January 12, 2008

Football Extra: Pinkel has the latest

Still basking in the glow of the most successful season in school history, Gary Pinkel met with the media to update Tiger fans on the happenings inside the football program on Saturday morning. Pinkel opened by saying he and his players were happy with his team's final top five ranking. The coach also knows it will do nothing but build expectations for next season.

"Would I like to duplicate it? Yes, I would," he said. "Is it going to happen? I don't know."

In fact, one reporter asked if Pinkel would consider anything short of a national title as a disappointment in 2008.

"I don't think that's wise to look at that," Pinkel said. "We just need to focus on the process of becoming a better football player and a better team."

"It's not like we got to the top of the mountain. We didn't win a national title or even a Big 12 title."

That process will begin in the next two weeks as players return to campus and open winter conditioning with strength coach Pat Ivey.

"That is probably as important as anything we do," Pinkel said. "We call it the Winning Edge Program and that's probably the most important thing we do."

NCAA Appeals

The Tigers have been looking at appeals for an extra year of eligibility for Charles Gaines and Tony Temple. One of those has already been addressed.

"Charles Gaines will not be back, we know that for sure," Pinkel said.

There has been no verdict on Temple's appeal.

"That is going through the appeal process with the NCAA, we've already exhausted that with the Big 12," Pinkel said. "I'm not real optimistic."

Pinkel said he does not anticipate Temple, at this time, being a part of the conditioning program.

Other than that, the coach expects everyone back on campus in two weeks. Asked about Chase Patton possibly foregoing his final year to attend dental school, Pinkel said, "That's the first time I've heard that."

Spring Schedule Set

Pinkel said the Tigers will open spring football on March 11th. A week for spring break will come in the middle of the spring schedule and the Black and Gold game has been set for April 19th at Memorial Stadium.

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