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Saban violates one of his biggest rules

Les Miles and Nick Saban appeared together on ESPN's Sports Nation with Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd today.

Talk about entertaining TV. (massive understatement)

The two coaches were in Bristol, CT going through the ESPN "Car Wash" along with other SEC head coaches.  Somehow, Miles and Saban were forced into a complicated game of “True or False.”

The coaches were asked three questions:

1. Alabama will the SEC.  True or False?

2. Auburn will be as good without Cam Newton.  True or False?

3. Grass can be delicious?

Let’s just say that Saban wasn’t as comfortable answering these questions on set as he is on the sidelines.

And the Alabama head coach was able to get in the last word when he said, “You know, I just want to say something, a’ight. This show has forced me to violate one of my biggest rules and that’s not to make prediction and not to prognosticate.”

For the record, Saban responded, “True” for each of the questions.

Stanford coach David Shaw more clearly defines coaching roles

Stanford head coach David Shaw more clearly defined the roles of some assistant coaches today during his PAC-12 media session.

Shaw explained, “Well, what we do have are co-coordinators. Derek Mason will make the call. He's the associate head coach and coordinator. Jason Tarver, I gave him that co-coordinator title because he brought great stuff to us from his ten years in the NFL.”

“So the mix of those two guys is phenomenal. They're like an old married couple. They finish each other's sentences. They argue, they have mini meetings within meetings. It's a fun thing to watch. At the same time, Derek knows he's making the call. There's going to be a lot of similarities. 
We've added a lot to the defense.”

On the offensive side, Pep Hamilton has the title of offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach.  Nobody on the staff has the wide receivers title.

Shaw said, “Pep Hamilton (offensive coordinator) will coach the quarterbacks and the receivers. They'll work closely together. They're going to meet together. I'll step in periodically.”

“There will be times when we split, as he and I have talked. I might work with the quarterbacks, he might work with the receivers and we can switch at different times. He and I spent a lot of time getting on the same page the last couple of years and trust each other complicity. But for the most part coach Hamilton will coach both of those positions.”

In describing how he is different that former head coach Jim Harbaugh, Shaw said, “We're going to fight. We have different personalities, but at the same time you can ask the guys when somebody crosses the line, I'll be nose to nose with them. I might not be yelling, but I'll be dead serious. There is a standard of play that we'll play up to, and it's my job that we'll do that.”

“Differences are minimal because our biggest differences are we have different personalities, and the same goals and same competitive drive.”

Jeff Tedford describes his role in play-calling this season

Jeff Tedford kicked-off PAC Media Day in Los Angeles today.

A year ago, Cal struggled on offense, but as Tedford pointed out, “We were six points away from being 8-4.”

After starting quarterback Kevin Riley went down with a season ending injury, the Bears averaged just 13 points per game.

In the off-season, offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig departed for San Diego State.  

Oakland Raiders offensive line coach Jim Michalczik joined the staff as offensive coordinator / offensive line coach, while former Wyoming offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo joined the staff as quarterbacks coach. In addition, former Colorado offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau joined the staff as wide receivers coach.

Asked how he would handle the playing calling duties this season, Tedford said, “I will be a little bit more involved in that.  We will call them as a staff and always communicate, but I will be much more involved this year than last year.”

"Call them as a staff."  Huh?

Cal opens against Fresno State before traveling to Colorado in week #2.

Steve Addazio all about preparing to win in November

Temple head coach Steve Addazio got his first taste of MAC Football Media Day this morning in Detroit.

In short, it sounds like lacking toughness is not an option if you’re going to play under the former Florida offensive coordinator / offensive line coach.

Addazio said, “It’s going to take toughness. You have to be a physically and mentally tough team to win in November.  We’re trying to train ourselves to be a strong team in November.”

“How do you do it? It’s called the mental grind.  It’s called every day.  You’re training, you’re working on those things that we value as a team, which are mental and physical toughness.”

“You gotta be a football team.  You gotta be able to count on each other, pull for each other.  When it gets hard at the end of the season and there are injuries, you gotta be able to rely upon those guys who maybe didn’t have as many reps early on, but they were in the game and preparing hard.  It’s all the evolution of a football team.  Winning in November has a lot to being physically and mentally tough.”

“Those are all the marks of a strong football team.”

Addazio reiterated his plan to continue to bring marquee program to Philadelphia.  A year ago, Temple defeated UCONN in Philadelphia.

This year, the Owls will host Penn State, Toledo, and Army.

Addazio said, “That’s our footprint.  We are in the greatest sports city in the country in Philadelphia.  We are going to play some of the elite programs in the country.  It makes the excitement in college football.  That’s what we’re all about; we want to keep building that culture in Philadelphia.”

Tom O'Brien explains his theory to running a clean program

Listening to NC State head coach Tom O’Brien this morning on 620 The Buzz, it’s clear that O’Brien is disgusted by the number of programs that are violating NCAA rules.  He also shared his thoughts on why his programs, whether at Boston College or NC State, have been able to steer clear of major violations.

O'Brien said, "It’s embarrassing because it touches all of us, especially the amount of programs that are now involved.”

“The number one question that was asked to me during the caravan all spring was, ‘What are you going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen to State?’”

“I think a lot of it has to do with the people you surround yourself with, the people you hire.”

“As a head coach, I've hired twenty-two people in fifteen years.  Seven of them have left me to become head coaches.  Whatever I’ve done, I’ve been able to hire the right people.  I’ve been able to identity people you can trust, that understand what’s right and wrong, what’s ethically right and ethically wrong, and how you’re supposed to carry yourself.”

Now, that’s a pretty impressive statistic.  The list of seven coaches includes Al Golden, Mike London, Frank Spaziani, Jeff Jagodzinski, Bob Shoop (Columbia), Don Treadwell, and Jason Swepson (Elon University).

O’Brien said, “Maybe that’s the best thing I’ve done in college football...is hire the right people.”

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