Boise State to open with Georgia in ’11, Ole Miss in ’14

54 Comments

The rumors that have gained intensity over the past 24 hours have been confirmed — Boise State and Georgia will open next season in Atlanta.

And, as an added bonus, the Broncos will get another SEC school in an opener a couple of years down the road.

During a conference call held earlier Friday evening, Chick-fil-A officials confirmed that Georgia and Boise State will play in the Georgia Dome to open the 2011 season on Saturday, Sept. 3.  Additionally, it was announced that Boise State and Ole Miss will open the 2014 season in the same game.  The latter game will be played on ESPN the night of Thursday, Aug. 28.

“This is the type game that excites me, it will excite our players and I know it will excite our fans,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt. “We know it will put Georgia on a national stage in the season opener.  It will make for a great off-season of preparation and anticipation to play a great team at a great facility in our home state.”

“We are excited to participate in the 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta against Boise State,” said UGA Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “We are very appreciative of the efforts made by ESPN and the Chick-fil-A Bowl to create this opportunity, and we look forward to competing against one of the nation¹s elite teams. We know our fans will certainly enjoy this experience in the Georgia Dome to start the 2011 season.”

“It was a long time coming, but we wanted to make sure we got our 2011 match-up right. Today, we got it right,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. “With this game, we have two nationally significant programs, two teams we expect to be highly ranked and a very interesting game. It’s a win all the way around.”

Boise State was originally scheduled to open the 2011 season against Ole Miss; BYU will replace Boise State on Ole Miss’ 2011 schedule.  Georgia was scheduled to play Louisville in a home-and-home series in 2011 and 2012.  That series has been canceled, and UGA’s $600,000 buyout will be paid by Chick-fil-A/ESPN.

North Carolina will assume the Georgia series with Louisville, as facilitated by ESPN.

For the 2011 game, Georgia and Boise State will receive $1.7 and $1.4 million respectively; for the 2014 game, Boise State will receive $1.1 million, while Ole Miss will get $2 million.

Butch Jones says the most Butch Jones quote of all time

Getty Images
5 Comments

It’s become a theory among some in the media that Butch Jones is conducting a social experiment or participating some sort of performance art. While that’s the more charitable and fun interpretation, I tend to think the Tennessee head coach is just frighteningly insecure and, thus, fighting for every inch of public approval he can in a likely doomed attempt to keep his job.

That approach has backed him into some verbal corners that, in the long run, make his job more difficult on himself.

I’m talking about the “Champions of Life” quote of last season or, in February, actually stating that he didn’t want 5-star players, he wanted 5-star hearts.

This season has seen Jones go on an odd rant blaming the media for negative recruiting and saying Tennessee had one of the best bye weeks ever last week.

It wasn’t one of the best bye weeks ever, because Tennessee lost at home to South Carolina, 15-9. And you’re not going to believe Jones’s explanation for why Tennessee loss. Scratch that. You will believe his explanation, and that’s the problem here, isn’t it?

Here’s the full quote.

Jones is 33-24 in his four-plus seasons in Knoxville, and 14-21 in the SEC. Those numbers will likely fall to 33-25 and 14-22 after Saturday, when the Vols face No. 1 Alabama. The end is likely near.

And here’s the grand irony of Jones’s everything’s-sunny-here p.r. strategy: his attempt to keep his job by stating blatantly cliche quotes in the state of the obvious will live on much longer than Jones’s actual tenure. Two and three years from now, when Jones is working on someone else’s staff or sitting on his buyout money, the next time an on-the-hot-seat coach says his team won the game everywhere except the scoreboard, we’ll see he Pulled a Butch.

Houston Nutt settles lawsuit with Ole Miss

Getty Images
3 Comments

Houston Nutt wanted money and an apology from Ole Miss. He’ll have to settle for the second of the two — and a largely different future for the program he used to lead.

It was Nutt’s lawsuit, remember, which exposed the documents that led to a Mississippi State fan finding Hugh Freeze‘s call to a Tampa escort service, which led to Freeze’s resignation, which led to… we have no idea what it will lead to, but, whatever that future is, it will be wildly different than if Freeze was still the Rebels’ coach.

Nutt amended his lawsuit in August to seek simply an apology from Ole Miss, and that apology finally came on Monday.

Each side released their own bitter, short statements.

Nutt will go on, with his apology but without any monetary compensation, while Ole Miss will play out the string of this season, hire a new coach, and move into a future that will be immeasurably different that the one it would have lived had it apologized to Nutt in the first place.

Washington loses LT Adams, CB Miller for the season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

No. 12 Washington’s loss to Arizona State was a disaster on the field — for more reasons than one.

The Huskies not only put their College Football Playoff hopes in danger — they’ll need to sweep their next six games, including a finishing kick that calls for games against No. 22 Stanford, No. 15 Washington State and, presumably, No. 11 USC, two of them away from Seattle. But the road to get there became noticeably more difficult after losing two starters.

Left tackle Trey Adams suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, and cornerback Jordan Miller sustained a broken ankle. Head coach Chris Petersen confirmed Monday that both will be lost for the season. Miller is the third Husky this season to suffer a broken ankle.

The Seattle Times noted that Washington is also without another starting corner in Byron Murphy, who is expected to return later this year from a broken foot. The Huskies are expected to replace Miller with either a pair of true freshmen or a converted running back.

But Adams may be the bigger loss for the Huskies. A junior, Adams was widely expected to be a first round pick in this spring’s NFL Draft. It’s the second straight season Washington has lost a key player in the trenches to a season-ending injury; a year ago, it was linebackers Joe Mathis, who finished one sack away from the team lead despite playing in only seven games, and third-leading tackler Azeem Victor.

Maryland AD Kevin Anderson to take 6-month sabbatical

Getty Images
1 Comment

Maryland AD Kevin Anderson will not be the Maryland AD for the next six months.

Anderson announced Monday he will take a 6-month sabbatical to focus on “professional development.” That leave of absence will see him remain on his national committees with the NCAA and NACDA, the professional organization of ADs.

It was reported over the weekend that Anderson would be out completely as Maryland’s AD, but those reports were knocked down by the university.

Additionally, Maryland announced that former Georgia AD and current Terps associate AD/CFO Damon Evans will run the department in Anderson’s stead.