Quantcast

Photos: Maryland's uniforms will feature lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Maryland will wear uniforms with lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" on Saturday versus Maryland.

That cursive script is the words to Francis Scott Key's poem "Defence of Fort McHenry", which later became our nation's anthem.

Marylandunis

AAAAAAMaryland2

AAAAAAMaryland

AAAAMaryland3

Video: Rather than tie the game in OT, Southlake Carroll HS (TX) used this trick play to win

Southlake Carroll HS (TX) trailed Oklahoma high school powerhouse Tulsa Union 41-40 last week in overtime, and instead of kicking the extra pointl to tie the game, Southlake HS head coach Hal Wasson dialed up a trick play for the two point conversion after Union HS called a timeout to ice the kicker.

“Well, I knew we were gassed. Our defense, we had two or three guys nicked up. I knew our guys were spent. We trusted that that play was going to work.” Wasson told the Star-Telegram.

But there is a unique twist to this story. The week before, against Austin Westlake HS (TX), head coach Todd Dodge (a former Southlake Carroll HS head coach) dialed this play up to get his team within three points of Southlake Carroll before eventually losing. Watson liked the play so much, and trusted that it would work, that he pulled it out and used it during crunch time a week later.

According to the Star-Telegram, the team ran the play two or three times in a walk-through, and then diagrammed it on a dry erase board during the timeout. The result was trick-play-perfection.

The top 6 non-FBS sites that should host a College GameDay

After last season's first trip to North Dakota, ESPN announced on Saturday that College GameDay would be returning to Fargo for North Dakota State's home opener against University of the Incarnate Word.

By all accounts, the environment in Fargo impressed practically everyone associated with GameDay, and perhaps cracked the door open just a little more for even more non-FBS programs to play host the ESPN's premier pregame show. Even if that's not the case, we thought we'd have some fun with it.

That got me to thinking, if Fargo can pull it off, what other FCS/D-II/D-III college football environments could hold their water as a host of ESPN's College GameDay? 

Here's the list that our staff at The Scoop came up with, in no particular order.

Eastern Washington (FCS) Roo Field

gamedayEWU

Unlike most of the venues on this list, you won't find Eastern Washington in the top 10, 20, or even 30 in the FCS when it comes to attendance..but boy that red turf is something to behold. EWU also opened the season at #1 in FCS and have one of the most explosive offenses in all of college football. Turning on GameDay to see that bright red field would be as unique as the field itself, and Eastern Washington is more than deserving of playing host.

Montana (FCS) Washington-Grizzly Stadium

gamedaymontana

Highly regarded as one of the top stadiums at the FCS level with some of the most breathtaking scenery as a backdrop, Montana has a great environment for game day when you couple that with their longstanding on the field success, making this an easy pick on this list. Since the stadium went up, the Grizzlies are 180-26, by my count. Last year, Montana was #2 in attendance behind Appalachian State, and with them gone to the FBS level and a 3,000 person lead on James Madison (#3 on the 2013 list), Montana should have no problem taking over the top spot.

Grand Valley State (D-II - MI) Lubbers Stadium

gvsugameday

Grand Valley State's football program has churned out talented coaches like Brian Kelly and Chuck Martin, as well as various players on NFL rosters, and as one of the winningest programs in D-II football history, they earn their keep here on our list. Back in 2012, GVSU averaged the most fans per home game (12,034). Also worth mentioning is the fact that two-time winner of the title of "Beer City USA" Grand Rapids is a short drive from GVSU's campus in Allendale.

Mount Union (D-III - OH) Stadium

gamedaymountunion

Mount Union may not draw the same type of crowds as their Division III counterparts, but it is the oldest NCAA stadium in the entire football-rich state of Ohio (opened in 1914), and they have an absolutely dominant home field winning percentage, winning the last 77-straight home contests. The field is also home to 11 National Championship teams, and 22 straight Ohio Athletic Conference titles. The lore that surrounds the stadium and the teams it has housed makes it tough for anyone to come in and steal a win.

Wisconsin-Whitewater (D-III - WI) Perkins Stadium

gamedaywhitewater

Last year, UW-Whitewater drew an average of 7,552 fans per home contest, which was good for second nationally in all of Division III. One of the perks about College GameDay making it up to Whitewater is that fans will be able to see one of the dynasties of small college football. Dating back to 2007, the Warhawks have been in the National Title game nearly every season (missing the playoffs in 2012), winning in five times (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013), and finishing runner up every other season (2008, 2012). Plus, during the season the WIAC is so good top to bottom that picking a quality opponent to make the trip worthwhile will be really easy.

St. John's (D-III - MN) Clemens Stadium

gamedaystjohns

It's not often that you find a D-III program that draws more fans to games than their D-II neighbors, but that's exactly what happens at St. John's. The Johnnies have led the nation in attendance at D-III games for 15 of the last 20 years with an average of just under 8,000 fans per game. That beat the #2 team in attendance (UW-Whitewater) by nearly 500 fans.

Honorable Mention: Northwest Missouri State (D-II), James Madison (FCS), Yale (FCS), Pittsburg State (D-II), North Alabama (D-II), Bethel (D-III - MN).

