Pflugrad and AD released at Montana

As we told you on The Scoop, Montana has decided to part ways with athletic director Jim O'Day and head coach Robin Pflugrad. Associate athletic director Greg Sundberg sent an email out this morning notifying faculty and staff of the decision.  

The University didn't state the exact reasons for the action; but according to reports, this morning the University also released the results of a months long investigation into sexual assault issues on campus (at least one of which reportedly involved a player on the football team). 

The University has released a statement saying: 

"The University of Montana has determined not to renew the contracts of Athletics Director Jim O'Day and head football coach Robin Pflugrad. The University will announce an interim athletics director and interim head coach by the end of the week. Further details about the search for permanent replacements will be released as the process develops. We thank Jim and Robin for their dedicated service to the University, and we wish them the best."

In a classy move, The Missoulian reported that O'Day sent an email out this morning to many supporters of Montana athletics stating: 

"Thanks so much for all the hard work and support I've received from each of you the past 8 years as athletic director and 6 years prior to that with the GSA and UM Foundation. It has been quite a ride. While this comes as a shock to both Robin and myself, it is part of today's global picture of intercollegiate athletics across the country. I realized that when I took the job.’ Good bad or indifferent I will miss him. He is my friend and always will be.”

The football program has been dominant over the past decade, earning the title of winningest program in all of college football in the first decade of the 2000's (119 total wins), including back to back national champions  national title game appearances under former head coach Bobby Hauck in '08 and '09.

In 2010, his first season as head coach, Pflugrad went 7-4 including a 71 point victory in his debut against Western State and a critical win over Northern Arizona. Each of his four losses that season were by single digits. Pflugrad went 9-2 this past regular season (11-3 including the playoffs), winning a share of the Big Sky conference title and rattling off 9 straight wins before losing in the national semi-finals to eventual runner-up Sam Houston State.


MAC schedule released

The Mid American Conference released their schedule today, and it includes nine games scheduled for ESPN prime time.

New Akron head coach Terry Bowden will get welcomed back the FBS when they take on Central Florida at home and will follow up with games with at FIU, at home against Morgan State and at Tennessee before starting the MAC schedule with Miami (OH).

Matt Campbell and Toledo will start out with road games at Arizona (that one could be a high scoring affair), and Wyoming before their first conference game with Bowling Green. Week 4 the Rockets will head to Conway, South Carolina to take on Joe Moglia in his first season at Coastal Carolina.

Conference newcomer UMass and Charley Molnar will kick off their new FBS membership with games against Big Ten schools in two of their first three games (Indiana in week 2 and at Michigan in week 3) after kicking things off at Connecticut in week 1.

If last season was any indication...expect there to be plenty of great weekday MACtion again this season.

Full schedules, split by divisions, can be found below

2012 MAC Football Schedule (composite by school)
All times listed ET
*Conference Game
#ESPN Multiple-Game Selection Date (an ESPN weekday multiple-game selection date will be announced 12 days prior to the listed date.  One (1) game will be selected by each ESPN service listed).


30 Central Florida
8 at Florida International
15 Morgan State
22 at Tennessee
29 *Miami
6 *Bowling Green
13 *at Ohio
20 *Northern Illinois
27 *at Central Michigan
3 *at Kent State
10 *UMass
20 *at Toledo, 7:00 pm ET (ESPN2)

Bowling Green
1 at Florida
8 Idaho
15 *at Toledo
22 at Virginia Tech
29 Rhode Island
6 *at Akron
13 *Miami
20 *at UMass
27 *Eastern Michigan
7 *at Ohio, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
17 *Kent State
23 #*Buffalo, at Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio (ESPNU/ESPN3)

1 at Georgia
8 Morgan State
19/20 *Kent State, TBD (ESPNU)
29 at Connecticut
6 *at Ohio
13 *at Northern Illinois
20 Pittsburgh
27 *Toledo
3 *Miami
10 *Western Michigan
17 *at UMass
23 #*at Bowling Green, at Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Kent State
30 Towson
8 at Kentucky
19/20 *at Buffalo, TBD (ESPNU)
29 *Ball State
6 *at Eastern Michigan
13 at Army
20 *Western Michigan
27 at Rutgers
3 *Akron
10 *at Miami
17 *at Bowling Green
23 #*Ohio, (ESPNU/ESPN3)

30 at Connecticut
8 Indiana
15 at Michigan
22 *at Miami
29 *Ohio
6 *at Western Michigan
20 *Bowling Green
27 at Vanderbilt
3 *at Northern Illinois
10 *at Akron
17 *Buffalo
23 #*Central Michigan, (ESPNU/ESPN3)

