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Jimbo not yet ready to annoint Winston as FSU’s QB

Florida State Spring Game Getty Images

Clint Trickett‘s decision to transfer out of Florida State was a clear indicator to most that Jameis Winston had taken the Seminoles’ starting quarterback job and grabbed it firmly around its neck.

While that will likely be the end-game, that the former four-star recruit opens the 2013 season under center, Winston’s head coach isn’t yet ready to declare it publicly.

Speaking at a booster get-together Thursday, Jimbo Fisher maintained that Winston, Jacob Coker and Sean Maguire remain in play as the successor to E.J. Manuel under center for the Seminoles.  And we’re going to assume the quotes that follow were said with a straight face and made with the forethought of avoiding any sense of entitlement on Winston’s part entering the summer.

“We’ve got three good quarterbacks, and we’ll continue to grow and see where that progresses down the road,” Fisher said by way of the Tallahassee Democrat.. “We’ve still got three very talented quarterbacks.”

That said, and as we and most everyone else has noted, it would be a monumental upset if Winston did not take the field as the starter when FSU opens the 2013 season at Pittsburgh on Labor Day.

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Notre Dame QB battle just getting started; ND-USC set for primetime

Everett Golson

Spring has come and gone, and Brian Kelly still has a quarterback decision to make before the start of the fall. Notre Dame’s spring game was not likely to solve the equation under center on Saturday, and it certainly left the variable in play. Everett Golson and Malik Zaire will continue to battle for the starting job heading into the summer and leading up to the start of the new season in the fall.

Playing on a practice field while Notre Dame Stadium undergoes renovation, both Golson and Zaire showed some improvement and confidence for much of the afternoon. Golson seemed to have an edge with execution at times, but Zaire also had some respectable moments as well.

Zaire may have had the highlight of the day as well. His 68-yard pass to Will Fuller for a touchdown was one of the top plays on the afternoon in South Bend, showing off Zaire’s arm strength.

The other came on a pass from Golson to end the first half, although for a different reason. Golson’s final pass of the first half was a 12-yard pass to offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley, who had been begging for a pass all spring. He made it count and lowered a shoulder into Cole Luke at the end of the play.

From here, the quarterback competition is pretty even. There was no runaway winner in the race on Saturday, and one likely was not expected. Now we will just have to wait and see what happens in the summer. Kelly has confidence in his options, and there is no timetable for when a final decision might be announced.

Notre Dame opens the 2015 season at home on September 5 against Texas. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. eastern. Notre Dame also announced a home game against USC on October 17 will also kick off at 7:30 p.m. Both games will air on NBC.

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Russell Wilson says Tom O’Brien “kinda kicked me out of NC State”

South Carolina v North Carolina State

The drama between Russell Wilson and former NC State head coach Tom O’Brien is pretty much ancient history at this point, but that did not prevent Wilson from dropping the suggestion he was forced out at NC State.

“You know, he was my head coach, you know, NC State,” Wilson said when asked about his time at NC State for an upcoming episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. “Kinda kicked me out of NC State a little bit.”

Wilson has typically taken the high road any time this topic of conversation has come up over the years, which is why it is a bit surprising to hear him explain the situation with these words.

We pretty much know the story at this point with the parting between O’Brien and Wilson. Wilson wanted to continue being able to play minor league baseball in the Colorado Rockies’ farm system, but O’Brien wanted the quarterback to stay committed to football. As we know by now, Wilson moved on to Wisconsin, led the Badgers to a Big Ten championship and later went on to lead the Seattle Seahawks to one Super Bowl victory and return trip coming up just short of a second. Football has worked out well for Wilson, but the desire to continue playing baseball has not evaporated.

The significance of this quote and its relevance can be better explained now by our pals over at Pro Football Talk, as Wilson is reaching a point where he is ready to get a new contract in Seattle. The last thing Seattle probably wants to do is pull the same power play O’Brien did with Wilson in college.

Wilson will be featured in an interview with next week’s airing of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will be featured as well.

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Ohio State’s Cardale Jones feels sorry for Notre Dame

Cardale Jones

No school has quite the intriguing quarterback situation this spring and heading into the fall as Ohio State. Take your pick of Ohio State quarterbacks — Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones —  and odds are your offense will be in good hands. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said earlier this week he would take his quarterbacks any day over Ohio State’s, which did not fall on idle ears in Columbus.

