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How many will these guys win this year?

Utah State won 7 games last season. The last time the Aggies won more than 4 was in 2000 and the last time they won 7 games was way back in 1993. 

Yes, the football program in Logan, UT is on the rise. 

Take a look at this video which they put together highlighting week one of Spring and you will see this isn't the same team that averaged 3 wins over the last decade. 

This schedule isn't easy but we wouldn't bet against these guys improving from last season. We like what Gary Andersen and his staff at doing at Utah State. 

Sumlin explains the late start to Spring

Kevin Sumlin sat down with 12th Man TV to talk about his first spring as the head coach in College Station recently, explaining why they chose to start spring ball later than usual and his insight on the battle at the quarterback position.

Sumlin explains that he felt that the March 31st start for spring ball would give the team some additional time in the weight room with director of football sports performance Larry Jackson, and the rest of the strength staff, and would be a huge asset down the road both philosophically and physically.

Sumlin also felt that it was vital to give the new staff as much time as possible around each other to get everyone on the same page. Most importantly though, Sumlin felt making the change gradual for the players to get use to the new staff was a decision that will pay dividends.

There's also a good clip at the end with special teams coordinator Brian Polian where he explains his special teams philosophy, starting with avoiding the big play so that they "don't have to hear the other band playing".

Quad-A-Thon: Competition in the weightroom

Lavell "Dinky" Williams has been at Northern Colorado as the director strength and conditioning and sports performance since January, and has moved quickly to put his stamp on the program.

One of the things that Williams implemented was a two day competitive fundraiser revolving around lifting and agility drills that they tabbed as the "Quad-A-Thon". Players would compete for points in competitions such as the hang clean, bench, 40 yard dash and broad jump, amongst others. The goal for the strength and conditioning staff was to have 15 players score over 300 points out of a possible 435.

After all was said and done the team had lifted an impressive 38,000 pounds, and the players demolished the expectations for the scoring system as well with 25 players eclipsing the 300 point mark. Williams says that they're planning another Quad-A-Thon before fall camp and he expects to have 35 guys go over the 300 point mark.

With donations being made for the amount of weight lifted, the program still has a healthy amount of donations flowing in. One guy said that he wanted to donate $1 for every pound lifted...until Williams told him of the 38,000 pound total.

The video below is a great highlight of the enthusiasm and camaraderie that the Quad-A-Thon fostered for the guys at Northern Colorado.

Excellent video: "Uncommon"

Minnesota hired Jerry Kill last off-season to turn the program around. The University has invested heavily in new facilities and the program as a whole and we think this program has significant upside that will be realized sorry rather than later. 

One of the small changes that Kill instituted when hired was to bring in some top notch video production capabilities to help tell the story of Minnesota football. Some of the videos they have produced over the past year have been some of our favorites. 

The latest release is another great video. Watch this one and let us know if you have seen a better produced video recently.

Alternative uniforms for Nebraska

Athletic director Tom Osborne announced today that Adidas will be rolling out an alternative jersey for one game this season for the Cornhuskers. However, he was quick to point out that the new addition will not stray too far from their traditional uniforms.

Part of that traditional look is the white helmet, which Adidas approached Osborne with the intention of changing for the one game. Osborne initialy told them that the iconic helmet was off limits and would not be touched....but there is word today that perhaps the helmets will be changed as well. 

The design has yet to be be finalized, but Osborne did say that they will be "futuristic" but not "outlandish" (we wonder who he could be referring to...).

D-III lessons applied at the D-I level

Toledo head coach Matt Campbell is entering his first season as the head coach of the Rockets, and will be doing so with some of his closest friends and former teammates on staff. Between Campbell and his three Mount Union alums on the Toledo staff (Jason Candle - receivers, Stan Watson - special teams, and Tom Manning - offensive line), there are an astonishing 11 D-III national titles, and well over a hundred wins as players. 

There are traditionally two schools of thought when hiring friends as assistant, but for Campbell, it was never a question. “In this business, you’re hiring a football coach and a leader of young men first. That’s how I evaluated it.”

Each of them has learned under legendary Mount Union head coach Larry Kehres as who has compiled an impressive 19 undefeated seasons, 10 national titles, and in his 26 years as the head coach...has lost only 25 games (317-25-3 overall and 219-8-3 in conference play).

Campbell admits that he can't recall a whole lot from the games, but he can remember the lessons that Kehres taught them as players and coaches.

Jason Candle remembers one in particular. Making the transition from a player to member of the Mount Union staff, Kehres sat him down and wrote the following on the board; "Coaching is teaching. Teaching is the ability to inspire learning", and Candle says he reminds himself of that quite often.

Offensive line coach Tom Manning added that they've taken a little bit of the D-III mentality to Toledo. “I think the one thing we learned at Mount Union is how to work intelligently so the players could get the most out of our coaching. We’ve taken a little bit of a Division III mentality, in a sense, to Toledo.”

Video: Navy's trailer for 2012

Navy is the latest school to use their off season workout highlights as a trailer for their 2012 season, and this one is very well put together.

The video guys did an outstanding job mixing in their off season work with some inspiring highlights of last season to create the finished product below. 

Cincinnati D-Line drill tape

Some very good drill tape out of Cincinnati with defensive line coach Steve Stripling working the defensive line. Last season the Bearcats finished #2 in the nation in sacks (3.46 per game) and #1 in tackles for loss (almost 9 per game), and judging by this video, we'd say their off-season / Spring work is a big part of the reason why they are so successful in the Fall.

There's no audio, but there's some impressive practice drills in here of the guys putting in work.