Skip to content

CFT Predicts: the SEC

Nick Saban AP

As the 2013 season draws near, we peek into our crystal ball and guess project how each of the five major conferences will play out. Today, we examine the SEC. 

And while we’re at it, check out our other conference previews: Big Ten, Pac-12

SEC East

1.  South Carolina (Last year: 11-2; beat Michigan in Outback Bowl)
What happened last season?
The Gamecocks put together an 11-2 season for the second straight year — the first time in school history the program has accomplished such a feat. Yet, Steve Spurrier‘s team still didn’t make it to the SEC championship game despite handing it to SEC champ Georgia 35-7 in Columbia. Also, this happened. You may have seen it before on SportsCenter. 

So why are they ranked here?
South Carolina and Georgia have taken their respective turns representing the East division in the SEC title for the past three years, and it looks like 2013 will be two-team race between these two once again. The Gamecocks get the edge this time because of their defense, which features preseason Heisman candidate Jadeveon Clowney. But it’s not just the projected No. 1 NFL draft pick that makes this defense so good. Cornerback Victor Hampton and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles also return.

Anything else?
That’s a Clowney question, bro. But for real, the offense loses wide receiver Ace Sanders. However, the Gamecocks have a solid wide receiver group led by Bruce Ellington and Damiere Byrd. 

2. Georgia (Last year: 12-2; beat Nebraska in Capital One Bowl) 
What happened last season?
If only Chris Conley had been a few yards further, Georgia would have been playing in the BCS championship game. Still, 12-2 and a January bowl win aren’t too shabby. Despite getting blasted by South Carolina midway through the season, UGA still won the East division for the second year in a row.

So why are they ranked here?
The Bulldogs’ offense returns so many key players, including seventh-year senior quarterback Aaron Murray and running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. But conversely, it’s the defense that loses just about everyone. There’s plenty of talent on that side of the ball and Todd Grantham is considered one of the best in the business at defense coordinator, but there’s enough turnover to cost the Bulldogs the top spot in the East.

Anything else?
Georgia is the media’s favorite to win the SEC East this year, but the month of September could get the Bulldogs off to a slow start. Georgia faces four tough opponents to start the season: Clemson, South Carolina, North Texas* and LSU.

(*Kidding, obviously. But seriously #GoMeanGreen.) 

3. Florida (Last year: 11-2; lost to Louisville in Sugar Bowl)
What happened last season?
It wasn’t always pretty, but Florida won 11 regular season games with arguably one of the tougher schedules in college football. However, the Gators’ season ended in a Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville, something only our favorite Cardinals fan Mark Ennis could have foreseen.

So why are they ranked here?
This is where the Gators fit. The East will continue to be dominated by Georgia and South Carolina at least for another season, and there are some injury concerns on offense for Florida with wide receiver Andre Debose out for the year and running back Matt Jones out indefinitely with a viral infection. Quarterback Jeff Driskel is now a junior and should be a bigger part of this offense. On defense, this team needs to replace stars Matt Elam, Jelani Jenkins and Sharrif Floyd.

Anything else?
It doesn’t affect SEC records, but the Gators have two meaty non-conference games: the annual rivalry with Florida State and an early season game against Miami, a team some feel are flying under the radar.

4. Vanderbilt (Last year: 9-4; beat NC State in the Music City Bowl)
What happened last season?
Seven straight wins to end 2012 gave Vanderbilt its first nine-win season since 1915. James Franklin continues to do an outstanding job building the Commodores’ brand and is now quickly becoming one of the most intriguing coaches in the game.

So why are they ranked here?
That nine-win season? Yeah, Vandy returns 17 starters from that team a year ago. Leading receiver Jordan Matthews is back, but Chris Boydthe team’s second-leading receiver, is currently dealing with a legal issue related to a horrific rape allegation involving four former VU players. Still there should be plenty of firepower on offense and the defensive front seven should be a strength.

