Another Saturday of spring games on tap for your football cravings

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One Saturday of something that resembles college football down, one to go.

Like last week, which was filled to the brim with 43 spring games (a few were cancelled due to inclement weather), today will be packed with — if our math is correct (again) — 29 spring games from around the country.

As you probably figured out already, it’s darn-near impossible to touch on every single game. We’ll be writing up some thoughts on a few of the big programs/storylines today individually — Arkansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Penn State, West Virginia and Virginia Tech… y’all are under the microscope — so consider this to be a “best of the rest” post that we’ll be updating with happenings from the other couple dozen games as they enter our inbox.

So, be sure to check back here throughout the day if you’re not out supporting your program already.

And, remember, what you see today is exactly what you should expect come this fall.

— WVU’s defense — yes, the defense — won the Gold-Blue game on Saturday.  (11:50 p.m. ET)

— Mike Gundy hopes to name a starting QB at Oklahoma State “this week.

— Keith Arnold gives you five things he learned at Notre Dame’s spring game.

— It’s another year, but Penn State still has problems at quarterback. (8:53 p.m. ET)

— What did we learn from Arkansas’ spring game? The Razorback offense is unfairly good (against backups) and Tyler Wilson should be getting more publicity than he is. And not just for his stats, but for his leadership in a trying time for the program. (8:53 p.m. ET)

— The biggest takeaway from Maryland’s spring finale?  The Terps defense accounted for what was described as “13 legitimate sacks.”  That’s good news for the defensively, but, conversely, not so good for the line on the other side of the ball. (7:07 p.m. ET)

— In the first spring game of the Mike Leach era at Washington State, Jeff Tuel passed for 285 yards and two touchdowns as the Cougars put the finishing touches on its allotment of 15 spring sessions.  All told, four Wazzu QBs combined to throw for 568 yards in the exhibition game. (7:04 p.m. ET)

— What did we learn from Tennessee’s Orange and White spring game? That Derek Dooley is happy with the Vols’ effort. Achievement level coachspeak unlocked!

— Ladies and gents, we have, unless I’m mistaken, our first overtime of the 2012 spring practices when the Red team defeated the Blue team 24-23 in Ole Miss’ Grove Bowl. It looks like JUCO QB Bo Wallace will be leading the Rebels this fall. (5:31 p.m. ET)

— Ohio State wrapped up their spring game with a 20-14 win by the Scarlet team over the Gray team. The emphasis on offense? Improving the passing game (5:22 p.m. ET)

— Because of inclement weather, Virginia Tech’s spring game has been officially cancelled. In other news, the Hokies picked up 30 commitments today, completely oversigning nearly a year in advance. Take that, SEC.  (5:11 p.m. ET)

— Syracuse’s spring game ended in a 9-0 defensive crawl, resulting in no offensive points in the 90-minute scrimmage. Junior defensive tackle Jay Bromley forced a safety and later stripped the ball that would be returned Brandon Sharpe for a touchdown (4:27 p.m. ET)

— A total of 3,500 diehards watched the curtain fall on Minnesota’s spring practice, although they didn’t see much offense as the Maroon team downed the Gold squad 3-0 in a spring game played amid the rain drops.  Backup quarterback Max Shortell was the offensive “star” of the game with 98 total yards — 68 passing, 30 rushing. (3:27 p.m. ET)

Chip Kelly reportedly turned down Tennessee offer, turned away Nebraska interest

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It really is looking like a two-school race for Chip Kelly‘s services.

On the heels of a weekend meeting with Florida officials in New Hampshire, Kelly also reportedly sat down with a contingent from UCLA this week regarding their head coach opening.  It’s been widely thought that, in the coming days — especially if the Gators have anything to say about it — Kelly would decide between UF and UO and likely not entertain interest from other programs.

In that vein, and citing a person with knowledge of the situation, George Schroeder of USA Today is reporting that Kelly recently turned down an offer from one SEC school and rebuffed the advances from a Big Ten program.

Kelly turned down a recent offer from Tennessee, the person said. He is also believed to have turned away interest from Nebraska.

While two schools are seemingly in the mix at the moment, Schroeder is also reporting that Arizona State, should it come open, would also be of interest to the former Oregon head coach.  Th earliest ASU would shed themselves of Todd Graham would be Saturday night as they square off with rival Arizona that afternoon.

