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Mullen: The offensive line is just really really bad

Dan Mullen is hoping for over 40,000 fans on campus next Saturday for for the Mississippi State spring game.

That gives Mullen a week to clean up what he calls “a really sloppy offense.”

Following Thursday’s practice, Mullen didn't sugarcoat his thoughts about the offense and specifically, the offensive line.

“It’s just sloppy, really sloppy.  The offensive line is just really really bad, a long way to go, but it’s a really young crew.  We’ll get ‘em going.”

He added, “The defense was great at times.  They were great at times because the offense was really bad.  They were great at times because they did good, but there were really some glaring mistakes.  As we keep developing and keep teaching, you want to see a consistent performance and that’s not what we are seeing right now, but we have a lot of practice time to get that fixed.”

Mullen also mentioned he would like to see consistency from his young punters, who both have tremendous leg strength.

CSS will broadcast the spring game next Saturday.  Former Mississippi State head coach Jackie Sherrill will serve as an analyst.  The Bulldogs’ baseball team hosts Florida at 12 pm before kick-off of the spring game at 5 pm.

To add some depth on the offensive line, Mullen visited with the Sigma Chi’s today at lunch.  We heard there weren't many prospects, but a number frat guys ready for Super Bulldog Weekend.



Les Miles lands new gig with reality TV

LSU sports marketing posted their annual April fool’s joke on the LSU official website this morning.

It’s a pretty good one that pokes fun of Les Miles' habit of eating grass.

The title of the press release: Les Miles to be featured on SPIKE TV’s “Sod Wars.”

Sod Wars pits two homeowners against each other to determine who has the best yard in the neighborhood. Each contestant is given a $10,000 budget for the week to create a dream landscape in their yard, with celebrity judges determining the winner.

Within the week-long period there will be bonus points based on challenges and obstacles such as wild animals and destruction of flower beds with explosives that wreak havoc on the contestants.

Miles, who starts his seventh year with the Tigers in 2011, became a fan favorite of yard enthusiasts everywhere in 2010 when he was seen on national television sampling a piece of turf from Tiger Stadium prior to big play late in the fourth quarter in a win over Alabama. Since then, Miles has become a coveted spokesperson for many lawn and garden companies throughout the country.

The press release quotes Les as saying, "I have always enjoyed reality television and the want to be a part of a project with Bob Sacamano is something that has always interested me. I take pride in both of my yards - the one at my house and the one in Tiger Stadium. I think with my expertise in grass growing and my ability to spot talent makes this a perfect fit.”

The Tigers even created a fake “Sod Wars” website.

Once again, LSU sports marketing nails it.

James Franklin has clear priority at Vanderbilt

It started at his introductory press conference.  Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin made sure to emphasize perhaps the most important thing he has to do is sign a big-time quarterback.

Franklin wants to find the next Josh Freeman and he is truly excited about his quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne.

Franklin told ESPN, “I take a lot of pride in what we’ve been able to do with quarterbacks. We hired a guy named Ricky Rahne (as quarterbacks coach), who coached with me at Kansas State. I think he’s one of the hot, up and coming guys in this profession. He’s a really, really smart guy who played quarterback at Cornell.”

“I spent time in Philadelphia around Donovan McNabb. I spent time in Green Bay with Brett Favre, and in the same year, we drafted Aaron Rodgers. I go to Kansas State, and we recruit a guy by the name of Josh Freeman, who’s a first-round draft choice, and then go to Maryland and recruit and coach a kid by the name of Danny O’Brien, who was ACC Rookie of the Year.”

“I just feel like I’ve been around some pretty good quarterbacks and know what they look like and have studied the traits that have allowed them to be successful. I feel pretty confident that we’re going to be able to make an impact in the careers of the quarterbacks we have here, and we’re going to be able to attract quarterbacks for the future. We have a proven track record of being able to do it.”