Anything else?
Vanderbilt’s next step is to knock off a SEC favorite. This team will have four opportunities to do so against South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas A&M. A season-opener against Ole Miss could also build some early momentum for the ‘Dores.

5. Missouri (Last year: 5-7) 
What happened last season?
Missouri’s first year in the SEC was, shall we say, eye-opening. The Tigers suffered their first losing season under Gary Pinkel in eight years thanks, at least in part, to the fact that quarterback James Franklin couldn’t stay healthy. Missouri’s only two conference wins came against Kentucky and Tennessee.

So why are they ranked here?
It’s not a stretch to think Mizzou can have, say, a two-game swing in the win column this season. The Tigers don’t have to play Alabama or LSU out of the West and there are about four winnable conference games on the schedule. Franklin has to stay healthy, which could again be an issue if the offensive line doesn’t come through. Running back Henry Josey returns after missing last season with a significant knee injury and one-time five-star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham is a sophomore who needs to have a big year. A lot of previously unknown names are going to have to emerge as playmakers.

Anything else?
Pinkel has been the head coach of Mizzou for 13 years if you can believe it. And, if nothing else, the Tigers have been fairly consistent with winning records. But a new conference and a disappointing 2012 campaign has made the seat beneath Pinkel’s keister a little warm. If there’s not at least a little bit of a turnaround, or some reason to be excited about the future, Mizzou could be looking for another direction by year’s end.

6. Tennessee (Last year: 5-7)
What happened last season?
The Vols suffered their third straight losing season and Derek Dooley was punished by being demoted to the wide receivers coach for the Dallas Cowboys.

So why are they ranked here?
Butch Jones is a good coach and he should be the guy to finally get things turned around for Tennessee. He’s a natural with young people and players love him. That said, Neyland Stadium wasn’t built in a day — neither were UT’s shiny new facilities — and the Vols took a solid gut punch in the passing game with the departures of wide receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson. Defense has been bad too. There’s a lot to fix and not a lot to work with right away.

Anything else?
The stretch between Sept. 21 (at Florida) and Oct. 26 (at Alabama) is ruthless and unkind. But winning one game against either the Gators, Georgia or South Carolina would go a long way for Jones no matter the final record.

7. Kentucky (Last year: 2-10)
What happened last season?
The Wildcats beat Samford and Kent State, the latter of which almost had a chance to make a BCS bowl appearance. Strange, indeed. Either way, Joker Phillips got canned.

So why are they ranked here?
If Tennessee is building things “brick by brick”, then Kentucky’s going to need some heavier materials. UK made an interesting hire with former Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, who is recruiting extremely well early. Signing Day 2014 is still a ways off and it’s yet to be seen if those efforts will pay dividends down the road. For now, the Wildcats have too much to improve upon to make a real dent.

Anything else?
The schedule the Wildcats go through doesn’t help. Road games against South Carolina and Georgia aren’t even the worst games — that distinction would belong to hosting Alabama on Oct. 12.

SEC West

1. Alabama (Last year: 13-1; beat Notre Dame in BCS championship)
What happened last season?
Oh, not much. The Tide won the SEC and then mercilessly beat Notre Dame in the BCS championship, giving Nick Saban his third national title in four years with Alabama. Of course, it wasn’t all perfect. Texas A&M came into Tuscaloosa in November and stunned the top-ranked team in the country 29-24. Saban has since been playing that game on loop around the football facilities because money isn’t the root of all evil — satisfaction is.

So why are they ranked here?
Unless the wheels inexplicably fall off or Saban takes his coaching talents to the pros, Alabama is in rolling along (see what we did–ah forget it) and there’s nothing anybody can do to stop it. We could talk about returning starters like A.J. McCarron or C.J. Moseley, or how the Tide’s schedule doesn’t feature any of the SEC East teams expected to finish at or near the top of that respective division. Those are all fine and well, but as long as Saban is wearing crimson, this program is going to be a perennial favorite.

