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'Being an OC is like a boxing match. Every game is a prize fight'

Frank Reich played quarterback for 13 seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, and Detroit Lions. As far as his coaching career goes, he spent a few years with the Colts (QBs / WRs) before moving on to posts with the Cardinals (WRs) and Chargers (QBs)

This past off season he was promoted to take over as offensive coordinator with San Diego when Ken Whisenhunt took over as head coach for the Titans. His experience under center slinging the rock, and handing it off, coupled with his coaching experience on some really good staffs have led to him to a conclusion he shared with ESPN over the weekend; being an offensive coordinator is a lot like boxing., especially when it comes to feeling out the tempo.

"I liken it to a boxing match. Every game is a prize fight. And over a 15-round fight, you mix the tempo. There's sometimes you go in and there's a flurry, you're aggressive and you've got somebody on the ropes. You keep your poise and go for the kill."

"Then there's other times that you slow the tempo down. Maybe you've taken a punch, so you rope-a-dope a little bit. You say, 'Geez, we've just got to get through this half, or get through this series.' It's third-and-20 and you hand the ball off. Everybody boos, but sometimes you have to do that. If you're at the end of the round and if you try and throw a knockout blow, you might get knocked out yourself -- and they might score a touchdown and separate that much more."

"So I think that's very, very important -- to be able to mix the tempo. But even when you're slowing it down, there still has to be crispness to the execution, and to the play."

The ebbs and flows of your first game may be nearly 90 days away, and seem like an eternity, but next time you're trading series with an opponent and you've got the play sheet in your hand, keep his words on tempo in mind. 

Whether it's a college or high school game, his words ring true; "Every game is a prize fight". As an offensive coordinator, your success very well may ride on understanding how to control the tempo.

Here's a fun way for your program to raise $50,000

For many people, there are two essential parts of every college football Saturday. There's the game inside the stadium, obviously, and then there's the feast outside it. Two opposite but equally distinct traditions to this ritual we all love. 

On Saturday, Iowa State combined the two by holding the Cyclones' fourth annual Gridiron Club coaches cook-off. It's a fundraiser pitting coaches against each other in a barbecue cook-off, with a silent auction to boot. Coaches and their families cook, fans attend, and everyone has a good time. 

The cook-off is successful because the Iowa State coaches are determined in making it so. “For me, it’s a big deal,” defensive tackles coach Shane Burnham said. “I take a lot of pride in winning, and I take a lot of anger if I lose.” 

We like this idea, with one tweak:

What if you rallied a dozen of your war daddy tailgaters and paired them with a coach? Take your head coach, each of his nine assistants plus your strength coach and the AD and pair them off with a "tailgating team" to form 12 teams. At $2,000 per coach, that's $24,000. Maybe you could fetch a higher price for the head coach, coordinators and the AD. 

Nearly every program has an army of fans who would love a day's worth of face time with a coach and his family all while showing off their skills as Sultan of the Smoker. Throw in a week's worth of advance time to plan a menu and some complimentary coaches' gear, and most programs would have more suitors than available slots.

Best of all, it keeps the coaches involved while getting them away from the grill. Hold the event around this time of year, when coaches have returned from the road and are aching for some family time. Coaches and their families arrive early and spend the morning with their tailgating team finishing up the food, kicking back and enjoying some family time in the sun with some music. About noon, charge fans $20 a head to attend, get a sponsor or two to cover drinks and whatever refreshments may be necessary...add some local music and kid friendly activities and you've got yourself quite a fun family day...and you will have raised more than a few dollars for your program and built deep relationships with some of your most passionate fans. 

All in all, it's a quick, easy and, most important, fun way to raise money and forge a bond with your fan base.

Now, where are my keys? It's time to head to the grocery store and purchase some red meat. 

Video: Mike London dances with 200 ladies

When it comes to coaches busting a move after a big win in the locker room with their guys, we love 

Point/Counterpoint: A $40 million settlement from EA Sports. Is this a good thing for college athletes?

