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  • “Regardless of the front seven, if the secondary plays well, we’ll win every game”

    Oklahomabanner

    There an old football adage as old as the game itself that states that if you can stop the run consistently, chances are really good that you’re going to win a lot of games.

    Well according to new Oklahoma defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks (who spent last season at Notre Dame with the secondary), there’s also another side to that coin. Cooks is telling his group that if they lock guys down in the secondary, tackle well, and fly around and make plays, then they’re going to win every, single game.

    “What I want them to believe, and I believe this, is if the secondary plays well, it doesn’t matter what happens up front. If we play well, if we tackle, if we don’t let guys behind us, if we’re making plays, we’ll win every game.” Cooks told the Muskogee Phoenix.

    “It doesn’t matter what happens up front. How good we are up front is irrelevant in my mind. And I want those guys to think that way. Whether that’s true or not, who cares. As a secondary player, that’s your mentality.”

    “We need to play well every snap. The hopes and dreams of OU, the student body, Norman, Oklahoma, it’s all on our shoulders. That’s how they’ve got to feel. I want them to understand that.”

    Last year, in the pass-happy Big 12, Oklahoma finished 120th out of 128 FBS teams in pass defense, so as the new defensive backs coach, Cooks has an uphill battle in front of him. In his mind, getting his guys to buy in and then perform under the pressure of having the hopes and dreams of the entire university is where it starts.

    Do you agree or disagree with Cooks’ approach?

     

  • Video of the Day – WPI spring game hype

    Video of the Day

    Tuesday April 21, 2015

    WPI spring game hype

  • North Carolina unveils new argyle-infused uniforms

    North Carolina, with the help of Nike, unveiled a new brand identity for the Tar Heels’ football program on Monday. Wait, a new brand identity? UNC already has one of the most recognizable brands in college sports with the interlocking NC logo and that particular shade of blue.

    So what’s new this time? The Heels are borrowing the argyle pattern from their basketball brethren.

    UNC1

    North Carolina’s blue is so ubiquitous with the UNC brand that the color is named Carolina Blue… and yet for some reason Nike continues to outfit the Heels in black. Try to imagine Texas augmenting its burnt orange with a black kit, or Alabama with its crimson or Michigan with its maize and blue.

    UNC2

    UNC3

    (HT CBS Sports)

  • OU C Ty Darlington: “Coaches may have to be willing to take a pay cut”

    Ty Darlington

    With lawsuits from EA Sports, Ed O’Bannon and Jeffrey Kessler and Jim Delany’s freshman ineligibility proposal in the news of late, there is no greater issue affecting college sports than the dichotomy of the collegiate model versus the billions of dollars football and men’s basketball generate.

    While everyone in the industry has its idea how to split the pot without bringing the entire house down, one piece of legislation both sides of the aisle can agree on its cost of attendance, a new plus-sized scholarship that athletics departments will begin to offer this fall. It’s a four-figure check that won’t make anyone rich but will stop athletes and their families from digging into their own pockets to cover what a full scholarship does not. While no one will be exactly sure how much cost of attendance scholarships will cost per school until they actually go into effect, most estimates fall between $1-2 million. How will schools cover that additional expense? Some will cover it easily, but most won’t.

    At a Big 12 “State of Collegiate Athletics” Forum Monday in Washington, D.C., Oklahoma offensive lineman Ty Darlington offered a plan that should spark some uncomfortable conversation when he returns to the Switzer Center.

    It’s just one athlete’s opinion, and no athletics director (that we’ve seen, at least) has suggested cutting back coaches’ salaries to cover scholarship costs.

    But one can see how many others may come to Darlington’s side. Coaches are overpaid. Know who agrees with that statement? A number of coaches. Hey Jim Harbaugh, are you worth $5 million a year? “No.” What about you, Bronco Mendenhall? “It’s amateur athletics, it’s not professional, and I’m not for paying (the student-athletes). And if coaches would be more realistic in what they’re expecting in their salaries that would be a great start to helping the game.” Et tu, Bill Snyder? “I’m grossly overpaid for what I do.”

    Pull any coach in the top tax brackets aside and he’ll admit he’s overpaid, and so will the athletics director who hired him. And the next time the NCAA suspends a player for ordering a chicken sandwich with extra honey mustard, coaches’ and administrators’ salaries will be the first target of verbal assault. “How come the coaches can make millions…”

    Darlington isn’t even the first person in college football to suggest paying athletes through coaches’ salaries. Steve Spurrier beat him to the punch by three years. “We as coaches believe they’re entitled to a little more than room, books, board and tuition. Again, we as coaches would be willing to pay it if they were to approve it to where our guys could get approximately get three-, four-thousand bucks a year. It wouldn’t be that much, but enough to allow them to live like normal student-athletes.”

