Frank Beamer

Hokie AD’s SEC comments cause fit to hit Twitter shan

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Over the past two days, both Maryland and Rutgers have officially announced they were moving their athletics programs from the ACC and Big East, respectively, to the Big Ten.  As is usually the case in these types of situations, those actual moves have spawned myriad speculative ones.

UConn or Louisville to the ACC.  North Carolina and Virginia to the Big Ten to create the first major superconference.  Florida State to the Big 12 (again).  And on and on and on it goes, with seemingly anyone with a morsel of information flinging it against the wall in the hopes that something will stick in the latest round of conference expansion.

And then there’s Jim Weaver.  The Virginia Tech athletic director, normally not one to verbally shoot from the hip, preferring to keep his athletic department’s cards close to the vest, caused quite the Twitter stir late Tuesday night with comments that may or may not have been taken out of context.

During a weekly call-in show on 101.7-FM in Southwest Virginia, Weaver was asked, David Teal of the Hampton Roads Daily Press wrote, “whether he thought the SEC would contact Tech if it wanted to start its own network.”

“I really haven’t thought about it because the discussion has just come about three or four days ago,” Weaver began, before adding, “I’d like to defer my comment for right now, but there may potentially be some interest.”

Those last five words were all it took for a social media maelstrom to erupt, with some taking the comment as Weaver acknowledging Tech’s interest in discussing a move from the ACC to the SEC.  On several levels the conjecture made sense as the Hokies have been connected to the SEC via the rumor mill going back to 2010 if not further.

An incredulous Weaver, though, attempted to clarify a short time later his school’s position on its conference affiliation.

“I just can’t believe people are misinterpreting what I said,” Weaver told Teal. “We’re not in discussions with anyone.  We’ve always wanted to be in the Atlantic Coast Conference. We’re there, and we’re pleased to be there. …

“There’s nothing happening in regard to Virginia Tech going anywhere. I don’t know how to say it any clearer than that.”

Those denials fall in line with Weaver’s stance from this past May, and pretty much any other time the Hokies have been brought up as a candidate for SEC expansion for that matter.  At least for now, it appears any Tech-to-the-SEC talk is just that, talk.  And fodder for the never-sleeping rumor mill.

Should the ACC splinter and fall apart?  Well, that’s another matter entirely, for Tech and everyone else in the ACC, Big East and beyond.

Veteran secondary starter dismissed by Colorado State

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20:  Wide receiver Kaelin Clay #8 of the Utah Utes runs for yardage after catching a pass as defensive back Preston Hodges #24 of the Colorado State Rams hits him out of bounds during the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 20, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Utah won 45-10.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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With the start of summer camp just up the block and around the corner, Colorado State has seen its secondary take a rather significant hit.

A CSU official has confirmed to the Loveland Reporter Herald that Preston Hodges has been dismissed from Mike Bobo‘s football program.  The Reporter Herald writes that Hodges “had become academically ineligible and was dismissed from the team.”

The past three seasons, Hodges had started 28 games in the Rams’ secondary.  Eight of those starts came at cornerback last season.

Exiting the spring, the senior Hodges was listed No. 2 on the depth chart at one of the safety spots.

In addition to Hodges, offensive lineman Blake Nowland is no longer on the team’s roster.  There was no reason given for his departure.

After playing in three games as a redshirt freshman in 2014, Nowland missed the entire 2015 season because of a broken leg.

Heisman Trophy odds see change at the top

Leonard Fournette
Associated Press
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There is a new preseason favorite for the 2016 Heisman Trophy, at least as far as Bovada is concerned.

The betting service Tuesday listed LSU running back Leonard Fournette checks in with the best odds at 9/2. He moved ahead of Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, whose odds went from 9/2 in January to 5/1 now.

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey’s odds moved to 11/2 while Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield are all at 12/1.

Several players were added to the board since January, including UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen (16/1), Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough (20/1) and Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham (28/1).

The group of newcomers also includes both of the competitors to be Notre Dame’s starting quarterback. DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire are both set at 28/1.

Oklahoma DB facing charges after early morning arrest

NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 3:  Safety Hatari Byrd #4 and cornerback Jordan Thomas #7 of the Oklahoma Sooners take the field before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers October 3, 2015 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated West Virginia 44-24.(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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Oklahoma defensive back Jordan Thomas was arrested early Thursday morning and stands accused of three offenses.

Cleveland (Oklahoma) County sheriff arrest records show the 20-year-old Thomas was booked at 2:45 a.m. on charges of assault and battery, public intoxication and interference.

A school spokesperson told The Tulsa World the department is aware of and monitoring the situation.

Thomas, who reportedly has been released on bond, was second on the Sooners with nine pass defended last season and was credited with 46 tackles. He had five interceptions.

The World notes Thomas has been in trouble both with the law and the team previously.

Thomas was jailed in Grady County before last year’s Orange Bowl after failing to appear in court following a traffic citation.

The junior also has faced issues on the team. He missed the first quarter of the 2015 opener against Akron and the entire Tulsa game for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

The Sooners won the Big 12 last season and made the College Football Playoff.

They are expected to be contenders again this season and have a showdown with Ohio State looming in Norman on Sept. 17.

Joker Phillips among Urban Meyer’s new hires at Ohio State

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators is congratulated by head coach Joker Phillips of the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated Kentucky 48-14 for Meyer's 100th career victory.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
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Ohio State has quietly added Joker Phillips and Brian Knorr — two experienced college coaches — to Urban Meyer’s staff.

Although the athletics department has not made an announcement yet, Phillips is listed in Ohio State’s employee directory as a sports program associate with the working title of “Football QC – kicking,” which presumably means he is a quality control assistant for the Ohio State kicking game.

Knorr is listed simply as an athletics intern.

Of the two, Phillips is the more experienced. Now 53, he began his coaching career as a G.A. at Kentucky, his alma mater, and eventually spent six seasons as a full-time receivers coach for the Wildcats in the early 1990s.

He also coached at Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina before returning to Lexington as an assistant and eventually rising to head coach in 2010.

The Wildcats went just 13-24 in his three seasons, and he spent last year as wide receivers coach of the Cleveland Browns. He also spent a season coaching receivers at Florida, where he was found guilty of a level two recruiting violation.

Knorr was most recently the defensive coordinator at Indiana. He spent two seasons in Bloomington after six at Wake Forest.

A Kansas native, he played quarterback at Air Force and previously worked in the Buckeye State as an assistant to Jim Grobe and then Frank Solich at Ohio University from 1995-2004.

The Hoosiers ranked last in the Big Ten in scoring defense and total defense last season, and he was replaced by Tom Allen in January.