n this photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, Cowboys Stadium is lit up at night in Arlington, Texas. The initial plans were quite modest. Jerry Jones said he would build a new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys for about $650 million. He asked suburban taxpayers to pick up the first $325 million and he vowed to pay the rest, no matter how much. The Pittsburgh Steelers face the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Another day, another watch list for a major college football world.
The Walter Camp Foundation released their preseason watch list for the annual Player of the Year award and not surprisingly it has all of the usual stars from around the sport, including last year’s winner Lamar Jackson and the favorite for just about every award in 2017, USC’s Sam Darnold.
The foundation didn’t just stick with quarterbacks and pass rushers however, they also did the noble thing and included one kicker and one punter on their watch list. Kudos for recognizing that special teams players are watch list candidates too. The full list is below.
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming, Jr.
Jake Browning, QB, Washington, Jr.
JT Barrett, QB, Ohio State, Sr.
Sam Darnold, QB, USC, Soph.
Luke Falk, QB, Washington State, Sr.
Quinton Flowers, QB, USF, Sr.
Deondre Francois, QB, Florida State, Soph.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama, Soph.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville, Jr.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma, Sr.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State, Sr.
Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State, Jr.
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA, Jr.
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State, Jr.
Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky, Sr.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State, Jr.
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia, Sr.
Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama, Jr.
Jarvion Franklin, RB, Western Michigan, Sr.
Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon, Sr.
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU, Jr.
Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern, Sr.
Jalin Moore, RB, Appalachian State, Jr.
Rashaad Penny, RB/KR, San Diego State, Sr.
Mark Walton, RB, Miami (Fla.), Jr.
Wide Receivers/Special Teams/Lineman
Daniel Carlson, PK, Auburn, Sr.
Quadree Henderson, WR/KR, Pittsburgh, Jr.
Billy Price, OL, Ohio State, Sr.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama, Jr.
James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State, Sr.
Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah, Jr.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama, Jr.
Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan, Soph.
Derwin James, DB, Florida State
Arden Key, LB, LSU, Sr.
Harold Landry, DE, Boston College, Sr.
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson, Soph.
Tyquan Lewis, DL, Ohio State, Sr.
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston, Soph.
Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson, Jr.
Lane Kiffin is back in the news for doing Lane Kiffin things.
Just hours after Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze resigned after discovery of phone calls to escort service, the Florida Atlantic coach decided to pop up into everybody’s timeline and subtly troll the Rebels with some recent Twitter followers. Some will interpret following the Ole Miss accounts as being a subtle way to send interest in moving to Oxford after the season but in reality this is more of Lane being Lane, especially considering his brother is wrapped up in the school’s NCAA infractions case.
We’re sure the rest of the SEC (outside of those in Oxford) will enjoy a little chuckle over the move but something says at least a few Ole Miss fans will now be intrigued about the prospect of Kiffin taking over the program.
In the end, regardless of how he chose to play it out, Hugh Freeze‘s time in Oxford would’ve come to an end.
Thursday night brought the stunning news that Freeze’s tenure as the head coach at Ole Miss had come to an end because of at least one call from his university-issued cell phone to a known escort service. Freeze, to Yahoo! Sports, blamed the call on a misdial; Freeze’s now-former boss, athletic director Ross Bjork, led the same website to write that “further vetting of Freeze’s phone records disclosed a ‘pattern of conduct’ that led the school administration to confront Freeze this week.”
After meeting with Freeze Wednesday night and then again Thursday morning, the die had been cast for the coach.
Bjork said that if Freeze had not offered his resignation he would have been fired for cause, citing the “moral turpitude” clause in Freeze’s contract. Bjork said there was no buyout of the contract and no settlement.
“He admitted that conduct to us,” Bjork said. “None of us are perfect. Nobody in this room is perfect. I think we need to respect how he resigned and respect his privacy.
The infamous call in question — it lasted one minute, which gives at least some credence to Freeze’s claim that this one was a misdial — came to light as a result of Houston Nutt’s recently-filed lawsuit against Freeze, the university and other high-ranking school officials. No other calls to that specific phone number were found in a review of an estimated 39,000 calls made from Freeze’s school-issued phone; “[h]owever, the school kept digging through the records and must have found additional troubling information,” the website wrote
Freeze’s admission to “that conduct” according to Bjork says as much.
Forget about Hugh Freeze being on the hot seat in Oxford. He won’t even be coaching a single game for the Rebels this fall.
Hugh Freeze resigned from his position as head coach at Ole Miss suddenly on Thursday evening, just a week after SEC Media Days. The resignation is effective immediately, and the school has announced co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Matt Luke will take over the head coaching responsibilities for the upcoming season as the interim head coach. It should be expected Ole Miss will conduct a search for a new full-time head coach as soon as possible, but an official hire being made before the start of the season remains in question.
The resignation comes after the school discovered a phone call to an escort service coming from his school-issued cell phone. And it apparently was not an accidental wrong number either.
According to a report from Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com, Ole Miss reviewed phone records tied to Freeze as far back as 2012. Earlier in the day, USA Today reporter Dan Wolken reported Freeze had made a phone call to the number associated with a female escort service. The phone call in the report occurred in January of 2016. How many phone calls were discovered by Ole Miss is at this time unknown. Once confronted with the phone numbers by Bjork, Freeze is said to have offered his resignation. Whether he voluntarily offered to resign or if he was pushed to resign by the school may never be known for sure, but given the heat on Freeze already following recent headlines it may be pretty easy to see how this all played out behind closed doors.
It has been a troublesome summer for Freeze. Just last week, he was targetted in a lawsuit filed by former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt, and Freeze has had to deny any members of his staff knowingly violated any NCAA rules following an investigation into the program. Freeze was previously targeted in a lawsuit filed by the stepdad of former Ole Miss player Laremy Tunsil just months after the NCAA discovered 13 violations against the Ole Miss program under the leadership of Freeze last year.
In five seasons at Ole Miss, Freeze was 39-25 and coached Ole Miss to a 2-1 record in postseason bowl games. Along the way, he recruited some of the best classes in school history, although how he and his staff managed to do so has been the subject of plenty of scrutinies and the findings continue to come together to suggest foul play was used. Calls to escort services will not help that look at all. Before being hired at Ole Miss, Freeze coached Arkansas State to a 19-3 record in 2011.
Luke, an Ole Miss alum from the Class of 2000, joined the Ole Miss coaching staff in 2012 with Freeze.