News, Notes & Quotes - June 7

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday June 07, 2017

- Mark Stoops would rather rotate a bigger group of offensive lineman than find the best five and ride them.

“Not only does it develop your team for the future, it was just better for our guys,’ he said on The Cube Show. “We were playing some young guys, but had a nice mix. … We have a rotation of older guys with experience, talented young guys, and it bodes well for the future of the program.

“It’s a benefit two-fold. It gets us better as the season goes on. It keeps up healthy. It helps guys stay fresh. It also builds for the future of your program.”

- Bret Bielema has high praise for senior center Frank Ragnow.

“I believe Frank is the most talented center I’ve ever coached,” Bielema said on SportsTalk with Bo Mattingly. “I’ve had a couple high draft picks, first-rounders, second-rounders. He’s on that level. Now he’s got a bunch of other guys around him who have played good football. The concept of what we’re able to do up front is growing.”

Wisconsin center Travis Frederick was picked No. 31 in 2013, center Peter Konz was a second-rounder in 2012, and Bill Nagy was a seventh-rounder in 2011.

- Former NFL executive and agent Andrew Brandt doesn’t have the typical thought on LaVar Ball — because he’s encountered plenty of overbearing parents.

But Brandt also thinks Ball could keep a lot of outside problems away from Lonzo.

“I have heard the narrative about him being ‘a distraction’ with his bravado and shameless promotion of Big Baller Brand,” Brandt wrote in The MMQB. “However, I do not see any of this negatively affecting his son, Lonzo. To the contrary, the elder Ball seems to be protecting his son from inevitable other influences that have — and will — come Lonzo’s way.

“LaVar seems perfectly suited to be the true ‘no guy,’ ready to block those who have less concern for his son than he. It appears the only ‘herd’ around Lonzo Ball and his brothers is LaVar; no new friends, no new advisors, no associates with their hands out. Sure, LaVar is catnip to sports television and radio programming, but he seems as effective in protecting Lonzo’s interests as any manager, marketer or agent.”

- Brett Favre didn’t know what a nickel defense was until his second year in the NFL. Well, he knew what it was. He just didn’t know it was called that.

A video of Favre from the 2016 LSU coaches clinic made the rounds in coaching circles this week.

“If you don’t know what’s going on, the trick is to act like you do,” Favre said. “I’m the starting quarterback. (Mike) Holmgren would be up there, writing nickel defenses in. ‘We’re going to attack it this way.' I’d always be sitting there going, I hear this nickel defense all the time, but I’m not real sure what it is. Then he’d throw me for a loop and say, ‘Long situation, dime comes in.’ Dime? What the hell is dime? He’d say ‘over/under front, you got this, 3rd-and-34.’ But I was afraid to ask.

“I’m the starter. Ty Detmer’s over there. After our second year, I finally said I’ve just got to know. ‘Ty, I’ve got to ask you a question.’ Ty was as goofy as I was. He says, ‘What’s that?’ I said, ‘What’s a nickel defense?’ He was real quiet, says, ‘You serious? Yeah, I’m serious.’ He says, ‘Well, they basically take out a linebacker, bring in a DB.’I said, that’s it? That’s it. I said, ‘Who gives a shit?’”

- Arizona’s president dropped a blunt line over any idea Ohio State might be interested in hoops coach Sean Miller.

"The Ohio State University is great university, but they are not going to get Coach Miller," Robert Robbins told The Arizona Republic.

“They will have to come over me to get him, as the saying goes, over my dead body."

- Urban Meyer and Ohio State explain “E + R = O”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to