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A personal note about Bruce Feldman's article

Yesterday Bruce Feldman put out an article about the "feud" between my younger brother and me. The article received widespread media distribution. Unfortunately, many seemed to characterize the "feud" as funny. The truth is that it actually is very sad for our family and is something that my family and I hope comes to an end soon. 

Pete is the godfather to one of my children, stood in my wedding and has always been one of my best friends. For each of the last ten years Pete would come stay at our house frequently and my wife, kids and I would visit him in Oxford. My children make him Christmas cards and miss him terribly. 

My family and I have offered unending moral and financial support to Pete. We want nothing more than for him to be successful in life. 

The ongoing attempts that he makes to smear FootballScoop and me personally aren't coming from the person that we knew for the last 30 years. We hope to have him back in our lives one day soon. 

I am extremely proud of FootballScoop and all that we do to help coaches. Our viewership has grown nearly 50% this year alone and every month this year we have easily set a record for viewership. This isn't about me. We do this to help coaches and their appreciation is what we value most. 

We thank everyone for their continued viewership of FootballScoop. 

Wide receiver blocking done right: Texas A&M

The Texas A&M coaching staff is proud of how their wide receivers preformed this season. Very proud, in fact. So proud they created an 11 minute highlight video featuring their receivers...blocking! 

Led by position coach David Beaty, a finalist for the FootballScoop Wide Receivers Coach of the Year award, the Texas A&M receivers did have an outstanding season. In Mike Evans and Ryan Swope, the Aggies were the only team to produce two of the SEC's top six pass catchers. Every receiver in Texas A&M's six-player rotation produced at least 250 receiving yards and one touchdown grab.

But what Beaty, offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and head coach Kevin Sumlin are most proud of is how physical the Aggies' receivers played. In fact, the first half of the video is nothing but blocks. The Texas A&M coaching staff credited its receiving corps with 92 knockdowns, 90 score blocks and 861 body blows this season. Johnny Manziel's rushing totals are the best evidence of the effort Texas A&M's receivers put into blocking. A quarterback can't run for 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns without help from his receivers.

Jimbo Fisher offers Rod Carey some humorous Orange Bowl advice

At the conclusion of the Orange Bowl press conference, Jimbo Fisher (who has obviously brought his team to Miami before) offered some advice to Northern Illinois' Rod Carey, who is coaching in his first bowl game as a head coach.

Keeping a bunch of college kids focused while in Miami is a handful by itself, so on the topic of curfews, Jimbo's advice to Carey was "Just know where they're at."

Carey laughed and thanked him for the advice before Fisher added, "Hey, I'm going to have the same problem. My problem is they know where to go."

 

The rising tide of dollar figures in college athletics

The phrase "a rising tide lifts all boats" has never had a more practical application than in today's college sports landscape. What began with the Big Ten Network's launch in 2007 and has continued with the Pac-12 Networks, the Longhorn Network and the upcoming college football playoff and SEC network, the sport's leaders collectively realized that college football was an undervalued television property. Fans tuned-in in droves to see their favorite teams play, and in turn, revenue has jumped for almost all schools that comprise BCS conferences. 

As reported by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education, Texas led all schools with total athletic revenue of $163.3 million in the 2011-12 academic year. Ohio State ($142 million), Michigan ($128.8 million), Alabama ($124.1 million) and LSU ($114 million) rounded out the top five. 

In all, 11 schools (five SEC, four Big Ten and two Big 12) raked in more than $100 million. Three additional schools, Arkansas, Iowa and Notre Dame, came within $3 million of reaching the $100 million plateau. As recently as five years ago, only Texas, Florida and Ohio State topped $100 million. 

In 2007-08, 15 schools reported income in excess of $80 million. Last year, that number jumped to 27 schools. Five years ago, Arizona checked in as the 50th-richest program with a revenue of just under $47 million. In 2011-12, Maryland placed at No. 50 with $62.6 million in revenue. So the numbers are increasing across the BCS landscape.

But as Jon Solomon of AL.com reports, schools at the top end of the respective conferences are seeing revenue grow faster than their lower-end peers.

"In 2007-08, Texas made $81.7 million more than Iowa State, the poorest Big 12 school. The Longhorns' margin over Iowa State was $108.1 million last year," Solomon writes. "The gap between the wealthiest SEC school and the poorest SEC school increased on average by $1.1 million per year between 2007-08 and 2011-12. In the Big Ten, the gap between first and last increased by $920,000 a year."

The revenue explosion is only going to continue with the forthcoming college football playoff (which ESPN will pay close to half a billion dollars annually to televise) new deals for the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl (worth a total of $80 million a year) and Orange Bowl ($55 million a year). 

As has been discussed many times in this space and elsewhere, rising revenues are a double-edged sword for college football programs. Colleges will continue to pour more money into facilities, salaries and recruiting budgets. But with more money brings more expectations and shorter leashes on struggling programs. 

 

Barry Switzer rationalizes Bielema's hiring

So, Barry Switzer has weighed in on Bret Bielema's hiring at Arkansas. It's a great quote.

Here's what Switzer had to say;

"The first thing I heard today was that he grew up on a pig farm. That's quite a start in my book. And my last memory was watching him hang 70 on Nebraska. Just those two facts are enough. Then, I hear that he's out of the Hayden Fry-Bill Snyder-Barry Alvarez coaching tree. Oh, that's enough for me to like a lot. Then, I hear he's got a 27-year-old wife. Okay, we can stop. I like him."

Instant classic.

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