Larry Smith is expected to start at quarterback for the Commordores next season.  Thus far, Franklin has been pleased with Smith and likes his potential.

Vandy opens with three home games against Elon, UCONN, and Ole Miss.  Franklin’s first three road games as a head coach are at South Carolina, at Alabama, and at Florida.

Jon Embree warns Colorado players about Hawaii trip

Colorado has lost 18 consecutive games outside the state of Colorado.

So when Jon Embree creates the travel squad list for the season-opener at Hawaii, he’s only interested in taking players that are legitimately going to help the Buffaloes win.

That could be 53 players.

Embree told the Daily Camera, "I`ve told the team this and you will hear me say this all the time. We can take 70 to Hawaii, but we`re not taking 70. I`m only taking guys that can play and can help us. If you can`t do what we`re supposed to do, whether it`s getting treatment or going to class, we`re not going to take them.”

"It's like I told the team. We`ve lost enough games with everybody. So there is nobody on this team that we need to go out there and lose. We can lose without them.  So we`re going to try and take the guys who can help us win.  Some guys have got the message, some haven`t.  The ones that won`t will be here at home."

Offensive coordinator / running backs coach Eric Bieniemy offered a mere 7 clichés in 26 seconds during his post-practice thoughts early this week.  (Niumatalolo is this week’s winner with 10 clichés in 26 seconds).

Bieniemy said, “Spring ball is going pretty good.  Obviously you have some good days (1), you have some days where you wish you you could have been a little bit better.  One thing I will say, the kids have been working their tails off (2).  I’m very excited about where we are (3).  Obviously, we still have a long ways to go (4).  The thing that I cannot complain about is the effort and the attitude (5). The effort and the attitude has been great.  It’s been positive and upbeat. (7) The thing we just want to make sure is that we keep building from there.”

Colorado will hold their Spring game next Saturday.  Before the game, former Buffalo players will participate in a flag football game that will be coached by former Colorado head coaches Bill McCartney and Gary Barnett.

We've heard Barnett has been scheming.  

Lane Kiffin explains no appearance at USC Pro Day

There was no shortage of NFL scouts in Los Angeles yesterday for USC Pro Day, but head coach Lane Kiffin wasn’t on hand to watch.

In typical Kiffin form, Lane explained, "You've seen our roster. I don't really have 2 hours to stand on a field."

We’re pretty sure Zack Herberer’s 38 reps of 225 on the bench press was a big talk around the facility yesterday, but probably wasn’t the biggest talk around the Red Bull cooler.

Yesterday, Notre Dame announced their game next season against USC in South Bend will be moved to primetime.  It will be the first night game in South Bend since the 1990 Michigan game.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said, "While we will do this only on a selective basis, we think it is important to occasionally use the platform of a prime-time game. A number of those have been hallmark events in the history of our program. We are confident this year's USC game will continue that tradition."

Ed Orgeron is likely wondering if "a hallmark event in the history of our program” can end in an ass-whooping.  Don't forget, the Irish beat USC last season in Los Angeles.

By the way, here is Herberer absolutely yoking 225 lbs:


Neuheisel hits the practice field with 5 new coaches

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel is working with five new assistant coaches as the Bruins begin Spring practice.

The new coaches include Mike Johnson (offensive coordinator / wide receivers), Jim Mastro (tight ends / f-backs  / run game coordinator), Joe Tresey (defensive coordinator), Inoke Breckterfield (defensive line), and Angus McClure (special teams).  The boss man, himself, is coaching the quarterbacks.

Neuheisel is hoping the staff chemistry comes together quickly.

Following the Bruins first practice of the Spring, Neuheisel said, “I’m giving it three days.  I expect us to be well-oiled by next week.  I think after two practices and then a practice in pads and everybody getting to know each other and that kind of stuff, we should look like we’ve been together for a long time by next Monday.  That’s my hope.”

It’s been an unusual off-season for the staff.