Anything else?
Because college football black magic is very, very real, it should be pointed out again that Alabama has never have won a BCS title when ranked atop the preseason coaches poll. Guess where they’re ranked this year.

2. LSU (last year: 10-3; lost to Clemson in Chick-fil-A Bowl)
What happened last season?
The Tigers shocked the college football world by beating up on a much more talented North Texas team* to open the year and came thisclose to beating Alabama at home (tailback screen FTW!) on their way to a 10-win season. LSU lost by one point to Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl as Tajh Boyd pulled off the toughest individual postseason performance of the year.

(*Kidding, obviously. But seriously #GoMeanGreen.) 

So why are they ranked here?
LSU is an interesting team who’s getting overshadowed by two other SEC West teams. Understandably, Alabama is the overwhelming favorite not only to win the West division, but to win the SEC and get back to another national championship. But the Tigers shouldn’t be counted out so quickly. Defense will always be a staple and Zach Mettenberger has all the tools to be an elite quarterback, he just has to put it all together. Ironically, perhaps his best game last season came in that agonizing loss to Alabama.

Anything else?
Les Miles‘ team has some big games this year, including road games against Georgia and Alabama, and a season-opener against TCU. This is a program that’s thrived in those environments over the last few years (sans a BCS title loss to Alabama in 2012). They’ll need to again if they want to knock off the preseason favorite.

3. Texas A&M (last year: 11-2; beat Oklahoma in Cotton Bowl)
What happened last season?
Kevin Sumlin started Johnny Manziel at quarterback and all of us — defenses, media members, all of us — looked like idiots. Also, Manziel won the Heisman as a redshirt freshman. Just as a reminder.

So why are they ranked here?
Manziel is back… maybe. In fact, this is probably one of the few predictions that actually deserves an asterisk next to it. With the NCAA reportedly investigating whether Manziel improperly received money for signing thousands of pieces of memorabilia, it’s possible he could face suspension. If he does, and depending when and for how long, the Aggies’ win total could dip tremendously. There are a lot of questions defensively even with Manziel in the lineup, and while I personally don’t believe the offseason “controversies” will affect Manziel’s play on the field, he still has a lot of growing to do as a quarterback.

Anything else?
Wide receiver Mike Evans burst on to the scene last year with over 1,100 yards as a freshman. All the talk is about Manziel, but Evans provides an athletic, big target to throw to in this offense. He could have an even bigger year as a sophomore.

4. Ole Miss (Last year: 7-6; beat Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl) 
What happened last season?
Hugh Freeze made one of the bigger first-season splashes by leading the Rebels to a seven-win season and then pulling in one of the most impressive recruiting classes for 2013.

So why are they ranked here?
The Rebels are considered to be on the upswing, but the first half of their ’13 schedule is bordering on unfair. Ole Miss travels to Vanderbilt, to Texas in non-conference play, to Alabama, and to Auburn before finally catching a break and hosting Texas A&M and LSU. It seems impossible to get through that stretch unscathed, but if quarterback Bo Wallace cuts down on his mistakes (17 interceptions a year ago) and the defense can clamp down even a little (the Rebels gave up an average of 36 points in five losses to the aforementioned six opponents last season thanks in part to 66 points from the Longhorns), then this team should find itself with some quality wins headed into an easier second half of the schedule.

Anything else?
If you think Ole Miss has broken any recruiting rules, Freeze asks that you email compliance@olemiss.edu. Thanks and hotty toddy!

5. Auburn (Last year: 3-9)
What happened last season?
The Tigers failed to win a conference game and Gene Chizik, two years removed from winning a BCS championship, was fired.

So why are they ranked here?
Gus Malzahn, who was the offensive coordinator for Auburn when it won that national title over Oregon in 2011, returns to The Plains as head coach hoping to turn things around. There are plenty of guys returning on both sides of the ball… it’s just that neither side played particularly well. It’s not like there’s a lack of talent at Auburn, so if Malzahn and his coaching staff, which features veteran defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, can get the production out of their players in a way Chizik couldn’t, then there’s no reason this team can’t go bowling this year.

