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Clemson: "We're the total package"
Photos: Washington's new unis
D-II version of "Evolution of Dance"

Al Groh finding solutions to new problems, and new solutions to old problems

Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh seemed pleased with the progress of the Yellow Jackets’ defense during spring practice.

Groh said, “I think ‘progressing’ is probably the key word.  We have progress as we introduced it last year, but we have also progressed significantly with the scheme.  We have gone forward with quite a few things that we were ready to do last year OR that in our research how we are trying to evolve.”

“What we face on defense, you are either trying to find solutions to new problems OR new solutions to old problems.  If that book stays the same from year to year, then you’re probably losing ground.  Under any circumstances, we usually try to evolve.  So we went through that evolution with the scheme in general and then our players have enabled us to move forward with what we did last year and what we hope to be able to do this year.”

Last season, in the first year under Groh, the Yellow Jackets finished 57th nationally in scoring defense (25.2 ppg) and 64th nationally in total defense (371 ypg).  Georgia Tech finished 101st nationally in sacks and 108th nationally in tackles-for-loss.

Heading into 2011, Groh is excited about the defensive line and expects great competition for the starting spots at linebacker.

Georgia Tech opens against Western Carolina, at MTSU, and Kansas.  The Yellow Jackets’ ACC schedule is favorable with UNC, Clemson, and Virginia Tech all coming to Bobby Dodd Stadium.


Bragging rights on the line between Briles, Pinkel, and Dan Hawkins

Art Briles, Gary Pinkel, and Dan Hawkins are the three of four coaches that have a chance to produce multiple first-round draft picks on Thursday night.

In fact, two players from Baylor have accepted invitations from the NFL to New York.  OL Danny Watkins and DT Phil Taylor will be in on hand, as will head coach Art Briles.

Briles told the Star-Telegram, "We'll be one of the only schools with two guys in the green room.  It's great publicity for Baylor... We're getting good people in the program and we're getting the payoff for it."

Missouri players Blaine Gabbert and defensive end Aldon Smith are potential first-round picks, while Colorado corner Jimmy Smith and offensive tackle Nate Solder could hear their names called on Thursday night.

Alabama players Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, and James Carpenter could also go in the first round.  Coach Saban asked us not to put his name in the same article title as Briles and Dan Hawkins. ** 

One year ago, Oklahoma had three players drafted in the first four picks and four players overall selected in the first-round.  Florida, Alabama, and Cal had two players drafted in the first round.

Interestingly, Bill Parcells said last night during the ESPN Draft Confidential Speical that 27 college programs produce 52% of NFL draft choices in recent years.

** Yes, we are kidding.

Tubs calls out President Obama

Although we are not certain why, Tommy Tuberville appeared as a guest on The Sean Hannity Show, hosted by conservative political commentator Sean Hannity on the Fox News channel.

During Tuesday’s episode, Tubs interestingly called for President Barack Obama to show the public his birth certificate.  In recent weeks, Donald Trump questioned Obama’s birth and citizenship.  Since then, national radio and television shows are stormed the topic.

Tubs said, “We’ve got enough controversy going on in this country. I don’t know why he wouldn’t just step up and say, ‘Here it is.’ Obviously, there’s got to be something on there he doesn’t want anybody to see.”

Tuberville appeared on the show during “The Great American Panel” segment, which included Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich and Fox News legal analyst Tamara Holder.

There is talk that Tubs will make spot appearances on Iron Chef America, Jersey Shore, and CSI:Miami in the coming weeks.

Texas Tech opens with Texas State, at New Mexico, and Nevada.  No word yet on if Obama will be on hand in Lubbock.  

UPDATE (Thursday): Tubs has successfully convinced Obama to show his birth certificate.  The White House has produced the President's actual birth certificate.  Way to go, Tubs.

Schiano: It ain't gonna happen on this team. I'll tell you that right now.

Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano was quite agitated with the PAT / Field Goal team following Tuesday’s scrimmage inside Rutgers Stadium.

Schiano told reporters, “PAT / Field Goal team, your guess is as good as mine.  I’m mad.  I’m gonna find out what the hell was wrong, excuse my language, and get it fixed.  We do that every day.  There is absolutely zero excuse for that.  It ain’t gonna happen on this team.  I’ll tell you that right now.  We’ll play whoever we have to, but I don’t think that’s the problem.  I don’t know what it is.  We’ll find out and we will get it fixed.”

Rutgers will play their spring game on Saturday at 3 pm EST.  A few hours before the game, former players will play the first ever “Believe Bowl,” a flag football game to help raise awareness and support for Eric LeGrand and the Rutgers Spinal Cord Research.

The Scarlet Knights will open the 2011 season against North Carolina Central.  The following week, Rutgers travels to North Carolina, before returning home to host Ohio University.

