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'Path to Pasadena' series highlights Barry Alvarez's return

Shortly after the leaders of the Badgers were made aware of Bret Bielema's decision to leave Madison for the Arkansas head coaching job they reached out to Barry Alvarez to gauge his interest in leading the team for the Rose Bowl against Stanford.

With Alvarez honored to return to field, the Badgers have dispatched a film crew to chronicle his return in their "Path to Pasadena" series.

It's evident that players are stoked to have Alvarez, a coach that they watched lead the Badgers growing up, back on the sideline for their season finale.

Judging from the way he addresses the team, Alvarez hasn't missed a beat.

VIDEO: What it takes to win the state title

Over the past few years, the staff at Northview high school down in Florida has built one of the best small school programs in the state.

Following back to back years of being knocked out in the state semi-finals, they found a way to break through and win the 1A state title 42-21this past Friday. 

Below is a video chronicling the type of effort it took from their guys in the off season to reach that "next level". There's no shortcuts if you want to make it to the top.

Thursday TV - Cincinnati at Philadelphia

Cincinnati at Philadelphia is on tonight. Enjoy it while you can...there's only three more weeks left in the NFL regular season.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

Cincinnati at Philadephia - 8:20 - NFL Network

College:

No games

High School:

No games

The Scoop on Kliff Kingsbury to Texas Tech

We have learned that Kliff Kingsbury is returning to the South Plains as the head coach at Texas Tech.

The first of Mike Leach's gunslingers at Texas Tech, Kingsbury led the Red Raiders to within one win of playing for the Big 12 Championship in 2002 and departed Lubbock as the most decorated player in school history, holding 39 school records, 13 conference records and seven NCAA records. 

Kingsbury spent five years in professional football and began his coaching career as an offensive quality control assistant under head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen at Houston. Kingsbury was elevated to co-offensive coordinator in 2010 with Holgorsen's departure for Oklahoma State and has experienced nothing but success since. 

His 2010 Houston offense ranked fifth in passing offense, 11th in total offense and 14th in scoring offense. A year later, Houston ranked first across the board in each of those categories as the Cougars finished 13-1. Kingsbury was named the 2011 FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year for his efforts. 

Kingsbury followed Sumlin to Texas A&M and found instant success in his star pupil, Johnny Manziel. The redshirt freshman set the SEC single-season total offense record en route to becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. The Aggies ranked 13th nationally in rushing offense, 14th in passing offense, third in total offense and third in scoring offense. He again won FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year honors for his work at Texas A&M. 

In Texas Tech, Kingsbury inherits a team that had college football's second-most prolific passing offense, placed 12th nationally in total offense and 16th in scoring offense. The Red Raiders will lose quarterback Seth Doege to graduation, but redshirt freshman Michael Brewer is penciled in as his replacement. Texas Tech has missed a bowl game only once since Leach's hiring in 2000. 

Arkansas State goes the Boise Way in landing Bryan Harsin

Arkansas State may have plucked its newest head coach from Texas but for a school that wants to become the "Boise of the South", Bryan Harsin is still very much cut from the Broncos' blue and orange cloth. 

"He talked about his experience at Boise State, the building process," said Arkansas State system president Dr. Charles Welch. "He played for three head coaches as a player. It was like he was describing Arkansas State. This is somebody who gets it and this is somebody who knows how to get it done."

"Having spent the amount of time that I did at Boise, I understand how to get there," Harsin said. "My beliefs, my philosophy comes from Boise State. What I learned there is going to be the model we're going to use here to continue to build and continue to grow Arkansas State."

Arkansas State is getting a coach who has prepared his entire life to be a head coach, and is itching to hit the ground running. "This is an opportunity I prepared myself for for a long time. I didn't know it would feel this good," said Harsin. "My only regret is that I can't be out there with those players as they prepare for the bowl game."

Harsin's high school coach, Steve Vogel, added this about the newest Red Wolves head coach, "He said (in high school) his goal was to be a head college football coach by the time he was 40 — and he beat that."

Arkansas State will pay Harsin a sum of $3.5 million over five years, with a buyout of $1.75 million if he departs after one year. After losing Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn in consecutive years, Arkansas State wants to avoid finding another head coach in December 2013. 

"You can look at my track record at Boise State," Harsin explained. "There were opportunities. I am all about the process. I am all about the opportunity to build and continue success rather than (leave after one year)."

Harsin can't coach Arkansas State in the upcoming GoDaddy.com Bowl, so he will turn his focus toward recruiting players and a new staff.

"I'm looking for high character, high output, low ego guys," Harsin added. "As far as the timetable, we'll get into those very quickly. We'll start to put together what we feel is our best people for these players."

Harsin praised Chris Petersen and Mack Brown multiple times, saying, "I've got a lot of notes sitting at my home right now from those coaches."

On the field, Harsin will be tasked with sustaining momentum for a program that has won the last two Sun Belt Conference titles. 

"I'm an offensive guy, and I know what a good defense can do," said Harsin. "A defense that's around the ball, that's opportunstic and can stop the run.

"On offense, we're going to have fun. I've already asked how many wide receivers can throw, every hand went up."

Harsin plans to transport the Boise Way to Jonesboro, the discipline, the all-in menality, the multiplicity on offense, the trick plays and everything short of the blue turf. 

"Our long-term goal is to win bowl games and win championships and do it with class and academic integrity." 

 

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