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Jon Embree says Colorado players have changed habits

It’s only sixty-six days until Jon Embree will lead the Colorado Buffaloes against Hawaii in his first game as a head coach.

Embree has already declared the opener at Hawaii as a “brick game,” a tradition started by former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney, but discontinued by Dan Hawkins.

A win…and the Buffs will have a new gold brick outside the locker room signifying one of the bigger wins in program history.

Embree said yesterday at the Colorado Football Kickoff Luncheon, “We've accomplished some great things here. We've won a national championship, we've played in some of the biggest games in college football history. They (our players) need to know that, they need to understand what they're a part of."

Despite losing a number of players from the roster in the off-season, Embree is optimistic about 2011 and beyond.

He explained, "Because I know me. I know my coaching staff. I believe in those players . . . that they've made unbelievable changes in their habits off the field, the fact that every guy is there this summer working out. I don't think that guarantees anything, but it gives you a chance."

According to Embree, twenty-four players were under a 2.0 GPA when he inherited the program.  After starting a 6:45 am study table, only two players on the team finished the spring semester below a "C" average.  

That's a start, but the progress the Buffalo supporters want to see is on the field.

Embree and his new coaching staff open at Hawaii, but return to Boulder in week #2 to host Cal.  




Iowa State getting a "big boy" video board

Before the start of the 2011 season, Iowa State will have a brand new, massive video board and speaker system in the North end zone.

The construction is well underway and evident by the video below, this is a “big boy” display that will certainly enhance the fan’s experience at Jack Trice Stadium.

In fact, the entire display weighs 67,050 pounds.  The high-definition screen measures 36 feet high and 79.5 feet wide.  Iowa State contracted with Daktronics for the project.

Iowa State opens the season by hosting Northern Iowa.  A week later, the Cyclones will host in-state rival Iowa.  Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas, and Oklahoma State will all make trips to Ames this season, as well.

Jack Trice Stadium holds a capacity of 55,000.

videoboard

 




4th down: Which coaches are 'going for it'

One of the great early season games in 2011 will be the matchup between LSU and Oregon at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.  ESPN’s College Gameday will be on hand.  Amazingly, LSU sold out their allotment of 37,000 tickets.  Oregon sold 15,000 tickets, as well.

The game will feature Les Miles, who led the nation is fourth down conversion percentage a year ago.  Meanwhile, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly attempted the second most fourth down attempts a year ago.  The Ducks “went for it” a total of 34 times during their run to the national championship game.

July 4th is right around the corner, so let’s take a look at some fourth down statistics.

In 2010, seven head coaches “went for it” on fourth down more than thirty times.

  1. Paul Johnson - Georgia Tech (40)
  2. Chip Kelly - Oregon (34)
  3. Todd Berry - ULM (33)
  4. Urban Meyer - Florida (33)
  5. Lane Kiffin - USC (32)
  6. Bill Cubit - Western Michigan (30)
  7. Troy Calhoun - Air Force (30)

Six coaches “went for it” on fourth down less than ten times.

  1. Steve Spurrier – South Carolina (6)
  2. Frank Spaziani – Boston College (6)
  3. Larry Porter – Memphis (7)
  4. Skip Holtz – USF (8)
  5. Gene Chizik – Auburn (9)
  6. Al Golden – Temple (9)

Seven head coaches watched their teams convert more than 75% of fourth down attempts.

  1. Les (91%)
  2. The Zooker (81%)
  3. The Vest (80%)
  4. Bielema (80%)
  5. Dan Mullen (78%)
  6. Ruffin McNeill (75%)
  7. Chris Ault (75%)




SEC proposes 7 recruiting rule changes

The SEC is proposing at least seven recruiting rule changes that would certainly alleviate some of the stress that coaches endure.  CBS obtained a copy of the letter that outlines the potential rule changes that may or may not be adopted by the NCAA.

The SEC is trying to be proactive, hoping many of the rules will become part of NCAA bylaws that govern all of college football.

It is obvious by reading the amendments listed, coaches are fed up with the ability of the media to portray any particular assistant or head coach in negative fashion for an accidental mistake.  Sadly, newspaper or internet headlines can shine negatively on a coach who returns a text message from an unknown number with a simple, “Thanks.  We played well.  I appreciate the text.”

Here are the rules that the SEC is proposing:

1. Coaches would like to text message recruits instead of being limited to only email and Facebook messaging.

2. Coaches would like an earlier date for the first off-campus contact with recruits.

3. Coaches would like to the ability to accept Twitter follower and Facebook friend requests without the knowledge of compliance.

4. Coaches would like to any staff member to be allowed to answer any phone call from a recruit, recruit’s parent, or recruit’s coach.

5. Coaches would like for the elimination of the “bump rule.”  Essentially, coaches would like to be able to talk with recruits off-campus during spring recruiting.

6. Coaches are interested in a summer official visit date.

7. The SEC will propose a NCAA mandated banning of 7-on-7 competitions on any college campus.




Big Ten coaches octagon cage match: Who ya got?

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell appeared on the Dan Patrick Show this morning.  As usual on the Dan Patrick Show, the interview involved some humorous questions and responses.