On November 12th, Rutgers will play Army at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

NFL draft picks by college since 2000: Some surprising stats

Rivals editor Mike Hugugenin has released an interesting breakdown “By the numbers: NFL draft since 2000.”

Consider looking at the breakdown chart, but here are a couple of observations from us.

Ohio State (73), USC (69), and Miami (67) lead the nation with the most total draft picks since 2000.  It’s Miami (FL) that leads the nation with 26 total first-round draft choices.

Surprisingly, Southern Miss has produced more total draft picks (19) than Mississippi State (18).  Jeff Bower served as the Southern Miss head coach from 2000-2007.  Jackie Sherrill coached the Bulldogs through 2003, before Sylvester Croom took over the Mississippi State program.

Even with the tradition and facilities in College Station, Texas A&M has produced only 2 first-rounders compared to the 14 by the Longhorns.  That statistic was surprising to us considering the Aggies have played in 7 bowl games since 2000.

Here's one for you.  Notre Dame has produced more total draft picks (46) than Texas (45).  Seriously, even Lou Holtz and Mike Golic would have guessed Texas on that one.  

Virginia, like the Cavaliers, have more first-round selections (6) than Virginia Tech (4).  Would you have guess that?

32 players from Kansas State have been drafted, but only 9 from Baylor.  With all the players in the state of Texas, how does that happen?

Outside of the service academies, four programs have produced fewer than 3 draft picks since 2000.  Those programs include North Texas, Florida Atlantic, Duke, and New Mexico State.

Cincinnati, Duke, Iowa State, Indiana, and Mississippi State are the only BCS programs that haven’t produced a first-round draft choice since 2000. It is Starkville, but Mississippi State is in the SEC, right?

Let us know what you think is most interesting about the article.  Send an email to [email protected]

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Wow! Head coach owns up, takes full responsibility like never before

Head coaches have different ways of dealing with the media when things aren’t exactly going as planned.

Even though it’s not football-related, a loyal FootballScoop viewer emailed us with an interesting article about how LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri is dealing with a nightmare type of season.

Two years ago, Mainieri led the Tigers to their sixth national championship in twenty years.  He never would have imagined the Tigers would currently sit in last place in the SEC (4-14 record) and in doubt of qualifying for even the SEC tournament.  This type of situation doesn't happen at LSU.

Mainieri, however, has taken an approach we hardly ever see.  Thinking about it, we certainly can't recall a particular head football coach that took such a similar approach.

Mainieri said, “If it was mystifying would mean I don't have any answers for it. I have the answers for it. I know why we're in this position and I take full responsibility for it. It's nobody's fault but my own. I've made some mistakes and we're going to correct those mistakes.”

"I don't sleep much these days. I've identified several things we need to do to get back. I'm not going to share them with you now because we've got four weeks to go in the season. That's for something to analyze when the season is over.”

"It bothers me that we went from winning the national championship to being in the position we're in right now. It should never have happened and I take responsibility for it. There were some bad decisions on my part, and I'm real ashamed we're in the position we're in now. I've let a lot of people down, but this season is not over. We're going to fight right to the end. I believe we can make the SEC Tournament the NCAA Tournament."

If you can think of a football coach that has owned up like Mainieri, please send us an email.

If you have an opinion you would like to share with us, we’d like to hear from you.  Send your emails to [email protected]

Video: Throwing the post off boot setup protection

In case you didn’t stay up for the Monday night 10:30 pm EST first round playoff game between the Nuggets and Thunder, you missed something special.

Denver Nuggets guard J.R. Smith was feeling it last night.

Smith, the 2004 MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game, gave his best imitation of Peyton Manning’s boot setup during pre-game warm-ups.

“Swish” came to line, audibled, and went for the homerun ball (ala Manning to Reggie Wayne).

Smith ended with 15 and the Nuggets held off elimination by topping the Thunder 104-101, but Smith’s most impressive shot, again, came in pre-game warm-ups.

Here’s the evidence:


Brian Kelly on QBs: It'll be a controversy throughout the entire year

It’s beginning to sound more and more as if Brian Kelly really is unsettled at quarterback.  Kelly did not name a starter during spring practice, and didn’t put a stamp on which quarterback is leading going into August camp.

Kelly even used the word “controversy” during a Wednesday speech in San Antonio.

Kelly said, “It'll be a controversy throughout the entire year, because we've got four really good quarterbacks (Dane Crist, Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, and Everett Golson). Last year at this time, we had no quarterbacks with really any experience, other than when Dane was here in San Antonio (vs. Washington State at the Alamodome in 2009) and tore up his knee.”

“We have four guys who can win, four guys we think are exciting. I think this is probably not a situation where we can clearly say who the No. 1 is until we start playing games.”

It truly sounds that Kelly isn’t speaking to motivate Dayne Crist.  He really is unsure of his starter.

Notre Dame opens with South Florida, at Michigan, and Michigan State.  The Michigan game is set for an 8 pm EST kick-off in Ann Arbor.