Nick Holt: For the first time, I can say that our front...
It’s taken three years, but Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt is beginning to feel comfortable with the Huskies’ defensive personnel.
During a radio interview this morning, Holt said, “First time I can really say that our front looks like a Pac-10, Pac-12 defense, starting to. That's our biggest progress is our front, our defensive line, just watching our guys walk around campus, we are starting to look like the real deal finally, just bigger and real athletic.''
Holt added, “Our conference offensively is just so good that day-in and day-out, week-in and week-out, it's a hard conference. But hopefully we are getting to a point defensively where our players know our stuff and we've got good players that that won't happen, and we have to make it not happen, and hopefully that's the case. Athletically we're getting to that point. We're nowhere near where we need to be but we're a lot better than we were three years ago, that's for sure.''
In his first season as defensive coordinator, the Huskies allowed 26 points per game. Last season, that number rose to 29 points per game, but the Washington defense limited to Nebraska to only 7 points in the 19-7 Holiday Bowl victory.
This season, Washington opens against Eastern Washington. After hosting Hawaii in week #2, the Huskies will travel to Nebraska.
Your town, Your team, Your gameday
Please football season get here. Yes, we are going with a LA Tech schedule report on Monday afternoon.
LA Tech head coach Sonny Dykes is one of twelve head coaches entering his second overall season as a head coach.
Unfortunately for Dykes, the Bulldogs will host only five home games this season. The Bulldogs will host Central Arkansas, Houston, Hawaii, San Jose State, and New Mexico State.
The road schedule includes Southern Miss, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss.
Beginning with an October 8th game at Idaho, the Bulldogs will travel five out the next six weeks. It’s at Idaho, at Utah State, San Jose State, at Fresno State, at Ole Miss, at Nevada. Boy, don't those long plane rides sound exciting.
Surprisingly, Phil Steele ranked the LA Tech schedule only 78th toughest in the country.
On the same day that Steele released his “toughest schedule” rankings, LA Tech released their 2011 marketing slogan.
We like the little kid on the lower left side with the face paint. How fired up is he to be on the LA Tech schedule poster? He gets a great photo, but Sonny gets nothing.
"Your town, Your team, Your gameday"
12 coaches preparing for year #2 as head coaches
In a couple of weeks, twelve coaches will enter their second overall season as head coaches.
That list includes Joker Phillips, Rob Ianello, Jeff Quinn, Dan Enos, Ruffin McNeill, Jimbo Fisher, Sonny Dykes, Charlie Strong, Doc Holliday, Larry Porter, Mike MacIntyre, and Willie Taggart.
Of that list, only four head coaches led their teams to bowl games...Fisher, Strong, Phillips, and McNeill.
After leading Kentucky to a 6-7 record in 2010, Joker Phillips admitted this week, “Everybody says if you're a coordinator, it prepares you to be a head coach, but that's not true. There's so many little things that you have to take care of."
He added, "There's nothing that really prepares you for all of the things that come up during the season."
In 2011, Kentucky will be rockin' new uniforms. That’s not the only thing new, either. Rick Minter is now coordinating the defense, while Steve Perdue joined the staff as the new running backs coach.
There will also be a brand new HD video board and sound system at Commonwealth Stadium.
Kentucky opens the season against Western Kentucky in Nashville, TN.
Who will deliberately enrage Nick Saban on Friday morning?
It's sort of a slow Monday morning, but things are certain to pick up throughout the week. SEC Media Days begin on Wednesday from Birmingham, AL.
Wednesday's schedule includes Petrino, Spurrier, Muschamp, and Mullen.
Thursday's schedule includes Joker, Richt, Chizik, and Dooley.
Friday's schedule includes Saban, James Franklin, Nutt, and Les.
This morning, our favorite tweet came from EDSBS, who wrote, "SEC Media Days are this week. Commence annual straw-drawing to pick reporter who will ask question to deliberately enrage Nick Saban."
In case anyone needs suggestions, we've gathered some questions that would likely agitate Coach Saban.
1. Coach, can you please give me the day & time when you will let us know who your starting quarterback will be?
2. Coach, can you give us an in-depth injury report?
3. Coach, you finished 4th in the SEC West last season, but your overall success at Bama has been terrific. You seem to enjoy being back in college football. Are you dead set on staying in college football?
4. Coach, how many of those “Never Forget, 28-27” signs are still up inside your facility?
5. Coach, you seemed rather juiced during your youth camper speech in June. Could you enlighten us as to which player may have been arrested the night before?
