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Caldwell unsure, Locksley on horse racing, Bud Foster on stopping the run

Vandy head coach Robbie Caldwell knows Saturday could be his last day: "If it is my last game, well, I'll be sad because I've enjoyed my time here at Vanderbilt. Hopefully it won't be. But if it is, I understand. It's the life of a football coach, unfortunately, this day and time."


Mike Locksley and New Mexico host TCU on Saturday: “I often use the analogy this week with our players: horse racing. You know those horses have odds on them, and when you open the gates on them, do you think the horse knows what the odds were? They don’t.”


North Texas defensive coordinator Gary DeLoach worried he could be out of a job: “I don't know if I can find a job. I am going to look around. I still have passion for the game. At my age it's tough. It's a young man game, and I realize that. You look around the country and there are not a lot of 57-year-old assistants."


Bud Foster not happy with VA Tech run defense: "Stop the run and make the opposing offense one-dimensional. That's always been the first goal of our defense.''

"We talked about it this morning. That's one thing we've taken great pride in. What we've done over 15 years a lot of people would like to do in one year. And I don't want our kids to lose sight of that. We don't want a team to feel like they can have success running the football on us because that's the last thing you want them to be able to do.''

"Part of it is the other team; part of it is us, getting lined up, being more forceful in our run game and our run fits in our perimeter. That's where we kind of been hurt as much as anything.”

Larry Porter explains his media policy to reporters

Larry Porter’s first year as Memphis head coach didn’t turn out the way he expected.  The Tigers are 1-10 and host UCF on Saturday at the Liberty Bowl.

Porter’s first year also included some conflict with the local Memphis media.  Today, Porter set the record straight on his media policies and talked about the future of the Memphis program.

Porter started, “I also want to say thank you, not just for today, but throughout the whole season. I think it’s a great compliment to you guys in how you’ve handled this season in terms of keeping things in perspective. I think, as we go forward, we just have to continue to give this program a platform that will allow it to flourish. Again, for your coverage and all the things that you’ve done, I want to say thank you.”

Regarding his media policy, Porter said, “Alright, let me set the record straight, OK. Everybody’s listening? My practices are not closed. They’re just structured to where the media comes at a certain time. So that perception has somehow taken a turn for the worst. And I understand and I did not try to debate the way you guys presented it. I did not. I understood exactly what you were saying, but my practices are not closed. As we go forward, let me say this publicly. The first three days of spring football will be open to the public, OK. Everybody there. It will be open to the public, so we’ll start there. In terms of my players, in terms of my freshmen, that’s just a fundamental belief of mine. I think you’ve got to educate guys before you just kind of send them out to the media and ask them questions that they may not be mature enough to handle. And in terms of my coaches, as we continue to grow and they know me and what I’m all about, I’ll be more open to allowing them to talk to the media.”

So what’s next for the program?

“I think if you look at the things going on, the future of this program is very bright. I really do believe that. Just the vibe I get from kids that want to be a part of this program. It has affected us in some ways, but just the reception you get overall; I think we’re headed in the right direction. I feel good about where we’re going. And then you look at the nucleus of this team. I think we’re in great shape.”

JoePa explains decision, Chris Ault makes bold statement

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno says he will return: "I didn't say I hope to. I'm gonna."

“I’ve never indicated to anybody that I’m not coming back. Now’s not the time to go. We’ve got a young team." 

“It's always been on my mind that now is not the time to go. I have not thought about getting out of it, let me put it that way."

 "I'm trying to do what I think is best for the program."


In his 26th year, Nevada head coach Chris Ault pretty clear about Boise State: “They don’t have a weakness anywhere on their team. That is the most complete, best team we’ve ever faced. Nebraska, Notre Dame any of them. This Boise State team is the best we’ve ever had to face.”


Indiana head coach Bill Lynch says AD’s support has been unbelievable: "(Glass') support has been unbelievable. Everything that he has said has been exactly what its been throughout the year. He's been as supportive as can be, week-by-week."


Leading the nation in blocked kicks / punts: Rutgers leads the nation with a total of 7.  Northern Illinois and Fresno State have 6. 


Da’Quan Bowers has more sacks than 17 teams: Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers has 15 sacks on the season.  That’s more than  ULL, ECU, Ball State, Utah State, Rice, Air Force, Memphis, WKU, UNLV, Iowa State, Duke, Eastern Michigan, Kansas, New Mexico, Kansas, Minnesota, and New Mexico State.

Spurrier: I thought about sending him a message about...

Dabo Swinney said early this morning that he has talked to Steve Spurrier a couple of times this year. 

When a reporter asked Spurrier about his communication with the Clemson head coach, a humble Spurrier explained, “He (Dabo) did text message me (after we won the East) and I called him back.  Mark Richt also sent a letter congratulating me on the East championship. I thought about sending him (Dabo) a message about beating Wake Forest, but I didn’t think he wanted to hear that.”

“To tell you the truth, I usually don’t send a message to the winner of the East.”

“I really like Dabo.  I think we have a healthy rivalry.  There’s no bad mouthing in recruiting between South Carolina and Clemson now.  I think that’s the way it should be and I think Dabo and his guys think the same thing.”

