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Wins and losses don't always tell the whole story

Coming into this season, D-II Livingstone College had won a total of one game in the previous two years. In 2010, their closest loss was a 13 point loss in their season finale. In 2011 they made significant strides, with three of their losses coming by less than ten points (with one being a three point loss in overtime).

When head coach Elvin James took the job back in December of 2009, the program had the second longest losing streak in the country, and hadn't had a win in front of their home crowd since 2008.

In their first two seasons on campus, the offense ranked last in the conference, and totaled about 1,500 yards each season (1,356  yards in 2010 and 1,177 yards in 2011). In 2010, the team found the end zone just seven times. That number nearly doubled to 13 the next season.

The 2012 season has been a different story, written in a completely different book. The offense has really clicked, accounting for 3,665 yards and 33 touchdowns, while averaging 386 yards per game. Their total yardage this season eclipsed their combined total from the past two seasons. 2012 also marked the first time since 2007 that a running back had over 1,000 all purpose yards (1,073) and four receivers combined for over 140 receptions and 13 touchdowns. 

Livingstone also entered uncharted territory with back to backs wins (by a combined seven points) in weeks four and five of the season. It's also worth mentioning that they're getting all this done with a freshman quarterback under center who has set numerous school records (some that have stood for nearly 50 years).

The Bears have really closed the gap on their competition on the field, and finding a way to win the close games is a mark of a program on the rise. Additionally, the play of their young quarterback and other young players shows that the staff is doing an impressive job evaluating talent and getting them on campus and coaching them up.

While 2-8 doesn't show the results that any coaching staff would like to see, it's evident that Coach James and his staff have laid a solid foundation, and the program should be in great shape moving forward in 2013. 

Keith Patterson: We did fewer things with fewer people

Including their 70-63 shootout win over Baylor back in week four of the season, West Virginia gave up at least 45 points and 400 yards of total offense in four of their next five games. They've dropped their last three straight, but co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson saw some major improvement against TCU Saturday.

After losing in double overtime on Saturday to Gary Patterson and his TCU staff (39-38) when they decided to go for two and the win instead of kicking the extra point to head into triple OT, Mountaineer co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson noted that they made some changes that allowed them to be more sound defensively throughout the game. At halftime Saturday, they had held the Horned Frogs to just seven yards rushing.

"We tried to get guys on the field that we knew we could trust, and guys that have shown that over the past two weeks." Patterson added that they also cut down on coverages a little bit, and put more emphasis on fundamentals like timing up their blitzes during the week.

Patterson noted that their focus now turns to keeping players spirits up and showing them where they have improved and the importance of playing a full sixty minutes. Their remaining schedule of Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Kansas leaves no room to overlook anyone.

"You've got to build on the positive. College football has no time to sit and dwell on this one, you have to figure out a way to win next week." he said.

Monday TV - Philly at New Orleans

Philadelphia takes on New Orleans tonight in The Big Easy.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

Philadelphia at New Orleans - 8:30 - ESPN

College:

No games

High School:

No games

The video you have to see: Chuck Pagano in the Colts' locker room

The Indianapolis Colts beat the Miami Dolphins 23-20 Sunday afternoon. That was the trivial news to break out of Lucas Oil Stadium today. In far more important matters, Chuck Pagano, the Colts' first-year head coach currently on a leave of absence as he fights leukemia, returned to watch his team play.

After the win, Pagano addressed the team in what will undoubtedly be the most emotional post-game speech in the 2012 football season.

"My vision that I'm living is to see two more daughters get married, dance at their weddings and then host that Lombardi Trophy several times."

Every other great post-game locker room speech is now jockeying for 2nd place. 

 

Kentucky announces coaching change, Joker Phillips issues statement

Early Sunday afternoon, Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart announced that the school would make a change in its coaching staff at the conclusion of the season.

"After much conversation, evaluation and prayer, I have determined that it is in the best interest of our athletics program to make a change in our football coaching staff at the conclusion of the season," Barnhart wrote. "I do so with a heavy heart for a man who has served his alma mater for almost 22 years as a player and a coach Joker Phillips has carried the banner for the Blue and White with honor and pride. I have enjoyed working alongside him and am thankful for his friendship for the last decade. His concern for the entire program, his work and teaching of young people, his humanitarian work, and the friendship we all enjoy with him will long surpass the scoreboard. I want to thank him for all of those things on behalf of Kentucky.

The search for a new head coach will begin immediately and will be managed internally. I understand the challenge and significance of finding a new leader for our football program. It will be done with great concern for our student-athletes, students of the University of Kentucky, the Big Blue Nation and the citizens of the Commonwealth. Kentucky Football needs to be and will be a championship contender in the SEC.

"The search for a new head coach will begin immediately and will be managed internally," Barnhart continued. "I understand the challenge and significance of finding a new leader for our football program. It will be done with great concern for our student-athletes, students of the University of Kentucky, the Big Blue Nation and the citizens of the Commonwealth. Kentucky Football needs to be and will be a championship contender in the SEC."

Later Sunday afternoon, Phillips issued a statement of his own.

"I am very appreciative of Mitch Barnhart and Rich Brooks for providing the opportunity to have been the head coach here," wrote Phillips. "Mitch is the best athletic director I've ever been associated with.  He's fair and honest and he's "all in" in terms of student-athletes' well-being.  Rich is the best mentor a young coach could ever have.  I learned a lot from him in terms of plowing ahead.  They are dear friends.   Dr. Lee Todd and Dr. Eli Capilouto have both been very supportive.  I appreciate the Big Blue Nation and encourage the fans to stay behind their team going forward."

Pure class by Phillips in a very difficult time. 

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