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Big Ten coaches octagon cage match: Who ya got?

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell appeared on the Dan Patrick Show this morning.  As usual on the Dan Patrick Show, the interview involved some humorous questions and responses.

First of all, serious props to Fickell for checking in to the show via typical and appropriate procedure.

Fickell greeted, “Hi, Dan.  How are you?  Oh, by the way, 6’4 242 this morning.”

The best part came later on when Patrick asked, “If I put all the Big Ten coaches in an octagon, who is coming out?”

Fickell responded, “Me.”

He added, “I know my ability.  I’ve got confidence in what I do.  18 years of wrestling probably does help a little bit in my book.”

In a Big Ten head coaches cage match, who would your money be on?  Let us know on twitter @footballscoop

  Luke “Bust Yo Eye” Fickell.
  Pat “51 fists” Fitzgerald.
  Ron “The People’s Champ” Zook.
  Brady “Hail” Hoke.
  Bo “Husker” Pelini.
  Bret “Tequilla” Bielema.
  Kirk “The Hawkeye” Ferentz.
  Mark “You Don’t Know” Dantonio.
  Kevin “Hoosier Daddy” Wilson.
  Danny “The Boiler” Hope.
  Jerry “I Will” Kill.
  Joe “The Eldest Lion” Paterno.
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Louisville DFO: I'm sure some are thinking 'What is that moron doing?'

Last week, Kentucky director of football operations Clifford Snow accepted the same position under Charlie Strong at Louisville.

On the outside, it may appear to be a strange move.  Not many people choose to leave an SEC program for one in the Big East.

Snow, however, had worked with Charlie Strong for four seasons at South Carolina.

Snow told Kentucky Sports TV, “I’m sure there are fans who are thinking, ‘What is that moron doing? How could you leave Kentucky for Louisville and go from the SEC to the Big East.' But the reality of the business is you’ve got to look at the big picture. Two good programs, two good coaches; two coaches you know and are familiar with.”

“There’s only one director of football operations at each school, so opportunities to move are limited. You don’t really get to dictate when you can do that. When the Louisville job arose, it something I had to take a look at and I ultimately decided it was better to make a change at this point.”

“It was something my wife and I felt was in the best interest for me career-wise. I felt really bad because Joker gave me a chance, and it was a great one-and-a-half years. It was just something I believed I needed to do.”

Before joining Joker’s staff in February of 2010, Snow served as the DFO under Skip Holtz at East Carolina for six seasons.

Kentucky hosts Louisville in week #3.




Chill time: Sark and several D1 assistants work camp in Hawaii

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian spent three days last week coaching Polynesian wide receivers in Honolulu, Hawaii during the All Poly Camp.

Sark was permitted to work the camp because NCAA rules allow coaches to work certain off campus, non-institutional camps during two separate fifteen day windows during the summer.

Sark explained to Dawgman.com , “The biggest thing for me is that I just love to coach.  It doesn’t matter what position it is.  It’s what I love to do.”

Assistant coaches from Colorado, Utah, Stanford, BYU, Utah State, and UCLA also worked the All Poly Camp.

One of the reasons coaches enjoy working the camp is because  Hawaii prep football has improved in the recent years and there are more legitimate prospects coming from the island.

In fact, UCLA currently has secured verbal commitments from two different running backs from the state of Hawaii.  Washington State and Utah each have a commitment from Hawaii natives, as well.

Although we don't have confirmation, we would imagine the weather and accommodations aren't too shabby either.  

The Salt Lake Tribune explained, “Unmistakable puffs of black hair spilled out from some helmets, while other players were simply marked by the broad shoulders and ballerina agility that have helped many Polynesians become top-tier football recruits.”

hawaii

 




Dana Holgorsen continues to entertain

We sort of get the feeling that Dana Holgorsen tries to make things seem as simple as possible.

In less than three months, West Virginia will host Marshall on a Sunday afternoon during a nationwide broadcast on ESPN.  It will be Holgorsen’s first crack at it as a head coach.

Yesterday, Holgorsen told the West Virginia Gazette, "It's kind of coach-speak, but the only thing I'm concerned with is getting better in camp. It means nothing to me who our first opponent [Marshall] is. It means nothing to me that it's an in-state game. It means nothing to me it's a rivalry. It means nothing that they're green or mean green. They're not even Mean Green; that's North Texas.”

They are the "Thundering Herd," Coach Holgorsen.  

"All I'm concerned with is lining up and playing well."

Beautiful.  Wouldn't you love it if Brady Hoke spoke of Ohio State by saying, “It means nothing to me it’s a rivalry.”  There might be a riot in Ann Arbor.

With Holgorsen, we may have officially found the 100% opposite of Derek Dooley, who indicated he had 1400 things to setup before coaching his first game at Tennessee.  Dooley emphasized creating a new infrastructure for the program from an academic, peer, social, training room, equipment room, locker room, shower technique, and procedural standpoint.

From the outside, Holgorsen seems to be concerned about much less, yet important things such as scoring and the lack of a tight end on the roster.  To say the least, he doesn't seem overly complicated, much like his offensive scheme.

Not to say that one philosophy is better or worse, but we are certainly preparing for an entertaining year from Holgorsen.  




Okie State assistant Jemal Singleton challenges the Cowboy nation

And the creative ideas continue.  This time, it’s Oklahoma State’s turn.

