I hope you're hungry. Seriously. Skip breakfast - these Nugz are tasty and filling.
First up - I regularly read the website Smart Football, and for good reason. It focuses upon college football and tends to bring insight into the numerous different philsophical and strategic approaches to football that are played out on Saturdays every fall. One of their more recent posts delves into the reasons behind pro football's uniformity, and the difference between a NFL offense and those employed in college (and also shows Eagles Coach Andy Reid copping a feel on DeSean Jackson). My belief is that pro coaches do not want to innovate, because the risks of failure are greater than the embedded benefits of conformity. It's easier for pro coaches to protect themselves with millions of schemes which essentially end up at the same place (a pro-set style, or a West Coast offense), and blame the players when it doesn't work, rather than provide an unique scheme (say, the Wildcat). It's only after one coach innovates and is successful that the copycats then emerge. Why else do coaches punt in the fourth quarter, or kick a field goal, when they're down by 30 in the fourth quarter? In the meantime, a coach like Mike Leach is considered a maverick that can't coach in the NFL.
If EDIT: you are a Gophers season ticket holder and would like to travel to Syracuse, Happy Valley, Columbus, or Iowa City to see the Gophers play football this fall, here's your chance. Tickets went on sale yesterday at 9am. Don't blame us if they're already gone.
The Gophers' official site has started its non-conference previews (nothing like TDG, but we take content where content can be had). Start here with Syracuse.
Here's a recent story indicating that the U has started to offer rebates or cash vouchers to premium season ticket holders at the Vault as a result of the Legislature's myopic decision to require egalitarian boozing. Great - the Legislature enacts a bill which will directly end up costing the U's athletic department money, which could result in higher ticket prices or increased funding down the line from the state.
Finally, here's a listing of ESPN's Thursday night football matchups. The highlights in my opinion are the games involving Georgia Tech. If they display any progression from their performance against Georgia in 2008, they will be a top 5 team this year.