Video: Mike Gundy explains four verts
Oklahoma State started a new feature today that we like. Standing in front of a white board, Gundy explained the Cowboys' version of four verticals. That's it. No graphics, no production value, just a coach talking ball for four minutes. And really, the simplicity of this idea is its brilliance. There's no reason every program in America couldn't do the exact same thing.
Gundy isn't giving away any state secrets here. It's a play that every team in football runs, but he'll drop a nugget in there that the average Oklahoma State fan can impress his buddies with come fall. Early in the video, Gundy implies that the rest of the Cowboys' coaching staff will make similar videos, which kills two birds with one stone. First, it allows the fan base to get to know the rest of the coaching staff more closely. And second, it means Oklahoma State can sustain this new idea without taking up too much of the head man's time.
Oklahoma State has been very good about finding easy ways for Gundy to engage with the Pokes' fan base. Last year, it was the daily #AskGundy Twitter Q&A, in which he'd take one question (sometimes more) from a fan per day. Again, that's something every single coaching staff in America could do.
Renderings: Colorado's upgraded facilities will be flat out impressive
Back in December, Colorado's Board of Regents approved a an impressive facilities upgrade plan totaling $142 million.
Today the @AllBuffs Twitter account provided a glimpse inside of what the upgrades are going to look like including a look at the new locker room, weight room, training room, indoor facility, and club level / meeting room.
When you're competing with brand new Pac-12 facilities like those at Oregon, Stanford, and USC, you better have something that wows recruits and from the looks of things, Colorado's isn't going to have any issues doing that. Mike MacIntyre and his staff have to be happy with how these have shaped up.
Finally, a study that examines pace of play and its relation to injuries
Since the word leaked of the defensive substitution rule (AKA the "ten second rule) proposal last week, we've extensively covered the reaction from coaches, the coaches who seem to be behind the push for the rule, and the fact that there is no hard data to support the claim that up tempo offenses are dangerous to players.
Thanks to some in depth research from the guys at College Football Matrix, no huddle coaches can breathe a little easier thanks to some definitive findings that favor an up tempo approach when it comes to its relation to injuries
Based on their data, which takes a look at the pace of play, and total starts loss due to injury from 2009-2012, the Big 12 averaged the most snaps per game (162.4) of any of the big five conferences, and lost a total of 595 starts during the four year cross section. On the other hand, the SEC ran about 13 less plays per game, and lost a total of 1,098 starts, which was the most starts lost among the power five leagues.
That's quite a statement favoring up tempo teams in regards to the proposed rule change. Personally, I've seen all I need to see on the proposal to formulate my own opinion, and continue to think it is as ludicrous as it was on day one. Now there's just solid scientific evidence to support it.
Texas Tech players held a halftime dunk contest last night
Texas Tech is not the first football team to provide halftime basketball entertainment with a dunk contest, but they are the first I've seen to capture the festivities on a GoPro camera.
In front of 12,667 fans, five Red Raiders put on a show the NBA should be envious of, capped by one player leaping over the oversized mascot head of Raider Red to slam one home.
Sadly, the football team's efforts were not enough to spur their basketball counterparts on to victory, as No. 8 Kansas squeaked by Texas Tech, 64-63.
'I hope there's enough scientific evidence to make sure we don't overreact'
Last week we detailed how Bret Bielema's coordinated string pulling was a driving force behind the NCAA's proposed 10-second rule. An outspoken proponent of slowing the game down (and someone with a vested competitive interest in doing so), Bielema was one of two non-voting members of the rules committee in last week's meeting in Indianapolis.
The other? Nick Saban.
With that in mind, hat tip of the day goes to Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News for unearthing this quote. "I think football is a great team game, probably the greatest team game there is. But I certainly would not want to do anything as coaches or teachers to affect somebody's future ability to function in a normal manner. But at the same time I hope the things that are out there right now (about suggested rule changes), there's enough scientific evidence to make sure we're not creating something that maybe we don't overreact to, even though I don't want to do anything that would hurt any player."
