Iowa AD Gary Barta: "I have full support for Kirk Ferentz"
Iowa athletics director Gary Barta issued a statement of support to Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz on Saturday following the Hawkeyes' 28-17 loss at Northwestern.
The loss, Iowa's second straight, dropped the team to 4-4 on the season.
“Obviously, we’re not playing very well right now,” Barta said following the game. “We’ll get ready for next week. I have full support for Kirk (Ferentz) and the players.
“If I’m a fan, if I’m a coach, if I’m a player, and as the athletic director, it’s tough right now,” Barta continued. “Right now, the only focus is to get ready to play next week.”
Ferentz signed a contract extension in 2010 that pays him more than $3 million annually through 2020. Ferentz's buyout is reported to be worth more than $20 million.
Iowa must win two of its final four games to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time since 2007. The Hawkeyes' remaining schedule closes with the top two teams in the Big Ten's Legends Division - at Michigan on Nov. 17 and home versus Nebraska on Nov. 23.
Iowa visits Indiana (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, BTN). Oddsmakers have made the Hooisers a consensus 1.5-point favorite.
High school coach reaches 600 win milestone
When you think of the most successful coaches in football around the country today, Bill Belichick, Nick Saban and Chris Petersen immediately come to mind. Included in that same train of though would likely be small college coaches like Larry Kehres (Mount Union) and Lance Leipold (Wisconsin-Whitewater) or even John Gagliardi (St. John's).
One coach, John McKissick of Summerville (S.C.), reached a milestone of success that none of those other coaches have come close to. McKissick collected his 600th win this past Friday. His career record is an impressive 600-148-13 with 10 state titles in a total of 61 seasons.
To really put things in perspective, take a look at the other high school coaching legends from around the country. Even fellow legends can't come close to comparing wins. J.T Curtis of John Curtis Christian School (LA) hit the 500 win mark last season, and is still a good 80 wins short of 600. Gagliardi (who we mentioned earlier) has collected 487 wins in 64 years.
Other coaching legends like Amos Alonzo Stagg, who coached 57 seasons, won 314 games and Don Shula won a professional record 328 games.
Let's take Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, for example. Petersen has won an average of 12 games per season (and 92 percent of his games) since being named the Broncos' head coach back in 2006. Taking Petersen's current win total of 80 games into account, it would take him an additional 43 years, continuing to win an average of 12 games per season, to get to McKissick's 600. That would make Petersen 91 years old by the time he reached the milestone.
McKissick is currently 86 years of age and says that even with all those wins, he continues to focus on one game at a time.
“All I’ve ever thought about since I started coaching is to try and win that first game," McKissick said. "Then win the next and next and whatever it adds up to, that’s good. I’ve never looked ahead to anything. You have to have a purpose in life. But, sure, I think about retirement, but that’s about it.”
He explains that part of his success is due to bringing coaches (many are former players) on board and giving them the freedom to coach their own way, within the offensive and defensive systems that they have in place.
“I stay with the X’s and O’s. I’m coaching coaches more than players now. I go from group to group and monitor everything that is going on.” he told The State.
In his 61 years of coaching McKissick has had only two losing seasons, 1957 and 2001. With plenty of gas still in the tank, Coach McKissick has already put together an impressive career, and more importantly, touched countless lives in the process.
Mississippi State to wear "snow" uniforms Saturday vs. Texas A&M
Brad Locke reminded us that Mississippi State will don special "snow" uniforms for its game Saturday versus Texas A&M. See below.
Our theory is that Adidas executives realized how similar the Bulldogs' and Aggies' uniforms are, panicked, and presented what we see above.
Notice the similarities below.
What do you think?
A California HS team outscored the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday
Earlier this month we brought you the story of the Mississippi high school game that ended 82-80 in regulation. Fremont (CA) High School topped that on Friday in its 90-56 win over San Jose Harker (CA).
Yes, 90-56. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the mark bests the California state record of 82, set in 2005 and matched in 2008.
Not only did Fremont better any high school football scoring mark, they also topped the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, who scored 82 points in a preseason game the night before.
According to the box score provided by MaxPreps, the Firebirds led 50-49 at halftime before winning the second half, 41-6.
The game opened with eight touchdowns in the first quarter as Fremont led 29-28. The teams followed that up with six more scores in the second quarter as Harker won the frame, 22-20.
