Interesting perspective: Brian Kelly tells you the dead honest truth about facilities
Coaches and athletic directors are always talking about the importance of facilities. Today, however, Notre Dame head coach shared his thoughts about facilities. His comments may surprise you.
Kelly said, “Look, I was at Cincinnati. I didn't have a practice field. We did okay there. I think facilities are overrated when it comes to that. Obviously you've got to be on a level playing field. If you're recruiting against other schools, they come here, facilities should be a wash.”
“It doesn't give you an advantage anymore over somebody else. At Cincinnati we had a hard time, we didn't have an indoor facility. We didn't have a practice field. That's a disadvantage.”
“But today, you know, the facilities are really about it's a wash. You've got enough that kids don't have to make a decision anymore because I like their conference room better or I like their locker room better. I really don't think that's an issue anymore in recruiting.”
That was just one of the interesting subjects that Kelly touched on during this pre-camp press conference today.
Kelly talked about the Top 25 rankings and admitted, “I want to be in Bob Stoops' position today where he's talking about being No. 1. That's why we're here. We want to get to the point where we're part of the conversation as a championship-caliber football team. We're not there yet. We're thrown in the mix there. 18 to 25, pick a number out of the hat.”
“Right now we're being recognized for maybe a little bit of what we did at the end of the year and because we're Notre Dame. That's not where we want to be. So at this time next year if we're talking about 1, 2 or 3 in the country, we'll go back and talk about the things that Bob is talking about. It's through hard work, commitment, it's how you prepare.”
So what is a realistic goal for this season?
Kelly responded, “You know, and I've said this before, I don't know at Notre Dame that you can pick out a bowl. We don't have a lot of options for bowls. It's BCS for us. If it's a conference championship at Cincinnati or a MAC championship at Central Michigan, it was a national championship at Grand Valley, it's here at the University of Notre Dame a BCS bowl game.”
“We can't set the goal board any other way. What do you throw out there? Sun Bowl, Champs Bowl? We don't have any way other than set the bar at a BCS. But I knew that coming in.”
29 days until the Irish host South Florida.
James Franklin nails part one, now begins 'what really matters'
James Franklin has been the Vanderbilt head coach for seven months and he’ll admit that all he has done since accepting the job is sell, sell, sell.
Franklin and the athletic department have done a terrific job marketing their program and selling a new Vanderbilt.
His attitude and enthusiasm has been well received in Nashville and at the least, brought hope to the Commodores’ fan base.
For example, today, Franklin ended a radio interview with 104.5 in Nashville by saying, “Another thing is I invite you guys to come on out here. If you guys want to do a show from here, I’d love to have you guys. You can setup all your equipment on our patio and broadcast from our facility. Anything we can do to give you guys more access, we’ll do. I couldn’t be more thankful or appreciative for what you guys have done since we’ve come to town.”
But Franklin knows what really matters. Later on this morning, Franklin said it best during his pre-camp press conference.
“In the end, I better put a product on the field that people can be excited about and that’s what we’re doing right now, that’s our focus,” admitted Franklin.
He added, “At a place like Vanderbilt, I have to wear more hats than anywhere. And I’m more than willing to go out and talk to whoever I have to talk to, whether some in the community, it’s the media or whatever it is. All we’ve really done since we came here is sell our program. Sell our program. Sell our program, sell our kids, sell our university, sell this city…all the positives we have. All those things are great, the plan, the vision. Now we have to get on the field and we gotta do it.”
“I think everyone in this room understands this is a process. We’re not going to walk in and flick a light switch. Every day, we’re just going to keep chipping away at it and moving to the direction we want to go. But we have very high aspirations of where we are going and we’re not going to let anybody tell us who and what we can be. We are going to define who and what we can be. I’m not worried about the history, the past, any of those things. We are going to worry about what we can control, which is right now.”
You can only do one thing at a time. Franklin’s done the first part quite nicely. Those interesting in becoming head coaches down the line should have taken notice. Now, let’s see him put together a team.
Al Golden sincerely explains the most important thing during camp
Al Golden just wrapped up his last press conference before camp begins for the Hurricanes. Listening to Al Golden, it just seems Golden believes he has the guys, he has the talent, but it’s just a matter of coming together as a team.
Golden said, “For us, we’re going to stay on message, which for us is conditioning and unity. We need for this team to become very strong and very close. This camp is designed to support those two initiatives.”
Asked about the summer heat in Miami, Golden said, “I gotta be honest with you. I love it. The guys in north Philadelphia would say we were on turf in north Philadelphia everyday and it was 116 every day on the turf. I’m kinda happy right now. It’s low 90’s and we get a little Biscayne Bay breeze. We’re doing ok.”
He also reflected back on the purpose of winter conditioning.
