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Ellis Johnson explains why hurry-up offenses are deteriorating the game

South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson believes that hurry-up offenses are ruining college football.  Johnson made some terrific points during a radio interview with Bo Mattingly.

Johnson said, “One thing that has gotten into it that I’ve been pretty outspoken, that I really think is starting to deteriorate some of college football is the hurry up offenses.  There is nothing wrong a pace and speeding up the play on the operation side. I get that.”

“But what’s happening now with the rules is that you can snap it as soon as you want to or you can sit on it for 40 seconds, and there is no in-between.”

“Canadian ball is very fast-paced, but the offense can’t sit there all day long.  They have a 20 second limit. The NFL cut it out with Buffalo in the 90’s, they kind of put some cold water on it a little bit with the Colts not too many years ago.  What they realized is they’re taking the game of football and turning it into soccer or lacrosse.  There’s nothing wrong with those sports, but that’s not football.”

"What it's about now is who can snap the football before the other team lines up.  You can’t hardly get your players on and off the field.  You can’t get your signals in and out.  It’s become who has the best signal system or verbiage system. “

“Frankly, I don’t know what that proves except someone has a better verbiage package.  It’s not about blocking, tackling, running, route running, throwing, and so forth. It’s something the college football world needs to look at.”

“It sounds like sour grapes right now, but there is not a balanced playing field.  The chalk is always in one person’s hand.  That’s what has made it the most difficult in the last several years in the world of college football coaching.”

The Gamecocks will play Auburn and Clemson this season, two teams that rely heavily on an up-tempo style of offensive football.  East Carolina, Kentucky, and Mississippi State all have the ability as well to speed up the tempo.




Profiling the PAC-12 summer football camps

Today, we take a look at the different ways that PAC-12 schools will operate their summer camps.  The PAC-12 programs typically won’t draw as many campers as the SEC programs, but just like everyone, the PAC-12 coaches are trying to evaluate future prospects during their summer camps.

Arizona, UCLA, USC, and Utah will each host a 7 on 7 camp.  Oregon and Washington State will each host a full contact camp.  Oregon State has a pretty simple plan, a 4-day camp for grades 6-12.

Here’s the full breakdown:

Arizona will host a 1-day 7 on 7 camp, a 1-day Big Man Competition, a 3-day camp for ages 14-18, a 3-day camp for ages 8-13, and a 1-day camp for specialists ages 14-18.

Arizona State will host a 3-day camp for grades 5-12 and a 1-day JR/SR prospect camp.

UCLA will host a 1-day camp for high school campers, 1-day linemen camp, a 1-day high school camp for skill positions and specialists, a 1-day day 7 on 7 camp, and a 3-day youth camp for grades 3-8.

USC will host a 1-day OL / DL camp for high school campers, a 1-day skill position only camp for high school campers, a 2-day Rising Stars prospect camp for grade 10-12, a 1-day 7 on 7, a 1-day youth camp for grades 3-8, and a 1-day kicking camp for grades 7-12.

Oregon will host a 5-day full contact camp for grades 8-12 and a 1-day kicking / snapping camp for high school campers.  The Ducks call it “The premier full contact camp in the Northwest.”

Oregon State will host a 4-day camp for grades 6 -12.

Washington will host a 1-day high school only camp, 2 separate 1-day passing camps for high school teams, and a 2-day Rising Star prospect camp for grades 10-12.

Washington State will host a 4-day full contact camp for high school campers and a 1-day youth camp for K-8 graders.

Stanford gets serious.  The Cardinal will host a 2-day camp for high school campers, a 2-day quarterbacks only camp, a 1-day wide receivers camp that is matched up with a 1-day defensive backs camp, a 1-day specialists camp, a 2-day team camp, a 1-day passing camp, a 2-day youth camp, and a separate 1-day youth camp.

Cal will host a 3-day full contact camp for high school campers, 2 separate 3-day youth camps for ages 6-13, and a 2-day kicking camp for high school campers.

Utah will host a 1 day 7 on 7 camp for high schools, 2 separate 3-day youth camps, a 1-day high school skill position only camp, a 1-day OL / DL / kicking camp.

Colorado will host 2 separate 3-day youth camps for grades 1-8, a 1-day OL / DL camp, 2 separate 1-day high school skill position only camps, and a 1-day kicking camp.

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Click here to see the SEC Western Division summer camp analysis.




Paul Rhoads: Schedules are not balanced, we all should play 9 conference games

Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads believes that conference realignment has caused an unbalanced playing field in college football.

