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Pitt is open

We have spoken with several Big East coaches this morning in connection with the surprising news that Todd Graham is leaving Pitt to become head coach at Arizona State. 

The concensus is that the talent level at Pitt, and recruitable by Pitt, is excellent. Nearly everyone we spoke with said if they hire a coach that the players want to play for, that Pitt will be a force soon enough. 

The best hire might be to bring Dave Wannstedt back on...but we're pretty confident Steve Pederson isn't going to do that. The rumor mill is already running wild with names "expected to have a chance".  We'll keep you posted as we learn who really has a chance. 

Did someone call us "Scurrilous"?

Yes, yes we believe someone did. 

Scurrilous. Have to admit we googled it. According to google, Scurrilous is an adjective:

    1. Making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation: "a scurrilous attack".
    2. Humorously insulting.

Here's what really happened.

Yesterday, a source very close to the situation told us that reps from Penn State had reached out to Niumatalolo. Source said he had no idea if Niumatalolo had any interest; but he knew for a fact it there had been contact. 

We in turn reached out to someone very familiar with Niumatalolo who also confirmed that Penn State had reached out to him. This person did not believe Niumatalolo would have interest in the job; but might "offer his thoughts to them on their search". 

With two good sources confirming this to us, we put on The Scoop:

Penn State: Don't know how this one will play out; but passing along info from good sources...Penn State representatives have contacted Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo.  

If someone believes that is "Scurrilous" (i.e. spreading scandalous claims with the intention of damaging...or humorously insulting) please feel free to call us. We're not real hard to get a hold of.  

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo's agent Evan Beard, who is "in England studying at Oxford" replied to an email from someone in Annapolis yesterday in regards to what we put on The Scoop as follows:


"Bill. The report on Penn State's interest in Kenny is scurrilous. Neither side has had conversations."

Scurrilous. Well then.


Carl Pelini provides update on the staff

Carl went on Nebraska sports radio yesterday and spoke for nearly 15 minutes about FAU and what his staff will look like. 

He also gave some insight into why he has had to slow down given bowl game prep for some of the targets that he has. A pretty good listen. 

Jim L. Mora speaks at UCLA

Jim L. Mora (yes, UCLA has asked that he no longer be referred to as Jim Mora Jr.) took the podium yesterday to answer his first questions as the UCLA head coach.

Mora was short and direct in the press conference, and spends about ten minutes total making his opening statement and answering media questions.

Malzahn to A-State

So, in a shocking move, Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has agreed to become head coach at Arkansas State. Shocked us. But then we remembered....

Everyday this time of year we get hundreds of emails about coaches looking at, considering or taking other jobs. On Sunday we received two emails from different people related to the A-State search. Both contained similar info...the leading candidates are all young offensive coordinators, pass happy, enthusiastic guys, etc...both had similar names: Kliff Kingsbury, Mike Canales, Eddie Gran, etc... and both mentioned that interviews were ongoing and that other coaches were involved.

Here's the weird part. One of the two emails added at the end, "I even hear they are going to reach out to Gus at Auburn. They are pretty sure he won't bite and they are also pretty sure they couldn't come up with enough money; but they are told he wants a head job really bad."

As we began typing this article we replied to the person that sent us that email. He responded almost immediately, "On Sunday these guys didn't think there was a chance in the world. Unreal."

Koenning talks about his next step

Illinois interim head coach Vic Koenning met with the media after practice today and took some time to talk about how things have been going since Illinois named Tim Beckman the new head coach of the Illini.

Koenning was candid about his conversation with Beckman about staying on staff as the defensive coordinator, and admits that he has some thinking to do.

We are aware of other major programs that have spoken with Vic. Not so sure he stays in Illinois; but we'll see. 

Behind the scenes video: Justin Fuente's 1st day

Very interesting look at Justin Fuente's first morning on the job...before even being introduced.

Well done Memphis. Quick side note, is it just us or about the 3:11 mark is Fuente checking the FootballScoop App on his phone? 

Charlie Strong: Looking to earn respect

Charlie Strong doesn't feel that Louisville is getting the respect that they deserve.

After starting off 2-4, the Cardinals rattled off wins in five of their last six games to finish at 7-5 and earned a share of the Big East crown with Cincinnati and West Virginia.

Strong felt that achievement warranted more than three Cardinals being selected to the Big East all conference teams (the fewest of any conference team), but understands that they are "a team that’s still young that needs to get better. Then someday we’ll get the respect we need to gain.”

“People thought Boise couldn't get it going and look at what they’re doing, you think about Virginia Tech — no one thought Virginia Tech could get it going. Look what they’re doing. Kansas State, look what they’re doing. So why can’t we take this program, build this program and watch it grow and develop?”

Louisville will take on NC State in the Belk Bowl on December 27th at 8 on ESPN.