Stanford's offensive game planning

Stanford's offense has been on a roll the past few seasons. With Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman (and others) leaving after last season to go to the 49ers many thought the Cardinal offense might be less efficient this season.

David Shaw went out and assembled a new offensive staff that ranks in the top 25 in every major statistical category. In additiona to Shaw (offensive coordinator last season), the two other major players in formulating the offensive game plan are Pep Hamilton and Mike Bloomgren.

Hamilton and Bloomgren both have a wealth of NFL experience on their resume (21 years total between the two of them and Shaw). Hamilton was promoted last season from receivers coach to offensive coordinator, and oversees the passing game. Bloomgren was hired off from the New York Jets staff and holds the run game coordinator title.

Shaw says that the three of them are on the same page when it comes to creating a game plan "We don’t exist in three different worlds, the head coach, the pass game guy and the run game guy, but I think the biggest thing is, we’ve got outstanding communication. We, by the end of the week, we make it all fit, so that there’s not separate parts of our offense. It all fits together.”

Having three members of the staff that are on the same page are a major reason that Stanford ranks in the top 25 in rushing (17) and passing (23), and more impressively, Stanford is the only team in the country to score every time they have been in the red zone, a perfect 52 of 52.

Stanford will take on Oregon Saturday at 8 on ABC.

Dantonio used Iowa to model the Spartans after

As Mark Dantonio prepares for Iowa this week, he took some time to reflect back on his first few weeks as a head coach at Michigan State to evaluate what type of team he wanted to model the Spartans after. His thoughts brought him to one team, Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes.

Dantonio said "When I became the head football coach here, I looked at football programs that have some similarities to ours in terms of what challenges they may have and I thought, 'Here's Iowa, good defensive football team, built on toughness, built on stability, continuity on their coaching staff, good fan support. So I felt like that was a program to try and emulate".

Ferentz is in his 13th season with the Hawkeyes and holds a 95-63 record, including a 6-3 (3-2 in conference) mark this season.  Dantonio is 40-21 in his fifth season at Michigan State, and currently has the Spartans on top of the Leaders division of the Big Ten at 4-1 in conference play and 7-2 overall.

Michigan State travels to Iowa for a noon kickoff Saturday on ESPN2.

Thursday TV

A wide range of games to enjoy tonight, including one from the NFL.

All times are eastern.


Oakland at San Diego - 8:20 - NFL Network


Ohio at Central Michigan - 7:30 - ESPNU

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech - 8 - ESPN

Houston at Tulane - 8 - CBSSN

High School:

Westlake Village (CA) at St. Bonaventure (CA) - 10:30 - FSN

"Joe Paterno is no longer the head football coach"

At 10pm tonight, the Board of Trustees of Penn State University held a press conference at which they announced that "Joe Paterno is no longer the head football coach effective immediately."

Tom Bradley has been named the interim head coach. 

The board stated that they are aware of no other planned changes to the staff composition and specifically stated that both Mike McQueary and Jay Paterno remain in their positions. 

The University President was also relieved of his relieved of his responsibilities.

First time head coaches' records

It's always tough to win as a first time head coach. 

From 2005 - 2010 there were 60 first year head coaches that had no previous head coaching experience at a four year college. Those coaches went a combined 279 - 437, winning 39% of their games in that first season.

2008 was the only season where first year head coaches posted a cumulative record over .500, combining to go 30-28. 

This season, first year head coaches are a combined 63-65 (49%), which includes coaches carrying the interim tag (Kish and Barlow...but not Hutson b/c he previously served as an interim head coach).

This week, Oregon will be looking to hand first year Stanford head coach David Shaw his first loss, while New Mexico's George Barlow will be seeking his first win this weekend as the Lobos welcome UNLV.

Current first time head coaches' records this season:

Tim Kish: 1-2

Jon Embree: 1-9

Will Muschamp: 5-4

Kevin Wilson: 1-9

Darrell Hazell: 3-6

Don Treadwell: 4-5

George Barlow: 0-5

Luke Fickell: 6-3

Everett Withers: 6-4

Dave Doeren: 6-3

David Shaw: 9-0

Steve Addazio: 5-4

Bill Blankenship: 6-3

James Franklin: 4-5

Dana Holgorsen: 6-3


University of Florida SID's research was used in compiling the 2005 - 2010 numbers used in this analysis.  

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