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Video: Throwing the post off boot setup protection

In case you didn’t stay up for the Monday night 10:30 pm EST first round playoff game between the Nuggets and Thunder, you missed something special.

Denver Nuggets guard J.R. Smith was feeling it last night.

Smith, the 2004 MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game, gave his best imitation of Peyton Manning’s boot setup during pre-game warm-ups.

“Swish” came to line, audibled, and went for the homerun ball (ala Manning to Reggie Wayne).

Smith ended with 15 and the Nuggets held off elimination by topping the Thunder 104-101, but Smith’s most impressive shot, again, came in pre-game warm-ups.

Here’s the evidence:

 




Brian Kelly on QBs: It'll be a controversy throughout the entire year

It’s beginning to sound more and more as if Brian Kelly really is unsettled at quarterback.  Kelly did not name a starter during spring practice, and didn’t put a stamp on which quarterback is leading going into August camp.

Kelly even used the word “controversy” during a Wednesday speech in San Antonio.

Kelly said, “It'll be a controversy throughout the entire year, because we've got four really good quarterbacks (Dane Crist, Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, and Everett Golson). Last year at this time, we had no quarterbacks with really any experience, other than when Dane was here in San Antonio (vs. Washington State at the Alamodome in 2009) and tore up his knee.”

“We have four guys who can win, four guys we think are exciting. I think this is probably not a situation where we can clearly say who the No. 1 is until we start playing games.”

It truly sounds that Kelly isn’t speaking to motivate Dayne Crist.  He really is unsure of his starter.

Notre Dame opens with South Florida, at Michigan, and Michigan State.  The Michigan game is set for an 8 pm EST kick-off in Ann Arbor.  





Mack Brown: Time to shut up until we earn the right to talk again

In life, rarely do get a “do over.”  Unless you are Mack Brown, apparently.

In recent interviews, Brown has talked a lot about starting over.

Once again, Brown said yesterday, "We're excited about starting over. I was here 13 years ago and it is like a fresh, new start. The four that were with us the last time we came are excited to be here. The five new ones are pumped. This will be their first night to really see Texas fans."

The mantra has been accepted by the Texas fans.  After all, Brown has done an outstanding job in Austin.  In fact, the Longhorns won at least 10 games each year from 2001-2009.

Coming off a 5-7 year in 2010, Brown wants his program to earn their stripes again.

Brown explained to Fox 26 Sports, “We need to keep our mouth shut and earn the right to be talked about again. "We talked too much last year and we didn't do anything. We had a pretty good run.”

“So what we need to do is get better, get better as a program. We need to coach 'em better. We need to play better. Keep our mouth shut and earn the right to be talked about again."

Texas will begin the season by hosting Rice and BYU.  The first road trip comes in week three when the Longhorns travel to UCLA.




4 athletic departments spent over $1 million on recruiting

In an interesting study, Kristi Dosh of the Business of College Sports broke down the total recruiting expenditures for each school that finished in the 2010 Top 25 BCS rankings.

The numbers reflect the total spending on recruiting for male athletics, not just football.

The overall average of the 25 programs on all male athletic recruiting for the 2009-10 year was $629,000.

Four athletic departments tipped the $1 million plateau.  Alabama led the nation by spending $1.25 million on recruiting.  Arkansas spent $1.18 million, while Auburn spent $1.12 million.  Oklahoma ($1.01 million) was the only other athletic department to spend over $1 million.

Some of the notable lower figures include TCU ($438,000), Mississippi State ($434,000), Oklahoma State ($414,000), and Boise State ($158,000).

It appears that athletic departments are spending on average 1.01% of their overall budget on recruiting for men’s athletics.

You can see the entire research, right here.




SEC assistant tweets during ridiculously long red light

Coaches all over the country have hit the road this morning to visit high schools as part of the spring recruiting period.

NCAA rules allow for each staff to send out seven assistant coaches during any one time to visit high schools during this period.  Each assistant coach is typically assigned a specific territory, where he will visit 5 to 10 schools per days.

Different coaches have different styles.   USC assistant Ed Orgeron has likely been to two schools by 7 am.

Or you may get a guy like Mississippi State co-defensive coordinator / linebackers coach Geoff Collins.  We noticed at 6:28 am this morning, Collins tweeted, “Rise and Grind!!! I’m on the road early #GrindinForMyState#WontBeOutWorked.”

In other words, Collins has likely already loaded up on caffeine from Starbucks, is stoked because there is a legit song on XM radio, but he’s currently at a ridiculously long red light, so he’s offering up a tweet to those back in Starkville.

