Just when you thought The Horseshoe couldn't get any louder
If you've ever been to a game in Columbus, you know how loud a stadium packed with 102,000 screaming Buckeye fanatics can be. Even if you've had the opportunity to stand in the stadium when it's completely empty, as we did during the 2013 Midwest Tour, you can still paint a pretty vivid picture.
Next week a proposal will go before the university's board of trustees to add 2,500 seats by the start of the 2014 season. The project is expected to cost $9 million.
According to USA Today, athletic director Gene Smith says that the seats will be added to the South end zone and the expansion will increase the overall capacity to 104,829.
Currently listed with a capacity of 102,329, Ohio Stadium is the 4th largest college football stadium behind The Big House at Michigan (109,901), Penn State's Beaver Stadium (106,572), and Tennessee's Neyland Stadium (102,455) . If approved as expected, the new addition will bump them up to the number 3 spot, just Beaver Stadium and "the team up north".
While the FBS struggles to sell out, one FCS program can't print tickets fast enough
Much has been documented lately about the Big Ten and SEC's struggles to fill their massive stadiums as of late. Each of those behemoths has gone back to the drawing board this spring to study ways to get the modern fan back into their seats each Saturday. If those two tradition-rich leagues, the two conferences that annually outpace every other league in the NCAA's attendance rankings, are having trouble putting filling their upper decks, things must be really bad at the sub-FBS level, right?
Actually, for at least one program, that couldn't be further from the truth.
At Old Dominion, fans' appetite for Monarchs football can only be described as insatiable. Old Dominion has already sold out every single home game for the 2013 season. In fact, the school raised ticket prices, raised suite prices and told fans they had to donate to the athletic department to even become eligible for season tickets. ODU sold out anyway, all without spending one advertising dollar. In fact, ODU can't advertise because they have nothing left to sell, even after creating a "flex package" of 900 seats that will change from game-to-game depnding on unclaimed student tickets and unsold visitors' seats. In all, the Monarchs will have 15,200 season-ticket holders, up from 14,134 last year.
In the world of athletic directors, that's about the best problem you can have. “It’s very unique,” ODU athletic director Wood Selig told HamptonRoads.com. “It’s like the way Kentucky does with their basketball season tickets. You don’t try to push them, you don’t try to sell them, because we don’t have any more capacity.”
Since restarting the program in 2009, Old Dominion football has been an instant grand slam. The Monarchs have sold out all 35 games at Foreman Field. In four seasons, Old Dominion has done nothing but win, posting a 38-10 record with two straight FCS playoffs appearances. The Monarchs will compete as an FCS independent this season and move to Conference USA in 2014.
That means a stadium expansion is somewhere on the horizon.
“We have to be careful,” Selig said. “When the day comes that we’ve got 25,000 or 35,000 seats, we’ve got to figure out where the next wave of fans is coming from. We’ve done a good job of letting people know there aren’t tickets available. But we don’t want people to give up on us and to think I’m not even going to try to get tickets.
Video: This is step one in changing the mentality of your program
When you take over a program the need to change the mentality of your players is often the first objective. As we all know, that process starts in the off season, and more specifically, in the weight room.
Ron Roberts and his staff down at Southeastern Louisiana understand that, and going into their second season with the program that mentality is starting to take shape in the weight room. These guys are chalking up and going heavy, and understand what it takes to get better.
Here's a great look at how Roberts and his staff are changing the mindset of the program down in Hammond, Louisiana.
Fitzgerald: "Stats are for losers"
Pat Fitzgerald led Northwestern to a 10-3 record last fall with a bowl victory over Mississippi State to wrap up the season. While their run game ranked in the top 25 nationally (19th- 226 ypg) and they averaged nearly 32 points per game offensively, Fitz told Total College Sports that their defense was likely the biggest reason for their success and was the most improved unit on the field in the fall.
After getting off to a slow start, and improving as the year went on, the defense found their footing and showed flashes of dominance toward the end of the season. Defensively, the Wildcats ranked 21st in run defense (128 ypg), 33rd in pass efficiency defense (119.87) , 47th in total defense (378 ypg), and 29th in scoring defense (23 ppg).
