Braxton Miller

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)

Nebraska WR coach Keith Williams sentenced to 30 days in jail for August DUI

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 22: A cheerleader waves a flag after the Nebraska Cornhuskers score against the Idaho State Bengals during their game at Memorial Stadium on September 22, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska won 73-7. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images
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Nebraska wide receivers coach Keith Williams pled no contest to charges from a DUI incident last August. On Wednesday, he received his sentence from a county judge and learned he would be sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation.

According to The Lincoln Journal-Star, Williams was also fined $1,000 for his latest DUI charge. Williams has until March 3 to apply for house arrest, although prosecutors made a push for Williams to serve his time behind bars after not being locked up for two prior DUI charges.

Nebraska opens spring football practices on March 4. If he is ruled eligible for house arrest, that would allow Williams to continue coaching in the spring. Otherwise, he could have to miss at least some of Nebraska’s spring practices depending on when his jail sentence would begin.

Williams was pulled over for driving under the influence last August with a BAC above .15. Further complicating things was the fact Williams also had two previous convictions for DUI. Nebraska head coach Mike Riley suspended Williams without pay through the end of August and was prohibited from coaching in Nebraska’s first four games of the 2016 season.

Michigan adds former Hawaii defensive cooridnator Kevin Lempa as defensive analyst

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Former Hawaii defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa has landed in Ann arbor with a new job. Michigan announced Lempa has joined the staff as a senior defensive analyst under Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Don Brown.

“Kevin is a great addition to our football program and defensive staff,” said Harbaugh in a released statement. “He adds a wealth of experience and knowledge on the defensive side of the ball, and Kevin’s working relationship with Coach (Don) Brown will be a big asset for our team.”

“I am very excited and honored to become part of Coach Harbaugh’s staff,” Lempa said in his released statement. “I am also fired up to be working with Coach Brown again.”

Lempa resigned from his position with the Hawaii program following the 2016 season. He previously served as a defensive backs coach at Boston College from 2013 through 2015, when Brown was the defensive coordinator of the Eagles.

As a defensive analyst, Lempa will not have any hands-on instruction with the Michigan roster but will assist in film breakdown and other orders of business in preparing Michigan’s game plan.

NCAA charges Ole Miss of lack of institutional control; Rebels self-impose 2017 postseason ban

FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2013, file photo, Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze leads his team to the field prior to their NCAA college football game against LSU  in Oxford, Miss. Mississippi has aspirations of competing for SEC titles. No. 11 Ole Miss (4-0, 1-0) plays No. 3 Alabama (4-0, 1-0) on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014,  in its biggest home game in more than a decade.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File
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The Ole Miss Rebels will not be going to a postseason game in 2017 after the university opted to self-impose a one-year postseason ban. The decision came as a result of an updated notice of allegations received from the NCAA as part of an expanded investigation. The school has charged the program and university of a lack of institutional control.

Ole Miss Chancellor Jeff Vitter, athletics director Ross Bjork and football coach Hugh Freeze provided an update on the latest regarding its NCAA investigation with a video.

In addition to the 2017 postseason ban, Ole Miss will forfeit all annual postseason revenue (reportedly to be about $7 million).

The latest notice of allegations included eight potential violations from the football program, including setting up hunting trips for a student-athlete on private land owned by a booster, providing housing for recruits and boosters providing food to student-athletes enrolled at another institution and more. Freeze was charged with violating head coach responsibility legislation. As expected, Ole Miss will contest the latest allegations levied against the university and football program that are deemed not supported by evidence.

The latest allegations:

  1. Prospective student-athlete went hunting on private land owned by booster, arranged by football program (Level III)
  2. Former staff member arranged for lodging and transportation for prospective student-athlete enrolled at another institution (Level I)
  3. Same former staff member knowingly committed recruiting violations and provided false information to enforcement staff (Level I)
  4. Same former staff member initiated and facilitated two boosters having contact with a recruit (Level I)
  5. A different former staff member arranged for friend of a recruit and two recruits to receive merchandise from a store owned by a booster amounting to $2,800 (Level I)
  6. Freeze had impermissible in-person, off-campus contact with a recruit (Level III)
  7. Booster provided money, food and drinks to a recruit and his companions at booster-owned restaurant on two to three occasions (Level I)
  8. Freeze violated head coach responsibility legislation
  9. Scope and nature of violations demonstrate university lacked institutional control and failed to monitor conduct and administration of athletics program (Level I)

Ole Miss has 90 days to appeal.

Tom Herman was once fired by Subway for freeloading on pastrami

Tom Herman talks to the media during a news conference where he was introduced as Texas' new head NCAA college football coach, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Austin. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay
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Tom Herman, the new head coach of the Texas Longhorns, has come a long way in his career. It was just a few years ago Herman was the hot assistant coach on the rise who would soon lead the Houston program to a New Years Six bowl game and a 22-4 record to make him a leading candidate for the Longhorns job. As he prepares for the biggest job of his career, Herman reflected on one of his previous jobs from his high schools days and explained how he got fired from the job.

Herman was employed by a Subway sandwich stop, and he apparently had a thing for pastrami. Having had the pastrami at Subway before, I can understand his craving. Unfortunately for Herman, his love for pastrami would be his undoing as he got caught eating as much as he could in secret. He explained the ordeal to The Dallas Morning News;

 

“I used to love the pastrami,” he says. “They had those big walk-in refrigerators. I was standing in there one day, with the door shut, just throwing pastrami in my mouth.

“It was like something out of a movie. I’ve got this bin of meat, throwing meat in my mouth, the door swings open and it’s the owner.

“He goes, ‘Get out. Don’t come back.’ “

Herman held many jobs before getting into the coaching business including at a tuxedo shop, a batting cage, multiple radio positions (he remains no stranger to making headlines on radio airwaves to this day) and even as a highlight coordinator for NFL on FOX.

“This was back when they recorded games on those big laser discs. I was a highlight coordinator. My job was to go in and watch games, watch and type. Basically every time the camera frame changed, I had to log it as something: ‘Emmitt Smith rushed for 4 yards. . . . Close-up of Jimmy Johnson on the sidelines . . . 37-yard field goal.’

“That way, when you’re watching Packers vs. Vikings, young Tom Herman has his eyeballs on the Cowboys vs. Redskins game. When J.B. (James Brown) and Howie (Long) cut into your game and say, ‘Let’s give you a quick update,’ you’d see highlights and they would read information I typed.”

That time spent breaking down highlights may have come in handy.