And the winner in paintball today was...

Larry Fedora went to war today...yeah, paintball war. Team buidling. Love it.

No quote yet from Seth Littrell. 

June Jones issues new statement regarding playing in the Spring

Last week we told you about June Jones calling for "out of the box" thinking for the future of football for the "have nots" in the FBS. In all honesty, he was right about the need for creative thinking; but the idea he suggested (moving games for the non power five conferences to the spring) just wasn't the right one. 

As CFT points out, three of the 5 "non power 5" conference commisioners came out vehemently opposed to the idea June proposed. Clearly folks, this isn't happening.

Well today, June issued a statement to clarify that his suggestion was his own, and not that of his employer or their conference...apparently the suggestion wasn't well received by some. 

Jones' statement:

“My recent comments about the non-’Group of Five’ conferences possibly moving their football seasons to the spring were my own, and not those of SMU or the American Athletic Conference. Not being in one of these leagues creates unique challenges, and requires us to think out of the box. My comments were an example of this, and, I hope, triggered others to do so as well.

“Our conference experienced a great deal of national success in its first season. Two teams were ranked in the top 15 of the final AP poll and five were selected for bowl games. At SMU, we strive for that same level of success and will compete for American Athletic Conference Championships. We want to compete with and beat teams from the “Group of Five.”

June shouldn't be roasted for suggesting the need for creative thinking. Let's move on folks. 

Three years in, Dana Holgorsen believes West Virginia is ready to compete in the Big 12

In October of 2012, it appeared West Virginia was primed to take the Big 12 by storm. Undefeated and ranked fifth nationally, the Mountaineers started life in the Big 12 with a 70-63 win over Baylor and a 48-45 defeat of Texas. Since then, West Virginia is 6-14 overall and 4-12 in the Big 12. The Big 12 has taken West Virginia by storm. 

The Mountaineers' struggles can lay at the feet of a number of factors. Injuries. A loss of experience leading to inexperience at key positions. A roster that wasn't built to compete in the Big 12. All of the same stuff TCU has dealt with as well. 

In addition to a loss of talent (Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey), Holgorsen suffered equally important - if not moreso - losses on his coaching staff, particularly on offense. Jake Spavital left to become the quarterbacks coach, and now the offensive coordinator, at Texas A&M. Bill Bedenbaugh is now the offensive line coach at Oklahoma. Robert Gillespie is now coaching running backs at Tennessee. 

"Last year, on offense, not only were we replacing a lot of stars, a lot of starters, a lot of firepower, we had to replace a whole staff, too. We had some coaches move on to some pretty good jobs. We've got all the offensive guys back, got all the offensive coaches back. Tony Gibson took over (on defense) so we wouldn't have to change many things. We brought in some guys, held on to some guys that understand what the defensive scheme is all about. We've got the same coach coaching the special teams that we've had for the past couple years. The continuity on the staff right now, I think, is good."

Holgorsen's offensive staff returns completely intact from 2013, while Tony Gibson was promoted from safeties coach to defensive coordinator following Keith Patterson's departure for Arizona State, longtime Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley was hired as assistant head coach and defensive line coach, and Damon Cogdell was plucked from the Florida high school ranks to coach the linebackers. 

With three recruiting classes now signed since West Virginia announced its intention to join the Big 12, I asked Holgorsen how close he thinks the Mountaineers are to having a Big 12-ready roster: "Based on the fact that we have an entire roster coming back, I think we're in a position to say we're doing that. We have 55 guys in the locker room that have played Big 12 football games. Our job is to try to improve recruiting every year, improve the roster every year. I think we've done that over the last three years." 

While West Virginia's location, basically on a land-locked island detatched from the rest of the conference, Holgorsen uses West Virginia's status as the East Coast's Big 12 team to his advantage on the recruiting trail. He says it's working.

"Our TV partners have done a great job of broadcasting our games, getting the word out that the Big 12 is exciting. Kids are taking notice. We're attacking a group of kids that have an opportunity to play in something like that, whereas in the past in our recruiting efforts we couldn't have sold them," Holgorsen said. "I've hired some good recruiters, but I think the Big 12 brand has helped, no question."

"We're recruiting at the highest level we ever have."

Now is the time to prove it.

Three and out: The best facility graphic in CFB?, a monster burger, and more from Big 12 Media Day

Doug: As you may (or may not) remember, prior to the Rose Bowl against Stanford, Michigan State suspended team captain and stud middle linebacker Max Bullough. Kyle Ellsworth admirably stepped up to the challenge of filling some enormous shoes and ended up making the game winning stop on fourth and one to seal the game. It was epic.

Today, Mark Dantonio was tweeting pictures of the new graphics and locker room and among his tweets was this graphic, which (biased included) has to be one of the coolest graphics in any college football facility.


Scott - Bobby Hebert, aka the "Cajun Cannon", is opening a restaurant in New Orleans. The menu will feature nearly 100 menu items, including one "named after each of Hebert's five kids." Family friendly, 30 TVs, will host the local radio show that Bobby does, etc... you know the type. I hope it works out for him; but seems far too often that these athlete turned restauranteur investments don't pan out. We'll see, in the meantime, once it's open, "anyone who can finish a burger with seven patties and seven slices of cheese" gets it fo' free. Don't finish it and you cough up $50. 


Zach - I've been at Big 12 media days the past two days so I've been a bit unplugged. I did find this tweet pretty interesting:

Sam Ponder had a baby girl...named her after Bobby Bowden

During Bobby Bowden's final year at Florida State in 2009, a quarterback by the name of Christian Ponder completed nearly 69% of his pass attempts for over 2,700 yards while tossing 14 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Of course, Ponder went on be the 12th overall selection of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, and further made a name for himself by marrying one of the most charismatic personalities in sports in ESPN anchor Samantha Steele.

According to Minnesota's ESPN NFL Nation reporter Ben Goessling, the two recently had their first child together, a baby girl with an interesting first name.


The reasoning behind the name gets even deeper, as Goesling points out in his peice on Ponder he released today.

"They named their little girl Bowden Sainte-Claire Ponder -- the middle name is the same as Samantha's, while the first, of course, pays homage to retired Florida State coach Bobby Bowden -- and they plan to call her 'Scout,' after the young narrator of Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'"

Pretty cool way to pay homage to a coach that impacted his life, and it's even cooler that he's found someone that was cool with actually doing it. Congratulations to the couple. 

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