Win Saturday and pocket $150,000
OK, so that's not exactly how the contract is worded; but that's what's on the line for North Carolina State's Tom O'Brien. A win Saturday would trigger two clauses in his contract that would provide him with an additional $150,000 ($100k for reaching the ACC title game and $50k for winning a sixth ACC regular season game).
If the Wolfpack were to win the ACC championship game, that would generate another $200,000 for O'Brien and a finish in the Top 20 of the major polls at year end would earn him another bonus between $50,000 and $200,000 depending on where they wind up.
NC State is currently 8-3 on the season (5-2 in the ACC) and plays at Maryland Saturday at 3:30 EST.
Horton in limbo and the latest from Addazio, Paul Johnson, and Ruffin
Minnesota interim head coach Jeff Horton is in limbo: "There's no idea what's going on next week. (We) haven't really got a timetable for when they want to hire a coach. I'll continue to come in until they say don't come. And we'll continue to monitor the players and get them going because finals are close.”
"Well take care of business that way and get it ready for the next guy coming in. I feel that's our responsibility to be accountable for the players, and we're certainly going to do that. … Whatever happens, happens."
Steve Addazio says the Gator’s players believe in offensive scheme: “The answer to that is simple: They have complete faith and trust and they watch the tape. They know. You come in here and you watch the tape on Sundays and surely see what we set out to do, what happened and what didn’t happen. There’s no mysteries there. One-on-one conversations are about how that particular one guy is doing. Our guys are great, man. They’re great. The eye in the sky doesn’t lie. What happens is not complicated to see, it’s not hidden in numbers. It’s on video – there it is.”
“I think you have to try and approach it the way that you approach the other games in preparation. That is the only way that I know how to do it. You can’t get yourself so revved up on Tuesday when the game is on Saturday. You have to build it into the process and if you can’t get motivated to play in this game, then I don’t know which game you will be motivated to play in, for both sides I am sure.”
Paul Johnson frustrated by unmotivated team: “People can cry about schemes and play-calling, but the chemistry and just being able to do that [motivate] are just as important.”
“If I knew (how they were so motivated last year) I would use it this year. I don’t know. It just happens.”
“I’m more frustrated about that than anything else.”
Ruffin McNeill describes year #1 at East Carolina: "It has been a whirlwind. It's gone from one of the biggest challenges to one of the most rewarding times in my life, to another low point and then a high point to come here to East Carolina. It's been an adjustment ... but coming back home has been a blessing."
Kent State safety Brian Lainhart backs defensive staff and coordinator: “I had a meeting with (Nielsen) on Sunday, to tell him about coach Rekstis, (linebackers) coach (Jim) Fleming, (defensive backs) coach (Richard) McNutt and the defensive staff and what they have done in just our room with the 60-guys they have to work with. Coach Rekstis had a top-25 national defense three out of seven years. Just what he has done with 60 guys is great. To see what he could do with 120 guys would be something special.”
Caldwell unsure, Locksley on horse racing, Bud Foster on stopping the run
Vandy head coach Robbie Caldwell knows Saturday could be his last day: "If it is my last game, well, I'll be sad because I've enjoyed my time here at Vanderbilt. Hopefully it won't be. But if it is, I understand. It's the life of a football coach, unfortunately, this day and time."
Mike Locksley and New Mexico host TCU on Saturday: “I often use the analogy this week with our players: horse racing. You know those horses have odds on them, and when you open the gates on them, do you think the horse knows what the odds were? They don’t.”
North Texas defensive coordinator Gary DeLoach worried he could be out of a job: “I don't know if I can find a job. I am going to look around. I still have passion for the game. At my age it's tough. It's a young man game, and I realize that. You look around the country and there are not a lot of 57-year-old assistants."
Bud Foster not happy with VA Tech run defense: "Stop the run and make the opposing offense one-dimensional. That's always been the first goal of our defense.''
"We talked about it this morning. That's one thing we've taken great pride in. What we've done over 15 years a lot of people would like to do in one year. And I don't want our kids to lose sight of that. We don't want a team to feel like they can have success running the football on us because that's the last thing you want them to be able to do.''
"Part of it is the other team; part of it is us, getting lined up, being more forceful in our run game and our run fits in our perimeter. That's where we kind of been hurt as much as anything.”
Larry Porter explains his media policy to reporters
Larry Porter’s first year as Memphis head coach didn’t turn out the way he expected. The Tigers are 1-10 and host UCF on Saturday at the Liberty Bowl.
Porter’s first year also included some conflict with the local Memphis media. Today, Porter set the record straight on his media policies and talked about the future of the Memphis program.
Porter started, “I also want to say thank you, not just for today, but throughout the whole season. I think it’s a great compliment to you guys in how you’ve handled this season in terms of keeping things in perspective. I think, as we go forward, we just have to continue to give this program a platform that will allow it to flourish. Again, for your coverage and all the things that you’ve done, I want to say thank you.”
Regarding his media policy, Porter said, “Alright, let me set the record straight, OK. Everybody’s listening? My practices are not closed. They’re just structured to where the media comes at a certain time. So that perception has somehow taken a turn for the worst. And I understand and I did not try to debate the way you guys presented it. I did not. I understood exactly what you were saying, but my practices are not closed. As we go forward, let me say this publicly. The first three days of spring football will be open to the public, OK. Everybody there. It will be open to the public, so we’ll start there. In terms of my players, in terms of my freshmen, that’s just a fundamental belief of mine. I think you’ve got to educate guys before you just kind of send them out to the media and ask them questions that they may not be mature enough to handle. And in terms of my coaches, as we continue to grow and they know me and what I’m all about, I’ll be more open to allowing them to talk to the media.”
