Don’t you just love this time of year, when the spinning of the coaching carousel and the churning of the rumor mill combines to fling as much feces against the wall in the hopes that something, anything sticks?
In the minutes — hell, it might even have been seconds — after Auburn officially announced Gene Chizik was out as head coach, potential replacements were being tossed around at a frightening clip. One of those names? Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher.
Sure, there’s a direct connection between the coach and the school as Fisher served as the Tigers’ quarterbacks coach for six seasons in the mid-90s. He was also reportedly one of the leading candidates to replace Tommy Tuberville at AU in before the job went to Chizik in December of 2008. But why anyone would consider leaving a job such as Florida State’s for one with a program that may or may not have an NCAA problem on the horizon, not to mention residing in the same state as recruiting behemoth Alabama, is more than mildly head-scratching.
Monday, Fisher addressed the speculation and at least attempted to tamp out the rumors surrounding his future.
“I’m very happy right here. I’m content to be here, this is where I want to be. We’re building something special. We’ve got great players. We’ve got great players to come and be here. It’s a great place to live, my family is set up in this community, and I plan on being here a long time.
“[Of course] they may walk in and say, ‘I don’t want you to be the coach no more.’ I mean to say you’re never going to move in this business as a coach, you can’t say that — it’s inevitable. There’s too many things that go on, but I’m very happy. I’m very content. I want to be here.”
Granted, it’s no “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach,” but… wait, that might actually be a good thing for Seminole Nation.
Once all of the coaching dust on The Plains settles, this will likely end where these types of situations usually do: with Fisher still in Tallahassee, armed with a revamped contract that includes a significant bump in the $2.75 million he made in 2012.
One member of the Syracuse football program has had his wrist publicly slapped in connection to an in-game incident over the weekend.
In the first quarter of the Week 8 win over Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Orange quarterback Eric Dungey threw an interception to the Eagles’ William Harris and ultimately tackled Harris on the visiting team’s sidelines. Or, more specifically, Dungey slammed Harris to the ground and, eventually, pushed another BC player into some equipment.
That was part of a brief brouhaha that was quickly defused, but not before a ‘Cuse staffer appeared to put his hands on Harris as well.
That staffer has subsequently been identified as Brad Wittke, the football program’s director of operations. That staffer has also been publicly reprimanded for his role in the incident.
“I hold all members of our athletics program to highest standard of conduct, and support the Atlantic Coast Conference’s commitment to sportsmanship,” athletic director John Wildhack said in a statement. “I’ve spoken with Brad and he fully understands that his actions were not appropriate.”
“I apologize to William Harris, Coach Addazio and the entire Boston College football team for my actions Saturday,” Wittke said in his statement. “While trying to prevent the situation from becoming worse I made contact with William, causing him to fall to the ground. I take responsibility for that and regret that it happened.”
Whether the public reprimand will be enough to satisfy BC head coach Steve Addazio, who called for the ACC to look into the situation, is unclear.
After a nearly two-year absence, it appears Demarre Kitt is headed back to the FBS level.
On his personal Twitter account, Kitt announced that he has committed to Colorado State and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Rams. Since leaving Clemson in December of 2014, Kitt has played for at least two different junior colleges — Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Ventura (Calif.) Junior College.
In his lone season at Clemson, Kitt had five receptions for 47 yards. A four-star member of Clemson’s 2014 recruiting class, Kitt was rated as the No. 16 receiver in the country and the No. 11 player at any position in the state of Georgia.
As Kitt will be coming in as a JUCO transfer, the wide receiver will be eligible to play immediately in 2017. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Jim Harbaugh has been known for using a bit of hyperbole from time to time but it sounds as though he was really, really, really upset at a call in the final few minutes of No. 2 Michigan’s 41-8 win over Illinois on Saturday.
Wolverines quarterback John O’Korn had completed a third-and-nine pass to Drake Harris that officials had marked short of the first down by nearly two yards. Harbaugh quickly challenged the spot but Big Ten replay officials upheld the call to force a fourth down decision that was a little longer than it should have been according to the coach.
“I’ve never seen a worse call in the game of football,” Harbaugh said at his Monday press conference. “My understanding of the rules and the review system is it’s the spot, it’s to get the correct spot.”
Michigan won the game in blowout fashion of course and the call was irrelevant to the final score as the Wolverines got the first down on the next play and then kneeled down to end the game. But the comments and decision to challenge a call over a few feet does show the level to which Harbaugh will compete on the field.
Apparently that is something that is now well-known by Big Ten officials too.
Clemson running back Wayne Gallman has been dealing with the aftereffects of a concussion that knocked him out of the team’s win over N.C. State.
He seemed pretty clear on what he thought about the hit that caused that concussion however, telling the Associated Press that the play was “dirty.”
“You saw him lead with his head,” Gallman said of Wolfpack defensive back Dravious Wright. “He came with his head.
“I wanted somebody to hurt him that was in the game if they could.”
Gallman was knocked out on the play and said he didn’t recall anything until a few minutes later. Clemson apparently sent video of the hit to the ACC office, but was told that it was a legal play (no flag was thrown on it either).
The tailback was held out of some of the Tigers practices last week as they rested on their bye but added that he will be good to go for this week’s matchup with Florida State in a game that could seal the ACC Atlantic division for Clemson with a win.
Gallman, a redshirt junior, is expected by many to enter the NFL Draft after the season so it means he likely won’t be facing N.C. State again on the field so it looks like he’ll have to take his frustration about the play out on the Seminoles on Saturday.