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Random musings on this fine first week of February

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EA’s College Football, signing day, performance, and plyo of the week!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 Virginia at Miami Photo by Richard C. Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s another week with minimal Miami Hurricanes news to come on and jaw jack about so I figured I would attack a few random ideas again. Today I’ll cover EA’s College Football potential comeback, performance ideas, plyometrics and signing day 2021 (and beyond).

Let’s get it!


EA’s College Football

EA Sports is coming out with a new college football series, eventually. They have changed the name from NCAA Football to College Football, but it’s not like they haven’t changed the name in the past. What many of us became to call “NCAA” was once called Bill Walsh College Football and after that College Football USA, before settling on EA’s NCAA Football.

It’s important to remember that a subsequent tweet said, “In the next couple of years.” By then maybe the NCAA will be realigned to EA Sports, the players will have their NIL stuff taken care of, and the game will look more like the old NCAA than the rumored disconnected, randomized player, thing that is floating around.

In order for me to get really excited about this I would need real uniforms, trophies, the College Football Playoff, stadiums, coaches, and players in the game. There are plenty of cool features and updates we should expect and want.

It’s not Miami unless I get The U on the helmet, the uniforms, Hard Rock, the smoke, Sebastian the Ibis, and it would be really cool if we could build music into the game and Phil Collins could come blaring out of the loud speakers! College football is special because of players like D’Eriq King who buy in and lead their program. It’s fun for the pageantry of even the rivals from up north and their different traditions. There’s nothing like pounding them at Doak to set your ‘Canes up for an ACC title shot!

Recruiting

So the most fun part of the game, to me, was always recruiting and building up a dynasty. I loved playing-playing the game, sure, but the idea of building up a roster was always really fun. I would be willing to play a game mode where I handled recruiting, roster management, and hiring a staff and picking schemes and not even having to play the actual game. Sort of like a Football Manager or NFL Head Coach but for college football.

In a past edition, the head coach had to determine how he would spend his 100 points heading into the off-season. Will you put all of your eggs in the discipline basket (remember when dudes would get suspended?!), the recruiting basket, the development basket or are you going to split evenly or in some other split.

Being S&C obsessed, I wouldn’t even mind having to focus time on speed, skill, or strength- that could be fun, too (I know not everyone would find that as much fun). Eventually they can make the game too tedious and not even fun to play if I’m stuck answering emails like in Madden or NFL Head Coach. I would prefer to avoid that and do actual game things.

Besides “Bagmen” (LOL) what other recruiting tidbits could be included? I would like to see a bonus given for mastering recruiting certain positions. Ie. someone that constantly brings in big time QB’s should get a QB guru tag. He can develop AND sign passing QB’s easier than say Coach Ken at Navy.

Players could be tagged less “scrambler” and more as “option” and less as “pocket” and more as “Air Raid.” If you pick a certain scheme a player tagged that way gets bonus points in recruiting that player. I wonder how Miami with Rhett Lashlee would be labeled... he likes mobile QB’s but he also has an Air Raid influence on him. Manny Diaz’s defense could be labeled with “havoc” numbers that influence signing defensive ends.

in other words, I think coaches should get 20 hours a week to spend on recruiting (30 for a recruiting coordinator or former RC that’s a HC) and the bonuses are where it’s at, not the weird point system in the 2014 edition. Time just feels more real than “points.”

Any way you shake it, they could really focus on the things about college football that make it special and stay away from the weird storyline stuff they did in Madden and it would be a fun play.


Signing Day

The real signing day is here, but it might help to just call this day “Signing Deadline” versus Day. Most of the big names have been long off the market and classes have been decided since December. However, I did really like Bud Elliott’s piece on the transfer market being a better value move than the freshman market.

With players not able to get on campus and for college coaches to not be able to really sit down and meet the players, watch them compete on-site, see how they handle the pressure, and also get realistic measurements (height, weight, hand, wingspan) and testing (40, 20, shuttle, vertical jump, broad jump) I can see the hesitation. A little bit of film and no on-site visit makes for a risky signing.

However, the guys in the transfer portal typically have college film. They also were more than likely on campus at some point in their process and you have a personal relationship with them already. And, you already have their measurements and tests that high school coaches notoriously lie about (two inches and 10 pounds rule).

With the change of rules because of COVID, and upcoming rule changes in general regarding eligibility, transfers may be the way to go for programs until high school players can return safely to college campuses for camps and showcases. It also hurts places like Miami that have new Indoor Practice Facilities to show off and how beautiful Coral Gables is for out-of-town players who just don’t know what Paradise Camp is all about.


Performance

Penn State posted this (ugh, I know, sorry) performance model and I have to say I do like it. The idea that we all need a baseline level and foundation of health and wellness to build off of before we can achieve elite performance is what my entire world is built upon. Basically, I teach Maslow 101 to young adults (same style as the Science of Well-Being course at Yale, just in much more detail).

The idea that we can’t reach elite performance without having that foundation is awesome. I’ve been thinking about where to fit this into my materials since seeing it. Good stuff! Another thing to look at is, although they don’t give percentages, it seems like technical and tactical are slightly larger/more important pieces than physical and mental. I may have put physical and mental as the second entire level, and then added technical and tactical afterwards.

Without proper physical and mental training, can an athlete move up to effective performance levels in technical (sport and position specific work) and tactical (actually running plays) areas? Probably not. The WR may be too slow to develop the elite level of technical expertise we’re looking for, or the guard might not be able to maintain the mental focus under duress to truly grasp the tactical side of their job.

Any way you slice it, elite or high performance on the field or court is the pinnacle of what we’re trying to establish as strength and conditioning coaches, and sport coaches in general. Now picture Miami, some of the players exceed at the mental aspect long before others. That needs to be a focus of the S&C program, to keep those players focused. The U is in need of physical, mental, technical and tactical development ASAP in order to win the ACC over the likes of the Clemson Tigers.


Plyo of the week

Plyo of the week is from one of my favorite strength coaches Zach Dechant. He’s the baseball S&C guru out at TCU but also works with QB’s and WR’s for the Horned Frogs. I love that coach has his players go barefoot in the drill. That’s something that should be saved for more advanced high school and obviously college athletes.