High praise for Jerry Kill
Barry Alvarez turned the Badger program around during his tenure, and he recently said that he believes Jerry Kill Will do the same in Minnesota.
In Alvarez's first season in Wisconsin, the Badgers went 1-10 followed by two 5-6 seasons before a breakout 10-1-1 season and a victory in the Rose Bowl. From time to time, Alvarez often finds himself still studying game film, and dissected the Gophers earlier in the year.
"I saw them play earlier in the year. They're better," Alvarez said. "That's how I judge how things are going: Do you consistently improve throughout the season? It's obvious the players know what's expected of them. I didn't see a lot of busts. I saw what I expected to see." Alvarez went on to say that the thing that impresses him the most about Kill is his plan and how he has found a way to win at each stop in his coaching career.
Kill and the Gophers are 2-8 overall, and 1-5 in conference play and will wrap up the season at Northwestern and at home with Illinois.
What to do if you are out for a year
Many coaches wonder what they would do if they were out for a season. If you are Randy Shannon, you decided to spend time at different programs across the country, learning how different programs are run.
This season, Shannon packed his bags for a week at a time to travel to Alabama, TCU, North Carolina, UNLV, Oregon, Iowa State and Minnesota; but he didn't necessarily go to talk Xs and Os, he went to see how others ran their programs.
"I spent my money and went to college," Shannon said in the ESPN article. "I met with the strength coaches, the policemen who are around some teams, compliance people, athletic directors, support staff. It wasn't just football. It was very little football. I needed to see other things, see a lot of ways to do different things, and it made me a whole lot better."
Shannon said that the reason for the trips was to broaden his horizons. His only coaching (and playing) experience is at Miami, so he felt he needed to get a better feel for how other programs operate from staffing and security to scheduling.
No doubt in our mind this was time and money well spent. Great opportunity to learn and excellent networking as well. Clearly this isn't inexpensive; but if you can afford it, this sounds like a great way to spend a football season.
One NFL game tonight along with double barrel action from the ACC and Conference USA.
All times are eastern.
New York Jets at Denver - 8 - NFL Network.
North Carolina at Virginia Tech - 8 - ESPN
Marshall at Memphis - 8 - FSN
Southern Miss at UAB - 8 - CBSSN
Interview of the Day - Lane Kiffin
For USC, it's Oregon week, as the Trojans will travel up to Eugene to play the Ducks at 8pm on ABC.
After practice this morning, Lane Kiffin was asked a number of questions about his wide receiver Robert Woods' injury, LSU's defense against Oregon, how Chip Kelly addresses injuries with the media and the overall run that Oregon has put together the past few years.
Good stuff from Lane. We pick it up shortly after Lane talks about how Woods might not be able to go (says he hasn't been able to beat some of the service team DBs in practice this week).
Leach's fingerprints all over the conference
The Big 12 is widely regarded as an conference based around offensive success. Jake Trotter wrote an article for ESPN this morning investigating how the evolution of the spread offense has impacted the conference.
Coaches told ESPN that the two things that have transformed the league from being a run dominated league a decade ago are Mike Leach and the explosion of 7 on 7 passing leagues within the Big 12 recruiting pipeline.
From a statistical standpoint, taking a look at the top offenses in the country through week 10, you see that half of the conference's quarterbacks rank in the top 10 in passing yardage, and Kansas State quarterback, Collin Klein, leads the country in rushing touchdowns (24).
The premise of the article is Leach was hired in '99 by Bob Stoops (and then left for Texas Tech), Mark Mangino took the offense from the Sooners to the Jayhawks, and Art Briles took it from Tech (to Houston, then) to Baylor, etc...
You can read the article in its entirety here. It's a good quick read.
A pattern of success
Oklahoma State has quite the pattern of coaches transitioning from Cowboy offensive coordinator to head coaching success.
Since '97, four OK State offensive coordinators have went on to become head coaches, and those coaches hold a combined 36-4 record this season.
Les Miles served as offensive coordinator with the Cowboys up until 2005 and took the head coaching position at LSU in 2001. Miles is currently 10-0 this season as head coach. Mike Gundy took over for Miles, and is also currently 10-0.
The other former offensive coordinators turned head coaches are Southern Miss' Larry Fedora (2006-07) and West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen (2010). Fedora is currently 9-1 with the Golden Eagles and Holgorsen is 7-3 in his first season with the Mountaineers.
Todd Monken is in his first season with the Cowboys and will likely become a head coach soon enough.
On paper at least, it seems if you want to become a successful head coach, Oklahoma State offensive coordinator would be a good place to start.
Report Card: Record number of minority head coaches
Two years ago, there were no black head coaches in four of the BCS conferences.
Thanks largely to the success of NFL minority coaches like Tony Dungy, Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell earlier in the decade, five out of the six FBS conferences have at least one minority head coach this season.
The Big Ten is the only conference with no minority head coaches. The ACC, SEC and Pac-12 each have two minority head coaches in their conference.
In the past two years alone there have been 19 minority coaches hired at the FBS or FCS level (not counting historically black colleges and universities). According the the annual report card from the Black Coaches and Administrators, there have only been 51 minority head coaching hires since 1979. According to the report, there are now a record 28 minority head coaches at the division 1 level (FBS & FCS).
Double dose of MACtion tonight.
All times are Eastern.
Ohio at Bowling Green - 8 - ESPN
Western Michigan at Miami (OH) - 8 - ESPN2