    The general public believes athletes are entitled to more than the standard scholarship they currently receive and it believes coaches are overpaid. In fact, the results of both polls would likely be more overwhelming than “Should the government offer free ice cream on Fridays?”

    The market drives coaches pay packages. There is true competition for elite coaching talent – from the NFL, the broadcast booth, and corporate America. At the end of the day, programs are going to have to decide how much they are willing to pay the leaders of their programs. Most see this as a wise investment, but as coaches’ salaries continue to rise, one has to think we’ll begin to hear this discussion more and more.

    Cost of attendance or not, that isn’t changing.

  • The Daily Dose: Which head coach with a new program will win the most games in 2015?

    DailyDoseNewHC

    Starting today, the FootballScoop staff of Scott, Zach and I will be collaborating to bring you something new and exciting daily. The new feature will feature a daily dose of hot takes on how we see the 2015 football season shaking out – on a number of different fronts.

    To kick off the Daily Dose feature, we each offered our take on: Which head coach with a new program will have the most wins when 2015 is all said and done?

    Just to recap the head coaching changes of the 2014-2015 off season, here’s the pool of 15 head coaches we chose from:

    20142015HCCHanges

    Scott’s choice: Houston head coach Tom Herman

    HermanBanner

    Out of all of the new FBS head coaches, I like Tom Herman’s chances to finish the year with the most wins.

    Taking a look at who the Cougars have returning, who might step up and contribute, and how their schedule plays out, I see the very real possibility of a 10 win season. Early in the season Houston has to go to Louisville – which will be a tough – and in October they travel to UCF as well, but other than those two road trips, if the Cougars play to their potential, they’re capable of winning a lot of ballgames. Granted, a couple of things would have to go right for the Cougars; but Houston hosts Vanderbilt, Cincinnati and Memphis in consecutive weeks and closes with Navy at home. All four of those could be challenging ball games, but each one is winnable. If the Cougars’ offense has found their identity by the time those games come around (first one is October 31) the Cougars could get hot and win out.

    Related: This video Houston released Saturday is excellent.

    Doug’s choice: Wisconsin head coach Paul Chyrst

    ChrystBanner

    One universal truth when it comes to head coaches taking over new programs is that change is the enemy. To come in and change the schemes on offense and defense, and more importantly the culture, is an uphill battle for most guys – which is precisely why I’m going with Paul Chryst as my choice.

    Chryst is not only Madison born and bred with Wisconsin blood running through his veins, he’s also won big with the Badgers already as an offensive coordinator. He’s going to go into the fall with an intimate understanding of Wisconsin’s brand of football, and be able to execute the vision without skipping a beat.

    As far as the schedule goes, Wisconsin has to travel to Jerry’s World to take on Alabama to open the season, but after that, the remaining 11 games on the schedule are very winnable. Big road games include trips to Nebraska and Minnesota, and the Badgers will get Iowa, Rutgers and Northwestern at home in Camp Randall – which is never an easy place for visiting teams.

    The most overlooked aspect might be that if Chryst ever find himself in need of some advice, he can head to his athletic director’s office, where Barry Alvarez (who won 119 games leading Wisconsin) sits. The two already have a strong relationship, and that will only help Chryst in year one leading the Badgers in Madison.

    Zach’s choice: Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst

    UWBadgers.com

    On this, the 20th day of April in the year 2015, I bestow the curse of expectations on the head of Paul Chryst.

    Yes, Wisconsin loses Melvin Gordon, Rob Havenstein and some other key pieces, but this program has churned out double-digit wins and January trips to Florida and California since long before Barry Alvarez was naming himself head coach on a semi-annual basis.

    The Badgers open with Alabama but may not see another ranked team the rest of the year. Wisconsin misses Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State from the Big Ten East (also known as all the teams you’d want to miss from the East) on top of the Big Ten West division they won last season. Chryst is a Wisconsin lifer that was handed one of the most consistent programs in college football with instructions to hit the ground running. A 9-3, Outback or Citrus Bowl-type season should be the bare minimum for 2015.

    If you have something football or coaching related you’d like to the FootballScoop staff tackle, shoot me a suggestion to doug@footballscoop.com or via Twitter @CoachSamz.