The Boulder experience: Restoring the fight
When it comes down to the scenery, it's tough to beat the landscape and skyline of Boulder, Colorado.
As far as the program goes, while they've fallen on hard times recently, the Colorado program is one of the top 25 programs in the country in wins and they have also produced 26 conference titles.
Mike MacIntyre inherits a program that will require some initial rebuilding to fit his staff's style, but should be primed to do big things based on their tradition.
The video below highlights the Boulder experience, both in the Boulder community and the football program. At about the 6 minute mark, one former player explains what he learned while playing for the Buffs, and it all comes down to the word "fight".
"What I learned here on campus, what I learned here on that football field, on Folsom field and on that practice field stuck with me my entire life. Hard work. Discipline. Brotherhood. Sacrifice yourself for the team. Working to achieve something that I could never do by myself."
"When it comes down to you, as a player...How you can directly influence your teams success? How can you make sure that your team comes out on top?"
"I think 'fight' is a word that encompasses all of that. From the opening whistle to the last whistle, you're always fighting. You're not conceding a play, you're not conceding a yard, you're not allowing things to happen."
"You're imposing your will. You're not fighting back. The word is fight."
Marian (IN) wins NAIA national championship in overtime
With four more college football divisions gearing up to play their championship games, let's hope they can all be as dramatic as the 57th Russell Athletic - NAIA Football National Championship played last night in Rome, Ga. Marian (Ind.) overcame a 20-10 deficit entering the fourth quarter to defeat Morningside (Iowa), 30-27 in overtime.
"We have guys who don't quit," said Marian head coach Ted Karras, Jr said after the game. "They're true believers, and a lot of them were pioneers. We only started football literally six years ago. We recruit guys who are hungry - hungry to play and hungry to get their degree - who have a never-say-die attitude. These are quality guys, who get their business done - on and off the field."
Down by 10 entering the final frame, Tevin Lake pulled Marian within three after barreling in from four yards out with 7:33 to go. The Knights then took the lead when Adam Wiese hit Nathan Jones for a 61-yard scoring strike with 2:46 to go, giving Marian a 24-20 lead.
Morningside fired right back, however. After converting a do-or-die 4th and 15, Joel Nixon found Kyle Shuck wide open in the end zone to put the Mustangs ahead 27-24 with 1:04 to play. Morningside scored too quickly, however, as Marian had just enough time to allow Mike Josifovski to nail a 35-yard field goal as time expired to send the NAIA National Championship to its first overtime.
The Marian defense held Morningside scoreless in the first possession of overtime, allowing Josifovski, who hit a 51-yard field goal to win Marian's semifinal game on Dec. 3, to kick the title-clinching 26-yard field goal. Josifovski was named the Outstanding Offesnsive Player of the Game for his heroics.
"When you sign up for this job, they warn you about these moments," Josifovski said after the game. "These are the moments you want to hold onto and take advantage of. Fortunately for me, I have a great team and a great coaching staff around me."
Utah State releases highlight of their special season
The past two seasons, Gary Andersen has led the Utah State program to a combined 17 wins and a WAC title. Their 10-2 finish this season is not only the first time the program has ever collected 10 wins, but it's also the first time the Aggies have won more than 7 games since 1979.
Their unprecedented success has led to other programs reaching out to Andersen to gauge his interest in their vacancies. Program after program called, and time and time again Andersen explained that he's happy with where he's at. So happy that he's even signed three of his sons to play him and the Aggies.
It's evident that Andersen believes that Utah State is a special place, and this season was an excellent example of that.
Take a look at the motivational highlight video that the staff put together to commemorate the best season in school history. With Andersen at the helm for the forseeable future, things are just getting started up in Logan, Utah.
Diaco credits professors for some of their on the field success
During his acceptance speech for the 2012 Broyles Award, given to the top assistant in college football, Bob Diaco mentioned that part of their on the field success is due to the professors who demand excellence in the classroom at Notre Dame on a consistent basis.
That in turn holds him to a higher standard as a coach when they come to his "classroom" at the end of the day.
"The players at Notre Dame chose Notre Dame because they expect excellence. They are achievement oriented. And they go to four or five classes a day, and those classes are pretty dynamic."
