Missouri breaking out a special uni combo for Saturday
It's a special day for the Missouri football program, so it only makes sense that the Tigers would break out a special uniform combination.
Mizzou will wear their black matte helmets, white jerseys and gold pants for the SEC title game, the first time this specific uniform combination has been worn. (Should we mention that the last time Missouri broke out a special uniform combination - gold jerseys for the Kansas game in 2008 - the Tigers lost 40-37 on a 26-yard touchdown pass with 27 seconds left in the game? No, no we probably shouldn't.)
2013-14 Head Coaching Changes
The 2013 regular season has come to a close for all but a handful of FBS teams, which means it's time to start tracking head coaching changes across the college football landscape.
This page will track head coaching changes at every level of football - NFL, NCAA and NAIA - throughout the 2013-14 coaching change season, so check back frequently.
In the NFL, one head coaching job has come open as of Friday, Dec. 6. There were eight coaching changes in the NFL following the 2012 season.
|Team||2013 Coach||2014 Coach|
|Houston Texans||Gary Kubiak|
At the FBS level, a total of 11 jobs have come open as of Dec. 11 and eight have been filled.
As a point of reference, here are the number of coaching changes following the last five seasons: 22 (2008), 23 (2009), 24 (2010), 28 (2011), 31 (2012). Additionally, here is our list of coaching changes from the 2012-13 hiring season.
|School||2013 Coach||2014 Coach|
|Arkansas State||Bryan Harsin|
|Boise State||Chris Petersen||Bryan Harsin|
|Bowling Green||Dave Clawson|
|Connecticut||Paul Pasqualoni||Bob Diaco|
|Eastern Michigan||Ron English||Chris Creighton|
|Florida Atlantic||Carl Pelini|
|Miami (Ohio)||Don Treadwell||Chuck Martin|
|USC||Lane Kiffin||Steve Sarkisian|
|Wake Forest||Jim Grobe||Dave Clawson|
|Washington||Steve Sarkisian||Chris Petersen|
|Wyoming||Dave Christensen||Craig Bohl|
At the FCS level, we are showing 19 head coaching changes as of Dec. 11. Eight positions have been filled.
|School||2013 Coach||2014 Coach|
|Alabama A&M||Anthony Jones|
|Albany||Robert Ford||Greg Gattuso|
|Central Connecticut||Jeff McInerney|
|Colgate||Dick Biddle||Dan Hunt|
|Drake||Chris Creighton||Rick Fox|
|Elon||Jason Swepson||Rich Skrosky|
|Grambling||Doug Williams||Broderick Fobbs|
|James Madison||Mickey Matthews|
|Mississippi Valley State||Karl Morgan|
|Morgan State||Donald Hill-Eley|
|North Carolina Central||Henry Frazier III|
|North Dakota||Chris Mussman|
|North Dakota State||Craig Bohl|
|Robert Morris||Joe Walton||
|Rhode Island||Joe Trainer|
|Southeast Missouri||Tony Samuel|
|Stephen F. Austin||J.C. Harper|
|Valparaiso||Dale Carlson||Dave Cecchini|
|Weber State||Jody Sears||Jay Hill|
In Division II, 15 schools have switched head coaches and six positions have been filled as of Dec. 11.
|School||2013 Coach||2014 Coach|
|Bentley (MA)||Thom Boerman|
|Central State (OH)||EJ Junior|
|Central Washington||John Picha|
|Mary (ND)||Myron Schulz|
|Minnesota-Crookston||Paul Miller||Mike Fritze|
|Northeastern State (OK)||Kenny Evans|
|Northwood (MI)||Mike Sullivan||Pat Riepma|
|Pace (NY)||Chris Dapolito|
|Simon Fraser (Canada)||Dave Johnson|
|Southeastern Oklahoma State||Ray Richards||Bo Atterberry|
|Southern Connecticut State||Rich Cavanaugh|
|Virginia Union||Michael Bailey|
|West Alabama||Will Hall||Brett Gilliland|
|West Georgia||Daryl Dickey||Will Hall|
|West Texas A&M||Don Carthel||Mike Nesbitt|
At the Division III level, 16 schools have announced coaching changes and two positions has been filled as of Dec. 8.
