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USA Today ranks the Super Bowl commercials

At the office today, everyone's talking about the game and the best commercials of the night. While the game had a clear cut winner and loser, the debate for the best super bowl commercial has always kind of been up in the air, depending on who you talked to.

Well late last night, USA Today put together an interesting ranking of the commercials including how long they were, what quarter they aired, and their overall score.

We brought you a handful of the commercials during the day on Friday. 

Doritos was the only company to make more than one appearance in the top ten with their "Fashionista Dad" and "Goat 4 Sale" commercials (both hilarious). The highest ranked commercial was the Anheuser-Busch bit that reunited the horse and trainer, narrowly edging out Tide's "Miracle Stain" for the top spot.

Interestingly enough, Anheuser-Busch also had three of the bottom five ranked commercials, and the Bar Refeali make out commercial from GoDaddy.com was surprisingly the lowest ranking commercial out of the entire lineup.

Take a look at the full rankings from USA Today here.

Video: Week 2 of winter workouts at North Texas

North Texas is another one of the college programs out there that has really helped the visibility and transparency of their program with recruits and fans with some quality video production. Whether it's the "Minute with Mac" series, or the winter workouts below, recruits and their families love being able to take a peek inside of a program.

Not to mention the fact that coaches enjoy being able to take a look at different philosophies and how programs are approaching various things as well.

This off season, the emphasis has been put on doing things together as a group, and you'll notice the words that pop up throughout the clip explaining what kind of attributes the staff is looking for in players and the workouts.

 

FootballScoop's Fifth Quarter

We recognize that you may have better things to do in life than check FootballScoop multiple times every day. We don't condone it, but we accept it. While you were out living your life, we wrote a good amount of articles that may have slipped past you. In that event, here are the five best things we wrote this week:

- In nearly a quarter century as a strength coach, Jim Peal has helped a football team reach No. 1 in the rankings, a baseball team reach the College World Series and a basketball team make back-to-back Final Fours. This week he revealed he is battling colon cancer. Here is his story. 

- Nine current coaches hold their respective school records for most all-time wins. Five more could get there by the end of the 2014 season. A dozen more are on the medal stand at their current posts. Do you know which ones?

- During bowl workouts, Ole Miss players faced off against the coaches for a spirited game of 7-on-7. Who won?

- Sul Ross State is a Division III school tucked away in tiny Alpine, Texas - 200 miles southeast of El Paso and 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. With the program sitting between head coaches, five volunteer assistants are currently holding the program together. Meet the five volunteers.

- Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees has a very interesting perspective on being a head coach in the NFL - that it's not worth the trouble. Do you agree?

While the rest of the sports media world was writing about deer antler spray, brothers facing off in the Super Bowl and a certain linebacker playing in his last game, the college football world also dropped a few bits of news. Here is the best in non-coaching news:

- Be the Gene Siskel of your Super Bowl party and watch 17 Super Bowl commercials before they air on Sunday. 

- Some alternate helmet prototypes at Nevada, Texas Tech and Fresno State hit the Internet this week. We may or may not see them on the field this fall, but you can catch a glimpse here. 

- The Big 12 held an athletic directors meeting on Monday, and word broke afterward that the conference is in discussions of forming a scheduling alliance with the ACC and SEC

- The Big 12 is also pursuing the addition of a Florida bowl game and may even resurrect its conference championship game pending NCAA approval. 

- Conference USA revealed its 2013 football slate on Wednesday. The league says goodbye to Memphis, Houston, SMU and Central Florida, and welcomes Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, North Texas and UTSA. 

- BYU also finalized its 2013 schedule. 

- Missouri and Arkansas State will play a home-and-home in 2013 and 2015.

- Washington will play Georgia State on Sept. 20, 2014. 

- Arizona will play on new turf this fall. 

 

 

The Scoop on Stats - Super Bowl Edition

In the days leading into January's BCS National Championship, we posted a statistical study to see if any past trends would tell us whether Alabama or Notre Dame would come out on top. Turns out Alabama not only won the game, but every single statistic, along with anything else that could be won on that Monday night.  

We're trotting out this exercise again for Sunday's Super Bowl, this time looking back at the last 13 Super Bowls. 

Scoring first: 7-6. Like its college counterpart, denting the scoreboard first accounts to nothing better than a coin flip in determining who will have the most points when the final gun sounds. 
WHO THIS FAVORS: No one. A stat that's been a toss-up in the past has also been a toss-up throughout these teams' seasons. The 49ers have scored first in 10 of their 18 games, and the Ravens broken the goose egg first in 10 of their 19 games. 

