Inside Scoop: Steve Mullins...and one great story
Ever wonder how Arkansas Tech got the "Wonderboys" name? Well, watch the video above and you will be fascinated. The guy who basically earned the name for Arkansas Tech in 1919, then played on Alabama's Rose Bowl team in 1931.?.? Yep.
Listen to Arkansas Tech head coach & athletic director Steve Mullins tell us about his 15 seasons at ATU, the great story about how they got the name "Wonderboys" and more importantly listen to how Mullens describes the traditions he has instilled with his players over the years. "Link it up!"
Big 12 and SEC reveal New Years Day bowl plans
The SEC and Big 12 announced a New Years Day bowl partnership today that will take effect following the 2014 season.
The new five year agreement will match up the champions of each conference "unless one or both are selected to play in the new four-team model to determine the national championship." The arrangement is very similar to the agreement between the Pac-12 and the Big Ten for the Rose Bowl.
If either or both conference champs are chosen in the four team playoff model, another deserving team from the proper conference would be selected to participate.
In a release, SEC commissioner Mike Slive stated "A new January bowl tradition is born. This new game will provide a great match-up between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting post-season atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience.”
Acting Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas described the new agreement as a landmark event for college football "between two of the most successful football conferences during the BCS era to stage a postseason event."
While hosting a big prime time game featuring the two conference champs on New Years Day is exciting, to keep it all in perspective it's worth noting that both conferences have finished in the top four of the final BCS standings 14 times in the 14 year history of the BCS series, according to the the official release from the Big 12.
"During the 14-year history of the Bowl Championship Series, the Big 12 and SEC lead the nation with 11 seasons in which each conference has had at least one team ranked in the top four of the final BCS standings. Both conferences share the top spot all-time with 14 teams each that have finished in the top four of the final BCS standings. The two conferences have combined for 16 appearances in the BCS National Championship Game, with the Big 12 ranking second behind the SEC's nine appearances with seven trips to the National Championship Game."
All the finer details including the host site are currently being ironed out and will be released at a later date.
Highest paid coaches in the NFL
Forbes released an article detailing the ten highest paid coaches in all of sports, and not surprisingly, the NFL dominated with 8 coaches making the cut.
On top of the list was Bill Belichick, who pulls in about $7.5 million annually. As the article points out, that's a far cry from where he started out, making $50 a week as an assistant with Baltimore back when they were the Colts.
Also noted on the list are Mike Shanahan ($7 million per), Jeff Fisher ($7 milllion annually) Pete Carroll (also around $7 million annually), Lovie Smith ($6 million per), Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Tomlin ($5.75 million annually), and Andy Reid ($5.5 million). Of the top ten, only Coach Whisenhunt and Coach Fisher have experience in the NFL as both players and head coaches.
As far as college coaches go, Nick Saban and Mack Brown aren't too far behind.
Other coaches that made the cut in the top 10 were NBA coaches, the Celtics Doc Rivers ($7 million) and the Spurs Gregg Popovich ($6 million).
Meyer: We're as thorough as anybody
Urban Meyer has spent the past couple weeks holding one on one meetings with each of the 90 players on the Buckeyes roster. The meetings last about 15 minutes each, and are aimed at giving the players an honest evaluation from every possible angle.
Before the meeting, Meyer compiles written feedback from each member of his staff that the players come in contact with. That includes his assistant coaches, the strength staff, and the academic staff.
“The young man sits across from me and I say, ‘Here’s what we need: Our strength coach thinks you’re a dog.’ Or, ‘Our strength coach thinks you do a great job. Now let’s go to academics. They grade you as a six out of 10, which means you’re failing right now. It’s not very good’...as opposed to, ‘Zach Boren, you’re a nine, just keep going. C.J. Barnett, you’re a 9.5, keep going.’”
Meyer is a firm beleiver in the meetings because he wants to keep his guys properly informed and avoid any possible misunderstandings. Sometimes those meetings are very uncomfortable, while other times they know exactly what to expect.
“I’ve always believed the worst thing that can happen between a coach and a player is some misunderstanding or some cloudiness about what’s going on, you try to eliminate that with different evaluations. We’re probably as thorough as anybody with that.”
Grad Assistant of the Day - Adrian Haywood (Baylor)
Meet Baylor's defensive grad assistant Adrian Haywood. Haywood played at SMU under Phil Bennett and Jim Gush...and then got hired both those guys. That's good enough recommendation for me.
Haywood specializes with the defensive tackles and he's all about teaching his players great work ethic and to get the most they can out of football on the field and off of it.
You can follow Coach Haywood on Twitter @CoachHaywood
"Intense" environment at Cincinnati
Roy Manning, the first year running backs coach at Cincinnati, sat down with the Bearcat film crew to talk about his approach to coaching and his influences as a coach recently.
"My approach to coaching is bringing energy everyday, bringing toughness, being ready and willing to compete everyday, and then having some fun out there. I think when you play a game like football, and when you coach a game like football, if you don't have an energy and passion, and your not ready to compete and learn and get better each and everyday, I think your wasting your time."
Cincinnati has been able to roll out at least 10 wins in the past 4 out of 5 seasons. Butch Jones has created an environment up there that Manning simply describes as "intense".
"From the morning when you wake up 'til you go to bed at night, Coach Jones puts it in you to always be thinking of what you could be doing, ways you could be getting better, ways you could be improving. So, for a young coach, I think that it definitely helps me and keeps me motivated each and every day to just try and be my best."
There's also some footage of Manning out on the field "giving the business" to his running backs as they run through a ball security drill, as well as some brief pointers in the meeting room for pass protection on their roll outs.
Mic'd up at NIU
Northern Illinois corners coach Richard McNutt got mic'd up during spring ball up in Dekalb, and definitely kept the camera guys busy trying to keep up with his up tempo approach.
McNutt leads the corners through a series of drills in the clip, including a backpedal reaction drill where the focus is to "step and replace" while reacting to directions and body placement, as well as a useful lock out and steer drill where the corners shed the receiver to make an open field tackle.
Coach McNutt also throws in a well timed "Mike Tyson Punch-out" reference during some instruction as well. Classic.
When you win the Big 12...
When you are near the top of the country in almost every major statistical category on offense, lead the nation in turnover margin, and win the Big 12 for the first time in school history, you need to find something fitting to commemorate it.
At Oklahoma State, that comes in the form of a mural that highlights the season and stretches 40 foot long by 12 foot high on the inside of the west end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium. Very impressive.