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Photos: Illinois' new unis
Luther staff issues a challenge
Nebraska's top recruiting tool?

Butch Jones dances after a Tennessee practice

Tennessee held a scrimmage on Saturday, and the Vols apparently performed so well that head coach Butch Jones felt like dancing afterward. 

How you turn a good team into a great one

Bryan Harsin inherited a very good program at Boise State. The Bronco's won 8 games last season...acceptable to some; but certainly not as many as they would have liked. There is no doubt that Boise State has all the makings of a great program; and it's Harsin's job to take them from good to great. 

So what's his plan? 

Well, based off of a few of these all-access videos we've seen, it looks like Harsin has his guys focused on having fun and competing. As far as competing goes, watch the video below, offensive coordinator Mike Sanford points out that in between practice periods Harsin has them stop and do non-football related competitions. Clearly, he's trying to bring out the inner-beast in his guys...and that will pay dividends in the Fall. Really like that idea.

Now, there's plenty of fun in that video as well; but we also caught a glimpse of this staff photo from a recent "Friday Night Lights" event. A lot of Ballers in that group. Um, I think that's an authentic Steve Caldwell special...Love it! A lot fun to be had here folks...

Friday Night Lights

How these two high school programs got better in 15 minutes

Fifteen minutes. Zero dollars. That's how much El Dorado (AR) and Bishop O'Connell (VA) high schools invested to improve their programs this week. 

On Thursday, we posted a glowing review of South Carolina's landing page to chronicle their recent Pro Day, and we strongly encouraged other programs to do the same. The Gamecocks used Exposure.so's template, and paid no more than $99 a year (or $9 a month) for a premium account (disclosure: Exposure isn't a sponsor and, in fact, we hadn't even heard of them until Thursday). Bishop O'Connell head coach Del Smith saw our article, signed up for a free trial, and 15 minutes later he had this:




You can check out the whole thing at oconnellfootball.exposure.so. On Friday, El Dorado (AR) High School tweeted at their own creation:

AAHS El Dorado

Again, the possibilities here are endless. Program promotion, fundraising, recruiting 8th graders to play, they're all at your fingertips and it can be done in breaks between classes. Here's the Exposure tutorial again:

Video: Mic'd up with Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford

Vance Bedford played at Texas from 1977-81. A native of Beaumont, Texas, Bedford was recruited by Darrell Royal and watched up close as Earl Campbell battered and bruised his way to the school's first Heisman Trophy.

After a short stint in professional football, he jumped into coaching at Forest Brook High School in 1985, and the ascended to college football at Navarro Junior College in 1986. In the near 30 years since then, Bedford has made seven different college stops, plus five years with the Chicago Bears, but never put the burnt orange back on until this year. 

As you'll see in the video below, he's back in his element. 

Photos: Is this really the future of tailgating?

Chances are you've seen this photo bounce around the Internet in the past week:

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 2.00.27 PM

Known as boxgating, a pair of Texas Tech grads debuted their new idea at the Red Raiders' scrimmage in Midland, Texas, last Saturday.

Outfitted with branded team gear, boxLIFE is essentially a suite outside of the stadium. The appeal is easy to see.

Here's what we debated amongst our staff this morning, though: Who's buying this? Considering you can't just buy a boxLIFE, you also need a forklift and a semi to haul it to and from the stadium, that all but eliminates the common fan. There are a lot of people with crazy passion and crazy money to spend on their college football team, but they're not buying a boxLIFE.

The likely scenario we see is that boxLIFE markets itself to schools themselves, who then rent out the boxgating experience to groups and split the money with the company.

Are we wrong here? Is this something you would be interested in?

Drew Bledsoe believes today's college QBs are more ready for the NFL than ever

The past two years we've experienced young quarterbacks take the NFL by storm. Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck are just a few of the quarterbacks that come to mind, and if four-time Pro Bowler and former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe is right, we'll be seeing a crop of young quarterbacks in the NFL every year that have been prepared better than any of their predecessors.

According to some comments that Bledsoe made to a CBS Boston affiliate, advances in technology are a big part of what is making the transition from college signal caller to the face of an NFL franchise so much easier.

The first part of that technology at the fingertips of college quarterbacks is today's realistic video games.

