Doug: Between the end of Michigan State's magical Rose Bowl win over Stanford, and the start of spring ball, Pat Narduzzi notes that over 300 staffs came to visit with the Spartan defensive staff. That's insane.
During the remaining days in January, and into signing day, the Michigan State coaches were out on the road finalizing their recruiting class, so that leaves 12 weeks (according to my and Zach's research) to visit with coaches leading up to the spring game. That means that the Spartan defensive staff sat down with an average of 25 coaches per week this off season talk to defensive scheme.
That's quite the off season.
Zach: College GameDay could get a new cast member this fall... a 20-something female DJ.
Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch had an extended conversation with GameDay coordinating producer Lee Fitting about what to expect from sport's preeminent pre-game show in 2014. Much of the piece focused on the extreme double-duty Chris Fowler will pull as host (and co-CEO, as Deitsch puts it) of GameDay in addition to his new job as the play-by-play man for ABC's Saturday Night Football games. In many weeks, that requires flying from New York to, say, Columbus on Thursday to prep for Saturday Night Football, then to Baton Rouge on Friday to for GameDay, host two hours of a three-hour show, fly back to Columbus to call a game that night, and then do it all again the next week. It's a job many of us would love to have, but none of us could begin to do.
Then there was this nugget, on the DJ:
This is a move that is probably long overdue. If you'll allow me to put on my old man slacks and pull them up to my chest, I attended three GameDay tapings in my day, back when the show was just two hours, and the buzz turns into buzzkill pretty quickly after the show goes on air. There's the initial excitement when you first see Chris, Kirk and company, and then when the show starts, and then all of a sudden they're talking about Clemson vs. Wake Forest and you can hear your couch calling your name.
And, let's be honest, hiring a female DJ is playing to your audience better than airlifting fresh bacon into an abandoned kennel.
Scott - I just got back from a 10 day vacation with the family in the mountains of North Carolina. We stayed at a beautiful place called Bear Lake Reserve. Yeah, the name should have clued us in. 4 "encounters" with bears. Kind of cool; kind of not... but wonderful memories.
Above is an action shot of one of the younger bears coming to "greet" us. No thanks.
Many thanks to Zach and Doug for keeping the site rolling in my extended absence.