Three squads got their spring football seasons started on Tuesday: Missouri, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Ahhh, there's just something about March 12 in directional Michigan that just says "spring." Anyway, here's some looks at things that happened around college football on Tuesday:
The Tigers started preparations for their second year of SEC play Tuesday, and that meant Gary Pinkel had a wide-ranging press conference after a 5-7 season that disappointed Mizzou fans.
First, on losing:
4) Pinkel made it clear that he's a competitor and he's excited about the upcoming season. Says he's given zero thought to retirement.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 11, 2013
Second, on the team's gameplan:
5) Pinkel also said it would be fair and accurate to say you'll see less empty sets this year, though #Mizzou will still be a spread team.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 11, 2013
Third, on a QB race many assumed would simply belong to incumbent James Franklin:
6) Pinkel on Maty Mauk, who seems to be very much in the QB race: "He's got a very strong arm. He can throw the ball 75 yards." #Mizzou— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 11, 2013
I think it's revealing that Pinkel - when talking about Mauk - again referred to Brad Smith, who beat out a three-year starter as a freshman— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 11, 2013
It sure seems unlikely that Pinkel would switch away from Franklin before his senior year, but after a losing year, it seems everything's on the table.
The Broncos got their practices started on Monday, and One Bronco Nation Under God made it out to check out how Chris Petersen's squad looks in 2013. The most interesting developments were discernible by just a simple scan of the team's spring roster:
Sophomore DT Robert Ash has moved the the offensive line, specifically, to guard. Interesting why? Well, because Ash and Jeff Worthy were two highly-prized DT recruits in the class of 2011 and neither of them will end up playing a snap there. Worthy looked like he might make some noise this year after a suspension-filled freshman year, but then was cut loose before Spring Camp even started and is no longer enrolled. Ash just never seemed to make much noise at all at DT or DE and hopefully will find new life on the O-line. One thing's for sure, he has history on his side making the switch, with successful line-jumps having taken place with Will Lawrence, Matt Paradis, or Chucky Hayes.
Ash was a three-star defensive end out of high school, but his college career has had some interesting turns in Boise. OBNUG also noted some strong play by Boise State's cornerbacks, some running backs who have very different sizes from last year, and a few new players on the team. The AP wrote about how the team is looking to replace defensive playmakers after a school once known for its flashy offense buckled down with a top-10 defense last season.
Will Muschamp gets spring ball started Wednesday, and Tuesday featured some updates on position changes as well, with Cody Riggs moving from nickelback to safety and cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy playing wide receiver for the first week of camp:
Of these, I suspect the most consequential is Riggs' move, as Purifoy will likely moonlight on offense and play on defense in the fall; Riggs is good enough to start in the secondary somewhere, and listing him as a starter at safety indicates that the Gators are not comfortable with touted rising sophomore Marcus Maye taking over in the defensive backfield just yet.
They also have Trey Burton moving full-time to wide receiver while Rhaheim Ledbetter and linebacker Gideon Ajagbe fill in at fullback, and Quinteze Williams is switching from defensive line to offensive line.