Anything else?
Nick Marshall, a former Georgia defensive back, will be the starting quarterback for the Tigers. Meanwhile, Kiehl Frazier, Auburn’s former starting quarterback, has moved to defensive back.

6. Mississippi State (Last year: 8-5; lost to Northwestern in the Gator Bowl) 
What happened last season?
Things were looking good for Dan Mullen‘s team, which was 7-0 headed into a late October game against Alabama. That’s when it fell apart and the schedule got significantly harder. The Bulldogs lost 38-7 in Tuscaloosa and went on to drop five of their last six games, including a bowl loss to Northwestern.

So why are they ranked here?
Because the SEC West is arguably the deepest division in college football. It’s quite possible that six teams could be bowl eligible here. Quarterback Tyler Russell is back, but there will be plenty of new faces at wide receiver. Six starters return on defense, but in all, this is a relatively young team that will be tested when it faces South Carolina, Texas A&M and Alabama in consecutive weeks.

Anything else?
If Bulldogs center Dillon Day plays as well as he bowls, then MSU should have a spectacular season.

7. Arkansas (Last year: 4-8)
What happened last season?
Bobby Petrino drove his motorcycle off a road. John L. Smith then drove the BCS-ready Razorbacks into the ground. Hog fans didn’t take either particularly well.

So why are they ranked here?
Arkansas brings in a new coach in Bret Bielema, but loses quarterback Tyler Wilson, its top two leading rushers and receivers from a year ago. Defense was a major liability last season and will have to improve significantly if the offense doesn’t get going. And that schedule? Brutal. The Hogs may not win a game past September.

Anything else?
Freshman running back Alex Collins had some drama trying to Fayetteville, but in Bielema’s run-heavy offense, he could make a huge impact right away.

—————————————-

John Taylor‘s prediction:

East
1. Georgia
2. South Carolina
3. Florida
4. Tennessee
5. Vanderbilt
6. Kentucky
7. Missouri

West
1. Alabama
2. LSU
3. Texas A&M
4. Ole Miss
5. Mississippi State
6. Arkansas
7. Auburn
Ben’s SEC champ: Alabama
John’s SEC champ: Alabama
Permalink 29 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Articles, Auburn Tigers, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky Wildcats, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels, Rumor Mill, South Carolina Gamecocks, Southeastern Conference, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Top Posts, Vanderbilt Commodores
yo

Potential starter along Oregon’s O-line calls it a career

Rose Bowl - Oregon v Florida State

Unfortunately, one of the best names in college football retired Thursday.

Andre Yruretagoyena won’t return to the Oregon Ducks football program this year. An exact reason wasn’t provided, but the redshirt senior decided it was time to leave.

Yruretagoyena finally found his way into the Ducks’ starting lineup last year, but it was short-lived as he dealt with a lingering foot injury.

After the amount of injuries Oregon suffered along the offensive line a season ago, Yruretagoyena’s loss hurts the team’s depth at offensive tackle.

Tyler Johnstone is expected to return from a torn ACL he suffered last summer to start at left tackle, while sophomore Tyrell Crosby should prove to be the team’s bookend at right tackle.

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top

49ers eyeing bid to host future playoff title game

Pac-12 Championship - Arizona v Oregon Getty Images

The new home of the San Francisco 49ers has already hosted a conference championship game.  Now, it appears the club wants to get to know an even more important postseason game as well.

Citing a source a source with knowledge of the plans, the Associated Press is reporting that the NFL organization is planning to bid on becoming a future host of the College Football Playoff championship game.  The 49ers will be focusing their bid — or bids — on the 2018-2020 games that would be played in newly-built Levi’s Stadium.

Bids for those games must be received by May of this year, with the winning bids expected to be announced at some point this fall.

The 2016 (following the 2015 season) and 2017 (following the 2016 season) national title games have already been awarded to Glendale, Ariz., and Tampa, Fla. The first ever playoff title game was played in Dallas at AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Cowboys.