Leading up to Ohio State’s spring game, ESPN ran an interview with Barrett and Jones conducted by Tom Rinaldi that did not require anyone to shed a tear. It actually yielded a laugh. With the quarterback question in mind, Rinaldi referenced the old cliche about having two quarterbacks meaning you don’t have one. The response from Jones?

“I feel sorry for Notre Dame,” Jones replied before quickly laughing it off and saying he was joking.

😂😂😂😂

A video posted by Land-Grant Holy Land (@landgrantholyland) on Apr 18, 2015 at 9:29am PDT

Going back to Kelly’s comments, what else is he supposed to say? He is a coach pumping up his own players, as any coach would do. His comments may have raised some eyebrows and been shrugged aside as a ridiculous comment — how many coaches this spring would commit NCAA violations for the quarterback situation Urban Meyer has on his hands this year — but he was just a coach saying things a coach would say and nothing more.

Notre Dame’s spring game opened up with Everett Golson leading the offense down the field for a touchdown, with the veteran quarterback running in for a short touchdown run after a decent opening drive. Malik Zaire is also being given a chance to win the starting job in South Bend after showing some promise at the end of last season.

But was Jones really just joking? Probably not too much.

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Louisville backfield shows promise in Friday spring game

The reviews are coming in from Louisville’s Friday night spring scrimmage, and it seems to paint a familiar picture. The offense has players to make some good things happen. The defense should be pretty solid. The offensive line seems to be a bit of a question mark Bobby Petrino will have to either hope comes together or sees some development in the summer before the season kicks off.

Quarterback Reggie Bonnafon completed 15 of 19 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown and rushed 10 times for 37 yards and another touchdown while playing the entire first half. While reading too much into spring games can be unwise, this seemed to be a strong suggestion which direction the quarterback position is heading at Louisville. It will be Bonnafon’s job to lose according to the experts following the Cardinals.

The running game should be in for a good season as well, and Brandon Radcliff will once again be leading the charge on the ground. On Friday night the leading Louisville rusher carried the football seven times for 57 yards and three TDs. No worries in the Louisville backfield. It is the offensive line that seems to be the most questionable spot for the Cardinals.

Quarterbacks were sacked nine times in the spring scrimmage, with 23,187 fans in attendance. It should be noted only nine offensive linemen dressed for the spring scrimmage, but reinforcements are on the way through Louisville’s Class of 2015 and some junior college transfers. There will be more bodies to plug in, but how quickly Louisville finds some cohesiveness up front will ultimately determine what kind of season the Cardinals could have in the fall.

There are far fewer reasons for concern on the defensive side of the football. Louisville played very well on defense last season, and it looks as though it should be a strength of the team once again in Petrino’s second season back with the program.

“I really think we’ll have a dominant defense,” Petrino said. “That defensive front and linebacking corps is very physical and very strong. They made it real hard on our second offense.”

Louisville’s season will kick off on September 5 against Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta.

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Paul Johnson happy Georgia Tech survived its spring game

Capital One Orange Bowl - Mississippi State v Georgia Tech

Nobody got hurt. Well, nobody got hurt Friday night. That is exactly what Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson wanted from the spring game in Atlanta Friday night. Rain held the attendance to just about 4,000 fans (most of them looking for cover from the elements), but Johnson will take it with no additional players having injury concerns as spring draws to a close.

“You know, it was a typical spring game — at least we got it in and the weather cooperated,” Johnson said. “Nobody got hurt that I know of — or at least seriously — which is what you hope for.”

Unfortunately for Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets took some hits leading up to the game. C.J. Leggett, believed to be a potential starter for Georgia Tech’s B-back position, may lose the entire 2015 season due to a torn knee ligament revealed by an MRI this week.

”He’d been working hard,” Johnson said. ”I feel bad for him, but you’ve got to go with the next-man-up mentality.”

Leggett’s injury comes after another possible B-back option, Quaide Weimerskirch, has undergone foot surgery. The good news is Georgia Tech saw Marcus Allen have a good outing, running 14 times for 77 yards.

“I was proud of Marcus Allen,” Johnson said after the game. “I thought he played hard, did some good things, and made some plays. So (it was a) good (night) for Marcus.”

Justin Thomas will  be Georgia Tech’s quarterback in the fall, so Johnson took drastic measures to ensure he left the spring scrimmage in one piece. He played in just three series Friday night, and he attempted and completed one pass for 21 yards. He was also off limits from contact, just as he has been all spring.

Georgia Tech, the defending ACC Coastal Division champions, opens the 2015 season at home in Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday, September 3 against Alcorn State.

