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Rich Rod: I'm hungry as ever. I don't want to lose my confidence

Former Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez opened up to the media for perhaps the first time in recent weeks.

Rodriguez told the Associated Press, "I'm hungry as I've ever been to coach. I don't want to lose my confidence. We have a formula that can take a team to BCS bowls and compete for national championships. If I'm at the right school that gives you total support and is pulling in the right direction, I think we'll do that."

Reflecting back, Rodriguez admitted, "We saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Heck, we had 24 starters coming back, and the player of the year in the league — he's a sophomore and still learning. Recruiting, we thought it was going really well even with all the drama.

"That's the frustrating part about it is we didn't get a chance to finish the job."

After going 60-26 as the head coach at West Virginia, Rodriguez finished 15-22 in his three years at Michigan.  To win at the major D1 level, everyone within the program needs to be the same page.  It didn’t work out that way for Rich Rod.

Quick Hits: Jon Gruden, Mark Richt, Urban Meyer

Jon Gruden is pushing for his former special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia for the Tennessee Titans head coaching job: “I coached a long time, he’s one of the best coaches I’ve worked with and I’m not just trying to be his agent or publicity manager. He’s a tremendous football coach, great with players, smart, works his butt off. I’d hire him as a head coach. If I was in position to interview people and look for quality candidates and he’s certainly one of the best I’ve been around.” 

“Special teams guys -- he’s not an offensive coach or a defensive coach, he's kind of a wefence guy. He was my running backs coach, special teams coordinator, jack of all trades. He’s very good at personnel; he’s got a vast amount of experience. I hope he does get an opportunity to present himself. Sometimes that’s all people need is a chance to get in front of the people that are making these decisions.

 

Mark Richt says the Bulldogs’ recruiting class will be the best in his 11 years at UGA: “Our season wasn’t the best, and we have had to battle. But I believe this class will end up being best bunch in 11 years.”

 

Urban Meyer had to cut financial ties with Florida when he accepted the job with ESPN: “The University of Florida has been a big part of my personal and professional life for the past six years and while I will no longer be able to continue a professional relationship with the University, I will continue to support the many friends I made during my time there.”

 

Ed Orgeron: I've got plenty of Slim Jims and Red Bull

According to the LA Times, Ed Orgeron and Lane Kiffin recently visited recruits in 11 states over five days.

The Trojans are trying to nail down another Top 5 recruiting class.

Sleep was not a priority and apparently only eating was important to Kiffin at one point.  According to the story, Kiffin wanted to stop for a meal, but Oregron waved him off.  (Who waves off the head coach?)

"We're good," said Orgeron. "I've got plenty of Slim Jims and Red Bull."

Orgeron, who enjoys the recruiting process as much as any coach in the country, said, "I don't like to use the word addicted. I can put down the football and play with my kids or go out to dinner with my wife."

You can watch Lane Kiffin’s signing day presser LIVE from Heritage Hall at 8 pm EST.  We are setting the over/under on “Even with all….Top 5 class in the country” at 4.  

Vandy defensive coordinator Bob Shoop ready for challenge

When Bob Shoop accepted the Vanderbilt defensive coordinator position, it marks the eleventh job in his career.  Shoop, the 2009 FootballScoop D1-AA Coordinator of the Year, has coached at Yale, UVA, Northeastern, Yale, Villanova, Army, Boston College, Columbia, UMASS, and William & Mary.

Coming to the SEC doesn’t intimidate Shoop, who says, "There isn’t anything from an X’s and O’s stand­point that I watched with the SEC teams that I hadn’t seen in the CAA. I’ve gone up against Chip Kelly when he was at New Hampshire. Last year we beat Dela­ware when they were No. 1 in the country. We beat Villa­nova when they were No. 1 in the country. We beat New Hampshire, who was a pla­yoff team. We beat Rich­mond, who was a pla­yoff team. We stood toe-to-toe with North Caro­lina (in a 21-17 loss this season).”

Shoop will work with other Vanderbilt defensive assistants Brent Pry (co-defensive coordinator / linebackers), Sean Spencer (defensive line), and Wesley McGriff (defensive backs).

"I’m not blind to the fact I’m in the SEC now,” says Shoop.  “ I’m not blind to that fact. I’ve been pre­pa­ring my entire career for an oppor­tu­nity like this, and I feel as if I’m pre­pa­red. The thing I’d empha­size, too, is the CAA is the SEC of Divi­sion I-AA foot­ball. Year in, year out, we play five teams in the top 10 in our level of foot­ball. I keep remin­ding myself, just do the things you did there. This is no different."

“I have the best job in the country. I have no doubt about that. I’m in one of the grea­test cities in the country, at one of the top ins­ti­tu­tions in the country … and in the best college foot­ball con­fe­rence that there is. There is the NFL, there’s the SEC and there’s all else. Is this a tough job? Yes. But it’s a great oppor­tu­nity and I’m loo­king for­ward to it."

The 2011 non-conference schedule for Vanderbilt includes Elon, UCONN, Army, and at Wake Forest.

University of Florida president blasts grayshirting

Don’t expect Will Muschamp to “grayshirt” any recruits.  Ever.

University of Florida president Bernie Machen released a letter to SI.com with his thoughts on over-signing and grayshirting.

Machen writes, “These schools play roulette with the lives of talented young people. If they run out of scholarships, too bad. The letter-of-intent signed by the university the previous February is voided. Technically, it's legal to do this. Morally, it is reprehensible.”

“What needs to happen in intercollegiate athletics is that universities must accept the moral responsibility to stop and prevent "grayshirting" and its associated actions. The football programs must be accountable and should honor institutional commitments to students. It is, after all, a moral contract.”

Click here to read the entire letter from Machen.

Machen, who earns $751,000 annually, has some pretty interesting thoughts.  And let's be honest, the guy is pretty smart.  Machen has a B.A. from Vanderbilt, a D.D.S. from St. Louis University, a M.S. from University of Iowa, and Ph.D. from Iowa.  

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