Bill O'Brien: "It's time to punch back"
After fielding questions about the scandal since being named head coach, and now dealing with questions about the NCAA's stiff sanctions, Bill O'Brien is starting to see it all as a form of motivation.
When first hired, O'Brien noted the importance of getting out in front of everything that was coming their way, but it was evident that attitude has shifted while he talked to the media at Big Ten media days.
“We took a lot of punches. Penn State has taken a lot of punches over the last six months, and it’s time to punch back.”
O'Brien is adamant that Penn State football isn't going to roll over, regardless of the NCAA ruling.
“If people were inside the building and understood what type of people we have and what they’ve gone through in the last couple days or six months, they wouldn’t say anything about us being dead."
"We’re alive. We’ll be alive and kicking Sept. 1.”
O'Brien and the Nittany Lions open up in Happy Valley at noon against Ohio on September 1.
Nebraska breaks out alternate uniforms
Nebraska has broken out some alternate uniforms that they'll wear against Wisconsin on September 29th.
The helmet design is the same, but will be black with a red stripe, instead of the traditional white with red stripe. Another solid uniform addition by Adidas.
Kirby Wilson back at practice
Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson is starting to feel like his old self at practice only a few months after the January fire that changed his life.
Wilson described the opportunity to be back on the field coaching as "my most rewarding camp ever."
At practice, Coach Wilson is active on his feet and can be seen jogging around on the field on occasion, but still needs to get back to the golf cart on occasion, as a reminder to himself to play it smart.
"I'll take my breaks because I want to be smart. My goal is to leave camp in the same condition that I came here, and that's upright. Hopefully, by being smart and taking breaks here and there it will be no problem for me." he said with a smile.
"No doubt ever came in my mind that I would not be here. It was just what conditioning would I be in when I got here? That was the goal in the OTAs and mini-camp...to be smart, pace myself, learn what bothers me and what doesn't bother me. Just fix that when we got to training camp. I'm pretty much 100 percent right now. I got a little bit more, but I'm happy where I'm at."
Strong: "Social media will be the downfall of society"
Last year at about this time, Charlie Strong addressed the crowd at Governor's Cup luncheon by explaining the long road of hard work that they had in front of them to get to where they needed to be as a program.
This season, after many national publications have the Cardinals picked to win the Big East, Strong spent his time at the podium trying to keep everything in perspective.
"A lot of times when people think that you’re rated so high, you’re just going to roll the ball out to them. We’re not good enough to just roll the ball out against anybody.”
Recently, a few Cardinal players took to Twitter to make their own predictions...something that Strong has a firm opinion against, stating "social media will be the downfall of society."
Big Ten media day roundup
A handful of notable quotes from day one of Big Ten media day:
-On Penn State: "What those Penn State players are going through right now in the last several days, I have a tremendous amount of respect for their commitment and for coach O'Brien."
-"I'm gonna be Penn State's biggest fan this year."
-On how he views the Big Ten compared to other conferences: "The SEC has obviously been the kingpin with their success the past couple years."
-On the advantages that sanctions had on their roster at Ohio State: "We found out who really wants to be an Ohio State Buckeye. And he (O'Brien) is going to find out who really wants to be on his team. You have no half-ins any more."
-On having a possible "buffer year" as a coaching staff because of sanctions: "There's no such thing as a buffer year in college football, certainly not at Ohio State and certainly not with myself."
-On recruiting: "We are going to exercise every opportunity we have to improve our football team."
-On the defensive struggles: "We were one of the few teams in the nation to give up more rushing yards than passing yards."
Coach O'Brien noted George O'Leary, Ralph Friedgen, Mark Whipple and Bill Belichick as coaching mentors that he has reached out to during his transition from the NFL to college.
-Coach Fitz said that he got his entire staff together to watch the NCAA press conference on Monday. Fitz noted the fact that he has a lot of young coaches on staff as one of the main reasons to get everyone together to soak up what NCAA president Mark Emmert had to say.
-On the new uniforms: "I've been called the most old school young coach in the country...and I'm okay with that."
On recruiting: "We're recruiting with the same philosophies that we've done at Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Toledo, and now Illinois."
-On his health: "I feel fantastic. I appreciate you asking".
-On being the favorites in the Legends Division: "It's not where you start, it's where you finish."
-Pelini noted that the upperclassmen will have some great experience with the tradition of college football being able to visit the Big 12 schools, as well as playing at Michigan last year and playing at Ohio State this season.
-On sustained success within the program: "We set things in place to continue to compete at the highest level."
-Great quote on facing adversity: "I believe challenges give you every opportunity to rise to an occasion."
-On Michigan being favored to win the Legends Division: "In our locker room, they won't be favored."
-On their struggles to add depth to the running back position: "There's nothing to do that we haven't already done."
-On being the longest tenured coach in the Big Ten: "I've had 5 kids graduate from the same high school, which is hard to do in this profession."
Mississippi State's new uniforms
Mississippi State just unveiled their new 2012 Adidas uniforms moments ago.
Spoiler alert: There is no #HailState hashtag featured anywhere that we could see.
Saints owner Tom Benson says he wants to buy the Times Picayune
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson recognizes the value of a newspaper (and an opportunity) and is stepping up for his city and to protect the value of his assets.
Benson has sent the above letter to the owners of the Times Picayune stating his desire to discuss purchasing the paper.
No downside at all to this letter. Smart move by Benson.
Video: Richt lets loose
In an interview on Dan Le Betard's "Highly Questionable" Mark Richt took the opportunity to let his guard down a bit and talk about the good 'ole days.
Coach Richt talked about his playing days at Miami as a backup quarterback to Jim Kelly (as well as how he crossed paths with a few other legendary quarterbacks before he hung his cleats up), whether he's even considered to be the best quarterback in his family, and how a speech to the team from Bobby Bowden changed his life while he was a graduate assistant at Florida State.
Some good stuff in here, both light hearted, and serious.