive)

  • Dean Smith left something special in his will for all his former players

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    Sport aside, former North Carolina legendary basketball coach Dean Smith is an icon that transcends the coaching profession. The man won 879 games, served as a head coach at one institution for over 35 years, and mentored the lives of countless young men, along with a lengthy list of various other accomplishments.

    The impact he had on players, coaches, and complete strangers before his passing simply cannot be measured.

    Earlier today, the following picture started to make its rounds on Twitter, illustrating that Smith is making an impact, even after his physical presence has left this earth.

    It’s not often that you see a head coach with a resume like Smith’s reach out to every single one of his former players like this.

    Just when you thought the legend of Dean Smith couldn’t get any bigger, or more unbelievable. What a great gesture from a legend who already had a firm place in the history of great coaches, and people.

  • What football coaches can learn from Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall

    NCAA Basketball: Drake at Wichita State

    Gregg Marshall is not a football coach, but he’s in the same position a number of coaches find themselves every year. He’s a wanted man. According to CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish, Alabama is prepared to offer Marshall in excess of $3 million a year as soon as Wichita State’s NCAA Tournament run comes to an end. (Marshall made $1.7 million in 2014 according to USA Today.)

    Marshall is not a football coach and responded to Alabama’s reported offer very much unlike a football coach. For one, he acknowledged it exists.

    “Right now it’s just rumor and conjecture. I haven’t spoken with Alabama. I’m coaching my team, and that’s what I’m going to do, hopefully, for another couple of weeks,” Marshall told the Jim Rome show earlier this week. “And if Alabama is still interested in talking to us with some type of crazy offer at that time, then we will certainly entertain that. But it’s going to take some type of crazy offer to get us to leave Wichita State.”

    If a football coach was asked the same question, he’d respond one of three ways:

    1) “I haven’t heard anything about that.”
    2) “I’m just focused on coaching my team.”
    3) “We’re very happy where we are and not looking to leave.”

    All three are disingenuous at best, and outright lies at worst. Does that mean every football coach should respond as honestly as Marshall? No, not necessarily. His answer works for his situation. When you reach the Final Four, then produce an undefeated regular season, and then knock off Kansas to reach the Sweet 16 in successive seasons at Wichita State, other schools are going to be interested and thinking otherwise is a head-in-sand level of obliviousness.

    “If you don’t have an athletic department and a program and a coach like Coach Marshall people are looking at, you probably have the wrong program or you have the wrong guy,” Wichita State athletics director Eric Sexton told USA Today.

    But rather than supply some lighter fluid to the rumors by dancing around them, Marshall took them on straightforward and (temporarily) stopped the news cycle. He’ll either take the Alabama job or he won’t, simple as that. But he’s not going to pretend it isn’t there.

    “I just tell people the truth,” Marshall said. “I don’t try to sugarcoat things if they don’t need to be sugarcoated. That’s not something I’m worried about. I’m coaching my team. None of my players are worried about it, none of my staff’s worried about it, and I’ve said how content and happy I am at Wichita State over and over and over, and we are. It could be the last job I ever have, I could retire from there. But at the same time I don’t bury my head in the sand if a tremendous offer comes along, we look at it as a family and that’s been something we’ve dealt with for 17 years.”