Mike Slive didn’t waste much time getting the “breaking news” out of the way: the SEC will, as expected, continue with an eight-game conference schedule (a 6-1-1 model) in 2014 and likely 2015 as well.
But what the topic of scheduling lacked in drama or anticipation, it more than made up for in discussion. Most of the SEC’s coaches understandably favor an eight-game model — though there is some disagreement over whether a permanent crossover rival should be part of it — because the fourth out-of-conference game is almost always a money game against the North Texas (#GoMeanGreen) or UT-Chattanoogas of the college football world. It’s basically a guaranteed win at home. Basically.
Alabama coach Nick Saban is looking beyond the easy wins, though.
“If you look at it through a straw and how it affects you and you’re self-absorbed about it, nobody’s going to be for it,” Saban said about the possibility of a nine-game SEC schedule (via Andy Staples of SI). “I shouldn’t be for it. We’ve got a better chance to be more successful if we don’t do it. But I think it’s best for the game and for the league. That’s what I think. So I’m trying to look at it from 1,000 feet.”
The idea of a nine-game SEC slate has been bounced around some, but traction’s been hard to come by. That could, and probably will, change some time after the SEC’s network gets up and running in 2014 — perhaps in 2016. Staples does a good job explaining the difference between quantity and quality of inventory that would land on the SEC network, but the belief is that a nine-game schedule would allow for a better selection of games than your standard cupcakes.
And then there’s the College Football Playoff angle, of which scheduling is supposed to be a factor worthy of heavy consideration. As long as the CFP’s selection committee weighs scheduling appropriately, adding another conference game would actually seem beneficial for the SEC. Conversely, keeping cupcakes in that fourth nonconference slot would, in theory, hurt an SEC team.
Scheduling is already difficult enough as it is, and trying to maintain tradition and fairness only adds to the headaches it can cause. Eventually, I see the SEC going to a nine-game slate. For the immediate future though, it’s a TBD topic.
Let this post serve as your annual reminder that Notre Dame, UCLA and UCLA remain the only FBS programs who have never played a game against or scheduled a game with a team from the FCS/Div. 1-AA.
In that vein, Stanford announced Wednesday that it has scheduled a 2018 game against UC Davis. That game will, of course, be played at the Cardinal’s football home, Stanford Stadium, on Sept. 15 of that year.
The two football programs have met three times previously, the last coming in 2014. The Cardinal holds a 2-1 advantage in the miniseries, with the lone loss coming back in 2005
In addition to the game against the FCS program, Stanford also has 2018 non-conference games scheduled with San Diego State, at home, and Notre Dame, in South Bend. Their Pac-12 schedule that season consists of home games against Oregon State, USC, Utah, and Washington State as well as road trips to Arizona State, California, Oregon, UCLA, and Washington.
Other future non-conference games, with the annual rivalry game versus Notre Dame a given, include Boston College, BYU, Kansas State, Northwestern, TCU and Vanderbilt.
Even as Tyler Campbell seemed determined to transfer from the Army football program, head coach Jeff Monken had held out hope that the starting slotback would reverse course and return to the service academy. In the end, that hope proved futile.
According to Sal Interdonato of HudsonValley.com, Campbell has followed through with his departure plans and has transferred to Elon. As the Phoenix play at the FCS level, Campbell will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
A third-year junior, Campbell will have two seasons of eligibility at his disposal.
Last season, Campbell started 11 of the 13 games in which he played. He ran for 326 yards on 34 carries — his 9.6 yards per carry was tops on the Black Knights — while adding another 71 yards on a pair of receptions. He saved his best for last, rushing for a career-high 88 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl win over North Texas.
While in the offensive backfield at Army, he’ll play in the defensive backfield at Elon as he’s currently listed as a cornerback for the Phoenix.
The next step in an ongoing controversy in East Lansing has been taken, and it could, eventually, prove costly for some members of the football program.
This week, Michigan State confirmed that the Title IX investigation into allegations that three unnamed Spartan football players had sexually assaulted a woman in January had come to a conclusion. Citing privacy laws, however, the university will not be releasing the findings of the probe.
The school has subsequently confirmed, though, that the investigation found that the three players had committed unspecified violations of school policy. With that finding, the case will now go through the university’s student conduct system.
That body could levy sanctions on the players that range from a warning to probation to suspension or even expulsion from the university.
The alleged sexual assault has spawned three separate investigations, including the recently-completed Title IX probe. A criminal investigation conducted by campus police led to requests for four arrest warrants to be issued, although the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office has thus far declined to act. Additionally, the university has hired an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the football program and its handling of the allegations.
Thus far, the names of the players allegedly involved in the assault have not been released, although all three have been indefinitely suspended since early February. The suspended staffer was subsequently identified as Curtis Blackwell, whose title with the football program is director of college advancement and performance. Blackwell, who is not accused of participating in the alleged sexual assault but rather a non-sexual crime after the fact, has received a pair of one-month contract extensions since his suspension was levied.
As Terry Wilson looks to restart his football playing career, he’ll do so at a much lower rung on the collegiate ladder than which he started.
On his personal Twitter account Tuesday, Wilson announced that he will play for Garden City Community College, a junior college in Kansas, in 2017. GCCC was the top team at the JUCO level in 2016, going undefeated last season.
The move comes a month or so after the quarterback decided to transfer from Oregon.
A three-star member of the Ducks’ 2016 recruiting class, Wilson was rated as the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma. He had originally committed to Nebraska before signing with UO.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Wilson began spring practice this year as the No. 2 quarterback. However, he quickly tumbled to at least third on the depth chart, which triggered the decision to transfer.