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Thursday TV - Cincinnati at Philadelphia

Cincinnati at Philadelphia is on tonight. Enjoy it while you can...there's only three more weeks left in the NFL regular season.

Eastern time listed.


Cincinnati at Philadephia - 8:20 - NFL Network


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The Scoop on Kliff Kingsbury to Texas Tech

We have learned that Kliff Kingsbury is returning to the South Plains as the head coach at Texas Tech.

The first of Mike Leach's gunslingers at Texas Tech, Kingsbury led the Red Raiders to within one win of playing for the Big 12 Championship in 2002 and departed Lubbock as the most decorated player in school history, holding 39 school records, 13 conference records and seven NCAA records. 

Kingsbury spent five years in professional football and began his coaching career as an offensive quality control assistant under head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen at Houston. Kingsbury was elevated to co-offensive coordinator in 2010 with Holgorsen's departure for Oklahoma State and has experienced nothing but success since. 

His 2010 Houston offense ranked fifth in passing offense, 11th in total offense and 14th in scoring offense. A year later, Houston ranked first across the board in each of those categories as the Cougars finished 13-1. Kingsbury was named the 2011 FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year for his efforts. 

Kingsbury followed Sumlin to Texas A&M and found instant success in his star pupil, Johnny Manziel. The redshirt freshman set the SEC single-season total offense record en route to becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. The Aggies ranked 13th nationally in rushing offense, 14th in passing offense, third in total offense and third in scoring offense. He again won FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year honors for his work at Texas A&M. 

In Texas Tech, Kingsbury inherits a team that had college football's second-most prolific passing offense, placed 12th nationally in total offense and 16th in scoring offense. The Red Raiders will lose quarterback Seth Doege to graduation, but redshirt freshman Michael Brewer is penciled in as his replacement. Texas Tech has missed a bowl game only once since Leach's hiring in 2000. 

Arkansas State goes the Boise Way in landing Bryan Harsin

Arkansas State may have plucked its newest head coach from Texas but for a school that wants to become the "Boise of the South", Bryan Harsin is still very much cut from the Broncos' blue and orange cloth. 

"He talked about his experience at Boise State, the building process," said Arkansas State system president Dr. Charles Welch. "He played for three head coaches as a player. It was like he was describing Arkansas State. This is somebody who gets it and this is somebody who knows how to get it done."

"Having spent the amount of time that I did at Boise, I understand how to get there," Harsin said. "My beliefs, my philosophy comes from Boise State. What I learned there is going to be the model we're going to use here to continue to build and continue to grow Arkansas State."

Arkansas State is getting a coach who has prepared his entire life to be a head coach, and is itching to hit the ground running. "This is an opportunity I prepared myself for for a long time. I didn't know it would feel this good," said Harsin. "My only regret is that I can't be out there with those players as they prepare for the bowl game."

Harsin's high school coach, Steve Vogel, added this about the newest Red Wolves head coach, "He said (in high school) his goal was to be a head college football coach by the time he was 40 — and he beat that."

Arkansas State will pay Harsin a sum of $3.5 million over five years, with a buyout of $1.75 million if he departs after one year. After losing Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn in consecutive years, Arkansas State wants to avoid finding another head coach in December 2013. 

"You can look at my track record at Boise State," Harsin explained. "There were opportunities. I am all about the process. I am all about the opportunity to build and continue success rather than (leave after one year)."

Harsin can't coach Arkansas State in the upcoming GoDaddy.com Bowl, so he will turn his focus toward recruiting players and a new staff.

"I'm looking for high character, high output, low ego guys," Harsin added. "As far as the timetable, we'll get into those very quickly. We'll start to put together what we feel is our best people for these players."

Harsin praised Chris Petersen and Mack Brown multiple times, saying, "I've got a lot of notes sitting at my home right now from those coaches."

On the field, Harsin will be tasked with sustaining momentum for a program that has won the last two Sun Belt Conference titles. 

"I'm an offensive guy, and I know what a good defense can do," said Harsin. "A defense that's around the ball, that's opportunstic and can stop the run.

"On offense, we're going to have fun. I've already asked how many wide receivers can throw, every hand went up."

Harsin plans to transport the Boise Way to Jonesboro, the discipline, the all-in menality, the multiplicity on offense, the trick plays and everything short of the blue turf. 

"Our long-term goal is to win bowl games and win championships and do it with class and academic integrity." 


Cincinnati continues a very eventful few weeks with big stadium news

Cincinnati has had arguably one of the busiest few weeks of any school in the country.

First, they wrap up a share of the Big East title, then Butch Jones is approached with numerous head coaching opportunities spanning from the Big Ten to the Pac 12, before finally landing in the SEC with Tennessee.

A few days later the Bearcats land a proven coach and winner in Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville, who immediately energized the fan base and walked into his first team meeting to a standing ovation.

Many of their most recent moves, including landing a big name coach like Tubs, likely have been made with the end goal of moving to a different conference, such as the ACC.

