Very early bowl projections
Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com released his bowl projections earlier today, with some interesting match ups.
It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out, but according to Palm, the BCS National Title game will feature LSU and USC. Pretty tough to argue that selection.
Other BCS bowl games are projected to be: Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin, Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Louisville, Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Boise State, Rose Bowl: Michigan vs. Oregon.
A few other notable projections include Oklahoma State and Arkansas in the Cotton bowl, a rematch of last years three overtime Capital One Bowl with Michigan State and Georgia, Iowa and Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, the Liberty Bowl featuring Houston and Tennessee, and Washington and West Virginia in the Holiday Bowl (we suspect the over / under in that one might be 125).
Interestingly, Palm believes that there will be a shortage of bowl eligible teams next season, noting that Fresno State will not have a bowl eligible opponent.
Glancing through the list we see that Palm predicts that eleven head coaches will lead teams to bowls in their first season leading their current team. Those coaches include:
John L. Smith - Cotton Bowl (Arkansas vs. Oklahoma State)
Matt Campbell - TicketCity Bowl (Purdue vs. Toledo)
Tony Levine - Liberty Bowl (Houston vs. Tennessee)
Ellis Johnson - Armed Forces (Southern Miss vs. Wyoming),
Tim Beckman - Buffalo Wild Wings (Illinois vs. TCU)
Paul Chryst - Pinstripe Bowl (Pittsburgh vs. Kansas State)
Kyle Flood - Belk Bowl (Rutgers vs. Virginia)
Jim McElwain - Hawaii Bowl (Colorado State vs. Tulsa)
Jim Mora Jr. - Maaco Bowl (Nevada vs. UCLA)
Gus Malzahn - New Orleans Bowl (Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech)
Tim DeRuyter - New Mexico Bowl (Fresno State vs. NO ELIGIBLE TEAM)
We couldn't help but notice that Palm doesn't have either Kevin Sumlin's Texas A&M team or Mike Leach's Washington State team making a bowl game.
Your thoughts are welcomed.
Solid HS summer workout video
This is the time of year when college players are getting ready to report to camp, and high schools around the country are working their tails off in the heat to prepare for week 1.
Prosser high school (WA) is no exception.
These guys are getting after it, and the coaches matched the video up with, arguably, one of the greatest football movie speeches ever for an additional touch. Enjoy.
USC announced interesting partnership / sponsorship with JetBlue
USC and JetBlue announced a "partnership" today that has an interesting twist involved...
JetBlue will offer $55 airfare to any USC alum that wants to travel to a USC away football game this season.
Don't have all the details yet; and will update; but that's an interesting concept.
Update> Here's a link to the jetBlue page describing the deal being offered to USC alumni.
Plenty of state pride on Arkansas State staff
When Gus Malzahn was hired back in December, he made a committment to recruit the state of Arkansas like it had never been recruited.
A big part of accomplishing that included bringing guys on staff that had personal ties to the state of Arkansas. Five members of Malzahn's staff have either grown up in Arkansas, or have played or coached at the high school or collegiate level within the state.
"We strategically hired guys that are familiar with the state, are very well respected, and are very good football coaches." Malzahn noted.
Hear more thoughts from the rest of the coaching staff on the importance of those Arkansas ties below.
Sumlin: We're coming to fight
On the plane trip back from SEC media days, Texas A&M offensive lineman Luke Joeckel told Kevin Sumlin about all of the doubters that he ran into while fielding questions from the media.
“I don’t think those people think we’re any good,” Joeckel told Sumlin. “They kept asking me what’s it like to be in the SEC. I tried to be positive, but I got the feeling they think we’re going to get our brains kicked in.”
Sumlin got much of the same vibe from reporters during his numerous interviews, and shared that sentiment with those in attendance at Texas A&M's Coach's Night in Houston.
"Guys, based on every question I got, they don’t think we have any defense. They don’t think our offense will work, and we don’t have a quarterback or kicker. Other than that we have no problem guys.” The crowd found the story pretty funny, but Sumlin explained that it's a different feeling when you have to deal with those type of questions for five straight hours.
“We’re coming to play, we’re coming to fight our ass off and win every game we can.” Sumlin told the crowd.
Video: WKU is ready
Solid video here from Willie Taggart and the guys down at Western Kentucky.
Not a word is said throughout the entire clip, but the message is simple and clear. These guys are focused and ready for 2012.
New USC promo video
Pretty solid season ticket promo here out of USC.
Notice the creative use of "LA" at throughout the clip. Well done.
Kill and the staff visited Baylor, TCU during offseason
Jerry Kill and the Gophers open up year two with the start of camp on Saturday.
During the off season, Kill and the staff visited a number of programs to find different ideas that they may be able to mesh with philosophies that they already have in place.
“I think in any profession that you’re involved in, if you want to be the best at what you do, you better figure out how to be the best. We try and study the best programs in the country every year, or some program that’s very similar to us or fits what we’re trying to do."
"It’s like going to clinics. You may listen for three hours and get one idea that may help your program, but it’s worth it at the end of the day.”
The offensive staff, including quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski and receivers coach Pat Poore, visited the staff at Baylor in an effort to find a wrinkle that they may be able to use with dual threat quarterback MarQueis Gray.
The defensive staff went down to visit with Mississippi State and TCU, and Kill also invited a number of coaches and programs up to their campus to exchange ideas including Sonny Lubick and the staffs at Northern Illinois, Toledo, and Mississippi State.
“You are who you are. It’s like anything, you look at something that maybe can fit in to what you do. You don’t want to get a bunch of hodgepodge things that don’t fit into your [system]."
Kill also shared a few of the subjects that he was hungry to learn about from other coaches.
“One of my questions when I visit with head coaches is, ‘Tell me about your academics, tell me how many people you have in academics, how many tutors do you have? What are you doing with your strength program? What are you doing in recruiting? Social networking, how do you utilize that to help you? How are you dealing with player discipline?’ Those are a lot of things you ask.”