6. Coach, can you tell us about your relationship with Will Muschamp and how you think he will do at Florida?
7. Coach, what did you think of Gene Chizik’s new book?
8. Coach, again, for the record, how many games do you think Auburn would have won last year without Cam Newton?
Do you have a good question for Coach Saban? Let us know in our newly added conversation section down below.
Dan Mullen reiterates: I don't ever plan on losing to them
After defeating Ole Miss for the second consecutive year, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen joyously shouted to his team in the locker room, “We’re never going to lose to this team again.”
You still stand by that, Dan?
Mullen told the Clarion-Ledger this week, “That’s the plan.”
What if Ole Miss wins? How will you react?
Those comments surely have to agitate Houston Nutt. They would irk any competitor.
So Houston Nutt, do you plan on approaching the game any differently this year? (i.e. Is there anything you would like Dan Mullen or your own fans to know? The floor is yours.)
Nutt told the Clarion-Ledger, “We really tried to make it very important last year. That is one of the biggest games of the year, and when you have that rival - Ole Miss-MSU in the Egg Bowl - it's something very, very special. Our players know that and I think our coaches know that.”
In three years as Ole Miss head coach, High Road Houston is 22-16 with two Cotton Bowl wins. In two years as Mississippi State head coach, Excite Me Mullen is 14-11 with a Gator Bowl win over Michigan.
Trooper says what he really thinks of Gus Malzahn
It’s unusual for an SEC program like Auburn to enter August camp unsettled at quarterback.
Of the major programs around the country, quarterback decisions remains to be made during pre-season camp at Auburn, Alabama, Texas, Ole Miss, and Notre Dame (if you really believe Brian Kelly).
But fresh off a somewhat disappointing (lack of verticality) chest bump with Barack Obama, Auburn wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor says, “It won’t matter. Just watch. I’m 100 percent confident that whoever he puts at quarterback is going to play big in this offense.”
Taylor added, “I’m a true believer. I’m riding the Gus bus. We’ll be successful on offense. Gus will make sure of that.”
“He’s a magician. He’s Harry Potter. All he needs is the broom. He’s got the glasses.”
Competing for the starting quarterback job will be Clint Moseley, Barrett Trotter, and true freshman Keihl Frazier.
Auburn opens the season by hosting Utah State. Kick-off is set for 12 pm EST on either ESPN or ESPN 2.
There’s still no total confirmation on if Trooper will be wearing a jacket for the 12 pm EST kick-off. Game time temperature should be around 98 degrees, so we’ll go ahead and assume the jacket will be go.
Skip Holtz believes it's time to consider an on-campus stadium at USF
There’s just something about an on-campus festive game day atmosphere in college football.
And Skip Holtz knows it. He believes there is merit to an in-depth study about construction a new stadium that could have an enormous effect on the entire university.
Holtz, heading into his second year at the South Florida head coach, told CBS Sports writer Brett McMurphy, "If done right, yes, I would be in favor of an on-campus stadium."
For years, the Bulls have played their home games at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Bucs. It’s a great venue, but makes it very difficult for USF to make any meaningful profit off the game day experience.
Holtz says, "It's a very difficult economic time for a lot of universities and a lot of people. You have to be considerate of that with what you're going through. Is now the right time? Let's look at that and find out. It may be a little harder to raise [the funds] now, but it's also cheaper to build."
Miami (FL), Pitt, San Diego State, and Tulane also play their home games in NFL stadiums.
The average home attendance at South Florida last year was 40,849.
52,553 average attendance - 2009
49,690 average attendance - 2008
53,170 average attendance - 2007
30,222 average attendance - 2006
38,865 average attendance - 2005
Florida State says, "It's our time."
Florida State says, “It’s our time.”
And they may be right.
Jimbo Fisher feels great about his quarterback E.J. Manuel and the defense enters their second season under coordinator Mark Stoops. In fact, ESPN's College Footabll Live pre-season Top 25 has the 'Noles ranked at #6 nationally.
The Seminoles coaching staff was just 1 of 25 staffs in the country to remain completely intact during the off-season. All nine assistant coaches decided to stay in Tallahassee.
That list includes the staffs at Arkansas, Army, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, East Carolina, FAU, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, LA Tech, Missouri, NC State, Notre Dame, Ohio, Oregon, Penn State, USF, TCU, Texas A&M, Troy, Virginia, and Washington.
We’ll hear more about Florida State when Jimbo Fisher speaks at the ACC Football Kickoff, which begins July 24 at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, NC.
But for now, here’s what the Seminoles are saying…