"At the end of the day he's coming to my class. So you better have your bar set real high, because I have to put on the best class of the day. They're looking at you and they're expecting it, and I appreciate that energy from them."
Friday TV - D-III national title game tonight
Mount Union (OH) and St. Thomas (MN) square off on ESPNU tonight in the Stagg Bowl. Also, FCS teams Georgia Southern and North Dakota State will face off in the FCS semi-finals.
Eastern time listed.
Mount Union vs. St. Thomas - 7 - ESPNU
Georgia Southern vs. North Dakota State - 8 - ESPN3
Ole Miss upgrading their facilities
Ole Miss announced further facilities improvements late this afternoon.
As part of the Forward Together campaign, a $12.5 million renovation and expansion of the Indoor Practice Facility will commence in early 2013. The project will be built in phases and is expected to be completed by late 2013 and early 2014.
Among the upgrades is the construction of a full kitchen and dining hall that will be part of the Ole Miss dining program and open to every student and faculty and staff member. The facility will provide a nutrition center for all Ole Miss student-athletes and will be in the vicinity of the current banquet room. Ole Miss Athletics will also hire a full time nutritionist to supplement the current program and grow the overall Health and Sports Performance department.
The new team meeting room will be constructed on the north end of the facility in the current lawn between the building and the south endzone of Vaught Hemingway Stadium. It will seat approximately 200, doubling the capacity of the current team room, and the meeting area will be outfitted with state-of-the-art audio/video equipment and coaching software.
Adjacent to the team room will be a new head coach’s office, putting all of the staff on the same level in the renovated coaching suite.
With the construction of the new team room, a new front door and recruiting room will be erected on the sight of the current team room. The recruiting room will contain trophies, memorable images and interactive exhibits and will celebrate the rich tradition of Rebel football with recruits, alumni and fans.
The existing weight room will be expanded on the east side, widening the area by 2,000 square feet. The current locker room will also be enhanced and expanded and will include a new player lounge on the west side of the IPF.
Sounds like by the end of 2013 both Ole Miss and Mississippi State's facilities will be in great shape.
The Scoop on Skip Holtz to Louisiana Tech
We have learned that Louisiana Tech has hired Skip Holtz as its next head coach.
Holtz walks into a situation built for big-time passing but without the principles that made the Bulldogs' offense so successful in 2012. Gone are offensive coordinator Tony Franklin (to Sonny Dykes' staff at California) and quarterback Colby Cameron (to graduation). However, Holtz will have standout running back Kenneth Dixon, FBS's leading scorer in 2012 with 28 rushing touchdowns as a true freshman, for three more years as Louisiana Tech prepares to move to Conference USA. The Bulldogs move into a league with which Holtz is intimately familiar after his five years as East Carolina's head coach.
Holtz rose through the ranks as an offensive coach, working as a graduate assistant at Florida State from 1987-88 and the wide receivers coach at Colorado State in 1989 before joining his father Lou's staff at Notre Dame as the wide receivers coach in 1990. He served the Fighting Irish's offensive coordinator from 1992-93 before accepting the head coaching job at Connecticut (at the time a Division I-AA member) from 1994-98. He then rejoined his father's staff, this time at South Carolina, as the offensive coordinator (1999-03) and quarterbacks coach (2004) before taking head coaching jobs at East Carolina (2005-09) and South Florida (2010-12).
In 13 years as a head coach, Holtz holds an 88-71 record with two Conference USA titles, five bowl appearances and one trip to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.
Louisiana Tech has settled into a definitive trend in its head coaching hires. As USA Today's Paul Myerberg pointed out today, the school's last four head coaches are all the sons of prominent head coaches: Jack Bicknell, Jr., Derek Dooley, Dykes and Holtz.
As always, we will update with more details as they become available.
VIDEO: Navy beats Army, linebacker proposes to girlfriend
College football is an emotional game. The most emotional sport we have in America. By far the most emotional game in college football is Army - Navy.
Navy embedded a camera on the Midshipmen's sideline and gave those of us that will never get a chance to participate in this rivalry an up close look at what it's like. We skip ahead of the game highlights to show the team sing the alma mater and watch linebacker Brye French pull an Ian Johnson and propose to his girlfriend.
Make sure you stick around for Ken Niumatalolo's post-game speech after another charged win over Army.