Levi’s Stadium, which opened in 2014, has hosted a regular-season college game as well as the Pac-12 championship game. It will also serve as the host of that conference’s title tilt the next two years as well as being the site of next year’s Super Bowl.

In addition to that stadium in Santa Clara, officials from New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium — home of the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets — have also expressed an interest in bidding on CFP title games from 2018-20.  Also, city officials in New Orleans are beginning the process of considering the feasibility of hosting a title game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported this afternoon.  The Superdome, of course, is the home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top

Hefty LSU recruiting sanctions may be related to Alabama signee

Matt Womack

First, what we know in this situation: LSU has been slapped with some rather hefty recruiting sanctions.

What we don’t know?  Exactly what recruit led to the sanctions… although the Baton Rouge Advocate has an idea.

According to the Advocate, and citing public records obtained by the newspaper, “LSU is banned from signing early enrollee recruits to financial aid agreements for the next two years, and the program will be stripped of 10 percent of its recruiting evaluation days in 2015.” The latter sanction works out to 21 of 210 days allotted on the recruiting calendar. The penalties stem from a recruit who had originally signed a financial aid agreement with LSU last August, with the intention of enrolling in January, but ultimately signed a National Letter of Intent elsewhere.

The financial aid agreement (FAA) mentioned binds the university to the player, but not the player to the university. That policy was enacted by the NCAA in 2013, and allows high school seniors who intend to enroll early to sign the agreements and, in theory, end their recruitment and allow them to focus on what’s left of their senior years.

Football programs that have recruits sign such agreements are permitted unlimited contact with the prospects, although there are penalties for the program if that player enrolls elsewhere. That appears to be the boat in which LSU finds itself.

The public records obtained by the Advocate do not list the name of the recruit involved. However, all the signs seem to point to one who signed with an SEC West rival.

Matt Womack, an offensive tackle from Mississippi, signed a financial aid agreement with LSU in August intending to enroll at the school in January. Instead, Womack de-committed — as hundreds of prospects do each year — and signed a National Letter of Intent with Alabama in February.

One twist in the plot is that the three-star lineman’s father, David Womack, told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger in mid-September that “LSU is not using [the FAA to take advantage of the unlimited contact] because if Matt was to change his mind they would have to report it.” Exactly why LSU got slapped, or if said slapping involved another unknown recruit who signed an FAA with LSU but enrolled elsewhere, is unknown.

Four other LSU recruits who signed FAAs with the Tigers ultimately enrolled at the school.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

Permalink 6 Comments Back to top

Trevone Boykin to undergo surgery on non-throwing wrist

Trevone Boykin AP

An injury that actually occurred four months ago will impact one of the top quarterbacks in the country a couple of months down the road.

In October of 2014, TCU acknowledged that, after some initial misdirection, Trevone Boykin had indeed sustained an injury to his left (non-throwing) wrist.  Boykin didn’t miss a game because of the snap, but he will miss a portion of spring practice this year as he surgically deals with the issue.

According to David Ubben of FOX Sports Southwest, Boykin will undergo surgery the first week of April to repair what’s being described as a small fracture in the wrist.  The timing of the procedure means that Boykin will miss the final week of spring practice, which for the Horned Frogs begins this weekend.

As for a rehab timeline, Ubben writes that Boykin is “expected to return in about five weeks and will be 100 percent in time for voluntary summer workouts.”

Boykin is coming off a season in which he was widely regarded as the most improved quarterback in the country.  He’ll also enter the 2015 season as one of a handful of Heisman favorites.

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top

Scheduling additions won’t quiet Baylor’s critics

Close up of red velvet cupcakes with frosting on counter

Don’t expect this to quiet the critics of Baylor’s scheduling habits.  In fact, if anything, it’ll likely do nothing but increase the volume of the howling.  And laughing and/or chuckling, as the case may be.

