Nick Saban's 2003 defensive backs vs. 2011 defensive backs
When Nick Saban led LSU to the national championship in 2003, his defensive back starters heading into the season had combined for only 10 career starts.
Junior corner Travis Daniels and true freshman free safety LaRon Landry had never started a college game. Junior corner Corey Webster and senior strong safety Jack Hunt had each started 5 games in their careers.
The Tigers went on the win the national championship and lead the nation in total defense (252 ypg). LSU finished sixth in the country with 21 interceptions. On the snap, LaRon Landry often blitzed from depth and quite frankly, scared opponent quarterbacks.
This season, Saban’s starters in the secondary will be sophomore Dee Milliner, juniors Dre Kirkpatrick and Robert Lester, and senior Mark Barron. The four players have combined for 62 career starts, that’s 52 more than LSU’s suffocating unit in 2003.
Kirkpatrick, Lester, and Barron are each projected first-round draft selections in various 2012 mock drafts. Basically, you wouldn’t say there is a lack of talent problem in Tuscaloosa.
LSU’s dominant unit of 2003 played against quarterbacks Eli Manning, David Greene, Jason Campbell, Chris Leak, Brodie Croyle, and Heisman Trophy winner Jason White. This year, the Crimson Tide won’t see as impressive group of quarterbacks. In fact, the three quarterbacks that stand out are Tyler Wilson, John Brantley, and Tyler Bray. Alabama does not play against Aaron Murray or Stephen Garcia.
Since Saban has been the head coach of the Crimson Tide, four defensive backs have been drafted. Kareem Jackson (Round 1, 20 overall), Javier Arenas (Round 2), Marquis Johnson (Round 7), and Rashad Johnson (Round 3) all learned from Kirby Smart and Saban.
Jackson started all 16 games for the Houston Texans as a rookie. Arenas and Rashad Johnson have each started two games in their young NFL careers.
Here is the list of defensive back signees since Saban arrived at Alabama:
2007: Tarence Farmer (Houston, TX), Kareem Jackson (Fork Union, VA), Chris Lett (Pensacola, FL), Michael Ricks (Booneville, MS)
2008: Mark Barron (Mobile, AL), Robby Green (River Ridge, LA), Alonzo Lawrence (Lucedale, MS), Robert Lester (Foley, AL), Wesley Neighbors (Huntsville, AL)
2009: Dre Kirkpatrick (Gadsden, AL), Rod Woodson (Olive Branch, MS)
2010: Deion Belue (Tuscumbia, AL), John Fulton (Manning, SC), Dequan Menzie (Wesson, MS), DeMarcus Milliner (Millbrook, AL), Nick Perry (Prattville, AL), Jarrick Williams (Eight Mile, AL)
2011: Hasean Clinton-Dix (Orlando, FL), Chris Jones (Adamsville, AL)
Alert your boss about the 2011-12 bowl schedule
The entire 2011-12 bowl schedule was finally released today and once again the BCS National Championship game will be played on January 9, just a meager 37 days after the SEC Championship game.
New Orleans will host the Sugar Bowl on January 3th and then turn around to host the BCS National Championship game on January 9th.
There are no January 1 bowl games this year since the date falls on a Sunday, an obvious NFL day. If the NFL season is canceled, Roger Goodell could ask the Texas High School Athletic Association to play the 5A state championship game on this particular Sunday, so at least everyone gets to see some solid football.
Boy, don’t you know a lot of work is going to get done at your office on Monday, January 2nd. Be sure to make your boss aware this coming Monday that you will not be attending work on that particular day due to contractual obligations to watch the Capital One, Outback, Gator, and Rose Bowls.
You do get the Rose (2nd), Sugar (3rd), Orange (4th), Fiesta (5th), and Cotton Bowl (6th). Of course, all that leads us to the main event, the BCVA Compass Bowl on the 7th. Get your tickets while they last.
Chizik shares candid comments in book about landing the Auburn job
Gene Chizik’s book, "All In: What it Takes to be the Best," will go on sale July 5.
A couple of parts have leaked including Chizik’s candid reasoning on landing the head coaching job at Auburn, despite a 5-19 record at Iowa State.
Chizik writes, “Make no mistake, I was humbled by Auburn's decision. And I knew this had to be a God appointment because this whole thing just didn't make sense otherwise. I knew God had to be behind opening this door."
In fact, Chizik had a weird feeling just before talking with Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs about the position. He didn’t want to interview for the position unless he was truly a legitimate candidate for the job, fearing the consequences in Ames if he didn’t land the job.
In his two years as the head coach at Auburn, Chizik has led the Tigers to 8-5 and 14-0 records. He recently signed a 5-year contract worth an average of $3.5 million per year.
He will receive a $100,000 bonus for 10 or more wins, $50,000 for playing in the SEC championship game, $100,000 for winning the SEC championship game, $50,000 for playing in a BCS non-national title game, $100,000 for winning a BCS non-national title game, $200,000 for playing in the BCS national title game, $400,000 for winning the national title. He will also receive $25,000 for an APR score of above 930, $50,000 for an APR score above 950, and $75,000 for an APR score of 1000.
Bear Down! Massive video board going up at Arizona Stadium
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne communicates with the Arizona fans as well as any athletic director in the country, respective to their fans.
It’s certainly something the Arizona boosters, fans, students, and alumni appreciate.
