Rich Rod: I'm hungry as ever. I don't want to lose my confidence
Former Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez opened up to the media for perhaps the first time in recent weeks.
Rodriguez told the Associated Press, "I'm hungry as I've ever been to coach. I don't want to lose my confidence. We have a formula that can take a team to BCS bowls and compete for national championships. If I'm at the right school that gives you total support and is pulling in the right direction, I think we'll do that."
Reflecting back, Rodriguez admitted, "We saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Heck, we had 24 starters coming back, and the player of the year in the league — he's a sophomore and still learning. Recruiting, we thought it was going really well even with all the drama.
"That's the frustrating part about it is we didn't get a chance to finish the job."
After going 60-26 as the head coach at West Virginia, Rodriguez finished 15-22 in his three years at Michigan. To win at the major D1 level, everyone within the program needs to be the same page. It didn’t work out that way for Rich Rod.
Quick Hits: Jon Gruden, Mark Richt, Urban Meyer
Jon Gruden is pushing for his former special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia for the Tennessee Titans head coaching job: “I coached a long time, he’s one of the best coaches I’ve worked with and I’m not just trying to be his agent or publicity manager. He’s a tremendous football coach, great with players, smart, works his butt off. I’d hire him as a head coach. If I was in position to interview people and look for quality candidates and he’s certainly one of the best I’ve been around.”
“Special teams guys -- he’s not an offensive coach or a defensive coach, he's kind of a wefence guy. He was my running backs coach, special teams coordinator, jack of all trades. He’s very good at personnel; he’s got a vast amount of experience. I hope he does get an opportunity to present himself. Sometimes that’s all people need is a chance to get in front of the people that are making these decisions.”
Mark Richt says the Bulldogs’ recruiting class will be the best in his 11 years at UGA: “Our season wasn’t the best, and we have had to battle. But I believe this class will end up being best bunch in 11 years.”
Urban Meyer had to cut financial ties with Florida when he accepted the job with ESPN: “The University of Florida has been a big part of my personal and professional life for the past six years and while I will no longer be able to continue a professional relationship with the University, I will continue to support the many friends I made during my time there.”
Ed Orgeron: I've got plenty of Slim Jims and Red Bull
According to the LA Times, Ed Orgeron and Lane Kiffin recently visited recruits in 11 states over five days.
The Trojans are trying to nail down another Top 5 recruiting class.
Sleep was not a priority and apparently only eating was important to Kiffin at one point. According to the story, Kiffin wanted to stop for a meal, but Oregron waved him off. (Who waves off the head coach?)
"We're good," said Orgeron. "I've got plenty of Slim Jims and Red Bull."
Orgeron, who enjoys the recruiting process as much as any coach in the country, said, "I don't like to use the word addicted. I can put down the football and play with my kids or go out to dinner with my wife."
You can watch Lane Kiffin’s signing day presser LIVE from Heritage Hall at 8 pm EST. We are setting the over/under on “Even with all….Top 5 class in the country” at 4.
Vandy defensive coordinator Bob Shoop ready for challenge
When Bob Shoop accepted the Vanderbilt defensive coordinator position, it marks the eleventh job in his career. Shoop, the 2009 FootballScoop D1-AA Coordinator of the Year, has coached at Yale, UVA, Northeastern, Yale, Villanova, Army, Boston College, Columbia, UMASS, and William & Mary.
Coming to the SEC doesn’t intimidate Shoop, who says, "There isn’t anything from an X’s and O’s standpoint that I watched with the SEC teams that I hadn’t seen in the CAA. I’ve gone up against Chip Kelly when he was at New Hampshire. Last year we beat Delaware when they were No. 1 in the country. We beat Villanova when they were No. 1 in the country. We beat New Hampshire, who was a playoff team. We beat Richmond, who was a playoff team. We stood toe-to-toe with North Carolina (in a 21-17 loss this season).”
Shoop will work with other Vanderbilt defensive assistants Brent Pry (co-defensive coordinator / linebackers), Sean Spencer (defensive line), and Wesley McGriff (defensive backs).
"I’m not blind to the fact I’m in the SEC now,” says Shoop. “ I’m not blind to that fact. I’ve been preparing my entire career for an opportunity like this, and I feel as if I’m prepared. The thing I’d emphasize, too, is the CAA is the SEC of Division I-AA football. Year in, year out, we play five teams in the top 10 in our level of football. I keep reminding myself, just do the things you did there. This is no different."
“I have the best job in the country. I have no doubt about that. I’m in one of the greatest cities in the country, at one of the top institutions in the country … and in the best college football conference that there is. There is the NFL, there’s the SEC and there’s all else. Is this a tough job? Yes. But it’s a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to it."
The 2011 non-conference schedule for Vanderbilt includes Elon, UCONN, Army, and at Wake Forest.
University of Florida president blasts grayshirting
Don’t expect Will Muschamp to “grayshirt” any recruits. Ever.
