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Report: Petersen, Patterson in play at Auburn


And why not?  Seemingly everybody else is.

As is usually the case this time of the year, the name of Boise State head coach Chris Petersen has been tossed around in relation to several big-name openings.  In his seventh season in Boise, Petersen has already been connected to one SEC vacancy (Arkansas) this year, and is now being connected to another.

Citing someone familiar with the process, is reporting that Petersen is on “Auburn’s list to be the school’s next football coach [that] is now more than a half-dozen names long.”  Of course, being on a school’s wish list doesn’t necessarily equate to a realistic shot at landing the coach, especially as it pertains to Petersen.

Over the past three years, Petersen has seen his name connected to openings at (take a deep breath) Penn State, UCLA, Stanford, Florida, USC and Mississippi State just to name a few.  Each and every time, and regardless of whether there were conversations at any level or not, Petersen always ended up right back where all of the rumors all started: as the head coach of the Broncos.

Of course, you never say never when it comes to a head coach and a potential move.  However, Petersen’s track record — preferring to remain by far the biggest fish in what will be an improving conference pond (maybe) with the football program’s move from the Mountain West — suggests this is more wishful thinking on the part of AU’s athletic department than it is reality.

Now, if Chip Kelly leaves for the NFL, opening up the Oregon job?  Well, let’s just say it would get interesting as it pertains to Petersen.

As far as other potential candidates on Auburn’s to-do list, reports that TCU’s Gary Patterson is a “new name” that has emerged.  Patterson has also been mentioned as a potential permanent replacement for Bobby Petrino at Arkansas.

The newspaper’s website also lists Petrino, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and a trio of current head coaches — Arkansas State’s Gus Malzahn, Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher — as being among AU’s targets.

Fisher addressed the speculation yesterday, saying “I’m very happy right here. I’m content to be here, this is where I want to be.”

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.