We're not sure whether Fremont made some excellent defensive halftime adjustments or the Harker offense simply got tired, but the Firebirds pitched a shutout in the third quarter and allowed just six points in the fourth quarter.
At this point it's only a matter of days until a high school team reaches 100 points.
Texas Tech's "Lone Star Pride" uniforms
Texas Tech will be sporting some "Lone Star Pride" on their uniforms Saturday when they take on the Longhorns.
The addition of the star on the shoulders and socks look pretty sweet.
We'll add more pictures as they become available.
What not to do when punting late in a tie game
When there's 25 seconds left in the game and you're getting ready to send your punt unit onto the field with with the game tied up, most coaches would tell their punter to kick the ball out of bounds and not allow the nation's top punt returner a chance to win the game.
That's not what NC State did. Instead, they kicked the ball deep to the dangerous Giovani Bernard with less than 30 seconds left and Bernard made them pay. The return team set up some great blocks to spring him free.
Following the game winning return, Bernard solidified his spot as one of the most feared return men in the country. He averages 21 yards per return and has taken two touchdowns back for six in just twelve attempts. For his efforts, North Carolina was named the FootballScoop Special Teams Unit of the Week.
Let these videos serve as a warning to the teams that remain on North Carolina's schedule (Georgia Tech, Virginia and Maryland), if the game is on the line, keep the ball out of Giovani Bernard's hands (he also ranks third nationally in rushing yards per game).
He'll make you pay if you don't.
First and 10 - October 29, 2012
1. The rematch to the rematch is here. Alabama at LSU. College GameDay will be there. Verne Lunquist and Gary Danielson will be there. Outside of the 21-0 national championship decision, recent history suggests this game will be close and memorable. Last year's 9-6 overtime game. LSU's 24-21 win at Tiger Stadium in 2010. This was the game Les Miles first displayed his penchant for eating grass, but what I remember most is LSU's beautifully executed fake punt and fourth-and-one reverse. Then there was Alabama's fourth-quarter rally (complete with a controversial ruling) for a 24-15 win to keep its perfect record intact in 2009. A year prior, LSU pushed an undefeated Alabama team to the brink in a 27-21 overtime decision. And in Nick Saban's first season in 2007, Alabama built a 34-27 lead before eventual national champion LSU scored two touchdowns in the game's final 2:49 to win 41-34. We'll have more on this game throughout the week.
2. The No. 2 team in the country also faces a road test on Saturday. Oregon travels to USC this week looking to avenge last season's 38-35 thriller that ultimately cost Chip Kelly's team a shot at the national championship. Lane Kiffin's squad will look to what it does best, air it out with quarterback Matt Barkley to wideouts Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. The Trojans threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns in last year's upset. Oregon's will attempt to do what it has done all season, run opposing teams out of the stadium by halftime. The following are Oregon's halftime leads this season: 50-10, 35-6, 35-7, 13-0, 23-19, 35-7, 43-8 and 56-0.
3. The sneakiest conference title defense in college football is taking place in Stillwater, Oklahoma. No one in the country has noticed, but Mike Gundy's team controls its own destiny to claim its second straight Big 12 crown. The Cowboys are tied for second place in the league at 3-1 with Oklahoma (who OSU faces on Nov. 24) going into Saturday night's game at Kansas State. Gundy and offensive coordinator Todd Monken have whethered the loss of All-Americans Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, an injury to opening day starting quarterback Wes Lunt on Sept. 15, and an season-ending injury to his replacement J.W. Walsh on Oct. 20. Despite all of that, Oklahoma State still leads the country in total offense. The Cowboys will get their stiffest test to date with Bill Snyder's team. Last year, the visiting Wildcats gave the favored Cowboys a fight to the finish in which Kansas State was throwing into the end zone as time expired in a 52-45 final.
4. Find time to do some thumb workouts this week. Oregon at USC kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on FOX. Alabama at LSU gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, while Oklahoma State at Kansas State also starts at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. You'll want to make sure your thumb is in proper shape for an all-night viewing experience.
