Bob Bowlsby came right out and said it during his first Big 12 media days as commissioner.
“The best days for this conference are ahead.”
Following consecutive years of speculation about a possible disbanding of the Big 12, there were a total of two media questions related to conference realignment in Bowlsby’s opening press conference, and neither of them expressed concern with the Big 12’s future. As far as additions were concerned, Clemson and Florida State weren’t even brought up directly.
The interest was more geared toward the league’s new TV deal and the “Champions Bowl” with the SEC. But if you’re looking for answers on either, then you’re going to have to wait a little more.
Bowlsby said the conference’s TV package still isn’t finished, citing the “pushing and shoving” that occurs between multiple broadcast networks and each university official that make up the Big 12.
It’s a bit disappointing. I know I wasn’t the only one hoping to hear if the Big 12 had anything official. However, Bowlsby reiterated his confidence that the conference will have a 13-year grant of rights, as expected.
Likewise, details of the Champions Bowl are close to being finalized. The bidding for the hosting site should be sent out in the next two weeks and the TV deal for that game is also in the home stretch.
A few other nuggets from Bowlsby’s presser:
- Bowlsby continues to hammer the importance of the nine-game, round robin schedule of the Big 12. It provides the clearest path to a four-team playoff and Bowlsby said as much.
- On third-tier rights, and the Big 12 allows schools to handle those indvidicually, Bowlsby said he enjoys the model because of the flexibility it provides the conference.
- As far as playoffs are concerned, Bowlsby said details on selection process and revenue sharing should be much clearer in the next 60 days.
With spring practice getting set to kick of en masse all across the country, there’s more of the expected personnel attrition settling in and coming to light.
On his Twitter account Wednesday, Andy Dodd announced that it is in his “best interest” to transfer from LSU and continue playing college football elsewhere. “This decision was not an easy one, but it is what’s best for me moving forward,” the offensive lineman wrote.
Dodd was a three-star member of the Tigers’ 2013 recruiting class, rated as the No. 17 guard in the country.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, the lineman played in eight games the next two seasons. He played in six games, with one start, in 2016.
Another graduate transfer has made a move, albeit with a slightly different bent than most others.
Auburn confirmed Wednesday that Casey Dunn has been added to Gus Malzahn‘s football roster. The center comes to The Plains as a graduate transfer, which makes him eligible for the 2017 season.
He also comes to Auburn from Jacksonville State, an FCS school that would’ve made him immediately eligible aside from the grad transfer exception. Oh, and his new position coach is excited to have him in the personnel fold as well.
The past two seasons, Dunn was an FCS All-American. While Dunn comes to the Tigers as a center who started 27 games at that position for the Gamecocks, he could play anywhere along the interior of the Tigers’ offensive line.
Malzahn is also very familiar with Dunn’s talent as the lineman started for the JSU squad that took him to overtime in 2015.
Earlier this week, Brad Lambert added a longtime Power Five assistant to his Charlotte coaching staff. Not long after, he has added another.
The 49ers announced in a release that Keith Henry has been hired by Lambert as his running backs coach. The 49ers’ coach at that position last season, Damien Gary, will shift to wide receivers.
Henry and Lambert (pictured, left) were on the same staff at Wake Forest, so they have a previous working relationship.
“Keith brings a lot of experience to our program,” said Lambert in a statement. “Having coached on both sides of the ball, he brings an added dimension of a defensive perspective to our offense. We’re really glad he’s coming on board with us. He’s a North Carolina native who’s played in North Carolina and has recruited for many, many years in North and South Carolina. That will be a huge benefit to our program with the relationships he’s built over the years.
“He’s been very successful and been a part of winning football at Ohio, Wake Forest and Catawba.”
Henry spent 11 seasons with the Demon Deacons (2001-11). He coached on the defensive side of the ball for the first 10 years before spending his final season with the ACC school as special teams coordinator. His last job on the offensive side of the ball came as wide receivers coach at Ohio in 1996.
An off-field incident involving alcohol has unofficially cost an assistant coach a job.
It had been reported that Gerad Parker, who served as Purdue’s interim head coach last season, decided to leave his new job at Cincinnati to take another at East Carolina. That reported move was complicated after reports surfaced that, following a going-away party in West Lafayette early Tuesday morning, the coach was pulled over and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Parker had been expected to take over the wide receivers coach job at ECU; Wednesday, multiple reports indicated that the Pirates are moving on from the coach in light of the recent development.
In a tweet that has since been deleted from his Twitter account, Parker apologized. “I’m sorry to all my friends and family,” the coach wrote. “Thanks to all that have reached out and shown support.”
Parker would’ve replaced Phil McGeoghan, who left ECU in late January for a job with the Buffalo Bills. ECU’s search for a replacement will continue.