Back in May, it was reported that shipping giant FedEx would be giving up title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl, seemingly unwilling to cough up the $20 million it would take to remain associated with that particular BcS game.
With that money freed up, the Memphis-based company is apparently willing to do what most people would do with millions of dollars burning a hole in their pockets: buy their hometown school a place in a BcS conference.
According to CBS Sports.com, FedEx CEO Fred Smith — whose son Cannon is a quarterback at the school — has made it it known to various conferences that his company would be willing to ship up to $10 million annually to their athletic coffers if they were to add Memphis to their BcS clique.
Seriously, that’s the report.
“It could be $10 million every year for a conference to use however it sees fit,” said one of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “When you think of the big picture, it could be the equivalent of a five-year, $50 million contract or a 10-year, $100-million contract. Fred is talking about a massive amount of money. …
“The money that used to go to the Orange Bowl is now set to go to a league that will invite Memphis. Fred has made it clear he’ll put that money back into the budget for the right league. He’s driving this thing.”
If the Big East were to see one or more of its current members picked off by the Big Ten, they could certainly be in the market for a school that has a booster willing to cough up eight figures annually for a decade or more. Another conference not mentioned in the article but would most certainly be in play would be the ACC, a league that could be looking for a member or two or three if the SEC catches the expansion bug.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah