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Muschamp addresses the Gator Nation

Spring football is over and summer is on the horizon.  It was 87 degrees today in Gainesville and head coach Will Muschamp had a few minutes to talk with Inside The Gators, the Florida Rivals site.

Muschamp gave the Gator nation (should “nation” be capitalized?) their role for the season.

The first-year head coach said, "More than anything: Be a positive member of our team. If you've got an issue or a problem, don't boo. Boo me if you want to; wait until after the game is over and let me know.”

“Our guys need positive reinforcement in what we do and how we do it. I understand, 'We pay our ticket; we deserve [the right] to be critical.' Be critical of me. Be critical of our staff. We deserve that; our players don't."

Interestingly, Muschamp told the story why he decided to hire D.J. Durkin, who had served on Urban Meyer’s staff last season after coming over from Jim Harbaugh’s staff on The Farm.

"I'm recruiting a young man out of Atlanta," Muschamp said. "I was at another school in the SEC at the time. [The] young man grew up an SEC football fanatic and wanted to play in the SEC his whole life. A guy named D.J. Durkin is coaching the linebackers and the special teams at Stanford. 

Durkin wound up convincing the young man to play at Stanford and that definitely left an impression on Muschamp.  

This is where we miss having Harbaugh in college football.  If Harbaugh was still the head coach at Stanford, we would guess that by next Thursday, he would have a pretty humorous comeback to Muschamp’s comment.

Staff loyalty - An interesting study on assistant coaches

Many believe there is not much loyalty in the coaching profession.  Some say that certain coaches try to come across as loyal, but in reality, they are only as loyal as their options.

We have found 56 coaches in D1 football that have remained with their current head coach for at least ten years.

At Minnesota, the Gophers are really selling Jerry Kill and their core group of assistant coaches in the recruiting process.  Kill has served as the head coach at Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois, and now Minnesota.  Six of his assistants at Minnesota have served on his staff for at least ten years.

After taking a look at our breakdown, we recommend watching the latest video production from Minnesota football.  The video is about staff loyalty.

Gary Pinkel (7): Dave Steckel, David Yost, Andy Hill, Brian Jones, Craig Kuligowski, Bruce Walker, Cornell Ford

Joe Paterno (6): Larry Johnson, Jay Paterno, Dick Anderson, Tom Bradley, Bill Kenney, Ron Vanderlinden

Kirk Ferentz (7): Norm Parker, Ken O'Keefe, Lestern Erb, Darrell Wilson, Reese Morgan, Eric Johnson, Phil Parker

Jerry Kill (6): Matt Limegrover, Tracy Claeys, Brian Anderson, Jay Sawvel, Rob Reeves, Pat Poore

Bob Stoops (4): Brent Venables, Cale Gundy, Bobby Jack Wright, Jackie Shipp

Tom O’Brien (4): Dana Bible, Don Horton, Jerry Petercuskie, Keith Willis

Jim Grobe (4): Keith Henry, Steed Lobotzke, Ray McCartney, Billy Mitchell

Houston Nutt (3): Mike Markuson, James Shibest, Chris Vaughn

Jim Tressel (3): Jim Heacock, Jim Bollman, Dick Tressel

Chris Ault (3): Ken Wilson, Cameron Norcross, Barry Sacks

Frank Beamer (3): Bud Foster, Bryan Stinespring, Charley Wiles

Mack Brown (2): Bruce Chambers, Duane Akina

Gary Patterson (2): Dan Sharp, Eddie Williamson

Mark Richt (2): Rodney Garner, Mike Bobo

Pat Hill (1): Randy Stewart

Frank Solich (1): Tim Albin

Randy Edsall (1): Lyndon Johnson

Larry Blakeney (1): Jeremy Rowell

Jeff Tedford (1): Ron Gould

Dan Mullen riding the momentum during Road Dawg tour

This week, Dan Mullen has stopped in cities all throughout the state of Mississippi to speak with Bulldogs supporters.  It would be an understatement to say that Mullen is riding the momentum of a 9-4 season.

