It’s August fourth, training camps are underway across the OVC, so let’s start with basketball. Practice is underway for Sean Woods‘ Morehead State team as they prepare for a summer trip to the Bahamas. Eastern Kentucky leaves for Australia tomorrow, Tennessee Tech is heading to the Dominican Republic later this month, meaning all three teams get 10 days of practice, as well as three or four summer games.
As much as the NCAA is about fairness, it’s rules like this I’ve never quite gotten — this clearly creates an advantage for these teams. Something that’s not lost on Woods.
“We get to see who’s got what,” Woods told television station WKYT. “Try different combinations. The new guys get acclimated quickly with game-like situations. We get to grow sooner, rather than later.”
“We’re doing things now that we wouldn’t be doing until November or December,” Woods added. “That’s a big advantage.”
I get why they get the practice time — but why doesn’t every team get 10 practice days during the summer? Seriously, how hard would it be? Instead, you get it once every four years, as long as you can shell out the cash for an overseas vacation. It’s a simple fix, NCAA. I expect it in…20-30 years, or so.
Okay, now to football. Remember the Austin Peay sinkhole? That was discovered as part of renovations at Governors Stadium; renovations that have left the football team without a field as training camp opened Sunday. Instead, they’ll be tearing up the school’s soccer field for the time being.
Oh, and kickers ” may even be bussed to a different field to find uprights,” head coach Kirby Cannon told the Leaf-Chronicle.
This isn’t the end of the world, but if there’s a team that really needs ideal conditions for training camp, it’s this one. Cannon also told the paper that he’s turned over conditioning to the strength coach, which really make way too much sense, and kind of explains a lot about his team in the past.
By our math, there are five quarterback battles across the OVC this fall: Eastern Illinois, Jacksonville State, Murray State, UT Martin, and Southeast Missouri. That’s more than half, and quite a lot to track over the next month.
You could easily make the argument that neither JSU, UTM, or SEMO really had a No. 1 last year, as they seemed to go back and forth. It worked for Jacksonville State. It didn’t for UTM or SEMO. The latter is far more common.
The idea that you can have two completely different quarterbacks, that can confuse a defense is great of paper, but it doesn’t seem to work out that way. The problem with UTM and SEMO last year – neither QB was number one quality. If you’re running a dual QB system with two guys that could be the starter somewhere, who have different styles, that works. But neither the Skyhawks nor the Redhawks had that – instead that had a running quarterback that was too easily contained, and a pocket quarterback that couldn’t stretch the field enough to open up holes for the other quarterback.
UT Martin and SEMO are in that same boat this year. So is Murray State. Those three schools need to pick a No. 1, and probably stick with them; try to develop them through the year.
EIU and Jacksonville State? JSU did this last year, and EIU has two former FBS quarterbacks. Will they select a starter? Absolutely. Just “starter” doesn’t has to mean 100% of offensive snaps.