Penn State linebacker recruits will love this video
Whether you're a high school coach with a linebacker dreaming of, or being actively, pursued by Penn State's staff, or just an admirer of the tradition that the Nittany Lions have produced at linebacker, you'll appreciate this video.
Linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden talks about the responsibility that he inherited upon taking the job, and Bill O'Brien tells recruits what they can expect if they play under him. Names like LaVar Arrington, Matt Millen, Navarro Bowman and Paul Posluszny should be familiar names for recruits.
Expect this to be one of many videos that Penn State releases in the next few weeks aimed at recruits. This staff understands how to appeal to their target audience.
How the B1G mounted its defense against recruiting deregulation
The Big Ten's defense against the NCAA's recruiting deregulation proposals was aided with an Urban Meyer text message. According to a report from Scott Dochterman of the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, Meyer wrote the following text to Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, which was then circulated among Big Ten brass in mid-February, a month after the NCAA's initial proposals.
Meyer writes, “that there are already teams that have made plans to have separate scouting depts. [sic]. there has already been nfl scouts that have been told they will be hired to run the dept. (hired for over 200k). I checked with an NFL friend and he confirmed that there was much conversation about this. Appealing to scouts because of no travel. Also, there has been movement to hire Frmr players/coaches with big names to work in that dept. and recruit full time. This will all happen immediately once rule is passed. Thought u should be aware if [sic] this nonsense to share with who u feel can assist.”
While the proposed changes, namely - the removal of limitations on recruiting personnel, the deregulation of text message limitations and the removal of limitations on the mailing of printed materials (the so-called "Fathead Rule") - were controversial across the board, the Big Ten protested the loudest. The conference sent an official statement denouncing the changes on Feb. 11.
“If now the membership doesn’t want some of these changes, fine by me,” wrote NCAA president Mark Emmert. “But to be honest, I don’t know how the membership wants to make decisions. The process used to make these changes was as open, representative and democratic and I could imagine — other than the old town hall convention model I suppose.”
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany expressed frustration at the timing of the NCAA's feedback requests from coaches and athletic directors - during October, when all involved were more than a little pre-occupied. “I’m not sure anyone has an appreciation of the compulsions, competitiveness and energy that underlies that pursuit of a 16 year old recruit by an assistant coach at our institutions," Delany wrote. "This process of pursuing athletic talent nationally and globally is something we have never found even a half way healthy way of managing/regulating. This continues to be the case.”
Read the full report here.
SEC stadiums looking to add WiFi to increase fan experience
University presidents and conferences everywhere are exploring ways to make the fan experience better. Just a few weeks ago, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez noted that they were exploring the option of fans being able to place concession stand orders from their seats and entering an express line to pick it up. Now the SEC is looking at adding WiFi to each of their 14 stadiums as a part of an effort to increase the fan experience.
With a price tag of about $2 million per stadium, Tennessee athletic director Dave Brandon believes strongly that it's a change that needs to be made.
"Our next generation of fans is used to staying connected," Brandon told CBS Sports. "They should be able to communicate in real time with somebody on the other side of the stadium. It's quite an investment but we have to make it."
Nothing is more annoying to the tech savvy fan than getting to your seat, surrounded by 70,000+ other fans and having the cell phone towers all clogged up so that you can't share your experience at the game with all your friends and followers. The SEC is aiming to fix that, and numerous other new stadiums that are going up around the country have WiFi or a better mobile network in their plans as well.
The SEC formed the Working Group on Fan Experience committee on the heels of a year when nine of the 14 SEC schools saw attendance drop. Even with the lower numbers, the SEC still managed to lead the nation in attendance for the 15th straight year.
The committee set out to find recommendations to improve the fan experience and some some of the issues that were identified include the continued use of slow motion replay, finding ways to increase student attendance, and increasing the quality of games. We found it interesting that the Alabama student newspaper reported that Alabama's student section used less than 70% of their allotted tickets last season. So if the two time defending national champs are having trouble filling their student section, you can bet every other stadium in the country and SEC is having the same issue.
Expect the SEC to take recommendations from the committee and put them in place faster and better than every other conference, because well, that's just how they do things.
What do you think of this new football program's helmet design?
Limestone College (S.C.) won't play its inaugural football game for another 66 weeks. With kickoff that far in the horizon, the Division II Saints have to turn to other avenues to get in the door with recruits. In today's day and age, what better way to do that than with an attention-grabbing helmet design?
