Wes Lunt

Redshirt not in Ok. St.’s lexicon when it comes to Lunt

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It’s been exactly 40 days since Wes Lunt played an entire game for Oklahoma State, and will be 42 when Saturday rolls around.  It’s been 33 days since the true freshman quarterback has actually taken a snap in a game that counted.

A knee injury suffered in the Sept. 15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette win has led to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Lunt’s status, although in early October head coach Mike Gundy referred to the presumptive starter’s status as day-to-day.

A couple of week’s after that proclamation, Lunt is officially listed as questionable for the Iowa State game this weekend, although the coaching staff continues playing coy as to whether it’ll be the season-opening starter or the starter since — J.W. Welsh — under center.  With the Cowboys officially reaching the halfway point of the season Saturday, though, the word “redshirt” has entered into the discussion as far as those outside the program are concerned.

For those on the inside?  It hasn’t been according to Gundy by way of the Daily Oklahoman.

“No. Certainly, when he was lying on the field out there, everybody thought he was done for the season, so it was not anything that would have to be up for discussion.

“Then we found out that it wasn’t that type of injury. Now, it just becomes a day-to-day basis on stability and strength and pain tolerance.”

As Lunt has already burned his true redshirt by way of playing in a game, a medical hardship waiver would potentially be in play.  Here is a summation of NCAA bylaw 14.2.4 as it pertains to any medical hardship waiver requests:

  • The student-athlete may not have participated in more than two contests or dates of competition or 20 percent of the team’s completed contests/dates of competition.
  • The injury or illness must occur prior to the completion of the first half of the season.
  • The injury or illness does not have to occur during practice/competition, but it must be incapacitating.
  • Appropriate medical documentation must exist and be provided.

As it would relate to Lunt, if it gets to that point and OSU takes that tack, 20 percent of his team’s 12 games would be 2.4, which the NCAA rounds up to three; he’s played in three games this season.  And, if a medical hardship waiver is to be sought, none of the participation in contests can occur after the first half of that sport’s season has been completed; as noted above, OSU will be playing its sixth game and will have reached the halfway point of the 2012 season.

Thus, OSU is at the very outer limits, NCAA-wise, as to what they can do with Lunt.  The OSU program is in a tough spot when it comes to how to handle this situation, bringing their QB of the future back for what walks, talks and looks like a .500-ish season vs. bringing their QB of the future back and risking an aggravation of the injury that results in what would essentially be a lost season of eligibility.

And if Lunt plays this weekend — or the next or the next, etc. — and has no injury issues?  The above is a moot point.

Bud Foster says he is too invested in Virginia Tech to leave Hokies

Bud Foster

For years there was a thought that Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster would one day be the successor to longtime head coach Frank Beamer. With Beamer announcing his decision to retire at the end of the season, there was never any word about Foster being handed the keys to the program. Instead, Virginia Tech has found a coach with an offensive identity in the hiring of Justin Fuente from Memphis. Given the way coaching changes can tend to go, nobody would have blamed Foster for being a tad miffed at not getting the job in Blacksburg, but he will remain the defensive coordinator of the Hokies as a key member of Fuente’s new staff. He says he has put in too much work to leave now.

“I’m rooted in here. We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears in this place,” Foster said Monday. “It wasn’t hard. I wouldn’t have stayed here for as long as I’ve had if I didn’t feel like we had the opportunity to win at the highest level. I feel that more than ever right now.”

Fuente being able to keep Foster on the staff is a huge advantage. Foster not only ensures Fuente will have a dependable coach managing the defense, which should remain one of the top defensive units in the ACC as long as he stays put. Keeping Foster on the staff also allows for some tremendous stability during the transition, which can always be key when a coach with no previous ties to the university takes over a program. Foster can help Fuente get acclimated to his new surroundings and also keep valuable recruiting ties alive and well during the change.

Foster acknowledged he would love to one day be a head coach, and that dream will continue, but for now he is more interested in contributing at Virginia Tech.

“I always wanted to be a head coach. This would be a dream job. I’m happy with where I am. I’ll never be bitter. I won’t cry myself to sleep wishing “what-ifs” and they type of thing. My goal is to be the best football coach I can possibly be. I want to help this program be the best football program it can possibly be.”

Maryland wasting no time getting in touch with Mark Richt

Mark Richt

On Monday morning Georgia head coach Mark Richt said he was absolutely going to continue coaching even though his days at Georgia are coming to an end. If that is the case, Maryland would like to make that a reality for Richt.

According to a report from Inside MD Sports, Maryland has made first contact with Richt and a meeting could come as soon as tomorrow. Maryland is looking to fill a head coaching vacancy after firing Randy Edsall during the season. Richt will not be the only potential candidate to interview for the Maryland job. The Washington Post reported Monday interim head coach Mike Locksley was also given a chance to interview for the job on a permanent basis. That interview was reportedly set to happen Monday.

It would make sense for Maryland to make a call to Richt. With Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank looking to help build the Maryland program, there are sufficient funds to make a splashy hire for the program, which is showing signs of a well-structured future with plans to improve the football program. The Maryland job has some good potential in the long-term and competes in the same division as some tough opponents. That would include at least two coaches Richt is very familiar with; Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Penn State’s James Franklin. Richt faced Meyer when the Buckeyes head coach was at Florida, and Franklin of course coached at Vanderbilt. All three were in the same SEC East Division down south. Could they be reunited in the Big Ten East in 2016?

Whatever the case may be, if Maryland can land Richt as its next head coach, it would be a tremendous hire for the Terrapins. Heck, he already has the attire for it.

Unlike Missouri, 5-7 Nebraska will jump at opportunity to go bowling

Cethan Carter

Nebraska will be first in line to accept a bowl invitation when it arrives in the mail, despite going 5-7 this season. The Huskers, who are first in line among 5-7 candidates based on APR scores, will reportedly accept a bowl invitation to fill the first vacancy left to fill once all bowl-eligible teams are slotted into the postseason mix.

Missouri released a statement earlier today saying it will not accept a bowl invitation following a 5-7 season. The Tigers would have been the second team among 5-7 teams to receive a bowl invitation based on APR scores. According to a report by Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com, Kansas State would be next in line, followed by Minnesota, San Jose State, Illinois and Rice.

Missouri and Nebraska would appear to have different agendas of course. Nebraska is coming off the first season under new head coach Mike Riley, while Missouri is in the midst of a full coaching search. The decision not to go to a bowl game allows Missouri’s coaching staff in place under the now retired Gary Pinkel to pursue new opportunities without having bowl preparations get in the way.

Maryland sack master Yannick Ngakoue entering NFL Draft

Yannick Ngakoue, Christian Hackenberg

Maryland will have a new head coach in 2016. Whoever that head coach ends up being will have to find a way to replace one of Maryland’s best players. Defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue says he will skip his final year of eligibility with the Terrapins and declare for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Ngakoue was the second in the Big Ten with 13.0 sacks this season, trailing only Penn State defensive lineman Carl Nassib. Ngakoue’s sack total is a Maryland school record and was one of the few reasons for optimism for Maryland’s dreadful football season, which ended with just three wins.