Ron Burgundy interviews Peyton Manning
What better way to spend a minute of your Wednesday morning than watching Will Ferrell (as Ron Burgundy) interview Peyton Manning?
Ron Burgundy will host SportsCenter starting at 6pm EST tomorrow night and something tells me that it will be one of the most watched SportsCenter segments of all time.
Now if we could just get Burgundy in one of those hilarious commercials with Peyton, Eli and Archie, all would seem right with the world. I'd also settle for Burgundy being placed in a Saban or Spurrier press conference or halftime interview as well.
That's not too much to ask, is it?
'There are no cliff notes for being a head coach'
As a first year head coach taking over a wildly successful program, Utah State's Matt Wells (who previously served as the Aggies offensive coordinator) had to get used to a lot of changes.
Literally everything changes once you take the head coaching job Wells explains.
"Every week is not the same." Wells told Fast Football yesterday about the biggest change from going from offensive coordinator to head coach.
"It's just like, everything changes. As you get into it, I asked Gary (Andersen) and a few other coaches in the business that I've worked for, and have a great respect for, I'm always a guy that wants to know what the next hurdle is, or pile, or what's coming up in the road that I need to navigate and get our program around.
"They all told me kind of the same thing, 'Ya know Matt you don't really know until you get in the middle of it and you go through it, there is really no cliff notes version for it, and that's been so true, but it's just kind of going from week to week and having a plan and sticking to it."
Wells will lead his 8-4 Aggies against a very good Fresno State team Saturday in the Mountain West championship game. Kickoff is scheduled for 10pm EST.
Video: Return to the MAC (Championship) rap
If you enjoy old school rap, then this video should stir up some good memories.
Making their second straight trip to the MAC title game as an undefeated team (and third trip in three season) with the hopes of crashing the BCS party a final time, here's a musical tribute to Northern Illinois and their magical season.
When it comes to football-themed music remakes, I've certainly heard worse and have a soft spot for 90's rap, so this isn't too bad.
Jim Mora is staying at UCLA, signs a six-year extension
After spending the better part of 24 hours in quiet negotiations and deliberation, UCLA head coach has spurned Washington - his alma mater - and will stay in Westwood.
In staying at UCLA, Mora receives a six-year contract extension through 2019, along with promised pay increases for his staff according to the Los Angeles Times. USA Today lists Mora's 2013 salary at $2.3 million, the 38th-highest in FBS.
“Jim Mora has established himself as one of the preeminent coaches in all of college football,” UCLA athletics director Dan Guerrero said in the school's announcement. “Under his guidance, UCLA football has garnered national recognition for its success on the field, in the classroom and in the community. We are excited about the commitment Jim has made to our student-athletes and this University and feel this extension further demonstrates UCLA’s commitment to building a championship-caliber football program.”
Mora is 18-8 in two seasons at UCLA, leading the Bruins to the 2012 Pac-12 South title and within a game of repeating this fall.
“I want to thank Dan Guerrero and Chancellor Gene Block for their tremendous support,” said Mora. “This further commitment the University has made is crucial as we continue in our pursuit of excellence. From day one our goal has been to win championships, and with our tremendous staff, our incredible student-athletes and our dedicated administration, UCLA will win championships. We’ve only just scratched the surface of our potential, and as a Bruin fan, I’d be chomping at the bit just to see what UCLA football is going to do next.”
So, why did USC pick Steve Sarkisian? Pat Haden explains
Steve Sarkisian was announced as the newest USC head coach on Tuesday afternoon, the 23rd in Trojans history. The decision was a no-brainer - for Sarkisian. This marks his fifth stint at USC, beginning when he signed to play baseball out of high school. He clearly loves USC, and likely said yes before Haden even offered. That's not in question. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you have to jump on as soon as you can," said Sarkisian.
