News, Notes & Quotes - Dec. 22

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday December 22, 2016

- Asked about players sitting out bowl games, Nick Saban put part of it on the media. He cited their push for the playoff leading to other bowls losing value.

"When we all started this, however many years ago it was, I said that you're going to diminish the importance of the other bowl games in college football, alright?” Saban said Wednesday. "Which has happened. That has happened."

Earlier in the day, he also admitted it’s not the players’ fault.

"We kind of created this trend," Saban said. "I said as soon as we had a playoff, we were going to minimize the importance of all the other bowl games. I'm not saying whether it's good or bad, it kind of is what it is. I don't know where all this is going, but I don't think it's going to change. Is it good? Probably not. But you can't blame the kids. It's a product of what we created."

But with Stanford in the Sun Bowl and LSU in the Citrus Bowl, they’re just exhibition games. If a player sits out a Rose Bowl or a Sugar Bowl that’s not in the playoff, that would be notable. What’s really “devalued” bowls (if there is such a thing), is the sheer number of them. But we’ll all going to watch them anyway.

- Speaking for the first time since the video of Joe Mixon punching a woman in 2014 was released, Bob Stoops said he’d have a different punishment if it happened today.

Back in 2014, Stoops suspended Mixon for the year, but didn't kick him off the team. He said Wednesday he felt that was a tough punishment at the time, but he knows it wouldn’t be considered sufficient now. Coupled with recent news about past incidents involving Dede Westbrook, Stoops has been under fire about his players' treatment of women.

"Two-and-a-half years ago, thought we had a significant penalty, a strong penalty," Stoops said of Mixon. "Now, it isn't enough. These individuals can't have a second chance. Just not acceptable. And they know it anymore and they've been told enough. We have more meetings and things of that nature that instruct and let them know what appropriate behavior is and isn't and what the consequences are.

"Dismissal is really the only thing that is possible. A young guy having an opportunity to rehabilitate and to have some kind of discipline and come back from it is really not there anymore. Hopefully that message goes down even to the high school level that these things are just unacceptable to any degree and there's no recovering, I guess. …  It never has been acceptable, what I'm saying is there's no recovering from these incidents really anymore."

- Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s head coaching hopes could be hindered by… his name?

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes, “Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter could be held back by his name, believe it or not, in this crazy corporate league as I talk to more execs about him.”

Since Cooter was promoted from Lions QB coach to offensive coordinator during the 2015 season, Matthew Stafford has been one of the best QB’s in the NFL. The 32-year-old has also had a lot of support from Peyton Manning.

Bears head coach John Fox said earlier this month he loves saying Cooter's name. Sometimes coaches have to overcome things they can’t control.

- Urban Meyer turned to a close friend to fill the opening on his staff.

Longtime NFL defensive coordinator Billy Davis spent this fall as an analyst with the Buckeyes, and he’ll be promoted to a full-time role after the season, when Luke Fickell leaves for the Cincinnati head coaching job.

Greg Schiano was the main defensive coordinator for the Buckeyes this year, but Meyer has said cornerbacks coach / special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs will have a bigger role in coordinating the defense, so it's possible Davis only coaches linebackers.

Meyer typically shies away from hiring friends — he didn’t have previous experience with Tom Herman and Chris Ash. But it paid off with Greg Schiano this year, and he'll hope for the same with Davis, who was the best man at Meyer’s wedding.

It’s also worth noting, in five years as Ohio State head coach, Meyer has seen four coordinators leave for head coaching jobs (Everett Withers, Herman, Ash and Fickell). That coaching tree continues to expand.

- Check out some of Willie Taggart’s first meeting with his new Oregon team.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to