5. Oregon and Louisiana Tech could have record-breaking offenses when all is said and done. Sonny Dykes' team has scored 421 points and 57 touchdowns through eight games. Chip Kelly's squad has posted 427 points and 59 touchdowns through eight outings. The NCAA single-season scoring record for a 13-game season is 652 (set by Texas in 2005) and the 14-game season record stands at 716 (set by Oklahoma in 2008). In a 13-game season, Louisiana Tech is on pace to score 684 points, while Oregon (if they, as expected, play in the Pac-12 Championship) will score 747 points at its current pace. The NCAA record for total touchdowns (99, set by that same 2008 OU team) is also in danger of falling to Kelly's Ducks. The famed 1944 Army team may have to sweat out a pair of previously-untouchable records as well. Legendary coach Earl "Red" Blaik guided his team to an average of 56 points and 8.2 touchdowns per game. The Ducks average 53.58 points and 7.38 touchdowns per game, while the Bulldogs check in at 52.63 points and 7.13 touchdowns per game.
6. MACtion running strong in 2012. We mentioned last week what a good season the MAC is enjoying this fall. How about this for a quantifier? With Northern Illinois and Toledo at 8-1 and Kent State and Ohio at 7-1, the MAC trails only the SEC for the most teams with seven or more wins.
7. Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast. First and foremost, we hope everyone stays out of harm's way throughout the duration of the storm. Virginia Tech told us they do not plan to alter their schedule this week. The Hokies visit Miami on Thursday night. Then there are these reports we've seen so far today.
Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said the team's practice bubble has been deflated because of the impending storm. Rutgers practice cancelled Mon.— CBSSportsBigEast (@CBSBigEast) October 29, 2012
Figuring out where to practice as we deal with this approaching storm.— Jeff Quinn (@UBCoachQuinn) October 29, 2012
8. A miracle occured in Division III on Saturday. Someone scored a touchdown on the Mount Union (Ohio) defense. Heidelberg (Ohio) actually notched two touchdowns on the Purple Raiders, inclduing the game's opening score, to become the first team to hold a lead on Larry Kehres' team this season. Mount Union had pitched six consecutive shutouts before Saturday. The Purple Raiders defeated Heidelberg, 33-14.
9. Ed Lamb and Southern Utah notched perhaps the biggest win in school history on Saturday. In their first season in the Big Sky Conference, the Thunderbirds toppled FCS No. 1 Eastern Washington, 30-27. Colton Cook knocked in a 36-yard field goal with three seconds to play to give Southern Utah the win.
10. Twenty teams have a chance to reach bowl eligibility this week. Among the 20 teams are new staffs at Arkansas State, Arizona, Arizona State and Ole Miss and those looking to return to the postseason after an absence in Minnesota, East Carolina, Navy and Middle Tennessee. Good luck to all in their quests.
Massachusetts high schools adopt new playoff rules
The high school playoff system in Massachusetts will have an entirely new look beginning next fall.
Due to increased participation from schools sponsoring football, and providing more quality teams an opportunity to compete for a state title, the MIAA football committee voted in favor of adopting new rules by a margin of 161-131 this past Friday.
The new rules will have schools in Eastern and Central Massachusetts playing a seven week regular season schedule, and Western Massachusetts schools will play an eight week regular season. Teams that fail to make the playoffs "will have their remaining three games determined by a scheduling committee before playing their traditional Thanksgiving game," the Boston Globe explains.
According to the Globe, one state champion will come from each of the six divisions, and all state title games will be played at Gillette Stadium. Central and Western Massachusetts schools will compete in Divisions 2, 4, 5, and 6. Those divisions will be based on enrollment and maintaining a competitive balance.
Another one of the major changes coaches and fans will notice is there will be only a fraction of the post Thanksgiving games that they've had in years past. Under the new rules, only 12 schools will play after turkey day, as opposed to the 74 teams who saw action after the holiday this past season. Also, playing semifinal games on a Tuesday and teams playing three games in a total of ten days will not take place under the new rules.
Under the current plan, only league champions get the opportunity to compete in the post season, meaning that you could go 9-1 or 10-1 and not make the post season. Citing the fact that those deserving teams should get the opportunity to compete for a state title and experience the playoff atmosphere, the new rules state that leagues with five or more schools can get two playoff teams (plus the possibility of more based on their power rankings).
Three coaches in particular, Swampscott's Steve Dembrowski, Fitchburg high school's Ray Cosenza and Xaverian's Charlie Stevenson put in numerous hours coming up with the new playoff plan, which included a few tweaks from a 2010 proposal that was voted against.
The new rules will be a two year run beginning in 2013, and will be revisited after that time period to tweak as needed.
We'll have to see how this all plays out over the next few seasons, but we're sure that there are plenty of coaches in Massachusetts that are resting easy knowing that they won't have to plan for three opponents in a span of ten days to win a state title next year.