“These days, how you look is extremely important,” said head coach Bobby James. “The custom design and the custom facemask were both decisions made by our staff to field the most unique helmet in NCAA Division II football. We feel our design is one of a kind and people will instantly identify it as Limestone College football when they see it.”
Limestone's Schutt Vengeance DCT features a blue carbon fiber lid with a chrome facemask. One of a kind, indeed.
What do you think?
Video: Oregon's season highlight is sick
When Oregon decides to make a highlight commemorating their season, they're going to do it big and do it right. This video is a perfect example of that, and it may just be the best season highlight released yet this season.
This one is very well done and has everything you'd ever want to see in a highlight video.
Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn let go
In a stunning move, thanks to its timing more than anything, Colorado dismissed athletic director Mike Bohn on Tuesday. Bohn was hired to run the Buffs' athletics department on April 13, 2005, an eight-year run that will officially end on June 3.
"I am floored," Bohn texted Denver sportscaster Vic Lombardi.
Bohn, a Boulder, Colo., native, signed a five-year extension in 2011 that kept him under contract through June 30, 2016. Bohn helped Colorado secure a spot in the Pac-12 Conference in 2010 and co-authored a plan to provide $170 million in football facilities upgrades in February.
"Mike Bohn led CU-Boulder athletics in a time of great transition and change," said CU chancellor Phil DiStefano in the school's official statement. "We are grateful to him for his vision, passion and commitment, and for his key role in revitalizing men's and women's basketball, helping us to join the Pac-12 Conference, and in taking important steps to upgrade athletic facilities at CU-Boulder. We wish him well."
Though many facets of the Buffs' athletics department thrived under Bohn's direction, the Colorado football program was in shambles for the duration of his tenure. Bohn fired head coach Gary Barnett in his first year on the job after the Buffaloes' 2005 regular season ended with a three-game losing streak, punctuated with a 70-3 thrashing to Texas in the Big 12 title game. As bad as things seemed at the time, the 2005 season proved to be the high point of Colorado football under Bohn.
Barnett was replaced by then-Boise State head coach Dan Hawkins, who led the Buffaloes to a 19-39 record and one bowl appearance in five seasons at the helm. Hawkins was succeeded by Jon Embree, a former Buffalo who had no experience as a head coach or a coordinator prior to landing Colorado head coaching gig, who led Colorado to a 4-21 record before being let go after two seasons.
Bohn then made his third head coaching hire in eight years on Dec. 10, 2012, plucking Mike MacIntyre away from San Jose State, but leaves just under six months after welcoming MacIntyre to Boulder. MacIntyre is now tasked with turning around a program that ranked 109th or worse in 10 NCAA-tracked categories last season without the backing of the man who hired him.
Want to beat an elite defensive mind? Make him uncomfortable
Working with defensive masterminds Nick Saban, and Kirby Smart for a few years at Alabama has given Philadelphia Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland a unique perspective at how elite defensive minds prepare for the up tempo offenses and why they aren't real fond of the fast paced approach.
Now, with the opportunity to coach in an up tempo offense under Chip Kelly in Philadelphia, Stoutland viewpoint is even better and he recently explained why the fast paced offenses make defensive coordinators uncomfortable.
"Whenever we played teams that ran this style of offense, it was nerve wracking for defensive coaches," Stoutland noted about his past coaching stops.
"Here's why it's difficult, in my opinion. The best defenses and some of the best defensive minds, those people make a living on packages. Special packages in special situations. 'What's the down and distance? It's third and seven...okay well we have this package for that. Or it's third and one, we have this package for that'...and it's all different packages now."
"Well you're not really allowing people to get into those packages. That's uncomfortable for those people."
That is the key to getting the best of an expert offensive or defensive coordinator. Take them out of their comfort zone and make them uncomfortable. That is exactly what offensive coordinators that manipulate the tempo accomplish.
Take a look at the full interview with coach Stoutland here.
Video: Baylor releases a new uniform teaser
Baylor has some new uniforms on the way. In the same vein as Arizona, Cal and Indiana, the Bears can't just show you their new kits; they've got to release a teaser well in advance of the actual reveal.
As we were told in our spring visit to Baylor last month, the Bears will indeed don some metallic gold helmets this fall. Outside of that, it looks like Baylor's new uniforms will just be a slightly-updated version of their current look. But this is just a teaser, after all. How are we to know for sure until we see the real things?