News, Notes & Quotes - July 28

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday July 28, 2017

We’re 31 days away from the first college football games of 2017, and 36 days from the first real college football Saturday.

- Jim Harbaugh’s support staff is smaller this year, and that’s by design.

Harbaugh said around nine jobs will be unfilled compared to last year, according to With so many people coming in and then taking a better job elsewhere, Harbaugh is expanding duties.

"We had a very large staff the first two seasons we were at Michigan and it can be too much," Harbaugh said at Big Ten Media Days. "Too many people with too much access."

He added, "We've taken the approach of not hiring every job when somebody leaves and taken the approach of consolidating jobs, where people are now doing multiple jobs and I'm excited about that. I feel like it can be better managed. I feel like it can be better organized. That's the direction we're going."

- David Shaw has prepared for Stanford’s Week 0 game against Rice in Australia by turning to a rival. Cal played Hawaii there last year.

“Matt Doyle, our football operations director, went to that game, and he experienced the whole thing with Cal,” Shaw said at Pac-12 Media Days. “He saw them, saw what they did, didn't do. He's been in constant communication with all those people.

“I've had multiple conversations with Sonny (Dykes). I talked with Sonny when they first got back. I talked with him midway through the year as we were planning this. I talked to him after the season briefly about the things he would have done differently, what did he do, what would he choose not to do.So we put together a pretty good plan, I believe. The big difference for us, our guys are not going to be in school. So they'll be able to come back and truly rest and recuperate before we start that preparation for USC.”

- IMG Academy head coach Kevin Wright responded to Matt Rhule.

Rhule told Texas high school coaches that Baylor won’t recruit high schools that take Texas high school players, like IMG in Florida.

“My reaction is I think that first of all stuff gets said,” Wright told reporters. “We’re innovative, we’re different. I think that everybody’s gonna have an opinion. There’s a lot of high school programs in America where people have an opinion, we just happen to be in the spotlight. So I think that with those comments you know I don’t take ‘em personal.”

- Jon Gruden admits he’s working every year for a possible return to coaching.

Ready for some Grumors? Gruden told Pewter Report that he’s always thinking about it. But he loves ESPN and makes a lot of money in a cushy job, even if other teams reach out to him.

“I’ve met with several people – I won’t deny that,” Gruden said. “People – just about every year I talk about coming back to coach. I’m not in here every day at 4:30 or 4:00 in the morning watching pinball. You know? I’m preparing myself to come back. I am. Every day. I’m preparing to come back.

“It helps me in my broadcasting and I think if you lose that edge … you can’t come back unless you are totally wired with college football, personnel, schemes, the CBA, how people are practicing, trends, you know. You’ve got stay on top of this stuff.”

- Mike Leach says the best thing about this generation of players is their knowledge, but the worst part is the ability to push through when they don’t.

“The biggest challenge is a lot of the time there’s a sense of a lack of accountability, but I think it’s a lot like Frank Martin said, players haven’t changed, the parents have,” Leach said at Pac-12 Media Days.

“Their best feature, probably, they’re experts on technology. Heck, as a kid, I watched Star Trek. These guys could have invented Star Trek, the plane, the computer, Scotty, the whole thing. I do think that the knowledge base at your fingertips is such that, at a very young age, there’s a lot of people that know a lot. But when stuff gets hard, I think you have to be pushed through it.”

- For Terry Bowden, it’s all about momentum.

“If you can control momentum, you would have this profession wrapped up, because we always talk about Mo,” he said at MAC Media Day. “If you can get momentum on your side, good things just begin to happen. Two years ago, we were playing quarterback (musical chairs), our third quarterback Tommy Woodson becomes the starter, we win our last five games. Last year, we lose Tommy Woodson and Tra'Von Chapman, and we don’t have a quarterback (and lose our final four games).

“… Momentum has a little to do with injuries and things like that, but buddy, if you could bag it and know how to own it, you’d want to have momentum, because once you get momentum, it affects confidence. Your kids begin to play with confidence and you get that momentum, it snowballs and you get that ball rolling. It’s hard to stop.”

- The cost of a buy game is nearing $2 million.

Georgia will host Kent State in 2022 and pay KSU $1.9 million for the game, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. Other future games include MTSU ($1.7 million in 2018) and Arkansas State ($1.8 million in 2019).

These games go a long way in funding Group of Five athletic departments, and the price is rising quickly. The idea of a $1 million game isn’t even that old. But with schedules being made so far in advance, the options are smaller, and the demand for a winnable game is higher.

- Here’s a look at Ohio State’s first practice, which Urban Meyer said would be lighter than normal.

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