Tommie Frazier’s snub headlines 2012 HOF class

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Monday BYU quarterback Ty Detmer was officially announced as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012, and was joined by 13 other players as well as three head coaches join him in this year’s class.

Unfortunately, it was a player not among the 14 that will likely overshadow those who were (rightly) inducted.

At a ceremony in New York City, the National Football Foundation announced the 17-person class, which had been whittled down from a pool of 76 finalists earlier this year.  The complete list is as follows:

PLAYERS
Charles Alexander – TB, LSU (1975-78)
Otis Armstrong – HB, Purdue (1970-72)
Steve Bartkowski – QB, California (1972-74)
Hal Bedsole – SE, Southern California (1961-63)
Dave Casper – TE, Notre Dame (1971-73)
Ty Detmer – QB, BYU (1988-91)
Tommy Kramer – QB, Rice (1973-76)
Art Monk – WR, Syracuse (1976-79)
Greg Myers – DB, Colorado State (1992-95)
Jonathan Ogden – OT, UCLA (1992-95)
Gabe Rivera – DT, Texas Tech (1979-82)
Mark Simoneau – LB, Kansas State (1996-99)
Scott Thomas – S, Air Force (1982-85)
John Wooten* – OG, Colorado (1956-58)

(* Selection from the FBS Veterans Committee)

COACHES
Phillip Fulmer – 152-52-0 (74.5%); Tennessee (1992-08)
Jimmy Johnson – 81-34-3 (70.0%); Oklahoma State (1979-83) and Miami (Fla.) (1984-88)
R.C. Slocum – 123-47-2 (72.1%); Texas A&M (1989-02)

“We are extremely proud to announce the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said NFF chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss, in a statement. “Each year the selection process becomes increasingly more difficult, but Gene Corrigan and the Honors Court do an amazing job of selecting a diverse group of the most amazing players and coaches in our sport’s rich history. This class is certainly no exception, and we look forward to honoring them and celebrating their achievements throughout the year ahead.”

Not to slight any of those members of this year’s class, but Tommie Frazier being excluded for a second straight year is, to quote many a response on Twitter, a travesty.

All the Nebraska quarterback did from 1992-95 was lead the Cornhuskers to two national championships, four Big Eight titles, a 33-3 record as a starter and account for 82 touchdowns rushing/passing.  He was a two-time Orange Bowl MVP (1994 & 1995), Fiesta Bowl MVP in 1996, consensus All-American and Johnny Unitas winner in 1995.

If that is not a first-ballot Hall of Famer, then they may as well shutter the doors on the Hall as it’s a pointless endeavor.  And this rule that prevents players from the same school being elected in back-to-back seasons (former Nebraska guard Will Shields was elected in 2011)?  That makes Frazier’s exclusion for two years running even more asinine and ridiculous.

If they are preventing players from the same school in consecutive years from being inducted, then why even have their names on the ballot?  Yes, Frazier will eventually take his rightful spot alongside the sport’s other greats, but a process that, one, doesn’t make Frazier a first-ballot HOFer in the first place and, two, prevents the first snub from being rectified the next year is flawed and, by extension, makes a mockery of the Hall and what it hopes to accomplish: honoring the greatest players in the history of college football.

(Writer’s note: yes, I’m very much aware that players such as Derrick Thomas, Brian Bosworth — don’t laugh — Danny Wuerffel, Lorenzo White and many, many others belong in the Hall.  Frazier just happens to be the most glaring and egregious example.)

USC reportedly inks OC Tee Martin to multiyear extension to remain with the Trojans

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USC may look a lot different on offense without quarterback Sam Darnold, leading rusher Ronald Jones and star receiver Deontay Burnett on the field but the man calling the plays will still be around Troy in 2018.

According to both ESPN and Sports Illustrated, the Trojans have signed offensive coordinator Tee Martin to a multiyear extension that will keep him in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future sporting the cardinal and gold.

“I’m just excited to be here at USC, where the future is so bright, and working for somebody the caliber of Clay Helton,” Martin told ESPN. “There were some other opportunities, but you don’t leave USC for a lateral move. I want to help us get to that next level, and everything is in place here to do that.”

While Martin was expected to get into the mix at his alma mater of Tennessee when that job opened up this offseason, nothing serious ever happened with the former Vols quarterback who won the first ever BCS national championship some 20 years ago. He did however interview to become the Oakland Raiders head coach several weeks ago despite the team hiring Jon Gruden in the richest coaching deal in the sport’s history.

