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  • Rule differences between the CFL and NFL

    CFL

    Canada and the United States that share a lot in common but still differ in quirky but meaningful ways. This, too, goes for their two respective brands of football.

    Below is a list of 16 differences from the NFL to the CFL. Some of them you’re probably already aware of, some of them you aren’t, and some of them are fake. No peeking at the fake rules until you get to the bottom, eh?

    1. Twelve men on a team. The additional man is a back who is an eligible receiver

    2. The defense must line up one yard off the line of scrimmage

    3. Each team gets one re-do play per game

    4. There are three downs instead of four to achieve 10 yards

    5. Field is 65 yards wide compared to 53 1/3

    6. Field is 110 yards long

    7. End Zones are 20 yards deep

    8. Holding the opponent scoreless on three consecutive possessions grants a team one extra timeout per half

    9. Twenty second play clock after referee signal

    10. Line of scrimmage for a convert is the 25 yard line

    11. A gain of 40 yards or more allows a team a first-and-5 on its next snap instead of a first-and-10

    12. A fumbled ball may be kicked in any direction by either team

    13.If a kicked ball goes out of bounds it is awarded to the team that did not kick it

    14. A fumbled ball, which goes out of bounds, is awarded to the team who last touched it in bounds

    15.It’s not grounding if the ball crosses the line of scrimmage  even if there is not a wide receiver there

    16. All eligible receivers can be in motion prior to the snap. Receivers on the line of scrimmage can move up and down the line of scrimmage

    Allow Trey Wingo to explain:

    And, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, rules three, eight and 11 are fake. Very, very fake.

  • Kirby Smart: Smartphones, constant recruiting are “the death of college coaches”

    Kirby Smart

    Nick Saban rarely lets his assistants speak to the media, and it’s a damn shame because his defensive coordinator dropped more honest, compelling information in an 11-minute radio interview than most of his peers do in an entire year. Speaking with Sports Radio 680 The Fan in Atlanta, Kirby Smart opened up on the constant grind that recruiting at the highest of levels has become in 2015, and the toll it takes on those that do it.

    “We’re recruiting non-stop. At least in pro ball they’ve got rules, they can’t be around their players. For us, it really never stops, recruiting, but at least the football stops,” Smart said. “That cell phone you’ve got, the smartphones, are the death of college coaches. Every college coach I talk to won’t say it on record but everyone’s thinking, ‘Should I go to the league?’ Because you don’t have the same requirements; the hours are different. Recruiting is non-stop.”

    After a host asked Smart to clarify his point on smartphones and how that relates to coaching in the NFL versus college football, Smart said, “You can put it away. In pro ball they’ve got all the stuff going with the collective bargaining agreement where you can’t do certain things. You can only be out there a certain amount of time. For us, it’s non-stop. I’ve got recruits that will call, text, do certain things in the middle of the night and I’m thinking, ‘I’m with my family.’ You’ve got to dedicate time to that or you can’t do it.”

    He continued: “I get a direct message on Twitter, ‘Coach I’m coming to Tuscaloosa in a week.’ I’m thinking, ‘Well, I’m not going to be there. I’m on vacation.’ I’ve got to find somebody that will cover up and spend time with them, because if you don’t somebody will. That’s the part I say college coaches are always looking to go because if you’re not a niche recruiter, as you get older or you get less active as a recruiter, you become less valuable.”

    All this begs the question: why do it? After three national titles, an entire roster of recruits in the NFL and a bank account full of zeros, how has Alabama continued recruiting like it’s January 2007? What keeps the hamster in Smart’s head spinning that wheel when a recruit sends a DM at 12:30 at night? Two words: Nick Saban. “Every day you’re behind in recruiting with him. We’re never ahead. We might think we’re ahead but he makes sure we understand that, ‘Hey, we’re way behind, why aren’t we doing this, has this kid been here, how many kids have been here in a five-hour radius, why aren’t they here, what’s the reason, top players in the country need to get here.’ It’s constant. And you always feel like it’s fourth-and-1.”

