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  • Friday’s One Minute Warm Up

    To get your blood moving:

    – Media days, everyone.

    – Things aren’t looking good for the Olympics in 2016 or 2022. Yeesh, IOC.

    – One thousand people play the Foo Fighters’ “Learn to Fly” at once.

    – If you ever read “Friday Night Lights,” you owe it to yourself to read this piece revisiting the six Panthers that defined the book 25 years later written by author Buzz Bissinger.

    – Watching two little girls perform a judo fight reminds me of my offensive line days.

    In Case You Missed It:

    – Urban Meyer detailed the when, how and why he’ll choose a starting quarterback.

    – Todd Graham says after three years at Arizona State he no longer gets asked by recruits if he’s sticking around in Tempe.

    – Speaking of Arizona State, their new Adidas unis aren’t bad.

    – The Tennessee-Vanderbilt rivalry needs your help choosing a nickname.

    – Art Briles appeared on Dan Le Batard’s TV show and was obsessed with his father Papi.

    Up Today:

    Big Ten and Pac-12 media days continue in Chicago and LA.


  • Urban details the when, how and why of how he’ll choose a starting quarterback

    Ohio State QBs

    Ohio State kicks off its national title defense at Virginia Tech at 8 p.m. on Labor Day evening. Depending on whether or not the Buckeyes receive the opening kickoff, Urban Meyer will reveal his choice of starting quarterback to the world somewhere between 8:15 and 8:30 p.m.

    “The first guy that jogs out at Blacksburg,” Meyer said at Big Ten Media Days Thursday in Chicago, “will be the starting quarterback.”

    In the most talked-about (non-Harbaugh division) storyline of the off-season – and, heck, Chris Fowler brought it up during Ohio State’s national title win over Oregon in January – the how and why are just as important as the who. “You’re talking about two to three very invested people and incredible families,” Meyer admitted. And as such, he and his staff owe those involved and their scarlet-clad teammates a detailed and well-reasoned explanation as to who sits and who plays opening night in Blacksburg.

    “So, basically, we’re keeping score of everything. And everything, obviously, multiplied when you start adding 7-on-7 mini field, third-down periods, and all that,” Meyer said, admitting Braxton Miller made things easier on himself, offensive coordinator Ed Warinner and quarterbacks coach Tim Beck by taking himself out of the running.

    While charting will provide the science to the decision, Meyer admitted there’s also some art to it. In the spring the three-time national champion alluded to using only statistics to make a decision, but he backed off that statement Thursday, saying intangibles will also play into it. And how could they not?

    “It’s got to be both,” Meyer told Fox Sports. “I was on the sideline with those kids. It’s how they performed last year, how they performed in the summer, and then we’re going to chart everything throughout training camp. It’s going to be an accumulation of all that information and then we’ll make a decision.”

    “I’ve see Cardale Jones on fourth-and-1 against Oregon launch himself as he’s looking at the first down marker. That’s buried in my brain. I’ve also seen J.T. Barrett with a second-degree MCL sprain at Penn State, look at me and say, ‘I’m not coming out of the game.'”

    “They’re all embedded, and I just have to make the decision.”

    He’s got 39 days to do it – and counting.


  • Video: Art Briles is obsessed with Dan Le Batard’s father Papi

    Dan Le Batard is the most tolerable of the overpaid cable sports gas bag, simply because he’s seemingly the only one who knows he’s an overpaid gas bag and acts accordingly. Case in point, Le Batard’s father, with no real show business background, is a major player in his son’s television show, because why wouldn’t he be?

    Well, here’s one legitimate reason. Art Briles is fascinated by the man.

    In an appearance on Wednesday’s show, Briles fielded generic Art Briles football questions around his obsession with Papi Le Batard. It’s pretty entertaining television.

  • The Tennessee – Vanderbilt rivalry is looking for a name, and wants your suggestions


    In-state rivals Tennessee and Vanderbilt have been facing off for well over 100 years now. Their first game took place back in 1892, and yet for 110 meetings it has lacked the catchy rivalry game.

    Alabama and Auburn have the Iron Bowl, Texas and Oklahoma have the Red River Shootout, Boston College and Notre Dame have the Holy War, Oregon State and Oregon have the Civil War, and Ole Miss and Mississippi State have the Egg Bowl. You get the point. In my mind, it’s not a proper rivalry without a catchy name.

    Even though the Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt rivalry is a bit lopsided by rivalry standards (Tennessee leads the series 74-30-5) it is still one of the oldest match ups in college football, and for that reason The Tennessean feels that it deserves a proper name, and they’re even willing to step up to the plate to provide the trophy that goes up for grabs each season.

    Which way to go with the name of the rivalry game is a point of contention and when The Tennessean put out word that they were looking for some suggestions, they got a little bit of everything.

    Some fans would like to see the game’s name pay homage to former coaches (Dudley/Neyland Legacy Trophy). Others would like to see it named for the stretch of road that separates Knoxville from Nashville (The I-40 Cup, The Battle for I-40, etc.) and some fans would like to see the cultures or heritages of each city represented (The Smoky Mountain Music Cup, Smoky Mountain Music Game, Sounds of the South). Of course, whiskey related names were popular suggestions as well (Whiskey Barrell Bowl, Whiskey War, Whiskey Bowl).

    All in all, the Tennessean has compiled a pretty solid list of suggestions (see them all here) and now it’s just a matter of thinning them out sending them to each respective athletic department, and coming to a consensus.

    If you have a name for the game that would fit, shoot it to me on Twitter to @CoachSamz and I’ll share the best ones below and make sure the Tennessean gets the suggestions as well.

  • Todd Graham says recruits don’t ask him if he’s going to stick around at Arizona State anymore

    Todd Graham

    Admit it, on Dec. 14, 2011, the day Todd Graham was announced as Arizona State’s head coach, you didn’t think he’d still be Arizona State’s head coach on July 30, 2015. After spending one year as Rice’s head coach before leaving for Tulsa and, after four years at Tulsa, ducking out in the worst possible way after one year at Pittsburgh, who could have blamed you?

    But, three seasons later and on the eve of a fourth, Graham says his actions have outspoken his, uh, earlier actions. And now recruits have stopped asking if he’ll still be there by the time their senior year rolls around.

    “No, I really don’t,” Graham said Thursday at Pac-12 Media Days in Hollywood. “I’ve been pretty straightforward with recruits about where we’re at. I’ve paid my house off and I’ve donated half a million dollars. I don’t know what else I can do. Obviously, too, here’s the other thing I tell recruits. We’re building a $300 million new stadium and football complex, not a lot of people around the country are putting that kind of commitment into the program. You look at the commitment our university has made to our coaching staff, assembling one of the best and using the resources to do that speaks volumes about the commitment. I don’t get that question much anymore.”

    Another, unspoken reason Graham doesn’t get that question anymore? The program he’s building in Tempe. The Sun Devils have improved in every one of his three seasons, from an 8-5 debut, to a Pac-12 South title in 2013, to a second straight 10-win season and a No. 12 final AP ranking in 2014. With a No. 16 preseason ranking by the coaches, Arizona State has a chance to make a run in 2015. The Sun Devils open with Texas A&M in Houston and get division favorites USC and Oregon as well as downstate rival Arizona in Tempe this fall.