Sonny Dykes with some rational thinking
Sonny Dykes hears all the conference realignment talk, and understands it to a point, but feels it's happening for all the wrong reasons.
"It’s all money related. In some ways, it’s not great for our business. I don’t know how much sense it makes for Boise or San Diego State to be playing in the Big East. To me, I view it as a negative because of the lost rivalries. You look at Texas-Texas A&M, the traditional rivalries that aren't going to occur as a result. Some of the kids get compromised for money because now you’re dealing with extra travel, other sports are going to have to miss classes. You have a lot of headaches for your student-athletes."
Dykes is well aware of the travel implications involved. According to an ESPN article, New Mexico State was the closest WAC game for Louisiana Tech, and that came in at 935 miles. The average distance between Tech and their WAC opponents was 1,812 miles. All that will change when they start play in C-USA in this season where all the teams are regionally located. Their furthest opponent now will be UTEP at about 890 miles. That kind of logic makes the most sense to Dykes.
"The travel is really tough on players and tough on your coaches. When you’re getting back in the middle of the night and early morning on Sunday, it has an impact on your team. To me, college football is as popular as any sport in our country. I just think it’s sad we’re screwing with it as much as we are because I don’t think we have to. It’s a great product. It’s stood the test of time, and it’s stood the test of time because it’s been slow to change."
"Conference USA and commissioner Britton Banowsky, I think his model is probably the one that makes sense in college football. We want regional rivalries, we want regional games. With these conferences going all over the country to play each other for TV money...this is a model that has worked forever."
Dykes doesn't believe that money should be the force driving college football's major decisions.
"With the television money and the reluctance of those conferences to share revenue with other conferences, to me I’m not so sure dollars and cents should be driving college football and it is. So I think the end is going to be, some type of cutoff. The proposal to give student-athletes a stipend...people know some schools won’t pay that, choking out schools that won’t be able to pay it, to keep money away from schools that need money to continue their athletic programs. I’m a coach who loves the game. I just hate to see the differences are so big between schools like us and the University of Texas or whomever. They get bigger and bigger and it becomes more difficult for people like us to try and compete."
When it's all said and done, Dykes thinks everyone will come to their senses and realize that there's a better way go about this.
"I think at the end of the day, everybody will look back and say this doesn't make sense. Let’s blow this thing up and start over. They’ll say greed has cost us, let’s try to be a little bit more prudent in the decisions we make and keep the student-athletes in mind."
SEC finalizes their scheduling format
The SEC has approved a new scheduling format to accommodate newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri.
The new 6-1-1 format will have teams playing all 6 of their divisional opponents, one permanent cross-division rival, and one rotating cross-divisional opponent, which is expected to rotate each year.
Missouri's cross divisional rival will be Arkansas and A&M will face South Carolina annually.
When this format will officially take place is not exactly clear. The league still needs to approve the schedule for 2013 and the cross divisional games will need to go on for 12 years in order to make sure that each team plays a home game against an opponent within the rotation.
32 hours as a Wolverine
As a fundraising event, Brady Hoke and the staff invited a group of guys to the facility to experience what it would be like to be a Michigan football player for a 32 hours. The money went to a prostate cancer research fund.
The crew got the full experience of running routes, getting coached up by Al Borges and Greg Mattison, and even the opportunity to run out of the tunnel and hit the "Go Blue" banner on the block "M".
Overall, a nice idea to fund important research.
LSU's 2012 Season Trailer
For your viewing pleasure, this morning the football staff at LSU has released the trailer above.
Quality as always.
Summer workouts at Penn State
Summer workouts are underway at Penn State with strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald and his staff.
In a Q&A with the Patriot-News, Fitz explains their weekly schedule. Mondays are their speed day where they do a lot of NFL combine prep, Tuesdays are interval days, where players have to make the drill in a certain time, Thursdays are a hybrid day working on both speed and conditioning, and Friday the team is split up into 12 groups and they compete with each other through an agility circuit, with the winners at the end of the summer getting a steak dinner.
The clip shows some good drills for resistance work on a hill, as well as in a sand pit.
Rain delays: The difference between football and baseball
Most of us have seen the hilarity that ensues during a college baseball game rain delay. If not, just search for it on YouTube and then sit back and enjoy.
During Oklahoma State's visit to Tulsa this past season, kickoff was delayed over 3 hours and a Saturday night game became an early morning Sunday contest. The game, which was supposed to start at just after 9 pm, actually got started at 12:16 am and finally wrapped up at 3:35 am Sunday morning with an OK State 59-33 victory.
What happened in between, was adversity at it's finest. Get a bunch of guys all jacked up an ready to go, only to have to pull back on the leash and retreat to the locker room.
Gundy and his staff made sure the players spent their down time getting focused however they do best. Many of them chose to put on the head phones, a few chose to educate others on how to use an iPad to play games...and all were kept comfortable with a nice PB&J.
Leadership training with the Navy Seals
Brady Hoke, director of strength and conditioning Aaron Wellman, and the seniors of the Michigan football team took a trip out to California last week aimed at developing leadership skills and helping them grow as men. It is a trip that Hoke and Wellman have been taking since 2006 while together at Ball State.
"To watch the kids grow and see how they treat their teammates and influence their teammates is fun to watch. If they run the locker room, we're going to be OK. If I have to run the locker room, we're going to be in trouble." Hoke said.
The trip's itinerary consisted of leadership classes, a tour of the Rose Bowl, a youth camp completely organized and conducted by the seniors, and of course, training with the Navy SEALS. The full article can be found here and has some great insight from the players on developing leaders as well as a day to day itinerary of what they were up to.
Wellman talked about the trip during an interview with ESPN. Pay attention to his thoughts on how physical and mental conditioning are intertwined.
Inside Scoop: Inside the NFL / NCAA Coaches Academy
Last week the NFL & NCAA hosted a coaches academy for 60 up and coming coaches. We spoke with three participants about their experience at the academy and spoke with NFL Vice President of Player Engagement Troy Vincent about the NFL's input into the academy.
Each of the coaches we spoke with (see the full list of coaches that attended) raved about their experience at the coaches academy.
Vincent told us that the goal of the academy is to prepare these coaches to be better leaders of men; both on the field and in the communities in which they live. "This isn't about Xs and Os, this is a different kind of boot camp for coaches" Vincent told FootballScoop. He went on to say that coaches talk Xs & Os all the time within their staff and with other coaches; but they rarely get to spend time preparing in a professional environment to handle all of the other things that go into being a great coach. "The academy is about professional and personal development."
One of the coaches that attended told us, "My head coach recommended me. It was very educational. Personal and professional conduct, leadership, budget, contracts, search firms, interview process, media training, etc... were all areas were learned a lot about. It's also great for networking. Speakers from 8AM to 9PM. I would highly recommend it to anyone that is invited to attend."
Vincent told us that 30 current NCAA assistant coaches were invited to participate (based upon recommendations from their head coaches) and another 30 former NFL players (some of whom are currently coaching, others are looking to get into the profession) were invited to participate.
Look through the agenda below and you will see a great program for the development of coaches that want to take their careers to the next level..."leadership", "personal and professional conduct", Business operations, "becoming a head coach", "strategic crisis navigation", the "search" process, "contracts"... all great stuff that you typically don't have many opportunities to truly learn about / prepare for.
From all accounts, the coaches academy was a tremendous success and we're sure that it will be "oversubscribed" next year.
Vincent also told us that they are hosting a "Champions Group" in late June which will consist of 16 coaches that have been selected to participate based on the belief that within the next 1-3 years these coaches will be in a position to accept a head coaching job. We'll keep you informed about that one as well.