Video: Taking offseason work to the next level
After finishing an 8-3 season, Division II Concord University (WV) has had a taste of success, and doesn't plan on taking a step back anytime soon.
The program has come a long way since their winless season in 2008. In their season opener this year, Concord beat Lenoir-Rhyne 18-10, which turned out to be a huge victory considering the Bears then went on to rattle of 13 straight wins before eventually losing to Northwest Missouri State in the D-II national title game.
That taste of what it takes to compete, and beat, the elite teams in Division II are helping the Mountain Lions power through their winter workouts, and as you can see from the work they're putting it, they're hoping that 8-3 is just scratching the surface of what they're able to do in 2014.
These photos of Mark Richt need to be examined
Mark Richt got his photo taken on Sunday and I just... I don't know.
There was a happy ending, though.
The backstory to this photo adventure should be enlightening.
Video: Experience signing day at NC State as Dave Doeren's shadow
Solid video here from NC State that follows Dave Doeren around on signing day from the moment he pulls into his parking spot at 5:15 am, through his congratulatory phone calls to the newest members of their class of 2014, and finally to his signing day presser.
I really like how they gave a mini shout-out to each member of their signing class at the end of their video as well. Very cool.
Video: 'Charlie Strong's Journey'
Longhorn Network put together a very nice featurette on new head coach Charlie Strong. Of course, when you're running a 24/7 network devoted to one school, you should be together nice featurettes on your new head football coach.
Digging deep back into Strong's biography, the feature picks up on Strong as a young graduate assistant getting his first full-time job at Southern Illinois in 1986. "He was very in control, which impressed me," said Al Preston, Southern Illinois' wide receivers and defensive backs coach at the time, of meeting Strong for the first time.
Strong considers Lou Holtz one of his greatest coaching mentors. He worked under Holtz as his defensive line coach at Notre Dame from 1995-96, and then as his defensive coordinator from 1999-01. The respect quickly became mutual between the two. "Charlie handled problems before they came up," said Holtz. "So many times an assistant coach will come running, 'What do you think I ought to do here and here and here? Charlie did. Charlie would come to you and say, 'This was a problem. Here's what I did. Does this meet with your satisfaction?' And invariably it always did."
From there, Strong's eventual path to Austin is well known. Eight years as Florida's defensive coordinator, four years as Louisville's head coach and now he's the subject of LHN features. But with great behind-the-scenes footage, the video provides a great testimony to those who only know him as Urban Meyer's former assistant and Teddy Bridgewater's former coach.
Nice high school video: 'Awaken Texas'
Coaches tell us all the time they nab ideas off the The Scoop, and we love hearing it every time. Here's a real life example.
In September, we posted Georgia's excellent "Awaken the Nation" video the Bulldogs put out before their game against LSU. (It worked, by the way. Georgia 44, LSU 41.) Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas, saw that video and decided to make their own.
The end result - "Awaken Texas" - is pretty good.
Here's Seven Lakes' version.
And here's the original, Georgia's "Awaken the Nation".
The ACC and SEC are reportedly discussing a scheduling agreement
ACC football is arguably in the best place it's ever been. Florida State is the defending national champion and figures to be a national powerhouse for the foreseeable future. Clemson won the Orange Bowl and is 22-4 over the past two seasons. Duke is playing its best football in the modern era. Miami is on the upswing. Virginia Tech is still a national brand. The league has upgraded in trading Maryland for Louisville, and Notre Dame joins this season as a partial member. Times are good in John Swofford's league.
And now they might about to get even better.
ESPN.com reported Friday that the ACC and SEC have discussed a scheduling agreement where all 14 (or as many as possible) members would play an annual game against an SEC foe. Both conferences are currently in discussions about whether or not to add a ninth conference game. At present, the SEC and ACC are the only Power Five conferences without concrete plans to play nine conference games; the Big 12 and Pac-12 are already there, and the Big Ten will move to nine conference games in 2016.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive told ESPN.com he would like to have something nailed down for the 2016 season.
