Source: A.D. 'undercutting' Mangino

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On a day when everyone seems to be piling on Mark Mangino, we’ve come across some information that paints a slightly different picture of the Kansas head coach and the situation in which he currently finds himself.

As you no doubt have heard by now, Mangino is the subject of an internal investigation for allegedly poking a player — linebacker Arist Wright — in the chest during the week leading up to the Oct. 17 game against Colorado.  At the time of the alleged practice incident, Kansas was 5-0; since then, the Jayhawks have lost five straight and have some convinced that the losing has played a major role in this incident coming to light.

“Do you think this would be happening if they’d won five games in a row instead of lost [five in a row]”, a school source with knowledge of the situation told CFT.  “They were unbeaten when this happened.  Why is it not coming out until now?”

As a result of the “poking” incident, the players met with athletic director Lew Perkins this past Monday and were given a no-holds-barred forum in which they could discuss any issues or concerns they have or had regarding Mangino.  The head coach was not present, and was unaware of the meeting until afterwards according to the source.

In getting the players together, the source said, Perkins or one of his underlings “went on blast” to alert the players to the particulars of the meeting.  According to the source, Mangino “blasts” his players via text messages in order to get information out to them, alert them to certain things, etc.  Some players were under the impression that Mangino had called for the meeting, and attended under that assumption.

The source said using this “blast system” was one of many indications that Perkins is attempting to undermine the coach, undercutting him in regards to how he deals with his players.

Another indication?  It’s believed by many involved with the university that Perkins or someone associated with Perkins’ office is responsible for the leak revealing a parking ticket incident two years ago that paints Mangino in a not-so-flattering light — an incident that was taken care of by both the payment of all outstanding tickets and a personal apology from Mangino for his actions in a verbal altercation with a student attendant.

Again, that was an incident which occurred two years ago and is just now coming to light.  That fact, along with an internal probe being made public, gives the perception that there is some kind of convoluted vendetta going on by those in positions of power within the athletic administration.

“He’s the most successful football coach Kansas has had [in the modern era], and they are doing this to him?  Why would that be, especially now with the successes, the bowl successes, the program’s had as recently as the last couple of years?” the source asked, referring largely to the back-to-back bowl wins and a 12-1 season. 

“Just consider who might be the source of these leaks,” the source said, insinuating that Perkins is behind this becoming a media imbroglio.  “Perkins [left] Maryland [after an NCAA investigation], and they held a celebratory party at UConn when he left.

“Perkins is the reason why Nike will no longer do business with Kansas.”

While some are under the impression that this incident could be the beginning of the end for Mangino’s run in Lawrence, there are those — including the unnamed university source cited in this story — who feel that the axe could fall on Perkins before it’s all said and done.

However this whole situation ends up being resolved — and regardless of who may or may not lose their jobs — all sides will be sporting unnecessary black eyes that seem to be the byproduct of unprofessional leaks from the AD’s office.

Iowa loses RB James Butler ‘at least through the bye’

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Iowa sat Akrum Wadley for much of Saturday’s 31-14 win over North Texas after he was flagged for a (frankly ridiculous) excessive celebration penalty for high-stepping his way to the Kinnick Stadium end zone. (The score was wiped off the board, but Iowa completed the drive with a touchdown anyway.) The Hawkeyes will have no choice but to give him carries now.

Running back James Butler (20) has injured an elbow that will keep him out for the next few weeks.

“I think James will be out through the bye week,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said, via Hawkeye Report. “It will be a couple of weeks before we get him back.”

A Nevada transfer with two 1,000-yard seasons to his credit, Butler was a graduate transfer addition to the Hawkeyes, announcing his transfer on July 4. He ranks second on the club with 36 carries for 158 yards thus far in 2017, carrying a season-high 16 times for 74 yards before the injury.

Butler’s carries figure to go to fellow senior Wadley and freshmen Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin. Wadley leads the club with 60 carries for 258 yards and a touchdown, and Young and Kelly-Martin have combined to rush 30 times for 152 yards and two scores. Young made his debut in Wadley’s absence in the second half Saturday, rushing 19 times for 78 yards.

The 3-0 Hawkeyes host No. 4 Penn State on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ABC), then visit undefeated Michigan State the week after (4 p.m. ET, FOX). Iowa will host Illinois before its Oct. 14 bye week.

Lincoln Riley to earn $3.1 million a year as OU head coach

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Lincoln Riley won’t be paid nearly as much as Bob Stoops was as Oklahoma’s head coach, but he’ll earn significantly more than he did as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator.

Oklahoma approved and released Riley’s new deal on Tuesday, a 5-year contract that pays him $3.1 million annually and rises $200,000 a year. Stoops made $5.5 million in his last season, according to USA Today, while Riley earned $900,000 as offensive coordinator.

Perks include 25 hours of private airplane use, not one but two private golf club membership, and bonuses ranging from $25,000 for winning Big 12 coach of the year honors to $250,000 for a national championship.

Riley is 3-0 in his young tenure, already proving himself to be a tremendous bargain for the Sooners.

SEC releases 2018 schedule

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The SEC released its 2018 slate on Tuesday, beginning the weekend of Sept. 1 and running through the SEC Championship on Saturday, Dec. 1. It would be entirely pointless to break down winners and losers of the ’18 slate considering we don’t really even know who’s good yet in 2017 — other than Alabama — and we especially don’t know who will be good in ’18 — other than ‘Bama, of course.

But we can point out some dates that look interesting as we sit here on Tuesday, Sept. 19, the year of our Lord 2017. And, no, intra-divisional games don’t count, since they are played every year.

  • Auburn vs. Washington — Sept. 1 (at Atlanta)
  • Alabama vs. Louisville — Sept. 1 (at Orlando)
  • LSU vs. Miami — Sept. 1 (at Dallas)
  • Tennessee vs. West Virginia (at Charlotte)
  • Clemson at Texas A&M — Sept. 8
  • Vanderbilt at Notre Dame — Sept. 15
  • Florida at Mississippi State — Sept. 29
  • Tennessee at Auburn — Oct. 13

Consult the full schedule here. 

Louisville-Ole Miss 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff opener made official

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After reports had signaled it, it’s a done deal.

The “it” in this case is Louisville opening the 2021 season against Ole Miss, with the two programs confirming Tuesday that they will square off in one of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games that year.  The game will be played at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, although a date and kickoff time are still to be determined.

The 2021 game will mark the first-ever meeting between the football teams.  Each has made one previous appearance in the Kickoff Game, Louisville in 2015 (31-24 loss to Auburn) and Ole Miss in 2014 (35-13 win over Boise State).

“To have the opportunity to play in this game again for the second time is a huge win for our program,” Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said in a statement. “We are honored to be welcomed back by the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, which is a tremendous testament to our loyal fan base, who helped pack the stadium in 2015. Our fans have a great history of traveling, and to have the opportunity to play a great program like Ole Miss in this brand-new facility will certainly be a hot ticket for the fans. Gary Stokan and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl group do a tremendous job with this game and we appreciate them selecting Louisville for what has become the premier game to kick off the season.”

“We are thrilled to once again be part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. We always set the goal to end the regular season in Atlanta, so it’s only fitting that’s where we begin it,” Jurich’s Ole Miss counterpart, Ross Bjork, said in his. “With our strong alumni base in Georgia, Rebel Nation will arrive in full force to experience this premier matchup in the nation’s finest new stadium. In addition, the Atlanta market is a key recruiting area for our staff, and this trip offers a tremendous opportunity to compete in front of those prospects.”

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Alabama and Miami would square off in the other Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game the opening weekend of the 2021 season.