Oregon gets their Rose Bowl rings
When you win the Rose Bowl for the first time in 95 years, you like to commemorate the win (and great season) with a ring that is just as fitting as the accomplishment, and just as shiny as their bowl game helmets.
Judging from the picture below, the Ducks have done just that.
The rings are made from white or yellow precious metal (depending on the individual players preference), and the top is surrounded by 60 hand cut cubic zirconia stones. The "O" logo is custom cut into a green stone with the Rose Bowl logo as the centerpiece.
The sides of the rings aren't pictured, but the left side of the ring has the players last name and jersey number along with the duck wing theme from the infamous chrome winged helmets, and the other side has "2012 Champs" and "Win the Day" with the final score and a silhouette of the stadium.
Motivational video: "August is coming"
When you compete in Division III's Ohio Athletic Conference like Ohio Northern (along with Mount Union, John Carroll, Capital...etc.), sticking to your summer program is as important as ever. To keep the team focused through the summer grind, the staff up there put together a solid motivational video.
The clip starts with a motivational message about an alarm clock going off, and not wanting to get out of bed. Then the voice says "sit up, put your feet on the floor and don't look back because we've got work to do...Welcome to the grind".
Then the words "August is coming" flash on the screen, and the highlight video ensues.
Video: "The dawn of Bowden ball"
Akron's athletic department released a nice video last night entitled "The Dawn of Bowden Ball" that features the Zips putting in some serious off season work.
Bowden addressed the team before one workout about midway through the clip, just before they cut to guys dripping in sweat.
"Everything you do, you have a choice on. You've got a choice right now. Your making that choice, in your mind, right now whether your going to have a great day, or an average day, or a sorry day. Your deciding for yourself whether I'm going to be in the front, in the back, whether to go full (speed) or whether to go half (speed). Decide to be a champion."
Western Kentucky getting after it
After losing their first four games last fall, Willie Taggart led Western Kentucky to wins in seven of their last eight games to finish an impressive 7-5. Their only loss during that span was a 42-7 loss to LSU.
After finishing with a bowl eligible record, and not being invited to a bowl game, Taggart and the crew have the guys putting in some serious work to make sure they don't leave anything to chance in 2012.
The video below is just a brief peek into the work that they've been putting in the past several months.
Video tour: Farmers Field in Los Angeles
Proponents of Farmers Field released a video this morning of a fly-through of the proposed stadium in order to generate some added excitement. The complex will not only house a state of the art stadium, but will also be home to an impressive convention center in Los Angeles.
The stadium plans have room for a family friendly tailgate area that will have room for 15,000, a fresh produce farmers market, and a 47,000 square foot ballroom with plenty of extra exhibition space.
As long as everything goes according to plan, they hope to finish the stadium by 2016 and attract at least one NFL back to LA.
A conference spanning 5 time zones?
Conference USA announced five new members last week with the additions of Charlotte, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, and Texas-San Antonio, and according to Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick, they've got much bigger plans in store.
One thing that Marshall head coach Doc Holliday likes about the new conference alignment is the new talent pool that it brings to the conference.
"The one thing that you have to take a look at, when you look at every one of those schools, their recruiting base is huge. I mean you look at Texas, there's a lot of players in Texas. Those Texas schools are going to be talented. There's as many players in south Florida as there is anywhere in America. FIU, as you saw in the bowl game, is going to have excellent players. Charlotte's a beautiful campus with a bunch of students. They're going to have a great facility. There's a lot of players around there."
Last Friday, C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said that they are focused on growing the league even further, which is the same message that Hamrick shares.
"What we're going to do in Conference USA is going to get stable and the Mountain West is going to get stable, and then we're going to continue on discussions of how these two conferences can get together to form a national conference."
"When I say national, I'm talking about five time zones. From East Carolina on the east coast to Hawaii."
Richt: Drills are great but...
After a season filled with disappointing punt and kick return coverage, Mark Richt promises more live kick scenarios in practice this fall after they spent much of the off season taking an in depth look at their coverage schemes.
"My guess is we'll have more live kicking reps in the fall than we've had in a while. Some of that is because we're going to be breaking in a new punter and a new kicker. They need to be under pressure as much as possible and it's hard to create that pressure unless you're doing some live situations."
Richt explains that he likes all the drill work they've been accustomed to in the past, but there's no replicating a full speed drill against the best available players.
"We also just need to see for our own eyes can a guy make a tackle out in the open. Drills are great, but when it gets down to it, you have to have that sensation of being able to corral a guy out there when you're covering a punt or covering a kick. You need to have your punts rushed full speed to make sure there's no problems."
"We're going to do a lot more good-on-good because you need to find out if you've got an issue in camp rather than the first or second game of the year. So we'll do a lot more live kicking situations than we have, maybe since I've been here."
JUCO Video: Live Forever
East Mississippi Community College wrapped up an impressive 12-0 season in 2011, finishing the season as National Champs.
Once they escaped with wins in their first three games (they won those first three by a combined 10 points), they put up at least 41 points in each of their remaining 9 games. The defense was also able to hold half of their opponents to under 17 points throughout the course of the year.
The video below highlights the excitement of the journey of head coach Buddy Stephens and the team on the way to the schools first ever National Title.
Very well done video here.