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Clemson and Duke baseball teams played football during rain delay

Clemson v Duke baseball (football)

Clemson and Duke football teams have wrapped up their respective spring practice schedules already, but on Friday the school’s baseball teams served up some spring football action of their own.

With a rain delay forcing the baseball field at Clemson to be covered by a tarp for an extended period of time, players from Clemson’s and Duke’s baseball teams decided to kill the idle time by playing some football. After all, rain does not stop football from being played.

There were even a couple of nice plays to witness too!

Clemson and Duke do not meet on the football field this fall, unless the two match-up against each other in the ACC Football Championship Game.

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Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame (& so many more) spring football on tap for Saturday

Ardarius Stewart, Nick Perry

Get ready for a jam-packed day of spring football from coast to coast. If you have nothing better to do than sit inside and get a college football fix — and who would blame you — then you have plenty of options working for you on Saturday.

Defending national champion Ohio State will be among many big names in action on Saturday. Others include Alabama, Notre Dame (on NBC Sports Network), Auburn, LSU Penn State, Texas, Missouri and Mississippi State. And that’s just a fraction of the total teams wrapping up spring practices on Saturday.

Those with the services available will be able to watch college football, in a somewhat scaled down fashion, from noon through the whole afternoon and into the night with the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 having network coverage. Same goes for Texas and Notre Dame. Some of you might even get to see North Texas, if you are really hardcore about your spring football fix.

If you are looking to see how to plan your day, here are the TV listings for spring games on April 18, as well as a list of schools playing spring football games without listed TV coverage.

ON TV

Games carried by SEC Network will be carried on alternate channels where available. Games appearing on Big Ten Network will also be available on the mobile network, BTN2Go. Pac-12 Network coverage will also be available through Pac-12.com.

Mississippi Sate, 12 p.m., SEC Network (Alternate)

Notre Dame, 12:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network

Ohio State, 1:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

Auburn, 2 p.m., SEC Network (Alternate)

California, 2 p.m., Pac-12 Network

LSU 2 p.m., SEC Network+

Texas, 2 p.m., Longhorn Network

Alabama, 3 p.m. SEC Network (Alternate)

North Texas, 3 p.m., CS Live

Oregon State, 4 p.m., Pac-12 Network

Penn State, 4 p.m., Big Ten Network

Missouri, 5 p.m., SEC Network (Alternate)

Illinois, 6 p.m., Big Ten Network

YOU HAVE TO BE THERE TO SEE IT

Southern Miss, 2 p.m.

Tulane, 10:00 a.m.

Army, 11 a.m.

Akron, 1 p.m.

Colorado State, 1 p.m.

Georgia Southern, 1 p.m.

Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

Purdue, 1 p.m.

Western Michigan, 1 p.m.

Buffalo, 2 p.m.

Indiana, 2 p.m.

Louisiana Tech, 2 p.m.

Middle Tennessee, 2 p.m.

Oklahoma State, 2 p.m.

SMU, 2 p.m.

Tulsa, 2 p.m.

UCF, 2 p.m.

UTSA, 2 p.m.

Western Kentucky, 2 p.m.

Ball State, 3 p.m.

Houston, 3 p.m.

East Carolina, 2:30 p.m.

UNLV, 3 p.m.

Virginia, 6 p.m.

On a related note, keep in mind Nebraska and Michigan are leading the way in spring game attendance so far. The top 10 should change given some of the powerhouse names in action this weekend.

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DA drops assault charges against starting Colorado DL Josh Tupou

The University of Colorado football team takes on the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors at Folsom Field in Boulder on Sept. 20, 2014.

A month ago Colorado defensive lineman Josh Tupou was charged for assault following a house party turning ugly. Those charges have now been dropped by the Boulder County District Attorney’s office.

Tupou was charged for suspicion of second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault, criminal mischief, trespassing and reckless endangerment last month after a brawl unfolded at a house that also had $300 to $700 in damages. Tupou turned himself into Boulder police after a warrant for his arrest had been issued. So what was it that led to all of the charges being dropped off?

Mistaken identity.

At a hearing earlier this month a lawyer representing Tupou claimed his client was charged as a result of a mistaken identity. How many 6′-3″ 325-pound guys are there that could be mistaken for Tupou anyway? Whatever the case, the defense stood tall in court and the district attorney agreed to drop the charges against the starting defensive linemen.

With no charges against him anymore, Tupou’s status remains unchanged at Colorado, which should allow him to continue starting on the line for the Buffs when the season gets started.

