The way you watch big games on TV may be about to change
Do you remember doing those Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks as a kid? That concept is on its way to sports broadcasting, and may change the way you watch big games.
Sports Business Journal reported Monday afternoon that Turner plans to show three versions of each of the two semifinal Final Four games this April. TBS will show the quote-unquote straight broadcast, with the normal perspective every network gives every big game. TNT will show a separate broadcast of the same game, but with broadcasters, production elements and a halftime show devoted solely to one of the participants. TruTV will do the same the same thing for the other team playing in the game.
“This is really about giving fans alternate viewing options,” Turner executive vice president and COO Lenny Daniels told SBJ. “Ratings are always a consideration, but we’re not worried about them. We’re looking for innovative, forward-thinking ways to present these games.”
Let's put this in football terms, and we'll assume Alabama and Florida State are the two BCS title game participants. On ESPN you'd have Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit on the call with Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard working the halftime show. Nothing changes there. But on ESPN2 you'd have an Alabama-tinted broadcast, with the play-by-play man and analyst describing each play through the prism of how it affects the Tide and Paul Finebaum analyzing the game at halftime. It's the same thing on ESPNU, but this time it's Bobby Bowden and Charlie Ward on what Florida State needs to do in the second half.
From a practical standpoint, there's really no reason not to do this. Turner has the inventory - in terms of cameras, staff, budget and channel space - to pull a move like this off. You're already sending dozens of cameras and a small army of employees to the site anyway, what's a few more? If successful, you can bet ESPN will look into doing the same for its own major broadcasts.
You do have to wonder how the bean counters will judge the move, though. Throwing more resources (even minimally) into a move that ultimately serves to dilute your audience isn't an idea the business office usually champions but, as Daniels notes, this isn't about that.
It's an interesting experience and, at the very least, sets up for one exhaustive night of channel flipping.
Could a change in hiring cycles be coming?
Every head coaching hire is a snowflake. Each school that makes a regime change has its own specific reasons for doing so, and it's own needs, timeline, and desires to seek in its new head coach.
That said, each hire also follows a well-worn path. Once that point of no return has been crossed, a school will move quickly to say goodbye to its previous staff, often times after the final game in late November, and get a new hire in place as soon as possible. In 2011, 19 new head coach hirings were announced between Nov. 17 and Dec. 14. Last year, 20 coaches were hired between Nov. 27 and Dec. 14.
One of the primary reasons for that quick turnaround is clear: to get the new head coach on the phone and in the living rooms of his new employer's recruiting class.
But, has a new wrench has been thrown into this process?
Announced in late October, the NCAA has expanded the winter dead period, on both the front and back end. This year's dead period has grown from Dec. 23-Jan. 3 to Dec. 16-Jan. 15. A 12-day respite has transformed into what's now a 32-day hibernation.
A ripple effect of expanding the dead period means that the business of coaching changes is about to change. Which way? It's too early to tell. Realistically, it could go one of two ways:
- Knowing that a new hire won't have meaningful interactions with recruits for more than a month, a school without a head coach on say, Dec. 9, could be patient and let the process play out a little bit longer rather than rush a hire simply to have a head coach in place. Or:
- Faced with the prospect of waiting until mid-January to introduce a new head coach just three weeks or so before national signing day, schools could rush even more to get a new head coach in place as early as possible.
There's really no way to know how this will play out and, truly, each opportunity to unique. But it seems safe to think that programs that have already taken the first step will have even more reason to move quickly, but this new, extended dead period might be just the cover that athletic directors were secretly looking for to allow them time to perform their due diligence and make a hire they have thoroughly and appropriately vetted.
Try to find a season highlight video better than this one
North Dakota State is 10-0 this season, ranked No. 1 nationally, a winner in its last 18 games and owner of the last two Football Championship Subdivision titles. They're the undisputed class of FCS.
This season highlight video is worthy of the football program it tributes.
Here's a good rule of thumb: anytime you open a video with a Morgan Freeman narration and close it with Lee Corso wearing your mascot head, you've got a winner on your hands.
Photo: Ohio State will be in all white uniforms for Michigan
Ohio State usually rolls out a special uniform for the Michigan game. There were the white helmets of 2009, the red helmets and retro jerseys in 2010, then normal uniforms in 2011 before going with an extra large helmet stripe and green buckeye stickers in 2012.
Ohio State's one loss to Michigan over that span? It came in the Buckeyes' regular uniforms in 2011.
For this year's game, Ohio State will wear the "new" standard rivalry game helmet seen in last year's Michigan game and this season against Wisconsin and Penn State. The Buckeyes will then pair that with white helmets and white pants.
What do you think?
2013 Coaches of the Year
FootballScoop is happy to open the process for selecting the 2013 Coaches of the Year, presented by ProGrass. In this, the sixth year of the awards, we add two new awards, FBS Director of Player Personnel of the Year and NAIA Coordinator of the Year.
As in years past, prior winners will select this years coaches of the year.
