Video: Sonny Dykes answers Twitter questions from fans
Taking a page out of the book at UCLA, as well as other programs that have adopted the idea, Sonny Dykes took to social media to answer Twitter questions from Cal fans, and even a hater or two.
Dykes take the whole segment in stride as he goes down the list answering each question, including one fan who asked Dykes how he felt about "stealing this idea from UCLA". Thinking on his feet as all good offensive minds do, Dykes responded with a witty "It feels good to me. Anytime you can take somebody's idea that they're doing and do them successfully..."
You can't sneak one by coach Dykes.
Some of the questions border on the strange (such as "Is fourteen white shirts too many?" at the 6:40 mark), but overall there is a lot of good content in here. Here's a breakdown on where you can find everything, as well as the questions that were submitted:
3:33 mark - "What changes has the new strength and conditioning coordinator brought to the program?"
7:14 mark - "How can you keep the fan base's attention leading up to the season?"
8:14 mark - "What lessons learned at LA Tech have helped you here at Cal?"
9:47 mark - "What are your thoughts on trick plays?"
10:40 mark - "How do you handle going against another up-tempo team like Oregon?"
Don't be surprised to see more and more coaches and athletic departments doing things like this to connect with their fan bases over the next several months.
Big 12 releases early-season TV schedule
Following the Pac-12's lead from last week, the Big 12 released its early-season TV package on Tuesday.
Twenty-five Big 12 games officially found TV homes today, spread across nearly a dozen different platforms. While other conferences are centralizing their television packages, the Big 12 has gone in the opposite direction. Starting with the Longhorn Network and spreading across the entire league, the Big 12 gives its fans a bigger clicker finger workout than any conference in college football. Big 12 fans have to take the phrase "check your local listings" very seriously. While it at times can be a nuisance, it also shows just how far the conference's television presence has come. Where games like Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech or Buffalo at Baylor were previously banished to pay-per-view, if they were even televised at all, they can now be seen throughout the region or the country.
Speaking of Longhorn Network, the Longhorns' home date with Ole Miss has been designated for the highly-controversial, hardly-seen network. We'll see how that goes over in the Magnolia State.
The Big 12's television package is split equally across ESPN and the Fox Sports family of networks, which means Bob Bowlsby's league will have a heavy presence on the newly-announced Fox Sports 1. That presence includes multiple Thursday nights, including Thanksgiving. Texas has played annually on Turkey Day since 2008 and always on ESPN, until now. This year's installment against Texas Tech migrates over to Fox Sports 1.
All times Central.
Friday, Aug. 30
Texas Tech at SMU - 7 p.m. - ESPN
North Dakota State at Kansas State - 7:30 p.m. - Fox Sports 1
Saturday, Aug. 31
William & Mary at West Virginia - 11 a.m. - Fox Sports 1
Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State (in Houston) - 2:30 p.m. - ABC/ESPN2
Louisiana - Monroe at Oklahoma - 6 p.m. - FSN PPV
Wofford at Baylor - 6 p.m. - FSN
New Mexico State at Texas - 6 p.m. - LHN
Northern Iowa at Iowa State - 6 p.m. - Cyclones.TV
LSU vs. TCU - 8 p.m. - ESPN
Saturday, Sept. 7
Southeastern Louisiana at TCU - 11 a.m. - FSN
Oklahoma State at UTSA - 11 a.m. - Fox Sports 1
Buffalo at Baylor - 2:30 p.m. - FSN
Louisiana - Lafayette at Kansas State - 5:30 p.m. - Fox Sports 1
West Virginia at Oklahoma - 6 p.m. - Fox
Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech - 6 p.m. - FSN
South Dakota at Kansas - 6 p.m. - Jayhawk Network
Thursday, Sept. 12
TCU at Texas Tech - 6:30 p.m. - ESPN
Saturday, Sept. 14
Tulsa at Oklahoma - 11 a.m. - ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Georgia State at West Virginia - 11 a.m. - Mountaineer Network
Iowa at Iowa State - 5 p.m. - Fox Sports 1
Lamar at Oklahoma State - 6:30 p.m. - TBA
Kansas at Rice - 6:30 p.m. - CBS Sports Network
Ole Miss at Texas - 7 p.m. - LHN
Saturday, Sept. 21
Texas State at Texas Tech - 6 p.m. - FSN
Thursday, Sept. 26
Iowa State at Tulsa - 6:30 p.m. - Fox Sports 1
Thursday, Oct. 3
Texas at Iowa State - 6:30 p.m. - ESPN
Thursday, Nov. 7
Oklahoma at Baylor - 6:30 p.m. - Fox Sports 1
Thursday, Nov. 28
Texas Tech at Texas - 6:30 p.m. - Fox Sports 1
The B1G wants to take over NYC
While Ohio State president Gordon Gee was busy offending just about everyone under the sun at that infamous December meeting, he did say something revealing regarding the game of thrones that conference realignment has become. “I think the Big Ten needs to be predatory and positive rather than waiting for other people to take away from them," he said at the time.