Earlier today the University announced a plan to launch a private fund-raising effort for a renovation of Nippert Stadium that will cost $60-$70 million. Cinci President Santa Ono told Cincinnati.com that he didn't promise Tuberville any renovations during the interview process, but the proposed plans will no doubt make the Bearcats more attractive in their quest to join another conference.

The Business Courier of Cincinnati reports that the stadium will add 28 luxury seats and 1,400 premium seats on the west end of the stadium. The plan for those renovations would replace the current press box and enclosed donor suite, although no final plans have been set in stone at this point.

The University plans to use donations, naming rights, and ticket revenue to help finance the renovations and will surely help the University take a step in the right direction in order to put them in an optimal position to be a very marketable and attractive option for other conferences.

12 nuggets to chew on 12-12-12

It's always fun when the calendar blesses us with a completely symmetrical date and, since this is the last of such days until January 1, 2101, we thought we'd celebrate by looking at 12 themes across college football in 2012 that all involve the number 12. 

1. The year of the 12th Man. Texas A&M has never been hotter. Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy. Kliff Kingsbury won the coveted FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year award for the second straight year. A win in the Cotton Bowl will give the Aggies their first top 10 finish since 1994 and their first New Year's Day bowl win since 1987. In year one, breaking away from the Big 12 paid off big for the 12th Man.

2. 12-0 Notre Dame seeks No. 12. Notre Dame's 12-0 regular season placed them to Miami to do something they haven't done since 1988. A win over Alabama would give them their 12th national championship.

3. Notre Dame shares the nation's longest winning streak, 12 games, with two other teams. The first one is obvious, and will remain at 12 games until Aug. 31: Ohio State. And, after what turned out to be a stunning upset loss to Iowa to open the season, Northern Illinois has ripped off a dozen straight wins to ride into the Orange Bowl.

4. The other 12-game streak. Southern Miss sits alone with the nation's longest losing streak, 12 games. Todd Monken's team will attempt to snap the streak on Aug. 31, 2013 against a team that has played only 12 games as a member of FBS, Sun Belt Conference newcomer Texas State. 

5. Big 12 move pays off for TCU. TCU opened newly-renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium and moved into a cushier neighborhood, the Big 12. Each factor played into one of the biggest attendance increases in college football as the Frogs hosted 37 percent more fans this fall. Their jumped from just under 34,000 to just above 46,000, and increase of around 12,000 spectators. 

6. Half a dozen. North Texas and Air Force protected their quarterbacks like no one else this season. The teams led the nation by only allowing half a dozen sacks on the entire season.

7. 12 years running. We've written before in this space about the depth across the Big 12. Nine of the league's 10 teams will play in bowl games. West Virginia was one of the conference's last teams to reach a bowl, keeping alive a postseason streak that began in 2001. This year marks their 12th straight bowl game.

8. 12 games that shaped the 2012 season. When looking back on this season (of course) 12 years from now, here's the dozen games we'll remember (in no particular order): Notre Dame 20, Stanford 13 (overtime). Alabama 32, Georgia 28. Texas A&M 59, Louisiana Tech 57. West Virginia 70, Baylor 63. Stanford 17, Oregon 14 (overtime). Texas A&M 29, Alabama 24. Oklahoma 51, Oklahoma State 48 (overtime). Alabama 21, LSU 17. Ohio State 17, Michigan State 16. Florida 37, Florida State 26. Baylor 52, Kansas State 24. Navy 17, Army 13. 

9. Nobody asked, but here are my 12 head coaches and staffs whose stockings should be extra full this Christmas (one from each conference, plus an independent). SEC: Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss); ACC: David Cutcliffe (Duke); Big East: Doug Marrone (Syracuse); Big Ten: Bill O'Brien (Penn State); Big 12: Gary Patterson (TCU); Pac-12: Jim Mora (UCLA); MAC: Darrell Hazell (Kent State); Conference USA: David Bailiff (Rice); Sun Belt: Todd Berry (ULM); Mountain West: Rocky Long (San Diego State); WAC: Gary Andersen (Utah State); Independents: Brian Kelly (Notre Dame). 

10. 12 more than 12. All but 12 of the 70 teams preparing for bowl games have played 12 games this season. Conference title game participants Alabama, Central Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kent State, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Stanford, Tulsa, UCLA and Wisconsin have played a baker's dozen worth of games. 

11. 2-for-12. Louisiana - Lafayette played the best fourth-down defense in college football this season. Opponents attempted 12 fourth downs on the Ragin' Cajuns and converted only two of them.

12. Clear your schedule: 12 bowl games worth watching. We'll go in chronological order this time. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Toledo vs. Utah State. Holiday Bowl - Baylor vs. UCLA. Chick-fil-A Bowl: LSU vs. Clemson. Capital One Bowl - Georgia vs. Nebraska. Outback Bowl - South Carolina vs. Michigan. Rose Bowl - Wisconsin vs. Stanford. Orange Bowl - Florida State vs. Northern Illinois. Sugar Bowl - Florida vs. Louisville. Fiesta Bowl - Oregon vs. Kansas State. Cotton Bowl - Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M. GoDaddy.com Bowl - Arkansas State vs. Kent State. BCS National Championship - Notre Dame vs. Alabama. 

