And this would serve as Exhibit A as to what happens when, one, a head coach is successful relative to his situation and, two, said success leads to speculation about “better” jobs.
In the wake of rumors that had connected David Cutcliffe to the opening at Tennessee, Duke announced Wednesday that they had reached an agreement with their head coach on a contract extension. Cutcliffe is now signed through June 30 of 2019.
There was no mention of whether the extension included a bump in pay. According to the USA Today database, Cutcliffe earned nearly $1.8 million in 2012.
“Without question, we have already made great discernible progress since David’s arrival,” athletic director David White said in a statement. “However, as we assess our future – based on prospect evaluations, ongoing recruitment activity and player development – we are extremely excited, if not euphoric! To be sure, ‘Coach Cut’ represents just a great fit at Duke. David and the staff have done an exemplary job of leading the program, while subscribing to the highest institutional ideals, both academically and athletically.”
This season, Duke is bowl eligible for the first time since 1994.
In his nearly five full seasons with the Blue Devils, Cutcliffe has compiled a 21-39 record. To put that win total into perspective, Duke had won just 10 games in the previous years combined prior to Cutcliffe’s arrival in December of 2007.
“This business is about people, and Karen and I could not be happier with the people we’ve associated ourselves with here at Duke,” Cutcliffe said. “President Brodhead and Kevin White are the best of the best, and we are grateful for their support as we continue to build Duke’s football program. We’ve accomplished some of the goals we laid out five years ago, but are nowhere close to where we want to be.”
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah