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The Denver mayor didn't know how to say Jim McElwain's name, and he wasn't happy about it

Colorado State opened its season on Friday night with an authoritative 31-17 defeat of in-state rival Colorado before a national television audience and 63,363 fans at Denver's Sports Authority Field. The Rams came two yards short of doubling Colorado's rushing output (266 to 134) and scored the game's final 24 points in roaring back from a 17-7 deficit. 

Following the thrilling 48-45 win over Washington State in the New Mexico Bowl with a season-opening win over Colorado (giving Colorado State a two-game winning streak against the Pac-12), it was the highest moment the Rams have risen under third-year head coach Jim McElwain. Heck, it even got them in the FootballScoop Top 25

Accepting the Centennial Cup trophy from Denver mayor Michael Hancock, McElwain got a rough reminder of how far Colorado State seemingly has to go. Hancock called him "coach MacIntyre." Colorado's head coach is named Mike MacIntyre. Though it was unintentional on the mayor's part, McElwain was clearly bothered by the flub. McElwain tries to smile through his comments on Monday but he clearly means every word he says.  

Thankfully, the parties have since made up. Here's betting Hancock doesn't make the same mistake twice if the Rams win again next year.

(via For the Win)

Jeff Tedford may miss the Bucs' opener on Sunday

Coaches aren't normally listed on injury reports, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may warrant an exception. First-year offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford is questionable for Sunday's opener versus Carolina.

The former Cal head coach was hospitalized last week after an undisclosed surgical procedure, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He missed the club's preseason finale on Thursday, and has not worked a full day since, though he has stopped by the facility and communicated with the Bucs' offensive staff.

"(Tedford is) getting better," head coach Lovie Smith told the paper. "He stopped through this weekend. We're taking our time with him. Again, he's getting better each day. When he'll be back here full time, I don't know. … Just know that he's getting better and we'll see how that all plays out. In the meantime, the rest of our offensive staff will pick up for Jeff, similar to how we did it last week with all of the guys really pitching in.

Nevertheless, Tampa Bay is proceeding for Sunday as if Tedford will not be with them. 

Quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo called plays for the Bucs' preseason game against Washington last week. Arroyo, 34, coached under Tedford at Cal in 2011-12, and spent last season as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Southern Miss. 

If there is a good time to play a game without your offensive coordinator, it's the opener. Tampa Bay began preparing for Carolina as soon as the schedule was announced in April.

"It's a credit to Lovie for having a plan, having a thought process to say, 'Hey, we're going to move forward with the plan we have in place,'" quarterback Josh McCown said. "And I've been looking at Carolina. The nice thing about it, our eyes have been on them for an extended period of time, probably more than I'll look at any other team. I think we feel really good about that."

Read more here.

 

Comparing AP Top 25 to FootballScoop's Top 25

Preseason rankings are meaningless, and Week 1 rankings are only slightly less meaningless. Especially in the age of the College Football Playoff and its 13 wise sages on the selection committee, where one and only one poll truly matters. Regardless, the United States Constitution requires every outlet writing about college football to produce its own Top 25, and this site has no interest in defying Uncle Sam.

Scott released the inaugural FootballScoop Top 25 on Sunday, and the AP responded with its Week 1 list on Tuesday. Volatility is the name of the game in these early weeks. There's nothing worse than sticking to your preseason beliefs when results fly in the face of those preseason beliefs, simply because that's where you had them back when no one knew anything. 

We've placed the FootballScoop Top 25 opposite the AP Top 25, with Zach's comments on who got it right on the side. But that's just one man's opinion. Who do you think got it right?

FootballScoop Rank AP Top 25 Comments 
florida-state.60  #1 florida-state.60  Florida State is the defending national champion, quarterbacked by the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and in the midst of a now 17-game winning streak. After a neutral site win over a quality opponent, there was never a doubt that the Seminoles would remain here. 
 oregon.60 #2  alabama.60 What means more, a 10-point, closer-than-expected neutral site win over a Big 12 team, or a 49-point drubbing of an FCS patsy at home? That's not a rhetorical question, I don't know the answer. We'll know much more about Oregon five days from now. 
 texas-am.60 #3  oregon.60 Based solely on what's happened on the field thus far - and that's what we're doing here, right? - I don't see how you can keep A&M out of the top five. Even if South Carolina 
 oklahoma.60 #4  oklahoma.60 48-16 over Louisiana Tech is about what everyone expected from OU, no?
 michigan-state.60 #5  auburn.60 A win in Eugene would be the most impressive thing anyone has done yet in this incredibly young season. Ergo, Michigan State is playing for a No. 1 on Saturday - at least in my mind.
 stanford.60 #6  georgia.60 Georgia took care of a top 15 team at home on Saturday. Stanford has a chance to do the same this week. 
 alabama.60 #7  michigan-state.60 I think Scott is in position to get this one right. If Michigan State beats Oregon, Sparty should be above the Tide. But that would require the AP to drop Alabama after a (presumptive) win over Florida Atlantic, which never happens.
 georgia.60 #8 osu logo old Considering the national reaction after news of Braxton Miller's injury broke (which came after the initial AP Top 25 was released) I'm surprised the Buckeyes are this high. 
 baylor.60 #9  texas-am.60  A&M should be higher than ninth.
 auburn.60 #10  baylor.60 Right around here feels right for Baylor. Stick these Bears in the fridge and let them cool until that trip to Austin on Oct. 4.
osu logo old #11  ucla.60 UCLA at 11 feels too high.
 notre-dame.60 #12  lsu.60 Nice to see Everett Golson play so well in the opener.  
 lsu.60 #13  stanford.60 Agree with Scott here. America seems to have forgotten about that awful first half LSU put together.
 arizona-state.60 #14  usc.60 I find the mid-teens to be the toughest portion of the rankings to fill out. Too many very good but not elite teams vying for not enough spots leads to some teams being overrated and others underrated thanks to nothing else but the poll format.
 usc.60 #15  ole-miss.60 Ole Miss is a tough team to rank. Are you ranking the team that played Boise State to a 7-6 score through three quarters, or the team that blew out the Broncos with 28 unanswered in the fourth quarter?
 nebraska.60 #16  notre-dame.60 Scott is a little higher on both the Huskers and the Irish than the AP. 
 ucla.60 #17  arizona-state.60 Again, I agree with Scott here. Who saw a Top 10 (err, 11) team on the field Saturday in Charlottesville?
 ole-miss.60 #18  wisconsin.60 Scott left Wisconsin completely out of his rankings. Not sure I can get on board with that.
 penn-state.60 #19  nebraska.60 Scott and I disagree on Penn State perhaps more than any team in college football. We'll see.
 Arizona-60 #20  kansas-state.120 Got to agree with the AP here. Scott is overlooking Kansas State.
 texas.60 #21  south-carolina.60 Don't see how you can rank South Carolina right now. We need more data points on South Carolina. 
 CSU #22  north-carolina.60 Credit to Scott here for having the courage to give the mid majors some love. Look at it this way: who isn't pouncing on the Rams +11 at Boise this week?
 clemson.60 #23  clemson.60 Florida State, Oklahoma and Clemson are the only teams where Scott and the AP voters agree. Naturally. 
 UCF #24  Missouri-Tigers-logo Young QB, Holman, who played the second half against Penn State was exciting (see Winston, Jameis).  
 oklahoma-state.60 #25  louisville.60 Hard to judge. Both teams deserve to be ranked.  

