College Football Fall Practice Meetings We'd Love to Spy on

Carl StineCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2013

College Football Fall Practice Meetings We'd Love to Spy on

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    In spite of the seemingly interminable amount of time from the end of bowl season to the beginning of the next college football season, you can rest assured that next season will eventually come.

    Fall practice will start, and with it, the fall practice meeting that kicks off the entire practice session.

    The 10 teams on this list are the 10 we would like to stop by and hear.

    Some will be entertaining, some intense, others desperate as coaches set the tone for the season and continue the drive for wins that started with spring practice and continued through "voluntary" summer workouts.

    These 10 are the teams we wish we could spy on as the 2013 practice season hits full stride.

10. Louisville Cardinals

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    There are few football fans predicting that a team other than Louisville will win the American Athletic Conference in 2013, and with good reason. The Cardinals have few weak spots, one of the best quarterbacks in college football and a coach who is establishing himself as one of the best coaches available in the game today.

    Teddy Bridgewater is a legit Heisman candidate, and if it were not for the weakness of the AAC, he might be the favorite to win the award in 2013.

    But truthfully, outside of this, there is not much the average fan knows about the Louisville program.

    It is not exactly the type of program that has fans scattered all over the country like Notre Dame, Michigan and Alabama.

    For that reason, and to get a glimpse inside the mind of head coach Charlie Strong, we would like to be a fly on the wall at Louisville's practice meetings.

9. Texas Longhorns

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    Mack Brown has got to turn Texas back into a legit title contender.

    The Longhorns haven't been close to being a contender on the national level since 2009. But Brown has one of his most experienced teams ever, with 19 starters returning in 2013, and some adjustments on offense that are going to make this offense scary, even with David Ash at the helm.

    Brown, while not the greatest speaker, has a way of inspiring confidence, and helping players and staff determine how to get things down.

    The Longhorns are going to win the Big 12 this season, the team is talented, the conference is up for grabs and this is the best chance the team has had in some time.

    Expect Brown to set the tone from Day 1 in meetings.

     

8. Virginia Tech Hokies

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    Logan Thomas is going to have a much better season in 2013 than he did in 2012. It can't possibly be worse, barring injury. Thomas threw 16 interceptions last season and could only muster 18 touchdowns.

    This year, the defense of the Hokies will be talented and experienced, returning 10 starters, while the offense needs a leader to step up, make plays and lead.

    Frank Beamer had led the Hokies to nine double-digit win seasons in the past 10 years before the miserable 7-6 year in 2012.

    Is he done?

    Can he bring the Hokies back one more time?

    Listening in on how fall practice begins will help get a read on Virginia Tech's chances in 2013.

     

7. USC Trojans

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    The Trojans are loaded.

    In spite of the NCAA sanctions and limited scholarships, this team has been able to successfully recruit plenty of talent, both out of high school and the JUCO ranks. The Trojans checked in at 13th in the 2013 recruiting rankings and as high as eighth last season.

    So not only does the USC fall practice meeting feature loads of talented players that have not quite lived up to potential, it will feature head coach Lane Kiffin.

    That in and of itself should be enough of an attraction to pull one into the meeting.

    Kiffin has made a practice of saying and doing derogatory, irritating things that make him look like an idiot. While it's doubtful the man would make that kind of statement in a team meeting, it would be fun to find out.

6. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    This one is easy to imagine.

    Steve Spurrier to team:

    "Boys, we have our work cut out for us, but I have complete faith we can finish this season atop the SEC. Our game plan is simple—Jadeveon, you will control the edge, rush the passer, kick field goals and play running back. The rest of you, feed Jadeveon. You wouldn't like him when he's hungry."

    Kidding aside, Spurrier is the most entertaining coach in college football and has some incredible talent at his disposal.

    All the press likes to talk about is Clowney—with good reason, as the man is the best defensive end in the nation.

    With a few breaks, this team could potentially be playing in the SEC title game.

     

5. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Fall practice at Texas A&M will be focused on quarterback Johnny Manziel, as was the case the entire offseason.

