Flashy. Shiny. New.
That's the rumored secret to getting recruits' attention. And the media's attention.
And when a new facility opens, news reports are filled with fanfare and big, high-resolution graphics highlighting the modernness of the whole sports complex. Of course, other schools pay attention to the latest goings-on and answer the bell by hitting up their boosters to try and improve their own facilities.
They must upgrade to keep up with the Ducks, the Fighting Irish, the Trojans, the Golden Bears...and yes, a surprise new entry in the race to have the very best college football facilities.
So what are the must-haves for a truly up-to-the-minute, modern college football facility?
We've scoured the country to give you a bird's-eye view of what we believe are the best and most modern football facilities in the country. Prepare yourself for complete awesomeness.
First up is Notre Dame. The school's Guglielmino "The Gug" Complex and Loftus Center are very elegant. There's a strong sense of football tradition here with the Four Horsemen statues and legendary players and coaches' pictures hanging in the halls. The indoor practice facility is top-notch with very high ceilings. The video below shows the training table filled with crab legs and filet mignon tenderloins. Really.
Next is Cal. The school just recently upgraded its stadium and the surrounding facilities. The $150 million, 142,000-square-foot Student-Athlete High Performance Center athletic complex is huge. More from the Mercury News:
The SAHPC will be divided into three areas -- one-third is devoted to football, one-third is the high performance core where athletes from all 13 sports sharing the building can train, and the remaining third is reserved for facilities for the other 12 sports.
The only thing it's missing is some personality. It needs a little more flash to be on par with Notre Dame's, but then again, the facilities weren't completely finished when this video was taken.
USC just opened up its $70 million, 110,000-square-foot McKay Center last year, and it is gorgeous. The locker rooms are spacious (equipped with iPads) and full of technological features that any player could possibly want. The indoor practice field is small, but maybe that's because there's rarely inclement weather in Southern California—a larger one probably isn't necessary.
Oregon might just have the coolest facilities of any school. The locker rooms include separate venting systems for each cubicle. The number of plasma televisions in the facility is also incredible. All in all, the Ducks have met and exceeded expectations that are always high.
Since that last video was shot, Oregon has added a new feature: The Quack Cave. It's the first social media command center in a school's athletic department. Use the hash tag #GoDucks if you want to make an appearance in the Quack Cave.
No facility could possibly top any of these, right? Fasten your seat belts.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Holy Grail of athletic facilities... at the University of Tennessee. It's real. And it's spectacular.
So what's the secret in having the most modern athletic facilities?
Underwater treadmills, juice/nutrition bars and indoor practice facilities seem fairly consistent among the better facilities. So do big weight rooms, hot and cold pools (no tubs of ice, thank you very much), spacious locker rooms and a constant visual stimulation of videos on large high-definition televisions throughout the complex.
The bigger the facility, the better. The more gadgetry, the better. The University of Georgia doesn't issue keys for its coaches to enter a locked office—doors are opened via their fingerprints on a sensor pad.
Other bonuses are iPads, Xboxes, comfortable seats in the theaters where game film and videos are shown and 3-D wall tributes to former players who have gone on to play in the NFL. Having cell phone/iPad charging stations everywhere—and I mean everywhere, including the locker room cubicles—seems to be a mandatory requirement for today's college football player.
Bod Pods—which measure an athlete's body fat—are a must. So are monitors that keep track of each athlete's performance on a piece of equipment.
The ultimate player's lounge is also a must-have. The more color, lights, technology and comfortable lounging chairs, the better. These guys want to be entertained with high-tech gadgetry. Lots of flash, lots of shine and lots of new stuff.
Yes, lots of swag in a college facility will bring in the elite recruits, but one must-have can't be overlooked.
BCS Championship trophies. Associated Press National Champion trophies. Heisman trophies. All-American mentions.
You can have all the high-tech stuff in the world but without the prestigious accolades, an ultramodern facility may not be enough to get those recruits to sign with the school.
Sometimes, old school still rules.
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