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Friday TV

Four bowl games on tonight (starting at noon), five tomorrow and plenty of NFL action on Sunday. It's the start of a great football weekend.

All times are eastern.

NFL:

No games.

College:

Armed Forces Bowl: BYU vs. Tulsa - Noon - ESPN

Pin Stripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Iowa State - 3:20 - ESPN

Music City Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Mississippi State - 5:40 - ESPN

Insight Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Iowa - 10 - ESPN

High School:

No games.




Chizik as defensive coordinator

Auburn defensive backs coach Tommy Thigpen was asked today what he thought of Gene Chizik's role of defensive coordinator for the bowl game.

"He is very detail oriented" Thigpen said. He added that accountability and intensity have been the biggest changes so far. On occasion, Thigpen said that Chizik will ask a question, goes over it for 30 minutes, and when you see him again on the practice field, you'd better be sure to have the correct answer or "you got to deal with it" he said with a grin.

"It makes guys accountable. When they are in the meeting rooms, you can see them scrambling, taking notes and making sure that when they go on the football field, they do exactly what he told them to do to carry it over to the practice field. It's been intense." Coach Thigpen added.

Coach Thigpen has some great insight in the interview below.




Coolest trophy up for grabs tomorrow night

Tomorrow night's Armed Forces Bowl features BYU and Tulsa, as well as possibly the coolest trophy of any bowl game.

The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Trophy is comprised of actual elements obtained from the battlefields in Iraq. Those materials include parts from tanks and helicopters and the trophy weighs in at over 50 pounds.

The video below (although from last year), does a great job highlighting the making of the trophy and everything that goes into it. 




Behind the scenes of Oregon's newest uniform addition

The last pictures that we posted on Oregon's uniforms didn't include the newest addition to the helmet. The new glossy coat (dubbed "LiquidMetal" by its maker Hydro Graphics) is the first of its kind and takes chrome to the next level.

Hydro Graphics is the same company that brought us the controversial "Maryland Pride" helmets to kick off the season, as well as Notre Dame's new bright gold helmets that they wore for the USC game.

The people at Hydro Graphics had to sign a non-disclosure agreement on this design that prohibited employees from bringing their cell phones or cameras onto the shop floor, and restricted vendors to the production floor to keep things under wraps until it was unveiled to the public Tuesday. They also blacked out all their windows for good measure.

The finished product can be seen below.

oregonshiny

Screen Shot_2011-12-29_at_9.37.32_AM

Screen Shot_2011-12-29_at_9.37.43_AM




Bowden's contract

Bowden's initial contract at Akron is very similar to his predecessors in many ways.

The base salary is the same over a 5 year contract, and most of the incentives are very similar. Bowden's base salary will be $300,000 with $50,000 for media appearances and $25,000 in apparel contracts. The contract also calls for a $6,000 country club membership, a university car, and $10,000 in moving expenses.

Bowden can also earn up to $120,000 in incentives including $50,000 if the Zips make one of the 5 major bowl games. A $20,000 bonus is due for a MAC East divisional championship and $25,000 for a MAC title. One of the major differences is that Ianello would have made twice as much for a MAC title, as his incentive was $50,000.

Interestingly, Bowden's buyout does not include any payments if he were to leave in the fourth or fifth year of his contract.




Thursday TV

Two bowl games today, including Heisman winner RG3 in action.

All times are eastern.

NFL:

No games.

College:

Champ Sports Bowl: Florida State vs. Notre Dame - 5 - ESPN

Alamo Bowl: Washington vs. Baylor - 9:15 - ESPN

High School:

No games.




How Toledo got the win

So Toledo outduels Air Force 42-41 in the Military Bowl.  

Wild game with huge big plays. We could give you the full play by play; but really here's all you need to see...

Air Force scores with 52 seconds to go making it a one point game. Extra point and we go to OT, 2 point conversion and they go home winners. 

Watch the video




Gundy's evolution as a coach

Ivan Maisel of ESPN did a very interesting write up today on Mike Gundy and his evolution as a head coach.

When Gundy was hired, T. Boone Pickens told him two things. The first was to take risks, the second was to be unpredictable. Those two things have helped pave the way for Gundy's beliefs ranging from practicing five hours a week, to his hiring of assistant coaches, and even valuing character over talent on the recruiting trail.

After making a few hires early in his career, that weren't great hires by his own admission, Gundy decided to focus on intelligence and loyalty when looking for assistants. Gundy's two most recent hires have worked out pretty darn well. Todd Monken's offense averaged almost 50 points per game and 557 yards of offense in his first season as a coordinator, while running backs coach Jemal Singleton has been praised by Gundy for his demeanor, discipline and structure coming to the Cowboys from the Air Force Academy.

Gundy laughingly says "I look back, and never would have hired me, knowing what I know now". 

Oklahoma State will take on Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2nd at 8:30 on ESPN.