Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken talked about the process of coordinators moving up one chair to the head coaching spot with the media yesterday. He had a lot to say.
“It’s hard enough to get a head coaching job without being a head coach," Monken told The Oklahoman. "With all the money people are getting paid now, (school decision makers) don’t want to guess."
Monken is correct. As more and more money pours into college football, the amount of pressure on coaches equally rises. Administrators have a quick trigger finger and aren't afraid to use it (see: Bohn, Mike).
“The next step is an offensive guy who’s scoring," said Monken. "Put some people in the stands, exciting offense and all that. And that’s becoming more and more common. You have to take a smaller job, if you can, and win.”
This was a line of thought that played out on the FootballScoop Twitter feed earlier today.
A FBS HC's right hand man said 2 me yesterday, "That's why sometimes hot OC's take a lower level HC job…just to prove they can be HC" #Gus
Being the head man is an entirely different world than serving as an offensive coordinator. Monken smartly realizes his best move may be to follow the steps of Larry Fedora, who jumped from the Oklahoma State offensive coordinator to the head coaching job at Southern Miss, and Gus Malzahn, who did the same when moving from Auburn to Arkansas State.
At a reported salary of $600,000, Monken knows he can afford to be picky. In fact, he reportedly turned down the offer to become head coach at Tulane last year.
“You’ve just got to be careful. It’s OK to wave at the neighbor lady, flirt a little bit. I don’t know if it’s across the street. Better be careful, might not want to go in the house. But it’s nice to be wanted. It’s nice to have someone tell you, ‘Hey, we want you. And here’s this amount of money. And a five-year deal. It’s your own program…
“Everybody likes to be smoothed. Everybody likes to be wanted. And if you’re not careful, you can make an emotional decision, even if you know it’s the wrong thing.
“How many coaches have done that, taken the job and said, ‘Can I get the old one back, I screwed up?’”
Monken isn't a fan of the timeline that most coaching changes operate on. Coaches have to juggle the interview and hiring process while simultaneously helping their current team finish their season. It's an awkward timeline, but it's the price of playing poker in this day and age.
"That’s what’s screwed up about our profession, you can’t control that," explained Monken. "When opportunities come up, they don’t allow you to finish. You say, ‘Hey, can we wait?’ They say, ‘We don’t want to wait.’”
As one of four finalists for the FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year award, we already knew Monken understood the coaching aspect of his profession. After hearing his thoughts; it's clear to us that he has a very good understanding of the process. He'll be a good head coach one day.
Mike Gundy shared an interesting statistical nugget during his press conference earlier today.
Coming off a tough 48-51 overtime loss to Oklahoma on Saturday, the first thing that Gundy addressed in their staff meeting was making sure that they got over the loss as a staff, and then made sure that the team did the same. They needed to focus on having a great Tuesday practice heading into their game against Baylor, not the loss to their rival, if they were going to have any chance to come out Floyd Casey Stadium with a win.
Gundy then explained why Tuesday practices in particular are so important to a team's performance on Saturdays.
"If we don't practice well tomorrow (Tuesday), it takes about 30% of our chance away from winning on Saturday. There really just isn't any other option."
Coach Gundy has been doing this for a while now, and there's no doubt he has practices down to an art, but it would be interesting to see some stats to back that one up.
Regardless, no coach in the country can afford giving up a 30% chance of victory. So if you're still playing on Saturdays, make sure your Tuesday practice is great!
T. Boone Pickens is one of the main reasons that Oklahoma State has been able to build some of the most impressive facilities in the country. Just ask Mike Gundy and his staff. It definitely helps to have a guy like Pickens in your corner.
Oklahoma State's newest addition, the Sherman E. Smith indoor training facility, is really starting to take shape. The $19 million facility will feature two doors that are 80 feet wide, and one other door 120 feet wide, both of which will have the ability to roll up and basically open up the entire side of the building. Also, the facility was built with the strong Oklahoma winds in mind and has a unique design which runs north to south with the long sides of the building facing east and west due to the prevailing southwest winds that they see throughout the year.
After talking about some of the unique features of the building, Pickens explains in the early part of the clip that "nobody has a facility like this." With that said, we're excited to see the finished product and how it stacks up to some of the other impressive indoor facilities around the country.
The project should be completed sometime during next summer.
Another full slate of college football action is now just a mere hours away. What matchups stand out to us on the final college football Saturday of October? Here's nine games that we'll be keeping our eyes on throughout the day.
Florida vs. Georgia (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS): Florida has won 18 of the last 22 in this series, and win No. 19 will lock in a trip to Atlanta in December for Will Muschamp's team. Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease will test Georgia's 72nd-ranked run defense early and often; the Gators have run the ball 319 teams this season and thrown it just 134 times. Georgia will look to turn around an unimpressive three-game stretch that includes a 35-7 loss to South Carolina and two wins by a total of 12 points over Tennessee and Kentucky (combined SEC record: 0-9).
