A personal note about Bruce Feldman's article
Yesterday Bruce Feldman put out an article about the "feud" between my younger brother and me. The article received widespread media distribution. Unfortunately, many seemed to characterize the "feud" as funny. The truth is that it actually is very sad for our family and is something that my family and I hope comes to an end soon.
Pete is the godfather to one of my children, stood in my wedding and has always been one of my best friends. For each of the last ten years Pete would come stay at our house frequently and my wife, kids and I would visit him in Oxford. My children make him Christmas cards and miss him terribly.
My family and I have offered unending moral and financial support to Pete. We want nothing more than for him to be successful in life.
The ongoing attempts that he makes to smear FootballScoop and me personally aren't coming from the person that we knew for the last 30 years. We hope to have him back in our lives one day soon.
I am extremely proud of FootballScoop and all that we do to help coaches. Our viewership has grown nearly 50% this year alone and every month this year we have easily set a record for viewership. This isn't about me. We do this to help coaches and their appreciation is what we value most.
We thank everyone for their continued viewership of FootballScoop.
Wide receiver blocking done right: Texas A&M
The Texas A&M coaching staff is proud of how their wide receivers preformed this season. Very proud, in fact. So proud they created an 11 minute highlight video featuring their receivers...blocking!
Led by position coach David Beaty, a finalist for the FootballScoop Wide Receivers Coach of the Year award, the Texas A&M receivers did have an outstanding season. In Mike Evans and Ryan Swope, the Aggies were the only team to produce two of the SEC's top six pass catchers. Every receiver in Texas A&M's six-player rotation produced at least 250 receiving yards and one touchdown grab.
But what Beaty, offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and head coach Kevin Sumlin are most proud of is how physical the Aggies' receivers played. In fact, the first half of the video is nothing but blocks. The Texas A&M coaching staff credited its receiving corps with 92 knockdowns, 90 score blocks and 861 body blows this season. Johnny Manziel's rushing totals are the best evidence of the effort Texas A&M's receivers put into blocking. A quarterback can't run for 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns without help from his receivers.
Jimbo Fisher offers Rod Carey some humorous Orange Bowl advice
At the conclusion of the Orange Bowl press conference, Jimbo Fisher (who has obviously brought his team to Miami before) offered some advice to Northern Illinois' Rod Carey, who is coaching in his first bowl game as a head coach.
Keeping a bunch of college kids focused while in Miami is a handful by itself, so on the topic of curfews, Jimbo's advice to Carey was "Just know where they're at."
Carey laughed and thanked him for the advice before Fisher added, "Hey, I'm going to have the same problem. My problem is they know where to go."
The rising tide of dollar figures in college athletics
The phrase "a rising tide lifts all boats" has never had a more practical application than in today's college sports landscape. What began with the Big Ten Network's launch in 2007 and has continued with the Pac-12 Networks, the Longhorn Network and the upcoming college football playoff and SEC network, the sport's leaders collectively realized that college football was an undervalued television property. Fans tuned-in in droves to see their favorite teams play, and in turn, revenue has jumped for almost all schools that comprise BCS conferences.
As reported by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education, Texas led all schools with total athletic revenue of $163.3 million in the 2011-12 academic year. Ohio State ($142 million), Michigan ($128.8 million), Alabama ($124.1 million) and LSU ($114 million) rounded out the top five.
In all, 11 schools (five SEC, four Big Ten and two Big 12) raked in more than $100 million. Three additional schools, Arkansas, Iowa and Notre Dame, came within $3 million of reaching the $100 million plateau. As recently as five years ago, only Texas, Florida and Ohio State topped $100 million.
In 2007-08, 15 schools reported income in excess of $80 million. Last year, that number jumped to 27 schools. Five years ago, Arizona checked in as the 50th-richest program with a revenue of just under $47 million. In 2011-12, Maryland placed at No. 50 with $62.6 million in revenue. So the numbers are increasing across the BCS landscape.
But as Jon Solomon of AL.com reports, schools at the top end of the respective conferences are seeing revenue grow faster than their lower-end peers.
"In 2007-08, Texas made $81.7 million more than Iowa State, the poorest Big 12 school. The Longhorns' margin over Iowa State was $108.1 million last year," Solomon writes. "The gap between the wealthiest SEC school and the poorest SEC school increased on average by $1.1 million per year between 2007-08 and 2011-12. In the Big Ten, the gap between first and last increased by $920,000 a year."
