FSU forming committee to explore conference options


During the initial stages of the latest round of expansion apocalypse, Florida State was rumored to be in line to become the “14th” member of the SEC if/when Texas A&M becomes that conference’s 13th school.

The school subsequently denied being interested in such a move, but whispers of the possibility of FSU joining in-state recruiting rival Florida in a conference have continued bubbling just below the surface in the ensuing weeks.

While it remains to be seen whether the rumored gentlemen’s agreement — the SEC unofficially agreeing not to add schools in a state that already has a member — would remain in play in the face of a significant shift on the collegiate landscape, FSU is looking to ensure they are prepared for whatever may be around the next conference corner.

Andy Haggard, chairman of FSU’s board of trustees, told the Palm Beach Post Tuesday that the school is in the process of forming a committee (not pictured) that will explore FSU’s options as it pertains to future conference affiliation.  Those options would apparently include remaining in the ACC or moving to the SEC if enough conference dominoes tumble.

We are going to explore the conferences, what’s going on and make sure if anything does happen at Florida State that we are ready,” Haggard told the Post.

The committee, which the Post writes will be composed of representatives from the president’s office, the athletic department, Seminole Boosters, Inc., and former athletes, is expected to be up and running at some point next week.

This news comes on the heels of reports the past couple of days that has Texas eyeing the ACC should Oklahoma and Oklahoma State bolt for the Pac-12, thus putting the final nail in the coffin of the Big 12.  The Longhorns are also rumored to be part of a four-school bloc from the Big 12 — the two Oklahoma schools plus Texas Tech — that could move west to the Pac-12 and form the first BcS super conference.

“If you are going to four conferences of 16 teams we certainly want to be ready,” Haggard said. “If the ACC is included in that we want to be sure we are included and have a say so in regard to the teams that are coming into our conference.”

Haggard made sure to note that FSU is very happy being a member of the ACC, and that the school has received no overtures, official or otherwise, from the SEC.

Of course, depending on how things shakeout in the coming weeks and months, that could very well change at a moment’s notice.

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press
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As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.