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The Scoop on the Fiesta Bowl

Oregon knocked all of its opponents out in one or two rounds of relentless, blinding hay-makers except for one fateful night in Eugene. Kansas State grounded all of its opponents into dust, except for one fateful night in Waco. Now two teams that fell just short of a trip to Miami seek a desirable consolation prize tonight in Glendale in the Fiesta Bowl (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

They say styles make fights and, tonight at least, they may be right. These squads' attacks compliment each other nicely to create what should be a competitive, up-and-down affair. Kansas State likes to take its time while working down the field (19th nationally in time of possession) while Oregon wastes no time from snap to snap, ranking 100th in time of possession. 

That doesn't mean Kansas State's offense is a plodding one. In fact, Bill Snyder's team was actually slightly more efficient this fall. The Wildcats produced 488 points on 771 plays (1 point for every 1.58 plays) to the Ducks' registered 610 points on 989 plays (1 point for every 1.62 plays). 

A great deal of that efficiency stems from Kansas State's defense and special teams. The Wildcats are among the nation's leaders in turnover margin and average starting field position while also creating six non-offensive touchdowns. 

A defensive score or two would go a long way against a Chip Kelly-coached squad that has been held under 42 points exactly once this season. And while Kansas State may lead the nation in turnover margin, Oregon is just two steps behind, ranking No. 3 nationally with 38 turnovers gained against 19 lost. 

 

NY Times explains where Brian Kelly 'learned to be a head coach'

The New York Times came out with an interesting piece yesterday on Brian Kelly and his time at Grand Valley State University, the Division II school where he cut his teeth as a head coach.

“I needed to learn how to be a head coach. Everybody wants to be one, but Grand Valley provided me on-the-job training. It prepared me for everything that came after.” Kelly explains in the article.

The article goes on to explain how some of his philosophies during his first few years as a head coach have influenced this Notre Dame team (including how one special recruiting class can change everything), as well as some very good insight from people that he has worked with along the way that knew that he would eventually get an opportunity on a bigger stage at some point down the road.

Take a few minutes and read the whole article, which can be found here.

Chip Kelly: 'You can't be a selective participant in life'

Before the questions turned to NFL rumors during yesterday's final Fiesta Bowl press conference, Chip Kelly joked around with the media when asked about his philosophy on dealing with the media and how it matches up with Bill Snyder's outlook (who's rarely excited to talk to the media).

"I think that's probably where myself and coach Snyder differ." Kelly said, eliciting a chuckle from the media in attendance.

"It's certainly the highlight of my day. I love it when it's the first thing in the morning because it can't get any worse after this. We may have the worst practice every today, but I'll say, 'Hey guys, you should have seen what I just went through."

Then Kelly switched gears and noted that he has to remind himself on occasion that you can't be a selective participant as you go through life.

"One thing that I talk to our players about all the time, and that I think is important and I have to check myself on it too, is that in life, you can't be a selective participant. You don't get to pick and choose what you like to do, if we did, It would be total anarchy in this world if we just did what we liked."

"There are certain things that you do that probably aren't the highest on your priority list, in terms of what you have a full passion for, but it comes with the territory." Kelly explained.

Thursday TV - Fiesta Bowl

Chip Kelly and Oregon vs. Bill Snyder and Kansas State tonight. A lot of coaches have been looking forward to this one since the bowls were announced.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

No games

College:

Fiesta Bowl - Kansas State vs. Oregon - 8:30 - ESPN

High School:

No games (Under Armour and Semper Fi games on tomorrow)

 

HELLO! Bob Stoops explains his TV stardom

It's the commercial you've undoubtedly seen hundreds of times by now.

A high school football player avoids a tackle by performing a mid-air flip, eliciting a delighted "Hello!" from an off-camera observer. The video goes viral, drawing Oklahoma's Bob Stoops to visit the player-turned-improvisational gymnast, greeting him with a familiar "Hello."

In case you've been living under a rock for the past two months, here's the commercial.

Not coincidentally, Stoops was asked about the story behind his AT&T commercial stardom before Friday's AT&T Cotton Bowl. 

Approached earlier this fall, Stoops traveled to Putnam City (Okla.) High School, two hours northwest of Norman, on a Thursday night during one of the Sooners' off weeks.  

“I think I was there from 11 at night until 1 to 1:30 in the morning for that ‘Hello.' That's how bad I am. It took two-and-a-half hours to say that. I don't know how many takes," Stoops told the Oklahoman.

“It just sort of came that way. It just felt the recruiting exposure and putting the program in front of people never hurts. As long as it fits your schedule.” 

A late night spent saying a formal hello to one high school player has given Stoops an informal hello to millions of potential prospects. 

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