    The Heisman-winning quarterback spent his time off living it up. But in spite of all the partying and antics, the kid should ultimately be judged by how he performs, rather than what he does in his free time.

    Imagine if we had Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram while Deion Sanders was in college. Manziel is not the first athlete to behave in this manner, and he certainly won't be the last.

    All that aside, beside the attraction of Johnny Football in the room at the fall practice meeting, there is the little matter of the Aggies' head coach.

    Kevin Sumlin has turned this offense into a juggernaut. The Aggies have the most talented backfield in all of college football, and Sumlin enjoyed tremendous success last season in just his first at the helm.

    As he continues implementing his system and running the style that made the Aggies hard to slow down last season, it would be interesting to hear what he says to his players. Does he target Alabama, seemingly the Aggies' only road block to an SEC title?

    Does he discuss the Manziel circus or just leave it alone?

    How will he bring the team together around Manziel, when all the press A&M has gotten over the last season has been focused on the stud quarterback rather than the team?

4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Tommy Rees is the guy at quarterback.

    Everett Golson is not with the team this season. While Rees is no Joe Montana, he's the best option available to Brian Kelly's team.

    The last time we saw that team, it was getting destroyed by Alabama much like Wile E. Coyote gets destroyed every time he tries to capture Road Runner.

    How will the team respond?

    Defensive leader Manti Te'o is gone, but Stephon Tuitt, Prince Shembo and Louis Nix will lead a defense that should still be a force to be reckoned with.

    The Irish have a brutal schedule, some tough offseason losses to deal with and plenty of high expectations coming off a near-perfect season last year.

    Besides the chance to hear Brian Kelly at work, there is always the off chance of getting an opportunity to steal the leprechaun outfit for the day...

3. LSU Tigers

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    Les Miles is the one and only reason for this one.

    After losing the majority of their defensive starters to the NFL draft, the Tigers have a tough row to hoe trying to reload and compete this season. The one thing that stays consistent around the program is head coach Les Miles. He is consistent in his eccentric behaviors and solid coaching.

    The Tigers are 85-21 with Miles at the helm, including three consecutive double-digit win seasons and a national title.

    There is no questioning his coaching ability, although sometimes one might question his sanity.

    After all, this is the man who ate grass on the sideline during the Tigers' win over Alabama and then joked about it afterward.

    The man is entertaining, while at the same time staying barely within the bounds of sanity—hence the nickname "Mad Hatter."

    At SEC media days, Yahoo! Sports reported that Miles came through with these quotes in reference to his offseason activities:

    "Did some hyperbaric oxygen therapy research."

    "I repelled down a building. I don't know that that was all it was cracked up to be. It was tall. It was up there."

    Imagine the fun at team meetings with a man who knows how to win and yet enjoys a good time.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Who, other than the most diehard and oblivious Auburn fan, wouldn't want to figure out everything that Nick Saban does and how to make it happen at their program?

    Alabama will be seeking a third consecutive national title in 2013 and the team's fourth since 2009.

    We can safely call this the closest thing to a dynasty that has existed in the college football universe in quite some time.

    Saban is the best coach available today and on the short list for greatest of all time.

    In spite of his penchant for straw hats at practice and insistence on working toward next season minutes after winning the BCS title, Saban and his staff know how to get players developed, motivated and accomplishing what's needed on the field.

    Even those that hate Alabama would have to admit the opportunity to hear him set the tone for success from the beginning of fall practice is one that should not be missed.

1. Penn State Nittany Lions

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    There is no team in college football that has to deal with the adversity Bill O'Brien and the Nittany Lions have been through.

    For a lesson in how such a difficult situation should be handled, time in the Penn State meeting is a must.

    O'Brien is a wizard, and even with so much going against this team, it will not be surprising if Penn State finishes well over .500 in 2013 after finishing better than expected last season.

    For those players that have stayed with the program, it means more than ever. For those recruits choosing to continue down the way O'Brien is leading, this is where the path begins.

    I, for one, would love the opportunity to hear how fall practice begins for the Nittany Lions.