According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com, Baylor and Louisiana Tech have scheduled a future three-game series.  The 2020 and 2022 games will be in Waco, while the 2021 game will be played in Ruston.  Additionally, McMurphy’s ESPN colleague, Jake Trotter, tweets that BU will face FCS-level Abilene Christian in 2018.

As it stands now, Baylor has just one non-conference series scheduled against a Power Five program: Duke in 2017 and 2018.  Aside from that, it’s a cornucopia of lower-level creampuffs as far as the eye can see.

Four of the next five years, BU has an FCS team on its schedule: Lamar (2015), Northwestern State (2016), Liberty (2017) and Incarnate Word (2019).  The other teams on the Bears’ future schedules through 2022 include those from the AAC (SMU, 2015 & 2016) and Conference USA (Rice, 2015, 2016 & 2019; UT-San Antonio, 2018; La Tech, 2020-22).

Part of the reason Baylor was shut out of the first College Football Playoff was its strength of schedule, or lack thereof.  If such a scenario plays out in the future, the Bears can look to ongoing — and some would say stubborn — scheduling decisions such as the ones revealed today as a reason why.

Permalink 25 Comments Back to top

NHL commish ‘intrigued’ by Beaver Stadium hockey game

Beaver Stadium

Depending on how things go in the future, The Big House may not be the sole province of professional hockey games played on a college campus.

In the past it’s been rumored that the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, Beaver Stadium, could be in line to host an outdoor NHL regular season game.  The level of chatter in that vein has increased a bit of late, so much so that it prompted the question of an NHL game in Happy Valley being asked of the man in charge of the sport in North America.

While not even remotely ruling it out, Gary Bettman acknowledged that it’s not something that’s imminent, either.

“There’s been talk about it,” the commissioner told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Wednesday. “I’m intrigued by the possibility. But it’s not anywhere close to fruition.”

In January of 2014, Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor hosted the annual Winter Classic, which that year featured the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, although it did fall short of its goal of setting the outdoor hockey attendance record. That record, incidentally, still resides in the Big House, which saw 113,411 fans witness Michigan beating Michigan State in a college hockey game.

There have also been rumors that Notre Dame could host a hockey game at either the professional or collegiate levels, although that speculation hasn’t gained much steam over the past couple of years.

(Photo credit: Penn State athletics)

Permalink 5 Comments Back to top

PHOTOS: SnowVol fight at Neyland Stadium

Neyland Snow

Sign No. 1,783 that we’re diving deeper into the offseason?  This post.

With snow and wintry weather blanketing areas of the South, people in that part of the country are being forced to deal with the kind of precipitation seldom seen at any time of the year.  Parts of Alabama have seen 10 inches of snow; much of Georgia, including Atlanta, are under a winter storm warning that could see up to eight inches of snow in some areas; and temperatures in general are upwards of 30 degrees colder than normal for this time of the year, leaving frozen water pipes and general mayhem on many a roadway.

Some, though, have flipped a potential negative into a positive.

Students at the University of Tennessee, for the second year in a row, are just one example as some of them “found their way” onto the field at Neyland Stadium late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning for an impromptu snowball fight.  The snowy romp on the football turf ended, Wes Rucker of 247Sports.com reported, when “the cops came.”

On a completely unrelated note, the 2015 college football season kicks off in exactly 189 days.

(Photo credit: Andy Jeffers)

Permalink 4 Comments Back to top

Ineligible Baylor walk-on: ‘Bottom line is I broke the rules’

Silas Nacita

Now we have a little further clarity to a situation that blew-up Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier that day, Baylor walk-on Silas Nacita tweeted that he had been declared ineligible by the NCAA for receiving impermissible benefits in the form of housing “instead of choosing to be homeless” as he put it.  Those benefits, which he said he received from what was described as a “close family friend,” led to a statement from BU in which it acknowledged rules violations committed by Nacita and essentially ended the football team’s involvement with the player moving forward.

It also led to a significant public backlash against an already-despised NCAA, although that entity subsequently revealed that it “did not declare Silas Nacita ineligible and Baylor has not requested a waiver for him.”

