FAU eyeing Leach, Shannon as Schnellenberger replacement


Before the start of the 2011 season, Howard Schnellenberger announced that this would be his final year of coaching.

With Schnellenberger’s retirement looming on the horizon, FAU is wasting no time in searching for a successor. And wasting no time in preparing to swing for the coaching fences.

FAU athletic director Craig Angelos told the Miami Herald earlier this week that his school is interested in both Mike Leach and Randy Shannon as potential replacements for Schnellenberger.  It doesn’t appear that Angelos has reached out to either former coach as of yet, with the A.D. saying only that he “would consider Mike” and would, speaking of Shannon, “want to see if he’s interested.”

A source close to Shannon, who was dismissed by Miami following the 2010 season, told the Herald the coach would prefer a head-coaching job out west, specifically mentioning the Arizona opening as desirous to Shannon.  On Monday, UA announced that Mike Stoops had been fired after seven-plus years at the school.  Interestingly, and apropos of just about nothing, Shannon and Stoops share the same agent.

After Shannon was canned by the ‘Canes in late November, he was mentioned as a potential candidate for openings at Minnesota and Vanderbilt.  He also interviewed for the defensive coordinator jobs at Texas, UCLA and Maryland — he turned down the latter opportunity after the job was offered to him — and has spent the 2011 season on the coaching sidelines.

On the Leach front, the former Texas Tech head coach plans to return to coaching as soon as possible and did not close the door on the FAU job if it were to be presented to him.

“I do plan to coach,” he said. “Craig is a great man and FAU is a great program. Anything negative that happens to Miami can only help FAU and FIU.”

Leach, who currently calls Key West home, has been out of coaching since his messy split from the Red Raiders following the 2009 regular season.  While he was in the mix for the Maryland opening when Ralph Friedgen was fired following the 2010 season, his less-than-amicable split from Tech — and the subsequent lawsuits — prevented many a school with a vacancy from pursuing him.

The Herald writes Leach’s previous “issues” would not be a major concern for FAU.

Cal confirms addition of Michigan transfer Moe Ways

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A day after it was announced on social media, Cal has officially added a Power Five transfer.

Sunday, Maurice “Moe” Ways revealed on Instagram that he would be transferring from Michigan to Cal.  Monday evening, the Golden Bears announced that the wide receiver has signed a financial aid agreement with the university and will play for the football team in 2018.

Ways will be coming to Berkeley from Ann Arbor as a graduate transfer.  The upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.

In addition to the, uh, addition of Ways, Cal also announced that junior college outside linebacker Deon White has also been added to the roster.

“We are excited that Maurice and Deon are joining our program,” head coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. “Both have tremendous upsides and with their skill sets we feel that they will help us immediately.”

A three-star member of the Wolverines’ 2014 recruiting class, Ways was rated as the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Michigan.

In 25 career games, the former Detroit Country Day high schooler caught eight passes for 71 yards.  Ways started two of those contests, with both of those starts coming during his redshirt freshman season in 2015.

Report: Former NC State QB Jalan McClendon Baylor-bound as graduate transfer

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When Ryan Finley announced he would put off the NFL Draft in order to spend his senior season at NC State, Jalan McClendon announced he would not spend his own senior year backing up Finley.

Now we reportedly know where McClendon will spend his final season.

According to Yahoo‘s Pete Thamel, McClendon will pursue a graduate transfer to Baylor.

A Charlotte native, McClendon appeared in 21 career games as a Wolfpack. He completed 26-of-47 passes (55.3 percent) for 262 yards with one touchdown against four interceptions while rushing 40 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

At Baylor, McClendon will step into a depth chart with a hole left by a transfer of its own. The Bears spent 2017 juggling their QB1 spot between Arizona graduate transfer Anu Solomon, sophomore Zach Smith and freshman Charlie Brewer. Solomon graduated and Smith has transferred to Tulsa, meaning McClendon will have to compete with the rising sophomore and brother of former Texas Tech and Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer. The younger Brewer was Baylor’s best signal caller in a downtrodden ’17 campaign, hitting 139-of-204 passes (68.1 percent) for 1,562 yards with 11 touchdowns against four interceptions.

American, ACC announce officiating alliance

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The ACC and the American have struck a deal for a football officiating alliance, the American announced Monday. The new program will see the two conferences cooperate on all things officiating, from training to scheduling to evaluation.

With the move, the ACC’s Dennis Hennigan will oversee the alliance, while the American’s Terry McAulay will step down as the league’s coordinator of football officiating and the American will hire a new supervisor of football officials.

“We are excited to partner with the ACC regarding the administration of our football officiating program,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This alliance will provide both conferences with a deep roster of the best college football officials and will provide for greater efficiency and consistency in the training and evaluation of officials as well as enhanced opportunities for the recruitment of officials. We look forward to working with Dennis Hennigan, who was regarded as one of the top on-field officials in college football and has since become a leader on the administrative side. I also want to thank Commissioner John Swofford for his cooperation in reaching this mutually beneficial arrangement.”

The new alliance means ACC officials could oversee a Tulane-Tulsa game, while AAC officials would work a Clemson-Georgia Tech game. The ACC-AAC Alliance will go into effect for the 2018 season.

ACC, American team up to improve officiating oversight

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The ACC and American Athletic Conference are coming together with the intent on improving officiating oversight between the two conferences. According to an announcement from the AAC, ACC supervisor of officials Dennis Hennigan will serve as the lead administrator and take on the responsibility of hiring and training officials used in both conferences.

“We are excited to partner with the ACC regarding the administration of our football officiating program,” AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco said in a released statement. “This alliance will provide both conferences with a deep roster of the best college football officials and will provide for greater efficiency and consistency in the training and evaluation of officials as well as enhanced opportunities for the recruitment of officials.”

The AAC reportedly removed Terry McAulay from his long-time role as the conference’s coordinator of football officiating, a role he held in the old Big East and carried over to the AAC amid conference realignment changes. The AAC confirmed McAulay will no longer be associated with the conference in that role. The statement from the AAC says the conference will hire a new Supervisor of Football Officials that will help manage the officiating in the AAC and act as a go-to contact for coaches around the league.

There is no word on whether or not this alliance will lead to a combined instant replay process with a central command hub for instant replay reviews. Instead, the alliance seems to focus on working with officials to ensure calls are being called consistently throughout each league. Having officials on the same page with calling penalties and managing a game has been a problem with few answers. This likely won’t guarantee a perfectly called game every week in each conference, but it may prove to be a step in the right direction.