Check out Texas Tech's Lone Star uniforms for the Texas game
Here's a philosophical quandary for you: if you wear a different set of special uniforms every week, are they really all that special?
Two games after donning "Never Quit" uniforms against Kansas State, Texas Tech will wear all-white Lone Star themed uniforms for its game at Texas. This year's outfit is basically an exact reversal of last year's Lone Star kits that the Red Raiders wore for their home game against Texas.
This is how the Red Raiders will look in Austin on Nov. 28:
The Texas game represents the Red Raiders' regular season finale, which makes now a perfect time to review a full season of uniform choices under new head coach/uniform director Kliff Kingsbury.
All white: at SMU, at Kansas, at West Virginia, vs. Baylor
All black: vs. Stephen F. Austin, vs. Iowa State, vs. Oklahoma State
All gray: vs. TCU
Black-white-black: vs. Texas State
Gray-white-gray: at Oklahoma
Never Quit: vs. Kansas State
The Lone Star look makes seven different uniform combinations for Texas Tech in 12 games, and not a whole lot of red for the Red Raiders.
Which look is your favorite?
Marc Trestman has an important game management lesson for all of us
For those of you that missed the Ravens - Bears game on Sunday, with Chicago up 20-17 late in the game, Baltimore took over at their own 16 yard line needing to go 84 yards to punch it in the end zone for a win. The Ravens ended up driving the ball down to about the three yard line, and had multiple opportunities to score with about a minute to go, and instead of using one of his three timeouts, Bears head coach Marc Trestman decided to keep all of them in his pocket. That decision had a lot of fans, media members, and coaches scratching their heads after the game.
The Ravens ended up settling for a field goal as time expired, sending the game to overtime, where they eventually lost 23-20. After the game, everyone was wondering why Trestman decided to take the three timeouts home with him and what he told reporters, (which you can hear for yourself here at the 9:20 mark) is a lesson in game management for all coaches.
"When you call timeouts at the end of halfs, you want to do it in succession, otherwise there is no value in them." Trestman explained.
"So just a little bit of history, when you start a drive from the 16 yard line, you have a 13% chance, over the past five years, of scoring a touchdown. So you have to take that into consideration when you go into the game."
"The normal thinking is that you never want to leave the game with your three timeouts, but the fact of the matter is that there was really no time to use the timeouts, and when you're in a two minute situation and you use your timeouts and there is no way that you can call them in succession, you give them more time each and every play to get the people that they want out there to get that play done, so you have to consider that."
Trestman then explained that the only time he really seriously considered a timeout was after Ray Rice ripped off an 11 yard run to get the Ravens down to the 5 yard line with just over a minute remaining.
"When you put it all together, if you call all three timeouts right there in succession, you're still only getting the ball back with 18 seconds left, but if you let it run, they're in a two minute mode and now they have to call their two timeouts, so a couple things come into play. Number one, they didn't call a timeout after the first one, so that means that they had to call a play out of their two minute package instead of using their red zone package. They didn't call a timeout and get into a different personnel group. And then, by using their two timeouts, we knew what they had to do on third down, they had to throw it because there wasn't enough time left to do anything else."
"So we cut the percentages in half of run to pass, and then it was one big leap of faith. But if we go back and call three straight timeouts, we have 18 seconds left at max. So the percentage of them scoring...it's a leap of faith. 3 points to tie the game, yes, but seven points, we're talking that 13%."
For better or worse, Trestman is well known as being one of the more cerebral head coaches in football, and it's game management insight like he displayed Sunday that have many coaches adding a brainstorming session with him and Kevin Kelley to their holiday wish list.
Michigan State had a player / coach dance party after beating Nebraska
If you enjoyed "The Gundy", this is right up your alley.
After finally getting their first win against the Cornhuskers in nine tries, Michigan State improved to 9-1 and 6-0 in the Big Ten, and decided the occasion was as good as any to turn the locker room into a temporary dance club.
After coach Dantonio breaks things down and the team sings the fight song, defensive line coach Ron Burton and receivers coach Terrance Samuel show the young guys how to get down. You can see Dantonio singing along in the background, and offensive line coach Mark Staten getting in on the action as well.
The rest of the all access video is great as well, but we've cued it up to the real entertainment.
Tuesday TV - Double dose of MACtion
This week's weekday lineup doesn't compare to last week's, but it's college football, and anything can happen so all these games should hold you over until Saturday.
Eastern time listed.
Buffalo at Miami (OH) - 8 - ESPNU
Kent State at Ohio - 8 - ESPN2
Sixteen stats worth knowing from the college football weekend
1. Ohio State is the only team in the nation with at least 30 passing touchdowns and 30 rushing touchdowns. (H/T @CoachesBTN)
2. Since falling behind Boston College in the first half on Sept. 28, Florida State has outscored its last six opponents in the first half 191-21. (via Matt Hinton)
3. With a 15-yard reception in the second quarter, Shock Linwood became the first Baylor running back to catch a pass this season. It was Baylor's 165th completed pass of the season.
4. During his final season at USC, Pete Carroll racked up three wins against top 25 teams. Saturday's win over No. 4 Stanford marked the third top 25 win for USC since Carroll left.
5. Ohio State's four road wins have come against teams with a combined 0-26 conference record.
6. At halftime Baylor-Texas Tech already had the 10th highest scoring major college game of the day (35-27). (H/T Bryan Fischer) Baylor won the game, 63-34.
7. On Saturday, Willamette University (D-III - OR) rushed for exactly 345 yards, and passed for exactly 345 yards. That's the definition of a balanced attack.
