Photos: How about these new Southern Miss helmets?
Earlier this week, we posted a look at new helmets featuring chrome decals that Southern Miss put under consideration.
A nice look, sure, but nothing that will turn heads.
These new helmets, however?
It's worth noting that these helmets were not tweeted from the official Southern Miss equipment room. But if the Eagles wanted to gain attention through apparel, this is the way to go. The only other teams to go the multicolored helmet route have been Syracuse, San Diego State.... and that's about it.
(HT Phil Hecken)
Twenty-five college football coaches could make $3 million in 2014
News of Gary Pinkel's contract extension on Thursday was (obviously) big news for him - he was extended through 2020 and will make at least $3.1 million a year - but it was also potentially a landmark point for college football.
USA Today editor Steve Berkowitz, who knows more about college coaching salaries than anyone on the planet, tweeted this on Thursday:
With Gary Pinkel getting raise to $3.1M, there could be 25 FBS head coaches making $3M+ in 2014; there were 13 in '12, 9 in '11 and 1 in '06— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) March 6, 2014
That first coach to cross the $3 million threshold back in 2006? Oklahoma's Bob Stoops.
By 2011, Stoops had been joined by Mack Brown, Nick Saban, Les Miles, Kirk Ferentz, Bobby Petrino (at Arkansas), Gene Chizik (at Auburn), Brady Hoke and Will Muschamp. Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier and Chip Kelly couldn't crack the $3 million barrier. Kansas paid Turner Gill $2.1 million, only $100,000 below what Texas A&M paid Mike Sherman. And this was only three years ago.
A year later, Spurrier and Kelly were bumped into the club, along with newcomers Gary Patterson, Mike Gundy and Todd Graham, while new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer replaced the ousted Petrino. Richt was still a measly $55,000 shy of $3 million.
In 2013, the $3 million club included the following: Saban, Brown, Stoops, Meyer, Miles, Hoke, Ferentz, Bret Bielema, Butch Jones, Charlie Strong, Gundy, Spurrier, Mark Richt (finally!), Bill O'Brien, Tommy Tuberville, Patterson and Kevin Sumlin.
Brown and O'Brien have exited college football, but new hires James Franklin (Penn State), Chris Petersen (Washington), Bobby Petrino (Louisville) replaced them. Along with Pinkel, Jimbo Fisher, Art Briles, Dabo Swinney received raises to north of $3 million a year.
That's 22 coaches, and it doesn't include USC's Steve Sarkisian and UCLA's Jim Mora, both of whom signed new contracts that figure to be above $3 million a year. On top of that, scheduled raises and modest incentives could easily take Bo Pelini, Bill Snyder, Will Muschamp and Dan Mullen into the $3 million club.
In just eight short years, the ratio of coaches earning $3 million a year has reduced from roughly 1-in-120 to 1-in-5.
Video: Notre Dame explains thought process behind stadium renovations
If you've ever had the opportunity to walk around Notre Dame's campus, you begin to develop an understanding for the spirit, and special nature of the South Bend institution. Nowhere is that spirit more alive than the historic football stadium, where you'll find the original wood benches and no jumbotron in sight.
A few months back Notre Dame announced a $400 million plan to renovate the stadium, and this video does a great job explaining the thought process behind that decision.
"The magic of Notre Dame is to see possibilities where none existed before. To see connections where people only saw fragmentation."
"This is the most audacious building project that the university of Notre Dame has ever undertaken. We simply refuse to dream small."
Video: Franklin looks back at signing day at Penn State
When James Franklin was at Vanderbilt, he helped blaze the trail of bringing the all access look inside of the war room on signing day into the mainstream. Now programs, big and small, across the country have jumped on board doing the same.
Franklin's first look at signing day in Happy Valley brings a little different vantage point, opting to take a look back on the monumental occasion for the staff and the recruits with commentary from everyone ranging from the assistant coaches, to past players, to the equipment manager, regarding the buzz surrounding the program.
One cool idea that the staff implemented this year, that we hadn't seen in other signing day videos, is utilizing FaceTime with the recruits so that they're able to see the excitement in the war room immediately after the fax comes through. Imagine sending that fax as a recruit, and getting a video call from coach Franklin with the room behind him going bonkers. That's got to be a special feeling.
This one is very good.
Video: Experience 'mat drills' from the persepctive of a player
Over the past few years GoPro cameras have absolutely exploded on the sports scene. Coaches have been strapping them to helmets of quarterbacks and defensive backs to track read progressions, but Akron decided to use the first person perspective a little differently.