Texas Tech at Kansas State (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX): It's pretty safe to say not many people saw this as a battle for Big 12 supremacy this preseason. The teams that combined to knock West Virginia out of any title conversations square off with first place on the line. Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville's reputation as a giant killer preceeds him, according to blogger Matt Hinton, Tubberville is 7-4 versus top 5 opponents since 2000. Texas Tech, which boasts the Big 12's top defense statistically, meets the conference's most diverse attack: quarterback Collin Klein is the second-most efficient passer in the nation while also rushing for 14 scores, and tailback John Hubert has four 100-yard games on the year. Meanwhile, Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege meets the Big 12's leading pass efficiency defense fresh off a whitewashing of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith (season-low 143 passing yards, two interceptions).
Duke at Florida State (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU): Saturday's Duke-Florida State game featues a team in control of its own destiny to win the ACC championship, and Florida State. Yes, it is Duke that is alone in first place of the ACC's Coastal Divison, while Florida State needs to win out and a Clemson loss to win the ACC's Atlantic Division. The Blue Devils clinched their first bowl appearance since 1994 with last week's 33-30 win over North Carolina, but to achieve more than that David Cutcliffe's team will need to find a way to slow down the ACC's most statistically-sound team. Jimbo Fisher's squad leads the ACC in nine categories including total offense, scoring offense, total defense and scoring defense.
USC at Arizona (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2): Pac-12 South leading USC travels to Tucson to face 4-3 (1-3 Pac-12) Arizona in what figures to be an easy Trojans win, right? Not exactly. Behind Rich Rodriguez's fifth-ranked total offense, Arizona is the 13th best team in college football according to Football Outsiders' F/+ rankings, six spots ahead of USC. The Wildcats have played better than their record indicates, after close losses to Stanford and Oregon State, Arizona is fresh off a 52-17 pounding of Washington. After losing its conference opener at Stanford, Lane Kiffin's team has feasted on the lower rungs of the Pac-12 standings with wins over California, Utah, Washington and Colorado (combined Pac-12 record: 4-13).
TCU at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m. ET, FSN): Perhaps Mike Gundy and Gary Patterson can console each other on the hard luck each staff has been dealt at the quarterback position. After redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh ably stepped in for opening-day starter Wes Lunt, accounting for 461 yards of total offense in a win over Iowa State last week, before he was lost for the season with a knee injury. Oklahoma State will either turn back to Lunt, a true freshman, or to third-string quarterback Clint Chelf. On the opposite sideline, redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin continues to improve as TCU's newly-minted starting quarterback. Boykin threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns in his third start on Saturday versus Texas Tech. Like the majority of games pitting the Big 12's middle class, expect a down-to-the-wire outcome with both teams reaching the mid-30's.
Ohio State at Penn State (5:30 p.m., ESPN): Technically, this is the most meaningless game on the Big Ten schedule in 2012. Or, depending on what you read, it could be the most meaningful college football game played this year. This game could wind up deciding the Big Ten Coach of the Year, as both first year coaches' fingerprints are evident through the improvements each quarterback has shown from 2011. Bill O'Brien's has completely transformed Nittany Lions quarterback Matt McGloin, improving the senior's 2011 totals (1,571 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions) through just seven games. McGloin leads the Big Ten with 1,788 passing yards while tossing 14 scores against just two picks. His counterpart, Ohio State sophomore Braxton Miller, places second in the conference with 2,349 yards of total offense and ranks second among all FBS quarterbacks with 959 rushing yards.
Notre Dame at Oklahoma (8 p.m. ET, ABC): Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly stated earlier this week he wants his program to emulate the success that Oklahoma has enjoyed under Bob Stoops. His team can start with a win in Norman on Saturday night. The closer and more low-scoring this game plays the more it will benefit Notre Dame. Oklahoma teams tend to pounce early on any displays of weakness but can fold in a 60 minute boxing match. After going a solid half-decade without losing in Norman, Oklahoma has lost two of its last six home games. Both losses contained a minus-2 turnover margin for the Sooners, good news for Notre Dame and it's plus-9 turnover balance. Notre Dame needs to improve on its 43 percent third-down conversion rate to keep Oklahoma's explosive offense on the sideline.
