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  • Dabo Swinney: “You have to be careful what you get your name associated with”


    Over the past couple days, news outlets have been clamoring about Dabo Swinney’s scheduled speaking engagement at an event hosted by the Palmetto Family Council. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Palmetto Family Council is a conservative group that has vocally opposed gay marriage rights.

    Yesterday, Dabo (whose faith has been attacked publicly in the past)  stated that he had made a decision to not take part in the event. “After much thought, in order to avoid a distraction for the team and the entire football program, I’ve decided it is in the best interests of all involved that I not attend the event on June 2,” Swinney told the Huffington Post.

    This morning, Swinney hopped on Sirius XM Sports Nation and talked about the decision, and his advice is something all coaches, and others in the public spotlight, should see.

    “You have to be careful what you get your name associated with. It’s unfortunate for the issue that became a distraction,” he explained. “You just live and learn. As far as the way I live my life, I just try to be a good coach, a good husband, and a good father.”

    While it looks like Dabo is taking the politically correct high road here, he has a good point. As coaches, and public figures that represent far more than just ourselves, you do need to be aware of what you associate your name with – regardless of what your personal views are. The events of this past week for Swinney provide an excellent blueprint of exactly that.

  • Video of the Day – 100 days until it’s football time in Tennessee

    Video of the Day

    Thursday May 28, 2015

    100 days until it’s football time in Tennessee

  • Nine cities reportedly under consideration for 2018-20 CFB Playoff title games

    CFP trophy

    The College Football Playoff is set to announce the cities under consideration for the 2018-20 title games (following the 2017-19 seasons) on Wednesday evening. But Brett McMurphy, forever the fly on the bowl industry’s walls, tweeted out the list a few hours ahead of the announcement.

    And those cities are:

    New Orleans
    San Antonio
    Santa Clara

    Now, which of three of those nine cities will be chosen to host the title games? That won’t be announced for some time, but we can make some educated guesses here.

    Those in the know claim Atlanta and its new stadium are all but signed, sealed and delivered to host the 2018 title game, following semifinals in the Rose and Sugar bowls.

    The Cotton and Orange bowls will host semifinals in advance of the 2019 title games, so we can cross Miami off the list for that championship game. Charlotte also feels unlikely considering Atlanta’s likely status as host of the previous year’s game. It’s also unlikely the Playoff will hold two of its three games in Texas in the same year, so Houston and San Antonio are also likely out. That leaves Minneapolis, Detroit, New Orleans and Santa Clara. Big Ten country is a lock to host one of the two games – lest Jim Delany hold the entire Board of Managers hostage – so let’s go with Minneapolis and its own new, Noah’s Ark-like stadium.

    Finally, the 2020 title game will be preceded by the Peach and Fiesta bowls, leaving all seven of the remaining contenders still in play. Except for Detroit because, come on, the Playoff isn’t going north twice. But with the semifinals taking place on opposite ends of the country, it feels unlikely the Playoff would touch either coast again in the same year. This eliminates Miami, Charlotte and Santa Clara. This leaves a great stadium in a bad walking city (Houston), a decent stadium in a good walking city (San Antonio) and a bad stadium in a great walking city (New Orleans).

    Let’s split the difference and go with San Antonio.

    So, there you have it.

    2018: Pasadena/New Orleans semis, Atlanta title game
    2019: Dallas/Miami semis, Minneapolis title game
    2020: Phoenix/Atlanta semis, San Antonio title game

    Don’t everyone book your hotel rooms at once.

    Updated: 6:10 ET

    The playoff has officially announced the cities under consideration.

    Let’s swap our Minneapolis and San Antonio predicts and mark it good.

  • #TakeASide: Should you adapt your scheme to your players, or should players adapt to your scheme?


    Some guys consider themselves spread guys, while others are referred to as Air Raid coaches, or Wing-T guys, or any other offensive system you can imagine. The same can be said on the defensive side of the ball; you have your even front guys, your odd front guys, your 4-2-5 guys, your 3-3 stack coaches, and your 4-3 guys – the list goes on and on.

    But what happens when you take over a program where your athletes don’t match up ideally with your offensive or defensive scheme? For example, if you don’t have three running backs, your quarterback has a cannon, and you’re offensive line is big and athletic are you still going to commit to running the full house Wing-T?

    Today’s #TakeASide asks: Do you adapt your scheme to your players, or do you expect your players to adapt to your scheme?

    Again, because there are so many variables in play here, let’s say you’re interviewing for a head coaching job at the high school level where you inherit a roster and aren’t able to recruit to your liking like the college level.

    Side 1: You adapt your scheme to your players

    In this scenario, you evaluate your roster and the strengths and weaknesses of your players and each position group, and then decide what scheme you’re going to run on offense and defense.

    Pros: By being flexible, you’re putting your players in the best positions to succeed. Nearly every player fits at a position and is given an opportunity to succeed there. Getting players to buy in is easy because everyone has a specific role.
    Cons: You end up running a scheme that may fit your players well, but it’s not something that you’re well versed in, so adjustments are difficult.

    Side 2: You believe that players should adapt to your scheme

    In this situation, you go into your interview proclaiming that you’re committed to a specific scheme, regardless of what the roster you inherit looks like.

    Pros: You have a tremendous amount of confidence in the scheme and are able to make the necessary adjustments as the game wears on.
    Cons: You don’t have the ideal personnel to maximize your potential. Are you putting your kids in the best position to be successful? Getting guys to buy in to your philosophy may be a bit harder.

    There is no right or wrong answer here, I simply want to hear where you stand and how it stacks up with the rest of the coaching profession. You can reach me on Twitter @CoachSamz.

    Just like we did with yesterday’s #TakeASide article, the best comments will be posted below for everyone to keep track of where people stand on the issue.

  • 11 observations from this “United States of College Football” graphic


    A few moments ago, @CloydRivers tweeted out this interesting graphic depicting The United States of College Football.

    Looks pretty cool at first glance right? I thought the same things, so I retweeted it, and nearly 1,700 other people have done the same. But then I started to notice a few things that don’t seem quite right.

    Here are my 10 initial observations from the graphic:

    1. The geography of the Michigan programs is all wrong. Michigan and Michigan State should trade places on the map and so should Central Michigan and Western.
    2. Really clever use of the Florida State and Texas logos on the map.
    3. No love for Colorado State? They did win 10 games last year…
    4. Of the eight FBS programs in the Buckeye State, Ohio State is a no brainer, but why Ohio U over Cincinnati, or Toledo, or any of the others?
    5. Could Vanderbilt’s logo be any smaller?
    6. Why not include the absolutely dominant small college programs like Wisconsin-Whitewater (D-III), or Mount Union (D-III)?
    7. Why are the logos for Minnesota, Arizona, Nebraska, Illinois, Texas and Washington so much bigger than everyone elses?
    8. Houston got the shaft too! But hey, UTEP is included..and don’t try to tell me geography was part of the selection process because UNI is basically in Canada.
    9. Who is the Indian head logo in between Minnesota and North Dakota State? That spot could easily belong to Utah..another program that got snubbed.
    10. Instead of some of those FCS programs in the great plains area, the Bison logo from NDSU should be disproportionately larger to properly illustrate their dominance of the FCS ranks.
    11. Hey Hawaii, since you’re not part of the continental US, I guess you can’t be a part of this graphic. Tough luck.