In another social media posting Thursday morning, Nacita (again) accepted responsibility for his actions while at the same time clarifying the relationship with the individuals who provided him with what turned out to be impermissible.

Nacita clarifying the distinction between “friend” and “close family friend” is relevant when it comes to current NCAA bylaws. In the simplest terms, accepting benefits from the former is impermissible, while accepting the same thing from the latter is permissible.  Additionally, the fact that Nacita is a walk-on instead of a scholarship player has no bearing on this specific situation.

That said, it’s a sad state of affairs when a kid who is at least partially paying his own way through school has to publicly apologize for accepting a place to live, or accepting money for a place to live, from people he considers friends in some form or fashion. It’s just yet another example of how twisted and warped the current state of collegiate athletics in general and the NCAA membership specifically truly is.

It’s amazing, though, that the NCAA can find the time to parse levels of friendships while at the same time overseeing a membership that spends significant time stuffing millions of dollars into its collective coffers, dollars made off the backs of the very student-athletes it keeps under its thumb.  Quite a feat.

Permalink 16 Comments Back to top

LB Alton Meeks transferring from Cyclones

Iowa State v Iowa

On offseason of roster attrition continues for Iowa State, with a former defensive starter the latest to leave the football program.

In a Twitter conversation with Cincinnati offensive lineman Billy West, Alton Meeks acknowledged that he has decided to transfer away from the Cyclones. No reason was given for the linebacker’s decision.

The school subsequently confirmed the departure to the Ames Tribune.

Meeks, a three-star member of ISU’s 2013 recruiting class, started two games he played as a redshirt freshman in 2014, including the season opener. He subsequently lost his starting job and played in 11 games at middle linebacker.

Meeks’ departure brings to nine the number of Cyclones who have either been dismissed, left voluntarily or transferred since January. That nonet includes the projected starter at running back, one of ISU’s top returning receivers and a starting defensive back.

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top

Two TCU starters to miss spring ball after shoulder surgery

TCU at Baylor

It’s that time of year again. Spring ball is about to get (or already) cranking on a number of campuses, which means head coaches across the land offer status updates on their club for the first time since the end of the 2014 season. This time around it’s TCU head coach Gary Patterson. The Frogs open spring practices this week, and the head Frog revealed Wednesday that two returning starters will miss the action.

Vaitai started all 13 games as a junior in 2014.

Tuaua was a part-time starter and posted 30 tackles with five sacks, eight tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and a team-leading three fumble recoveries.

Patterson also this Ghandi-like gem in response to TCU’s College Football Playoff snub.

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top

Nevada adds UCLA graduate transfer

Kevin McReynolds

Nevada added UCLA lineman Kevin McReynolds to its roster as a graduate transfer, the program announced Wednesday.

A former four-star out of Silver Spring, Md., McReynolds garnered Outstanding Defensive Scout Team Player as a redshirt in 2011 and moved to the offensive line under a new coaching staff in 2012, seeing action in 13 games. He did not see the field in 2013 and contributed as a special teams player in 2014.

Though it will have been four seasons since his last action there by the time this fall rolls around, Nevada is treating McReynolds as a defensive lineman.

“We’re looking forward to having a veteran like Kevin join our defensive front,” head coach Brian Polian said. “Kevin is a quality young man who has experience playing Pac-12 football and we’re excited to have him join our program and continue his education at Nevada.”

(Photo credit: UCLA athletics)

Permalink 2 Comments Back to top

Big 12 reportedly raked in a record $225.9 million in 2013-14

Bob Bowlsby

In college sports, the rich never do anything but keep getting richer.

According to federal tax records uncovered by CBSSports.com‘s Jon Solomon, the Big 12 distributed $225.9 million to its 10 members during the 2013-14 fiscal year. That’s up from a then-record $213 million provided a year ago.

