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Off and back again: Oregon State hosts Nicholls State tomorrow

Oregon State was supposed to open the 2012 season by hosting Nicholls State on Sept. 1. Then Hurricane Isaac hit, trapping the Colonels in Louisiana. A rain-check was scheduled for Dec. 1, but when the Beavers got off to a 5-1 start in the Pac-12 and played themselves into contention for the Pac-12 Championship, this game appeared to be in doubt. Alas, Oregon State lost to Stanford and Oregon, and now the Beavers and Colonels will face off tomorrow. 

(On a side note, we're having trouble remembering the last time a team had 15 days between regular season games. Can anyone offer another example?)

Nicholls State last played on Nov. 16, meaning Charlie Stubbs and his staff have seen Oregon State play two full games since they last played. With 15 days between games and nothing to lose, it will be intriguing to see what tricks the Colonels can throw at Oregon State.

“They’ve had some time,” Oregon State head coach Mike Riley told The Oregonian. “It’s a little interesting. They’re approaching it like it’s a bowl game."

The game itself should be a total mismatch. Oregon State is 8-3 and ranked No. 15 in the BCS. Nicholls State is 1-9 and went 0-7 in the Southland Conference.

Riley's challenge this week has been to motivate a team that came within a whiff of the Rose Bowl, and is fresh off a Civil War loss to Oregon, to get up for a 1-9 FCS foe. 



VIDEO: Charlie Weis takes you inside his program at Kansas

It's well known that Charlie Weis has a decided schematic advantage any time he steps on the field. You know it, I know it, he knows it. Even his opponents know it.


On top of that, does he also have a facilities advantage? He thinks so. 

The folks at Kansas sent us this video of Weis giving an overview of what he has to sell in Lawrence. We see lots of these videos every week and this one is really, really well done. A certain bet to get any recruit's attention. 


Cincy AD comments on missing out on ACC expansion and what its impact may be on keeping Butch Jones

In the ever evolving world of conference realignments, there is no doubt that media markets play a large role. Cincinnati had been in talks with the ACC about potentially moving from the Big East, and definitely would have brought a substantial market with them, but in the end their budget restrictions forced the conference to instead take rival Louisville.

In a one on one interview recently, Bill Koch of Cincinnati.com sat down with Bearcat athletic director Whit Babcock to gather his thoughts on the realignment situation and what it might possibly mean for head coach Butch Jones.

"I think we’ve got great coaches but our budget is one of the lowest ones at the BCS level and we have a good bit of debt from Varsity Village, so I think we’re challenged a lot from a budget standpoint. I think we need to make improvements to Nippert" Babcock explained, fully understanding the role that facilities and budget play such a big decision for a conference.

"Another thing I’ve learned about conference realignment is there’s about 10 percent that you can control and the other 90 percent is in the hands of other people. We want to compete at the highest level possible. That stance won’t change."

Babcock goes on to explain that their average BCS finish over the past five years is 16th. That's higher than all but one school in the ACC (Virginia Tech), and better than all Big East schools. So that has to count for something in Babcock's eyes. Everyone wants a bigger budget and better facilities, but Cincinnati has a pretty rich history, has been impressive over the handful of seasons, and has definitely made a name for themselves in the national spotlight. That's offering quite a bit to a new conference.

Another area that Babcock addressed was his faith on whether their conference realignment picture would increase the chances that Butch Jones would listen to other schools with a head coaching vacancy.

"I don’t know." Babcock explained. "I know he’s really popular in the coaching ranks. In one way I take it as a compliment that everybody’s interested in him. I think he’s a key part to our brand and I’d sure like to stop this revolving door of coaches leaving. He showed some good loyalty last year and so far this year he has. We’ll see how that goes."

He added that no other school has contacted him about Jones, but also noted "that etiquette is not always extended as much as it used to".

Yesterday, we had heard that Jones plans to meet with Purdue officials following Saturday's game, but that it the situation is by no means a done deal. Stay tuned to The Scoop page for more.