Regardless of where Kelly lands, the current ESPN analyst is set to get paid as it’s believed that the offers he has received are in the neighborhood of $6 million annually.  As Schroeder and other media outlets have pointed out, though, there could be a sticking point with one of the two schools that have Kelly as its top target as UCLA’s apparel provider is Under Armour.  Kelly still maintains a close relationship with Phil Knight, the founder of Nike and whose company is Under Armour’s biggest rival.

While that dynamic is thought of as a sticking point, it’s not believed to be a deal breaker.

Reports: Paul Haynes out as head coach at Kent State

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And another one bites the dust.  Reportedly.

FootballScoop.com was the first to report Wednesday morning that Paul Haynes has been let go as the head football coach at Kent State.  The Associated Press subsequently confirmed the initial report, noting that the Golden Flash players were informed of the move earlier today.

The not-yet-official move to part ways with Haynes is far from surprising as the former Ohio State and Arkansas assistant is just 14-45 during his five seasons at the school.  For perspective, the Golden Flashes won 11 games in 2011, the year before Haynes’ arrival.

With Haynes’ ouster, there are now eight FBS head coach openings, with KSU joining Florida, Georgia Southern, Ole Miss, Oregon State, South Alabama, Tennessee, UCLA and UTEP.

Minnesota, P.J. Fleck reach agreement on contract extension

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Not even through his first full season as head coach, and P.J. Fleck has already been rewarded for his work.

Minnesota announced Wednesday morning that it has reached an agreement on a contract extension with Fleck into 2023.  The 36-year-old head coach originally signed a five-year contract with the school, making this a two-year extension.

A December meeting of the school’s Board of Regents will rubber stamp the extension and make it official.

“It’s an honor to coach at the University of Minnesota and in the Big Ten,” said Fleck in a statement. “[athletic director] Mark Coyle and I share the same goal of building a championship culture and team at Minnesota. It’s a goal that we are working on daily together and one that we will achieve. I am proud of how hard our young men have worked to improve this season on living a holistic life. They have taken great strides in bettering themselves athletically, academically, socially and spiritually. I look forward to leading them and watching them grow on and off the field as we continue to move this program forward.”

In his first season at Minnesota after coming to the Big Ten program from Western Michigan, Fleck has the Gophers at 5-6.  Fleck took over a team that won nine games in 2016, and, if they fail to beat fifth-ranked Wisconsin Saturday, would have their fewest wins in a season since going 3-9 in Jerry Kill‘s first year in 2011.

On the flip side, his five wins are the first for a first-year Gophers coach since Murray Warmath won seven games in 1954.  Additionally, he became the first coach to win his Gophers debut since John Gutekunst did the same back in 1986.

“When we hired Coach Fleck, I talked about his authentic energy and passion, and his dedication to building a unique team culture. This year, I have seen our students connect with his energy and embrace that culture,” Coyle said in his statement. “From the commitment and hard work of our current students, to building a nationally-ranked recruiting class that will be among the best in program history, I have seen the foundation of what Coach Fleck is building, and I’m looking forward to supporting him for years to come.”

Status of TCU’s top two QBs up in the air for Baylor game

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For a game with significant implications on a couple of levels, this is a little more than mildly intriguing, at least at this point in the week.

If TCU handles one-win Baylor Friday, the Horned Frogs will play Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game next Saturday. If they don’t, they could allow Iowa State to sneak into the title-game side door.

With that much on the line, Gary Patterson seemingly confirmed Tuesday that both his top two quarterbacks, Kenny Hill and Shawn Robinson, are questionable for the Week 13 home game vs. the Bears with unspecified injuries.

The day before, though, Patterson had labeled Hill as “closer to probable” with what’s believed to be a concussion.  Then again, in the days leading up to the Texas Tech game, Patterson had Hill listed as “between probable and questionable” as well.

Hill started the first 10 games of the season, but was injured in the Week 11 loss to Oklahoma and was ultimately ruled out prior to the Tech game. Robinson then started his first career game in Week 12, but was injured in the win over the Red Raiders as well.

If neither is able to go, Grayson Muehlstein would get the nod. The redshirt sophomore, who has yet to attempt a pass in his career, would become the second Horned Frogs in as many weeks to make his first career start at the collegiate level.