But the question that hovered over everyone's heads throughout Monday was, Why did USC choose Sark? With a higher-water mark of eight wins, why was Sarkisian chosen to occupy the same seat as Howard Jones and John McKay, as John Robinson and Pete Carroll?
Haden stated that the coaching search began in late September or early October, soon after Lane Kiffin's dismissal. Haden and his team studied close to 20 coaches and interviewed five of them. "I watched a lot of football teams," said Haden. "I watched a lot of game tape." And the end result found USC hiring the coach with which it was most familiar, the coach right on their proverbial doorstep.
USC athletics director Pat Haden explained, and we broke it down bit-by-bit:
Haden liked Sark's X's and O's ability: "(Sarkisian) is a strategist who can make adjustments during the game." Recall that in the Sunday press conference back in late September, Haden noted that the final straw for him was USC's lack of adjustments in the second half of that fateful loss to Arizona State. After trailing 20-14 at the half, USC allowed 344 yards of total offense and 42 points en route to a 62-41 loss. Kiffin was fired just hours later.
Washington's program isn't as good as you think it is, at least according to Haden: "Over the past 21 years at the University of Washington, only three teams won more than eight games."
He's familiar: "We get a coach who really knows USC, its culture and its traditions, who beat eight top 25 teams in his tenure, is a proven evaluator of high school football talent, a big time recruiter who knows local high school coaches, knows the Pac-12 and Southern California."
It's worth noting that familiarity with the program has always been important at USC - like it is at many places - but that belief, that the Trojans need their own "Michigan Man", has seemingly become entrenched since Pete Carroll's departure. Sarkisian's hiring, obviously, marks two straight Carroll assistants following in the footsteps of their former boss.
The 3 most successful coaches in USC history -- Howard Jones, John McKay & Carroll -- spent a grand total of 1 yr at USC as an assistant.— Chris Huston (@HeismanPundit) December 3, 2013
The 3 least successful USC coaches of all time -- Don Clark, Paul Hackett and Lane Kiffin -- spent 17 years as assistants there.— Chris Huston (@HeismanPundit) December 3, 2013
Haden believes Sarkisian can hit the ground running: "(Sarkisian) is uniquely positioned to have the smoothest and cleanest transition for our program."
But what about Coach O?: Haden had this to say about everyone's favorite interim head coach.
In the end, Ed wants to be a head coach," Haden said. "He deserves to be a head coach. I told him I will do anything I can to help him become a head coach. It was hard. He was hurt. But in the end my job was to make the best decision for USC. We fought hard to keep him here. God love him, I hope he goes somewhere and makes me look like an idiot."
Key to the Arizona Cardinals' success: Old Guys
NFL executives will turn over every rock in looking for the right head coach. This past offseason, teams hired former NFL head coaches, college coaches, NFL coordinators, and the Chicago Bears even went to Canada to find a coach. But there's one market that has gone underexploited of late, save for the Arizona Cardinals: old guys.
After ridding themselves of 50-year-old Ken Whisenhunt, the Cardinals pulled Colts interim head coach/offensive coordinator away from Indianapolis to be their next head coach. Arians is 61. To be a first-time NFL head coach at age 61, Arians is basically Methuselah.
And he's still 14 years younger than his offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, Tom Moore.
"Tom Moore will tell us when a pass originated, and everyone in the room's eyes will get big," Arians told the Wall Street Journal. "Guys are lining up saying, 'You helped Cris Carter and Lynn Swann? How can you help me?'"
According to Moore, he only looks 75, but he certainly doesn't feel it.
"I had one knee replaced last April and one replaced in August," said Moore. "I feel like I'm 50."
After last year's 5-11 season, the 7-5 Cardinals have upped their win total with four games to spare. With wins in four of their last five games and dates with Seattle and San Francisco head, Arizona sits one game out of the NFC playoff picture.
"Sometimes head coaches are afraid of (older assistants) because they do know so much," Arians said. "I want the most qualified people I can get. I want their honest opinion.
