Monday TV - Giants at Redskins

The New York Giants and Washington Redskins face off tonight for your Monday Night enjoyment.

Eastern time listed.


New York Giants at Washington - 8:30 - ESPN


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High School:

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Rod Carey promoted to head coach at Northern Illinois

On the same day Northern Illinois received the ultimate validation in the form of an Orange Bowl bid, offensive coordinator Rod Carey was annointed the leader of the Huskies' program. Carey was promoted to head coach one day after Dave Doeren accepted the same position at N.C. State.

In what has to be one of the most rare circumstances in college football history, Carey's first game as head coach will come in the biggest game in his school's history. If one press conference can be any indication, he'll be ready for it. 

Northern Illinois has stated it wants to become the Boise State of the Midwest, and days like today are how you get there. The Huskies have put together winning seasons in nine of the last 11 years and are 34-7 over the past three seasons. Carey's move will instill continuity and help the program establish an identity. Bringing back all-everything quarterback Jordan Lynch next season helps, too. 

Carey came across prepared and confident for his move to the big office. Jerry Kill left Dave Doeren a great foundation, and Doeren obviously did the same for Carey. The Huskies are 23-4 in the last two seasons with back-to-back Mid-American Conference titles. 

"It's not what you can change, it's what you can keep," Carey said. "We've got a good thing going. We're going to keep our offensive system, our defensive system, our special teams. Will there be differences? Yes. But they'll be so small you guys might not even see them."

Carey said he intends on keeping every coach on the staff. "No one is going to be wanting for a job on this staff, and that's the way it should be," said Carey. 

Carey arrived at Northern Illinois with Doeren in 2011, added run game coordinator responsiblities before this season and then assumed the role of offensive coordinator after Mike Dunlap stepped back due to health issues following the season-opener. A Wayzata, Minn., native, Carey played at Indiana from 1989-93 and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Minnesota from 1998-99. He then became the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Division III Wisconsin - Stout from 2000-06 before moving on to coach offensive line at Illinois State (2007) and North Dakota (2008-10). 

For a guy who was a position coach at the FCS level as recently as three years ago, Carey suddenly has a very big, and very orange, opportunity ahead of him. 

The Scoop on Paul Petrino to Idaho

We have learned that Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino has been named the next head coach at Idaho. 

Petrino, 45, is a native of Butte, Mont., and played at Carroll College in Montana. He has coaching stints at Carroll, Utah State and, most importantly, Idaho under his belt. Petrino has previously executed excavation efforts at Louisville, Illinois and Arkansas. 

In 50 games at Louisville, Petrino's offense scored 40 more points 28 times. His 2010 Illinois offense set a school record with 423 total points. And Petrino guided an Arkansas offense that set a school record with 3,640 passing yards in 2009. 

Petrino has skins on the wall, there's no question about that. But it's all the other stuff he will have to attend to that will decide whether his tenure as Idaho's head coach will be a successful one.

"I'm very excited," Petrino said in the school's press release. "It's a dream come true. I've wanted to be a head coach my whole life. I had a chance to come back out to the Northwest.

"We want to score a whole bunch of points, be explosive on offense and hit that quarterback on defense," Petrino continued. "We want to win a whole bunch of games and go to bowls."

There might not be an FBS program with more uncertainty surrounding it at this moment than Idaho. With the WAC disintegrating its football arm, it is unknown at this time whether Idaho will compete as an FBS Independent in 2013. It is unknown at this time whether they will make their permanent home in the Sun Belt Conference, in the Football Championship Subdivision or as an FBS Independent. There are pros and cons to each option. All will present challenges for Petrino and his staff. 

On the field, Petrino inherits a team fresh off a 1-11 season. Since reaching a program high point with a 43-42 win over Bowling Green in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl, the Vandals slipped to 6-7 in 2010 and 2-10 last season before going 1-11 in 2012. Idaho ranked 107th or lower in 12 of the 17 official statistics tracked by the NCAA. Their best statistic was net punting, where they placed 50th.

Needless to say, Petrino is going to have his work cut out for him on multiple fronts.


The Scoop on Mark Stoops to Kentucky

No one can accuse Kentucky of under-selling the hiring of Mark Stoops. First, there was the behind-the-scenes look at the UK brass' trip from Lexington to Tallahassee to pick up Stoops and his family on Sunday morning.

Then, there was the press conference set up that looked closer to a pep rally than a press conference. The press conference was set up on the field at the Wildcats' indoor practice facility with blaring music and a large video screen showing Kentucky football highlights.

Finally, there was athletics director's Mitch Barnhart's statement of where he wants Stoops to take the Wildcats. "You deserve a championship program," Barnhart said. "We want to play in Atlanta (for the SEC championship) and on New Year's Day."

To his credit, Stoops did not shy away from Barnhart's goals, saying his expectations were, "To play in the SEC Championship. And to win it."

Stoops and Barnhart first talked on the Saturday, Nov. 10 following Florida State's Thursday night win over Virginia Tech. The two agreed to a five-year, $11 million contract on Monday night.  

"I'm highly motivated to build this program to national prominence," Stoops said to cheers from the crowd. "I believe in this administration and the commitment they're willing to make to this football program."

Stoops said he isn't concerned with what happened in the Wildcats' 2012 season. "I'm really not interested in what happened before," Stoops said to more cheers. "We're not too worried about the results right now, we're worried about the process."

He will, however, meet with UK's current assistants and will consider retaining a few of them, saying "Absolutely you consider them." Stoops said he has not had a chance to visit with any of the current Kentucky assistants but he hasn't ruled out retaining any of them. He declined to say whether he has considered hiring any Florida State assistants to his staff.

Stoops plans on interviewing prospects for the offensive coordinator role soon. He feels he has his defensive staff close to complete and will focus hiring an offensive staff. "We're going to have an offense you're going to be proud of," Stoops said to even more cheers. "We have to be creative. We will spread it out and we'll use some bells and whistles to get going."

Finally, below is a photo that best illustrates just how festive this press conference was.


VIDEO: Mark Stoops heads to Lexington

The Kentucky athletic department has provided a nice behind-the-scenes look as the Wildcats' brass travels from Lexington to Tallahassee to bring their new head coach to campus.  

First: Kentucky athletics staff depart from Lexington to Tallahassee to pick up Stoops. Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart and his staff prepare for the press conference. 

Next: The plane lands at the Tallahassee airport where UK personnel greets Stoops and his family. 

Then: Stoops and co. are ready to board the plane back to Lexington.

Finally: Stoops goes through a debriefing from Kentucky staffers on the football facilities and the plan once he arrives on campus.

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