Bobby Petrino says his coaching style will change


On the Tim Brando show earlier today, Bobby Petrino talked about what aspects of his coaching style he plans on changing as he takes on the Western Kentucky job.

Known in coaching circles as having a business like approach to the game, Petrino explained that he plans to put a renewed focus on developing the entire student athlete this time around.

"I'm going to continue to be very focused and driven," Petrino explained. "But I'm not going to just sit myself in the film room and focus just on football. With they players I'm going to focus more on the person and how to help them outside of football and understand their obstacles and distractions that they have."

"I really believe that I can do a better job of getting out and understanding the community and playing a bigger role in helping the young kids in the community. Things that I can do outside of coaching, I think can help me as a person, and help us as a family in the community."

Petrino added during this season, he "dug himself a hole" and didn't really reach out and talk to too many coaches, but a number of coaches reached out to him to provide support and words of encouragement to keep his head up and to continue to work hard and good things will happen.

The Hilltopper team that Petrino takes over is tailor made to take the next step, as they've finished 7-5 the past two seasons. While they've been more of a run heavy team under Willie Taggart, Petrino will definitely have some talent to work with as he puts his quarterback friendly offensive stamp on the program.

Only time will tell how things play out, but with Petrino's track record of success at both Louisville and Arkansas (where he went a combined 75-26), it would be pretty tough to bet against him taking Western Kentucky to new heights. Combine that with a renewed focus on developing the entire student athlete and the sky is the limit.

What the bowl Presidents make

On top of the extra practice time for your young guys and the obvious recruiting benefits, one of the other added perks of playing in a bowl game is being able to put some extra coin in your pocket.  

A recent investigation by USA Today took a look beyond the teams involved in the bowl games and focused on the compensation of bowl presidents to reveal just how much they're walking away with at the end of the day. Their research found that over the past ten years, their salaries have doubled.

As it currently sits, the Outback Bowl in Tampa is by far the most profitable of all the bowls, making bowl president and CEO Jim McVay $753,946 back in 2010. Even the "second tier" bowls pay their bosses nearly $375,000.

Take a look at the original article and more of their findings here. Some interesting behind the scenes info is included throughout the article.

Interestingly enough, of the 35 bowl games, 26 of them are operated by nonprofit tax-exempt organizations. The chart below details the compensation of the bowl CEO's and where they rank in the big picture.

Bowl CEO Compensation
Outback Bowl Jim McVay $753,946
Sugar Paul Hoolahan $634,586
Chick-fil-A Gary Stokan $627,909
Fiesta, Insight John Junker* $587,216
Rose Scott McKibben $562,149
Cotton Rick Baker $502,674
Orange Eric Poms $492,535
Alamo Derrick Fox $461,248
Gator Richard Catlett $398,382
Kraft Fight Hunger Gary Cavalli $375,176
Music City Scott Ramsey $310,715
Capital One, Champ Sports Steve Hogan $295,298
Holiday, Poinsettia Bruce Binkowski $283,095
Belk Will Webb** $198,622
Sun Bernie Olivas $170,423
Military Stephen Beck $156,471
Independence Missy Setters $116,362

Chart via USA Today

The Scoop on Bryan Harsin to Arkansas State

We learned late last night that Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin has been tabbed as the next head coach at Arkansas State.

Harsin steps into a job that has become a destination for coaches looking for destination jobs. Hugh Freeze left after one season for Ole Miss. Gus Malzahn replaced him, and left a year later for Auburn. Harsin now steps in for Malzahn and, while there's no telling exactly how long it will take for Harsin to reach his predecessor's success, all the pieces are in place for Arkansas State to continue its run atop the Sun Belt.

The 2009 FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year, Harsin helped morph Kellen Moore from an undersized, lightly-recruited quarterback into the winningest player in FBS history. At Texas, he helped David Ash leap from outside the top 100 in passing efficiency ratings in 2011 to inside the top 20 this fall. As a true freshman, Ash tossed just four touchdowns against eight interceptions; this year, those numbers flipped as he threw 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. 

While his speciality is quarterbacks, Harsin calls a balanced offense. His last two offenses at Boise State averaged 266 passing yards and 194 rushing yards (in 2009) and 319 passing yards and 200 rushing yards (in 2010). At Texas, he ramped up a running game that averaged 150 yards per game in the year before his arrival  to 210 yards per game in 2011 and 176 yards per game in 2012.

Harsin is also renowned for his affinity for trick plays. There were the Hook and Ladder and Statue of Liberty to beat Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Then there was the pass out of the Wishbone against Iowa State this season. Harsin regularly called for his wide receivers to throw the ball at Texas. In 25 games as Texas' play caller, Longhorns wideouts threw 10 passes that resulted in four touchdowns and an interception. 

Arkansas State has reportedly scheduled a 2 p.m. ET press conference to announce the hire. We will update with more details as they become available.