With opening weekend only five weeks away college football "news" is peaking. As a result there should be enough in here to keep you busy for a little while. As always, starting elsewhere and ending in South Bend.
Let's kick it off with a little something on this ongoing discussion about up-tempo offenses.
Almost a year ago, Nick Saban launched a debate on the future of college football. Despite there being no known evidence that up-tempo offenses are bad for players, we're all still talking about it.
The B1G and PAC-12 jumped on the Media Days train this week. Oh the joy.
All 12 Pac-12 football coaches and 24 players are set for interviews, and SB Nation has a darn slew of representatives on the scene.
For the most part media days are nothing more than a bunch of meaningless coachspeak but we did get one interesting nugget out of Culver City on Friday.
Pac-12 teams will be able to conduct a maximum of two full-contact practices per week during the regular season, commissioner Larry Scott announced Friday at the conference's media day. The Ivy League is the other Division I league to formally limit full contact (also two days a week).
I will be very curious to see how this limited contact plays out but this certainly won't discourage those up-tempo offenses that we were talking about at the top. Is this about to become the trend that officially pushes the game to full blown basketball on grass...
On the B1G front Jim Delany is the latest to allude to potential "major" changes in college sports coming sooner rather than later.
Almost every power-conference commissioner has now agreed, in his own way: major alterations to the college sports landscape are coming.
How do you all think that this will play out? Will the power conferences break off and form their own power division?
Urban Meyer took a little heat this week for his current and former players antics off the field. He seems pretty happy about it.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer called the past several days surrounding his Buckeyes "tough," saying he treats every player as if he were his own son and that he hopes his discipline is as strict as or stricter than anyone's in the country. Eight of the 11 questions presented to Meyer during Wednesday's podium session at Big Ten media days surrounded his team's off-field run-ins or his time at Florida, as the second-year OSU coach was facing the media for the first time since four Buckeyes players were disciplined Monday. Meyer said "furious" would be the word to describe his reaction when he learned of some of last weekend's incidents, terming such situations "nonsense."
On that note...
The above photo comes from University of Florida professor Ted Spiker, who took it Thursday morning outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville. What you're seeing is the removal of Aaron Hernandez's All-American brick, earned during his 2009 season with the Gators.
It is impressive how quickly everyone has moved to erase all associations with this guy. Here's a Devil's advocate question. What happens if Hernandez gets off?
It looks like Big Game Bob is going to retire in Norman. I wonder if Barry Switzer will allow him to set up shop at Othello's Italian Restaurant too?
Bob Stoops will begin his fifteenth season as the head coach of Oklahoma next month, and it appears he's going to be sticking around for quite a few more. Oklahoma announced Thursday that it had signed Stoops through an extension that will keep him with the Sooners until 2020.
Have you all followed this Kolton Houston story? I'll be curious to see how he actually plays this year.
Houston was suspended in April 2010 for testing positive for an anabolic steroid called norandrolone. The NCAA limit is 2.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood and the lifelong Georgia fan - his dad played linebacker for the Bulldogs - had 260 nanograms. He was suspended for the entire season.
Hat tip to Tomahawk Nation for this one. They scooped this story and the accompanying video. About 5 seconds later the national media snatched it up and ran with it.
Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary, the grandson of legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, amazingly survived a horrific motorcycle crash, of which Tomahawk Nation obtained video.
The Michigan schools got a little ink this week.
At 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, Peppers, who has committed to Michigan, is the top cornerback in his class and already has an NFL build.
With what should be one of the two or three best defenses in the country and a mostly easy home slate, Michigan State should easy place in the top 20 and win 8-9 games. The numbers suggest the ceiling could be much, much higher, but the eyeballs saw a little too much of last year's offense to buy it.
Rushel Shell left PItt for UCLA, changed his mind, and then Pitt wouldn't take him back. So where did he end up? Shell is now kicking it with Holgo in Morgantown. What are the odds that Shell will ever actually play a game there?
West Virginia's now landed transfers from two star running backs this offseason. And this one's a former archrival.
