The complete list of notable 2013-2014 Bowl gifts
Bowl season means bowl gifts for the eligible participants, and that means a healthy debate about the best overall bowl package complete with the latest gadgets, high tech lounge chairs, and of course those gifts that make you say "huh?".
The NCAA allows each bowl to award $550 worth of gifts to participating schools, and schools can buy additional packages to stretch beyond the 125 people allowed to receive the gifts.
The biggest talk on top of always popular gaming systems this year is the addition of the Viva, which is a home theatre recliner complete with USB ports to charge your mobile devices. 800 of the chairs are expected to be given out as gifts amongst the various bowls.
11 of the listed bowl games gift packages (courtesy of the Sports Business Journal) include a football. Even though they may include the bowl's logo on it, this seems like the most original idea that any bowl committee could come up with.
Gift suites are another popular choice. These are events where players and participants are given an order form and allowed to select gifts up to a predetermined value, and any balance not used is forfeited.
I've decided to list some of the more notable bowl gifts and packages below:
Teams: Marshall vs. Maryland
Gift Package: Sony Playstation 4, winter hat, Ogio backpack
Thoughts: Teams collecting the PS4 are the real winners
Fight Hunger Bowl
Teams: Washington vs. BYU
Gift Package: Soundmatters wireless portable speaker system, Fossil watch, Maxx HD Wayfarer sunglasses, messenger bag, Macy's gift card
Thoughts: Pretty extensive package for a bowl aimed at fighting hunger, don't you think?
Teams: Syracuse vs. Minnesota
Gift Package: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, Fossil watch, belt buckle, t-shirt, Ogio backpack
Thoughts: What kind of bowl game would the Texas Bowl be without a belt buckle?
Teams: Iowa vs. LSU
Gift Package: 150 Best Buy gift card, Fossil Watch, Jostens ring, Outback Steakhouse gift card
Thoughts: They seem to have covered everything in this one
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Teams: North Texas vs. UNLV
Gift Package: Gift suite, ESPN cap, football
Thoughts: Really, a football? How creative...
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Teams: Virginia Tech vs. UCLA
Gift Package: Timely Watch Co. watch, Top of the World cap, Majestic fleeve pullover, Ogio backpack, coin, Helen of Troy hair dryer.
Thoughts: A hair dryer? That's got to be the most puzzling bowl gift of the year.
VIDEO: 'Seasons' by Colorado is an absolute work of art
I'm not a video guy, so I can't tell you how long it takes to produce an 11 and a half minute video on average. But I can tell you this, it's not 10 months.
That's how long the Colorado video staff put into "Seasons", and every second of that investment was worth it.
Narrated by Colorado alum Chris Fowler, "Seasons" follows the life of a Colorado Buffalo from toddler to adult. "You don't just become a Buffalo by getting here," Fowler says, "you're not suddenly changed by putting on a jersey. You begin transforming yourself from day one, building up yet another newer, better person to become."
More than 300 man hours, 14 Terabytes of raw footage and 10,000 photos went in to making what I can say is the best football video of 2013. Every shot is a masterpiece.
2013 Running Backs Coach of the Year - Finalists
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards, presented by ProGrass, are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. Finalists were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors and other athletic department personnel. The winner will be chosen by the previous winners of this award and will be announced on Thursday, December 19th.
The 2013 FootballScoop Coaches of the Year will be recognized and will receive their awards at an event held in their honor at the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention in January.
Previous winners of the Running Backs Coach of the Year award are Burton Burns (Alabama, 2008), Willie Taggart (Stanford, 2009), Jim Mastro (Nevada, 2010), Frank Wilson (LSU, 2011) and Calvin Magee (Arizona, 2012).
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East Mississippi Community College wins the NJCAA national championship
East Mississippi Community College took home the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national title Sunday night with a 52-32 win over Georgia Military College. The win completes a 12-0 season for the Lions and gives EMCC two national titles in three seasons. EMCC also posted a 12-0 national championship season in 2011.
"So many of our guys had big games or made big plays that all contributed to the win in the end," EMCC head coach Buddy Stephens said. "I honestly could not be prouder of the way our young men played and I'm so happy for all they've accomplished.
