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Mark Richt admits blunder in scheduling Boise State

Earlier today, we told you about Mark Richt’s intense team meeting on Wednesday night, but have you heard about his interview with WCNN in Atlanta on Thursday morning?

Richt may have been better off keeping this close to the vest.

Asked about the process of setting up the season-opener against Boise State, Richt explained, “[The athletic director] came to me with that and he was like, ‘Well, that quarterback's a senior and he's leaving.' I really didn't look at it. I knew that he had been there a long enough time that he was probably on the way out. After we signed on the dotted line, then I went and looked at the depth chart and realized he was still there. Then I was hoping he would turn pro early and he didn't do that."

Hard to tell if Richt was joking.

If not, ouch.

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You can listen to the interview, right here.

UPDATE: Twitter is blowing up.  People are saying it was a booster club joke, but that Richt should have clarified that.

Interesting perspective: Brian Kelly tells you the dead honest truth about facilities

Coaches and athletic directors are always talking about the importance of facilities.  Today, however, Notre Dame head coach shared his thoughts about facilities.  His comments may surprise you.

Kelly said, “Look, I was at Cincinnati. I didn't have a practice field. We did okay there. I think facilities are overrated when it comes to that. Obviously you've got to be on a level playing field. If you're recruiting against other schools, they come here, facilities should be a wash.”

“It doesn't give you an advantage anymore over somebody else. At Cincinnati we had a hard time, we didn't have an indoor facility. We didn't have a practice field. That's a disadvantage.”

“But today, you know, the facilities are really about it's a wash. You've got enough that kids don't have to make a decision anymore because I like their conference room better or I like their locker room better. I really don't think that's an issue anymore in recruiting.”

That was just one of the interesting subjects that Kelly touched on during this pre-camp press conference today. 

Kelly talked about the Top 25 rankings and admitted, “I want to be in Bob Stoops' position today where he's talking about being No. 1. That's why we're here. We want to get to the point where we're part of the conversation as a championship-caliber football team. We're not there yet. We're thrown in the mix there. 18 to 25, pick a number out of the hat.”

“Right now we're being recognized for maybe a little bit of what we did at the end of the year and because we're Notre Dame. That's not where we want to be. So at this time next year if we're talking about 1, 2 or 3 in the country, we'll go back and talk about the things that Bob is talking about. It's through hard work, commitment, it's how you prepare.”

So what is a realistic goal for this season?

Kelly responded, “You know, and I've said this before, I don't know at Notre Dame that you can pick out a bowl. We don't have a lot of options for bowls. It's BCS for us. If it's a conference championship at Cincinnati or a MAC championship at Central Michigan, it was a national championship at Grand Valley, it's here at the University of Notre Dame a BCS bowl game.”

“We can't set the goal board any other way. What do you throw out there? Sun Bowl, Champs Bowl? We don't have any way other than set the bar at a BCS. But I knew that coming in.”

29 days until the Irish host South Florida.

James Franklin nails part one, now begins 'what really matters'

James Franklin has been the Vanderbilt head coach for seven months and he’ll admit that all he has done since accepting the job is sell, sell, sell.

Franklin and the athletic department have done a terrific job marketing their program and selling a new Vanderbilt.  

His attitude and enthusiasm has been well received in Nashville and at the least, brought hope to the Commodores’ fan base.

For example, today, Franklin ended a radio interview with 104.5 in Nashville by saying, “Another thing is I invite you guys to come on out here.  If you guys want to do a show from here, I’d love to have you guys.  You can setup all your equipment on our patio and broadcast from our facility.  Anything we can do to give you guys more access, we’ll do.  I couldn’t be more thankful or appreciative for what you guys have done since we’ve come to town.”

Pretty smart.

But Franklin knows what really matters.  Later on this morning, Franklin said it best during his pre-camp press conference.

“In the end, I better put a product on the field that people can be excited about and that’s what we’re doing right now, that’s our focus,” admitted Franklin.

He added,  “At a place like Vanderbilt, I have to wear more hats than anywhere.  And I’m more than willing to go out and talk to whoever I have to talk to, whether some in the community, it’s the media or whatever it is.  All we’ve really done since we came here is sell our program. Sell our program.  Sell our program, sell our kids, sell our university, sell this city…all the positives we have.  All those things are great, the plan, the vision.  Now we have to get on the field and we gotta do it.”

“I think everyone in this room understands this is a process.  We’re not going to walk in and flick a light switch.  Every day, we’re just going to keep chipping away at it and moving to the direction we want to go.  But we have very high aspirations of where we are going and we’re not going to let anybody tell us who and what we can be.  We are going to define who and what we can be.  I’m not worried about the history, the past, any of those things.  We are going to worry about what we can control, which is right now.”

You can only do one thing at a time.  Franklin’s done the first part quite nicely.  Those interesting in becoming head coaches down the line should have taken notice.  Now, let’s see him put together a team.

Al Golden sincerely explains the most important thing during camp

Al Golden just wrapped up his last press conference before camp begins for the Hurricanes.  Listening to Al Golden, it just seems Golden believes he has the guys, he has the talent, but it’s just a matter of coming together as a team.

Golden said, “For us, we’re going to stay on message, which for us is conditioning and unity.  We need for this team to become very strong and very close.  This camp is designed to support those two initiatives.”

Asked about the summer heat in Miami, Golden said, “I gotta be honest with you.  I love it.  The guys in north Philadelphia would say we were on turf in north Philadelphia everyday and it was 116 every day on the turf.  I’m kinda happy right now.  It’s low 90’s and we get a little Biscayne Bay breeze. We’re doing ok.”

He also reflected back on the purpose of winter conditioning.

“We gave the guys more opportunities in the winter at 6 am to come together as a team.  We put them under duress.  We made the uncomfortable to become stronger as a team, to become more unified. And when you’re in those situations, you need leaders to come out of it.  It was a lot more running than the players here were accustomed too. It was more opportunities to become unified.”

To close, Golden summed up everything.

He stated, “For me, we don’t really talk about our goals.  I mean this sincerely. I don’t want to sound cliché, but if our guys develop the mindset that this is going to be a grind and really focus on the process and really put their heads down and forget about all that external stuff.  I know it’s Miami, I understand that, but I mean if we just come together as a team and as a staff and we say we’re not worried about the media, about twitter, about all that this and what anybody is saying, where were ranked, where we’re picked, all that stuff…if we can just come together as team and understand and learn and execute the process, then we’re going to have a special year.  We’re going to have a great year.  But that’s the trick.  That’s the challenge and it starts tomorrow at 8:20.”

Miami (FL) opens at Maryland on Labor Day evening.

Video: Zook slalom water skiing just before camp

Ever wonder what coaches do on their last weekend off before August camp begins?

The Illinois coaching staff and their families got together at the lake for some water skiing, tubing, food, fun & games.

Zook said, “It’s a day for families.  It’s just a lot of fun.  It’s a lot of fun to be together, to be one, because starting tomorrow, you don’t have the time together that you do right now.”

Based on the video below, Ron Zook has no problems with slalom water skiing.   And he’s not concerned about top end speeds.

Gotta admit, this is pretty impressive stuff from The Zooker.

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