For example, the schools of the Big Twelve are set to play 9 conference games this year.  Iowa State always plays in-state rival Iowa, and this season the Cyclones travel to UCONN.  That makes 11 of 12 games against BCS conference opponents, something that Rhoads believes hurts the Cyclones chances of playing in the best bowl game possible.

Rhoads said, "The college game seems to be headed in that direction with more conference competition rather than less. If we're going to play nine conference games, which we are, I'd like everybody else to play nine, too.''

"What I think coaches want is some balance. You don't want to put yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to qualifying for bowls compared to teams from other conferences."

Colorado left the Big Twelve, but the Buffaloes out-of-conference schedule is difficult.  Colorado plays at Hawaii, Cal, Colorado State (in Denver), and at Ohio State.

Nebraska, which also left the Big Twelve, plays Chattanooga, Fresno State, Washington, and at Wyoming.

It doesn’t seem that Embree or Pelini have an easier road to a bowl game than Iowa State, so we wonder which particular teams would prove Rhoads’ case for the 2011 season.  

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Here is a breakdown of the Big Twelve non-conference schedules:

Iowa State: Northern Iowa, at UCONN, Iowa

Texas: Rice, BYU, at UCLA

Oklahoma: Tulsa, at FSU, Ball State

Oklahoma State: ULL, at Arizona, Tulsa

Missouri: Miami (OH), at Arizona State, Western Illinois

Baylor: TCU, Stephen F. Austin, Rice

Kansas: McNeese State, Northern Illinois, at Georgia Tech

Kansas State: Eastern Kentucky, Kent State, at Miami (FL)

Texas Tech: Texas State, at New Mexico, Nevada

Texas A&M: SMU, Idaho, Arkansas (Cowboys Stadium)




Holgorsen: Geno has a chance to be as good as any I've coached

It sounds as though Dana Holgorsen feels pretty darn good about his quarterback Geno Smith.

Smith, a junior from Miami, FL, threw 24 touchdowns and 7 interceptions as a sophomore for the Mountaineers.  He led the Big East is passing efficiency.

Holgorsen said today, “The only game I watched (from last year) was the bowl game.  I felt like he (Smith) was really poised.  His accuracy is good, his arm strength is good, his footwork is getting better, if he keeps working at it then he has a chance to be as good as anyone I’ve coached.”

As usual, Holgorsen had to address his relationship with head coach Bill Stewart.  (You think he’s tired of that question?)

Holgorsen says the relationship is good. “Yeah, it is (good).  If it’s not, we got some problems.  Our goal is to win.  If you’re not on the same page, you’re probably not going to win and nobody is going to be happy.  I think they really want to win a championship around here real bad.  That’s what we are striving for.”

As the head coach in-waiting, Holgorsen has not been allowed to recruit on the road this spring.

He said, “The one disadvantage of the head coach in-waiting is you can’t go on the road recruiting.  I just work phones right now. I do golf tournaments and fund raising events and have been getting on the phone calling kids and calling coaches.”

When August camp begins, Holgorsen wants the Moutaineers to focus on getting first downs.  “Leach always said that you gotta get first downs before you can get touchdowns.  We are worried about getting first downs.”

WVU opens against Marshall.




David Shaw believes Stanford just gained a huge recruiting advantage

During his nine years coaching in the NFL, Shaw was a part of three division winning teams that all had the same core element.

“They played great defense, they ran the crap out of the ball in between the tackles, and they made plays when we needed to in the passing game.”

“My background, playing for Denny Green and then Bill Walsh, a lot of people forget in the early 90’s when Denny Green started to turn around Stanford, we had the biggest offensive line in the nation.  We ran the ball in between the tackles and that’s how we started to win football games.  Bill’s ability to craft the running game was very underrated.  People forget first Super Bowl came on the legs of the running game.  Not only for yardage, but for the psyche of the team…it develops toughness.”

With Andrew Luck and a bevy of talented players returning this season, Stanford should compete for the PAC-12 title this season.

And the Cardinal are not going away, thanks in part to a recent and very important added recruiting tool…a nationwide television contract for PAC-12 football.

“It’s been the one thing that we have fought since we’ve been here, which is people that don’t have all the money and can’t travel across the country to see their young men play in Palo Alto.  Now, we can tell them, ‘When you can make it out here, great.  When you can’t, you will still be able to see every single game (on TV).’  That goes beyond words.  That’s why I am so grateful to Larry Scott (PAC-10 commissioner).”