The process is as follows: nominations are now being accepted (Mail@FootballScoop.com) and will be accepted through Friday, November 22nd. Thereafter, our staff will announce the finalists for each of our 16 awards. Previous winners of each award will select the current year winner. Winners will be announced beginning on Monday, December 9th.
A coach must be nominated by a fellow coach to win, so if there's a coach out there that you find deserving of recognition - on your current staff, on a staff you worked with in the past, or that you've coached against - let us know.
FootballScoop would like to extend our thanks and the thanks from tens of thousands of football coaches across the country to ProGrass for returning as the exclusive sponsor of these awards.
With hundreds of installations across the country, ProGrass is truly one of the preeminent names in the synthetic turf industry. ProGrass installations can be located from Connecticut to California. The ProGrass product is consistently evaluated as one of the best in the business and the reason is simple: they know the industry and have developed the TEAM, the products and processes that exceed the expectations of their demanding and knowledgeable customers. They don’t just sell turf, they know turf! For more information visit: ProGrassTurf.com
2013 Coaches of the Year will be announced for the following awards:
At the FBS level:
Special Teams Coordinator
Strength & Conditioning
Director of Football Operations
Director of Player Personnel*
At other levels:
FCS - Coordinator of the Year
D-II - Coordinator of the Year
D-III - Coordinator of the Year
NAIA - Coordinator of the Year*
* Indicates an award that will be given for the first time in 2013
Created in 1999, FootballScoop.com is the premier source for coaching job information and has grown into the most widely viewed website by coaches, athletic directors & administrators, strength & conditioning coaches, operations, personnel and equipment staffs across the country. With over 2 million unique visitors in the last 12 months, FootballScoop serves our viewers' needs by providing 1st hand, timely and accurate information for our audience.
"I was raised on, 'Always have a plan and work your plan'"
On November 18, 2007, Baylor and Duke stood with a combined 4-19 record. Baylor had just completed a 3-9 season with a 45-14 loss to Oklahoma State, its eighth straight defeat by 20 points or more. Duke still had to endure a 20-14 loss to North Carolina the following Saturday before it closed the book on a 1-11 season. Neither team won a conference game.
The sad thing is, it wasn't that different than a normal season in Durham and Waco. But that was about to change.
As he notes in his always-excellent College Football Overtime column, SI.com's Stewart Mandel reflects back on the hiring of Art Briles and David Cutcliffe, which came two weeks apart at the conclusion of the 2007. Briles was hired away from Houston on Nov. 28, and Cutcliffe left his position as Tennessee's offensive coordinator on Dec. 14.
It's been a steady climb at both schools. Cutcliffe was 15-33 in his first four seasons before a 6-7 campaign and Belk Bowl appearance in 2013. Briles started a little faster, thanks to the help of a transcendent talent in Robert Griffin III, hitting seven wins in 2010 and 10 wins a year later. Today, Duke and Baylor are an unthinkable 17-2. The Bears are in first place in the Big 12 and ranked fourth in the latest BCS standings. Duke leads the ACC Coastal Division and is back in the AP/Coaches polls for the first time since 1994.
In Cutcliffe and Briles, each school got a coach with a winning track record and a set plan to bring his program out of college football's great wilderness.
"I was raised on, Always have a plan and work your plan," said Cutcliffe. "When you believe it strongly enough, good things are going to happen."
In short, after years and years of being on the wrong end of a 41-14 final score, the Bears and Blue Devils found someone that can outscore the other guy. After ranking last in the ACC in scoring offense the year before his hiring, Cutcliffe has Duke ranks third this season. Baylor, of course, leads the world in both total and scoring offense.
"We understand the magnitude of where we're at in the season, but at the same time we're still trying to reach our peak performance," said Briles. "We can all be a lot better offensively and defensively. We understand there's better football out in front of us."
Video: Boston College highlights their game day atmosphere
Boston College has a rich program history (three former coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, plus guys like Doug Flutie, Matt Ryan and Luke Kuechly) to go along with a solid game day atmosphere that seems to get lost in the shuffle of other ACC programs.
Steve Addazio and his staff are doing their part to change that, quietly earning bowl eligibility this past weekend and improving to 6-4 on the season (they won just 2 games all of last year) with very winnable games against Maryland and Syracuse remaining.
Here's a look at the video that the football program pushed out today highlighting the game day atmosphere in Chestnut Hill.
Take a look at the D-II playoff bracket
Yesterday afternoon the pairings for the D-II playoffs were announced.
Eight first round games will take place, with the top two teams in each super regional earning first round byes.
Valdosta State claimed last year's crown, and while there name shows up numerous times since 2000, there is certainly a much more variety than the D-III national title game has seen over the past decade.
Here's a look at the national champions the past five seasons
2012: Valdosta State 35 - Winston-Salem State 7
2011: Pittsburg State 35 - Wayne State 21
2010: Minnesota Duluth 20 - Delta State 17
2009: Northwest Minnesota State 30 - Grand Valley State 23
2008: Minnesota-Duluth 21 - Northwest Missouri State - 14