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Nutt: Until you've done it, it's one of the most difficult things, ever

Please don’t berate us.  Yes, this is an article mentioning “over-signing.”  Hopefully, it’s our last.  Not because it’s an unimportant issue, but because several media members do not fully understand the challenge of managing a roster.

As you know, college football programs are allowed 85 total scholarships and no school is allowed to bring in more than 25 members in any particular recruiting class.

But it’s a lot more complicated than that.  Players fail out of school, declare early, transfer, or get dismissed from the team.  In the meantime, coaches are expected to have a 3-deep at defensive tackle, right guard, and slot receiver.  When you don't, the results can really set back your program.

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt told the Clarion-Ledger today, “Until you’ve done it, until you’ve actually done it, it’s one of the most difficult things, ever.”

Rightfully or not (we believe “not”), Nutt has been harshly criticized in recent years for over-signing.  Now, the issues have become so public and concerning that they will be at the forefront of next week’s conference meetings in Destin, FL.

Head coaches, athletic directors, and presidents will be on hand to discuss the matters.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive says, ““It’s more than just the question of over-signing or grayshirting. It’s a question of over-signing, grayshirting, early admissions, summer school admission. We’ve put together what we call a bit of a package to address these issues that will give our people a chance to think about these issues in a more global fashion. So then it will be an important discussion item in Destin.”

Georgia head coach Mark Richt recently shared his disgust regarding over-signing.  Richt said, “If you bring them in in the summer, and you work them and you let your strength staff work with them, and you kind of decide which ones you like the best, and you tell five of them, ‘Hey we know we signed you, and we expected you to be able to come in, we don’t have space for you, we’re really sorry about that but we don’t have space for you – you’re gonna have to leave and come back in January. I think that’s an awful thing to do, I think that’s the wrong thing to do. And it’s nothing that we’ve done since I’ve been at Georgia.” 

Although it may not be one of the most difficult things “ever,” as described by Nutt, neither is leading a program in the SEC.

You better not get caught short.

 




Stanford gets creative with recruiting mail-out

Stanford would like for their recruits to understand very clearly that choosing a college is a forty-year decision, not a four year decision.  Where you go to college will impact the next forty years of your life.

Part of Stanford recruiting strategy is to show recruits exactly how much a Stanford education will help them in the future endeavors, including making money.

Creatively, one of Stanford’s latest recruiting mail-outs to recruits included some figures from a PayScale.com report.

According to PayScale.com , the average salary of a “mid-career” alumni is $119,000.  But Stanford took it a step further, by pointing out that of the programs that finished in the Top 25 last season, only Virginia Tech and Texas A&M came within $30,000 of Stanford graduates.

Mid-career alumni, classified as those 15 years out of school, averaged $94,700 (Virginia Tech) and $93,300 (Texas A&M).

The recruiting letter reads, “While the complete college experience sets Stanford apart, there is no question that a Stanford degree later will provide you earning power which can forever change your life. The average Stanford graduate pulls down $40,000 (ital)per year(close) above the grads of the rest of the Top 25 college football programs in the country. Compounded over a career, this represents an advantage of at least $1-2 million. That’s just the salary advantage for the average Stanford grad, and there has been nothing average to this point in your life. Stanford Varsity Athlete alumni are the most sought-after employees across all sectors of the economy in every corner of the country.”

To find out what the average salary for your school is, click here.

Looking at the pre-season College Football Live Top 5, here are the mid-career average salaries for their alumni:

Oklahoma: $77,200

Alabama: $80,100

Oregon: $76,200

LSU: $79,700

Boise State: $66,100




Brian Kelly wants to face the SEC in a BCS game

Last week during a speech to a Notre Dame alumni chapter in Alabama, Brian Kelly made the statement, "Notre Dame will be taken serious when they beat an SEC team."

On Monday, Kelly did it again.

