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


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.

Fractured foot will sideline Michigan’s Tyrone Wheatley for all of spring practice

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Michigan kicked off its on-field spring season Friday, and they did so without a legacy on the practice field.

Jim Harbaugh confirmed that Tyrone Wheatley Jr. will be sidelined for all of U-M’s spring practice because of injury.  Specifically, the tight end “fractured the (metatarsal) in his foot” during that first spring practice session.

Just how Wheatley sustained the injury wasn’t detailed by the head coach.

The good news is that Wheatley, the son of former U-M running back great Tyrone Wheatley, should be fully healthy for the start of summer camp in early August.

The younger Whitley came to the Wolverines as a four-star member of U-M’s 2015 recruiting class.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Wheatley has caught three passes each of the last seasons.  On those six catches, he has totaled 61 yards and a touchdown.

Reports: Bob Diaco finalizes deal with Oklahoma

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It appears Lincoln Riley has all but officially gotten his man.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Bob Diaco was expected to take a job on Riley’s Oklahoma football staff. Friday, Pete Thamel of tweeted that Diaco has finalized a deal to join the football program.‘s Adam Rittenberg subsequently confirmed the initial report.

With all 10 of Riley’s on-field assistant slots filled, Diaco will serve as a defensive analyst for the Sooners.

Diaco spent the 2017 season as the defensive coordinator at Nebraska, let go after that one year following the firing of head coach Mike Riley.  Prior to that brief stint in Lincoln, he was the head coach at UConn for three seasons before being fired after going 11-26 during his time with the Huskies.

Prior to that, he was the coordinator at Notre Dame for four seasons from 2010-13.

Florida’s athletics facilities upgrade scheduled to be completed in 2021

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Dan Mullen is just breaking in his new office chair, but it will be a few more years until the new head coach to truly be able to get comfortable in his new digs. The University of Florida is scheduled to begin a complete overhaul of the athletics facilities in Gainesville this summer. When it is complete, a brand new state-of-the-art football training facility will be among the highlights of the $130 million project.

The new football facility is planned to occupy a space currently used by Florida’s baseball stadium. WOrk on the football facility will have to wait until the baseball program can move into its new stadium that is part of the renovation plans at Florida.

“With the change in facility locations for both baseball and football, we will now adjust the sequencing for these projects,” Florida AD Scott Stricklin said in a press release, according to Gridiron Now. “Baseball will need to be built first, which will allow us to repurpose the current baseball site and put the stand-alone football complex in that space.”

The new football training facility will take up a good chunk of the renovation costs with an estimated price tag of $65 million for a 130,000 square foot structure. Florida won’t have to wait until 2021 to use the facility, however, as the Gators should be expected to be able to start using the new complex as early as 2019 while the construction and renovation continues.

Michigan high school coach shuts doors to EMU football following shutting down of athletic programs

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Eastern Michigan University made some tough decisions this week when it cut four athletic programs. Although cutting football was not deemed to be an option by AD Scott Wetherbee, the decision is already having some ramifications for the football program moving forward as one high school in the state of Michigan says the Eagles are no longer welcome on their premises.

Noel Dean, who coaches both the football and wrestling programs at Lowell High School, stated in a public letter addressed to EMU head coach Chris Creighton that he will no longer welcome Creighton or anyone else associated with EMU to his high school for recruiting purposes if the university goes through with cutting the wrestling program. Dean also issues a warning to Creighton in the letter, suggesting it may not be long before the university takes another hard look at the value of the football program.

“I can’t stand by and not take a stand against what is happening at EMU with the wrestling program,” Dean wrote in his letter, which was shared by Michigan Grappler. “Wrestling contributes too much to the fabric of our schools systems in Michigan (a guy from South Dakota might not get it), but if I stick to the facts on this. wrestling is only a bone to keep people happy FOR NOW. They are coming for you next.

“If this goes through, you and your staff will not be allowed in any one of our buildings.”

That is most certainly a hard line in the sand putting EMU on notice. If one school in the state of Michigan decides to close its doors to EMU and this message spreads throughout the high school coaching community in the state of Michigan, EMU would be in some serious trouble.

Helmet sticker to The Detroit Free Press.