Big Ten considering 4 team playoff
Big Ten officials are kicking around the idea of a four team playoff where the top 4 teams in the BCS standings would face off.
The semifinal games would take place on the campus of the highest seeded team, and the site of the championship game would go to the highest bidder, much like the Super Bowl.
Northwestern Athletic Director Jim Phillips says "We have to listen to the fans; we cannot be tone-deaf, the Big Ten is open and curious”.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany would not comment specifically on the proposal until he had a better gauge for other presidents, chancellors and athletic directors within the Big Ten, but did add "It’s a matter of coming up with something that does not kill the baby with the bath water. We have a regular season that is vibrant. We have 12 games plus a (conference) championship game – that’s a lot of games. We have academic calendars, though that doesn't resonate with many people. But if you’re dealing with university presidents, faculty and coaches, you’re talking about it.”
Delany added that he thinks fans are conditioned to the playoffs, and he just wants to make sure they are doing the "right thing".
"We increased the budget for recruiting by probably 100%"
Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor of Athletics David Williams sat down with The Tennessean's Jeff Lockridge to talk about the off season recently.
Williams was asked how much more money was spent on recruiting this season compared to years past, to which he responded with a laugh "A lot".
Williams said that he doesn't know exactly how much was spent until they get all the bills and receipts back, but he does know that they increased the recruiting budget by about 100%.
"Anytime James decides to fly on a private plane or a helicopter...in this case a lot...it has to be approved. I think I got requests almost on a daily basis (the week before National Signing Day). I would expect when the bill is paid, it will be a lot. It will be within the budget, but we’ve increased recruiting a lot."
That budget allowed Franklin and his staff to land one of the best Commodore classes in recent memory.
Recruiting the recruiters
A handful of head coaches have been recruiting double duty this off season recruiting both student athletes, and the recruiters.
We have seen a number of the coaching professions best recruiters opt for a change of scenery in recent months, shining light on head coaches recruiting the recruiters.
Kevin Sumlin says that "It's probably more difficult to recruit coaches...and coaches' wives...than it is five-star players because of the competition out there."
Steve Sarkisian expanded on the same principal, and kept it all in perspective by saying "We want to pound our chest on how much football we know, but if the players can't execute it, then that part is a bit irrelevant. You have to have the players in place to do it. So we went out and tried to identify some guys that, I think, were not just good football coaches, but were good recruiters. I think in the end, it did have a direct impact on what we were doing."
Bret Bielema shared that when he was a young coach, he got frustrated with being known as a great recruiting coach, and wanted to focus on being a good football coach. Bielema acknowledged that you reach a certain point in your career where you can be more valuable to a program by the players that you bring in. "They're the lifeblood of what we are. Don't think I ever lose sight of that" he added.
The original article by ESPN written by Mitch Sherman can be found here and includes commentary from Paul Rhoads and more from Bret Bielema.
Maryland's recruiting strategy
Maryland released their signing day video over the weekend, and contains a good section from recruits about what drew them to the Terps and the coaching staff.
Tight ends coach John Dunn talks about their recruiting strategy being "collective" and how coordinators and position coaches play major roles in getting kids on board.
Randy Edsall noted that nearly 90% of the 24 kids that they signed were team captains.
Coach does the right thing
National singing day went a little differently at Rice than it did for a lot of other programs.
High school defensive end David Wilganowski had his mind made up that Rice was the right fit for him, but back in September he collapsed during a game and almost lost his life.
Wilganowski was later diagnosed with a heart condition and a defibrillator was implanted in his chest, effectively ending his dream of playing college football.
In a classy move by head coach David Bailiff, the scholarship was still honored and Wilganowski will help the team in another capacity.
“We ask young men to keep their word to us, you know we say we’re going to be with them through thick or thin. I think it’s a good practice that you keep your word.” Bailiff said.
Wilganowski's father offered the following after learning of the news “I’m really happy that Rice honored his commitment, God bless Rice.”
Super Bowl Sunday
Be sure to enjoy one of the greatest sporting events of the year tonight.
All time are eastern.
The Super Bowl: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots - 6:29 - NBC
Signing day Southeastern Louisiana style
Behind the scenes video of Ron Roberts and his staff enjoying signing day.
Clearly the staff was pleased with the results of their efforts on the recruiting trails.
Keep an eye on linebackers coach Karl Scott (in pink). Only in Louisiana...
Signing day all access with James Franklin
James Franklin once again opened his doors for signing day, this time Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples shadowed Coach Franklin during one of the biggest days of the year, and also sat down and talked with him one on one.
Staples also wrote an impressive article where he explains the strides that Vandy has made in recruiting, and a few stories about recruits that prove it beyond a doubt. Staples also added that Franklin's wife sometimes makes fun of him for carrying his two cell phones (his BlackBerry and his iPhone) at all times...literally.
"My wife makes fun of me," he said. "Even if I'm in my boxers, I have both of them hanging off the waistband."