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Georgia Football: Don't Worry Bulldog Fans, Mike Bobo Isn't Going Anywhere

All it took for fans of the Georgia Bulldogs to finally appreciate offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was a little interest from another football program.

The oft-maligned assistant, who has turned Georgia into one of the most prolific offenses in the country, suddenly became a commodity worth keeping when it was learned that the Georgia Southern Eagles had an interest in him as a head coach. Fan concern only heightened when reports began to surface that the interest was mutual

While an unsavory ending to a rocky season leaves plenty of reasons for Georgia fans to be unsettled over the offseason, there is one thing that they don’t need to worry about. Mike Bobo is not going to leave Georgia for Georgia Southern—or any other second-tier program for that matter.

On Wednesday, Bobo affirmed to Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph that he does in fact have head coaching aspirations. But he tapered that statement by adding, “But I also aspire to win a championship here at Georgia.”

For Bobo, both of those aspirations are very much on the table, but the opportunity to be a head coach is hardly a closing window. 

 

Rising Stock

Although he’s been at the University of Georgia for 13 seasons, Mike Bobo is still young at the age of 39. When that youth is combined with his long tenure at one of the nation’s premier programs and an impressive recent track record, it’s understandable that his head coaching stock is rising.

In 2012, Georgia shattered every school record for offensive production. As star after star went down with injuries this year, Bobo’s offense did not level off. His performance this year garnered him recognition as the nation’s best offensive coordinator according to 247Sports. And despite Aaron Murray's departure, Bobo could have his best coaching display ahead of him yet, with the Bulldogs returning a host of talent around new starter Hutson Mason.

In that regard, it doesn’t make sense for the young offensive guru to jump ship for the first head coaching offer he receives.

 

Small Program Challenges

Although the initial offer, if it does indeed come from Georgia Southern, may be flattering, it would also be littered with obstacles. Having coached under Mark Richt for over a decade, Bobo understands what it takes to be a successful head coach and establish oneself as a figurehead of the university. He’s also had a front-row seat to the criticism and pressures that come with the gig.

But he hasn’t experienced the challenges that less-dominant football programs face. Bobo has never had to recruit against a more powerful in-state program. He’s never had to campaign for a locker room renovation or more stadium seating. He’s never had to pinch pennies to squeeze together a coaching staff.

If he went to Georgia Southern or another second-tier program, he’d have to do all of those things without a road map or reference guide. Such intricacies would make his first head coaching job infinitely more challenging.

 

Financial Compensation

Furthermore, Bobo would likely be fulfilling all of those duties while being paid below market value. Although he’s arguably underpaid as an assistant, Bobo still made more than twice as much as Georgia Southern’s last head coach in 2013. 

The compensation gaps between major conferences and smaller programs is drastic. In total, 31 FBS head coaches earned salaries less than Bobo's $575,000 annual salary this year.  Only one of those coaches led a major conference team.

Until other, presumably better, offers present themselves, he’ll be better served as an assistant coach at Georgia, even from a financial standpoint.

 

What’s Best for Bobo

Bobo told Emerson that his confidence in Mark Richt and the players at Georgia cause him to believe the Bulldogs are close to winning a championship. 

While that assessment may have seemed more accurate following the 2012 season than it does now, he is around the program on a daily basis and is likely capable of evaluating the situation. If there is truth to that sentiment, then there is no reason for Mike Bobo to leave Georgia. After all, if the Bulldogs do in fact compete for championships over the coming years, it will because of Bobo’s offense.

If that happens, he’ll be glad he didn’t leave for a second-tier head coaching job as he’ll be fielding offers from some of the nation’s best programs. On the other hand, there will always be another Georgia Southern looking to give a talented offensive mind his first shot as a head coach.

For now, Mike Bobo’s not going anywhere.

 

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Cold Hard Fact for Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fact: The Oklahoma Sooners are 1-4 in bowl games against SEC opponents under Bob Stoops.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: ESPN Stats and Info

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Penn State Head Coach Search: Latest Rumors and Buzz After Bill O'Brien's Exit

With Bill O'Brien recently agreeing to become the next head coach of the NFL's Houston Texans, the Penn State Nittany Lions find themselves in the midst of a head-coaching search for the second time in as many years.

O'Brien, who took over for Joe Paterno and interim coach Tom Bradley in 2012, went 15-9 in two seasons at State College and leaves behind mighty expectations for the next head coach. 

Defensive line coach Larry Johnson was recently promoted to interim head coach while Penn State begins its search for a replacement.    

