Martin: Turning down Tennessee the toughest decision I've ever made

Coaching some of the best players in the country in sunny Southern California at a school with one of the richest traditions in all of college football is a pretty good gig, but when your alma mater comes calling (a place where you had a storied history and won a national title), you've got to listen and then make a very difficult decision.

That was what was on Tee Martin's plate the past few days, as he mulled over an offer to join Butch Jones' new staff at Tennessee. With everything considered, it's not hard to understand why he's since stated that turning down his alma mater was one of the toughest decisions that he's ever had to make.

In a statement yesterday, Martin explained in the LA Times that he was honored to have been offered a position, and is confident that Jones will do an outstanding job with the Vols program, but he's got unfinished business at USC.

"I was very honored to be offered a position on Coach Jones' Tennessee staff. I truly believe he will do an outstanding job with the Vols program."

"My decision to remain at USC was the toughest I have ever had to make because Tennessee is such a special place to me. At the end of the day, I am a man of my word. I promised Coach Kiffin when I was hired at USC that I had goals I wanted to accomplish here. We still have work to do here to reach those goals. I see a great future at USC with the players on our roster and the recruits we have coming in."

"I have so much love and respect for Tennessee. But at this time, the right decision was to continue at USC and I am looking forward to doing that."

Returning one of the best, and most dynamic players, in the country (not to mention a fourth place Heisman finisher) can't hurt either as sophomore Marqise Lee led the nation is receptions (112) and finished second nationally in receiving yardage (1680) and receiving yards per game (140) and third nationally in touchdowns (14).


Wednesday TV - Games back on tomorrow

Remember, as we recapped yesterday, the NAIA national title game is tomorrow night (Marian vs. Morningside) followed by more semifinal and national title games (as well as the start of bowl games) this weekend.

Eastern time listed.


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Todd Monken introduced at Southern Miss, drops a few one-liners

After four days of searching, Southern Miss has caught Monken Mania. 

Southern Miss went back to the well that produced Jeff Bower and Larry Fedora, this time plucking Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken to be the next Golden Eagles head coach. 

Though this will be his first head coaching job, we've written previously that Monken is a guy who really gets his profession. Tuesday, Monken explained why. He comes from the coaching family to end all coaching family, with his dad, four uncles, a brother and a cousin all working as head coaches throughout the high school and college ranks. 

Moken said he has spent 46 years preparing to be a head coach, and he has a clear vision for how his team will play. 

"We're going to try like heck to put the fun back in football," Monken said. "The days of telling your players 'because I said so' are over. To get your guys over there, it's got to be fun. They're going to work their butts off, but it's going to be fun."

"On offense, we're going to be no-huddle. Obviously that's why I got the job, because we scored," Monken said to a round of applause. Southern Miss finished the 2012 season ranked 110th nationally in scoring offense, producing just 19.7 points per game. 

"On defense, I think people are going to have to get used to the fact that spread offenses are going to move the ball," Monken continued. "There's too much space. We've got to get stops, create turnovers and affect the quarterback and make him miserable. That's how you win games."

As for special teams, Monken said, "It's hard to say you're going to be good on special teams and not play your best players. Everybody says they want to play in the NFL, and the easiest way to make an NFL roster is to play special teams."

True to form, Monken dropped a few one-liners on the assembled crowd in Hattiesburg.

On engaging in the community: "You're going to see us out there. My family and I like to have fun. We're social butterflies. If we're going to ask you to invest, you're going to see us out there."

On missing out on Oklahoma State's bowl game: "It's sad that I won't be there for (Oklahoma State players) but I'm the head coach at Southern Miss now and that's where my butt belongs."

On the differences between he and Larry Fedora: "Well we both like visors. He's got longer, darker hair and needs a little bit more gel."

On being Southern Miss' first choice: "Don't they have to say that? They're not going to come in here and say you were the eighth choice, for God's sakes."

On what he will say to recruits after last season's 0-12 finish: "It sure as hell beats 18 years of losing and one winning season. I'll tell them, 18 years of winning and one year of losing, that's still damn impressive."


Video of Memphis' strength facility

Memphis director of football strength and conditioning Rohrk Cutchlow gives a tour of the Tiger's sports performance facility in the clip below.

Cutchlow explains how they use utilize their staff, noting that one member works with nutritional needs and the training table, while another has NFL offensive line experience and another individual works with speed and agility training.

They also go over their "nutritional oasis" area, and how they use individualized nutritional plans to make sure their guys are prepared to play at the highest level since come game days.

This clip should serve as a great tool for up and coming strength coaches who are looking at eventually running their own program.


Barry Alvarez to be paid $118,500 for coaching the Rose Bowl

After the stunning departure of Bret Bielema for Arkansas, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez quickly inserted himself as the Badgers' figurehead head coach for the Rose Bowl. 

"I don't want this to be about me," Alvarez said at the time. "I want this to be about the players. I want to give them as good an opportunity to win the Rose Bowl as we possibly can."

The university announced today that the College Football Hall of Fame coach, three Rose Bowls while patrolling the sidelines for Wisconsin, will be paid $118,500 for his month-long return to coaching. In sum, Alvarez will make $203,500 this month: $195,000 for his coaching duties (90 percent of Bielema's monthly salary) and $8,500 for his athletic director duties. The $203,500 figure represents a $118,500 increase from Alvarez's regular athletic director salary. He can earn an additional $50,000 if the Badgers defeat Stanford on Jan. 1. The money for Alvarez's bump in pay is generated from Bielema's $1 million buyout. 

"We weighed the factors involved, including the unique circumstances that developed less than a month before the game, the challenges of the job, the marketplace and his strength as a coach and concluded that this is a reasonable arrangement," said Wisconsin Board President Brent Smith.

In other coaching bonus news, Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com reported today that recently departed Northern Illinois coach will miss out on a $100,000 bonus for leading Northern Illinois to the Orange Bowl. Don't shed a tear for Doeren, though, as he received a raise from $400,000 to $1.8 million in leaving for N.C. State.

Nick Saban is in line for the biggest bonus of all BCS-bound coaches. The Crimson Tide head coach could make $400,000 with a win over Notre Dame. Louisville's Charlie Strong will receive a total of $291,667 for leading the Cardinals to the Sugar Bowl. Will Muschamp is due a bonus of $100,000, while Chip Kelly will get $50,000, Bill Snyder will receive $40,000 and Jimbo Fisher will earn $20,000. Fisher will root for major rankings chaos to benefit is 12th-ranked Seminoles, as he could earn an extra $100,000 if Florida State finishes in the top 5. 

The contracts for Notre Dame's Brian Kelly and Stanford's David Shaw are not public. 

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