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Plea to football coaches: Tweet like The Mayor

I have a confession to make. 

I've cheated on you, college football. I have a new favorite coach, and it's Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg.

With two NBA ready guards, his Cyclones one of the few college basketball teams that actually tries to put the ball in the basket in the first 34 seconds of the shot clock. They're my favorite team left in the NCAA Tournament to watch, so that's part of it.

But a large part of my growing admiration for Hoiberg is the way he carries himself. More specifically, it's the way he operates his Twitter account. With every @ISUMayor32 tweet that pops in my feed, I wish more and more that football coaches would tweet like him.

Hoiberg doesn't tweet that often - only eight original tweets this month - but every time he does tweet, he has something to say.

Hoiberg most often tweets about his family....

Drops in some humor...

Or a combination of the two, like this tweet on Oscar night...

...or he can go heartfelt.

Hoiberg supplements that with the rah-rah stuff you'd expect from a college coach - thanking the fans, well-wishing the other teams on campus and congratulating players for success in the classroom. But check out the retweets each of the above tweets garnered. His message is clearly getting through to people. 

Compare that, though, with what all too often is the one-note Twitter strategy of many college football coaches:

"Great practice today! We got better out there!! #GoState"

"Go luck to the Lady Bulldogs basketball team tonight! #Woof"

It's almost like some athletics department personnel downloaded an auto-tweet app that alternates between the same five messages every day. There's nothing wrong with those types of tweets on their own, but they lack the personality and authenticity that Hoiberg gives his nearly 45,000 followers. 

If you want to win me back, college football coaches - and believe me, I want you to, basketball coaches are strange - I ask but one simple favor: be more like The Mayor. 




Photos: Louisville has black uniforms on the way

Black uniforms are popular. So popular, in fact, that teams without black in their color scheme often go out of their way to add a black alternate. That's why it's so strange that Louisville, wearing red and black as its primary colors, hasn't had a black alternate uniform in its rotation.

Until now.

These photos popped up on Twitter Thursday night during Louisville's photo sessions. Considering the circumstances, you can mark these down as legit.




Video: 'Work is the greatest remedy available'

It's hard to imagine a team with more incentive to work hard this off-season than Southern Miss. One of the proudest mid-major programs in college football has fallen on hard times of late, going 1-23 over the past two seasons. You may have heard something about that.

In their effort to erase recent history, Todd Monken's crew hopes hard work pays off.




The South Carolina legislature has formally honored Steve Spurrier

The 120th session of the South Carolina state legislature has formally passed S 931, honoring the head football coach of the University of South Carolina, Steve Spurrier.

My only question is, what took so long? With a 77-39 overall record, eight bowl trips in nine seasons, three straight bowl wins, three straight 11-win seasons and three straight consensus Top 10 finishes, Spurrier is unquestionably the best coach in the modern era of Gamecock football history. He's the winningest coach in South Carolina history, for crying out loud.

Here's the full resolution in all its glory:

S. 931

 

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

TO HONOR COACH STEVE SPURRIER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA AS THE "WINNINGEST COACH" IN THE HISTORY OF CAROLINA FOOTBALL, TO CONGRATULATE HIM ON COACHING HIS OUTSTANDING TEAM ALL THE WAY TO THE 2014 CAPITAL ONE BOWL WINNER'S CROWN, AND TO WISH HIM MUCH CONTINUED SUCCESS IN THE DAYS TO COME.

