Notre Dame v Michigan

Report: Notre Dame to dip toes in ‘guest coach’ waters


Well, James Franklin, it appears you’ll have some company on the SEC coaching spit list.

Just a short time after we posted on SEC coaches being miffed at James Franklin and his Penn State staff for “guest coaching” on their turf, a report from surfaced that Notre Dame is set to do the same.

According to the recruiting website, Brian Kelly and his Irish staff are “currently working with Georgia State to work a satellite football camp in Atlanta during the summer of 2015.” Georgia State is one of the two schools in the Deep South which Franklin will work this summer, the other being in Florida.

The report goes on to state that the Irish might not limit themselves to the state of Georgia when it comes to “guest coaching.”

Dallas and Los Angeles are two other cities that would be advantageous for the Irish to work satellite camps, with places like Orlando, Louisiana and Ohio also cities and states that could be good for ND as well. All are possibilities, it just depends on what colleges Notre Dame would work with.

While this satellite camp brouhaha has received a significant amount of run of late, it’s far from a new phenomenon.

Former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano used to run camps in South Florida, which helped lead to the NCAA bylaw that prevents football programs from setting up camps outside of its home state. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, as featured in a Yahoo! piece from last year, have taken part in football camps in Texas as “guest coaches.”

However, this is Notre Dame and Penn State, two prominent FBS programs, invading the SEC’s territory. One way or the other the SEC will work to level the playing field on the recruiting trail, whether it be with making a uniform national rule that outlaws “guest coaching” or by the SEC lifting its conference mandate that prohibits such activity more than 50 miles from campus.

UPDATED 12:41 p.m. ET:  Boise State is also in on the satellite camp/guest coach circuit, with the Idaho Statesman reporting that Broncos coaches will be guests at camps in the Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Spokane metro areas this summer.

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.