The nations top offense meets a top defense
One of the biggest games in the nation this weekend is the matchup between Wisconsin and Michigan State.
Wisconsin has been able to rattle off 9 straight conference wins after losing to Michigan State last year. The Badgers offense, led by offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, are outscoring teams by an average of almost 30 points per game during that stretch. Chryst has the offense ranked in the top ten in scoring (1), total offense (8) and rushing offense (7).
The Badgers are 37-2 under Bret Bielema when holding opponents to less than 20 points and are 50-5 when scoring more than 20 points.
Michigan State and defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, enter the game with the one of country's top defenses. The Spartans defense sits near the top the charts in total defense (2nd), scoring (4th), pass efficiency (1st), rushing (4th).
The kickoff will take place Saturday night at 8 Eastern on ESPN with College Gameday on site.
Tressel's debut for the Colts
Jim Tressel will make his return this weekend as he steps into the booth for the Indianapolis Colts.
Tressel will serve as a game day consultant up in in the booth to help the team determine when the Colts should challenge on the field rulings.
Head Coach Jim Caldwell wants to have Tressel around practice a little this week to get a better feel for how the Colts operate, but most of Tressel's time will be spent in the booth come weekends.
All of Tressel's game day responsibilities are still being ironed out, but we do know that there will be plenty of people glued to the TV this weekend to catch both the game, and Tressel's wardrobe choice.
Updated Thursday TV
A few games on tonight.
All times are eastern.
UCLA at Arizona - 8 - ESPN
Bethune-Cookman at Norfolk State - 7:30 - ESPN
Ashland at Saginaw Valley State - 8 - CBSSN
Louisville High School (MS) at Noxubee High School (MS) - 7pm Central - Fox Sports South
Gundy practices a total of 4 1/2 hours a week
Yes, you read that right, 4 1/2 hours (way under the NCAA rule of 20 hours per week)
Gundy says that their practice schedule consists of a 1 hour 45 minute practice on Tuesday, a 1 hour 35 minute practice on Wednesday, and an hour long practice on Thursday. The Cowboys have been been able to make the most of their time by having focused and fast paced practices.
Gundy's offensive goal going into each game is to run 95 plays, so they now tailor their practices to allow them to build endurance, while saving energy for Saturdays. The changes have forced Ted Monken to only carry 45 base plays and to simplify his plan each week so that they can be as producitve as possible.
"We do the best we can to make sure our players are having fun, so their mental approach is that they look forward to coming over and being in the offices with us, they look forward to being in meetings, they look forward to being in practice because they know they're going to have fun".
It looks like Gundy has effictively found a balance between working hard and working smart.
Kiffin and Kelly meet under the lights Saturday
Lane Kiffin and Brian Kelly are scheduled to meet Saturday for the second time since each of them took their respective jobs. Kelly currently has the 1-0 edge after winning last seasons matchup 20-16.
Kelly has got the Irish back on track, winning 8 of their last 10 games stretching back to last season. Their only two losses during that stretch were to USF and Michigan to open this season, by a total of 7 points.
Prior to last seasons loss, the Trojans were riding an 8 game winning streak against the Irish. The Trojans are 13-6 under Kiffin (5-1 currently) and hope to get the rivalry back in their favor as they take on the Irish under the lights for the first time ever in South Bend.
Each coach has a top 30 pass offense, and if last seasons match up was any indication of what to expect when these two coaches meet, expect a great one.
Why don't more teams do this?
Midway through the 2nd quarter of the FIU and Arkansas State game the announcers pointed out some pre snap activity on the offensive line that made us think...why aren't more teams doing that?
While in shotgun, the center would have his head up, scanning the defense, and the left guard would take a look back between his knees, and make sure the quarterback was ready. This gives the center the time to evaluate the defensive front, and make the necessary calls. Once the quarterback gave a signal that he was ready, the guard would tap the center's leg, giving him the green light to snap the ball.
After digging around a little we found that this technique has been used by the Indianapolis Colts as well. Notice the left guard in both pictures.
It's Wednesday, and that means no football.
All times are eastern.
Charlie Strong's new contract is rich
Charlie Strong was hired in December of 2009. At the time he was given a five year agreement with annual compensation of $1.6 million.
Thus far, Strong has won 9 games (and lost 10). This season the Cardinals are 2-4 and offensive coordinator Mike Sanford recently left the program.
Today, Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich (yes, he of the contract we would all like to have) announced a new seven year agreement for Strong keeping Strong at Louisville through 2018 with annual compensation of $2.3 million.
Yes, that's just shy of a 50% raise.
But wait, there's more. Strong will receive a $1.25 million bonus if he's still employed on June 30, 2015 and another $1 million if he's still there a year later. There are plenty of other incentives including retirement annuities in there as well. Was some other program trying to raid Charlie Strong from Louisville that we weren't aware of? Yes, that was a joke.
We're all for coaches getting paid but this really seems like strange timing for this extension.