About the rivalry, Spurrier wouldn’t mind moving it to Game #1.  “It would make sense if we moved the game to the first game of the year,” Spurrier said.  “That would give fans something to talk about all year.”

“We’ve turned it a little bit, winning the East.  The next two weeks though will really determine our season.  Our players know that.” 

Playmakers and their coaches

On Monday, we will begin releasing the finalists for the 3rd Annual FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by SpeedTracs.  In the meantime, here's a list of college football's best players with their position coach noted alongside.

Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player)
Da’Quan Bowers (Chris Rumph)
Nick Fairley (Tracy Rocker)
Patrick Peterson (Ron Cooper)

Biletnikoff Award (best receiver)
Justin Blackmon (Gunter Brewer)
Ryan Broyles (Jay Norvell)
Alshon Jeffery (Steve Spurrier Jr.)

Maxwell Award (best all-around player) and Davey O’Brien Award (best QB)
Andrew Luck (Jim Harbaugh)
Kellen Moore (Bryan Harsin)
Cam Newton (Gus Malzahn)

Outland Trophy (best interior lineman)
Gabe Carimi (Bob Bostad)
Rodney Hudson (Rick Trickett)
Nate Solder (Denver Johnson)

Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back)
Prince Amukamara, (Marvin Sanders)
Tejay Johnson (Chad Glasgow)
Patrick Peterson (Ron Cooper)

Doak Walker Award (best running back)
John Clay (John Settle)
Kendall Hunter (Robert Gillespie)
LaMichael James (Gary Campbell)

Pat Hill speaks the truth, causes quite a stir with Fresno State fans

Fresno State head coach Pat Hill offered some interesting words during his Monday press conference, which have caused quite a stir from the Bulldog fans.

Hill said, "You know, the plateau right now might be eight games a season. That's the way it looks. We've been a consistent eight-win-a-year type team -- and a bowl team. We are not right now in the upper echelon of our conference. We're not among the top two teams."

Asked if fan expectations are too high, Hill explained, “I toss that around in my mind. Expectations and support go together hand and hand. The expectations of this football team are very, very high. We're going to keep the expectations as high as we can.”

"I'd love to be doing what Boise is doing. I'd love to be undefeated. I'd love to be going to BCS games. That's what we want to do. That's what we've set our program to do. We haven't been able to achieve that, but I think we run a very competitive football team, a very clean team."

"We are not where we need to be at this time," Hill said. "And I'm not happy with this, either. I want to do everything we can to please this community."

Fresno State is 6-4 on the season.  The Bulldogs host Idaho and Illinois to finish the season. 

Norm Chow: Whatever needs to get done needs to get done

When Rick Neuheisel took over at UCLA in 2008, he never expected the Bruins would struggle on offense for three consecutive years.

The Bruins have gone from 111th nationally in total offense (2008) to 88th (2009), and now back to 111th (2010). 

Offensive coordinator Norm Chow told ESPNLosAngeles.com , “I'm a big guy. I've been around this business a long time. I've been fired before. It's part of the deal. Obviously it's something he's thinking through. That's his prerogative as a head coach."

"No one is more disappointed in the offense than I am. Whatever needs to get done needs to get done. You won't hear any excuses out of me."

Neuheisel explained, “I haven't ventured down that path. The evaluation period will start as soon as the season is over. Once we get to that point, then we'll make the decisions as to what's the best thing for UCLA football, just as my bosses do. My bosses have to do that as well."

“I believe in Norm Chow. I think he's a great coach; I think he's a great guy. I've got to decide what's best for UCLA football; and I can't do that right now. I've got to figure out right now what we can do to beat Arizona State."

UCLA finished 4-8 in Neuheisel’s first season.  In 2009, the Bruins defeated Temple in the EagleBank Bowl to finish 7-6.  This season, UCLA is 4-6 and travels to Arizona State this weekend before hosting USC in the season finale.  UCLA is 117th in turnover margin. 

Cabral wants Colorado job, Caldwell unsure of future at Vandy

Colorado interim head coach Brian Cabral is 2-0 with wins over Iowa State and Kansas State. On Monday, Cabral, who does have some support, made it clear he desires the job permanently.

Cabral said, “I'm seeing more and more former players that are getting more excited about the program again. They're all into it. They're very proud of this team. They're very proud of these players and what we've accomplished these last two weeks."

"I can lead. I can inspire. I can make a difference. I've always known that about myself."

"I represent every Buff that wore that helmet, every guy that put on black and gold. I represent them. And I'm living a dream right now. To be in this position and to lead a team, to lead a team into a week like Nebraska, to lead a team into a place like Lincoln, I'm so privileged. I'm so blessed to have this opportunity."

Colorado travels to Nebraska this weekend.

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt head coach Robbie Caldwell admitted that he doesn’t know what the future holds.

“I sure don’t. I have no idea. I’m just going to keep working. I can’t control that. I’m trying to work on things I can control, but good question,” Caldwell said.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here at Vanderilt, but hopefully it won’t be. ... I understand that’s the life of a football coach in this day and time. I told you the story a few weeks ago. Jim Valvano came in with a lifetime contract and got fired. There’s nothing in stone as a coach. You live from one year to the next. You hope to go from there.”

Vanderbilt hosts Wake Forest this weekend.