Delany: 4 team playoff should be for conference champs
Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany has been at the forefront of talks to bring a playoff of some sort to college football for quite some time now, but he doesn't believe that teams that don't win their division should be included in a four team playoff.
''I don't have a lot of regard for that team. I certainly wouldn't have as much regard for that team as I would for someone who played nine conference games in a tough conference and played a couple out-of-conference games on the road against really good opponents. If a poll doesn't honor those teams and they're conference champions, I do.'' Delany told the Associated Press.
While in Chicago last week, Delany bounced an idea off reporters that would put four conference champs that rank among the top six teams in the nation into the four team playoff format that is already being discussed. That way an at-large team could logistically still make the four team playoff.
''The polls don't always measure strength of schedule. Some conferences are playing nine games, some are playing eight. The Pac-12 is playing nine and then to go out and play a round-robin game against us, that's 10 and some of them are going to play Notre Dame. That's 11 difficult games. If they're ranked fifth in the country and they won a conference championship, I think that's quite an accomplishment. Some teams don't even win their own division. They started off highly in the rankings, lose early, don't play a championship game and they might end up at four.''
Delany and 11 other conference commisioners will meet with BCS Exectutive Director Bill Hancock to listen to arguments on anywhere between two and seven different playoff configurations in June and (hopefully) draft a proposal for University Presidents to approve by July 4th.
Pelini to Wilson: "Don't undervalue your walk ons"
Kevin Wilson and a few other Indiana head coaches hit the road to visit IU supporters on their tailgate tour starting in Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Last season Wilson and the staff played 32 freshman throughout the year. In all, 16 true freshman and 16 redshirt freshman saw the field for the Hoosiers last year. The one thing that Wilson likes about that in the off season is that they're now easier to coach because they've played. Wilson says that they are more aware of their weaknesses so they are better in the weight room, better with eating and better with attending class.
Wilson also spent a good chunk of time addressing recruiting, and their focus on getting quality in state walk ons.
"I'm talking to Bo Pelini the other day and he says to me 'Don't undervalue your walk ons, it helps us tremendously', and people say your not going to win the Big Ten with walk ons and he goes 'No, but we practice better, we've got a better program'". Barry Alvarez also echoed that same message to Wilson.
Reviewing the schedule, Wilson pointed out that they have 6 home games this season, and 8 in 2013. Their home conference slate this season includes Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Iowa, and having those teams at home is a huge advantage Wilson explains.
"Four tremendous programs, and you want to play them in your house. If you're going to beat those cats, right now is when you beat 'em, at your place. When they're in that crappy visitors locker room, staying in that dumpy hotel, and we've got a great crowd coming out of the tailgate to get behind the team. This is the year you beat those guys."
Plenty more from Coach Wilson below.
Video: Rise of the Commodores
Great video here out of Vanderbilt. Starts with some good content from James Franklin's introductory press conference and then rolls into the season highlights.
While the highlight rolls, the best sound bytes from Franklin throughout the season chime in.
The video wraps up with this quote from Franklin, "Our kids fight and compete every single week. We are recruiting better than ever. The culture has been changed. We've still got steps to take like everyone in the country but the culture has changed. These kids have invested, the coaches have invested, we have competed and played against everybody, everybody in this league and we've been here 11 months. Wait until we''ve been here two years. You'll see real culture change...I can guarantee you that."
Inside Scoop: Rod Smith - Arizona
Arizona co-offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Rod Smith gives us a quick update on development of the team at Arizona. Smith touches on recruiting, the bond he has with Rich Rod, his quarterbacks and the overall strength program at Arizona.
Good insight from Coach Smith across the board.
Rebel Life: Life in Oxford
The newest installment of the Rebel Life series may be the one of the top sales tool in Hugh Freeze's recruiting toolbox when he and his staff are on the road.
Freeze opens up the video with "The one thing I'll say about the city of Oxford and the University of Mississippi is I've never met a single person that spent any time that did not want to return and stay. I think it's the feeling that it's a college town, a true college town where people are passionate and love their University beyond any other I've seen anywhere I've been."
Add that with atmosphere you get on the Square and in the Grove on game day and you've got yourself a one of a kind atmosphere.
Coaches and players explain what it's like to live in Oxford and what makes it so unique in the clip below.
NFL preparing to use replacement officials
FoxSports,com is reporting that the NFL has asked its officiating scouting department to start identifying replacement officials to be used this upcoming season. The previous agreement expired at the end of the 2011 season and apparently the NFL and the NFL Referees Association have not been able to come to terms on a new agreement.
“Negotiations are ongoing, and should the two sides reach an agreement in the near future, there will be no need to hire additional officials. This is a contingency plan to make sure the NFL season will continue on schedule as planned.” NFL director of recruiting officials Ron Baynes explained.
Baynes goes on to say that they will target officials who have recently retired from college officiating, as well take a look at semi-professional leagues and lower division college officials who have the still have the ability to work at a high level, but are often overlooked.
Under the expiring deal, it is believed NFL officials made between $70,000 and $140,000 working about 20 games and most referees also hold full time jobs as well.
With the recent focus on player safety and concussions, the job of a referee has become as important as ever. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told FoxSports that the negotiations are ongoing and that they are "optimistic that there will be a successful resolution”.
Mic'd up on the O-Line
Illinois released a mic'd up video this morning of offensive line coach Luke Butkus coaching up his guys up.
Coach Butkus walks around during stretches and gives each player one thing to focus on improving during that practice, and also coaches them up on their footwork during the PAT / field goal units and pull techniques during an individual period.
At about the 2:18 mark, Coach Beckman puts together an all coaches unit to run the screen drill...and the only thing that goes right is Butkus' pancake block on the coach lined up at corner. That alone is worth watching a few times.
Transition from NAIA to D-II: 7-4 in year one
Head coach Bill Conley led Ohio Dominican through their first season as a D-II member this past year, and was able to put together an impressive 7-4 season in the GLIAC, which is one of the premier D-II conferences in the country. Since 2000, a team in the GLIAC has either played in the National Championship game, or won the National Title a total of seven times.
Dominican started football back in 2004, and Conley is only the second football coach in University history. This season will mark his third season at the helm of the Panther program. Previously, Conley spent 17 seasons as an assistant at Ohio State where he built a name as a nationally recognized recruiter
One thing is for sure, Dominican is a program is on the rise. Six seasons spent as an NAIA program (including one conference title and a NAIA National quarterfinal appearance in 2007), then they make the jump to Division II and go 7-4, to top it off they had 16 All Conference selections and 39 players that were named Academic All-GLIAC last season...that's impressive.
The clip below is from their Black vs. Gold spring game.