Mike Gundy

Report: S. Miss., SEC schools are transfer no-no’s for Wes Lunt


We don’t yet know to where Wes Lunt will transfer, but we do know where it won’t be.  Reportedly.

According to Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, Oklahoma State is restricting the quarterback from transferring to Southern Miss as well as any SEC school.  Such restrictions would severely limit desirable destinations for Lunt as he had been considering five schools; three of them — Southern Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt — are now off-limits because of his former school in general and his ex-coach specifically.

Still on Lunt’s radar are Illinois and Louisville.  Lunt either has or will in very short order visit the Illini, who are currently considered the front-runners by default.

A school spokesperson confirmed the head-scratching restrictions to Fowler, and stated it was between OSU head coach Mike Gundy and Lunt when asked why the player would not be released to that set of schools.  It’s unclear why Gundy — ya know, the “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant guy when it came to defending one his players from the sharp barbs of the mean ol’ media — placed such restrictions on Lunt.

The Southern Miss football program is now headed by Todd Monken, who served as Gundy’s offensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012; the Cowboys and Golden Eagles are not slated to face each other during the regular season at any point over the next nine years.  After sitting out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Lunt will have three years of eligibility remaining; the only SEC school Oklahoma State will face in the regular season during that four-year timeframe is Mississippi State in 2013.

Ironically, Gundy spoke to at least two different schools this offseason about their head coaching vacancies, and would’ve been free to move to those programs without restriction.  The two schools he’s known to have spoken with about their openings?  Arkansas and Tennessee, both members of the SEC.

Excellent work, Coach Gundy.  You and your university and T. Boone should be very proud of the pettiness and double-standards on full display.  Stay classy, Stillwater.

UPDATED 6:26 p.m. ET: According to Zach Kerker, sports director at 1450 in Springfield, Ill., Lunt’s high school coach stated that his former player is also restricted from transferring to Pac-12 schools as well as Central Michigan (on OSU’s non-conference schedule in 2015 & 2016).  The reason behind the restrictions?  “They could play in bowl games,” the coach said.

Pitiful.  Absolutely pitiful situation.

Texas Tech fires three defensive assistants

Kliff Kingsbury
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Texas Tech may be getting ready for a bowl game, but they will do so without three defensive assistant coaches. Co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Mike Smith, cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis and outside linebackers coach Trey Haverty have been cut from the coaching staff, head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced today.

“We appreciate all that Mike, Kevin and Trey have done at Texas Tech over the last three seasons,” Kingsbury said in a released statement. “All three are great Red Raiders and we wish them the very best.”

Texas Tech had the Big 12’s ninth-ranked total defense after allowing 540.2 yards per game. That was nearly 100 yards more per game than Iowa State’s eighth-ranked defense. Only Kansas had a worst defense, allowing 560.8 yards per game. Texas Tech’s defense ranked 126th in the nation out of 128 schools. The Red Raiders were torched through the air, allowing 268.3 yards per game through the air, which was ranked 113th in the nation.

Offense appears to be the key to success in the Big 12 and defense has tended to be a hurdle for the Red Raider program. This much appears to be clear though. Kingsbury is making moves with his roster to find a way to improve defensively and become a more well-rounded threat in the Big 12.

VIDEO: Western Michigan’s bowl reveal video was shark-infested

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Forget about all of the talk regarding 5-7 teams going to bowl games or not, because teams that have actually qualified and deserved a bowl trip are starting to line up their postseason plans. Western Michigan confirmed today it will head to the Bahamas Bowl, where the Broncos will face Middle Tennessee of Conference USA.

There were three potential bowl destinations for Western Michigan. The two in addition to the Bahamas Bowl were the Boca Raton Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl. There really wasn’t a bad destination here for Western Michigan, but a chance to go to the Bahamas seemed to be a crowd pleaser, and how could it not?

After the video revealed the bowl destination for the program, head coach P.J. Fleck went on to commend the Broncos for accomplishing a number of firsts for the program this season, including its first win over a top 25 team, a share of the division crown for the first time in over a decade, and the first time going to bowl game sin back-to-back seasons. Now, Fleck wants his program to put together an eight-win season, which would mark the first back-to-back eight-win seasons. Keep rowing that boat, Western Michigan.

ECU says it would decline bowl invite after 5-7 season, but that invite was unlikely to come

James Summers, Ken Ekanem, Quincy McKinney
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The odds are pretty good East Carolina never would have received a bowl invitation as 5-7 teams wait in line for a rare bowl invitation to fill bowl vacancies. Either wayt, East Carolina is on the record now to say it would not accept any bowl invitation.

“While we understand there are still numerous programs with higher APR scores ahead of us who merit stronger consideration, we have already determined that we would decline an offer should one be extended,” East Carolina Director of Athletics Jeff Compher said in a released statement. “Our efforts should be centered on positioning the Pirates for future championships.”

With Nebraska and Illinois already reportedly ready to accept any bowl invitation they would receive, East Carolina was already going to eb locked out of the postseason as long as the Huskers and Illini stayed true to those reports. Missouri has publicly said it would turn down an ofer, but there are still other schools that would stand in the way of ECU, which is way down the order on the wait list.

5-7 Illinois is ready to go bowling

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Illinois will happily join in the postseason fun despite its 5-7 record. It just needs Georgia State and South Alabama to lose this weekend to make that a possibility.

Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com reported today, via Twitter, the Illini would accept a bowl invitation should one fall into their laps. At 5-7, Illinois would receive a bowl invitation as bowls look to fill up bowl vacancies based on APR scores for the football program. Nebraska would be first in line among 5-7 schools hoping to wiggle into the postseason, and the Huskers have already reportedly confirmed they will accept the invitation to whatever bowl is left with the first vacancy to fill.

Missouri released a statement on Monday saying the school will not accept a bowl invitation following its 5-7 season, and instead will allow for coaches to pursue other opportunities while the school closes in on a coaching hire to replace the retired Gary Pinkel. Missouri would have received the second invitation. Kansas State is next in line, followed by Minnesota, San Jose State and Illinois.

Georgia State has a chance to become bowl eligible with a win this weekend, but it must defeat Georgia Southern on the road, which is not to be expected. Georgia Southern is a 21-point favorite in the game. South Alabama can also hit the six-win minimum to become bowl eligible with a home win against Appalachian State. This may be more likely to happen than Georgia State pulling off the road upset, but the Jaguars are an 18-point underdog at home against Appalachian State this weekend.