Defending national champion Alabama will face a league-high six opponents that are coming off a bye week, and it seems to be a virtual certainty that they will not receive any relief from the SEC on what some perceive to be an inequitable scheduling situation.
The Tide will, however, be getting a modicum of relief from a non-conference opponent.
According to Gentry Estes of the Mobile Press-Register, Alabama’s Nov. 20 game against Georgia State has been moved to Thursday night, Nov. 18. The move will give Alabama eight days before their annual Iron Bowl showdown with Auburn as opposed to six. The Tigers, of course, will head into the in-state rivalry coming off a bye.
“We have a number of scheduling challenges this year in football and this was the best way for us to deal with one of those,” UA athletics director Mal Moore said in a statement. “We explored all options available to us, with our players’ health and safety in mind. This was our best remedy. We deeply appreciate everyone’s cooperation, particularly (UA president) Dr. (Robert) Witt and Georgia State.”
“This whole Alabama opportunity has been a huge boost for our program from the very beginning,” former Tide and current Georgia State head coach Bill Curry said. “We are fortunate to be able to play a game in Tuscaloosa, and we believe that moving from Saturday to Thursday can give it added appeal for our players and our fans because Thursday night games have become so special in college football.
“We’ll make the necessary adjustments and go play the game.”
This will be Div. 1-AA Georgia State’s first year of college football — ever — so this game has been viewed as nothing more than a glorified scrimmage for the Tide. Still, it gives Alabama an extra two days to recover from whatever bumps or bruises — or paper cuts or stomach pains caused by fits of laughter — incurred during the game before their backyard brawl the day after Thanksgiving.
UCF announces largest financial gift in school history for athletics department renovations
UCF announced the largest financial gift in school history from UCF alum Kenneth Dixon. The donation will help give UCF the support needed to move forward with its athletics facility upgrades, including an athletics village. Among those upgrades will be an expansion to the school’s baseball stadium and basketball facility, as well as a better atmosphere outside the football stadium for fans.
As far as the football program is concerned, the upgrades to the football operations and athletics headquarters have received a $2 million commitment to date. Most of the renovations will help bring the school’s other sports programs up to a more level playing field, but the football stadium will be given a fresh look on he outside with a plaza and promenade to make for a more inviting atmosphere for UCF fans before and after home football games.
In all, UCF is looking to invest $25 million in the renovation project, and the recent donation from Dixon has helped the school cross the $10 million benchmark.
“With more than $10 million committed to our $25 million facilities vision, our goal is to build the best Athletics Village in the nation,” UCF Athletics Director Danny White said in a released statement. “Thanks to Ken Dixon’s gift of more than $5 million, we’ve taken a major step in that direction.”
Sirk was Duke’s leading passer in 2015 with 2,625 passing yards and 16 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He was also Duke’s leading rusher that season with 803 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Naturally, he will likely be a quality dual-threat option for whatever program lands his services in 2017. As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play this fall at any FBS program.
With the rights to use “Row the Boat” successfully acquired through a deal with Western Michigan, Minnesota is going all in with the merchandising efforts to capitalize on the motto of P.J. Fleck. Aside from being able to use the motto for program-building measures, Minnesota has the rights to market the saying on merchandise, including an upcoming bobblehead featuring Minnesota’s Gopher mascot.
A limited edition University of Minnesota bobblehead featuring Goldy Gopher rowing a boat was unveiled on Friday by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. Though just an illustration now, it looks incredibly promising and I sort of want to add it to my bobblehead collection.
It appears one of Rutgers’ transferring quarterbacks has found a new home.
In late November, Chris Laviano became one of three Scarlet Knights signal-callers who decided to transfer from Chris Ash‘s football program. Over the weekend, as relayed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Laviano has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at San Diego State.
As Laviano would be coming to the Mountain West program as a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2017. This coming season will be his final year of eligibility.
Laviano had started 18 consecutive games for the Scarlet Knights until he was benched in October of last year.
In 2015, Laviano completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 2,247 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The completion percentage was the best for an RU player since 2008, while the yardage was good for eighth in school history.
Overall, he tossed 21 touchdowns and 15 picks during his time in Piscataway.