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Jim Leavitt: I really think they'll put in on Notre Dame

We are three months away from the start of college football.

One of the marquee season-opening games will take place in South Bend when Notre Dame hosts South Florida.

During an interview this morning on WDAE 620 am in Tampa, former South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt made an interesting prediction.

Leavitt said, "I really think they'll put it on Notre Dame."

Skip Holtz and Brian Kelly each enter their second season as head coach of the respective programs. Neither coaching staff had any assistant coaching turnover in the off-season.

Kick-off is set for 3:30 EST on NBC.

Sideline seats in between the 40’s will run you a minimum of $345 on StubHub, today.

UPDATE: Apparently, Skip Holtz and Bulls were up early this morning practicing their post-game celebration.




Dan Mullen: I told our fans 'That's not how it works'

It certainly helps when everyone is on board.

During the 2008 season, the last year under head coach Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State averaged 43,453 fans per home game.  The Bulldogs finished 4-8 and Dan Mullen was hired to replace Croom as the head coach.

In Mullen’s first year, the average home attendance climbed to 53,792.  One year later in 2010, the Bulldogs improved their game day atmosphere and increased the average home attendance to 54,999.

Mullen told ESPN’s Chris Low, “It’s amazing.  We came in they told us if you guys win, then we’re gonna sell tickets.”

“I said. ‘That’s now how it works.  If we fill the stadium and create an unbelievable atmosphere, then we are going to win.’  And they believed us.”

Mullen was true to his word, leading the Bulldogs to a 9-4 season last year including a Gator Bowl win over Michigan.

“We’ve done a great job of selling tickets and doing everything the right way.  The fan base has bought in to everything we are trying to do.”

“They now enjoy the atmosphere on Saturdays as much as anywhere in the country.  We are selling out of season-tickets again this year.  Hopefully, we’ll continue the streak of selling of the stadium for tenth straight time this season.”

The Bulldog’s home schedule this season includes LSU, LA Tech, South Carolina, UT-Martin, Alabama, and Ole Miss.




Glen Mason compares the dismissals of Tressel and Woody Hayes

Former Minnesota head coach Glen Mason was an assistant coach under Woody Hayes on the day the former Ohio State head coach clubbed a Clemson player during the 1978 Gator Bowl.

The punch would cost Hayes his job, in a matter of hours.

Mason also served as an assistant coach at Ohio State with Jim Tressel from 1983-1995.

During an interview with the Big Ten Network, Mason recalled the flight from Jacksonville to Columbus on that evening in 1978 and the shocking news that followed.

Mason said, “We landed in Columbus.  Literally, the TV trucks were out on the run way.  Before Coach Hayes got off the plane, he addressed the team in the usual manner.  He told them to drive home safe and get back to school on time and announced that he was no longer the football coach at Ohio State and would never coach again.  We were shocked.”

Unfortunately, Hayes and Tressel will be linked by the unfortunate situations that led to their dismissals as the Ohio State head football coach.

Listen to Mason’s comparison of the two coaches and their dismissals:




Saban: I should have made Muschamp my coordinator with the Dolphins

The 2003 LSU coaching staff under Nick Saban included Will Muschamp, Jimbo Fisher, and Derek Dooley as the coordinators.

When Saban left for the Dolphins, Muschamp and Dooley followed him, while Fisher remained at LSU to work under Les Miles for a year.

At the SEC meetings in Destin on Tuesday, Saban reflected back on a poor decision he made with the Dolphins, naming Dom Capers his defensive coordinator instead of Will Muschamp.

Saban admitted to the Gainesville Sun, “I just made a mistake. When I went to Miami as the Dolphins coach, I didn't want to put guys that were college coaches in coordinator positions until they'd coached in the league and got some experience.”

“I should have made Will the coordinator. Dom did a wonderful job, but Will probably deserved to get that job. It was me trying to protect him. I wanted to give him another year before he was out there.”

Instead, William Larry Muschamp carried the title of assistant head coach for defense.  Essentially, he coordinated the defense, but didn’t have the title.

“I was trying to protect people that were important to me. I don't think we have any issues or problems.”

In two seasons, the Dolphins finished 9-7 and 6-10 under Saban.

In case you are thirsty for some "Rip/Liz match" clinic tape (with Dolphins cut-ups) from Coach Saban, you can watch it below:




Torbush retires, Shealy promoted to defensive coordinator at Kansas

Kansas head coach Turner Gill has announced that corner coach Vic Shealy has been promoted to defensive coordinator.

