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Awkward press conference as Vandy introduces James Franklin

We interrupt the FootballScoop Staff Christmas Party to bring you this story about James Franklin’s introductory press conference.

In short, Franklin was interrupted roughly 9 times by the Vandy president (didn’t really feel like googling his name) and/or vice-chancellor David Williams during his speech.  Quick side note: Intern #3 is closing in on his 9th cold beverage at the Christmas party.

We are really glad that Williams made the following announcement before introducing one of the most significant hires in university history.  Williams said, “I want thank my wife and kids. For three weeks, they had to listen to me answer three cell phones.  My son, I did not go to his soccer game, all because we were in the business of hiring a new head coach.”

On to Franklin’s speech, again that was obnoxiously interrupted a number of times by the president  and/or vice-chancellor.

Franklin said, “I was blown away by the commitment.  I had a pretty good situation where I was.  It was going to take something really special to get me on board.  I didn’t need to leave.  It was going to have to be something that blew me away and that’s what happened.”

“Really before I could finish asking for anything, they were saying, ‘You got it.  It was one thing after another.’”

“I’m not a 6-5 guy.  I’m not a 7-5 guy.  No part of this program will settle.”

“I have a plan that I’m very confident in. We are going to reflect this university.”

“The next phase that has to happen is that we need to Commodore nation, fans, community of Nashville to be ‘all in.’ We are going to do some special things, but we can’t do it alone.  We need everybody all in.  It’s time for this community to come together.”

“We didn’t get into specifics (about facilities), it was more about ‘whatever it takes.’”

“My role will be the CEO of this program.  We will have an offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator.  There is core group of guys that want to come to Vanderbilt University.  We’ve been talking about it for years.  We’ll be working together.  They won’t be working ‘for James Franklin.’”


Quote from the vice-chancellor: “We don’t need to make any academic concessions to be successful.”

Quote from the president: “We told James, ‘Get the best staff you need.’  We have the resources for that.  I don’t expect him to be successful without a great staff and I think that is a big difference (from the past).”

Wow! Warren Sapp describes how the Miami (FL) job went down

According to Warren Sapp, Miami (FL) AD Kirby Hocutt decided to cut loose Randy Shannon after Jon Gruden told Hocutt that he wanted the job. 

SportsbyBrooks has the audio of Warren Sapp’s interview via 790 The Ticket. 

Sapp says, “Gruden told me hell no the day he went and got an interview. Let’s not even talk about that. The backdoor deals and foolishness that goes along with that.”

“You don’t call someone and say ‘I want the job’ and have them fire their own coach and then don’t take the job. You just don’t do that.”

“I don’t mind you being a pretty girl and being courted and kissed, but court and kiss on your own time. There’s a certain fraternity that you don’t break.”

“It’s like Jim Mora Jr. and Pete Carroll in Seattle, you don’t do that.”

“When someone has a job, you let them (Miami) go through the process of firing that person and then you drop your name in the hat.”

“You don’t call and get Kirby all excited that he’s about to get you … and then Kirby can’t deliver.”


Florida AD wanted Muschamp to sense absolute total commitment

Florida AD Jeremy Foley appeared on the Joe Rose Radio Show this morning and discussed the recent hire of Will Muschamp. Clearly, Foley is giddy about the hire.  Listening to Foley talk, he knows he hired a stud and he knows that you know he hired a stud. 

Foley explained, “At the end of the day, it was about finding a ‘fit.’  It’s really important to have a familiarity with this league.” 

“You walk into Tuscaloosa or Tiger Stadium and you haven’t been there…it can make you go, ‘Whoa.  This is what I signed up for?” 

“Everything just came together (with Muschamp).  I’m not concerned that’s he has never been a head coach.”  Foley then pointed about that Chip Kelly and Bobby Stoops had never been head coaches and they are doing alright. 

So how and why did it happen so fast? 

“Years ago, when I interviewed Billy Donovan, I flew back home and immediately went to the president’s house and told him right away, ‘I think I found our guy.’” 

“If you take a week or two, then Will starts to wonder about our commitment to him.” 

“Will is special.  You don’t just hand the keys to the car at Texas when you don’t have to.  They knew they had someone special.” 

What about this past season and the future? 

“It happens.  You see Texas this year.  Oklahoma was 7-5 last year.  You go back to work.  You don’t panic.  That’s true for all big schools.  Our fans didn’t sign on for 7-5 and Texas’ fans didn’t sign on for 5-7, but at least they care.  Their passion helps us get where we want to go.” 

“We’re going to try to stay out of the peaks and valleys, especially the valleys.”

Quick Hits: Petrino, Saban, Al Groh, Embree, and Mike Price

Bobby Petrino talks about his buyout: "The reason we have such a big buyout is because next December at this time we don't want to have to hear names come up in conversations about other jobs being open. Everybody understands this is where I'm going to be. This is the job I want. Next year we don't have to worry about anything."


Nick Saban talks about Kirby Smart and loyalty: "Kirby has done nothing but indicate to me that he wants to stay at the University of Alabama and be here. I trust that's what he'll do. He's done a great job for us. He's one of the best assistant coaches in the country. Every year, he's closer and closer to being ready to be a head coach himself."

"Our guys are pretty good and pretty loyal. If anybody talks to them, they immediately let me know."


West Virginia AD says the Big East will go through TCU: "We need to respond to that and prepare ourselves, because I believe that eventually the road to the Big East championship will go through Fort Worth. And we need to be prepared to beat a team like TCU on the road to win a Big East championship and get into national championship consideration."