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Mendenhall sees BYU playing way into power conference within three years

Bronco Mendenhall

Good old Charlie Brown has a history of standing by the mailbox waiting for a Christmas card, a Valentine’s Day card, an invite to a New Years party invitation or pretty much anything by his mailbox. Nothing ever comes his way. It’s getting to the point where of all the coaches in college football, BYU’s Bronco Mendenhall may the Charlie Browniest because he may be waiting for an invite to a power conference that may never find its way to a mailbox at BYU.

Mendenhall met with some members of the media Friday and once again addressed questions regarding BYU’s future as a football program. Judging by the quotes offered by the head coach of the Cougars, the sight is still set on inclusion in a power conference at some point down the line.

“I hate to be pinned down, but if someone were to force me, I’d say three years. It has to happen within three,” Mendenhall said to Greg Wrubell, who does BYU football play-by-play. “Could it go longer than (three years)? Yes, it could. Is it desirable to me, to go longer than that? The answer is no.”

Mendenhall explained he still feels there are more realignment changes to come that could benefit BYU in some way. Those realignment changes may be a bit more difficult to see now with power conferences gaining more power through autonomy and possible deregulation of conference championship games a possibility. BYU’s best hope seems to be possible expansion in the Big 12 to return to 12 members, but as we have discussed time and time and time again, this does not seem to be a top priority for the conference. And if the Big 12 did expand, it is more likely the conference would have a desire to move east.

BYU’s plan for independence was one that seemed to have some support at the time of leaving the Mountain West Conference, a decision Mendenhall still stands by without hesitation. But since choosing to go independent in football a lot has changed around the college sports world. More realignment changes happened and power conferences were given more power, which BYU may not have seen coming at the extent it has.

“I absolutely think it was worth it,” Mendenhall said. “I think it was the right move at that time. Independence is more difficult than the MWC was.” But even Mendenhall knows what BYU needs to do in order to make any serious pitch to the Big 12 or Pac-12 (or any other power conference).

“At some point, (P5) inclusion has to happen…best way I know to do it is play our way in, and that’s what I have chosen to do,” Mendenhall says.

If nothing else, these are comments you want to hear from BYU’s coach. What else is he suppose to say? BYU would benefit more from being a part f a power conference like the Big 12 than being an independent at a time when power conferences are soaking up more and more revenue compared to other conferences (and independents). Did BYU make a mistake leaving the Mountain Wets Conference? That is debatable, and we know where Mendenhall stands.

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Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list includes Wright, Oakman, Nkemdiche, Bosa & more

USC v Arizona Getty Images

You know we are starting to turn a page toward the next college football season when spring games are in the air and some award gets an early jump on watch list season. Today the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation got award watch list season underway with 42 players being named to the watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is awarded to a defensive player based largely on performance on the field and character.

Six players on this year’s first watch list were on the watch list for the trophy last season. Duke’s Kelby Brown, Michigan State’s Shilque Calhoun, Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves, West Virginia’s Karl Joseph, Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith and Oklahoma’s Eric Striker are among the players represented. Other prominent names for the award on the watch list include Baylor’s Shawn Oakman, Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss, Ohio State’s Joey Bosa, and Arizona’s Scooby Wright III. The watch list includes a total of 37 players from power five conferences, with the Big Ten leading the way with 10 players.

2015 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST

LB Kevin Anderson, Stanford

DB Dante Barnett, Kansas State

LB Joe Bolden MichiganDB

DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota

DL Joey Bosa, Ohio State

LB Kelby Brown, Duke

DL DeForest Buckner, Oregon

S Michael Caputo, Wisconsin

DE Shilque Calhoun, Michigan State

S Jeremy Cash, Duke

S Su’a Cravens, USC

LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia

CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech

DB Nate Gerry, Nebraska

DL Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech

LB Deon Hollins, UCLA

DB Dylan Haines, Texas

CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida

DB Ryan Janvion, Wake Forest

DB Jonathan Jones, Auburn

S Karl Joseph, West Virginia

LB Bronson Kaufusi, BYU

S Derrick Kindred, TCU

DB Jordan Lomax, Iowa

DL Dean Lowry, Northwestern

LB Blake Martinez, Stanford

LB Viliami Moeakiola, Arizona State

LB Calvin Munson, San Diego State

DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

LB Jared Norris, Utah

DE Shawn Oakman, Baylor

DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State

LB Joshua Perry, Ohio State

LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama

DB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State

DE Sheldon Rankins, Louisville

LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame

DB Weston Steelhammer, Air Force

LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma

LB Jeremy Timpf, Army

LB Scooby Wright III, Arizona

DT Anthony Zettel, Penn State

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San Diego wants Navy and Notre Dame to visit in 2018

Notre Dame v Navy Getty Images

The city of San Diego hopes to lure Navy and Notre Dame to the west coast for a future match-up between the two football rivals, and it is not at all out of the question this could become a reality.