|School||2013 Coach||2014 Coach|
|Aurora (IL)||Mark Walsh|
|Averett (VA)||Mike Dunlevy|
|Beloit (WI)||Chris Brann|
|Emory and Henry (VA)||Don Montgomery|
|Frostburg State (MD)||Tom Rogish|
|Loras College (IA)||Paul Mierkiewicz|
|Mississippi College||Norman Joseph|
|Nichols College (MA)||Kevin Loney||Dale Olmstead|
|Oberlin (OH)||Jeff Ramsey|
|St. Norbert (WI)||Jim Purtill|
|St. Vincent (PA)||Bob Colbert|
|Sul Ross State (TX)||John Tyree|
|Trinity (TX)||Steve Mohr||Jerheme Urban|
|Westfield State (MA)||Steve Marino|
|Westminster (PA)||Jeff Hand|
|Whitworth (WA)||John Tully|
In NAIA, three jobs have come open at this time and all have been filled.
|School||2013 Coach||2014 Coach|
|Dickinson State (ND)||Hank Biesiot||Pete Stanton|
|Edward Waters College (FL)||Brad Bernard||Alvin Wyatt|
|McPherson College (KS)||Pete Sterbick||Steve Fox|
As always, if we missed anyone please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ole Miss has released a "ball boy" rebuttal video
So yesterday we stumbled on a spectacular highlight video of Florida State ball boy known as Red Lighting. Well, it turns out that balls boys are held in a little higher esteem down south, and are rapidly gaining popularity.
Here's Ole Miss' rebuttal with their very own "Ball Man". This guy can flat out scoot.
The stakes have bumped up a few notches with this one. It's your move now Big Ten / ACC / Pac-12.
The Top Nine Coaching Matchups of Championship Weekend
Usually this column runs down the top 10 coaching matchups of the impending weekend, but we're a day behind this week. But since "Louisville 31, Cincinnati 24" has already happened, we're down to nine this week.
1. Tom Herman vs. Pat Narduzzi - I wrote about this game more extensively yesterday, but we'll boil it down to this: Ohio State ranks in the top 10 nationally in 10 offensive categories. Michigan State ranks in the top 10 nationally each of those same categories. When Ohio State runs the ball, there will be a difference of nearly five yards between what the Buckeyes normally gain and what the Spartans allow. Something's gotta give.
2. The Auburn offensive staff vs. the Missouri defensive staff - Auburn survived the SEC's top rushing defense just fine last week. Fifty-two carries for 296 yards and two touchdowns did the trick against Alabama, and now Auburn faces the SEC's second-ranked defensive front.
Gus Malzahn's biggest challenge this week, aside from Michael Sam and the rest of Mizzou's awesome defensive front, will be pulling his team's head out of the clouds after last week's once-in-a-lifetime win. There won't be any Kick Sixes to win this one.
3. Mack Brown vs. Art Briles - No one's playing for a national championship here, but I'd wager no two head coaches want a win on Saturday worse than this pair. For Briles, it's a chance to wrap up the best season anyone in green and gold can care to remember, to close out Floyd Casey Stadium the right way, and to beat Texas. For Brown, it's a shot at least a share of the Big 12 title and, most importantly, a shot at extending the Mack Brown era into 2014.
I fully expect this to be a close game in the fourth quarter.
4. David Shaw vs. Todd Graham - Graham drilled into his players' heads all off-season that they were worthy of playing in the Rose Bowl, now they've got one game on their home field to prove it. Arizona State has won all seven of its home games this year and, save for the Wisconsin squeaker, they've all been decisive. Stanford's last three road games? A 20-17 loss to USC, a 20-12 win over Oregon State and a 27-21 loss to Utah. Kevin Hogan's quarterback rating is nearly 20 points lower on the road, too. How much have these teams changed since Sept. 21, when Stanford built a 39-7 lead on the Sun Devils and en route to a 42-28 final?
5. The Bowling Green defensive staff vs. Jordan Lynch - There's no pretense here. Northern Illinois will ram Lynch into the Falcons' defensive line as many times as it takes until it breaks. Lynch has the third-most rushing yards of any player in college football, owns the highest yards per carry average of any player with at least 200 rushes, and it's his one chance to send his team to the Fiesta Bowl and himself to the Heisman ceremony.
Lynch will get his yards, but what will Bowling Green's top-ranked red zone defense show near the goal line?
6. The Oklahoma offensive staff vs. the Oklahoma State defensive staff - Old-fashioned style Bedlam is in store Saturday morning with snow on the ground and rumors of single-digit temperatures at kickoff. Oklahoma has finally found a mix that works offensively, rushing for 706 yards and seven touchdowns on 96 attempts (7.35 per carry) in its two games since losing to Baylor. The Sooners can't win if Trevor Knight has to throw the ball. No Big 12 team stops the run better or forces more turnovers than Oklahoma State. How many 3rd-and-8's can the Pokes force Oklahoma to deal with?
