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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.”

Report: Washington State QB Luke Falk won’t play in Apple Cup

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Earlier this week it was looking as though Washington State quarterback Luke Falk might be available to play Washington in this year’s edition of the Apple Cup. Now the outlook is not so good.

According to a report from Stefanie Loh of The Seattle Times, Washington State will start Peyton Bender at quarterback against the Huskies. Falk, who is recovering form a concussion last week, is not expected to dress for the game. It will be the first start of the redshirt freshman’s career. Bender has appeared in four games this season serving as Falk’s backup. In his limited playing time, Bender has completed 17 of 33 pass attempts for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He has been picked off twice.

The loss of Falk is certainly a blow to Washington State’s offense, although we will see if Mike Leach has a system in place where he can plug in a quarterback and still get the production through the air as has been the case during his career. There is no word on whether or not Falk will be available for the bowl season, although that would seem to look possible given more time to recover from a concussion.

NCAA denies sixth-year for Syracuse QB Terrel Hunt

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Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt will not get a sixth year of eligibility. The NCAA has denied a request to extend Hunt’s eligibility by one more year, Syracuse announced today.

Hunt had his 2014 and 2015 seasons cut short due to injuries. A broken leg in 2014 forced Hunt to miss the final seven games of the season. An Achilles tendon injury against Rhode Island in the 2015 season opener has sidelined Hunt for the entire 2015 season, effectively.

“Obviously, it’s very disappointing but I want to thank my teammates, coaches and all the Syracuse fans who have supported me through this process and during my time here,” Hunt said in a statement shared by Syracuse athletics. “Even though my career didn’t turn how I thought it would, I still have a lot of great memories that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life.

“Right now I’m focused on my rehab and on finishing graduate school. I’m getting better every day and hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to continue my career at the professional level.”

Hunt’s Syracuse career will end with 2,621 passing yards and 24 touchdowns (11 passing, 13 rushing).

Stoops expects Baker Mayfield, Samaje Perine to play in Bedlam

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With a Big 12 championship on the line, as well as a possible spot in the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma head coach is optimistic his Sooners will have some key players available to take on rival Oklahoma State. Quarterback Baker Mayfield and running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon are all expected to be available to play the Cowboys on Saturday.

“Baker Mayfield and Samaje Perine practiced all week, and Joe Mixon has practiced every day since Wednesday,” Stoops said in a released statement Friday afternoon. “All three are expected to play tomorrow.”

Mayfield has caught fire since a loss to Texas earlier in the season. The Sooners quarterback, a rising Heisman Trophy candidate, was knocked out of a win against TCU last weekend after taking a blow to the head. Mayfield passed concussion tests administered and was to be monitored closely all week. With Stoops expecting Mayfield to play, that appears to be as good a sign as any for the Oklahoma offense.

Running backs Perine and Mixon each suffered ankle injuries in the game against the Horned Frogs, but both being available to play against Oklahoma State helps keep Oklahoma’s offense in good shape. Perine is Oklahoma’s leading rusher with 1,160 yards and 13 touchdowns. Mixon is second on the team with 613 yards and third with five touchdowns. Mayfield is second on the team with six rushing touchdowns, and he has rushed for 343 yards as well.

A win for Oklahoma on Saturday likely will be enough to keep the Sooners in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings. Oklahoma State may still need some help to sneak into the top four. Baylor is also still in the running if the Sooners take a hit.

Report: Penn State’s Sandusky settlement sum reaches $93 million

Jerry Sandusky

The cost of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal continues to take a toll on Penn State University. According to a recent report from the Associated Press, the total payout total Penn State has paid to victims of the former defensive coordinator have reached nearly $93 million.

The AP report says recent financial statements from the university show an additional $33.2 million in payments related to claims connected to Sandusky’s crimes. There may be more claims to sort through as well, which means the sum of the payouts could continue to rise. Penn State previously agreed to pay 26 people connected to the Sandusky scandal a total of $56.7 million. To date, 32 claims have been paid off by the university.

Penn State agreed to pay off a $60 million fine issued by the NCAA, with the money going toward addressing child sexual abuse in the state of Pennsylvania. even after the NCAA lifted all terms of the sanctions levied against the university and football program in September 2014, Penn State remained committed to paying the entire fine as a part of a settlement with the NCAA. The NCAA lost a fight to distribute the fine money nationally, so the money will be used in-state.

Sandusky is appealing his court decision finding him guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse to children, netting him a sentence between 30 and 60 years (effectively a life sentence for the 71-year old convicted felon).