The truth is the Mississippi State fans are crazy about Mullen, who has done a solid job in Starkville, but has also benefited from a brilliant marketing strategy from the MSU athletic department.  Of course, that’s what you are supposed to do as an athletic department – help your coaches.

Mullen appeals to the Bulldog fans.  This morning, during a speech at the Columbus Country Club, Mullen said, “We owe you a championship. The people of Mississippi deserve that.”

He also pointed out the importance of avoiding complacency.

“We can’t slow down at all because, I’ll tell you this: if we practice as hard as we did last year, if we turn out and fill the stadium and create the atmosphere and have the same home field advantage as last year, we can expect to win no more than eight games in the regular season. That’s all. If we want to do more and we want to win more than eight games, we have to work harder.”

Mullen also talked about his ultimate goal.  To give you a hint, it’s not just winning the SEC Western Division.

Of course, Mullen likes to talk about “The School Up North,” whom he has defeated the last two seasons.  With the Bulldogs and Rebels set to begin a critical 3-game series in Oxford today, we expect some sort of tweet from Mullen that undoubtedly will fire up the Bulldog fans.

Give him credit, he’s good at it.

Fedora: That dominance is what I want

Larry Fedora is 22-17 and 14-10 in conference play during his three seasons as head coach at Southern Miss.

The Golden Eagles have played in the New Orleans Bowl in 2008 and 2009, the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl in 2010.

Fedora, however, isn’t pleased.  He believes the program needs to get back to the days of conference dominance the Golden Eagles once had under former head coach Jeff Bower.

“That dominance is what I want. We are getting back to where we need to be, Jeff (Bower) did a great job during that run and we’re hoping to get the same type of players.”

Bower was the head coach from 1990-2007. USM finished undefeated in CUSA in 1997, 1999, and 2003.  The Golden Eagles lost at least 3 conference games each year after 2003 and Bower resigned following the 2007 season.

Since the CUSA championship game evolves in 2005, UCF and Tulsa lead the way with 3 appearances each.  Houston and East Carolina have played in the game twice, respectively.  Southern Miss and SMU have played just once.  

Interestingly, CoachBower.com still leads you to the official Southern Miss athletics homepage. 

“I am not pleased,” Fedora said. “How have I failed? We have not won them all. That’s it. The only way you are going to be measured is by winning them all and we have not done that. People ask me how many games I expect to win this year. I say every game because that’s how I feel.”

USM opens against LA Tech, at Marshall, Southeastern Louisiana, and at Virginia.

Memorial Stadium remodeling begins, ESPN showing Cal some love

With the remodeling of Memorial Stadium, Cal is set to split their 2011 home games between AT&T Park and Candlestick Park.

The Bears will host the season-opener against Fresno State at Candlestick.  Games against Presbyterian, Utah, USC, Wazzu, and Oregon State will be played at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

Memorial Stadium is keeping its bowl shaped structure, but reducing the stadium’s capacity from 71,799 to 63,000.  Cal assistant AD Bob Milano Jr. says nobody wanted a double-deck stadium.  The entire renovation is expected to cost $321 million.  

Click here to see photos of the current state of construction at Memorial Stadium.

Cal will get plenty of national exposure this season as the Bears will play back-to-back Thursday night primetime games on ESPN in early-October.   ESPN will be in Eugene when Oregon hosts Cal on October 6th. A week later, ESPN will broadcast the USC vs. Cal game from AT&T Park.

This week, ESPN announced the Cal at Arizona State game to end the regular season has been moved from Saturday to Friday night to allow for a national TV audience.

If PAC-12 commissioner Larry Scott somehow manages to get a national broadcast for the Cal vs. Presbyterian College game, we guess he will immediately receive a 25-year contract extension.  Considering what Scott has been able to do thus far in his brief tenure as commissioner, don't discount it.  

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