The NFL preseason kicked off last week and will continue through the rest of the month. For most of August, it will be the only way football-starved fans will be able to enjoy the sport until the college games kick off at the end of the month (we’re almost there, I promise). If San Diego State head coach Rocky Long had things his way, there would be a college football preseason as well.
“I wish we had an exhibition season like the NFL does,” Long said this weekend, according to Mountain West Connection on SB Nation. “I’d like to play a game or two against somebody else and then you’ve got a better feel for your team.”
Because college football does not have a preseason, a number of programs will schedule games early in the season against bottom feeders from various conferences or dip their toes in the FCS waters, which can prove dangerous at times. With the new focus on strength of schedule and with the possible cutting back by power conference schools scheduling programs from outside the other power conferences, perhaps the preseason idea could gain some traction.
The idea is not entirely new in concept. Playing the equivalent of preseason games in the spring has been thrown around before as well as the mini preseason concept. College basketball allows for preseason games, but football has not crossed that line. Would scrimmages against other schools in the state, be they FBS vs. FBS or FBS vs. FCS match-ups be too much to tack on to the rigors of a full 12-game regular season at the college level? In a changing landscape for the sport, maybe anything is possible.
San Diego State opens the 2014 season at home on August 30 against Northern Arizona.
One day after it was revealed its head coach was the second-lowest paid in college football, Appalachian State announced a five-year contract extension for head coach Scott Satterfield.
“We have the right coach leading our football program in Scott Satterfield,” Appalachian State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement. “In nearly three years as head coach, he has stayed true to his convictions, built the program the right way and set Appalachian State football up for sustainable success both in the Sun Belt Conference and at the national level.”
Satterfield had earned $375,000 annually, ahead of only Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry at $360,000 a year.
Satterfield, 42, is 14-14 in his third season at the Boone, N.C., school. He led the Mountaineers to a 7-5 mark in their debut Sun Belt season, and has the club at 3-1 to start the 2015 campaign.
“It’s exciting for my family and me to know that we’re going to be at Appalachian for the foreseeable future,” Satterfield added. “I’m living a dream by being the head coach at my alma mater and can’t wait to continue to work hard to help this program reach heights that it has never reached before.”
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.