“We gave the guys more opportunities in the winter at 6 am to come together as a team. We put them under duress. We made the uncomfortable to become stronger as a team, to become more unified. And when you’re in those situations, you need leaders to come out of it. It was a lot more running than the players here were accustomed too. It was more opportunities to become unified.”
To close, Golden summed up everything.
He stated, “For me, we don’t really talk about our goals. I mean this sincerely. I don’t want to sound cliché, but if our guys develop the mindset that this is going to be a grind and really focus on the process and really put their heads down and forget about all that external stuff. I know it’s Miami, I understand that, but I mean if we just come together as a team and as a staff and we say we’re not worried about the media, about twitter, about all that this and what anybody is saying, where were ranked, where we’re picked, all that stuff…if we can just come together as team and understand and learn and execute the process, then we’re going to have a special year. We’re going to have a great year. But that’s the trick. That’s the challenge and it starts tomorrow at 8:20.”
Miami (FL) opens at Maryland on Labor Day evening.
Video: Zook slalom water skiing just before camp
Ever wonder what coaches do on their last weekend off before August camp begins?
The Illinois coaching staff and their families got together at the lake for some water skiing, tubing, food, fun & games.
Zook said, “It’s a day for families. It’s just a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun to be together, to be one, because starting tomorrow, you don’t have the time together that you do right now.”
Based on the video below, Ron Zook has no problems with slalom water skiing. And he’s not concerned about top end speeds.
Gotta admit, this is pretty impressive stuff from The Zooker.
Video: The all-time biggest prank involving college football
It was called, “Operation Iron Snare.”
Nearly a dozen suspects were arrested in Alabama last week for unpaid child support.
So how did the sheriff’s office reel in the suspects? You won’t believe it, but the Lee County sheriff’s office orchestrated a setup by luring the suspects to free Iron Bowl tickets.
Each suspect had previously received a letter in the mail stating they had won free tickets to the 2011 Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn. All the suspects had to do was show up last Friday to pick up their tickets.
Talk about unhappy endings…
You’re not going to believe the behind-the-scenes video.
UGA QB describes intense meeting: Richt is ready to fight someone right now
Georgia practiced for the first time on Thursday, but word has circulated of a pretty intense team meeting on Wednesday night.
Perhaps Mark Richt let loose some of his frustration from all of the off-season distracting questions about his future. Richt, not surprisingly, handled everything smoothly with the media since then end of last season, but you have to know that he’s boiling inside and ready for another SEC championship.
According to quarterback Aaron Murray, Richt lit into the ‘Dawgs pretty good during the team meeting.
Murray called it "my favorite speech Coach Richt has given in three years. He was pumped up, energized, motivating.”
He added, “I walked out of the room like, 'Wow.' I know as players we're ready to go, but Coach Richt is ready to go out there and fight someone right now. I talked to some of the players and they loved it, too.”
Although Murray wouldn’t add many more details, he did admit, “What happens in the team meeting room stays in the team meeting room. I went out of there ready to play Boise State at 10 o'clock last night."
Richt hinted that he talked about the preseason camp of 2002, the year the Bulldogs won the SEC and finished 13-1.
Richt said, "It hasn't been 20 years. I guess it's been five or six, which is too long in my mind. We talked a little bit about the mindset of the team and the program going into 2002."
Lane Kiffin fired up following practice #1
USC opened camp on Thursday night and Lane Kiffin was extremely pleased with the physical condition of the Trojans.
The Trojans practiced for 2 hours and 58 minutes. Eight players cramped up, but Kiffin said that was due to the high level of work the players were putting in.
Kiffin said, “Today, to me, showed an unbelievable job by our strength staff in the offseason and our players commitment to doing things right. I hope what you see, what I saw today, we look different. We look different than we did a year ago, even in the spring.”
“We look bigger, we look faster, we look stronger. It’s a great credit to Aaron Ausmus and his staff and to these guys for buying into that. I know it’s day one, but I love where they are at physically and mentally. We challenged them with stuff we’ve never done before at the end of practice, after practice, not one guy complaining about it. Now we got to put all this talent and all this hard work down and put the pieces into place.”
After looking the Gladiators of the Coliseum, it looks like the Trojans don’t have many slappys.
Purdue unveils new uniforms. We've got some questions.
Purdue unveiled their new Nike Pro Combat uniforms today. Please, draw your own conclusions, but we do have a couple of questions.
1. Are the Boilermakers trying to fool the audience by looking like Army or Idaho when they wear the black jerseys / gold pants?
2. See #47? How would he fit in at Maryland today under Randy Edsall’s new rules? (UPDATE: @CoachGrasmick has alerted us via twitter that #47 is an extra from Pirates of the Caribbean.)
3. Is Purdue totally against having “Purdue” on the jerseys?
4. Seriously, is Purdue renting these uniforms from a Texas 2A high school?
5. Will anyone know that Purdue is playing on TV when the Boilers wear “all white?”