Whereas, the South Carolina General Assembly is pleased to learn that the University of South Carolina's Coach Steve Spurrier and his Carolina Gamecocks continue to break school football records every time they take the field these days; and

Whereas, much of their success is due to the celebrated leadership, skill in coaching, personal athletic skill, imagination, and ability to inspire his players that characterize Coach Steve Spurrier, whose arrival in Columbia ushered in the golden age of Carolina football; and

Whereas, since 2005, the year Coach Spurrier came to USC and began to transform the Carolina football program with his winning style, the Gamecocks have compiled an increasingly impressive record. In 2010, Coach Spurrier scored with the first SEC Eastern Division Championship in school history, becoming the first coach to win the SEC East with two different teams. Earlier in the season, the Gamecocks posted the first win over a No. 1 team in program history with a 35-21 victory over top-ranked defending national champion Alabama; and

Whereas, the Gamecocks continued to make history in 2011, winning a school-record 11 games and finishing in the Top 10 in the final A.P. poll for the first time. The squad also won a school-record six SEC games and defeated each of its Eastern Division rivals in the same season for the first time. Carolina capped the regular season with a win over Clemson, its third straight win over its Palmetto State rival (the first time that feat had been accomplished since 1968-1970), then defeated Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl by a convincing 30-13 margin; and

Whereas, in 2012, Steve Spurrier once again led his USC football team to double-digit wins during the course of the regular-season campaign. The 2012 regular season culminated with the annual regular-season-ending game against arch-rival Clemson at Clemson's Memorial Stadium, where the Gamecocks emerged with a fourth consecutive double-digit victory over the Tigers--a triumph marked by Coach Spurrier's 65th win at Carolina. With that November 24, 2012, victory over Clemson, Coach Spurrier surpassed Rex Enright to become the winningest coach in Gamecock football history; and

Whereas, Coach Spurrier led the Gamecocks to a thrilling 33-28 victory in the 2012 Outback Bowl against the winningest program in college football, the Michigan Wolverines. The victory elevated the Gamecocks to an 11-2 record for the second consecutive season. Additionally, by finishing 8th in the Associated Press poll and 7th in the Coaches poll, South Carolina finished in the Top 10 of both polls for a second consecutive campaign; and

Whereas, in a 2013 season full of firsts for South Carolina football, perhaps the most significant one came when Steve Spurrier and his Gamecocks beat Clemson 31-17 for their fifth consecutive win over their arch-rival. The Tigers (10-2) had never lost five consecutive games to Carolina in a series that began in 1896; and

Whereas, finally, the Gamecocks' exciting 34-24 New Year's Day win over Wisconsin at the 2014 Capital One Bowl puts another first on Coach Steve Spurrier's record-breaking winning ledger at USC: three identical records for three years running, the winningest years in school history. In each of these years, South Carolina has finished 6-2 in the SEC and 11-2 overall and has won a bowl game and triumphed over Clemson. To crown all, the Gamecocks achieved their best postseason ranking in history, checking in at No. 4 in the final A.P. Top 25 and final USA Today Top 25 ; and

Whereas, the General Assembly, grateful for the consistent commitment and excellence Steve Spurrier has bestowed on this great State, takes great pleasure in wishing him well as he continues to lead the Carolina Gamecocks to even higher achievements in USC football history. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:

That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, honor Coach Steve Spurrier of the University of South Carolina as the "winningest coach" in the history of Carolina football, congratulate him on coaching his outstanding team all the way to the 2014 Capital One Bowl winner's crown, and wish him much continued success in the days to come.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Coach Steve Spurrier.

Here's hoping he celebrates with a trip to Arby's.

(HT SB Nation




'Are we a real program or do we just disappear for another 10 years?'

In 2013, North Texas played in its first bowl game in a full decade. The Mean Green ended one of FBS's longest bowl droughts. But they weren't alone. Tulane, UNLV, Colorado State and Washington State also ended prolonged postseason absences. 

At the start of spring ball earlier this month, North Texas head coach Dan McCarney laid out the charge facing his program - and those like it - as perfectly as I've seen. 

“The challenge ahead is this: Are we a real program, which means no matter who you lose or who gets injured or who graduates, the next group comes in and replaces them,” McCarney said. “Or do we just disappear off the college football landscape for another 10 years before we can have success again? We want to keep the edge and be really successful and have a program that people can be proud of.”

