The Longhorn Network
The Longhorn Network launched last night...and we're betting you didn't see it.
In fact, nationwide, only about 20,000 people even had access to it (none of them in Central Texas).
Beginning September 1st, the joint venture between the University of Texas and ESPN, the network is expected to be available in nearly 4 million homes within the state.
Programming this weekend includes three live volleyball games, a live women's soccer match, replays of 10 "classic" UT football games played over the last 40 years and yes, the inaugural episode of "Texas All Access" which offers behind the scenes footage of the football program.
Yesterday it was announced that no other cable news channels (presumably not to include the Worldwide Leader which is a partial owner of the Longhorn Network) would be allowed to broadcast Mack Brown's postgame or his Monday news conferences live.
Also yesterday, the NCAA came out with the following statement regarding the Longhorn Network's ability to show high school athletic content:
The NCAA is monitoring content on the Longhorn Network and its news coverage of high school sports. With respect to NCAA bylaws as the Association has continued to review the issue, acceptable content is limited to scores, statistics, standings and news video used to report those details.
We will continue to monitor the Longhorn Network to determine if the content is produced within those guidelines.
Today we're introducing a new "news" feature in which we'll bring you updated daily TV listings for live broadcasts only. We rely on published reports for this data. All times shown are Eastern.
Patriots at the Lions - 8PM - CBS
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) vs. Prattville (Ala.), in Hoover, Ala. - ESPN - noon
South Panola (Miss.) at Hoover (Ala.) - ESPN - 3:30
Sulphur Springs (Texas) at Denton Ryan (Texas) - ESPN - 7
Pleasant Grove (Calif.) at Monterey Trail (Calif.) - ESPN2 - 10
Drew Pearson's still got it
Dan McCarney recently invited former Cowboy All Pro Drew Pearson to speak to his team. Pearson nailed it.
McCarney knows how special a time in his players' lives this is and he wants them to hear that from his coaches and from others who have earned their respect. In addition to Pearson, McCarney also recently had "Mean" Joe Greene, a North Texas alum, come speak to the team as well.
In this talk, Pearson stresses that the guys need to realize what a great opportunity they have right now. A new stadium (which looks great), new facilities, a new coaching staff, renewed excitement on campus and in the community, "the future is now, don't wait take advantage of it".
Pearson also stresses how guys have got to stay out of trouble and properly represent the University. Do well in school; because years from now, when you meet people on the streets, no one is going to remember your stats; but people will immediately know whether you are educted or not; and that's important in life.
Overall a great talk. Pearson owns the room at the end talking about the new threads. Great stuff.
Many thanks to the North Texas staff for the video.
New ESPN commercials
ESPN is now rolling out a series of new commericals both for College GameDay and for Monday Night Football.
We've got 2 for GameDay (one with Les and the other with Chip Kelly) and currently have video for one of the 4 new MNF spots. Waiting for ESPN to send us the others...
South Carolina is loaded
On offense, the head ball coach has seven returning starters including Stephen Garcia, Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffrey. On defense he's got Ellis Johnson. Enough said.
But wait, there's more. So back to offense...in front of Garcia there are three returning lineman in what is said to be a strong offensive line. Behind him you've got quite possibly the most talented true tailback in college today. Out wide you've got Alshon and 2 or 3 seven other guys that wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. says can play.
When pressed in this interview to name his top 3, Spurrier Jr. names 4 and then can't stop himself when talking about how good the other 4 are (and he says the two they are going to redshirt are going to be special in time).
Nike unveils new uniforms
Earlier this week Under Armour trotted out a whole new line of uniforms for Maryland. Naturally, Nike comes out this morning with new threads for Oregon and Boise State.
Although the Nike releases tout the breathability / "thermoregulation" of the uniforms, we did note that they stressed that the Oregon jerseys include extra strong kevlar stiching in the collars. Kevlar, once only thought useful in bullet-proof vests, now has worked it's way into the fabric of all our lives.
Playbooks on the iPad
Yes, Steve Jobs did step down as CEO of Apple yesterday (although he remains the chairman of the board and an employee). No we're not kidding.
Jobs built Apple into the most valuable company in the world and their latest invention (the iPad) is destroying the competition. Blackberry recently announced that they are significantly scaling down production of their tablets (in fact Sprint is now refusing to even stock Blackberry tablets). HP just announced that they are shutting down their current tablet business and operating system. The list of "competing products" to the iPad which are dying a painful death is long; but the iPad sales continue to soar.
Everyone is noticing. We've noticed that more and more college staffs are adopting Apple platforms. Many are now purchasing iPads for every coach and some as we've shown you are now putting them at every players' locker.
The same holds true in the NFL where a number of teams are currently using iPads. We noticed a recent story about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers use of the iPads.
The Bucs no longer distribute paper copies of their playbook. Yep, it's all on the iPad. But, Coach Raheem Morris wanted to take it a step further.
Now, each Buc can download nearly any video he wants prior to leaving for the day (past games, practice video, situational cutups, etc...). Morris said that director of technology Chris Wells and video director Dave Levy deserve the credit for designing the systems (good guys to call if you're thinking about adopting this concept).
Morris said it took his owner about 2 minutes to approve the purchase of 90 iPads (at about $500 - $600 each....totaling about $50,000).
One final thing Morris mentioned, if an iPad (and thus a playbook) get's left somewhere or lost, "You've got a way to wipe everything off with a push of a button."
Get to know this guy
Tuesday afternoon Richmond head coach Latrell Scott resigned after having been pulled over the night before and charged with DUI. The school named then offensive coordinator Wayne Lineburg the interim head coach for the season.
Lineburg, 37, is in his second stint as offensive coordinator at Richmond ('04-'06 under Dave Clawson and he returned last season with Scott). In between the two, he spent 3 seasons at UVA his alma mater for whom he played quarterback.
Wayne's father is a legendary high school coach in Virginia (Radford High) and one of his brothers is the athletic director at Radford University. The man has strong roots in Virginia.
When announcing the transition, athletic director Jim Miller announced Coach Lineburg would serve as the head coach for the season and then there would be a search and that Lineburg would be considered.
Playing in the CAA is never easy; but we expect Lineburg to pull this team together and to have a very good season. Hopefully that talk about performing a "search" at the end of the season becomes unnecessary.
For anyone who aspires to become a first time head coach (and recognizes that sometimes circumstances dictate that it doesn't happen the way you dream that it might), you might want to bookmark this page and watch and rewatch how Coach Lineburg handles this opportunity with poise and class.