VIDEO: Al Golden delivers powerful message to team

From the video below, it looks like Al Golden found the perfect way to deliver a message of their season and unique situation through a poem entitled "The road ahead or the road behind" by George Moriarty.

Powerful message in here, and another great job by 3 Penny Films who handles the "Raising Canes" series.


Friday TV - Championship weekend begins

Championship weekend begins tonight with the MAC and Pac 12 title games and continues with the C-USA, ACC, Big Ten, and SEC title games tomorrow.

Eastern time listed


No games


Kent State vs. Northern Illinois - 7 - ESPN2

UCLA at Stanford - 8 - FOX

High School:

No games

What grad assistants do while the coaches are on the road

Earlier this morning, South Carolina graduate assistant Scott Spurrier tweeted a picture to us of the job board that they put together using The Scoop while the rest of the staff is out on the road recruiting.

Check it out.



Just a little while ago, a few more grad assistants out at Wyoming let us that they're also staying busy decorating the office Christmas tree (see below).

IMG 7957

Over at Nebraska, a couple of the guys were "honored" to take a pic with recently announced Finalist for Director of Football Operations of the Year Jeff Jamrog.

Screen Shot 2012-11-29 at 12.56.01 PM

If your guys are doing anything other than just refreshing The Scoop every five minutes (which we do encourage), let us know! Everyone loves hearing about the life of grad assistants.


Southeastern Oklahoma State's grad assistants working the phones...


And then theres this...



Just another day at the office...

When Will Muschamp was hired, "There was no Plan B"

According to Yahoo!Sports, after Urban Meyer announced his retirement as the Gators head coach, athletic director Jeremy Foley made just one phone call. He had a short list in mind, but that list included just one man, and that man was Will Muschamp, Texas' head coach in waiting.

Since arriving, Muschamp has worked with strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman to make many changes that have contributed to their turnaround and mental makeup as a team, bit none are as interesting as the rule they have during their conditioning tests.

This past season players had to complete a conditioning test consisting of 16 straight 110-meter dashes. Skill players had to finish each one in 15 seconds, while running backs and linebackers were given 16, and lineman had to cross the line in 18 seconds. Those who don't finish in the allotted time line up to do it all over again. That's pretty standard at a lot of programs.

What makes Florida's unique is the way that they keep their guys mentally tough during the rest periods. Hands on the hips and bending over are not allowed. That would show weakness, which is unacceptable. Instead, when players get tired they have to wiggle their fingers and smile. For some reason when we picture this actually happening, we picture "spirit fingers" and a cheesy smile that would make a cheerleader jealous.

Another way that they trained for a mental edge was running nearly double the amount of 110's that they were scheduled to run during the conditioning test. Instead of running 16, they'd practice by running 30. After that, 16 should seem easy.

Another method that has attributed to their turnaround is their recruiting philosophy that focuses on "good guys" not just the five star prospects. After all, Muschamp is also the recruiting coordinator, so he makes the rules on just about every front.

"I'll turn my back on a five-star guy if he isn't a good guy. I have zero reservations about that. ZERO reservations."

"I'm the recruiting coordinator here," he added. "You're not a good guy, you go somewhere else. We'll play you. We'll beat you."

The mindset for the Gators has definitely undergone a change under Muschamp, and the results are overwhelmingly positive. Muschamp firmly believes that he has helped develop one of the top teams in the country, and he's done it by doing things his way.

Leach: We played six offensive lineman every snap this year, that's a first for me

Asked about the biggest challenge that he faced this season at Washington State, Mike Leach noted a first for his coaching career.

"One of the most 'marathon' things that I've ever seen...I've never even heard of this really. But we had six offensive lineman take every snap that we did this year. Every one."

"Usually you do it with eight, which means that everybody's effort is cut by about a third. And then if you get the thing in hand, which we didn't get any in hand, then you play the seconds, and thirds." Leach explained.

"We had six guys play vitually every snap. So that was fairly challenging."