South Carolina is loaded
On offense, the head ball coach has seven returning starters including Stephen Garcia, Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffrey. On defense he's got Ellis Johnson. Enough said.
But wait, there's more. So back to offense...in front of Garcia there are three returning lineman in what is said to be a strong offensive line. Behind him you've got quite possibly the most talented true tailback in college today. Out wide you've got Alshon and 2 or 3 seven other guys that wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. says can play.
When pressed in this interview to name his top 3, Spurrier Jr. names 4 and then can't stop himself when talking about how good the other 4 are (and he says the two they are going to redshirt are going to be special in time).
Nike unveils new uniforms
Earlier this week Under Armour trotted out a whole new line of uniforms for Maryland. Naturally, Nike comes out this morning with new threads for Oregon and Boise State.
Although the Nike releases tout the breathability / "thermoregulation" of the uniforms, we did note that they stressed that the Oregon jerseys include extra strong kevlar stiching in the collars. Kevlar, once only thought useful in bullet-proof vests, now has worked it's way into the fabric of all our lives.
Playbooks on the iPad
Yes, Steve Jobs did step down as CEO of Apple yesterday (although he remains the chairman of the board and an employee). No we're not kidding.
Jobs built Apple into the most valuable company in the world and their latest invention (the iPad) is destroying the competition. Blackberry recently announced that they are significantly scaling down production of their tablets (in fact Sprint is now refusing to even stock Blackberry tablets). HP just announced that they are shutting down their current tablet business and operating system. The list of "competing products" to the iPad which are dying a painful death is long; but the iPad sales continue to soar.
Everyone is noticing. We've noticed that more and more college staffs are adopting Apple platforms. Many are now purchasing iPads for every coach and some as we've shown you are now putting them at every players' locker.
The same holds true in the NFL where a number of teams are currently using iPads. We noticed a recent story about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers use of the iPads.
The Bucs no longer distribute paper copies of their playbook. Yep, it's all on the iPad. But, Coach Raheem Morris wanted to take it a step further.
Now, each Buc can download nearly any video he wants prior to leaving for the day (past games, practice video, situational cutups, etc...). Morris said that director of technology Chris Wells and video director Dave Levy deserve the credit for designing the systems (good guys to call if you're thinking about adopting this concept).
Morris said it took his owner about 2 minutes to approve the purchase of 90 iPads (at about $500 - $600 each....totaling about $50,000).
One final thing Morris mentioned, if an iPad (and thus a playbook) get's left somewhere or lost, "You've got a way to wipe everything off with a push of a button."
Get to know this guy
Tuesday afternoon Richmond head coach Latrell Scott resigned after having been pulled over the night before and charged with DUI. The school named then offensive coordinator Wayne Lineburg the interim head coach for the season.
Lineburg, 37, is in his second stint as offensive coordinator at Richmond ('04-'06 under Dave Clawson and he returned last season with Scott). In between the two, he spent 3 seasons at UVA his alma mater for whom he played quarterback.
Wayne's father is a legendary high school coach in Virginia (Radford High) and one of his brothers is the athletic director at Radford University. The man has strong roots in Virginia.
When announcing the transition, athletic director Jim Miller announced Coach Lineburg would serve as the head coach for the season and then there would be a search and that Lineburg would be considered.
Playing in the CAA is never easy; but we expect Lineburg to pull this team together and to have a very good season. Hopefully that talk about performing a "search" at the end of the season becomes unnecessary.
For anyone who aspires to become a first time head coach (and recognizes that sometimes circumstances dictate that it doesn't happen the way you dream that it might), you might want to bookmark this page and watch and rewatch how Coach Lineburg handles this opportunity with poise and class.
Vic Koenning is a competitor
If you have 4 minutes sometime today, watch this interview with Illinois defensive coordinator Vic Koenning.
This is after practice and he sounds a little tired; but as the questions come you can just hear the competitor in him.
There is a great point in here (around the 0:55 second mark) where a reporter asks him about whether the focus this August is on preparing the players to have a great season or is the goal to have the best possible practice everyday. Koenning's answer is an interesting one, "Human nature has you try to prepare for that practice to be the best that you can for that practice...but we're trying to get back to focusing on the season" something he says he might have lost perspective on last year.
A couple of takeaways. First, Koenning leads off emphasizing how good their offense is, "really, really, really good". Second, he'd like to have a little more depth right now with his guys (who wouldn't though). Finally, we're very confident he'll have his guys prepared come next Saturday when they host Arkansas State.
Joker Phillips went up to Louisville this morning. UK was holding a football kickoff luncheon and Joker was asked to stop by a local station to do an interview first. Coach enters the station and is greeted by a young staffer, "Good to meet you, coach." As Phillips tells the story, "The young man then turns his back to me and says, 'You know, I'm not really a Cardinal fan; I grew up in Lexington.' I said, 'I'm Joker."
The guy had thought he was speaking Charlie Strong.
Phillips and Strong have been friends for years and now are the faces of the two preeminent college football programs in the state. Phillips was asked if it's awkward going against his friend when recruiting in state talent. "We don't really talk about their program when we're trying to sell Kentucky. You're very limited in how many opportunities you have in front of a recruit, so for me to spend time talking about somebody else's program, that's just taking away time for me to talk about mine. And we've got a lot of things to sell here at Kentucky, and I need all that time to sell it."
Phillips was also asked how his players are responding to new defensive coordinator Rick Minter's schemes. "Our kids have come a long way in understanding Rick. Rick's a tough, hard-nosed, in-your-face type of coach. Some had problems with that. I understand that. But they now understand the benefits of his approach. His approach is to try to get out kids to line up fast, to play great technique and to play within the schemes."
Tennessee, Dooley and Kiffin can move on
You can find details from the NCAA on other websites if that's the kind of thing you enjoy reading.
Here's all you need to know. Tennessee football, Derek Dooley and Lane Kiffin can put all of the "NCAA violations" talk behind them. The committee said there was insufficient evidence to support major violations by the football program or Coach Kiffin.
Equipment guys, this one's for you
Don Barnes is the equipment director at Missouri. Been that for quite some time.
The man enjoys and takes great pride in the work that he and his staff do for the University.