According to Penn State beat writer Bob Flounders, the search committee will include several key figures, headlined by university athletic director Dave Joyner:

PSU football search committee is Dave Joyner, Dr. Tom Poole, Charmelle Green, Dr. Linda Caldwell, Bob Warming and Wally Richardson

— Bob Flounders (@BobbyFlo7) January 2, 2014

The York Daily Record on Twitter adds that the committee expects to make a hire relatively quickly: 

Joyner said head coach search should be finished in a matter of days, not weeks. #PennState

— York Daily Record (@YDRPennState) January 2, 2014

As far as qualifications and attributes are concerned, Joyner has made it clear what he's looking for in a potential candidate, per Reading Eagle's Richard Scarcella on Twitter:

Joyner: Characteristics he's looking for in next coach include intergrity, championships and academics.

— Richard Scarcella (@nittanyrich) January 2, 2014

ESPN Big Ten on Twitter reports that there will be no guarantee that the next head coach has ties to the university:

Joyner says past PSU ties not a requirement for next coach but will be in thought process. Job is select best coach available, ties or not

— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) January 2, 2014

While it remains to be seen whom Joyner and his staff bring in to take over the beloved football program, it's clear that expectations will be lofty for the next regime. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 7-5 season in which they beat Michigan and Wisconsin. 

However, the new head coach will have more scholarships to work with in the coming seasons. The NCAA announced in September 2013 that it would begin restoring scholarships over the coming seasons as a result of the university's improvements in the wake of 2011's child sex abuse scandal, according to former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who has been appointed by the NCAA to oversee the school's progress via The Centre Daily Times' Mike Dawson:

While there is more work to be done, Penn State has clearly demonstrated its commitment to restoring integrity in its athletics program. The university has substantially completed the initial implementation of all the Freeh report recommendations and its obligations to the athletics integrity agreement, so relief from the scholarship reductions is warranted and deserved.

Penn State is still serving a four-year bowl ban that is scheduled to last two more seasons. But there's a possibility that the NCAA could reduce the ban if the university remains on track with its overall improvement.

Regardless of whom Penn State hires, the move will mark the program's third head coach since 2011 after five decades under Paterno.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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Sideline Fan at Capital One Bowl Gets Trucked While Filming Cellphone Video

Nothing beats capturing a sideline view at a college bowl game, but you have to check your blind spots—unless you want to get steamrolled by 200-pound wide receiver Bruce Ellington. 

This fan at the Capital One Bowl between South Carolina and Wisconsin was seemingly unaware of his surroundings while filming some of the game with his smartphone. Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward pushed Ellington out of bounds after his touchdown, which started the domino effect. 

The fan seemed to be OK after the hit and presumably got to see the Gamecocks finish off a 34-24 win over the Badgers.

 

Thanks to Jim Weber of Fox Sports for the find. 

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Why Bob Stoops, Not Nick Saban, Was the Best Coach of the BCS Era

Forget Big Game Bob, there’s a more fitting moniker for Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops: Mr. BCS.

As most of the college football world gladly prepares to bid good riddance to the Bowl Championship Series following Monday’s tilt between Auburn and Florida State, the game’s passing will have far more significance to Stoops.

The BCS was first introduced in 1998. The following year, a fresh-faced, 38-year-old Stoops was announced as the new head coach of the Oklahoma football program.

But while his peers struggled to adapt to the changes, the Youngstown, Ohio, native thrived.

In just his second season at the helm, Stoops led his Sooners to a 13-0 record and the BCS title. By the completion of year six, he had made four BCS appearances and played in three national championships.

Fast-forward to Thursday night, and Stoops will be playing in his ninth BCS bowl when Oklahoma takes on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl. 

That puts him at the top of the class when compared to other coaches during the BCS era:

*Still has a bowl to play in 2014


Haters will be quick to point out that Stoops has been anything but Big Game Bob in those first eight appearances, compiling a 3-5 record. But those same people forget to mention that no other coach has won more games than Stoops since the inception of the BCS.

As far as consistency goes, there hasn’t been anyone better.

Since 2000, Stoops has posted a 152-34 record, finished with 12 10-win seasons, won eight Big 12 titles and has seven bowl game victories to his credit.

Year in and year out, he has helped Oklahoma remain relevant. Even in the darkest of seasons, Stoops has always found a way to pick out the silver lining.

Take the 2005 season, for example. The Sooners had just lost Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jason White along with many other key contributors, including 11 players who were taken in the 2005 NFL Draft.

Behind inconsistent play from freshman quarterback Rhett Bomar, Oklahoma struggled to a 7-4 regular-season record. However, the team still managed to upset a 10-1, No. 6-ranked Oregon team in the 2005 Holiday Bowl, 17-14.

This season has been no different, as Stoops and the Sooners were tasked with trying to replace the school’s all-time passing leader, Landry Jones.

Through 12 games, the team hasn’t had much luck finding a successor, rotating as many as three quarterbacks. In fact, with the Sugar Bowl just hours away, Oklahoma still doesn't know who its starting quarterback is.