So what’s next for the program?
“I think if you look at the things going on, the future of this program is very bright. I really do believe that. Just the vibe I get from kids that want to be a part of this program. It has affected us in some ways, but just the reception you get overall; I think we’re headed in the right direction. I feel good about where we’re going. And then you look at the nucleus of this team. I think we’re in great shape.”
JoePa explains decision, Chris Ault makes bold statement
Penn State head coach Joe Paterno says he will return: "I didn't say I hope to. I'm gonna."
“I’ve never indicated to anybody that I’m not coming back. Now’s not the time to go. We’ve got a young team."
“It's always been on my mind that now is not the time to go. I have not thought about getting out of it, let me put it that way."
"I'm trying to do what I think is best for the program."
In his 26th year, Nevada head coach Chris Ault pretty clear about Boise State: “They don’t have a weakness anywhere on their team. That is the most complete, best team we’ve ever faced. Nebraska, Notre Dame any of them. This Boise State team is the best we’ve ever had to face.”
Indiana head coach Bill Lynch says AD’s support has been unbelievable: "(Glass') support has been unbelievable. Everything that he has said has been exactly what its been throughout the year. He's been as supportive as can be, week-by-week."
Leading the nation in blocked kicks / punts: Rutgers leads the nation with a total of 7. Northern Illinois and Fresno State have 6.
Da’Quan Bowers has more sacks than 17 teams: Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers has 15 sacks on the season. That’s more than ULL, ECU, Ball State, Utah State, Rice, Air Force, Memphis, WKU, UNLV, Iowa State, Duke, Eastern Michigan, Kansas, New Mexico, Kansas, Minnesota, and New Mexico State.
Spurrier: I thought about sending him a message about...
Dabo Swinney said early this morning that he has talked to Steve Spurrier a couple of times this year.
When a reporter asked Spurrier about his communication with the Clemson head coach, a humble Spurrier explained, “He (Dabo) did text message me (after we won the East) and I called him back. Mark Richt also sent a letter congratulating me on the East championship. I thought about sending him (Dabo) a message about beating Wake Forest, but I didn’t think he wanted to hear that.”
“To tell you the truth, I usually don’t send a message to the winner of the East.”
“I really like Dabo. I think we have a healthy rivalry. There’s no bad mouthing in recruiting between South Carolina and Clemson now. I think that’s the way it should be and I think Dabo and his guys think the same thing.”
About the rivalry, Spurrier wouldn’t mind moving it to Game #1. “It would make sense if we moved the game to the first game of the year,” Spurrier said. “That would give fans something to talk about all year.”
“We’ve turned it a little bit, winning the East. The next two weeks though will really determine our season. Our players know that.”
Playmakers and their coaches
On Monday, we will begin releasing the finalists for the 3rd Annual FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by SpeedTracs. In the meantime, here's a list of college football's best players with their position coach noted alongside.
Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player)
Da’Quan Bowers (Chris Rumph)
Nick Fairley (Tracy Rocker)
Patrick Peterson (Ron Cooper)
Biletnikoff Award (best receiver)
Justin Blackmon (Gunter Brewer)
Ryan Broyles (Jay Norvell)
Alshon Jeffery (Steve Spurrier Jr.)
Maxwell Award (best all-around player) and Davey O’Brien Award (best QB)
Andrew Luck (Jim Harbaugh)
Kellen Moore (Bryan Harsin)
Cam Newton (Gus Malzahn)
Outland Trophy (best interior lineman)
Gabe Carimi (Bob Bostad)
Rodney Hudson (Rick Trickett)
Nate Solder (Denver Johnson)
Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back)
Prince Amukamara, (Marvin Sanders)
Tejay Johnson (Chad Glasgow)
Patrick Peterson (Ron Cooper)
Doak Walker Award (best running back)
John Clay (John Settle)
Kendall Hunter (Robert Gillespie)
LaMichael James (Gary Campbell)
Pat Hill speaks the truth, causes quite a stir with Fresno State fans
Fresno State head coach Pat Hill offered some interesting words during his Monday press conference, which have caused quite a stir from the Bulldog fans.
Hill said, "You know, the plateau right now might be eight games a season. That's the way it looks. We've been a consistent eight-win-a-year type team -- and a bowl team. We are not right now in the upper echelon of our conference. We're not among the top two teams."
Asked if fan expectations are too high, Hill explained, “I toss that around in my mind. Expectations and support go together hand and hand. The expectations of this football team are very, very high. We're going to keep the expectations as high as we can.”
"I'd love to be doing what Boise is doing. I'd love to be undefeated. I'd love to be going to BCS games. That's what we want to do. That's what we've set our program to do. We haven't been able to achieve that, but I think we run a very competitive football team, a very clean team."
"We are not where we need to be at this time," Hill said. "And I'm not happy with this, either. I want to do everything we can to please this community."
Fresno State is 6-4 on the season. The Bulldogs host Idaho and Illinois to finish the season.