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UCLA has a new facility planned

UMass to wear black uniforms?

Over the weekend, UMass Magazine rolled out their summer issue with an advertisement for UMass season tickets inside, featuring the picture below.

According to Bob McGovern of Maroon Muskets, the Minutemen will be sporting the black on black look during their inaugural FBS season. The full advertisement can be seen here.


Summer MMA Circuit, 10 stations, 21 minutes

Plano John Paul II high school (TX) strength coach James Burk has his guys mixing in some MMA style training this Summer. We hear the kids enjoy the change of pace and the coaches like the results they are seeing.

10 stations, 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of recovery, 2 reps...10 second transitions...total elapsed time of just over 21 minutes.

Dabo: "You can't practice this game half speed"

The frame of Clemson's new $10 million indoor facility is up, and the added flexibility that it is going to provide the Tigers has Dabo Swinney pretty jacked up.

Soon enough they will no longer have to take cover during bad weather and lose an hour of valuable practice time.

"A siren will go off, you’re going what the heck, and you’re shut down for 45 minutes before you can even think about going out. Well, we work on a 20-hour rule. (Players have) study halls, tutors, a lot of stuff. We go to class here. It’s a lot to balance. You have a certain window to get your work in.”

"For me, at this level, (the indoor facility) is a huge need for us. Because of the edge other people are gaining by having that. They never miss a day. So for us, we’re never going to miss a day of work.”

With their current setup, practicing in the rain becomes a major safety concern because Swinney and the coaching staff don't want to risk injuries practicing outdoors.

"We can’t go full-speed, and you can’t practice this game half-speed. Just doesn’t work. Not on a Tuesday, Wednesday, you’ve got to play an opponent on game day. Especially if they’ve been able to practice at a tempo at which you need to practice. It’s going to be awesome. Many other things we can benefit from, and we’re going to use it for a lot of other things.”

The window for completion looks like December...just in time for possible bowl preparations.


No more Big Ten - Pac 12 agreement

The Big Ten and Pac 12 agreement to play a total of 12 football games per year isn't going to happen after all.

According to ESPN, at least four Pac 12 teams were unwilling to follow through on the madatory scheduling agreement, citing the fact that Pac 12 teams are locked into nine conference games, while Big Ten teams only have eight. The entire timeline of the planning process, dating back to November, can be read here.

As Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany explained, the hurdles of coordinating schedules for 24 teams was just too much to overcome.

"We are disappointed to announce today that the Big Ten Pac-12 strategic collaboration announced jointly in December 2011 unfortunately will not be consummated. We recently learned from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott that the complications associated with coordinating a non-conference football schedule for 24 teams across two conferences proved to be too difficult. Those complications, among other things, included the Pac-12's nine-game conference schedule and previous non-conference commitments."

For now we'll just have to be satisfied with the occasional Big Ten vs. Pac 12 match up and the Rose Bowl.

Defensive differences: The Big Ten and Big 12

Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck has experience working at Big 12 conference schools at Nebraska, Kansas and Kansas State. The second year coordinator was asked by Tom Dienhart of the Big Ten Network about the defensive differences between the Big Ten and the Big 12.

Beck explained that while the Big 12 defenses were more multiple, the defenses in the Big Ten were much more physical and fundamentally sound.

"I thought Big Ten defenses were much more physical. In particular, the defensive lines were better. The Big Ten defenses didn’t do as many things; Big 12 defenses do a lot of things, different fronts, coverages. In the Big Ten, you don’t have that."

"I also thought the Big Ten defenses knew their systems a little bit better. In the Big 12, there are so many spread offenses, you have a lot of gimmick blitzes and gimmick coverages to try to confuse quarterbacks to get them to screw up. You could find holes in those defenses, or you could put something new in from week to week to beat those defenses."

"In the Big Ten, they seem to know their defense better. They adjusted to things better, they knew their weakness of the coverage or front. As soon as we started to take advantage of something, they knew how to fix things."

Looking back at the statistics from last season, an impressive five Big Ten teams finished in the top 25 in scoring defense (Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois) and Ohio State finished just outside the top 25 at #27. The Big 12 had no teams represented in the top 25, and their first team, Oklahoma, came in at #31 .

"We draw the map, they do the driving"

After spending the past 15 of 16 years in Columbia, Missouri (both as a player and a coach), Barry Odom joined Justin Fuente's staff at Memphis in mid December.

In an interview with the Columbia Daily Tribune, Odom talks about how Fuente wants him to control the defense like a head coach runs the whole team.

"The guys we were able to hire on defense, along with myself, we're putting together a plan. He (Fuente) wants me to run it like a head coach and take charge of that side of the ball. That's what we're doing right now."

"The last couple years, we understand what has happened here and we understand where we have to show some progress. The only way we're going to get that done is by taking the group we have and putting a plan in place for them. We're drawing the map and they're doing the driving."

As far as the X's and O's go, Odom is borrowing concepts that he learned from his time at Missouri and combining them with concepts and terminology from last year's Memphis team, along with some ideas from Wake Forest and Ole Miss.

"We have to be smart with what we do with personnel, and that's one of the things I really enjoy as a coach. That's been really fun for me, to piece together what gives you the best opportunity to have success."





Video: "The dawn of a new era"

Illinois released their season ticket promo last night.

The clip is simple and to the point. Tim Beckman and these guys are working hard to usher in a new era of Illini football.

The Aggies new uniforms

Texas A&M just unveiled their new Adidas techfit uniforms.

Take a look.