Today, the athletic department launched a video with Byrne informing the fans of the progress of the new gigantic video board that will soon sit high atop the end zone seats at Arizona Stadium.
Byrne says, “This will be the best board in the PAC-12 without a doubt. On a national perspective, there will only be a handful of schools that have anything that comes close to comparing what our new board will be and the impact it will have for us.”
While serving as the AD at Mississippi State, Byrne led a project for the construction of a massive video board in the end zone at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville.
He has seen the impact a video board can have on recruiting and the overall experience for the fans on game day.
Here’s the video, which includes renderings of the new video board:
Urban Meyer believes the media should adjust their role
Urban Meyer made some refreshing comments today on the College Football Playbook with Jack Arute and Mike Leach.
Meyer doesn’t like the amount of negative attention the media and television networks are bringing towards college football.
Meyer said, “I think it’s the responsibility also of networks to balance it off a little bit. Maybe it’s not quite as sexy, but it’s the right thing to do.”
“Andrew Luck, that’s the poster child right now for college football. He’s the one I want my son talking about.”
“Are you kidding me? That guy (Andrew Luck) turned down the #1 overall projected pick because of architectural design. He wants to get a degree. And you tell me that’s not one of the greatest stories in college football in the last decade?”
“To say it’s all bad, I don’t think that’s fair.”
“It’s seems like they’re the ones (the leaders) not getting the recognition. It’s all the guys that make mistakes that get the air time.”
Surprisingly, Mike Leach disagreed to an extent with Meyer’s thought process, citing there’s just not new storylines yet to cover with guys like Andrew Luck.
Leach said, “I think the media is willing to cover stories like Andrew Luck, for right or wrong, I just think they’ve moved on until there’s so new material.”
Leach added, “I think everybody is waiting for new material. There’s going to be new heroes. I honestly don’t think we have the obsession with negativity (that everyone thinks).”
There is merit to Leach’s point, but all in all, there is too much negativity from the media these days.
Would you really care if you didn’t hear another word about Terrelle Pryor?
In fact, part of the thing we enjoy doing so much at FootballScoop is staying away from news regarding NCAA investigations, violations, hot seat speculation, DUI’s, and arrests.
We’d like to think that it’s part of the reason that coaches visit our site as frequently as you do.
For the first time as a head coach, David Cutcliffe gets...
Unlike most head coaches at the BCS level, David Cutcliffe has never had the luxury of benefitting from a finished indoor practice facility.
While serving as the head coach at Ole Miss, the Rebels opened an $18 million dollar state-of-the-art indoor facility during the fall of 2004, but by the middle of December, Cutcliffe was dismissed as the head coach of the Rebels.
Duke, however, will soon open its brand new multi-purpose fieldhouse that will house a 120-yard playing surface for the football program.
Cutcliffe and his coaching staff, several of which were on his staff at Ole Miss, will finally have the opportunity to showcase one of the most critical features for a D1 program. (See Lou Holtz’ comments from Tuesday night)
Cutcliffe is entering his fourth year as the head coach of the Blue Devils. He has compiled a 12-24 record, winning two more games than the program had won in the previous eight seasons before he arrived.
Here’s Coach Cutcliffe talking about what’s ahead for the Duke coaches and program:
Median salary for head coaches is nearly $1.4 million
In 2010, the total revenue generated by twenty-two D1 athletic departments outweighed their total expenditures.
The total revenue comes in a variety of ways including media rights contracts, ticket sales, and donations. In 2009, only fourteen athletic departments reported making money.
The median total generated revenue for D1 athletic departments was $48,298,000. The median total expenses were $46,688,000.
Oregon’s total revenue for 2009-10 was $122,394,483. Their total expenses were $77,856,232. Therefore, the Ducks made $41,853,109.
According to USA Today, the top 10 athletic departments with the highest profit were:
Alabama ($26 million)
Penn State ($18 million)
Michigan ($17 million)
Oklahoma State ($16 million)
Iowa ($13 million)
Texas ($13 million)
Oklahoma ($10 million)
Georgia ($9 million)
LSU ($8 million)
The other athletic departments that made money include Kansas State, Florida, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Purdue, Michigan State, Nebraska, West Virginia, Indiana, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and Washington.
Mark Richt points out over-signing isn't over
Mark Richt was one of the coaches in disgust over the notion of over-signing.
Many felt the issue was settled during the SEC meetings in Destin when university presidents decided that coaches will not be allowed to sign more than 25 recruits on National Signing Day.
The issue has essentially died down.
Today, Richt pointed out to the Atlanta Journal Constitution the rule isn’t the end all of over-signing.
Richt said, “All I’m saying is you can still over-sign with 25. If you only have room for 15 and you sign 25, you still sign more than you’ve got. The question is everybody’s integrity. That’s the question. Are we all going to do things in the right way? And I think everybody’s trying to do that.”
“It’s not an easy thing to manage. It’s really not because on signing day, if you sign right to the 85 number, by the time august rolls around you might have only 79 because of the attrition that happens from the signing day until august and that’ what everybody’s trying to figure out. How can we start the season at 85 and not over-sign?”
“It’s not as simple as maybe everybody wants to make it.”
Not only will SEC programs be limited to 25 signees, but December junior college signees will no longer “count back” against the previous year’s class.
The SEC is hoping both rules will be national rules, not just enforced by the SEC.