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Young coach takes full advantage of his on the field opportunity

Just last week we highlighted a couple grad assistants, and another off the field coach, making their on the field coaching debut for Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl due to a number of coaches leaving for Knoxville to join Butch Jones' staff.

Every young grad assistant and off the field coach prepares every day for an opportunity to get on the field during game day, but for one reason or another, not every coach is able to make the most of that opportunity.

Last night, Wesley Goodwin filled in for recently departed Charlie Harbison (who left for a position on Gus Malzahn's staff at Auburn), making his debut as the interim secondary coach, and helped Clemson notch their biggest win in a long, long time. Goodwin had previously been working as a grad assistant in the video department.

The Clemson secondary dominated, holding the LSU offense to just 120 yards through the air. Credit Goodwin for stepping up during some adverse circumstances and having his guys physically and mentally prepared to play, and making the most of his big opportunity. That group of defensive backs left it all on the field last night, and it was evident.

Below is a quick clip of Dabo Swinney after the game.

Putting perspective on Monday's NFL coaching movement

We saw a pair of tweets this morning from Adam Schefter that succinctly put the carnage from yesterday in the NFL in perspective. 

Schefter tweeted that the seven NFL head coaches released yesterday were more than the amount of coaches fired on the Monday following Week 17 in the last three seasons combined. Additionally, the five general managers let go yesterday beat the combined total (four) from 2007-11. And the League may not be done yet.

On the college level, 2012 has already matched 2011's record-breaking number of 28 FBS head coaching changes, and we expect that number to rise in the coming days and weeks. 

This begs the question, are these numbers an anomaly or a new fact of life? We tend to lean pretty strongly toward the latter. Schools and franchises are investing more than they ever have in pursuit of victories, and that investment brings expectations. As long as the relationship between expectations and patience remains inverse, Black Monday will continue to be more eventful than ever. 

Video: Andy Reid addresses the team one last time

Yesterday at about 9am ET, Andy Reid was officially relieved of his duties as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

About an hour later everyone from players to the support staff gathered, and owner Jeffrey Lurie introduced Reid and presented him a game ball recognizing him as the winningest coach in the history of the organization, and commended him for his hard work and dedication to the franchise.

Reid then briefly addressed the team and reminded everyone that "sometimes change is good".

Very classy final speech from a guy that poured his heart and soul into the City of Brotherly Love for 14 seasons.

 

Chip Kelly explains how they get their guys to buy in

After being bombarded with questions on NFL head coaching vacancies and various rumors at the Fiesta Bowl media day yesterday, Houston Nutt of Sirius XM College Sports Nation lightened the mood by commending Chip Kelly on the cohesiveness of his team, and asked him what the secret was to getting everyone on the same page.

"I think one thing, that doesn't go unnoticed by us, but I don't think people really realize is that our staff has been together for four years. We haven't lost a strength coach, haven't lost an assistant coach, our operations staff is the same. The people that touch our kids on a daily basis are the same people."

"There's a consistency in our message. The players that come into our program understand what it's all about, what our expectations are, and then we've got a group of older kids that, as they mature through the program, do a great job of making sure that the younger kids understand how things are done."

Then Kelly explained the importance of having leadership beyond the coaching staff and having a consistent message from top to bottom.

"For any organization to be great, they have to have not only vertical leadership, which is from us down, but you also have to have horizontal leadership, which is in the locker room. And we turn our locker room over to guys like Dion Jordan, Michael Clay, Kiki Alonso, and Kenjon Barner and their message to the younger guys is the same message that our coaches give to them so that's what puts everyone on the same page."

Just after the three minute mark, one reporter lobs some fun, non-football related questions at Kelly, including his preference between Biggie and Tupac. Definitely worth hanging in there until the end.

 

The Scoop on New Year's Day bowl games

The calendar may say Tuesday, but in our minds this is the final college football Saturday of the year. With six games on the schedule, your remote control trigger finger will get one last 12-hour workout. 

Let's get right to it.

Gator Bowl - Mississippi State vs. Northwestern (12 p.m. ET, ESPN2): Each squad has a lot to prove in this game; Northwestern has lost nine straight bowls, Mississippi State beat one team with a winning record this fall. Northwestern possesses more explosive ability than Mississippi State. The Bulldogs for the most part played good defense this fall but allowed 38, 38, 37 and 41 in its four losses. Northwestern can achieve the third 10-win season in school history and, oh yeah, make Pat Fitzgerald the winningest coach in school history with a victory.

Heart of Dallas Bowl - Oklahoma State vs. Purdue (12 p.m. ET, ESPNU): The second installment of the quirky "bowl game at the Cotton Bowl that isn't the Cotton Bowl". Oklahoma State moved the ball as well as anyone in the country and did it with a revolving door at quarterback at times and Big 12-leading rusher Joseph Randle but will have to do so without offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Purdue plays without Danny Hope and looks to duplicate its offensive output from its six wins (42.7 points per game) rather than its six losses (17.2 ppg).

Capital One Bowl - Georgia vs. Nebraska (1 p.m. ET, ABC): Bowl games often boil down to motivation and in none of the 34 other bowls does that equation matter more than this one. Each team attempts to pick itself up off that mat after conference championship losses that were opposite in nature but equally devastating. Nebraska's best chance for victory lies in its ability to get Taylor Martinez active in the running game. 

Outback Bowl - Michigan vs. South Carolina (1 p.m. ET, ESPN): Denard Robinson is again unable to throw so Devin Gardner gets the privilege of being chased by Jadeveon Clowney for 60 minutes. The South Carolina defense held Tajh Boyd to 209 total yards and will aim to do the same to the ultra-green Gardner who struggled mightily in Michigan's 26-21 loss to Ohio State. 

Rose Bowl - Wisconsin vs. Stanford (5 p.m. ET, ESPN): These squads are almost mirror images of each other, except for the mobility of Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan. Hogan invigorated the Cardinal offense to an upset of Oregon and ultimately the Pac-12 championship. Wisconsin, on other hand, is better than its 8-5 record, evidenced by the systematic demolition of Nebraska, and will be rejuvenated by Barry Alvarez's presence on the sidelines. But will it be enough against a Stanford front that can lay claim as the best in college football?

Orange Bowl - Florida State vs. Northern Illinois (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): The pageantry of the Rose Bowl is unmatched but, to me at least, this is the best match-up of New Year's Day. Jordan Lynch will be the best quarterback Florida State has seen this season, and Florida State is by far the best defense Lynch and the Huskies have faced. Northern Illinois boasts an overlooked but capable defense that ranks in the top 20 in four NCAA categories. Lynch will be the focus, but the play of the Huskies' defense could be the deciding factor. 

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