North Texas closed the 2013 season with wins in seven of their final eight games, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 115-24 in the second half of those seven victories. With a new stadium, an upgraded conference, an accomplished coach and an administration willing to invest a five-year contract in him, North Texas plans on continuing its winning ways. (Returning one of the most experienced offensive lines in college football and the majority of their ball-carriers doesn't hurt, either.)

We know where the Mean Green stands. What about everyone else?

“These guys know what we expect, and there have been rewards for their efforts,” McCarney said. “They have seen what can happen if you believe, defy the odds, don’t worry about outside expectations and only worry about what happens on the inside. There is a tradition now of winning.”




Quality high school video: 'Don't let go'

A new coaching staff took over at Richland High School, in the Fort Worth, Texas, suburb of North Richland Hills, two years ago. Their motto ever since then? "Don't let go." "We made a solid commitment to make our guys as strong as possible mentally, physically and spiritually," said strength coach Jake Johnson.

I can't comment on how the Rebels are doing mentally or spiritually, but I can confirm this group is now strong physically. Richland boasts 28 athletes cleaning over 250 and three cleaning over 300, according to Johnson. This video made me want to hop in and clean with the guys (only after we took a couple plates off each side, of course).




Minnesota announces plans for a $70 million indoor facility

If there's one school in college football that absolutely should have an indoor practice facility, it's Minnesota, especially since the Golden Gophers moved to the outdoor TCF Bank Stadium in 2009. 

The Gophers currently practice in the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex, but it and its 55-foot ceilings can no longer serve the needs of team. Built in 1985 for $5.5 million, it might as well be the Stonehenge of indoor facilities. 

At 12,000 square feet, Minnesota's current practice space pales in comparison to the 81,200-square foot facility at Nebraska, or the $220 million facility on the way at Northwestern. 

Breaking ground in December, the facility is expected to house coaches' offices and other amenities in addition to a football playing surface. 

Read more here.




Pete Carroll: 'You either have your philosophy or you don't'

The coach of "win forever" is about to become the coach of "win it again."

Fresh off a dominant Super Bowl win, Pete Carroll is now faced with the most unique challenge of his career - motivating a team to win a second straight Super Bowl. It hasn't happened since the New England Patriots pulled it off in the 2003-04 seasons, back when Carroll pulled off his own repeat at USC.

Many coaches that once stared down the same problem Carroll deals with today realized they had to tailor their message to a different audience. 

“I think the message is different every year, because every football team is different,” Mike McCarthy, who led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl win in 2011 and a 15-1 record the following regular season, says. “The goal is the same, but the path and message of how you get there is something different. That’s the way we’ve always approached it.”

“The more success you have, the more you’ve got to demand it out of them. … I was an SOB that second year, that second Super Bowl. I would have been a bigger SOB the third year," said Jimmy Johnson, a back-to-back Super Bowl champ with the Dallas Cowboys. "That’s the only way I could get it out of them.”

“You’re constantly looking for new themes, new buttons to push. New ways for them to relate,” said Tom Coughlin, who has led the New York Giants to a pair of Super Bowl victories but no playoff wins the following year. “You have to challenge them after a Super Bowl year. The media is quickly going to throw the complacency thing in their face, which in reality gives you an opportunity to work your team with that.”

When asked about his plan for dealing with the year after, Carroll remembered a conversation he had with John Wooden shortly after he accepted the USC job. “I thought, Oh God, why did I ask that question? God dog it,” Carroll told MMQB.com. “He said, ‘Coach, you don’t change your philosophy; the players change.’ That’s my feeling now. You either have your philosophy or you don’t. You stay with what you believe in, you bring it to light as creative as you can. The philosophy never changes—sometimes the look of it changes, because the players change. The players will become more in tune to what’s expected of them. I think that’s how this works. We’ll see.”

With Operation Repeat now in its initial stages, Carroll is sending message to his jewelry-wearing team to expect more of the same from last year, just amped up. 

“If a guy’s not having the best offseason of his life, he’s going to get beat out, I think. That’s kind of the way we roll.”

Read the full story here.