The key word in that quote is predatory. While Gee would have preferred to keep growing into the Midwest, the rest of the conference has its eyes on a bigger target: college football's greatest unclaimed prize, the Eastern seaboard and, primarily, New York City.
Additions of Rutgers and Maryland were the first strike, but even the most fervent of Scarlet Knights fans will tell you Rutgers alone won't give you the New York area. That brings us to yesterday's news that the Pinstripe Bowl would be entering the Big Ten's postseason lineup beginning in 2014.
"Once we saw the success of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, it became obvious - especially with the Big Ten's growing East Coast footprint - that being in the media capital of the world at one of sports' most renowned venues was a natural pairing," said Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. "By agreeing to an eight-year partnership, it increases the likelihood that most of the Big Ten schools will have the opportunity to participate in the game, while giving our coaches, student-athletes, administrators and fans the opportunity to experience the nation's biggest metropolis and an iconic setting like Yankee Stadium."
The Big Ten blitzed the nation's largest media market in conjunction with Monday's announcement. There was Delany throwing out the first pitch at the Yankees' game, then hopping on the YES broadcast to talk about his conference. The league's partnership will extend well beyond one three-hour window in December, however.
According to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, that means Big Ten signage will pop up along the first base line and behind home plate at Yankees games. And according to the Big Ten's Tom Dienhart, the league could stage regular season games, possibly even conference games or even a Big Ten-doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
Big Ten football will never come close to carrying the New York market like the SEC does in Atlanta, or the Big 12 does in Dallas. At best, the conference will be the fourth or fifth-biggest slice in the New York sports pie. But with a metro area population approaching 20 million - more than the entire population of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi combined - it doesn't need to dominate the sports page. Even if the Big Ten is able to carve out a devoted niche of the New York market, it will have claimed the largest collection of college football fans in one area in the entire country.
Want to become an NFL head coach? Get a job in the Pac-12
The last decade of NFL Drafts, and results on the field, and results on National Signing Day, and, well, everything else, have proven over and over again that the shortest route to the NFL for a player is through the SEC. The same is not true, however, for coaches. According to ESPN's Ivan Maisel, if you want to coach in the League, you must go West.
The Pac-12 has been the top college pipeline for NFL head coaching talent, and there isn't even a close second. Since 1970, 15 Pac-12 coaches have left for NFL head coaching jobs. Compare that figure with the Big East's five, the SEC's three and the Big Ten's one, and you have to ask why the NFL so strongly prefers the Pac-12's style of football.
"I think when you look at the NFL, you're talking about entertainment," former UCLA head coach Terry Donahue said. "They're in the entertainment business, and they think about it as that. Pro football is always looking for some offensive firepower, and some fireworks." Maisel notes that, while everyone else in college football spent the 1970's dallying with the Wishbone, the Pac-12 was pioneering the aptly-named West Coast offense.
