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Samford head coach Pat Sullivan to miss opener vs. TCU

Samford head coach Pat Sullivan will miss the Bulldogs' trip to TCU on Saturday, the school announced Wednesday.

"My doctors have advised me not to travel at this time due to a complication from a surgery earlier this year," he said in a statement. "We have an incredible coaching staff that has done a great job preparing our team for the season opener. I have full confidence that our coaches and student-athletes will make the Samford family proud on Saturday."

There's never a good time for a head coach to miss his team's game, but Saturday's opener is an especially bad time for Sullivan. As TCU's head coach from 1992-97, Sullivan was to be a part of the Horned Frogs' celebration of the 20-year anniversary of the club's 1994 Southwest Conference championship.

"I am happy that my wife, Jean, along with our son, Patrick, and daughter, Kelly, will be there to support the Bulldogs and reconnect with many of our old TCU friends."

This marks the third consecutive season Sullivan has missed Samford's season opener. He missed the 2012 opener, a 24-21 win over Furman, due to a bout with pneumonia, and missed the first three games of the 2013 season due to recovery from back surgery. 

Assistant head coach Bill D'Ottavio filled in for Sullivan each time, leading Samford to a 3-1 mark in Sullivan's absence. We have heard D'Ottavio did a superb job filling in for Sullivan. 

As we tweeted earlier, Sullivan has taken on a reduced workload leading into this season.

Sullivan is 40-39 in six seasons as Samford's head coach.

Les Miles has penned a very special love letter to the city of Baton Rouge

The Huffington Post has a section on it's website called "Love Letters" where, apparently, people submit letters to towns and cities that hold a special place in their heart.

Today, a submission from Les Miles appeared on the feed, addressed to the city of Baton Rouge. In it you get a true sense for the love that Les has for the city heim and his family have been blessed to call home for nearly a decade.

Even though there is no way to vouch for its authenticity at this point, let's remember this is Les Miles we're talking about. Simply put, this is special.

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See the full article here.

Listen to Rick Neuheisel's latest original song: "Stairway to Playoffs"

Rick Neuheisel, the former UCLA coach turned amateur signer, was at it again on the Dan Patrick Show this morning, belting out his latest original song, "Stairway to Playoffs".

Some of the lines, and rhymes he comes up with are surprisingly good.

The Best Bet of Week 1? The FootballScoop staff weighs in

Every week during the season each of the three of us will release our "Best Bet". No telling how we will do; but we'll track it here. Hopefully, at least one of us get's on a roll and you can take that pick to the bank (proverbial or actual, your choice) each week. With that said, how hard can it be to pick one winner every week? To be determined... 


Zach: SMU -33 vs. Baylor 

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69-3. 70-13. 70-7. Those were the scores by which Baylor flattened its opponents to open last season. I don't know that the Bears throw up similar fireworks against SMU.... but I can't see SMU staying within five touchdowns of Baylor, either. These teams met on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend in 2012, with Baylor winning 59-24, and trended in opposite directions since then. Add in that it's the grand opening of McLane Stadium and the official kickstart to Bryce Petty's Heisman campaign, and I'm taking the Bears and laying the points.


Scott: Rice +21 vs. Notre Dame

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This is a huge game for Rice, and it’s the game before the Michigan game for Notre Dame. Rice is focused, Notre Dame is distracted. I see Rice playing this game a lot closer than Notre Dame fans will like; and if they get a few turnovers we could see Rice battling for the win at the end. I love Rice plus the 21 points.


Doug: Appalachian State +34.5 vs. Michigan

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Back in 2007, Appalachian State pulled one of the greatest upsets in college football history, knocking off No. 5 Michigan. Back then, Vegas didn't even provide a line on the game...well that's changed for the rematch with Michigan as a 34.5-point favorite. That's where I see the problem; Michigan is going to come into the game focused on not getting beat, plus they have a new offensive coordinator and plenty of question marks personnel wise. Appalachian State is coming into the game knowing that they can compete in the Big House, and aiming to get their membership in the FBS started off on the right foot. I'm not saying that App State has the firepower to win this one outright, but I don't see them getting beat by 30-plus with the confidence the program has earned in Ann Arbor.

George O'Leary, UCF president again deny he will step down following Penn State game

Central Florida's opener against Penn State is indeed scheduled to be played in Dublin, Ireland, three days from today. Which means, according to a report from Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman earlier this month, we could be three days or so from UCF head coach George O'Leary's retirement.

Feldman stated that O'Leary, 68, was "strongly considering" retiring during the season, possibly as soon as the aftermath of the Penn State game, and hand the reigns to assistant head coach for offense/offensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Brent Key. 

Not so, says O'Leary. He denied the report at the time, and did so again Wednesday before boarding the Knights' plane to Dublin.

"You know me better than that," O'Leary told the Orlando Sentinel. "As good or bad as it gets, I’m going to finish what I started."

Central Florida president John Hitt reiterated that O'Leary would coach through the season.

"Coach O'Leary would never quit after one game in a season," Hitt told the paper. "Whoever wrote that doesn't know George O'Leary. George will retire when he retires. We hope his health stays great. He’s often said when he has two straight days when he goes to work and doesn’t have fun then he’ll retire. We think and hope it will be a good, long while before that happens."

Entering his 11th season at UCF, O'Leary is 72-56 at the school, coming off a 12-1 campaign in which he led UCF to an American Athletic Conference championship, a Fiesta Bowl victory, and won the inaugural AAC Coach of the Year award in December. 

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