During a speech in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Kelly said, “Our (goal) at Notre Dame is to get back to a BCS game that hopefully draws an SEC team, so we can start to reverse that trend of where they think the best football is in the country because the SEC can hold that (claim) right now.”

The 2012 BCS bowl schedule is set up as follows:

January 2 - Rose Bowl (Pasadena)
January 2 or 3 - Sugar Bowl (New Orleans)
January 3 or 4 - Orange Bowl (Miami)
January 4 or 5 - Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.)
January 9 - National Championship Game (New Orleans)

What if Notre Dame runs the table and plays Alabama in New Orleans for the national championship?  Do you think that would be a cheap ticket?




Eddie Gran wants the 'Noles to "Take Doak Back"

A year ago, Florida State was 6-1 playing inside Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.  In Jimbo Fisher’s first season as head coach, FSU defeated Samford, BYU, Wake Forest, Boston College, Clemson, and Florida.  The only hiccup in Tallahassee was a 37-35 loss to North Carolina.

The home schedule this season includes ULM, Charleston Southern, Oklahoma, Maryland, NC State, Miami (FL), and Virginia.

Not only does FSU running backs coach Eddie Gran want to run the table, but he also wants to “Take Doak Back.”

During a recent radio interview, Gran reiterated the need to fill the stands and to create a powerful environment at Doak.  Gran admitted the crowd on two separate Saturdays last year created that special goose bump feeling, but that was just two of seven opportunities.

Gran said, “There were five games where I didn’t feel you…we need to take that stadium back.”

And let’s be honest, having coached in the SEC for over ten years, Gran know the advantage the home team crowd can bring to the table.

Perhaps this is what Gran is hoping to see week in and week out:

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Art Briles as confident as ever, praises Phil Bennett

Baylor head coach Art Briles is usually a glass half-full type of guy.  Today, that glass may have been completely full, as Briles seemed downright giddy about his football team.

The Bears are coming off their first winning season since 1995, but did lose two first-round draft choices and a number of players on defense.

During an interview with Brian Smith of Fox Sports Southwest, Briles said, “We've got some guys (receivers) who can play, no doubt. We've got some playmakers, some difference makers. They're going to be counted on and they're going to make plays for us. But we'll still be tough and aggressive up front. We've got a great offensive line coming back this year, and we'll run the football effectively also.”

“Through the years, if you'll check the stats, we've been very productive throwing and rushing the football. We've been one of the few teams in America over the years to have a 3,000-yard passer, a couple of 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher. We're really one of only five or six teams to do that nationally.”

“We're always going to run the football. We'll be very effective running the football. We have our own style of play that we're not altering. We've had great success in how we've been able to do it. We finished 12th or 13th last year in total offense in America. We'll continue to do what we do, and we'll continue to get better as we're doing it.”

Coach, is Phil Bennett going to be able to rebuild and restructure the Baylor defense?

“There's no 'try' to it; he's already done it. He's a doer and he's a proven commodity. That's what I love him.”

Baylor opens with three consecutive home games against TCU, Stephen F. Austin, and Rice.




Will college coaches be required to sell season tickets?

In lieu of salary cutbacks or furloughs, the Oakland Raiders’ organization is requiring coaches to sell new season tickets that total at least 10% of their salaries during the length of the NFL lockout.

Raiders chief executive Amy Trask believes, “A very strong argument can be made that this is something that staff members of every team should be doing all the time."

Oakland assistant coach Chuck Bresnahan told USA Today, "Everybody's trying to get creative in their own way. I know I've got something to talk about at every establishment I set foot in — every restaurant, every store, every winery."

Here in the towers at FootballScoop Headquarters, the story makes us wonder if certain college athletic departments should require their assistant coaches to meet a quota for season ticket sales.

Of course, we are thinking mostly about the mid-major programs and a few of the BCS programs that would undoubtedly greatly benefit from an extra 4,500 season ticket sales.

Each program has nine assistant coaches, so that would leave each assistant coach responsible for 500 ticket sales.