7. The Duke defensive staff vs. the Florida State offensive staff - Duke hasn't lost often this year but when it does, the Devils' back seven gets taken to the woodshed. Duke has surrendered 10 passing touchdowns in its two setbacks (compared with eight total in its 10 wins) and a shade over 11 yards per pass attempt. Its challenge Saturday night? The overwhelming favorite for the Heisman Trophy, playing with a clear head for the first time in weeks, with a shot at the national title on the line. Good luck, Cut.
8. The Fresno State offensive staff vs. the Utah State defensive staff - A week after facing its stiffest defensive test of the season - and failing - Tim DeRuyter's team faces the harshest opponent its prolific offense will meet all season. Utah State has surrendered 10, 10, 24, zero and seven points in its last four games (all wins). The Aggies rank seventh on the national scoring defense charts. The rest of Fresno State's schedule? 94th, FCS, 41st, 115th, 125th, 92nd, 97th, 102nd, 110th and 104th.
9. The Marshall offensive staff vs. the Rice defensive staff - Marshall has won five straight games and scored 53 points per game in its last half-dozen games. Quarterback Rakeem Cato has fired 28 touchdowns against four interceptions (on 8.5 yards per attempt) in the Thundering Herd's nine wins, and only six touchdowns against four picks (on under seven yards per attempt) in its three losses. Against a defense that's allowed the 12th-fewest passing yards in college football, and ranks 22nd nationally in pass efficiency defense and sixth in opponent completion percentage, the Conference USA title game shapes up quite nicely.
FCS Weekend Primer: Round of 16
The second round of the FCS playoffs is here, leaving with eight juicy matchups to breakdown.
Let's get right to it.
Furman at North Dakota State (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3): The Paladins have ripped off six straight wins against FCS opponents, allowing a shade under 16 points a game during that span. That all sounds mighty impressive, until you realize North Dakota State has won 20 straight games and allowed just a shade over 12 points per game.
Coastal Carolina at Montana (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Google Maps says it's a 2,490-mile, 36-hour drive from Conway, S.C. to Missoula, Montana. Clearly the NCAA did the Chanticleers no favors here. Each team averages north of 35 points (Coastal Carolina has a slight edge in most offensive stats), but Montana leads the nation in turnover margin.
New Hampshire at Maine (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Each of the games in the "South" regional semifinals - where Southeastern Louisiana is the top seed - is an intra-conference showdown and rematch from the regular season. Here, it's the home town Black Bears looking for revenge for the 24-3 spanking New Hampshire put on Maine back on November 23.
Sam Houston State at Southeastern Louisiana (8 p.m. ET, ESPN3): And now to rematch No. 2, where Sam Houston State looks to avenge a 34-21 loss at Southeastern Louisiana on November 16 and keep its seven-game non-championship playoff winning streak alive. The key to that game? Southeastern Louisiana held all-everything running back Tim Flanders to 47 yards on 15 carries. Flanders has made his name in the playoffs, rushing for 1,178 yards in nine career playoff games, so expect an all-out effort from the senior.
South Dakota State at Eastern Washington (4 p.m. ET, ESPN3): The third-seeded Eagles boast an intimidating offense, but they can be lulled into a shootout, with final scores this year of 49-46, 49-34, 42-37, 55-34, 54-29 and, most recently, 42-41. Unfortunately for South Dakota State, that's not the type of game the Jackrabbits are conditioned to playing.
Jacksonville State at McNeese State (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3): We should know pretty early on which way the wind is blowing here. McNeese State either wins - and scores a lot of points doing so, averaging 49.7 points in their 10 wins - or gets blown out. The Cowboys' two losses this season have come by scores of 41-6 and 41-7.
Fordham at Towson (1 p.m. ET, ESPN3): There are three FCS teams that lost fewer than two games this season: top-seeded and undefeated North Dakota State, second-seeded and one-loss Eastern Illinois, and one-loss Fordham, who didn't receive a national seed and gets sent on the road this week. Think Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead won't bring that up to his team on Saturday? (He'll neglect to mention that the rankings are all justified, considering that Fordham dominated the non-scholarship Patriot League and Towson finished second in the always tough CAA).
Tennessee State at Eastern Illinois (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3): In their first meeting on October 26, Eastern Illinois out-gained Tennessee State by 226 yards, led 28-3 after three quarters and won 34-16. It was the closest game Eastern Illinois has played since its lone setback of the year, a 43-39 loss to Northern Illinois on September 21. I'd expect more of the same here. See you in Frisco, Panthers.
D-III playoff weekend primer: Eight teams remain
Just eight elite teams remain in the quest for the 2013 Stagg Bowl.