Neuheisel explained, “Certainly the coaches have had to do a lot of work to put together books and come together with schemes and plans.  You forget all the time they need to find a places to live, get car insurance, and all the things that go with moving, drivers licenses and so forth.”

Gone is Norm Chow.  Former San Francisco 49ers assistant Mike Johnson is the new offensive coordinator, but Neuheisel isn’t overhauling the offensive scheme.

He said, “(It’s) not as challenging a change from last year’s offense from the year before.  When we when to 'The Pistol' exclusively, that was a bigger change than what we’re doing currently.”

Some total jackleg reporter (were trying to be nice) asked Neuheisel after the first practice of the Spring about whether he is concerned about his job status.

Neuheisel explained he wasn’t concerned and calmly responded, “I look at it as a great challenge.  I think we have the makings to take a big step, hopefully a real big step.  I want to be really efficient at the process of building a football team.  I don’t think there is a dominant team in this league.”

UCLA opens at Houston before hosting San Jose State and Texas.

We are hoping things come together for the Bruins this season.

Video: Behind-the-scenes with the Gophers' defensive staff

Courtesy of Gopher Athletics, we got another behind-the-scenes look at the start of Spring practice under new head coach Jerry Kill.

Kill reminded his team, “My job again is not to be your best friend.  It is to be your parent.  I am your Dad.  And my job as a parent is to get the best out of you that I can.  And we will.  Not only myself as a head coach, but the other coaches.”

He added, “Let me tell you, the coaching staff you got, they are the head coach of their position.  They are great coaches and great people. You need to listen to them.”

A number of coaches from Kill’s staff at Northern Illinois accepted offers to join his staff at Minnesota including Matt Limegrover (offensive coordinator / offensive line), Rob Reeves (tight ends / h-backs), Jim Zebrowski (quarterbacks), Brian Anderson (running backs), Pat Poore (wide receivers), Tracy Claeys (defensive coordinator), Jeff Phelps (defensive line), Jay Sawvel (defensive backs / special teams), and  Eric Klein (head strength coach).

Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys says, “There is not one of us on this staff that doesn’t think we’re going to get this done.”

Claeys explained, “It’s tough your first week on the job and all you hear is ‘They didn’t hire someone else.’  And so for all of us on this staff, this is our proving point that we can get this done and be successful at this level.  This is our one time to prove that we were the right choice and we will get it done here.”


Gene Chizik: It is pathetic and pure garbage

Real Sports with Bryant Gumble didn’t do Auburn any favors during last night’s episode on HBO.

The show interviewed a couple of players during the Tommy Tuberville era that claim they were paid by boosters during their time as players.

Gene Chizik’s response?

"I think it is pathetic and pure garbage.”

"It's sad to me, it's very sad to me, that HBO is going to go ahead and air something that, really admittedly, they've got no proof on anything. What's disturbing to me is that they interviewed other former Auburn football players who had exactly the opposite to say but somehow or another that failed to make the air.”

The show included much discussion among four guests including Billy Packer, Jason Whitlock, some guy with the last name of Orleans, and Rich Rod.  The group discussed at length the problems with money related to NCAA sports.

Outside of the first half of the 2006 Sugar Bowl against Georgia, Rich Rod has never looked so brilliant.  

At one point, Rodriguez criticized the NCAA by explaining, “I also think it may be a little misguided. I think sometimes, instead of going after the bank robbers, we’re going after the parking violators.”

His point was that the NCAA is spends too much time on checking to see if a program has practice 20 minutes too long instead of making sure players are accepting thousands during the recruiting process.

ESPN: please air a roundtable discussion with Saban, Urban, Rich Rod, Mack Brown, Schiano, Bob Stoops, and Mark Emmert.  Allow people close to the situation to talk about the issues with money, recruiting problems, student-athletes, and the NCAA.

If it's in our budget, FootballScoop will gladly sponsor the broadcast.