Texas A&M is one of a handful of schools that won’t participate in a spring game this season. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin doesn’t sound very upset about that.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, Sumlin said that while spring games may be important to fans, coaches and players don’t gain much from what is really just a glorified scrimmage. (h/t CoachingSearch.com)
Throughout the offseason, Campus Union will talk with a few team experts to go over some of the most intriguing storylines and questions in advance of the 2014 campaign.
There’s no telling how much longer Frank Beamer will keep coaching Virginia Tech, but after bringing in one of his best recruiting classes (on paper) in recent memory — No. 24 according to Rivals, with eight four-star prospects — chances are that he’ll stick around for at least a little while to see how well the new crop of Hokies perform. Virginia Tech, which brought new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler into the fold last fall, suffered its share of injuries in 2013. The disarray contributed to the Hokies’ 8-5 (5-3 ACC) record, which allowed Duke to grab the Coastal Division title.
SI caught up with Joe (@thekeyplay) from The Key Play to review the 2013 season, to discuss which reinforcements in ’14 should be able to help Tech sooner rather than later and to preview the quarterback competition that’s brewing now that Logan Thomas has finally moved on.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez is one up-tempo offensive coach who wasn’t thrilled by the NCAA’s proposed 10-second rule, which would gives defenses allotted time to substitute players in between plays and effectively slow down hurry-up offenses. On Monday, Rodriguez and the Wildcats poked fun at the proposal by releasing a video that parodies the 1994 Keanu Reeves movie, Speed.
In the video Rodriguez — speaking to Speed co-star Sandra Bullock on a runaway bus — says coaches in support of the proposal are holding the game of college football hostage, which goes against what fans actually want.
West Virginia has hired a familiar face as the university’s next president. The school’s Board of Governors announced Monday that E. Gordon Gee, most recently the president at Ohio State, will serve as the university’s permanent 24th president. The announcement marks Gee’s third appointment as West Virginia’s president.
Gee served as the school’s president from 1981 to ’85, and returned to Morgantown in an interim role in January. Gee was expected to serve only until a permanent president was named, but Board of Governors Chair James W. Dailey II said in a statement that the board eventually decided to offer the permanent role to Gee.
Barry Switzer isn’t sure if he would draft Johnny Manziel if he had the opportunity, but that stance doesn’t have much to do with Manziel’s talent.
In a Thursday interview with WNSR in Nashville, the former Oklahoma Sooners and Dallas Cowboys coach was asked if he would want his team to draft Manziel. Switzer mentioned that he’d have to sit down and talk with Manziel, but then offered his own opinion on drafting the former Texas A&M star. (Transcript via FoxSports.com)
“I love his ability; Johnny can play,” Switzer said. “I’ve always said I’d never recruit a white quarterback. The only way I’d ever recruit a white quarterback to play for me was if his mom and daddy would have to both be black, and that’s the only way I would do it.”
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The scenery is a bit different now, but Phillip Fulmer doesn’t mind. The former Tennessee coach still has a sizable corner office, one situated on the edge of a lake. But its view is in stark contrast with the one from Fulmer’s old workplace. There, at Neyland Stadium, 100,000 Volunteers fans used to look down on him on fall Saturdays.
Fulmer has had time to gain a new perspective on life. The onetime BCS champion has been a partner at BPV Capital Management for the better part of four years. He lends a hand to BPV’s business development team, which manages investment and retirement funds for clients. Yet a quick look inside Fulmer’s expansive office offers a window to his past. Signed Tennessee helmets and pictures decorate shelves along the wall. A framed Power T hangs just outside his door. People in the area still remember Fulmer as a veteran face of the SEC — that’s why he often corrects fans when they stop by to chat.
A few programs cancel their spring games each year for a variety of a reasons. Texas A&M, for instance, won’t have one for the next two years because of renovations to Kyle Field. And it looks as if Pittsburgh won’t host one in front of fans, either. Coach Paul Chryst has canceled the Panthers’ outing in order to “maximize limited practice time,” according to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Jerry DiPaola.
Spring games can be a lot of work for very little actual benefit — Wake Forest’s game ended with the score 3-0 in 2013. Then there’s the matter of attendance. While some schools, such as Alabama and Auburn, make huge spectacles out of their spring exhibitions, others draw barely any spectators at all. The latter group includes Pitt, which brought in just 3,642 fans last year. (The full attendance numbers can be found in this handy SB Nation chart.)
Jeopardy! has always maintained a respectable association with sports. Who could forget the time that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got a question about Bill Walton wrong by answering with his own name instead? So, much to the surprise and excitement of the subset of Jeopardy! fans who also happen to be college football enthusiasts, a photo of Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was provided as a clue in the “Pop Culture” category, with his (well-documented?) resemblance to actor Ryan Gosling being played up.
SEC fans might notice something different during their college football games next season: more music.
Beginning in 2014, SEC stadiums will be allowed to blast music in between plays during games. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told the Athens Banner-Herald the league has relaxed its music policy to cultivate the atmosphere for fans. McGarity is a member of a group of SEC administrators that studies marketing and promotions for its events.
Schools were always allowed to use their bands to pump up the crowd in between plays, but the SEC will now allow music to be played through stadium speakers during drives. McGarity said the policy opens up the possibility of music on big third-down plays and other important moments in the game, something other conferences already do.
The news trickled in late last week: So long AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, hello Duck Commander Independence Bowl. Those Duck Dynasty guys (one of whom, Phil Robertson, has roots in college football) went and sponsored a bowl game, and the name (and six-year deal) became official on Wednesday afternoon.
After taking some time to digest the news, it didn’t sit right with me. There’s something odd about a bowl game being directly associated with a company founded by a man who has made a variety of controversial remarks in recent months.