Representatives from the San Diego Bowl Games Association and Navy are currently in the negotiation stages of arranging a future game between the Midshipmen and Irish to be played in San Diego in 2018. The game would be played in Qualcomm Stadium, which currently hosts San Diego State home football games as well as the NFL’s San Diego Chargers (well, until they leave for Los Angeles).

The city of San Diego’s interest in hosting Navy should come as no surprise, given the Navy has multiple bases right in and around San Diego. Anytime Navy is in San Diego, it is a good draw. Add Notre Dame to the mix, and you have the makings of an attractive match-up put on by the San Diego Bowl Games Association.

“We’ve had a wonderful relationship with Navy over the years and we would like to continue that in any way possible,” Mark Neville, executive director of the San Diego Bowl Games Association, told The Capital Gazette. “Hosting an amazing and historic rivalry game such as Navy-Notre Dame would be a huge coup and a great spectacle for our city.”

Navy does not host Notre Dame in its own stadium due to limited capacity. Instead, the Midshipmen typically host Notre Dame in Baltimore or Landover, but Navy has transplanted the game to other cities before. Notre Dame has never played in San Diego. Arranging the game would require having to work with San Diego State and the Mountain West Conference as well, to ensure the stadium would be available for a game between Navy and Notre Dame.

The odds of this coming together are probably pretty good, so get ready San Diego. Navy and Notre Dame are (probably) coming to your city.

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Jimbo Fisher feeling good about Sean Maguire at QB

Idaho v Florida State Getty Images

Coming out of the spring at Florida State it is pretty clear the successor to Jameis Winston will be Sean Maguire. Head coach Jimbo Fisher has not made a final decision on the quarterback position just yet and has suggested the competition will carry over into the summer leading up to the start of the season, but Maguire has not done anything to be ruled out of the mix and nobody else on the roster has done anything to grab the starting job from him. For now, Fisher seems comfortable moving forward in the post-Winston era with Maguire leading the offense if he had to start the season tomorrow (he doesn’t, by the way)

I feel very good about Sean,” Fisher said Thursday at the Seminoles’ booster event in Panama City Beach according to The Orlando Sentinel. “Sean had a great spring, we have to play well around him. I like where he’s at right now.”

Maguire got off to a rough start in Florida State’s spring game last week, including an interception returned for a touchdown by early enrollee Derwin James. In the spring game, Maguire completed 22 of his 44 pass attempts for 289 yards, and he was picked off twice. Fisher seemed willing to give Maguire a bit of a pass for the performance in the spring game.“First drive [of the second half] was OK, missed a couple balls on overs late, we should have flattened one out a little bit. As he started to press a little bit, the high throw, if you look on the interception, the ball was snapped on his ankles, he picks it, raises up, makes the right read and tries to dump it over. Until we get that fixed nobody is going to play quarterback.”

“First drive [of the second half] was OK, missed a couple balls on overs late, we should have flattened one out a little bit,” Fisher explained. “As he started to press a little bit, the high throw, if you look on the interception, the ball was snapped on his ankles, he picks it, raises up, makes the right read and tries to dump it over. Until we get that fixed nobody is going to play quarterback.”

Rest assured, Florida State will have a quarterback when the 2015 season kicks off September 5 at home against Texas State. And it will very likely be Maguire lining up under center.

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Big Ten’s freshman ineligibility is not bad in concept, but is anybody on board?

Jim Delany

The Big Ten had an idea that was not received particularly well, but in good old Big Ten fashion the conference is moving forward in stubborn fashion. An idea proposed by the Big Ten this offseason revolved around making freshmen ineligible in football and basketball. The world laughed. Jim Delany did not blink. In a 12-page document shared by the Big Ten, the conference argues freshman ineligibility would help to fix the balance between academics and athletics.