With three of the four games taking place in cold weather, snow dusted stadiums, the weather is likely going to play a factor, but nearly every team left standing has playoff experience on their side. It's going to come down to teams either getting over the hump, or replicating the success that they've seen in the past...both of which can prove to be equally as challenging for a coaching staff.
With that said, here's a look at the quarterfinal matchups, with their ranking (via D3Football.com) as of the end of the regular season.
#1 Mount Union (12-0) vs. #15 Wesley (10-2) - Wesley has drawn the unfortunate hand of playing the most experienced program in the D-III playoff in Mount Union. Since 2000, Mount Union is 193-7, with all seven of those losses coming in the NCAA playoffs. If this one comes down to the turnover battle, Mount Union is an unbelievable 135-0 when winning that category. The Wolves are no pushover though, as head coach Mike Drass has Wesley sitting at 102-15 with a total of five semifinal appearances since 2005. On the defensive side of things Wesley may present some unique issues for one of the nation's best offenses, as they have 17 different players with at least one recorded sack, and two players that will likely eclipse the 100 tackle mark after Saturday.
#4 North Central (12-0) vs. #6 Bethel (12-0) - After finishing among the top teams in the country over the past few seasons and fizzling out in the playoffs, North Central is hungry to prove that they belong along the nation's elite, but Bethel is going to present quite the challenge. Bethel is likely still flying high after their gutty win against Wartburg last week that required a big stand as time expired. North Central brings the offensive and defensive players of the year in the conference into the matchup, while Bethel ranks in the top ten nationally in completion percentage (#5 -70%), passing efficiency (#6 - 174.2), turnover margin per game (#6 - +1.7), passes intercepted (#9 - 20 total picks), and turnovers lost (#10 with just 11 lost on the year). This is going to shape up to be a really good one.
#2 Linfield (12-0) vs. #5 UW-Whitewater (12-0) - This is one of the more intriguing match ups to me. Both teams bring very rich traditions and both are hungry to prove their strength. After seven straight seasons in the national title game, and three straight finished of 15-0 with three consecutive national titles (facing Mount Union each time), last year the Warhawks struggled to a 7-3 finish and missed the playoff pool. This one also matches up the nation's top scoring offense (Linfield - 52 points per game) with the nation's top scoring defense (Whitewater - 8 ppg) One thing is for sure; UW-Whitewater had their hands full preparing for special teams after seeing this. If this one could be compared to a conference title game, it would be the Big Ten's Ohio State vs. Michigan State match up.
#3 Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-0) vs. #25 St. John Fisher (10-2) - Mary Hardin-Baylor won their second round game last weekend by 51 points (59-8), so they'll have a ton of momentum on their side heading into this one. St. John Fisher has made it to this point in the playoffs as a relative underdog, getting in as one of the at-large bids, but are also one of the more experienced programs at this point bringing a 10-4 playoff record and their fourth quarterfinal appearance with them into the contest. This one could be a real slugfest.
D-II weekend playoff primer: Quarterfinal preview
The Division II bracket so far has been full of surprises. Of the top 8 teams to receive first round byes, only three of them remain (Shepherd, Lenoir-Rhyne, Northwest Missouri), while two six seeds (West Texas A&M, St. Cloud), and a four seed (Grand Valley) remain in the field
All in all, eight teams remain to fight it out for a D-II national title, and if the rest of the playoffs have taught us anything at this point, it's that anything can happen.
Here are the eight remaining teams and some quick notes on their match ups.
3 seed West Chester (12-1) vs. 1 seed Shepherd (11-0) - Last week Shepherd scored the lone touchdown in their game against Winston-Salem State in the third quarter for a 7-0 victory, so this one could be a low scoring affair. In their past two playoff games, West Chester has put up at least 38 points, and this is not unfamiliar territory for the Golden Rams. Back in 2004 they advanced to the semifinals before falling to Valdosta State. This has all the makings of an explosive offense vs. dominant defense back and forth battle so something has to give.
6 seed St. Cloud (12-1) vs. 1 seed Northwest Missouri (12-0) - If this one comes down to experience, NW Missouri is in the 18th NCAA tournament (complete with three national titles), while St. Cloud is making just their 5th appearance in the tourney. However, St. Cloud upset two top five teams in the final rankings make it this far (and NW Missouri will be the third straight), so they aren't going to be an easy team to beat. if I had to guess, this one is going to come down to slowing down Northwest Missouri's passing attack, which is one of the most potent and efficient in the country.
3 seed North Alabama (10-2) vs. 1 seed Lenoir-Rhyne (11-1) - Lenoir-Rhyne leads the nation in rushing yards per game (372 ypg) and bring an 11 game win streak into the game, and that potent attack will face one of the most decorated D-II programs in football history when they take on Bobby Wallace and North Alabama, who have 18 playoff appearances, and a nine game winning streak to their name. This one has all the makings of a classic.
