Eastern Washington set to roll out the red carpet… literally


Make room, Boise State.  Your long-standing title of “Most Garish Unique Playing Surface in College Football” is about to officially be challenged.

After opening the year with one game on the road and another at Qwest Field in Seattle, Div. 1-AA (FCS) Eastern Washington will play their first game of the new season at Roos Stadium.  And against Montana, the Eagles will do so not on the natural grass surface they’ve become accustomed to over the years; rather, they’ll do so on a Sprinturf field.

A red Sprinturf field.

Red Turf.jpg

Yep, that’s as red as advertised.

The school announced back in late January that they would be installing the red surface in time for the start of the upcoming season.  Tennessee Titan offensive lineman Michael Roos, who graduated in March of 2005 after starting 35 straight games at tackle for the Eagles, donated $500,000 of his own money toward the project; subsequently, the name of EWU’s home stadium was changed from Woodward Field to Roos Field.

The total cost of the resurfacing ran upwards of $825,000.

Much like the reasoning behind Boise State’s move to the Smurf Turf back in the mid-eighties, EWU made their drastic change to both give some attention to their low-profile program and, possibly, give themselves a little bit more of a home-field advantage.

“Boise wears blue uniforms on their blue turf, and it seems to work for them,” third-year head coach Beau Baldwin said back in late August. “We’re going to look at some different uniform options, ourselves, to see if one color gives us an advantage over another. …

“If we can create any kind of additional home-field advantage by wearing a certain color uniform, we’re going to do it.

“Why wouldn’t we?”

The Broncos are 38-1 at home the past five years; if the Eagles can even remotely approach that number, the red turf will have been worth every last cent of the money spent on it.  Regardless of how many menstrual jokes — Didn’t play well in a home loss?  Well, it was that time of the month — are made at their expense and you know damn well are in the offing from opposing fans.

In Baker Mayfield, Texas set to face yet another QB who wanted to be a Longhorn

Baker Mayfield
Associated Press

Jameis WinstonJohnny ManzielAndrew LuckRobert Griffin IIIJ.T. Barrett. Oh, don’t mind me. Just recounting the number of quarterbacks with ties to the Texas football program that never received a sniff from Bevo’s famous snout.

Add another to the list, perhaps the most inexplicable of all: Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield played at Lake Travis High School in Austin, a powerhouse program in a state that specializes in them. Lightly recruited out of high school (he reportedly held only an offer from Florida Atlantic), Mayfield and his family reached out to the nearby program to see if they’d take him as a walk-on.

They said no.

“They told us he had five scholarship quarterbacks, so there wasn’t any need of ‘Bake’ coming out there,” James Mayfield, Baker’s father, told George Schroeder of USA Today. “I popped off that they had five scholarship quarterbacks that couldn’t even play for Lake Travis. That’s where our relationship stalled out.”

On one hand, it utterly boggles the mind why Texas would decline a successful high school quarterback willing to pay his own way on to the team, especially considering the state of the position at the time. On the other, one would see why Mack Brown‘s staff would pass on a kid with only an offer from FAU who says UT’s quarterbacks couldn’t start for his high school team.

Instead, Texas signed Tyrone Swoopes and Mayfield enrolled at Texas Tech. He won the starting job as a true freshman, transferred to Oklahoma, walked on and then won the starting job there.

And now he’s set to face the hometown team he at one time wished he could play for.

Mayfield has completed 88-of-135 throws for 1,382 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions – good for a 178.52 passer rating, which ranks fifth nationally – while adding 138 yards and four scores on the ground. His counterpart, redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard, has connected on 42-of-76 passes for 661 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (131.74 passer rating) to go with a team-leading 67 carries for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

“As perverse as all this has been, he’s where he wanted to be,” James Mayfield said. “He’s living his dream. If he had to do it all over again, he’d do it, with the same outcome.”

Appalachian State announces five-year extension for head coach Scott Satterfield

Scott Satterfield
Associated Press

One day after it was revealed its head coach was the second-lowest paid in college football, Appalachian State announced a five-year contract extension for head coach Scott Satterfield.

“We have the right coach leading our football program in Scott Satterfield,” Appalachian State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement. “In nearly three years as head coach, he has stayed true to his convictions, built the program the right way and set Appalachian State football up for sustainable success both in the Sun Belt Conference and at the national level.”


Satterfield had earned $375,000 annually, ahead of only Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry at $360,000 a year.

Satterfield, 42, is 14-14 in his third season at the Boone, N.C., school. He led the Mountaineers to a 7-5 mark in their debut Sun Belt season, and has the club at 3-1 to start the 2015 campaign.

“It’s exciting for my family and me to know that we’re going to be at Appalachian for the foreseeable future,” Satterfield added. “I’m living a dream by being the head coach at my alma mater and can’t wait to continue to work hard to help this program reach heights that it has never reached before.”