"Our guys were looking forward to this from the very first day of summer. They were focused and they showed tremendous leadership. I love these kids, love our fans, love East Mississippi Community College."
EMCC trailed 16-14 after one quarter, but outscored Georgia Military 30-13 over the second and third quarters to take a commanding 44-32 lead heading into the final frame. The Lions accounted for 585 yards of total offense on 76 plays (7.7 per play), rushing 40 times for 260 yards and completing 16-of-36 passes for 325 yards.
It was a fitting end for the top offense in NJCAA history and one of the highest-producing offenses in college football. EMCC finished the season averaging 62.2 points per game and 608.9 yards per game. The Lions threw for 355.4 yards per game on 9.4 yards per completion, and rushed 253.5 yards per game on 6.5 yards per rush.
"To get that second national championship," Stephens added, "to go out and beat a team like (NJCAA Football Coaches Hall of Famer) Bert Williams' No. 1 ranked team and put yourself on a national stage, I really think our program made a statement.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again: Our administration had a vision to make our athletics successful and let the school build off that success and they've given us everything we needed to be successful.
"I love being at EMCC and the school has paid us back ten-fold. It truly is a great time to be at East Mississippi Community College."
Congratulations to Coach Stephens and his staff.
Dantonio pre-recorded a message for the Spartans from the Rose Bowl back in May
Back in May, Mark Dantonio was out in Pasadena for an alumni function and decided to take a little detour to the Rose Bowl to check out the environment that every Big Ten team has their sights set on at the beginning of the season.
Dantonio was able to get a few minutes on the field, and he took advantage of that time by recording a message for his team that he was finally able to share on Friday night before the Big Ten title game against Ohio State.
"Hey guys, welcome to the Rose Bowl," he opens up the video saying. "I had an opportunity to come out here in late May and walk around a bit. This is where we make it happen, so January first of this next year, of 2014 as we get in to it...it will be our time. It will be our time."
"As I said at the banquet. You will be the ones."
The entire video is really good and includes Rose Bowl references in meetings throughout the year, but Dantonio's message steals the spotlight at the end of the clip.
Michigan State will take on Stanford out in Pasadena come January first. If you love "grown men football" (and who doesn't), that will be a can't miss game.
From interim head coach to conference title in one season
Last season, after a loss to Mississippi Valley State, the administration at Southern University decided to make a change in the leadership of the football program and reassigned head coach Stump Mitchell within the athletic department.
Defensive coordinator Dawson Odums was promoted to serve as the interim head coach went on to lead the Jags to wins over Grambling State, Jackson State and Florida A&M, becoming one of only two coaches in school history to do that in their inaugural season. This season, Odums led the team to wins in seven of their last nine games. His only two losses during that span were by a combined ten points, with one of them coming in overtime.
This year the Jaguars had a knack for winning the close games, going an impressive 5-2 in games decided by 10 points or less, and with a 34-27 double overtime win on Saturday over Jackson State (a team that they lost to 19-14 earlier in the season) Odums helped Southern completely turn things around by winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference title.
Here is the video that the team watched before beating Jackson State in the rematch. While it is a bit long, it really captures the mindset and work ethic that Odums has been able to bring to the team and is that's a major reason behind why he's been able to get things turned around so quickly.
Video: Kansas State highlights their bowl tradition
Really good video here from Kansas State highlighting their tradition and expectations when it comes to bowl games.
"Every one of our fans plays a part, just like Bill Snyder's football team. We're successful because everyone does their part. When we full up the bowl venues, when our people are there and our people are wearing purple" athletic director John Currie explains in the clip.
Various other school administrators get on and talk about the loyalty of the fan base and how much it means to have one of the best traveling fan bases in college football decked out in purple for bowl games.
Two fan bases that travel very well will be put to the test on December 28 when the Wildcats take on Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
Monday TV - Bears at Cowboys
If you enjoyed yesterday's cold weather games, tonight's game in Chicago should be right up your alley.
Eastern time listed.
Dallas at Chicago - 8:40 - ESPN
No games until Saturday when Army vs. Navy and the FCS, D-II, and D-III playoffs take place on ESPN3