Catching up with Rutgers' Kyle Flood
ESPN caught up with Kyle Flood to talk his interview with Athletic Director Tim Pernetti and what will change under his leadership.
Flood says that during his interview with Pernetti he told him that "...in our profession secrets are not very well kept. I know you’re going to talk to some coaches. On paper, they're good football coaches. But I can tell you this: there's nobody better for this job than me, and nobody who will care more for Rutgers football than me."
When Flood was asked what will change under his leadership, he responded by saying that the core values of the program will stay the same, but his coaching personality is different than Schiano's.
"I want to take the things that are really good and I want to make them great. It’s not a situation where the head coach was let go because they weren’t winning. This is a team that's won five straight bowl games in the last six years. This is a really good team and we want to advance it forward."
Flood added that you accomplish that by "taking the little things and making them better".
Sit down with Hugh Freeze
The Clarion Ledger's Hugh Kellenberger sat down with Hugh Freeze for the first time since his hiring on December 5th recently to talk about how things have progressed since his arrival on campus.
On the installation of the new offensive and defensive schemes, Freeze said “With the staff we’re starting and we can do everything. You can’t with the players right now. We’re going to start mat drills soon, where you’ll have some (individual work) and some meeting time. We’re going to do about eight days of that, coming up soon. I think the most important thing that is happening with them right now is the work ethic that’s being established by coach Jackson and the strength program. He’s doing a really nice job. I think their attitudes have been great. Every report I get from him is that he’s really pleased. I think we have a ways to go physically but he’s been pleased with their attitude.”
Freeze said that while at Arkansas State, he felt that 90% of the team had bought into the staff's vision for the program. Citing that he thought there were only a small handful who weren't completely invested, he gave much of the credit to Steve Roberts who was able to bring in 4 recruiting classes to Freeze's 1. A major part of their success last season was because they had so few guys who the coaching staff had to wonder "Oh gosh, what’s he going to do tonight?" and had a senior class that was focused on going out on a different note.
In the full interview, Freeze talks about recruiting, his relationship with the rest of the staff and their cohesiveness so far, and how they stack up to other SEC teams early on in the process.
Big Ten considering 4 team playoff
Big Ten officials are kicking around the idea of a four team playoff where the top 4 teams in the BCS standings would face off.
The semifinal games would take place on the campus of the highest seeded team, and the site of the championship game would go to the highest bidder, much like the Super Bowl.
Northwestern Athletic Director Jim Phillips says "We have to listen to the fans; we cannot be tone-deaf, the Big Ten is open and curious”.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany would not comment specifically on the proposal until he had a better gauge for other presidents, chancellors and athletic directors within the Big Ten, but did add "It’s a matter of coming up with something that does not kill the baby with the bath water. We have a regular season that is vibrant. We have 12 games plus a (conference) championship game – that’s a lot of games. We have academic calendars, though that doesn't resonate with many people. But if you’re dealing with university presidents, faculty and coaches, you’re talking about it.”
Delany added that he thinks fans are conditioned to the playoffs, and he just wants to make sure they are doing the "right thing".
"We increased the budget for recruiting by probably 100%"
Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor of Athletics David Williams sat down with The Tennessean's Jeff Lockridge to talk about the off season recently.
Williams was asked how much more money was spent on recruiting this season compared to years past, to which he responded with a laugh "A lot".
Williams said that he doesn't know exactly how much was spent until they get all the bills and receipts back, but he does know that they increased the recruiting budget by about 100%.
"Anytime James decides to fly on a private plane or a helicopter...in this case a lot...it has to be approved. I think I got requests almost on a daily basis (the week before National Signing Day). I would expect when the bill is paid, it will be a lot. It will be within the budget, but we’ve increased recruiting a lot."
That budget allowed Franklin and his staff to land one of the best Commodore classes in recent memory.
Recruiting the recruiters
A handful of head coaches have been recruiting double duty this off season recruiting both student athletes, and the recruiters.
We have seen a number of the coaching professions best recruiters opt for a change of scenery in recent months, shining light on head coaches recruiting the recruiters.
Kevin Sumlin says that "It's probably more difficult to recruit coaches...and coaches' wives...than it is five-star players because of the competition out there."
Steve Sarkisian expanded on the same principal, and kept it all in perspective by saying "We want to pound our chest on how much football we know, but if the players can't execute it, then that part is a bit irrelevant. You have to have the players in place to do it. So we went out and tried to identify some guys that, I think, were not just good football coaches, but were good recruiters. I think in the end, it did have a direct impact on what we were doing."
Bret Bielema shared that when he was a young coach, he got frustrated with being known as a great recruiting coach, and wanted to focus on being a good football coach. Bielema acknowledged that you reach a certain point in your career where you can be more valuable to a program by the players that you bring in. "They're the lifeblood of what we are. Don't think I ever lose sight of that" he added.
The original article by ESPN written by Mitch Sherman can be found here and includes commentary from Paul Rhoads and more from Bret Bielema.
Maryland's recruiting strategy
Maryland released their signing day video over the weekend, and contains a good section from recruits about what drew them to the Terps and the coaching staff.
Tight ends coach John Dunn talks about their recruiting strategy being "collective" and how coordinators and position coaches play major roles in getting kids on board.
Randy Edsall noted that nearly 90% of the 24 kids that they signed were team captains.
Coach does the right thing
National singing day went a little differently at Rice than it did for a lot of other programs.
High school defensive end David Wilganowski had his mind made up that Rice was the right fit for him, but back in September he collapsed during a game and almost lost his life.
Wilganowski was later diagnosed with a heart condition and a defibrillator was implanted in his chest, effectively ending his dream of playing college football.
In a classy move by head coach David Bailiff, the scholarship was still honored and Wilganowski will help the team in another capacity.
“We ask young men to keep their word to us, you know we say we’re going to be with them through thick or thin. I think it’s a good practice that you keep your word.” Bailiff said.
Wilganowski's father offered the following after learning of the news “I’m really happy that Rice honored his commitment, God bless Rice.”
Super Bowl Sunday
Be sure to enjoy one of the greatest sporting events of the year tonight.
All time are eastern.
The Super Bowl: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots - 6:29 - NBC