Army and Navy to break out special uniforms on Dec. 14
There are many inside the college football world who will tell you the Army-Navy game is the best and most unique rivalry in the game. I've never been so I'm not here to agree or disagree, but I can offer that, once again, the Midshipmen and Black Knights will be outfitted in uniforms worthy of such a special game.
For any uniform historians, this year's kits are a near exact replica from Navy's 17-13 win in 2012, only alternated for home and road.
These uniforms will see the field on December 14 in Philadelphia (3 p.m. ET, CBS). Navy has won 11 straight in the series and 14 of the last 16.
BCS athletics director on coaches' salaries: 'Yes, it's insane'
Here's something to get your brain going today: in the last 24 years, the salaries of college football head coach have more than septupled. For those of you whose morning coffee has yet to kick in, that means the salaries of college football coaches have grown to seven-and-a-half times their figures from a quarter century ago according to Duke economics professor Charles Clotfelter.
In light of the escalating paychecks of college football coaches, the Yakima (Wash.) Herald took a look at its own state's major college coaches, Washington's Steve Sarkisian and Washington State's Mike Leach, in advance of their annual Apple Cup tussle Friday in Seattle.
Neither coach was made available for comment, but each athletics director spoke and they were in agreement - salaries have grown to mind-blowing levels.
“Yes, it’s insane,” Washington State AD Bill Moos said. “But if you’re going to get in the race and be competitive in the sport of college football, you’re going to have to invest that kind of money anymore.”
Sarkisian earns a salary of $2.425 million according to the USA Today Coaching Salary database, nearly double the $1.4 million made by his predecessor, Tyrone Willingham. Leach commands a $2.25 million salary - plus a $25,000 bonus for beating Washington - nearly four times the $600,000 previous WSU head coach Paul Wulff earned.
“If we lived in a pure egalitarian society, heck no, it’s not justified,” Washington AD Scott Woodward added. “But it’s the market.”
It's no secret what's driving that market - the 12-year, $3 billion television contract the Pac-12 recently inked with ESPN and Fox.
And I would argue that same market is what drove each athletics director's salary to the $500,000 range. Woodard makes $553,000 according to USA Today, and Moos earned $455,000.
Woodard, strangely, argues that the media boom funding college football's boom has an expiration date coming.
“It can’t (continue),” Woodard said. “ ... We’re in a very, very nice situation where broadcasters are paying an enormous premium for live content that people will watch. Now, how long will that continue? I don’t know.”
Nick Aliotti has a riddle for you
On Saturday, Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti knew his defense was going to have their hands full looking for an answer to stop Arizona's two headed rushing attack of Ka'Deem Carey and BJ Denker. They schemed for it all week, and couldn't seem to put it all together Saturday, losing 42-16 and allowing the Wildcats to rush for over 300 yards.
After the game, Aliotti was asked about how Arizona was able to use the short passing game to compliment their run game so effectively, and he answered with a riddle of sorts that only coaches could fully understand.
"Whenever you're not stopping the run, the pass plays become a lot more (effective)."
"When it gets to be a game like that, when A tries to do B's job, and B tries to do C's job...who's doing A's job? That's the best way that I can explain it to you."
"When a team can run the ball as efficiently as they did, and boy did they, a lot of things open up."
That may look like an impossible riddle to some, but if you watched the game Saturday (or have been in that situation defensively before), you know exactly what Aliotti is talking about.
'If you preach defensive technique, you won't have a disastrous game'
Houston came into their game with Cincinnati Saturday averaging over 430 yards of total offense per game, but the Bearcats left with a win on the heels of their dominant defense that limited Houston to just 278 yards on the day (including just 33 yards rushing).
That performance propelled Cincinnati's defense into the top 10 defenses in the country (#9 in total defense),
Tommy Tuberville, who spent his assistant coaching career on the defensive side of the ball, joined Sirius XM to explain what makes the Bearcat defense so tough to move the ball on, and his advice boiled down to technique and limiting the big plays.
"I've been a defensive coach all my life, and I've got an excellent defensive staff, and the one thing that I harp on is technique. If you can teach and preach technique through two-a-days and spring practice, all the way through the season, you're not really going to have a disastrous game." Tuberville explained.
"Now, you're going to give up points, but the thing that you won't do is you won't put yourself out of it on defense."
"We don't give up a whole lot of big plays, now people have moved the ball on us and scored some points, but it's awful hard to grind it out against us. Sooner or later we'll make a play, and we don't have any stars on our defense, we've just got a bunch of guys that understand what we're asking them to do and they get it done."
If you enjoy trick shot videos, you'll love this
This impressive submission from D-III Lawrence University (WI) is the most recent.
Courtesy of long snapper John Doran, here's four minutes of quality entertainment to start your Monday morning.
Monday TV - 49ers at Redskins
At the beginning of the year, this would have been one of those games circled on every NFL fan's calendar. Instead, the both teams struggled at the start of the season, and the Niners have battled their way to a 6-4 record, while the Redskins are still hoping to get their 3-7 season back on track.
Eastern time listed.
San Francisco at Washington - 8:40 - ESPN
VIDEO: Mike Gundy's dance after last night's win
As is now something of a tradition, when Oklahoma State wins a big game, Mike Gundy breaks out in dance. After the Cowboys' 49-17 demolition of then-No. 4 Baylor, Gundy saved his best (?) dance for the biggest win of the year.
FCS Playoff bracket revealed
With the FCS playoff bracket now revealed, one question comes to mind.
Can anyone dethrone two-time defending champion North Dakota State?
To nobody's surprise, the Bison once again earned a top seed, while the other three top seeds include Eastern Illinois, Eastern Washington and Southeast Louisiana. In case you're not familiar, all one seeds receive a first round bye in the FCS format.
The bracket expanded to allow 24 teams in this season, up from the 20 that made the cut last year. 11 of those teams earned automatic bids. The FCS National Championship game will take place on January 4th in Frisco, TX.
Here's how the rest of the bracket shook out:
Furman (7-5) at South Carolina State (9-3)
Bethune-Cookman (10-2) at Coastal Carolina (10-2)
Lafayette (5-6) at New Hampshire (7-4)
Southern Utah (8-4) at Sam Houston State (8-4)
South Dakota State (8-4) at Northern Arizona (9-2)
Samford (8-4) at Jacksonville State (9-3)
Sacred Heart (10-2) at Fordham (11-1)
Tennessee State (9-3) at Butler (9-3)
Furman / South Carolina State winner at #1 North Dakota State (11-0)
Bethune-Cookman / Coastal Carolina winner at #8 Montana (10-2)
Lafayette / New Hampshire winner at Maine (10-2)
Southern Utah / Sam Houston State winner at Southeastern Louisiana (10-2)
South Dakota State / Northern Arizona winner at Eastern Washington (10-2)
Samford / Jacksonville State winner at McNeese State (10-2)
Sacred Heart / Fordham winner at Towson (10-2)
Tennessee State / Butler winner at Eastern Illinois (11-1)