They decided to strap a camera on All-MAC linebacker Jatavis Brown for one of their offseason mat drills to give a unique perspective on the workout.
The possibilities to capture your program from a first person perspective are endless. Nice move here from Akron.
Infographic: How one HS coach put The Scoop to good use
Brad Dixon is the head coach at Central High School in Camp Point, Ill., and he has a problem.
Dixon has led Central to a 33-3 record over the past three seasons, with three unblemished regular seasons and trips to the state quarterfinals and semifinals. Coaching is not his problem.
Central is a 1A school, playing in Illinois' smallest classification, which means his ability to field a competitive team is subject to the whims of rising eighth graders. Dixon wrote to us, "We were unable to field a Freshman team for the first time as we only had ten freshman come out for football on our 47-man roster. I saw an infographic on your website from Vanderbilt about the 'James Franklin Era' and I thought I could steal it and turn it into an eighth grade recruiting infographic for our own football team. I wanted to showcase our success over the last three years and make the eighth Graders see that we are 'big time', to make more of them interested in joining football."
Here's the template Dixon worked from:
And here is Dixon's imitation:
That's pretty stinkin' good if you ask me.
But will it work? We'll find out. Dixon meets with his rising freshmen on Friday.
The NCAA takes another step toward common sense (really)
Let's give one helmet sticker to the NCAA's rules oversight panel this week.
A day after nixing the 10-second rule before it even came to a vote, the NCAA's rules oversight panel has amended the silliest rule in the rulebook.
Rule passes: teams won't be penalized 15 yards when officials overturn targeting penalty sources told ESPN— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) March 6, 2014
A refresher: beginning in 2013, a targeting penalty was coupled with an automatic ejection for the offending player. The ejection could be overturned by video review, but the 15-yard penalty stuck around regardless.
Now, when video review overturns a targeting ejection, the 15-yard penalty goes out the window as well. Common sense prevails.
To be clear, there will still be plenty of instances where a player is a player is allowed back in the game but the 15-yarder stays. For instance, an overturned targeting flag could still be a late hit. I would estimate that more than 50 percent of overturned ejections don't in turn remove the 50-yard flag, and the offending bench and fans flip out in protest.
Expect to spend less time with your players in the near future
The College Athletes Protection Association (CAPA) has yet to win a battle in mediation, but the union fronted by former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter has already pushed the NCAA to change the way it does business.
In its quest to prove that student-athletes are employees, CAPA lawyers have parsed threw a plethora of press conferences, pulling out quotes of coaches saying that playing a college sport is really a full-time job. A moment of bragging now turned into an attempt at damning evidence.
The NCAA isn't about to admit that, yes, student-athletes are employees, but it is talking about backing off the hours required of its players, especially out of season.
"One of the things that's being very actively discussed right now is the creation — it would have to be sport-by-sport, of course — for serious dead periods," NCAA president Mark Emmert told the Baltimore Sun. He continued: "But we know, of course, that doesn't count all the informal activity that goes on," Emmert said. "When you survey student-athletes, they're putting in more like between 30 and 40 hours. We need something stronger than that [20-hour rule], and these blocked-out time periods may be the solution. So the members are debating that right now."
Emmert's definition of a dead period means players would be forbidden from the weight room, practice or any sort of informal team activities.
"We need to look at the practice time, what's voluntary, what's not voluntary and be realistic and come up with something that's satisfying everybody," Maryland athletics director Kevin Anderson told the paper. "We walk on a fine line right now, and we definitely need to address that and look at it differently than what we're doing now. As we go on, you'll definitely see a change in how student athletes' time is spent pertaining to football or basketball — or whatever sport they're playing — and academics."
While no dates were thrown out for a supposed football dead period, my speculation is that there would be one dead period in January following bowl season (when team activity is dead anyway) and another around finals week in May.
While it wouldn't be much of a departure from the way most teams do business, any sort of official barrier between players and coaches would be hotly debated. Many believe that time away from the watchful eye of the coaching staff is when trouble happens to find most players, while Stanford head coach David Shaw has gone on record stating that players and coaches need a vacation period away from each other.
Now, whether the NCAA is talking dead periods as a real solution to the wear-and-tear in college athletics or as a defense tactic in court? That's another debate for another day. This is the NCAA, after all.