Bob Stoops

Sooners to extend Stoops’ contract through 2020

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For whatever segment of Sooner Nation that has an issue with Bob Stoops‘ being its head coach, you’re going to be thoroughly disappointed with the following news.

In a release sent out Thursday, Oklahoma president David Boren announced that the contract of the Sooners head coach will be extended through the 2020 season. The extension is pending the OU Board of Regents taking formal action, which will likely come at a September meeting.

Stoops’ current contract, agreed to in 2011, is scheduled to run through the 2018 season.

“I appreciate the University’s commitment to our program and me,” Stoops said in a statement. “Most coaches dream of working in the kind of situation that exists at Oklahoma, especially with leaders like President Boren and [athletic director] Joe Castiglione. We’re proud of what we have accomplished to this point and look forward to achieving a lot more.”

What Stoops and the Sooners have accomplished in his 14 seasons in Norman is 149 wins; eight Big 12 championships, including five of the last seven; eight BCS/Bowl Alliance/Bowl Coalition bids; four title game appearances; and one national championship in 2000. With nine wins this season, Stoops would eclipse Barry Switzer as the all-time winningest head coach in OU’s storied history.

OU also noted in its release that Stoops is the only active coach with a winning percentage higher than 80 percent with 14 uninterrupted seasons on the FBS level.

Additionally, Stoops, previously known as “Big Game Bob” but who has come under fire recently for his lack of living up to that moniker, reached 100 coaching victories faster than any NCAA Division I coach in the modern era.

“Anytime I look at Bob Stoops on our sideline surrounded by our student-athletes and coaches, I’m reminded of the truly exceptional coach he has become,” said Castiglione. “Whether it’s his inspirational leadership, his passion for the game or consistently putting his team in the best position to be successful, his character and steely resolve continue to make him the right person to lead us to success in the future.

“Coach Stoops has become one of college football’s iconic figures yet he is a selfless man who remains focused on winning championships adding to our program’s great legacy. Against that backdrop he has also quietly embraced the role of serving others and encourages similar values amongst his players and staff. I am proud to have worked with him continuously for 15 years and excited we can extend our relationship with him. We will continue to build on the incredibly strong foundation and tradition which exists at the University of Oklahoma and pursue the many great things we want to accomplish in the coming years.”

Any financial adjustments involved in the new deal were not released, and likely won’t be until the September board meeting. In 2012, Stoops was paid $4.55 million, and was the third-highest paid head coach behind Alabama’s Nick Saban ($5.5 million) and Texas’ Mack Brown ($5.3 million).

After leaving South Carolina, QB Connor Mitch to start over at James Madison

South Carolina 2014 spring football game
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Just a little over a month after leaving South Carolina, Connor Mitch has found himself a new college football home.

On Twitter Monday, Mitch revealed that he will continue his collegiate playing career at James Madison.  As the Dukes play at the FCS level, and Mitch himself is a recent graduate of USC, the quarterback will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.

Additionally, Mitch will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Mitch started the first two games of the 2015 season for the Gamecocks before a hip injury and shoulder injury knocked him out for the remainder of the year.

Part of a five-man competition in the spring, Mitch fell behind the current front-runner, freshman Brandon McIlwain, as well as a pair of quarterbacks injured for portions of the spring, senior Perry Orth and sophomore Lorenzo Nunez.  That positioning on the depth chart apparently led to his mid-May transfer.

During his time in Columbia, Mitch completed 15-of-35 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. He also added 48 yards and another touchdown on 17 carries.

Baylor signee Kam Martin commits to Auburn over TCU

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 06:  Fans of the Auburn Tigers cheer play against the Chattanooga Mocs November 6, 2010 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
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Another former Baylor Bear has found himself a landing spot, although this time it’s not rival Texas that’s the beneficiary.

On Twitter overnight, Kam Martin announced that he has committed to play his college football for the Auburn Tigers. The running back’s decision came shortly after the Texas native took a visit to The Plains.

Martin opted for Auburn over TCU.

“The main reason I committed to Auburn was because it’s family, man,” Martin told SEC Country in an interview after announcing his decision. “Those guys did everything that I wanted to hear and everything speaks for itself. It’s the SEC, one of the biggest fan bases in the nation and I just want to be a part of something big and special.”

Martin was one of five 2016 Baylor signees who were granted releases by the university from their National Letters of Intent last week.  A four-star 2016 signee according to 247Sports.com, the 5-10, 178-pound Johnson was rated as the No. 7 all-purpose back in the country; the No. 39 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 268 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.

As is the case with other 2016 Bears signees who have fled Waco, Johnson will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.

Penn State, Auburn agree to home-and-home series in 2021, 2022

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 1:  Quarterback Zack Mills #7 of the Pennsylvania State University Lions runs with the ball while defended by defensive tackle Spencer Johnson #53 of the Auburn University Tigers during the Capital One Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on January 1, 2003 in Orlando, Florida.  Auburn defeated Penn State 13-9.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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In Auburn’s 113-year history, it’s never played a Big Ten opponent in a regular season game. That’ll change in five years.

Penn State and Auburn announced Monday morning a home-and-home series to take place in 2021 and 2022. The first game will be played in State College on Sept. 18, 2021 and the return will take place at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Sept. 17, 2022.

“This is another great opportunity for our players and fans to be part of something special,” Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. “Bringing together elite programs rich in tradition is what college football is all about. We look forward to this home-and-home series with Penn State.”

Making matters betters is the home-and-home nature of this series, instead of playing it as a neutral site one-off to begin a season. Those games are fun (and, far more importantly, generate a ton of revenue) but having Penn State travel to Alabama and Tigers fans going to State College is a far better experience for traveling fanbases.

Auburn and Penn State have met twice before in bowl games, with the most recent meeting a 13-9 Tigers win in the 2003 Capital One Bowl.

Penn State also added a 2021 home game against Ball State on Monday, per ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.

Notre Dame WR Torii Hunter will still play football after signing with Los Angeles Angels

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 31: Torii Hunter Jr. #16 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish catches a pass and is tackled by Avery Williams #2 of the Temple Owls on October 31, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Temple Owls 24-20. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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Notre Dame rising redshirt junior wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr.‘s status with Brian Kelly’s football team won’t change after he signed with the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend.

Hunter is Notre Dame’s leading returning receiver after catching 28 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns last year. But even though he now has a professional baseball contract, his focus will remain on football and the beginning of preseason camp in August.

Hunter, the son of former Minnesota Twins, Angels and Detroit Tigers All-Star/Gold Glover Torii Hunter Sr., was a 23rd-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft.

Thankful that they were there to experience this with me yesterday! I’m officially an Angel!✊🏾👼🏾

A photo posted by Torii Hunter Jr. (@thunterjr_) on Jun 26, 2016 at 4:27pm PDT

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Hunter, an outfielder, was primarily used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement for Mik Aoki’s Irish baseball team this spring. He worked a crazy schedule (“what is sleep?” he asked) to split time between baseball, spring football and classwork in March and April and hit .182/.308/.182 in 11 at-bats.

Hunter’s baseball highlight came at Florida State, though, a few days after he made a spectacular catch reeling in a Malik Zaire deep ball in Notre Dame’s Blue and Gold Game.

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