The Cowboys have launched a season ticket promo featuring new running backs coach Jemal Singleton.

Singleton, who coached the running backs at Air Force last season, may have lost a rock-paper-scissors throw down with new wide receivers coach, Kasey Dunn.

In the video, Singleton does the dirty work, calling out the Oklahoma State fans.

He says, “We can’t win games without our fans.  There are no ifs, ands, buts about it.  We can recruit the best, we can coach those players better than any other coaches in the nation, but without our fans in the stands…we’re just not going to get it done.”

“Coaches can do their part.  Players can do their part.  But we need fans to do their part.”

“We need an environment at Boone Pickens Stadium, when the team walks out of the locker room, they know they’re going to have 60,000 orange clad fans breathing down their neck.  The average fan sometimes doesn’t realize how important they are to us winning games.”

“As a program, if we want to win the Big 12 championship, if we want to go to a BCS bowl game, if we want to take that huge leap and play in a national championship game, we need 60,000 fans at every home game to help make this happen.”

Here’s the video.  Although it certainly doesn't reach the level of Nick Saban's speech from two years ago, nonetheless it’s good stuff, so check it out.




Joe Barry explains why Monte Kiffin is the best to work with

Monte Kiffin is set to enter his 45th year in the coaching profession and his third season working with his son, Lane.  Kiffin has accomplished a number of great things in his career including a Super Bowl championship.  He is largley credited with the idea of the Tampa 2 defensive scheme.

But second year USC linebackers coach Joe Barry believes the elder Kiffin is outstanding for a different reason.

Barry, who coached with Monte Kiffin in Tampa Bay, told the Orange County Register, “I’ve never had a day where I’ve gone to work with Monte where I haven’t left that day a better coach.”

“Monte’s a great defensive mind. But one of Monte’s best attributes is he makes his coaches better. He forces his coaches to get better. And it’s not a beat-down, drudgery type deal. You have a wonderful time doing it.”

“He demands it, No. 1. But within demanding it, he makes it fun. You’re almost forced to become a better coach. Going on the ninth year I’ve worked with him, it’s still true. It was like that my first year, and it’s like that still today.”

Barry coached the Tampa Bay linebackers from 2001-2006 and again in 2009 while Kiffin served as the defensive coordinator.

In 2009 at Tennessee, the Vols finished 38th in scoring defense and 22nd in total defense, and 65th against the run. Tennessee finished 7-6.

In 2010 at USC, the Trojans finished 84th in total defense, 63rd in scoring defense, and 49th against the run.  USC finished 8-5.




Late June: 49 of 120 programs have a quarterback commitment

It’s not even July, but 49 of 120 college programs have secured a commitment from a quarterback.  Seven programs have two quarterback commitments.  That list includes Texas A&M, Washington, Arizona, Maryland, TCU, Iowa State, and New Mexico State. Miami (FL) has three QB commitments.

Surprisingly, eleven quarterbacks have committed to PAC-12 programs.  Only three quarterbacks have committed to SEC teams.  Only Auburn, Ole Miss, and Kentucky have received verbal commitments thus far from quarterbacks.

Four quarterback in the Rivals 250 remain uncommitted.  Rivals #19 overall prospect Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Indiana) is the top QB prospect that has yet to commit.  #52 overall prospect Jameis Winston (Hueytown, Alabama), #105 Anthony Alford (Petal, MS), and #152 Chad Voytick (Cleveland, TN) also remain uncommitted.

Here is the list of programs that have QB commitments:

Big 12: Texas A&M (2), Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Iowa State (2), Kansas State

SEC: Auburn, Ole Miss, Kentucky

PAC-12: Washington (2), Oregon State, Arizona State, Utah, Wazzu, Arizona (2), Oregon, Cal, Colorado

ACC: Clemson, Florida State, UNC, Miami (3), Maryland (2), Virginia, NC State

MWC: TCU (2), BYU

CUSA: Rice, Tulsa, Marshall, Houston, Tulane

MAC: Bowling Green, Toledo, Central Michigan, Temple, Northern Illinois, Ball State

Big East: Rutgers, West Virginia

Big Ten: Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin

Sun Belt: Arkansas State, FIU

WAC: Boise State, New Mexico State (2), LA Tech 




It's June...and Nick Saban is officially 'feeling it'

Caution.  Nick Saban is feeling it.  And it’s only June, boys.

Saban doesn’t exactly give the same type of speech to summer campers as most coaches.

But how do we know he’s feeling it?

We particularly liked this part of the speech, but we recommend watching the entire video.

Saban told little Johnny and his friends, “Look, guys.  You’re gonna do one of two things with your time.  You can invest your time or you can spend it.  When you invest your time, you make a goal and decision of something you want to accomplish and something you wanna do, whether it’s make good grades in school, be a good athlete, be a good person, go down and do some community service and help someone in need.  Whatever it is that you choose to do, you’re investing your time in that.”

“When you spend your time, you play Xbox.  That’s spending time.  It accomplished NOTHING.  And I know all of you who would say, ‘Oh man, I need my relaxation time.’  You know what I say to that, and excuse me to all the mommas here, that’s bullshit.  You don’t need to do that.  You don’t’ need to do that. You need to figure out what you want to do.  Invest your time in that.  Don’t play Xbox.  Blowing people up on that thing doesn’t help you.”