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  • Northern Illinois has chosen its field design

    A week ago we had the story of Northern Illinois looking for input on its new field design. The Huskies offered six choices.

    Some were bold…

    Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.31.05 AM

    Some were not…

    Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.35.43 AM

    In the end, NIU went with an design somewhere in between.

    NIU field choice

    Northern Illinois’s design joins a trend – which we love – of non-flagship universities putting their state’s silhouette on their field or court.

    East Carolina football:

    ECU field

    Texas A&M basketball:

    Reed court

    Texas Tech basketball:

    Texas Tech court

    Since Northern Illinois has been the Land of Lincoln’s most consistent program this decade, we applaud this bit of flag-planting.

  • Video of the Day: Grand Valley State 2015 Hype Show

    Video of the Day

    Friday, May 29, 2015

    Grand Valley State: 2015 Hype Show

  • Suited ‘N’ Booted … oh dear


    Well, my friends, you have now officially seen it all. Shut it down. Close the internet.

    The Aggies are touting new, exclusive, cleats compliments of their good friends at Adidas and “Coach SnoopDogg”.

    Bow wow wow…

  • Big 12: Show proper sportsmanship… or else

    Big 12 logo

    Aside from the never-ending doldrum that is the satellite camp issue and a smart decision to add some necessary layers to player safety protocol, the issue somehow gaining steam in spring meetings across spring meetings has been sportsmanship – and the need to punish violating schools into compliance.

    The SEC will up its penalties for rushing the field this fall, and this week the Big 12 has rolled out its plan to make its college football and basketball games more collegial.

    First, there’s field rushing and court storming. Following the incident this February where Kansas State fans put Kansas players and coaches in some dangerous spots, the Big 12 plans to fine schools for not properly securing a field or court before fans occupy the playing surface. Continued noncompliance could cost schools a home game.

    How exactly a home institution is expected to clear players, coaches and officials from the field at the very moment the clock hits quadruple zeroes is beyond me, but it would behoove all 10 Big 12 schools to figure it out.

    Bob Bowlsby has pinned a sheriff star on his chest and given himself jurisdiction on the sportsmanship front. “I have a full array available to me and the staff,” Bowlsby told the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t know that there’s anything off the table in dealing with those issues. I think I’ve been given broad prerogatives to deal with those issues and the tools necessary to manage it.”

    But wait, there’s more!

    The conference also wants to stop schools from continually showing replays of controversial calls against the home team inside the stadium or arena – also known as one of the best moments in any game.

    Schools can also get into trouble if fans engage in profane chants, though the guess here is that infraction will be limited to words that begin with F and BS.

    As every little league soccer game in American history can demonstrate, there’s no more effective sportsmanship than forced sportsmanship. Right?

  • College football’s 25 most disruptive defenses

    Clemson defense

    The college football statistical revolution has created a bunch of new metrics that, to be totally honest, confuse the hell out of me. I cheated my way through pre-calculus for a reason, folks. But here’s a new stat that even the dimmest of bulbs can understand: havoc rate.

    Created by SB Nation’s Bill Connelly, havoc rate tracks the total number of plays a defense faces that end in a sack, a standard tackle for loss, a forced fumble, or a tipped or intercepted pass. Basically, how often are you disrupting what the opposing offense is trying to accomplish? Do any of those things once every five or six snaps and, chances are, your defense is going to be pretty darn good.

    Here are the 25 most disruptive defenses from 2014:

    1. Clemson – 23.2%
    2. TCU – 21.5%
    3. Louisiana Tech – 21.3%
    4. Virginia – 21%
    5. Florida – 20.9%
    6. Virginia Tech – 20.7%
    7. Arkansas – 20.3%
    8. Louisville – 20.2%
    9. Central Florida – 20.1%
    10. Michigan State – 20.1%
    11. Ohio State – 20%
    12. Utah State – 19.8%
    13. Boise State – 19.7%
    14. Rice – 19.3%
    15. Penn State – 19.2%
    16. Mississippi State – 19%
    17. Ole Miss – 18.8%
    18. Alabama – 18.7%
    19. Utah – 18.6%
    20. UTEP – 18.6%
    21. Missouri – 18.5%
    22. Tulane – 18.4%
    23. Minnesota – 18.3%
    24. LSU – 18.2%
    25. Marshall – 18.2%

    And the 10 least disruptive defenses:

    1. New Mexico State – 9%
    2. Georgia State – 9%
    3. Navy – 10.7%
    4. Troy – 11%
    5. SMU – 11%
    6. California – 11.5%
    7. Kent State – 11.5%
    8. South Carolina – 11.6%
    9. Texas State – 11.6%
    10. UNLV – 11.7%

    In the future I’d like to see this stat reverse-engineered, to get a look at what offenses allow the most and least disruptions on a per-play basis.