D-II Humboldt State: Overcoming obstacles and winning games
As the only full fledged D-II football member in California, Humboldt State is overcoming obstacles that many other schools on their schedule don't have to deal with, and winning games in the process. The New York times recently wrote a peice recognizing their progress.
First of all, the football program is financed almost solely through student fees and private donations. Not including scholarships, the University spends about $650,000 a year on football and student tuition has tripled over the past ten years.
Also, the University awards the equivalent of 14 full scholarships. Well below the NCAA allowed 36 for Division II schools. Lastly, Humboldt State's campus is rurally located almost five hours away from the nearest metropolitan area, San Francisco.
Despite the obstacles, head coach Rob Smith and the staff have rapidly turned around the program. The Lumberjacks are currently sitting at 2-0, and ranked #11 in Division II. Last year they finished an impressive 9-1, and sold out two games (which is relatively rare for the rural campus).
Coach Smith, who ranks 8th among active D-II head coaches in wins, has made continual progress each year at Humboldt State. After starting off 2-9 in his first season back in 2008, Smith and the team improved to 5-5 in 2009, 8-3 in 2010 (their first winning season since 2006), and 9-1 with a conference championship last season.
Coach Smith and the staff have done a great job and are looking to take the program to the next level this year. The Lumberjacks take on Simon Fraser (1-1) at home this weekend.
Franklin: "Last year the coach probably got too much credit"
After starting off 0-2, with tough losses to South Carolina and Northwestern, James Franklin noted that their record is not based on the play of the quarterback or anyone else in particular, and they need to do a better job as a whole.
"I think, last year, the quarterback probably got way too much credit, the head coach probably got way too much credit. This year the quarterback is probably getting too much blame and the head coach is getting the right amount of blame." Franklin explained.
Later on in the clip, Franklin explains that it's important for them to get back on track with a win this weekend against Presbyterian.
"We're just going out and playing to get a win. Ugly win, pretty win, sexy win, however you want to describe it, we just want to win. At the end of the year people don't talk about, that was an ugly win, they're all good wins."
Thursday TV - Three games
Rutgers and South Florida highlight the college football schedule, while Chicago heads north to take on Green Bay in Thursday night action.
All times are eastern.
Chicago at Green Bay - 8 - NFL
Rutgers at South Florida - 7 - ESPN
Mississippi Valley State at Southern - 8 - ESPNU
Radio guy (former player) goes....a little too far
Ummm...not sure we've ever heard anything like this on the radio before.
Prepare yourself to hear an epic rant from former Miami defensive lineman Dan Sileo going off on the current squad on his radio show.
This is unreal. According to his twitter bio, Sileo is a voter for the Heisman Trophy award.
Experience the post game atmosphere at Utah State
Well done video here from Utah State following their big win over in state rival Utah (27-20 in OT) last week.
Plenty of dramatic highlight footage in this one, including big plays during the game and the crowd reaction after the incomplete pass that sealed the game for the Aggies on fourth and goal.
Training table at Oklahoma State
Yesterday, we saw that Dabo Swinney is close to hiring a full time nutritionist and chef at Clemson.
Today, Oklahoma State released this video talking about the impact that training table has had on their program.
As strength and conditioning coach Rob Glass explains, "I truly believe that training table has been one of the key factors over the past seven or eight years with the program."
"It was kind of a missing link. Kids can train hard and we can put them through a tremendous training program, but the type of calories that they take in and the level at which they do that is critical to their success."
"When I try to manage the team we don't get enough work done"
After their loss to 50-13 loss to Stanford, despite outgaining the Cardinal offensively (385-373), Duke head coach David Cutcliffe noted an issue that they had that traced back to camp, where they had to figure out how to manage a productive practice while missing 12 scholarship players.
Cutcliffe told SiriusXM's College Sports Nation, "Everytime I try to get in to managing our team, we don't get enough work done."
According to Cutcliffe, despite the final stat line, they were outplayed in nearly ever aspect of the game and encountered some issues that won't be resolved easily.
"So here's what you do. I told our staff and our squad, 'We're not goig to fix this in a day, we're not going to fix it in two days, but we better not give up a day at getting better.'"
"We're not going to go out there and kill them in a scimmage, but you can do a lot of one on one, live contact drills. We did a lot of scheme drills with our offensive and defensive lines and some live work with our perimeter people."
After losing a couple guys to injuries, Cut noted that they can't afford to lose any more.
"We're just to a point where we can't afford to lose players, we're playing give up if we do that," he explained. "I'm not going to give up a day of getting better, let alone a period."
From Harvard Law to coaching corners at West Virginia...and lovin' it
Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated documented the journey of West Virginia cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts from Harvard Law School...to working for Dana Holgorsen.
Great story about chasing a passion.
You can watch the full episode tonight on NBC Sports Network.