College Football News June 8: Pac-12 Announces Injury Spotters


Safety concerns remain one of the most vexing issues for football at all levels. In the college game, the Pac-12 is enacting a proactive in 2015 with the introduction of injury spotters.

The conference issued a release to media Sunday night, detailing this and other new measures designed to combat players participating with injuries — particularly brain trauma. Per the release:

Under the new system, each participating institution will assign one spotter to monitor their respective team. The spotters will be equipped with new video technology to closely monitor every play, and have the ability to rewind, pause, zoom, and change camera angles in real time to fully evaluate the extent of injuries. Additionally, they will have direct communication with coaches and medical personnel so that any potential concerns can be addressed immediately.

In addition, each football team will have extensive medical records available in a database, with all injuries updated to keep running tabs that can be referenced at all times.

Solving football’s injury problem should be everyone in the game’s top priority, so any major move in that direction deserves plaudits. How well it plays out in action is a story line to track throughout the 2015 season.

A Plan for Fox to Combat ESPN in College Football

Berry Tramel, The Oklahoman

ESPN is the undisputed king of college football, but Fox has been somewhat aggressive in trying to scratch out its own piece of the market. Showcasing Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan debut against a good Utah team on opening night should direct some eyeballs to Fox Sports 1 and away from the Worldwide Leader.

More marquee games such as Utah-Michigan is one key to Fox staking a bigger territory in the game; another, writes Berry Tramel, is getting a jump-start on ESPN: literally.

Tramel’s suggestion is intriguing: basically, Fox needs to secure a deal with a conference prominently in the Eastern Time Zone. Why the Eastern Time Zone?

Well, because an 11 a.m. ET kickoff time is only feasible in the East, and an 11 a.m. kickoff gives Fox a one-hour jump on its competition.

Connecticut-Bred Steve Addazio Has Turned Boston College Around

Desmond Conner, The Hartford Courant

Steve Addazio says he once dreamed of being the head coach at UConn. Plenty in Storrs probably wish they’d pursued the then-Florida offensive coordinator in 2011, when Randy Edsall left UConn for Maryland and Temple hired Addazio to replace Al Golden.

Four years later, Addazio is indeed in New England, albeit at Boston College, where his mantra of “Be A Dude” is getting BC football back on track.

Addazio tells the Hartford Courant in this deep and fascinating look at the coach’s rebuilding of a one-time powerhouse that recapturing past Eagle glory is “a four- or five-year deal.” However, in his first two years, Addazio has coached Boston College to a pair of bowl games and showcased a Heisman Trophy finalist.

By becoming the dominant program recruiting locally, BC is building a strong base for Addazio’s long-term vision.

UConn Creates Rivalry With UCF, to UCF’s Surprise

Matt Brown, Sports on Earth

Speaking of Connecticut football, the Huskies are involved in the most one-sided rivalry in college football history. Their rivalry with American Athletic Conference counterpart UCF is so one-sided, in fact, that UCF doesn’t know it exists.

The “Civil Conflict” was born last week with Connecticut unveiling the trophy via Twitter, but Matt Brown writes the “rivalry” came to be last season.

Now, UCF already has a budding rivalry with USF. Leading up to last November’s I-4 Rivalry, USF’s Todd Chandler called the Bulls-Knight rivalry, “a natural hate…something you’re born in. You inherit that hate once you sign that [letter of intent.]”

Alright, so UCF already has its AAC rival, and, if the Knights have a B-rival, East Carolina seems more fitting than UConn. UCF and East Carolina battled for Conference USA supremacy the latter half of last decade.

It makes so little sense, UCF isn’t even aware of a Civil Conflict trophy.

Hell, UCF has a more natural rivalry with ninjas based exclusively on the 1987 movie The Miami Connection. Crime-fighting synth band Dragon Sound battles drug-dealing ninjas while also attending UCF. Seriously.

And that makes more sense than the Civil Conflict.

The biggest positive to glean from all this is that my Indiana-Wake Forest trophy, to be presented on The Late Show by Stephen Colbert, doesn’t seem so far-fetched.