1 at Ohio State
8 Southern Illinois
15 at Boise State
22 *UMass
29 *at Akron
6 at Cincinnati
13 *at Bowling Green
27 *Ohio
3 *at Buffalo
10 *Kent State
17 *at Central Michigan
23 #*Ball State, (ESPNU/ESPN3)

1 at Penn State
8 New Mexico State
15 at Marshall
22 Norfolk State
29 *at UMass
6 *Buffalo
13 *Akron
27 *at Miami
1 *Eastern Michigan, 6:00 pm ET (ESPNU)
7 *Bowling Green, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
14 #*at Ball State, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
23 #*at Kent State, (ESPNU/ESPN3)


Ball State
30 *Eastern Michigan
8 at Clemson
15 at Indiana
22 South Florida
29 *at Kent State
6 *Northern Illinois
13 *Western Michigan
20 *at Central Michigan
27 at Army
6 *at Toledo, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
14 #*Ohio, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
23 #*at Miami, (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Central Michigan
30 Southeast Missouri
8 Michigan State
22 at Iowa
29 *at Northern Illinois
6 *at Toledo 
13 Navy 
20 *Ball State
27 *Akron
3 *Western Michigan
10 *at Eastern Michigan
17 *Miami
23 #*at UMass, (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Eastern Michigan
30 *at Ball State
8 Illinois State
15 at Purdue
22 at Michigan State
6 *Kent State
13 *Toledo
20 Army
27 *at Bowling Green
1 *at Ohio, 6:00 pm ET (ESPNU)
10 *Central Michigan
17 *at Western Michigan
23 #*Northern Illinois, (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Northern Illinois
1 Iowa (at Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.)
8 Tennessee-Martin
15 at Army
22 Kansas
29 *Central Michigan
6 *at Ball State
13 *Buffalo
20 *at Akron
27 *at Western Michigan
3 *UMass
14 #*Toledo, 9:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
23 #*at Eastern Michigan, (ESPNU/ESPN3)

1 at Arizona
8 at Wyoming
15 *Bowling Green
22 Coastal Carolina
29 *at Western Michigan
6 *Central Michigan
13 *at Eastern Michigan
20 Cincinnati
27 *at Buffalo
6 *Ball State, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
14 #*at Northern Illinois, 9:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
20 *Akron, 7:00 pm ET (ESPN2)

Western Michigan
1 at Illinois
8 Eastern Illinois
15 at Minnesota
22 Connecticut
29 *Toledo
6 *UMass
13 *at Ball State
20 *at Kent State
27 *Northern Illinois
3 *at Central Michigan
10 *at Buffalo
17 *Eastern Michigan

Saban and Belichick grab take out

Alabama had their second pro day today (yes, they held a second one), and among the coaches in attendance was Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

After Saban gave some insight on how him and his staff prepare players for the next level, one reporter asked if him and Belichick have had the opportunity to go out to catch up and grab a bite to eat together while he was in town.

Saban's responded in a classic Nick Saban manner explaining to the reporter, "You don't know Belichick very well. What you do when he comes to town, you go in the meeting room and you order the stuff in and you eat while the film's going...that's what we did."

Gary Andersen ready to play with 6 linebackers

Utah State's Gary Andersen's coaching background is deep in defensive line experience, and the head coach has always been a firm believer that the key to a strong defense is being stout up front.

So far this spring, Andersen has not been impressed with the effort of the Aggies defensive front.

Andersen told reporters yesterday, "We already play an odd front. If these guys can't play, we'll just go with six linebackers". A 1-6 defense does have a unique ring to it, but it's not quite the same as a 4-3 or 3-4. 

"If the line continues to play like this, we're going to have to score 60 points every week if we want to win games." he added.

Spoiler alert: Since his first fall in 2009, the Aggies have put up 49 points or more five times (twice in '09 and, and impressive three times last season), but have yet to hit the 60 point mark......translation> those defensive linemen are in for a long spring. 

Urban's impression after first spring practice

Urban Meyer hit the field for the first time yesterday, and said that it felt good to be out there again blowing the whistle and seeing guys running around.

The tempo was one thing that really stood out to Meyer. "The amount of plays was incredible, Coach Herman brought that with him. We weren't that way at Florida. We weren't rapid fire. We're rapid fire now." 

However, he was not impressed with the production at receiver for day one, saying that at Ohio State, you should have a few guys that make you say "Wow" when you walk off the field.

"At Ohio State, you should walk off the field and go, 'Wow, who are those three guys?' I haven't done that yet. You've got to have one. Here you should probably have more than two. There was a time when they had two first-rounders, Gonzalez and Ginn. This is the highest level of football. Maybe we do. Maybe we've just got to keep pushing them and developing and we've certainly got to keep recruiting."



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