As you have no doubt heard by now, the SEC officially consummated its flirtation with Missouri Sunday by announcing that the school would become the conference’s 14th member in 2012.
The Big 12 has responded to the long-rumored marriage and, as expected, the conference is publicly labeling it as a misstep.
“The decision by the University of Missouri to leave the Big 12 Conference is disappointing,” interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said in a statement. “Mizzou has been a valuable member, with a Conference connection to schools in the Big 12 that dates back to 1907. I personally believe this decision is a mistake and that Missouri is a better fit in the Big 12. Once we have received a formal notice of withdrawal from Missouri, we will furnish it to our Board of Directors. The Board will review the situation and take appropriate action.”
The latter two sentences seem to hint that there could be some type of legal scuffle over Mizzou’s flight, although it would go against the SEC’s very staunch expansion stance to invite a new member that didn’t have every legal “i” dotted and “t” crossed. Of course, the fact that the Big 12, per Neinas’ statement, has not received an official notice of withdrawal tends to raise some red flags in that regard as well.
In Texas A&M’s case, the school gave the Big 12 a formal notice of withdrawal before applying for and receiving an official invitation from the SEC.
While it may be a case of reading too much into a statement, the wording of the Big 12’s official acknowledgement of Mizzou’s impending departure bears noting, if for nothing more than what may or may not happen in the immediate future.
It appears the Jalen Hurts Transfer Protection Plan™ is close to being implemented.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Alabama had an interest in Gardner Minshew, the quarterback who announced late last month that he had withdrawn from East Carolina to tend to a personal matter in his home state of Mississippi. That interest has ramped up since as al.com is reporting that Minshew will be visiting the Crimson Tide’s campus this weekend.
As a graduate transfer, Minshew would be eligible to play immediately this season at UA, or any other FBS program for that matter.
Alabama’s interest in a grad transfer at the position will do nothing to quell the rumors that Hurts, the starter for each of the last 29 games over the past two seasons, is a potential candidate for a transfer. Hurts was benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa in the national championship game, with the true freshman’s comeback heroics signaling a likely changing of the guard under center.
As for Minshew, he started five games for the Pirates last season, throwing for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in completing just over 57 percent of his 304 pass attempts. Prior to his departure from ECU, he was penciled in as the Pirates’ 2018 starting quarterback.
Unlike how his 2017 season ended, Greg Dortch‘s 2018 offseason is trending much more positively.
In Wake Forest’s late-October win over Louisville, Dortch went down with what turned out to be a season-ending abdominal injury. Four months after sustaining the injury, and with spring practice right around the corner, the wide receiver has been medically cleared to fully participate in practice.
Despite missing the last month of the regular season as well as the postseason, Dortch still led the Demon Deacons in receiving yards with 722. His 53 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns were tied for tops on the team as well.
In the game in which he was injured, he set the school record with four touchdown catches.
When it came to filling out his Purdue coaching staff, Jeff Brohm didn’t have to look very far.
Kevin Wolthausen, the football program confirmed in a release, has been hired as the 10th of Brohm’s allotted 10 Boilermakers assistant coaches. Per the school, Wolthausen will be working with the team’s special teams and defense.
This marks a positional homecoming of sorts for Wolthausen as he spent the 2012 season as the defensive line coach at Purdue. Last season, Wolthausen served as a quality control coach for both special teams and defense for the Boilermakers.
In between his two stints in West Lafayette, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at UConn in 2016; the two years prior, he was the Huskies’ defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
In 2013, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator at Florida International. The 60-year-old long-time college football assistant has also spent time on staffs at Louisville, Arizona, USC, Arizona State and Oklahoma.
For the most recent addition to his Troy coaching staff, Neal Brown has dipped into the Football Championship Series.
The Sun Belt Conference program confirmed Tuesday that Brandon Hall has been hired by Brown as his new linebackers coach. Hall had spent the past four seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at FCS Jacksonville State.
“Brandon is an outstanding defensive coach and has experience coaching at a lot of different levels,” a statement from Brown. “He is relentless on the recruiting trail and already has developed strong relationships in the areas that we believe are key. Looking at his track record, it comes as no surprise that Brandon helped build one of the top defenses in the FCS at Jacksonville State over the last four years.”
Prior to JSU, Hall had spent time at Arkansas State, Auburn and Oklahoma.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to join this program and coaching staff,” Hall said in his statement. “You can’t help but get excited as a coach when you look at what Coach Brown and the rest of this staff has done over the past three years with the Troy program. My family and I are looking forward to becoming part of the Trojan Family and continuing the strong tradition of Troy football.”