College Football Nation: One Week Away!

You know that feeling when you’re sitting at an amazing restaurant, you’re hungry, and see the waiter bringing your food?  Well, that’s sort of how I feel right now with college football just around the corner. Camps are drawing to a close, coaches are finalizing depth charts and teams around the country are getting ready. Let’s get started!

ACC

Louisville is upgrading their football stadium.

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Louisville is upgrading their football stadium.

In an era where financial resources for college football programs are ever-increasing, the University of Louisville announced plans for an upgrade to its stadium and facilities for the next season.  Athletic director Tom Jurich announced a $55 million plan to add about 10,000 seats, enclose the north end zone and renovate the club section to add a more modern feel.  The university also will expand and renovate the meeting rooms, coaches’ center, players’ lounge, double the size of the weight room and conditioning center, and install a new locker room.  Louisville has surged into a national presence in the past decade and hopes to continually draw star recruits and compete with other powerhouse programs.

BIG TEN

Athletic Director Mike Thomas announced Friday that only a week before its season opener, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini have fired their football coach, Tim Beckman, because of allegations that he influenced medical decisions and pressured players to play hurt. Beckman insisted the allegations were false and suggested he may consider legal action. The external investigation started after a former offensive lineman made such allegations against Beckman on Twitter.  Beckman went 12-25 over three seasons, with a 4-20 record in Big Ten play.  The firing puts offensive coordinator Bill Cubit into the position of interim coach.  Cubit, who is 61 years old, has 17 years of experience as a head coach among his 34 seasons in the business.

 

BIG 12

Bob Stoops plans on taking the Sooners to the playoffs.

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Bob Stoops plans on taking the Sooners to the playoffs.

I love preseason predictions. The fact that no one knows what’s going to happen allows everyone to have a unique viewpoint. This past week, Kirk Herbstreit released his picks for the CFP, and the most notable pick, in my opinion, was the University of Oklahoma. I’ve discussed before how I don’t think the BIG 12 winner is going to be TCU or Baylor with a runaway victory, and how many teams, such as Texas and Oklahoma, have notable chances of winning the conference. Herbstreit’s pick was especially bold, and it’s hard to strongly disagree with his opinion. “I think Oklahoma is gonna surprise everybody,” Herbstreit said. ”I think Oklahoma is gonna end up emerging. The main reason I feel like they will have the ability to do that is the backfield that they have. Samaje Perine might be the most talented back that not a lot of people are talking about.” Perine does seem poised for a big sophomore campaign, and an Oklahoma team with plenty of offensive firepower surely could have a chance at the playoffs.

SEC

Not a lot from the SEC this week, as teams quietly continue through camp. Many quarterback decisions in the SEC, particularly those at Alabama, Georgia and LSU, remain unclear.

Auburn will turn to slight changes in its uniforms this year, notably extending the pant stripes all the way down and  creating a slightly different appearance from the jersey as a whole.

PAC 12

Two big quarterback decisions this week. I’ll focus more on UCLA because there will be other articles covering Vernon Adams, Jr.’s rise to become a starter.

UCLA named true freshman Josh Rosen as the starter for the upcoming season to replace Brett Hundley. Rosen was a standout at nearby St. John Bosco in San Diego, a team that was ranked the second best in the country for a significant period of time. I particularly remember being impressed with the way Rosen played against the No. 1 team in all the land, Bishop Gorman. Despite not being able to get in the way of Gorman’s undefeated season, Rosen handled the intense game environment with superb poise and was the No. 1 pocket passer in last year’s quarterback class.

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