Here’s a great point by SI.com writer Peter King, who wrote today in his Monday Morning QB column, “I love the Raiders asking their employees (including coaches) to sell tickets in an attempt to make sure their salaries aren't cut. Jarrett Bell wrote about this in USA Today last week, and I wanted to shake my head and say, "Typical Raiders.'' But I couldn't. It's actually pretty smart. And don't you think coaches would be great ticket sellers out in the community, particularly when they can regale some Chamber of Commerce audience with stories from the gridiron. Nice job, Amy Trask.”

It should be noted that college coaches do help season-ticket sales by their various speaking engagements.  Since head coaches can no longer recruit away from campus during the spring, their time has been consumed by fundraising and speaking engagements.  There is not, however, a college that currently mandates a quota of ticket sales from a head coach or any assistant, at least not that we are aware.

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Ready for year #4, Pelini explains his philosophy

Bo Pelini is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the winning-est college football program in the last fifty years, both in number of wins and percentage wise.  Under Pelini, the Nebraska has finished 9-4, 10-4, and 10-4.

ESPN’s College Football LIVE has the Huskers ranked #13 in their pre-season poll.

Recently, Pelini talked about his philosophy with Randy York.

Pelini explained, “Part of my philosophy is, I think, you gotta be black-and-white all the time. You gotta be honest. You gotta be the same all the time. I hear people say that some guys are players' coaches, but at the end of the day, your kids have to believe in and trust in you having their best interests at heart - on the field and off the field - in everything you do.”

“Being a players' coach doesn't mean telling a player what he wants to hear all the time. You have to be honest with them, hard on them, push them and try to get the best out of them in a lot of different ways, but at the same time, players have to understand that what you are asking them to do is in their own best interests.”

Although the Huskers have lost some outstanding players the last two years to the NFL, Pelini sees more than one advantage.

“You're looking now at 90 to 95 percent of this team being guys you've recruited. I've gone into their homes, and I haven't made any promises to anybody. All I've told them is we will give them an opportunity, and it's up to them what they do with that opportunity. I've always felt it's important to set the stage for that right up front, so they know what kind of coach and what kind of system they're getting themselves into. There are no surprises. When that happens, you're all on the same page from the start. They're not coming in here with any false sense of reality about what they're being asked to do on a daily and weekly basis.”

Discipline.

Pelini explained, “I don't know if we've had a guy make a bad decision or the same mistake twice because they all know the standards. Slowly but surely, that becomes the culture and the expectations in the locker room. It gets to a point where you don't have to police them because they police themselves. That's when you get really strong.”

Nebraska opens with three consecutive home games against Chattanooga, Fresno State, and Washington.




Skip Holtz: Big East should consider expanding to 12, adding ECU

When TCU joins the Big East in 2012, the league will have nine programs competing in football.  Villanova is a possibility for number ten.

But South Florida head coach Skip Holtz believes the Big East should look at going to twelve teams.  The former East Carolina head coach from 2005-2009, Skip Holtz believes that East Carolina is a perfect fit.

During an interview with Pirate Radio 1250, Holtz explained, “I think we need to look hard at going to 12. Is that where we're going? Are we going to 12? And if we're going to 12 and we're going to add three, then I would love to see East Carolina as one of the additions in this league.”

“I have fond memories of East Carolina and my time here in Greenville. I look at their fanbase and their following and the support they have here, and being located here in the Carolinas, I think East Carolina can pick up and really grow into the program Virginia Tech has become, with the opportunity to be in a (league) like the Big East.”

“It's one of the things I'd love to see happen. It's going to be really interesting to see how this is going to play out here over the next couple of months, but I think it's definitely something the Big East needs to look at and consider."

ESPN’s Brian Bennett writes, “The Pirates have a dedicated fan base and a program that has been pretty consistently solid. It's not in a big market but could bring some attention in the Carolinas. On the flip side, have you ever tried to get to Greenville, N.C.?”

UCF and Houston are other realistic candidates.