Attention reporters: Do not ask a coach this question
No coach enjoys suspending players. When it happens, the coaches will let you know about it and while it is a learning moment, it's not something that anyone should take joy in.
With that said, here's a tip for all of the reporters out there, when a coach opens it up to questions, please don't make the first question, "Are there any suspensions we need to know about?"
Mark Richt's response to just that question:
A name we think you'll be hearing more about
After being called on to restart a football program in 2007, John Wristen has quickly built Colorado State - Pueblo to 10-0 and a legit DII national title contender.
Before coming to Pueblo, Wristen served on offensive staffs at Colorado, Northwestern and UCLA for 17 years. With only 13 months to prepare for his first season (and a limited number of scholarships) with the ThunderWolves program (which included holding open tryouts on campus, and having to borrow uniforms and helmets from local high schools for spring practice), he led the team to a 4-7 start, followed by a 7-4 season in only their second year of existence. In 2010 Wristen led to the team to a 9-2 finish, narrowly missing a conference title and national playoff appearance.
Defensively, Pueblo is very impressive. The ThunderWolves defense is ranked 5th in both rushing defense (83.8 yards per game) and passing efficiency (94.68), and has the top scoring defense in DII allowing only 9.3 points per game.
In only their fourth year of existence, Wristen has led the program to a #3 ranking in Division II and is primed for a conference title as they wrap up their season against 4-4 Western New Mexico Saturday.
Taking a look at what he has accomplished during his short time with the ThunderWolves, it would not surprise us to hear Wristen's name included in the conversation for some bigger head coaching openings.
Joe Paterno announces his retirement
Joe Paterno just issued the following statement:
I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.
I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.
That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can. This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.
My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.
MAC games are enjoyable to watch
Toledo has scored at least 60 points in back to back Tuesday night games, and last night's 66 points was just enough to come out on top against Western Michigan 66-63.
Toledo put up over 800 yards of offense, including 419 yards on the ground. Western Michigan threw for 548 yards and 7 touchdowns despite losing the time of possession battle (39:30 to 20:30). The two teams kept the chain gang busy all night as well, combining for almost 80 first downs (the LSU / Alabama match up combined for 32 first downs).
Despite only turning the ball over 9 times in their previous 9 games, the Rockets turned it over 6 times last night; and still won! How often does that happen?
One more note, the 126 points scored by Toledo in their past two games (and the 129 the teams combined to score last night) are more than New Mexico (113) and Florida Atlantic (103) have scored all season.
Toledo is now 6-4, 5-1 on the season and Western Michigan is now 5-5, 3-3.
And, we saved the best news for last...there's another MAC game on tonight!
Plenty of teams use a picture board to "signal" in their play these days. Fans are fascinated by this (think of the Chip Kelly ESPN commercial as an example).
Recently, a Tulsa TV station decided to go over to Tulsa football to ask about how they use the picture boards.
The video is priceless. Offensive quality control Corey Heinz is on camera and is asked to explain the board. Watch him attempt to do so without revealing what the picture of Erin Andrews represents.
Perhaps a freudian slip when Heinz at the end says, "one of these could be hot..." and then he looks off camera at the other guys in the room who undoubtedly are cracking up off camera.
Only one MAC game for our enjoyment tonight. While we're not expecting either team to put up 60+ tonight, it's amazing how many points MAC teams score in early week games. Toledo had 800 yards of offense last night!
All times are eastern.
Miami (OH) at Temple - 8 - ESPN
Weber State (FCS) opening
As we noted yesterday, Weber State head coach Ron McBride has decided to retire at the end of this season.
Ron McBride was hired in December of 2004 and spent 7 seasons at the helm of the Wildcat program going 41-38 overall and 31-21 in Big Sky conference play, while leading the team to two FCS playoff appearances. Prior to coming to Weber State, McBride spent thirteen seasons leading the Utah Utes, starting his tenure in 1990 and compiled a record of 88-63. The win total at Utah is the second most in history. In his 20 years at the Division 1 level as a head coach, McBride compiled a record of 129-101.
Weber State competes in the FCS Big Sky conference along with Eastern Washington, Northern Arizona, Montana State, Montana, Sac State, Idaho State, Northern Colorado and Portland State.
Weber State (located in Ogden, Utah...30 minutes North of Salt Lake City) looks to be in very good shape with playoff appearances in 2008 and 2009 and 6 wins in 2010 when they played a brutal schedule.
This season they have struggled to find their rhythm and are currently sitting at 3-6, and wrap up the season with games against Northern Arizona at home this week before finishing at Portland State next week.
No word yet on plans for the search; but we're already hearing about interest in the job. We'll keep you updated.
Kiffin and Sark having fun
Good friends Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian meet Saturday as USC takes on Washington at 3:30 Eastern on FX.
Over the past few days, both Kiffin and Sark have offered up some typical coach speak; but have also added in some friendly fodder.
Earlier this week, Sarkisian told reporters that USC was the most talented team in the country. Kiffin responded today, "Well they lost to Stanford by 50, so if we have more talent than them [Stanford], we should be in good shape, we don't even have to show up." (Washington actually lost to Stanford 65-21).
Sark also had said that if he were an NFL GM and had a choice between Matt Barkley and Andrew Luck, he would take Barkley. When Kiffin was asked about that he responded "...he's obviously already played Andrew Luck, otherwise he wouldn't have made the comment he made."
We don't expect the entertainment to slow down at all leading up to Saturday's game.