Jim Mora’s Twitter habits offer a lesson for all

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When it comes to Twitter, I am of the belief it is whatever you make of it. You follow the people you want to follow and interact with the people you want to talk to. For most, that is just fine. Others have to live by a few more rules though, and that includes UCLA head coach Jim Mora.

At the end of UCLA’s Alamo Bowl victory against Kansas State, Mora rushed a handshake with Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, and later worked his way back to the Wildcats coach to seemingly explain his displeasure with Kansas State attempting to leap over the pile as UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley was taking a knee to run out the clock. Asked about the handshake routine during the postgame press conference, Mora chose not to get into it, but he did take to Twitter to suggest he would go to any length to defend the safety of his players. That tweet, and the account that shared it has since been removed. Mora’s Twitter account was the target of plenty f social media attacks and criticism for his postgame handshake. This is Twitter after all, where anyone with an account has access to just about anybody else on the service. The reason for shutting the account down may be unconfirmed, but the timing would suggest the attacks and criticism were so overwhelming that Mora, or somebody else, decided the only way to stop the criticism was to shut down the account. But that only makes things worse.

Whether you side with Mora or not on his stance regarding Kansas State’s late-game strategy to try and break up a quarterback kneel (I, for one, see no issue with it as Kansas State was simply trying to win a football game), there are lessons to be learned by the Bruins coach and his Twitter habit.

Twitter is a great tool for coaches to share information about the program they lead. It is a terrific recruiting tool and a fantastic outlet for promoting the program, yet even as we break in 2015 it seems that so many are still unsure how to handle the social networking resource properly. For all the good it offers, it can be equally as devilish if used improperly or unwisely. Some people have to use Twitter differently than the rest fo the world, because some professions have a certain demeanor that needs to be presented 24/7. The head coach of a major college football program, fair or not, falls under that profile, which means someone like Mora (or whoever it is that has access to the coach’s Twitter profile) has to have a grip on the impact any one tweet can have, as well as the patience to deal with the mentions that are sure to come fired in the account’s direction at any given time.

So in light of Mora’s recent Twitter issues, I serve up these free bits of advice (these are NOT rules) for any college football coach out there who may be reading this, and perhaps you find it helpful for your own Twitter habits as well if you are not a coach;

1. Before you tweet anything, type it out and read it aloud before hitting the Tweet button. If there is anything you hear that could remotely be considered controversial by anyone — fans, media, bosses — then perhaps it might be wise to remove the tweet

2. Do not tweet at high school recruits. Ever.

3. Have fun with Twitter. Don’t use it to release your frustrations and vent your bitterness.

4. Do not be a jerk. Just don’t.

5. Do not tweet at high school recruits. I felt that deserved a second mention.

6. People are going to attack you on Twitter. These people are not to be given the time of day, so you absolutely should not be giving their messages any merit by responding or acting in a defiant way. Let them have this small victory, because it may be all they have to live for.

As it turns out, there is reason to believe Mora has returned to Twitter, although under a private account for now. While this may sound like a wise move after being attacked on Twitter, it actually should be a cause for alarm as he is unable to be monitored by the NCAA unless he approves the NCAA of following the account. No coach should own or operate a private coaching account.

7. If you are a coach on Twitter, do not use a private account.

If you have other rules and words of advice for college football coaches and Twitter, feel free to offer them in the comment section.

Top seven remains the same in latest CFP rankings

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The third edition of the 2019 College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday, and the top seven teams remained the same from last week’s rankings. This means, as expected, Alabama remained No. 5 following the devastating loss of Tua Tagovailoa.

Minnesota remained in striking distance following their loss to Iowa (now at No. 17) at No. 10, with No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 2 Ohio State (potentially) still on their schedule. Oklahoma and Penn State moved one spot apiece, keeping the Top 10 stagnant.

Auburn fell three spots to No. 15, one spot behind No. 14 Baylor, who will spend the week wondering how high they would’ve climbed if the rankings were taken at halftime on Saturday night.

Memphis swapped spots with Cincinnati as the highest-rated Group of 5 team at No. 18; the Tigers and Bearcats SMU rejoined the rankings after falling out last week. They were joined by Iowa State at No. 22, who replaced then-No. 19 Texas, and USC at No. 23.

The full rankings:

1. LSU
2. Ohio State
3. Clemson
4. Georgia
5. Alabama
6. Oregon
7. Utah
8. Penn State
9. Oklahoma
10. Minnesota
11. Florida
12. Wisconsin
13. Michigan
14. Baylor
15. Auburn
16. Notre Dame
17. Iowa
18. Memphis
19. Cincinnati
20. Boise State
21. Oklahoma State
22. Iowa State
23. USC
24. Appalachian State
25. SMU

Georgia photographer hospitalized by Brian Herrian shares final photo before collision

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It’ll be a fun story to share for years to come, and thank God for that. Because at the time it looked so much worse.

Late in the first half of No. 4 Georgia’s 21-14 win over No. 12 Auburn, Georgia running back Brian Herrien ran into a photographer on the sideline. The photographer’s identity was not immediately known, but the game stopped for several minutes as she laid motionless on the Jordan-Hare Stadium sideline before she was eventually carted out of the stadium.

She was later identified as Chamberlain Smith, an intern in the UGA sports information department. Smith was taken to the East Alabama Medical Center in nearby Opelika, where she was diagnosed with a concussion, an eye bruise and a cut above her right eye, presumably from when her camera forcefully collided wither her head.

