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Speaking of the Southland

Dates to Watch for Title Game, Former SWT HC DeBesse Joins Sam Staff

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According to correspondence with the Southland Conference office, the Frisco and Chattanooga bid groups will make their final pitch on Feb. 25 in Indianapolis to the Division I Football Championship Committee.

That committee will then turn around and make a recommendation to the Division I Championships Cabinet. A final decision is expected in early March.

As this issue is clearly one that will carry a great deal of SLC interest over the weeks and potentially, months and years to come, we will continue the coverage we have [url=] started on this blog[/url].

Additionally, I am currently working on a column that should come out later this week regarding the Division I Championship Game.

I have been waiting to report this for awhile now, but it is not official at this date. However, since the [url=]Huntsville Item[/url] is willing to state it, we may as well join them.

Bob DeBesse, most recently the defensive backs coach at A&M Consolidated High School, will be named Sam Houston State's offensive coordinator. DeBesse is a familiar name around SLC circles, having served as head coach at what was then-Southwest Texas State from 1997 through 2002.

After his tenure in San Marcos, DeBesse was a wide receivers coach for Purdue for three years before reigning in the same position under another former SWT head coach, Dennie Franchione, at Texas A&M for a year.

A veteran of Texas college football, DeBesse was a graduate assistant at SWT under legendary coach Jim Wacker. DeBesse followed Wacker to Texas Christian, rising to the position of offensive coordinator, before joining Wacker once more in Minnesota, preceeding his return to San Marcos.

The current SHSU coaching staff under new head coach Willie Fritz now includes two former SLC coaches with Scott Stoker, formerly of Northwestern State, also on the staff.

Despite the fact it has now been denied and no longer valid, the [url=]Decatur Daily[/url] reported that Auburn will play Jacksonville State, Samford and McNeese State over the next few years.

The article stated that the Tigers will pay $400,000 for a game against the Cowboys that is scheduled to occur on Nov.5, 2012. This game, if it were taking place, would presumably occur during the McNeese bye week, brought about with the change of scheduling that the conference will endure in 2011 as Lamar joins the league.

Of course, the game is not occurring according to information provided by the Lake Charles American-Press.

However, this does bring up a point - how will league teams utilize the bye week is up for question. It will be particularly hard to schedule for those teams with bye weeks toward the end of the year, as most schools around the nation are in conference play.

To date, the league has not announced scheduling plans for when UTSA joins the league in 2013.

I have suggested in the past a divisional format, which includes a Texas Division of Lamar, UTSA, SHSU, TXST and SFA with a Louisiana/Arkansas Division of McNeese, Nicholls, Central Arkansas, Southeastern La. and Northwestern State.

Each team would play those in their divisions, plus a locked in rival from the other division. McNeese would play Lamar for I-10 supremacy, NWST and SFA for Chief Caddo, TXST and Nicholls in the 'Battle for the Paddle', with SHSU relegated to who is left - UCA.

The other three games would rotate annually between the remaining three schools. With eight games, each team would receive four SLC home and four SLC away games annually, allowing the schools flexibility to schedule three out of conference games.

The Super Bowl is nearing and as discussed in our last blog, there are some SLC ties to the game.

Nicholls State recently [url=]participated in a Saints pep rally[/url] at a local school.

"I want to be very involved with the community and this is the first of many interactions for our players with the public," said head Coach Charlie Stubbs in the release issue by Nicholls.

Nicholls is located in Thibodaux, La., which is about 65 miles outside of New Orleans and clearly in Saints' territory.

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Updated 01-30-2010 at 04:02 PM by jplotkin