First of all, serious props to Fickell for checking in to the show via typical and appropriate procedure.

Fickell greeted, “Hi, Dan.  How are you?  Oh, by the way, 6’4 242 this morning.”

The best part came later on when Patrick asked, “If I put all the Big Ten coaches in an octagon, who is coming out?”

Fickell responded, “Me.”

He added, “I know my ability.  I’ve got confidence in what I do.  18 years of wrestling probably does help a little bit in my book.”

In a Big Ten head coaches cage match, who would your money be on?  Let us know on twitter @footballscoop

  Luke “Bust Yo Eye” Fickell.
  Pat “51 fists” Fitzgerald.
  Ron “The People’s Champ” Zook.
  Brady “Hail” Hoke.
  Bo “Husker” Pelini.
  Bret “Tequilla” Bielema.
  Kirk “The Hawkeye” Ferentz.
  Mark “You Don’t Know” Dantonio.
  Kevin “Hoosier Daddy” Wilson.
  Danny “The Boiler” Hope.
  Jerry “I Will” Kill.
  Joe “The Eldest Lion” Paterno.
cage



Louisville DFO: I'm sure some are thinking 'What is that moron doing?'

Last week, Kentucky director of football operations Clifford Snow accepted the same position under Charlie Strong at Louisville.

On the outside, it may appear to be a strange move.  Not many people choose to leave an SEC program for one in the Big East.

Snow, however, had worked with Charlie Strong for four seasons at South Carolina.

Snow told Kentucky Sports TV, “I’m sure there are fans who are thinking, ‘What is that moron doing? How could you leave Kentucky for Louisville and go from the SEC to the Big East.' But the reality of the business is you’ve got to look at the big picture. Two good programs, two good coaches; two coaches you know and are familiar with.”

“There’s only one director of football operations at each school, so opportunities to move are limited. You don’t really get to dictate when you can do that. When the Louisville job arose, it something I had to take a look at and I ultimately decided it was better to make a change at this point.”

“It was something my wife and I felt was in the best interest for me career-wise. I felt really bad because Joker gave me a chance, and it was a great one-and-a-half years. It was just something I believed I needed to do.”

Before joining Joker’s staff in February of 2010, Snow served as the DFO under Skip Holtz at East Carolina for six seasons.

Kentucky hosts Louisville in week #3.




Chill time: Sark and several D1 assistants work camp in Hawaii

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian spent three days last week coaching Polynesian wide receivers in Honolulu, Hawaii during the All Poly Camp.

Sark was permitted to work the camp because NCAA rules allow coaches to work certain off campus, non-institutional camps during two separate fifteen day windows during the summer.

Sark explained to Dawgman.com , “The biggest thing for me is that I just love to coach.  It doesn’t matter what position it is.  It’s what I love to do.”

Assistant coaches from Colorado, Utah, Stanford, BYU, Utah State, and UCLA also worked the All Poly Camp.

One of the reasons coaches enjoy working the camp is because  Hawaii prep football has improved in the recent years and there are more legitimate prospects coming from the island.

In fact, UCLA currently has secured verbal commitments from two different running backs from the state of Hawaii.  Washington State and Utah each have a commitment from Hawaii natives, as well.

Although we don't have confirmation, we would imagine the weather and accommodations aren't too shabby either.  

The Salt Lake Tribune explained, “Unmistakable puffs of black hair spilled out from some helmets, while other players were simply marked by the broad shoulders and ballerina agility that have helped many Polynesians become top-tier football recruits.”

hawaii

 




Dana Holgorsen continues to entertain

We sort of get the feeling that Dana Holgorsen tries to make things seem as simple as possible.

In less than three months, West Virginia will host Marshall on a Sunday afternoon during a nationwide broadcast on ESPN.  It will be Holgorsen’s first crack at it as a head coach.

Yesterday, Holgorsen told the West Virginia Gazette, "It's kind of coach-speak, but the only thing I'm concerned with is getting better in camp. It means nothing to me who our first opponent [Marshall] is. It means nothing to me that it's an in-state game. It means nothing to me it's a rivalry. It means nothing that they're green or mean green. They're not even Mean Green; that's North Texas.”

They are the "Thundering Herd," Coach Holgorsen.  

"All I'm concerned with is lining up and playing well."

Beautiful.  Wouldn't you love it if Brady Hoke spoke of Ohio State by saying, “It means nothing to me it’s a rivalry.”  There might be a riot in Ann Arbor.

With Holgorsen, we may have officially found the 100% opposite of Derek Dooley, who indicated he had 1400 things to setup before coaching his first game at Tennessee.  Dooley emphasized creating a new infrastructure for the program from an academic, peer, social, training room, equipment room, locker room, shower technique, and procedural standpoint.

From the outside, Holgorsen seems to be concerned about much less, yet important things such as scoring and the lack of a tight end on the roster.  To say the least, he doesn't seem overly complicated, much like his offensive scheme.

Not to say that one philosophy is better or worse, but we are certainly preparing for an entertaining year from Holgorsen.