Over the weekend, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Co., agreed to a settlement with plaintiffs (note the presiding judge must still agree to the terms) led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon for $40 million in the first of a long series of lawsuits aiming to give players a cut of the NCAA's massive television and multimedia contracts. The settlement includes payments for athletes' likenesses in football and basketball games dating as far back as 2003, which means as many as 200,000 former players are eligible for some sort of payout. O'Bannon and former Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller - who both got this ball rolling back in 2009 - will receive $15,000, a handful of others who joined the suit later will receive payouts of $5,000 or $2,500, and the rest of the class will receive as much as $951 and as little as $48 for each year their likeness appeared in an EA Sports game, depending on how many former players join the suit.

Scott and Zach had wildly different reactions to this news. Rather than just debate and argue in private conversation, we trapped both of them in the octagon and decided to hash this out in a point/counterpoint style.

 


 

Zach:

Like many of you, I was obsessed with NCAA Football throughout middle school, high school and college. When my team had a tough Saturday on the field, I'd hop on NCAA and make things right. In high school, an argument among friends would be settled with a game of Florida State vs. Miami. In college, I drove to Wal-Mart and bought NCAA '09 moments after its midnight release. My virtual dynasties at Notre Dame, N.C. State, Penn State and Oregon State are the virtual stuff of virtual legend. Without NCAA, I might've had to actually, I don't know, go outside as a teenager. 

When I read the news that those former players whom I played as years ago were due a settlement, my first reaction was, "Good for them." We all bought those games to be Vince Young, Adrian Peterson and Tim Tebow (along with Oregon State's four-time Heisman Trophy-winning running back Andre Jacobson, but that's beside the point.) I'm caught in the middle of this ongoing amateurism debate consuming college sports right now. I think a full scholarship plus room and board, food, books, gear, tutoring and all the extra stuff is a tremendous payment for a college athlete to receive. Somewhere between 91 and 99 percent of the time (all numbers approximate), a university invests more in a student-athlete than a student-athlete gives back in return. But jersey sales and video games - especially video games - stretch beyond the benefit a university provides a football or basketball player, and those virtual cash registers who double as college football and basketball players in real life deserve a benefit in return that stretches beyond the value of a traditional scholarship. 

 


Scott:

 

I'll start with the fact that I'm a capitalist at heart, and with the further notation that I believe the world would generally be a better place if people sat down and worked out their differences face to face rather than allowing the attorneys to rack up millions of dollars in fees over some issues that truly never should have gone before a court. With that said, I've said all along that players just don't understand how little their likeness is truly worth. I believe that when the players find out that their payout from the EA settlement is likely to be less than $1,000 they are going to be furious; but it's going to be a necessary wakeup call. Listen, I fully understand and agree that without the players there would be no college football, but I also caution the players that without TV revenue very, very few of these guys would have their four or five years of college life (and education) paid for and almost none of them, in my opinion, would go on to make the future income that they have the opportunity to in the NFL under the current structure. Yes, I'm going with the proverbial, "don't bite the hand that feeds you" and "the grass isn't always greener". 

I'd like to bring up one further point, Ed O'Bannon's name will forever be tied to this case.  I have absolutely no idea if he funded any of the attorneys' bills, but I see that he is scheduled to get a $15,000 settlement. $15,000. I read somewhere that the attorneys will receive 33% of the proposed settlement (hence $13.33 million) plus $2.5 million in expense reimbursement. So the attorneys will get paid over $15 million for their time and effort. Think about that, folks.  

In summary, I think the players need to have a voice at the table (and some wise counseling), but I hope in the future they are able to work with powers that be rather than being led down a very long and litigious trail that ultimately doesn't help the players nearly as much as it helps the attorneys. 

 


Now that you've seen our takes, we're interested in yours. Our readership has a very interesting perspective on this issue, so if you have something to add to the conversation or a worthwhile article you've read, let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @footballscoop or @zach_barnett.

The only 2014 CFB hype video you need covers all your favorite programs

 This will be the only all-encompassing college football hype video you'll need for the next 88 days (or so).

This one is rare, covering (what seems like) every major college program and all the top moments of the 2013 season to help you anticipate the start of the 2014 season.

Bookmark it, soak it up, visit it often, and enjoy it. I've admittedly watched it twice already, and will definitely revisit it throughout the coming days, weeks, and months.

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