Al Groh compliments Al Golden: "We wouldn't have done so at that particular time if we didn't see his skills and his potential and have the vision for what he could be in the future. He quickly lived up to that with us and has done so on his own. This type of position is one that was apparent from the outset, that Al was going to develop into very capable of handling."


Jon Embree says Colorado will go back to physical practices: “We will do some 9-on-7, but I'm going to do more team run drills because the receivers have to block, the safeties have to fit and the corners have to replace the safeties when they're getting blocked. We will do more team run drills and do something along those lines every day.”


Quoting UTEP head coach Mike Price: “Up close and personal, I am still the goofy guy I was — just older, just smarter. I am still having fun, still laughing, still enjoying life. But with the internet and everything, you tell your team a joke, and you are going to read about it the next day. So you have to be a little more reserved.”

Gotta problem with Mike Gundy?

What’s up with West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck?

He starts off the week by making a move with head coach Bill Stewart, who is 28-11 in three years as the West Virginia head coach.

Apparently, Luck has some beef with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy as well.

We closely read Luck’s statement regarding Holgorsen.

Luck says, “He has served under some fantastic mentors over the years, guys such as Hal Mumme, Mike Leach and Kevin Sumlin. I look forward to coach Holgorsen joining us.”

No mention of Mike Gundy?  We take it that Luck isn’t impressed with Gundy’s 28 wins over the last three years either. 

Editor's note>  Mike Gundy is a man.  He's not losing sleep over this. 

Wow! Here's how it went down

As a head coach, there is no right way or easy way to inform your players that you are accepting another job.

Jerry Kill explained the entire difficult situation, hour-by-hour, as he made the decision and informed his team that he had accepting the head coaching job at Minnesota.

Props to the guys at HuskyWire.com , who surely had a great relationship with Kill to get this interview.  Important note…beware of end-of-the-year banquets.  If you are looking for a job, they aren’t your answer.

Kill says, "Well, it's a situation that I met with them Saturday night in Chicago, somewhere around 7 p.m. and we visited for a long time with the (Minnesota) president and the athletic director. We came back driving home, I guess it was around 11 p.m., we talked, and I knew that I had the job offered to me.”

"(My wife) Rebecca and I had a chance to visit about it afterward and those are critical decisions. In college football, and just so everybody knows, it's no different than what Northern Illinois did when I was at Southern (Illinois). We lost a game at Southern (in 2007) and got beat by Delaware, and Northern was visiting with me the very next morning. That's just how this crazy profession is. In our profession, you have to make decisions that are lifelong decisions in a matter of hours, and it's very difficult. I got home late that night, visited with (NIU athletic director Jeff) Compher.”

"We had recruits in on Sunday, which is awkward.”

"So I did the best I could. I didn't have any guides. I'm not an expert on how to handle those situations.”


Vandy vice chancellor: I can tell you for a fact...

Vanderbilt vice chancellor Dr. David Williams spent his lunch hour talking with the guys at 104.5 The Zone in Nashville.

It appears Vanderbilt is waiting to hear who would be on James Franklin's coaching staff.  They want to know who has accepted, not who will get job offers.  They want to know, "Here are the guys coming with me."

Here is what Dr. Williams had to say:

“I want to know about the national aspect of recruiting and I want to know who and how you will build your staff.  Not only from a philosophy standpoint, but I’d like to hear names.”

“Jeremy (Foley) picked up the phone, made one call and got his man.  All power to Jeremy (Foley), but Vanderbilt doesn’t have that luxury.  He did it in three days.  I actually told our chancellor, even after Jeremy said it would take two and a half weeks, that he would get it done in a few days.”

“This is a time when Vanderbilt is very committed.  The board is committed, the chancellor is committed, and I am committed.  We are committed to being very competitive.”

“3 million is a little bit on the high side.  Now if we were talking to Nick Saban, maybe the number would go up.  I think you have to look who you are talking to.”

“I can tell you for a fact, we were not waving $3 million (a year) for 7 years to anyone.”

“Many people see the commitment being to the HC.  No, that’s not right.  It’s to the kids, program, and community.” 

“Just as we are asking them to tell us about the staff, they are asking us to tell them about the past.” 

Pelini offers a "This is Nebraska" speech on new website

Nebraska launches ThisIsNebraska.com : Bo Pelini delivers a great speech to sell Nebraska to recruits.  Take a look.

Mark Richt talks about Muschamp: "I don't think he'd admit it to everybody, but he's still a Georgia man in a lot of ways."

ULL head coach Mark Hudspeth talks about part of his philosophy: “Anytime you can market your program and sell your program, create a new friend or fan of the program and create more interest all that does is benefit your program in so many different ways. (Getting more) people in the stands. Increase revenue through ticket sales and fundraising. All of those things go hand-in-hand because if we can do all of those things we're going to be able to improve our facilities. If we can improve the facilities, we can improve recruiting. If we can improve recruiting, we're going to improve wins and losses.”

Randy Edsall quit coaching the safeties after the Louisville game, helped UCONN rebound: “I had to some evaluation myself. After the Louisville game, I told the coaches I can’t do that anymore. I had to get back to doing the big picture stuff. As much as I was trying to help our team become better, I think there were some things going on with me not being focused on everything that took something away. I went back to really being the head coach, and I think it benefited everybody.”

Arkansas State head coach Hugh Freeze explains his offensive philosophy: “The two stats that concern me are third-down conversions and turnover margin.  I don’t get hung up on time of possession.  It’s ok for our defense to be on the field for 80 plays as long as we have 80 plays.  We’ve got to get more possessions.  This year, we lost 7 games by 7 points or less.  The last three games we lost, we had the ball for 20 minutes and they had it for 40 minutes.  We only had 8 possessions in the last 2 games we played.”