Leading at halftime: 9-3-1. A halftime lead was a rock-solid indicator of victory until the Giants (in both wins over the Patriots) and the Saints overcame halftime deficits to win. It is worth noting, though, that all three comebacks featured deficits of four points or fewer. 
WHO THIS FAVORS: Push. Each squad has led at the half 11 times this season. 

Leading after three quarters: 9-3-1. The same three games as above all featured the winners trailing after three quarters. Once again, the largest deficit overcame was four points. 
WHO THIS FAVORS: San Francisco, slightly. The 49ers have taken the lead into the final frame 13 times in 18 games, while Baltimore has done the same 12 times in 19 games. 

Non-offensive touchdowns: 6-0. In the six recent Super Bowls where one team has gained an advantage through non-offensive touchdowns, that team has never lost. 
WHO THIS FAVORS: Baltimore. Each team has allowed the same number of non-offensive touchdowns, and the Ravens have notched six of their own, compared to San Francisco's four. 

Winning the rushing battle: 10-3. This statistic had been on a nine-game winning streak until the Colts (in their loss to the Saints) and the Steelers (in their loss to the Packers) bucked the trend. 
WHO THIS FAVORS: San Francisco, huge. The 49ers ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing offense and rushing defense, while Baltimore ranked 11th and 20th, respectively. 

Forcing more turnovers: 9-1-3. The Seahawks, in their 2006 loss to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL, are the only team in recent history to win the turnover battle but lose the game. 
WHO THIS FAVORS: Push. In the regular season, each team forced 25 takeaways and committed 16 giveaways. 

Total yards: 7-6. Also similar to the BCS National Championship, accumulating more gross yardage typically has no bearing on the outcome of the game. 
WHO THIS FAVORS: Baltimore. San Francisco ranks ahead of the Ravens in total offense and total defense, so the fact that this statistic has historically been a wash favors Baltimore. 

Sacks: 7-3-3. This statistic had traditionally been a perfect indicator of who would win the game, but the last three teams to register the most sacks have actually gone on to lose the game. 
WHO THIS FAVORS: Push. The 49ers created 38 sacks in the regular season, one ahead of Baltimore's 37. But 49ers quarterbacks were sacked 41 times, compared to Baltimore's 38. If very recent history is an indicator, this is a stat you don't want to win. The team that has forced the most sacks has actually lost the last three Super Bowls. 

First Downs: 6-7. The team with the most first downs has lost five of the last seven Super Bowls. 
WHO THIS FAVORS: Baltimore. Each team has proven to be equally proficient at creating first downs, while the 49ers are better at preventing them (17.8 first downs per game allowed, compared to Baltimore's 20.4). But, using the same logic as above, the history of this statistic equating to nothing more than a coin flip helps Baltimore. 

Final note: As Hank Stram's Super Bowl System told us earlier in the week, San Francisco rates ahead of Baltimore in almost every metric. However, recent history of the Super Bowl has also taught us that, in a 60-minute setting, what you have done leading up to Super Bowl Sunday may not matter once the game is underway. 

In a game like this, a big punt return or a key interception can wipe out any perceived disadvantage. More than anything else, though, the team that can win in three phases: the ground game, creating non-offensive touchdowns and eliminating turnovers while forcing a few of their own, usually ends up mattering the most when the final gun sounds.

Nick Saban recruits with the future in mind

Recruits want to get to the NFL. That much is nothing new and will never change. But the game has changed in the NFL, and the way colleges recruit has to change with it. 

As the idea of a workhorse, every-down running back in the NFL becomes one with the single-bar facemask more and more every Sunday, Nick Saban has altered the way he chases running backs. 

Andy Staples of SI.com did a wonderful job detailing Saban's new process, and how he's gotten elite talent to buy in to Alabama's strategy to get its players to the NFL through the fewest possible carries. 

"That's always one of my sales pitches for them," Saban said. "The shelf life of a running back is the shortest of any position in the NFL."

"According to the NFL Players Association, the average career of an NFL tailback lasts 2.57 years," writes Staples. "The more pounding a player takes for free (in high school) or for a scholarship (in college), the less he can take for big money in the NFL. Because backs absorb the hardest hits whether they're carrying or blocking, they are the most at risk to suffer a career-ending injury on a given play. That has made tailback the most expendable position in the NFL, and it has forced Saban and other coaches to change how they use and recruit tailbacks. If high school tailbacks are smart, it should change how they choose a college program. The schools that can divide the workload should have the advantage."

Dig in to the full piece here.

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