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Recruiting: The difference between the north and south

Texas A&M tight ends coach / special teams coordinator Brian Polian has noticed some interesting recruiting perks as a new member of the SEC.

“To be able to separate ourselves from all of the other schools in the state by telling a young man, ‘Hey, we’re not playing Iowa State, Kansas State and Kansas, we’re playing LSU, Auburn and Florida’...that’s pretty powerful” he commented.

Polian has noticed one change in particular between northern high schools and Texas high schools that he could definitely get used to.

“Doing a lot of recruiting up north, you’re used to, ‘Where is the head football coach?’ ‘Well, he’s teaching English. Come back at 3.’"

“I’ve found at these 5A schools in Texas, that’s not the case. It’s, ‘Go on back to the field house. He’s waiting for you, Coach.’ That’s been a nice surprise.”




Weis practicing how to win

Yesterday, Kansas had a 6 a.m. practice that ended unlike any other so far this spring.

To wrap up practice, Charlie Weis brings out the kicker to simulate a game winning field goal. Attempt #1 misses. Attempt #2 sails through the uprights and the sideline clears in celebration. Sounds like every other game winning practice celebration at first...right?

Not so fast.

Weis has the players clear the field. Needless to say he wasn't happy with the celebration, and addressed the situation saying, “I can tell you guys aren’t used to winning."

"Winning a football game is not supposed to be an uncommon occurrence. I know that’s a novel concept around here. OK. When you win a football game, there’s supposed to be a celebration that looks like a celebration. And that was a pile of crap."

"I believe in practicing everything, including winning. That’s what this is all about."

“This is about, third game of the season, you’re sitting here 2-0. You’re playing TCU...and you hit a field goal to win the game. Act that way!”

To really experience it, you've got to see the entire video, which can be found here.




Wyoming's got one large sound system

As you might recall, we hosted some pics of Arizona's in-house manufactured sound system. We witnessed it's power and it's impressive.  

Nebraska football was quick to respond saying their homegrown system should be considered the gold-standard.

Well, Wyoming football sent us the video below showing off their "Tempo" system from CoachComm.  It's a douzie. Impressive piece of equipment if you can afford it.




Brian Polian mic'd up

12thManTV down in Aggie Country has done a great job this offseason highlighting the new additions to their staff. It seems like every week they come out with something that catches our eye.

This week Brian Polian got mic'd up during a spring practice, and it will take just a few minutes from the video below to see why he's such a highly respected coach, especially when it comes to special teams.




Mizzou advertising in SEC country

Missouri has started to advertise their new look and conference affiliation in SEC country this week.

In all 16 billboards have been put up saying "Proud to be SEC: Mizzou", with half of them being placed outside the state. Three have been placed in Georgia (two in Atlanta and one in Valdosta), and one each in Tampa, Dallas, Birmingham, Jacksonville, and Memphis.

“It’s to market Missouri. We’ll be in Georgia recruiting. We’ve got great respect for the high school football in Georgia, especially in the Atlanta area. We’re just marketing our brand name a little bit. We’re going to get there and actively recruit … and we’re excited about it.” head coach Gary Pinkel stated.

As Pinkel explained, the placement of the signs was no accident. “We’ve done a complete analysis of players that sign with BCS schools out of Georgia, and certainly out of the Atlanta area, The size and production of SEC and BCS is parallel to the Metroplex area in Dallas. The numbers out of Atlanta and Dallas are nearly identical. Both have great high school football."

Down at Mizzou, there's no shortage of things to sell recruits on, as Pinkel points out to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“The facts are, in the last six years, we’re eighth in the BCS with winning in the nation. Those are facts. We’re certainly one of six teams that have won eight or more games in the last seven years. So we win at Missouri, and we consistently win. Over the last six years, we’ve graduated 96-percent of our players. Missouri is a great place and it’s a great college town with 33,000 students. Kids love to go to school here. We’ve got a lot to sell.”

 

MizzouBillboard




4 new FBS programs

The opening of the 2012 season will mark the start of a two year journey for four teams hoping to achieve full FBS membership.  Each of these teams has seized the opportunities presented by the conference alignment shake-ups to give their program more exposure and the potential of much bigger pay days.  While the allure of the FBS money and fame is appealing, it isn’t for everyone.  Teams that apply to join the FBS are required to undergo a two year probationary period where they must prove that they can sustain an average attendance of over 15,000 per game.