"You watch these football video games they’re playing when they’re little kids, they’re pretty darn realistic man,” Bledsoe noted. "These guys, all of the sudden, they’re getting it from a really young age; they’re kind of seeing some of those pictures. Playing quarterback is a lot of repetition. You’ve got to see a lot of the same pictures over and over so you can make that decision without thinking about it.”

The other part of the equation is having access to film and cut-ups in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the hours that former NFL players had to wait for vital film.

“Film study is so much better and so much easier now. If we wanted to watch a breakdown of 3rd and 3 or 6, the video guy had to go put that all together and edit it and splice and it took him hours and hours and kept him up overnight."

"Now it’s a couple of mouse clicks or you scroll through on your iPad, on your phone and you can get those breakdowns. So I think these guys are able to study and learn a lot more in the film room now.”

Both of those are excellent points, and that makes me wonder. Will advances in video games and film study methods in turn make a better, more prepared crop of coaches in the near future?

Only time will tell.

FootballScoop's Ultimate 2014 College Football Road Trip

On the first Saturday of the 2014 college football season, Arkansas will open their season against the defending SEC champions in Jordan-Hare Stadium. That's just a wonderful game to open with. First of all, every opener is great in its own right. Then you add in Auburn chomping at the bit to defend its SEC title, to get that fantastic running game revving again after nine months of fine tuning. 

Then there's the opponent. Arkansas, under Bret Bielema, also beginning year two, very much needs its 2014 season to be better than 2013. And they open with the team that was half a minute away from winning the 2013 national title. That's just a delicious game before you add in pace versus politicking, the fact that one coach accused the other of doctoring game film and any other assorted storylines. 

Needless to say, we'd all like to be there.

It also got us wondering what was the best possible game to attend each week. So I decided to map it out. The goal was to see as many programs as possible, and the only rule was that you couldn't visit the same stadium twice.

Here's what I came up with. Feel free to disagree.

August 30: Arkansas at Auburn. 

September 6: Michigan at Notre Dame. The last chance to see these on-again, off-again rivals for a while.

September 13: Clemson at Florida State. The best rivalry the ACC has going.

September 20: Miami at Nebraska. They've split their 10 previous meetings, but haven't met in the regular season since 1976.

September 27: Stanford at Washington. Coach Pete's first game against a Pac-12 heavy, and one of college football's most unique venues.

October 4: Alabama at Ole Miss. No ultimate road trip is complete without a visit to The Grove.

October 11: Texas vs. Oklahoma. Forget college football, the Red River Shootout, err, Showdown is one of the most unique events in sports.

October 18: Texas A&M at Alabama. The last two Tide-Aggies games turned out okay.

October 25: Ohio State at Penn State. The biggest home game to date in the James Franklin era, Happy Valley should be rocking for the Buckeyes.

November 1: Stanford at Oregon. With the winner bringing home the last five Pac-12 championships, this series is the hottest thing going in college football west of Tuscaloosa.

November 8: Alabama at LSU. It's our third Alabama game in the last five weeks, but our first trip to the Death Valley. 

November 15: Auburn at Georgia. If this game reaches 60 percent of the drama of the 2013 affair, we're in for a treat.

November 22: USC at UCLA. We've been for this game to mean something - on both sides of the rivalry - for years. Could this be the year?

November 29: Michigan at Ohio State. This one feels self-explanatory.

December 6: SEC Championship (Atlanta). I felt a tinge of regret skipping Bedlam, but the South's Super Bowl delivers nearly every year. 

December 13: Army vs. Navy (Baltimore). The perfect cap to the perfect season. 

Video: Inside Nike's rebranding of Illinois football

When Nike takes on a rebranding effort they don't take things lightly.

To players the word "rebranding" likely means getting some new uniforms and helmets, but to Nike, there's a science behind it. An enormous amount of research and time goes into these efforts. Recently, Nike took on the rebranding of the Fighting Illini and the university took an outstanding look at the thought process that went into the new look in this video.

"The first thing that I think this rebranding does is that it gives us an opportunity to establish the history of this university and this athletic program that we have, and the future. A lot of times this rebranding means that you're getting a new look and those types of things, but what else is does for me is it enables the future Illini to know a bit about our past and the great history that we have in athletics." Tim Beckman explained.

There's also a ton of great insight from Josh Iverson, the senior graphic designer for Nike NCAA football, on the Nike train of thought behind their rebranding.