Michigan at Nebraska (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2): The Big Ten's most-explosive offense hosts the league's most sneaky-good defense in a game that could ultimately decide the Big Ten's Legends Division title. Nebraska leads the Big Ten and ranks among college football's top dozen offenses in yards gained (512.4 per game, 6.9 per play) and scoring (41.6 points per game) faces a Michigan team that arrives in Lincoln quiety riding a three-game winning streak. Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's unit has held its last five opponents to 13 points or less and checks in at No. 10 nationally in total defense (277.1 yards per game, 4.4 yards per play).
Mississippi State at Alabama (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Both of these teams have benefitted from back-loaded schedules to arrive at this game with a 7-0 record. Only one of these teams has something to prove, however, and it's not the Crimson Tide. Mississippi State hasn't beaten Alabama since Nick Saban's first season and has scored 10 combined points through the first three quarters of the past four meetings. Fortunately for Dan Mullen, his team excells at the best ingredient to creating an upset - Mississippi State leads the nation in turnover margin. But unforunately for Mullen, Alabama checks in just two spots behind Mississippi State in the national rankings.
With another full slate of games ahead of us tomorrow, here's what we'll be keeping an extra close eye on throughout the day.
LSU at Texas A&M (12 p.m. ET, ESPN): This is an opportunity for a statement game for Texas A&M. Kevin Sumlin and Kliff Kingsbury's explosive offense (tied for sixth nationally in total offense, 7.09 yards per play) faces John Chavis' second-ranked LSU defense. If Texas A&M pulls out the win, it will be because quarterback Johnny Manziel (24 touchdowns through six games) found a way to solve an LSU defense that has surrendered just 13 scores this season. These programs have met 50 times previously, although Saturday will be the first meeting in College Station since 1995. Texas A&M wants to re-kindle this rivalry, but the only way to to do that is with a win.
Rutgers at Temple (12 p.m. ET, Big East Network): Raise your hand if you knew this was a battle for the top spot in the Big East standings. Steve Addazio has led Temple to a 2-0 start in the Owls' return to the Big East despite ranking last in the league in total offense and total defense. Addazio's team relies heavily on the run (2.1:1 rush-pass ratio), while Rutgers ranks second nationally in rush defense at 60.8 yards per game and 2.25 yards per carry allowed. Both of these teams' success lies in forcing turnovers (Rutgers leads in the nation in turnover margin, Temple is No. 12), so whoever can carve out an advantage in that area will likely win the game.
Iowa State at Oklahoma State (12 p.m. ET, FX): A year removed from winning the Big 12 championship, Mike Gundy's team is still trying to sort out exactly what it is. The Cowboys lead the country in total offense by a wide margin, nearly 34 yards per game over No. 2 Baylor. But their most impressive win to date is over Louisiana - Lafayette, and they come into Saturday off a 20-14 win over 1-5 Kansas in which the Jayhawks outgained OSU 398-371. Paul Rhoads' team will try to make this game close and low-scoring. Iowa State is 19-1 in Rhoads' tenure when holding teams under 24 points, and 3-21 when giving up 24 points or more. Iowa State is also 10-6 under Rhoads in games decided by a touchdown or less.
South Carolina at Florida (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS): Mark Richt and co. will be rooting hard for the Gators, as a Florida win essentially sets up a winner-take-all matchup for the control of the SEC East at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party next week. Meanwhile, a South Carolina win means Steve Spurrier's team will just have to get by Tennessee and Arkansas to clinch a trip to Atlanta for the second time in three years. The Gamecocks have won two straight in this series while limiting the Gators to just 26 combined points.
BYU at Notre Dame (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC): This game will likely play out like seemingly every Notre Dame game this season - gritty, close and low scoring. Both of these squads rank among the nation's top seven nationally in scoring defense, allowing just over 22 points per game combined. Bronco Mendenhall has an opportunity to put a peacock-sized feather in his team's cap as a win would put the Cougars in a great position to finish 2012 at 9-3 and a top 25 ranking. On the other sideline, all that's on the line for Notre Dame is keeping intact its first 7-0 start since 2002 with a primetime showdown at Oklahoma on the immediate horizon.
Nebraska at Northwestern (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2): Bo Pelini's struggling defense faces perhaps the most diverse attack in the Big Ten. Any hopes either team has of playing for the Big Ten title likely dies with a loss on Saturday. Expect Nebraska and its Big Ten-leading scoring offense to try to outscore Northwestern, while the Wildcats will attempt to exploit the Cornhuskers' penchant for turning over the football (No. 104 nationally in turnover margin. Oh, and there's this:
The last time Nebraska played Northwestern in Evanston, Al Capone was there for the game ... bit.ly/VjnCjI
Kansas State at West Virginia (7 p.m. ET, FOX): Bill Snyder's tough-as-nails bunch travels to face West Virginia in the friendly confines of Milan Puskar Stadium. The last time Dana Holgorsen's team played at home it lit up Baylor for 10 touchdowns. A Kansas State victory puts the Wildcats firmly ahead of the pack in the Big 12, while a loss for West Virginia ends the conference and national title aspirations that seemed so promising just one week ago. West Virginia's highly publicized offense is more productive of the two but Kansas State's is actually more efficienct, churning out 0.65 points per play to WVU's 0.58 points per play.