No word yet on if Collins is in the back woods of Mississippi, maybe near Okalona or Winona, or down in Dade County, Florida getting ready to enter Miami Edison HS.  

Meanwhile, that thirty-two year veteran assistant in the Big East, likely on his last leg, might not choose to make his way to his first school of the day until around 8:45 am.

Important note: Head coaches are not allowed to visit high schools during the spring recruiting period.  Instead, plenty of head coaches sit at their desk with The Coach Tracker database, which has the cell phone number of nearly every high school head coach in the entire country.  These head coaches may opt to call up to 8-10 high school head coaches during the morning to talk about prospects.

Currently, over 115 coaching staffs subscribe to The Coach Tracker to have access to the cell number & email address of nearly every head high school football coach in the country.  The database is one of a kind and updated daily.

Important note #2: A loyal FootballScoop viewer has made us aware of a tweet at 6:15 am from Kentucky wide receivers coach Tee Martin. 13 minutes before Geoff Collins' tweet, Tee Martin let the Big Blue Nation aware that he's working hard in Atlanta.  Martin tweeted, "Wheels up.. ATL. Let's Go!!"

Our emailer, we assume from Kentucky, wrote, "Take THAT, Geoff Collins!!"  

 




Here's the best part of Bo Pelini's new contract

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini has signed a new five-year contract that includes a $425,000 raise from his previous salary.

Pelini will also receive an additional $100,000 raise annually, culminating in a $3.175 million salary in the last year of the contract.

The contract has some interesting incentives, but we like one incentive in particular.

In Nebraska qualifies for any bowl game, Pelini will receive a $150,000 bonus.

So if Nebraska secures the seventh spot in the Big Ten and receives the prestigious bid from the TicketCity Bowl, Pelini will rake in half of Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell’s salary.

Quick...name the city the hosts the TicketCity Bowl.  Exactly.

Boy, that Nebraska vs. UAB match-up (CUSA #6) will delight the Husker fans.  There are only five other great bowl games scheduled on the same day, January 2nd.  Luckily, the Huskers would secure the ESPNU broadcast.  (Please sense our sarcasm.)

Perhaps a bid to the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas featuring Nebraska (Big Ten #6) vs. Baylor (Big 12 #6) would be the perfect holiday trip for Husker fans.  Everyone wants that 11 am kick-off on New Year's Eve.

Either way, Pelini’s getting $150,000.

Our sources tell us Pelini's agent will be receiving calls from 14 head coaches on Monday.  "Are you entertaining potential new clients at this time?"




Shocker: Rich Rod admits mistake going to Michigan

Rich Rodriguez, for the first time publicly, admitted he made a mistake by accepting the Michigan job. 

On Friday, while serving as a guest analyst on the CBS Sports Network, Rodriguez said, “I think it's easy to go back now and say, 'Gee, made a mistake.' And you can say that now because of hindsight," Rodriguez said in the interview. But at the time, some of the things I was looking to do and the opportunity that was there, you kind of make the move.” 

"The frustrating part for us was that we thought we battled through the tougher times to get it to this point where we had a lot of the team coming back and we thought we were getting ready to take off. But you know hindsight is always easier to look back and say, 'It was a mistake.' Because we did have a good thing going at West Virginia, and we really enjoyed it. As you look back at it, wasn't the best move. Easy to say now." 

Rodriguez will be back as a head coach by next January, at least we hope so.

You can read more comments from Rich Rod, right here.

Current Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour once had the golden opportunity to hire Rich Rod in 1998.  Barbour was the AD at Tulane and Tommy Bowden bolted for Clemson after leading the Green Wave to a 12-0 record.  Rich Rod was Tommy Bowden's offensive coordinator.

Instead, Barbour and the Tulane president chose to hire Chris Scelfo.  Some think, had Rich Rod been hired, he would have left anyway for West Virginia after the 2000 season when Don Nehlen retired.




Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank drives home strong message to Terps

Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour, spoke to the Maryland football team at the conclusion of yesterday’s practice.

Plank gave a terrific speech that was captured on video, driving home the message of “Done, Done, Done.”

After a very nice introduction by head coach Randy Edsall, Plank told the team, “In sitting where you were that many years ago, boy I didn’t have it all figured out.  But I knew that if I did all the right things Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. It wasn’t going from Day 1 to Day 100.  And that’s the difference of teams that make it happen.”

Planked continued, “We use that statement ‘I Will.’  Like ‘I’ll will it to happen.’  And if I can leave you guys with anything in life, any idea of what drives our company, what drives myself, what drives our love for this university, for this team and family, it’s this idea of ‘will.’”

Take a couple of minutes to watch Plank’s speech.  You’ll be glad you did.