Wes Brown, Byron Jones

Maryland’s new football facility could resemble a space ship


The cash-strapped University of Maryland knows a serious commitment needs to be made to ensure success in athletics once they move from the ACC to the Big Ten (next year), and there is no photo evidence providing a potential look to the future. Images of a new indoor football facility were shared by Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post via Twitter and thinks the outside resembles a space ship. The Dallas Cowboys already play in a stadium that often draws comparisons to the Death Star, so we will have to wait and see what sci-fi comparisons are made to Maryland’s new football facility once constructed.

First came the look at the inside of the new indoor practice field, which does little to dazzle seeing as it is simply a football field surrounded by four walls and covered by a ceiling. There is not of imagination to use inside until the building is constructed, so the question is just what the outside will look like when completed?

Prewitt shared a look at the east side, the view from the Terrapin Walk, and more of an aerial look at the whole complex. As Prewitt mentions, the plans look to include a bit more to the blueprint than just a simple indoor practice facility. The football offices will be held in the new building, but there could also be room to use for other purposes at the university.

Maryland announced plans to build an indoor facility in August, with plans to start a campaign to help raise the funds to cover the price tag. The Baltimore Sun reported the total price could be anywhere between $50 and $80 million.

Maryland will be lining up some nice pay days in the future once they are eligible for full Big Ten payouts. Maryland will officially join the Big Ten on July 1, 2014 but will have to wait a little longer before being eligible for the full Big Ten payouts that continue to lead the conferences. Jeff Ermann from Inside MD Sports also notes there is a sizable financial contribution from Under Armour for the development of this new facility that could be as high as $30 million. Many schools try to emulate the success story that has been written at Oregon with their relationship with Nike, but many have failed to match the results. Maryland has a way to go before being in the same category as Oregon of course, but with a healthy relationship with Under Armour perhaps over time the Terps can follow a similar path to success.

Wisconsin announces 10-year agreement with Under Armour

Joel Stave
Associated Press

What has long been rumored became fact Friday, as Wisconsin announced a 10-year agreement with Under Armour.

“I am absolutely thrilled about our new partnership with Under Armour,” AD Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “Kevin Plank and his team have established a brand that fits perfectly with the Wisconsin athletics story and culture. Our primary focus at Wisconsin is, of course, our student-athletes, and Under Armour’s passion and commitment to high quality and innovation will benefit our student-athletes for years to come. Our entire department is looking forward to a long and mutually productive relationship with the Under Armour team.”

The new deal will pay the Badgers a total of $7 million in cash and product in 2015-16 and is valued at $96 million over the life of the contract, good for second in the Big Ten, trailing only Nike’s new contract with Michigan.

Hidden within the contract are two nuggets that UA offered to sway the Badgers away from Adidas, from the Portland Business Journal:

Wisconsin will get as much as $500,000 from Under Armour to “rebrand” athletic facilities. It’ll get $150,000 to build out an Under Armour retail space in a campus gift shop called Bucky’s Locker Room. It also gets two summer internships for students at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters.

“The University of Wisconsin is an institution built on the highest values of academic excellence, and we are extremely proud to be teaming up with one of the most vibrant, distinctive and successful athletic programs in the country to help elevate the performance of all Badgers with innovative footwear and apparel,” added Plank.

Wisconsin’s departure continues to weaken the stronghold Adidas had built in the Midwest after losing Michigan to Nike and Notre Dame to Under Armour in recent years (the company still owns apparel rights for Indiana and Nebraska). The Badgers are now the 41st Division I athletics department and 17th FBS program to join UA.

Video: There’s nothing wrong with Cardale Jones

Getty Images

In the minds of some in the media and even more in the fan base, Ohio State in general and Cardale Jones specifically have been underwhelming through the first five games of the 2015 season.

Jones, in particular, has been a rather large target of much of the angst.  Coming off a Cinderella-like three-game postseason run that helped OSU to a national championship, the perception is that Jones has been underwhelming and underperforming; even head coach Urban Meyer appeared to be leaning in that direction as he considered making the switch to J.T. Barrett prior to the Western Michigan win before reaffirming his commitment to the redshirt junior.

Is that perception valid?  Statistically, he’s not that far off from where he was in the 2014 postseason, at least in a couple of categories.

He’s completing 61.3 percent of his passes this season compared to 59.4 percent in the games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.  It was 9.9 yards per attempt in that three-game stretch last season, 8.2 in five games this season.  When it comes to scoring and turning the ball over, however, that’s another matter entirely.

He threw a touchdown pass every 15 pass attempts in the 2014 postseason; this season, it’s one every 21 attempts.  Even more glaring, he’s currently throwing an interception every 21 attempts as well.  During the run that made him a household name, it was one pick every 37.5 throws.

So, fewer touchdowns plus more turnovers equals validation of the angst, right?  Not so fast, at least as far as the college arm of Pro Football Focus goes.