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Steve Sarkisian asked if the PAC-12 has "arrived"

It’s quite evident that PAC-12 commissioner Larry Scott is doing one heck of a job.  Virtually every PAC-12 coach mentions how pleased they are with Scott during any national interview.

Not only did Scott secure a $3 billion deal with ESPN and Fox, but the new PAC-12 Networks will be available in 45 million homes nationally.  The four cable partners for the PAC-12 Networks will be Time Warner, Cox, Comcast, and Bright House.

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian was asked during PAC-12 media day if the conference had, “arrived.”

Sark told Petros Papadakis (great name / great voice), “We were there.  I think now though that the exposure is there. People are hearing about the PAC-12 more, understanding who the coaches are in the PAC-12.”

“I don’t know if people knew if I was the coach at Washington for a while, they just thought it was the Huskies.”

“Now that the exposure is there, the talents can be shown.  Whether it’s LaMichael James or Andrew Luck or Chris Polk or Matt Barkley, they can now get the notoriety that they truly deserve.”

The PAC-12 Networks will launch in the summer of 2012 and will carry 850 games a year including 350 nationally broadcasted games.

Joe Paterno: I think I can go another 4 or 5 years

Joe Paterno (84) is heading into his 62nd year of coaching. 

As typical, during the Big Ten media day, Joe Pa was asked how much longer he’ll continue on. 

Paterno took it from there: 

“I feel good. I had a couple tough years there, physically...” 

“I didn't think I did a very good job coaching last year. I didn't have a lot of enthusiasm. We had a young team and I didn't take into consideration some things and maybe didn't try to get them to do some things. But I feel good.” 

“I don't know how long. The good Lord's been good to me. I have good health now, back to where I was. I enjoyed this spring. … I got around a little bit more, trying to get to know the kids a little bit better. I've kind of gotten away from them the last couple of years.” 

“So, I don't know. I'd like to go four or five more years but you know, I think somebody else is gonna have to make that decision. I might think I'm doing a pretty good job three years from now and somebody might say, 'Hey, Joe, it's time.' But right now, I think I can go another four or five more years.” 

Since 2005, under Paterno, Penn State has finished 11-1, 9-4, 9-4, 11-2, 11-2, and 7-6.


Bret Bielema, so you're telling me there's a chance?

So you're telling me there's a chance.  Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said it today.  Russell Wilson may not end up as the Badgers starting quarterback when the season starts.

During his Big Ten media day press conference, Bielema was asked, “You called Russell a potential starting quarterback. Is there seriously a chance he wouldn't be your starting quarterback?”

Bielema responded, “Yeah, absolutely. I was very open with Russell during the recruiting process, You will have an opportunity to come in and show us what you can do.”

“I think that's one of the things that attracted him to our program. We were honest, truthful. My parents said if you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you said. That's what we said, come in, have this opportunity, take full advantage of it, you'll be the guy that reaps the rewards.”

“I haven't seen Russell Wilson compete one snap competitively in practice. I think I might know what will happen, but until it happens, that's where we're at.” 

Brady Hoke: This might sound arrogant...

Brady Hoke just wrapped up his first ever media session at Big 10 media day.

Most interestingly, Hoke made the statement that, “I don’t think we are rebuilding, period.  We are Michigan.” (Cutcliffe says, "We are Duke.")

Hoke also stated, “Denard ran the same offense in high school.” (Apparently, Hoke felt a little just more comfortable hiring Al Borges than the OC at Deerfield Beach HS.)

Asked why recruiting is going so well, Hoke said, “This might sound arrogant.  If it is, it is.  But we are Michigan.  We are the winningest program in the history of college football.”

Hoke explained that the change in offensive style will have an overall benefit to the Michigan program.

“When you’re defense plays against a pro-style offense all spring and all fall, you build a toughness and an edge. We think we can play better defense by how we operate on the offensive side of the ball because how they feed off each other.”

Michigan opens with five consecutive home games against Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, and Minnesota.

In other words, a lot of Beth Mowins and Mike Bellotti.

Photos of Oklahoma State's new uniforms have leaked

The photos of the Oklahoma State’s new uniforms have leaked.

It’s been speculated for months that Gottlieb’s alma mater could be going “Oregon style” on us.

It’s true. To say the least, Gundy wont' be short on possible uniform combinations.  It appears that gray has joined the traditional colors of orange and black for Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys will have an “all black” look including black helmets.  They could opt for a number of combinations featuring gray, white, orange, and black.  A new gray helmet looks legit, but we’re not sure about that mean looking cartoon cowboy on the hip of the pants.

Here’s a look at the new threads.