“I haven’t had a chance to respond to everyone, but I just wanted to say thank you all so much for the overwhelming outpouring of support in the form of kind comments, messages & prayers!! .. last night was very scary, but I’m so glad to be walking away with nothing more than a concussion & some bruises,” Smith tweeted Sunday. “I will be home resting & recovering for the next several days, but I’m looking forward to being back on the sidelines soon!”

Smith is recovering in her Ringgold, Ga., home recovering, and on Tuesday she tweeted the photo she paid such a price for.

Herrien retweeted the image with a message of support.

Smith, thankfully, will make a full recovery, and now she’ll have a photo to hang on her wall and a heckuva thousand words to go with it.

Mark Dantonio to return in 2020, per Mark Dantonio

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From 2010-15, Michigan State was one of the very best programs in all of college football. Mark Dantonio‘s Spartans won 11 or more games five times in those six years, with Big Ten titles in 2010, ’13 and ’15. They finished in the AP Top 6 from 2013-15, and in ’13 and ’15 they knocked off undefeated teams in the Big Ten Championship — Ohio State in 2013, thereby knocking the Buckeyes out of the final BCS title game, and Iowa in 2015, knocking the Hawkeyes out of the College Football Playoff and lifting themselves in. The 2013 team finished 13-1, beat Stanford in the Rose Bowl and finished No. 3 in both polls, the program’s best season since 1966.

But it’s not 2013 anymore.

After going 65-16 (41-9 Big Ten) from 2010-15, Michigan State has slunk to 24-24 (15-19 Big Ten) from 2016 on, including a 4-6 mark to date this season. The Spartans went just 7-6 in 2018, causing Mark Dantonio to play musical chairs in his offensive staff room in hopes of fixing an offense that finished 126th nationally in scoring. The move hasn’t worked; this year’s team is 110th. Don’t ask him about it, though, because Dantonio doesn’t like talking about that move.

All of this has cumulated in speculation that, rather than hit the reset button heading into Year 14 in East Lansing, Dantonio would call it quits. That thought never reached Dantonio’s mind.

On Tuesday, the 63-year-old told local media he plans to remain the Spartans’ coach in 2020.

Asked bluntly if he plans to lead the team onto the field for their 2020 opener against Northwestern, Dantonio responded bluntly. “Yes,” he said.

“My intentions are to be the head football coach here. I’ve always said I live in the present. I’ve always said that. There’s certain things that you have control of, there’s certain things you don’t have control of. I can’t control anything, but my intentions are there, yeah, absolutely,” he said, via the Detroit Free Press.

“My father always talked to me complete the circle, complete the circle. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

With that question, the conversation now turns to whether his shuffling-of-the-deck-chairs offensive staff can survive another sunk season.

“I don’t make decisions on that until I weigh out everything to the best that I can,” Dantonio told MLive. “Because probably I have the most knowledge in terms of what’s going on within our football team as to who did what in terms of was that a player, structure, coaching, officiating, all the underlying things that go along with that.”

The tipping point of this conversation seems to be Michigan. After going 7-1 against the Wolverines from 2008-15, Dantonio is now 1-3 since, including the 44-10 whipping in Ann Arbor that led many to openly wonder if the game has passed Dantonio by.

At 4-6, Michigan State will need to sweep Rutgers and Maryland (combined Big Ten record: 1-13) to avoid missing a bowl game for just the second time of his 13-year tenure… and the second time in the past four seasons.

City of San Diego entering negotiations for San Diego State to purchase Qualcomm Stadium site

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You are reading the words of a person who cares not one lick about most of the creature comforts we have convinced ourselves are now necessary features of the modern football stadium. You’re there to watch a football game, after all. What more do you need besides a bleacher seat, maybe some popcorn, and a restroom close enough that will let you return to your seat before the second half kickoff? In my mind, the best place in the world to watch a football game is the Cotton Bowl — no, not AT&T Stadium during the Cotton Bowl Classic, the actual Cotton Bowl.

That said, I’m also not someone who believes that the past was always better, just because it was the past.

So, with all that said, Qualcomm Stadium is the worst football venue these eyes have ever seen. The upper decks might as well be in space, and if you’re sitting in the corner of the end zone, game action taking place just yards away is completely obstructed from view.

That’s why it’s a good thing that, according to the Times of San Diego, the San Diego city council on Monday authorized the city’s negotiators to proceed with discussing the sale of Qualcomm Stadium — sorry, SDCCU Stadium — to San Diego State.

The school originally offered to purchase the stadium site for $68.2 million back in 2017, but the city now has an offer for $86.2 million.

“The city currently spends about $11 million a year to maintain and operate the Mission Valley stadium site,” City Councilwoman Barbara Bry told the paper. “That’s over $30,000 a day in taxpayer money every day that we delay this transaction with San Diego State. We can’t afford not to move the project along in a timely manner.”

Negotiations are expected to begin in earnest in January, with closing happening by the end of the year. Once San Diego State takes possession of the site, the school would raze SDCCU Stadium and replace it with a 35,000-seat stadium that will serve as the anchor to what will be known as SDSU Mission Valley, home to a satellite campus, a park and commercial and residential space.

“The project is about the transformation of a community and the revitalization of public land,” San Diego State president Adela de la Torre said. “With your support, this can go down in history as one of the most meaningful San Diego milestones of the 21st century.”

The new SDSU stadium would be expected to open in time for the Aztecs’ 2022 stadium. Not one moment too soon.