Yet somehow, someway, Stoops has still managed to carve out another 10-win season and once again has the Sooners playing in a BCS bowl.

Ironically, on Thursday night, he’ll be going head-to-head with the only other man who can contend that he is more deserving of the honor of being the BCS era’s most successful coach: Nick Saban.

In seven seasons at Tuscaloosa, Saban has led the Tide to a ridiculous 74-14 record. He has won three of the last four BCS titles and appeared in five BCS bowl games since 2009. 

While all of that is nice, let’s not forget that Saban only managed to put together two 10-win seasons and two BCS bowl appearances from 1998-2007.

Altogether, his overall resume is hardly enough to be considered the BCS’ all-time best.

Not to mention, with a win on Thursday, Stoops will become the first head coach to win each of the four BCS bowls—Orange, Fiesta, Rose and Sugar. In comparison, Saban has only won the Sugar.

You can call Stoops a fluke, a choke artist or a beneficiary of good luck. Heck, some have even grown fond of “Big Game Boob”.

But hate him or love him, the best adjective to describe Stoops during the BCS era is a simple two-syllable word that is synonymous with some of the best to ever walk the sidelines in college football history.

Winner.


All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of CFBstats.com.

For complete coverage and everything college football, you can reach Sebastian on Facebook, on Twitter and via email at Sebastian.LenaBR@gmail.com.

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USC Football: Grading Steve Sarkisian's First Month on the Job

A month has passed since USC athletic director Pat Haden named former Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian to the same position with the Trojans.

In that short time, Sarkisian has done what he can behind the scenes as he tiptoes around a disappointed fanbase that would have preferred that former interim head coach Ed Orgeron been tabbed as the guy to lead the men of Troy going forward.

Bruised feelings aside, coach "Sark" has made his presence felt, although he wisely kept his distance from the team as they prepared to meet Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl—a game the Trojans would win handily, 45-20.

Instead, Sarkisian addressed the two components of his new program that he knew he could affect without distracting the 2013 Trojans as they prepared for their bowl game.

First, Sark started crafting the football staff that he would lead going forward in 2014.

With uncertainty surrounding the personnel that would constitute his staff at USC, Sark immediately brought in Johnny Nansen to coach running backs and special teams, Keith Heyward (defensive backs) and Peter Sirmon (linebackers and recruiting coordinator).

All three of the aforementioned coaches plied their trade under Sark at Washington, and all are highly respected by their peers.

Shortly thereafter, Sark announced that Tee Martin—a holdover from the Kiffin staff—would stay on as the wide receivers coach, a move that was roundly applauded by those who follow the men of Troy.

After that flurry of moves, the formation of Sark's staff slowed, and with the exception of Clay Helton retaining his offensive coordinator position—the same duties he held this year for Kiffin—speculation ran rampant regarding the identity of the remaining staff.

However, there was a likelihood that the reason for Sark not naming any further staff was due to Washington's participation in their own bowl game, and as soon as that was over, things would shake loose.

That was borne out as Sarkisian immediately named Justin Wilcox as his defensive coordinator, Marques Tuiasosopo tight ends coach and Ivan Lewis as the strength and conditioning coach following the Huskies win over BYU.

That news was soon followed by the naming of Tim Drevno as the offensive line coach—another move that was widely applauded by those who follow the game.

So as of this writing, only defensive line coach remains as a vacant position.

But that is only one portion of the impact Sark has had on the program in his short stay with the Trojans.

Another area where Sarkisian has effected change for the Cardinal and Gold has been in the area of recruiting. He wasted little time exerting his influence in this all important aspect of his duties as head coach.

It was well known that Sark was a good recruiter, and that was borne out when almost immediately he convinced cornerback Jonathan Lockett to flip from Washington to USC and secured an early enrollment commitment from JUCO defensive lineman, Claudeson Pelon.

Sark was just getting started, and those two commitments were followed up by another early enrollee in defensive lineman Don Hill and a huge "get" when offensive tackle Chris Brown gave Sark his pledge a couple of weeks ago.

And that was followed up with a commitment by Scout.com 3-star quarterback Jalen Greene.

For Sarkisian, it has been quite a whirlwind month, but he has plenty more to do before the February letter of intent signing day.

Still, that remains in the future and this article is dealing with the last (and first) month of the "Sarkisian era."

To that end, Sark gets a solid "B+" so far, and while some may say I am being too charitable, I think the new Trojan head man has done an admirable job under trying circumstances.

Once entrenched in his position, Sark will more firmly put his stamp on this program but considering his short time on the job, he has done very well in a short period of time.

Now fans of the program can only hope that carries through the entirety of 2014. 

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @RickMcMahan

 

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USC Football: Grading Steve Sarkisian's First Month on the Job

A month has passed since USC athletic director Pat Haden named former Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian to the same position with the Trojans...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

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