Video of the Day - Baylor's week 2 cinematic highlights

An early look at potential candidates at SMU

In all honesty, I truly don't enjoy writing these kinds of "candidate" articles; because truth be told, very few people have a window into the decision maker's thinking. In this case, I have only casually met Rick Hart and certainly don't feel that I know him.  

On the other side of the coin though are the candidates, many of whom I do know and feel that I have a pretty good feel for their career aspirations and current thinking. Thus, with every caveat known to man, I offer the following thoughts on some of the initial names everyone is bound to hear regarding this search. 

Timing: Given the team's performance in their first two games, it's hard to envision SMU challenging for a conference title this year. Accordingly, it's hard to imagine Hart waiting until the final game to make his hire (assuming he can lure his top choice at the right time...more on that to come). I expect the hire to be the first of the year and to occur well before the final game is played.

The Process: The serious candidates will get word of their interest to Hart within the week. Of course, if word got out it would be denied (wink, wink). I expect in-house and third party vetting to take place in October and there will be confidential meetings later in October / early November. Depending on Hart's comfort level, he should be ready to pull the trigger as soon as he looks "his man" in the eye. The coach will accept the job within 24 hours and I expect it to be announced shortly thereafter. Depending on where that coach's team is in their season (and in his career) will dictate the timing of him moving into his new role as head coach at SMU or remaining on staff to finish out his team's regular season. Money won't be an issue in this search

The Candidates: I expect Chad Morris to be offered and to accept the position.  I also expect Morris to deny interest in the position until he is offered the job. Morris has quietly sought out other jobs, most recently he pushed for the Vanderbilt opening which went to Derek Mason, and this is one he will push hard for. Morris would love the opportunity to return to Texas and the bravado that comes with being a head ball coach in Dallas. Morris would thrive in this environment and would interact well with Mustang boosters. In my opinion, Hart has plenty of time and will perform his diligence but I believe Morris is likely on top of the list already and won't be surpassed. If Clemson were to lose to Florida State in two weeks, the playoff hopes for Clemson would be over and Morris would be free to move into his new role as soon as he accepts (which would likely be in November). 

Mark Hudspeth - Hud has a nice job where he is and has been successful in the South. He's an excellent coach, motivator, competitor, program builder and fundraiser; but he's not Texas. Some places that doesn't matter. I believe it does impact his ability to be the next head coach in this situation. 

Jake Spavital - Kliff Kingsbury was hired to be head coach after just two years officially calling the plays. Thus, some people think that is going to happen everywhere...I don't see it that way. Kliff's case was a unique fit with his alma mater opening when they needed a "family" hire. For the record, I think hiring Kliff was a great hire. However, I don't think athletic directors see the same thing when they meet Jake Spavital. Jake is an excellent football mind and has done well as a play caller. He's very impressive, smart, liked by the players and respected by the coaches; but he's not ready to be SMU's head coach. I see Spav and Kevin Sumlin riding together for quite some time...and doing very well together. 

Philip Montgomery - Art Briles' offensive coordinator is awfully good at what he does; but he won't be the next head coach at SMU. Montgomery is a first class individual who truly loves where he is and is not looking to move on. Montgomery isn't a cultural fit in Highland Park either. Happy to be in Waco. 

Tom Herman - Herman is bright and well liked across the board. He has a big future ahead of him and will be offered a head coaching position soon enough (with Urban's backing...which is important). Herman knows Texas well from his time coming up through the ranks and at Rice and I have no doubt Herman would be interested if contacted. I simply don't believe the money behind the program, and ultimately Rick Hart, would choose to hire Herman over Chad Morris for this position. 

Mike Norvell - Norvell is Todd Graham's current best friend and closest confidant. In time, Graham will help Norvell find a head coaching postion; but everything I've heard is that Norvell is very happy being offensive coordinator at ASU for the foreseeable future and wouldn't expect Graham to push this on him especially given that Graham will expect undivided attention during the season on the field (not on job chasing). 

Gene Chizik, Mack Brown & Houston Nutt - To climb to the top of the American, SMU needs top playmakers. They need excitement. They need good clean energy. Chizik, Brown and Nutt are all qualified coaches who honestly have each already thought about the opportunity; but I don't expect SMU to go this direction. Not much more than a feel on this part, just don't see that direction for this hire. 

Wildcard Candidates: I haven't gotten a sense yet for Gary Kubiak's plans. Excellent football coach. Is he someone who could wow Rick Hart if the two were to meet? Yeah, I could see that. Second one, and this is just kind of fun to imagine...but wouldn't it be fun to watch Lane Kiffin take a stab at SMU? Nah, let's not go there. 

Updated wildcard: After initially publishing this article a well connected source text me simply: Derek Dooley. While that's an interesting thought and all (he is in town...and wants to be a college head coach again), I wouldn't bet my money on that one. 

 

 

Recent News

The FootballScoop (way too early) Top 25 - week 3


Citing health concerns, Charlie Stubbs steps...


Noel Mazzone admits: "I called the same flippin' four...


The Scoop | HS Scoop
Hot | New | Must Read