Well, this is certainly an unexpected twist on a Saturday night.
On the same day that Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott made visits to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, rumors were flying around the Twitterverse that SEC commissioner Mike Slive was in College Station.
It appears, based on at least one report, that the rumors of Slive’s location may indeed have some validity to them.
According to Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com — the same writer that first busted open the expansion floodgates with his report on Pac-10 interest in a half-dozen Big 12 schools — “Texas A&M regents have the votes to join the SEC and could announce that move as early as next week.”
One of those regents, former Alabama head coach Gene Stallings, has spent the past couple of days heavily intimating that he is pushing for an A&M move to the SEC. U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, an Aggie alum, was quoted as saying he preferred his school to move to the SEC as well.
If A&M winds up in the SEC, that would open up a spot for either Kansas or Utah to join Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Pac-10.
UPDATED 10:51 p.m. ET: Andy Staples of SI.com is disputing Brown’s report, tweeting that he “[s]poke to Texas A&M regent (and former A&M and Bama coach) Gene Stallings tonight. Said regents haven’t been polled SEC vs. Pac-10.”
Stallings went on to tell Staples that he “isn’t sure how [a] vote would shake out.” A SEC source said A&M regents remain “on the fence”, still undecided on staying with Texas or moving to the SEC.
So, obviously, Aggies-to-the-SEC is far from a done deal. Until something official comes out of College Station, we’ll likely continue to have these reports swinging A&M to the SEC and then back to the Pac-10.
So, ummm, enjoy?
Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something. Regardless, it’s something that bears watching.
Losers of two in a row and off to a 3-3 start to the season, Florida has underperformed and underwhelmed to say the least. So much so, in fact, that head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that he, his family, his coaching staff and players have been subjected to death threats by unknown individuals.
The head coach went into no detail publicly regarding the nature of the threats. Apparently, it was the same privately when discussing the situation with his employer.
Again, it could be in the same neighborhood as naked shark humping — nothing. Bears watching, though, as one very outspoken member of the Florida media is very much already doing publicly about a situation that was apparently reported to the media before it was reported to the police or even the university.
Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.
The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.
Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.
Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.
“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”
Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.
How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.
“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”
In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.
Sam Darnold was appointed the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on the second day of 2017. As a redshirt freshman, Darnold torched Penn State to the tune of 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in a 52-49 Rose Bowl win.
One problem, though. Darnold hasn’t played like a No. 1 pick this season.
While he hasn’t been the most disappointing player on what’s turning out to be a disappointing USC team, Darnold has posted pedestrian numbers (for him): hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for an even eight yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He ranks 38th nationally in passing efficiency. This puts him, coincidentally, one spot ahead of former USC quarterback Max Browne.
On Monday, NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Allbright shared a report that Darnold is expected to return to USC next season.
Considering Ronald Jones could return next season and that Stephen Carr is just a freshman, the prospect of Darnold returning in 2018 has to take the sting out of a lost 2017 for Trojans fans.