But don’t get confused, running backs coach Jemal Singleton still wants a sea of orange inside Boone Pickens Stadium.



Erin Andrews fires back at TV show host for questioning Nick Saban

On Thursday morning, Erin Andrews and Kirk Herbstreit appeared in studio on The Morning Joe with host Joe Scarborough.

There was an awkward moment during the segment.  It's must see TV.

Scarborough, at one point, says “Can you believe how good this team (Alabama) was last year and how many loses they had? To be blunt, I think there’s some really bad coaching.  They had one of the best squads top to bottom.”

That’s when Eric Andrews lost it and Herb Herbstreit undoubtedly wondered in his mind, “Did I really just come on this show?” (Watch his facial expression.)

Erin Andrews responded in disgust, “Are you kidding?  You have one of the best coaches in America.”

Awkward.  Andrews wasn't joking.

Scarborough went on to ask Eric Andrews, “So how do our Florida Gators do this year?”

Andrews, still hot (about Scarborough’s statement regarding Saban), shot back, “You went to law school at UF, but you cheer for the Houndstooth, so don’t claim them right now.  And then you’re on national TV and you just said the horrible coaching of Nick Saban so…”

Just watch.  It was awkward.

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UNC chancellor explains why

During a Thursday morning press conference, UNC chancellor Holden Thorpe said, “We anticipate we won’t be dismissing Coach Davis for cause.  We will not.”

“I don’t believe he knew about the things that went on.”

Those were just two of the interesting things that were stated during the presser.

Athletic director Dick Babbour, who is under contract through next summer, acknowledged that he has offered to step down.  The chancellor will immediately begin a search for a new athletic director.  Baddour will stay on until the new AD has been named.

Baddour will not be involved in the selection of the new head coach.

Baddour explained, “As someone who has hired coaches for the past 14 years, I know it is even more imperative for my successor be able to name the next permanent head coach.  Therefore, I have asked Chancellor Thorpe to begin the search for an athletic director as soon as possible, so that that person may be available to hire the permanent head coach in time to recruit next season’s freshman class. Your head coach needs to know who your athletic director is going to be.”

Asked if dismissing Butch Davis was a reaction to potentially lightening the severity of the forthcoming NCAA penalties, Thorpe responded, “Absolutely, not.  We reached the point where that’s not the primary concern anymore.”

Thorpe said, “We can’t get better without making a change.”

“I considered making changes in the fall and throughout this whole process.”

“I know that the timing is terrible.”

UNC is on the hook for a maximum of $2.75 million to Butch Jones.  The chancellor will be meeting with the staff later today to determine who will serve as the interim head coach.

Butch Davis releases statement, but will not be doing interviews

Butch Davis address his dismissal as the UNC head coach this evening.

Davis said, "I was honestly shocked to receive word that I will no longer be the head football coach at the University of North Carolina. I can honestly say that I leave with full confidence that I have done nothing wrong. I was the head coach and I realize the responsibility that comes with that role."

"But I was not personally involved in, nor aware of, any actions that prompted the NCAA investigation. I thank my family for enduring this tough situation. I thank the fans and broader university community who have embraced us and endured these difficult circumstances with poise and grace. To the players, I wish them only the best on the field and academically. The coaches and their families know how much I appreciate their work and dedication. It's a sad day, but I'm certain better times will follow."

Davis also released a statement:

"My family and I were surprised and saddened to learn that I have been relieved of my duties as head football coach at Carolina. I am not naïve enough to have ever considered this situation anything less than a serious matter and a significant priority. I have worked as hard as possible to address all aspects of the program that have been questioned. I fully believe we were on our way to getting past these issues and move forward. vMy family and I have been able to endure this difficult period in our lives for several reasons: First and foremost, as a family we have known all along that I personally did nothing wrong. That is the truth. Second, we have also had remarkable support from friends, family, the players, our coaching staff and so many others within the Tar Heel community. That these players and coaches were able to achieve the success they did last season, under such circumstances, makes me enormously proud."

"Moving forward, I wish only the best for the current team and coaches. For the players in particular, I wish them nothing but success on the field and in the classroom. The coaches already know how I feel about them. I couldn’t be more proud of their hard work and dedication. In fact, during the past year or so, my respect and love for our players, the coaching staff and the football administrative staff has grown enormously. It’s a wonderful group of people and I will miss them all."

"For now, I will not be doing any interviews. Perhaps in time I will feel more comfortable about discussing my future. But for now, it’s important to move on as smoothly as possible, because I absolutely do not want to add any further distraction for the players and coaching staff as they approach the 2011 season."