Shealy will replace Carl Torbush, who decided this morning to retire from college football after being diagnosed with low grade prostate cancer.  Torbush began coaching in 1975 and served as the head coach at North Carolina from 1997-2000.  During his career, he has served as the defensive coordinator at Ole Miss, Alabama, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Kansas.

Torbush is expected to undergo surgery in the near future and is expected to make a full recovery.

Shealy, who served as the defensive coordinator at Richmond in 2009, is in his second season at Kansas.  From 2005-2008, Shealy served on the staff at UNLV.

Additionally, defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt has added the title of co-defensive coordinator.

If you are wondering who Vic Shealy is, check out this video profile:

COACH PROFILE: SHEALY from Kansas Jayhawks on Vimeo.




Dooley: Plenty of coaches will work for free. Trust me.

The ratio of scholarship football player to full-time coach is 8.5 to 1, something which makes no sense to Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley.

It’s part of the problem, believes Dooley, who surprisingly isn’t upset at all the negative press surrounding college football.

Dooley explained, "You can't get mad at the media for reporting what happens."

So today, in Destin, Florida at the SEC meetings, Dooley pointed out to reporters that football, basketball, and “one more” sport are the only sports that do not allow volunteer coaches, something Dooley doesn’t understand.  He literally, brought his own data.

Unlike the NFL, college football staffs are limited to nine full-time assistant coaches.  A number of NFL teams have well over 15 coaches for only a 53-man roster.  

And don’t raise the issue that certain college athletic departments don’t have enough money to pay for more football coaches.

"Plenty of football coaches will work for free. Trust me," said Dooley.

Perhaps Dooley is on to something here.

Consider this the following scholarship player to full-time coach ratios:

Football - 8.5 to 1

Women's soccer - 4.6 to 1

Baseball – 3.9 to 1

Basketball – 3.25 to 1

Track – 3 to 1

Tennis – 2.25 to 1




4 years later, Gundy reflects back on 'I'm a Man, I'm 40'

It’s been almost four years since Mike Gundy’s “I’m a Man, I’m 40” speech.

Reflecting back on the speech, Gundy recently told Cox Sports TV, “I do laugh about it.  People ask me all the time, ‘Would you do it again?’  It’s not something I planned, so I don’t know if I’d do it again.  There are times I get really mad and I start to go there, but because I’ve been in this job long enough, now I’m able to be more patient and settle down.”

“Am I ashamed of it? Certainly not.  I have never apologized for it and I never will apologize for it.”

“Would I have an instant like that now, going into my seventh year? Probably not because I’m mature enough to think things through.”

The YouTube sensation has been viewed over 2.1 million times, but Gundy says he even sees it at home.

“I have a nine-year old son that can mimic it right the ‘T.’  He’ll still bring it up at times.  His friends will come over and he can do the entire tirade.”

Since the speech, Gundy is 35-14 as the head coach at Oklahoma State.




3 colleges hire IMG to stimulate ticket sales

A week ago, we noticed the Oakland Raiders’ organization is requiring their assistant coaches to sell season-tickets during the lock-out.  Now, three college programs have decided to hire an outside source to help increase ticket sales.

In recent years, most college athletic departments have witnessed a decline in season-ticket sales and overall attendance, in part due to the struggling economy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, three college athletic departments (Duke, San Jose State, and Tennessee) have hired an outside source, IMG College Ticket Solutions, to help stimulate ticket sales.  

The report says, “IMG will bring in a general manager and build a staff of eight to 12 sales people by mid-June (to Tennessee), all of whom will be focused full-time on selling tickets and providing customer care to ticket holders.”

The 2011 home schedule for the Vols includes Montana, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, MTSU, and Vanderbilt.

This move is certainly a sign of the times considering the Volunteers have 1) stability with Derek Dooley 2) a respectable team 3) an outstanding facility 4) no probation or program-killing headline 5) a schedule that includes LSU, UGA, South Carolina, and Cincinnati.  

Dooley even said today, "I’m not in the panic mode of this place is turning upside down."  

Furthermore, Tennessee reported their average home attendance last season was 99,781, second most in the SEC behind Alabama.

Duke reported an average home attendance of 28,750, while San Jose State averaged 14,474.