Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit channels his inner Rex Ryan
Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit stepped to the microphone today and didn’t mince words.
To an extent, Cubit’s inner Rex Ryan emerged.
Cubit said, "It's our time. I think it's our time to go out there and go get it done."
"The MAC, that'll be a disappointment if they don't win the MAC. That's how we all feel. Some years you can't say it, because you're really missing some pieces. I don't think we're missing pieces, I really don't."
Hey coach, what about the boys from Central Michigan that keep giving y’all trouble?
"That elephant in the room, we see it. Hey, we've got to go out and win. We all know what's going on. We're challenging these guys, we're challenging the coaches. We're doing everything we can to rectify that thing there."
Western Michigan opens in the Big House against Michigan. According to the official WMU site, the Broncos return home the following week to host “Nicholls.” We assume that’s Nicholls State, as in the Colonels from Thibodaux, Louisiana.
Cubit is hoping his offense will make plays like this:
Auburn's new indoor practice facility reducing injuries
For the first time, Auburn has the luxury of an indoor practice facility. (See photo)
Unlike during the Tommy Tuberville era, the Tigers now practice on “lush manicured lawns. And get this -- sometimes they retreat to the inside and the air conditioning when it's not even raining.”
AL.com writer Evan Woodbury believes moving August camp away from the intramural fields has reduced the number sprained ankles and bruised knees that Tigers players often suffered in the past.
Gene Chizik says, "The indoor facility is incredible. It gives us so much flexibility in so many ways. I really like how it's designed...We're going to get a lot of use out of it."
This morning, Auburn was back on the lush manicured lawns.
Check out the video of the interesting quarterback ball security drill that Gus Malzahn has incorporated.
Lane Kiffin counting on the Bomb Squad, Sharks, U-Haul, and Regulators
USC special teams coordinator John Baxter isn't your traditional special team coach. Baxter recently sat down with Fox Sports to talk about his philosophy.
“First of all, football should be fun. It’s a game. That’s really the reason why I coach today because it’s most fun you can have going to work.”
“In the spring time, we had our survivor series. We divide the team into four tribes and they have a draft. They all name their tribes off of some figure in Greek mythology. Being in Troy, that should fit.”
“They compete at these drills. The lowest scoring team votes somebody out. So when they draft each other, you can see what they think of each their teammates and what their skill sets are. And when they vote them out, you can see what they think of their teammates. And at the end of the day, peer pressure is everything.”
“The bottom line is if it’s fun, it’s their idea. And if it’s their idea, it’s always the best idea.”
Team names according to Coach Baxter:
The punt team is the “Bomb Squad” because you’re dealing with explosive every single time. It’s the fastest way to lose a game.
The kick-off team is the “Strike Force.” We are the ball and they are the pins. They set ‘em up and we knock ‘em down.
The kick-off return is the “Convoy” because when we catch the ball, we’re rolling out. The kick-off returner is called the “U-Haul” because if you can haul it, you’re not back there. And C.J. and Robert Woods can haul it.
The field goal team is the “Score Team” because you can score 3, they can score 1, they can score 2, they can score 6.
The field goal block is called the “Regulators” because the ball passes between us before passing through the goal post.
The punt return is the “Sharks” because all sharks know how to do is attack.
The punt returner is called “The Bomb” because if you’re not a threat to go off, you’re not standing back there.
Bielema believes new cut block rule will significantly affect Wisconsin
It’s going to be interesting to see how the new cut block rule changes the landscape of the college football this season.
Big Ten coordinator of officials Bill Carollo explained, “We’ve basically gone to low blocks [cut blocks] are illegal now with these exceptions: Linemen on the line of scrimmage, they can cut block. Backs in the backfield who are stationary and between the tackles, they can cut low. Not only do we put the restriction on the low blocks on the offense, we’re now putting them on the defense.”
