More MAC action. Please, please let this be as good as last night's game!
All times are eastern.
Temple at Ohio - 8 - ESPN2
NAIA / D-II opening in Oklahoma
Ken Barefield resigned as the Northwestern Oklahoma State head football coach Monday, just after posting his 100th career win as a head coach. In 5 seasons with the Rangers, Barefield compiled a record of 34-19 with 2 Central States Football league titles, and 3 NAIA playoff appearances.
Since the program's first national title in 1999, the Rangers have gone a combined 104-42, and have had only two losing seasons in that span. Along with the national title in 1999, the Rangers made national title appearances in 2000 and 2003 as well (lost to Georgetown, KY in 2000 and to Carrol, MT in 2003).
We understand that the University plans to apply very soon for D-II status (and they have already been accepted into the Great American Conference). The GAC currently includes Arkansas Tech, Arkansas Monticello, East Central, Harding, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist, Southeastern Oklahoma, Southern Arkansas and Southwestern Oklahoma.
Sounds like a pretty good job if you want to live in Northwestern Oklahoma.
Sonny Dykes has LA Tech headed in the right direction
Sonny Dykes and Louisiana Tech had a tough opening to this season with three of their first four games against Southern Miss, Houston and Mississippi State. They lost each of those three; but only by a combined 9 points (Southern Miss by 2 (17-19), Houston by 1 (34-35), and Mississippi State by 6 (20-26 in OT)). Oh, we should add in there, that Dykes was playing a true freshman at quarterback for those games.
At that point they were 1-3. Can we get a show of hands for schools that hoped to schedule Fedora, Sumlin and Mullen's teams in the first four weeks? Anyone?
The following week, Hawaii came to town and in the game that featured the bizarre 22 minute review, LA Tech fell to 1-4.
But since that game, Tech has reeled off three straight wins (at Idaho, at Utah State and vs. San Jose State).
This week the Bulldogs travel to Fresno State (Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs). Then they travel to Ole Miss, and Nevada and will wrap the season up at home against New Mexico State.
Dykes has his program headed in the right direction.
Chavis: It's a football game...between the best 2 teams
If you watch SportsCenter this week, you're likely to be reminded that LSU is playing at Alabama this weekend.
Erin Andrews is spending the day with the LSU program today and the worldwide leader is showing live cut ins throughout the day on ESPN and the deuce. They also have announced that tomorrow ESPN will be doing the same within the Alabama program.
Minutes ago, Andrews sat down with the Chief in his office. EA opened up remarking how clean Chavis' office was. Chief gave the credit to his GAs.
Towards the end of the interview Chief got on a roll and really opened up. He's excited to be coaching in this game said he doesn't get caught up in the hype; but when Andrews asked him his reaction to this game being labled "Armageddon in Alabama" Chavis replied, "It's a football game...A game between the best two teams in the country." The smirk he gave said it all.
This is a huge game for both programs and they know it. Winner take all Saturday night.
A tip from Pete Carroll
In the Spring of 2010, Pete Carroll (already with the Seahawks) came to Oklahoma State to watch a future draftee.
During the visit, Mike Gundy asked Carroll, "What could I do here that you've done (at USC) that could help our football team"?
Carroll responded with a simple answer. Double the amount of time spent on forcing turnovers.
Taking a look at the numbers, it looks like Gundy took that advice. The Cowboys are the top team in the country in turnovers forced (29), interceptions (17), and are tied for most fumble recoveries (12).
On top of the 15 minutes each day focused on forcing turnovers, the Cowboys also emphasize turnovers during their team period by aiming for 5 takeaways in the session. If they fail to meet that goal, the defense does some extra running.
The Cowboys will take on Kansas State Saturday. The Wildcats are tied for fifth in the country with only 8 turnovers.
Mark Hudspeth took to the microphone yesterday to talk about the 7-2 start that the Ragin' Cajuns are on, and also took some time to talk about proving everyone wrong. As a reminder, this Hud's first year at UL, and the team went 3-9 last season.
Jump to the 3:45 mark to hear Hudspeth talk about the team playing with a chip on their shoulder, and how the team has used their doubters as motivation.
"Each week that has been our goal, to prove them as wrong as we can possibly prove them" Hudspeth said.
Hudspeth and the Ragin' Cajuns wrap up their schedule with games against Lousiana-Monroe, Arkansas State, and Arizona. The 7 wins already is monumental in Lafayette. The Ragin' Cajuns haven't won more than 6 games in their last 17 seasons.
Mid-American Conference action tonight; and it should be a good one (both teams are 5-3 on the season).
All times are eastern.
Northern Illinois at Toledo - 7 - ESPN2
Penn State's defense is why they are 8-1
Despite having an offense ranked 101st in scoring, the Nittany Lions are 8-1 as they head into their bye week, and have played in more than their fair share of close games.
Six of their eight wins have come by a combined 38 points. Each of their games against Temple (14-10), Indiana (16-10), Iowa (13-3), Purdue (23-18), Northwestern (34-24) and Illinois (10-7) have been decided by less than 10 points.
Defensive coordinator Ron Vanderlinden Tom Bradley and the rest of the defensive staff composed of linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden, safeties coach Kermit Buggs, and defensive line coach Larry Johnson have once again helped put together the type of defense to keep them in those close games. Defensively the Nittany Lions rank in the top 10 in the country in pass efficiency (4), total defense (10), scoring defense (4), and pass defense (8).
Joe Pa will be looking for win 410 when they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers November 12th, in Happy Valley.