The most interesting man in college football

Honestly, we go back and forth...is it Les or is it Leach? For this one day, we believe we have the answer...

Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman wrote up a very interesting interview with Mike Leach. You should really read the whole thing...but a couple of quick ones...

Leach is starting to settle into the environment up in Pullman, even though he has yet to see the house that his wife picked out for them. "I've heard it's nice." Leach said.

Bohls asked Leach when they would be ready to beat the Oregon and USC and win the Pac 12, to which Leach responded "It depends, during the season, if you ask me on a Sunday how we're going to do, I'd say I don't know if we can beat Pullman High. By Friday, I'm pretty sure we can beat the Giants."

Possibly the most "Leach" thing in the article is a brief note that Leach rode his bike 3 miles to his first interview with Washington State AD Bill Moos. On this day, we proclaim Mike Leach the most interesting man in college football. 

The ball is now in your court Les!


Missouri seniors carry on conditioning tradition

Bright and early yesterday Mizzou players began the winter conditioning program, and all of the past seasons seniors showed up in a show of support...and some to rub it in a little bit.

It has become a tradition for seniors who have played their last down at Missouri to show up for the first day of conditioning as a show of support and reflection (the coffee and the breakfast in the video below were just to rub it in).

NCAA proposing rule changes

The NCAA is recommending a few rule changes for the upcoming season.

The proposed changes include:


  • Kickoff and Touchback Starting Lines Moved. The committee voted to move the kickoff to the 35-yard line (currently set at the 30-yard line), and to require that kicking team players must be no further than five yards from the 35 at the kick, which is intended to limit the running start kicking teams have during the play. The committee also voted to move the touchback distance on free kicks to the 25-yard line instead of the 20-yard line to encourage more touchbacks. NCAA data indicates injuries during kickoffs occur more often than in other phases of the game.
  • Loss of Helmet During Play. If a player loses his helmet (other than as the result of a foul by the opponent, like a facemask), it will be treated like an injury. The player must leave the game and is not allowed to participate for the next play. Current injury timeout rules guard against using this rule to gain an advantage from stopping the clock. Additionally, if a player loses his helmet, he must not continue to participate in play to protect him from injury. Data collected during the 2011 season indicated that helmets came off of players more than two times per game.
  • Blocking Below the Waist. The intent of the changes made last season were to only allow blocking below the waist when the opposing player is likely to be prepared for this contact, but the opposite impact was discovered in some cases. To clarify the intent, the committee approved wording that essentially allows offensive players in the tackle box at the snap that are not in motion to block below the waist legally without restriction. All other players are restricted from blocking below the waist with a few exceptions (e.g. straight ahead blocks).  
  • Shield Blocking Scheme on Punting Plays. The committee reviewed several examples of shield blocking, which has become a popular blocking scheme for punting teams. In several cases, a receiving team player attempts to jump over this type of scheme in the backfield to block a punt. In some cases, these players are contacted and end up flipping in the air and landing on their head or shoulders. The committee is extremely concerned about this type of action and proposed a rule similar to the leaping rule on place kicks that does not allow the receiving team to jump over blockers, unless the player jumps straight up or between two players.
  • Additional Protection to Kick Returner. Through officiating interpretation, the committee approved a recommendation to provide a kick returner additional protection to complete a catch before allowing contact by the kicking team.

    All rules change recommendations must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which meets via conference call Feb. 21. The proposals will first be sent to the NCAA membership for comment.

    These changes are all being proposed for immediate implementation for the 2012 season. 

    Arizona proposing beer sales at games

    The state of Arizona looks to be taking a page out of the book of West Virginia as three state representatives are proposing selling beer at Arizona and Arizona State football games.

    The proposed bill would provide a "pilot program to test the issue under the watch of the Arizona Board of Regents and in consultation with the department of liquor licenses and control." Proceeds would go to the athletic departments, all of which are exploring new revenue streams.

    According to the Des Moines Register, twenty major universities sold beer to the general public during games this past season. That's twice the amount than the 2010 season.

    Interestingly, West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck said that alcohol related incidents actually decreased 25-35 percent with the new beer sales at home games this season. Luck said that they profited about $750,000 from alcohol sales in their seven home contests.

    Hell Week at Miss State

    Matt Balis met with members of the media recently to talk about off season training and their version of the Navy Seals Hell Week.

    Balis said that Hell Week isn't something that they implement in their first week, because there is no way that the athletes bodies would be prepared. Their version took place in week 3, after two weeks of off season conditioning.

    One reporter even asked Balis to estimate how many gallons of vomit accumulated during Hell Week...Balis responded by saying that it was more about the mental challenges throughout the week than it was the physical aspect. Numerous team building activities, competitive cardio routines, and early morning wake ups (on top of their regular daily schedules) made the mental preparation just as important to the strength staff.

    Balis says that they assign a strength coach to the early enrollees to help them get them get acclimated to their techniques and expectations early on in the process.

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