James Franklin sees the positives in Vandy staying home for the Music City Bowl

For many players and coaches, the biggest reward of reaching a bowl game is the chance to get away from home and play in a new locale. They get to trade a cold, empty campus for a warm festive atmosphere, hopefully near a beach. 

Not for James Franklin and Vanderbilt, though. The 8-4 Commodores will stay home and play N.C. State in the Music City Bowl. 

Ever the recruiter, Franklin sees nothing but positives in staying home for the holidays. "It gives us an opportunity to continue to claim our stake to being Nashville's team," Franklin explained. "What better way to do it than the Music City Bowl?"

The lack of travel means Vanderbilt fans can stay home and see their team play, Franklin says. 

"From what I understand, the ACC's allotment will be 12,000 tickets. The stadium holds 67,000 or something (LP Field holds 68,798), so I'm expecting that we're going to sell about 55,000 tickets for this game."

At the end of the day, Franklin knows that any bowl game is still something to be celebrated at Vanderbilt. The Commodores' second straight bowl game is another step in the right direction for Franklin's program. 

"When we got here, the feeling around this program is different than it was right now," said Franklin. "So to see the excitement and the hope and the beliefe in these people's eyes of what Vanderbilt can be and what we're working toward every single day, I take a lot of pride in that. It means a lot to me." 

VIDEO: Northern Illinois reacts to Orange Bowl bid

Good video here of NIU reacting to the news that they'll be heading to the Orange Bowl, and playing in the program's first ever BCS bowl game against Florida State.

The Huskies took care of business all season, only losing their season opener to Iowa by one point before rattling off 12 straight wins and winning the MAC title in double OT.

You can sense the excitement that this program has under newly appointed head coach Rod Carey. Notice the staff and players throwing oranges to everyone at the end of the clip.

Really creative motivational video for state title game

For those familiar with high school football, Jenks HS (OK) has long been regarded as one of the top football programs in the country.

Under Allan Trimble, Jenks has won 10 state titles, making him the first coach in state history to reach the elite mark. Their most recent title came this past Friday in front of 15,000 fans as Jenks dominated the Norman North Timberwolves 55-20.

Before the game they watched this motivational film, which used the movie "The Grey" to get the message across. Very creative and well thought out.



Monday TV - Giants at Redskins

The New York Giants and Washington Redskins face off tonight for your Monday Night enjoyment.

Eastern time listed.


New York Giants at Washington - 8:30 - ESPN


No games

High School:

No games

Rod Carey promoted to head coach at Northern Illinois

On the same day Northern Illinois received the ultimate validation in the form of an Orange Bowl bid, offensive coordinator Rod Carey was annointed the leader of the Huskies' program. Carey was promoted to head coach one day after Dave Doeren accepted the same position at N.C. State.

In what has to be one of the most rare circumstances in college football history, Carey's first game as head coach will come in the biggest game in his school's history. If one press conference can be any indication, he'll be ready for it. 

Northern Illinois has stated it wants to become the Boise State of the Midwest, and days like today are how you get there. The Huskies have put together winning seasons in nine of the last 11 years and are 34-7 over the past three seasons. Carey's move will instill continuity and help the program establish an identity. Bringing back all-everything quarterback Jordan Lynch next season helps, too. 

Carey came across prepared and confident for his move to the big office. Jerry Kill left Dave Doeren a great foundation, and Doeren obviously did the same for Carey. The Huskies are 23-4 in the last two seasons with back-to-back Mid-American Conference titles. 

"It's not what you can change, it's what you can keep," Carey said. "We've got a good thing going. We're going to keep our offensive system, our defensive system, our special teams. Will there be differences? Yes. But they'll be so small you guys might not even see them."

Carey said he intends on keeping every coach on the staff. "No one is going to be wanting for a job on this staff, and that's the way it should be," said Carey. 

Carey arrived at Northern Illinois with Doeren in 2011, added run game coordinator responsiblities before this season and then assumed the role of offensive coordinator after Mike Dunlap stepped back due to health issues following the season-opener. A Wayzata, Minn., native, Carey played at Indiana from 1989-93 and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Minnesota from 1998-99. He then became the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Division III Wisconsin - Stout from 2000-06 before moving on to coach offensive line at Illinois State (2007) and North Dakota (2008-10). 

For a guy who was a position coach at the FCS level as recently as three years ago, Carey suddenly has a very big, and very orange, opportunity ahead of him. 

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