Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel yells to his team during the second quarter of their NCAA football game against Purdue in Columbus

ROTFL: Report says Tressel to step down as OSU coach

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(Please hold your laughter until the ride has come to a full and complete stop.  Thank you in advance.)

We’ll state this straight off the top: there’s as much chance of this rumor/”report” being true as there is me not finishing the beer sitting next to my laptop.

Still, it’s blasting its way through the vast expanses of the Internet at lightning speed, so we’ll address it even as we almost summarily dismiss its validity.

According to something called ChicagoNow.com, Jim Tressel will no longer be the head football coach at Ohio State University after the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas.  Two sources, the website writes, indicated that Buckeye recruits have been informed that Tressel will not be back as coach, and have been allowed to look for other options.

For what it’s worth, we spoke to one potential recruit and he’s heard nothing of what’s being reported, either Tressel stepping down or recruits being told that they are “allowed” to look for other options.  Of course, until a Letter of Intent is signed, football players are allowed to look around regardless, so this is yet another data point that makes this “report” smell of something you pull out of a pond.

The “report” also mentions numerous violations committed during Tressel’s time in Columbus — including the most recent one in which Terrelle Pryor and four other players were suspended for the first five games of 2011 for impermissible benefits — intimating that was the impetus for his alleged decision to part ways with the school.

A source close to the football program we spoke to a couple of minutes ago called word of Tressel stepping down “complete (really bad word) (bad word)”, however.  An email sent to Ohio State seeking comment/official debunking of the rumor has yet to receive a response, although it’s Christmas and we’d expect nothing less.

Again, we are highly, highly, highly suspicious of this “report”, but it does make for good fodder on an otherwise slow holiday.

UPDATED 7:48 p.m ET: Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has debunked the Tressel “report” via Twitter.


UPDATED 9:11 p.m ET
: OSU director of athletic communications Shelly Poe told CFT in an email that the rumor is “[t]otally the work of some prankster.”

Half of all FBS signees lived between Texas and North Carolina

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Johnny Jefferson #5 of the Baylor Bears carries while defended by Dominquie Green #26 and Des Lawrence #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of the Russell Athletic Bowl game at Orlando Citrus Bowl on December 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.

In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.

The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.

Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.

Data dump, begin!

AAC releases 2016 conference schedule

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The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).

Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.

The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.

The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.

View the full AAC slate here:

 

Former Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees hired as Chargers offensive assistant

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 02: Tommy Rees #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish passes against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium on November 2, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.

The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.

After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.

Report: Wisconsin DBs coach Daronte Jones leaving for Miami Dolphins

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Wisconsin Badgers cheerleader waves the flag after the team scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the South Florida Bulls on September 27, 2014 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the South Florida Bulls 27-10. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
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The post-National Signing Day coaching carousel is now in full tilt.

According to a report from Adam Caplan of ESPN, Wisconsin defensive backs coach Daronte Jones is leaving to become the assistant defensive backs coach for the Miami Dolphins.

The Badgers already endured a significant loss this winter after defensive coordinator Dave Aranda took a lateral position with LSU. He was replaced in January by former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

Jones spent but 13 months in Madison, a January 2015 addition to Paul Chryst‘s first staff after spending three seasons at Hawaii.

Wisconsin possessed one of college football’s top pass defenses in 2015; the Badgers ranked seventh nationally in pass defense, tied for sixth in yards per attempt allowed, placed third in opponent completion percentage and finished second in pass efficiency defense.