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12 coaches preparing for year #2 as head coaches

In a couple of weeks, twelve coaches will enter their second overall season as head coaches.  

That list includes Joker Phillips, Rob Ianello, Jeff Quinn, Dan Enos, Ruffin McNeill, Jimbo Fisher, Sonny Dykes, Charlie Strong, Doc Holliday, Larry Porter, Mike MacIntyre, and Willie Taggart.

Of that list, only four head coaches led their teams to bowl games...Fisher, Strong, Phillips, and McNeill.

After leading Kentucky to a 6-7 record in 2010, Joker Phillips admitted this week, “Everybody says if you're a coordinator, it prepares you to be a head coach, but that's not true. There's so many little things that you have to take care of."

He added, "There's nothing that really prepares you for all of the things that come up during the season."

In 2011, Kentucky will be rockin' new uniforms. That’s not the only thing new, either.  Rick Minter is now coordinating the defense, while Steve Perdue joined the staff as the new running backs coach. 

There will also be a brand new HD video board and sound system  at Commonwealth Stadium.

Kentucky opens the season against Western Kentucky in Nashville, TN.  

Kentucky




Who will deliberately enrage Nick Saban on Friday morning?

It's sort of a slow Monday morning, but things are certain to pick up throughout the week.  SEC Media Days begin on Wednesday from Birmingham, AL.

Wednesday's schedule includes Petrino, Spurrier, Muschamp, and Mullen.

Thursday's schedule includes Joker, Richt, Chizik, and Dooley.

Friday's schedule includes Saban, James Franklin, Nutt, and Les.

This morning, our favorite tweet came from EDSBS, who wrote, "SEC Media Days are this week. Commence annual straw-drawing to pick reporter who will ask question to deliberately enrage Nick Saban."

In case anyone needs suggestions, we've gathered some questions that would likely agitate Coach Saban.

1. Coach, can you please give me the day & time when you will let us know who your starting quarterback will be?

2.  Coach, can you give us an in-depth injury report?

3.  Coach, you finished 4th in the SEC West last season, but your overall success at Bama has been terrific.  You seem to enjoy being back in college football.  Are you dead set on staying in college football?

4.  Coach, how many of those “Never Forget, 28-27” signs are still up inside your facility?

5.  Coach, you seemed rather juiced during your youth camper speech in June.  Could you enlighten us as to which player may have been arrested the night before?

6.  Coach, can you tell us about your relationship with Will Muschamp and how you think he will do at Florida?

7.  Coach, what did you think of Gene Chizik’s new book?

8.  Coach, again, for the record, how many games do you think Auburn would have won last year without Cam Newton?

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Do you have a good question for Coach Saban?  Let us know in our newly added conversation section down below.

 




Dan Mullen reiterates: I don't ever plan on losing to them

After defeating Ole Miss for the second consecutive year, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen joyously shouted to his team in the locker room, “We’re never going to lose to this team again.”

You still stand by that, Dan?

Mullen told the Clarion-Ledger this week, “That’s the plan.”

What if Ole Miss wins?  How will you react?

Mullen added, “We better work an awful lot harder next year. I'll be honest with you, I don't ever plan on losing to them. Hopefully I never have to come up with that scenario.”

Those comments surely have to agitate Houston Nutt.  They would irk any competitor.  

So Houston Nutt, do you plan on approaching the game any differently this year?  (i.e. Is there anything you would like Dan Mullen or your own fans to know?  The floor is yours.)

Nutt told the Clarion-Ledger, “We really tried to make it very important last year. That is one of the biggest games of the year, and when you have that rival - Ole Miss-MSU in the Egg Bowl - it's something very, very special. Our players know that and I think our coaches know that.”

In three years as Ole Miss head coach, High Road Houston is 22-16 with two Cotton Bowl wins.  In two years as Mississippi State head coach, Excite Me Mullen is 14-11 with a Gator Bowl win over Michigan.




Trooper says what he really thinks of Gus Malzahn

It’s unusual for an SEC program like Auburn to enter August camp unsettled at quarterback.

Of the major programs around the country, quarterback decisions remains to be made during pre-season camp at Auburn, Alabama, Texas, Ole Miss, and Notre Dame (if you really believe Brian Kelly).

But fresh off a somewhat disappointing (lack of verticality) chest bump with Barack Obama, Auburn wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor says, “It won’t matter. Just watch. I’m 100 percent confident that whoever he puts at quarterback is going to play big in this offense.”

Taylor added, “I’m a true believer. I’m riding the Gus bus. We’ll be successful on offense. Gus will make sure of that.”

“He’s a magician. He’s Harry Potter. All he needs is the broom. He’s got the glasses.”