    Smart went on to shed light on Alabama’s Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State, saying the Crimson Tide never felt like they had a handle on defending Cardale Jones and company, even with a 21-6 first-half lead in hand. He said Jones’s inexperience turned into an advantage because Alabama didn’t have tape of him in the running game, and his arm strength surpassed that of Braxton Miller or J.T. Barrett, allowing Ohio State to get the ball to its speedy wide receivers – Devin Smith in particular – in ways it hadn’t before. “We were leading, but we weren’t leading,” Smart said. “We had not slowed them down. We had two red area stops which could have been 14, we had a turnover, we stripped the ball, we had not slowed them down. It’s 21-6 and I’m thinking it could be 21-21, and then they scored right before the half, which we thought was deadly. They had a good two-minute drive and scored, and I knew we were in trouble.” Ohio State scored on three straight possessions over the second and third quarters – driving a combined 223 yards on 24 plays, to turn a 21-6 deficit into a 27-21 lead, and Steve Millers’ 41-yard pick six with 3:21 left in the third quarter gave the Buckeyes a 34-21 edge it would not relinquish.

    Ever the driver, though, Saban found a way to turn Alabama’s upset loss into a building block by bringing in former Ohio State offensive coordinator and current Houston head coach Tom Herman a blow-by-blow tutorial on how he beat Alabama.

    “I’ll tell you the best thing we did — and I give coach Saban a lot of credit — we went directly to [Herman]. … We said, ‘Hey, we want to meet with you. You know us better than anybody. You spent four weeks getting ready for us. What’s our tendencies? What do we do wrong? What do you think? And he was just honest with us. He told us what he thought, and it was very valuable for us.”

  • First I’m gonna pull this bus, then I’ll tell you where I’m going to play.??.

    Sitting at a table with multiple hats is pretty boring; but I can’t get into this latest fad with recruits teaming up with outlets to do shock videos to announce their “commitment”.

    The latest version of, “Really?” comes compliments of Bleacher Report and an offensive lineman named Parker Boudreaux. In the video which you can see here (B/R doesn’t allow embedding of their videos), the high school athlete does some lifting and then walks out and pulls a school bus forward before revealing that he intends to play at Notre Dame in the future.

    DudePullingBus

    I can only imagine the phone call from Brian Kelly, “Parker, we’re so excited that you will be playing here…What’s that?…Oh, you plan to announce it via Bleacher Report. Ok, sure, have fun….Um, did you say a made for internet video in which you will pull a bus…Hmm, you sure you like that idea? Ok then, have fun.” [hangs up]… [opens office door]…[walks down the hall to the offensive staff room]…”Well, you guys aren’t going to believe this one…”

    Whatever floats your boat man. Whatever.

  • As a coach, what do you say to a player after disaster strikes?

    All Laura Bassett wanted to do was make a play. Defending a threat in the 92nd minute of a tie game in Wednesday’s Women’s World Cup semifinal, Bassett attempted to clear a pass out of the English box and into the stands behind her team’s goal.

    Instead, disaster struck.

    The soccer gods saw Bassett’s attempt to potentially save the game and instead turned the forces of space and time against her, as the final whistle blew just seconds later, ending the game in cruel and unusual fashion.

    In looking for a football equivalent, Bassett’s own goal combined the “how in the world is this happening” trainwreck factor of Baylor’s 1999 loss to UNLV in which Bears head coach Kevin Steele, leading 24-21 with eight seconds to play, eschewed the victory formation for a shot at an exclamation point touchdown, only to see his roll of the dice backfire in the worst way possible…

    … combined with the stakes of Scott Norwood’s missed field goal to lose Super Bowl XXV.

    As a coach, what do you say in this situation? How do you put back together a heart, a mind, a psyche that seconds earlier was shattered into ten thousand pieces? What do you say to someone that just sentenced themselves to a lifetime of “own goal” autocomplete Google searches, who knows how many of “Oh, were you the one…” interactions with strangers, of a life lived as the Bill Buckner of a nation that cares about soccer more than Boston cares about baseball?

    Getty Images

    Getty Images

    For his part, here’s what England manager Mark Sampson had to say: “I do want to state straight away Laura Bassett’s name is on that score sheet, but she’s epitomised this tournament. She didn’t deserve that but she’ll be looked upon as a hero (for her previous performances for England). That’s what people will remember,” later telling his players, “it’s OK to cry. They left everything on the field. They couldn’t give anything more. They didn’t deserve that. We came to this tournament as underdogs and the weight of a nation on our back. I’m just so proud of them. They’ve really inspired the nation back home. They deserve to go back home as heroes.”

  • UTSA is the latest program to create a hype video for their big fellas

    Though skill players account for one out of every four players on the field at a given moment, they selfishly claim nearly 80 percent of the hype video clips. This injustice simply cannot stand.

    Thankfully, UTSA has stepped in to tip the scale back in the big guys’ favor. As if they needed any help.

    The Roadrunners created a highlight video devoted solely to their defensive linemen, complete with glowing praise from Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez.