Earlier this season, Utah State nearly pulled an upset over Wisconsin in Madison. Perhaps sooner rather than later, the Aggies’ coach could be leading the Badgers. Maybe.
Per reports from Sports Illustrated, ESPN and the Wisconsin State-Journal, USU coach Gary Andersen has spoken with Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez for the position left vacant by Bret Bielema, who left earlier this month to take the Arkansas job.
Andersen led Utah State to an 11-2 record this season with a win over Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Only five points — a 16-14 loss to Wisconsin and a 6-3 loss to BYU — separates the Aggies from an undefeated season. Andersen is 27-24 in four years with USU. He signed an extension with the university earlier this year that would take him through 2018.
Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Mel Tucker is also considered to be a frontrunner for the job even though he said he was not interested in the job last week “at the time.” Oregon State coach Mike Riley and Miami coach Al Golden have also declined interest in the job.
Alvarez will coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl, but has said he has no interest in returning to the sidelines as the team’s coach in 2013.
Updated 12/19 8:30 a.m. ET: Both ESPN and the Associated Press are among the outlets reporting that Gary Andersen will in fact be Wisconsin’s new head coach. An announcement likely won’t be made until Thursday.
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.
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 Gridiron.com, 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.