Butch Jones: Changing the mindset starts with habits
A 4-6 start, and 1-5 SEC record isn't exactly what Butch Jones had in mind when he took the Tennessee job, but as the first year head coach explained to Sirius XM's College Sports Nation, the process of getting things turned around starts with developing championship habits.
"We need to make sure that this culture, and a standard of excellence is in place as we continue to move forward with this football program, and it is. We're getting there in increments."
"It is so much about a mindset, a culture, a mindset, a standard of excellence, by the way that we practice, the level of consistency that all of that takes." Jones explained.
"It has been more evident to me, this year, in college football than any other season, is the mental conditioning and the mental aspect is so important because you play in so many emotionally filled football games, it's about how you bounce back from the previous week. I've always said this, but if you practice differently, if your standards are the highest expectation, even if you're not at your emotional peak, but when your energy is still there it still carries you because of your habits. We talk about championship habits everyday, and I see those coming, but it doesn't change overnight."
"It changes and develops in your players, but it changes in the recruitment process as well."
The road to the top of the SEC is going to be a long grind, but Jones is encouraged with the flashes of promise that he's seen throughout his first season. I'm interested to see the improvement in Knoxville in year two and three under Jones and his staff.
Video: 'Quiet Confidence'
This is one of the best produced high school videos of the year, combining some great highlights with a great motivational talk.
T.R. Miller HS (AL) doesn't need any up tempo music or bone jarring hits to get you hooked in the first 30 seconds, the words do all the work.
Listen carefully to the narrator's message, there is a ton of great content.
Wednesday TV - NIU at Toledo
Northern Illinois will try to remain undefeated tonight when the travel to Toledo to take on the Rockets.
Eastern time listed.
Northern Illinois at Toledo - 8 - ESPN2
Ohio State honors its players of this week with a sweet graphic
Ohio State honored Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Carlos Hyde with the sweet graphic embedded below. After rushing 24 times for 246 yards and four touchdowns and also catching two passes for 26 yards and another score in the Buckeyes' 60-35 win over Illinois, Hyde deserved something special.
We're not sure every program could pull something like this off, but they should all try. Of course, it helps that Ohio State has its own in-house graphic designer.
Photo: Toledo will showcase the 'Power in Pink' on Wednesday
Breast Cancer Awareness month is officially behind us, but that hasn't stopped Toledo from trading its traditional gold for pink. The Rockets will hold a "Power in Pink" game Wednesday night against Northern Illinois complete with a pink helmet decal, pink accented jerseys, pink gloves and a pink facemask.
Seriously, I've never seen a face mask like this before.
Catch these uniforms - along with a 7-3 Rockets squad fighting for a first-place tie in the MAC West - at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 Wednesday night.
Video: College football is weird, man
Stanford and Cal meet on Saturday in the 116th edition of the Big Game. Stanford has won the past three after dropping seven of the previous eight.
This video, a ritual Bearial, is a rite of passage that Stanford partakes in every year. Allegedly. If you happened to be leading a group of foreign exchange students around the Stanford campus and stumbled across this scene, here's guessing you'd have a hard time explaining how this relates to college football.
Oh, and then there's the story of the time Stanford students stole the Stanford Axe from Cal. It's worth your time, and just another reminder of the glorious hoopla that makes college football great.
Bret Bielema encourages his staff to use his 'suggestion box'
When Bret Bielema took the reigns of the Wisconsin program after Barry Alvarez decided to step down from the head coaching post and transition into the AD role, he had a great support system in place to bounce ideas off of throughout his tenure in Madison.
That support system changed drastically when he took the job at Arkansas back in early December of last year. Now, when Bielema needs advice he turns to his staff, and a little suggestion box that he's implemented.
"You can ask my staff this, but I'm not, or at least I don't think I am, I'm not a dictator. Definitely not a one man show." he explained.
"When I ask questions in staff meetings, I truly mean that I want input and advice. In fact, one of the things that I always tell my coaches is, 'Hey, throw a note in my box', and I get all kinds of information that way."
"Just as men, it's human nature that when someone throws an idea at you, maybe you aren't hearing it the right way, or you're defensive right away but I love when coaches put a note in my box about things to think about, or ideas."
"That's just an example of trying to use your assistant coaches to the fullest."
Now, Bielema may not actually have an artfully crafted "suggestion box" hanging outside of his office, and he could just be referring to his university mailbox, but regardless of the logistics, his idea has some serious merit to it and sounds like a great way to get the creative juices flowing from your assistants who may not be as vocal as others.
Want to make an easy $10 million? Ed Orgeron: The Movie
Admit it, you want to know what's going on in Ed Orgeron's head right now. In the seven weeks since he took over as caretaker of the program, the jolly, ferocious Cajun has coached his way into a beautiful predicament.
The Trojans are 5-1 since his promotion to interim head coach and undefeated in Pac-12 play. If USC beats Colorado and UCLA in the next two weeks and things break the right way elsewhere, the Trojans could be headed to Eugene with the Rose Bowl on the line. It's hard to say Orgeron has coached his way into winning the full-time job, but at the very least athletics director Pat Haden will have to answer questions internally and externally about why Coach O was not the choice. And then there's the increasingly likely possibility that he'll have the choice of staying on with USC's new staff or taking over as a head coach at a new program. Fascinating, all of it.
So here's our harebrained idea: film it. Every second of it.
What if, for the next 90 days, a film crew chronicled the life of Ed Orgeron and then sold the movie rights? Who wouldn't want to see that? And how could this film do anything but make money? Offer half a million dollars to Orgeron for his time, and another million to USC for the rights. Spend half a million on your film crew, another two million promoting it and that still leaves you seven figures short of $5 million.
Once the project is in the can, you can sell the rights to HBO or put it on the open market. The hordes of college football fans in Los Angeles, Baton Rouge, Oxford and Tuscaloosa alone flocking to see this film is enough to turn a profit.
Look at the story you're telling: a coach takes over a drastically underachieving program and wins - immediately - at a rate no one could see coming. Now climb inside his head as he fights to win his way into his dream job, and then weighs the possibility of not getting it. Watch as he mulls whether to stay on as an assistant or prove himself again as a head coach at a new destination. What's Coach O really like on the recruiting trail? How does he handle the upcoming month-long dead period? Does he go insane? Does he spend the entire month in meditation? Does he launch a coup d'etat to take control of the governorship of Louisiana? It's a fascinating human interest story, and it's all told through the perspective of a character that I can best describe as Yogi Bear dipped in gumbo.
There's an engrossing story to be told here. All it takes is somebody to tell it.