The teams of the Big East have spent much of the past three years proving that the conference still deserves an automatic berth in the Bowl Championship Series.And they might have pissed away all of their efforts in three days.On Saturday, Pitt lost at home to Bowling Green. On Sunday, Louisville lost at home to Kentucky. And on Monday, Rutgers lost at home to Fresno State.In all, the Big East teams went 4-4 over the weekend, with the wins coming against the likes of Hofstra, Villanova, Eastern Kentucky, and Tennessee-Martin — all from the division formerly known as I-AA.The only team from the conference that should have lost was Syracuse, which traveled to Northwestern.Hey, it’s always better to lose games early in the year than late, but if this weekend’s performance is an indication of how Pitt, Rutgers, and Louisville will fare this season, it’s gonna be a long, long year for the Big East.
It’s now officially official.
In discussing what he described as a “dirty” hit that knocked him out of the North Carolina State game Oct. 15 with a concussion, Wayne Gallman indicated Monday that he would be available and play in Clemson’s huge showdown with Florida State this Saturday. A day later, the running back’s head coach very emphatically confirmed the back’s availability Saturday coming of the football program’s by weekend.
“He’s going to play great,” Dabo Swinney said. “He practiced the whole practice and didn’t miss a rep. He’ll play great on Saturday.”
Gallman currently leads the Tigers in rushing yards (489) and rushing touchdowns (five). Because of the concussion, Gallman was limited to a season-low 14 yards on two carries.
In last year’s 23-13 win over the Seminoles that clinched the Tigers a berth in the ACC title game, Gallman rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown. His 25-yard touchdown run with 2:34 remaining iced the win.
Tuesday, one wagering website revealed it doesn’t see the postseason sky falling on the Buckeyes, either.
In its latest set of odds, has placed the Buckeyes at 9/2 to win the 2016 College Football Playoff. While that’s longer odds than the 11-4 OSU was getting a week ago, just one team sits ahead of them: Alabama at 8/5, slightly shorter odds than the 9/4 the Tide got last week.
Michigan (6/1), Clemson (7/1), Louisville (9/1) and Washington (9/1) are the only other teams to receive single-digit odds. The Wolverines, at 7-1 Oct. 18, are the only one of that quartet of teams to see their odds shorten.
Below is the complete set of 2016 College Football Playoff championship odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:
Dreaded or not, most people would appreciate public display of support from their bosses. Brian Kelly, though, is not most people.
With Notre Dame off to its worst start since 2007, many an observer opined that Kelly could be on the hot seat this year, and most certainly will sit on it heading into next season. With speculation swirling, Jack Swarbrick looked to put the kibosh on such talk.
“Brian will lead this team out of the tunnel opening day next year,” the Irish athletic director said last week. “I can tell you I continue to have complete confidence in Brian. … I get to see the program day in and day out and I continue to have great confidence in Brian and confidence in our future as a program.”
Kelly had, to say the least, an interesting response to Swarbrick’s public backing.
“Well I was disappointed actually,” the coach told Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com “But anytime that your athletic director has to come out and say that, as a head coach you’re disappointed that any kind of comments like that have to be made. So I didn’t ask him, that was his decision, but I clearly understand what he was doing. He was probably sick and tired of being sick and tired, too.
“But for me it’s disappointing, certainly, that you have to make those comments.”
After a 10-1 start to the 2015 season, the Irish have lost seven of their last nine games. Included in that is a 2-5 start to a 2016 season that’s seen Kelly fire his defensive coordinator and throw his players under the bus for good measure. Former Irish football players have sounded off and taken aim as well.
Well, this has the potential to get mildly interesting.
With Hurricane Matthew bearing down on the area, the LSU-Florida game originally scheduled for Oct. 8 in Gainesville was initially postponed. A week later, the SEC announced that the game had been rescheduled for Nov. 19 in Baton Rouge after South Alabama (LSU) and Presbyterian (UF) agreed to be bought out of their respective game contracts for that date.
Some, though, initially thought that UF was looking to duck playing LSU after the latter offered to host the Gators that October weekend; play in Gainesville either Sunday or Monday; or even having the game played at a neutral site. In that vein, through a public records request, WRBZ-TV in Baton Rouge obtained interoffice emails from LSU which showed the athletic department staff, as well as regent R. Blake Chatelain, was “frustrated with the handling of the postponed football contest against Florida earlier this month.”
In particular, athletic director Joe Alleva intimated that Florida didn’t want to play, period, because it would potentially help the Gators in their divisional race.
From the television station’s report:
Although, in an exchange with Chatelain, Alleva suspected Florida knew avoiding a game with LSU secured their spot in a playoff.
“… If they lose they would lose the east. Their schedule is easier than Tennessee (sic) if they wanted to play we would be playing here or there,” Alleva wrote after Chatelain questioned why Florida would want to avoid a game with the Tigers.
Chatelain wrote, “Florida would want to play as much as us… Would they not?”
Alleva initiated the conversation with Chatelain by writing, “This is a joke” when he forwarded news of the SEC announcing the Georgia-South Carolina contest had been delayed a day for the storm.
“What a joke,” Michael Bonnette, the communications director for LSU Athletics, chimed in.
Around that time, it was thought that Florida could gain an advantage over SEC East rival Tennessee by playing one fewer conference game and potentially claiming the division and a spot in the conference championship game by virtue of a better winning percentage than UT despite losing in the head-to-head matchup. However, in announcing the rescheduled game, the SEC revealed that both LSU and Florida would have been ineligible to compete for the SEC title this season had the game not been played.