The Scoop on What You Missed This Week
It's now June, which means this time next month we'll be able to say, "college football starts next month." It's the little things in life....
The Starting Five: Our five best stories of the week.
- The hottest ticket in college football belongs to.........Old Dominion?
- With the NCAA baseball tournament underway, we tabulated the 11 Division I programs that appeared in the football, basketball and baseball postseasons.
- Does staff size equate to winning? A look at the largest and smallest coaching staffs in the NFL.
- How do you beat an elite defensive mind? According to Philadelphia Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, you make him uncomfortable.
- What's the best way to build a successful coaching career? Here are five characteristics that each succcessful coach shares.
The Film Room: A sampling of the best videos we posted this week.
- Les Miles cascaded down a 24-story building and we have the pictures and video to prove it.
- Inside the creative process of Baylor's new uniforms.
- Looking back to 2012 a bit to see Oregon's filthy season highlight reel.
- A great 2013 hype video from Middle Tennessee.
- If you're a high school linebacker, this video will make you want to go to Penn State.
- Speaking of recruiting, the first installment in Miami's new series will play great with the Hurricanes' prospects.
- One of the most passionate coaches in college football, P.J. Fleck shares his vision for Western Michigan football.
The Best in Non-Coaching News: Busy week this week for late May.
- The SoCon has announced the additions of VMI, East Tennessee State and Mercer. Why fans of each program should thank a Pittsburgh or Syracuse fan for their good fortune.
- The Pac-12 has announced its early-season TV schedule. Thursday nights are about to get even better.
- The American Athletic Conference has revealed its official logos.
- Three more coaches have been chosen to the College Football Hall of Fame.
- Things actually decided on at this week's Big 12 meetings: the conference will use an eighth official this fall, and the league's bowl line-up was finalized.
Arkansas wins the SEC Twitter Championship. Congrats?
The SEC is a conference of bravado. You can't survive in the league of seven straight crystal balls without a certain amount of chutzpah, an overflow of overconfidence.
While there's no doubt that a good deal of swagger is necessary to succeed on Saturdays and on the recruiting trail, how far does that really get you behind the keyboard. That's the question that popped above our heads while reading a pair of Razorbacks' tweets on Thursday night.
While the college football section of Twitter was busy setting off streamers and blowing into their kazoos to this cannon ball shot on Thursday night, to the tune of 500 retweets....
...Bielema's boss had fired off a fastball of his own that largely went unnoticed.
Have to laugh cause some of my AD friends don't like that I tweet, seems it puts pressure on them to connect with Students & fans... Hmmm— Jeff Long (@jefflongUA) May 30, 2013
A few questions...
1. Is it too late to submit this for the Humblebrag book?
2. Because you know he wants us to ask, who exactly is Long talking about here?
3. Outside giving his triceps a workout to pat himself on the back, what exactly was this supposed to accomplish?
As Long's colleague Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork tweeted in response, "Not sure who you're laughing at.... many of us do tweet but you set the standard!" So here's thinking that Long got what he was looking for.
For your enjoyment here is a random sampling of some of Jeff's tweets...
Just when you thought The Horseshoe couldn't get any louder
If you've ever been to a game in Columbus, you know how loud a stadium packed with 102,000 screaming Buckeye fanatics can be. Even if you've had the opportunity to stand in the stadium when it's completely empty, as we did during the 2013 Midwest Tour, you can still paint a pretty vivid picture.
Next week a proposal will go before the university's board of trustees to add 2,500 seats by the start of the 2014 season. The project is expected to cost $9 million.
According to USA Today, athletic director Gene Smith says that the seats will be added to the South end zone and the expansion will increase the overall capacity to 104,829.
Currently listed with a capacity of 102,329, Ohio Stadium is the 4th largest college football stadium behind The Big House at Michigan (109,901), Penn State's Beaver Stadium (106,572), and Tennessee's Neyland Stadium (102,455) . If approved as expected, the new addition will bump them up to the number 3 spot, just Beaver Stadium and "the team up north".
While the FBS struggles to sell out, one FCS program can't print tickets fast enough
Much has been documented lately about the Big Ten and SEC's struggles to fill their massive stadiums as of late. Each of those behemoths has gone back to the drawing board this spring to study ways to get the modern fan back into their seats each Saturday. If those two tradition-rich leagues, the two conferences that annually outpace every other league in the NCAA's attendance rankings, are having trouble putting filling their upper decks, things must be really bad at the sub-FBS level, right?
Actually, for at least one program, that couldn't be further from the truth.
At Old Dominion, fans' appetite for Monarchs football can only be described as insatiable. Old Dominion has already sold out every single home game for the 2013 season. In fact, the school raised ticket prices, raised suite prices and told fans they had to donate to the athletic department to even become eligible for season tickets. ODU sold out anyway, all without spending one advertising dollar. In fact, ODU can't advertise because they have nothing left to sell, even after creating a "flex package" of 900 seats that will change from game-to-game depnding on unclaimed student tickets and unsold visitors' seats. In all, the Monarchs will have 15,200 season-ticket holders, up from 14,134 last year.
