News, Notes & Quotes - Nov. 8

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday November 08, 2016

- On Saturday, ESPN’s Darren Rovell tweeted that Nike head man Phil Knight is willing to spend $10 million on a coach to win a national title. Mark Helfrich was asked about that this week.

“That’s the nature of the profession,” Helfrich responded. “It’d be cool if it was that easy. I take it it wasn't me that was getting the 10 million? I have to say it. Come on. ”

There’s not much else for Helfrich to say about it. The Ducks are 3-6 and finish with Stanford, Utah and Oregon State. Chip Kelly has said publicly and privately he has no desire to return to college football.

Earlier this year, some thought the coaching carousel would be nuts with top jobs open across the country, but several coaches have turned their fortunes around. Will Oregon make a change two years removed from playing for the national title?

- Is the Florida International coaching search waiting for a decision?

In recent weeks, multiple reports named Butch Davis as the front-runner for the job. Davis has close ties with FIU AD Pete Garcia from their time at Miami and with the Browns. On Monday night, USA Today’s Dan Wolken reported that the search is basically at the point where Davis can accept the job or not, and that there aren’t other search activities going on.

Davis was asked early Monday about FIU talk on SiriusXM College Sports Nation and said. “It’s all rumors and speculation, but certainly Florida International has tremendous upside potential, and you never know. We’ll have to wait and see what possibilities might present. If the right opportunity comes along, I would love to coach again."

- Only 11 teams are averaging fewer than 1 turnover per game this year.

Nine of thee teams have a winning record, and three are ranked in the top 5.

- Alabama used Trent Richardson and John Parker Wilson on the scout team to prepare for LSU.

Nick Saban is always looking for an edge, and a former Heisman finalist is quite an edge. Earlier this year, Blake Sims served as a scout team QB before Texas A&M, and Saban said they got it cleared with the SEC and NCAA.

"We try to stay on top of the rules," Saban said last month. "We have people in our administration who do a good job of letting us know what we can and can't do and we would never do something like that unless we got it approved by the SEC office, which we did, and the NCAA."

- Mike Leach pulled a Marshawn Lynch.

Since he was fined by the Pac-12 for his comments about Arizona State, Leach says he won’t talk about the opponent anymore. He was asked how Cal’s offense is different under Jake Spavital, but replied with this:

“I don’t talk about the opponent, because I may get publicly reprimanded or fined. So we’re pretty much just worried about — I’d say they’re similar, but we’re worried about ourselves and how we address the challenges of the opponent.”

Mike Leach using clichés? That’s too bad.

- A Raiders offensive lineman said the team ran the same running play 10 times in a row, and only two different running plays, in a win over the Broncos.

The Raiders ran for 218 yards on 43 rushes, and offensive line coach Mike Tice explained the plan to

"It's a play our defense calls Crunch, an off-tackle run that Pittsburgh brought into the league way back when, and a whole lot of us have since stolen," Tice said. "It's basically a double-team — center and guard, or guard and tackle, or tackle and tight end — on one of their guys, depending upon what front they show. They tried to bring a couple of guys down low to pull us off the double team, which didn't surprise me, cause it was something Wade (Phillips) did to me when he was the head coach of Buffalo a long time ago.

"It didn't matter. We kept executing that play. We could have announced it. They knew it was coming."

- On this election day, Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia is taking his entire team to vote.

According to Myrtle Beach Online, staff got everyone registered, and players will get on buses Tuesday morning to vote.

“Every one of our guys is going to vote Tuesday, and that’s something I’m incredibly proud of,” Moglia said. “The service academies do that. There’s not going to be one other university football team in the nation that’s going to do that, and you know every one of them probably should do that.”

- A team you may not have realized is one win away from bowl-eligibility: Idaho.

The Vandals beat UL-Lafayette 23-13 on the road last week to get to 5-4. That’s the most wins for the program since 2010. They haven’t gone bowling since 2009, and they finish with three teams who currently have a losing record: Texas State, South Alabama and Georgia State.

- Check out Jason Garrett’s post-game speech after the Cowboys beat the Browns.

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