Texas State University, led by Dennis Franchione, is one of the schools making the jump this year, but like its fellow FBS provisional schools, it is not taking on this challenge blindly.  Texas State has set out plans to not only meet, but exceed the requirements of FBS membership.  In the two years leading up to the switch from FCS play, Texas State averaged 13,000 and 15,000 people per game respectively putting them at the threshold of meeting the requirements before the trial even begins. 

Early returns are telling the folks at Texas State that their calculated gamble is already paying off.  According to their director of ticket sales, Joe Verschueren, they have already surpassed their previous record for season ticket sales.  He expects that they could triple their average ticket sales by the time the Bobcats take the field this September.

One of the reasons for the increase in sales is the added exposure that comes from being able to host teams like Texas Tech this coming year.  This season's opener will be the first game in their newly refurbished field that has been doubled in size to prepare for the FBS move.  In addition to Texas Tech, the Bobcats will also be taking on top 25 program Houston and a tough slate of WAC teams.  Here is a full look at their schedule for this coming season:

9/1 Texas State University @ University of Houston

9/8 Texas State University vs. Texas Tech University

9/22 Texas State University vs. Stephen F. Austin State University

9/20 Texas State University vs. University of Nevada

10/6 Texas State University @ University of New Mexico

10/13 Texas State University vs. Idaho

10/27 Texas State University @ San Jose State San Jose, Calif. (WAC)

11/3 Texas State University @ Utah State

11/10 Texas Tech University vs. Louisiana Tech

11/17 Texas State University @ Navy

11/24 Texas State University @ University of Texas - San Antonio

12/1 Texas Tech University vs. New Mexico State

Only time will tell how successful the move to the FBS will be for Texas State and its cohorts (South Alabama, University of Texas – San Antonio, and UMass), but you can be sure that there are many other successful teams from the FCS and Division II levels that will be watching their transition very carefully to see if they too are ready to for the challenges and possibilities of FBS football.

For more information on the plans for this season and a look at the new Texas State Stadium, check out the video below.




Making football more important at Arizona

Making football more important has been Rich Rod's goal since he was hired at Arizona.

"It's a cultural change. It's not like you haven't had good football here in the past, but you haven't gone to the Rose Bowl. What needs to change? It's not just the guy sitting in the head coach's office. It's a whole mindset. It's making football more important."

In an article from Dennis Dodd of CBSSports, Rodriguez compares Arizona with West Virginia. "It's going to be painful at times and costly. I've told people this: It was like (when I started at) West Virginia 12 years ago except better weather. The mindset at West Virginia is, (football's) a bigger deal."

Rodriguez admits that, selfishly, he wants his players thinking about football all the time.

"It's OK for football to be really, really important. If you want to know why the SEC is so good, it's because football is really, really important to them. You don't have to sacrifice academics. You can still have a so-called social life, but gosh darn, football has to be important. Selfishly, I want them to think about football all the time. When they're not in class, when they're not in church, I want them thinking about football."




Arkansas' plans

Late last night we communicated with two representatives of Arkansas and this morning we have spoken with coaches involved in this process. Based on those interactions we feel highly confident in the following.

Discussions with Garrick McGee have ended. Representatives told us that Jeff Long has made the decision that having a full process after the season was better for all parties involved....adding that asking any current head coach to take this position at this time wasn't the right thing to do. 

Arkansas will stay in house, appointing one of their current assistants as interim head coach for this season. 

Arkansas has their Spring game on Saturday and then their assistants are on the road on Monday. Based on what we were told last night and the timing mentioned here, we're speculating that the announcement of the interim will occur at or after the Spring game (possibly as late as Monday; but we don't think they'll wait that long). 

Sources we have spoken with tell us that contrary to what others might be saying, the players and coaches have been quite focused this week and the staff feels that they have had an excellent past week of practice. The staff is very supportive of the decision to remain with an interim coach for the season and, as we told you days ago, is already considering possible candidates to fill the open assistant spot.