The Swami

Predictions 101 — Bowls

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It’s time to go bowling!

While our record during the season at Predictions 101 was far better than the .500 mark it takes to qualify for the postseason (unless you’re Georgia Tech at 6-7!?) the stakes are raised as the bowl season has arrived.

From the Alamo to the Sun — and some others with really bizarre names in between — we’ve got you covered here at CollegeFootballTalk.com with a look at all 35 (yikes!) bowl games.

BCS BOWLS
Championship (1/7): No. 2 Alabama 42, No. 1 Notre Dame 14 (WIN)
Fiesta (1/3): No. 5 Oregon 35, No. 7 Kansas State 17 (WIN)
Sugar (1/2): No. 22 Louisville 33, No. 4 Florida 23 (LOSS)
Orange (1/1):
No. 13 Florida State 31, No. 16 Northern Illinois 10 (WIN)
Rose (1/1):
No. 8 Stanford 20, Wisconsin 14 (WIN)

OTHER BOWLS
GoDaddy.com (1/6): Arkansas State 17, No. 25 Kent State 13 (LOSS)
BBVA Compass (1/5): Mississippi 38, Pittsburgh 17 (LOSS)
Cotton (1/4): No. 10 Texas A&M 41, No. 12 Oklahoma 13 (WIN)
Capital One (1/1):
No. 6 Georgia 45, No. 23 Nebraska 31 (WIN)
Outback (1/1): No. 11 South Carolina 33, No. 19 Michigan 28 (WIN)
Gator (1/1): No. 21 Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20 (WIN)
Heart of Dallas (1/1): Oklahoma State 58, Purdue 14 (WIN)
Chick-fil-A (12/31):  No. 14 Clemson 25, No. 9 LSU 24 (LOSS)
Liberty (12/31): Tulsa 31, Iowa State 17 (WIN)
Sun (12/31): Georgia Tech 21, USC 7 (WIN)
Music City (12/31): Vanderbilt 38, North Carolina State 24 (WIN)
Buffalo Wild Wings (12/29): Michigan State 17, TCU 16 (LOSS)
Alamo (12/29): Texas 31, No. 15 Oregon State 27 (LOSS)
Pinstripe (12/29): Syracuse 38, West Virginia 14 (WIN)
Kraft Fight Hunger (12/29): Arizona State 62, Navy 28 (WIN)
Armed Forces (12/29): Rice 33, Air Force 14 (LOSS)
Meineke Car Care Bowl (12/28): Texas Tech 34, Minnesota 31 (WIN)
Russell Athletic (12/28): Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10, OT (WIN)
Independence (12/28): Ohio 45, Louisiana-Monroe (LOSS)
Holiday (12/27): Baylor 49, No. 17 UCLA 26 (LOSS)
Belk (12/27): Cincinnati 48, Duke 34 (WIN)
Military (12/27): No. 24 San Jose State 29, Bowling Green 20 (LOSS)
Little Caesars Pizza (12/26): Central Michigan 24, Western Kentucky 21 (LOSS)
Hawaii (12/24): SMU 43, Fresno State 10 (LOSS)
MAACO Las Vegas (12/22): No. 20 Boise State 28, Washington 26 (WIN)
New Orleans (12/22): Louisiana-Lafayette 43, East Carolina 34 (LOSS)
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s (12/21): Central Florida 38, Ball State 17 (LOSS)
Poinsettia (12/20): BYU 23, San Diego State 6 (WIN)
Famous Idaho Potato (12/15): No. 18 Utah State 41, Toledo 15 (WIN)
New Mexico (12/15): Arizona 49, Nevada 48 (WIN)

Bowl record (overall): 21-14

Former Texas OL Octavious Bishop joins ‘Horns staff in off-the-field role

Octavious Bishop
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Former Texas offensive lineman Octavious Bishop has rejoined the program as the Longhorns’ director of student leadership and personal development. The position is a new one, created specifically for Bishop.

Texas’s release announcing his hire says Bishop will work with Charlie Strong and the UT football staff to “provide strategy and implementation of programs to support student-athlete development. Among the program’s goals and objectives will be personal growth, character enhancement, leadership assessment and development, life skills and career preparation.”

“I had an unbelievable conversation with Octavious about what we were looking for in this position and knew right away that he was the man for the job,” Strong said in a statement. “He’s an engaging and energetic person who has a ton of experience working with personal development and has gained so much knowledge in handling all aspects of student-athletes’ lives. I just really loved his passion and all of the ideas he was bringing to the table. On top of that, he’s a Longhorn letterman who overcame a lot of obstacles in his own life. I’m so excited to have him joining our staff.”

Bishop is a former three-year starter at left tackle for the Longhorns, best known as one of the road graders for Ricky Williams‘s NCAA record-breaking 1998 Heisman Trophy campaign. Bishop played professionally for the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons as well as in NFL Europe and the XFL before returning to Texas to finish his social work degree in 2001. He’s since earned his Master’s degree in social work from UT and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Walden University in Minnesota. He has work experience as a social worker and counselor, dealing with marriage, family and addiction counseling and working with students with mental health needs.

“Many of the student-athletes who will attend The University of Texas come from backgrounds similar to my own,” Bishop said. “I have a unique perspective, as a former player and student, that many of them will share. The relationships I’ve established outside of football have played a profound role in my professional and personal development.”

SEC to discuss expanding restriction on transfers

Nick Saban
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A year ago, the SEC adopted a rule banning its member schools from accepting transfers who were disciplined at their previous institution for sexual assault or other forms of sexual violence. The rule came about after Alabama accepted a transfer from Georgia defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, whom Mark Richt dismissed after he was arrested for domestic violence, only to see him again be arrested for domestic violence in Tuscaloosa. Chalk that entire episode up as just another way Nick Saban has changed the way the SEC conducts business.