Stanford opens against San Jose State, at Duke, at Arizona.  The season could hinge upon the final three games when Stanford hosts Oregon, Cal, and Notre Dame.




Kevin Wilson: You have to be a physical team to be a great team

Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson believes there is a misperception that guys like Mike Leach and Joe Tiller didn’t have physical football teams.

Wilson, who isn’t afraid to throw it 50+ times, certainly wants to implement a level of physicality at Indiana that will give the Hoosiers a chance to compete for a championship.

The Hoosiers have to be well conditioned and play physical at the point of attack in order to win consistently.

During an interview this morning with Dan Dakich on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis, Wilson explained, “One of my slogans with our team is ‘Nutrition & Attrition’ because if you’re not resting and eating well, you can’t condition well.  If you can’t condition well, you can’t practice well.  If can’t practice at a high level, you’re not going to win.  Conditioning is a big part.”

“You don’t want to lose the physicalness.  The game is still a combative physical game. You still have to be a physical team to be a great team.”

Indiana has not named a starting quarterback because Wilson is hoping one of the candidates will separate from the others this summer.  It’s important to Wilson that one quarterback “earns” the starting job.

Wilson’s first game as a head coach will be against Ball State in Lucas Oil Stadium (Indy).  The Hoosiers will return home the following week to host Virginia.




SEC West programs use different strategies for summer football camps

Coaches have different philosophies on summer camps.  Some staffs want to get as many students as possible on campus, while others want to focus on evaluating prospects and closing in on commitments. 

When it comes to summer camps, there are plenty of college assistants the dread the days.  As one coach told us, "If I could find the guy that started all these summer camps back in the day, it was probably Bear Bryant or someone, that guys would get at least some verbal abuse from me.  It would probably get physical, actually."

Today, we take a look at the different strategies from the SEC Western Division programs.  

Alabama will host two different 3-day camps for high school athletes (one in June, the other in July), a 3-day camp for ages 8-14, a 1-day high school OL / DL camp, and a 1-day high school kicking / snapping camp.

LSU will host two different 3-day camps for high school athletes (one in June, the other in July), a 3-day youth camp, two different 1-day kicking camps, and a 2-day 7 on 7 camp.

Auburn will host a 3-day camp for grades 4-12, two different 1-day camps for grades 9-12, a 2-day kicking camp, a 2-day team camp, and a 1-day special teams camp.

Arkansas will host a 3-day high school camp, a 3-day junior high camp, a 1-day youth camp, and 1-day junior/senior prospect camp.

Ole Miss willl host a 3-day camp for ages 4-8, a 3-day camp for 9-12 graders, a 2-day senior camp, a 1-day senior camp, and a 1-day 7 on 7 camp.  Houston Nutt elects to host camps from June 4th – June 11th, but also second senior camp is on July 23rd.

Mississippi State will host a 2-day camp for ages 5-12, a 1-day 7 on 7 camp (4A-6A schools only), a 2-day quarterback camp, a 2-day skill position only camp, a 2-day OL / DL camp, a 2-day kicking / snapping camp, and a 1-day 7 on 7 (1A-3A schools only).  Dan Mullen chooses to conduct all of his camps between June 2nd – June 10th.

Surprisingly, neither Alabama or Auburn will hold a 7 on 7 camp.  

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Tomorrow, we will look at the SEC Eastern Division schools.




Surprising comment: Okie State assistant describes most proud accomplishment

Joe DeForest is set to enter his eleventh season as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State.  He joined the staff under previous head coach Les Miles.  Currently, he serves as the special teams coordinator / safeties coach / associate head coach.

In this day, it’s rare to find assistant coaches in college football that remain with the same school for more than ten years.  In fact, only 56 current assistant coaches have worked for the same head coach for at least 10 years.

DeForest has worked for Les Miles and Mike Gundy during his tenure in Stillwater, a tenure that has included eight bowl games and 27 total wins from 2008-2010.

His most proud accomplishment in his coaching career, however, may surprise you.

He told VYPE Magazine in Houston, "This might come to a surprise to some, but it's the opportunity to have my daughter go her entire school career in the same place. In this profession, that is so tough to do, but I'm really proud of that. She entered the first-grade in Stillwater and will graduate high school here next year. That is better than any win or getting any big-time recruit."

As much as coaches move from job to job in the coaching profession, how many college assistant coaches can say that?

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