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Video: Rise of the Commodores

Great video here out of Vanderbilt. Starts with some good content from James Franklin's introductory press conference and then rolls into the season highlights.

While the highlight rolls, the best sound bytes from Franklin throughout the season chime in.

The video wraps up with this quote from Franklin, "Our kids fight and compete every single week. We are recruiting better than ever. The culture has been changed. We've still got steps to take like everyone in the country but the culture has changed. These kids have invested, the coaches have invested, we have competed and played against everybody, everybody in this league and we've been here 11 months. Wait until we''ve been here two years. You'll see real culture change...I can guarantee you that."

Inside Scoop: Rod Smith - Arizona

Arizona co-offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Rod Smith gives us a quick update on development of the team at Arizona. Smith touches on recruiting, the bond he has with Rich Rod, his quarterbacks and the overall strength program at Arizona. 

Good insight from Coach Smith across the board. 

Rebel Life: Life in Oxford

The newest installment of the Rebel Life series may be the one of the top sales tool in Hugh Freeze's recruiting toolbox when he and his staff are on the road.

Freeze opens up the video with "The one thing I'll say about the city of Oxford and the University of Mississippi is I've never met a single person that spent any time that did not want to return and stay. I think it's the feeling that it's a college town, a true college town where people are passionate and love their University beyond any other I've seen anywhere I've been."

Add that with atmosphere you get on the Square and in the Grove on game day and you've got yourself a one of a kind atmosphere.

Coaches and players explain what it's like to live in Oxford and what makes it so unique in the clip below.

NFL preparing to use replacement officials

FoxSports,com is reporting that the NFL has asked its officiating scouting department to start identifying replacement officials to be used this upcoming season. The previous agreement expired at the end of the 2011 season and apparently the NFL and the NFL Referees Association have not been able to come to terms on a new agreement.

“Negotiations are ongoing, and should the two sides reach an agreement in the near future, there will be no need to hire additional officials. This is a contingency plan to make sure the NFL season will continue on schedule as planned.” NFL director of recruiting officials Ron Baynes explained.

Baynes goes on to say that they will target officials who have recently retired from college officiating, as well take a look at semi-professional leagues and lower division college officials who have the still have the ability to work at a high level, but are often overlooked.

Under the expiring deal, it is believed NFL officials made between $70,000 and $140,000 working about 20 games and most referees also hold full time jobs as well.

With the recent focus on player safety and concussions, the job of a referee has become as important as ever. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told FoxSports that the negotiations are ongoing and that they are "optimistic that there will be a successful resolution”.

Mic'd up on the O-Line

Illinois released a mic'd up video this morning of offensive line coach Luke Butkus coaching up his guys up.

Coach Butkus walks around during stretches and gives each player one thing to focus on improving during that practice, and also coaches them up on their footwork during the PAT / field goal units and pull techniques during an individual period.

At about the 2:18 mark, Coach Beckman puts together an all coaches unit to run the screen drill...and the only thing that goes right is Butkus' pancake block on the coach lined up at corner. That alone is worth watching a few times.

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