In the world of athletic directors, that's about the best problem you can have. “It’s very unique,” ODU athletic director Wood Selig told HamptonRoads.com. “It’s like the way Kentucky does with their basketball season tickets. You don’t try to push them, you don’t try to sell them, because we don’t have any more capacity.”
Since restarting the program in 2009, Old Dominion football has been an instant grand slam. The Monarchs have sold out all 35 games at Foreman Field. In four seasons, Old Dominion has done nothing but win, posting a 38-10 record with two straight FCS playoffs appearances. The Monarchs will compete as an FCS independent this season and move to Conference USA in 2014.
That means a stadium expansion is somewhere on the horizon.
“We have to be careful,” Selig said. “When the day comes that we’ve got 25,000 or 35,000 seats, we’ve got to figure out where the next wave of fans is coming from. We’ve done a good job of letting people know there aren’t tickets available. But we don’t want people to give up on us and to think I’m not even going to try to get tickets.
Video: This is step one in changing the mentality of your program
When you take over a program the need to change the mentality of your players is often the first objective. As we all know, that process starts in the off season, and more specifically, in the weight room.
Ron Roberts and his staff down at Southeastern Louisiana understand that, and going into their second season with the program that mentality is starting to take shape in the weight room. These guys are chalking up and going heavy, and understand what it takes to get better.
Here's a great look at how Roberts and his staff are changing the mindset of the program down in Hammond, Louisiana.
Fitzgerald: "Stats are for losers"
Pat Fitzgerald led Northwestern to a 10-3 record last fall with a bowl victory over Mississippi State to wrap up the season. While their run game ranked in the top 25 nationally (19th- 226 ypg) and they averaged nearly 32 points per game offensively, Fitz told Total College Sports that their defense was likely the biggest reason for their success and was the most improved unit on the field in the fall.
After getting off to a slow start, and improving as the year went on, the defense found their footing and showed flashes of dominance toward the end of the season. Defensively, the Wildcats ranked 21st in run defense (128 ypg), 33rd in pass efficiency defense (119.87) , 47th in total defense (378 ypg), and 29th in scoring defense (23 ppg).
While that's prety solid, Fitz explained that none of that really matters at the end of the day. The only stat that really matters is wins.
"We've got to start faster than we did a year ago. If you watched our defense as the year went along we really improved. We gave up some big yardage totals early in the season and I think that hurt us as far as national stats."
"Frankly though, I think stats are for losers. The only stat that matters is wins at the end of the year."
Hear more from coach Fitz below, including what it's going to take to get Northwestern in the national title hunt.
What could it be? Indiana releases a second video teaser
We're still not 100% sure what Indiana is teasing, but videos similar to this over the past few months have had a big uniform unveil behind them.
Whatever it is, Hoosier basketball stars Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford are all pretty impressed.
The shroud of mystery will end on June 3.
Three more coaches headed to the College Football Hall of Fame
The National Football Foundation announced the 2013 class of the Divisional College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday afternoon. The NFF announced Wayne Hardin and Bill McCartney as the coaching inductees for the 2013 FBS class earlier this month, and that duo will be joined by coaches Frank Cignetti, James "Boots" Donnelly and Jess Dow in the divisional wing.
Cignetti is easily the best coach in the history of Indiana University of Pennsylvania history with a 182-50-1 record from 1986-2005. He led the Hawks to 13 Division II playoffs appearances and two national runner-up finishes and six trips to the national semifinals. IUP also claimed at least a share of 14 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division titles in his 20 seasons, as well as 10 Lambert Cup crowns as the top Division II program in the Eastern United States. He coached 124 All-PSAC honorees and led the Hawks to the Division II top 20 rankings in all but one season during his two-decade run. Cignetti also earned 17 wins in four seasons as the head coach at West Virginia from 1976-79.
Donnelly holds the distinction of resurrecting two programs inside his home state of Tennessee. First, he lead Austin Peay State to its first-ever conference title in his debut campaign. Two seasons later he landed at Middle Tennessee State, where he guided the Blue Raiders to nine top 20 finishes and seven Division I-AA playoffs appearances in 20 seasons in Murfreesboro. The only coach in Ohio Valley Conference history to win a conference title at two separate schools, he led MTSU to five league titles and helped the Blue Raiders achieve a 31-game home winning streak from 1987-93. He holds a career record of 154-94-1.
Finally, Dow rounds out the class with a 108-40-6 record at Southern Connecticut State from 1948-65. The school's all-time winningest coach nearly half a century after his retirement, to say Dow is Southern Connecticut athletics would be putting it lightly; the man literally founded the school's athletic department. Dow totaled 16 winning seasons, half of which were years of one or zero losses, included a 9-0-0 mark in 1956. He led the team to an appearance in the NAIA semifinals in 1959. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 88.