University of Florida president Bernie Machen released a letter to SI.com with his thoughts on over-signing and grayshirting.
Machen writes, “These schools play roulette with the lives of talented young people. If they run out of scholarships, too bad. The letter-of-intent signed by the university the previous February is voided. Technically, it's legal to do this. Morally, it is reprehensible.”
“What needs to happen in intercollegiate athletics is that universities must accept the moral responsibility to stop and prevent "grayshirting" and its associated actions. The football programs must be accountable and should honor institutional commitments to students. It is, after all, a moral contract.”
Click here to read the entire letter from Machen.
Machen, who earns $751,000 annually, has some pretty interesting thoughts. And let's be honest, the guy is pretty smart. Machen has a B.A. from Vanderbilt, a D.D.S. from St. Louis University, a M.S. from University of Iowa, and Ph.D. from Iowa.
Mack Brown explains the breakdown, the fix, and future
Texas head coach Mack Brown spoke on Monday about the breakdown, the fix, and the future.
Reflecting back on the most difficult season of his coaching career, Brown explained, “I started worrying more about the wins than I did the process... If you do, you're in trouble.”
Brown is moving forward without 6 assistant coaches from the 2010 staff. Gone are Greg Davis, Will Muschamp, Mike Tolleson, Bobby Kennedy, Duane Akina, and Mac McWhorter.
The new hires include Manny Diaz, Bryan Harsin, Darrell Wyatt, Jerry Gray, Bo Davis, and Stacy Searels.
Brown said, “The biggest concern is that all the coaching pieces fit. They've all got to work together... and you're not going to know until you've played [games], until you get some pressure. That's when you'll find out about that.”
Obviously, Brown wants to limit distractions during this critical transition. So what about the new Texas TV Network?
“Do you have an assistant coach's show for every assistant coach? Do you have a clinic?...There's obviously a fine line. You give [ESPN] nuggets you feel like will make the network work. But you're not going to have them in the huddle. We're not going to have [HBO's] Hard Knocks,” said Brown.
The Longhorns open the 2011 season with Rice, BYU, and at UCLA.
Urban Meyer explains his role with ESPN
Urban Meyer has agreed to join ESPN as a college football analyst.
Meyer said on Monday, "In the offseason, it's going to be minimal. During the season, it will be weekends, Friday and Saturday. It's a lot different than what I've been used to the past 25 years. I'm excited to do it.”
"I've had conversations with the family, and they're fired up, they're excited. I'm still going to be able to spend as much time (with the family) as I would have hoped."
Meyer coached 24 consecutive years before deciding to take a break from coaching after the 2010 season. During his career, Meyer has coached at Ohio State, Illinois State, Colorado State, Notre Dame, Bowling Green, Utah, and Florida.
We wonder if Meyer will be calling the Notre Dame vs. Michigan match-up in Ann Arbor in week #2. If so, we’ll give him until midway through the second quarter to drop his first, “You gotta be outta your mind.”
Meyer explained however, "It's not my job to be critical. My job is to analyze college football. I'm an analyst. I don't criticize. If I have a strong opinion one way or the other, I'm certainly going to do that."
Meyer will work a weekly game next Fall for ESPN. His additional duties include appearances on College Football Live, College GameDay, ESPN Radio, select bowl games, and SportsCenter.
Quick Hits: Addazio, George McDonald, Steve Kragthorpe
Steve Addazio talks about the future at Temple: "There's a lot here still to be accomplished. Al molded the program, but we haven't won the East, not won the MAC, and not won a bowl game. Those are the immediate goals and that's what's in front of us. It's never been done and we've got to do it."
Quoting Miami (FL) wide receivers coach George McDonald: “Being an NFL coach after you leave college is like getting a PHD in the football world. You are immersed in football. All you’re doing is talking about football. You are just absorbing it, such great resources. There are so many great coaches that have coached 20 or 30 years. You just learn so much. It’s just like you’re in a doctorate program.”
(on his first impression of the wide receivers) “Wow. Capital W…o..w. They look the part. Now, looking the part and playing the part are two different things.”
“I try to train your eyes. We want to frame the ball. That’s one thing we are going to pride ourselves on…being fundamentally sound.”
Steve Kragthorpe says his wife is healthy and ready to move to Baton Rouge: "She's doing great. She's doing great with the medicines. Everything's going great. After her heart surgery, things that were on her EKG (electrical heart test) for 40 years are gone. There were great doctors in Oklahoma City that took care of her there. Everything is full speed ahead in terms of her health and the way she feels. If she didn't feel good about it, then I wouldn't have jumped back into coaching. But she feels great about it. She's excited about moving down here to Baton Rouge. So is Nik. He'll be down here in about 10 days."
"I think Les and I are on the same page. Les and I paths first crossed when I was at Texas A&M and Les was there with Oklahoma State. I think our philosophies mesh very well. We want to be a power running team with a quick downfield passing game."