"Achieving that objective involves exploring as many options as possible, which we are currently doing," Slive said. "Anything more is pure speculation."
Should it happen, an ACC-SEC scheduling agreement would certainly be a natural alliance. Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Clemson-South Carolina and Kentucky-Louisville are already annual rivalries, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has been exclusively an ACC-SEC match-up since 1993, and the two conferences routinely square off in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff game (Alabama vs. Virginia Tech in 2013, Auburn vs. Louisville in 2015).
Final say belongs to each conference's athletics directors, but the feeling emanating both leagues is that something needs to be done to boost their schedules.
There's a train coming, and its name is the College Football Playoff.
"Several factors come into play there," said Swofford. "One is the college football playoffs; what serves us best in terms of giving our teams the best opportunity to be in the playoff; and what gives us the most opportunities going forward television-wise, and how does that fold into any discussions about a potential channel. Those are discussions that will continue."
Minnesota Vikings release renderings of new stadium
However controversially, the Minnesota Vikings closed the 31-year old Metrodome after this season and have broken ground on a new home at a price tag of $975 million. The new stadium, the Vikings are using the working title of New Minnesota Stadium, is slated to open in 2016 (the Vikings will borrow the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium in the meantime) will be in downtown Minneapolis and, from the artistic renderings released Friday, looks every bit like you'd expect a stadium opening in 2016 to look. For one thing, it looks like Noah's Ark.
The new structure will have a capacity of 65,400 (the Metrodome held 64,000 for football) but can expand up to 72,000. Despite housing roughly the same capacity, New Minnesota Stadium will occupy nearly twice the space, gobbling up 1.75 million square feet - nearly double the Metrodome's 900,000.
The Metrodome hosted the Super Bowl in 1992 and the Final Four in 1992 and 2001, and you can believe the new stadium will put Minneapolis back in the mix for major events moving forward. (The Metrodome also hosted the 1985 MLB All-Star Game and the World Series in 1987 and 1991, but the Twins have their own venue now.)
You've got to hand it to the people of the Twin Cities. Since 2000, the area has managed to build the Minnesota Wild's Xcel Energy Center in 2000, the Gophers' TCF Bank Stadium in 2009, the Twins' Target Field in 2010 and now this. Only the Timberwolves are playing in a facility not built in this century; the Target Center was built in the prehistoric time known as 1990.
Now, onto the renderings.
An up-close shot at the facade.
A good shot at how the stadium fits into downtown Minneapolis. You can also see where the Noah's Ark comparison comes from.
A game day view from field level.
A better view of the entire stadium on game day. You can see downtown Minneapolis on the horizon.
The Vikings' locker room, which apparently is equipped to transition into a nightclub.
The stadium outfitted for baseball. Not sure how this fits in considering Target Field is also in Minneapolis, but it would allow the Vikings to host high school or college baseball tournaments while the Twins are in town.
The floor plan for basketball...
... and hockey. Again, I'm not sure how many major non-football events the stadium will hold outside of the Final Four (would the T-Wolves want to share the NBA All-Star Game like the Dallas Mavericks did with Cowboys Stadium?) but, if nothing else, it provides leverage for the Twin Cities' other professional teams when their stadium leases expire.
A futuristic bar that comes standard with all football stadiums these days.
And a bar overlooking the field.
'...Lion or a gazelle, you'd better run when the sun comes up'
An old, famous African proverb states;
"Every morning in Africa a gazelle awakens knowing it must today run faster than the fastest lion or it will be eaten. Every morning a lion awakens knowing it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It matters not whether you are a gazelle or a lion, when the sun rises you had better be running."
That's how this video highlighting UTSA's winter workouts starts off, and the rest is jam packed with guys that live that motto, flat out getting after it in the weight room.
Coker's guys are showing a lot of promise as they get ready for their second full season of C-USA play.