Jadeveon Clowney was back in the news this week. First the whole JAY Z affair got cleaned up and then "the hit" resurfaced in the wake of the new targeting rule.
It looks like Jadeveon Clowney is safe from any NCAA trouble. According to GamecockCentral.com, South Carolina has completed a review of Clowney’s rumored contact with rapper and talent agent JAY Z and found no compliance violations.
By now, you've heard the NCAA's new head-targeting rule, which calls for players to be ejected in addition to yardage penalties that were already in place, means South Carolina star Jadeveon Clowney would've been kicked out of the Outback Bowl for The Hit. This is a misconception.
Here's a couple of good ones for the X's and O's crowd. First up a little 46 defense chat on Webfoot U, and then another on defending the read option in the NFL. While the latter is technically an NFL piece Smart Football's Chris Brown wrote it with with plenty of ties to the college game.
Ever on the cutting edge of football offense, Nick Aliotti has embraced the modernized 46 defense to transform Duck defenders into an athletic D to match the Ducks spread-option attack.
Offenses attack; defenses react. This is a truism, but it's a truism on which almost all sports strategy is built. In the NFL today, no tactic more pressingly requires a swift, strong reaction than the so-called "read-option."
Now back to South Bend. Who still needs tickets?
University of Notre Dame football single-game tickets for the 2013 home opener against Temple (Aug. 31), as well as meetings with Navy (Nov. 2), BYU (Nov. 23) and the Shamrock Series matchup at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, against Arizona State (Oct. 5), are now on sale.
The web was buzzing about this one on Thursday. I like it.
"I'm excited to take our football team to a facility like Shiloh Park," said fourth-year head coach Brian Kelly. "Training camp is vital in terms of developing team unity, character, camaraderie and ultimately a focused and specific identity for the upcoming season. We instituted a similar type off-site program for training camp at the University of Cincinnati and it played a huge role in the success of our team.
SD weighs in on the thoughts behind the move to Shiloh Park.
First and foremost, Zack Martin (as mentioned) is here, and will most likely maintain his role as a captain and team leader. That's one guy, but a team needs more than just one player to help lead. I'm not sure what this years number will be (some years it's three some years it can be four) but, I am sure that more will rise to the occasion?
Is anybody up for a return trip to Ireland?
According to a report in the Irish website The Score, Ireland is looking to host games in 2016 and 2018 in addition to the 2014 contest in Croke Park that has been already announced between Penn State and Central Florida. The report mentions that other schools being floated around as possible participants in future games include Notre Dame, Alabama, and Boston College.
Cue up the debate machine. Notre Dame just offered an 8th grader.
Edward Moses Jr. had no idea his son had a scholarship offer from Notre Dame. His son, Dylan, became a national story in the past year when LSU and Alabama became the first two schools to offer him a scholarship as an eighth-grader.
For those that may not have heard of Dylan Moses tWWL did a story on him for the mag last month.
As Notre Dame scrambles to clear a logjam in their '14 football schedule, news from our friends at CSNPhilly.com give us an update on another big change.
Keith Arnold continued to crank out the Freshman Focus pieces this week.
Incoming defensive lineman Isaac Rochell is a lot of things on the football field. But what might make him one of the more interesting recruits in this class is what he isn’t: Drama.
UHND talks opposing coaches.
We wanted to dig a bit deeper, and take a look at the actual coaches that the Irish will be facing this year. See what they bring to the table, how they got there, and what we like about them.
Over at HLS Lisa Kelly talked about getting ready to release her new book.
In just one week (my how time flies) my new book on Notre Dame football: Echoes From the End Zone: The Men We Became will officially be released. I never intended to write a book, but I guess those are how the best journeys are started, right?
You guys know what has been going on around here but if you got behind this week hit our home page and catch up. The piece below from our own JoeSchu got everyone going in the comment section.
Commissioner Mike Slive got up to the mic at SEC media day and called for the NCAA to "catch up" on issues including athlete compensation. Let's take a look at the issues surrounding paying college athletes.
Carve out a little time to work on finishing up that "to do" list this weekend. The season is right around the corner!