“Once the ball leaves the tackle box, that 6 [yards] by 10 area that’s defined, then the defense can’t cut block. So, it’s a huge learning curve for the coaches to teach the players and equally a huge learning curve for the officials.”
On Thursday, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said, “In all of my years as a head coach, we’ve had more meeting with officials than at any other point. I think the chop rules, offensively and defensively, will significantly affect the game.”
Bielema added, “A lot of it is determined where you are on the field, where you start. For instance, a lot of times we start with a tight end in a hip position to the right, we’ll move him over to the other side. He’s never had any restrictions on if he can go low, cut, or if he can go back across the formation. It’s totally changed. It’s really going to change the game, especially for a team like Wisconsin.”
Along with the new cut block rule, coaches are concerned with the new taunting rule and the 10 second run-off rule.
Bielema admitted, “I’ve been studying, my main summer project, was the 10-second run-off…when to use it.”
All-Access Video: Zook working the Illini off-campus
Illinois has created their version of Hard Knocks to give the Illini fans an inside look into training camp.
After three practices on campus in Champaign, Ron Zook has taken his team off campus to Rantoul, about 15 miles from the Illinois campus.
The Zooker apparently loves it.
Offensive lineman Jack Cornell said, “It’s kind of amazing how much energy he (Zook) can have at every point in the day. Doesn’t matter whether it’s 5 o’clock in the morning, 11 at night, or 3 in the afternoon. He’s always going 100 mph.”
Cornell added, “I think it’s good for everyone to see how hard he’s working is how hard we need to work.”
Illinois opens the season by hosting Arkansas State. It will be the Red Wolves first game under new head coach Hugh Freeze who tweeted this morning, “So glad I live and coach in a country where we can play music and worship the one true God during our Practice. #PraiseGod."
If it comes down to a Hail Mary, advantage Red Wolves.
Here’s your Hard Knocks, Illini style.
Coaches requiring their teams to know the fight song
Skip Holtz, Jerry Kill, and James Franklin all want to make sure their players know the words to the school fight song.
As he did a year ago, Holtz will once again ask his team to sing the USF fight song during an evening team meeting during training camp in Vero Beach.
It’s all about creating a sense of pride and paying respect to the tradition of the program.
Franklin recently brought in the Vanderbilt band director to a team meeting to teach the players the fight song.
Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill took it a step further. Kill brought his team to midfield with the band to practice signing the fight song. (Check out the 4:15 mark in the video)
Kill believes, “This is what college football is all about.”
Dooley turns to William Shakespeare to help Vols
Derek Dooley is looking for results, so he turned to old English poet William Shakespeare, who died in 1616.
Dooley told reporters today that he recently referenced Shakespeare’s “Richard III” in a team meeting.
He explained, “For want of a horseshoe nail: one little horseshoe nail can bring down a whole kingdom. That's what it did back in the 1400s. Just like stepping with your right foot six inches could cause a guy to get on the edge, which causes the quarterback to get a little flustered, the exchange goes bad, fumble, turnover, touchdown.”
"Every little detail of your technique and assignment can impact the game. We've got a long way to go."
Asked how the team responded to the verse, Dooley said, “They were very engaged.”
Boy, can’t you see it right now? Janzen Jackson engaged in verses from a play written in 1591.
Here’s the video of Dooley explaining what he’s looking for.
1 on 1 drills: Listening & learning vs. Hootin & hollering
Les Miles took the Tigers through “Big Cat Drill” this morning in Baton Rouge.
The one thing that stood out to us was those not involved in the drill were just watching and listening. There wasn’t much rah rah, hootin and hollering. It must be designed for that…more of a watch, listen, and learn.
57 miles west of Baton Rouge, UL-Lafayette head coach Mark Hudspeth led the Ragin Cajuns through the same drill. Let’s just say the atmosphere was a little different.
There’s two ways to skin a cat. Which one do you like?
By the way, did you see where Les and the Tigers coaching staff hung out after practice? This is pretty awesome.