The revenue explosion is only going to continue with the forthcoming college football playoff (which ESPN will pay close to half a billion dollars annually to televise) new deals for the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl (worth a total of $80 million a year) and Orange Bowl ($55 million a year).
As has been discussed many times in this space and elsewhere, rising revenues are a double-edged sword for college football programs. Colleges will continue to pour more money into facilities, salaries and recruiting budgets. But with more money brings more expectations and shorter leashes on struggling programs.
Barry Switzer rationalizes Bielema's hiring
So, Barry Switzer has weighed in on Bret Bielema's hiring at Arkansas. It's a great quote.
Here's what Switzer had to say;
"The first thing I heard today was that he grew up on a pig farm. That's quite a start in my book. And my last memory was watching him hang 70 on Nebraska. Just those two facts are enough. Then, I hear that he's out of the Hayden Fry-Bill Snyder-Barry Alvarez coaching tree. Oh, that's enough for me to like a lot. Then, I hear he's got a 27-year-old wife. Okay, we can stop. I like him."
Barry Alvarez explains how the Bret Bielema situation played out
Barry Alvarez sat down with the Wall Street Journal to explain exactly how the Bret Bielema to Arkansas situation played out in his eyes, and what they're looking for in the new head coach at Wisconsin.
As he explains, Bielema came into to his office Tuesday and said that they "needed to talk". That's when he informed Alvarez that Arkansas had offered him their head coaching job, and that he was going to take it. Alvarez confirmed that Bielema had already made his decision, and that there was no need for Wisconsin to make a counter offer.
The first move that Alvarez made after that conversation was to pick up the phone in order to reach out to people that he had on his "short list" in an effort to gauge their interest in the position.
As far as the new head coach goes, Alvarez explains that his first inclination is to look at guys that are acting head coaches, who have a sucessful track record in coaching and, most importantly, will fit into the Wisconsin culture and understand "how they win". He added that he does not plan on rushing the decision.
"My next responsibility is to start to screen head coaching candidates and keep moving forward, but I'm not going to be in a big rush, because it's a very important decision, and I'm going to make sure it's the right decision."
The interview is a bit long, but is worth watching until the very end. Alvarez goes on to explain why picking new members for conference expansion is "not like grocery shopping", and what it takes to turn around a losing culture.
Charlie Strong shows the importance of the AD-HC relationship
At his Thursday morning press conference, Charlie Strong formally announced that he would be staying at Louisiville. But what he also did, whether he realized it or not, was show the importance of the relationship between a head coach and an athletic director in a successful football program.
After nine moves in 26 years as an assistant (including four different stays at Florida), it was Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich that gave Charlie Strong
"(Louisville AD) Tom Jurich gave me my first chance to be a head coach," Strong explained. "I had been on short lists, but Tom made it clear I was the only one on his list."
Strong led Louisville to a 7-6 record in his first two seasons at Louisville. After boosting the Cardinals to a 10-2 record and Orange Bowl berth this fall, other suitors came calling. Tennessee, in particular, put a strong effort to lure Strong away.
"When I thought about leaving, I kept going back to 'we haven't finished the job yet.'," Strong explained. "So much has happened in the program and so much has been built in this athletic program because of Tom Jurich."
In case you aren't familiar with the history of Louisville athletics, Yahoo!'s Pat Forde last week detailed just how far Jurich has taken the Cardinals' program. This was a school that needed an intervention from then-Conference USA commissioner Mike Slive from being kicked out of the league. Now, they're preparing for an all-sports move to the ACC.
"He's provided us with everything we need to succeed and he's done that for all of our sports," said Strong.
Jurich is scheduled for his own press conference later Thursday morning to detail Strong's extension. As has become the norm in today's college football, compensation for assistant coaches will be a key factor in keeping Strong in red and black.
"Tom and I haven't even sat down to talk about the details of the contract," said Strong. "I do want to make sure my assistants are taken care of."
VIDEO: Breakdown of two plays NFL coordinators are using for young QB's
Much of the success of the rookie quarterbacks in the NFL this season can be attributed to offensive coordinators taking a piece of their college playbooks to use in league. That gives the young quarterbacks a sense of familiarity and allows them to play a little more comfortable, which ultimately leads to wins, especially in crunch time.
Pete Prisco sat down on Pro Football 360 of CBSSports.com and broke down a play from both Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck during pivotal moments of games and why these plays have been so successful.
As coaches, we're always looking for ways to put our guys in a position to be successful and there may be a scheme or philosophy in here for offensive guys to pick up on and implement, or tweak, to use with their young quarterbacks.