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Lou Holtz encourages Memphis fans, relates his start at South Carolina to Porter's start

Lou Holtz served as the guest speaker on Tuesday night in Memphis as the University of Memphis kicked off their fundraising campaign to raise $10 million for an indoor practice facility.

In front of 1000 Memphis supporters, Holtz said the most important thing he did as the head coach at Notre Dame was convincing the university to build an indoor facility.

Holtz said he told the Notre Dame players, “We’re going to give you a chance to be the very best in the country.”

It’s an absolute necessity described Holtz.  There are no rain-outs during August camp, you are sure to have good preparation during bowl season, and players have a place to train on their own anytime the weather isn’t ideal.

“An indoor practice facility will do exactly the same thing here at the University of Memphis.”

In the bigger picture, Holtz explained, “When you are successful in football, there is a pride among the student body that can’t be duplicated in any other way, there is an association with the alumni that binds them back to the school, there is a pride in the city and state that we are committed to excellence.”

“I think it’s an absolute necessity to we all get together and we back Larry Porter and his staff 1000%.  That’s our obligation.  We take pride.”

One of the most interesting parts of Holtz’ speech was relating his start at South Carolina to the start of the Larry Porter era at Memphis.  Holtz went 0-11 in 1999 at South Carolina, Porter just 1-11 last season.

Here’s the video of Holtz relating the two situations:


Holgorsen talks with Leach about moving forward

Dana Holgorsen talked with his former head coach Mike Leach today during the Sirius/XM College Football Playbook with Leach & Jack Arute.

Asked how he would pull everyone together including players and coaches, Holgorsen said, “Well, you gotta call a meeting.”

He added, “We just gotta get united as a coaching staff and come together and communicate.  We’ll figure out how we want to change specific things organizationally and what we want to keep the same organizationally.  And that needs to trickle downs to the players, administrators, and fans as well.”

What about all the commotion the last three weeks?  Did it ever get to you?

Holgorsen said, “The only way I know how to get around that stuff is to get up early and get around the kids.  I try to ignore it.”

He laughingly said, “My stress release was a day on the river and jumping out of an airplane.”  (Here's the video of Holgorsen skydiving.)

Holgorsen did say that he took a few days off after Friday night’s announcement, but acknowledged that he’ll be busy planning itineraries and working on some small organizational things he’d like to change.

Leach butted in to remind his old friend that his book goes on sale soon.

As if Holgorsen has a lot of free time, Leach joked, “I’ll be up there to Morgantown, and we need to sell a lot of books.  You can start working on that for me.”

West Virginia opens the season against Marshall on Sunday, September 4.   ESPN will broadcast the game at 3:30 EST.

Heisman Trophy odds just released

Bodog.com has just released their odds on the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner.

We were surprised to see that Matt Barkley is 45/1.  The top 10 includes four quarterbacks including Michigan's Denard Robinson.  Although Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon has the seventh best odds at 15/1.  Meanwhile, Blackmon's quarterback Brandon Weeden is just 32/1.  

  Andrew Luck - Stanford (9/2 odds)
  Landry Jones - Oklahoma (13/2 odds)
  Marcus Lattimore - South Carolina (7/1 odds)
  Denard Robinson - Michigan (15/2)
  LaMichael James - Oregon (15/2)
  Trent Richardson - Alabama (12/1)
  Justin Blackmon - Oklahoma State (15/1)
  Kellen Moore - Boise State (15/1)
  Knile Davis - Arkansas (15/1)
  Ryan Broyles - Oklahoma  (15/1)

Luck, Robinson, Blackmon, and Moore will each have a different position coach from a year ago.

Pep Hamilton replaces Jim Harbaugh.  Al Borges replaces Rod Smith at Michigan.  Kasey Dunn replaces Gunter Brewer at Oklahoma State.  Brent Pease replaces Bryan Harsin at Boise State.


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Lincoln Riley preparing for brutal 4 game stretch to begin season

As an offensive coordinator, how would you like to compete against Ellis Johnson, Bud Foster, and Everett Withers in the first four weeks of the season?

Let’s be honest, those coaches have made a number of coordinators look really inept on numerous occasions during their careers.

Foster has won the Broyles Award.  Spurrier says Johnson is the best defensive coordinator in the country.  And Butch Davis said last year, “If Everett doesn’t win it (Broyles Award), they should never give out that award again.”

On the bright side, as an offensive coordinator, you get to spend countless hours this summer watching film of some of the best schemes and fundamentals in the country.  Undoubtedly, you will learn a lot from three of the most respected defensive coordinators in the college game.

Welcome to the world of Lincoln Riley.

Going into his second year as the offensive coordinator at East Carolina, Riley is preparing for a brutal four game start that includes South Carolina (in Charlotte), Virginia Tech, UAB, and North Carolina.  The latter three are all in Greenville.

Riley told Bonesville.net this week, “I don’t really think this group really cares who we are playing. That is how you want it. If you sit there and worry all day about who you are playing and you quit worrying about yourself and what you’ve got to do, you are going to have trouble executing and that is what is most important. I think when our kids want to play in big games and prove themselves against good competition.”

“Offensively, our kids feel that we can go out and play with anyone offensively and that we are only going to get better as long as we keep working. Right now there is a confidence that we can do whatever we want to do against anyone as long as we keep working and we stay who we are. I think if you ask any guy in this offense about that, they will tell you the same thing. There is a confidence level there… let’s worry about us and play as good as we can and if we play as good as we can, things will turnout in our favor. We try to stay focused on that and not worry about who we play but how we play.”