8. UCLA linebacker/running back Myles Jack became the first defensive player to score four touchdowns in a game in the past ten years. He now has as many touchdowns in the past two weeks as Michigan Heisman winner Charles Woodson did in two seasons. (H/T Bruce Feldman)
9. Four teams (Baylor, LSU, Florida State, Texas A&M) are averaging over 10 yards per pass attempt. Virginia is averaging exactly five yards per attempt
10. Ball State is recovering nearly 90 percent of fumbles this season. Of the 18 that have hit the ground, the Cardinals have come up with 16 of the (89 percent).
11. Nine teams (Florida, Louisville, Alabama, Wisconsin, Western Kentucky, Florida State, Texas, Mississippi and Memphis) have yet to allow ten passing touchdowns on the year. Every one of those teams also has as many, or more, picks than they've allowed touchdown passes.
12. Florida State has over twice as many picks as passing touchdowns allowed (19 INTs - 9 passing TDs). Kentucky has just one pick compared to 15 passing touchdowns allowed.
13. Both Utah State and Boise State are allowing negative punt return yardage through ten games.
14. Idaho is allowing nearly 5 sacks per game for a total of -313 yards on the year. Toledo on the other hand has allowed just 4 sacks for -15 yards.
15. Every team in the country has allowed a 4th down conversion. Leading the pack is Kansas, who's defense has kept offenses to 1 of 6 (17%). Interestingly enough, Kansas ranks 92nd overall in total defense.
16. UTEP and Florida International threw eight completions on a combined 31 passes on Saturday. It was the fewest cumulative completed passes in an FBS game this season. (via Matt Hinton)
The way you watch big games on TV may be about to change
Do you remember doing those Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks as a kid? That concept is on its way to sports broadcasting, and may change the way you watch big games.
Sports Business Journal reported Monday afternoon that Turner plans to show three versions of each of the two semifinal Final Four games this April. TBS will show the quote-unquote straight broadcast, with the normal perspective every network gives every big game. TNT will show a separate broadcast of the same game, but with broadcasters, production elements and a halftime show devoted solely to one of the participants. TruTV will do the same the same thing for the other team playing in the game.
“This is really about giving fans alternate viewing options,” Turner executive vice president and COO Lenny Daniels told SBJ. “Ratings are always a consideration, but we’re not worried about them. We’re looking for innovative, forward-thinking ways to present these games.”
Let's put this in football terms, and we'll assume Alabama and Florida State are the two BCS title game participants. On ESPN you'd have Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit on the call with Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard working the halftime show. Nothing changes there. But on ESPN2 you'd have an Alabama-tinted broadcast, with the play-by-play man and analyst describing each play through the prism of how it affects the Tide and Paul Finebaum analyzing the game at halftime. It's the same thing on ESPNU, but this time it's Bobby Bowden and Charlie Ward on what Florida State needs to do in the second half.
From a practical standpoint, there's really no reason not to do this. Turner has the inventory - in terms of cameras, staff, budget and channel space - to pull a move like this off. You're already sending dozens of cameras and a small army of employees to the site anyway, what's a few more? If successful, you can bet ESPN will look into doing the same for its own major broadcasts.
You do have to wonder how the bean counters will judge the move, though. Throwing more resources (even minimally) into a move that ultimately serves to dilute your audience isn't an idea the business office usually champions but, as Daniels notes, this isn't about that.
It's an interesting experience and, at the very least, sets up for one exhaustive night of channel flipping.
Could a change in hiring cycles be coming?
Every head coaching hire is a snowflake. Each school that makes a regime change has its own specific reasons for doing so, and it's own needs, timeline, and desires to seek in its new head coach.
That said, each hire also follows a well-worn path. Once that point of no return has been crossed, a school will move quickly to say goodbye to its previous staff, often times after the final game in late November, and get a new hire in place as soon as possible. In 2011, 19 new head coach hirings were announced between Nov. 17 and Dec. 14. Last year, 20 coaches were hired between Nov. 27 and Dec. 14.
One of the primary reasons for that quick turnaround is clear: to get the new head coach on the phone and in the living rooms of his new employer's recruiting class.
But, has a new wrench has been thrown into this process?
Announced in late October, the NCAA has expanded the winter dead period, on both the front and back end. This year's dead period has grown from Dec. 23-Jan. 3 to Dec. 16-Jan. 15. A 12-day respite has transformed into what's now a 32-day hibernation.
A ripple effect of expanding the dead period means that the business of coaching changes is about to change. Which way? It's too early to tell. Realistically, it could go one of two ways:
- Knowing that a new hire won't have meaningful interactions with recruits for more than a month, a school without a head coach on say, Dec. 9, could be patient and let the process play out a little bit longer rather than rush a hire simply to have a head coach in place. Or:
- Faced with the prospect of waiting until mid-January to introduce a new head coach just three weeks or so before national signing day, schools could rush even more to get a new head coach in place as early as possible.
There's really no way to know how this will play out and, truly, each opportunity to unique. But it seems safe to think that programs that have already taken the first step will have even more reason to move quickly, but this new, extended dead period might be just the cover that athletic directors were secretly looking for to allow them time to perform their due diligence and make a hire they have thoroughly and appropriately vetted.
Try to find a season highlight video better than this one
North Dakota State is 10-0 this season, ranked No. 1 nationally, a winner in its last 18 games and owner of the last two Football Championship Subdivision titles. They're the undisputed class of FCS.
This season highlight video is worthy of the football program it tributes.
Here's a good rule of thumb: anytime you open a video with a Morgan Freeman narration and close it with Lee Corso wearing your mascot head, you've got a winner on your hands.