Florida State at Miami (8 p.m. ET, ABC): Consider this a referendum for two young coaching tenures. Both teams need wins to stay in the hunt for the ACC Championship but, most importantly, both teams need a win over each other. Al Golden is looking for his first victory over FSU, while a loss by the Seminoles means nothing short toppling Florida can make this season a success. Jimbo Fisher's team dominates the ACC statistically, leading the conference in total offense, total defense, scoring offense, scoring defense, pass efficiency, pass efficiency defense and rushing defense. They also place second in the ACC in rushing offense behind Georgia Tech, but possess the conference's best yards per carry average (6.28).
Baylor at Texas (8 p.m. ET, ABC): Texas returns home reeling after consecutive losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma. Mack Brown's teams traditionally play their best football following Oklahoma, going 13-1 immediately after the Red River Rivalry. Baylor carries in a two-game losing streak of its own, surrendering a total of 17 touchdowns in losses to West Virginia and TCU. Baylor leads the nation in passing offense with nearly 400 yards per game faces a Texas defense that has allowed Big 12 quarterbacks to go 65-of-101 for 903 yards with eight touchdowns against two interceptions. The numbers aren't much better for Texas' rush defense as opposing Big 12 offenses have carried 133 times for 810 yards (6.1 ypc) for 10 scores. Solace for Texas comes in the fact that Baylor brings in a defense ranked among the bottom four nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. Expect an old-fashion Big 12 shootout that lasts deep into the night.
Washington at Arizona (10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks): After a 3-0 start Rich Rodriguez is still searching for his first Pac-12 win. Washington is also looking for its first victory since the upset of Stanford on Sept. 27. Scott from our staff will be on hand in Tucson. Follow him on Twitter @FootballScoop for his observations of the game.
On the Cowboy Football Roundup this week, the program took a look at the uniform combos that have been added over the last few seasons. Coach Mike Gundy says that it is a trend that will continue to evolve for them every season and that equipment managers and players council weigh in on the uniform combinations each week.
"The future is new and shiny and the latest, and the uniforms are a part of that. We made a few adjustments on this year's uniform compared to last year and I see minor adjustments every year from this point on." Gundy said.
Coach Gundy notes that the uniforms and having multiple options has helped them attract recruits to Oklahoma State, and that players believe that the new uniforms help their on the field performance to an extent.
As the saying goes, "if you look good, you play good."
It's great to hear that Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young is back on the sideline and doing okay, after missing the first two games of the season.
As John Helsley of The Oklahoman points out, an (almost undetected) aneurysm was what kept Young off of the sideline. What started as a routine visit to the doctor taught Young a valuable lesson that we can all learn from.
Don't put off going to the doctor, and always follow your doctor's advice.
"The doctor said I was a walking time bomb,” Young explained. “If your doctor recommends something, he's a lot smarter than you are, and I almost didn't listen. And I'm sure I'd have lived to regret it.”
The most dangerous aspect of aneurysm's is that they sometimes have no symptoms. They have been known to cause strokes, or lead to disability and even death. Young had one the size of a thumbnail right between the eyes that would have gone undetected if it weren't for a doctors decision (and help from Young's wife) to do a routine MRI to rule out any existence of aneurysms, of which he has a family history.
Young said that it was $500 that had originally deterred him from getting an MRI. Despite having an aneurysm burst during a workout back in 1982, Young insisted he didn't need an MRI, but thankfully his wife was persisent.
“It's like $500 to get an MRI. I thought, ‘Why would I spend $500 to get an MRI? That (previous aneurysm) was 30 years ago. It's the smart thing to do. Looking back on it, it was being idiotic to have even considered not doing it.”
Recently, Young went back in for a routine checkup and was given a clean bill of health, and says that he will continue to get checked regularly.
“I'm just so grateful and thankful that I had such great care. It's really comforting to know there are people out there to give you great care when you need it." Young said.
As we all know, coaching is an awesome yet stressful profession where it's easy to get caught up in wins and losses and preparing a group of young men for game day, and ultimately, life after football. Several health scares in the profession over the past few seasons serve as a reminder to all of us to take care of ourselves, so that we can continue to make an impact on young mens lives, provide for our families, and coach a game that we all love.
Bill Young realizes that now, and it should serve as a reminder to all of us to take care of ourselves, get checked regularly, and follow your doctors advice.