New study concludes that coaches are not overpaid: "Compare them to public company CEOs"

An interesting piece yesterday by the New York Times took a look at a new study by researchers at Vanderbilt. The study dug up 947 coaching contracts from 2005 to 2013 and compared them to CEO's at public companies and they concluded that, contrary to popular opinion, coaches are not overpaid when you look at the whole picture.

Randall S. Thomas, a law and business professor, and one of the authors of the study, notes that “coaches are running large programs that have tremendous value,” and added that coaching salaries compare "quite directly to public company C.E.O.s." Look no further than the similar responsibilities, scope of influence, and overall demands of the job to see the direct correlation.

That's an interesting comparison because, I have to imagine that in the court of public opinion, many people would say that CEOs are grossly overpaid.

Neil Cornrich, an agent who represents major college coaches like Bret Bielema, Bob Stoops, and Kirk Ferentz, told the NY Times (what the coaching profession sees as obvious) that coaches create value for a university, and that the value that they create is not difficult to quantify. Plus, when it comes to salaries, coaching is a lot of other professions, in that individual salaries are market-driven.

“There are very few people that are able to properly handle these jobs, particularly for a period of time, where it adds great value to the university.” Cornrich explained. Guys like Nick Saban, Frank Beamer, Bob Stoops and Kirk Ferentz are great examples of that.

“If one believes that C.E.O. compensation is set by the market at an appropriate level, and that employment contracts reflect this equilibrium, then one should reach the same conclusion about football coaches.” Thomas went on to explain.

Take a look at some of the most recent incentives in coaching contracts and the parallel between coaches and CEOs is more and more clear. For example, take Rich Rod's new deal at Arizona; back in June, Rodriguez signed a contract extension that included shares in an unnamed company, granted he stays in Tucson as the head coach of the 'Cats for the next eight years. 

On top of that, coaches nearly always have achievement based incentives, and the use of private helicopters and jets in their deal as well. In a lot of ways, the comparison between the two high profile jobs makes a lot of sense. 

Read the full piece from the New York Times here.

Meet college football's unlikeliest player: 39-year-old DT Andy Staten

There's something unusual about Culver-Stockton College (NAIA - MO) defensive tackle. He stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 295 pounds. He wakes every morning with tremendous back pain. He has two child support payments. And he turns 40 years old later this month.

Andy Staten signed with Ferris State out of high school but, by his own admission, did not take school seriously. "I just wasn't ready," he told Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free-Press. Not long after, he suffered a broken back during a head-on collision, and then spent 15 years in manual labor. Add in the fact that he has two 16 and 12-year-old sons, and Staten is easily the unlikeliest player to currently buckle a chin strap in college football today. 

Staten grew up in a football family as the son of a longtime high school coach in Michigan. His brother, Mark, coaches the offensive line at Michigan State, and it was he who breathed life into his older brother's career. Andy initially resisted, but a desire to spend the rest of his life doing something less taxing than cutting down trees for a living. 

Staten is now making the most of his impossible second chance, serving as something of a walking, talking coaching point for teammates young enough to be his sons.

"The payoff is in the classroom, where Andy has a 3.4 grade-point average and has embraced the opportunity to learn again," Rexrode writes. "He mentors his young teammates — he lived in a fraternity house his first year and now lives in a dormitory — and warns them against being too focused on revelry and not enough on responsibility, as he was at their age."

Staten lives in the dorms during the season, and returns home to Dowagiac, Mich., for the summers, where he sells cars and lives with his parents and sons. Through it all, the back pain remains. 

"It takes a special kind of person to do this," said trainer Rob Carmichael. "He plays with pain, he plays with swelling — probably against my better judgment at times. But if it’s a risk he’s willing to take, that’s his decision."

Read the full story here.

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