Installment Two of WDRB.com's weekly College Football Notebook.
Watson wants more 'multiple' offense
Because Shawn Watson was calling the plays for most of the second half of last season after the departure of offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, it's easy to forget that the University of Louisville football team is beginning its first full season under a new coordinator.
But Watson last season was simply trying to build on a foundation built by another coordinator, and doing it with an extremely young team at that. He says the offense will show a new look in the coming season.
"Last year I inherited what we had in terms of the nomenclature, which I wanted to clean up, and we've done that," Watson said. "We had to take over kind of a philosophy and we developed it as the season went on to try to become more what we felt like we needed to become (and by 'we,' I'm talking about Dave Borbely and me)."
Watson described his offensive philosophy as more "multiple" than the Cards showed last season.
"Last year we were real static for two reasons," he said. "One we inherited it, and second we were young. Multiplicity comes in first personnel sets or groups, and secondly formation structures and ways to get into those structures. I don't like to be a static offense. That is, you come out of the huddle and you're in this. I inherited this and we wanted something different. They look and think you're two-back personnel, but then you go empty set. You want to make the defensive coordinator and opposing staff work."
COMING MONDAY: The Education of Teddy Bridgewater. Take a look behind the scenes at how Bridgewater and Will Stein are spending the summer studying, and look at what they're studying, here on WDRB.com.
Carter to represent football at Cardinal Caravan
Running backs coach Kenny Carter will be the football representative at Cardinal Caravan stops this summer. Carter's lively presentations were a hit at a couple of stops last year.
According to UofLSports.com, The Cardinal Caravan begins July 17 in Frankfort, Ky., at Buffalo Trace Clubhouse from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Upon conclusion of the event, fans will be able to tour the distillery free of charge until 3 p.m. The caravan will make a second stop later that evening when coaches and student-athletes travel to Northern Kentucky to visit the Newport Aquarium from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Members of the U of L coaching and support staff will be at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., on July 18 from 6:30-8 p.m. ET, and the caravan concludes regionally with a visit to Owensboro, Ky., on July 19 at the River Park Center from 12:30-2 p.m. ET. The trip ends that evening when the Cardinals visit Captain's Quarters from 5:30-7 p.m.
Tyler makes return to Wildcat roster
Dakotah Tyler, a safety who sat out last season for undisclosed personal reasons, has returned to the team, head coach Joker Phillips announced Monday. He'll rejoin the team after completing summer classes and will be a junior in eligibility.
Tyler will provide depth in a safety rotation that includes two returning starters -- seniors Martavius Neloms and Mikie Benton.
Tyler played in the last 11 games of the 2010 season and started one of those. He totaled 13 tackles, one for loss, one pass breakup and caused one fumble. He also played on special teams.
Hoosiers break ground on new practice fields
Indiana has broken ground on construction of outdoor practice fields. The arrival of a bulldozer prompted Indiana coach Kevin Wilson to Tweet: "Big Time Commitment from Our Admin. One More Piece of Our Program."
Wilson has a major supporter in Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean – and Wilson used the atmosphere at IU basketball games last winter to impress football recruits.
Wilson was a regular visitor to Indiana basketball practices. He wanted to study Crean's approach to creating a winning atmosphere for a program that had endured three consecutive losing seasons.
"The thing I appreciate watching about our basketball team is I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes to see some of their workouts and their practices," Wilson said. "They had success because of their commitment and the way they work.
"Yes, they've upgraded and recruited some good players but there were a lot of leftover players where over time they just became a better team through hard work. I thought they were a very, very good practice team, which led to better results on the court."
AROUND THE NATION
Just one happy Big 12 family in Texas . . . or not
Earlier this month, Texas State and Texas Tech were told that their game this season would be televised one of ESPN's networks. This week, they heard the network to be named later.
According to RedRaiderSports.com, Texas Tech found out this week that the game was being slated to run on the Longhorn Network. Imagine, for a minute, a U of L game scheduled to run on a Wildcat Network. Needless to say, Texas Tech officials say that's not going to happen.
In fact, RRS reports that the school may consider canceling the game and playing just an 11-game schedule rather than having a game televised by ESPN Bevo.
So while the Big 12 has solidified itself for the time being, clearly there are some cracks not far from the surface.
Ohio State could bring Spring Game to Cincy
ESPN Big Ten Blogger Brian Bennett reports that because of renovations at The Horseshoe, Ohio State is in discussions to bring its Spring Game to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. This also is attractive from a recruiting standpoint for new coach Urban Meyer, who is looking to make greater inroads into Cincinnati.
Reports Bennett: Ohio State "had the nation's largest crowd for a spring game this year, as 81,112 turned out for the beginning of the Urban Meyer era. Ohio State holds the all-time spring game record, with more than 95,000 fans in 2009.
"Paul Brown Stadium seats just a little more than 65,500, so some fans may be turned away if the spring game moves there. But the move would also put the Buckeyes right in the heart of a talent-rich recruiting area that hasn't been as flush for them as one would expect in the last several years."
Site predicts win totals for local teams
How many games are the local college football schools projected to win this season?
The web site, BeyondTheBets.com, has delivered its predictions, using projected point spreads and several other factors.
For Louisville, the number is 8.91 wins. For Kentucky, the site projects only 3.65 victories. Indiana's number is 3.66. Give the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 6.13 victories.
Louisville's win total is tops in the Big East, while UK and IU are projected to have the fewest victories in their conferences.
For the record, BeyondTheBets has also installed Louisville as a 10-point favorite for the Cards' season-opener against Kentucky Sept. 2 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
Little love for UK, IU players on Athlon All-League lists
Athlon magazine has picked its Southeastern and Big Ten conference all-league teams for the 2012 college season. Don't spend much time looking for players from Kentucky or Indiana. You won't find many
Offensive lineman Larry Warford is Kentucky's only representative on the SEC's first, second or third teams. Warford was named to the first team.
Indiana placed three guys on the Big Ten squads – all on the third team. The players are running back Stephen Houston, receiver Kofi Hughes and offensive lineman Bernard Taylor.
Athlon did not publish a Big East football yearbook for 2012, but the magazine did rank its Top 10 Heisman Trophy contenders from the league. The list is topped by U of L QB Teddy Bridgewater. Cards' safety Hakeem Smith is eighth on the list.
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