Riley added, “I see the personality of this team a little bit as a team that is going to out-work people. This team works really hard, and offensively, I think we have a pretty confident group, we just have to continue being more efficient at what we do.”

The rest of the East Carolina offensive staff includes Brandon Jones (offensive line), Donnie Kirkpatrick (inside receivers / recruiting coordinator), Clay McGuire (running backs / special teams coordinator), Dennis Simmons (outside receivers), and Landon Hoefer (offensive grad assistant).

Memphis launches campaign to raise $10 million for IPF

The University of Memphis is launching a capital campaign to raise $10 million for an indoor practice facility.

This evening, the athletic department will present their "Vision for Victory" plan to over 1000 invited guests during an on-campus meeting. There will be a special 22-person executive committee to oversee the campaign.  The university has asked former players Isaac Bruce and DeAngelo Williams to serve as honorary chairmen of the committee.

Lou Holtz will be the guest speaker at tonight’s presentation. 

Although you will not be able to view Holtz’ speech due to contractual agreements, the rest of the presentation can be viewed here at 6:45 EST tonight.

With an outdated “turf room,” roughly 40 yards long, the football program is in need of an indoor facility.  (photo below)

Memphis is set to enter their second season under head coach Larry Porter.  Despite coming off a 1-11 record in 2010, the Tigers have seven TV games this season.  Conference favorite, Houston, has just six scheduled TV games.

The 2011 Memphis TV schedule includes Mississippi State (FSN), SMU (FSN), at Rice (CSS), at UCF (BHSN), UAB (CSS), Marshall (FSN), and at Southern Miss (CSS).



Caution: Upgraded Needed

Luke Fickell explains his plan as Ohio State head coach

Having watched Luke Fickell’s introductory press conference, our first reaction was simply that Fickell is totally jacked to be the head coach of the Buckeyes.

Fickell was loving the spotlight, had answers, and shared a specific vision.

According to Fickell, the emphasis will be on 1) Respect  2) Toughness  3) Being men of action.

Asked why he was the right guy for the job, Fickell stated, “It’s starts with understanding what it takes, what it means to be a Buckeye. Understanding what the foundation is and maybe having some ideas how we can get better in places. Also, knowing this state…”

Fickell said, “It’s about something bigger than a coach.  And that’s what we’ll hammer home with them (recruits) continually.”

“We are going to continue to educate, educate, educate our guys.”

“Ohio State’s expectations will not change.  We will embrace the expectations of being a Buckeye.”

“I’m a Buckeye through and through.  Yes, it hurts at times.  But we are going to continue to move the program forward.  I’m not going to say I’m not disappointed, I'm not upset, but we’re moving forward.”

“We’re looking at this as a way we can get better.  How can we take this situation and make us better?”

“Our biggest challenge is the kids.”

“It’s a daily grind. We will attack those situations as they arise.”

Fickell mentioned that he would hire a defensive assistant to fill the open position on the staff.  He could also shift around some special teams responsibilities.

He finished the presser by saying, "I just want to say one thing.  We will have three goals this year...to lead the nation in effort, turnovers, and toughness."

Clemson coordinator Chad Morris admits clear advantage for the offense

Several weeks ago, South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson made the statement that hurry-up offenses are deteriorating college football.

Having coached at the college level since 1975, Johnson made some terrific arguments, mainly centering around the notion that offensive coordinators clearly have an unfair advantage with today’s rules.

Our article with Johnson’s quotes was one of the highest viewed articles ever in FootballScoop history.

Now, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is admitting what Johnson believes.

Morris, who joined Dabo Swinney’s staff in the off-season after a season at Tulsa, believes the NCAA will change the rules eventually to even the playing field.

Morris told The Post & Courier, “I still think the hurry-up system is still on that cutting edge. You are starting to see a few more teams doing it, but you are going to see a lot more teams doing it over the next five to eight years.”

“What I think will eventually happen is you'll see college football change its rules to try not to give the offense an advantage. I think that's coming. I don't know when, and I don't know if they are going to go back to the 25-second clock or what -- there is talk out there. But I think you are going to see something eventually change and go back to a more level playing field."

Morris and Johnson will coach against each other for the first time in Columbia on November 26th.

Father points to 9-1 record against Michigan, his son Tressel will keep the name

Lebron coming up short will certainly be the main news in the state of Ohio on this Monday June 13, 2011.  Bar managers are already expecting a better than normal “happy hour” this afternoon, as many in Cleveland will raise their glasses and give cheers to King James’ failure to win a title last night.

But there’s another story that will be coffee room talk.  This one comes from The Columbus Dispatch.

Writer Jeffrey Sheban has tracked down several parents who decided to name their newborns “Tressel” back in the early 2000’s.

Sheban talked with the parents of Tressel Cochran, Tressel McCoy, Tressel Miller, Tressel Bockover, and so on.  Let’s be serious, anyone known as Tressel might not be trusted as easily.

Anyone considering name changes?

Brent Huffines, father of Tressel Huffines, said, “Do I have any regrets? No. I think he got a raw deal, and she (my wife) thinks he got a raw deal. Tressel was 9-1 against Michigan, and I still respect him off the field."

There was no statement from Mr. Huffines on if Tressel had gone 5-5 against Michigan.

Another parent, Katie Bockover, said, "People are asking if she's changing her name. Absolutely not. No remorse, no regrets, no way."