In the document sent by Delany and the Big Ten, which also addressed some formal responses to previously stated criticisms of the idea, the plan would also involve increasing the number of scholarships available in football and basketball, which seems like a nice incentive to try to lure some on board with the Big Ten’s motives. How would the Big Ten compensate for the added costs of additional scholarships? The same way the Big Ten and power conferences can solve many of their problems; revenue from TV and media rights deals from the College Football Playoff and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Of course.

There does not seem to be a whole lot of public support for this concept developed by the Big Ten, but at least Delany and his crew can say they tried doing something right with regard to academics. In theory it is not a bad idea, but it is not one that will be easy to sell to programs and presidents around the college football world enough to carry much weight. It may be a losing battle, but the concept is not entirely to blame. It is more the fact the Big Ten’s idea could just as easily turn into a negative recruiting pitch, and don’t think a school from another power conference would take advantage of that.

The Big Ten is still far from the point of forming this ideas as an actual proposal to place a vote on. It may never even get that far. For now, the Big Ten continues to spread the word about the idea and gather feedback. If they are getting any positive feedback, from where exactly is it coming?

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Is Baylor pumping out system QBs? Bryce Petty doesn’t think so

Bryce Petty

Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty is moving on to the NFL, where he has a chance to be the second first-round quarterback drafted out of Baylor under head coach Art Briles. The first was Robert Griffin III. Petty may not be receiving the hype quarterbacks like Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are receiving for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is Petty is labeled by some as a system quarterback from his time spent at Baylor, and that scares some people.

With the NFL Draft coming up, Petty is not afraid of addressing the idea he may be a system quarterback. He doesn’t see it that way.

“You’re dealing with hypotheticals when you say he can’t transition because of the system he plays in,” Petty said during a radio interview on ESPN (transcribed by The Dallas Morning News). “If you look at a spread vs. a west coast, it’s still a system. It’s not that I couldn’t do the things you’re asked to do in the NFL, that’s just not we were asked to do.”

Petty played at Baylor at a time when the Bears were essentially taking to the air and playing an up-tempo style of offense. It worked, with Petty guiding the Bears to two straight Big 12 championships, and appearances in two New Years Six bowls (Fiesta Bowl and Cotton Bowl). Along the way Petty was generally viewed as a player who would put up heavy passing stats without establishing much of a profile for the pro game. Whether that is fair or not may be answered best by seeing what Petty does later in the NFL. If he wins, who will care about Petty’s label?

“At the end of the day, it’s whatever gets you Ws, whether it’s defense or offense or field goals,” Petty added. “At some point you’re going to have to score points. People want to see that, no one wants to see a 6-3 game where everyone’s running the whole game.”

At Baylor the focus shifts to the next starting quarterback. Will Seth Russell, who tossed four touchdowns in Baylor’s spring scrimmage a few weeks back, also receive the label of system quarterback?

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The truth revealed about Michigan’s 100,000 crowd streak

Utah v Michigan Getty Images

For 258 consecutive games, the University of Michigan has claimed a crowd of over 100,000 fans have packed into Michigan Stadium to watch the Wolverines play football. As if Coca-Cola ticket promos were not enough to tarnish that number, a new report says the school gave away as many as 62,879 free tickets in 2014 just to keep that somewhat meaningless record going.

The Detroit News reports Michigan’s increased number of comp tickets accounted for 8.9 percent of the stadium’s attendance in 2014, which is up from 2.8 percent in 2013. In Michigan’s final home game of the season against new Big Ten member Maryland, the school handed out approximately 17,000 free tickets according to the report. That helped push the attendance for that game to just over 101,000. That would be the smallest crowd in Michigan Stadium since a 1995 home game against Memphis. But hey, that Big Ten’s presence in the east makes up for this, right?

Every school gives away a certain number of tickets for free, so Michigan is certainly not the first to resort to this tactic nor will they be the last. As the focus on attendance issues continues to spread around the sports world, including the college level, teams and schools have to find ways to generate interest in coming to a game. Sometimes free tickets can do just that. We also have to remember just how rough it was for Michigan last season. The team was not very good and Brady Hoke was pretty much a lame duck coach. Hoke is gone, and there have been changes above as well.

The good news is things look to be on the upswing since the hiring of new head coach Jim Harbaugh. Ticket sales are already increasing and season tickets now have a waiting list for the first time in years. The Harbaugh hype appears to be generating a buzz around Ann Arbor, and the issues regarding attendance should diminish as a result in 2015. This spring Michigan saw one of its biggest spring crowds in over two decades, ranking them second this spring in spring game attendance behind only Nebraska heading into the weekend.

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