Rutgers ‘in contact with’ Big Ten, ACC


Big East, you may have a problem.

With Pittsburgh and Syracuse out the door… and UConn reportedly aggressively looking to do the same… and with West Virginia training their eyeballs southward, the basketball conference that dabbles in football is now standing at the precipice, staring straight down at gridiron oblivion.

And now this.

Tom Luicci of the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that Rutgers has been involved in talks with the ACC over the past two days about potential membership in that suddenly proactive conference.  Additionally, Luicci writes that Rutgers’ “lines of communications with the Big Ten have remained opened and ‘are active’.”

How open are those lines of communication with the Big Ten?  So open that Rutgers is comfortable in showing Jim Delany some very public leg.

“The bottom line as it relates to Rutgers, this is not the kind of thing that causes us to get to work,” RU athletic director Tim Pernetti said earlier today about the upheaval in his current conference. “We continue to and have since I started on the job been very active in this space.

“And I think given our assets and our location, the New York TV market, our AAU status and strong academic standing, and most of all — given all the nonsense that’s gone on out there — running a clean program (with) integrity. We have great assets and we will continue to be a player nationally during this time as the landscape continues to shift.”

Bravo, Mr. Pernetti. You worked that like you owned the prestigious academic television market.

Regardless of whether it’s the Big Ten or ACC that’s the main object of flirtation, it’s clear Rutgers is “aggressively pursuing” a conference they feel could save it from the instability in its current conference.  And would love nothing more than for a Midwestern savior to come a callin’.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah

Report: Duke Williams injured Auburn teammate with punch in ‘bar rampage’

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers misses a touchdown catch in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.

Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program.  A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.

The unnamed, however, now has a name.

According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”

Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to

No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”