Martin has been with the program since 2012 when he was hired by Lane Kiffin. This will be his third season at USC as offensive coordinator, where he also serves as one of the team’s top recruiters. The Trojans are coming off a Pac-12 title last year that saw their offense average 484.1 yards per game and rank 13th in total offense among the FBS ranks.

Texas becomes first $200 million athletic department after record-setting 2017

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One of the lasting impacts of former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds was a now infamous quote when he quipped that the Longhorns were not just keeping  up with the Joneses, UT was the Joneses of college athletics. While some may take offense to that characterization, there’s no denying it when you look at the program’s bank account.

USA Today obtained Texas’ financial report to the NCAA for the 2017 fiscal year and not surprisingly the 40 Acres reeled in the most money (and spent it) in the country. Just how much did the cash cows bring in? Well, the Longhorns became the first department to cross the $200 million threshold in both operating revenue and operating expenses and setting a new benchmark in the process.

The report stated that UT brought in nearly $215 million in annual operating revenue last year and had total operating expenses of $207 million, big increases from 2016 when the school had “only” $188 million in revenue. Despite all that cash, the department actually had a deficit in 2017 though. While you may be incredulous at that fact given the figures involved, turns out the reason is because the athletic department made a $10.3 million transfer to the university proper that put them in the red instead of the black.

Technically, Big 12 rival Oklahoma State reported $241 million in revenue back in 2006 to be the first to cross the $200 million barrier but that was mostly the result of accounting practices that involved what USA Today describes as nearly $165 million in gifts from booster T. Boone Pickens for facility upgrades at the school.

Some other interesting figures from the report via the paper:

  • Ticket revenue was up $11.6 million to a total of $72.5 million, a figure that is more than any other school by nearly eight figures.
  • $42.4 million of the revenue was attributed to football (up from $37.4 million in 2016).
  • Severance pay at the school increased $5.7 million to a total of $9.2 million. $7.1 million of that latter figure was the result of Charlie Strong being fired by the school and his and his staff’s associated buyouts.

Pretty impressive to see all that burnt orange turn into green last year. Now just imagine how quick that cash register will be ringing if Tom Herman can guide the football team to a season that finishes better than 7-6.

Staffer-attacking Alabama LB one of four FBS players to officially transfer to FCS Tennessee State

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One of the more infamous figures from this year’s national championship game has officially found a new home.

Earlier this week, it was reported that linebacker Mekhi Brown, who drew a personal foul for punching a Georgia player in the title game shortly before going after a ‘Bama staffer on the sidelines, would be transferring to Tennessee State. Friday, the FCS school confirmed that Brown is one of four transfers from FBS programs who have been added to its football roster.

Prior to his departure, Brown had appeared in 12 games in 2017 as a redshirt sophomore for the Crimson Tide.

The other three FBS transfers added are linebacker Christion Abercrombie (Illinois), quarterback Demry Croft (Minnesota) and defensive back John Robinson IV (UConn).  As TSU is an FCS program, all four players will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

Brown’s nationally-televised outburst notwithstanding, Croft is actually the most noteworthy of the additions.  In his last year with the Gophers, Croft started the last six games of the regular season.  Perhaps the most noteworthy moment of his Gophers career, though, was posting a negative quarterback rating in a mid-November loss to Northwestern two weeks before he decided to transfer.

Croft will have two seasons of eligibility left.

Abercrombie, who has three years of eligibility, played in 11 games in 2017 for the Fighting Illini.  Robinson played in five games last season for the Huskies, and he too has three seasons of eligibility at his disposal.

After leaving Miami, Darrion Owens lands at Houston

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Nearly three weeks after leaving Miami, Darrion Owens has found himself a new college football home.

Friday, Houston confirmed that it was officially added Owens to second-year head coach Major Applewhite‘s roster.  As the linebacker joins the Cougars as a graduate transfer from The U, he can immediately bolster UH’s defense in 2018.

This coming season marks the Florida native’s final season of eligibility.

Owens joined the Hurricanes as a three-star 2014 recruit.  247Sports.com had him rated as the No. 30 outside linebacker in the country.

After playing in 12 games as a true freshman, Owens opened 2015 as a starter but suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 2.  The past two seasons, Owens played in 25 games. In 13 games in 2017, he was credited with 35 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.

In announcing Owens’ transfer from The U, head coach Mark Richt stated that, after the two had talked, “he informed me that he feels his best opportunity to get the most playing time would be at another school.”