The league’s contracts with ESPN and Fox accounted for $139.7 million of that cheese, with bowl game revenue ($42.6 million) and NCAA distributions ($37.3 million) taking up the next largest shares. The league distributed an average of $19.8 million, up about a million from last year. TCU and West Virginia will not receive full shares until 2015-16.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby nearly doubled his pay from 2012-13 to 2013-14, according to the report. His pay was up from $1.2 million to roughly $2.3 million. That’s more than SEC commish Mike Slive made in 2013.

Deputy commissioner Tim Weiser was the next-highest paid league employee at $288,570, followed by senior associate commissioners Tim Allen ($219,541) and Dru Hancock ($207,361).

Permalink 13 Comments Back to top

Famed Clemson landmark Howard’s Rock under attack again

The most famous slab of rock in college football is under attack. Again.

Following a 2013 episode where Clemson’s famed Howard’s Rock was vandalized, leading to the arrest of a 46-year-old, his 19-year-old son and the son’s 17-year-old friend. All three were charged with felonies. Now another fiend has taken aim at the rock.

“The damage was reported by construction crew members working on renovations to the suite and club levels of the stadium. Police were immediately notified, and the investigation continues,” a university statement says.

The 2013 incident led to safeguards that left the rock in its place today. “Damage was limited to the glass case protecting the storied rock, one of several security measures put in place following vandalism which occurred in June 2013. The pedestal upon which Howard’s Rock is attached was not damaged.”

The Rock is currently secure in an undisclosed location.

“Howard’s Rock is a very important and visible part of our campus and our stadium, and we know many students, alumni and fans come to see it throughout the year,” said Dan Radakovich. “We’ll work to quickly have it back in its home and available for all to see as quickly as possible.”

Permalink 14 Comments Back to top

Ex-Auburn players Kodi Burns, Ryan Pugh land coaching jobs

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game - Oregon v Auburn Getty Images

A pair of recent Auburn Tiger football players are continuing their climb up the coaching ladder.

As had been previously reported as a possibility, Middle Tennessee State announced this past Sunday that Kodi Burns has been hired as Rick Stockstill‘s wide receivers coach.  Burns spent 2013 as an offensive graduate assistant at AU. Prior to that, he served in the same position under Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State.

Burns, who played receiver for the Tigers from 2007-10, will be entering his first season as a position coach.

“Kodi was everything I was looking for in a coach,” Stockstill said in a statement. “He has enthusiasm, energy, passion, and will do a great job relating to our players. I am anxious for him to get started and excited about having him in the program.”

In addition to the news involving Burns, one of his former teammates, Ryan Pugh, has been added as a graduate assistant on Les Miles‘ coaching staff at LSU. Pugh, who started 45 games at center for the AU Tigers from 2007-10, will help with LSU’s offensive line. LSU’s current line coach, Jerry Grimes, was Pugh’s position coach at AU his last two years.

Pugh has been a grad assistant the past three years, with stops at AU (2012), Virginia Tech (2013) and Cincinnati (2014). While Pugh was at Tech, Grimes was the Hokies’ line coach.

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top

TCU makes in-house DC promotions official

Chad Glasgow

Long rumored to be the case, TCU has stayed in-house to fill its coordinating vacancy on the defensive side of the ball.

TCU announced in a press release Wednesday afternoon that safeties coach Chad Glasgow and linebackers coach DeMontie Cross have been promoted to co-defensive coordinators. Both coaches will retain their positional titles as well.

The pair replaces Dick Bumpas, the long-time coordinator who announced his retirement earlier this month.

Glasgow is the most senior member of TCU’s defensive staff, having spent 13 seasons spent working under head coach Gary Patterson with the Horned Frogs. Cross, meanwhile, has been at TCU for two seasons.

Additionally, the school announced that Dan Sharp will take over as defensive line coach and Paul Gonzales has been named cornerbacks coach. The former spent 2014 as TCU’s director of player personnel for special team, while the latter was a Horned Frogs grad assistant the past three years.

(Photo credit: TCU athletics)

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top