A 10-3 record and a blowout win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl was enough for West Virginia to decide the Dana Holgorsen experiment was a successful one.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, WVU athletic director Oliver Luck announced that the school had reached an agreement with Holgorsen for a six-year contract that runs through 2017.
News of the agreement was first reported by Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.
Holgorsen will be paid $2.3 million this year — he was previously in line to receive $1.725 million this year — $250,000 of which will be in base pay while the rest will be in supplemental pay. Because WVU’s athletic department is self-sufficient, all of Holgorsen’s salary will be paid through athletics or private sources.
“This contract brings us closer to the salaries of other major university head coaches and those within our conference,” Luck said in a release. “We have said all along we are going to pay our coach a competitive salary for a very valued and competitive position. I have full confidence in Coach Holgorsen and his staff and want them to be with us for a long time. He is the right man to lead our football program into the Big 12 and beyond.”
“I want to thank Oliver Luck and President Jim Clements for their confidence in and commitment to our football program. We have a lot of things that we want to accomplish, and we have a great administration supporting us,” Holgorsen said. “There is no question that joining the Big 12 Conference presents new challenges in competition, facility upgrades and overall growth. However, I am excited to be the head coach of the West Virginia University Mountaineers, I enjoy living in this state, and I look forward to many more successful years in Morgantown.”
Other specifics of Holgorsen’s contract include yearly raises of $200,000 in 2013 and ’14, and $100,000 bumps in ’15 and ’16. There is a flat buyout of $2 million.
Florida State tight end Mavin Saunders will pursue a graduate transfer to Kansas, according to a report from Bud Elliott of SBNation.
Saunders did not record a statistic as a redshirt junior in 2017. He caught 10 passes for 182 yards in 12 appearances in 2016, and made two starts as a redshirt freshman in 2015.
A native of the Bahamas, Saunders graduated from The Kinkaid School in Houston before enrolling at Florida State. The Jayhawks are losing their top tight end from the 2017 team. Senior Ben Johnson finished second on the club with 30 receptions for 363 yards and one touchdown this fall. He was the only tight end to catch a pass this season.
Scott Frost will have to make room for a little more hardware as he moves to Nebraska. On Monday, the Associated Press named Frost its coach of the year for the 2017 season.
Frost received 21 first-place votes and 100 total points in the voting consisting of 57 voters in the AP Top 25. Frost beat out Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney for the award following an undefeated 12-0 season at UCF that ended with an AAC championship and a berth in the Peach Bowl as the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion. Despite already being hired to be the head coach at Nebraska and UCF hiring a new head coach, Frost has stayed committed to coaching the Knights in the bowl game even if it makes for some long days flying between Lincoln and Orlando as he pulls double duty.
Frost turned UCF football around in short order. After inheriting a team that had gone 0-12 just prior to his arrival, Frost reinvigorated the mindset of the program and led UCF to a 6-7 season in his debut as UCF head coach in 2016. To follow that up in 2017, Frost led UCF to an undefeated season and conference championship to help return the program to a big bowl game for the first time since facing Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl with Blake Bortles at quarterback.
Frost already collected a few coach of the year honors with the Eddie Robinson Award from the Football Writers Association of America and the Home Depot Coach of the Year award.
Watch out Big 12, because West Virginia has a very dangerous combination confirmed to be returning in 2018. Days after quarterback Will Grier announced his intention to return to Morgantown for another season, his top wide receiver says he will be there too. David Sills V announced his decision to return for the 2018 season on Monday, giving West Virginia the most potent passing combo in the Big 12 heading into next season.
“After talking with my family and my coaches and taking time in prayer, I have decided to return for my senior season at West Virginia University,” Sills said in a released statement. “I look forward to our bowl game and having another year with my teammates here in Morgantown. It is important to me to finish what I started in the classroom and help our program win a Big 12 championship. WVU holds a special place in my heart, and I am looking forward to seeing what this team can accomplish next year.”
Sills V caught 60 passes for 980 yards and a nation-leading 18 touchdowns this season for West Virginia, leading to being named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award and multiple All-American nods.
“David proved this year that he can be one of the best receivers in college football,” West Virginia head football coach Dana Holgorsen said. “Another season will help him improve in all areas, and I know our fans will be excited to see him team up with Will Grier for another year.”
Alabama has long been considered the favorite to win the national championship in college football according to Bovada this season, and that is not exactly changing with the College Football Playoff here. But if the Crimson Tide get paired up with Oklahoma, Alabama could be playing the role of underdog.
The latest odds released for each possible College Football Playoff national championship scenario have been updated by Bovada, and they continue to bode well for Alabama if they end up facing Georgia in Atlanta. Alabama is a 7/2 favorite against Georgia, while Georgia has been given 25/4 odds to beat the Crimson Tide. Georgia also has 13/2 odds against Clemson, while the Tigers have been given 4/1 odds against the Bulldogs.
The odds continue to bode well for Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma, however. The Sooners have been given 6/1 odds against Alabama and 7/1 odds against Clemson should Oklahoma get by Georgia in the Rose Bowl semifinal to play for their first College Football Playoff national championship.
Here are the different odds for the College Football Playoff national championship as updated by Bovada on Monday morning;
- Alabama over Georgia – 7/2
- Alabama over Oklahoma – 4/1
- Clemson over Georgia – 4/1
- Clemson over Oklahoma – 6/1
- Georgia over Alabama – 25/4
- Georgia over Clemson – 13/2
- Oklahoma over Alabama 6/1
- Oklahoma over Clemson – 7/1
Which bet do you like the most?