From "physically inferior and mentally scarred" to a bowl game

Just three years ago, the Washington Huskies were 0-12.

Enter Steve Sarkisian and the Huskies have gone 5-7 and 6-6, while accepting a bid this year to the Holiday Bowl.

Washington AD Scott Woodward told the Seattle Times, "In my opinion, what was done last season (2009) was incredible. Our team was not only physically inferior to the teams that they played in that season, they were mentally scarred from losing. And they (coaches) had to change a whole mind-set.”

Woodward, a former assistant AD at LSU, admits his goal was to make a “Nick Saban type of hire” by bringing in Steve Sarkisian.  Two years later, Woodward couldn’t be happier.

"We're here to win the game. We're here to get better as a program, but I also want this to be a celebration," Woodward said. "I want the kids who have been through the depths of misery to really experience some sunshine in a metaphorical and a literal way. I just want them to experience joy and a real celebration, because it's been a rough road for the seniors.

"I'm not afraid to say that we are striving to win championships. And I think Steve's the right guy to do so. But I'm not as optimistic as Steve on the quick turnaround.”

UW will play Nebraska on December 30th in the Holiday Bowl.

Wisky OC Paul Chryst responds to Texas speculation

Various websites (not FootballScoop) have connected Wisconsin offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Paul Chryst to the opening on Mack Brown’s staff at Texas.

According to Chryst, that’s news to him.

Chryst said today, “I'm pretty lucky. Wisconsin isn't unique to this, but the players are fun to be around. We're not always having laughs and giggles, but I appreciate [them] a ton. They work, they want to be good. They're willing to do what you ask.”

"I work with a group of guys on the offensive side of the ball that I truly enjoy being around and are really good football coaches. I appreciate what Bret [Bielema] has done and allowed us to do."

Chryst was 1 of 4 finalists for the FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year award.  The Badgers are in Los Angeles preparing for the Rose Bowl game against TCU.

Wisky is a 3-point dog to the Frogs.

Clemson coaches freezing their ass off in Charlotte

Clemson and South Florida are set to kick-off at 12 pm EST on Friday in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte.

Unfortunately, the Tigers were greeted by frigid temperatures and brutal field conditions during the first practice in Charlotte.

On Monday, Clemson enjoyed the luxury of practicing on ice.  Luckily, today’s temperature in Charlotte rises to 30 degrees, but as we noticed on Weather.com , it feels like 26.

Clemson long-snapper Matt Skinner explains, “The problem is most of the time when you practice on a field, you would like to practice on grass, but when you have this stuff called compact ice, you slip on it.  It hurts.”

“I’m cold, but it doesn’t matter.  You gotta do what you gotta do.”

Here’s the video of practice #1 in Charlotte:


Quick Hits: Tubs, Riley, Walker, and Coker

Tuberville wants to get back to running the football: "I like what we're doing. I couldn't have come in here and just been a running team with the type of personnel that was already here.”

"But I still believe in running the football. More than what they did in the past. That's the biggest difference. We want to be a bit more physical and be able to run the ball, which will help throwing it down the field, too."

"The problem in doing this offense is it takes awhile to recruit to it. It's a process. A lot of people don't want to take that time and sacrifice to work in an offense like this."


East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley reflects back on this week – one year ago at Texas Tech: "It was just a circus after that (Leach leaving). Just about the worst week you can imagine. It was hell."

Dwayne Walker sends a clear message: “I'm a head coach now. Despite the struggles and challenges we've had here the last two years, that doesn't mean it's not going to work out. I can't control the rumors. It's like putting a movie together. You have to put the pieces together before it's complete."

"I think some of this stuff is worth fighting for, but I don't want people to think it's all on resources. At the end of the day, (the coaches) have got to figure it out. It's not a pity party." 


Larry Coker describes year #1 at UT-San Antonio: "It has been tough. You practice all week just like if you were preparing for a game. Then you get to Saturday and there is no game.  But it has been fun. We've found some players and it has been interesting to say the least."


Syracuse AD Daryl Gross (a former USC assistant AD) describes difference in West Coast recruiting vs. East Coast recruiting: "On the West Coast, frankly, recruiting is sometimes more about, 'Who's the last person you talked to?' Here you have to be familiar, you need credibility, you have to develop the relationships, you have to be respected. People here appreciate that. It's more about building trust over time."

Mario Cristobal celebrates bowl win with "I Hear A Symphony"

In his fourth year at FIU, Mario Cristobal led his team to a Sun Belt championship and Little Caesar’s Bowl victory.

Just as he envisioned his first bowl win as a head coach, Christobal celebrated the thrilling 34-32 victory with “I Hear A Symphony” by The Supremes blaring in the background.

Listen to the music in Motown as Cristobal meets with ESPN’s Quint Kessenich.  Cristobal says, “The bottom line is the players, these coaches…they’ve had to overcome more adversity than anyone in the country over the last 4 years.  No weight room, no place to train.  They become conference champions and tonight they become Little Caesar’s Bowl champions.”

Sweet music selection from the Ford Field audio intern!  Not one FIU player had ever hear of "I Hear A Symphony," which was a smash hit in 1966.

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