That quote was authored by none other than Nick Saban, at SEC Media Days in 2012 when asked about the impact of Junior Seau's suicide.
By that October, Saban had begun campaigning against hurry up offenses with the now-infamous "is this what we want football to be?" quote. At that time, Alabama was 5-0. The Tide has gone 19-3 since, losing to the no-huddle attacks of Texas A&M, Auburn and Oklahoma, plus the 49-42 tilt-a-whirl win over the Aggies in September.
Now Saban is throwing his weight behind this new piece of legislation despite the NCAA having no hard data to support it, the very thing he advised against less than 24 months ago.
What do we make of this political hardball? It's self-serving and opportunistic, sure. But in the dog-eat-dog world of the SEC, Saban (and Bielema) have reached a level of ruthless pragmatism that should be admired.
Video: Players and coaches sell the John Grass era at Jacksonville State
Shortly after we learned that Bill Clark would be leaving Jacksonville State for UAB back on January 21st, word started to circulate that offensive coordinator John Grass would be promoted to replace him. The choice was obvious for those close to the program.
Grass led one of the most exciting FCS offenses in the country (#25 in total offense), and nearly everyone that has played, or worked with him easily recognizes that he posses the traits that make up a quality head coach.
Here, in this video from the Gamecocks, 2013 highlights are mixed intermittently with players and coaches talk about Grass' character and how he genuinely cares for every person involved in the program.
There's no doubt that this is being shown to recruits considering Jacksonville State. The only people that may like it more than the recruits, are their parents.
Video: 'This is about a lot more than football'
Colorado State got more than a head coach when it plucked Jim McElwain away from Alabama in 2012. Also making the trip from Tuscaloosa to Fort Collins was a green-and-gold replica of Alabama's Fourth Quarter program, Ram U.
"This is about more than football," McElwain said. "The lessons learned and the endurance required in the Ram U program will not only help them in playing the game of football, but will carry with them the rest of their lives, with their families and in their careers."
In practical purposes, that means a one-hour lift four days a week and then a one-hour afternoon session focusing on agility and conditioning. "It's still tough. Every year you have to come out ready and you have to come out prepared," said senior tight end Kivon Cartwright. "You know you physically can get through the program since you've done it before, it's just mentally telling yourself that and pushing yourself to the limit."
From year one to year two at Ram U, Colorado State improved its record from 4-8 in McElwain's debut season of 2012 to an 8-6 mark with a 48-45 win over Washington State in the New Mexico Bowl to close the year.
'The biggest muscle we're trying to train is between the ears'
Wyoming's new strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval arrived on campus and realized that he had his work cut out for him if he was going to help Craig Bohl turn around the Cowboy program.
"Watching the film, a lot of our guys didn't pass the eye test. We had a lot of fat and not enough muscle. We've had to transform their bodies." Duval explained.
But before any of that could change, Duval took the time to develop a relationship and trust with every single player on the roster, according to The Republic. He dug in with each individual wanting to learn about their family history, training habits, academics, and how they like to spend their free time. That was important to Duval because he wanted the players to know that he cares about them as much off the field, as he does on the field.
When Duval took the job initially, he had a plan in mind, but after seeing where players were physically, he scrapped it, Instead, he came up with a new plan designed to increase lean muscle mass, as well as increase growth hormone and testosterone naturally in the body. To do that, he installed an intense training circuit with very little rest between sets that would tax players strength wise, and test their conditioning.
One player described the approach as "do-or-die." Either you get in and do it, or you fail in front of everyone. Needless to say, players are coming into the weight room with a much different mindset than they did in past years.
The intensity of the workouts has helped 16 players add 12 pounds of lean muscle, with many players shedding between 2% and 3% of body fat. The minimal rest time is also having quite the effect on the guys, who get pushed to the limit of their conditioning. Needless to say, garbage cans can be easily located throughout the weight room facility.
The new approach has proven very effective, but Duval hopes that the biggest advantage is a little harder to measure than lean pounds added or a percentage of body fat.
"We'll get a lot faster transformations than a lot of other people. The biggest muscle we're trying to train is between the ears."