Nearly a month after Houston Nutt “resigned” as Ole Miss’ head coach, it appears the Rebels have found their new sideline boss.
Citing sources with knowledge of the situation, RebelGrove.com is reporting that Arkansas State head coach Hugh Freeze will meet with Ole Miss officials later Sunday and will be offered the position. Needless to say, the Rivals website reports that Freeze is expected to accept the offer.
Freeze told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger in a text that “[w]hatever reports there are out there, they are not true at this point.” The operative words there are, obviously, at this point.
RebelGrove.com also notes that Southern Miss’ Larry Fedora has already turned down an offer from the Rebels, but the school was expected to make one final push for the coach whose team claimed the Conference USA title Saturday by beating previously unbeaten Houston.
Freeze, the lowest-paid head coach in Div. 1-A football, and Arkansas State athletic director Dr. Dean Lee released a statement last week advising potential suitors that the coach would not be granted permission to speak to them prior to the regular season finale against Troy yesterday. That win capped a 10-2 first season for Freeze that includes a Sun Belt championship and an invitation to the GoDaddy.com bowl.
After being charged for allegedly exposing himself to tutors at Texas A&M, wide receiver Kirk Merritt is no longer an Aggie. Merritt has been removed from the Texas A&M football program, according to a report from The Eagle. Though there has been no official statement confirming such news, Merritt’s name has been wiped off the team’s online roster.
Merritt pleaded not guilty to a pair of indecent exposure charges against him stemming from an incident last October. Merritt allegedly exposed himself to female academic tutors. Merritt was suspended by Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin a few days after the alleged incidents. The suspension was expanded to indefinite status following Merritt’s arrest on November 8. The suspension has since been lifted after the university’s conduct process wrapped up in January.
It has been a bit of a bumpy year for Merritt. Merritt left Oregon for Texas A&M last summer due to family reasons. He participated in Texas A&M’s spring practices but did not play in the spring game.
When it comes to revenues, the SEC and Big Ten continue to set the pace and leave the rest of the competition in the dust. That said, the Big 12 saw a second straight sizable revenue bump, according to recent tax returns.
As reported by USA Today, the Big 12 recorded a revenue of $313 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 on its tax return. The figure is up roughly $40 million from last year’s revenue, and the conference has now doubled its revenue since the 2012 fiscal year amid conference realignment changes. As for the revenue shares for each Big 12 program, the numbers ranged from $28 million to West Virginia to $28.9 million for Oklahoma. This marked the first time West Virginia and TCU were eligible to receive their full conference revenue shares as Big 12 members.
The biggest reason for the big jump in revenue came from increased bowl revenue. The Big 12 pulled in $114.5 million in bowl revenue in 2016, which was just $74.5 million in 2015. The 2015 season, which was included in the fiscal year outlined by this tax return, saw Oklahoma advance to the College Football Playoff and Oklahoma State be selected to play in a New Years Six bowl game (Sugar Bowl), which led to a larger bowl game distribution for the Big 12. The previous year saw no Big 12 team in the College Football Playoff (TCU, Baylor).
The Big 12 still lags well behind the SEC. Most will, of course. The SEC announced a revenue of $584.2 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, with each SEC member receiving a revenue share of $40.4 million. The SEC and Big 12 are the only conference revenue numbers currently on record for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, but expect the Big Ten to be a solid second in the pecking order, with the ACC likely to come in front of the Big 12 and the Pac-12 to be toward the bottom of the pack.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby had a pay increase as well. Bowlsby reportedly earned a little more than $2.6 million in 2015, earning more than $70,000 than the previous year.
After a couple of years away, Shaq Wiggins is back in the SEC.
The defensive back took to his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon to announce that he “will continue to finish my career at the University of Tennessee.” The move to Rocky Top comes a little over a month after he decided to transfer from Louisville.
As a graduate transfer, the defensive back will be able to play for the Vols in 2017.
The transfer to UT continues Wiggins’ well-traveled collegiate career.
In early May of 2014, Georgia announced that Wiggins had decided to transfer from the Bulldogs; later that month, he followed former UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to the U of L. With Grantham departing this offseason for the same job at Mississippi State, it was thought that, after a successful appeal of an initial barring, the Bulldogs would be a potential landing spot for Wiggins.
Wiggins started at corner for the Cardinals in 2015, earning honorable mention All-ACC honors. Injuries plagued him throughout the 2016 season.
At least for the moment, one LSU offensive lineman has taken up residence in Ed Orgeron‘s doghouse.
In a very brief press release Wednesday afternoon, LSU announced that Adrian Magee has been indefinitely suspended from the football program. Other than the lineman violated unspecified team rules, no reason for the suspension was given.
A three-star member of the Tigers’ 2015 recruiting class, Magee was rated as the No. 45 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Louisiana. An injury forced the 6-5, 309-pound lineman to take a redshirt as a true freshman.
Last year as a reserve, Magee saw action in three games.
This spring, Magee started at right tackle because of an injury to returning starter Toby Weathersby. Weathersby is expected to be fully recovered for the start of summer camp in early August, with Magee sliding back to his role as a backup.