Competing for the starting quarterback job will be Clint Moseley, Barrett Trotter, and true freshman Keihl Frazier.

Auburn opens the season by hosting Utah State.  Kick-off is set for 12 pm EST on either ESPN or ESPN 2.

There’s still no total confirmation on if Trooper will be wearing a jacket for the 12 pm EST kick-off.  Game time temperature should be around 98 degrees, so we’ll go ahead and assume the jacket will be go. 




Skip Holtz believes it's time to consider an on-campus stadium at USF

There’s just something about an on-campus festive game day atmosphere in college football.

And Skip Holtz knows it.  He believes there is merit to an in-depth study about construction a new stadium that could have an enormous effect on the entire university.

Holtz, heading into his second year at the South Florida head coach, told CBS Sports writer Brett McMurphy, "If done right, yes, I would be in favor of an on-campus stadium."

For years, the Bulls have played their home games at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Bucs.  It’s a great venue, but makes it very difficult for USF to make any meaningful profit off the game day experience.

Holtz says, "It's a very difficult economic time for a lot of universities and a lot of people. You have to be considerate of that with what you're going through. Is now the right time? Let's look at that and find out. It may be a little harder to raise [the funds] now, but it's also cheaper to build."

Miami (FL), Pitt, San Diego State, and Tulane also play their home games in NFL stadiums.

The average home attendance at South Florida last year was 40,849.

52,553 average attendance - 2009

49,690 average attendance - 2008

53,170 average attendance - 2007

30,222 average attendance - 2006

38,865 average attendance - 2005

 




Florida State says, "It's our time."

Florida State says, “It’s our time.”

And they may be right.

Jimbo Fisher feels great about his quarterback E.J. Manuel and the defense enters their second season under coordinator Mark Stoops.  In fact, ESPN's College Footabll Live pre-season Top 25 has the 'Noles ranked at #6 nationally.

The Seminoles coaching staff was just 1 of 25 staffs in the country to remain completely intact during the off-season.  All nine assistant coaches decided to stay in Tallahassee.

That list includes the staffs at Arkansas, Army, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, East Carolina, FAU, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, LA Tech, Missouri, NC State, Notre Dame, Ohio, Oregon, Penn State, USF, TCU, Texas A&M, Troy, Virginia, and Washington.

We’ll hear more about Florida State when Jimbo Fisher speaks at the ACC Football Kickoff, which begins July 24 at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, NC.

But for now, here’s what the Seminoles are saying…




Ohio high school coaches to rock Tressel's traditional wardrobe

As a sign of appreciation, most Ohio high school head football coaches will honor Jim Tressel by wearing a white shirt and tie during the first game of the 2011 season.

No vest, however.

The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association announced the recommendation this week to all of its member head coaches in support of the former Ohio State head coach.

Each individual head coach will make a personal decision whether to participate or not, but the feeling is that most coaches throughout the state will honor the former Buckeyes head coach.

Here's a video tribute to Tressel:




Rick Neuheisel makes unusual statement for a head coach

If you follow our site, you probably know by now that we don’t enjoy the media discussing the proverbial “hot seat” with coaches.  It may be entertaining to some of you, but as soon as, say Mark May for example, talks about Neuheisel having to win six or seven games to keep his job, that's when we are changing the channel.

It’s mid-July and officially, we are now pulling for Rick Neuheisel as much as any coach in the country. August camp hasn’t even begun and Neuheisel is facing questions regarding his future as the head coach of the UCLA Bruins.

You don’t usually see this kind of statement from a head coach, but Neuheisel admitted yesterday that he needs to win at least half of his games this season and play in a bowl game in order to keep his job.

Neuheisel told the LA Times, “I hate talking like that, but, as an alumni, I would say absolutely yes. At the end of the day, I am responsible for this program."

"Obviously, I've had a number of conversations like, 'Hey, you're on the hot seat, you're the No. 1 guy on the hot seat.'"

In his first three seasons at UCLA, Neuheisel had led his alma mater to final records of 4-8, 7-6, and 4-8.

"I've done this before; I believe I can do it again. I just need to get it done," said Neuheisel.

In order to kick-start the program, Neuheisel made sweeping changes to his coaching staff in the off-season.  Mike Johnson has replaced Norm Chow as offensive coordinator.  Joe Tresey has replaced Chuck Bullough as defensive coordinator.  Inoke Breckterfield (defensive line) and Jim Mastro (tight ends / f-backs) joined the staff, while Angus McClure has replaced Frank Gansz Jr. as special teams coordinator.

The Bruins open at Houston before hosting San Jose State and Texas.  The four PAC-12 home games include Wazzu, Cal, Arizona State, and Colorado.