While Florida International and Central Florida are extending their young rivalry, Florida and Miami could be playing the last game in their rivalry’s history. At least, that’s what The Orlando Sentinel is suggesting.
One of the many always trustworthy anonymous sources close to the Florida athletics program tells The Orlando Sentinel‘s Mike Bianchi “Unless Miami joins the SEC, I don’t see us ever playing them again during the regular season. It’s just not worth it.”
From Florida’s point of view, ending the Miami series makes some sense. The Gators are often criticized for staying so close to home in non-conference play every season, but the Gators do have a regular meeting with Florida State at the end of the regular season to cap an SEC schedule that features games against Georgia and South Carolina and should soon see more of a challenge from old rival Tennessee. Cross over games with SEC West foes will rotate games against Texas A&M, LSU and Alabama as well. Simply put, Florida will always have a challenging schedule in front of them and adding in a second high-profile non-conference game against a program like Miami could put the Gators at a disadvantage in the College Football Playoff era.
Would most fans like to see more of Florida and Miami? Absolutely. In an ideal world, Florida and Miami would play every september and the Gators continue ending the regular season against Florida State in late November. But it makes sense for Florida to ensure they don’t get in a position of losing a home game in a changing landscape. Because the series with Florida State already alternates between Gainesville and Tallahassee every season, Florida is one of the programs who puts an emphasis on securing seven home games at a minimum as often as possible. Should the SEC expand the conference schedule, getting to seven home games could become more difficult if a series with a school like Miami were to continue.
“People don’t want to hear this, but it’s the fact of the matter,” Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley told the Associated Press this week. “When you take a home game out of here, it cost you significant dollars. … You can’t do that every other year and try to run a sports program at the level we’re trying to run it. I think everybody thinks that’s not a big deal. Well, it is a big deal.”
As with most decisions in the evolving landscape of college football, money trumps tradition and rivalries.
Tennessee has become the latest FBS program to see players leave in search of greener playing-time grass, with a pair of offensive linemen reportedly set to make their exits from Knoxville.
According to a pair of tweets from UT radio network sideline reporter John Brice, Vols linemen Dontavius Blair (pictured) and Ray Raulerson have decided to leave Butch Jones‘ football program. According to 247Sports.com‘s Wes Rucker, “multiple program sources have indicated in the past week to GoVols247 that Blair and Raulerson were indeed looking to leave the program in hopes of having better chances to play.”
Both are expected to transfer to FCS programs to either continue their playing careers or, in the case of Blair, finish it.
Blair played in nine games last season, Blair in five. Neither player started a contest as a Vol.
When it came to the 2016 season, neither player was expected to be a significant part of any line rotation.
It appears Will Muschamp‘s Columbia reunion with one of his former Florida players won’t come to fruition as first thought.
Last months, reports surfaced that J.C. Jackson could be headed to South Carolina to join Muschamp’s first-year Gamecocks football program. However, 247Sports.com is now reporting that Jackson will not enroll at USC.
“Sources indicate Jackson is not eligible to transfer to the Gamecocks in a ruling that’s beyond South Carolina’s control,” the site wrote.
Instead, sources indicated to the recruiting website that Jackson will likely end up at Maryland. The Terps’ first-year coach, D.J. Durkin, was Muschamp’s defensive coordinator with the Gators when Jackson was a defensive back with the team.
Facing three felony charges in connection to an armed home invasion robbery, Jackson “transferred” from UF in May of last year. He was ultimately acquitted on all of those charges, and is currently enrolled at a California junior college.
A four-star member of the Gators’ 2014 recruiting class, Jackson was rated as the No. 21 corner in the country; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 243 recruit overall by Rivals.com. He played in the 2014 opener, but missed the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. Exiting the spring, Jackson was expected to take a starting job into summer camp in 2015 prior to the legal issues arising.
If Jackson lands at Maryland, or any other FBS program for that matter, he would be eligible to play immediately in 2016. The redshirt sophomore would then have three seasons of eligibility at his disposal.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a college football player has decided to leave his original home and look elsewhere.
The latest to be hit with attrition via a transfer is Virginia Tech, with the Hokies confirming speculation that Carson Lydon is no longer with the team and intends to transfer to an undetermined location. No reason was given for the linebacker parting ways with the program.
Should Lydon decide to move on to another FBS program, he’d likely have to sit out the 2016 season, leaving him with three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning with the following season.
Lydon was a three-star member of the Hokies’ 2015 recruiting class coming out of high school in Florida. In addition to Tech, Lydon held offers from, among others, Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, North Carolina State, Rutgers and Syracuse.
As a true freshman last season, Lydon played in 11 games.
Earlier in the day, reports coming out of South Florida indicated that Juwon Young‘s time as a member of the Miami Hurricanes could be coming to an end. While it’s not at that point yet, there has been one confirmed development on that front.
Early Friday afternoon, UM announced that Young has been indefinitely suspended from the football program. The only stated reason was the vague “violation of department rules.”
According to a report, the suspension seemingly stems from the university’s investigation into a potential NCAA violation. From the Miami Herald:
Multiple people inside the UM football program do not expect Young to be on the team this season. One source cautioned that he’s in limbo and it’s still possible he could return but he’s not in a good position.
The matter, according to a source, involved Young gaining use of a luxury vehicle from a car agency. It’s unclear if Young paid for the vehicle or if he intends to.
As for additional specifics for the suspension itself?
The Herald‘s report went on to note that star defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad is being investigated for his involvement with the same agency; as of now, Muhammad remains an active member of the program.
As UM’s NCAA probation doesn’t end for another four months, the university is looking to get as far ahead of this situation as possible.
Young appeared in 14 games the past two seasons, including 10 in 2015.
Muhammad, a redshirt junior, played in 12 games in 2015, leading the team in both tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (five). He underwent a minor surgical procedure in late April to repair an issue in one of his knees.