6 seed West Texas A&M (11-2) vs 4 seed Grand Valley (11-2) - Grand Valley made it to this point by beating conference foe Saginaw Valley State in back to back weeks, and then knocking off top seeded Colorado State-Pueblo, and West Texas A&M handed Ohio Dominican (the #2 seed) their first loss of the season. Grand Valley brings a rich playoff history (the third most wins in D-II football history), but West Texas is riding a hot streak that is going to be tough to overcome.
What does Chris Petersen to Washington mean to the Pac-12 as a whole?
Ever since Chris Petersen became a name on the national coaching scene with Boise State's roller-coaster win over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, 17 head coaches were hired and fired in the Pac-12. Only Oregon State and Utah (who, obviously, only became a Pac-12 school very recently) have employed the same head coach for that entire span, and only Arizona and Cal have only experienced one coaching change since the end of the 2006 season.
The other eight Pac-12 schools have now changed head coaches twice over the past seven seasons.
In fact, there have been 17 head coaches hired between Boise State's Fiesta Bowl win and Petersen's departure for Seattle. Some hires were program-changing grand slams, like Chip Kelly at Oregon and the combination of Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw at Stanford, and others were Lane Kiffin.
Sidebar: Why would Petersen take the Washington job, and why now? In many ways, Washington is Boise State on a BCS stage and green turf. It boasts USC resources with UCLA expectations. And maybe after experiencing a quote-unquote 19-6 downturn over the past two seasons - after going an unthinkable 50-3 from 2008-11 - Petersen realized he'd taken Boise State as far as he could and was ready for a new challenge.
Debate all you want on whether USC or Washington got the better upgrade, but larger point is this conference just upgraded from Kiffin to Petersen. A coach who managed to turn a preseason No. 1 ranking into a 7-6 finish was essentially traded for a coach with 92 wins over the past eight seasons.
Suddenly, a conference that enjoyed a fantastically competitive season in 2013 has only gotten stronger.
Have seen estimates of $1B being invested in athletics infrastructure in the Pac-12…I think the real number is far larger.— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 6, 2013
Does the Pac 12 have a better overall roster of coaches now than the SEC? Probably not, but it's getting awfully close.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) December 6, 2013
With Chris Petersen into the Pac-12, league coaches have a combined career D1 winning percentage of .631. SEC coaches at .687.— Daniel Berk (@DSBerk) December 6, 2013
Let's take a quick look at the top line of each Pac-12 head coach's résumé, in order of tenure:
Mike Riley, Oregon State: Winningest coach in school history. Accumulated eight bowl trips at the same school that suffered through nearly 30 consecutive losing seasons. Twice came within one win of the Rose Bowl.
Kyle Whittingham, Utah: Guided an undefeated season, including a Sugar Bowl win over Alabama and a No. 2 AP final ranking, in 2008.
David Shaw, Stanford: 33-6 overall record. Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Led Stanford to its first Rose Bowl win in 40 years, a win away from back-to-back Pac-12 championships.
Rich Rodriguez, Arizona: Came within a game of playing for the 2007 national championship. Won two Big East titles at West Virginia. 135-94-2 as a head coach.
Jim Mora, UCLA: Led UCLA to within one win of the Rose Bowl a year ago. 18-8 in two seasons in Westwood.
Todd Graham, Arizona State: Has Arizona State within one win of its first Rose Bowl trip since the 1996 season. Won or shared four conference/division championships in eight seasons as a head coach.
Mike Leach, Washington State: Engineered 11 bowl appearances in 12 seasons as a head coach. Pushed Texas Tech to a No. 2 national ranking in 2008.
Sonny Dykes, California: Went 17-8 over his final two seasons at Louisiana Tech, including a 2011 WAC title.
Mark Helfrich, Oregon: 10-2 in his first season as a head coach, keeping alive an FBS-best streak of five consecutive seasons with at least 10 regular-season wins.
Mike MacIntyre, Colorado: Posted a 10-2 season and a No. 21 final ranking at San Jose State, arguably the best season in Spartans history.
Steve Sarkisian, USC: Inherited an 0-12 team at Washington and produced a bowl win two seasons later. Won eight games at Washington, which is harder than you think according to Pat Haden.
Chris Petersen, Washington: Two undefeated seasons. Two Fiesta Bowl wins. Four top-10 finishes. Five conference championships. At Boise State.
Make no mistake, the Pac-12 is college football's newest mega-power and the closest thing to a worthy challenger the SEC will face on its continued fight to retain the throne of college football.