Times have certainly changed since then, and the Pac-12 no longer enjoys a similar schematic advantage over other conferences, but the NFL's preference for Pac-12 football remains. In the past four years, USC's Pete Carroll, Stanford's Jim Harbaugh and Oregon's Chip Kelly have left for the professional ranks. And Maisel's count doesn't even include then-USC assistant Lane Kiffin taking the Oakland Raiders job in 2007.
Those of you with eyes on running a team in The League one day, the results are clear: Go west, young man.
Read the full article here.
Video: Dave Doeren competes in a home run derby
NC State has unveiled a new strategy to get their new head coach, Dave Doeren, out in front of as many new Wolfpack fans as possible before fall with a video series entitled "Dare Coach D". The title is pretty self explanatory. Dare Doeren to do something and he may just show up and show you what he's got.
In this installment, the softball team dares Doeren to come to softball practice and step into the batters box. After stepping in the cage for a bit, Coach D steps into the batters box for a home run derby against the girls and gets ahold of a few, maybe even sending one yard.
Thanks the beauty of video editing, we'll never know for sure. But it does look like Doeren and softball team had some fun.
This series has the potential to be very entertaining.
If there was an award for HS hype videos, this one would be considered
Minnetonka HS (MN) has put together one of the best high school hype videos of the off season with this one here. If there was an award for the best high school hype video, this one would get some serious consideration.
You can tell that these guys are flying around with a passion for the game and love getting after it. Minnetonka finished last season 5-6 and is expecting big things this fall.
At long last, Indiana reveals five new helmets
Question: What's the easiest way to send a crowd into a frenzy?
Answer: You can give a packed television studio audience new cars, or if you want to go a more cost-effective route, you can show a room full of college football players a new set of helmets.
After not one but two initial teasers, the Hoosiers finally unveiled what they'd been hiding for nearly two weeks. One of college football's most conservative outfits will be augmented this fall with five new helmets. Some are traditional (a crimson lid with a white block "I") and others are much less so (a candy cane striped chrome helmet).
We already know what the players think (especially the kid in the white shirt that collapses on to the floor), but what do you think?
Pac-12 instituting a league-wide policy to limit contact in football practice
The Pac-12 announced a league-wide, overarching "Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Inititaive" on Monday. While each of the conference's sports will be affected, the new initiative's impact could be felt the hardest in football.
The conference will create a task force of doctors and researchers from the Pac-12 schools, who will then share their respective research and findings at a Pac-12 summit in early 2014. Part of that research will be devoted to the league's new head trauma task force, led by the Pac-12's General Counsel and Director of Football. On top of that, the conference will commit $3.5 million in grants to "improve student-athlete health and well-being."
“The health and well-being of our more than 7,000 student-athletes competing within the Pac-12 each year is of paramount importance,” said Pac-12 CEO Group Chair Ed Ray. “This new initiative is a great step towards taking advantage of the full resources of our research institutions for the benefit of our student-athletes.”
For football, by far the biggest change is that the conference is working towards a formal limitation of contact in football practices. As the Pac-12 put it: "Going forward, the Pac-12 will look at guidelines around contact in practice to ensure that student-athlete well-being is being closely monitored, both in the amount of contact and in providing our student-athletes and coaches with ample opportunity to teach and learn the correct tackling methods during the spring and preseason." The conference will announce its official policy at Pac-12 Media Day on July 26.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott teleconference, says there will be new limits on hits in football practice less than NCAA permits— Lya Wodraska (@LyaWodraska) June 3, 2013
“Pac-12 institutions house the leading medical trainers, doctors, and scientists working to enhance student-athlete health and well being,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our athletic departments and coaches have been very progressive in this area and are deeply committed to advancing these efforts,” he added. “This initiative seizes on our opportunity to embrace, support, and coordinate all these efforts and build a framework to advance them with new resources, expertise and funding.”
While contact limitations have long been in place in the NFL, this could be uncharted water in the college ranks. Can anyone else name a college football conference with a formal contact limitation policy in place?