"Sooner or later they're going to call us Running Back U"
Willie Taggart was asked time and time again yesterday at the Sun Belt media day how he plans to replace Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky's all time leading rusher, two time conference offensive player of the year and All American.
Taggart's response was simple and confident, "We're loaded. We're loaded and no one knows it. I love it. I love hearing this talk about 'Oh you lost Bobby, what are you going to do?'"
"People forgot that we've been out recruiting. We've done a great job recruiting and I love all the guys we've got. I think they're going to be exciting to watch. Sooner or later, they're going to call us 'Running Back U.'"
Taggart also commended the strides that the Sun Belt has been making as a conference, including hosting their first live media day since 2008.
"You look at this conference as a whole, we're getting better in every aspect. You look at Media Day last year, that was a little ghetto-fabulous. Now look at us. We're in New Orleans, that's awesome."
"It will change the perceptions about UNLV"
About a year and a half ago UNLV started to get the ball rolling on getting an on campus stadium, and last month the Board of Regents gave the thumbs up to move forward with the project dubbed "UNLV Now".
The Rebels still need to finance the plan which has a price tag of about $2 billion, with at least $500 of that being needed for the stadium. For athletic director Jim Livengood, the price tag is well worth the rewards and the effects of an on campus stadium would beyond just football.
“It sends a huge message across the country to people and our fan base that UNLV is very serious about having success. It will change the perceptions about UNLV.”
“It changes the city for the day. Game day is what college football is all about. The stadium would create that environment. It opens your campus for the day.”
Coming off of back to back two win seasons, Bobby Hauck agrees, and not just for the sake of the football program and how it would help in recruiting, but also for the University as a whole.
“A new stadium on this campus not only dramatically changes the football program, but also transforms the entire university. I’m excited about the opportunity to see UNLV become one of the premier campuses in the United States, and that’s what UNLV Now does for this school and this community.”
“Everybody, myself included, wants to know when that shovel can go in the ground,” Hauck added.
Bill Snyder's building blocks: #1 - Commitment
Yet another excellent video highlighting one of the sixteen building blocks that Bill Snyder and his staff emphasize at Kansas State.
This one touches on #1 - Commitment. Enjoy.
NFL teams dominate list of world's most valuable franchises
Forbes released a list of their top 50 most valuable sports franchises in the world earlier, with four NFL teams ranked in the top 10.
Behind two soccer franchises (Manchester United - $2.23 billion and Real Madrid - $1.88 billion) were the Dallas Cowboys, which tied with the Yankees, at $1.85 billion for the #3 spot.
The Redskins came in at #5 ($1.56 billion) with the Patriots at #6 ($1.4 billion) and the New York Giants rounding out the top 10 at #9 at $1.3 billion.
After the top ten, the list gets really crowded with NFL teams. Other NFL franchises that cracked the top 20 include the New York Jets (#12 - $1.23 billion), Houston Texans (#13 - $1.2 billion), Philadelphia Eagles (#14 - $1.16 billion), Chicago Bears (#16 - $1.09 billion), Green Bay Packers (#17 - $1.09 billion), Baltimore Ravens (#18 - $1.09 billion), Indianapolis Colts (#19 - $1.06 billion), and the Denver Broncos (#20 - $1.05 billion).
All 32 NFL teams made the cut in the list. According to Forbes, the average NFL team is worth an impressive $1.04 billion. The entire list from 1-50 can be seen here.
The beauty of an old school weight room
In an era dominated by schools battling it out for the nicest facilities, Wisconsin strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert beleives that there's something really special about getting after it in an old school weight room.
Herbert says that when recruits would visit the old weight room they would always ask, "‘How do you go out and do the things you do?" because the other weight room facilities that they had visited were so much bigger and newer.
“A weight room, for us, is a place to get work done. Guys are going to come, they’re going to grind, they’re going to sweat, they’re going to sacrifice on a daily basis. The thing about the old space we had, it developed an aura. It wasn’t the prettiest, it’s not a health club-esque environment, although we kept it organized, neat and clean."
“When you came in, it was just a place you wanted to work in, you weren’t afraid to get chalk on the floor, you weren’t afraid to sweat.”
While construction continues on their new weight room set up in the Student-Athlete Performance Center on the north end of Camp Randall Stadium, they're making due with a temporary 10,000 square foot set up for the season. The final phase of construction on the new facility should get started around the same time that they would leave for a possible bowl trip.
The new facility will double the square footage that they had available in the old one, jumping from 8,300 square feet to 17,000, featuring 23 power stations that can be used for benching, squatting, or platform lifts.
Herbert admits that had some hesitations about moving into a new facility, in an environment where they would have to create their own "aura".
“When you get attached to something like that, when we flowed into this new space, I wasn’t sure, is it going to feel the same? Is it going to be the same? Right out of the gate, I was happy. Guys came in and they knew, it’s not the finished product, but we came in and got to work right away. It became refreshing to me, a new environment can stimulate you mentally. That’s important.”
SEC game times released
Game times for Southeastern Conference teams were released this morning.
Week 1 highlights include South Carolina heading to Nashville on Thursday night to take on Vanderbilt on ESPN, and then Saturday Alabama and Michigan square off in the Cowboy Classic. Also, Kentucky and Louisville will play on Sunday afternoon at 3:30.
Week 2 features plenty more ESPN action with Florida traveling to Texas A&M at 3:30, as well as Washington at LSU at 7 p.m, and Georgia at Missouri kicking things off shortly after at 7:45.
Things get really interesting in Week 3, with Alabama meeting Arkansas, Florida at Tennessee, and then Texas and Ole Miss in Oxford at night.
Be sure to clear your calendar for Week 10, as Alabama heads to Death Valley to take on LSU on CBS in the prime time slot.
The SEC title game will be decided on CBS December 1 at 4 p.m. Full schedule can be seen below.
Behind the scenes: Texas A&M uniform reveal
Pretty neat video here from 12thManTV showing some behind the scenes footage from their big uniform unveiling last week.
The clip really captures how excited the players are for the new look, and some of the secrecy that it takes to keep everything under wraps.
UMass to wear black uniforms?
Over the weekend, UMass Magazine rolled out their summer issue with an advertisement for UMass season tickets inside, featuring the picture below.
According to Bob McGovern of Maroon Muskets, the Minutemen will be sporting the black on black look during their inaugural FBS season. The full advertisement can be seen here.