Louisville head coach Charlie Strong reacts during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Syracuse won 45-26. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)
Well, here’s a story born straight out of SEO heaven.
New England Patriots quarterback — and, of course, former Wolverines signal caller — Tom Brady will serve as an honorary captain for Michigan during his Roger Goodell-mandated Deflategate suspension.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed the news on NFL Network’s Rich Eisen’s podcast. The Big House cameo will take place Sept. 17 as Michigan hosts Colorado.
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) August 31, 2016
Brady is free, of course, due to a wide-ranging controversy stemming from allegedly deflated footballs in the Patriots’ 45-7 trouncing of the Indianapolis Colts during the 2014 AFC Championship that led to him being suspended the first quarter of the 2016 season.
Brady played quarterback for the Wolverines from 1995-99 and has kept close ties with his alma mater since, but those have ramped up since Harbaugh’s late 2014 hiring. Most notably, Brady made an appearance at Harbaugh’s 2016 Signing Day extravaganza in February.
One of the best traditions in the NFL apparently isn’t welcome at the collegiate level.
LSU and Wisconsin will square off opening weekend at historic Lambeau Field. At the the Green Bay Packers’ house, every time the home team scores the scorer leaps into the stands to celebrate with their fans– the famed Lambeau Leap.
In the run-up to one of the few collegiate games ever played in the venerable NFL stadium, it was made perfectly clear that such a leap would be against NCAA rules — “delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player (or players) attempts to focus attention upon himself (or themselves)” is part of Rule 9, Section 2, while another part prohibits “going into the stands to interact with spectators” — and the leaper, and thus his team, would be subject to a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
At least on Tiger stated earlier this week that, despite the penalty and knowing “coach Miles won’t be happy with me,” he’s really “looking forward to” doing the Lambeau Leap. “I’ll take that punishment when we get back Monday morning,” defensive back/punt returner Tre’Davious White added.
Getting back, though, could prove problematic, especially if his coach follows through on his “threat.”
“I promise you that if anybody jumps (for) the Lambeau Leap, they’ll end up with their thumb out to see if they can get a ride home,” Les Miles said on the weekly SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday morning. “It’s college football, and we’ll play it that way, and I think our guys understand. We’ll do it right.”
There you have it. You have been warned, Bayou Bengals. Leap at your own peril — especially when the whole “leaping into what will likely be a whole gaggle of Badger fans” aspect is taken into consideration as well.
Ahmir Mitchell may have left Michigan, but he may not end up leaving the Big Ten after all.
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Todderick Hunt of nj.com is reporting that Rutgers is the likely destination for Mitchell. Later on in the story, Hunt writes that Mitchell “appears to be headed to Rutgers.”
Maryland and Temple have also been considered potential landing spots. It’s expected Mitchell will make a decision next week.
As for his eligibility now and in the future at whichever school he selects? Hunt explains:
Per Big Ten transfer rules, Mitchell will have to sit out the 2016 season, and will lose an additional year of eligibility, in order to transfer home. But Mitchell is expected to appeal the rule, and potentially even fight for a hardship waver, which although unlikely, could get him on the field as early as this year.
Mitchell’s departure from Ann Arbor was certainly an odd one, cloaked in uncertainty and secrecy.
Jim Harbaugh had confirmed earlier this month that two of the three Michigan football players not present for a team photo — Mitchell, running back Kareem Walker and defensive lineman Shelton Johnson — had been suspended, although he declined to specify which two. A couple of weeks later, Mitchell announced that he had decided to reopen his recruitment even as UM would’ve allowed him to return if he paid his own way this semester.
A four-star 2016 recruit, Mitchell was rated as the No. 5 player at any position in the state of New Jersey and the No. 167 player overall on 247sports.com‘s composite board. He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice.,
We don’t know yet which schools the Big 12 will add in its latest round of expansion. We do know, though, one who won’t be added.
In a press release, and in a move that will surprise almost no one outside of the university, East Carolina confirmed that the Big 12 has informed them that they are no longer being considered as a candidate for expansion. It had previously been reported that ECU was one of 20 Group of Five schools that contacted the conference about becoming a member.
The Big 12’s decision on ECU comes a couple of weeks after the current American Athletic Conference member conducted a video conference with commissioner Bob Bowlsby to make its pitch for membership.
“I am proud of the support Pirate Nation provided to our efforts,” ECU president Dr. Cecil Stanton said in a statement. “While I am disappointed by the decision, I remain undaunted in my commitment to ECU athletics and the excellence displayed by our wonderful student-athletes, coaches and staff.”
“While it is obviously not the decision we were hoping for, I am confident ECU put forth its best effort during this process,” a statement from the school’s athletic director, Jeff Compher, began. “Through a determined approach we were able to tell our story to not only the Big 12, but the entire nation. Our student-athletes, coaches and staff will continue to proudly compete for championships in the American Athletic Conference and we will represent our alumni and community with great resolve. We remain Undaunted!”
Nine other AAC members (Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Temple, Tulane, UCF, UConn, USF) are up for consideration by the Big 12. Schools from Conference USA (Rice), the MAC (Northern Illinois), Mountain West (Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV) and the Sun Belt (Arkansas State), as well as football independent BYU, are considered to be expansion candidates.
It’s believed that some combination of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, UCF and UConn will ultimately be part of any expansion. A report from TMGSports.com surfaced overnight that stated invitations have been sent to those six schools, as well as USF and two other unnamed AAC schools. Those on the receiving end of the invitations are expected to take part in another round of presentations, after which the conference will settle on their new members.
While the conference is looking at expanding by both two and four teams, it appears the former is the more likely number. A final decision on both the members and number of members is expected at some point in October.