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Swarbrick: Strength of schedule should matter

Notre Dame has historically fielded one of the toughest schedules in the country year in and year out, and athletic director Jack Swarbrick wants to make sure that strength of schedule is taken into consideration when determining what four teams will compete for the national title under the new playoff system.

Much like the selection committee for the NCAA basketball tournament, Swarbick wants an emphasis to be placed the strength of schedule, along with other important factors that determine a teams success throughout the course of the season.

"One of the things we like so much about that is as much as this happened in basketball in the past decade, the selection committee will send a real message about strength of schedule. If you choose not to challenge yourself, especially in the pre-conference games, it's going to impact your rating. That's another way we think we're contributing to the vibrancy of the regular season through this process." 

Swarbrick also noted that he wants to see the committe made up of people that understand the game and have at least a basic knowledge of all 121 teams. He believes that eventually the committee will be comprised of representatives of each conference, and then individuals with extensive football knowledge, but no specific conference affiliation.

"We want the sort of sophisticated analysis that says you know this team lost their first game, but their quarterback didn't play the last three quarters. The rest of their season they were undefeated, so if you factor that in, maybe they're a top-four team in the country. We want to have that level of sophistication."

However it all gets ironed out, we'll see this system in place for 12 years starting in 2014, meaning any additional changes won't take place until 2026.


Camp Video: Showdown in Siskiyou

Very nice video below from the Southern Oregon football program and their annual team camp in Ashland, Oregon. The camp was held during the first few weeks of June and is comprised of guys entering grades 9-12.

These high school players are competing hard in every drill and are getting some quality instruction from college coaches along the way. There's even some American Gladiator like competitions mixed in the as well.

There's some good footage of the coaches getting hyped up and getting after it as well. Enjoy.

NATA: "Conditioning shouldn't be used as punishment"

The National Athletic Trainers Association released a recommendation today from their annual convention in St. Louis asking coaches to stop using exercise as a form of punishment.

As coaches we have all been in a situation where a player misses a class or team function, or gets in trouble over the weekend, and some extra conditioning is used to remind him of the high standard that players within the program are held to. According to Dr. Douglas Casa, chief operating officer at the Korey Stringer Institute, those days are numbered.

"There usually is no medical staff around and punishments are not scientifically planned out, so it raises a lot of unique dangers. Is it realistic? In a sense I really don't care if it's realistic. We're moving in this direction. Some day it's going to be eliminated."

Dr. Chuck Stiggins, executive director of the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association echos the same sentiment.

"Conditioning should be there to maximize durability of the athlete, but it should not be used for discipline. We have got to change our culture. It happens very slowly, but we have to get away from that punishment mentality. There are better ways to handle that."

"It's kind of like wearing seat belts. Most people wear their seat belts now, but its taken time. This is a culture change and is something that needs to be done." Stiggins explained.

The lengthy list of recommendations also includes a suggestion that freshman, and players coming off injuries, should have a unique tailored work out schedule, and coaches and athletic trainers should work together to come up with a workout plan for those individuals.

One way that they are looking at making these recommendations stick as legislation is to get the NCAA to ensure that all strength and conditioning coaches are nationally certified, which they say is something that they are currently working on.

Survey: What really matters to recruits

Rivals did an interesting survey during their Top 100 Five-Star camp in Atlanta last weeked that provided some really good perspective from some of the top players in the country.

The players were polled on everything ranging from the best facilities and campus atmosphere to what head coaches are the most intimidating, the easiest to talk to, and the most persuasive. Recruits said the best facilities are found at Alabama, Texas, Georgia and Tennessee, and the best campus atmospheres can be found at Southern California followed closely by Texas and Alabama.

When recruits were asked about coaches, things got a little more interesting. Nick Saban was regarded as the most intimidating coach to talk to by a large margin. Saban received 30 votes while Lane Kiffin and Will Muschamp were the next closes with 5 and 4 votes each. 

Gene Chizik, Mack Brown, Lane Kiffin, and Steve Sarkisian were head coaches that were listed as the easiest to talk to and Chizik, James Franklin, and Kiffin were all guys that recruits viewed as the most persuasive.

Interestingly enough, 79% of recruits noted that their position coach factors into their decision much more than the head coach. The players noted the fact that their position coach will have a greater impact on their career both on and off the field, and they'll also spend much more time together compared to the head coach.

The original article, which can be found here, also asks players to weigh in on whether program tradition and uniform combinations really factor into their decision, as well as the top issues that they really consider when selecting a school.

Video: Navy 2012 trailer

Here's another well produced video by Navy, showcasing their unique game day environment with a heavy dose of highlights from last season.

Navy will open up 2012 on September 1st with an overseas game in Dublin, Ireland against Notre Dame.

Mumme: "If your somewhere you're not supposed to win..."

From Iowa Wesleyan...to Kentucky...and now at McMurry University Hal Mumme has made a living chucking the ball all over the place. But in a recent interview with Spencer Hall he shared his philosophy on if he were to venture over to the opposite end of the spectrum.

Mumme says that if he were going to run the ball, he'd go with Paul Johnson's philosophy because he's an "all-or-nothing" kind of guy.

"I love watching all those teams that do that: Georgia Tech, Army, Navy, all of them. I might not be the best guy to ask that, since I have this mentality that if you're at a place that isn't supposed to win, you have to live on the edge or you'll have no chance of winning. If you do something in the extreme, and you do it really, really well, and you rep it all the time and that's what you do well, when teams play you they're going to have to play in the extreme. And you're good at it because you do it all the time, and they only practice it for that one game."

"You may not have the physical advantage, but you have the mental advantage going into a game. You never think you're out of it. That's always been my philosophy. Because you're so good at the extreme, one or two times a year you can go to the opposite because people overplay it so much. One or two times a year, we have a really good game rushing the football. One or two times a year, Georgia Tech will have a really big day throwing the football. It doesn't happen a lot, it happens when people give it to you. That's the way I like playing."

Since being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, Mumme's coaching schedule has been a little different. Last season, starting with two a days and stretching through the regular season, Mumme went directly from practice to the hospital for radiation treatment a total of 38 times. The original article does a good job explaining the changes that Mumme has had to make in order successfully juggle his treatments and his responsibilities as head coach and offensive coordinator.

Iowa's throwback uniforms

Tom Dienhart of the Big Ten Network just tweeted a picture of the throwback uniforms that Iowa will apparently wear when Iowa State travels to Kinnick Stadium for their September 8th match up.

This one is definitely one of the more interesting uniform change ups we've seen for 2012.


SEC BeachFest (you'll want to see this)

Starting Saturday August 23rd and stretching through Tuesday the 26th, the SEC, partnered with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism, is hosting a beach party featuring numerous activities as well as the likes of Les Miles, Nick Saban, and Gene Chizik.

The event features a golf scramble, concert, 5k walk / run, as well as an area entitled "FanFare" where visitors will be able listen to life lessons and take part in games under the watchful eye of legendary SEC coaches like Phil Fulmer, Vince Dooley, and Gene Stallings.

Bryan Fischer of CBSSports.com had an idea (see below) to add to the SEC's planned activities that would certainly help increase attendance.