"Age has nothing to do with energy. They are wearing the younger guys out."
Chuck Martin will be the new head coach at Miami (Ohio)
Miami (Ohio) hoped to have a new head coach in place by the end of the regular season. It took a couple extra days, but the RedHawks have found their guy in Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin.
Martin is a Brian Kelly disciple in the truest sense of the word. After beginning his career as a graduate assistant at Mankato State in 1992 and then taking jobs at Wittenberg, Millikin and Eastern Michigan, Martin was hired as Kelly's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Grand Valley State in 2000.
After Kelly left Grand Valley State for the Central Michigan job following the 2003 season, Martin was elevated to head coach. He led the Lakers to a 74-7 record in six seasons, including back-to-back NCAA Division II titles in 2005-06 and and five consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships. Under Martin, Grand Valley State never had a season end short of the Division II quarterfinals.
Kelly accepted the Notre Dame job in 2010, and Martin joined him, again as defensive backs coach. Martin made the rare switch from secondary coach to offensive coordinator in 2012, and the move had immediate dividends. Juggling between redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson and junior Tommy Reese, the Fighting Irish jumped from 110th to 14th nationally in turnovers lost, which proved to be a turning point as Notre Dame leapt from an 8-5 finish in 2011 to a 12-0 regular season and an appearance in the BCS National Championship a year later.
In landing Martin, Miami (Ohio) becomes the second FBS school to fill its head coaching vacancy, following USC's hiring of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian on Monday. Miami (Ohio) was also the second school to have an opening this season, dismissing Don Treadwell on October 6, one week after Lane Kiffin was let go at USC. There are six vacant FBS head coaching jobs at this time.
As always, we will have more updates as they become available.
MAC AD: 'It's a great sign for our program when our coaches are moving on'
Like it or not, there isn't a lot of staying power among MAC head coaches. Of the 11 currently employed coaches in the 13-team league, one has been on the job longer than five years - Ohio's Frank Solich, a 69-year-old that spent a half-dozen years on the mountaintop at Nebraska. He's the outlier. Only four of the 13 schools have employed their current head coach for longer than three seasons.
In many cases, most MAC head coaches are on the way out the door the second they take the job. Win, and you're heading out the front door to a job in a bigger conference. Lose, and you're out the back door. It's no one's picture perfect version of reality, but it is reality.
One person who accepts this reality is Ball State athletics director Bill Scholl.
“You accept it to a degree,” Scholl told the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel. “You know that it's going to happen. We do everything that we can to keep them here as long as we can. We try to make the job as pleasant and rewarding as possible, both in the little things that make the job fun, and the bigger things like salary and those sorts of things.
“We'll do everything within our power to keep our good coaches as long as we can keep them.”
Scholl's head football coach, Pete Lembo, is 24-12 in three seasons in Muncie. He's taken a program that went 6-18 in the two seasons prior to his arrival to back-to-back bowl trips after a 6-6 debut in 2011. Which, of course, means his name has been linked to every available job short of the Brooklyn Nets.
While Scholl and every single person in Cardinal red and black would prefer to keep Lembo, just like Central Michigan would've loved to keep Brian Kelly and Bowling Green would've loved to hang on to Urban Meyer, it's just not reality.
So how should the Ball State community take it when a coach moves on? As a compliment, Scholl says.
“I think that Ball State (fans) should take pride in the fact that in the last several years, we've lost coaches to Michigan, Ohio State, Arizona State… I think that it is a sign of great respect for our program when our coaches are moving on to those kinds of jobs.
“At the end of the day, our good coaches are going to have opportunities that we just can't match.”
In our opinion, this is a great thing for Ball State. When the coaching community sees Brady Hoke and Pete Lembo succeed and move on to a bigger job, it makes the Ball State job more attractive to talented coaches. When your school becomes a proven springboard to the BCS, other coaches want to become the next Hoke and the next Lembo.