While that's prety solid, Fitz explained that none of that really matters at the end of the day. The only stat that really matters is wins.
"We've got to start faster than we did a year ago. If you watched our defense as the year went along we really improved. We gave up some big yardage totals early in the season and I think that hurt us as far as national stats."
"Frankly though, I think stats are for losers. The only stat that matters is wins at the end of the year."
Hear more from coach Fitz below, including what it's going to take to get Northwestern in the national title hunt.
What could it be? Indiana releases a second video teaser
We're still not 100% sure what Indiana is teasing, but videos similar to this over the past few months have had a big uniform unveil behind them.
Whatever it is, Hoosier basketball stars Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford are all pretty impressed.
The shroud of mystery will end on June 3.
Three more coaches headed to the College Football Hall of Fame
The National Football Foundation announced the 2013 class of the Divisional College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday afternoon. The NFF announced Wayne Hardin and Bill McCartney as the coaching inductees for the 2013 FBS class earlier this month, and that duo will be joined by coaches Frank Cignetti, James "Boots" Donnelly and Jess Dow in the divisional wing.
Cignetti is easily the best coach in the history of Indiana University of Pennsylvania history with a 182-50-1 record from 1986-2005. He led the Hawks to 13 Division II playoffs appearances and two national runner-up finishes and six trips to the national semifinals. IUP also claimed at least a share of 14 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division titles in his 20 seasons, as well as 10 Lambert Cup crowns as the top Division II program in the Eastern United States. He coached 124 All-PSAC honorees and led the Hawks to the Division II top 20 rankings in all but one season during his two-decade run. Cignetti also earned 17 wins in four seasons as the head coach at West Virginia from 1976-79.
Donnelly holds the distinction of resurrecting two programs inside his home state of Tennessee. First, he lead Austin Peay State to its first-ever conference title in his debut campaign. Two seasons later he landed at Middle Tennessee State, where he guided the Blue Raiders to nine top 20 finishes and seven Division I-AA playoffs appearances in 20 seasons in Murfreesboro. The only coach in Ohio Valley Conference history to win a conference title at two separate schools, he led MTSU to five league titles and helped the Blue Raiders achieve a 31-game home winning streak from 1987-93. He holds a career record of 154-94-1.
Finally, Dow rounds out the class with a 108-40-6 record at Southern Connecticut State from 1948-65. The school's all-time winningest coach nearly half a century after his retirement, to say Dow is Southern Connecticut athletics would be putting it lightly; the man literally founded the school's athletic department. Dow totaled 16 winning seasons, half of which were years of one or zero losses, included a 9-0-0 mark in 1956. He led the team to an appearance in the NAIA semifinals in 1959. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 88.
Les Miles rappels down a 24-story building: A photo / video journey
If you woke up this morning and were told an FBS head coach would be rappelling down a 24-story building, you would no doubt be surprised. Wait, let me rephrase that. If you found out any FBS head coach other than Les Miles would be rappelling down a 24-story building, you would be surprised.
To benefit the Louisiana Family Forum's "Over the Edge for Adoption" campaign, Miles steadily lowered his body down the 24-story One American Place building in Baton Rouge on Thursday. Thankfully, the Internet stepped up to the plate to document his journey.
Before the ascent:
Coach Miles putting on equipment before he heads to the top of the building to rappel down. twitter.com/LSUfball/statu…— LSU Football (@LSUfball) May 30, 2013
No turning back now"
The man himself in progress:
Drawing a crowd:
Here's video from some people at work seeing Les pass by. Thank goodness for camera phones.
God bless Les Miles.
Video: The creative process behind Baylor's new uniforms
If there's anything we like to see more than new uniform reveal videos, it's getting a peek behind the creative process.
Baylor released their new unis recently, and the video below provides a look behind the scenes with equipment manager Jeff Barlow. Barlow provides a quick history lesson on how the Bear mascot and the colors were chosen, as well as why they decided to add a matte black helmet.
"What we like to say is 'if you look good, you feel good, you play good.' That all kind of translates into recruiting, and these guys all want to be able to look good, feel good, and play good." Barlow explains in the clip.