Now the league is considering expanding the ban to other forms of misconduct in advance of its annual spring meetings in Destin, Fla.

According to the Athens Banner-Herald, a student-athlete working group has recommended expanding the rule to “bar transfers who were convicted of, pled guilty or no contest to a serious misconduct felony.”

“The rule that was passed at the last spring meeting was a first step,” SEC associate commissioner for legal affairs and compliance William King told the paper. “I think commissioner (Greg) Sankey made that clear from the beginning that this was a first step and that the conference would revisit the rule.”

The Big 12 and Pac-12 adopted similar rules to mimic the SEC, and it’s likely this policy will only see stronger teeth considering it was his practice of accepting players with violent pasts from other schools that led to Art Briles‘ eventual ouster.

The rule removes the incentive for coaches who fear that dismissing troubled players will only see them on the opposite sideline a season or two later.

SEC schools are expected to conduct background inquiries into all transfers, and a loophole exists for schools to appeal to the conference’s executive committee. Many believe the rule banning transfers will eventually apply to incoming freshmen as well, though that does not appear to be on the table for this year.

Baylor QB Seth Russell responds to Briles firing in Instagram post

Seth Russell
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Baylor quarterback Seth Russell has been on a mission trip with other Bears athletes to Brazil, and he returns from his South American voyage to a much different program than he left behind.

Head coach Art Briles is gone. So, too, are two of Baylor’s top incoming freshmen. More coaches and players may follow.

As QB1, Russell had to address the goings on in Waco one way or another, and did so Saturday in an Instagram post that speaks to the Bears’ crisis without really speaking to it while quoting — who else? — Robert Griffin III.

What an amazing experience these past few weeks have been. I, and 33 other Baylor student-athletes, have spent the last two weeks in Brazil sharing God’s love and pouring into children from Maceio and Rio de Janeiro. Through our sports, we were able to share our faith in hopes of changing lives, not just others, but our own as well. I can’t thank all who helped make this mission trip possible enough. I am forever grateful for my time spent growing with others, and ultimately growing with the Lord.

As we head back to Waco, I can’t help but think of all that has changed since we first left for South America. Although I was in a different hemisphere, the heartache was still immensely present. However, being in the environment I was, the Lord was easily able to remind me of how great He is.
We are broken. We are hurting.
But at the end of the day, we are His. With that gift alone, there is no reason to not overcome through these hard times.

My prayers for Baylor University are that we never forget that we need God as desperately on our best days as we do on our worst. We will overcome. We will become stronger. We will be who God has allowed us to be.

Baylor we are and Baylor we’ll always be, but it’s up to us to define what that means-RGIII

What an amazing experience these past few weeks have been. I, and 33 other Baylor student-athletes, have spent the last two weeks in Brazil sharing God’s love and pouring into children from Maceio and Rio de Janeiro. Through our sports, we were able to share our faith in hopes of changing lives, not just others, but our own as well. I can’t thank all who helped make this mission trip possible enough. I am forever grateful for my time spent growing with others, and ultimately growing with the Lord. As we head back to Waco, I can’t help but think of all that has changed since we first left for South America. Although I was in a different hemisphere, the heartache was still immensely present. However, being in the environment I was, the Lord was easily able to remind me of how great He is. We are broken. We are hurting. But at the end of the day, we are His. With that gift alone, there is no reason to not overcome through these hard times. My prayers for Baylor University are that we never forget that we need God as desperately on our best days as we do on our worst. We will overcome. We will become stronger. We will be who God has allowed us to be. Baylor we are and Baylor we’ll always be, but it’s up to us to define what that means-RGIII

A photo posted by Seth Russell (@sethrussell17) on May 28, 2016 at 7:16am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Russell started Baylor’s first seven games — all wins — before a broken neck bone suffered in a collision against Iowa State ended his season. He completed 119-of-200 passes for 2,104 yards (10.5 yards per attempt) with 29 touchdowns and six interceptions while rushing 49 times for 402 yards and six scores.

Houston Nutt steps out of the shadows following Ole Miss Notice of Allegations

Nutt
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Ole Miss dropped its long-awaited Notice of Allegations, which revealed the spin of the majority of the 28 allegations being against non-football sports and former head coach Houston Nutt‘s staff to be technically true but also just that — spin.

Of the 13 allegations against the Rebels’ football program, nine came against current head coach Hugh Freeze and his staff. However, the majority of those were relatively minor in nature (free rental cars, comped hotel rooms), and the largest did come against two former assistants. Former defensive backs coach Chris Vaughn and former operations staffer David Saunders were accused of setting up a fraudulent ACT system to get players into school.

“We usually know about who is going to make it in by May,” Nutt said of the players whom those ACTs got into school. “We were gonna place them in junior college.”

Still, Nutt told Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports he felt a twinge of validation from Friday’s release.

“It’s the most frustrating thing there is,” Nutt said, “to be on the sidelines and hear your name keep getting mentioned and mentioned. It’s hurtful. It makes you mad.

“I don’t have a major violation in 30 years of coaching.”

Nutt won 75 games at Arkansas and led Ole Miss to a 19-8 mark and back-to-back Cotton Bowl victories in his first two seasons in Oxford — read: with Ed Orgeron‘s players — and fell to 6-18 (1-15 SEC) in his final two seasons. That, plus the sting of these violations falling on his record, is likely to continue to keep Nutt out of coaching — at least at the highest levels of FBS.

Still, he remains optimistic.

“I’m going on five years without a team,” he said. “There were a few opportunities I went after. I’d love to coach again. I feel like I’ve got 10 more seasons in me.”